Friday, March 15, 2019

Philemon 6, an Exegesis

Philemon 6 King James Version (KJV)
"That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." - The Apostle Paul to Philemon

The acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus is a process. You go through a process. The act of acknowledging all spiritual blessings "in Christ" involves engaging in a co-creative process with your Maker (with divinity). You need the energy and power of "faith" to do this. It involves you seeing yourself the way your heavenly Father sees you. It involves the renewal of your mind and using the God-given inherent power of your mind to "see" yourself in a fundamentally and even radically different way. You become what you see. It's that simple.

You have to know and begin to understand "every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus". How? It comes by learning about these things. How? Through obtaining the right information. How? Through the scriptures and other materials that provide revelation knowledge of who you are as a faith-liberated soul, one who is an active participant in the family of God (a.k.a kingdom of God). Also, through prayers or communion with God, you get to discover a lot of things about you, "your new you"!

The process of acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus also involves you taking a stand and uttering prophetic declarations and apostolic decrees: you stand on God's words and speak or declare all the great and wonderful things about you - great and wonderful things that God says you are or you have. You speak them in faith, accepting them and imagining yourself walking in them. This aspect of imagination is key - the power of your will and your mind comes in play here. You declare them to yourself and to the Universe (to all of God's creation). You appropriate them to yourself. You see them as "real" here and now. You declare things that be not as though they were and they be (they become real - they manifest in the physical realm). These are very important steps and procedures needed to make the blessings and victories you have "in Christ" to become real in your personal daily experiences here on Earth.

Please, bear in mind that you are a powerful creative being beyond your comprehension. Your greatest limitation is your inability to fully believe. Your challenge is to learn to move beyond the uncertainty that impedes your ability to believe. With faith, ask our heavenly Father to strengthen you, for you to move beyond uncertainty and develop your creative potential. With faith accept and acknowledge all the blessings and victories wrought for you and presented to you by Christ.

These are blessings that were heaped up for you before Christ came to this planet; also during his stay on this planet as "Jesus" - son of man and Son of God in one and blessings/victories that he continuously rakes in for you everyday now and in the future. Remember, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercessions for you. This connotes: working for your benefit right now and in the future. Christ and his heavenly forces (or hosts) are presently doing a lot adding to all the goodies that you already have. If you can understand this, wow! A whole new world will open unto you! Glory! Hallelujah!

When you begin to walk in the realities we are talking about here, you would see changes in your character; in your behavior - remarkable improvements of inestimable value. You will see yourself finding it much easier to do the right thing, everyday. You will see yourself growing to higher heights in your manifestation of the FRUITS of the SPIRIT and the GIFTS of the SPIRIT. You will begin to operate in increasing levels of spiritual power. You will begin to make progress in your level of wisdom, knowledge and understanding that comes from above - from the heavenly Father, the giver of all good gifts. The communication of your faith would become effectual! Your light will shine! Your spiritual garment would sparkle! Your Father would be glorified in you! The Universe would be blessed because of you! Hallelujah! Glory! 🍷 🙌

Always be of good cheer! 😀
- Pastor Karo Akamune
#OneLove ❤


+ + + 

Some Nuggets: 
👉🏽 Jesus made the cross an eternal symbol of the triumph of love over hate and the victory of truth over evil when he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
👉🏽 True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Healing and Miracles: Jesus’ Attitude of, “Tell no one”.


Jesus Christ is our perfect example. Followers of Christ have to study, understand and imbibe the Master’s teachings. Jesus never advertised or made so much noise about healing, miracles, signs and wonders.

Matthew 8:4, “And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” Please beloved, note that this is just one example. There are others.

There is an incident where our Master Son, Jesus Christ told two individuals to make mention about healing, miracles, signs and wonders. And it was a specific instruction for a very specific reason - to encourage John the Baptist:

Matthew 11:2-6, "And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”"

Even this specific instruction from Jesus to a specific individual, John has been twisted by many fame seeking preachers and used as a reason to shout and make so much noise about the miraculous. But this was not the Master’s example. Jesus said, "Go and tell John..." He did not say, "Go and shout it everywhere; tell everyone; make so much noise about it. Spend a lot of time on it."

Jesus Christ discouraged unnecessary noise about the miraculous because he knew such a practice would create distractions from the spiritual work of spending quality time in dishing out teachings that would transform souls; transform people's character inside-out; teachings that would cause them to grow spiritually and be drawn closer to the Father - to forge a living and a vibrant one-on-one personal relationship with the heavenly Father.

Placing too much emphasis and time on healing, miracles, signs and wonders can have an adverse effect of people just coming to God for what they think they can get from God without being interested in the ways of God. They also may become lazy and fail to use their brains to develop man-made cures for their physical maladies or physical, natural problems. Advancements in man's work, for example, Science and Technology, the Arts, etc would suffer.

Does God perform miracles today to solve physical or material problems? Of course, "Yes". God intervenes. However, he would prefer humankind discovers and comes up with the cures or solutions. That's one of the reasons he gave us a brain. God would rather focus on our salvation and spiritual development. These are things Science and Technology (for example) cannot do for us. But the things Science and Technology can do for you, God would rather have you get them done through Science and Technology. Nevertheless, in his infinite love and mercies, he still intervenes for us, even to this day. Amen.

= = =


Examples of incidences where Jesus discouraged the broadcasting of the miraculous:
(Please brothers and sisters, note that broadcasting, shouting and making so much noise about the miraculous is not a sin. However, there are dangers or disadvantages to it. Therefore, Jesus cautioned against it.)

1) Matthew 8:4 (A leper, healed)
Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

2) Mark 7:33-36 (A deaf and mute man, healed)
So Jesus took him aside privately, away from the crowd, and put His fingers into the man’s ears. Then He spit and touched the man’s tongue. And looking up to heaven, He sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). Immediately the man’s ears were opened and his tongue was released, and he began to speak plainly. Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more He ordered them, the more widely they proclaimed it.

3) Matthew 9:29-30 (Two blind men, healed)
Then He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one finds out about this!”

4) Mark 5:41-43 (Jairus' daughter brought back to life)
Taking her by the hand, Jesus said, “Talitha koum!” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” Immediately the girl got up and began to walk around. She was twelve years old, and at once they were utterly astounded. Then Jesus gave strict orders that no one should know about this, and He told them to give her something to eat.

5) Mark 8:25-26 (A blind man at Bethsaida, healed)
Once again Jesus placed His hands on the man’s eyes, and when he opened them his sight was restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him home and said, “Do not go back into the village.”

{Karo's commentary: “Do not go back into the village.”...because he did not want him to go into the village to make so much noise about the miracle; create a stir and get himself (Jesus) jampacked with a lot of miracle seekers. This would take time away from the all-important work of preaching and teaching. Besides, mankind is expected by God to come up with solutions to physical problems. Nevertheless, he does intervene sometimes.}

6) Mark 7:24 (Jesus did not want anyone to know he was in the region of Tyre)
Jesus left that place and went to the region of Tyre. Not wanting anyone to know He was there, He entered a house, but was unable to escape their notice.

{Karo's commentary: A key question is why did he not want anyone to know he was there? Perhaps, he needed some rest. He wanted to get away for a time. Broadcasting or making so much noise about the miraculous can get you to end up not having enough private time for yourself. Jesus wanted to avoid that. This is another reason he discouraged people from making so much noise about it. Some believers have worn themselves out for failing to take a cue from this important attitude of the Master. You have to learn to take care of yourself. Then you can do a much better job of taking care of others. This is sometimes misunderstood as selfishness. It is not.}

These are just a few examples. You can be rest assured that there are more cases, when you consider Christ's over 30 years of living on the planet as "son of man and Son of God in one". 

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Righteousness of Abraham


Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
Galatians 3:6, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
James 2:23, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”



Beloved please, what kind of righteousness did Abraham really receive? We are told that Abraham “believed God”; he expressed faith in God and this same God “counted it to him for righteousness”. Please, what does this mean? Did Abraham experience spiritual transformation that led him to receive the very righteousness of God? Was Abraham bestowed the very righteousness of God (in Christ)? Or was it a symbolic righteousness; a superficial righteousness; a tentative righteousness; an artificial righteousness; a “shadow” righteousness – as opposed to a “real”, divine righteousness? Please, stop and think about this for a minute. Meditate on these questions.

Did Abraham really become righteous? Was he endowed with the righteousness of God? The righteousness of Abraham... …please, is it the same righteousness faithful, salvaged sons and daughters of God have today? You, yes, you, reading this right now, the righteousness you have received by faith from God the Father, please, is it the same righteousness that Abraham received by faith? Is your righteousness in Christ any different from Abraham’s righteousness? You have received righteousness by faith. Abraham also lived by faith. Is the quality of your righteousness the same as that of Abraham? Any difference in the righteousness?

If you say there’s a difference, then please, what is it? What kind of righteousness did Abraham receive – a ‘honorary’ righteousness or a real divine righteousness? If you say it was a honorary righteousness, please, what do you mean by that? If you say it was a real divine righteousness, then please, how is his real divine righteousness different from yours?

If you are like me, then you would agree that the righteousness given to Abraham by God is the same righteousness you and I have received today. It is the same righteousness people like Enoch and Elijah received. These are people who walked so very closely with God our heavenly Father, so much so that they became ONE with God. They attained “eternal oneness” with the spirit of the Father indwelling them (“the still small voice”) and as a result were caught up, translated from the planet to the heavenlies without going through the usual or traditional passage of death. Or do you really believe the righteousness God has poured on you is better than that given to Enoch or Elijah? What have you done or achieved with yours? Please, do you understand what Enoch and Elijah achieved with theirs? Have you come any close?

The very righteousness of God in Christ has always been in existence from the very beginning. For in the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God and the WORD was God. Christ did not come into existence when Jesus showed up. Oh no! Christ has always been – even since the dateless past. Christ simply showed up on a mortal bestowal mission as Jesus of Nazareth over 2,000 years ago…

So, Christ, as SPIRIT, has always been in existence and working or operating on Earth. The very righteousness of God has always been available to anyone who makes himself or herself ready or available to receive it, regardless of date and time; regardless of era, dispensation or epoch. To receive divine righteousness, the individual is required to walk by “FAITH”. That’s the operative word, “faith”. Oh! Hallelujah!! Glory to God!!! Yes, there are some gifts, blessings and endowments we have today that people in prior dispensations did not have or enjoy. In
Ephesians 4:7-8, brother Paul wrote, "But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”" However, when it comes to “righteousness”, saints of old had it. They had it. And they walked in it or walked in its realities.

This righteousness is called “the righteousness of God in Christ” by some people today, a term popularized by the blessed and remarkable Apostle Paul. Call it “the righteousness of God in Christ” or call it “unmerited righteousness” or call it “divine righteousness” or call it whatever. It is the same righteousness, my dear. Christ bestows it on you freely, if you allow your soul to be activated – regardless of day and age, era or dispensation. The divine love is constant. There’s this constancy in the divine nature that demands the character, behavior or acts of God to be constant always – regardless of your tribe, nationality, geographic location, professed religion, etc… If you exercise faith, divinity responds! This righteousness is yours by faith!

Monday, November 12, 2018

What is Salvation and Why the Cross?


If you say saints of old could not resurrect and go to heaven before Jesus died and resurrected because they were not "born again", then please, how do you explain Enoch and Elijah who went to heaven; who by the way, did not even see death? How could they have gone to heaven if they were not saved (or born again), if they were not, according to your theology, "washed by the blood of the lamb"? Please, how come they went to heaven? They were so close to the Father, so deeply spiritually minded; so high in intelligence and spirituality, they were caught up! They were born from above (or born again) otherwise, they could never have become so close to the Father and could never have made it to heaven... 

Please, here's another question:
Is it justice to punish an innocent righteous man for the wrongs of guilty offenders? If we, as humans understand this is not justice, how much more our heavenly Father? How can we say our loving Paradise Father would depend on the punishment of an innocent man for the sins of guilty offenders in order for "some wrath" to go away? To hold such a view shows we do not understand the Father.

I have been studying the topic of salvation for nothing less than 25 years. Paul, Peter and their associates got it wrong somewhere. Jesus did not teach the atonement doctrine. He did not go from place to place, screaming atonement. He went from place to place declaring, "The kingdom of God is within you". And he taught how to manifest the kingdom in our human affairs... The early Apostles must have been overwhelmed by "the Master's death and resurrection" that they got carried away and made it a doctrine of salvation. They meant well. But sowed seeds of confusion. Now, we have a big mess to clean up. 
🙏

I am convinced in my heart, sincerely, speaking that the salvation message from the Father has never changed. It has always been the same thing regardless of dispensation. It is man's understanding and interpretation of it that changes, from time to time. As far as the Father is concerned, the MUST requirements for salvation has always been the same thing. Abraham received salvation. Enoch did. Elijah did...

My conclusion is, "We are saved by faith through grace". Faith in what? And whose grace? It is faith that God is our Father and we are his children and that he loves us. And it is the divine grace. It's that simple. But man finds it very hard to believe so they come up with all kinds of rituals and sacrifices that must be done. But that's syncretism.

I have asked, "Then why did Jesus really die?" Please, some of my conclusions thus far:

Before Jesus died, his disciples were saved. They were already in God's Kingdom. People's sins were washed away without the shedding of Jesus' blood. Jesus clearly forgave people their sins before he died. This tells you that blood must not be spilled for sins to be washed away. There's salvation at the Cross primarily because at the Cross, Jesus gave a very deep and powerful revelation of God's love. In the depths of the greatest hatred, despair and wickedness, he showed love and forgiveness. He revealed the love of God. It is this revelation of God's love in the midst of so much hatred that pulls many more people to God and His salvation. It is not the shedding of blood per se which inevitably followed his brutal hanging on the Cross.

This explains why some people recite the so-called sinner's prayer but do not experience salvation, even though they may think they have magically become saved. If at the Cross, an individual does not experience a soul-quickening transformation birthed from an understanding of God's love, resulting to a total acceptance of this love, he/she may not walk away saved. It does not matter the amount of sinner's prayer memorized and offered. It does not matter the number of times he/she runs to the altar in response to an "altar call". God is not a magician.

As we understand the Heavenly Father better, we see that it is LOVE that saves. This love may be discovered and wholeheartedly embraced at the foot of the Cross or somewhere else. This explains why in Heaven, we would meet people from all walks of life, various faiths and different planets.

So, why did the Master choose to die? I am convinced that this is one of the key reasons why:
He knew that through the sufferings and brutal death on a Cross, he would reveal God's love in a very deep, very emotional and very moving way. He knew that the Cross would reveal a love that may not be matched by anything else for, "No greater love can a man show towards others than to lay down his life for them". He knew that the revelation of God's love in the midst of so much hatred has a tremendous spiritual drawing power to pull many, many more people to God and His salvation. And for this, he was willing to take that extra step - to go that extra mile; "to walk a second mile", in order to make it easier for so many more people to embrace salvation. He did not have to do it but he chose to.

This reveals the great, great, great depths of his love towards us, such that he was willing to do anything and everything to rake in the numbers... But some of us have mistaken this to mean that his death and his blood were a MUST requirement for the salvation of anyone and everyone! The salvation was already available for anyone and everyone before he died; even before he came. And some people received it. But his physical presence (mortal bestowal), his teachings, his death and resurrection has made it and continues to make it much, much easier for many, many more people to understand, grasp and embrace salvation.

If we really understand exactly what one must do in order for his "soul" to be transformed, then things become clearer. There is this something that must happen to a soul in order for the soul to be saved. There's something or a spiritual transaction the soul must "go through" in order to receive the gift of salvation. If we really narrow things down and come to a good understanding of this spiritual transaction and the requirements needed for the transaction to occur, then we will really understand salvation. The concept of "the soul" is little understood. This is a part of the problem.

It is this "spiritual transaction" the soul must go through that I call "the spiritual technique of salvation". And I define it thus:
The spiritual technique of SALVATION occurs when an individual accepts and is "quickened" by the expression of God's LOVE and MERCY. Salvation is yours when you get a revelation of God's love and mercy: a revelation or understanding-experience that causes you to open your heart to God, to trust Him, to welcome Him into your life; to surrender all to Him and have FAITH in Him as your Father. These acts bring you to a place where you begin to see others as your brothers and sisters and you develop FAITH in your eternal salvation - that you will exist in and with God forever. Your heart becomes totally committed to doing His will. This is possible because of the GRACE and GOODNESS of God. Herein is your salvation. This is the explanation of salvation by faith through grace.

As I study (various books) and inquire further (within myself and interactions with others), I discover that Jesus also went through the Cross as a way to give a powerful response to his rebellious celestial children: Lucifer, Satan, the fallen Prince of this world, Beelzebub, fallen angels, etc. A close look at human history reveals that all over the world, these arch rebels instituted a system of religious blood sacrifice: in Africa, South America, the Middle East, etc - everywhere. They demanded something for favor. The priests would say, "...to appease God" or "to appease the gods". In actuality, the Paradise Father did not make those demands. It was the forces of darkness pretending to be angels of light that made those demands.

The Father even said he did not desire sacrifices and burnt offerings but a broken and a contrite heart; steadfast LOVE and the KNOWLEDGE of God (Psalm 51:16, Hebrews 10:8, Hosea 6:6, Psalm 40:6, 1 Sam 15:22). In the midst of the confusion of bloodletting, the Still Small Voice within sometimes managed to come through, speaking clearly to any who cared to listen, "I do not desire sacrifices and burnt offerings but a broken and a contrite heart; steadfast LOVE and the KNOWLEDGE of God". This has been the Father's heart from the very beginning. Never for once, did he change it.

Jesus must have thought to himself that there has to be a way to put a total, final and lasting stop to these ruthless human and animal blood sacrifices that were taking place, practically all over the world. He knew the celestial rebels were behind it and that they also used the "energies" from these blood for their nefarious aims. The Master must have thought to himself, "I can use my death on the Cross to show to these arch rebels and also to loyal angels the futility and madness of these crazy bloodletting. My rebellious celestial forces always used blood as a way to demand for something. I shall take the extra step; go an extra mile to present my blood in a bid to fully reclaim my planet in a way that will be unquestionable, even by the standards of my celestial arch enemies." The Cross was an unsuspecting chess move that Jesus used to shut them up, once and for all time. They did not see it coming. Initially, they thought they had their way when they inspired wicked men to crucify him.

The Cross was like the final straw that broke the camel's back! The vast host of loyal celestial personalities were in total shock to see their Creator (incarnated in flesh), hanging on a tree, bleeding like a useless vagabond; a helpless sheep. Any and every sympathy they may have had for the rebels evaporated! A very strong message with regards to the total folly of the Lucifer rebellion was registered all over the Universe. Even Lucifer was in shock! A lot of the arch rebels were in shock - when the realization of the folly of their actions began to dawn on them. Jesus offered his blood. And they could not even accept it. They could not touch it! They could not tap into "its energies and powers - its life" like they were doing with that of animals and humans, the world over. Oh! Yes, "There's power in the blood of Jesus!" It was game up for them.

These are some insights one can draw from the death on the Cross on a deeper cosmic, esoteric or celestial level. To die on that Cross was not a MUST. However, Christ, as Jesus, chose to, for various reasons (and interestingly, the Father willed it). And some of us are deeply engrossed in exploring and understanding these reasons. 
🙏

One Love,
- Karo E. Akamune 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

“Church and Welfare”


The Corinthian Church, the Galatian Church, the Ephesian Church... ...were taught by Paul to give money. Please, let us also emphasize that the monies that were "given" were used to meet the needs of fellow believers - to meet their material or physical needs, for example: feeding, clothing, health care, etc. The Apostle Paul made it clear that the offerings collected were for the purpose of "welfare".


We see many Churches today neglecting the needs (physical or material) needs of their members and pouring money into building projects, media outreach, etc. Please, how can you neglect to show love to the people you see – those around you but claim to show love to people you do not see (those who watch TV or listen to radio stations)? We must understand the deep implications of "first love". We must start by first showing love to those we see in our Churches and then we can, in a very powerful way, reach out to those out there who we do not see or who are not in close proximity to us.

The best strategy is to, "Take good care of your people - your members", first. Assist them from the money collected. Also, teach them how to make money. And then they will be empowered and encouraged to join hands with you to reach out to those out there through TV, Radio, etc. They also will be inspired to show love to others as they go about their daily activities. "Love is contagious." The love they receive from their Churches will "infect them" and they will spread it!

Yes, money should be allocated to buildings and outreach activities. But enough money MUST be allocated to "welfare". We take care of our people and then (together) we can more readily do so much more with regards to impacting our world. This is the strategy the likes of the Apostles Peter and Paul implemented. This is one key reason they had so much impact during their time – a very great impact that reverberates even to this day. This is one very important ingredient you need to create a sustainable impact on "the World Mind".

During Jesus' public ministry, Judas Iscariot was his treasurer. The money in his care was used to take care of the families of the Master's Apostles - for these Apostles "left all" to follow Him. Money was also used for the welfare of others. Some of the money also went towards the Master's material needs and that of the 12. The "behind the scenes" effective administration of money played a very, very important role in the success of Jesus' public gospel ministry. We must learn to take care of our people – our members.

You may ask, “Was the money in Judas' purse used to meet the needs of Jesus, his Apostles and their families?” It may not be there in black and white in the Bible. However, we can deduce. Judas Iscariot was the treasurer. Now, what did they do with the money? We know the Apostles "left all" to follow Jesus, to be with Him in His travels and all that. Sometimes they would go fishing. But that was never enough to meet their daily needs and that of their respective families... Please, take note: we are talking about meeting needs not funding luxuries!

We know Jesus did not erect buildings with the money. So, the question remains, "Please, what did they do with the money?" Some of it went into meeting the needs of their families. Some went into taking care of other people. 

Let's look at the miracle of feeding the multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Mark 6:35-37, "And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?”" 

We need the power of deduction; the ability to draw inferences. Jesus told his Apostles, “You give them something to eat.” We can infer from this statement that, this was not the first time Jesus and his team fed people. Look at the conversation very closely, please. The Apostles were not surprised about that statement. They were used to feeding people. But they were concerned that they did not have enough on that day to feed those present. Jesus wanted them to feed the people. However, right there and then, they had only two hundred denarii. It was not enough. Hence, the Master made a decision to resort to a miracle... This tells you that it was not uncommon to see Jesus and His Apostles dipping their hands into their Ministry's funds to meet the needs of people. Remember, they had a Ministry purse. Judas Iscariot was their treasurer. Donations from Ministry partners were kept by Judas.

Also, consider how the 12 Apostles lived in the early days of the Church (Please, see Acts 4). In Acts 4, it was easy for them to bring money together and provide for the needs of the believers because they were already used to such things. When Jesus was with them, they cooperated to meet one another's needs. After Jesus left, they continued in that practice. But of course, we know they took it too far, selling all their belongings, laying the proceeds at "the Apostles' feet", believing the world was soon to end. The world never ended and believers from other parts of the world had to come to their rescue. Anyway, back to the key point, which is this: The spirit of working together, as believers to see that nobody suffers lack. Churches or Gospel Groups should hold onto this spirit. It is a powerful strategy to show love and spread love. 


We should not spend too much money erecting physical buildings and paying for media outreach at the detriment of meeting the needs of our members, most especially the poor in our midst. We cannot claim to have the love of God for "the world" when we neglect the people in our midst. Take care of your people. Empower them. Then you all can do a far better job in ministering to the world out there. This is what Jesus did. Peter and Paul as well. And boy, did they spread their message far and wide? You bet!

Every generation is different. We may have physical buildings today. And it's okay. (These buildings must be realistic and “within budget”.) But we must not neglect the poor and needy in our midst. If we neglect them, then it shows we do not have a clear understanding of the gospel that Jesus presented.



Commentary:

We MUST ask, "Please, what should be done with the monies collected?" In the Bible, we see that Jesus (inferred from Mark 6:35-37); His 12 Apostles (Acts 4:32-37) and the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 16:1-4) used monies collected to MEET THE NEEDS (PHYSICAL NEEDS) OF PEOPLE. Money was not used to erect ridiculously expensive buildings or projects that are way out of budget. Also, money was NOT used to fund luxurious lifestyles of Ministry or Church leaders. Yes, some of the money went into meeting the needs of leaders. But it was their basic needs. Nowhere in the NT (New Testament scriptures) did Ministry money go into funding or paying for extravagant expenses, ludicrous expenses, luxuries, and whatnot.

Acts 4:32-37
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Beloved, I hope you saw it (verse 35). The money "was distributed to anyone who had need". The needs of the leaders and their members were met. It was not the needs of the leaders alone. And it was their "basic needs" NOT extravagant, luxurious "wants" like very expensive cars, private jets, million-dollar mansions, etc. Ministry money is not for funding luxurious lifestyles. Anyone who wishes to live in luxury MUST go work for the money himself/herself – go get a job that pays you six figures or more or go start and run your own private business with your own money and then develop it into a multi-million dollar business and then fund your luxuries with "your own money" NOT Church's money.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4
1 Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

It is very clear in verse 1: "Now about the collection for the Lord’s people..." Paul raised money to meet the needs of people! Jesus, the 12 Apostles and the Apostle Paul WERE PEOPLE FOCUSED! The needs of people - most especially, fellow believers (or "Church members") were not neglected. All the monies were not poured into taking care of the Senior Pastor alone; into buildings alone; and not into outreach expenses alone. But today, we see Ministries pouring so much money on Radio, TV and Internet outreaches AND close their eyes to the needy in their midst. Very un-Jesus-like. "Please, where is your love?" 1 Corinthians 13 highlights: If I do not have love, I am nothing...

When your heart is quickened by the all-powerful, life transforming teachings of Jesus Christ, you will not only preach and teach. You will also be interested in identifying various areas of need in the society. You will then do something remarkable to meet these needs. A spirit-filled life is devoted to doing practical, physical things to meet needs in addition to “talk, preach and pray”. Jesus met physical needs. He fed people. The Apostles met the physical or material needs of their members with the money laid at their feet. The Apostle Paul raised money to meet needs of believers who were going through financial hardship. When Missionaries came to Nigeria, they also met physical needs: free education, free health care (or very easily affordable), etc. When Caucasians from the Southern Baptist Convention, United States of America came to Eku, Delta State to preach and teach, they set up the Eku Baptist Hospital. Was it not free or easily affordable? By their fruits you shall know them. It’s not by mere grandstanding and speaking grammar.

If a preacher is spending millions of US dollars per year in the ownership, use and maintenance of a private jet, then how much money is he/she spending in showing love to the poor and the needy - how much goes towards meeting their physical needs: food, shelter, skills acquisition programs, money management skills, health care, etc? How much is spent in solving social problems? How much? Please, compare and contrast. Discover where his/her heart is.

Friday, August 10, 2018

god of Mammon, the Devil of Covetousness

Beloved, you need to understand the spirit of mammon. You need to understand how the "god of mammon" works. Unlike mammon, our heavenly Father does not cajole or subtly manipulate. He does not place undue pressure. HE LEADS. The "god of mammon" is the "devil of covetousness". Mammon spirit can be very deceiving in a very subtle way such that if you do not put your thinking cap on and do not pay close attention to the "Inner Voice" - the voice of the Father within, you may very well fail to discern mammon. And YES! It is possible for a "true Man of God" to fall prey to mammon and allow mammon, not God to come through. It is possible. You must learn to "test all spirits". Nobody will do that work for you. You have to do it for yourself.

When someone stands on the pulpit and makes an alter call for people to step forward to make a commitment to sow $1,000 into her life "every single year till Jesus comes", you have to say, "Hold up! 🖐️" This is a woman is who already doing well financially. Now please, which is better: people giving her $1,000 yearly or giving $1,000 yearly to the poor and needy in her Church and in the wider society (or to an NGO that assists people with drug abuse problems or conducts work-skills acquisition programs)? Which option will bring glory to the Father? Which is the greater good? And please remember, she did not say the money would be used by the ministry, for example, to pay for media outreach or to assist members who are going through very difficult financial hardships. Oh no! She implied, "Bring the money to me - it goes into my personal pocket!" 😀

A close look at the life of Jesus and his Apostles presents a remarkable example to follow. The Master never made such alter calls. He poured wisdom, knowledge and understanding into people. And some of these people were led to give to him personally (e.g. the woman with the alabaster box, Matthew 26:7) without being pressured; without being threatened with curses; without being manipulated in a deft ('neatly skillful') and subtle way. The Father leads. Mammon manipulates.


NB:
Utilitarianism: The greatest good, to the greatest number, for the greatest length of time. Please, see: The Urantia Book Paper 134:5.4, "This rule of the Most Highs in the kingdoms of men is not for the especial benefit of any especially favored group of mortals. There is no such thing as a “chosen people.” The rule of the Most Highs, the overcontrollers of political evolution, is a rule designed to foster the greatest good to the greatest number of all men and for the greatest length of time." "Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through abusive, deceptive, or underhanded tactics." - Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ethnic Cleansing

Please, are you ready to THINK? Are you ready to ask QUESTIONS? Here we go:
1 Samuel 15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack[a] Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”
Now please, try to look at this in a very graphic way. Close your eyes and imagine the Israelites slaughtering almost every single human being and animal in Amalek: little children, tiny infants learning to crawl, elders in their 80's and 90's, weak and trembling, 15 year olds, 35 year olds, dogs, sheep, etc... Slaughtering not with gunshots. Oh no! Gunshot death can be quick and less painful. ...Slaughtering with knives, arrows, swords, axes, etc...
Now see the blood spilling... Look at the 6 months old children with arrows through their necks, in great pains, bleeding and dying slowly. Look at the 17 year old boys and girls with their hearts split open by axes, bleeding, in great pains... Look at the pregnant women with their heads split in two, on the ground, panting, motionless... Look. See. And think. Then come to me and tell me that our Heavenly Father actually gave such an instruction to the Prophet Samuel! Come talk to me. Come tell me it's all hidden in mysteries. Come! Give your nod of approval to ethnic cleansing. Come! Now compare that "god" with the God Jesus Christ presented. Are they the same? Come! Talk to me. I'm listening. Thank you!
NB:
It is important to understand that Samuel was a human being just like you and I. He had his own limited viewpoint of God and his own biases. Yes: Some of his instructions were from God. But some simply originated in himself, even though he may have believed they were coming from God - just like we see in "Men of God" today. And it is possible for true believers to sometimes fall into the temptation of believing a doctrine of demons and claiming it to be a teaching or an instruction from the Eternal Paradise Father. We are duty bound to immerse ourselves in the study of, "The Nature of God".