A Spiritual Juggernaut – Part 1

The Apostle Paul was a spiritual juggernaut. The life of the Apostle Paul shows just what can happen when men have crucified their lives. There is power – indescribable power – in the crucified life!

Did you ever stop to think about Hebrews 11:3? The Bible says about God:

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb. 11:3)

Imagine the power that could create the visible world (the universe). And we are not talking about the world as we know it, no. The world as we know it is a perversion of what God created. God created a perfect world. Perfect in every sense. The Bible declares:

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31)

This was the world that God created. The world that God created was perfect in goodness. But the day Adam sinned, he was chased out of that perfect world, and ever since we now live in

this present evil world.” (Gal. 1:4)

The world we live in today is imperfect and perverse. And yet we think it is some sort of paradise! Imagine such blindness!!

Think also of how we boast in our little accomplishments in this world, forgetting that there is a Creator who brought about all that there is.

But God is able to do exceedingly far above the visible world. He is able to make new creations out of us.

God is perfect in power. But we need to know the reason for this power. It is because God is also the Ultimate Sacrifice. He gave His Only Begotten Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. The power that God has, therefore, is the power of love.

The truly Good News is that the power that God has is available to every man and woman who is willing to crucify their lives to the extent that Christ did. And this was the sacrifice that the Apostle Paul sought to make of his own life, that he might live the full life of the Spirit, to reveal the love of God to the world. For this reason Paul declared:

we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23), and;

“I am crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).

You cannot make a mockery of a man whose life has been crucified with Christ.

In order to preach Christ and His power (which is the power of the Holy Spirit), we must cross the veil of the flesh. We must of necessity die to our flesh, or self; and henceforth when we preach, or live, our preaching and our life will be a distillation of the right Spirit right from Heaven.

This was the goal that Paul sought to attain to, and we see clearly his determination to arrive there through crucifying his flesh. And the impact that he made upon the church and upon the world was far, widespread, and palpable. Moreover, it will live on forever.

It is clear that the problem with the present-day church is that we have not died to the flesh. We have not crucified the flesh! (I am not saying we are not saved; although our not crucifying our flesh could also drastically impact negatively on our salvation.) God is not a respecter of persons. For this reason, we cannot bring the power of God to impact the world like the Apostle Paul did.

But we have done worse. We have refused to crucify our flesh. Instead of crying out to God to help us crucify our flesh, we have gone off and introduced other gospels, gospels which have not the resurrection power of Christ in them. This costly rebelliousness on the part of the church is what we will look at in the second part of this post.

“The Sons Of God” – Part 2

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Rom. 8:18-19

Although Adam might have been able to fly, yet, under the New Covenant, we could hardly find time to talk about Adam and his flying skills. On the contrary, we are to look at the heart. Something bad happened with Adam’s heart. And thereafter, grief, sorrow, fear and death reigned over the earth. Whether Adam was able to fly thereafter or not is no more of importance to us.

I truly thank God for the revelation that He has given to the church concerning the heart. Where would we be without this revelation? No doubt we would be preaching the charismatic gospel of material prosperity, et al.

But the Bible says:

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).

I have heard many preachers try to make this scripture to be about the human intellect. But they could hardly be more off-track. This scripture is not talking about the brain. Indeed, no scripture addresses the human intellect. All scripture addresses the heart. All it is saying here is that as a man is in his heart, so is he. As a man is in his heart, so is everything about him.

Elsewhere, the Psalmist wrote:

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Ps. 139:14)

The Psalmist was in the Spirit when he wrote those words. He was not in the flesh. The Psalmist here therefore is talking about the heart. God could hardly be bothered with our bodies the way we are.

In the Bible, we find men and women who had the heart of God. Men like David. And Abigail, among countless others. I have it in my heart to write about these two especially and, God willing, I shall do so within the next few days.

God has given us a heart that is fearfully and wonderfully made. A heart where God can dwell. Through Jesus Christ, our hearts have become the dwelling place of God.

Is that not so wonderful! But for us to arrive at the place where God dwells in our hearts, we have to pay the price. And, pray, what is the price?

The price is to circumcise our hearts. Those are the “sufferings” the Apostle Paul talks of in our key scripture above. Notice,

“we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23)!

The true gospel of Jesus Christ preaches the singularity of the sufferings and death of Christ through crucifixion. It may not be a “pop” gospel, but it is the true gospel. Any other gospel, any other Jesus, is not genuine and the preaching of such simply draws men and women further from eternal life (2 Cor. 11:4).

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus Himself said,

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

The denial of self and the taking up of our cross is not easy. But there is no different path. The cross makes for a beautiful heart. A beautiful heart, on the other hand, makes the difference in this world – and in the next.

I find myself singularly wanting in any endeavor to do justice to this important subject. What I have written here is my small contribution for now. I pray it might make a difference in the lives of any who read it.

[Man is an incredibly wonderful creation. God intended it to be so. Judge Frank Caprio]

“The Sons Of God” – Part 1

“The Sons Of God” – Part 1

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Rom. 8:18-19

The words “the creature” in verse 19 refer to all of creation. This verse could therefore also have been written, “For the earnest expectation of all creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

All of creation. That understanding is important to our comprehension of this scripture. But… before we get to the meat of this scripture, let us look at another scripture in Genesis chapter 1.

“26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth… 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:26-31)

The other day I read in the news that a lion mauled and badly injured eight young Maasai men in the countryside. The beast chanced upon them as they were digging a well and attacked them. The young morans were unprepared for the attack, of course, and as they scattered they cried out for help. But the lion fought off anyone who came to help and he managed to walk away from the confrontation largely unscathed. Fortunately, no one died; but some of the morans were badly injured.

In the comments section of that story, people were talking about how things would have turned out had the young men been from a different tribe. One comment read, “The headlines would have read: ‘Eight young men mauled to death by a lion'”.

The Maasai are without a doubt the most redoubtable people in the land. In the early days, a Maasai warrior had to hunt and kill a lion in order to be initiated into manhood.

But the lion is no animal to tangle with. It is known to be the boldest and most ferocious animal in Africa. This time, unprepared, nine young warriors were wrecked by a single marauding lion.

But the first man, Adam, was an awesome creation before the fall.  He was beautiful and wonderful to behold. We cannot imagine the glory that attended the first man. Adam was clothed with the glory and power of God. We could say he was supernatural. I once heard Benny Hinn claim that Adam could fly. I cannot argue with that. Adam was a truly awesome creation.

Had Adam encountered the lion, all alone, Adam would have played with it the way one plays with a cat. The Bible says,

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (v.28)

Adam had dominion over every living thing that moved upon the earth. He was every creation’s master. All of earthly creation was subject to him.

It was only after the fall that God turned the tables on Adam (or, rather, Adam turned the tables on himself!). Now, man fears everything. (Even a domestic cat, when cornered, can be deadly! Nothing in this world is safe anymore, and nothing is to be taken lightly.)

The Unity Of The Godhead

I and my Father are one. Joh 10:30

God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit – these three form the Godhead, God. The Godhead is not something easy to explain. God is pre-existent. He existed before anything ever was. He is also the Creator of everything, matter and non-matter. Everything that is originated with God. Some things He simply spoke into being. Others He created. The Bible says in John 1:3:

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

That is how powerful and all-encompassing God is. God’s power is actually indescribable. Howbeit, there are many ways to physically gauge the power of God. One of the best (for me) is to look up into the sky on a star-lit night. You will see there things that will surely have you thinking hard. You might also need to read a few articles or, even much better, watch a few documentaries about space. Scientists tell us there are billions upon billions of stars out there. You might want to learn about inter-planetary or even interstellar travel, where distances are measured in something called “light years”. You will be astounded beyond belief at what scientists are uncovering  about the power that was involved in the activity and creation of the universe.

But even with all these discoveries, astronomers are still stuck in the vast abstractness of what they call the ‘known universe’! In other words, there is something beyond this ‘known universe’, and they have barely began to scratch at the proverbial tip of the iceberg! But already they have been rendered breathless by the awesome power and wonder in the humble discoveries that they have made.

Unbeknown to man, though, all these jaw-dropping ‘discoveries’ are just a stroll in the garden for God. He it is He who created them all. And He is so familiar with the territory that He knows the number of stars in the universe and He calls each star by its name! (Ps. 147:4). (Which suggests the universe might be finite, after all, although with God ‘finiteness’ might be a trillion trillion trillion light years beyond the curve of the unknown universe!)

There are simply no human words to describe God, or His power. He is indescribably powerful, glorious and majestic. And here we are looking at just the physical dimension of God’s power. We have not even come close to touching on the spiritual aspect of the Godhead, which is the heart of who God is. The Bible states that God is Spirit. In this regard, the physical aspect of God is a distraction, at best.

In the Spirit, God is THE GREAT GOD. Even God’s great nation, the Jews, lacked the strength to mouth God’s name, so they wrote it in un-pronouncable format: YWHW. When men gathered enough courage to pronounce that Name, they pronounced it ‘YAHWEH’.

But we do not have space in this post to attempt to look at God’s spiritual attributes. We will save that for another day. But let us move on…

There is something else concerning the Godhead which is also not easy to understand. This is the fact that each one of the Godhead is individually existent. In fact, they have separate Names. God the Father is called YAHWEH; God the Son is called Jesus Christ; and there is God the Holy Spirit.

By being individually existent, it means that each one of the Godhead is capable of or has a will of His own. Which further means that each one is capable of thinking on His own accord and making decisions of His own.

And yet – they are one. Jesus told the Jews: “I and my Father are one.”

Why would Jesus feel the need to say these words? It was because it was obvious that He and God the Father were two individual entities, but Jesus looked and did everything exactly like God the Father. If one saw Jesus, he had in effect seen God the Father – in poise, in character, in operation – in everything!

And this point right here is the heart of this post. Right here is where we get the most astounding revelation concerning the Godhead, which is the fact that each one of these powerful individuals that form the Godhead was able to put aside His will and humble themselves to become ONE. They merged their wills. Indeed, the most incredible thing about the Godhead is God’s humility. Considering their exalted position, it would have been very difficult for God the Father or God the Son or God the Holy Spirit to humble themselves. Each one of them could have said, “I am God”.

But the Godhead did that which is simply impossible with man. They humbled themselves and became one.

This is a most astounding fact. It is especially so with God the Father, considering who He truly is. How He could lower Himself to become one with His Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit, is unbelievable.

But, of course, God went on from there and humbled Himself to unimaginable levels for our sake. Which is a different story all together.

Human nature is as far from God’s nature as the earth is from the heavens. Man only seeks to be elevated. It is impossible to find a man who can put aside their will for the sake of uniting himself fully with another. It is only until a man understands the cross of Jesus Christ and submits his life to it that he can do this.

But this kind of Godly humility and unity is exactly the very challenge that scripture calls us to. In Philippians 2:3-4 the Apostle Paul writes:

“3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

The contrast between the Godhead and human nature is so amazing. One – God – is indescribably elevated in glory, power and majesty, and yet so humble. The other, man, is lowly nothingness, and yet he is so full of human pride. “I” becomes god to him.

It amazes me that the church as we know it is full of people of every category and position: apostles, prophets, bishops, popes, and every kind of exalted position… Add to this our fine denominations, churches, ministries and fellowships which we love to pride ourselves in. But to find a truly humble man, that is a different matter all together. Man has become bigger than God Himself! Surely, we have a big problem in our hearts! And we all know that pride was the very problem that Satan had: he wanted to put himself above God (Is. 14:13-14). We are therefore the children of our father, the devil, when we fail to attain to God’s level of humility. And do not be deceived by the liberal theologies of how once we have been born again, we will go to heaven no matter what. You can be saved and still go to hell. Especially if you have pride in your heart.

That is why I love the gospel that the Apostle Paul preached, “… Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)

Why? Again the Apostle answers for us:

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor.1:18)

Notice, “the preaching of the cross… is the power of God.”

What a powerful revelation! For us to have the character of Christ in us, we must go through the baptism of the cross.

It was for this very reason that Paul loved the cross of Christ with all his heart (2 Cor. 12:10-11). He knew what it could accomplish in him. It made him to die to self and to give his life for others.

I may not have attained to it but I, too, like Paul, love the cross of Jesus Christ with all my heart. I want to humble myself and be able to unite my heart with true men and women of God, the church of Jesus Christ.

[The world is all about self, “I”, but you can hardly notice it with all the apparent calm around us]


Nature Glorifies God!

All of nature, except man, naturally declares the glory of God. Man is naturally so selfish that He wakes up every morning grumbling instead of giving thanks.

The birds wake us every morning with their joyous chirping. They are happy to see another day. The house rooster crows and flaps its wings in utter abandon upon observing a new day. The trees sway in unison to declare the glory of God. The honeybee begins its rounds to collect the materials needed to make sweet honey.

Every part of God’s creation wakes up bright and cheery – except man. He can only wake up cheery if there is anything that will profit him in the flesh, like a new job, or if he is getting married that day.

But in the Spirit, I believe we as believers ought to be bright and cheery all the time. That is one of the ways to declare the glory of God. If we could only see in the Spirit, we certainly would wake up shouting like madmen with joy every morning.

That is why Paul and Silas could pray and sing songs of praise after they had been badly beaten and were put in the stocks (Acts 16:25). Do you know what stocks are? It was a most agonizing form of  punishment way back in those days. It was difficult to breathe when in the stocks; but Paul and Silas were so happy they sang praises to God! They did not sing the blues, no; they sang praises!!

God has done so many things for us in the Spirit. Many of these things cannot be seen with the eyes of flesh. They are only discernible in the Spirit. And yet they are the most profound things that He has done for us. And when we see them, nothing can stop us from praising God.

The Lord also blesses us in the flesh. He gives us many things freely.

When we are seeing in the Spirit, there is nothing that can be above us. There is nothing that can prevent us from rejoicing in our spirits even when the flesh is undergoing persecution.

May we pray for a spirit of revelation and understanding. When we walk in the fullness of this spirit, it is one way that we can bless the Lord.

[Below: Children, too, naturally declare the glory of God]


The Cross Reveals God’s Glory

12 And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments…

18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? Jdg. 14:12-18

In the Bible, honey is a symbol of the revelation of Christ. In other words, therefore, according to this scripture, what is sweeter than revelation to the soul of man?

Moreover, the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ is the single most potent force on earth, and, I believe, in heaven also. We know that one day, finally, Christ Himself will become “subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28); but at present there is nothing in heaven or on the earth that supersedes the work that Christ accomplished at Calvary.

Have you ever looked at the midday, or even the morning sun? Even a casual direct glance at this solar ball is enough to momentarily blind you, it is so bright. The sun is a testament to the power of God. And that is just in the natural.

At night also, in the natural, God awes us with the power and splendour of the starry sky. Astronomers tell us that this exquisite heavenly tapestry, the universe, is endless.

And have you ever seen the heaving ocean? It is formidable.

There are so many things in the natural that tell of the power and grandeur of God.

Now, just imagine this God who can amaze us so in the natural, just how much more can He accomplish in the Spirit? Much more, I believe.

But God amazes even more. For, in the Spirit, God in His wisdom chose to show forth His power through weakness, through the breaking of the flesh. Remember when we break bread during communion we are symbolically breaking the body of Jesus Christ. At the cross, Jesus showed the power of God by breaking His flesh thereon.

Today, the church teaches us to covet earthly riches, but in the natural, Jesus was not a rich man. Today the church teaches power and influence; but Jesus the Son of God was made baser than the most ignoble of us. When He was taken to Caiaphas’ house, even the house servants slapped Him in the face! (Mk. 14:65) Ultimately Jesus gave up His earthly life at the cross.

That is why the church needs to understand the cross. In other words, the church needs a revelation of the cross. Actually, that is all that the church needs.

The cross is where the power of the flesh is broken. It is where the spiritual man is formed and made whole.

And may God bless the soul of His servant, Paul, who would preach nothing else apart from this great revelation. Throughout the centuries, the enemy has tried to bury this revelation, and he has brought in “damnable heresies” into the church (2 Pet. 2:1).

But in our day, God is again bringing to light His wisdom and power through His servants the apostles and prophets – the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ. If there is one thing of which I am absolutely certain today, it is that God’s plan and purpose is again gaining the ascendancy over these heresies that have held the modern church captive all these years.

The church would do well to desire to humble itself and to prayerfully seek out this revelation instead of continuing to rush to nowhere with its much-publicised wisdoms which are nothing but a manifestation of man’s pride.

[Below: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork…” (Ps. 19:1)]


God’s Magnanimous Heart

Genesis 2 reveals a bit of the nature of God. Let us see what it has to say.

We read that after God had created man He planted a garden in the east of Eden and put the man He had created there.

Verse 9 says that after God had put man in the garden, He made to grow in the garden “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”

Notice the words “pleasant” and “good” there. “Pleasant to the sight and good for food.” And that was all for Adam to enjoy!

In verse 16 we also read, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat…” (Except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for a special reason).

Notice the word “freely” there. It speaks volumes about the heart of God.

The Swahili translation reads: “You may eat of the fruit of any tree in the garden of Eden”. That is total freedom.

Then in verse 18 God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

God was thinking about the welfare of His good man all the time! And so God got busy for Adam.

“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” v.19

I can see God lovingly creating all these animals – just for Adam. Then He gathered them all together and brought them into Adam’s presence. What royal treatment!

Then He told Adam to give them names.

“And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” That’s a big ‘wow’ there! “Whatsoever” the man called any animal “that was the name thereof”.

God lovingly and patiently stood by as Adam took all the time in the world to name the animals. And he never intervened.

Had it been us, it would have been difficult for us in our legalistic makeup to stand there the whole day and watch such a process. And you can imagine there would most likely have been a row of no small proportions as we probably would not have agreed to some of the names that Adam gave to the animals, for example, crocodile. ‘What kind of a name is that, man?!’ we probably would have railed, after we had walked round the Garden a couple of rounds to take a breather.

But God stood there joyfully and let Adam do all naming.

“And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” Total, perfect liberty.

But, alas, among these animals “for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” v.20

And so God got busy again.

“21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

We can easily visualize God tenderly putting Adam to sleep and lovingly forming that beautiful creation, woman with all her tender physical and emotional composition. Then – the most delightful part – God presented her to Adam.

God enjoyed doing things for Adam. But it is the freedom that God gave to Adam that I am most enamoured with. With the exception of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which for a special reason God instructed him not to eat, God gave to Adam free rein in the kingdom that He had created for him in Eden.

Lastly, of course, we see that Adam and Eve lived happily after, for some time. And the Bible says that they, knowing neither good nor evil “were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” v. 25

That’s paradise.

We only wish the story would have ended at Genesis 2. But we know there are a few things that Adam would soon get to know, and things would soon turn horribly ugly.

But that’s a story for another day. For today let us just meditate on the magnanimity of God. And as we meditate on God’s heart, let us remember the Apostle Peter’s words: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” 1 Pet. 2:21

If Jesus left us an example to follow, you can be sure that God’s magnanimous heart is also an example for us to follow.

We as believers ought to have the same heart of magnanimity towards others that God had towards Adam.

[Below: Under the New Covenant we, unlike Adam, enjoy God’s magnanimity in the true sense, for in Christ we have learned our lesson]

image1674 (2)

image1721 (2)