*RUNNING A GAIN GOSPEL?*

Oftentimes, when the word, evil comes to mind, we readily think of Satan, killings and so on. But that isn’t the case. The Old and New Testament meaning of the word doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

_*Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.*_
*1 Corinthians 3:13 KJV*

The word, “evil work” as used by Paul in the above scripture, actually means a work done outside pure/perfect love.

_*If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.*_
*1 Corinthians 13:1 MSG*

Without love, we are nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate, even when we speak with tongues of men and angels. The Amplified Classic (AMPC) translation of this scripture says that we are useless nobodies without love—noise makers.

Forgive me, the Christianity practiced today seems to be that of gain and not of selflessness. True Christianity is that of selflessness.

_*Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.*_
*Matthew 6:31-32 KJV*

The Father, in His will, takes charge of everything that you need. For example, God knew I needed a vacation and someone opted to pay for my flight fare without me even asking.

I am passionate about His will. I wasn’t even planning to travel and everything just miraculously fixed itself.

True Christianity isn’t, “If I do like this, I am going to get this or that.” Some people even go to Church and say, “I am coming, Pastor pray for me.” They are always looking to receive blessings from God and not servitude—the character of working for God.

We readily forget that scripture says that he that wants to be the greatest must serve and not the one that seeks to receive (Matthew 23:11).

That is why I put a structure in my explanation of love to say, “True love is not gain/request, but an offering.” These expressions are very important if we must get our Christianity right.

_*But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.*_
*Acts 8:20 KJV*

Jesus and the disciples expressed great concern about the “gain gospel.” They frowned at it a great deal.

When someone expressed interest in making a business out of the power of the Holy Spirit by requesting to purchase it from the disciples, he was openly rebuked. Can we say the same for today’s Church?

In Matthew 21, Jesus took a whip and flogged people in the temple for selling in His Father’s house and He said it is a house of prayers (which means a house of fellowship with God in order to strengthen ones relationship with Him) and not a place of business.

But today, the Church has become a place of business. Even in seed sowing, people do because they want to get something in return and not because of their love for God.

But if you look at Acts 4:18-34, you will understand that they gave not because they wanted to get from God but out of a heart of love. What they gave was even distributed to all according as they had need.

_*Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.*_
*Matthew 6:8 KJV*

God also knows that He needs to prosper His children. Before you request anything of Him, He knows.

When we give, God also gives to us. This is good, but something is better: we give because we love Him and then He gives back to us in His love. That way, we won’t be running a gain gospel.

_*They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); their god is their stomach (their appetites, their sensuality) and they glory in their shame, siding with earthly things and being of their party.*_
*Philippians 3:19 AMPC*

For some, their stomach have become their gods. They labour for their stomach and not for eternity.

In 1 Timothy 6:6, Paul admonished Timothy on the value of godliness and contentment—it is great gain after all.

_*For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many*_
*1 Timothy 6:10 KJV*

When Paul made the statement, “The love of money…” he wasn’t trying to say that when you love money, it will produce evil on everything. Of course, the love of money does not produce cancer, not any kind of sickness.

So, what did he mean? “Love,” as used in the scripture is from the Greek word, _philarguria_ which means avarice or greed. Our Greed for money will always cause us to do evil.

Read through the epistles and there was no write up that speaks about a Christianity of gain; it is a Christianity of eternity.

_*Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.*_
*1 Timothy 6:12 KJV*

Watch what Paul said in the above scripture. He said: Fight the good fight of faith—lay hold on eternal life and not materialism.

Jesus says that the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent in spirit takes it by force (Matthew 11:12).

It is the kingdom of God that the violent takes by force which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17) and not prosperity/wealth because the truth is, all that we need for life and godliness has been freely given to us (2 Peter 1:3).

Therefore, all we need to do is to use the wisdom of God to grab them for ourselves. When they seem difficult to come by, as an attack by the devil, we can clear the way by the Spirit. But that’s not our motive for serving God.

We have not been called to live the gain gospel but to serve. As we truly serve, we gain. If Christianity was the gain gospel, Paul wouldn’t have counted all as dung to follow Christ (Philippians 3:8).

Like Paul, will you count all as dung for the course of Christ? Think on this!

*Pastor Preston Idoro.*

http://www.perfectlovebelieverscentre.org

MANIFEST CHRIST, NOT YOUR CULTURE.

Man is the best of God’s creation. Of all that God made, man is superior. God invested so much in him that He didn’t in any of His other creations.

As we look at life in our day-to-day activities, we understand that various factors influence the way we communicate, interrelate, process, talk and act. Parental training, environmental influence and cultural differences are worthy of note to understanding why certain traits can be found very active in certain communities.

_*Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.*_
*2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV*

This scripture assures us that in Christ, we become new creatures, regardless of how we were raised. Unfortunately, we find many in Christ who still manifest cultural traits instead of God’s traits. This has caused discrimination and limitation amongst us.

In Africa, basically, many children were trained and critically warned by their parents not to marry from certain ethnic groups because such ethnic groups have been tagged with certain dominant character traits that they consider unfit for their children.

Don’t allow the negativity of your tribe, where you grew up or culture affect your being perfected in the will of God. We are not flesh but spirit and as spirit, we must learn the character and nature of Christ.

*_(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;_*
*2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV*

Until you know the stronghold in your life in truth, you may not know what you need the Spirit to get rid of. You must be truthful to take stock of your life so you can truly change for the better and make progress in the will of God.

The positive things from your tribe and society are an advantage and bonus to you, but the negative traits need to be done away with with and replaced with the right ones as you focus on Christ and not holding on to them as though they were treasures.

It is popular knowledge that certain tribes predominantly exhibit certain character traits. By this, I’m not insinuating that everyone from a particular region must exhibit these traits, but on a general consensus, by sampling techniques, you’ll agree with me of certain attributes you can find common to them.

Having established this permit me to cite some examples of tribes with their positives and negative traits from a generic stand point:

*IBIBIO*

*Positive:*
Very neat.
Good cooks.
Very good home makers.
The formally educated ones stand out in the society.
They love to have fun.

*Negative:*
They can be very biased and tribalistic.
Selfishness. If one succeeds, chances are that he would like to be the only one on top.
They easily become envious or jealous.
Gossip.

*HAUSA*

*Positive:*
Sense of unity amongst themselves.
They can go the extra mile for their people especially in another man’s land.
Honest.
Physically strong.

*Negative:*
Polygamous.
Foolish.
Religious.
Bias.
One thinkers.
No value for life.

*URHOBO*

*Positive:*
Hardworking.

*Negative:*
Heavy drinkers.
Nepotism.
Pride.
Arrogance.

*CALABAR*

*Positive:*
Love to enjoy life.

*Negative:*
Lazy.
Promiscuous.
Marine spirit.

*BINI*

*Positive:*
Can be nice.
Can be sincere, foolishly.
Intelligent. (but crafty and not wise).
Some are hard working (and some are super lazy).
Artistic.

*Negative:*
They like to be respected.
They are over bearing.
Very suspicious.
They can be diabolical.
Some of them are backward.
Can be very one-sided – they choose to see things from their own point of view.
Mockers.
They like to get money they don’t work for.
Empty Pride.
Arrogance.
Gossip from idleness.
Mediocrity.
Witchcraft.
Prostitution.
Not united.
Crafty.

*YORUBA*

*Positive:*
Intelligent.
Educated and enlightened.
Sociable.
Respectful (culture wise). It’s a training by default.
Outward show of humility even when they are proud.

*Negative:*
Diabolic.
Religious.
Tribal sentimentality.
Crafty.
Poor hygiene.
Partying spirit.
Gossip.
They can over exaggerate.
They can be boastful, yet fearful.
Extravagant.

*TIV*

*Positive:*
Little value for food. They are always willing to feed people.
Sincere and loyal.
They can’t be easily subdued.
Good cultural values.

*Negative:*
Heavy drinkers.
Arrogance.
Low value for women.
Envious.
Traditionally conscious.
Very crafty.
Too secretive.
Very biased.
Too family-minded.
Diabolical tendencies.

*IGBO*

*Positive:*
Very skillful.
Great entrepreneurial skills.
Hard working.
Caring to their wives.
Very creative.
Very smart in street business.
Believe in serving (if it’s gainful).
Financial prudence.

*Negative*
Proud.
Boastful.
Cunning/crafty.
Lovers of self.
Self-centred.
Gossip/backbite.
Very tribalistic.
High love for money.
Materialistic.
Can kill anyone for wealth.
Very religious.
Can be stingy.
They strongly believe in putting family above others.
Men love to lord in their homes & dominate their wives.
Very biased towards their kids (especially their sons).
They love their wives to look good so people will think they are taking good care of them.
Very rigid to change.

*OKRIKA*

*Positive:*
Loves to enjoy life.
Heavy drinkers.
Caring to their spouse especially wives.
Very religious.
Very Creative.

*Negative*
Proud.
Boastful.
Promiscuous.
Self centred.
Gossip.
Back bite.
They love money.
Like to oppress their wives.

As I conclude this write up, carefully study this scripture:

*_See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah). For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]._*
*Colossians 2:8-10 AMPC*

Christ is perfect and in Him you’ve been immersed. Manifest the nature of Christ and not your culture.

*Pastor Preston Idoro*

http://www.perfectlovebelieverscentre.org

*MORALITY Vs. TRUTH*

By default parental training, certain basic values are usually instilled in children to form the characters and behaviours that they manifest through to adulthood.

_*Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.*_
*Proverbs 22:6 KJV*

The word, ‘train up’ is from the Hebrew word, _chânak_ which means to narrow. We are to narrow children in the way they should go and not in the way we feel they should go.

Depending on the upheld values by the parents, training patterns may differ. However, there are certain generally accepted values that cut across society and are deemed fit to be included as prerequisite for proper training. These values are referred to as morals.

They are brewed from a person’s life experiences and are subject to opinions. They tend to be driven by personal beliefs and values.

Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with
“goodness” or “rightness.”

Let me share a few examples of common morals many people agree on:

Have courage.
Keep your promise.
Treat others as you want to be treated.
Be humble.
Be generous.
Family comes first.
Don’t make much ado about nothing.
The list is endless.

Morality is good, but there’s a thin line between morality and truth. But unfortunately, morality is oftentimes confused for truth.

God isn’t a moral God. He doesn’t speak or stand for morality. Teaching people in the Church to be moral is telling them to be who they aren’t.

When you preach morality, you help the society and the government but when you preach Christ, you stand for the kingdom. So, for every time we preach morality in the Church, we preach for the government and not Christ.

As a matter of truth, morality cannot take you to heaven. Many have missed God because they view God from a moral standpoint.

We all must preach the truth. Personally, I don’t think that truth is relative. Our style, focus and presentation can be different, but truth is consistent, regardless of race, tribe, or location.

_*But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:*_
*Ephesians 4:20‭-‬21 KJV*

We are to teach the Word (not morality) in order to learn Christ. If you’re taught the Word, you’ll manifest the features of the Spirit and there’s no law against these features (Galatians 5:22-24). You cannot be moral as a guarantee to learn Christ.

Morality is not Christianity and neither does it make you spiritual. The gospel makes us do things that agrees with certain moral standards but that doesn’t make morality the gospel.

_*And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.*_
*Hebrews 8:11 KJV*

The truth has now been inscribed in our hearts and the Holy Spirit teaches us all things; everyone knows what is and isn’t right to do. So, preaching right and wrong isn’t the gospel but mere moral lecture.

Doing the Word by flesh is morality but doing it by the Spirit is spirituality. Morality is assumed closeness to God while Spirituality of faith in truth is actual closeness to God. True spirituality isn’t measured by how morally upright you are by works, but by the expression of the Spirit measured in growth.

_*And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.*_
*John 8:32 KJV*

Many have remained in bondage because they have ignored or neglected the truth. What makes free is the truth that you know and the degree of your freedom is dependent on the degree of truth you know. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Knowledge of what? Of the truth!

_*For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.*_
*1 Corinthians 13:9 KJV*

We know in part; we can only know as much as we’ve opened up ourselves to truth as the Spirit of God reveals. This explains why a believer with the right Spirit can dispense inaccurate knowledge.

1 John 4:1 admonishes that we test all spirits. It didn’t say we should test all information. This is because with the right Spirit, you could speak from the wrong spirit.

Peter spoke of the right Spirit when he said that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the living God. In that same chapter, he reprimanded Jesus for saying that He was going to die on the cross. When he did, Jesus rebuked him because he spoke of the wrong spirit (Matthew 16:15-23).

Because Satan appears like an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and not the darkness that he is, many people embrace him (unknowingly) while binding him. He won’t come to you as he is, but when you play into his will or plans, you’re indirectly working for him.

Satan didn’t come to Eve as he is, but subtly through a serpent as a good one whose suggestion was appealing to her.

_*And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.*_
*Matthew 4:3-4 KJV*

The devil seemed to care for Jesus by asking Him to turn stone into bread having observed that he was hungry. Jesus rebuked him, not because he was wrong to have suggested food to him (especially after a 40 days fast), but that Jesus knew the instruction came from a wrong spirit.

Interestingly, that spirit came with a knowledge of good (bread to satisfy hunger) and evil (an intent to disobey God). The knowledge from the right Spirit is life and not good and evil.

Jesus’ response was that Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word (which is _rhema_ in the Greek) that proceeds out of the mouth of God. That is truth!

Morality tells you: “You should turn those stones to bread. After all, you’re hungry.” But truth says, “Man shall not live by bread alone because obeying God is more important than following Satan’s instructions.”

*_…the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil._*
*Genesis 2:9 KJV*

Morality is good. But it is both good and evil. We may not readily see the evil in it by the flesh, but in the Spirit, we do.

What’s the evil behind turning a harmless stone into bread after been hungry for over a month?

Looking at it from today’s living…

1. What’s the evil in getting rich or die trying? Morality says, “It is good to be rich but truth says, “It is evil to invest in vanity above eternity.”

2. What’s the evil behind loving someone because they love you right back? Selfishness! (See, Matthew 5:43-44).

3. What’s the evil behind investing more in your children’s personality than that of your help? Morality says, “It is a good thing to do so,” but truth says, “Every child is your child.”

4. What’s the evil behind the “family first” concept? Selfishness!

The root cause of sin is selfishness. Anyone who walks in love cannot sin. Sometimes, what you call, “Sin,” isn’t and what you think isn’t, in true sense, could be. It will shock you to know that some people who think that they are holy are actually sinners before God – they’ve been moralists all along.

To sin is to walk in errors—to go against truth’s direction. Jesus is the way, truth and life (John 14:6). This means sin is anything that goes against Jesus’ teaching; whether or not they are moral. Sin therefore means anything done outside Jesus.

God can give you instructions that are morally true, but it doesn’t mean that every moral action passes as God’s instructions.

You must learn to be led by the Spirit of God to stand, live, judge and act by truth and not morals.

*Pastor Preston Idoro.*

http://www.perfectlovebelieverscentre.org