Ministry Tools that Draw Us Farther from God

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I used to think they really helped. But after realizing how the “knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom” has been given to us [Matthew 13] and how the Holy Spirit teaches us “all things” [John 14.26], I saw no need for them. In fact, they’re just unnecessary expense that cost churches a lot.

We spend lots of money for bible study and Sunday school materials because we have relied on them too much. Worse, many church people cannot teach anymore without them, and many more cannot understand the bible without resorting to them. They have become idols in our hearts and we have forgotten how to rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom.

Holy Spirit is More than Enough

It doesn’t say, “bible study materials will teach you all things.” It says the Holy Spirit will. Bible studies and discipleship sessions should all depend on the enlightenment the Holy Spirit gives. We should all be able to feed directly from the “mouth” of God. We can all avail of this freely.

Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. [Matthew 4.4]

Life from God can only be had if we “eat” every word from God’s own mouth. The experience should be that, as we meditate or study the bible, we “eat” or thoroughly ponder on what God reveals to us and digest it to become part of us, until we’re utterly changed in ever-increasing glory, conformed to the image of his Son. This will never happen with bible study materials. Yes, we will know a lot of things, even become intellectual Christians good at handling doctrines and theologies, but never radically change in ever-increasing glory.

In short, relying on these man-made materials only draws us farther away from God. They forfeit us of the opportunity to sharpen our spiritual ability to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God and be familiarized with his ways and voice. Relying on materials makes us lazy spiritually and too dependent on man and what he provides and remain babes spiritually.

And anyway, no one in the gospel or Acts used bible study materials. Jesus and the apostles never used them. They all relied on the raw power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing from Man

Knowing a lot of things about God is nothing. Even demons know and believe them, but they’re never changed. What’s important is feeding directly from God—from his mouth to our mouths. That changes us from glory to glory. Only the seed that fell on good soil bore good fruit. This happens if we get fresh revelations direct from God, if we learn direct from the Lord.

“You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” [Matthew 16.17]

Further more…

“It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.” [John 6.45]

Those who learn directly from God draw closer to Jesus, not those who learn from man. If you get used to man’s ways, you get alienated from God. All you know is your human theology and denominational doctrine.

How It Works

In a bible study group, for instance, the leader should rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom as he discusses and explains bible passages. Others around him should likewise rely on the Holy Spirit for understanding as they listen to him. The same thing with discipleship and Sunday school. It’s all solely by faith. Faith alone pleases God. As they all do this, a supernatural process of growing and maturing happens. The knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of God are revealed to their spirits. And the more they come closer to Jesus.

Then the seed falls to the ground and dies and become many seeds. That’s Kingdom process of evangelism and discipleship.

Checkout God’s Flesh e-book here.

Even without studying in bible schools or seminaries or attending conferences, you become powerful in the Word. The Word is powerfully seen in you—because you are deeper in Christ, closer to Jesus and ever with him.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. [Acts 4.13]

A lot of churches today will require you seminary degrees or attendance in certain seminars or conferences before they accept you as pastor or ordain you. They do not understand, even a hint, of how God works in the spirit realms. They rely on what they see in the physical realms. That’s the result of relying on what man provides—study materials.

Seminary and Conferences

Bible school, seminary, seminars and conferences. They all entail lots of unnecessary expenses, and pastors plunge headlong to them, believing they could get something new. But all they get is encouragement to go back to their traditions, do again what they have been doing all along that led them nowhere. It’s why they felt drying up and burned out in the first place that’s why they attended the seminar or conference, only to find themselves on square one again. Back to the source of their defeat.

It’s a vicious cycle.

To get out of the cycle, you need to realize that all you and your church need is God. Learn to approach the throne of grace again with confidence so you’d get all the spiritual goodies and supplies you need direct from HIM—and these supplies become a spring of water in you welling up to eternal life. It will never run out or run dry. It’s a pity so few in church discover this. They hunger for what man provides, not what God provides.

Listen to how God has given us “everything” in Christ:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. [2 Peter 1]

We are complete in Christ. What God gives us in Christ is abundant life.

Checkout the God’s Flesh e-book here.

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Kingdom that Eliminates Fear

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One day Jesus and his disciples had to cross a lake to do ministry at the other side. While crossing, a furious storm met them and was about to sink the boat they were in. Where do you think would a Kingdom person be found in such emergency?

With other believers praying really hard?

Agreeing to Panic

Praying is good, more so with other believers who’d agree with you. Prayer in agreement is powerful, says the bible. But gathering to agree in fear is different, and often that is what we actually do in our “prayer meetings” during tough times. Ostensibly we gather “to agree in prayer”—we may even utter prayers that sound powerful to the human ear and claim bible verses in the process—but really, in the spirit, all we do is enforce one another’s fears.

Look at what the disciples did. They went to Jesus to “pray.” I mean, they asked Jesus to save them, didn’t they? Isn’t that praying? But in the spirit, all they did was express their fears together. That’s what Jesus saw. He asked them later, “Why are you so afraid?”

They went to Jesus in prayer but they were “so afraid.”

So Jesus showed them what a genuine Kingdom person would do during a desperate, dangerous situation—sleep! I thought about it a lot, why Jesus slept while the storm raged on. And they were in a dangerously weak sea craft at that. Why didn’t he stand up and pray? Why didn’t he gather his disciples to ask God’s protection together? That’s what most of us would do.

But not a Kingdom person.

Kingdom people  in the Last Move of God. Click here.

Then it dawned on me. Indeed, it was better to sleep than gather together “in prayer” pretentiously when actually we just magnify our fears together. In fact, Jesus would never had waken up all through the storm if the disciples hadn’t disturbed his sleep. It actually makes Kingdom sense to sleep than pray during a fierce storm. Have you done that? It’s according to sound Jesus doctrine.

A lot of prayers are nothing but expressions of panic. Worse, lots of prayers are actually expressions of faithlessness. One time, a pastor and his church members went to pray for a dying person. The pastor prayed for “total healing,” claiming that the Lord heals diseases and claiming other fine-sounding promises in the bible. It sounded so powerful.

After they left the place, his members commented one by one how they were sure the patient would die because of his sickly and deathly appearance. “He looked as good as dead,” they said. “He’d die any day now.” Imagine if you have companions like that in a sinking ship and they ask you to pray with them. If you’re a Kingdom person, you’d rather sleep. I’m serious.

This is why most times, people don’t see me praying much. Or if they do see me, they often see me praying extremely short prayers. Then they conclude that I’m not a prayerful person. To them, “prayerful” is when a guy keeps praying long, poetic prayers in public. Frankly, sleeping is much better (and more powerful) than that.

Don’t get me wrong. Corporate prayers are good and powerful—if they are said in genuine faith. But if folks around you are just panicking religiously (or trying to see if prayer would work), it’s better to pray silently alone. God appreciates a fearless and daring prayer, full of faith. Right after praying, what do you feel and what do you often think about? Do you expect positive results or do you wonder if your “wishes” would come true?

There’s no place for earthly fear in the Kingdom. This is what we should pray to possess—radical and fearless faith in prayer. Some people’s prayers are full of fears. It’s more of expressing their personal opinions and apologetics to God rather than boldly claiming God’s promises. It’s more of reciting prayers (or doing extemporaneous speech) with carefully select, fine-sounding words rather than personally asking God to perform his mighty works.

A Furious Storm While Doing God’s Will

A lot of folks say that if you’re doing God’s will nothing will go wrong. Well, Jesus was in the middle of God’s will when a storm “suddenly” happened without warning. I’ve heard a lot of pastors and church leaders comment how a guy is not doing God’s will (or doing a wrong ministry) if something serious goes wrong. They even say your ministry is not in God’s will  if you have no money.

The storm that met Jesus was even about to sink the ship he was in. That was serious. And I can imagine how some pastors would panic at the sight of a big storm about to topple their ministries. Their number one fear is to lose their ministry and that’s where the devil often attacks them successfully. Pastors panic so easily.

The important thing here is to see how your faith would behave, NOT how you would solve the problem and get everything back in order.

You see that?

God is not interested about how you can save the ministry or make it grow or make it mega. He allows storms to see how your faith would behave. A lot of pastors think it’s the visible achievements (material things) they produce that matters—church buildings here and there, big church memberships, big church incomes, cars and church vehicles, etc. God doesn’t care about them.

What God cares about is how your faith grows.

These (trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. [1 Peter 1.7]

Kingdom persons know that what matters in the spiritual realms is how your faith can result to Christ being revealed gloriously in you (it’s not you who live anymore but Christ who lives in you. Christ in you is the hope of glory). This is the only thing that matters, and only genuine Kingdom persons know this. Those who truly see in the Spirit pursue this with all their lives. And once you begin to really see this in your spirit, nothing can prevent you from pursuing Christ. You become fearless.

You even begin to defy (or destroy) long held traditions, especially the tradition of fear.

And when I say “fearless” I don’t mean you begin to fight or debate people who oppose your church or denominational doctrine. I mean you dare sleep soundly even if your ship is beginning to sink—that kind of fearlessness. Everyone’s panicking like crazy and you’re there sitting cool and comfortably in a chair enjoying a cup of coffee or relishing in your bible meditation. And they begin to wonder and gradually get pissed off that you don’t seem to care if you all perish.

“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” [Mark 4.38]

When serious problems begin to besiege the church, church people will want the pastor to do something pronto (and disturb him in his “sleep”). And some pastors will be driven to do something desperate to solve it (because they fear losing their jobs). In other words, panic. When the church sees the pastor panicking, they love it. To them it means concern for the church. Then they have a panicking church pretending to pray hard for the situation. But it’s nothing but a fearful church.

The World is Alien to Rest

A Kingdom person will do differently, not for the sake of doing differently, but because it’s his nature to live and act oppositely to how the world operates. He will kindof “sleep” on the job. He will do this not because he’s sleepy or exhausted or lazy but because he wants to stay out of the fear mania in the church.

The churchy of this world will never understand a Kingdom person because they have never seen or entered the Kingdom yet. All they are familiar with is the world and will always mimic what they see in it.

The worldly church is alien to Kingdom concepts like rest and sleep. You can only truly rest and sleep if you have no fear—if you realize how God often prepares a delicious meal for you right in front of your enemies.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. [Psalm 23]

The idea is not to eat in fear of your enemies but to enjoy God’s banquet anywhere without fear of anything or anyone. Have you tried eating slowly and just enjoying your food while others around you eat fast and tense, always hurrying to make it on time for their next appointment? In the Spirit, Kingdom people’s main activity (in fact, their ministry) is to enjoy the food the Father prepared for them. Nothing more.

Mary (sister of Martha) knew that. She was a Kingdom person. Martha thought the Kingdom was about getting busy in ministry, while Mary just lazily sat there by Jesus feet, relaxing and enjoying her “food.” Often, we are forced to be busy for fear of being called lazy in church. Pastors fear being called lazy in ministry. So they work hard all day everyday, doing everything to avoid having their ships sinking.

Just think—if the devil can easily put fear in us with such simple strategies as having our boats sinking, what more if he starts scaring us with his brand of signs and wonders? If you can’t “sleep” soundly when the devil scares you with furious storms and strong waves and wind and sinking boats, you will never make it when real war breaks out.

If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? [Jeremiah 12.5]

But imagine this. What if you can manage to sleep well even if the devil scares you with a sinking boat scenario—or any scary scenario for that matter? If you’re powerful in sleep, what more if you’re awake?

The weakness of God is stronger than human strength. [1 Corinthians 1.25]

Rebuking Wind and Waves

A genuine Kingdom person rebukes winds and waves, and they obey—literally or figuratively. This is why I don’t want just being a member of some church denomination who knows nothing about the Kingdom. I want to be a Kingdom person in Christ. Kingdom people rule and reign with Him. They sit where Christ sits in the heavenly realms. They exercise power and authority over creation, spirits and things. The spirit world knows them although Kingdom people stay low-profile, meek, and ordinary in the worldly realms, especially in the worldly church.

It’s joy unspeakable when you personally experience rebuking devils, spirits, the rain, the wind, and other creation—and they obey you—because they see Christ in you. I have not yet tried rebuking waves, but it is God who chooses the time, place and situation to do this. Remember, as you conquer more forms of fear, you gain authority over more territories and situations in the spirit realms.

Better yet, if you master “sleeping” over more fearful and deadlier situations (sleeping in the everlasting Arms), then the devil begins to recognize you as it recognizes Christ.

Are You a Kingdom Person?

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Do you live life and do ministry in the ways of the Kingdom? You should if you’re a Kingdom person. You do everything in God’s ways, the way Jesus Christ did things in Scriptures. You never follow the ways of men and of this world. The reason why we’re born again is to be a Kingdom person like Jesus is.

The moment you’re born again, God wants you living in the Kingdom right away and be a true citizen there. “Unless you’re born again you cannot see the Kingdom of God,” says John. God wants you born again so you can see the Kingdom. That’s the very purpose of being transformed and regenerated. “Unless you are born of water and Spirit you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” Next is, you have to enter the Kingdom  now—and stay there. Live as a true citizen.

You live and work for the Kingdom. You share the Gospel to people so they too can be part of the Kingdom. You use your money and resources for the Kingdom. Everything is for the King and His Kingdom, because you’re a Kingdom person. You seek nothing except the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. That’s all. And the promise is, all your other concerns and needs will be added to you. God will supply your needs IF you are a Kingdom person.

And you know for sure that there is only ONE Kingdom. The Kingdom is NOT divided. The King is King to only one Kingdom. There are no small empires in the Kingdom.

In men’s churches today, there are many empires, each with its own doctrines. Each has its own founders or “emperors.” God’s Kingdom is not like that. It has only one Founder—Jesus Christ. It has only one doctrine—the entire Word of God. When it does something, it is done completely different from how the world does it.

When choosing leaders for instance, the world opts for those coming from the best schools with good credentials and titles and degrees and then vote on them. Jesus did differently. He chose “those he wanted” [Mark 3.13] and personally discipled them himself. There was no election and his apostles didn’t enroll in seminary or schools. In the Kingdom, serious church leadership training is through a Jesus-style discipleship, supernaturally deep in the Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit, not through bible school or seminary.

Churches today believe that Sunday worship should be done in their religious buildings. But Jesus said true worshipers worship neither on this or that mountain (no special place) but instead worship God in Spirit and in truth. Churches today also believe that God gave us one day out of six to devote for worship. But the Word says God owns our all—including all our 7 days in a week—so that worship should be daily (true Sabbath rest in God is everyday, says Hebrews). In fact, it says meditate the Word of God day and night, [Joshua 1.8].

Here’s God’s Last Kingdom Program. Click here.

The church in the world today says worship is what we do on Sundays in church, especially our Sunday worship programs and other activities. In fact, worship programs have become so important these days that churches are practically helpless without them. But Romans 12 says true spiritual worship is when we offer our bodies as living sacrifices (and that’s on a daily basis), holy and acceptable to God. It has nothing to do with rituals or programs we do in church.

In God’s Kingdom, the least is the greatest and the greatest is servant of all. Not so in the church today. They all pursue their masters and doctorate degrees to attach titles to their names and create an aura of greatness. They all want to be great and hold high positions because their worst fear is to become the least. Oh, how they fear being the least and smallest and weakest and the most insignificant of all! Every pastor is out there working hard to have a mega church and a name. They fear being the smallest church.

A Kingdom person belongs to one church—the universal, spiritual church of Jesus Christ—which is without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish, holy and blameless. It is radiant and glorious. He does not belong to any church denomination because he seriously believes God’s will reflected in Jesus’ prayer for all true believers to be completely united [John 17.23].

Finally, a Kingdom person is relaxed and stress free, living a simple, easy, meek and low-profile life while seriously serving the Lord. They have surrendered their lives and efforts to the Lord who promised them rest and an easy yoke.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matthew 11. 28-30]

But the world system gives you nothing but stress and exhaustion, requiring you to do big undertakings and produce endless accomplishments, pedestals and monuments, with a promise of making you great some day. But all you become in the end is sick with deadly diseases and never fully realizing that only God is great, along with the least in his Kingdom.

Jesus said, “Those who wear fine clothes live in palaces.” This is what people want—wealth and its concomitant greatness. But John the baptizer was different. Though he looked small and inconsequential, he was more than a prophet. He worked for God’s Kingdom alone and announced its coming. He talked of nothing else but the Kingdom and its righteousness. He was not just involved in a religious sector like the Pharisees and law teachers were. He represented the Kingdom.

Are you a Kingdom person, or are you just a member of some church denomination?

This will help you become a genuine Kingdom person in Christ. Click here.

Kingdom Classified Ad: Experienced Servants Wanted

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One time, I was meditating John 3, particularly Nicodemus’ meet with Jesus one night. Being the first time that the term “born again” was used in the history of the universe, naturally, Nicodemus knew nothing about it.

So he asked Jesus how anyone could be born again. But Jesus didn’t answer it. He just stressed how important being born of water and Spirit was. If we were Jesus, we’d automatically say, “Repent of sins, receive Jesus Christ, and surrender your life to him.”

But Jesus said nothing of the sort.

So, why didn’t Jesus answer him?

In the Spirit realms, it’s useless to explain truth to someone who hasn’t experienced it. Well, you may try to, but often it won;t work. Saul was a topnotch Pharisee knowing all the bible doctrines of his time, yet he didn’t understand a thing until he experienced it. When he went blind, that was time he asked, “Who are you, Lord?”

Click here for more radical reads.

In ministry, I have seen how it’s useless to preach to people who haven’t experienced their real need for salvation—a real desperation in life.

Jesus then explained everything to Saul and he just obeyed everything. Without experiencing truth, you have nothing, even if you are so active in church or ministry or if you memorize all Scripture.

If people receive Christ as Savior just because they are afraid of hell—or because they need recognition, a pat on the back, new friends, position, entertainment from the choir or worship team, etc. they will never understand church as Jesus designed and builds it. A lot of people are church members because they need to go to a church on Sunday. Any church. They think not doing so makes God angry.

Like “born again.” Church people know about it. They know where it can be found in the bible, memorize the passage, teach and share about it, evangelize people on it, post it on Facebook, make doctrines and human theologies out of it. But the problem is, so few have genuinely experienced it.

The same with “peace.” You go around churches and you’d see people who don’t know what peace is about. They’re stressed and tired and sickly.

Evangelicals keep telling people born again is not a religion. And yet, look at them—they do nothing but religion. They have nothing in their churches and ministries but religion. Obviously, they don’t know what they’re talking about. You compare how Jesus did ministry with what they are doing today, and you’d see how they are worlds apart.

Churches don’t look anything like Jesus. In fact, they look more like Pharisees. No kidding.

Unless truth is genuinely experienced, it remains a fact. A head knowledge. Head knowledge does not save. Even demons believe and shudder, said James. It’s not believing with our minds that saves. Believing with our hearts does.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. [Romans 10.9]

Imagine how many are in “born again” churches who know everything about it except experience it genuinely?

Genuine Experience radically transforms, as in the case of Saul on his way to Damascus. Jesus breathed on his disciples and they received the Holy Spirit [John 20.22] and several days after the Spirit was on them in Acts 2. They were radically changed forever.

If you’re truly born again, you’re radically transformed forever. Like Jesus, you will be different without meaning to. Like Jesus, you will think, live and do things differently, and lots of people will hate you for it—especially church people. God’s bible-based people were the first to hate Jesus Christ and were the first to want him crucified.

Before the experience and the change, Jesus specifically told his dicsiples not to do anything but to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Father [Acts 1.4].

The passage in Luke 24.49 is more revealing:

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.

It is clear then. You cannot do anything for God or his Kingdom unless you genuinely experience the truth first hand.

In church today, you get to do any ministry if you have credentials—after you have attended bible school, seminary, seminars or conferences, earned units, earned titles or degrees, etc. Your genuine experience of Jesus alone won’t qualify you.

If you want to lead in worship, you have to have a good voice, know how to play an instrument, have good stage presence and projection, and all that crap. You have to be an expert stage performer.

You get easily elected in a position if you are a professional—doctor, teacher, engineer, etc.

Nicodemus was “teacher of Israel,” said Jesus. Now that was a big and powerful credential. The best, in fact. Yet, Jesus said Nicodemus didn’t know a thing about the genuine born again experience.

You are Israel’s teacher, said Jesus, and do you not understand these things?

Just because you have the facts or you know a lot about the bible, doesn’t mean you have the experience.

If Nicodemus were alive today, churches would surely put him in the highest positions in their churches. Jesus would not. Only those with genuine experience of the truth fit a position in God’s Kingdom.

The Born Again Experience

Paul explained it clearly enough in 2 Corinthians 5.17. Anyone in Christ is a new creation. This is radical. In a way, Nicodemus was right—you re-enter a womb and come out a baby again. Hence, newbies in Christ are babes in Christ. They feed on spiritual milk. They need to grow.

What most churches do today is grow people still in their old, fleshly nature. All they get in the end are religious old people who have become experts in church politics, skillfully able to maneuver and control things using some passages in the bible their theologians have adulterated for the purpose.

You have nothing if you don’t start with a new creation in Christ—the old is passed, the new has come.

Imagine what disaster it will be if all the people in church know everything about God and the bible and church and religion, but have no genuine experience of Jesus Christ.

Ever-Increasing Glory Means Getting Simpler, Not Complicated

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Everybody’s trying to make church complicated these days. It has to have this and that and those and a lot more things. It has to have a lot more ministries and “mission works” and programs and activities and various kinds of “fellowships.” A lot more facilities, buildings and properties. The more complicated, the more they say the church is “growing.”

So they invent a lot of things to do.

But a truly growing church in God’s eyes, one that is really ever-increasing in glory, is that which grows simpler until it reaches the simple form, character and nature of what Jesus did. Most people think what Jesus did was a crude ministry and we have to improve on it. Wrong. What Jesus did is the model and the most advanced and the best. Nothing could be better. We have to advance to its level.

Jesus said anyone who has faith in him will do the same things he did—and greater things shall he do because He is going to the Father. The key to a truly growing church is doing what Jesus did, and doing greater (not better or more) works as a result of Jesus’ going to the Father.

Jesus “going to the Father” [John 14.12] means Jesus now left us physically and sent us the Holy Spirit to continue what he did in greater intensity, not because we have become greater, but because of the power of the Holy Spirit in us through Christ and with Jesus Himself interceding for us to the Father through His Spirit.

And doing greater things in Christ means we become simpler in life, character and ministry. More on this ministry by clicking here.

Look at the church in Ephesus. It was doing a lot more. It was so active and probably had a lot of ministries and programs and activities. It was an expert when it came to church doctrines and never gave up in the face of extreme difficulties. It was  always on the go!

I know your deeds,your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. [Revelation 2]

In the eyes of the world it was great. But look at how the Lord judged it.

You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.

What’s the Lord’s remedy? “Do the things you did at first.” Here is a hint of going back to the basics and making everything simple. And basically, it was about “the love you had at first.” The church at Ephesus  became so busy to the point of being complicated that it forgot or had forsaken the way it loved Jesus the first time. The only thing that happens to you when you become complicated and occupied is lose quality time with the Lord. Then, without noticing it, the glory fades and disappears. “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

In these last days, a lot of churches will be deceived this way. They will keep themselves busy with ministry and complicate things.

I go back (as I always do) to what works God really requires of us. People then asked Jesus what works they should do to do the work of God.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” [John 6.28-29]

It’s all so simple—to believe in Jesus. This is the basic. This is what we did at first. Simply believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you and your family. And what ministry did Jesus say we should do?

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. [John 14.12]

Anything else you add to this is from the world and the devil and will complicate what you do. It will decrease your glory until the Lord takes away your lampstand.

Doing the simple ministry of Jesus Christ alone gives you ever-increasing glory.

Pure Heart for Evangelism or Pure Greed to Increase Church Membership?

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Two impetus can drive us to do things in ministry—compassion or greed. If you’re a denominational pastor, you’re likely to be spurred on by greed. You are trained by your denomination to get as many people into your church as possible to up your church membership—because more membership means more church income.

And more income means more churches put up everywhere—to get more money from more people. And so on.

But there are those who share the Gospel out of pure compassion. They do it exactly as Jesus did it—with utter urgency but never in desperation. Jesus never pursued after people. He had compassion on them all but maintained the Kingdom policy that says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Desperation pursues after people, grabbing them by hook or by crook. It says, “Anyone who has ears to hear, let him hear. And if anyone cannot hear, we’ll make ’em.”

Jesus shared the Gospel and left people to decide on their own. He never followed them up or visited to invite them to his church next Sunday. Some who pursued him he discipled. Others, he sent home. Can you imagine that? Do you have Christ’s heart like that?

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” [Mark 5.18-19]

Others he discouraged from following him.

Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” [Mathew 8]

Jesus’ evangelism was without greed. He maintained a small group of disciples and followers (there were 120 when he ascended to heaven) although he shared the Gospel with everyone. He didn’t get all the people into his church because he believed in the Kingdom principle about the sower and reaper teamwork.

I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor. [John 4.38]

Others sow, others reap. And the radical thing is, some reap what they have not worked for (and which others have). And yet, they’re all happy together doing it.

…so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.

Today, when people that a certain church denomination has shared the Gospel with end up in another church denomination, the first denomination will be far from being “glad together” with the second denomination. In fact, they will consider it a loss. If the sower and reaper are not glad together, it’s NOT God’s work. It’s work of the flesh.

To know more radical Kingdom principles, buy our e-book God’s Flesh. Click here to get a PDF copy of it.

Do you get that Kingdom principle? You’re not supposed to grab it all for yourself to build a mega church for your name. You share the Gospel with all people as much as possible, and wait for God to give you those you would disciple. People God meant for you will come to you. You don’t have to pursue after them desperately, following them up and pestering them with your visits or forcing or coercing them. Jesus never did that.

All those the Father gives me will come to me, [John 6.37]

This passage is even clearer:

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, [John 6.44]

The Father draws people to you. That’s how the glorious church of Jesus Christ works. Those who aren’t drawn to you are meant for another church or pastor. You sowed the seed but others got the harvest. You should be glad.

If you have a pure heart for evangelism, your main concern is for lost souls, NOT how many would be added to your membership.

A lot of churches are merely the result of greed, not the Father’s work. They grabbed what wasn’t intended for them. Sure enough, they became big. But are Christians there really new creations in Christ (the old is past, the new has come)? Or are they a mix of the old and new?

How often do I see evangelical churches of different denominations all lined up in the same street or area, competing with each other and grabbing people from each other. They behave like they’re not working for the same “Company” but are rivals. They’re not in the same Body. And look at their results (look what character people there have).

Do not work for food that spoils, [John 6.27]

Pastors are mostly pressured to perform well by increasing membership each year, and these poor pastors obey so they can submit a good report to their denominations at the end of the year and earn their approval. It’s not compassion for lost souls but a challenge to beat the membership quota. Church has become like a franchise.

To others, it’s all a game or a popularity contest to see who’s a better pastor or leader. They love to get more people and set up more churches everywhere to make a name for themselves. And then they think their acquired numbers (membership and income) make them superior over other pastors. They’re drowning in the money-value system of the world.

The glorious church of Jesus Christ won’t be like that. The Word says, it’s without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. To be sure, you won’t find any trace of greed there, or any vainglory. This church is done purely by God’s Way—exactly as Jesus did his ministry, because He is the only Way. Only he deserves God’s approval [John 6.27] so we have to do everything His way.

In the end, all churches (regardless of how big they are) end up problematic, worldly and even counter-flowing what God is doing because they have been built by greed and vainglory. They are inspired by only one thing—more for themselves. And that’s also what drives their evangelism.

How You Enter God’s Rest 3

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Image from Mark’s Daily Apple

How do you do it? How do you actually rest and relax in God, do “nothing,” and yet produce a lot for God? Now, I remind you that just because you’re doing a lot of work for God and exhausting yourself in ministry, doesn’t follow that you are doing something useful for Him.

A lot of times you’re not. Many church workers labor for nothing. As long as you do man’s work (not God’s work), you work in vain. And God’s work is simply to believe in Jesus Christ, nothing more nothing less.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” [John 6.28-29]

And believing, says Hebrews 4, is about obedience to God’s voice, which in Hebrews 4 urges us to rest in God.

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it…for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works…Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, [Hebrews 4]

First, it’s about resting. Second, it’s about doing nothing. Consider this passage:

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who DOES NOT WORK but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. [Romans 4.4-5]

This principle is true in salvation and in serving God, since both are by grace through faith. You cannot serve God by your own efforts. If you do, you are given”wages” as an obligation, the same thing employees get from their boss. But if you serve as a faithful son or daughter, you are credited with what God possesses in himself—righteousness.

Some servants prefer wages than inheritance from the Father. So they work hard with their own efforts serving God. But sons relax because they enter their Father’s rest. How?

They do nothing that the Father is not doing.

The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. [John 5.19]

And what do they see the Father doing? Resting. God has been resting since the 7th day of creation.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. [Genesis 2.2]

And again in Hebrews:

“On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” [4.4]

So what should we do? Nothing except rest in God.

Radical, isn’t it? And a lot of church people won’t get it.

Pastors today do a lot of useless works. For instance, they need to have a church property and church building they keep improving on. They need to keep raising funds for that, so they solicit. They need to do lots of follow-ups on people they have shared the Gospel to and do visitations. They need to keep inviting people, even pestering and forcing them to attend their church services.

They also do a lot of gimmicks to entertain people in hopes of making them come back next Sunday—concerts, nice choir, worship team, superb sound systems, exciting programs, etc. Can you imagine how hectic and tiring church anniversaries are and Christmas worship? Some even have Halloween fellowships and Easter Services. Jesus didn’t do any of these, and certainly neither did the Father.

They try to please their members, especially the so-called “givers,” so they won’t transfer to another church. They must see to it that membership increases each year to also increase church income—because membership and income to them determine whether a church is dying or thriving. They do lots more things like these and later end up stressed up, troubled, worried, sickly and pressured over nothing.

Jesus didn’t do any of them in his ministry. Therefore, believers who enjoy God’s Sabbath rest also never do these things—they only do what they see the Father is doing through Jesus Christ.

They share the Gospel with people, leave them to decide for themselves and go on to the next. People go to them for more, as multitudes pursued after Jesus in his days. He never pursued after people. No follow-up or visiting. Jesus invited a few to his ministry once, and only in passing, but he never invited them twice.

The idea is to make people covet God, desiring Him desperately and making them work hard to pursue the experience while you rest in God. People should see how you rest and relax in God—smooth, easy, relaxed and free like the wind, caring about nothing and yet possessing God’s everything—and they should crave to have the same life, too. Yes, they see how you also have problems but what impresses them is the lack of stress and anxiety in your life. And they see Jesus in all that. They doggedly pursue Jesus first of all, then you and the Jesus they see in you.

But the problem today is, people relax while pastors work hard pursuing after them. Pastors covet them and sometimes compromise God just to get their nods. They get sick and die pursuing hard after people. If you do this, you get nothing but wages from God. People who get mere salaries from God usually are sickly and stressed out in ministry. Remember, only employees are given sick leaves, not the sons and daughters of the owner of the company. Tired and overworked people are moody and difficult to deal with and impose strictures on others—because the concept of rest is alien to them.

Remember, your first job is to rest in God by deepening your experience with him. This is done by meditating the Word of God day and night. And then you share the Gospel with people. The results are all up to God. You pursue no one for membership. Don’t beg anyone to join your church. It doesn’t matter if no one responds. It’s not your fault. It’s the work of the Holy Spirit to follow up. His job is to convict and convince. In the meantime, live the life and character of Jesus Christ. Be deep in his Word.

Then in his perfect time, God will draw some of them to you. Some God draws to you may become attenders, some supporters and a few may become your disciples, and here you have your second job—to disciple. You don’t have to worry about numbers. As you rest in God and obey his voice, God decides how many believers you’d have in the church He has entrusted to your care.

Often, God draws people to another church ministry, not the one he’s entrusted to you. That’s okay.

Church size and membership number mean nothing in God’s Kingdom. What matters is that you raise up those God gives you to be like Jesus Christ, have his spiritual DNA.

To know more about God’s rest, what God is actually doing today and what it’s like to be God’s Flesh, buy my e-book by clicking on this link. 

No Longer I Who Live

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Image from: goldenageofgaia.com

God’s flesh. God wants to live in you so He can manifest Himself fully to the world and give Himself glory. He alone can give Himself full glory, as it should be. Man can do nothing except upset that glory. Thus, you must die with Christ in spirit and no longer live but Christ must live in you.

You must be God’s flesh.

God does need your brilliant plans, church programs or amazing accomplishments “for him.” The church wastes time planning programs for God. As it does, it only tarnishes the holy Name. What the church should learn is to simply give up everything, even what it calls “church” (a term they use to enshrine their trophies and achievements). And then no longer live. Die to self. Then the glory of God will manifest gloriously.

Get Out!

When Solomon dedicated the temple, God’s glory came down in a dark cloud and the priests could no longer do their work. God shooed them away–threw them out, as it were–so they would not intervene in what He was doing. Today, God does not intend to manifest anymore in a dark cloud. He intends to be seen in human flesh–in God’s flesh–as Jesus had been. God’s flesh is the Jesus LIFE–no longer I who live, but Jesus.

Those who try to live and be seen are too blind to get the point. I’ve seen how church worship speakers needed to be introduced well, their achievements and positions and titles and degrees needed to be broadcast. I’ve seen how donors and givers in church needed to be recognized and even have their names engraved in stones or bronze, “to be seen by men. I tell you, they have been rewarded in full.”

The Master adds:

“I tell you, when you give, do not announce it. Don’t let your hand know what the other hand is doing.”

In other words, don’t live any longer. Dead people don’t need to be appreciated. They have no more concern for the flesh, much less for greatness, popularity or self-importance. It’s a powerful Kingdom principle: No longer I who live. Your ego should have long been buried, and don’t let it resurrect. The moment it does, it spells death and disaster.

The Kingdom has no place for your flesh, not even a bit of space. Don’t think that what you do or have or have done (no matter how biblical) is crucial and that without you God’s Kingdom would be paralyzed. Ridiculous, but a lot of church people act this way. Something like, “The church wouldn’t be where it is now if not for my accomplishments.”

But truth is, every accomplishment in the Kingdom is God’s doing, not anybody else’s. God can command even the stones to cry out to praise Him if we keep our mouths shut. He alone is important. So, all that really matters is for God in Christ to be glorified on earth. This alone propagates Kingdom come.

Just DIE!

Just let your flesh and ego drop dead. They shouldn’t be living, they shouldn’t be seen anymore. Just drop out of sight. There’s only One who is good. And that One alone should be seen. We should all learn how to drop out of sight and allow God to live our lives to the full. God’s flesh is all that matters.

The deeper you get to the spoken Word, the deeper you get your ego buried. To be deep in the spoken Word, you have to eat it, so you become what you eat. Eating means giving flesh to the Word daily, each moment, so that it’s no longer I who live, but the Word.

But some people refuse to die and be forgotten. They have their monuments and plaques of recognition, titles and degrees, and other garbage. But the more they try to save their lives the more they lose it. Lose it for Jesus and you find it. But the church is too blind to see this spiritual key to life. They try to resurrect their rotting flesh from the grave and get a man-made resurrection that stinks.

How Do You No Longer Live?

1. First, you should give up your self, your ego–all your accomplishments, and be empty, taking the form of a slave. A nobody. A nothing–like what Jesus did. He gave up everything. Philippians says the mind of Christ is giving up everything. Jesus “emptied himself” and took the form of a slave. Many Christians and churches make so much fuss about having the mind of Christ and yet give up nothing. They’re still full of themselves.

2. Next, you rally behind true unity in the Body of Christ. Jesus’ prayer that all true believers have complete unity–just as the Father and Son are one–should be your heart and life.

The unity God wants is perfect unity, as Jesus prayed for. God’s flesh can only manifest in the Body once complete unity is fulfilled. I don’t care how sincere or serious or biblical you are. If your heart is not for true and complete unity in the body, all your efforts are trash. Many people in the bible who were sincere and biblical fell. Only Jesus did not–and Jesus wants complete unity in his church on this planet.

Hence, we should cease to live and let Him live our lives.

This is the whole Christian ministry–it’s no longer I who live but Jesus who lives in me. Then God does everything through me.

And Dwelt Among Us

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Image from: d-i-g.com

The Word didn’t just become flesh—the Word dwelt among men. And this was where the power tripled. The Word is powerful. The Word turning flesh is more powerful. But the fleshed Word dwelling among men is most powerful.

“Dwelling among men” means being seen in the flesh and identified with fellow flesh. Being in spirit did not accomplish this. “In spirit” is awesome both in the natural and spirit realms, but the flesh cannot identify nor relate with it. The flesh is moved only by what it can identify with. So the spirit needed flesh.

Paul said “The Law (or Word) is spiritual, but I am carnal.” Carnality can never appreciate the spiritual except in pretense or religious acts. So the Word, which is spiritual, needed to assume flesh and dwell among men. The moment the Word starts to actually dwell among men, real awesome and triple power begins.

This is triple anointing.

When the Word “dwells among men” it is never fully appreciated by the flesh. But at least, the flesh begins to get awed by it, though only in part. It begins to see right from wrong, good from evil. It opens the eyes of men, though most of them will hate it.

Now here is the key: the more it is exposed to and mocked by men, Word in the flesh gets more powerful in the spirit!

If the Word had remained spirit, it would not have received the spiritual boost as when it was given flesh. Promotion or demotion in the spirit depends on what happens while in the flesh. In heaven, you can no longer be promoted. Rank promotion happens while your spirit lives in the flesh on earth.

In heaven, you will neither marry nor be given in marriage but will be like the angels. Hence, Lucifer rebelled when he saw how man could get promoted while man’s spirit was in the flesh living for God, and angels could not. Angels remained messengers to minister to those who are to inherit salvation. Of course, the rest of the angelic army were satisfied with their lot in the Kingdom.

But Lucifer and a handful of deceived followers were not.

Tremendous power in the Word comes when it is made flesh in us, and we live it out there in the world—where we mingle with real people, be persecuted and mocked, live powerfully as we remain meek and belittled, and triumphant in difficulties, testings, and temptations. Word power seldom comes when confined in the four corners of the church building.

Among the greatest deceptions today is being active in church—practicing in the choir, training hard for the worship team, making sure you get the tenor or soprano voices accurately and having your voices blend well, and things like that. These do not promote the Word being made flesh and dwelling among people—people who will crucify you because of the Jesus they see in you.