Gbile Akanni Articles – Keep Yourself From Idols

Keep Yourself From Idols By Gbile Akanni

 

Prayer: Lord we thank You for the way You led us and for the way You have been leading us. Thank You for bringing us to this point where we could draw conclusions on the issues You have raised with us in our studies in the book of First John.

 

Our Father we just pray that as You tie issues together today, let it mix with faith in our hearts – even those who just meet us at the tail end of this series, we ask Lord that You will also guide their lives.

 

Thank You for hearing us, we believe that greater things than all we have known before You will yet lead each one of Your children into. Thank You Father, for we have prayed together in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

We thank God that we have had this series of discussions on the First Epistle of John. Today, we are going to be drawing final conclusions in the issue that God has raised with us. We shall read the last few verses of First John chapter 5; we will read verses 18 to 21.

 

1Jn 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

 

1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

 

1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

 

1Jn 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

 

Having studied right from chapter 1 of this Epistle up to this point, it was appropriate to repeat again and again several issues that God has taught us. I see the way the Holy Spirit is concluding this Epistle with the series of several things that -we know- and several things that we ought to know.

 

All I am going to be focusing on in order to round up this series are these issues that must not slip by you or slip off your hand! They must be at your finger-tips as you go on. Your knowledge of these things must remain renewed, refocused and sharp at every point!

 

Now! That Scripture says in verse 18,

 

1Jn 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not;

 

What a wonderful conclusion!

 

“We know…”

 

We know that whosoever is born of God does not make a practise of sin! We know that those who have become part of Gods family do not make a practise of sin-ning, for Gods son holds them securely and the evil one cannot get his hand upon them. I would like to draw your attention to this –We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not. So as you go on in this pilgrimage, the question of living above sin is what you need to keep knowing. That no man who is born of God continues to sin! Do you know the reason? We said that sin is a transgression! Sin is a jumping of the fence!And when a man goes into sin, it is like you have deliberately handed yourself to satan, the prince of this world for him to control and to govern you! And can you imagine the devil who has been looking to devour your life and who has been seeking every possible means to tear you apart getting a little opportunity to do so? He will do it without a bit of care – he will do it mercilessly!

 

Today in conclusion, This is the first thing that confronts us – We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not. And I want to say to you that as you go on, this cannot change: the issue of living above sin is the only way by which you can be known to be a child of God.Any message, any messenger that does not help you to live an overcoming life over sin, even if he tells you how much money you can make, how much progress you can make in life, and he is not dealing with the question of sin in your heart, you should know that that man is not guiding you to heaven at all!

 

Whosoever is born of God sinneth not…

 

1Jn 5:18 … but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

 

Look at this! There is a need to watch over your life so that that wicked one, the devil, does not touch you! If you look at Jesus Christ,He said the prince of this world cometh but he has nothing in me!

 

Now! Will you also be able to declare that – Yes! The prince of this world can make many rounds of inspection looking for how to make an in-road into my life, but there is nothing? Can you say that there is no handle that the enemy can hold in your life? BUT when you give a chance of sin, it is like you have extended an handle and you have said to the devil “Any time you want to devour me, here is the hold for you to grip?!”

 

Sin is an handle you give to the devil, in order to destroy your life!

 

So the Bible says:

 

1Jn 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

 

Which means if you keep yourself in the love of God, if you keep yourself within the will of God, if you let the word of God rule your heart, you can even walk in this world and all the calamities will be happening beside you left and right, it can never come near you! He says thousands will fall by your left-hand side and tens of thousands by your right – it shall not come near you. Lets look at the Word of God in Psalm 91, I know you are very familiar with it but there is need for you to note some of the key words there.

 

Psa 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

 

Psa 91:2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

 

Psa 91:3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

 

Psa 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

 

Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

 

Psa 91:6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

 

Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

 

Psa 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

 

Psa 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

 

Psa 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

 

That is the Word of the Lord!

 

When a child of God lives within the Word of God, when you live within the will of God, when you make sure that the question of sin, you dont touch it, you keep yourself from every contamination, you shall become entitled to all these realities we have seen in this Psalm! You dont even need to worry your head, you dont even need to bother yourself with what is happening out there, it can-notcome near you! Because where you dwell is in the secret place of the Most High! Your life is hid with Christ in God! Under the shadow of the Almighty, the Lord becomes your fortress, He becomes your refuge, under His feathers and under His wings shall thou trust! Gods own truth shall become your shield and your buckler. Can you imagine that? He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and even from the noisome pestilence – you do not need to be afraid of the terror by night nor by the arrow that flies by day! They can fly anywhere, but it cant touch you because you are in a divine cavity, you are in a divine stronghold! You are in a castle where the enemy can never come. Even though the end-time is going to be very turbulent, the end-time is going to be serious – terrible things will be happening left and right – but there is a place of divine security where God is putting you as a believer! The only thing that can take you out of that is the matter of sin. So the Bible says

 

1Jn 5:18… but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

 

So brother, sister – as you go on, IF you would keep within the circumference of the Word of God, IF you will live above sin, IF you will run away from every appearance of evil, I am sure that when we get to heaven, we will find you there gloriously overcoming. You will join all other over-comers with a song of joy that YES! you made it. BUT if you dabble outside there – like, if you would remember, the only daughter that Jacob had, what was her name? You remember her? She was called Dinah. She said let me go out and even see the daughter of the land. Gen.34:1. She had been under the cover of her fathers security, she had dwelled under the shadow of her father for years, but the day she decided to go out to go and see the daughter of the land, see what happened! The prince, the principality of that land, just caught her immediately and defiled her. And that was the end of her own destiny! You can never read about Dinah again beyond that single chapter 34 of Genesis.

 

Dear Friend, if you will dwell within the Word of God, if you will keep yourself away from sin, I want to assure you that even IF the devil multiplies his strategy 1000 times over he cannot touch you! You will only see the reward of the wicked with your eyes, it will never come near your dwelling. No plague shall befall you, no evil shall come near your dwelling, God will give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways if you would dwell, if you would abide under the shadow of the Almighty!

 

Now verse 19 gives you a very sharp contrast

 

1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God…

 

We know that we belong to God, we know that we are inside God, we also know that the whole world lies under the power of the wicked one. Let me read that for you from the Revised Standard Version.

 

1Jn 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.

 

I wish you could see what I am dealing with now: once you are not in God, you are going to be under the power of the devil.So the whole world outside God is under the control of Satan, the whole world outside Jesus Christ is under the control of the evil one.

 

Look, New English Bible says

 

1Jn 5:19 We are of Gods family while the whole godless world lies in the power of the evil one

 

New International Version says,

 

1Jn 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

 

You see, it is only as a man runs into Jesus and dwells and abides in Jesus that he escapes the control of the evil one. Once you are outside, you enter into a new territory, the territory of satan.

 

We know that the whole world – politicians, government officials, great educationists, professors, engineers, whatsoever they are: if they be not in Christ Jesus – is under the control of the evil one. The evil one manipulates everything you see in the world, he is the one behind all the fightings, all the wars, all the struggles, all the bombings that is going on: all the wanton destruction. When you see people drinking blood of fellow human beings, you wonder who is doing this – it is the enemy! You go through cities, you go through towns, it has become empty today, because of the spirit of violence, the spirit of greed, the spirit of power-drunkenness: people want to control one another. But when you are in Christ Jesus, you are not under the control of the evil one.

 

Dear Friends, the world system is not going to improve: the economy of the world is going to grow more and more turbulent and peace is going to remain a scarce commodity in the world system even as the end-time is coming in. But those that dwell in Christ Jesus are not under the control of the evil one: it would be happening out there but NOT inside the one under the control of Christ Jesus.

 

I just want to say to you as we leave you here: the great Guidepost that you must keep in your heart is you MUST learn to abide in Christ – abide in His love, abide in His word, abide in His commandments! All the various things we have dealt with in the Epistle of First John began with the matter of dwelling in fellowship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. And we said for you to dwell in light with Him, there must be no darkness in your life! We also dwelt with the fact of dwelling in love, love with the brethren because anybody that does not love the brethren abides in death! Its like he has moved away from the territory of Jesus into the territory of the evil one. As you look at this book altogether, you see a clear demarcation – a demarcation between that which is of Jesus, that which is of God and that which is of the devil.

 

And we can see the dividing line.

 

We are praying that as we go on, God will help you to keep within the boundary of the Lord Jesus. God will help you to walk within the love of God, within the light of His will, within the light of His word.

 

Now that Scripture says in verse 20

 

1Jn 5:20 And we know…

 

You see, I am praying that each of these things that John concluded with -we know! we know!! we know!!- God will help you to know.

 

No 1. He said: we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not, and that he that is begotten of God keeps himself and that wicked one touches him not.

 

No 2. We know that we are of God. We know that we are of God – we are of Gods family – and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.

 

Verse 20

 

1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

 

You wonder that emphasis in verse 20! You need to know that the Son of the Living God has come. You need to know that He has given us an understanding. You also need to know – to know Him that is true and that we are actually in Him that is true! Even in His Son Jesus Christ.

 

I pray that you will have that deep assurance in your heart. That you will know that actually the path that you are taking is the only right path!

 

If you are a child of God today, I want to assure you and congratulate you that you are on the right course.

 

We know that the Son of God has come!

 

Some people are still wondering and saying “When will He come, When will He come to save us?” BUT we know that He has come! We know that the Word He has spoken, they are the same authentic word that will bring eternal life to anybody who believes. We knowthat what He did on the cross of Calvary is actually what needed to be done: nothing is to be added, nothing is to be subtracted from it! It is sufficient for our salvation NOW and FOREVER!!

 

We know that!

 

We also know that He has brought us to know Him that is true and that ACTUALLY WE ARE IN HIM THAT IS TRUE EVEN IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST …AND THIS IS THE TRUE GOD …AND THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE!

 

We KNOW that!! You do not need to exchange that for anything. You don’t need to consider any other thing or any other idea: I want you to be established and I pray that God will help you to be firmly rooted and deeply grounded on the path of life that God has shown to us.

 

And as we are looking for His second coming, as we are looking for His appearing to come and take us away from here. As we are looking for His appearing – for the Bible says He is coming again! Lets read that from the book of Hebrews, I suppose chapter 9.

 

Hebrews chapter 9. Lets see what the Bible says in verse 28

 

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…

 

We know that THAT has happened!

 

Heb 9:28 …and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

 

We KNOW that!

 

We know that He is coming again: He is coming to take us away from here. BUT He is coming ONLY for those that are looking for Him NOW: those of us that are waiting for Him to take us out of here AND to clothe upon us our real clothing – our real inheritance – when corruption shall be swallowed up by that which is incorruptible

 

We KNOW THAT!

 

BUT, finally, John now concludes – and I pray that God will help you to see this.

 

Verse 21

 

1Jn 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

 

Little children, keep yourselves from idols!

 

What is the word of God saying here now? …That in conclusion: Little children, keep yourselves from idols? What the Lord is saying here is: Keep yourself from anything that seeks to take your affection, anything that takes your focus from the Lord, anything that tries to take your heart away from the will of God.

 

What could these idols be? Whereas in times past, idols were only limited unto woods, unto carvings that our people put on the ground and bow their hearts to. But I want to say to you today that: Idol(s) is anything that is uppermost in your heart that is NOT the Lord Jesus Christ! Your business can become your idol. Your fashion can become your idol, properties can become your idol. Jewelries!? – have become idols in several lives. Make-ups (facially and otherwise) have become the idols of several people. Idols can even be your very self: your ego, your career, your family name, if it be something you worship – something you cannot tolerate if anything should touch it.

 

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Do you know why the Holy Spirit is bringing this? One of the things that the devil will do in the end-time to lure people away into perdition is idols.

 

I-D-O-L-S!

 

Now there are several of you seating and listening to this message that even football has become an idol to your life! Football. IF Jesus Christ were to come on the day that they are playing football, it would be unfortunate that several of you may not go to heaven! BECAUSE, you would rather cancel church service in order to watch football! You could see thousands, hundreds of thousands of people running, travelling just because of football.

 

The devil in the end-time is devising several objects of pleasure that takes the hearts of men away from the worship of the Living God.

 

Those of you that are very sensitive in the spirit, you will see these things that the devil keeps doing, you will see the advent of the technological advancement in the area of the satellite dish that enables you to just click your remote control and you can watch all kinds of channels all over the world! And what are the things in this channels? You find that the world system is never devising these channels to preach Jesus! Rather it is for advertisement and reading news AND you will see them interjecting it with the things of this world – the idea of sin, the idea of sex!

 

Do you remember that when we were in chapter 2 of this Epistle, the Lord said to us: Love NOT the world, nor the things that are in the world for all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – they are NOT of God! The things that the devil is parading in the world system that could become idols to your life are not of God!

 

Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

 

An idol is anything that becomes addictive to your life. One thing I know about the world system is that – everything the world introduces has an addictive power, has THE POWER OF ADDICTION!

 

IF you can watch your television once and go away and it would not affect you, it would not have been a matter! BUT the devil so arranges each of these things that once you touch it, you become addicted to it, it becomes an object of desire, an object of worship in your heart – it becomes things that you are running after, things that you are looking for, things that take the whole of your heart. Money has become an idol in several lives today. People can kill others because they want to make money! Unfortunately EVEN Preachers: Preachers are becoming idol worshippers because of money!! Several people are planting their works and starting their ministries not because they want souls to be saved but because they need money. And I would ask you, if truly your ministry is for souls to be saved, I wonder why you are crowding in the cities! There are 3 churches already on your street, why are you there when there are so many villages where no-one has been told about Jesus Christ! You need to check your motives whether you are not worshipping an idol called mammon!

 

Some are moving from this country, Nigeria, they are moving around looking for Pounds, looking for Dollars and for Deutsche Marks? Running around just because of money!

 

I want to put it across to you – Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

 

You will notice that that Scripture ended with -Amen-.

 

What is the need of placing –Amen- there?

 

Amen means -so be it-

 

I wish you also can agree with us to say Amen to everything God has said to us in this series.

 

I wish you can also sign it with your life and say – LORD, so be it! Everything you have said to me in the course of this study – So be it! I will live by Your Word, I will act on Your word, I will stand by Your truth!

 

So be it.

 

Can you also say “Amen” to every issue that God has raised in this study? Can you say “Amen” to every instruction that God has given you? Can you say “Amen” to every correction that God has brought to your life? Can you say “Amen” to every aspect of issues that the Holy Spirit has raised here? Can you say “Amen” and tell God – LORD, I say Amen to that: I would cause my life to watch and to hold these Guideposts even as I wait for Your appearing!

 

May God bless you. May the Lord watch over your life!

 

IF you miss anything, DO NOT MISS HEAVEN! When we get over there, we will look for you.

 

I trust that your place will not be vacant in the Name of Jesus Christ.

 

Prayer: Our Father we thank You for Your caring love, and that You do not want us to stray anywhere. Thank You for gathering Your people and instructing them so decisively on the way to heaven. Lord we want to pray that as You have lifted up these Guideposts, fix our eyes unto them and let nobody turn away in carelessness.

 

Thank You for You will do this, for we have prayed in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

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Keep Yourself From Idols By Gbile Akanni

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