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THE GARDEN OF EVIL PLANTERS

Dr. D. K. Olukoya

This week, our message is entitled, “The garden of evil planters.” We shall start by considering Matthew 13: 24-28: “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which seweth good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this…”

These are the last days and the Bible makes us to understand that part of the signs of the last days is that the enemy of man’s soul is going to be much more horrible and wicked. The Bible says that evil men shall wax stronger and stronger. Therefore, in this age of so much spiritual contamination, it is important for every believer to know how to deliver himself and how to help others. When we talk about deliverance, there are three ways by which a person can be delivered from the power of darkness:

1. By growing up spiritually: As you grow spiritually as a Christian, childish things depart from your life, your prayers become much more powerful, having more fire in them, certain things would find your life uncomfortable and go out without you making any effort. Your spiritual maturity would cause them much inconvenience to make them quit. This is what we refer to as deliverance by spiritual growth.

2. Deliverance by the word of God: When you become a Bible addict and you meditate on the word of God, thereby allowing the word to be inside your body, soul and spirit, certain things would leave because they cannot withstand that kind of situation. They will go without anybody making additional serious effort.

3. The ministry of conflict: This is the one most people refer to as deliverance ministration. When you declare a conflict against your enemies, you begin to fire on until they leave. Many people who come for deliverance are however not always patient. They want immediate results not knowing that in most cases, the ground has to be cleared and the garden of their lives fenced to prevent a reentry of evil spirits after the clearing. And this takes some time.

The life of a man can be regarded as a garden in which things can be planted, whether good or evil. The scripture above says that the man planted wheat in his garden, but when he was sleeping, his enemy came and planted something else there. But he quickly recognized that an enemy had done it. However, one thing is certain: it is not in the garden of every life that the enemy can plant things. Some lives are too hot for the enemy to handle while others are so cold that he easily plants things in them.

WHAT BREAKS DOWN THE IMMUNITY OF A PERSON’S LIFE AND MAKES IT ACCESSIBLE TO THE ENEMY TO PLANT WHAT HE LIKES?

I Corinthians 15:55 records a strange thing. It says, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?” It is because of the sting of death that the enemy is able to plant rubbish into many lives. There are quite a number of insects that sting and deposit poisonous venom into the system, and unless something is done quickly to eject the venom, the consequences can be gravely. It is the same thing spiritually. If the evil deposits that the enemy plants in people while they are asleep are not dealt with quickly it will result in serious problems. The Bible says, “While men slept, his enemy came and planted tares into his life.” What kind of sleep is the Bible talking about? Is it the usual sleep at night or spiritual sleep? It could be either of them. One of the ways the enemies operate against men is to come while they are asleep physically or spiritually.

The Bible says, “O death, where is thy sting?” Here, Paul personifies death as a creature, an insect that can sting. Verse 56 of the same chapter says, “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” The Bible calls that sting of death sin. This sting of death has enabled the enemy to convert so many lives to a garden where he plants whatsoever he likes. Such evil things shall be uprooted today, in Jesus’ name.

One of the most hopeless things you could ask a minister to do is to officiate at the funeral service of somebody who had gone to hell fire. Such a minister would render the service as a matter of duty. He would not enjoy it because he knows that the person has gone to hell fire. The sting of death is so terrible that Jesus had to sweat blood in the Garden of Gethsemane to help us remove it. The Bible says that as He prayed, His sweat were like drops of blood. He received 39 strokes of cane. The kind of whips used in those days had sharp objects attached to them which peeled off the skin when they were used to flog somebody. Jesus, the Creator of man, was stripped naked in the street. His hands and feet were nailed to the cross. One of the most painful deaths is death on the cross. The person does not die immediately. The suspension on the cross applies painful pressure to the heart, which causes internal bleeding, and excruciating pain. Our Lord Jesus suffered all these because of the sting of death. The ridicule and the painful death on the cross were the price He paid to remove the sting of death. This is why the Bible says that He is a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.

I was told the story of a certain schoolteacher who was telling his students about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. When he finished, one small boy said, “Excuse me, sir, the story is not true. It cannot be true.” He asked the boy why he said it was not true and the boy said, “If it were true, you would not be telling the story with your eyes dry. If Jesus Christ was actually dealt with like that, and you said He is your Saviour, your eyes cannot be so dry. So, it cannot be true.”

The sting of death made Jesus to cry out on the cross: “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” God Himself rejected Him because He was carrying the load of sin. Sin made God to be separated from Him. The stings of death are the worms that are in hell fire. The Bible says that those worms never die. The sting of death is sin, meaning that death would have had no power if not for sin. If somebody has the sting of death operating in his life, all kinds of things would be planted in his life. Some of those who say that they need deliverance probably only need to check if the gardens of their lives are well protected. Please, close your eyes at this point and pray this prayer point aggressively: “You the garden of my life, reject evil plantation, in the name of Jesus.”

Do you have the sting of death operating in your life? If you do, then the devil will be busy planting things there. When someone treats you shabbily, do you revenge the evil done to you? Do you take kindly to criticisms? Are you the kind of person who retaliates when you have opportunity to do so? Are you the kind of person who finds faults with your critics because they are criticizing you? Are you provocative to the point of retaliation? Do you absent yourself from a meeting because you are no longer the leader? Do you find it difficult to operate once you are to follow and others are to lead? Then you have a fertile garden for the enemy. If a person is called to do what you normally do, do you become angry? If you do, you have a fertile garden for the enemy. Are you a believer who has compassion for those who are lost? Or are you really not bothered whether anybody goes to hell fire or not? Are you the kind of believer who shifts your responsibility to others and anytime something goes wrong, the first thing you do is to look for somebody to blame? Do you cover up your bitterness? When you are prevented from having your own way, do you feel heat inside your stomach? Are you the kind of person who would curse and swear when you have made a mistake. You know that you are wrong, and still you are cursing and swearing? You have a fertile garden for the enemy. The truth is this: whatsoever hides in the heart of a person will eventually run out through his mouth. So, any spiritual poison that you retain in your spirit will lead to something inside which would be a fertilizer for the enemy. And the more sinful a man is becoming, the more violent his anger would become. The holier he becomes the less angry he becomes. Some people get so angry with themselves that they would want to destroy themselves. Let me ask you the following questions: Are you patient with others? Are you the touchy or sensitive type? Are you the kind who likes to be pampered, and if nobody is ready to offer the pampering, you become uncooperative? Are you the kind of person who takes offence when you are not given your due recognition? Or are you offended when somebody fails to greet you the way you want? Are you given to finding faults in others or do you always grumble? Are you the kind of person who loves the praise of men and if nobody praises you, you get upset? If you fall into any of these categories then you have a fertile garden for the enemy. I am telling you all these so that you will know that the fact that there is an enemy going about planting evil things in people’ lives, does not mean that he can plant them into just any life.

Some lives are very fertile for evil seeds. The reason some are not yet growing evil fruits is that Mr. Walk-about, the devil, has not arrived there. Do you have anything inside you seeking compliments? Are you willing to allow others to be praised instead of yourself? Or do you get envious? Do you withhold your offering because there is no public announcement of your contributions? When your effort yields results, do you demand that people should be giving you credit for it? Do you have secret pride? All these questions that I am asking you are for you to be able to do some surgical work on your life today. Do you have a feeling that your own talent is superior to that of others? Do you love supremacy? You just want to be the boss? Are you the kind of person who has the funny feeling that he has arrived? Do you fail to stand for your right as a Christian because of fear? Are you a stubborn or rebellious Christian? A stubborn Christian will say: “I will not do it,” and a rebellious one will say, "I will do it, but I will do it my own way.” Are you jealous of another person’s success or achievements? Are you happy with other people’s success? Do you pretend to be wiser than you are, or do you appear to be better than others? Are you the kind of the funny Christian who testifies about spiritual experiences that he doesn’t have? Some people would say, “Thus says the Lord,” whereas the Lord has not said anything. They forget that God does not speak to a talkative. If you are the type of Christian who says, “Thus says the Lord” when the Lord has not said anything, it is dangerous. You are making your life a fertile garden for the enemy. Unfortunately, the modern-day church is filled with Christians who play cards, whot and Ludo and half-naked people who say to themselves “Well, we are going to make heaven. We are covered by the blood of Jesus. Praise the Lord!” I have not seen the blood of Jesus covering an unclean material. Among the so-called holy people, we find those who shout very loudly when they are angry. We also find some people who can preach very well but are very trickish. Are you unteachable or do you lack self-control? Look at the hot complaint of our Lord in Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Many people call Him Lord, Lord, but refuse to do what He is asking them to do. Some do it half way, some do it a quarter of the way while some do not all. Some people give God conditions for working for Him. We must allow God to take out our brains today and wash them thoroughly in His detergent.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD

In Matthew 5: 20, our Lord talks about the qualifications of those that can make heaven. He says, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Mark 10:15 also says, “Verily, I say unto you, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” Look at those two conditions. The first one says, your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees and the scribes. The second condition says, You must be as a little child. You may then ask, what is the righteousness of the Pharisees? Luke 18:10-12: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, (Look at his wonderful prayer:) “I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.” That is the righteousness of the Pharisees. And Jesus says that except our own righteousness exceeds that, we would not make the kingdom of heaven. Sadly, many are yet to get to this level, let alone exceed it. This is why the enemy is having a field day planting whatsoever he wants in their lives.

WHO ARE THE PHARISEES?

The Pharisees were religious men. They were a body of teachers. Jesus said that they sat on the seat of Moses. They taught and preached in their time. They ran the schools and synagogues. An average Pharisee was a man of high morals. He knew the law, that is, the Old Testament. His way of life was strict. He maintained that the Jews had to be separated from other people. He would not eat with the Gentiles, nor do business with them. The Pharisees did not allow their people to marry Gentiles. You can accuse the Pharisees of all kinds of things but not telling lies. They did not tell lies. They knew the Old Testament and quoted it even to Jesus. They were not extortioners. They did not practice injustice or adultery. They subjected themselves to a rigorous code of conduct. In fact, there is no serious Bible student who would not admire the Pharisees. Many Christians compromise their faith but the Pharisees would never compromise their faith. So, we can see that the standard of God is very high.

MARKS OF ADULT BABIES

Most Christians are not even doing as well as the Pharisees. The devil knows that they are not doing as well as they are supposed to so, he plants so many things in their lives. Nursery and primary school teachers have a hell of time because one of the most difficult tasks one can get involved in is controlling children. Children complain all the time and the teachers are always busy running up and down to calm them. That is the mark of spiritual babies. They want to wait for the Lord to treat them like Jonah before they become wise. Many Christians who claim to be growing are not. They are just getting fatter and there is a difference between getting bigger and growing. When there is no change in your quality of prayer, Bible reading, study of the word of God and witnessing to others, then you are still a baby. The devil likes baby Christians, especially those who refuse to grow so that he can plant sins in their lives. They are fertile grounds for evil.

Another way of knowing those who are babies in the church is that they are more interested in getting than in giving. The mature believer will give. Giving is one of the marks of Christian adults. Miracle services are usually jam-packed with people because most of them are more interested in receiving than in giving. A certain man called a prayer meeting and found out that few people were interested. He devised a trick to make people come. When the meeting got half way, he shook his body vigorously and began to prophesy: “Thus says the Lord, Death, death, wants to kill three people and if they don’t come to this prayer meeting tomorrow, they shall die.” He succeeded. Immediately the meeting closed, people went home saying that it was a serious meeting and that they must not miss it the following day. The following day, the place was jam-packed. The man asked the people to close their eyes, and he began to pray: “O God, send down money, send down money, send down money,” and they were all saying 'Amen'. Suddenly, he stopped the prayer and said, “Before this prayer can continue you must give something first to God. You must all empty your pockets. You must put everything down, including your transport money.” They put down all their money and the preacher said, “Now let us continue the prayer: “Oh God, send down money, send down money.” A mature Christian would have reasoned that God cannot be printing money in heaven. They were still saying 'Amen' when the man disappeared. When they did not hear his voice again, they opened their eyes only to discover that the man had gone away with their money. It was evident that they were babies. Children get easily excited.

If you call a meeting and say, “Possess your possession and wonderful success,” many people would come. But when you say, “I want to discuss the nature of hell fire,” nobody will want to attend that kind of meeting. Whereas, at the end of the day, that is the reality we are all going to face whether we like it or not. A time will come when the trumpet shall sound and the goats shall be separated from the sheep and we will know where each person is going. Those who shun salvation will get there on that day and say, “O Lord, open your gate,” and the Lord will say, “No. You did not want to be saved, that is why you cannot come in.” Like little children, some Christians don’t know what to do. When they offer them what they really need, they would prefer other things. Solomon was given long life, riches and power to defeat his enemies, but he asked for understanding to discern judgment. If you ask many Christians what they want now, they would tell you they want their enemies defeated quickly. But Solomon said, wisdom and understanding, and God gave them to him. God said to him, “Now that you have asked for the main thing, you can get the rest.” “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

A lot of Christians are not doing very much for God. There are people who have been Christians for 20 years, and still have not led a single person to Christ. They prefer to be fed with milk. Many seminaries and Bible colleges are only teaching people how to warm the milk for their congregation to drink. The reason there are so many problems in the church is that most people who go to church are babies. The man of God would be busy repeating the basic things that they ought to have known all the time. This does not help anyone. The Bible says, “Except you accept the kingdom of God like a little child it would be difficult for you to enter therein.” It is sad to note that some people have not even taken enough of the milk that is available and is distributed every Sunday. Some who have taken the milk have not digested it. The question is, when are we going to start learning the wisdom of the age to come? When are we going to start having more adults than babies? When the devil knows that he is playing with kids, then he knows how to deceive them and plant things into their lives. A baby Christian would be proud and oversensitive. He would be living by what others say instead of what God says. He would not be able to take decisions on his own. The faith of a baby in the Lord would be unstable and he would not be able to receive anything from the Lord. It is not everybody who grows up that grows old. You could be as tall as a giant and still be a small boy inside. There is a great difference between age and maturity. Normally, the older we are, the more mature we should be. But often this is not the case. I saw a 40 year old man crying. What did he do? He raped a two-year old girl. Will you call that kind of person an adult? He is only an adult physically but inside he is something else. This is why the enemy is recklessly planting things. The devil used to find it difficult to do things easily but now, he is having a field day because believers have refused to grow up. If Christians should grow up, they would become victors instead of victims.

Think about it. Are you growing or you are just getting fat? You are buying more Bibles and more commentaries, but spiritually you are not growing. Ask yourself a few questions. Are you becoming more and more patient in your daily life? Do you play with temptation or you resist it from the start? Do you find joy in obeying the word of God or you just read it because they say it is good for you to read? Are you able to control your tongue? Are you the kind of person that people come to for spiritual wisdom? Do you make your plans without considering God at all? Are you selfish when it comes to money? Are you unfaithful in your tithe and offering? Are you a prayer addict or do you criticize and gossip? When prayers of material breakthroughs are offered, baby Christians say a loud Amen but when you say, “O Lord, when the goats shall be separated from the sheep, let us not be found wanting,” the response would be a sluggish Amen. The prayers, which need to be violently prayed, are taken lightly. These are the marks of babies in the house of God. Baby Christians are fertile gardens for the plantation of the enemies. Things that ought not to chase them are chasing them. Instead of addressing these problems, many people come to church to gyrate and to dance. In those days, when you come into the church of God, you would tremble. You would know that you came before the Almighty God. The seriousness of the way people sat down, and the way they sang and worshipped, no sinner would find it comfortable. The Bible says, “The Lord is in His Holy Temple, let all the world keep silence before Him.” But these days, even men wear earrings to the church and do all kinds of things. They snake-dance and break-dance in the house of God and you still wonder why the devil is having a field day? The devil is having a field day because nobody wants to resist him again. Some people would say, “Well, let them do anything they want to do, as far as God is in their hearts,” forgetting that Christianity is a set of dos and don’ts. Some would tell you that we are under grace. But Jesus said, “You have read that Thou shall not commit adultery, but if you commit it in your heart, you have already sinned.” The law says that when you take another man’s wife, you have committed adultery. But under grace now, Jesus says that just thinking about it makes you guilty. So, which one is tougher? Righteousness is all about dos and don’ts. There are certain things you must not do. If you do, you will go to hell fire.

Enough is enough of these evil plantations. As some people are struggling to remove one, the enemy is planting another one. When some people have still not succeeded in pulling out the ones they have, fresh ones are being planted. Do you want these evil planters to succeed in your life? If you know that you were born again but have backslidden, I want you to slide back to Jesus. You can take that decision now. Today is the day of salvation, tomorrow may be too late. There may be no other opportunity. Slide back to Jesus now! Tell the Lord you are coming home. The Bible says, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul. With what shall he exchange his soul.” Some people need to do restitution, apologize, appeal and withdraw from certain activities so that the axe of God can touch the root of every evil plantation in their lives. The Bible says, “Behold, now the axe is laid at the root of the trees and every tree that does not bear good fruit shall be cut off and thrown into the fire. It also says, “Every tree that my Father has not planted shall be rooted up.” Act now!

PRAYER POINTS

1. Every tree of destruction, be uprooted, in the name of Jesus.
2. Every evil night planter, be paralyzed, in the name of Jesus.
3. (Place one hand on your head and the other on your chest) Every evil material planted in my life in the dark, be uprooted, in the name of Jesus.
4. (Place your hand on your chest) All the powers preparing poison for me, drink your poison, in the name of Jesus.
5. Let the chariots of fire chase away every evil spy reporting on my life, in Jesus’ name.
6. Let every curse issued against me go back to the sender, in the name of Jesus.