THE MYTH OF USING THE HARD COPY BIBLE TO CAST OUT DEVILS

 

Question:

Is it right to use the Hard Copy Bible to cast away demons from a person by placing the Bible on the person's head or waving the Bible at the person? M. F. Warri

Pastor Gavin’s response: 

It is wrong to do such. It is not scriptural.

The power of God is neither in the hardcopy Bible nor is the power in the letters of the Bible, for "the letter kills" (2 Corinthians 3:6).

The hardcopy Bible, in and of itself is powerless; it is like every other book in the world. This statement might sound blasphemous to some. But that is the truth. I am not talking about “content wise” but “printing wise”. For the content of the Bible is spiritual, unlike other printed books.

You don't place your mathematics text book on your head to understand mathematics. In like manner, you don't place the Bible on your head to understand it or put it under your pillow so as to wade off evil spirit, even though the Bible is regarded as a holy book.

If the hardcopy Bible actually works as you suppose, we will have been dropping the hardcopy Bible upon mad men for their deliverance. That would have been very easy for anyone to do.

To understand, apply and benefit from your mathematics text book, you must read it and apply the principles to your daily affairs that require counting.

So is the Bible. To benefit from the Bible, it must be read, understood and received into the heart. Afterward, applied to real life situations like casting out of devils.

The content of the Bible must be received into the heart of man and then mixed with his being, before it can be useful to the man.

Although some persons claim to have some results when they used the hardcopy Bible this way, I don't know how true that is. But that could just be a case of exemption due to God’s mercy on the minister’s individual’s ignorance.

Just be aware that there is nowhere in the scripture that instructs us to do such.

It is God's word in a man's heart that produces results. Not the hardcopy Bible.

There is a difference between esteeming God's Word and idolizing the hardcopy Bible. We must avoid the error of idolizing the Bible.


THE RIGHT ATTITUDE IN GIVING TO SUPPORT GOD’S WORK

 



By Gavin Aleogho 

For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.  2 Corinthians 8:12.

We can’t deny the fact that the propagation of the gospel of Christ demands finances and material resources. It is expected that the believers, those who have tasted of the grace of life should be at the forefront in shouldering the responsibility of supporting God’s work with the resources they’ve been blessed with from a willing heart.

When it comes to giving to support God’s work, many believers are skeptical because of the exploitation of God’s people and the vast abuse of resources given in this regard by some unfaithful stewards in some circles.

The fact that abuse and financial misappropriation abounds in this regard does not negate the fact that giving to support God’s work is scriptural and should be encouraged.

There is blessing for every giving and this includes giving to support the propagation of the gospel. 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV) confirms this truth: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

However, we should outgrow the mindset of giving to get blessed by God, for we cannot manipulate God to bless us through giving. Our primary aim of giving should be motivated by love for God and love for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.

This was the attitude that Abel had. Abraham also portrayed this attitude when he gave a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek. He didn’t give to get blessed per se, but he did that in appreciation to the Lord Almighty who gave him the victory. (Ref: Genesis 14:18-19).

We should be aware that it is a sign of irresponsibility on our part to expect unbelievers, to come and support the work of God which we are responsible to. The responsibility is on our shoulders to ensure that we move the work of God forward with all resources that God has given us. It is a great privilege that we should always embrace with cheerfulness.

However, WE SHOULD DO THIS NOT BY COMPULSION OR MANIPULATION. OUR GIVING SHOULD BE DONE BASED ON WHAT WE HAVE AND NOT WHAT WE DO NOT HAVE, if it must be appreciated and accepted by God. This should be our attitude in giving to support God’s work.

"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

"For if the intention and desire are there, the size of the gift doesn’t matter. Your gift is fully acceptable to God according to what you have, not what you don’t have." 2 Corinthians 8:12 TPT

Love for God and love to see the work of God move forward should be the primary reason why we give. If you are having difficulty parting with your resource to support the propagation of the gospel of Christ, you can ask the Lord to give you the grace and work on your heart to be a generous individual.


ARE ALL MUSLIMS ANTICHRIST?

 

QUESTION: 

Pastor Gavin, are Muslims Antichrist? Since there are Muslims with a high moral lifestyle, can we say that all Muslims are Antichrist? E. I. Warri.

Pastor Gavin’s Response:

Let me start by stating that:

1. Islam is not an extension of Christianity. Muslims and Christians are not serving the same God.

2. The high moral lifestyle of any Muslim doesn't make him or her righteous before God according to the scriptures. It is the cleansing by Jesus' blood and the righteousness of Christ that enables any man to stand before God.

For easy understanding, I will love to define some terminologies.

1. ANTI: is a word that means against.

It also means a person who opposes a concept or principle.

2. AN UNBELIEVER: is one that is either aware of Jesus Christ or is not aware of Jesus Christ, but he has not accepted Jesus into his life to be his Lord.

3. ANTICHRISTS: These are individuals who are possessed with the spirit of the devil, that is; The Antichrist, (I'm not talking of all demon-possession cases). There are many and they are already in operation.

"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there MANY ANTICHRISTS; whereby we know that it is the last time." 1 John 2:18. 

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7

1 John 4:2-3 gives us a vivid definition of who the antichrists are:

“This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

4. THE ANTICHRIST: is just one person, whom the Bible referred to as the lawless one, who will be revealed in the cause of time to draw people away from the worship of God to Satan.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

Another reference to The Antichrist is found in Revelation 13:1-6. I won't be writing more on this in this piece.

This is just to let you know that there is THE ANTICHRIST which is different from ANTICHRISTS. They all have the same agenda.

The antichrists are forerunners of The Antichrist.

The spirit behind Islam as a religion is the spirit of The Antichrist. By the definition of who an antichrist is, we ‘may’ say all Muslims are antichrists. But when you look at it contextually, you cannot say so. You can only say they are UNBELIEVERS.

ALL MUSLIMS ARE UNBELIEVERS.

It’s vital to understand the context that the book of 1st, 2nd & 3rd John was written. It was written to address the rise of falsehood that was rising against the original gospel. Many false teachings, false religions and variations of Christianity were emerging at that time, just like we have it today.

People entertained countless views regarding truth about the personality of Jesus Christ. Not forgetting that at the time of this writing of the letter of John, Islam had not come up yet, not until 500 to 600 years later.

The word antichrist means “against Christ.” People who say that Jesus is not from God are controlled by the spirit of the antichrist. Satan opposes Christ, and he desires to deceive people into a false view of who Jesus Christ is. The spirit of the antichrist teaches against Christ.

To twist the truth about Jesus Christ is to pervert the gospel. Satan works to spread lies about Jesus Christ so as to keep people in the dark:

In the light of all I have outlined, can Muslims be classified as antichrist?

From 1 John 2:18-19, an Antichrist is anyone that denies that Jesus came in the flesh

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:18-19

Contextually, 1 John 2:18-19 is talking about a set of people who were once in the Christian folks but left to become an antichrist. In other words, they've become an enemy of the cross, turning people away from the cross to either themself or something else. False Prophets and False Teachers in the form of or guise of Christianity can be grouped into this category. Not necessarily Muslims, because they were never with the Church in the first place.

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23

However, when you read further to verse 22-23 of 1st John 2, it gives further explanation of the set of persons (antichrists) he spoke about in verse 18. Here, you will see some characteristics that indict Muslims, which put Islam into this category because of the core beliefs of Muslims that states that:

1. God doesn't have a son. Hence, to them Jesus is not the Son of God. Although, they believe that there is a Jesus, but to them that Jesus is not the Son of God. 

2. Also, they don't believe that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, hence "No Resurrection".

And the Christian faith, among others, is anchored on this truth.

For these two reasons Muslims can be classified as antichrists but not in the context of 1 John 2:18 -19.

It is important to know that it is not all unbelievers that are antichrists, but all antichrists are unbelievers.

But primarily speaking, an antichrist doesn't just believe in Jesus Christ but they are against the person of Jesus Christ and against the pure truth about the Personality of Christ.

An antichrist is one who wants to impersonate the persons of Christ Jesus and turn people's heart to himself or something else.

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John 4:3.

Hence, everyone that falls into this category as spelt out in 1 John is possessed by the spirit of the Antichrist.


THE ERROR OF PRAYING THROUGH THE GOD OF YOUR PASTOR


 -Pst. Gavin Aleogho

Why would any Christian want to pray by saying the following words, “The 'God of Pastor Gavin Aleogho’ help me in Jesus name?”

It is either because of the following reasons:

1. Either he does not have a personal relationship with God the Father or

2. He does not know that he has the same access to God the Father or

3. He does not have faith in the God he has come to believe, except his Pastor’s God.

4. He sees himself very inferior in the spirit compares to his Pastor.

Praying such prayer is an act of ignorance which is prevalent among African Christians. Such phrases in prayer are not common among Christians in the Western world. Even the apostles who were direct descendants of Abraham never prayed that “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob should help them.” This is because they have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ who is greater than Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or Moses. 

Yes, they did refer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in passing; that is whenever they were connecting God to the Person of Jesus. But they never prayed to or invoked “the God of Abraham” to a situation. Read all through your the New Testament, you won’t find any occasion of such.

WHAT IF IT IS WORKING FOR YOU?

This is the question that has led many people into error. The fact that something works does not mean that it is the truth. Like Proverbs 14:12 (NIV) says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

To an armed robber, until he is caught, the charm he is using is working. The Muslim believes that Allah gives answers to prayers. Does that make the Muslim right?

The fact that something is working does not give us the right to stay in error, for doctrinal errors are catastrophic to the Christian faith, especially for generations after us.

You may have prayed this way for a long time but that doesn’t make it right. You may even say it worked for you. It probably didn’t and you thought it did, but even if it worked, God may have overlooked your ignorance because of His mercies. 

DO YOU REALLY KNOW THE GOD OF YOUR PASTOR?

Come to think of it, how are you sure that the “God” of the Pastor or Bishop you are calling is the true God?

We are all aware that there are false preachers who parade themselves as agents of light with physical results and miracles. Does that validate that they are serving the true and living God?

”For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

A renowned Yoruba gospel singer (I used to love her songs) once said that she would have been nowhere today if not for the “God of her Prophet.” In the end, it turned out that “her prophet” was a strong occultist who was buried by his Ogboni (occultist) colleagues when he passed on.

Be aware that it is not everyone that says the name Jesus that is actually referring to our Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross of Calvary and rose again to life on the third day.

”For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive ANOTHER SPIRIT, which ye have not received, or ANOTHER GOSPEL, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:4 (emphasis mine)

A REFLECTION ON THE OLD TESTAMENT

In many places in the Bible, God is referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 50:24; Exodus 3:15; Acts 7:32). This description of God emphasizes the covenant that God made with Abraham which extends to all Israelites.

Why did God decide to reveal Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?”

1. To distinguish Himself from the many gods in those days.

2. As a way of connecting the Israelites to the promise He first made to father Abraham, especially that of the Promised Land and the promise that through Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed. The latter promise was fulfilled through Jesus Christ from whom the world receives salvation.

Technically, God was indirectly saying to us (all through the Bible) that He is the same God that dealt with Abraham; the same God that we are dealing with in the New Testament in and through the Person of Jesus Christ.

So, why did God refer to Himself and also permitted the Israelites to refer to Him as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Or why did Elisha pray, calling on the “God of Elijah”? 

The Old Testament saints could not pray in the name of Jesus, because Jesus Christ has not yet come to earth. But now, Jesus has been revealed and God has highly exalted the name of Jesus for our use in prayer.

”Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-10.

So, you can see that praying in the name of Jesus is enough for us. You don’t need to add the name of your Pastor or the name of dead Saints to make your prayer effective.

Once Jesus came into the scene, even before His death He started instructing His disciples to pray in His name. And that is what the disciples did throughout the New Testament; they never referred to “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” in their prayer. Rather, they prayed in “the name of Jesus” or “in the name of the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

”In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  (John 16:23-24 NIV).

I love the way the NLT version renders verse 24, it reads, You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name”.

You can see that Jesus was instituting a new order on how they should pray; different from what they knew before.

THE EARLY CHURCH DID NOT COMMIT THIS ERROR

Why was there no record where the early Church prayed that “The God of James, The God of Luke, The God of John the Baptist, God of Peter” and so on should help them?

Even though the first Apostles did great miracles and even raised the dead, the early Church never prayed through “the God of Paul, the God of Peter or the God of John.”

Even though Apostle Paul was younger in the faith compared to Apostle Peter who had started doing miracles and raising the dead; Apostle Paul never referred to God as “the God of Peter”.

Rather, in Paul’s Prayers, he referred to God as the “God of my Lord Jesus Christ” or “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”. He didn’t say, “God of Senior Apostle Peter” or “God of Abraham.”

”I keep asking (praying) that the GOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Ephesian 1:17 NIV (emphasis mine).

“For this reason I bow my knees to THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,” Ephesians 3:14 (emphasis mine).

WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF SUCH PRAYERS?

On the surface, praying that that “the ‘God of Pastor XXX’, should help you” looks subtle and faultless, but when you scrutinized such prayers, you will discover that they have the following dangers:

1. Such acts lead to the idolization of men of God, which is not supposed to be in the first place. This act puts men of God as second-in-command to God. This is wrong; Jesus is in-charge of the Church. Besides, in the Kingdom of God, there is no second class citizen. You are not inferior to any man of God in God’s kingdom.

2. Such act leads to SECTARIANISM, where Church members (in their subconscious mind), begin to think that “the God of their Pastor” is different and more powerful than “the God of another Pastor” downtown.

3. You limit your chance of growth in the Lord. By praying like that, you are indirectly saying that you will never attain the spiritual height of your pastor, talk more of attaining a greater height than him.

STAND IN JESUS’ RIGHTEOUSNESS

Even if the God of your Pastor is the genuine God, how are you sure that your Pastor is in right standing with his God?

Don’t you know that you might be having a right standing before God higher than some persons with a minister's title?

You are not supposed to stand in another man’s righteousness to access God but only in the righteousness that is found in Christ Jesus.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we (YOU AND YOUR PASTOR) might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (emphasis added).

Why would you want to route your prayer through the God of your pastor whom you are not sure of, whereas you have direct access to the God of the universe?

Mind you, this is not a call to dishonour your Pastor. This is only a call not to put any man between you and your heavenly Father, save the Person of Jesus Christ. The same God is your direct Father, he does not want you to route your prayer through any man except in the name of Jesus Christ His Son.

Jesus Christ is the one who paid the ultimate sacrifice. No pastor or General overseer will die for your sins. I Pastor Gavin Aleogho cannot and will not die for your sins.

Don’t focus on the messenger (Pastor, Bishop or Prophet) but on the Message who is Jesus Christ. Set your gaze on Jesus Christ who forever lives to make intercession for us.

”Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:34.

ARE YOU TRYING TO MANIPULATE GOD WITH YOUR GIVING?

 

By Gavin Aleogho

There is a story in the book of Numbers chapter 22 down to chapter 24, of the king of Moab called Barak who went to fetch a genuine prophet (who later became a false prophet), called Balaam. Barak called on Balaam to help him appease the Most High God, so that He would be able to defeat the Children of Israel. 

When Balaam finally gave in to the King's request, Balaam the prophet did something remarkable with the intent that God would give in to his demand. What did he do?

He gave sacrifices of burnt offerings of animals on three different occasions, each on seven altars, all this he did to appease God. But that never changed the mind of God concerning Israel.

And when you read about the latter end of Balaam, you will discover that this led him into error, making him a false prophet. This was because he tried to use gifts to manipulate God. It is a dangerous thing to do.

I know that you must have heard that your giving always moves God. That is not an absolute truth! God is God and He cannot be manipulated by our giving. For the Lord is God over all the earth and He is self-sufficient.

Giving is good and commendable. There are blessings in giving. But we must not use our giving to manipulate God like Balaam.  For this same reason, the Lord rejected Cain’s offering.

When you fast forward to Acts 10, you will read of a story of the Centurion called Cornelius who’s giving made God to send an angel. Note that Cornelius’s intention originally was not to provoke heaven’s visitation. He was simply giving out of love for God and love for humanity, not to manipulate God.

In the same vein, King Solomon was not giving to manipulate God. He did it from a pure heart without any coercion or impure motive but simply out of love for God. The visitation he got was only an aftermath effect. He never bargained for that.

Giving of any kind is good and commending, but we must be made to understand that we cannot manipulate God with our giving. You can't make God to change His will using a gift.

This is one of the reasons why I always advocate that we should only give from a heart of gratitude and love for God rather than giving to get blessed in return.

Giving to get blessed in itself is not a sin, rather I see it as an elementary reason to give. We should grow beyond this reason.

So, whenever we give:

1. It must not be done to manipulate God's sovereign will.

2. It must not be done with a “trade by barter” mentality.

3. Our giving should be done to appreciate God.

4. Our giving should be done to appreciate our fellow man, like giving to appreciate your parents, Church, Pastor, spouse, boss etc.

5. Our giving should be done from a heart that loves God and humanity.

Love for God, love for the advancement of the kingdom of God, love for the spread of righteousness and love for humanity should be a major motivation to give.


DELAY AND LACK OF FAITH

 

QUESTION

Pastor Gavin, is lack of faith the cause of most delay to getting answers to our prayers? M. U, Warri.

Pst. Gavin’s response:

Lack of faith can be the cause of delay to getting answers to prayers. But it is not always the case.

Abraham had faith, but he experienced delay.

Daniel had faith and demonstrated his faith by staying in the place of prayer for days, yet he experienced a delay of 21-days before the answer to his prayer came.

These two facts and many others show that delay in getting answers to our prayer is not always because of lack of faith.

I always advice believers not to yield to the lies and voice of the devil that often say to them that they lack faith.

If you are born again, you have a measure of faith implanted in your spirit man.

“...according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”  Romans 12:3.

Although you can grow your faith by continuously feeding on God’s word so as to do great exploits for the Kingdom, but having a small faith like a muster seed will always produce results.

“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Luke 17:6.

Thus, when a believer is experiencing delay in getting the answer to a prayer, it does not always mean that he lacks faith. He could be experiencing delay, because the Lord will want him to develop some virtues or value system before the physical manifestation of the answer to his prayers.


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