The Ancient Land Mark
by Bola Olu-Jordan
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Land marks are monuments put in strategic locations to determine boundaries, or sign posts to serve as guide for pilgrims in a journey.
In the olden days, when there were no written signs, objects like stones, trees, caves, mountains, rivers, etc, were used to represent land marks. This is necessary, especially for travelers who were strangers or not familiar with the route. It served as signals and indicators to confirm that they are either on course, or altogether lost and need to retrace their footsteps.
When landmarks are removed or absent in a journey, it brings untold hardships, confusion and loss of direction to travelers or pilgrims. This is true in all journeys, either by air, road or sea. But more true in spiritual journey of life. A journey without landmarks is like a sea without water or the sky without the cloud. It’s an aimless adventure without a focus or direction.
In order to stay focused and remain on course, a pilgrim must constantly verify and look for landmarks to ascertain that he is on course and for every journey we embark on, there are enough landmarks to tell us that we are either on course or not, for many have passed through the same route we are passing.
The same is true in the Christian faith, for it is indeed a journey to eternity and we are only pilgrims and sojourners here on earth. The Apostolic fathers, the disciples and the early church Christians have gone ahead of us and they have left us with landmarks to look for as we journey. We are charged by our text in Proverbs 22:28 that we should “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set”.
But what happens when some people decidedly remove the landmarks? Their motive is clear; to mislead pilgrims for the purpose of preventing them from getting to their destination and also to rob them of their valuables and belongings. These are thieves, robbers and destiny killers. Their operation and activities looks very sad on the surface, but even sadder when it pertains to the journey of the soul and saddest to actually know that these thieves and robbers are actually the hired guides charged with the responsibility to provide direction for innocent pilgrims and travelers!
Unfortunately, many of the innocent travelers are unaware of this development. They have been diverted off their journey and have gone so far in the opposite direction, losing all their belongings to robbers who pretend as guides.
David said in Psalm 39 verse 12 that he was a sojourner on earth, so are we all. Our land of nativity is not here. We are transiting here and our destination is heaven. But unfortunately, many pilgrims have been dissuaded and persuaded away from the track of the Christian journey and are in the dangerous highway of religion where touts and pirates abound. Landmarks have been replaced with colourful and sophisticated sign posts, which provide the pilgrims with so much entertainment and relaxation that makes them to forget their destination. They have been robbed of their virtues and are fast forgetting their nativity and language. The touts are feeding fat on them on the bill of making them comfortable where they are at. This is the case of the end time church!
Where there is no vision, the people perish (Prov.29:18). Visions of the destination of the innocent pilgrims have been replaced with the opportunities that abound in the strange land. Such opportunities truly abound, but fulfillment of destiny far outweighs the present opportunities because such cannot be taken beyond the wilderness they have been stranded at.
This is the sin of Esau: he wanted the meat to satisfy his present need at the expense of his future. God called him a ‘profane person’. Most of our gatherings are filled with people with such profane desires for perishable meat of miracles, breakthrough, etc at the expense of their eternity
This world is indeed wilderness compared to mansion that Christ has gone to prepare for us (Jn.14:2). That is why we have been warned that we should neither love the world, nor the things that are in the world (Jn.2:15). Although, we claim to love Canaan, but we are still missing the onions and cucumber of Egypt (Num.11:5)! We claim to be in Christ, we still miss the music, the dance, the rhythm, the friendship of our former place, forgetting that friendship with the world is enmity with God (Jas. 4:4).
We desire such things that the world provides and such opportunities are being brought to us right in the church. We no longer have to go to the world to enjoy it, the music, the dance, the fashion, etc are being brought to us right in the church with tithes and offerings of the congregation to keep them entertained as members so they don’t lose them to the other ‘shop’ next door who even go as far as inviting stand-up comedians and clowns to entertain the church of the living God.
These are bates been used by the very hired workers charged with the responsibility of leading and guiding pilgrims in the journey of life, the so called fathers of faith, but many of them have been bought over by the generous devil through their ambition and covetousness with a promise of thirty pieces of silver to betray their commitment to Jesus like Judas did. Instead of being a shepherd, they have become hirelings, tearing the sheep apart and feeding fat on them for fame, wealth, success and titles.
They are touts and destiny killers, hired to persuade innocent pilgrims to stay in the wilderness so that they can remain under their control. Jungle abracadabra in form of miracles formulas, healing methodology, different oil and water concussion which stimulate the heart of the innocent pilgrims are magically conjured using the name of Jesus to demonstrate how powerful they are and how quickly they can make things happen more than the next door neighbor in the same business so as to justify membership. They keep them subservient to themselves and teach half truth lest the congregation know and leave.
How long will these touts and pirates who go by strange titles use miracles, healings, breakthroughs, etc as bates to defocus pilgrims from their eternal destination? They are truly part of the promises but they do not guarantee entry to the Promised Land. How long will the pilgrims surrender their destiny into the hands of these hawkers? (Rom.6:16).
Devotion to the king has been replaced with commitment to the tout and building his personal empire. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land, the Psalmist asked? Many cannot differentiate between commitment to God and commitment to man. They truly want to serve God, but they end up ignorantly serving man. Many do not know the difference between allegiance to a religious organization and allegiance to the church of the living God; neither do they know the difference between having a personal relationship with Jesus and being a Christian. Being a Christian does not guarantee eternity with God, its only having relationship with Jesus.
Labourers in the Tower of Babel were sincere, but the visioner, Nimrod had a hidden agenda. He wanted to be like God with his office next to the King of kings. He convinced the people with sugar coated mouth just as we see many pastors do today. He highlighted the benefits they stand to gain with a perfected oration; the healings, miracles, breakthrough, babies, spouses, promotion, positions, etc. He dazzled them so much until the people lost their senses in frenzy. They abandoned their families, visions, works, destinies, etc and followed the deceiver. Today, we are beneficiaries of their deceit.
It’s the same order with many organization of babel today being mistaken as the church of the living God. The leaders clearly operate in the spirit of Nimrod with a hidden agenda and innocent people lay down their lives and destiny, toiling to build a man’s empire. The organization is in his name and the successors are his descendants, yet uses the resources of these innocent but gullible ones to attain and achieve his aims.
The sudden craze for churches and ministries recently to have universities and secular institution is a handy example. The vision is clear – business. It is not a missionary effort to assist the poor; it is not because they love education; it is not done to assist members; it is actually an edifice to attract the rich in the society, regardless of their religious conviction or affiliation. Yet, such visions are birthed through the instrumentality of the members who labour in all aspect and donate all they have to bring the vision to reality. They told the gullible and ignorant congregation that “it is our vision”, whereas the registration and all legal documentation is on family name.
Unfortunately, children of such faithful members are not opportuned to attend such universities because they cannot afford to pay the tuition. It’s a way of using them to get financial independent in case such congregation discovers the truth one day and leave; they have successfully empowered themselves and their generation to come. This is one of the rascality of Pentecostalism – lawlessness! Many heads of such religious empires have become thin gods, treating the people they are supposed to serve as slaves, paying some of them peanuts and taking their vision away from them to run their own vision.
The labourers in the Tower of Babel suffered confusion of language after being deceived by Nimrod. He told them: “let US build a tower that reaches heaven so we be not scattered over the face of the earth…”, yet, he was only using them to launder his personal ambition just as we see today by many pastors.
Eve also suffered the consequence of her gullibility. She was deceived by the serpent, who brought a new gospel different from what she knew before. Paul warned us through the Galatian church that if himself or anyone at that would bring any Gospel different from the one he preached, let such be accursed, even if it was an angel (Gal. 1:8-9).
Many strange Gospels have been introduced to the church by fast lane ministers whose God is their belly. Paul warned the Phillipian Church: For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things (Phil.3:18-19)
There is only one Gospel and that Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus. Gospel of miracles, healings, breakthrough are strange gospels, we must run away from it. “Seek yea first the kingdom of God and its righteousness” and all these things (miracles, etc) shall be added (Mat. 6:33). He didn’t say seek yea first all these things and the kingdom of God and its righteousness shall be added. But that is the order in many churches today. People are only introduced to the kingdom in order for them to partake of the blessings of the kingdom.
The angels who followed Lucifer were all deceived by him too. He promised them a place in the new kingdom and better posts in his new cabinet after he had overthrown God. They soon discovered it was a deceit but by then, it was too late, just like it was too late for brother Judas, even though he sort repentance with tear but could find consolation in killing himself.
How will these innocent but gullible congregation of today escape the wrath of the king when he pour out his venom on the ambitious deceivers who use the name of His Son to achieve their inordinate ambition? For how long will the pilgrim sleep and slumber? When will he wake up to the reality of the fact that the entertainments and the show we see in our altars today are not the same landmark we see in the Christian journey the disciples and the early believers engaged in? The show of grammar, parade of fashion, the grandeur of the sanctuary, the accolades and hero worship of the god-man called the ‘GO’ are not consistent with what obtained in the lives of the disciples. There is no semblance between the juicy title on parade today and that of the bond servant the disciples adopted. Do we compare the sacrifice the disciple went through for the sake of their testimony, many of which became martyrs, with the enjoyment of the pastoral office we see today, and the display of wealth and affluence of the present day preachers on the bill of faith in Christ and God of prosperity?
This prosperity they preach about is purportedly taken from the Bible, but what is not clear is if the version of the Bible they posses states that Paul went about in convoy of fleet of exotic cars with mobile police blowing siren indiscriminately in front and at the back and beating the people they want to go and preach to black and blue because they will not get out of the road for them to pass.
Paul never psyched anyone up in order to put money down for Christ for the sole purpose of Christ to double it in return. Who have they turned Christ to: money doubler or money launderer? That is an abuse of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. He did not come to bless people, he came to deliver people from their sins and that is what most preachers today are silent about on pulpit in order not to lose their membership and deplete offering.
The disciples never at any time used the excellency of speech to impress the hearers (1Cor. 2:1). They did not dazzle them with ‘quotable quotes’ of dead philosophers who were anti Christians. They did not electrify the congregation with rhymes and colourful poetic and prophetic utterances that appeal to their sensibilities. They never preached without the mention of the name of Jesus because of lack of time: Jesus was their only message – no Jesus, no message. But today, many preachers mention the advantages of being a Christian and being committed to the church, attending meetings, paying tithes and offering, but never mentioning the reality of hell for lack of time.
Where did we read the disciples going to the bank to obtain loan in order to do a crusade or start a church? The purpose of such action is clear; to attract more customers! Who bring the crowd, God or the radio adverts that call people to come and receive healing unconditionally through the benevolence of the anointed pastor who just came from 40 days mountain where he went to collect unusual power. They indeed said the truth but what truth is not spoken is the where the mountain is: India or Tibet?
We must rather weep that churches hire pastors and give them ‘target’ of how many people they must bring in to the church and how much money they must bring back in return per month or else they would not receive salary and promotion.
The Apostolic fathers did not leave the landmark of using the power of imagination that is latent in them such that Lucifer and Nimrod used to imagine and visualize what they want and then confess it to materialize. Of course such works, it worked for Lucifer and Nimrod but we know the consequences.
We must not be deceived by the results the will power and the power of imagination brings. Truly, it brings astounding result and it is about the strongest force in the universe that only God that can prevent it from bringing result. God came down personally to destroy the peoples’ language and he confessed that if he did not do it, ‘nothing shall be impossible which they IMAGINED to do’. Lucifer also almost got away with it. He had to be sent packing from heaven with the third of the angels that revolted with him. God also had to quickly sent Adam and Eve away from the Garden of Eden, lest they eat from the tree of life and live forever’.
Jesus had choice at the garden of Gethsemane: he could use his will, but he did not, he rather said ‘not my will’. If he wanted to use it, he confessed that he would get results: myriads of angels would come immediately and rescue him (Lk.) . But that would be his will. Our will power works truly, nothing can stand against it except us and that is what many preachers are now preaching today – how to discover and use your will-power to get what you want – no longer how to know the will of God for your life and walk in obedience. When we gave our lives to Christ, if we truly did, we not only lost our lives, we lost our will. It is His will, not ours, so why are we being taught how to use will power in the radio and different books. For the fact that those who teach it have the title of Pastor before their names does not mean it is right. Believers, run; that is a strange landmark!
A great number of Christian books today are all about knowing your will; how to discover and use your will power to get results. How to develop mind power, thought control, mental attitude, positive confession, etc. This is not Christianity, it is witchcraft. When you come to Christ, you lose your will, your life, your heart and everything to him. Satan used his will: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I WILL ascend into heaven, I WILL exalt my throne above the stars of God: I WILL sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL be like the most High Is. 14:13-14).
There would be results truly, but until we submit our will to God, then, he had no choice but to not of God, regardless of how good it seems. Moses will was to remain a shepherd in Midian, but he allowed God’s will to prevail: same with Paul. Peter loved his fishing, but God called him out of it. Today, it is not God that calls people to ministry, it is people that call God to their strange ministry. Many are pastors today because they call themselves or their pastor appointed them to fill the vacuum having been consistent at meetings and in the good book of the pastor. And since the pastor has the mandate of opening as many branch as possible, he is ever looking for someone who can speak a little grammar. Is this the Biblical order for God’s call into ministry? – strange landmark. We must run! If you are already caught in that, you must run to save your life, you are fulfilling other peoples ambition!
Paul could use the skill of excellency of speech as a lawyer and an orator, but he did not. He said the only thing he wanted to know among the people was Christ and Him crucified; not miracles, healing, breakthrough, prosperity but Christ alone; that is the message. Christ is the good news, not healings, not breakthrough, etc. Christ is the Gospel. Our preaching must be Christ and Christ alone for it is Christ that brings other things. When we preach other things and expect Christ to follow, it is a wrong order. Christ does not follow miracles, miracles follow Christ. People can still go to hell if you offer and peddle miracle for them at the cost of membership to your church, but no one can go to hell if you offer them Christ. Christ must be offered, not as a precondition to enjoy blessings and prosperity which we have laboured to preach for one hour. We must persuade men because of the terror of God (2Cor.5:11); because of their eternity, not because of their troubles and problems (Mat. 16:26).
When and where we begin to see these things, we must realize that these are different landmarks, not consistent with what the apostolic fathers laid and we must know that it’s time to run.
The charismatic gyration and the Pentecostal exuberance which produces so much miracles in the lives of the people yet devoid of the fruits of the spirit cannot be said to be from the Holy Ghost; for God is not the author of confusion. Truly, miracles abound in our centers, but sin abounds much more and yet we do not see the operation of grace; for where sin abounds, grace abound much more (Rom.5:20). Grace has been turned into grease. The gravity of sin has been lessened and its sting down played.
REMOVE NOT: We are enjoined not to remove the ancient landmark (Pro. 22:28). It is an ancient landmark that. Do not remove, do not modernize. King David modernized the arc of the covenant: He commanded Uzzah and Ahio DRIVE it in a NEW ( 2Sa 6:3). It wasn’t supposed to be driven you cannot drive God), it wasn’t supposed to be in a new cart (instead of being put on the shoulder). You cannot modernize God, He is an ancient and consistent God. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). He says, I am the God and I change not. God placed judgment on them for driving the cart and for putting it in a new cart.
Ironically, it is always the innocents, who are only obeying the dictates of the spiritual leaders that fall victims of the wrath of God. The leaders most of the time, escape to repent later or to perpetuate further damage. You may be the Uzzah or Ahio, simply obeying the command of the ‘father in the Lord’ who is removing the ancient landmark. When God strikes, he will strike you and leave that father to repent later.
God does not want us to modernize Him. Stop brining clowns into the church to desecrate the altar. Stop bringing secular musicians into the church to corrupt the mind of the people. Stop the craze for wearing rags into the church in the name of fashion. Stop perverting the music by turning secular music into spiritual ones. Is it because the Holy Spirit cannot do what the devil is doing for his own people? If the devil is giving his own people inspiration to sing new songs, must we import such songs into the church and sing it as Praise-Worship. It is not Praise-Worship; it is the praise and worship of Satan! “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” (Pro. 22:28).
DON’T BREAK THE EDGE: He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him Ecc 10:8. There is an edge of protection of fire round about the faith of our fathers that was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3); don’t break that edge, if you do, the serpent will bite you!
Shepherds are supposed to care, tend, keep and protect the sheep from the aggression of the adversary. They are appointed by the chief shepherd Himself. Unfortunately, it is the shepherds, charged with the responsibility of keeping the sheep that are breaking the edge and devouring the sheep without mercy. They feed fat on them on the claim of a prophet’s offering. They tear them into pieces, on the bill of transforming them to a super sheep. They de-robe them, milk them, feed them with hormones to fatten them in order for them to get excess flesh from them for their own satisfaction.
The Chief shepherd grieves. If the aggression was from outside, the power of the Lord is capable to destroy, but what about when it is from within. Prophets prophesies lies in the name of the Lord. They are interested in their own belly (Phil.3:19).
The sheep are scattered and endangered. They are fed with junks that alters their spiritual DNA. They no longer see themselves as sheep that they are. Sheep follow shepherd, but now there is no shepherd to follow, everyone has gone astray because the landmark has been removed. Stop playing with death: if you are part of those who remove and replace the ancient landmark by substituting the Gospel of Jesus with the Gospel of Miracles, healings, breakthrough, prosperity, etc, the serpent shall bite you. If you break the edge over the children of God and you give them junks instead of food, it will bite you. If you give people salvation by miracle and not salvation by introduction and relationship with Jesus it will bite you, for now is the time that judgment begins from the house of the Lord. You that mislead innocent people, taking their vision and calling away from their hands and giving them your own vision to run with it, you cannot escape the venom of the serpent.
GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT: Friend, do you grieve the Holy Spirit as a gullible sheep or as a terrible shepherd? Dear sheep, you need to test that shepherd dazzling you with grammar and fashion and stupid quotes from the pit of hell, otherwise you will be swept away by the deceit of excellency of speech, mighty words, enticing words of mans wisdom and lies in the name of the Lord with mighty miracles.
Is he giving you Jesus or miracle? Is he talking about the power of His resurrection without the fellowship of His suffering? Is he talking about al other things that shall be added or also the kingdom of God and its righteousness?
If you follow man, regardless of his anointing, you will fail, follow the Holy Spirit. Try EVERY spirit, regardless of the title, if you don’t, you grieve the Holy Spirit in which you are sealed into the day of redemption (Eph.4:30). Be like the Berean Christians , believe not every spirit but try every spirit (1Jn.4:1), search the scriptures (Jn.5:39)
BUILD ACCORDING TO PATTERN: The Lord told Moses on the mountain to see that he build the temple according to the pattern that was shown to him on the mount (Ex.25:9). Are you building according to pattern of God or the pattern of men? The doctrine, dress code, etc , that you embrace, is it the decree of your denomination or the revealed one through the written words of the scriptures? Do you follow the letter that killeth or the Spirit of God that gives life? No other foundation can be laid again, other than that which had been laid by the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, churches are being built on gifts of seeing, prophecy, oration or healing. Some are even founded on prayers. Show me a place in the scripture that the church was founded because the man had the gift of healing, which is a common gift for all believers, or the gift of prophecy, which Paul also asked al believer to covet for the edification of the church. Bit today, many healers have churches and are called pastors. Many seers are also called prophets. Such churches become a mega church within a short time because it is built on strategy, methods and administrative and managerial skills of the pastors who was hired to use his skill in the secular to grow the church. That’s why most churches are being pastured today by bank and business executives so as to use their secular experience to bring people in through marketing strategies. Isn’t it working? Yes, it is, but it is not building according to pattern. It is a religious center, not the gathering of the saints. Spirituality is absent, every other thing is working, even miracles, but that does not make it of God. There would be surprises in heaven, because the first shall be the last and the last shall be the first.
COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2Cor. 6:17). This is God’s command to you. If you have been tragically persuaded away from the landmarks and you have found yourself in a strange land, you need to depart immediately.
Discovery of where you are at is a miracle, but you need to take a step of faith and run as fast as your legs can carry you and be restored on the right path. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Pro 14:12). You might have lost everything to the touts, but God is a God of new beginning; a God of restoration! Retrace your steps back to God and go back to your first love. DO not be partaker of other men’s sins. Leave the benefits, it cannot sustain you, it will only destroy you. Those largesse you receive today will not take you to eternity, you need to leave them and run after God. He will receive you to himself. No longer HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE UNFRUITFUL WORK OF DARKNESS, but rather reprove them for it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret (Eph. 5:11). Hold fast the profession of your faith (Heb.10:23): It’s not an easy road, many are quitting by the way side, many are turning back. You must work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil.2:12) for he that endures to the end shall be saved (Mt. 10:22).
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” (Pro. 22:28) and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God in which you are sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph.4:30).
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
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