Dave Arogbonlo

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The Miraculous Crossing

En route to the promised land, Joshua led the Israelites to the shores of the River Jordan.  How were they going to cross it?  God calmed Joshua, assuring him that by this wonder He would do, He was going to exalt him.  Joshua then instructed the people to consecrate themselves, stay pure because tomorrow God will do wonders among them.  He thereafter instructed the Priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant ahead of them; as soon as their feet touched the water, it would divide, making a heap and so the people crossed over on dry ground.

After they had crossed over, Joshua asked twelve men to pick big rocks from the middle of the Jordan and to stack them as a Memorial at the other end.  Why?  So that when their children would ask what it meant, they would tell them how God miraculously made a way for them to cross over the Jordan.  And as promised, God used this event to exalt Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they feared him just as they feared Moses.  Of course, the Priests came out and the waters returned back.  Then Joshua instructed them to tell their children about these wonders that God had done, so that the whole world might know that God’s hand is mighty.

Defending Your Hope In Christ

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” – 1Pet 3:15

Have you ever had questions about your own faith? Has someone ever asked you why you believe what you believe? Have you ever used evidence to support your belief? If you have done any of these, then you’ve been doing what is expected of you.

We are all commanded to be ready to give an answer for our faith, and to do it with both wisdom, grace and gentleness.  The world is in turmoil and hungry for answers.  They have tried many systems and their hope is waning.  The Christian has the answer.  He must therefore be ever ready to give them the Good News and do it in a gentle and clear manner.

There are, broadly, a few ways we defend our faith, as in a courtroom, in our conversations or articulations:

  1. Showing evidence of the truthfulness of the Christian faith. Some use cosmological phenomena, issues of morality, the bodily resurrection of Christ, etc.
  2. Answering the questions of those who ask, by listening to them and then responding in love.
  3. Rebutting incoherent arguments against Christian faith and showing Christianity as the truth. Beyond intellectual belief, we want our audience to decide for faith in Christ—in other words, we want to evangelize.

Imagine a person is at the emergency room with a serious illness. The doctors explain that the sickness is lethal, and that this person will die unless he gets an antidote. However, if he takes the antidote, he is guaranteed to be well. There is no other choice: you either take the only antidote or you die. The cure is the cure. That’s what Christianity is.

“Because I live, you will live also.” – Jn 14:19

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” –Jn 11:25-26

The world today is in disarray.  I once heard a story of these two sailors that went to town and had much more fun than they had planned, but lost their way back to their boat in the process.  Eventually, they spotted a highly decorated sailor approaching them.  “Surely he knows the way,” they thought.  And so they asked him, “Hey sailor, we’re lost. Show us the way to our boat.”  Feeling insulted at the way they talked to him, this top officer asked, “Don’t you know who I am?” Now these two guys turned towards each other and said, “Now we are in a big mess. We don’t know where we are, and he doesn’t know who he is.”

Indeed, the world is in confusion.  Virtually every single word has a different meaning to different folks, depending on who you ask.  A simple word as basic as “human” has different descriptions from one people group to the other.

Where did this mess begin?  It started right there in Genesis.  Read what God says:

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Gen 2:17 (emphasis mine).

God said the day you eat of it, you will die—be demeaned and self-destruct.  But what transpired? They listened to the devil instead. He reprogrammed their minds, changed their paradigm, their worldview, even painting a picture of a God who was withholding something from them.

“Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” – Gen 3:4-5.

Therein lies the beginning of human misery.  Man became god to himself, defining his own absolutes, and the result was the depravity that is today prevalent everywhere.  Hence there is a need for us to make TRUTH clear (1Pet 3:15; Psa 119:46; Jer 26:1-12; Dan 3:16-18; Col 4:6; 2Tim 2:25).

The darker the darkness of the world gets, the brighter our light should shine.

Four of life’s deepest questions are:

  1. The question of Origin—where we came from;
  2. The question of Meaning;
  3. The question of Morality, and
  4. The question of Destiny.

As for origin, if a person says there is no God, and therefore no vertical relationship, then everything in life is vain and purposeless.  Is this not why our world today is so bloody?  There is no right or wrong.

So, how do we defend our faith?

1. First, we sanctify (set apart) Christ in our hearts. How?

  1. Love God with all your heart.
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

We are made in the image of God, so we must love other people, no matter how much we disagree with them.

2. Our defense must transcend our words. People know who we are not merely by our words, but also by our love. We must touch other peoples lives by doing good deeds for those in need.

3. We must avoid fruitless arguments. Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work on the other person’s heart. Hence, we need to be humble in heart and wise in our responses. You’re answering a questioner, not just the question. Pray for wisdom, for “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Pro 25:11).

We must not concentrate merely on our end—to bring them to Christ: the means matter too.  The gospel gives you more. It is the answer to the yearning hearts of men out there.  Jesus is the hope of the world.  Live for Him; serve Him; and if you don’t know Him, let this be the day you ask Him into your heart.  And if you know Him, then “let the light of your good deeds so shine among men that they will give glory to the Father” (Matt 5:16).

Righteousness: The Basis Of It All

Unless we really grasp the true meaning of righteousness, living the life of liberty that is rightfully ours will be really difficult.  Without being righteous, everything a man does will be a severe struggle.

To really underscore how important righteousness is, it appears 540 times in the Bible—compared with faith, which was used 348 times, meaning that the word “righteousness” appears more than 1½ times more than the word “faith”.  And in simple terms, faith is the means for appropriating what is yours by righteousness.  Without righteousness therefore, faith has nothing to appropriate, and the Christian walk becomes nothing more than religion.

What therefore is righteousness?  What must we do to be righteous?  More appropriately, whose righteousness is it we are talking about?

Righteousness means “to be in right-standing with God”. It means having the right relationship and being in favor with Him. Without it, approaching God with any amount of assurance becomes problematic: it is the foundation of our faith.  True righteousness is not based on what we can do to earn the favor of God, but instead on placing our faith in what Christ has done.  This is huge.  Anything we can add to what Jesus has done will only pollute, destroy and mess up what has been done.

And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. Rom 11:6

It is important that true righteousness is the Lord’s, never our own.  If a man works, he’s entitled to payment.  If the righteousness is based on your performance, then you are entitled to boasting, but not before God.  Your righteousness is imputed or charged as a gift to your account.

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.  Rom 3:27-28

Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.  Rom 4:4-5

If your righteousness is based on your performance, how many things are you going to do?  Okay, assuming you are able to do several things, what about those things you miss out?  Even those things you missed out to do, make you a sinner.

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Gal 6:14

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. Jam 4:17

Let us correct a most significant assertion about right standing with God—how we become it.  We don’t become it by what we do. Rather, we do what we do because we are righteous.  Let me use this wonderful coinage:  We are not human doings, we are human beings.  It is not our doing good and acting religious by performance that makes us righteous, good and necessary as those things may be.  Our righteousness is based on our relationship with God because we received the faith of God into our lives.

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

You see, in Christ, we identify with Jesus in totality.  When He died, we did.  When He rose, we did.  As He sits in glory, we are there right now with Him, pure and powerful as He is.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1John 4:17

For emphasis, we do what we do because we are in right standing with God, not to earn His favor through our performance.  This is huge and it’s what separates us believers from the religious performances of folks out there.

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

There are many religious efforts that people put in place to try to make themselves righteous—outward appearances, conducts, and so on.  However, if a man is not renewed in the inside, everything he does on the outside is worthless.

That was what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3.  The new birth is what makes you righteous, not your outward performance.

I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.  Gal 2:21

Friends, your penitence, deprivation, fasting, giving to the poor, etc. – good as they are – are no basis for your righteousness.  Actually, they can be a rejection of Christ if they are the basis of your faith.  As believers therefore, we don’t get what we deserve, which is death.  We get what we believe.  Jesus is the right payment for us and anything short of what He has done is a rejection of Him.

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isa 53:6

“As you have received Christ, continue in Him.” – Col 2:6.  The question then is how did you receive Him?  It is by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9).  You place your faith in what God has done by grace in Christ.  God says that’s exactly how you are to continue living; not by works or by the law which cannot save you (Gal 2:16).

We are righteous by faith in Christ.

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

 

No One Is Made Better Than You

God created every man on planet Earth equal.  Actually, Gen 1:27 says He has created every man in His own image and in His likeness; and that in the image of God we were all created.  We are all in God’s class.  When you see Pro 22:2, we are told that both the rich and the poor have one thing in common: God made them all.  I really want to register this point forcefully: God shows absolutely no partiality or favoritism.  That’s what Rom 2:11; Gal 2:6 and many other passages emphasize.  God has made us all equal and there’s no one better than anyone else, at least from the standpoint of God.

Living A Life Of Rest

Believe it or not, God has not called us to live a life of struggle.  Instead, He wants us to live the abundant life of grace through faith.  Why? It’s because grace is God’s power working in us to accomplish whatever God has committed to us.  A life of struggle, worry and stress is far from the life of grace.  Grace is God working in and through us, while we rest in confident trust by faith.

A picture of the kind of life God doesn’t want us to live is found in Mark 4:35-41.  Jesus had asked His disciples to let them go to the other side.  But while they were crossing over in a boat, the wind and the waves became really terrible.  The disciples began using all manner of things to get rid of the water from the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping there on a pillow.  Finally, they woke Him, accusing Him of not caring if they perished.  Jesus rose up and rebuked the wind and they marveled.  When we are not living a life of resting in the grace of Christ, we will struggle and sweat for nothing.  Only a life of restful trust in God and in His unfailing love and Word will give us fulfillment.  They were doing all they knew to do, leaving Jesus out of the equation, and would have been wiped out in the process.  A life of rest is a life that depends not on the arm of flesh but on the Lord.

The Power of a Compelling Picture

What you see in your mind will determine what you become. Vision is not birthed from words only, good and powerful as they are. It’s the image they cast in your mind that sticks to propel you into your healing, into the miracles you desire. If therefore what you see on the outside doesn’t seem as you desire, go back and review the blueprint within you. It is your blueprint within that drives your reality without.

God is a God of pictures. To birth a vision within you, He paints a compelling picture within you. He knows that if you lack a picture within then your reality without will go adrift.

Raising The Dead

I want us to approach this subject from the perspective of the question raised in Acts 26:8, “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raised the dead?”  In short, it is saying that raising the dead should not be a big deal at all – if you believe that with God nothing shall be impossible (Lk 1:37) and that with God all things are possible (Mat 19:26). If He asks us to do, then no big deal.

Looking through scriptures, we see many dead raised.  Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath by stretching himself on the boy’s corpse.  Elisha raised the son of the Shunamite woman by laying on him (2Kg 4).  Also the man whose corpse was abandoned in the tomb of Elisha came back to life on touching his bones (2Kg 13:20–21).  In Lk 7:11-17, Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain; also Jairus’s daughter in Lk 8:52-58.  We saw the dramatic raising of Lazarus by Jesus in Jn 11 and the opening of graves that resulted in many saints rising when Jesus gave up the ghost in Mat 22:50-53.  Peter raised Dorcas in Acts 9:36-43; Paul raised Eutychus in Act 20:7-12.

For many, when you mention cancer, they hear dead.  Equally so, when they hear death, they give up, that is, until you get to Mat 10:8, where God command us to heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead and to cast out demons.

How NOT to Raise the Dead

  1. Don’t begin to beg God, thinking it’s your tears and pleading that will raise them.
  2. Don’t stretch over the corpse, dramatizing
  3. Don’t begin talking about how deserving the dead person is or his or her family is.
  4. Don’t ever call on the God of any Elijah or a super pastor
  5. Don’t even begin conjuring your super anointings.

Some examples of people that raised people from the dead:

Smith Wigglesworth, a man of uncommon ruthless faith.  A family member of a member his had died and out of courtesy, Smith had gone with him to encourage them.  The body was in the house.  When they arrived there, Smith walked straight into where the body was, pulled it out and pinned him to the wall, stepped back and screamed a command, “In the Name of Jesus, Walk.”  The body slid down.  He went back, picked it up again, pinned it up and screamed the command again, but the body slid down slowly to the ground.  Smith in fury pulled the body up, slammed it to the wall and screamed the command, “I say, Walk”, and the man rattled back into his body and together, he walked out with the man.

Benson Idahosa, another man of indomitable faith.  At the age of 24, he was only a young man in the church when his pastor preached that God says the church should raise the dead.  And so he took his bicycle riding through Benin City in search of where a crowd would gather, signifying that someone was dead.  He started out at about 11am but didn’t find such a crowd until about 4:30pm.  When he asked why they were gathered and they told him a girl was dead, he rejoiced and they wondered why and he said he was there to raise her.  He went in with the crowd, tried several times to raise her but failed.  Then he asked everyone out and at the call of that girl’s name, Inuaka in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, she came back.

I have had my own stint with this thing called raising the dead.  A man, who had borrowed me his car came banging my door in desperation.  I thought he wanted his car back and so I opened my door.  Lo and behold, he dumped the lifeless body of his daughter of just a few weeks into my hands.  What do I do?  I started speaking in tongues and praying desperately.  It couldn’t have been more than ten minutes but it certainly felt like ten hours, the girl sneezed and I tell you, joy filled the city of Sacramento and what was our then small church.

According to David Hogan, a man that has now seen over 600 people raised from the dead, his first dead-raising stands out clearly in his mind.  A man had come to ask him to come and pray for his sick son.  No problems, he said, but let’s finish church service first and we’ll go.  By the time they finally got to the man’s house, the atmosphere revealed it all.  The boy had died for a few hours.  And so he went in to pray to raise him from the dead and went on for 45 minutes or so, he kept commanding until the boy came back.  He has since seen several others come back to life as you can imagine.

If you will obey God and do as He has commanded by raising the dead, then these keys are critical:

  1. You must be unequivocally sure that God’s Word is true and that He has authorized and empowered you to raise the dead. If you doubt this, then don’t even try.
  2. You must have faith in God, His unfailing Word and in the authority of that Name, the Name of Jesus, which is higher than death. (Phil 2:9-11)
  3. You will not do this by an anointing or a special mantle. You will do it based on the fact that you have the resurrection power in you (Eph 1:18-19; 1Jn 2:27; Heb 13:5) and because you can manifest the power of God at will, anytime, anywhere.  You don’t need a special atmosphere or to have the stage set right, because you will not get a notice to prepare for raising the dead.  You’ve got to always be ready..
  4. You must have unshakable faith, without doubting, fear or unbelief. It’s one thing to have faith. But with fear, doubts, unbelief within, all your faith will be wiped out into a deficit, which translates into failure.  Did you notice that Benson Idohosa and Smith Wigglesworth didn’t care.  They had unwavering faith which is what moves mountains (Mat 17:20).
  5. When confronted with the corpse, you will be as militant, bold and angry as you can be, because it’s war. You will not be begging God.  He will not do for you those things He has authorized and empowered you to do for yourself.  You are the one that will resist the devil, not God (Jam 4:7).  It is you that must issue the commands for death to leave and life to be restored – in the name of Jesus and when it happens, because it certainly will, all the glory goes to Him and of course a revival will break out to the glory of God.  You are the one that will ignite it.
  6. Don’t follow no magical formula or code. Just know that we are spirit, soul and body (1The 5:23).  Death is when the spirit and soul departs from the flesh.  Command it to return into the body – in Jesus name.  How you feel inside while doing this matters.  You cannot do it doubting, fearing or unbelieving.  You do it with absolute confidence.
  7. Sometimes the dead wouldn’t rise and it may take a while. I’ve heard of cases that lasted hours.  You must therefore be very resolute and unflinching.  You must be dogged and unyielding.  Your determination must be unparalleled.  You’ve got to stick with it till you get the answer, for with God – nothing shall be impossible (Lk 1:37).
  8. If you will raise the dead, change your language now. Let your yes be yes and no be no.  Train your spirit to know that you always mean your words and don’t confuse it into believing you don’t mean your words.  That means if you give people an appointment for 1 pm or 7pm, don’t go there late.  Instead be ahead.  Otherwise your spirit will not be ready when you are commanding life to be released.  Your inconsistency will kill someone because you never mean what you say.
  9. Have the heart of a child. They don’t keep records of wrongs.  You will need this because there will come a time when you just might not succeed.  You’ve got to keep moving on.  God never leaves you.  So don’t entertain wrong thoughts.  Forget yesterday.  Today is a new day.  Keep on raising the dead.
  10. You must be born again, spirit filled with evidence of speaking in tongues. Trust me, if you’re not, please dare try to do this!

Having said all these, it is imperative that you be warned that it is God’s word that He is confirming – Mk 16:20; Psa 107:20; Mat 10:8.  If you’re born again, filled with His Spirit, and with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God on your lips, the burden is not yours to bear.  Just do the Word.

In closing, let me pray for you.  You will not lose your loved ones prematurely; through you, the destructive works of the devil will be reversed; you will bring many back to life; through you, there will be huge revivals – because when you raise the dead, the crowd will surge.  I pray that pride will be far from you.  Jesus said He will raise stones if you keep quiet (Lk 19:40).  You will not be replaced.

Go and raise the dead (Mat 10:8).

Brimful Of Power

You are full to the brim.

It is important for you to know that at salvation, God gave you a good head start.  You are full to the brim.  God hasn’t put any believer at an advantage over another.  He knows the significance of our starting point, and has started us all at equal points.  But the bulk of believers really never grasp this significant truth.  They are still begging God for what He has given them, and lagging far behind where they should be.

God is not going to add anything more to all He gave you when you were saved.  What is worse, for those of you still expecting Him to do something new, you’re in for a huge shock.  All the new things that will be created will come from you, not Him.  So, wake up and take your place.

You Are In A War

Yes, you heard me.  You are in the midst of a war, whether you know it or not, and I am letting you know, because what you don’t know can kill you.

What I want to share with you here is very important.  It’s called, Spiritual Warfare, the raging battle between the devil and every living being.  The question is, where did it begin from?  Why?  Is there a war-free-zone?  What must you do to protect yourself?  These and more are the issues we will be dealing with in this article.

Happily Ever After?

I have been warning loud and clear that Marriage can be Heaven or Hell on Earth, depending on how you handle it.  I’ve also repeatedly warned that there’s nothing new in a man or woman that you didn’t see while dating — you only thought you could either manage it, or that you would change your partner eventually, thus ascribing to yourself what only God can do, and He has not made you your mate’s changer.  The saddest part is, if he or she was bad while you were dating, you can expect worse behavior during marriage, and it’s not a curse.

A lot of marital abuse is going on out there, which must never be tolerated. Some are verbal, emotional and even physical.  And please don’t think it’s only men that are doing it — it comes from both parties.  If you are tongue-lashed, destroyed with twisted eyes, denied everything including a sane conversation, get help quickly!

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