We are looking at a message entitled, “Arresting the thief.” John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Many years ago, a thief was caught somewhere along with five others. He was not an ordinary thief because he operated with demonic powers. He usually fortified himself with evil powers. On the day of their execution, the five others said their last prayers as directed by the man of God but this hardened criminal said he was not interested in any prayer because he knew that ordinarily, their guns would not be able to kill him. As the soldiers started to shoot, it did not take minutes before the other five died. But the man refused to die. The soldiers concentrated all their bullets on him, yet he did not die. They got confused. An old man, a child of the devil, who was watching the execution moved closer to the soldiers and said, “You are small boys. Can’t you see that he is saying something? As long as he keeps talking like that, you will not be able to kill him.” They asked the old man what they should do and he said, “I will say one or two things, and then you shoot his mouth.” They obeyed his words, shot the thief’s mouth and he died. You may have to shoot the mouth of your enemies today in order to finish them. You may ask if that is biblical. The Bible says, “Arise O Lord, and save me O my God for thou hast smite all my enemies upon the cheekbone and thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.” God has to strike them on their cheekbone in order to stop them from issuing incantations, spells, curses, and evil pronouncements against the children of the living God. Pray like this. “Every mouth pronouncing evil against me, receive the slap of God, in the name of Jesus.”
In John 10:10, we could see two opposite personalities introduced there. One is a thief while the other is a life- giver. The devil is the thief. He is an intensively evil being. There is no goodness at all in him. A white friend of mine used to say that the devil is wickedly wicked and badly bad. There is no evil in God. God is altogether good while the devil is altogether bad. Jesus has nothing good to say about the devil. He says, “The devil has come to steal.”
WHAT DOES THE DEVIL STEAL?
He steals away every good thing that God wants us to have and he has stolen so much from many people for many years. The devil has taken from God’s children much of what God has set for us. One of the saddest statements I hear people make is: “If I knew what I know now, what is happening to me now would not be happening.”
The devil is the most successful thief in the universe. Using the weapon of ignorance, he steals joy, families, children, health, possessions, money, prosperity, peace and many other good things. He steals them and keeps them in his bank, and positions a strongman in front of the bank to guard them. For you to get inside there and take what you want, you would have to confront the strongman standing by the door. Ironically, the strongman is the one who has the best smile for you.
Sometime ago, a couple came to me to complain about each other. It happened that anytime they had money, a fight would erupt from nowhere and before they knew it, the money would finish. And once the money finished, they would become friends again. I said, “Okay, let us pray.” As I prayed with them, the Lord showed me a vision of a big house and both of them were standing in front of the house sharing out money, but behind them, was a naked woman disturbing them. I asked the Lord for the meaning of the vision and He said that the couple was meant to be very rich and to be in the position to help others but there are powers making them to disagree and if they continue to disagree, they will not prosper. The devil was busy stealing their blessings little by little. They had been married for 17 years yet they could not make ends meet. They had money yet they were broke. Instead of the two of them joining hands together and fighting the enemy, they were busy fighting each other and the enemy was rejoicing.
It is sad to know that most of the inheritances of the saints are locked up in the kingdom of darkness when the Bible says that the wealth of the Gentiles is ours. The reason we have unbelievers who are richer than Christians is because Christians allow them. After all, the Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” Unbelievers know how to give or take bribes to have their way because it is already settled that they are going to hell fire. But the believer cannot do that so he has to claim what belongs to him by violence. So, determine to make the enemy know that he can no longer steal from you for he has robbed you long enough. I counsel you not to waste time about it.
Sometime ago, I saw a sister whom I knew to be very fat but now she was very lean. I asked her what was the matter and she tearfully told me the story of how she got married and she and her husband were blessed with six children, and also built a house of their own. Fifteen years later, her husband told her to pack out because a certain prophet told him that she was a witch. She refused to move out and her husband ran to the police and reported that she was a witch and wanted to kill him. After interrogation, the police told them it was not a police case that they should go home and settle the matter. Her husband got angry, brought a ‘prophet’ and gave him a room in their house to help him chase her away. He also made it mandatory for her to be cooking the ‘prophet’s meals. Every morning she would wake up and find fresh blood on her door and burnt candles. It got so bad that she found it difficult to eat. Even her prayer partner became overwhelmed and abandoned her. I told her to stop crying as that would not solve her problem. Then I gave her a prayer programme to do for a few days. I told her to wake up at 12midnight, put her hand on the walls of her room and call down the fire of God upon the house, and before she served the so-called prophet’s meals, she should add the fire of God and the blood of Jesus inside it, in the name of Jesus. She did it the first day and by the morning, when the ‘prophet’ woke up, he felt uncomfortable and told her husband that the house was so hot during the night that he could not sleep. Her husband was surprised because the house was air-conditioned. In the afternoon before she served him his meal, she called the fire of God and blood of Jesus into the food and as soon as the ‘prophet’ ate it, problem started. Suddenly, he packed his things and said to her husband, “Excuse me sir, I cannot face your wife. She is a higher witch.” That was how she won the battle. If she had wasted time crying, the enemy would have succeeded in stealing her marriage which she had laboured to build.
Beloved, you must be ready to arrest the thief today. The devil has taken the lion share of the assets and possessions of God’s children. We have to take back what the enemy has stolen.
WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIES OF THE THIEF?
- A thief normally, does not announce his coming: In the same way, this great thief has quietly entered into many lives. If you practise oral sex or any form of sexual perversion with your spouse, know that the thief is quietly entering into your marriage and very soon, it would collapse. A lot of people complain that they do not know why all of a sudden, things began to go wrong with them. They do not understand that it was not a sudden thing. Very quietly, the thief had entered and started stealing. They only realised it when they could feel the impact of his operation. The thief does not normally announce his coming. If a man who was cursed by his parents marries a woman who has a spirit husband, their problems would definitely increase, and they would begin to complain that since they got married, things turned upside down not knowing that some forces attacking them individually have only combined to fight against them. Some sisters come to me and say, “Man of God, I must confess I did something that was bad. I went to my husband’s office, fought his secretary and called her a husband snatcher.” I always told them that it was not the secretary who snatched him but the devil and that if they did not face whom they should face, the husband snatcher would graduate into a marriage snatcher and that is even worse. There could be a marriage and an unavailable husband. When that happens, know that the thief has moved in.
- A thief normally does not reveal his identity. Likewise, the devil also tries to hide his identity to make you blame anything or anybody else apart from him. The devil is an expert at concealing his identity. He will make you to blame your wife, your husband, or your lawyer. He will make you to blame the doctor, the economy, etc. but would not like you to face him directly.
- A thief normally does not like operating in broad daylight: Likewise, the enemy hates light. A thief generally prefers the night that is why the Bible says that while men slept, his enemy came and planted tares among the wheat. The enemy prefers darkness. He prefers it when people are ignorant. He comes when a man is sleeping and is not watchful. There are many sleepers in the house of God. What does it mean to sleep in the spirit? A person can sleep physically but be awake in the spirit but a person can sleep physically and also sleep spiritually. Many people sleep off while praying or reading the Bible. This is why the enemy has the opportunity to plant things into people’s lives. Some people, too, spend quality time they should use to pray watching television. Many do not pray at night because of television. The enemy capitalizes on this to finish people up. It is a big problem when a Christian cannot pray at night. Our Lord Jesus Christ tried to encourage His disciples to watch with Him but they could not because they were sleeping. No wonder they took the wrong step when Jesus was being arrested. His arresters came with sticks, stones and swords and Peter, who was sleeping, jumped up and cut off somebody’s ear and Jesus said, “This is not the kind of battle we are fighting.” That is what spiritual slumber can do to a person.So, if as you are reading this message, you know that your prayer life is dead, you need to wake up. When you sleep, the thief will come in and steal so many things from you. All serious Christians must have a word from the Lord each morning before leaving home, whether through their Bible reading or through their prayer. They must have a word from the Lord which they can share with others. If as a Christian you do not have that kind of thing, the devil would be happy over you. But when you do your quiet time, pray, read the portion of the Bible you want to read for the day, meditate upon it and pray asking the Lord what He has for you for that day and you pick a word from Him, you have started the day well but the day you do not start like that you are looking for trouble. Hot and cold spiritual life is sleeping in the spirit. Lack of spiritual alertness is a sign of spiritual slumber. When sin is being taken very lightly, it means that you are sleeping and your spiritual awareness is very low.Any Christian who still drinks alcohol cannot be free from the attack of household wickedness. You may do it in secret and think that nobody is seeing you, what about God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. You cannot deceive God. He was not joking when He told His prophets not to drink alcohol. Nobody will pray genuine prayers after he has taken a bottle of beer because already, he has evil chemical in his blood and it will affect his spiritual life.
- A thief is a confident trickster: The devil is the number one fraudster that has stolen from so many people. A man went to some herbalists for money- making charm. He was asked to pay some money. After the payment, they gave him some materials to prepare a concoction when he got home. They told him that he must not think of a blue monkey while preparing the concoction because if he did, it will not work. He had never heard of a blue monkey so he could not help but think about it anytime he was preparing the concoction and the thing never worked. He ran back to them and told them it was not working. They asked him, “Did you think about the blue monkey?” He said “Yes.” “This is why it did not work,” they told him. But he had already lost his money.There are a lot of churches in our streets now that are spiritually fraudulent. They promise prosperity to people who are living in sin. These churches tell people to give their money and property and get blessings in return but at the end of the day, they do not get blessed because they are possessed and are living in sin. So even if God blesses them, they cannot pick up the blessings for demons would drag their legs away from the blessings. Sometime ago, in one of our branches, as some prayer warriors were praying for a sister, scales of fish began to appear from her thigh downwards. If you preach prosperity to that kind of person, the fish spirit will not allow her to get it. The fact that God opens the windows of heaven and pours out blessings, does not mean that everybody will receive. Some people could be prevented from receiving by powers that they have not conquered.
- A thief can come as an armed robber: He does not want to listen to your opinion. He just wants to get what he wants by pressure, fear, torment and violence. The enemy has put so many people under pressure; mental pressure, financial pressure, family pressure, sexual pressure, etc. in order to steal things from them. Some people are forced to eat terrible things in their dreams against their wish. The great thief and enemy of our soul can sometimes be very violent.They can attack directly or indirectly. For example, one day, a woman was at home and another woman, a total stranger to her, came in and said, “Madam, I want to borrow your husband for two weeks. The reason l came to tell you is because I know that you are a good mother and a good wife. After two weeks, he shall be back.” Then she said to the man, “Okay, follow me,” and the man carried his things and followed the strange woman out. The madam opened her mouth in amazement and watched her husband running after the woman like a slave. The strange woman has violently taken away her husband and the only way she can get him back is through violence.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE THIEF?
Exodus 22:1- 4: “If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun were risen upon him, there shall be bloodshed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. If the theft were certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.” In the foregoing, we have God’s law concerning theft. It simply means that we have to claim restitution and take back everything that the devil has stolen from the children of God.
HOW DO YOU TAKE THEM BACK?
- You have to become partners with the Almighty God. You may ask how do you do that. We have some examples in the scripture. In Luke 5, we read about Peter fishing all night and catching nothing. But when Jesus came around and Peter allowed Him to use his boat, something happened. From emptiness, he became the owner of an overloaded boat. Then Peter went out of his way to be a source of blessing to others. Are you willing to handover the boat of your life to Jesus? Are you ready to surrender your all to Him? Are you ready to give to Jesus all that He needs from you? Are you ready like Peter to sacrifice your money and inconvenient time for the Lord? Are you really willing to give violently to the Lord? When you are ready to be a partner with Him like that, He will overload your ship.
Sometime ago, a sister wanted to travel to England and was gathering money for her air ticket. One day, she came to service with her savings of two hundred naira in her bag and during the service, the man of God was talking about a project for God and the Lord spoke to her to drop everything she had. She said, “But Lord, you know I am saving money to go abroad.” The voice of the Lord said, “Drop everything,” and she put in all she had. The following morning, somebody gave her double the money she needed to travel and come back. What happened to her? She simply became a partner with the Almighty. Peter was delivered from profitless hardwork and fruitless efforts. A certain brother came to me one day and said, “Doctor, I have no money to give to the fellowship although I would like to give. Please just allow me to be washing the cars and buses of the ministry. At least, I can use my power to do that.” This was what he was doing when he got a scholarship to study abroad. He decided to be a partner with the Almighty. The widow of Zarephath and her son gave up their last meal to the man of God by faith and they received the miracle that promoted them. A little boy handed over his lunch to Jesus and it was used to feed a multitude of five thousand people and they still had some left over of 12 baskets. I am sure the boy would have taken a major portion of it. If you have been stingy with the Lord, it means you want your blessing to remain in the bank of the enemy. It means you do not want the overflowing of blessing. When you are God’s partner, then you can disgrace the great thief.
- Recognize that the devil is a defeated thief. The devil tries to hide this fact from people. But we know that he is a defeated thief fighting desperately for his life. Sometime ago, in Abuja, three sisters entered a taxi. Everything was going on well until the driver began to change to a snake. After sometime, the snake crawled on the steering and was driving the car. They started screaming but the snake did not stop until one of them began to shout the name o f Jesus. Then the snake turned back to a man and ordered them out of the car and drove away angrily. If the devil had not been defeated fully, the name of Jesus that the sister shouted would have had no effect on the snake. And if they had continued to scream and cry, the snake would have had a field day.
- Challenge the thief. The challenge must be aimed directly at the one who committed the offence. Sometimes people make a mistake by blaming God for their troubles. Whereas God is not the one responsible but the thief. This is why we pray and summon all those sitting on our blessings. We summon them and they start running down from the village, from under the river, from across the ocean and wherever they may be. The reason we summon them is because they are the ones stealing our blessing, and not God. So, there is no point accusing God for what He has not done. You cannot bring the wrong personality to the celestial court and expect to get back what was stolen. You cannot bring the wrong person to the heavenly legal system, and succeed. You must lay your finger on the right thief.
The thief has representatives in the form of household wickedness, strongman, unfriendly friends, and wicked agents but at end of the day, he is the thief and the one that should return what was stolen. Sometime ago, a child of the devil gave her life to Christ and released a man she had rendered impotent for seven years. The man was in England but she wrecked the havoc here in Nigeria. After she got born again, she confessed that she was in charge of the man’s case. She took us to where she buried the man’s private part and said we should dig it up and we dug up something that looked like a man’s private part dripping with blood. It was still fresh with blood. She had hidden it there for seven years. By the following day, the man telephoned from London that he was okay. Who stole the thing? It was the devil not God, so you cannot be praying, “O God, give me back,” because He did not steal it.
- Bind further activities of the thief. Refuse that the thief would continue to make progress in your life.
Beloved, these are the ways to go ahead. Therefore, you must pray some demanding prayers. You must demand that certain things be returned to you. Please I want you to pray with holy madness.
1. Every power aborting the will of God for my life, fall down and die, in the name of Jesus.
2. Every thief represented by household wickedness I summon you now, in the name of Jesus.
3. Return to me seven- fold what you have stolen, in the name of Jesus.
4. I pursue, overtake and recover all that the thief has stolen from me, in the name of Jesus.
5. I claim back everything I have lost to the enemy in the dream, in Jesus’ name.
6. No activity of the thief shall prosper in my life, in the name of Jesus.
7. I refuse to co-operate with the thief, in Jesus’ name.
8. Thank you Father Lord for defeating the thief, in the name of Jesus
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