The Attributes Of God

23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Jer. 9:23-24

This is a big one…

But, before we start… We have to realize that every word written in the Bible is written to believers, not to unbelievers. The Bible is the believer’s handbook. The words above, therefore, written by the Prophet Jeremiah, were written to the church, not to unbelievers. And the way these words are written suggest that here, right in the church, in the Body of Jesus Christ, there are believers who are boasting in all kinds of things which God never thought that a child of His would boast in.

There are believers boasting in their wisdom. Have you ever heard of people called motivational speakers? In church, I mean. They talk all kinds of lofty things and they have all these grand ideas of how you can achieve practically anything you want to achieve and how you can basically become anything and anyone you want to become. You would think they work for The American Dream, Inc. But motivational speakers are just a small part of this large group of wise men and women.

There are believers boasting in their might. I heard one owner of a Christian denomination in a neighboring country tell his bishops, “Any bishop who does not respect my wife I will throw out of my church. This time I will show you my power.” These are powerful men. They have lawyers and all kinds of musclemen who will do their bidding at any cost.

In my country, there are preachers who have all kinds of titles on them, ranging from “Transformer” to “Caterpillar” (equated to the famed heavy earth-moving machinery), to “Chief”. A little further down south we have the Major, of course.

All these self-given titles talk of earthly (not spiritual) might.

There are believers boasting in their riches. Have you ever heard the gospel called the gospel of prosperity? God’s Word hits the nail on the head with this one. The people who subscribe to this gospel are many and they flaunt their wealth about “in the Name of Jesus”.

There are a million and one ways that God’s people use to show off their “godliness”, or how much they “know” God. In addition to the few we have mentioned above, there are all kinds of circuses (real ones) going on in church today. People vibrate, pole vault, and do all kinds of gymnastics in church, all geared towards making a statement about their “knowledge” of God. Some preachers are capable of roaring like lions, with devastating effect upon their blind, terror-filled followers.

As I said, man is capable of doing a million and one things to try and convince people – and God, hopefully – that God is on his side.

But God is not in any of these groups. God does none of those things. In fact, notice how humble – and simple – God is. He states simply that He exercises

“lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth”.

Just in case you are tempted to think that those are lofty, unattainable ideals, the answer is no. They are simple, everyday principles which every believer in Jesus Christ can practicably attain to.

In the Swahili Bible, the word “lovingkindness” is translated “goodness”. How so clean and simple! Goodness is the opposite of evil, or maliciousness. It means not doing evil to your fellow man, only good.

God is simply good. His goodness has no strings attached to it.

“Judgment” speaks of a lack of favoritism.

“Righteousness” talks of not sinning against God.

All these are the simplest things that a child of God can do. And the Bible says that these are the things that please God. Not those other things which we saw so forcefully put forward in church.

But we must realize that we can attain to doing the things that please God only when our flesh is crucified; when we are crucified with Christ, as the Apostle Paul says of himself in Galatians 2:20:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

[Goodness is doing no ill to your fellow man, only good]


The Danger of Worldly Wisdom

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours… 1 Cor. 3:18-21

You would be surprised to learn that many of the warnings to God’s people in the Bible are directed, not to the foolish people amongst the saints, but to the intelligent, the learned, the educated, the enlightened, and the wise – in short, to anyone with brains. These are the people who are most easily deceived in church. They are more susceptible to deception than the foolish people in church.

Did you ever notice the kind of people who sit under such worldly (but supposedly Biblical) teachings like motivational teachings and ‘power of the mind’ (“As a man thinketh, so is he”) teachings, prosperity teachings and all other kinds of false teachings? They are all highly intelligent and educated people. You wouldn’t understand what motivational preaching was if you’d never seen the inside of a classroom, would you?

Another aspect of this issue is the kind of scriptures that these preachers chose to preach on. Motivational preachers love Proverbs 23:7: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” They preach on it more than any other scripture. What they fail to realize is that the Bible is not talking about the grey matter within our skulls. On the contrary, the Bible is talking about the mind of the spirit. These are two completely divergent things, and they will never meet. The Bible talks of two different natures: the carnal nature and the spiritual nature. When we  unwittingly give life to the human mind through these teachings, we are building up the carnal nature in us.

I am sorry to say so, but highly intelligent people love to have their minds soothed by high-sounding philosophies. And most of them are not aware they are listening to worldly philosophies, not the Word of life.

That is why the scriptures specifically warn those people who rely on their minds. The Bible holds that the human mind is enmity to the Holy Spirit and to our spirits also (Gal. 5:17). God encourages us to desist from giving place to this enemy.

There are people who become very defensive when you touch negatively on the human mind. They have many scriptures to ‘prove’ that the human mind is needed to build up God’s Kingdom. But that can never be. Our human wisdom is worldly wisdom, and God cannot allow it to be involved in building His Kingdom, for it is spiritual. Instead of being defensive, therefore, we should strive for humility, for “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (Jam. 4:6).

God speaks and deals with us through our spirits. The spirit, after all, is eternal; the human mind and human wisdom are temporal. Through the spiritual interaction God can transform our spirits into the image of Christ. It is only through our spirits that God can give the things that we truly need, things like humility…

[Below: Downtown Dar es Salaam]


To Love – Our True Calling

To Love – Our True Calling

[This post is dedicated to my friends Frank and Carol Lanthier from Ontario, Canada who have not only dedicated their lives to serving the Lord, but have constantly maintained a pure heart throughout]

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

All the Christian blogs in the world combined could hardly do justice to these words, how much less a mere post as this! But the brightness of a diamond is the result of a million different flashes of light coming off of it.

Someone called me recently and said, “Could you look up Ezekiel chapter 43, I want us to discuss about the prophecy there, whether it has been fulfilled or not.” The man comes from a denomination where the word ‘prophecy’ is mentioned in every second sentence.

I am not very much into prophecy, and I knew I probably would have nothing to contribute. I knew that at best our ‘discussion’ would end in disputations, etc. Things like prophecy are important, of course, but they are also potential minefields, where someone can easily lose their soul trying to crack the prophecy code.

So I told the brother, “I would rather we discussed about love!”

Jesus said that in the Kingdom of God, many that are first shall be last, and many that are last will be first. That means that with God, things are not the way we see them in the natural. There are things that appear very important with us, but which are not so with God.

“1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

We could have and we could be all the things mentioned here, but if we are not walking in love, we are nothing in God’s sight. In today’s world especially, where the world is increasingly pressing itself to the fore, it is the easiest thing for God’s people to miss it. The people who ‘do’ things appear to be the most spiritual. In today’s Church setting, for example, there is a tendency to idolize so-called great men (and women) of God. The men of great faith, with the strong charisma that comes with this type of ministry, are particularly prone to this idol-worship. So are church leaders, worship leaders, gospel artists – and sometimes even we bloggers.

The flesh loves to boast in so many things: knowledge, spiritual insight, spiritual gifts, its ability to ‘do’ things (like giving), etc. These things are needful in God’s Kingdom, but they are not the rule with which the Lord measures us.

God measures us through our ability to love. And what is love?

Love is maintaining a pure heart. I believe that is the best expression of love that I can find in the Bible. I believe that a pure heart is what encompasses holiness, for our God is a holy God. It is not ‘doing’ or having things, even things of the Spirit. This world is a place where our hearts are tried 24/7. Therefore the challenge to love is the playground for the believer.

Love is the place where you can show who you truly are. It is the place where you can lose your life. It is the place where you are beaten and humbled by God (through circumstances) until you drop all your pride and discover and rejoice in the fact that you are nothing. If you are walking in love, you will constantly discover that you are not giving of your life as much as you think you are. Love is the place that of real sacrifice. And there are more than enough situations every day to exercise this love.

It is good to have prophecy and spiritual knowledge. These are deeply spiritual things. But it is far much better to walk in love, to take up our cross and follow Christ.

I believe there are people who do not even know the Bible, people who cannot read (or who cannot afford) a Bible. And yet these people know and walk in love because they are able to surrender to the Holy Spirit in them.

On the other hand, there are people who are very knowledgeable in spiritual matters, but who are unable to walk in love.

The greatest in the Kingdom of God is the man or woman who can walk in the kind of love that is stated in these scriptures. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit in us can lead us to walk victoriously on that road of the cross.

[Below: Frank and Carol Lanthier]

Carol & Frank

Human Wisdom Is A Stumbling Block – Part 2

The point I want to make has to do with the word ‘subtle’. The Bible says that “the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.”

The first thing that is clear here is that the serpent was not that Force that had been fighting against God since the beginning of the ages. Many people wrongly think the serpent was the Devil himself. But no. The serpent was simply one of the “creatures of the field” that God had made. (One day, not too long into the future, we will be cavorting with cobras and adders in heaven!)

Someone or Something else, was that Force.

The second thing the Bible says is that the serpent was “more subtil” than all the other creatures that God had made. In other words, he was brainier than all the other animals. The serpent, it appears, could think.

And – bingo! – we see that Whoever was waging war with God found in the serpent’s high-end IQ his most effective tool in his war against God. In the grey cells of God’s wiliest creature, Satan found the perfect means he could possibly find in all the cosmos to fight God with.

The human brain.

Now, I might have used a rather roundabout way, but I hope my readers will get the point. In this war that has been going on for ages and generations, Satan, God’s great opposer, has always used, and he still uses the same instrument he used then – our brains.

To bring this whole thing to our realm of understanding, it translates into that nearly everyone who opposes the gospel of Jesus Christ is someone who has used his or her mind in one way or another. That is the bottom line.

The Apostle Paul says: “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (1 Cor. 3:18-19). The word ‘seemeth’ here means ‘thinks’. In other words, if you are the sort of guy (or lady) who relies on the smartness of their minds to get around, Paul advises you to cry to God that He would make you brainless – literally – in order that God’s wisdom may be invested in you.

Have you ever noticed the kind of people you find in truly spiritual churches (especially in Africa)? Most are uneducated folk. They are the people from the villages. They are the sort of people who can’t think straight, can’t talk straight, can’t walk straight – the type who cannot seem to do anything to any degree of ‘perfection’. They have no good table manners. They do not know how to dress up. Some are dirty (oh, yes!). One time I was invited by a sister for a meal and I almost refused to eat, everything seemed so dirty! Cockroaches and flies were flying all about and I saw a rat nibbling at one of her pots. I ate her food ‘at gunpoint’, literally.

I will leave it to the health specialists within the body of Christ to come and hold a one-week conference or something at this sister’s house. Suffice it to say that today, that sister is one of my most prized companions on the narrow road of the cross. God loved her then even when she was dirty! (Doesn’t this make you crazy about God – one way or another?)

Did we ever read that Jesus once went to have a meal at a leper’s house, one Simon? Food for thought there.

I am glad I am so stupid. I even look stupid, praise the Lord! (When my mind is working, I hate looking at my stupid-looking face in the mirror. Probably, in order to allow God’s wisdom to work more in me, I should begin looking at myself more in the mirror: “Mirror, mirror, who is the most foolish, stupid-looking, brainless, planless guy on the block?”

“Thou art, thou most wretched of wretches.”


Human wisdom is folly in God’s sight. I pity all the brainy guys in this world. They will never arrive at a knowledge of God’s wisdom. That is a sweeping statement all right, but hopefully it will wake some folks up. I will leave it to whoever wants to start a world war with regard to that assertion to do so.

Brother Miki Hardy once said that if it were possible, it would be far much better to have our heads cut off and leave them at the door as we entered church! This is because the disobedient human nature in us wants to take God’s word and make it suit its pride.

Prayer: “Lord, make me a fool, for Christ’s sake. Take away my human reasoning, my cleverness, my smartness, and instead give me the humble mind of Christ.”

Human Wisdom Is A Stumbling Block – Part 1

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die… Genesis 3:1 4

Today I want us to look at the word ‘subtil’ in this scripture. Actually, the word is ‘subtle’, only that it is written in old-fashion English. Another word for ‘subtle’ here would be ‘clever’, or ‘brainy’, or ‘intelligent’.

Before we proceed, however, let us take a few seconds to set a background to our discussion. It is clear from the first few verses of the Book of Genesis that long before God created the world or Adam, something was wrong in the cosmos that existed then. In chapter 1 the Bible talks about ‘darkness’ covering the face of the deep. To any investigative mind, that rings many loud warning bells. The Bible says that God is light and in Him is there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5); so what is this about there being darkness in a world where God appeared to be in control and everything seemed so ‘cool’?

And now here, in Genesis 3, we find Someone or Something coming and refuting what God Himself had told Adam! He (or It) tells Eve, “Oh, no! God lied to you. He has never had your welfare at heart.”

Where ever did this Thing come from? Clearly, something was not right somewhere. Here we can see something bad beginning to show up. It was like “Nightmare on Elm Street”. Something was horribly wrong.

If God was like us, He would have hurriedly wrapped up things and ended the Bible at Genesis 2, with an “And they lived happily ever after”. But thank God, ours is a God who wants everything to remain, clear, clear, as clear can be, in all holiness.

What we find here is that there was a war going on long before Adam and Eve ever came onto the scene. Yes, God had an enemy at His gates. When Adam was created, the enemy used Adam’s free will to his advantage, simply because this first Adam was a precursor of the second Adam, the real Son of Man (Jesus) who was to come.

We do not have the time for all that ‘theology’ right now, however.