Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
Cornelius had a God consciousness which propelled him to be diligent in giving to the poor and doing good deeds, and no doubt God saw his heart. God saw that his motives for acting out goodness and kindness and his devotion to doing what was right were pure. God saw that Cornelius was not weary in well doing and was earnest in his commitment. However, God also saw that Cornelius did not have the full truth of the Gospel. Cornelius was worshipping God without the inclusion of Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. God therefore took the necessary steps to teach him the truth. This is the very nature of God towards those whom He would call His own. (John 14:26)
As we search the Scriptures, we would recognize that God desires worship only if it is in spirit and in truth (See John 4:23-24). Permit me to add here, that God would have what He says He wants! After all, He is God! He is Supreme and above all else!
I am reminded of the account of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis chapter 4. God required a first fruit offering from the brothers, and both Cain and Abel brought their individual offerings to Him. God accepted one offering and refused the other. That tells me that the thing that God requires is always specific, and therefore believers have to have a close relationship with Him in order to perceive what He desires – not only in spirit but in truth as well.
Some of us may be contented to say, "I love praying to the God the Father, and I do not need Jesus nor the Holy Ghost – God hears and answers me when I pray!" Others may say "I just need Jesus, I do not need the Father nor do I need the Holy Ghost!" Saints, this might be our perception, and God, in His divine mercy, may allow some things to pass us by. However, according to what is recorded in the Holy Scriptures, worshipping in our preferred choice could run the risk of walking in a deception which could ultimately cost us life eternal. We have to embrace the entire gospel, in truth, in order to reap the benefits that have been earned for us by the Lord Jesus Christ through His Death and Resurrection. The Word of God is truth.
The truth is that no-one can go to the Father except through Jesus Christ – (John 14:16). The Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are One! (John 14:9-17)
God the Father saw that Cornelius was going to Him with his prayers and devotion without acknowledging the Person of Jesus Christ. Maybe Cornelius was doing this in ignorance, so Peter was sent to give him the true gospel – in its very fullness. Subsequent to that, Cornelius had the responsibility to accept what he had heard as truth, and then to make the necessary adjustments to his thinking and his actions to conform to that truth.
We are all a work in progress as we allow God to dispense the truths of His Kingdom to us while we fellowship with Him. It is therefore, our responsibility to receive His teachings.
Friends, this is the hour when the spirit of deception has been unleashed from hell in greater dimensions than ever before, with an aim to take us off the pathway that has been carved for us by Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us knowledge and caution of the day that would come, and now is, when the deceptive work of the devil will present itself. Jesus' caution concerning this evil is recorded in the Book of Matthew Chapter 24. As the devil tried to deceive Eve and cleverly succeeded, he will be relentless as he tries to de-rail the believer into believing lies and half-truths. In these closing days, it is noteworthy to keep uppermost in our minds that any doctrine that deviates from what is written in the Holy Bible is being taught by a deceiver.
We must not shift away from the following foundational truths –
• Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Truth - John 14:6.
• Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Word of God - John 1:1.
• If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead you shall be saved. - Romans 10:9
• The enemy, satan, is the deceiver - John 8:44
As believers, we should be donned with the armour of God as told to us in Ephesians 6:11-18 so that the lies of the enemy would be unable to penetrate our heart and take root. This is indeed the age of deception and the Church of Jesus Christ must stand firmly upon the Word of God and nothing else. Failing that, what would have seemed wrong to us before, would be cunningly crafted to appease to our senses so that we could find ourselves in a relaxed state of stupor and be duped into believing a lie. What is written in the Word of God is the truth that, when believed, is our ticket to life eternal.
The true gospel does not need any additives to make it more potent. The gospel in itself when preached, is the most powerful force against anything that would negatively confront us.
The Word of God as written in the Holy Bible is the true gospel.
I dare you to believe it.