The Commissioning Message: Who is a Man of God? (T. Andoseh)
Yesterday I did not give the commissioning message because the time had already gone. But I want to share with the missionaries who are going out. I want to share with them their commission, without which they will not understand the instructions.
2 Tim 3:14-17: But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The first thing I want to say is that the goal of all training is to produce a man of God. The goal of all training is to produce a man of God.
In the passage we have read, Timothy was trained with three major teachers. The apostle tells Timothy: “Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of”.
What have you learned in five years? What have you really learned; among the many, many things that you have learnt? What have you learnt about which you, as a student have become convinced?
The apostle Paul admits that not all that you have learnt and heard crystallises into convictions, but you can only follow, not what you have learned, but what became convictions.
Those who become men of God are first of all somebody’s students. Those who have not learnt cannot become men of God.
- Are you learning?
- Can you learn?
- Are you a student?
- Have you learned?
- Can you learn?
First of all, it is already a big step that one is a student and that one has learned. But if you put your heart into your lessons, if you put your heart into your training, some things will percolate on your heart, some things will crystallise in your heart, they no longer are just lessons, they become what you personally are convinced about, not what our ministry teaches. When you have such, you have a message, It becomes your own message.
You learnt it, but by putting your heart into it, it became something that you are convinced of. So, when you teach it, you are not a parrot, you are not repeating the traditions of your church, you are not repeating the doctrines of your community, You are teaching. It has become your own.
Later on, in 2 Timothy 4: 15, You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
The apostle Paul has changed. Because Timothy was convinced, he called what he had taught – not ‘my message’ but ‘our message’. It was not just a polite way of speaking, but an inclusive statement because the message was also Timothy’s message. Paul is no longer there, but he tells Timothy, “Be careful when you shall preach. I was not the only one who was hated by Alexander, it was our message. Even if I am no longer there , if you preach, I know that he will want to harm you because of what you shall preach,because it ia the same thing you shall preach.
2 Tim 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,
- In chapter 2, he says: my gospel
- In chapter 3, he says: what you have learned and which you have convinced about
- And chapter 4, our message.
So, Paul was not just using a form of language.
The goal of all training whether School of Knowing and Serving God (SKSG), is not to produce conformist automatons who repeat what they know we like to hear.
The goal of all training is to produce men of God.
Let the teachers of the Schools of Knowing and Serving God keep that one in mind. Teach, such that what you have taught can be believed and be appropriated, so that they can be convinced. So, if by nature you are looking for people’s minds rather than for their hearts, you will not produce a man of God. That is the first of the schools. There is a lot to say there.
The apostle Paul says: “Continue in what you have learned and you have become convinced of” and he explains what produces convictions: Because you know those from whom you learnt it.
So, if we teach and we relate. If you teach people and you relate to them such that beyond the teaching they know the one who is t eaching them.
If you teach people, and in addition to teaching, you build a relationship with them that brings them to know you as the bible says, if besides following your teachings, asa result of a of a relationship,they know the one who taught them ; the bible says this knowledge : the knowledge of what was taught and the knowledge of the one who taught beacause the later took steps to make himself knownn, this two …knowledge touch the heart and produce a man of God. Whatever your spirituality, if you teach all that is correct in your life without trnsparence in dealing with the people you are teaching so that tey penetrate and know your life, you shall not produce men of God.
If you teach what is true, what you have obeyed in your life, but you don’t allow people know you by relating to them, it is not about a clinical transparency, that is not what I am talking about, and you do not allow the people you are teaching to know you by relating to them, who has understood the difference?, it is not clinical.
I am not talking about stories about your life, I am talking about letting the others know you by relating. Who understands the difference?
In this passage, you may teach and follow all the laws of pedagogy , you may teach and give all the illustrations, yes, you have taught. You are up there on the stage.
Clearly, up there on the stage ! But if you leave the stage and enter the lives of those people, with a personal interest in them, they will follow.
I insist on this because we teach a lot without including the catalyst that brings the transformation we want to produce. We teach, and the lesson is true in one’s life – you have obeyed it. They people see you as an icon, you are truly fabulous but you do not let yourself be known by getting close to your students, closeness of interests…Without such closeness, you shall not produce what was your primary objective. If you come close, you shall lose a certain aura of distance and respect. By coming close, you will lose the air of being a star. In any case, we admire stars only because they are very far. If a star was nearby, we would not admire it as a star. You are a star because you are very far.
So, the goal of all training is to produce the man of God. And for that goal, there are three main vectors of training:
First of all, there is teaching. The untaught can hardly become men of God. Are you taught? Have you been taught? Are you anybody’s student?
I set out to be a student, I decided that I will be a student, and I worked out my teachers. Brother Zach was my model and the skeleton of my training. I worked out who were going to be my illustrative teachers.
For the pastoral ministry, the pastor I admired the most and whose ministry was most documented was Charles Spurgeon. So, for the pastoral ministry, I became Spurgeon’s student.
For discipleship to Christ, the person whose major emphasis was discipleship to Christ and who had documented writings that can help somebody,
Somone can be a good disciple of Christ, but he has not written out what translates into his competence and therefore in spite of his progress, we cannot learn from him. There is no documented materisl from which we can learn, so I am not saying that he was the best disciple., but someone who emphasised discipleship to Christ and who had the content written out so that someone else could learn from him: that was Oswald Chambers. He was not in the context of an organised church. He developed discipleship to Christ in this world- the fact of living out his discipleship to Christ. So, as far as discipleship to Christ was concerned, outside the context of the local church, I studied Oswald Chambers. I outlined nine great teachers in nine domains that would characterise… So Br Zach is my reference textbook. But to absorb, I use the illustrations of the others to understand my reference text book, since he also read many authors. I chose who to learn the pastoral ministry from. He is not the only pastor but he has enough material.
For example, Charles Spurgeon as a pastor, for the feeding of his people, (he had a mega church of about 6000 members in 18__ in the heart of London). In order to feed the brethren as a pastor, because his key approach to pastoring was Jeremiah 3:15, And after those days, I shall give you shepherds, and they shall feed you with knowledge. They shall shepherd you with Knowledge.
Spurgeon decided as a goal that he will preach on every verse of the bible, especially what he called the dry verses, that don’t seem to have meat. For him, the Bible was food. He wanted to cook so that whatever part anybody in his church is reading, the person may be nourished, that was his goal. There are 1189 chapters, but Charles Spurgeon aimed at preaching on every verse. Do you see a pastor’s burden? And he published 4000 sermons on different verses. He preached, Charles Spurgeon repeated no sermon, not because he wanted to show off, but because he wanted to feed his congregation with a balanced diet. He published over 4000 sermons, that is separate sermons, to nourish his people.
He started a pastor’s college that was attached to the church. He started a pastor’s college where the church will be a demonstration for the pastors. In order to recommend to his students what they must read among the many Christian literature that were existing - He was sick, at the age of 51 with gout, and for about two, three years, they told him to go to southern France in order to recover, he needed warmer climate. During his sickness, he read four thousand books in order to select what was good food for his students, and, during his pastime, he wrote the commentary on the book of Psalms which is in three volumes. That is the work of a sick man, that is what Spurgeon produces when he is sick. Is he not a good pastor?
I was even trying to put my own teaching into practice, but both H and you people do not seem to be getting it.
I wanted to show you that I made a clear determination to be a student, because when I ask you: are you a student? What it means is that when I select a teacher, I read all his books, because that is what Ecclesiastes recommends. I read all his books. And for the person who is my model, my goal is to read each book twelve times. I am far from that goal, but that is how I approach it, because I want to be a man of God.
So, the first thing in the making of a man of God is that he should be one who has learnt, he should be a learner. A learner. Are you a learner? Are you a learner? Even those who are vocational and practical workers in the Headquarters, they are not learning.
People have embraced a domain…
When I just got married, I asked my wife what her passion was, and she just passively told me that she likes cooking. And I told her: wonderful! Should I help you? She asked me, how? I told her I will buy her a ledger, every meal she cooks, let her register what she did, how many people she cooked for, what she mixed, the quantities, the duration, by page and I told her: “do it and in seven years, you will be a specialist”. She laughed at me.
Who has understood what I wanted to do for her? I just wanted her to be a learner in her domain. And I told her I will buy her one hundred books on cooking. So, her cooking is her laboratory and then she should read one hundred books in cooking, and then at least in life, she will be an expert in something that she has chosen. I don’t mind having a wife who is a cook, but let her be an expert cook. Who understands my philosophy? It is simple,, provided she keeps learning.
When Henriette decided to pray, I told her that as a brother, my part in building her ministry will be to get her a hundred books on prayer, so that she can learn to pray. By the time I came from Nigeria, I think I had got to about forty.
Who is understanding me? I just wanted to help them with my own gift, I don’t have many gifts. I see that there are many people who are very gifted and useless, because they don’t learn. They don’t learn. Who has understood me? Have you chosen a domain and decided to learn?
When I knew I was to be a preacher and I started learning, I even read books on talking, public speaking. And then I read books about thinking, how to think in an orderly way, It is my life work. I better do it well. How can you preach and your head is scattered?
- Are you a learner?
- Can you learn?
- Have you learned?
- In what domain are you learning?
You cannot learn everything; you cannot master everything. But if you want to be a man of God, and we invite the students to our school so that they may graduate as men of God, They should be learners, they should be people who have been taught. To aspire one day to teach without learning is putting God to the test.
One evangelist was preaching under the power of the Holy Spirit. And with all conviction, he said that when Paul was in prison with his wife Silas, their little son Timothy was confused and was running around the road, in a town called Philippi. And he preached with all his might, and the power of the Holy Spirit fell on people and they were converted. But was Silas Paul’s wife? Did they have a little son called Timothy?
You can be zealous, the Holy Spirit can fill you, but shall you always Preach
So, there are three schools to produce a man of God.
- Critical and moulding relationships, inspirational relationships
- A good moulding relationship.
- And then he told Timothy, and scriptures, mastery of the scriptures.
Following what you have been taught until you have convictions.
So, there are the three things that go into the making of a man of God:
- Learning that touches the heart and overflows in convictions that can be followed.
- A personal knowledge of your mentors and teachers, or goal directed relationships, inspirational spiritual relationships and
- Scriptures. Mastery of the Scriptures.
And the apostle Paul says: the mastery and the familiarity with the Scriptures gives wisdom, wisdom that produces salvation, wisdom that leads to salvation. Knowledge that produces faith. The knowledge of the scriptures will give wisdom and faith and gives you ministry, so that you are able to teach, to rebuke, correct and build. That is what goes into the making of a man of God.
And for the missionaries we are sending out, what I have been sharing is not the main commission, but what the Bible says: that the man of God may be fully equipped for every good work.
The idleness that produces selectivity, the idleness that makes people selective, That “my spiritual gift is not for this, I am not good in this”, the Bible says that a man of God who has been trained can do every good work; should do every good work; can be asked to do every good work.
We are not trained to preach, what we produce is not a specialised job called “missionary work”, what we produce are men of God. Who has understood me? What we produce are what? Apt, apt, men of God, capable for every good work. If they need to clean the floor practically, they will do so. If they need to preach a message, they will do so. If they need to pray for the sick, they will do so.
Who is the man of God? The person prepared for every good work
Our concept for training is false. This producing of an elitist approach to Christian service is deceptive. What we produce is not the missionary. What we produce is what? A man of God. And when we have produced a man of God, what has he been trained to do? He has been trained to do every good work.
What is he capable of doing? Every good work!
In sending the missionaries yesterday, in sending them to different leaders and telling them clearly that the leaders will apportion them and ask them to do anything that they see; in case you think that I am demoting you, I just want us to come back to the scriptures. Those who have been trained, who have been in Koumé five years, and who have been taught, and who have related with us and who know the scriptures. If they are men of God, they can do every good work. They should do every good work, they are apt to do every good work: they can care for the sick, they can cast out the demons, but they can clean the room, the can make the bed, they can cook.
When Jesus needs to fry fish, he fried the fish to restore his disciples. When he needed to wash the legs of his disciples, he washes the feet, so that he may be an example of a servant. What did he not do? What could he not do because he was busy concentrating on what he called the call of God on his life?
What did we produce?
What are we producing?
Look at the many, many people who are staff here in headquarters, how many of them are men of God? How do I know that they are not men of God? Because they will not pick up the dirty papers, because they will not greet the brother whose face is down, because they are not fit for any good work. While they are busy defining their specialisation and acquiring their titles, they are not men of God.
What did we set out to produce? Men of God.
What did we set out to produce? Men of God.
What do men of God do? Every good work competently, fit for every good work.
What do men of God do? Every good work. Every good work! And they do it well. They can help, they can preach, they can teach, they can cry with the person who is bereaved. Every good work!
We send you to do every good work.
You may discover your distinctive gift, you may discover your distinctive ministry, and you may discover the special grace of God that rests upon you, but the bottom line in the training of workers is that we want to produce the man of God. And what does a man of God look like? Not a person who closes his eyes and meditates while the traffic is coming, so that he does not see the car, so that people have to dodge him. Who is the man of God? Not the person who is praying in tongues until all the paper on the table is rattling.
Now, who is the man of God? It is not the person who uses old king James English: ‘oh thou didst, Heavenly Father, oh that thou mightest rend the heavens and cometh down, that the nations might shake at thy mighty hand, oh omnipotent’. It is not vocabulary.
How does the man of God look like? He looks like Jesus. He can wash legs, he can serve tables, he can roast fish, he can pick up the children and he is very comfortable when children flock to him, because there is not much of something special or an aura that puts people off. He can stop on the road when he finds people going to bury the dead and watch the mother of the child and feel pain over that mother’s sorrow.
What does a man of God look like?
I wanted to say this so that you understand why we did the send-off in this new kind of approach. Why are we not telling them some hyper spiritual things to do, but simply sending them into people’s lives, and we have told them: go there and, whatever they tell you to do, do it. If you think that you have not been commissioned as a missionary and you are looking for some grandiose thing that will carry your name on the front pages of Cameroon Tribune, you are not a man of God, you are a celebrity seeker, a descendant of Lucifer.
Pray: That you may be a man of God, fit for every good work. Fit for every good work.
Titus 1:10 For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group
Titus 1:16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
They claim to know God, but by their deeds, by their actions, they deny God.
Unfit for every good work, but claiming that they know God. Full of knowledge but not practical. Waiting for open doors to go to a country, but unable to stretch the hand to do what is there. Waiting for big appointment and a salary and a day called: send-off, and an office with honorific titles, Unfit for doing anything good. Who is understanding me?
The man of God is fully equipped for every good work.
There are some who claim to know God, but they are unfit for every good work, they are not servants of God, they are not men of God.
I just wanted to say that it is not one particular interpretation of one chapter.
- Pray that our graduates will go to their posts as men of God and women of God, equipped for every good work.
For those of us who are here, let’s become men of God.
Brother C, I want you to become a man of God, you are very uninterested in the practical things about the buildings in the school of Knowing and serving God, very uninterested. You want a ready-made thing. And H is also like that, very uninterested. You people want a ready-made school, a ready-made… and then you operate. I want you to change, because there is very little male presence in the SKSG. I need male presence. I want you to become a man of God. I want you to become so interested that…
One lesson we all learn from the life of Jesus in the scriptures is that a heavenly mind must know earthly practicality in order to find language for his sermons. All the parables of Jesus come from interaction with practical lives. The person who does not interact with practical lives cannot speak in a way that touches men, because his language is in an inert situation. His language is not a life language, his illustrations are inappropriate because he lacks interaction.
So being interactive with practical things is critically important for the person who will teach, so that his teaching is life grafting, so that it can be grafted, he can teach the ingrafted word, that is the word that can be absorbed.
Who has understood what I am telling Br. C?
Anybody who truly wants to teach should get involved with people, get involved with life. You will teach people about what, when you don’t know what they go through? Find a vocabulary for your anointing by being interactive with life.
Who has understood?
It is just because I need more masculine presence in the WUPF and that campus because I still feel bad that we are here and we left the sisters to go there but I need more masculine presence. We were heavily deceived, I sent the sisters here from Koume to Ndoumbi into very unprepared situations because I never inspected the so-called dormitories, and it was a terrible hoax, the people deceived us. It is one of the things that has pained me at a personal level; very deeply. People lie to me. But it is a punishment for the absence of masculine presence. Let’s have masculine presence.
Let’s have men of God. When I mean men of God, I don’t just mean practical work, I mean every good work. Many people run away from casting out demons. Who has noticed that people run away from casting out demons? Yes. Normally, we ought not to send any missionary who has not cast out demons. Before sending somebody as a missionary, he should have cast out at least twelve demons, won at least twelve souls, healed at least twelve people who are sick, restored twelve backsliders, so that we know that he is a competent minister of the gospel. But our so-called servants of God run away from demons.
Every good work. Every good work.
- Pray that even those of us who are here in the headquarters will become men of God.
Have we shattered the stereotyped picture of a man of God? That is somebody who is bleary eyed about heavenly things, wearing Aristotelian glasses only to read the scriptures, and totally disconnected from every good work. Titus claims that people who are like that are impostors, they claim to know God, but they deny God by their deeds.
The ignorance of God shows in people who are incompetent and uncapable of any good work. That is why when I tell the brethren that: you touch this carpentry thing it spoils, touch that agricultural implement it spoils, touch this building apparatus it spoils: unfit for any good work.
You may have gone to school, you may have the training, but you touch a house and the plumbing system you laid smells, because you are not a man of God. Unfit for any good work. People touch things that get bad. Unfit for any good work, because they are not men of God.
You drive and create accidents and stand there and explain to everybody: unfit for any good work. You have the driving licence but you are not a man of God. Who has understood me? Unfit for any good work.
- Pray that even those who are not going as missionaries, but who are missionaries here to headquarters, will be men of God, men of God.