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GLEANINGS..."A weekly Devotional" by Gbile Akanni

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  • 11th July, 2016
  • 27th June, 2016
  • 13th June, 2016


"For Our Admonition… 1"

And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him. Then Thomas , who is called the Twin , said to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him.
John 11:15-16 NKJV

Look at what Thomas said in that scripture above: “let us also go, that we may die with him” - what a thought! He had accepted the death of Lazarus as final and the end of everyone! Some accepted this backsliding as the state of the Church and they have quietly removed their boots and their guard... “Let us also go the way he went and let us die with him.” This may be the reason many preachers are all preaching alike; repeating the same errors that killed men of old. You see, the aspiration of many young ministers today is “go and die with him!”

Can you see that it was lust for women that slew Samson and wrecked Solomon? And it has reduced many a fiery preacher to a mere piece of bread ... yet you never desist from the way they went. You also are beginning to carry girls about on your entourage. You are playing with the same fire that burnt your masters into ashes and left them a shadow of what they were born to be. You are the recent brother Thomas of our day; you have silently said, “let us also go and die with him.”

You know it was the desire to be known and honoured that quenched the powerful anointing on your heroes in ministry as they ascribed greatness to themselves and decorated themselves with bogus titles and honorary degrees. It was this desire to be exclusive and to maintain a class that excluded them from the fellowship of the brethren and the corporate discipline of the Body of Christ, until they fell headlong.

You have also charted the same path for your feet even as young as you are. You are now a big man - “untouchable”, “unteachable”, “unreachable” and “unhelpable”! You sit in the “apex” of leadership alone when you have never learnt servanthood! You surround yourself with sycophants and praise singers, who dare not point out your mistakes lest they are fired ... You hire and fire! You sit on the neck of your brethren and make them to serve you rather than their LORD. You make them call you “Papa”; “Daddy”; “Set-man”; “Apostle” etc. You intimidate brothers to succumb to your tricks; using the Scriptures out of context ... I see you are the Thomas of our days. You have said in your heart and have said to all in your company... “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Balaam had great anointing. He was an acclaimed and recognized seer in the region of Median. He could fall into a trance and see an open vision of the open heavens. He heard God so clearly that whatever he said came to pass. Greed however killed him. Honorarium, gifts, prophet's offering, envelopes, offering bags; reward of divination (or what modern preachers tag as “Revelation offering”) were the shovels that dug his grave. He actually died before he died. He died spiritually; he died prophetically. He became a soothsayer! When a prophet becomes a joker on the pulpit, a sooth-sayer who says what soothes his hearers, he prophesies peace, promotion, prosperity; prolongation; procreation; power; platforms, omitting God's own pre-requisite 'P' for purity, he is already dead. He has lost his sense of judgement. He collects money from everyman who seeks his help in prayer. He says “thou shall not appear before the prophet empty handed.” He collects offering even from sinners on the crusade ground. If cripples and beggars assemble for his meetings, he would still first ask them to sow a seed for their miracles! This was how Gehazi ran after Naaman, the leper. He collected raiment, olive yards; sacks of goods ... He carried on the chariot weights of silver and loaded it into his chambers. He told a lie and exaggerated “the problem in his ministry” to raise an offering from a young convert-Naaman. He died of the same leprosy.

Would you quickly forget what killed Achan at the brink of Jericho Crusade Outreach? The silver and the gold bracelets of the men of Jericho! Or do you pretend not to remember what cut short Saul, the son of Kish - the first king of Israel? The spoils of the Amalekites! Pause here and think!!


"Change Your Mentality… Just BELIEVE!"

And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him. Then Thomas , who is called the Twin , said to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him.
John 11:15-16 NKJV

In this conversation, there are issues we need to thresh for our own learning and for our own sakes. Note this very well. It is not for His own sake, it is not even for Lazarus' sake; it is for our own sakes.... It is for our own benefit.

“Lazarus is dead and I am glad for Your sakes that I was not there ...”

Lord, open Your heart to me on this matter. Grant me the privilege to see as you see. Let me express You aright at this point in Jesus' Name.

“I am glad for your sakes...”

If He was there, there would have been healing but no revival! It would have been a normal routine of ministry. It would have remained a comparative work, after all, even Peter's mother-in-law was sick and she was healed.

What would be new if Lazarus was sick and was healed...? He wanted them to experience a divine dimension of Revival! A different phenomenon entirely, different from routine preaching and healing. It is a Revival - a raising of His friend from the dead, to precede His triumphant entry into Jerusalem; and for us a revival before He comes again in His majestic glory.

There is a matter here that the Holy Spirit wants to unveil to our hearts. If He had been there, Lazarus would not have died. He would not have become anything other than Lazarus of Bethany - a casual brother of Mary! He would bring no glory to Jesus! No one would come specifically to see Lazarus and “the whole world wouldn’t have gone after Jesus”, in the language of the Pharisees, would not have been the case.

There is a way a man can live, serve God and die, without seeing revival in his own days ... his knowledge of Christ's power remains potential but not dynamic. He believes, but there is nothing more to it than mental calculation ... his faith is somewhat active but largely dormant! There is no opportunity to experience the valley of dry bones. The rattling of bones; the coming together of bones to become an army!

LORD, I am glad also that you were not there. It was for my sake! Revival is a glorious privilege that only few men are allowed to experience. Many were born when everything ran smoothly and things were normal! They had no reason to cry! No need for mountains to melt in His presence! No occasion for the earth to quake! No violent conviction that leads to total conversion. Crusades were only organized, arranged, programmed and executed. But a revival is not organized ... it only comes when He, the Resurrection and the Life, comes to the situation of a dying or rather a dead friend. It is a divine action of God rather than the activity of anyone.

Yet look at what the disciples said,

“Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.”

This revealed the way they thought; just as every one of us. We think it is easier to do certain things if the decay hasn't gone too far. To get well from sleep was much more conceivable to their hearts than to rise from the dead. They knew little of their Master's power.

In the same way, our hearts rather seek the easier option. We prefer what we can conceive, see or even handle by ourselves, not knowing the power of God! A divine intervention from heaven in the affairs of men usually defies all human wisdom and calculation. It usually silences all human programmes and projections. This is what He has come to do. It is never too late for Him to act. There is no stage of death and decay that He cannot reverse and revamp. This is purely His own work ... We are just to believe Him to act.

You need to change your mentality. He is not coming to do what any other man or good planners can do. Why will He come if massaging could bring Lazarus to life? Revival is not what a man can organize ... we can only cry and agonize till He comes to do the impossible. It is a rare privilege to see God move swiftly into action changing a death situation unto a vibrant freshness of life.


"The Determinate Counsel!"

I go that I may wake him up...
John 11:11 NKJV

This is the turning point for Lazarus! Though he lay dead in the cold and chilly tomb... his destiny changed from that moment of divine determination: “But I go that I may wake him up.”

When He says “I am going...” no one can distract Him. No hurdle, no barrier, no river, no gate, no door, no power can stop him. “I am going to wake him up” is such a definite will of God that cannot be hindered. We must touch this in our spirits. Once the disciples heard him say that, those who understood got ready to see God in action again.

They knew once He sets His face to go somewhere, there He will go and there He will arrive: Storms, boisterous winds; demoniacs of Gadara could not stop Him...neither would modern or ancient principalities stop Him now! No government, no ideology, no history and no economy can hinder him.

Look at what He says of Himself:

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretched forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.”
Isa.44:24-28. KJV

And then:

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else, I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from the ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling the ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.
Isa. 46:9-13 KJV

I feel like shouting and jumping around even now. I see death roll away from His Church, just because He has declared, “I am going to wake Him up.”

“Remember the things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done...saying My counsel shall stand and I will do My pleasure. Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man who executes my counsel, from a far country yea I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass: I have purposed it, I will also do it.”

This is He whom we serve. He is the One who has spoken... do not look around or bother yourself for what He would use... He calls forth whatever is needed to accomplish His purpose! No part of the earth is too far and inaccessible to pull anything and anyone from anywhere to bring His purpose to pass. All we need to know is if He has said “I am going to wake him up”... That is all! That is sufficient ... and this is what He has declared in our midst and in our ears! This is the unmistakable word He has sent to us in this year of our labours. He has come to do what no one else could do for His own friend Lazarus. No well is too deep for him to draw from. No situation is beyond His control. At the wedding in Cana of Galilee ... they ran out of their wine. They came to the end of their steam. All hope was gone... but Mary knew Him. She knew what He could do. She knew that nothing gets out of His hand ... She simply put the matter in His hands and left... “Whatsoever He saith to you, do it”... Empty water pots - abandoned and neglected; and ordinary water from the familiar stream at His command came together to become sweet wine.

Let not unbelief strangulate you! While you must repent of all former presumptuous running to Bethany while He still stayed where he was; shouting when He had uttered no phrase; fussing here and there, while Judea was then His focus; stumbling around in the night, while He took time to ascertain divine timing - your past failure has no bearing with Him. You failed because he wasn't ready to act then. But NOW! He has risen to go to wake up His friend. Do not let your past overwhelm you. He was not there then. He was not coming then ... You thought 'faith confession' would bring Him and compel Him to walk out of the light of His day... You were presumptuous! Now, it is not the suggestion of a man. It is not even our prayers. We prayed and our brother 'Lazarus' still died! We worked, we medicated him here and there. We formed teams and gangs ... He still decayed. This time, He is the One who is speaking... He declared His own intention by Himself. You'd better believe so you can be in His entourage for revival, if not He will still go. It is time for Him to do so! Hallelujah.

Watch this! Even the whole system of the universe will stand still for Him to achieve His purpose. Policies of world governments may alter for this to happen. Anything may happen, He will fulfill His counsel.

For me, it is a new dawn! It is different now. There is a change of roles for me. It has started already! It cannot be explained by human wisdom. I write this to you, that you may know how to behave yourself in this crucial hour of divine take-over! I am not writing so that it can happen, it will happen with or without all these ... it is just for you to learn how to behave yourself henceforth.

“I am going that I may wake Him up...”

It is a determinate counsel! “Four days in the grave! Behold, by now he stinketh” was the cry of Martha who believed not! You may be in the class of Martha today. You quietly say ''we are being too presumptuous, surely.” What if it does not happen? Will it not be like the other prophecies of men? Don't worry! Wait and you will see! But if you believe, you will not only see the glory of God, you will be a partaker of it and a servant of that glorious outburst. No one spoke to Him! Everyone was silent. No one even asked questions again. He had silenced all their eagerness when He told them of stumbling if you don't walk in the light of your day and out of the uneasy quietness. He spoke up:

“Lazarus, our friend sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”

They were not even excited ... They said “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” They were not expecting “resurrection from the dead.” Haste had left them ... They were tired of being anxious!

“Then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead.'’


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11/07/2016 - Jesus Christ: The Scape Goat.
By Gbile Akanni

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Praise God for yet another year which the grace of God has brought us into. This year is particularly critical for us since it comes with our daybreak. The Lord specifically announced to us during the Ministers’ Leadership Retreat (MLR) in Gboko in December 2015 that the day breaks. 2016 therefore is the year that our daybreak has ushered us into. And we say, to God be the glory.

Every daybreak comes with a demand for each man unto whom such a day has broken to respond to. Lack of understanding on how to respond has always been the reason why many waste their day, but thank God that He did not leave us without instructions on how we ought to respond to this our daybreak. He said to us:

“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.” (Isa 60:1 NKJV)

Behold! The days are already running; we must stir up ourselves and match obedience with this instruction which God gave us, least we waste our light which has come already! This is a charge, not a suggestion. It is a command that needs our willingness to obey.

As we welcome you this year to this website, which is but a fellowship point for us all, we pray that God will find each of us standing on our different lampstands where He has located us at the moment, ready to give light to all that are around us. Amen.

God bless you.

Living Seed Sitekeeper.

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