IRON OR CLAY
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
The topic of our message this week is entitled,
“Iron or Clay.”
Luke 4:1- 7: “And Jesus being full of the Holy
Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the
wilderness. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days
he did eat nothing and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
And the devil said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, command this
stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, it is
written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word
of God. (Not some of it, every word). And the devil, taking him up
into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world
in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power
will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto
me, and to whoever I will I give it. (Wonderful, Jesus did not argue
at all. That is why they call the devil the god of this world). If
thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Perhaps, we can
now understand why some people have charms for making money at home.
The devil is the god of this world and has power over these things.
Verses 8-13: “And Jesus answered and said unto
him, Get thee behind me Satan: (or put in our local language, get
lost or go and jump into the lagoon). For it is written, Thou shalt
worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve. And he
brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple,
and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, (Note the ‘if,’) cast
thyself down from hence. For it is written, (that is the devil
quoting the Bible) He shall give His angels charge over thee, to
keep thee. And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou
dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It
is said, thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil
had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.”
Meaning that he would come back. When the devil left Jesus, he began
to speak to the scribes and the Pharisees and his influence made
them to argue with Jesus. When he finished with the Pharisees and
the scribes, he went to Herod, who was also looking for Jesus. After
that, he went to Pilate, and then to the cross.
The above passage gives us so much information.
It talks about the time of temptation. We can see that immediately
after the anointing of Jesus, then came temptation. Immediately
after the heavenly voice, came the temptation. Immediately after the
defeat of the Egyptians at the Red Sea, came the bitter water of
Marah. After a mountain-top experience, prepare for a valley attack.
And the higher and glorious the mountain-top experience is, the
deeper the valley. The more the power, the more the demand.
Let us consider a simple example of Elijah and
Elisha. Elijah was a man of fire, they call him the prophet of fire.
He was the first prophet to call fire down from heaven. There was a
time fifty soldiers plus one captain came against him and said, “If
thou be a man of God, come down.” He looked at them and said, “Well
if I am a man of God, I will not come down but let fire come down.”
And fire came down and roasted the fifty-one people. Another group
of soldiers came, fifty of them plus one captain again, and said the
same thing to him, “If thou be man of God, come down.” He replied
again, “If I be a man of God, I refuse to come down. Let fire come
down.” And fire came down and roasted the fifty-one people making a
hundred and two roasted soldiers on the ground. A third consignment
of fifty soldiers and one captain was sent; but this captain had
some home training. When he came to Elijah and saw a hundred and two
roasted people on the floor, he took a different approach. He said,
“My father, please, have mercy on us,” and he came down. So the last
captain and his group were not destroyed.
A hundred and two soldiers were sent against
Elijah while Elisha, the man who had a double portion of his
anointing, had a whole army sent against him. But thank God for the
God of Elisha who got them so confused that they asked Elisha where
was Elisha? And Elisha said, “Oh, he is not here, just follow me.”
And they followed him whom they were looking for until they were put
So, after a mountain-top experience, prepare for
a valley attack. Some people lose their miracles after they have
prayed and the Lord has laid hands on them because they do not know
that they would be challenged and then problem comes. Let us look at
another example Luke 9. Luke 9:28 – 31:“And it came to pass about an
eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James,
and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion
of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and
glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were
Moses and Elias. Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease
which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” So they had this
mountain-top experience. Verses 36 – 37: “And they kept it close,
and told no man in those days any of those things which they had
seen. And it came to pass that on the next day, when they were come
down from the hill, much people met him. And behold, a man of the
company cried out saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son:
for he is mine only child. And, lo a spirit taketh him, and he
suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and
bruising him hardly departeth from him.” After that mountain-top
experience, look at what was waiting for them at the valley.
Promotion and testing go together. God’s microscope for revealing
the kind of persons we are or what is hidden in us is temptation. 2
Corinthians 12: 2 - 7 : here was Paul saying, “I knew a man in
Christ about fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell
or whether out of the body I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he
was caught up in paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is
not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of
myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would
desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth:
but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which
he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be
exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations,
there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of satan
to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” Here was a
man from the third heavens now facing a valley experience. Promotion
and testing; they go together. God’s microscope of revealing our
hidden evil habit is temptation. When temptation faces you, you
either become iron or clay. You can mould the clay to what you want
but the iron stands firm. Meaning that if you are a clay, temptation
can melt and remould you but an iron person would remain unmoulded.
My first question to you is, when temptation comes, do you become
iron or clay? Are you the kind of person that temptation will mould
to what it wants? Or you can stand and say no to it?
WHAT IS TEMPTATION?
Temptation is that which persuades a person to do
something wrong or foolish. When a person is tempted, the person
could walk far away from the Lord, or do things that he is not
supposed to do. There is something we call evil magnet. It
magnetizes people to what will destroy them. The Bible says, there
is a road that seemeth good unto man, but the end, which only God
can see, thereof is death. Why do people move towards such a way?
There is an evil magnet pulling them there. Therefore, I would like
you to pray the following prayer point with serious aggression: “I
refuse to be pulled by any satanic magnet, in the name of Jesus.”
WHEN DOES TEMPTATION COME?
Temptation comes when a person walks far away
from the Lord or when he is not close to the Saviour or he walks
away like Peter. The farther you are from the shepherd of the fold,
the easier it is for the Amalekites to catch you.
Temptation comes when you are warming yourself in
the fire of the enemy. When you are using the enemy’s method to
assist yourself, like Peter was warming himself in the fire of the
enemy and the enemy came to him and asked, “Are you one of them?” He
said no and began to curse and swear.
Temptation comes when you refuse to make covenant
with your eyes. If you allow your eyes to look at anything or any
direction, temptation will follow.
Temptation comes when you are moving faster than
God. Some people are moving faster than God. When God says, “Be
patient,” and you say, “No, it must happen now. My colleagues are
doing it, so it has to be done, and it has to be now.” When you move
faster than God, temptation must happen. When God says by May next
year, you shall go to so, so place and the May has not arrived, and
you are in too much of a hurry to get there, things will go wrong.
Temptation comes when you allow covetousness to
take over your life. What is covetousness? It is refusing to cut
your coat according to your cloth. Covetousness will open you up to
A big friend of mine came crying, several years
back. He had just retired from public service. He collected all his
entitlement and was planning what to do with it when suddenly some
people came and introduced a business to him. They brought some dark
pieces of paper cut like money and told him that they would become
dollar bills if washed with a particular liquid. They told him how
much the substance would cost. He did a quick calculation and was
happy with what would be his share of the deal. He did not tell his
wife nor anybody. He gave them all his entitlement and they told him
that would only buy one component out of three needed for the
business that he should bring more. He borrowed some money and took
it to them. They still demanded for more. They produced two dollars
for him, so he was convinced. This was an educated man. As he was
giving them the third instalment, a police man suddenly appeared
from nowhere and said, “Sir, what are you doing here?” He said, “I
have business to do with these people.” “Don’t you know that this
business is illegal? You as former top civil servant, educated in
England, how can you be moving about with thieves like these to
wreck the economy of your country?” asked the policeman. The
policeman arrested all of them. The man began to shake and to beg.
The policeman asked him which secondary school he attended. He
mentioned it. It happened to be one of the best secondary schools in
town. The policeman said, “You are a disgrace to that school.” He
told the policeman to ask those people to give him back his money
and he will go his way. The policeman then said, “I am talking to
you about the offence you committed and jail, and you are talking
about getting your money back. He began to prostrate and beg the
policeman whom he did not know was part of them. The policeman
closed his eyes and said, “Before I open my eyes run out of this
place.” The man fled out. And that was the end of entitlement and
the money he borrowed. He wanted to get rich quick. The Bible says,
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof is
Temptation comes when the fowler has set a net
for you without your knowledge.
Temptation bombards a person and wins when the
person is not broken. Unbroken people are meat in the mouth of
When temptation comes, you must understand its
nature. Our text in Luke chapter 4 makes us to understand that
temptation is not sin. Hebrews 4:15: “For we have not an high priest
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was
in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” So Jesus was
tempted, yet He did not fall. Therefore, temptation itself is not
sin. It is when you yield to it that it becomes a sin. Martin Luther
said, “I may not be able to prevent birds from flying over my head,
but I can prevent them from building their nest on my head.” It is
the same thing with temptation. You may not be able to prevent a
temptation from coming, but you can prevent it from building a house
in your spirit. God Himself sometimes allows it to happen to test
the kind of person you are. It is easy to be screaming, “I trust
myself, I cannot do that kind of thing.” Let the temptation come,
then we see how you will handle it.
Sometime ago, in a church I used to attend, we
invited a man who was 85 years old. He was the oldest man I ever saw
on the pulpit. He stood there with his old coat and sang a popular
song which says, “There is victory within my soul, for the spirit
with me abide. Let the waves of temptation roll, Jesus will keep 'em
whatsoever happens, victory in my soul.” After the song, he asked a
question: “How many of you want victory?” Everybody raised their
hands. He said, “If you want victory, shout Alleluia,” and everybody
shouted. Then he faced us again and said, “How many of you want
war?” Nobody put a hand up. Then the man said, “Where will the
victory come from? How can there be victory when there is no war?”
For the enemy to come against you and flee from you, you must first
of all come against him. So when temptation comes and you are able
to stand, it is then we know that you have passed. It is God that
tests the nature of what we are. A man of God once said that
temptation is devil whistling at the key hole of your house. When
you open the door and let him in, then he gets you. He also said
that he may be whistling till day break for you to let him in. Some
people instead of fleeing from temptation, would be arguing or
As a Christian, if you know that a particular
brother or sister can make you to fall into sin, in spite of your
spiritual level, or no matter how much you have promised God, or how
much fire prayer or fasting you have done, immediately this person
comes along, you become jelly, the only solution is to flee if you
are a serious person. The Bible says flee from all appearances of
evil, that is, don’t wait for the thing to become evil before you
Potiphar’s wife said to Joseph, “Come lie with
me.” Likewise, there are many things in the street too crying to us
day and night saying, “Come, lie with me.” For example, pornographic
materials, the gadgets of Jezebel, e.t.c. Joseph had the opportunity
of having a free woman who was willing, and also the Bible says that
she was beautiful. Joseph had many things to his advantage. If he
wanted to do it, nobody would have seen them. It was a satanic
fringe benefit for a houseboy like him. Everyday the woman kept
urging him to lie with her. He did not do what a lot of people would
have done today. Some people today would have said, “Okay, just a
peck,” and like that, many men and women have pecked their ways to
hell fire and into destruction.
If Joseph had cooperated with Portiphar’s wife,
he would not have reached his goal. Temptations are set-ups by the
enemy to divert us from our divine destiny. We are the ones who do
not know what we are doing sometimes, but the enemy knows what he is
doing. The temptation of Joseph was a strategy of the enemy to keep
him from fulfilling his divine destiny. That would have been the end
of Joseph and God who would not permit a vacuum in His programme
would have looked for someone else. One of the most powerful
confessions you can make upon your life is, “I will reach my goal,
in Jesus’ name.” What do I mean by if Joseph had cooperated with
that woman, he would not have reached his goal? If he had cooperated
with her, he would not have been thrown into prison from where he
was catapulted to the palace. It was when he fled from the woman
that she told lies against him and he was put in prison. The woman
thought she had done Joseph harm not knowing that she had only
promoted him. Likewise, many sisters would not have been where they
are today, if they opened their mouths and said no to a particular
man at a particular time. Many brothers too, would not have been
where they are now, if at a particular time, they had tightened the
belt of their trousers and refused to open it. They would still have
been okay. So, yielding to temptation can alter a person’s divine
programme for life. Temptation itself must not lead to sin. It did
not do so with Christ, so it need not do so with us.
We have a lot of satanic agents all over the
place. Some of them are running after ministers, some are running
after would-be ministers of God. Just like we have male hunters,
hunting for women of God to pull down, we have female hunters too,
hunting for men of God to pull down. At a crusade held sometime ago,
two girls came forward crying. They were undergraduates in one of
our universities. Everyone tried to stop them but they continued
crying. When asked why they were crying, they said that both of them
belonged to the same demonic group and that every man that had ever
slept with them would never live longer than fifty years, and their
children too will die young and it had already began to happen. They
brought out a newspaper and showed us the obituary of two of them
who died at 39 and 42. These two girls have repented, got
born-again, and are now children of God, but some men are now in
hell fire because of them.
James 1:13-14:“Let no man say when he is tempted,
I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither
tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away
of his own lust and enticed.” It is the lust inside the heart of a
man that cooperates with the enemy and allows him to be dragged
away. This is why brokenness is very important. When you are broken,
certain things will not interfere with your spiritual life any more.
God will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able
to bear but it is not the same with those who voluntarily go into
temptation. When satan invited Eve to come and look, what she should
have done was to run. Samson would have fled instead of telling
stories: “If you take this, I will lose my power.”
WHAT IS THE RESULT OF TEMPTATION?
No man can be the same after temptation. It is
not possible. Temptation can either make or mar you. But God wants
it to make us while the devil wants is to mar us. It is left to us
to decide what we want. Temptation should prove and improve our
faith. Consider this important truth: Every temptation is an
opportunity for you to get nearer to God. You may decide to flunk
the opportunity or use it to a divine advantage.
Analyse your temptations and you will find out
the kind of person you are. You will know who you are by what tempts
you. If it is money, opposite sex, or bad temper, there is something
within you that needs to go. By the time you finish the analysis,
you would have defined yourself, and be able to say, “This is me.”
To pray against temptation and then be careless,
is like you putting your finger inside fire and saying, “Father, in
the name of Jesus, this must not burn my finger. I command you fire
not to burn it,” whereas you have put your finger in the fire.
No one can be delivered from temptation. You have
to be determined to do your best to get out of it. The greatest
temptation comes to us when we are off duty as Christians. But it is
a big truth that God’s presence is a good remedy against temptation.
Trying to change your skin to look like a white
woman's is an abomination unto the Lord. That thing that is telling
you to change the colour of your skin wants to destroy you. It is
telling you to improve on what God has done. People who do that
always have one excuse: “I am fighting pimples.” Instead of saying,
“Well, I think I will look more beautiful if I am lighter,” which is
the truth. Such people are not spiritually serious. The black
woman’s hair can only grow longer naturally because of the way God
created it. But when you go to the market and buy extra attachment
or what we call in deliverance ‘dead men’s bone’ and you attach it
to make your hair longer, you are courting trouble. I wonder how
somebody who has the property of the enemy can command the enemy to
go. A lot of spinsters are crying to God to give them godly husbands
while they themselves are not godly. Some Christian sisters dress
like prostitutes. Some who are not satisfied with one pair of hole
in their ears which their parents put there ignorantly, punch two or
more on their ears.
When you encourage the enemy, he will get strong.
If you know that you are from a background that requires serious
warfare for you to deliver yourself, you don’t spend time joking or
doing unnecessary things. Sometime ago, a lady was brought to us for
prayers and immediately we said, “Father, in the name of Jesus, lay
your hands of fire upon this sister,” she began to dance like
Indians. When we asked her to stop dancing, she said she couldn’t
and did not know why she couldn’t. The reason she could not stop was
because there was a spirit inside her doing the dancing. But the
same girl would wear long trousers and put on attachments on her
head. Such people waste the time of ministers of God.
God is not going to promote untested men and
women. The world is God’s testing station. It is on this earth that
you can prove to God that you are qualified for heaven. Most of the
time, temptations come as a result of the desire of old nature in
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME TEMPTATION?
1. Kill the flesh: When you kill your
flesh, you will be dead to temptation. It will no longer be a
question of you battling with it. For example, as a man, if a free
girl enters your sitting room and you go to the toilet and start
praying instead of you to run out of the place, it means something
within you is still interested. When you are dead to it, it will
have no effect on you. Let the flesh die, that is, be broken.
Unbroken people disgrace the church, disgrace God and cause
2. Avoid all evil influences: Much of the
music, literature, television programmes and movies in our society
are polluted. It is commonly said that “Out of sight is out of mind.
When you know that something is an evil influence, you stay clear
from it. If you have a friend who is always talking fornication,
adultery, and all kinds of things that are ungodly, let him go his
own way. If as a Christian you still entertain your visitors with
alcohol, remember the Bible says, “Woe unto him that gives his
neighbour drink. You must not encourage your friends to go to hell
fire. Don’t be a stumbling block to them.
3. Build your life on the word of God: Hebrews
4:12 tells us that the word of God is quick and powerful, sharper
than any two-edged sword. Know the ‘it is written’ of every
situation you find yourself.
4. Flee from all appearances of evil:
Don’t wait for it to materialise, run away from all those things
that cry, “Come and lie with us,” like Joseph did.
5. Resist the devil: James 4:7 tells us to
resist the devil and he will flee from us.
If you cannot control your temper, you won't be
able to control anything. If you don’t have the stamina to say no to
the flesh, you cannot resist temptation. Until you defeat lust,
forget about pulling down strongholds. In our nation now, many
people are copying American Christianity. Some people decorate their
churches all over with flags as if that is the Spirit of God. Some
speak American English, and pray American prayer against Nigerian
demons. Sometime ago, some people who were going out for evangelism
and were singing, “We are able to go up and take that country, to
possess our land from Jordan to the sea, though the devil may be on
our way to hinder, God will surely give us victory. Move on to the
righteous side.” They were singing that they were going to take the
country with attachment, painted lips and fingers. Some of the women
ministers were wearing skirts that you could see the lining of their
underwears from outside. They wanted to take the country when they
themselves have already been taken.
A believer must learn to rule the flesh by the
spirit which is empowered by the Holy Ghost. You change from the
inside to the outside. When your body is in subjection to your
spirit, God will do wonders in your life. Before temptation even
comes, you would have made up your mind that you will obey the word
I would like you to confess your sins to the Lord
and tell Him that you are sorry for the times when the waves of
temptation came, and you could not stand your ground, the times that
you compromised your faith, the time you could not stand up for the
truth, the time you constituted a stumbling block. Ask the Lord to
help you out.
1. I bind every coffin spirit, in the name of
2. I cast every serpent of infirmity into the fire of judgment,
in the name of Jesus.
3. Let every evil challenger fall after the order of Goliath, in
4. I refuse to partake in all the tragedies that are left in
this year, in the name of Jesus.
5. Let my blessing pursue and overtake me from the North, South,
East and West, in Jesus’ name.
6. Every garment of poverty, be roasted, in the name of Jesus.
7. I paralyze every evil carryover, in the name of Jesus.
8. I refuse to be defeated in battle, in the name of Jesus.
9. Let my spiritual life be too hot for the devil to handle, in
10. I paralyze every satanic embarrassment, in the name of
11. Every serpent dispatched against me, bite yourself, in
13. You household strong man, carry your load of problems, in
the name of Jesus.
14. You household strongman, carry your load of backwardness, in
the name of Jesus.
15 You household strongman, carry your load of wickedness, in
the name of Jesus.