Eternal Glorious Fountain Ministry (EGFM)
Programme: School of the Spirit (SOS)
Date: Thursday, 24th November 2022
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, And in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (2 Corinth. 6:2). The day of salvation is also the day or the season of succour. It is the day that God has decided to succour us. Also, the accepted time is the time of salvation.
“to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;” (Isaiah 61:2). Acceptable time overlaps the day of God. It means that the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of God are not far apart. The advent of the day of vengeance of our God will lead to comfort for all that mourn in Zion. Also, it will give beauty for their ashes, the oil of joy for their mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
The garment of praise here does not refer to our act of singing songs to the Lord but a clothing of glory. Praise is showing the magnification of God. Similarly, the spirit of heaviness here is not an evil spirit but a spirit of stupor or of mourning. Those who mourn are heavy in their hearts. A believer who is not heavy cannot be a mourner. Those who carry that spirit are heavily burdened for God and not for the world. The heaviness is not as a result of the weight of sin or evil, but the weight of God’s glory or that which leads to the receiving of the glory of God.
A saint can be rejoicing in what Satan offers instead of mourning and that is unfortunate. It is a fortunate thing to be mourning when others are excited at the glories of this world. One is fortunate to be heavy when people are light. A believer who is heavy at heart is one who is not satisfied; he or she is still hedged in because of hunger for God. Whosoever has these states of brokenness is blessed. These states are states required for us to be glorified (Psa. 51:17).
When God begins to react in vengeance, there are properties He gives. God will begin to take vengeance on them that hate us so that we can proclaim liberty or come into perfect freedom. It is so that we can lift our hands and say that we are free.
The accepted time couples or fuses with the day of salvation. The book of Hebrews also characterised this day with temptations and provocations (Heb. 3:8). This tells us that Satan will not want us to be freed, so he injects provocations. The day of vengeance is another season of wilderness. Satan will still want to claim that we still love his own ways. However, we should not err in our hearts but keep responding to God’s way. We should not be foolish in the seasons of temptations. We need wisdom in temptations. Wisdom makes us to understand the intent behind temptation.
Any time the trigger of temptation is sounding, there is also a secret alarm or a clarion call for glory. So we should not be unwise about the crown of life ahead of us. Contrary to popular belief in the Body of Christ, it is not when we eventually meet the Master that we will get crowned. The majority of our spiritual inheritances are in the spirit, and they are all designed in the course of the work of salvation. ‘Crown’ is given in the course of work. Our crowns will be given to us here on earth, in the spirit. Those things concerning the giving of crowns or entering into the joy of the Father are parables of things that will happen here on earth.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12). We can see this in two ways. Firstly, this speaks about receiving a crown of life after a man has done God’s love. Another way to see it is that the true test of love is that we go through a school of temptation, and there is a crown coming ahead. These crowns are real. If God did not let us get to heaven physically before we were given the Holy Ghost, then there are some realities even more than the portion of the Holy Spirit allotted to us at the New Birth that can occur while a man is here on earth. These types of things like the crown of life can be given by God here on earth and men can receive it.
The crown of life is not only for ministers of the gospel, it is for every believer. A minister can preach the gospel and may not attain this crown. One can preach the gospel and still be a castaway. The duty of a minister of the gospel to men is to preach, but his duty to God is to obey what he has preached. It is more shameful to preach and still take the last position in the race of salvation. We should fight so we do not come short of God’s glory. We should not come short of the mastery of enduring temptations. The giving of the crown of life is as we acquire the mastery of the skill of enduring temptations. We should not stop enduring temptation.
The purpose of temptation in the season of everlasting life is for crowning. Everlasting sons will be produced from the Sanctuary because God is pleased with them. Then Satan will call or agitate for temptations. It is Satan who will tempt us in this season, not God but when we endure temptations, we will receive a crown of life. It is a crown of “life” because the temptations were designed to kill you but you used life against death. You refused to die. We need a lot of life to remain alive in the season of temptations.
The crown of life is not the crown of Eternal Life but the crown of everlasting life. One must have mastery in everlasting life to have that crown. One must have been certified saved or have the crown of life in order to be eternally saved. God cannot eternally save something that is not safe or that has tendencies of corruption.
In creation, someone assaulted crowns. Satan turned away from his own crown and began to tempt. Satan is called the tempter. In the beginning, before the advent of iniquity, there was no temptation and this lasted for ages. The word “death” was foreign. Initially, it was only God who had an idea of evil but He knew that if a creature does some things, it will result in the occurrence of some things.
A time came when Satan began to peruse into another side other than the everlasting life they were created with – that was a temptation. He brought the same temptation to some angels; they began to know good and evil. Satan said to the other angels that Elohim has been deceiving them for a long time. There were things Satan was campaigning. He was teaching things, opening the minds of the other angels, and making them see some other things. That is how a tempter comes. A tempter will open another side that you are clueless about. This was the same thing Satan did in Genesis.
“But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:3-5). The serpent was not there when God spoke to Adam not to eat of the tree of good and evil. However, the serpent saw how they were avoiding the tree. So the serpent said to Eve, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Gen. 3:1). The serpent said that they will be like God when they eat of the tree. However, God did not tell Adam and Eve that they shall be like Him.
Immediately Satan showed them the other side of becoming as gods, or of knowing good and evil, they could no longer resist eating the fruit. Satan brought them into an awareness. This discussion was not for a short time, it must have been a long preaching on the importance of knowing good and evil. Satan must have expounded what good and evil means; he must have shown Eve the curriculum of creation and how the evil tree can affect it. Satan must have preached the accessibility to glories. Adam was hearing because he had been curious. Curiosity is temptation. When a man says he wants to discover on his own, he is slipping into temptation.
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” (James 1:13-14). Satan does not only tempt with works of the flesh, he can talk to a man to break a pact with God. Temptation is simply Satan’s suggestion to a man not to obey God fully. Temptation is a little twist in how God arranges His things.
“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:16-17). We should not come short in thoughts, we should not misjudge or fall. We should not take God as a tempter. God is not the giver of temptation. The things that God gives are always better than the offerings of temptations; they will make a man to overcome. The Father’s gift is not just good, it is also perfect. The gifts have the nature of the Giver – our heavenly Father who is perfect. If we want to know a gift that is good or bad, we should check the nature of the person who gave it. God has no shadow of turning nor variability, so are the characters of the gifts He gives.
Temptation is also a gift from someone – Satan. Satan offers gifts with the evil intention of killing; it is for an ulterior evil motive. There is something behind Satan’s gift. Inside Satan’s gift is death. Temptation is an offer. What was in the tree of knowledge and evil was a gift of death. However, there is an antidote to Satan’s gift. To immunize a man against Satan's gift, he must take the Father’s gift. We need the Father’s gift to endure Satan because Satan is persistent when it comes to offering his gifts to us. Satan will not go away from us if we do not have what it takes to refuse him. Enduring Satan is enduring Satan’s offer. Satan will keep persisting; he will not stop.
Satan will not give up. So we should also stay on the point of resisting the devil. However, whosoever is not humble cannot resist the devil. When a man is not subject to God or submitted under the mighty hand of God, he cannot resist the devil.
“Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:5-7). God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Grace is a gift.
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time…” (1 Peter 5:5-6). Apostle Peter said the same things Apostle James said. The mighty hand of God is not the miraculous hand of God. Exaltation here speaks of overcoming temptation. God's exaltation in this manner is not to promote us in church. To be exalted is to behave or live above temptation. What a man does with temptation will tell his spiritual level.
God exalts those who are humble by giving them the grace of exaltation. When a man humbles himself, he will be raised. No matter what we are facing, God wants us to humble ourselves. He wants us to come under spiritual authorities that He has placed over us. When we come out of being under spiritual authorities, the grace to resist temptation will go away from us. We cannot be secured when we come off an outright authority over us, we will fall into the ditch Satan has prepared. God is kind and does not want us to fall but we should not break the law of security.
When we raise ourselves above measure, the grace of overcoming temptations will not come upon us. This is not a grace that comes just through knowledge. Rather, this grace is authority. The mighty hand of God is God’s regulation in the church. Hand speaks of measure over the body. If a man wants to be saved, he should not begin to attack God’s hand. We should not criticise the fathers in the faith just by their words, rather we should honour their posture in the spirit. Authority is a strong thing in the spirit.
This message is good for leaders so that we do not cut off from the authority God has placed over us. It will help us a lot. Exaltation in due time is a remedy to overcoming some sins that easily beset us. Whenever people try to lay aside every weight and sin that easily besets, they are helpless. However, in our striving, we should remember the hand that is over us as an authority. Hand speaks of the watch of grace over the entire colony of the body of Christ. The hand of protection over us is an authority God set to help us to be saved and we can tap into this grace. We should use our hearts to always connect the Lord, to always revere everything the Lord stands for in the spirit as an authority. This grace is not grace for knowledge; it is rather called oversight. It is a grace of oversight.
We should be sober, vigilant and watchful. Sobriety is a heart thing while vigilance is a thing of sight or vision. The devourer always comes when a flock has left the watch or when a flock is not doing well with the watch. While the shepherd is watching over the flock in the midnight hour, a flock can get out of the watch of the shepherd. The shepherds watching the flock at night were qualified for the herald of the birth of Son. That tells us that when shepherds watch over the flock, they are watching with God.
Watch is a bar or a rod of keep in the spirit; it is an installed grace standing right over the flock. God keeps the flock by some ingredient of grace enshrined as an authority over the flock so that the flock can be saved. The statement, “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God” is not revelation knowledge per se; it is an instruction in the spirit. It is an attitude in the spirit which when missing, a believer will be a prey to Satan, no matter the revelation knowledge he has.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:7-11). God cares for every flock. Satan’s walk is a measure of the doctrine of death. When Satan is walking about, He would be teaching and preaching with the aim of killing. The devouring nature of Satan cannot be avoided except one is under the mighty hand of God.
When Michael the archangel contended with Lucifer over the body of Moses, he brought himself under God. He said, “…the Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 1:9). Some people may say that this is the only way that angels can give command, that it’s believers who can say, “…I rebuke thee”. Let us assume this is so. However, why will Michael call “the Lord” since the Lord was not there physically? Michael was going with the hand of the Lord upon him. Michael did not rebuke Satan directly, He employed what he was under, over Satan. We should not forget the Lord. Our Lord extended His mighty hand over us and we should use that well in this season of trials and temptations.
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5). The elders here are pastors; they are the ones who feed the Church. Peter was an apostle and yet, he was an elder.
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind…” (1 Peter 5:1-2). The oversight here is not knowledge, it is the wisdom of administrating to the flock. A novice cannot handle oversight of flocks. Someone who is not grave and sober at heart cannot take oversight well over the flock. Some people want to go into ministry out of zeal, but they do not yet have the wisdom of oversight. Sometimes, one cannot have the wisdom of oversight without serving a man of God. While doing so, the skill of oversight will rest on such if he has a calling into ministry.
Also, God can use an authority who has no bearing to ministerial calling to train a man to have oversight. You need certain ingredients such as carefulness, trembling heart, patience, etc to handle oversight. Those are properties of oversight. For example, a pastor who does not have the grace of patience can get angry at a flock and curse him or her. This is why God will have to break a man of God through some painful experiences so that he would be able to properly handle oversight. Such a man will not break a bruised reed; he won’t quench a smoking flax.
When a shepherd is taking oversight, sometimes it will look as if he being partial to some of the flock. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.” (Matt. 18:11-13). We can imagine what the value of one sheep as against ninety-nine sheep that did not go astray is. That the shepherd left the ninety-nine sheep that were faithful to look for one sheep that failed does not sound logical, but it is a wisdom of oversight. There are laws of oversight that are not attached to revelation knowledge because the training for oversight is different.
Apart from the ways of God that Moses learnt while he was at the house of Jethro, one thing that qualified Moses to lead Israel was the skill of oversight that he learnt while watching over his sheep for forty years. It is because of this that God could transfer the assignment of watching over men to him. This teaching is from the head of the Church, the Chief Shepherd. The Shepherd has taught us what shepherding really is. Oversight is different from knowledge or something we study to know. The flock do not know oversight, because one cannot study it. A person cannot be taught oversight in Bible School. It is God who gives the nature or skill of oversight. The Holyghost has to make you an overseer to sight and cover the flock (Acts 20:28).
We should not be foolish in the seasons of temptations. We need wisdom in temptations. Wisdom makes us to understand the intent behind temptation.
The purpose of temptation in the season of everlasting life is for crowning. Satan will begin to tempt sons produced from the Sanctuary. It is Satan who will tempt us in this season not God, but when we endure temptations, we will receive a crown of life (Jas. 1:12).
Temptation is also a gift from Satan. Satan offers gifts with the evil intention of killing us. To immunize a man against Satan's gift, he must take the Father’s gift (Jas. 1:17). We need the Father’s gift to endure Satan because Satan is persistent when it comes to offering his gifts to us.
Satan will not give up but we should keep on resisting him. However, whosoever is not humble cannot resist the devil. When a man is not subject to God, or submitted under the mighty hand of God, he cannot resist the devil (1 Pet. 5:6).
God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (Jas. 4:6). Grace is a gift. No matter what we are facing, God wants us to humble ourselves. He wants us to come under spiritual authorities that He has placed over us. When we come out of being under spiritual authorities, the grace to resist temptation will go away from us.