For Our Admonition… Part 1
– by Gbile Akanni
“And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him. Then Thomas , who is called the Twin , said to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
John 11:15-16 NKJV
Look at what Thomas said in that scripture above: “let us also go, that we may die with him” – what a thought! He had accepted the death of Lazarus as final and the end of everyone! Some accepted this backsliding as the state of the Church and they have quietly removed their boots and their guard… “Let us also go the way he went and let us die with him.” This may be the reason many preachers are all preaching alike; repeating the same errors that killed men of old. You see, the aspiration of many young ministers today is “go and die with him!”
Can you see that it was lust for women that slew Samson and wrecked Solomon? And it has reduced many a fiery preacher to a mere piece of bread … yet you never desist from the way they went. You also are beginning to carry girls about on your entourage. You are playing with the same fire that burnt your masters into ashes and left them a shadow of what they were born to be. You are the recent brother Thomas of our day; you have silently said, “let us also go and die with him.”
You know it was the desire to be known and honoured that quenched the powerful anointing on your heroes in ministry as they ascribed greatness to themselves and decorated themselves with bogus titles and honorary degrees. It was this desire to be exclusive and to maintain a class that excluded them from the fellowship of the brethren and the corporate discipline of the Body of Christ, until they fell headlong.
You have also charted the same path for your feet even as young as you are. You are now a big man – “untouchable”, “unteachable”, “unreachable” and “unhelpable”! You sit in the “apex” of leadership alone when you have never learnt servanthood! You surround yourself with sycophants and praise singers, who dare not point out your mistakes lest they are fired … You hire and fire! You sit on the neck of your brethren and make them to serve you rather than their LORD. You make them call you “Papa”; “Daddy”; “Set-man”; “Apostle” etc. You intimidate brothers to succumb to your tricks; using the Scriptures out of context … I see you are the Thomas of our days. You have said in your heart and have said to all in your company… “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Balaam had great anointing. He was an acclaimed and recognized seer in the region of Median. He could fall into a trance and see an open vision of the open heavens. He heard God so clearly that whatever he said came to pass. Greed however killed him. Honorarium, gifts, prophet’s offering, envelopes, offering bags; reward of divination (or what modern preachers tag as “Revelation offering”) were the shovels that dug his grave. He actually died before he died. He died spiritually; he died prophetically. He became a soothsayer! When a prophet becomes a joker on the pulpit, a sooth-sayer who says what soothes his hearers, he prophesies peace, promotion, prosperity; prolongation; procreation; power; platforms, omitting God’s own pre-requisite ‘P’ for purity, he is already dead. He has lost his sense of judgement. He collects money from everyman who seeks his help in prayer. He says “thou shall not appear before the prophet empty handed.” He collects offering even from sinners on the crusade ground. If cripples and beggars assemble for his meetings, he would still first ask them to sow a seed for their miracles! This was how Gehazi ran after Naaman, the leper. He collected raiment, olive yards; sacks of goods … He carried on the chariot weights of silver and loaded it into his chambers. He told a lie and exaggerated “the problem in his ministry” to raise an offering from a young convert-Naaman. He died of the same leprosy.
Would you quickly forget what killed Achan at the brink of Jericho Crusade Outreach? The silver and the gold bracelets of the men of Jericho! Or do you pretend not to remember what cut short Saul, the son of Kish – the first king of Israel? The spoils of the Amalekites! Pause here and think!!
For Our Admonition… Part 2
by Gbile Akanni
I see you quietly pursuing money in ministry. I see how you preach so eloquently for fund raising and just casually dismiss the sinners with a wave of hands. You will stop sinners from going for genuine altar calls and counseling until you have collected their offerings. You kill the conviction of sin in their hearts in order to excite them to come and give “sumptuous offerings”…
Your excitement at the size of the crowd everyday and at every meeting is actually the “droppings!” The success of a meeting in your own estimate is that it pays off the bills incurred … you are the modern Thomas of our day. All this is a loud echo of your heartbeats: “let us also go and die with him.” What else would I say about what killed Demas – who left a glorious inheritance for Thessalonica – because “he loved this present world?” What about Esau who would have inherited Isaac, and Abraham and the covenants? He sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Reuben exchanged his first-born position for a love affair with his father’s wife.
Judas Iscariot was one who had already obtained a part in this ministry. He was earmarked to sit along with the twelve apostles of the Lamb, on the twelve thrones of Israel, judging the nation of Israel in the millennial reign. He purchased a field with all these and fell headlong, his bowel scattered; he became a ridicule among men up till today.
The sons of Eli – Hophni and Phinehas – were being raised to replace their father and perpetuate a priesthood that their great grandfather secured by puncturing a sinner in Israel with a sharp javelin. They died in one day, and the ark of God’s covenant was taken away from their hands into the land of the Philistines; they led their father into a shocking death and left their wives widows without any notice. They left God’s ministry with a bad label “Ichabod” – no one came eagerly to the temple anymore. The offering of the LORD became contemptible. They used their flesh hooks to catch the best of the offerings, even before God’s portion was set aside, they recklessly, molested innocent ladies, wives of other men of Israel. They used their priestly anointing to exploit the brethren. You are well aware of these things that sent them to their early graves and you still walk on that terrain. You sit before the TV of this world and drink in all the junks! You hunt around like Esau, restless and untamable. Once “you spoil the ground” in a place, you move into a new location seeking ministry. You are the Thomas of our day; you have eloquently said to your friends and all who follow you … “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Look at your heart today! What is your action saying to the brethren? Are you concluding that since these men stumbled, no one else can bear life unto the end? Have you said “Let us also go, that we may die with him?” This is the day when the Lord firmly declares “I am going to wake him up.” Be careful lest you die off, while our friend Lazarus who had died rises again! Be careful of the way you are going. All those who went that way went into death. They are dead while yet they live! They make empty noise but only transmit death and contamination to those who hear them. He is determined to wake his Church from all these ‘death’ and rottenness. Do not go the way of death anymore, otherwise you will not be part of what God is about to do in His church.
This is for your own admonition. Their stories were written lest you fall into the ditches that swallowed them up.
Though Thomas said this, it was clear that he saw his foolishness and ignorance early. He almost fell into the pit of unbelief but God helped him. He did not die with Lazarus. He saw him raised from that death. He must have listened more attentively to the Master. He asked questions more personally when he did not understand what the Master said. He would not even believe the story of Christ’s resurrection until he had seen Him by and for himself. He reached out his fingers to touch the nail prints etc. His last recorded voice in the gospel and possibly in the New Testament is “my Lord and my God.”
What a good way to end! He was one of the Twelve. He will sit on the Twelve thrones of Israel someday. Do not end up a casualty. Thomas left the garment of unbelief. He left the trade of trailing dead men. He pursued Christ who himself is the Resurrection and the Life. He asked for the way. Thomas said to Him:
Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way?.
It was to him that Jesus specifically granted that personal answer, which has become a great guidepost for all men who would follow the way of life today.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by Me.”
Do not just follow men, not knowing where they are going. Some are going to death, others are going to the dead to die with them, but you, follow the Way! Follow the truth, follow the Life! And when God points men to you, as disciplers, then obey the rule of scriptures:
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.”
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
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