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Summary: Lazarus was raised from the dead by the power of God. Likewise all that believe in Christ have been given a new life. They have been lifted out of the graveyard of sin and sorrow. Jesus said, “Loose him and let him go.” It means that he could not go unles

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LIBERTY WITHOUT FREEDOM

Dr. D. K. Olukoya

In John 11, we see one of the most interesting stories in the Bible. A friend of Jesus had been sick. They called Jesus but He did not show up until four days after the man had died. John 11: 38-44 says, “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (If you refuse to believe, you will see the glory of satan). Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. (He had to be specific because if He said, “come forth,” without being specific, all the dead there would come out). And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”

Lazarus was raised from the dead by the power of God. Likewise all that believe in Christ have been given a new life. They have been lifted out of the graveyard of sin and sorrow. Jesus said, “Loose him and let him go.” It means that he could not go unless they loosed him. He could not go because he was bound. Although Lazarus was raised from dead, he was still bound. He experienced liberty but not freedom. Captivity was over but he was still bound. The grip of death upon his life had been broken but he was still bound. It is a double tragedy that many believers are still walking around with grave clothes on.

There are children of God who speak in tongues but are still bound. They have their grave clothes on like Lazarus. Jesus has set them free but they are still in their grave clothes. This is the sad condition of many people today. A lot of Christians are still bound by their past failures, past sins, guilt and materialism.

Many believers are bound by traditions, that is why you see Christians going for chieftancy titles and they allow evil people to touch their heads which is the symbol of their destiny.

Many believers are still bound by bad habits. Lazarus was alive but constrained; He could see, but through a veil; he could hear but not clearly. Why? He was still in grave clothes. So, perhaps you have been born again for years and you still cannot see, it means that something has closed your spiritual eyes. You have to pray for the grave clothes to be pulled off. Remember when Saul preached in a particular place and the people fought and argued that he was speaking lies, he said, “I have one last thing to tell you before I leave. Remember that what is happening to you is what was written by the prophets that behold, you wander and you perish, for it is written I will send my words unto them, but hearing they will hear but they will not understand, they will behold but cannot see. Their heart is already hardened so that my hands cannot deliver them, so that they can perish.” With that Paul concluded the sermon. If you have read through the whole of the Bible and decided to continue to be evil, a popular passage in the book of Revelation says, “Continue,” and if you want to continue to do good, it says, “You may continue. But behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, and my reward can be bad or good, to give to every man according to the works of his hands.”

EVIDENCE OF GRAVE CLOTHES

Many people go to churches where they do not understand the language which their leaders speak. After the meetings, they come out, bring out their cigarettes and begin to smoke. As far as they are concerned, they are serving the Lord. That is bondage. Also, sex outside marriage is evidence that a person is bound in grave clothes. A believer who is working with a fake certificate is bound in grave clothes. Obtaining sick leave papers when you are not sick is an indication that you are in grave clothes. Sleeping and pretending to be praying is a sign of being in grave clothes. If you are the worst of human beings when you are angry, you are in grave clothes. Masturbation, chronic impatience, and constant fear are evidences that there are grave clothes on. That is why Jesus said, “Loose him and let him go.” The Lord said the same thing to Pharaoh. Unforgiving spirit, sexual sins and failure to break all connections with the devil are an evidence of grave clothes. You claim to be born again but still keep complimentary cards of your former boy friends, it means that the grave clothes are still on. If not, why are you keeping them? Failure to confess every sin, envy, backbiting, and not yielding every area of your life to God are an evidence of grave clothes.

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