Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Does God Say About Climate Change?



When God created the earth and the heaven, he said it was a great and perfect work (Gen 1:31). He appointed man as the official caretaker (Gen 2:15). From creation, the earth was without form and void. When the Spirit of God moved on it, life came into it. Evil drives away the presence (Spirit) of God. Gradually, the more the spirit of God is driven from the earth, the more the earth regresses into its initial status of darkness and voidance.

During the time that people lived around trees, they lived longer and the least they lived was 365 days (Gen 5:23). In addition, health puzzles like cancers were fewer. Humanity’s immune system was steely. One possible reason why people lived longer was because they lived around trees and green vegetation. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen which humans use for breathing, so living around a forest area is healthier than living in an industrial city because of the air we breathe. The presence of trees also served as vegetables and fruits (Ex 10:15). The only trees to be cut down were those we could not use for food (Deut 20:20; Ezk 47:12; Lk 3:9).

People cry about destruction of the environment, pollution from nuclear waste and decommissioning of plants. Animals are not the main destroyers but humanity. Trees are used to make paper and infrastructure too. Biblically, it seems the destruction of trees was a form of punishment. During the Peloponnesian War, Sparta used hellebore roots to poison the waters. The use of chemical warfare during WW1 showed that humanity had fallen to a base it would never recover. During WWII, the Germans also poisoned the waters. Water poisoning has become the easiest way of cutting off the enemy from life. Their unused shells were dumped into the sea and after corroding the shells leak into the sea and people get sick. Nowadays, the great use of herbicides and insecticides has and is poisoning the environment. The appetite for self-destruction increases daily as days rotate by. With all of this, the environment is bound to decay and wroth without mercy and cure from mortals.

Bodies of water are very important to the survival of the ecosystem and all that is within. The creation and preservation of sea animals was the perfect handiwork of God (Gen 1:21). Flood which is regarded as an environmental destroyer was actually started as a form of punishment by God. (Gen 6:17; Is 15:6, 9; Gen 19:24). Volcanic eruptions which also causes climate change are a means of God making his name known to his adversaries too (IS 64:2). An act of poisoning the waters was actually seen in the Bible when God wanted to force the Egyptians to their knees (Ex 7:19). If God had established a covenant that he will no more destroy the earth by flood where are the other floods coming from?

From the time sin entered into the world, the ecosystem was in topsy-turvy. Consequently, it can rebel any time anywhere without warning to human beings because the human being has lost the authority to control it. That authority to subdue it (Gen 1:28) has been lost in the fall. No matter what prevention we take and what new equipment we invent, we can never eliminate earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tornadoes, mudslides, landslides and other natural disasters, especially because most of them are a message from nature or a fulfillment of God’s prophecy.

All of this directly goes contrary to the role of a caretaker of the ecosystem that God assigned to man. Flora and fauna were the meal of man but preserving them until they became that meal was his responsibility..

God had put man directly in the garden. There is a purpose and there was running water by the side (Gen 2:7-10). It is one of the signs of End Times when Climate Change becomes a concern to humanity (Mk 13:24). Rather than worry about climate change we should be preparing to face our Maker and Creator. Climate Change is a war man will never win. The earth is progressing towards its end and ruin. We should rather brace for the outcome which is: meet our Creator.

This phenomenon of breaking down in what we call climate change corresponds with the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that disorder will increase with time. Considering that the world was created in order that gives credence to a Supreme Designer called God. If that disorder is out of human grasp, then the Supreme Designer has already set the timing chain. Within a given time, the chain must give up and be replaced. For that reason, “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl 3:1). Consequently, the the climate will keep changing until it gets worst, no matter how much humanity tries. With time, the timing belt of the universe is breaking apart, and the climate can no more be immutable.

The fact that humanity must use natural gas, coal, oil and trees, means that there will be global warming. It would be difficult to control global warming when we cannot control the level of carbon dioxide emissions. The desire of humanity to build new cities, invent new cars and machineries means that, cities will be built. It is difficult to have cities with trees all around. It is difficult to have gardens in the midst of skyscrapers. So just like the obese who feed their stomachs with fat, and their stomachs drum obesity for them to dance, humanity seems to fathom in city life whose end is death (Prov 14:12). While global warming is natural (extraterrestrial factors), it is also advancing with the stupidity of humanity’s choices. In this case, humanity is like a fly in the spider’s web; it knows it is fatally trapped, so no matter how much it fights, all its effort is to no avail.

Until then, worry not for climate change for you can do nothing about it.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Epitaph to Theresia Mbi

It came like a shock that my sister Therese has passed away on Tuesday the 16th of May, 2006. In that afternoon the premonition and presentiment were sentient of bad news on its way. I pondered and introspected my inner person if the Lord was admonishing me of something. I confessed and reconfessed peradventure I had a hidden sin I knew not. Then to cover myself of all danger I invoked IS 54:17. Little did I suspect Therese was the next name on God’s roll. A young vibrant woman consumed by sickness at 41. She smiled with strangers as though they were her cronies. She would never have been guilty when Jesus said “if you greet only people you know how different are you from the non Christians”. A great community leader and motivator who associated herself with community oriented people. She attended wakes and funerals, sang and danced as though she knew she would be next. Oh sister where art thou?

Oh my sister, you were so dear to me. Unfortunately, you slip away as though avoiding us from saying have a safe trip. I know you left unfinished business. Fret not; we shall tread on the path you began. If it is God’s will that you go away, like a fly in a spider’s web we can do nothing. But if not, may death release you back into our arms. Please, go not so early and not too fast. You brother has lost sleep. Quandaries have never snipped away my sleep but your departure steals all my diurnal visions and nocturnal dreams. Look what time I am writing. Oh sister, where art thou?

Therese, is that your husband” neighbors always asked. “Oh, don’t you know this one? He is my second follower.” Therese will reply. “I almost said you resemble a lot” neighbors will retort. You were always loved by your neighbors and those who know you. You neither hoarded nor amassed happiness to yourself. Such was the trouble-free world view of life you leave behind; ironically, the same philosophy that will apocopate your 42nd year due in June. Oh, sister where art thou?
In the midst of my afflictions have been thine exhortations and edifications. Where are thine jokes? Even in thine dead bed thou jokest about thyself. Silver and gold you did not have but the joy you had was the chattel of all. Oh sister where art thou?

God, I need Therese back. Others’ I healed but mine, I was powerless. No matter how I bended my knees and bewailed, the tidings reminded me I was a mere clay and thou art the Potter. May You be glorified!

Therese, if it is the will of God, Please, go in peace. If not, don’t wait until the Resurrection Day because it will take long for my tears to dry away. If you can shake off the shackles of death and come to us please do so. Oh sister where art thou! Oh sister……..

Until then, though death has separated us now it will only be for a time.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk.

Britney Spears: Victim of American Media Schadenfreude

Janette and the superbowl
Britney at the MTV
Can anyone tell me which other country in the world has stupidity shared on TV like the US in what we call Paparazzi? Do not forget that the paparazzi desire to be in the same shoes like the celebrity. That is why they do a lot with jealousy and delectation. They are people who could not make it in life and now think that they will make it by taking the picture of a celebrity and banging it on the media as news. Can anyone tell me why washed-out tabloids and journalists run berserk the life of a young woman until she cries and people rejoice? Can anyone tell me why news with someone who made it and is now falling a big hit to the society nowadays? It would seem the American media has sold schadenfreude to the people, and the people watch and dream schadenfreude.

This is an example of lack of loyalty for publicity: when a former bodyguard spills the beans on the one time confidante. When will people learn to be loyal and trustworthy? When your friend is down, that is when you should support them the more. That course is called Loyalty 101.

Who amongst us would rejoice seeing the younger sister go through what Britney is going? If you have a lot to write, you have a lot to say. If you don’t have a lot to say, you run after individuals and their little private lives.

On another note; when I hear people protesting against Janette Jackson’s nipple during the Super Bowl until CBS is being fined by the Federal Communication Commission, I wonder what type of hypocrisy is that. Pornography is really high in the US. Anytime a star goes naked (exposes the genitals) their ratings go up. From Paris to Hudgens, and Parker to Saradon stars have gone naked and instantly became millionaires and sweethearts. Who are those watching the naked stars then? Can’t the FCC see that?

The pressure is working against her. I guess when she takes a drug overdose and kills herself that is when these people would be happy. What is the society doing to protect and preserve a life in turmoil like that of Britney? On the contrary, it is a joke for networks and comedians. They are glad to see her fall and tumble. What a shame!

The problem is not these stars, but the society that makes it a deal when they go naked. If you sell coconut and no monkey eats it, you will look for bananas. The media has made them role models; a role they could and cannot mimic. It is pure wickedness to be pursuing someone to their pigeon holes as news and people being excited. One wants to watch morning news and that is all they get. What a callous schadenfreude called paparazzi.

Until then, let losers learn to mind their business.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to Win in Prayers.




How to Win in Prayers.


Text: Luke 18:1-8
A woman had many adversaries she could not overcome, so she went to a judge for help. Several times the judge did nothing, but she persisted. He decided to help her, so that he could have his peace.
1) Mother’s Day with Teary cheeks
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while:


Exposition:
The situation of the woman and that of women in those days was tough. In Israel in those days, the woman was relegated to a limited role after the husband and the son. The worst was the widow because at this time, she did not more have any defense. The son was important because it was mainly a subsidiary agriculture that was practiced, and the woman was not pruned to that. She could not tend the sheep well, do the farm work or fight wars. The number of widows too was very high because of the high rate of wars that the men got involved in. As such, being a widow was more or less a more destitute position. Having an unanswered prayer for this woman and other women was common.


Application:


Like the widow, you have issues you have prayed and prayed and taken to the right person, but he does not care about you. Yeah, you keep going there and going there, but he is not minding you. Would you give up? The woman never gave up. She persisted. Do you realize by your strength you can do nothing? Do you realize it is neither by power nor by might but by the Spirit of God alone? Then persist in prayer it shall be well with you. It may tarry, but it shall come to pass. The Great Judge will give you a favorable ruling. Oh yeah, be like the boxer who though knocked down is not knocked out. He gets up at the ninth count and knocks out his opponent. Will you give up? You are a conqueror. Oh yeah, you are an overcomer. Will you give up? Look at you and say “I am an overcomer, a conqueror and I shall make it. I was born in Christ to win!


Illustration:
When we were kids, we were going to another village to watch a game. We came to where they were loading vehicles, and the bus was full. We begged for sometime, but they refused. So we decided to walk. But our little female friend refused that she will not go because she will not be able to walk the distance. She stayed behind and kept begging and begging. As she kept begging, the passengers asked the driver to just create space for the little girl, but he refused. The other passengers then threatened they too were going down. He decided to carry the girl. While we were on our way, night was falling, we got scared and ran back home. She made it to the game, but we could not make it. Her persistence paid off. She was persistent because she knew there was no other way out for her. By her strength, she could do nothing.


2) A goal to conquer
But afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.


Exposition:
The main word /continual/ /eis/ (indicating the point reached) /tello/ (purpose or result) and weary/hupōpiazō/ to hit under the eye. Folks the lady had a point to reach- the judge and a purpose to attain- favorable verdict for her situation. Yes she did.


Application:
Without a vision, my people perish. Do you have a vision in life? Do you have a purpose in what you are doing? Then pursue it. The word wear out is synonymous to a boxer hitting the opponent on the under eye. Yes the lady kept “hitting” the judge underneath the eyelids by frequently going there. So, he lost the battle of resistance while she won the battle of persistence. What strength and enthusiasm are you applying in achieving that purpose for God? Her persistence though physical is a spiritual persistence for us. This reminds me of the woman with issue of blood. She has suffered for more than 12 years then said to herself, “ If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole”. But then, she had this throng in front of her. She forced her way through, touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and her 12 years story became history and lesson for us today. You have come a long way. Will you give up? You are close to reaching your goal, please don’t give up. Oh no no no don’t give up. Your miracle is on the way. Look unto Jesus; the author and finisher of our faith.


Illustration:
Beth Anne DeCiantis' attempted to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Trials marathon. A female runner must complete the 26 mile, 385 yard race in less than two hours, forty-five minutes to compete at the Olympic Trials. Beth started strong but began having trouble around mile 23. She reached the final straight-away at 2:43, with just two minutes left to qualify. Two hundred yards from the finish, she stumbled and fell. Dazed, she stayed down for 20 seconds. The crowd yelled, "Get up!" The clock was ticking - 2:44, less than a minute to go. Beth Anne staggered to her feet and began walking. Five yards short of the finish, with ten seconds to go, she fell again. She began to crawl, the crowd cheering her on, and crossed the finish line on her hands and knees. Her time? Two hours, 44 minutes, 57 seconds.<
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3) Turn on the heat and the judge’s seat gets hot.


7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:1-8)


Exposition:
The main word /eklectos/ favorite or chosen and makrŏthumĕō patiently endures. God will surely avenge his elect. Why avenge yourself. The elect here means favorite and we are made God’s favorite by the blood of Jesus that redeems us. And this elect patiently endures what they go through.


Application:
What we are to God and how he treats us. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31, "but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
This is an allusion to the indefatigable nature of the eagle. It renews its youth by shedding its feathers that enables it to fly higher, stronger and faster. When we cast our cares to the Lord he gives us rest and we become lighter as if we have just shredded our feathers like the eagle does. It helps us to face life with much hope and anticipation. To arrive at this conclusion I had to do some horizontal thinking by considering Psalm 103:5 too and the life history of an eagle.


Illustration:
John Adams was a leader in the American Revolution and wrote the influential tracts "Thoughts on Government and Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America." He saw no reason his eldest son, born in 1767, shouldn't attain equal greatness. Adams set a rigorous course of study for young John, assigning him, for example, to read Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War in the original Greek, at age 10. Morally stern, Adams also admonished his son to make "a good account" of himself, and continued to hector him well into his adulthood. "You come into life with advantages which will disgrace you if your success is mediocre," Adams wrote to the 27-year-old JQA in 1794. "If you do not rise to the head not only of your profession but of your country, it will be owing to your own Laziness, Slovenliness and Obstinacy." (http://slate.msn.com/id/32241/)


Therefore, my friends we can achieve anything we set our minds on if we persist in prayers. The fact that God does not answer today does not mean he will not answer tomorrow. We just have to persist and hold him at His word. He will never fail you. God bless you.



Until then, persist in prayers and it shall be well.



Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

The African Man


The African Man
My American friend after reading my article “should Christians play the Diversity Visa Lottery” wanted me to articulate on the African man. The African man has been a subject of speculation and inferences from foreign women and at times even to African women. Almost all say he is prideful yet so needy but all do accept that he is generous and caring. Nonetheless, can anyone know the true heart of an African man and how to please him?


The African man is like any other man. Prophet Jeremiah gives us an insight into the heart of man (human being) when he says: “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 17:9-10). Sociology and psychology all tell us that man is a round character. That is; he changes with his setting, religion or education. Thus man like any other human being has a mind that mutates. That is why Africans in Diaspora who knew that seeing a naked woman was tantamount to a curse can now frequent strip clubs because they live in the West where sex is eaten and drunk anywhere and anytime.


Therefore, it is preposterous for anyone to pretend they can know the heart of the African man talk less of the human being. There could be attempts to decipher his traits and formulate a pattern but to know him per se and predict his next move is left for God to decide. People who have deceived themselves that they could envisage other human beings by dating for long soon realize that even those who are married are sometimes baffled by the action of their spouses. That is the unpredictable nature of the human being. By implication, you cannot know the true heart of an African man. But then why is he so prideful yet so needy.


The purdah of the woman assimilated into the African man though he grew up in a society that was not male chauvinistic until the advent of colonization because before it occurred, women had ruled in Africa. Erroneously foreign women have stigmatized the African man as being polygynous and domineering. Perhaps it is worth reminding these women that the African society was even the first to give a woman the right to lead in a public arena than other civilizations. Examples are the Modjadji V of South Africa traditionally called the Rain Queens who were leading their villages long before feminism even showed its marriage breaking head world wide. If a man is fractious it is not because of where he comes from but what is in his heart.


I don’t want to quibble in trying to submit an answer why African men are needy. They appear needy because they turn to think that the western society (that is seated on everyone for himself God for us all) shares the same principle of community where one has to share their problems with their spouse or friend. By sharing everyone sees their needs. At the same time, they would not find it problematic if their partner asked them for help. Rather they would be offended if she went to the bank to ask for a loan rather than ask him for help first. That is because they are CARING.


What truly makes an African man to fall in love is the same reason that makes any other man to fall in love. Men are easily influenced by pulchritude without before the one within. Thus the reasons vary from man to man. But then falling in love is one thing and keeping that love is another thing.


There is just one way of pleasing the African man like any other man and that is by being a helpmeet and not a histrionic queen to him. This entails emotional, economical, physical and societal support. The thing today is that while most women have won the feminist battles they have lost the bliss of relationships and now live gelid and lachrymose marriages with the African man that wants to love them.


If any woman would treat the African man just as he is then she would be nonpareil to any other woman and his love will flow like a rivulet and their connubiality a foretaste of heaven. He will genuflect even to your shadow, your cornucopia according to his means, will erase your name from the list of gadabouts and your cockaigne would move from revelry to reality. Is that still the African man you are talking about? You ask. Yes, I mean the African man you treat like a milksop and popinjay. The African man you see is an Arcanum. Give him your all and he will be your myrmidon and the world would think he took your philter. Are you ready?


Until then; the African man is just another man.



Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

Should Christians Play The Diversity Visa Lottery or Gamble?



This is a common question I have heard a number of times especially from those who contend that the diversity lottery is the same as any other lottery and gambling. Showing the major difference is paramount to a proper perspective. Any game where there are odds of winning and losing money is bad whereas the Diversity Visa Lottery has no such odds. In PMUC and Lotto or Mega Millions etc the probability depends on luck; meanwhile, gambling depends on luck and skill. Some have asked me: "if gambling is bad why then does God honor their (gamblers) prayers whenever they pray before they play. Some thieves do pray before they go out to steal.

What then is evil if someone relies on their luck and skill to make money for themselves? By relying on luck, we do not reject the command to trust in the Lord (Prov 3:6) because the just shall live by faith (Heb 2:4; Prov 16:3; Rom 1:17). Well this point could go in favor of  or against gambling since playing the DV lottery or gambling has an element of faith. If you do not have faith you are going to win, you will not play.


The second difference between the Diversity Visa Lottery and the other lotteries and gambling is that it does not destroy the Good-Neighbor Concept: “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mt 22:39). Does our luck and skill cause untold suffering to our neighbor when we win away their wealth? Is that loving your neighbor as yourself? Flashingback to the Diversity Visa Lottery; whether you win by luck and skill or just luck alone you cause no suffering to anyone. The organizers wanted to avoid corruption in the selection process of individuals who should come to the US and also to make sure that those who came are individuals who wanted really to come. The neighbor who did not win lost nothing per se in terms of their material resource.


While the other types of lotteries and Gambling could be addictive, the Diversity Visa Lottery is not because of its frequency. The consequences of cash lottery and gambling could be sampled in this verse: “but they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (I Tim 6:9). On the other hand, you do not lose a dime or franc if you did not win the lottery. Anyone who pays for the lottery has been duped, and no one could become addicted! Many would argue that just because something leads to addiction does not mean it is bad. True, if it was then sex, food and money would be bad. However, gambling is inherently evil because it covets a neighbor’s property thereby breaking the 9th commandment whereas sex, money and food are not.


Another argument is that what is bad if the victim is able to amortize the loss? Activating Paul’s admonition to the Ephesians and Thessalonians we read: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph 4:28; 2 Thes. 3:12). The last time I checked; gambling and lottery are not forms of work. Would any company hire you because you wrote in your resume that you are a lottery and gambling specialist? If you did include that they would even be scared of you because their assets would be in the wrong hands. You smile; don't you? The presence of lotteries and bingo games in churches do not make it biblically normative because they are reaping where they did not sow.


A young man complained that he would like to work, but he can’t find work. Paul told the Philippians to pray for God to supply their needs (Phil 4:6, 19). Here is where most churches are faltering: they are getting richer while the Christians and the people are getting poorer. Just because they had a good steal and were not caught does not mean God honored their prayers. That is why the preacher said: “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all“ (Eccl 9:11).


Many have argued that life itself is a lottery. No, it is not, as you make your bed ,so shall you lie in it. Since we cannot prove for certain that there is a God and that heaven does exist apart from what we read in the Bible and people ask you "what if it does". Doesn’t it create the possibility of a lottery or gambling per se? This would not find a proper grasp in that we still have not engaged in any material loss out of our bodies per se. Thus it circumvents around ratiocinations and shrewdness rather than gambling. Any situation where rationality is called upon is not gambling. It merely shows that man is a rational being and not an automaton.


Consequently, I want to encourage those who refuse to play the DV Lottery because it is sin that per this scriptural perusal, you will find it holy and acceptable unto God. On the other hand, those who gamble or play cash lotteries, should refrain from such ungodly practices. Those who are addicted should seek proper help. Remember, “the blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it (Prov 10:22). “... remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day (Deut 8:18).



Until then, keep playing until you win.



Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

Going to America: Part V


Beautiful America
Going to America: Part V


Conclusion:
Elimelech thought now that God does not bless him in Bethlehem he could do it in Moab. Mistake. All he gathered was sorrow and pre-matured death. Though Naomi was put in a situation that was not in her making, immediately as she made an about turn, God was there by her corner. Due to Naomi’s selflessness, Ruth, became somebody. We should know that God could still bless us even here in Cameroon. Whether we are in a hole or in the heart of the Saharan desert, God could still bring us water. God does not fail.


Water and be watered (v 8-14)

Exposition:
Now Naomi was a widow not of her making. That is; she was not veuve joyeuse. A lady had asked me one time if there are any loopholes for divorce and remarriage. Said actually there is only one: abandonment. But I added a rejoinder that, “if your husband dies you are free to marry”. Then she said “well I guess, he just have to die”. I don’t know if the poor man is still alive.
There was nothing worse than being a widow. After the leper came the widow. Everyone exploited you. Her only redemption could come from the levirate injunction “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. “ 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. 7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; 9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. 10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.” (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).
Unfortunately too for Naomi, she did not have any relatives in Moab. Therefore, her case was like waiting for a gift on the 32nd of December. She did not have even sons to give to marriage. So her case was again more hopeless. As such, she thought about these girls and asked them to go back to their parents so that they could be free to remarry and save their futures. She would have kept them there to be serving her. But she did not do that because their well-being was more important than hers.

Application:
Today we want to go to America and Europe even when we have nothing to do over there. Some leave their teaching jobs here, medical fields only to go and be sweeping gardens and working as night watchmen over there just for the money. No one thinks about the lives they were changing. Elimelech, Naomi and their sons migrated to Moab because of famine in Bethlehem to look for green pastures. After the death of her husband and two sons Naomi decides to come back home asking her daughters in-law to go back. Now think about the name Ruth (friendship) sticks by her side. That is the most important we need. A good friend is better than a bad brother. I am not preaching on friends but know that it was like having someone who can be with you. And we have the hymn that says what a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and grieves to bear. He was a selfless friend who cared for the others than for himself. Are there still faithful friends out there? Are you one?
Today we go and take people’s children that we want them to live with us so that we would help them. Then we use them as house girls and house boys. Some of us even sleep with the house girls and boys. My people, is that what a selfless person would do to another human who needs help? Think of your brother’s child you took saying I was going to help them but who is still living there at home. You send your own kids to college but when he or she is concerned you do not have money. You entertain preachers and make them sing your praises but you cannot send them to school to help them. You want your children to go to America yet your house girl who has been serving you for years is not thought about. Folks, each of them needs help. Give them a future like Naomi gave those two girls a future. Look at what Ruth finally became thanks to a selfless woman. Some of you even take people’s daughters only to go and give to men in America and Europe as sex slaves. You give your children to marriage to unknown people whether they are Christians or not. Just to have someone in America. We need to be selfless.

Illustration (by C.S. Kirkendall, Jr. ):

“Every young student knows of Isaac Newton's famed encounter with a falling apple. Newton discovered and introduced the laws of gravity in the 1600s, which revolutionized astronomical studies. But few know that if it weren't for Edmund Halley, the world might never have learned from Newton. It was Halley who challenged Newton to think through his original notions. Halley corrected Newton's mathematical errors and prepared geometrical figures to support his discoveries. Halley coaxed the hesitant Newton to write his great work, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Halley edited and supervised the publication, and actually financed its printing even though Newton was wealthier and easily could have afforded the printing costs.
Historians call it one of the most selfless examples in the annals of science. Newton began almost immediately to reap the rewards of prominence; Halley received little credit. He did use the principles to predict the orbit and return of the comet that would later bear his name, but only AFTER his death did he receive any acclaim. And because the comet only returns every seventy-six years, the notice is rather infrequent. Halley remained a devoted scientist who didn't care who received the credit as long as the cause was being advanced.
Others have played Halley's role. John the Baptist said of Jesus, "He must become greater; I must become less." Barnabus was content to introduce others to greatness. Many pray to uphold the work of one Christian leader. Such selflessness advances the kingdom”.

Appeal:
I am appealing to all of you to be helpful to someone who truly needs help this week. Pay the tuition of someone you know needs money to go to school. Send that house girl of yours to the place you promised them the day you were talking them. May God bless his word!
Until then, let the Lord be the center of our actions.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk

Going to America: Part IV


Looking for better education


Going to America: Part IV

The Lord does not fail (V 6-7).

Exposition
In exodus 4:31 we read that the lord came to bless the Israelites. One thing is sure the Lord has never abandoned them. They have not only been patient. Remember he took them to the wilderness because they would not believe in him and will not trust him. The Bible says “the blessings of the Lord they maketh rich and they are not associated with any evil” (Prov 10:22). If it was the Lord’s blessing for Elimelech then he would not have died including his two sons. In Numbers 23:19 Joshua 21:45, 23:14; God has been shown faithful. Therefore, Elimelech had nothing to worry but to trust the Lord. Instead, he quickly thought about running out to the enemy’s land. He did not trust the Lord

Application.
In I Kings 8:56; Solomon said “blessed be the Lord who blessed the people and who fulfilled every word he promised them”. In I Corinthians 1:19, Paul tells the Corinthians that “no human plan of salvation will save man”. He was quoting from Isaiah 29:14 that says “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid”. I Thessalonians 5:24 says “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began”
Now after these verses your main concern is the timing. Let us quickly brush through a passage of a prophet who had the same concern. Habakkuk
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
He says that even though nothing seems to work, he will still rejoice than to do the opposite. The Lord will make your feet like hind’s feet. A Hind is the female deer and in the region it was the fastest of animals around. So Habakkuk means that when the Lord finally blesses you, you will progress more than the others as a deer overtakes her other competitors who have been running for long time. Then those places that serve as stumbling blocks that you could not climb, will become your ladder for you to run through. All we need is to wait.

Illustration.
How I came to America.
In 1990, I wanted to come to America .My friend was the cultural attaché in Douala at the American consulate. We preached together in the same church. So he asked me if I wanted to go but then I did not have the money required to go as a business man. I later struggled and got a close associate whose dad had the means so that when he comes he will help me go too. When he went, he forgot me. I kept trying and praying looking for the right opportunities but none showed up. A scholarship program showed up but they required me to change my date of birth. That I refused. I kept praying. In 1997, I bought a hat written America telling God I have prayed standing, I have prayed sleeping to go to The US and please, I can no more pray. I am tired of praying. Let this hat be daily vespers. Everyday I have it on my head know that I am praying. I did all to wear it, sleep with it and took it out only when I was sleeping.
Then one day, two sisters in Christ were going to play the DV. I have played it and nothing worked. I searched for scholarships but not even a fly. So I was already tired. I paid money to one phony company called Service Company that alleges they will look for employment for you and apply for a visa. They too just swindled from me and went their way. Is my story similar to someone out there? I told them I am tired with that America trouble. They insisted and held me by the arm. You cannot resist a lady’s plea can you? I went with them just to please them. I typed my form but I made a mistake when signing it. So I refused I will not type it again. I then filled mine with the pen in all my crooked handwriting. Surprisingly one day I went to the post office and realized that I have won the DV. I did not have money for the papers and those I contacted for help told me their pockets had serious migraines. My younger brother will be the one to help me.
I had the visa and then lost it. But I had promised God I was going to teach for the whole year for free. I could not sleep. So decided to visit a brother Christ In Christ for us to pray. The wife asked me “are you sure it’s not God fighting you from going. Look at you a great preacher; you are going to spoil that talent in America”. I said sister I believe God wants me to go. I am not going to preach. I am going to study. So I went home but still could not sleep. In the morning, I was going to school where I taught. I was sitting in a taxi at Marche Melen when a young man walked passed our taxi, moved forward, backwards and stopped. He said “it seems like I know you.” I knew that many people always tell me they saw me or knew me .So I thought it was the church. Then I said “may be from the church”. He said “no”. I said “well excuse me I am not fine right now. I will talk with you sometime later”. Then he asked me “have you not misplaced anything”? “oh yeah that is why I don’t want to talk” I retorted. “I have lost my passport and visa” I continued with all the sadness on my face. “Wait for me I will be right back” replied the gentleman. After 5 minutes, he brought everything to me intact and the next day I went to America. Was that God?
Gentlemen and gentleladies, the Lord we serve does not fail. He will never fail you. Stay in touch, you are going to hear impossible things. Things science cannot explain. What are you praying for that you think, you will never receive. If you are dead you will not hope but if you are alive, my friend keep hoping in the Lord. Let my testimony boost your faith so you may know the Lord our God does not fail those who trust in him.


Until then, let the Lord be the center of our actions.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk

Going To America Part III




Going to America: Part III

Yoking with an enemy v 3-5
Exposition
Friendly relationship was interdicted between the Moabites and Israelites. (Deuteronomy 23:6). Moabites were not allowed to worship at the tabernacle because they had not given Israel the passage support it needed (Deuteronomy 7:3). I mean just like the US was requesting passage from the Turks during the Iraqi War. Worst of it all, it had its own god called Chemosh. Israel was to serve as the light to all these heathen nations but at this time, Israel itself was more than sick spiritually. That is why its inhabitants could no more see the difference between Israel and Moab. Israel has been brought to the position of Deuteronomy 28:15-19. In Part II, I told you Elimelech (God is king) the head of family will have his enjoyment (Naomi) sick (Mahlon) but he should gather himself together (Chilion ) as a the head of the family and do the right thing. Unfortunately, He didn’t and his sons got married to girls from Moab. Mahlon (sickly) married Orpah (youthful freshness) and Chilion (pinning) married Ruth (friend). Remember the names again. Take note of Orpah and Ruth. Only those who yoke with a true Friend (Jesus) will find life abundance. The rest will be vanity of vanity; all is vanity. Later both men died. They died because there was a curse on getting married to heathen women. Deuteronomy 7:3-4, and heathen women will lead you to worship heathen gods. That act was a curse itself (Deuteronomy 27:15).

Application.
Here we are in America. We are sleeping with women to have papers. That is yoking with the enemy. Mahlon who married for convenience never had the expediency he long for. On the contrary, Chilion who married Ruth because he wanted a true friend, found one who could stick even by his family after his death. Let me ask you this: what type of marriage are you involved in right now? We scheme our papers to go to overseas. Yoking with the enemy! We are bribing to obtain visas. Yoking with the enemy! We are giving false information to go abroad. Yoking with the enemy! Pastors saying they are going to America for a Christian conference when they are not. Yoking with the enemy! Christians saying they are going for a visit to come back, meanwhile deep in the bottom of their hearts, they have compiled their asylum file. It will need a caterpillar to take them back. Yoking with the enemy! That is yoking with the enemy. Jesus says: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is ligh”.
That was referring to two oxen: the older one and the younger one tied together so that the younger and inexperienced ox will learn from the older one. My country people, why do we yoke with the devil instead when the Lord has said take my yoke. Today we are getting married to non Christian Americans, Europeans and even Africans because we want to go overseas. Let me remind you to be carnally minded is death. Might be you wonder why Elimelech died. He died because he was carnally minded. His sons died to because they were the ones to take over the inheritance and going to Moab was an insult to God’s presence and power that is why the curse was upon them. Why did Naomi not die. She was the female and could assume responsibility only when the sons were not there. When her turn came, she opted to go back home. Especially with word that things were already fine.

Illustration
Angela (concealed name) was a young Christian woman who went to Germany. She tried to survive but it would seem she would soon return in a box. She thought she had no choice but to do what every other girl was doing: enter into a contractual marriage with a German man who thought he was in a covenantal marriage. Angela married him just for legality. What more is more than joking with the enemy if it is not this one?
I met our beautiful Angela who was like a tadpole (model) and her man was like an elephant. So I asked her in my language Kenyang if that was her husband. She turned to me and said, “brother, this paper affair does not give us any choice. What would I have been doing with this fat belly Satan”? He is never sober and he thinks I am another slave he has bought. I can’t just wait to have my papers”. Oh Angela, look at you selling your birthrights for pottage. Christians: are you selling your birthright for foreign land pottage.
My friend, are you yoking with the enemy? Know ye not that the Lord our God is greater than immigration and that He can turn the hearts of stones to hearts of grace? I challenge you today to count on the Lord. If you want the Lord to intervene, you must sever your yoke with the enemy. If you want to marry, marry for real: not for papers and not for money. Color does not matter. After all, there is no perfect human being out there. Marriage is a school of compromise and dieing to self. But do not yoke with the enemy for whatever reason. Oh, what a Friend we have in Jesus. He bears all our sins and grief. We grieve because we do not cast our burden to the One who truly cares. Would you come to Jesus today?
Until then, let the Lord be the center of our actions.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk

Going To America Part II

Should they die their whole life in this condition?
Going To America Part II

Scripture reading
1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. 3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. 5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. 6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. 7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. 9 The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people. 11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
Elimelech, Naomi and their sons migrated to Moab because of famine in Bethlehem to look for green pastures. After the death of her husband and two sons Naomi decides to come back home with her daughter in-law. To Elimelech, going to Moab was like going to America nowadays. I have divided the passage into 4 subtitles.

Going to a foreign Land (V 1-2).
Exposition:
Moab means water of a father. The name is from the incest son of Lot and his elder daughter. The field of Moab mentioned here was the district east of the Dead Sea and south of the River Arnon. As descendants of lot’s sons, the Moabites were related to the Hebrews. The Israelites were ordered not to trouble them and the land of Moab was not given to the Israelites for possession. The god protector of their nation was Chemosh while Jehovah was for the Israelites. Therefore, they had different religions. Moab was one of those countries that oppressed Israel during the period of the judges. However, at this time Israel had defeated and conquered the Moabites. While in BethlehemJudah (which simply means Bethlehem of Judah) there was Ethiopian hunger both physically and spiritually up to the point where everyone did whatever they wanted. It was called BethlehemJudah that to distinguish it from Bethlehem in Zebulun. Just as an aside this is where Christ will be born. Here the people were spiritually arid that Elimelech one of them ran to Moab that he knew about all what I just told you now. Going out of the country was common and was looked upon as the only means of survival.

Application:
Elimelech means God is king. Now take note of the names of each of them. Was God king of his life? If God was king in his life he would have stayed in Bethlehem and waited for God to act. Naomi means Pleasant. He had a helpmeet that would bring pleasance to her. The first son was called Mahlon meaning sickly and the second was Chilion; meaning pining (which is a slender piece of wire with a point at the end and head at the other used to fasten things). Elimelech (God is king) the head of family will have his enjoyment (Naomi) sick (Mahlon) but he should gather himself together (Chilion ) as a the head of the family and do the right thing. Yet he decides to make the wrong choice to go to a foreign land. Which land even? The land of no return. The Land where God is not honored.

Illustration:
A pastor came to the US and lived with us for some time. He told me he has come to do his masters in Divinity and later will do a doctorate in theology. We were searching for jobs we could not fine and later he told me he has his Masters and that he wants to do his doctorate. One day, he came back home exhausted and disappointed that we could not fine a job. So he told me since Americans do not like people who are honest he will now play the game. After some time he received a letter saying he was a doctor of what I do not know. He applied for a job and quickly had one.
The second story was that of Paul a young man who came to live with me from Cameroon. He would pray and shout as though he was one of those first time Pentecostal prophets. Paul too could not fine a job so decided to date a fat bellied lady called Melissa he met over the net. He moved in with the lady and they later broke up. Now make no mistake I am not judging any of these brothers but just showing you the dangers of going to a foreign land when God has not asked you to do so. You might want to ask me did God then send you to America. Yes he did but he sent me to go and study. Brothers and sisters going to a foreign land is not the solution. There are many people in Europe living like rats. Hiding from the immigration everyday because they do not have legal status. In America, without papers you cannot work. And so you will have to compromise one thing or the other to be able to work. Do not be deceived because you see people come here with all those glittering things they have taken on credit. They did not even buy them. They have houses they will have to pay for the next 30 years. Some are married to their grand mothers just to have papers. Others are plainly sex slaves just to have the papers to work. You are poor but you are happy. Be joyful people. I say again be joyful.
Until then, let the Lord be the center of our actions.


Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk

Going To America Part I

Each of this children wants to enter America


Going To America Part I Introduction:
A friend sent me a mail with the name and address of a young lady as the sender. I did not have time to read the mail so I just copied the phone number that when I had time I will call her. One day I called. She asked me who I was “ Rev Ayuk” I replied. “Where are you calling from”? She asked again. I am calling from the United States. “You mean America”? She insisted. I said “yes mam”. She asked “what do you want”? I said my friend gave me this number to call. So I asked her age and she told me she was 15. I said well we cannot then continue because you are too young. The young lady retorted “how old are you”? “33-34” I responded . Then she said, “well you are in America right? Then I will marry you”. So I said “noo you are too young” she said “I have my older sister pastor. You can take her”.
I have heard people could do all to go overseas. Sadly, I have not really felt it like I did on that day with the girl. Almost every African wants to go overseas. The recent incidents in Italy and Spain stand as tall proofs. It would seem the American Embassies especially the one in Cameroon encourages people to bring fake documents. I have always wondered why only most people with fake documents enter the US. Going to heaven should be the place we should seek with even our blood and not going overseas.
At times, those who want to go may consult a witchdoctor who will counsel them to eat their own excreta or feces. I wonder what it tastes like. I have drunk my own urine when a herbalist told me it cures eye problems. It instead made my eyes worse.
Then when you visit Christian meetings, you hear the faithfuls praying for God to turn the heads of the consular officer. I heard a young man say “please, God set her into confusion that once she sees my doki she will not know they are fake”. A prayer in a church said “God, turn the heart of that woman inside out. If she does not give it, let her be taken away from that post for refusing a servant of God a visa”. Hahahahahaha. Poor consular officer. If God was honoring every prayer against that woman, she would have been walking in Marche Mokolo naked now. I have been praying for her.
People have used phoney exchange programs to go overseas. Then when they reach here, they don’t even go to school anymore. Those who are wise and graceful use their kins’ documents. I remember a family that used the same passport for the four sisters. Another young man used the passport of his taller brother and still succeeded. He was 5.4 feet tall while his brother was 5.9 tall. When the immigration officer asked him why he is now short, he said he had a bone disease that is making him to shrink to the floor. You smile don’t you. The he produced a medical certificate; D=o=k=i.. He did not even care about the height. Fortunately, he passed.
Some go to the embassy with a woman and borrowed kids they have trained to be calling them papa. I remember a friend who told me he took his uncle’s wife and their two kids. In front of the officer one of them said Uncle Tom I want to go back home. The officer asked if those were their kids. He said “yeah this one has not lived with me now for long that he does not know I am their father. Boy, I am your father. If you call me again onku if I go to America you will not go”. He warned the young man. Am my breaking your lungs?
Others have visited Mallams and witchdoctors to even sell their fingers or part of their bodies if they could be assured they will enter the US. The witch doctors says “my wata na yi be luck”. So he clears the bush of this virgin. Others use transplanting of visas in passports. Some become some traditional chief.
I remember quite well a young man who told me he acted as a fon by taking a group of people he met in the street. He bought clothes from Mokolo, gave them to wear and took them to the embassy. Their job was just to by crying Mbeh Mbeh. I said what village is your fondom again, he said Jakirintu. You smile don’t you. May someone help me to find that on the map p-lea-se. The guard was from Bamenda and could not just resist the Fon from Jakirintu. Smile again. Your fon is coming to the US.
I saw another young man who only entered the US with the passport of a journalist he faked dead. Our failure to qualify for world cup would hinder many who would have entered Europe and later cross over to the US. Some of the people who have had visas had the following reasons birthday, wedding, graduation and many others of my friend, mother, aunt, sister.
Then sometimes I have wondered how Christians would (with their own conscience) enter the US for a Christian meeting first that does not exist and then immediately file for Asylum. If they died in the course of their sin, where will they go? My friend told me to give my documents to my young brother to travel. I told him I was not into that. He said everybody is doing it. He told me that his own “very pastor has a problem now because he sent his passport to another friend to come and the passport was caught. But that was after he made many to enter here” he emphasized. I am not blaming them. They are fighting for survival.
That pricks my heart a great deal and I feel I should share this passage from Ruth 1:1-14. The purpose of this lesson is to show you that God has no limit in his blessings. And when He does, it is not associated with any evil. Therefore, anyone who will wait on the Lord like a patient dog will eat the fattest of God’s blessings. This series, Going Overseas is to encourage those who intent to go abroad to stay faithful, use the truthful and rightful means, and count on God no matter the cost and time. It took me a long time to win the DV but at last, God came to my rescue. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you (MT 6:33).
Until then, let the Lord be the center of our actions.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk

Mary Magdalene




Mary Magdalene



Person and personality:


There seems to be a myth about Mary Magdalene that she was a prostitute or Jesus' wife or at least his girlfriend. Who was really Mary Magdalene? Many movies have portrayed her as a prostitute. Was she a prostitute indeed? Was it a mistaken identity? It seems Mary Magdalene is mentioned 13 times in the New Testament, but she is directly mentioned only during the Passion Week; crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. It is only by inference that we know of her infirmity and deliverance (Mk 16:9; Lk 8:2). Her role climaxes in John 20:10 when Jesus appeared to her first after resurrection. Jesus had visited Magdala; also called Dalmanutha (Mk.8:10) after feeding the 4000 (Mt 15:39).


There were seven Marys in the Bible. Some were identified by their children like Mary the Mother of Jesus (Mt. 1:16; Mk. 6:3; Lk. 2:34), Mary the mother of James and Joses (Mt. 27:56; Mk. 15:40; Lk. 24:10), and Mary mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12). Others were identified by their place of origin; Mary of Magdala (Mt. 27:56; Mk. 15:40; Lk. 8:2) and Mary of Rome (Rom 16:16). Some were identified by their husband like Mary wife of Cleopas and others by their brothers like Mary sister of Lazarus.


In those days, the people did not have surnames. They were identified by their professions; Simon the Tanner: built tents (Acts 9:43), major infirmity; Blind Bartimaeus; blindness (Mk 10:46), Simon the Leper; had leprosy (Mt. 26:6), political party; Simon Zealotes (Lk 6:15) or place of origin; Jesus of Nazareth (Mk.1:24), Judas Iscariot (Mt 10:4). On the same principle, Mary is called Mary Magdalene meaning Mary from Magdala.


Some people confuse between the woman in this passage (Lk 7:36-50) and Mary Magdalene. The former is not only different from the latter but also different from Mary the sister of Lazarus. The confusion emanates from the fact that both Lazarus’ sister and the woman wiped Jesus’ feet with their hair and poured oil on them, yet each had different motivations for paying their reverence. Mary the sister of Lazarus used spikenard oil to anoint Jesus’ feet after wiping them with her hair because He raised her brother back to life. On the other hand, the woman in Simon’s the Leper’s came in weeping, used her tears to wash his feet, used her hair as towel to wipe them, kissed them and then anointed them too with Spikenard oil from an Alabaster box for her sins. She was called the sinner (meaning someone with sin as profession). We always have some people we look down on as if they have been given to the devil forever. That was the case with this lady.


More so, Mary Magdalene and Mary sister of Lazarus Jn 11, 12 are two different ladies. Firstly, they came from different towns. While Mary Magdalene came from Magdala, the sister of Lazars came from Bethany. Secondly, it was Mary; the sister of Lazarus, who took spikenard oil, anointed his feet and wiped Jesus feet with her hair. The intriguing part is that both the woman who wiped Jesus feet and Mary the sister of Lazarus come from the same city Bethany. The only thing that peters out the contradiction is that by coincidence, the hosts of those feasts; Simon the leper hosting Jesus and the sinner woman and Lazarus hosting Jesus and Mary both live in Bethany.



The role of Mary Magdalene in the Bible:

The Bible infers that Mary had evil spirits/ pŏnērŏs / and devils/ daîmŏniŏn (Mk. 16:9; Lk 8; 2). The former has the equivalence of a spirit that makes you sick and act as a derelict, while the latter refers solely to a demonic being. That means; Mary Magdalene was possessed with demons that made her act as a mad or crazy person. So one day came her deliverance. She was among some of the people who benefited from the deliverance ministry of Jesus. Jesus still delivers today from demonic possession because He is the same yesterday, the same today and the same forever. Some of us are possessed with demons that make us physically and spiritually crazy. These, Jesus can still set free.



Faithful friend in need and deed (Mt 27:56) Mk 15: 42


To show her gratitude, she stayed closer to Jesus even when the male disciples had deserted into spider holes. Mary and the other women knew “to live is Christ but to die is gain” and so counted all as dung (Philippians 3:8). How many receive healing from Jesus and abandon him? How many after someone has helped them reward their good with evil? How many of us will be there when those who ministered life to us have problems? Folks learn from Mary Magdalene. She was a faithful friend unto the death of the friend who gave her back the life she now has (Mt. 27:62 Mk 15:47).


Mary played a very important role in the life and ministry of Jesus. She was a rich woman who used her substance for the Lord (Lk. 8:3). Despite her substance, she had little or no say in the decision making of the ministry. The word substance comes from the Greek /huparchŏnta/ meaning possessions. Immediately this contrasts with modern theology that urges faithfuls to give with credit cards. I still do not believe that God would have asked Abraham for a daughter knowing fully well that he had but two sons. The Bible urges us to pay tithes from our incomes (Gen 14:20; Deut 16:16-17; Num. 18:26). The widow would not have given to Elijah what she did not have (I kings 17:8-16). It is exploitative theology to urge Christians to give by borrowing. Possession is different from what we intend to have. And credit card giving is giving what we don’t have or intend to have. You can only freely give what you have received freely. Peter told the paralytic: “silver and gold I have none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). Then Paul told the Corinthians: “ quote 2 cor 9: 7”


Finally, Mary plays the role of the watchman in the Old Testament. The watchman sees danger or good news and carries it to the king. Here Mary was commissioned to carry the good news of Jesus's resurrection to the rest of the apostolate. Feminists use this passage to say that God shifted the avant-garde of evangelism from men to women by appearing first to Mary and not Peter or any other man. Just as a reminder, Jesus did not send Mary to the world. He sent Mary to His brethren (Mt 28:10). She was the first to see what happened because she was the first to visit the graveyard or sepulcher that early morning (Mt. 28:1) Mk 16:1, 9). Nevertheless, considering the backyard role women had in the days of Jesus so entrusting such a responsibility to Mary was a recognition of her ability and importance in the spread of the gospel. This reveals that women are and should be partners in the work of the Lord.


However, among all the Marys mentioned in the Bible there is none that was married to Jesus nor was Mary magdalene a prostitute. Therefore, Mary played a vital role in Jesus’ ministry and her contribution in the work opens the door for other women.


Until then, let Mary Magdalene be a great example for us.


Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

Excesses of the Modern Day Church




White church above and black church below. Segregation even in churches. Lord have mercy!

















Excesses of the Modern Day Church

In each period in the life of the church, the church has gone through abuses and excesses. Years after the descension of the Holy Spirit, the apostles became contented with living in Jerusalem (where the church was a bit famous and therefore, remunerative) than be His witnesses in Jerusalem (city), Judea (province), Samaria (region) and extremities of the earth (world). They later corrected that with the appointment of deacons.
The biggest source of internal problems the church has ever faced has been on doctrinal issues (polemics). Methinks the problem remains until today. If we can recall; The Apostle, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds were all to solve heresies on theological controversies and expose the orthodoxy that the faithful should memorize and live with.
The marriage between the church and the state brought about worldly or unbelieving popes (Julian the Apostate) and Constantine directing the church that itself promoted simony. The strength of the papacy was broken with the advent of Christianity of the cloisters generally called monasticism. More so, because of the papal schism it was easy for monasticism to prevail and introduce pilgrimages.
Then the church as if waking up from slumber, plunged itself into another excess called crusades. They fought seven crusades starting from 1096A.D -1254 A.D. They had five main motives; economic (to gain trade and extend their boundaries); political (to contain Islamic permeation into Asia Minor and Palestine), social (to give the people new outlets where they could vent out their frustrations), cultural (to satisfy the spirit of adventure and curiosity) and religious (to unite the Western and Eastern churches).
Remember, after the early church divided into two: the West and the East, the crusades united them back in what would later be called the Roman Catholic Church. The latter’s excesses then provoked a monk called Martin Luther to write his 95 points. The advent of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, took the church into a new era called Protestantism, which will divide to Lutherans Protestants and Reformed churches. At this point there is a group called Anabaptists which will break up but will stay on their own to break down to five other groups Montanuts, Novatians, Donatians, Anigenses and Waldensians . While on the other hand, the Lutheran Protestants will break up to Anglican or Church of England. They in turn will break up into two groups; Wesleyans or Methodists and Evangelicals who in turn will break up to Pentecostalism that seems a melting pot of Catholicism, Lutheran Protestants and Reformed Churches because almost each of these groups has a Pentecostal wing. A word of caution; despite the fact that these other movements break away it does not mean the former dies out or does no more exist.
Consequently, my concern will be the excesses that still exist in the Modern Day Church. That will include all church groups and denominations today.

1) Person and preaching of the Pastor, Priest, Chaplain Etc

a) Preaching against the word:
When you hear anyone preaching against the word of God as being insufficient or inadequate, know that he/she is fake. The Bible confirms the scriptures as sufficient and adequate (2 Tim 3:16; Mk 13:31; Rev 22:18). Or worst still, when he teaches you to do the opposite of what the Bible teaches, know that he is a false prophet (Deut 13: 1-15).
b) False and fake tiles:
It amazes me how someone who has one church can call himself bishop. The word bishop /ĕpiskŏpŏs/ means overseer (I Tim 3:2; Titus 1:7; I pet. 2:25). It was a term used on any church leader who had more than one church under their supervision.
Another abused title is Reverend. This title is obtained after ordination by taking 90 credit hours of Masters of Divinity classes or by longevity and proof of ministry. Nowadays, people confer on their friends with no ministry and no academics at all. Some people feel that no one should be called reverend because only God should be reverend while others feel that though they call the man reverend they do not worship him.
Another term is father. Some denominations interpret literally Jesus’ usage of the term father/patēr/ (Mt. 23:9) which means someone who gave birth to you. Being a former Roman Catholic (RC) member when we used to call the priest father it was not like he gave birth to us (spiritually) but one who oversees us as some sort of a guardian, tutor or custodian. I believe it is the context in which the RC uses it. Instead, this term is more misused among Pentecostals more than the RC. What the leader says stands and they literally believe he holds their lives in his hands. They call him from daddy, to Papa.
The worst one is to see someone take the title of doctor, which could be obtained by honorary bestowment or through academic achievements. The honorary is when you could not get it through academics but have established yourself as an authority in your field. In that case, organizations and institutions could give it to you. The academics, is when you take about 36 credit hours after your Masters and you defend a Thesis. Sadly, church leaders with no education and no mastery or accomplishments call themselves Doctors.
However, there is a difference between doctor of philosophy (PhD holder) and a medical doctor. For a medical doctor to have that academic qualification they would have to defend their specialization Thesis. You could be a medical doctor without being qualified for the position of an academic doctor. Ask your pastors where they studied or what they accomplished to earn the doctorate. Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. (Mt 22:21). Thank God, church leaders have not yet started to take the professor title. This one comes with publications and teaching in the university level. If you do not merit a title, do not take it. It is stealing! It is robbery. There is begging that is stealing but there is no stealing which is begging.

b) Prophesies in respecter of persons.
When you hear a preacher who prophesies and nothing happens just be careful. He might not be a false prophet but do not take him serious (Deut 18:15-22; Jer. 28:9). I was attending a church and the visiting preacher was making prophecies about the new building the church was going to build. He was not the first. After him came three other preachers who prophesied that “that building was going to be built this year”. I said it was not going to happen especially because they were using Bible dates that had to do with Israel directly to base their prophecies. Folks, four years after, that same building is uncompleted. They were prophesying according to what the people wanted to hear. They knew and know that the people wanted to hear that they would complete their building. Each year, I reminded two or three brothers of that church that I was still waiting for their prophecies to be accomplished. Even the lies of a fortuneteller would be medicine for the desperate sick. The question is; should Christians be that desperate for an answer? There is a fruit of the spirit called patience, which is needed at all times to overcome the hardships of today.
Go into our churches, or show me any clear-cut prophecy of foretelling or forth telling that was fulfilled in modern times if not of those perfunctory prophecies of “thus says the Lord; my people I will bless you. I have heard your cries. I am with you”. These are all things that the Bible says. In that case, we do not need any prophet per se to tell us. If there is going to be prophecy it should be what we did not know ( fore telling) or let it come as mere exhortations (forth telling) which could be received through reading the word anyway. The people are abused with false and fake prophecies.
I am not saying there are no more true prophecies. I was visiting a church for the first time and the pastor’s wife came to the back of the church, on a Sunday morning, with the church filled with people and said to me; “you are a preacher aren’t you?”. “What makes you think so”? I asked. “The Spirit was just ministering to me that this is a man of God” she continued. That was my first time in that church and I was looking for a new church closer to my new residence. That is a prophetess! We have very few of them today. Take time to differentiate between God’s prophetess/prophet from soothsayers, diviners, fortunetellers, levitationists, chiromancists, pyromancists, cartomancists, necromancers, ventriloquists and geomancers. While the prophets and prophetesses are inspired by God the latter are inspired by the devil, evil spirits or demons.
Have you heard preachers say we all are rich? Then the Christians will answer Amen! Is that the reality? Is everybody in your church rich? Is it not even naturally impossible (there will always be the gap between the have and haves not) and biblically unfounded too because we will always have the poor with us (Mt. 26:11)? They will tell you give this amount and at the end of the year, God will mete it with this amount. Some have given all they had yet their stomachs have joined their backs. Everyone should avoid these two conditions: looking poor and being poor. At least avoid the latter. And you can only avoid that by respecting God’s principles of giving.

c) Claims experience and expertise as key
I moved to Downtown Atlanta to do missionary work. I visited four colleges around introducing myself to their head of religious movements: “I am a new missionary from Cameroon to the US. I will like to work with you guys in student ministries. I mean if you don’t have a place in existing groups I can start mine. All I need is your go ahead” I told them. All of them told me “our campuses are saturated with preachers that we do not need another one”. Yet, I have never heard or seen homosexuality invade a campus, as was the case of these campuses. They were and are a show window of Romans 1:26-27.
When a servant of God tells you, we have been here for long and do not need another church or servant of God, please run. Jesus himself said that the harvest is ripe but the laborers are few. He even told the disciples to pray so that God would send more laborers (Mt. 9:37-38). That means, we always need churches and preachers. When you hear your pastor, or you suspect your pastor fighting with other preachers as I hear that, some pastors in Washington do not talk among themselves. Then they are not fit to preach or offer any sacrifice if we practice Mt. 5:23-24. In addition, only false prophets join the world to fight another servant of God (I Kings 22:8-28, II Chr. 18:7-27).So please look for a better church.
One thing common is that sin is dominating that group and they are afraid to be dislodged from their comfort zones. Most Christians in the West are comfort addicted while those in the developing countries are sufferings addicted. Each of the extremes is not good for humanity you know. You smile don’t you? For real!
The reason is simple, if a preacher does not preach that the people will be rich and will not have problems he may end up only with the wife and kids if he has any. If a preacher preaches on sin then he is minimizing the atoning power and despising the grace of God the spoiled Christians will tell him. If grace means our lives should not be transformed, then it is not worth saying we are Christians because to be a Christian means you want to live like Christ.
Recently a couple was paraded over the TV for credit card frauds and fake businesses. I have personally visited that church and seen where they came from. It would seem the church is emitting darkness rather than light. Are you a Christian? Can anyone desire to copy your example? It would seem difficult nowadays to differentiate between a Christian and a non-Christian. On November 17, 2004, on Fox 5 News, there were about 7 or 8 news items. Four concerned crimes committed by Christians. It is true we are not perfect. Nonetheless, there should be a difference in moral standings between the little christs and those who are not. On that night there were court appearances of the wife of the Youth Pastor who colluded with her deacon boyfriend to kill him. A youth leader who molested 42 kids. A woman who killed her 86 year old mother with a hammer. Two kids from Christian homes who attempted to kill their classmates by poisoning them with a cake baked with glue and bleach. Where is the church leading the world? Did you know in some churches you take an exam to be a member. I have taken an exam when I intended to join a church. Thank God I passed. No one even knew where I lived.
A young man walked into a church in Marietta GA to confess his sins. After a hymn, the pastor approached him and asked; “which family do you belong”? He turned and looked round in all bewilderment a backslidden soul coming back as a prodigal son could display. So far, everybody was white he said to himself. He informed him he was just from Africa and was looking for a church to see if he could come back to God. The pastor holding him on the shoulder, pulled him up, then gradually taking him by the hand towards the door and pointed with his left hand “if you go down the street there you will find a church that will accept you” he said to him. “This church is a family church and you must be a member of this family,” he explained. Surely, he was elucidating for the sake of Christ and the love he had for the brother. What do you think? Do you laugh or you feel sorry? I am in between. Come Lord Jesus!


d) Destroys other servants of God
During a transfer ceremony of a bishop, the journalist asked him if he had any enemies. He told them he had none. And the journalist said: “I heard you were always in loggerheads with other ministers. What happened to them”? He replied” I have finished with all of them. That is why if I die today I will have none”. Everyone knows why he had no more enemies because all those who quarreled with him have died. I have not been able to solve this enigma if one servant of God can kill another by using orthodox or unorthodox means. Here I cannot form an opinion yet. I have heard but have not seen. Therefore, I am still reserved.
Sometimes, churches have destroyed others with false accusations, slanders or even hiring hit men to finish with the other side. If you know and have heard your preacher does that leave that group. At times, some of them would even set the other preacher up like that case in I Kings 13:11-34. Let me present a small table of good shepherds versus bad shepherds (preachers) Ezek. 34

Bad Shepherds versus Good Shepherds
Bad Shepherds
Feed themselves
Feed the flock
Enrich themselves with the wealth of the flock
Abandon those that need care
Do not search those who left nor the lost

Good Shepherds
Bless them with his wealth
Take care of those that need help
Seek the flock whereever they are
Defend the flock
Know their sheep
GIVES HIS LIFE FOR HIS SHEEP


2) DOCTRINES

A) Area of giving.
Giving is important to God and his work. He stresses it with the institution of tithes and offerings of sacrifices and libations. It is very important for the Christian to know that they must give obligatorily their tithes and facultatively their offerings to God. I take for granted and would not seek to prove the validity of tithes.
However, the abuse and excess is at the point where I heard a preacher say “ he will pray for God to burst holes in a Christian’s pockets if they don’t give to God”. You smile don’t you? I laughed too. Since when has he become the tailor? Firstly, it is wrong to force people to give because God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). God did not appreciate the sacrifice of Cain simply because it was not with the right mind. There is begging, which is stealing, but there is no stealing which is begging. When we use gimmicks to obtain money from people it is stealing, extortion, or robbery by spiritual means.
In 1990, I witnessed a scene I may never forget. It was offering time (blessing time) as they say it. Therefore, the basket was placed in front of the church. Each person came forward, singing and dancing to give to God. The pastor has been standing just close by supervising each giver. After three people put their money, the pastor stopped the singing and exclaimed. Who put this five francs! As if he did not believe anyone would give God five francs. Who put this five francs? He asked emphatically. Come and take it. No one came forward. So the pastor called a sister out and said to her “come and take your five francs. I did not know he stood there to see who was giving what until that incident. God cannot be mocked”. The befuddled sister, walked as a fowl beaten overnight by the rain, giggling and lethargically minimizing her steps to the front of the altar as if tons of iron were tied to her legs. Her face wore an invisible frontlet called shame. The disenchanted Christians shrugged their shoulders with their heads struggling to visit the east and west cardinal points as she pulled out her “God” rejected five francs. My spirit was in my heart, words dried out of my mouth and the scripture paraded an imaginary film board I had made as I waited for the incident to be over. Afterwards I confronted the pastor with this question: “was this sister giving to you or to God. If we say the people are giving to God then let God reject their offerings and not the pastor”. Without waiting for my introduction, my shadow made the last bend as I walked and pondered in solitude if pastors are now God. Thank God, he receives any offering cheerfully and rightfully given.
In some churches nowadays, you are treated according to the amount of money you give to the church. They say you should write your name on the envelope. To determine who is a regular member they check your tithes and offerings contributed.
It is erroneous to ask the Christian to give with Credit cards or what they don’t have. In other words, you are asking them to go borrow to give God. I am confident God would not have asked Abraham to give him a daughter when he knows very well Abraham has no daughter. God does not give us trials or temptations we cannot bear (1 Cor. 10:13). I have heard preachers say that God asked the children of Israel to borrow from the Egyptians. The borrowing was for the children of Israel to keep for themselves and not for God or Moses (Ex. 11:2). One other instant where a man of God asked a needy to borrow was the case of Elisha and the widow (2 Kings 4:3). However, she too was to borrow pots from neighbors for the multiplication of oil then when she has in abundance she could sell and pay her neighbors. It was not for Elisha!
On the contrary, when people nowadays borrow, they do that for the preacher or the church and instead get poor. I lack words to describe some of the diehards from churches whose main philosophy is prosperity. In those milieus, I have seen the poorest of persons that heaven or hell has ever produced. In those places too, I have seen the rich (not richest) heaven or hell has even produced too.
Sometimes when they borrow, they start to run away from church and even their borrowers. Their freedom is gone and their peace runs into hiding. Why would anyone borrow to give God when God does not lack silver nor gold (Ps 50:12)? To whom amongst them has God complained he was hungry? God had asked the Israelites to bring into the storehouse not for himself but for the servant of God because no one should muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads the corn (Deut 25:4; Prov 12:10). Since those who minister upon the temple must feed on the temple (1 Cor 9:9; I Tim 5:18). As such, a minister, benefits from what the Christians give him and the Christians must abundantly, cheerfully and willfully give too. It is however, not godly for anyone to go borrow to give to the church or worst still for a student to tithe his or her tuition which was given by the parents.
Let us say that the parents took the money and paid directly. What would that child tithe? You cannot tithe on income that is not yours. The student can tithe on their pocket allowance. They can be generous on their pocket allowance but not with their rents. Preachers have asked students to give their rents and tuitions to “God” and they ended up not going to school. Preachers have influenced Christians to giving their rents and they ended up being evicted.
In that case, the emphasis should be that though I do not have, I am not contempt with my situation but that does not determine my joy for what shall it profit me if I shall gain the whole world and lose my soul ( Mk 8;36)?

B) Anointing and healing,
This rubric seems a very rampant and abused one because he that has the power or anointing has the greatest of members and that brings you a huge turnover from tithes and offerings. I have watched Tele- preachers sell crosses and pieces of cloth. One even sent a brother a cross to always keep underneath his pillow because that was his guarding angel for a donation of $25. To continue this practice they support it with situations like that of Elisha when the waters were polluted and the ground barren (2Kings 2:19-22), Peter’s Shadow (Acts 5:5) and Paul’s handkerchiefs healed the sick (Acts 19:11-12).
A famous journalist in Cameroon attended a preaching session of a visiting preacher from Nigeria in Hilton Hotel. The man of God asked him to come out for blessing and promised him one million CFA at the end of the year if he gave 100,000CFA. The journalist came forward and the man of God prayed for him but he kept standing on his feet while others were falling sideways, backwards and somersaulting. To make him fell the power of God, he gave him a Manga Ongene heading that left him sprawling on the floor like a woman struggling to escape from her rapist. He woke up with a large horn like that of a Briketrie hegoat. When he invited me for an interview, as a king’s historian, narrated his ordeal in first person singular. I told him to keep watching if he will make one million by the end of the year. His wish and dream have remained in the very shadow of his he-goat horn.
Let me make some explanations right quick. In the case of Elisha, it was spontaneous. He had ten miracles and non was the same. He did not start to sell salt to the sick and possessed. Did he? He did not start to sell water in bottles for the sick and possessed did he? In the case of Peter, he did not tell the people to wait for him or only pay into his conference for “power” but they waited for him on his path so that when he passes his shadow will fall on them. As for Paul, people took his sweat handkerchiefs to place on their sick. It was not Paul selling them. It was not his disciples selling them and giving him the money. Is it not written “freely you have receive freely you should give”? (Mt. 10:8). Where does all this selling of healing products come from? Can anyone show me where is it written that healing products from a man of God should be sold?
Worst still the people themselves encourage the game and as such ministers hurry to the underworld for powers so that their churches will “grow”. Nowadays, when someone falls people say that church has powers. I have explained that in my book (Practical Christianity Commentary on Elijah. In the Old Testament, people fell headlong or prostrated themselves before God. There is no case in the Bible where the people fell backwards in the Old Testament. If you see any please let me know. The reason is because God was revealing himself to humankind and that requires worship when man finds out. In the New Testament, people fell both forward and backward because God has revealed himself and his mission, the challenge takes the form of encounters. As such, those that recognized him as God worshipped him and those that did not fell backwards because they had demons and evil spirits that prevented them from doing do.
However, the common denominator in all this falling is that each time someone fell in the Bible be it forward or backwards their life changed. The non-believer becomes a believer and the possessed were set free. If it as in the O T that a barren woman fell, she would get up and become fertile. If a palsy patient fell in the days of Jesus, he will rise up completely well (Mt. 17:14).
With the modern church, people fall to make a show of it, get up but still remain the same. Barren women fall under the “anointing” and still get up more barren than they were. Impotent men fall headlong to no change. Criminals fall and leave the church only to rob an 84-year-old widow. Do you see the difference? I am not saying people should not fall.
Let me speak like Paul (II Cor 11:16-33) for a moment lest you think I don’t know about the power of God. While in CHS Bambui as a young student from 1989-1991 those who lived in the dormitory will tell you we chased out the wizards and witches by a show of power, healed the sick and experienced what it means by being carried in the spirit. God used me to raise up a 125 years old man in Bambui in 1990. In 1991, God raised up my niece from the dead through me and my younger sister, delivered my family from my mother’s landlord boa totem. Through me, many have come to know Christ and they are pastors today. Just to show you I know what it means by operating in the gifts and power of the Holy Ghost. I have been beaten for Christ, experience accidents for Christ, robbed for Christ, insulted and abused for Christ. I know what it means by suffering for Christ. To me falling “under the anointing” is adiaphorous and as such does not change the fact that God healed and still heals today. Nevertheless, when they fall under the anointing there should be a true change in their lives and not an imaginary and presumptuous change.
In two out of ten Nigerian movies, we see the preacher using underworld powers to make miracles and attract people to their church. It is not just movie pranks. These things really exist. If you are condemned to a particular preacher watch out. If it would seem without them, your household would never be free of demonic powers or you can never win or progress, then watch out, you need deliverance from witchcraft authority. You have been bewitched. Yes you are! You can know a good preacher and a true man of God from the qualities I stated above. Look at them well. If any man or woman of God is selling anything that will heal, deliver, or save do not buy. That is ungodly. Run away from them. Freely they have received and freely they should give. If you have to stand on a particular altar before they pray for you, then watch out. If they never pray without a ring, handkerchief, stick or something conspicuously displayed then be careful. If they want you to pay an allegiance or even swear to be their follower then it is time to run for your life. When you see churches with laws like do not come here with your shoes, or people who are healed that no one recognizes them then it is time for you to run. If people are healed and the sickness comes back or may be, attacks another family member, please watch out for your life. Go seek a true prophet for deliverance
You want to ask me what about Jesus who healed with mud (Jn 9:6). It was not habitual. He even asked a paralytic why he did not dive into the waters for healings like the others (Jn. 5:3-18). Nonetheless, after that he healed the man by mere command. Now, remember, if you stay faithful and truthful to God “no weapon fashioned against you shall prosper and any tongue that shall rise against you shall be condemned. For that is your heritage and your righteousness is from God.”(IS 54:17)


C) Body Guards
The preachers have bodyguards today all over. From Moses to Malachi and from Jesus to Paul none even had a single bodyguard. The term and idea do not even future in the Bible. These three terms; armourbearer, sons of the prophet and disciples resemble the bodyguard theory but they are not even synonyms.
Let us start with the term armourbearer. The word armor in 1 Sam 14:1 and the term armourbearer have the same root word: /kelîy/ meaning a vessel to carry weaponry. The first time we hear the word /armourbearer/ is in Judges 9:54. In those days, the king had someone who carried his weapons when he went out for a walk or to war. That person was called the armourbearer. He did not have any title claim to the throne and he will never be king. He was like the nchinda of the North West province of Cameroon. In those days, both the weapon (I Sam 14:6; 17:8) and the person who carried the bag (I Sam 14:12-17) have the same root word for armourbearer. This means he was a type of bodyguard. Now the question is who had the armourbearer; the king or the prophet. Are preachers today, kings or prophets? The prophet did not have an armourbearer the king did. Preachers are like the prophets of old while the president and kings are like the kings and queens of old and should not have bodyguards.
I saw a young man wrestled to the floor because after the sermon he wanted to approach the preacher to greet and thank him for the sermon. Before he knew it, his back was on the ground. I mean: he was tackled from the hip. Today, it is easier even to see a president than to see certain preachers. The bureaucracy and bottlenecks are just cumbersome and callous.
Let us go back to the second term sons of the prophet (2 Kings 2:3; 5; 4:38; 5:22; 6:1). In this text, the word /son/ would instead refer to young and not the term /bên/ which has to do with family. This term fits the modern usage of godchild. The sons of the prophets were young aspirants who wanted to be prophets. They are not there to guard the prophet but to learn from him so that they will replace him. On the contrary, preachers take young people to guard them and not prepare them to replace them. Worst still they start to groom their kids (sometimes even non-believing kids) to take over. That is why the church seems today like pure business. The preacher raises up someone who will protect his interest. How different is that from Capitalism?
The next term is disciple / mathētēs/ (meaning pupil, apprentice or learner). That means students of Christ. The term progresses to Christians in Acts 11:26. These ones want to learn from Christ so that when he is gone they will take the mantle. They become the little Christ through whom the world sees the Christ who is gone to heaven. The disciple was not the bodyguard of Jesus. He told them two swords as enough (Mt 26; 52-53). I can defend myself if I want. I freely give myself. So where did we come with this idea of Bodyguard. It is simply an imitation of the world so as to look important. If the man of God is preaching that heaven is better than earth then why does he need a bodyguard to protect him from dieing if dieing will mean a flight to heaven (the better place)? If we are so scared to die that we have bodyguards to tackle people down in church then why preach about heaven as better and dieing as gain and being with Christ? That means somewhere somehow someone is jacobizing another.
Yet we know that it is not a bad thing to have a disciple you are training. This disciple is to replace you and continue the work you began. He is not there to put his life on the line for you so that you can live. Shame on all those preachers with bodyguards.

D) Leadership
Another area of excess is leadership. When a preacher makes himself the fourth person of the godhead then time has come for you to look for a better place. No preacher should force you or coerce you to sign permanent allegiance or membership. You are not obliged to be a member in a church. The usage of Hebrews 10:25 is not for a particular church but fellowship with other Christians. One can fellowship with different Christians everyday without even going to church. However, we encourage going to church because it will help you to grow and for people to know you, trust you and entrust you with responsibilities. If you go here today and there tomorrow, people will not know you and therefore you will not grow in Christian leadership because no one will give you any responsibility. Yet, it is bad when you have to give account of how you sleep with your wife. What color of dross you are wearing or submitting your pay check to your minister so that he or she can determine how much money you make to deduct tithes and worst still that he can decide to sow his seed into any of your daughters any time and any age. That is cultic and should be avoided.

F) Some misused verses.
Now this item is very funny because it is not the preachers but also the Christians who encourage this one. We may operate in the supernatural because of our spiritual gifts but we have natural bodies; that is even why we get sick or die. That is why we get tired, angry, disappointed and even happy. I hear people say all the time that a Christian never fails and should never use the word failure. If one does not fail, then he is infallible. And if we are infallible then we are God. If we are God then we do not need any other God in our lives and therefore do not need salvation. Considering that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Mindful that John the Baptist doubted Jesus when in jail (Mt. 11:3), that Peter who dined and wined with Jesus will later deny him (Mt. 26:75), that Paul failed to integrate the church of Jerusalem when he believed and had to retreat to Arabia until Barnabas brought him back ( Gal 2:1), shows that though Christians we can still fail.
Now realistically, if Christians do not fail, are we then the first in our classes? Are Christians the richest people on earth? I mean even the prosperity preachers. Are there Christians who are in jail? Are there believers who are in jail? If yes what is that called? Remember it does not mean they are no more Christians but they have failed to achieve a particular goal. Do we achieve all our New Year Resolutions?
We always use Rom 4:17 as if it was a positional blessing; that is, a blessing we acquire once we believe in the Lord. It is not! On the contrary, it is a conditional and progressive blessing, as I will unfold in the study below.
Job 22:28, Eliphaz makes this statement when accusing Job. According to Eliphaz its fulfillment is conditioned on one main demand; a return to the almighty by putting away iniquity. Then Job would enjoy the following advantages: prosperity, protection, and delight in the Lord, answered prayers, fulfilled prophecies (V.28), and encouragement to the broken hearted, evangelize and save the lost. Therefore, verse 28 gains its strength from verse 23. Now remember that though Eliphaz said this, Job was not far from God as Eliphaz thought. However, Eliphaz’ principle which is God breathed still stands.
Philippians 4:19. In this verse, Paul tells the Corinthians but his God shall supply all their need (main necessity) according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He starts with a coordination conjunction making it look like a secondary thought. Where is the primary thought? The primary thought is the fact that the Philippians communicated with Paul’s affliction (V. 14) by giving and receiving (V 15) up to, the point where while he was still in Thessalonica, they still sent him things (especially those sent through Epaphroditus). As such, his God who is so rich will refill (supply) or replace more than what they gave. God would replace even more than what Paul was given. Consequently, seeing that all of them emptied to give him then on that basis, God would replace with a prophet’s reward (Mt 10:41-42) what they gave out. Therefore, God can only bless more if we give (Acts 20:35).
Rom 4:17 : In this verse, Paul in trying to make the Romans be partakers of God’s promises through Abraham he reminds them of the promises made to Abraham and simultaneously spelling out the person of God. So let us divide the verse into two parts:
a) What was written? In genesis 17:5 God told Abraham he would be a father of many nations. We all came because of that promise. It was left for Abraham to believe or not to believe. So he believed Him. Who did Abraham believed in? God!
b) The person of God.
This God is the one who raises the dead (resurrection) from the days of Elijah to the days of Paul. More so, the same Person creates. He calls things that do not exist as if they were and they come to exist. In other words, Abraham hadn’t any son by the time he had that promise. God telling him I have made you a father of many nations he had lived the future of Abraham by seeing Abraham with Isaac, Ishmael and the rest of the human race. God is the one who calls those things that be not as if they were and not the Christian.
We can only do that, if we take on the nature of God and fulfill the conditions in Job and the Philippians whereby Abraham could only receive this promise by giving his precious son. Paul tells the Hebrews why Abraham fulfilled the condition in Job and in the Philippians. He followed God by faith (Heb. 11:8-10). Remember, today the righteous shall live by faith has not changed (Heb 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal. 3; 11). It is instead James who gives a clearer picture of Abraham’s source of justification (Jas. 2:23). It was when Abraham believed God that all he did, was imputed on him as righteousness. Therefore, at that time, his iniquity has been put away and he moved to the next step of giving himself and even his heir-to-be son. As from then, the Lord supplied his need according to the riches in his glory.
My friends be careful where you go to church. Finding God is expedient for our eternity. However, be careful not to be in hell here and later in heaven because somebody misled you. I know how you want to meet God yet be careful. Know where you go to church and who your pastor is. Don’t hesitate to leave a church you suspect does not bless your soul or has abuses and excesses. But before you leave, expose it for others to see. You might save another soul. I hope that this series blesses you and that you share it with others. My next series would be on African Traditional Religions (ATR).
God bless you abundantly as we walk this journey of faith.

Until then, the modern church must curtail its excesses.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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