Friday, December 23, 2011

Move with me

Hello guys,



To readers and subscribers alike, if you haven't already moved to my new blogsite, please click on the link below to do so.

http://christmeditations.blogspot.com/

I have lots of fresh content and if you have enjoyed or being blessed in some way by the posts here, do come over to the new blog.

If you would like to jump right in and read some new posts, just follow any of the links below:

1. To fly...
2. The growing madness called Church
3. The Joy of Lying
4. Bored in Church
5. Earrings of God

Looking to seeing you on the new site
Cheers...


Monday, April 11, 2011

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED

Hello

There have been some problems with this blog and I have decided to re-open another account

However, all articles that were formerly on this blog have been moved to the new

http://christmeditations.blogspot.com/

Sorry for any inconvenience

I hope and believe that if you will keep reading my articles if they have made sense in any way



Cheers

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Esoteric (Part 2 of 2)

The first part of this article highlighted some thoughts:
  • That man is blind to the other sphere which we call the ‘spiritual’
  • That the earth as we know it is a smaller framework within a much larger framework or being – God
  • That the earth has it’s unique laws
  • That ‘Education’/’Learning’, as defined by an earth perspective, adds to the blindness man took on during the fall.
If you are sceptical or not clear about these points, you may want to try looking up the first article to properly understand the context for these statements above.

Ok, now that we are quite aware of earth’s laws or ‘earth-styled thinking’, I would like us to shift our perspectives a little. I said before that earth was shrouded in a larger ether, in which certain kinds of thought would bring about the creation of form that could be brought into earth and would be tangible via earth senses. So if you think about a ball and about having a ball – within that ether – you will come to hold a ball in your hands at some point.

Ah, that sounds like ‘The Secret’ or ‘The Science of getting Rich’, you may say to yourself. However, what goes on is far more complex than imagining something for long enough and having it – especially for the God chaser. You see, being able to create stuff out of nothing is not ‘Christian’, just as being able to excrete is not ‘human’. Every living thing has the ability to deal with waste material – and every human has the ability to create from nothing, the tangible. Jesus took it all one GIANT step forward – especially because of an understanding he had, which is always in scripture but which many God-chasers, especially in this day and age, seem not to understand. When you come to really understand something, and you accept the concept, walking in it is not difficult at all.

Let us examine God’s ‘world’ a little, the ‘pink ball’ we talked about –which is actually God himself because ‘God fills the heavens and earth’(Jer 23:24) and it is ‘in HIM, we live, move and have our being – and we are his offspring’ (Acts 17:28) You, the God-chaser, is a brother to Jesus and a mini-god by adoption – and you need to understand how to ‘fly’ (like the bumblebees) within the larger environment of God’s world.

First, all the things you see are made of things you cannot see. You can build ANYTHING from NOTHING – because in reality, there is really nothing like ‘nothing’ because we are in God, a living environment that creates. So what you call ‘blank’, or ‘empty’ is actually FULL if you could see or understand properly. It is full of God’s living and creating presence. It was in this way that rock and soil and water came from ‘NOTHING’ (which doesn’t exist) because they issued from that living environment. (Hebrews 11:3b) Putting scripture aside, science also DISCOVERS more as its understanding grows – and now we know, from science, that Quarks are a fundamental constituent of matter and are smaller than neutrons/protons, which were thought to be the smallest particle. I am going to laugh at the day it is discovered that quarks are made of…yes, you guessed right – NOTHING!

Second, a certain kind of concentrated thought is the primary tool for creation. These powerful thoughts propel the expression of aligning action and words. On a God-level, the whole of Genesis that talks about creation shows a pattern – there was conceptualisation (God had a clarity of thought about what he was setting in motion), there was a spoken word ‘And God said, let there be light and there was light…’Gen 1: 3, and there were attending actions. In Gen 1: 14 - 16, you notice that apart from just speaking, there is a sequence of ‘And God said’ and then ‘And God MADE’.

Any human being, whether he knows God or not, is in this ether and  can create things in this dimension from the bigger dimension we are a part of. Jesus said the children of this world are wiser than children of light, which is true in many regards because the religion we practice, which robs us of true spirituality, makes us major on the minor, on dogma and motion – without learning or gaining true understanding. You do not need to know God to be rich or to prosper on EARTH. You do not need to know God to create things from thought and see them become ‘real’. However, many children of God will write off anything they do not understand as being demonic or dangerous. The wool of deception that the devil has placed on many hearts is the real danger. Scripture should be read to kick-start the journey to a deeper walk with God and better understanding of life, but holy words alone cannot sustain you. You need a real link – or relationship – with life itself...life HIMSELF.

On a ‘man-level’, I’m sure many people know the scripture ‘the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much’ James 5: 16 (KJV), while another version says ‘makes tremendous power available’.

Let me try to clarify what this is like. Let’s say I ask you: What is 5 + 5? It takes nothing to say 10.

Now, if I ask you to give me straight away the answer to 678 + 32 in one second. You realise something: You can arrive at the answer BUT you need to ENGAGE a bit more to get the answer. It’s not outside the range of your ken, but it’s not a 5 + 5 matter as well!

It is the same way with effective creation or effectual prayer. It’s not in the multitude of words or silly way of passing time that people call ‘speaking in tongues’ while they think about clips from a recent movie while moving lips to form a babble stream. To create anything, there has to be a mental/spiritual engagement, a ‘laying hold’ that may feel cerebral –but don’t forget that your ‘brain’ and thoughts are linked to a spiritual ether that you exist in. You may never know the answer to the ‘equation’ above if you do not engage – not because you can’t, but because you have not exercised it.

Three, God’s presence fills all and he is in all, and really you are a mini-god, because God is your father if you are in him and Jesus is your brother, him being the firstborn of all who will be adopted sons (Romans 8: 29). However, though you have the ability to create from nothing and work with all the elements in the known world (Mark 11:23), your ‘creative’ abilities will be much stifled and you will have less results if you try to work out things ON YOUR OWN with the vast power at your disposal. You can do all things through Christ, even create animals and things from ‘nothing’ – but you will not be permitted to do or have all things because God working in you seeks to align you to his overall plan and purposes, and it is in using your abilities as and when HE wills that you achieve true success. Unanswered prayers are simply the result of a misunderstanding of the heart and/or timing of God on an issue.

Once more, the greatest purpose of the human being is to ABIDE in him.

Abide.

Walking on water


I was lying down in the boat when I felt, more than heard, the 'sound' of silence - just the type before a storm hit.

Then the storm hit!

We struggled for a while with the boat and rough seas and were glad when the seas finally became calmer. I didn't want my tombstone to read:

He lost his life as he searched for fish.

I thought of getting back to my cozy corner when someone pointed out to sea. What now, I thought to myself as my gaze followed his pointing finger - and that was when my hair stood on end.

There was someone out there and he was standing ON the water! We all cried out in fear till a crackle of lightening lit up the darkness of the night and we saw the gentle smile of the Master.

He was weird - and yet everything I wanted to be.
"Master is that you?" I called out before the others could find their voices. Thomas had shut his eyes and closed his ears - it was his way of coping with things he could not understand.

"It is me, Peter. The night wind is quite calming after today's hot weather" Jesus said casually. Gosh, he didn't have a single smug bone in him.

"Can I come and stand on the water WITH YOU?" I asked despite myself.

"Come, Peter" was all he said and then great clarity came upon me.
At his command, I COULD DO ALL THINGS BECAUSE HE STRENGTHENED ME!

Have a blessed day...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Esoteric

(Warning – This article may affect you)

I will like to share some thoughts – but I have to warn the readers beforehand that you do not have to take in the things that you see here. Some of them are very easy to understand and some are just…weird, or a bit confusing, but at the end of the day “let every man be fully persuaded”

All of scripture is from God BUT all of God is not in scripture. Let me clarify before I am misunderstood. Paul and Jesus, both who we know to have seen the ‘Heavenlies’ have both used a similar expression “There are things I would like to let you know, but you cannot bear them yet”. In addition to that, John, the disciple who wrote the book of Revelation, was told not to write thing said by the Seven Thunders (Now, that’s a loud conversation). In addition, Daniel was told to seal up certain things till the end of time.

So here is my allusion: It is very na├»ve to think that once you know all of scripture, you have come to know ALL about whom God is, all his ways and what he will do. Well, I’m sure many would not have imagined God sending out a spirit to be a lying spirit, telling Samuel to tell a little fib to King Saul, telling a ‘holy’ man to marry a prostitute, or telling Joshua to destroy a city and kill men, women, children and as the bible puts it “everything that breathes”…even the tiny babies in their cribs. David expresses this thought (that God doesn’t necessarily ENDORSE) when he quoted in the Psalms “Happy shall he be that takes your babies and smashes them against the stones” Psalm 137: 9 (Exclamation MINE!!!) So what am I trying to achieve.

It’s simple, really.
I am attempting to jolt you out of comfort zones of naivety that many God chasers seem to want to be cocooned in, as well as create a realization that there is so much MORE to God to know and DESIRE. That is why I want to say it with all boldness, at this point, that winning souls is NOT the most important endeavor of the God-chaser.

Ok, let me say that again.
Winning souls is NOT the MOST IMPORTANT work of the God-seeker. So, what is it?

The most important “work” is to ABIDE in HIM.

Jesus was about to die when he spoke with all the fervor that men who are about to die seem to have. You see, when you are about to die, from personal experience, your mind focuses wonderfully on what is most important. If you can, read the book of John 15: 1-9 where Jesus gave his ‘dead-man-walking’ nuggets to his disciples. But it worries me that many just read scripture without trying to get a feel for the times when the words were spoken, the mood in the air when things were said, the culture of the people at the time and the implications of the words and actions in the passages. When you think through and immerse yourself IN THAT TIME, you get deeper meaning of what appears to be just words. That is the essence of meditation.

Winning souls, healing, raising the dead, fellowship with man is ALL secondary. Why? It’s all about HIM – and when you TRULY abide in HIM, ALL these things WILL happen naturally. There are times to speak to people and there are times to be silent – and while it is okay to be led by passion and just ‘go out and preach’ at every point, it is retardation to stay there and not come to a place where EVERYTHING you do comes out of alignment and knowledge of what God wants to do at that point. You see, Jesus was effective in ministry not because he was passionate, but because he was abiding in the father and was led to do ALL he did – including healing one man at the pool of Bethesda and leaving the sick multitude behind without healing them.

Oh yes, at that point, he did not “heal them all”.  John 5: 1 - 15

You see, a fruit getting bigger, or ripening or accumulating more juice inside is ALL secondary… it needs to be ATTACHED first and to STAY attached – or in the case of the believer, remain continuously aligned with an unchanging God whose actions and plans are dynamic.

Now, let me attempt to paint a picture of the worLd of this God.

The earth is a sphere – or more precisely, oblate spheroid- with blue seas and brown patches of earth. Now the unseen atmosphere surrounds all that. That is the ‘physical’ as you see it. That realm has its laws – gravity, relativity, inertia and so on.

Now around that spherical ball of earth, can you try to imagine a light PINK ball that completely covers that blue ball? Good.
Now, in your mind, grow that pink ball till earth and its enveloping atmosphere is small and about the size of a little coin. Good. That pink ball is the ‘spiritual’ realm – which is actually a slightly misleading term – because it tends to suggest an ‘other’ sphere – rather than a superimposed sphere. Most of earth’s language is misleading anyway, but I will try to work with this cumbersome tool of language. But now, in your mind, you can see the large pink ball which completely shrouds the little earth ball. Stay with me, please.

The pink ball has its own laws as well. You see, by what we call thought (which has several layers), a spiritual pathway is opened and interesting things can happen. You can mould elements of the pink ball to be anything, from money to limbs to animals to rock – and then you can pull these things into/onto the blue ball...making these "thought forms" tangible and ‘touchable’. Now I am sure many people are thinking of how they can easily make money off the pink ball once they ‘understand’ it – while the skeptics are frowning and waiting for me to spew forth something they can call blatant heresy, and then, they, the proud 'defenders of the faith', can lead me high up to Calvary and have me…er, suspended – but wait a while.

That pink sphere is God’s sphere, his “atmosphere”, if you will. In fact, the pink sphere is God – and ALL things are from God, including what we term ‘good’ and ‘evil’ Isaiah 45: 7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"
Don’t like what you are reading in the bible, then you might want to try another book.

Now, with that as a background, let me JUMP off in another direction and connect it to this concept we are exploring.

Man, has been blinded on two levels. There is a basic blindness that we all have and then there is the secondary level of blindness that we continue to pile up as we live.

What the heck are you on about, dude?

Simply put, the first phase of blindness came from the fall when Adam “chewed”. Now, as the bible puts it, Adam saw that he was naked. Now, think about this, they were not wearing any clothes in the first place. If that thought was re-written, it would be “Adam PERCEIVED he was naked” – and that was why God still said to him “Who told you that you were naked?” Basically, Adam could not see the pink ball anymore. He could only see the blue little ball now and his mind started to adjust to compensate for his new-found reality”. The glory never ‘departed’ from him – he just could not see it anymore. What painfully drives this point home is Genesis 5: 3 “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”
You see, all the offspring of Adam from that time were now born blind – having no concrete perception of the LARGER, pink ball.

The second phase and what really re-enforces that blindness is a very “good” thing that comes with certain complications: Learning/Education.
We all feel smart when we can spout Avogadro’s laws or Newton’s laws or the annoying Boyle’s and Charles’ laws that did my brain in knots! There are laws for everything: Ideal gas laws, electromagnetic, thermodynamics, aerodynamics… and that brings a particular thought to my mind that sums it all up.

“By the laws of aerodynamics, bumble bees are not able to fly BUT because bumble bees do not know the laws of aerodynamics – they just go ahead and fly!”

Now, no one can put a finger on who actually did the calculations, but let us assume there were calculations at a time that ‘showed’ bumbles bees could not fly. Now imagine a bumble bee ‘school’ where they learn wonderful things about the complex world of flowers and reproduction and had to do pollen grain tests – and maybe one of them would ask about flight as an alternative strategy for evading predators, and the old bumble bee teacher who had never flown would write on the board (with all the smugness of one who thinks he really knows it all) all the LEARNT equations about why an INABILITY was to be accepted as normalcy.

Get the picture?

So, let me ask you. If a salamander or lizard loses it’s tail, can it grow it back?
The smart Alec will probably laugh at me and reply: Duh, It’s possible by a process called ‘regeneration’, dude – and it only happens among lower organisms, dude!
Now if you lose your arm, can it grow back by ‘regeneration’?

Well, the ‘truth’ you have learnt is that it is not possible, because you have been immersed in ‘Blue ball thinking’, and that is why it will never be possible for you.


Except something changes…


To be continued.

My thoughts on marriage

To my mind, if marriage was a movie, the man would be the pictures and the woman would be the sound, and if marriage were a painting, the man would bethe picture and the woman would be all the colours. Indeed, one can ‘operate’ without the other – but there is a lingering feeling of a lack of wholeness.

Today has been both wonderful and exhausting as a new phase of my life begins. So while I fix me a quick meal, I am glad to back the cooker for a while and type upon my keys a ‘few’ words…because at these points when spoken words fail me, I have come to understand that “my pen is the tongue of a ready writer”.

I think of marriage and how wonderful it is and God knows that by no means do I consider myself an expert. I have known my wife of a few years for over a decade and would I choose her again? Definitely. I would choose her again and again. But before this becomes a treatise on my emotional ‘dambuliarity’ (let he that readeth understand that there is no such word, but rather it’s a word that expresses a thought if you fill in the gaps), I will go on to address the topic of marriage.

Now, If you do not agree with the article, kindly write me a mail. I would really appreciate if it is personalised. Then obtain from me the updated address of my house. Obtain also, if you may, a stamp, which you should moisten and affix upon the envelop – and promptly post it in the trash can. I have chosen to write personal thought – and you have chosen to read my points of view. So, shall we begin?

My thoughts on marriage are: Do not get married to someone if you cannot let them have your password to your mobile phone and email addresses. If you plan to operate in your home anything other than complete openness, perhaps, you should keep up with dating. Marriage is best enjoyed when one realises that it is a willing ‘fusion’ of two parties.

My other thought is this; the most important person in your life when you get married becomes your partner. Ah, yes. People raise eyebrows at the thought that a spouse from the outside takes over the spot of their favourite parent. If you are not ready for that as well, then I suggest you keep living with your parents. Quoting scripture, a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh. The person who should hold mothers or fathers as most important are their spouses, not their children! But my father/mother is single, you counter. The world is not ideal, and you are not the architect of your parents’ fate. However, this is divine order: The older takes care of the young and weakens over time to be taken care of by the ‘young’. That is the natural cycle of life and honour of parents is a principle that should not be trifled with.

Marriage can be great fun when you are married to a friend, not an individual who comes along to ‘dazzle’ you with his romantic charm over a six months period. That is an easy timescale to wear and sustain a mask, but when you live with someone in the same house for that long, true colours come forth. So I say, if you have known someone for a long time, known and understood the individual’s nature and you can like that person’s company, do not think to yourself, ah, he is too much like a friend or brother. Your partner will be too much like a friend or brother ANYWAY and all that ‘swag’ and ‘jazz’ will wilt under the scrutiny of time.

One of the most enjoyable times, I have come to see, are moments when you can sit with your mate – and just enjoy who they are without words, champagne, glistening dinner lights or romantic music. I tell you what – if I had a partner who made candle light dinners with perfume and music EVERY NIGHT, by the end of the third year, I would be quite worried.

Ah, I just burnt dinner – but a burnt offering of yam, to my nostril, is a sweet smelling savour. I like burnt yams, you see.

Now, let me say this at this point. The man being lord over the woman is a result of the curse. Yeah. In a scenario where the man is the boss and the woman is the underdog, you are seeing the unravelling of the curse God placed on the woman at the fall – “He shall rule over you”. The man and his wife are partners and he may give a final directive, for the purpose of administration which is simpler with one head. However, the concepts and thoughts that shape the final decision must have given ample room for his wife’s point of view. What many men fail to realise is that decisions only based on logic are not always the best – and what many women fail to realise, is that you cannot leave your whole life based on feelings and intuition. There is need for balance – that cursed tightrope!

Borrowing a Chinese saying, ‘the man must have hands of steel well wrapped in bands of wool’

Before this becomes too long, here is a ‘final’ thought. When you get married, men, get ready to die.

That is so true, John, one must be ready to ‘die to the flesh’…

No. I mean die – or in very plain language, get killed. You are the defender and pillar in your home – or you must be building yourself up for that role. I once heard of a bishop who hid behind his wife when armed robbers broke into their home. While it is funny, it is quite an eye opener – that if you have not trained your mind with scenario planning on how to react, you will be caught pants down when life happens!

And beyond prayer or religious meetings, there is a highly important ingredient not emphasised by many. In monasteries, there is the Latin expression, ‘Otium Sanctum’ – which in English, means ‘holy play’. The ingredient I am talking about is PLAY. God has put play in all nature – just check out the pointless prancing of rams and goats or the mischief of moneys and mosquitoes! Play with your partner. Play with your kids – and play is not just about organised outings. Play fight, if you will. Toss a pillow, toss a ball, take pictures of funny moment – for God’s sake, life is already tough enough to be serious or ‘spiritual’(what bullocks!) all the time. Laugh more, take yourself less seriously sometimes and enjoy the wife/or husband of your youth.

Obviously, this is not a complete manual of marriage does and don’t. It’s just the ranting of a writer waiting for dinner.

Ciao!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Passing Through



I touch down briefly and look around. The familiar stink is all around and my eyes are adorned with the attempt at beautifying the filth of this place. I have to give kudos to those who live in this place, making the best of scarce resources – but my assignment hurries me on and I walk unseen by many to the place of destiny.

5mins…

The building looms large ahead. It is a weak contraption covered with paint. The service is about to begin and people stream in in droves. I walk towards the entrance, allowing the breeze to caress my being: it is one of the perks of the job. I stand next to the car park, and soon, I hear a sound that shuts all else out and my gaze falls on the moving hunk of metal. It is covered in paint and is soon lined with others of its kind. I look at the writing behind it.

It reads: Ferrari.

Its form reminds me in some way of some rare amphibian – but this primitive contraption could never equal in design. Now, all of my being is focused on the man who comes out of the vehicle. He is the very reason why I am in this place. His eyes meet mine and from many years of understanding and watching his kind, I can almost smell the loathsome filth of his pride, can see the lack of humility in his walk. I am nothing but an ant to him, shrouded in his bizarre garb of dead plants, purchased with heaps of paper with drawings of other men.

10mins…

I follow him into the building, and watch as the people around almost bow in reverence at his person and usher him towards the best seats. I follow closely. Allotted time is almost running out. I jostle my way past the ushers and seat myself beside my quarry. I know my way around the building, and without his knowledge, I have edge him towards the best seat for the day…and for the moment.

15mins…

A woman comes up to sing a song of worship. The faces of the congregation light up as they join in the worship. I know that true worship heals and for my assignment, I would fall prostrate in honour of my maker, the One who lives forever and ever, the Lamb and all-powerful Lion, the one who was dead and lives FOREVER – I force my mind back to my assignment. All thing should be done decently and in order.

20mins…

I realise the worship will be over as time for this service is short – or has been shorted for a reason. In five minutes the preacher will be speaking. I see the sermon’s topic is ‘Today is the day of salvation’. It will begin in 3 minutes, leaving 7 minutes for what I must do.  The man next to me looks already bored. My duties are clear. All I can do at this point is watch and wait. The preacher begins to speak, passion shrouding him with sweat in the first minute, but…

25min…

The man next to me gets to his feet abruptly and begins to walk towards the door. Behind me, the Preacher bellows, sounding almost frantic as I get up to follow my target to the door “Tomorrow may be too late. Don’t assume there will always be time, friend…” His voice fades into the past.

26min…
The man walks past the usher standing at the door, bringing out his phone in one fluid motion.

27min…
He speaks rapidly into the mouthpiece. There is an important function for the next day, I overhear. Listening in on conversation is a part of my job.

28mins…
He walks towards his ‘Ferrari’ and I follow him, closing the distance rapidly. He opens the door of the vehicle; I am right behind him now.

29mins…
He gets into the car quickly. I walk right past him. I know he drives fairly quickly to beat time. I have watched and known him for a while.

29mins 30secs…
I stand outside the gates of the building, knowing his car will be with me in a few moments.

29mins 58secs…
I hear the other sound I was waiting for as it comes right on schedule. My target hears the truck too late.

30mins…
The lumber truck smashes into the car with all the fury of a tornado, crushing its entire frame. In reality, the vehicle of metal just changes shape. It is only metal. I hear the sounds of bones crushing and the faint snap of skull and spine. The car seat, covered with animal skin, is now covered in blood. A mangled corpse in bits lies crumpled, like old money in tatters, in the crushed vehicle. I do not care about this frame of metal that has been given so much importance. It is simply metal. I do not care much about his clothes made from cotton – plants – purchased with heaps of paper called ‘money’. I do not care much about his body. Important as it is, it is the least important variable at this point.

If I was human, I would weep, but though some angels may come with wings, we do not have tear glands. My eyes stare at the man who looks at me in surprise as light from above bathes us...beckons us. It is time to go. 

He has no clothes on, but he is not naked as he stands before me in his true form without his frail covering of passing flesh. His weak frame shivers in fear and shock before me.  Most of the time, when it was ‘pick-up’ time, humans always seemed surprised and unprepared, drenched in the illusion that the world will always go on.

Beyond that, If I was human, I would weep for this soul that was lost…for all eternity.

Its 33minutes now and I am flying past the Sun to present my target to the SON. My job is done; I go to where I’m from. This world is not my home. I’m just passing through.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Identity crisis: Shut up, Mr. Pastor! - Part 2 (Final)

The first part of this article was aimed at attempting to get people to think out of the box and see scripture without the assumptions it generally tends to be taught with. I plan to really zero in on the meat of the article. However, I need to say something before I go on. I am NOT looking to encourage finger-pointing or fault finding. That is all too easy to do and a breeding ground for hypocrisy. While we should be unafraid to break free of bondage from any quarter, whether denominational or not, I am hoping that individuals, like you and I, will be able to find their roles in the body AND function. There is no point if there is no edification. So let me try to clarify these giftings.

First, the word ‘apostle’ means one is one who is ‘sent out’. Paul always started his letters with ‘Paul an apostle of Jesus…’. Several definitions include ‘an individual who plants the Christian faith in new places’, as well as ‘one who has the ability to build spiritual communities’.

These definitions, as well as a study of Paul’s life, help to clarify the apostolic function. It is a gift that triggers an individual (or individuals) to GO OUT with God-given passion, to bring God’s word to people, to foster and build NETWORKS aimed at BUILDING body life. He/She may tend to be adventurous, have a knack for trying new things and tends to be project person. (I say this at the risk of people thinking in terms of process-centric organisational projects, which are never the best model to imitate with regards to the workings of God’s body – his people.) Apostles like to ‘build’ and like Paul said, ‘lay the foundation’.  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 1 Corinthians 3:10

The reality is that many denominations are started by ‘pastors’ who are really apostles. They like projects, they like to build and in isolation, tend to like order and structure. A circle of believers RUN by ONLY apostolic individual MAY have problems because of the love for structure – and that is why this role is complimented by THE PROPHET.



A prophet is one who does two major things, amongst others. He gives INSPIRED thoughts and foretells future events. Sorry if I burst your bubble but a prophet does not always sit in hermit-like silence waiting for God to send his next vision, while he froths at the mouth and has a weird stare. Now, just before you laugh, Ezekiel, an Old Testament prophet, had to do some very weird stuff – and prophets can be weird. Why, you ask? You see they live between two realities and dancing between two contrasting worlds can make you seem a tad loony sometimes! Prophets give inspired preaching; they help the body get aware of things happening in the spiritual, what God may be saying at certain points. Because he is led by the Spirit who is not rigid and has been compared to wind, he brings balance and challenges RELIGION when he is really in tune with God. I think ACTIVE and TRUE prophets are in very short supply our day.

Point to note, every prophecy must be judged by scripture when given to an individual, and when said out loud in a gathering, two to three ELDERS are to judge and determine if it aligns with scripture. The same goes for shouting out in ‘tongues’. If there is no interpreter, shut up your mouth…or do the whisper! Simple. Prophets may be radical by nature, having a strength of personality that is needed to go against the tide when they see things that others do not see. They may also have lone spells as it is easier to get spiritual clarity when away from the general din.

Now, when apostles lay foundations and kick-start a move, and prophets compliment them, it becomes necessary to deepen understanding, and this is where teachers come in. They like to analyse, read, explore, and ask ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘how’, ‘what’ – and are generally created CURIOUS! From taking time to learn and study, and by virtue of the drive they possess, when they explain scripture, you have an ‘aha’ moment. They can help the body understand concepts.  So much of the catastrophe we have to deal with come from people who try to force themselves into roles that they are not made for. There are times you sit listening to a preacher who is ‘teaching’, and you realise that he is completely off the mark again and again – but suddenly you notice that when he starts to appeal to those who may not be in line with God, powerful passion comes from nowhere that makes him convincing, simply because he has other giftings, - but not the gift of teaching. The teacher has a drive to know, to learn, has the ability to flesh concepts, to see symmetries, to understand and to explain in a way that is enlightening.

Then we have the Pastor.

A pastor is a spiritual shepherd BUT that term, 'shepherd', has been bastardised. The reason is that there is actually only ONE shepherd, one GOOD shepherd – and that is Christ. And all of us are brethren. John 10:16 “ And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd”. You see, E.A Adeboye, Chris Oyakhilome, T.D Jakes, you and I are ALL BRETHREN and none is above the other. However, a pastor’s shepherd tendencies refer to the affection he has for the sheep, NOT about being able to 'LEAD' or stand in front of them. A hireling can do just that. He may look or sound like a shepherd, but how do you know when he is NOT a shepherd?

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. John 10:12 – 13

So how do you know a pastor, from scripture? Let me use this weird explanation. If a pastor doesn’t learn from others about managing his resource, he tends to end up being broke a lot of the time. Why, you ask? You see, a pastor is ready to spend and be spent for those he MINISTERS to. He, unlike the Apostle or Prophet, has a greater tendency to micromanage. The church (not the denomination) suffers because many (ordained) ‘pastors’ do not have this passion, and many real pastors are not ordained, and remain unaware that they are really pastors and should go ahead and function in that nurturing capacity.

I heard of a story about a popular ‘pastor’. There was a major program coming up and funds were being allocated for the program. Now, one of his PA’s told him that his wife needed heart surgery, but could not afford it. Because of the coming ‘gospel concert’ no funds were given to the PA’s wife. She died on the day the concert began. Well, here is my personal opinion (and God knows way better than I do). That ‘pastor’ though popular, is not a pastor. You see, a pastor’s shepherding instinct would not be able to let that happen to his sheep. A pastor is not OVER his sheep. He is a PART of the sheep but has a duty to care for them because he is one of several sheep that is imbued with capacity for caring and nurturing – and compliments the roles of others who are a part of the flock.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  Matt 23: 8-12

The problem is these days, we have a lot of ‘shepherds’ who have acquired a taste and craving for sheep barbeque.

How does a pastor function? A pastor is caring and nurturing, will have no inhibitions about using time and resource to help others in the body, and is wary about false teachings. He is the one who likes to settle quibbling, will pray for others (Note: I did not say call for prayer meetings), will feel sensitive to the emotionally wounded – and he often finds out, if he is ordained a pastor, that he is inadequate. You can’t have enough hands and that is why many TRUE pastors are in the body of Christ, but are not ordained - and are not functioning. And that is why denominational leaders are swamped with handling too much, so much so that their families tend to suffer. THIS WAS NOT THE DESIGN GOD HAD IN MIND! Every gathering has a pool of complementary gifting, but people do nothing because they don’t know or have been taught to lean on a man for direction, nourishment, growth and everything else. That is not organic living. It is parasitism.

That leaves the evangelist. Phillips is the only person in the New Testament who is specifically called an evangelist. He also had daughters who were prophetesses. Must have been an interesting family! An evangelist is a man-on-the-move. He declares the gospel to the unreached, not really concerned about setting up a lasting system, but wanting people to hear and be convinced. He tends to be armed with miracles and a radical mindset, because he needs it. You see, unlike most of the others, he is a ‘field worker’. So right after Phillip preached to the Eunuch, he was teleported! How cool!!!

So picture this. An evangelist goes out to preach to a tribe somewhere. He is accompanied by an Apostle.  The evangelist moved off, but like Paul, the Apostle stays for a while encouraging the saints and facilitating fellowship because in a few weeks he will LEAVE them to stand alone. Yes. Trusting God to KEEP those he called, Paul left them leaderless and thriving only on communion and fellowship!

Go on, read Acts again. Like I say in most articles of mine, don’t believe me. Do find out for yourself.

Paul would set up ACTUAL churches and these leaderless groups thrived as ministry gifts came to the fore. He would return or send letters to them much later to appoint elders who would be people they knew to be godly and mature based on real knowledge gained from fellowship and interactions. Teachers among them would study scripture (remember the Bereans) and prophets and pastors in these gatherings would grow in their gifting because there was room to express them.

Like a living system it was meant to be, evangelists bring about expansion and growth, apostles co-ordinate, prophets are the defence mechanism, pastors nurture and heal, while teachers increase intelligence. The result is everyone is built up – or using old English ‘EDIFIED’. These roles do not need offices or nifty titles. Chances are, YOU reading this have one or more of these gifts. So if a brother goes out of line, like Peter did and was blasted by Paul, because he is your brother, you can say ‘Shut up, Mr. Pastor!’, as long as he is a pastor.

If you can’t say that in genuine love, though, you can always send a well-written email.

Goodness and mercy shall follow you – and may you REMAIN a house of the Lord all your life

Cheers…