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RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL STUDENT'S MANUAL LESSON TWENTY-SIX DATE: SUNDAY 27TH FEBRUARY 2022 TOPIC: SECOND QUARTER REVIEW: SUMMARY OF LESSONS 14 -25 *LESSON 14* TOPIC: SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (PART 1) MEMORY VERSE: "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by the reason of use have their sense exercised to discern both good and evil." –Hebrews 5:14. BIBLE PASSAGE: HEBREWS 5:12-14 INTRODUCTION Every healthy Christian who is growing up properly will soon reach a stage when he is no longer satisfied with basics but needs more spiritual knowledge? How does one quality for it? How can it be obtained? These and other questions will be answered in this series of lesson on "Spiritual Knowledge". LESSON OUTLINES 1. THE NEED FOR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE 2. QUALIFICATIONS FOR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE THE NEED FOR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE Children love milk and the Bible encourages 'new born babes' in the faith to desire the sincere milk of the word in order to grow (1Peter 2:2). However, no healthy adults will like to exist merely from milk (Hebrews 5:13). A Time comes when a Christian begins to mature and he is already well-versed in the basic doctrines of Christianity (Hebrews 6:1-2. Then he/she realises that there is something more to be learnt, hidden knowledge, wisdom, understanding and certain things, which the Bible refers to as mysteries (Colossians 2:2-3; 1Corinthians 2:7). The Christian is born again but he finds it difficult to explain how it happens. He knows what has happened to him, when it happened but exactly how it happened he is unable to tell. He knows he used to enjoy sin but now he hates it; he used to appreciate sinners now only pities them; he used to be restless and burdened with sorrow, now he knows peace and joy. But how did it all happen? He would not hesitate to know the mystery of the new birth, (John 3:8) Next to the mystery of the new birth is the mystery of the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:32). How many people make a Bride? How does one head function as a husband to a body of many parts? Then there is the mystery of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:19). The mystery of godliness (1Timothy 3:16), the mystery of the kingdom of God (Mark 4:11) and the mystery of future life (1Corinthians 15:51). Why all these mysteries? What are they? Why are they hidden? These are some of the quest for spiritual knowledge. QUALIFICATIONS FOR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE Anyone who wants to know the mysteries of God (Revelation 10:7) must satisfy certain conditions. Basic to all other conditions is the knowledge of the Lord Himself (Hosea 6:3). To know the mysteries of God, you must know Jesus Christ and be known by Him (Philippians 3:10; John 10:14). No one reveals his secrets to a total stranger or mere acquaintance. The more we know Christ, the more our knowledge of spiritual things will grow (2Peter 3:18). This is because not only will our ability to understand spiritual things increase, Christ being our wisdom (1Corinthians 1:30), but every mystery of God is hidden in Christ (Colossians 1:17-19). To know Christ is fully is to know all there is to know. The second qualification for spiritual knowledge is to do God's will (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:6; 1John 2:17). The more you do His will, the more of Himself He will reveal, because doing His will implies that you love him (John 14:15) Absolute surrender is a third qualification for those who want to know the mysteries of God (Philippians 3:7-10). No one can truly do the will of the Lord if he is not willing to surrender all. Finally, if one possesses deep spiritual knowledge, he will become meek (James 3:13), having discovered his own smallest in vast scheme of God. He will become more like Christ (Ephesians 4:13). The more you know of Christ the easier it will be for you to stop glorifying yourself and start glorifying Jesus Christ. CONCLUSION To know Jesus Christ is to know the Truth, the Way and the Life (John 14:6). To know Jesus is to know all. *LESSON FIFTEEN* TOPIC: SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (PART 2) MEMORY VERSE: "Search the scriptures; for in then ye think ye have eternal life: and they are which testify of me." – John 5:39 BIBLE PASSAGE: PROVERBS 2:1-11 . INTRODUCTION In the first part of this topic, we learnt about the desire of every maturing Christian to know the more about the mysteries of God. The mysteries of salvation, of the Bride of Christ, of godliness and future life and of the incarnation of Jesus Christ are not taught to babies. To know these mysteries and similar ones require that one should know Christ intimately with the resultant effect that we love Him more and glorify Him alone. In the second part of this topic and in the next part, we shall be studying on how to obtain spiritual knowledge in some details. LESSON OUTLINES 1. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURE 2. SICK AND STUDY THE TRUTH SEARCH THE SCRIPTURE How can we know the mysteries of eternal life? Jesus Christ Himself gives a clue: "Search the scriptures", (John 5:39). Searching is indeed a way of obtaining spiritual knowledge since the scripture is the word of God (2Timothy 3:16). God has a purpose in causing His word to be put down in writing (Psalm 68:11). One of the reasons God caused His word to be written down is so that those who are desirous to know more about Him may search the scriptures and learn (Romans 15:4). One of the things they will learn as they search the scripture is that God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) and that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of The living God (Hebrews 10:31). Consequently, they will learn to fear Him (Deuteronomy 17:19). This will lead them to the path of wisdom; since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In other words, searching the scripture we make one wise (2Timothy 3:15). With the wisdom obtaining true spiritual means one become well-equipped to bear spiritual fruits (James 3:17) which are necessary for abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ enable one to know Christ the more, and as we learnt last week, to know Christ is to know all. Moreover, those who search the scriptures seldom go astray from the truth (Matthew 22:29). SEEK AND STUDY THE TRUTH A higher step than searching the scriptures is seeking the truth. Searching may be done lightly, superficially, but seeking implies a very serious and determined search as if one is looking for a hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:3-5). Seeking surely brings good results. In fact, those seeking after spiritual knowledge cannot remain ignorant for long because the Bible says that only men of understanding ever do any serious seeking (Proverbs 15:14). Many men of faith consider Faith to be enough, but the scriptures encourage even men of faith to seek knowledge too (2Peter 1:5) In fact, we are encouraged to spend not only our time but our money also in our quest for spiritual knowledge. We are to pay to obtain it if need be (Proverbs 23:23). The happiness is bring is priceless (Proverbs 3:13). There is so much falsehood around The world today being paraded as truth (2Corinthians 11:14), that even when you think that you have found the truth it will be worth your while to study the truth in order to be sure it is divine truth. studying the scriptures is more than Reading or searching it: it involves analysing it, comparing scriptures with scriptures, rightly dividing the word of truth. This may consume time but its reward is 'divine approval' (2Timothy 2:15). Also, the more you study the truth the easier it will be for you to live holy (Psalm 119:9) because souls are purified by obeying the truth (1Peter 1:22). CONCLUSION In the search for spiritual knowledge, will begin to see why others failed and learn from their errors (1Corinthians 10:11) *LESSON SIXTEEN* TOPIC: SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (PART 3) MEMORY VERSE: "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." – 1Timothy 4:15 BIBLE PASSAGE: 1TIMOTHY 4:13-16 INTRODUCTION Last week, we considered three of the ways by which one can obtain spiritual knowledge. Searching, seeking and studying. Apart from obtaining spiritueal knowledge, we also learnt that studying the word of God leads to Divine approval, holy living and learning from the mistakes of others. However, some mysteries of God cannot be known through mere searching, seeking or studying. Therefore, in this third part of our series we shall learn other ways of obtaining spiritual knowledge. LESSON OUTLINES 1. MEDITATION 2. WAITING ON THE LORD MEDITATION Meditation is deeper than studying. meditation on the word involves 'eating', 'chewing' and 'regurgitating' the word, so that it becomes part and parcel of our spirit and life. This is what God Himself recommended to Joshua (Joshua 1:8), and the Bible confirm it as a sure way of being blessed by God (Psalm 1:1-3). Meditation take time but then all Good things takes time and the sweetness which comes from meditating on the word of God compensates more for the time spent (Psalms 104:34). One of the best time to meditate on the word is at night, (Psalm 63:6). Meditate on the works of God (Psalm 8:3-4) and the lessons of nature (Matthew 6:28-29) and you begin to get a glimpse of the mystery of the new birth as you realise how mighty the king of kings is and how nothing shall be impossible unto Him. Meditate on the sufferings of Christ (Hebrews 12:3) and you may stop asking questions of the mystery of the Bride of Christ and just March on, being grateful that you are a part of it. Meditate on the end-of-life (Deuteronomy 32:7) and you will be grateful that when you enter into eternity you will be with Jesus Christ. WAITING ON THE LORD Not all truths can be known by searching or seeking (Ecclesiastes 3:11). However, what you cannot obtain by searching or seeking you can get by simply waiting on the Lord (Isaiah 40:28-31). Seeking and searching maybe tiresome. Waiting is refreshing and renewing. Moreover, the Lord promises to teach those who wait on Him (Psalm 25:5). Even if you do not deserve the information, He will give it to you out of his abundant mercy (Psalm123:2). Therefore, learn to wait on the Lord and as you wait on Him do so with the expectation of learning something mysterious, something deep, and something beneficial. He will not disappoint an expectant waiter (Psalm 62:5-6) CONCLUSION A combination of waiting on the Lord and meditating on His Word will surely opened many locked spiritual door and usher you into the secret rooms of spiritual knowledge (Isaiah 8:17). The ways of the Lord are marvelous, yet, simple. *LESSON SEVENTEEN* TOPIC: BEARING FRUITS THAT ABIDE MEMORY VERSE: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your friuts should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the father in my name, he may give it you." – John 15:16 BIBLE PASSAGE: ACTS 16:1-5 INTRODUCTION The Lord's command is that all born again Christians should bear fruits and more importantly that fruits should abide. Therefore, there is the need for extra spiritual efforts on souls saved to get established, localized in a church fellowship and mobilized until they too become soul winners. The master did not just command us to bear fruits but that the fruits may abide (John 15:16). There is nothing compared to the worth of a soul won into the kingdom of God (Luke 15:4-7). LESSON OUTLINES 1. FRUITS-BEARING IS A MUST FOR THE BELIEVER 2. ABIDING FRUITS IS CHRIST'S COMMAND FRUITS-BEARING IS A MUST FOR THE BELIEVER The primary purpose of our election into the family of God is to bear fruits (John 15:16; Romans 7:4). Failure to carry out this instructions may be disastrous in that it may lead to an eternal loss of fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ (John 15:1-2; Matthew 3:10). It is wise, therefore, to watch on possible causes of unfruitfulness which may include: wiles and devices of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:11), tribulations and Persecution and worldliness (Matthew 13:18-22). It is important to note that these causes may not due to a personal fault, yet, this type of attitude may incur the Lord's disappointment for falling to invest life's resources (Luke 13:6-9; Luke 19:20). ABIDING FRUITS IS CHRIST'S COMMAND Jesus ordained the believers not only to bear fruits but also to ensure that the friuts last (abide) (John 15:16). In order to achieve this, efforts must be geared towards conceiving, maturing and multiplying of the friuts (Colossians 1:28). An essential tool in the hand of the Holy Spirit to achieve this is the man/woman sold out to the ministry of follow up of the souls. Biblical examples includes the early apostles particularly Paul (Acts 2:46; Acts 15:36; Act 16:5; Act 18:18-23; Ephesians 1:15-18; Philippians 2:19-20). The principle adopted include spending quality time in prayers and Bible study with the souls as led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is pleased to increase the work of grace in a life when our trust and confidence in God is expressed in the new convert to suitable and appropriate truths in the Holy Bible (Act 2:41-47). CONCLUSION Having examined some basic principles, it is only worth it to put into practice all taught in this lesson. *LESSON EIGHTEEN* TOPIC: THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MEMORY VERSE: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." – Acts 2:38 BIBLE PASSAGE: LUKE 11:9-13 INTRODUCTION The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the experience of the Holy Spirit coming into a person's life. The word that is translated baptism means "to be immersed; to be totally covered" and can be understood by looking at the physical demonstration of water baptism. When we come to be baptised in water after we have been saved, we go down into water and the water completely covers us. LESSON OUTLINES 1. HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 2. THE BAPTISER, THE ACTUAL BAPTISM AND THE EVIDENCE HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT The following steps will guide any sincere candidate for the baptism of the Holy Ghost: 1. Be born again (John 3:3; Acts 3:19). 2. Be desirous and thirsty for the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Psalms 37:4; Psalms 42:1; Isaiah 55:1). 3. Believe that the promise of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is for you and all believers(Acts 2:33). 4. Identify the Lord Jesus Christ as the right source of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:11). 5. Have confidence also in His word, which will never fall to the ground but is forever settled in Heaven (John 7:37-39; Psalms 119:89). 6. Then ask him and he will answer (Luke 11:10). 7. Praise and thank God in advance for your baptism because he is the giver of Good gifts. (James 1:17; Thessalonians 5:18) THE BAPTISER, THE ACTUAL BAPTISM AND THE EVIDENCE The Lord Jesus Christ is the Baptiser (Matthew 3:11). The process of baptism in the Holy Ghost involves finding time to come before the presence of God, our maker, in worship, praise, thanksgiving and with a right mind (Psalms 100:4; Psalms 66:18). The focus of attention at this time should be Jesus, who is the Author and the finisher of our faith and the rewarder of the faithful and the diligence (Hebrews 12:1-2; Hebrews 11:6). After asking prayerfully and in faith, the Holy Spirit himself gives utterance which is evidenced in the speaking of tongues (Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44-46). This baptism initiates the believer into POWER, the divine ability to do exploits, "greater works than these" as Jesus prophesied (Luke 24:49; John 14:12). CONCLUSION The baptism in the Holy Ghost is for you to make you strong, ride high in God and be perfect as God intends you to be. If you are born again then ask for the baptism in the Holy Ghost and the Baptiser will do it now, in Jesus' name. Amen *LESSON NINETEEN* TOPIC: THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ACTION MEMORY VERSE: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." – Acts 1:8 BIBLE PASSAGE: ACTS 1:1-8 INTRODUCTION The creative power of the Holy Spirit was first seen in action at the creation when the Holy Spirit (God's Spirit began to move upon the face of the deep (Genesis 1:2) and when the mortal man was transformed through God's impartation of his Spirit. (Genesis 2:7). LESSON OUTLINES 1. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 2. THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT The Holy Spirit is the seed of God's power planted in a believer when such believer is baptised in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). The power of the Holy Spirit strengthens believers to witness for Christ. The fearful and timid Peter was supernaturally turned to a fearless and bold preacher. He preached the immovable word of God with power (Acts 2:14-47; Acts 4:10-20). The Holy spirit is the consuming fire of God. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit that distinguishes a true believer from a false believer from a false believer (Matthew 3:11-12). The Holy Spirit is the divine wind of God's church and the enabling grace behind a fruitful Christian life (Ezekiel 37:7-10, 1Corinthians 2:4, Luke 4:14-18). THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT The Holy Spirit, among other things, quickens our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11). This makes it illegal for any sickness or disease to dwell there; instead he turns it to partakers of God's divine nature (Matthew 3:12; 2Peter 1:4). He guide into truth (John 16:12-13) by enlightening the believers' understanding on all issues of all life. He is, therefore, our only insurance against the deadly and enslaving grip of ignorance. By this divine guidance, we will always have solutions to every problem that may confront us. He reveals things to come. (Acts 21:4, 10-12). He reminds of the things taught (John 14:26) especially in the times of need e.g.the Lord Jesus in His encounter with the tempter (Matthew 4:1-4). He reproves the word of Sin. The sinner gets conviction not by gimmicks but by the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). He reproves the world of righteousness by making them to live righteous in the midst of a perverse generation. He reproves the world of Judgement (John 16:11). He testify of the truth, which makes it easier, for a true believer to decree a thing, and it is established unto him (John 15:26; Job 22:28). He intercedes for the saints (Romans 8:26-27). He gives spiritual gifts unto spiritually hungry men and women who earnestly covet them (1Corinthians 12:4, 11). CONCLUSION We need the Holy Spirit to run our Christian race. *LESSON TWENTY* TOPIC: BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE OF SELF-DEFENCE MEMORY VERSE: "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand." – Psalm 149:6 BIBLE PASSAGE: LUKE 22:23-38 INTRODUCTION As Christians we believe that God is able to protect us from both physical and spiritual attacks (Psalm 7:10; Zachariah 12:8). We must be trusting and depending like little children toward God and he must be our strength and safety (Psalms 28:7). However, in the world today, crime and violence are on the increase. Christians are like sheep among wolves (Matthew 10:16). In most cases, they are in the most vulnerable state partly due to Christ injuction in *Matthew 5:39* and Paul's word in *Romans 12:17-21*. LESSON OUTLINES 1. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SELF DEFENCE? 2. WHAT SHOULD A CHRISTIAN DO? WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SELF DEFENCE? Self defence is defined as "protecting oneself from injury at the end of others". Self defence involves preserving one's own health, life and property when it is threatened by the actions of others (Nehemiah 4:7-23; Luke 11:21). There is a distinction between self-defense and vengeance, retaliation or reprisal attack. Self-defence is neither about taking vengeance nor about premeditated attack on others. The commandment of Jesus to "turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5:39) has to do with our response to personal slights and offences. Some situations may call for self-defence, but not retaliation in kind. The context of the command of Jesus is his teaching against the idea of "eye for eye, and tooth for tooth" (verse 38). Our self defence is not a vengeful reaction to an offence. In fact, many offences can simply be absorbed in forbearance and love (Romans 12:17-21) The Bible gives some clues about God's attitude toward self-defence: "if a thief found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him, for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft (Exodus 22:2-3). Two basic principles taught in this text are the right to own private property and the right to defend that property. Also, Jesus explicitly commands his followers to buy a sword even if they have to sell their clock to do so (Luke 22:35-38). Jesus knew that there would be a time when His followers would be threatened, and he upheld their right to self-defence. However, Jesus told Peter not to use his sword because he must be arrested, put on trial and die (Matthew 26:51-52) Jesus took prudent measures to protect himself from harm until it was time for him to die. WHAT SHOULD A CHRISTIAN DO? The Bible never forbids self-defence (Psalm 144:1), and believers are allowed to defend themselves and their families (1Samuel 30:1-8; Acts 7:24). The proper use of self-defense has to do with wisdom, understanding and tact. We must have wisdom that comes from heaven regarding when to fight back and when not to, so as not to make a dangerous situation worse (James 1:5; 3:17) The full exercise of the right to self-defence depends on the situation. No one should be too quick to use deadly force against another, even someone who means to do harm. Deadly force is expected to be a last resort in the event of a panicked "surprise attack" scenario where the victim is confused and disoriented. A godly person should try to restrain the attacker rather than an immediate result to killing him. It is important for every Christian to undergo some basic trainings on safety and self-defence. CONCLUSION The Shepherd risk his life by combating wild animals that threatens the flock (1Samuel 17:34-36). A pacifist or fearful Shepherd would soon have no flock *LESSON TWENTY-ONE* TOPIC: THE CHRISTIAN WEDDING CEREMONY MEMORY VERSE: "Let all things be done decently and in order. ." – 1Corinthains 14:40 BIBLE PASSAGE: TITUS 2:6-8 INTRODUCTION Marriage is the legal relationship between a husband and his wife that should last for a life time (Genesis 2:21-23). The ceremony is conducted to establish a legal marriage is called 'Wedding'. How the wedding ceremony is conducted varies from culture to culture. However, there is a Christian culture (biblical practices common to Christianity) that intending couples and all believers should imbibe in other to be distinguished from worldly/ungodly practices. Today, we can hardly differentiate between the wedding ceremony among the ungodly and those who claim to be believers because of the perceived freedom or creativity. Our focus, therefore, is to provide a clue to what a Christian wedding ceremony should look like. LESSON OUTLINES 1. BASIC COMPONENTS 2. BENEFITS OF THE CHRISTIAN WEDDING CEREMONY BASIC COMPONENTS A Christian wedding ceremony can be individually tailored, but ought to include expressions of worship, reflections of joy, celebration, respect, dignity, and love (Philippians 4:4-5). Since, the bible gives no specific pattern or order to define exactly what should be included, there is room for your creative touches. The primary goal should be to give each guest a clear impression that you, as a couple, are making a solemn eternal covenant with each other before God. Your wedding ceremony should be a testimony of your lives before God, demonstrating your Christian values (Philippians 4:8-9). A Christian couple who truly want to glorify Christ through their wedding should have started the preparations, beginning with biblical premarital counselling with their pastor. The wedding affirms before God and Friends and family that the couple's desire is to live according to God plan for the family. The wedding ceremony should also be a reflection of the couple's commitment to bring glory to God. Every part of the the service, from the music to the vows to the message delivered by the officiating minister, should reflect that commitment. *Music*: Music should be reverent and Christ-honouring, not worldly or frivolous. *Vows*: Vows should be taken with the couple's full understanding that the words they speak to one another constitute a lifetime commitment and with the knowledge that what they promise to one another, they are promising to God. *Message*: The message delivered by the pastor should reflect these truths and commitment. *Dressing*: The bridal gown and bridesmaids' dresses should be modest and appropriate for standing before God (Philippians 4:5). There is no room for low cut/revealing clothing in a Christ-honouring ceremony. *Reception*: If there is a reception, it should be equally Christ honouring ceremony. Alcohol should not be permitted at a Christian wedding reception. The primary difference between a Christian wedding and non-Christian wedding is Christ. BENEFITS OF THE CHRISTIAN WEDDING CEREMONY Churches are special places and there are some things about a church wedding that you just cannot get anywhere else. A church wedding will add a spiritual dimension to your marriage. God's blessings is the main attraction for many couple's, whatever their beliefs. Christian wedding establishes a spiritual foundation for the couple's children. Indeed a Christian wedding-whether large or small-should signify that Christ will become the centre piece of the new home and that both partners resolve to become more like Christ so they can develop a strong and vibrant Christian marriage. A Christian wedding that is supported by prayer and careful planning may result in young people seeing God's divine plan for marriage and give married couples an opportunity to renew their vows as they watch the bride and groom pledge their solemn oaths to each other. A couple whose wedding is Christ honouring will remember the beauty and seriousness of the wedding for a lifetime and will find it a wonderful way to begin their life together. CONCLUSION When biblical principles are applied to a Christian wedding ceremony, those principles follow the couple throughout their lives and provide a strong and lasting foundation for life. *LESSON TWENTY-TWO* TOPIC: CHRISTIANS AND POLITICS (PART 1) MEMORY VERSE: "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." – Proverbs 29:2 BIBLE PASSAGE: NEHEMIAH 5:14-19 INTRODUCTION Generally, politics can be described as the methodology and activities association with running a government, an organization ora movement. Politics is all about influence. It is this influence that further births positive or negative changes in the lives of the people. The involvement of Christians in politics is neither secular, nor beyond the ideologies of Christianity because it is the desire of God that believers take charge and have influence here on earth (Genesis 1:28; Matthew 5:13-16). LESSON OUTLINES 1. MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT POLITICS 2. WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE INVOLVED IN POLITICS? MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT POLITICS Some Christians are of the opinion that, since our kingdom is not of this world, we do not have to be involved in any political activity in the world we presently live in (John 17:14). This is not the whole truth but a misconception aimed at robbing us of our godly heritage of dominion (Psalms 8:6; 1Peter 2:9; Revelation 5:10) .Here are some reason for the misconception or wrong notions about involvement of Christians in politics; 1. Politics is a dirty game and a worldly affair. 2. Political involvements will take one to hell. 3. All politicians are liars, corrupt and promiscuous. 4. It is an opportunity to embezzle money or amass wealth unlawfully. 5. Most politicians are fetish or occultic. WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE INVOLVED IN POLITICS? In order to disabuse our minds as Christians about our active involvement in politics, we need to consider the following reasons objectively: 1. It is the desire of God that believers take charge and have influence here on earth (Deuteronomy 28:13). We are to take the lead and allow kingdom values to shape our society (Matthew 5:13-16). 2. The leader we elect, or fail to elect have great influence on our freedom, well-being and the fulfillment of our God-given mandate. They can choose to protect our rights to worship and spread the gospel, or prevent us from exercising such rights (Esther 4:14; Daniel 6:7). 3. Politics like other sectors of national developments (Health, Finance etc.), should be explored to "teach all nations" in order to demonstrate the exemplary life and flavour of godliness (Daniel 6:1-3; Matthew 28:19-20) 4. The involvement of godly Christians in politics will reduce corruption, disorderliness, mischief and other socio-economic vices in the society (2Chronicles 14:1-6; Proverbs 29:2). 5. To effect positive and lasting changes that will benefit the society (Genesis 41:33-40; Proverbs 14:34). CONCLUSION God is still looking for the righteous few, in order to uplift our nations (Genesis 18:32). *LESSON TWENTY-THREE* TOPIC: CHRISTIANS AND POLITICS (PART 2) MEMORY VERSE: "The God of Israel said, the rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." – 2Samuel 23:3. BIBLE PASSAGE: 2SAMUEL 23:1-4 INTRODUCTION In our previous lesson, we highlighted some misconceptions held by some Christians in some circles. We also examined some of the reasons Christian should be involved in politics from biblical perspective. In today's lesson, we shall attempt to guide Christians with genuine intentions on how to be practically involved in politics and avoid the pitfalls. LESSON OUTLINES 1. HOW TO BE INVOLVED IN POLITICS 2. THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN POLITICS HOW TO BE INVOLVED IN POLITICS Christians should note that it is their Civic rights and responsibility under the law (Titus 3:1 1Peter 2:13-14) to vote and be voted for (Deuteronomy 1:13). Therefore every eligible Christian should register with the relevant electoral body in order to participate during elections. In addition, it is important for Christians to be 'card-carrying' members of any political party of preference. By so doing, Christians can contest and be voted into elective positions or influence the choice of their representatives for elective position (Exodus 18:21) To join a political party, you need to get information. Visit the websites of the parties available in your country or the respective party secretariat within your locality. Go through their detailed profiles to know the party's ideology and manifesto. Fill a party registration form and provide supporting documents/payments as may be required. A membership card will be issued to you as confirmation. Attend party meetings regularly and actively in order to be a voice to be reckoned with. Christian aspiring for elective leadership position should be sure to have a leading burden or passion to serve the people and solve problems (1Samuel 17:29; 34-37, Nehemiah 2:1-5) In order to succeed in politics, Christians should read books and attend seminars/conferences on leadership/politics (Proverbs 16:16). It is also important to be mentored by a seasoned Christian political leader (Proverbs 1:5; 11:14). Christian may also prayerfully join or support an advocacy group (Esther 4:8,13-14) or form a political party with people of like-minds (1Samuel 22:2, Daniel 2:49) THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN POLITICS Christians who are into politics or aspiring to hold political posts, should be prayerful and watch out for pitfalls to avoid soiling their garments (1Corinthians 15:33) They should therefore: 1. Desist from any thought or act of wickedness. Politics is not a 'do-or-die' affair (Proverbs 16:12). 2. Avoid prayerlessness (James 5:16b-18; Psalm 91:15; Daniel 6:10) our adversary is not resting, be sober and vigilant (1Peter 5:8) 3. Shun all foolishness: get the necessary qualifications or experience (James 1:5, 1Samuel 17:34-37) and act wisely (Matthew 10:16) 4. Never dabble into politics without a godly burden or passion (Nehemiah 2:1-5) 5. Avoid compromise: stand by Your godly virtues and principles (1Corinthians 10:31) 6. Distinguish yourself and do not be hypocritical (1Corinthians 6:17, Romans 12:2) 7. Do not be lured into cultism or bad caucus in the name of 'belonging', seeking relevance or power outwit others (1Corinthians 15:33) 8. by where of the negative influence of political god-fathers (Proverbs 12:5; 25:26). 9. Be resolute in the face of persecution and propaganda. (Nehemiah 4:3,6; 6:5-7; Daniel 6:11-14) 10. Avoid abuse of power. Do not be tyrannical (2Chronicles 26:16-18) CONCLUSION Join a political party today and be a Christian of influence *LESSON TWENTY-FOUR* TOPIC: "KINGDOMNOMICS" MEMORY VERSE: "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him." – Genesis 26:12 BIBLE PASSAGE: GENESIS 26:1-6; 12-22 INTRODUCTION 'Kingdomnomics' is a contraction for "Kingdom Economics". Simply put, economics is the study of the use of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited human wants. The term kingdom, in this context, refers to the realm in which God's will is fulfilled. It is the domain of God's operations over His people (those who are born again). While there are basic economic principles in the world system, people of God are expected to also understand and live by the economic principles of the kingdom which will not only make them profitable in this world but also lay imperishable treasures for them in Heaven. LESSON OUTLINES 1. ENTITIES IN KINGDOM ECONOMICS 2. BIBLICAL ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES ENTITIES IN KINGDOM ECONOMICS There are three key entities in kingdom Economics: God (the Creator), Man and resources (everything man can use of interact with in this world, including time, talent, and treasure). We can think about each of these entities as being a circle. You relate to God and to your resources, and these circles must relate to each other. Some approach their resources based on their beliefs about God while others approach God based on their resources needs. For some these two circles never even intersect, having nothing to do with each other. Jesus said that one of these "circles" will actually become the master of the other-you will serve God or money (Matthew 6:24). How you relate to these two circles will make a far-reaching statement about who you are, how you live, and who you are becoming. BIBLICAL ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES Principle No.1: Godliness- The foundation of success in any economic endeavour is godliness (Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19; Psalms 37:25; Matthew 6:33; 1Timothy 6:6-11). Principle No.2: Obedience- Do whatever God lays on your heart to do in line with the word of God (Genesis 12:1-4; Deuteronomy 28:1; Isaiah 1:19; Isaiah 30:21; John 2:5; Hebrews 3:15). Principle No.3: Creativity-God has given unto everyone gifts/talents, creative abilities and grace to acquire skills (Ex.31:3,6; Ex.35:30-35; Matthew 25:14-15; Luke 19:12-13). Principle No.4: Giving and Generosity- The more you give the more you get (Psalms 112:9; Proverbs 11:24; Proverbs 19:17; Luke 3:11; Luke 6:38; 2Corinthains 9:7). Principle No.5: Sowing and Reaping- Seed time and harvest time shall not cease (Genesis 8:22; Ecclesiastes 3:2b); the quality and quantity of what you sow determines what you reap (Galatians 6:7; 2Corinthians 9:6). Principle No.6: Risk and Faith- Those that are afraid of taking risk will not attempt new things (Proverbs 22:13; Proverbs 26:13; Ecclesiastes 11:4-6). Principle No.7: Investment- Believers should tap into the various investment opportunities around them (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; Isaiah 32:20). Principle No.8: Labour/Diligence- There is dignity in labour (Proverbs 6:6, 10-11; Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 12:24,27; Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 14:23; Proverbs 18:9; Proverbs 21:5; Proverbs 22:29; 2Thessalonians 3:10). Principle No.9: Effective time management- Time is irredeemable resource given to man (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Ephesians 5:16). Principle No.10: Favour and Relationship- Favour flavours labour and birds of the same feather flock together (Psalms 102:13; Proverbs 13:20; Ecclesiastes 9:11; Romans 9:16). CONCLUSION Use your time, talent, and treasure for God's kingdom. You will not only experience a life of opportunity, impact, and legacy here on earth but you will also be laying up for yourself treasures in the kingdom of Heaven. *LESSON TWENTY-FIVE* TOPIC: "KINGDOMNOMICS" (PT2 MEMORY VERSE: "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts." – Haggai 2:8 BIBLE PASSAGE: GENESIS 13:14-17 INTRODUCTION In the previous lesson, we learnt about entities in Kingdomnomics which include God, man (believers) and resources as well as highlighted some economic principles in the Kingdom. Today, we shall be considering the biblical position on the basic factors of production, with a view to guiding believers on what their disposition should be towards them. LESSON OUTLINES 1. LAND AND LABOUR 2. CAPITAL AND ENTREPRENEUR LAND AND LABOUR In Literary sense, land is regarded as soil. However, in economics, land refers to a natural resources that can be utilised to produce income. It is a useful factor of production and it is available in limited quantity. God owns all lands as well as the materials and the forces which nature gives freely for man's aid, in land, water, air, light and heat (Psalms 24:1; Exodus 9:29; 1Corinthians 10:26). God gives land to man to explore and process (Genesis 13:14-17; Psalm 115:16). It is important for believers to ask God for the appropriate location to dwell or do business (Genesis 2:15; Genesis 12:1; Genesis 26:2,12). Believers must put land into profitable use (Proverbs 12:11) and appreciate God for making the land fruitful (Psalm 67:5-6 Luke 12:16-21). No land is barren; every land is created for a purpose (mining, agriculture, tourism, and so on). However, we only have people who are barren in ideas on how to maximise the use of the Land (2Kings 2:21). Labour constitutes one of the important factors of production. This factor involves human services and effort for the production of goods and services. In economic terms, a work, physical or mental, carried out for monetary purpose is called labour. God wants man to work (Genesis 2:15; Ecclesiastes 9:10; 1Thessalonians 4:11). God promises sweet sleep and rest for a labouring believer (Exodus 20:9; Ecclesiastes 5:12 Matthew 11:28). In all labour, there is Profit (Proverbs 13:11 Proverbs 14:23 Ephesians 4:28) the labour of the righteous adds value to lives (Proverbs 10:16). The Bible says that there shall be no labour loss (Isaiah 62:8). When we plant, we shall eat of the fruit thereof and when we build, we shall inhabit (Psalms 128:2; Isaiah 65:21-23). Believers must not rule out God in their endeavours because only God can crown their labour with success (Psalm 127:1). Above all, believers should labour to inherit the kingdom of God (John 6:27). CAPITAL AND ENTREPRENEUR In this context capital refers to money used for income creation purposes. God owns the gold, silver and every resource that can be converted to money (Haggai 2:8; Psalms 50:10). Obviously, money is good. The Bible says money answers all things (Ecclesiastes 10:19) and it is a defence (Ecclesiastes 7:12). However, believers should guide against excessive pursuit of money (Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 22:1; 1Timothy 6:10). Money should not be spent anyhow. There must be a plan (Luke 14:28-30). In Kingdom economics, therefore, believers should put God first (Matthew 6:33) In their daily pursuit for money and to learn to acquire money legitimately and not at all cost. Remember, you cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). An individual who creates an enterprise is called enterpreneur. A child of God is expected to be a creator/innovator of good things which include viable business endeavour (Ephesians 2:10 ;2Timothy 1:7). He/She should equally be able to maximise the use of all other factors of production. A believer is expected to pay his workers as at when due (Deuteronomy 24:14-15; 1Timothy 5:8; Luke 10:7). Believers should not be dubious in their dealings (Proverbs 11:1,3; Proverbs 28:8; James 5:4), for it is the Blessing of God that enriches (Proverbs 10:22) the success or failure of an enterprise depends on the efficiency of the entrepreneur (Proverbs 22:29; Proverbs 27:23). An enterpreneur needs to be focused on adapting himself/herself according to the changes taking place in the national economy, industries and markets (Act 16:14a) CONCLUSION God owns all factors of production (Psalms 24:1). Put Him first in all your endeavours (Matthew 6:33). You will be profitable here on earth and also lay up treasures in Heaven.
1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.
2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Thy friend friendship suits me well,
Both young and will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.
3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.
4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee
5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds be black with rain,
I’ll be in Sunday School.
6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?
OPENING PRAYER: Father, deliver me from the power of the enemy.

BIBLE PASSAGE: Proverbs 1:10-19

[1]The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
[2]To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
[3]To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
[4]To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
[5]A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
[6]To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
[7]The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
[8]My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
[9]For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
[10]My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
[11]If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
[12]Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
[13]We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
[14]Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
[15]My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
[16]For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
[17]Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
[18]And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
[19]So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
MEMORY VERSE:.“Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.”
INTRODUCTION: Cultism can be traced to the ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians had many magicians who practiced occultism and used occult means to acquire more powers. These magicians belong to groups that kept their activities secret (Ex.7:11). The spread and explosion of cultism to other nations of the world happened for diverse reasons. Cultism is otherwise known as secret cult or secret society.
TEXT REVIEW: Proverbs 1:10-19.
In this passage,
A. We are advised not to yield to the enticement of sinners when they ask us to: V10.
i. Lay in wait for blood and wait secretly for the innocent soul without a cause. V11.
ii. ……………………………………………V12.
iii. …………………………………………..V13.
iv. …………………………………………..V14.
B. We are further admonished not to follow the.m or take their path because: V15.
i. ………………………………………………..V16.
ii. ……………………………………………….V17.iii. ………………………………………………V18.
C. ………………………………………………V19.
Teacher should allow the youth to bear their mind on the subject of cultism and guide the class through the following:
A. Description of cultism
i. A cult is a group of people who have extreme beliefs and ideas which only members have access to.
ii. Cultism is an association or organisation of people whose membership, initiation, policies and activities are done secretly.
iii. The activities are carried out at odd hours of the day and are at variance with the accepted norms of the society.
iv. Cultism cuts across all spectra of society. However, the youths are the most vulnerable.
v. Occultic groups use signs and symbols such as green ribbons on berets, cross bones, human skull, axes and so on. They usually adopt some handgrip as means of mutual recognition among the members.
B. Consequences of cultism
i. Although the benefits promised members of secret cults may be enticing, the reality is that ‘cultism is suicidal’.
ii. It leads to fear, insecurity, failure, shedding of innocent blood, destruction of lives, destinies and properties.
iii. When caught, it gives bad names to the family.
iv. Cultists are unforgiving and revengeful (Jer.20:10).
v. Cultism attracts God’s punishment, causes spiritual death and loss of eternal life among others (Rom.1:18; Col.3:5-6).
C. A child of God must not allow anything or anyone to lure him/her into joining a cult group (Ps.1:1).
D. Just like fornication, and all uncleanness or covetousness, cultism should not be named at all among believers (Eph.5:3).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Students should discuss the impact of cultism on the youth.
A. Scripture warns us against fellowshipping with them (Eph.5:11) because their activities have negative effects on both members and non-members.
Teacher should allow the students to mention some of the activities of cultists.
a. The activities of these cults take various destructive forms which include:
i. Consumption of alcohol and hard drugs that tend to give false courage.
ii. Stealing, Violent behaviours, Killing, Use of guns and dangerous weapons, Torture, Sexual harassment, Stripping to the pants, Flogging,
iii. Making destructive cult marks on the bodies of new members with red hot swords during initiation (Rom.3:15-18).
b. Regardless of the motives for setting up or joining a cult group, it is shameful to imagine the evil they perpetrate and the destruction they cause to themselves and their victims (Eph.5:12; Rom.6:21).
B. To avoid being lured into cultism, a Christian must take the following precautions:
1. Stand firm on your faith and do not allow situations or circumstances to dictate your position in Christ. This can lead one into bondage (Gal.5:1).
2. Dissociate yourself from friends, class/course/room-mates, family members, etc. whose ways of life are suspicious. Let them know your stand in the Lord (Prov.1:10; 1Cor. 15:33).
3. Let your fellowship with God and the brethren be strong (Matt.22:37-39). Spend your spare time with godly people (Heb.10:25).
4. Avoid misrepresentation of your person. Let people see you as a genuine child of God in your mode of dressing, use of language/slangs, gestures, etc. (2Cor.6:17-18).
C. If you are already a cultist, you must be ready to cut ties with the group and believe that Jesus can save you. It is important to seek counsel from a matured Christian. You must confess your sins, renounce your membership and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour (Rom.10:9-13; Prov.24:6).


Students should discuss other ways that youths can steer clear from cultism.
SUMMARY: Cultism is evil and has grave consequences. Youths should beware of the activities of cultists and take necessary precautions in other not to be a victim.
CONCLUSION: Shun cultism. It only leads to destruction of lives and destinies.
EVALUATION: How can a Christian avoid being lured into cultism?
Father, guide me against every appearance and activities of cultism.
ASSIGNMENT: Mention five (5) consequences of cultism.

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Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries. The Open Heavens devotional application is available across all mobile platforms and operating systems: iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Mobile and PC.

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