The Great Commission & Self-Oppression

More on

Perhaps you do not realize that you quite involuntarily, and totally unnecessarily so, oppress yourself. Here I’d like to tell you what the Lord reveled to me this early morning.

As I was waking up I was just coming out of a dream in which I saw bent over people with closed hands clutching their breasts and looking down. The sun was beaming light on them, the day was bright, but they could not see anything else, but only their miserable selves; and the ground they watched.

I saw green pastures, and on them animals peacefully grazing, just as those I have seen some years back in Kenya. The animals seemed happier than the people I saw.  When I came closer to those people I could hear their muffled language, as if all dialects and accents were amalgamated into that one German-sounding language. I was quite concerned for those stooped people; and wondered as to what is that oppresses them so much.    

Then I saw a smiling face of Jesus, as if in the clouds thundering down on us from the sky with His awesome voice saying,

[Mark 16:15] Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

[Acts 1:7-8] It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

As I was coming out of the dream and out of my sleep I have realized what I’ve been dealing with.

You can correct me if I am wrong, but this is the understanding Jesus gave me in the dream.

1. Watch the European nations and you will see differences like these.  The British, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Belgian, Dutch, and even Italy to a lesser degree, colonized other lands. The Russians, Swedes, Polish, Hungarians, Austrians and Germans were doing the cooking in the same pot—the European Continent.  The result? – Introverted mentality.
2. The second point is this: the religious indoctrination as to being humble, modest, e.g., poor—or pretending, not outgoing, not reaching out too far, not seeking fame etc, produced hypocrisy and self-centeredness. Self-defeatism and hence disobedience to the Great Commission, “Go into all the World and preach.”
3. As a third point, the self plays predominant role in the self-centered mentality because under the pretenses of being modest, which is falsely equated with godliness, the German speaking people did not reach out to the world as for example the British did. (Right or wrong, even if they did it in selfishness; the point is that even that changed their outlook for they dealt with other peoples’ mentalities.)

America has gone out all the way for the preaching of the Gospel to the entire creation. It started with missionaries; and many local churches have been missions-oriented, raising funds for missionaries abroad. Tent evangelism and huge tent evangelism impacted Americans and beyond. The biggest Television Networks like TBN, Daystar, LeSEA, Inspiration, or Sky Angel Networks are busy with the preaching of the Gospel and those that support it financially do so faithfully. Their mentality is to reach out, and reach out again and again.

Anything that is introverted leads to stagnation and even to implosion—an inner destruction of spiritual life. This implosion becomes apparent in depressive thoughts, heaviness, self-analysis, self-doubt and hence doubting God; as if being bipolar, being divided, staying on two tracks and going nowhere. The more one looks inward, sort of, controlling ones urges, can be called morality—but when it comes to the “holy urges” like doing charity, or supporting an evangelist on the mission field—that inward mentality becomes a hindrance. So we ought not throw the bath water with the baby.  

Those who are of the outgoing disposition are often being squashed as if they were doing something wrong. Money is not being viewed as means to do more for the work of the Great Commission, but a symbol of power; which is equated with pride. Subconsciously and often automatically, it is being suppressed as something wrong. But is it wrong? – That is self-oppression and in many cases even self-terrorism. When someone cannot say certain words, like “missionary” or “Jesus Christ” in Judaism, or “Israel” or “Jew” in fundamentalist Islam that someone accepted self-oppression just to fit in. This is the point, just to fit in that oppressive frame is like a heavy yoke on your neck.

Another sign of self-oppression is the replacement theology. An emotion of jealousy, superiority and competition arises when dealing with Jews as a whole. Christian Pastors would rather do good work for a Jew, but never be taught by one. In the mind of some Christian pastors Jews have nothing to say, and nothing to teach, and this comes from superiority complex or downright supremacy. As a matter of fact, and sadly so, this sort of mentality Luther injected into his clergymen. The reformation brought the knowledge of salvation by grace and “free of charge” but on the other hand strengthened supremacy. Putting down others, like Jews, reached the extremes. Based on this extreme sentiment that the Jews have nothing to tell the ‘superior Christian’ who got it, while the ‘Jew missed it’ is a continual self-oppression.

For a born-again Jew this is painful indeed, for he has so much to give, but no one seems to be interested. Even if someone is interested that interest is always mixed with suspicion. Worse. Such is labeled in-error to the Christian theology—which seems to be fenced in - gate closed. It’s sad indeed.    

Another problem people face is that they would rather be preachy than share something personal, from the heart, unless it is some kind of religious vision or picture, which must be examined as if being of God, or perhaps of the devil. Then comes the “correct” and the “incorrect” interpretation; and that’s bondage too. People are afraid to share their heart, lest they might be labeled “false;” as a result they’d rather shut up. That’s bondage.

[2 Cor. 3:17] Now the Lord (Jesus) is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Q. Why did they hate Jesus?
A. Because He did not fit in.
Q. Why they wanted to get rid of Jesus?
A. Because people were drawn to liberty.
Q. Where does the miraculous work?
A. In liberty.
Q. Why Jesus could not perform a miracle in Nazareth?
A. They restricted the liberty of expression.
Q. Why we do not see miracles today?
A. We oppress ourselves and grieve the Holy Spirit thereby.

Going out means: going out, travelling, reaching out to others, transforming lives, healing the sick, raising the dead; big meetings, big crowds, all possible media, publishing books, and make people read them through exciting/appetizing advertising, etc. When a German-speaking person sees someone like that he or she draws back, and for some inexplicable reason tries to suppress this sort of outgoing activity as if being wrong. Why?

But in the secrets of their mind many dream of (self) greatness, popularity, fame, name and riches, but here again, that is being also suppressed as being selfish. So, using the same mentality some view a minister—who goes out into the entire world obeying Jesus—as someone that does not reach out to the lost, but someone that goes for fame, name and wealth. This subjective sentiment speaks of bondage of all bondages; it is self-terrorism and self-oppression. Worse. With these bondages they also bind those who are free in Christ. As a result such people create clique type of a group having someone all to themselves… and the heck with the world, as long as the “I” is satisfied.

Reinhard Bonnke. This humble missionary man sort of exploded to the scene in Africa and is being supported by Germans, for after all he is German, and represents Germany, that sort of greatness Germans do support, but a foreigner they are rather slow to support. For after all he or she is a foreigner and does not represent the great nation of Germany like Bonnke does. Therefore, in view of that which has been said above, in point #1, we must look at ourselves from God’s point of view rather than the nationalistic one. An anointed vessel of God is anointed for world evangelism; hence for this sort of greatness.

Benny Hinn, a foreigner, came to America and today is the most celebrated preacher. (A good or bad preacher, agree or disagree; whether I am for or against, really don’t matter here, for what Jesus is after is obedience to His Great Commission. That’s the point.) However, we go about it, the going out takes lots of money and exposure to many more people than just a small group.

The apostles were also introverted and hesitated to go out. The self-love in Peter was evident in the Joppa experience. God forced him to go to Caesarea.

Out of that frustration with those introverts Jesus called yet another apostle of His own choice, Paul, who practically became a slave to the Great Commission.

Out of all disciples/apostles only Philip was called an evangelist. God loved Philip who did not waste precious time on self-analysis. Philip obeyed and obeyed; every action calls for reaction, which in his case was translation. The Holy Spirit snatched Philip and transported him to another place in a split second.  

Self-oppression is a disease, which must be dealt with. You need a shot of the “holy penicillin” to kill that disease. Today, the neo-Nazis thrive because the soil is still fertile, which they feed on. Self-centeredness leads to disobedience to what Jesus commissioned us to do.

Once I stayed in a monastery where I spoke with monks who explained the words of Jesus in their own subjective way. They exalted prayer for the world, above all other things. They said to me that ‘they do not need to go out, but rather stay in.’ They pray three times a day, tend their gardens and beehives; and that’s the extent of their outgoings into all the world and preaching the Gospel. In a similar way some would not support a missionary evangelist with more, just in case that evangelist might become too proud. So, fame of an author, or a songwriter, preacher in their mind would endanger modesty. Endanger is the word. False modesty is a put-on modesty and has nothing to do with being a living sacrifice by being obedient to the Master. This sort of thinking comes from an introverted mentality, which would be all right if one would not reach out to others in mercy and with God’s love. If one writes romance novels just to sell, or be a motivational speaker to the business people—eager to make more money—then thoughts of modesty and humility would apply, but not when we obey the Master Lord Jesus who had commissioned us to go out and preach the Gospel.

Imagine. You are obeying Jesus. You are going out into the nations of the world, preaching the Gospel to all creation, millions know you, and thousands support you, plus millions read your books, lives are transformed, people come to God, their thinking is made clear, etc. Is that righteousness or something wrong? From an introverted point of view it does “endanger” modesty or humility of the unstable and fearful person. Which one are you?

[Proverbs 28:1] The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

[Acts 4:31] And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

The first time I arrived in Germany and spoke in the Markt Kirche (Market Church) in Halle, which was being build as a Catholic church and then was finished as Lutheran; I preached with boldness. I was outright rejected and hatred was clearly displayed, blaming me for being too bold or immodest. “How can you talk like that?” They shouted at me. On the next day I made a long list of scriptures that were flowing in a logical manner just like a good sermon should. One after another, one after another… I have let the word of God speak for itself and only God’s boldness was manifested. I did not speak from my mind and have not added anything else, but only quoted the Scripture. Imagine, they did gnash their teeth against that too, for they felt that they were being tricked by this… (Hm… hm… hm…)

Boldness is unnatural, but very much supernatural. Here is another story.

I heard God telling me to go to Russia for a nth time and again smuggle Bibles. A couple days before my flight I had a frightful dream. I woke up in a cold sweat. It was clear to me that I was going to be arrested and imprisoned. It was still Communism (1984), and I was more than a Bible smuggler. There were many other reasons that might have given the authorities grounds, not only for my indefinite arrest, but also for an exile to Siberia—as I was later threatened with.

I asked the Lord regarding this dream, which obviously He gave as a warning against my going. Being quite confident in my logic I asked Him ‘if I should go?’ To my surprise, He said that ‘He had appointed an angel to deliver me and that I should go to Moscow.’ I reasoned within myself as to whether I should stick my neck out, and see the angel, or stay where I was and see no angel. I chose the first option because an educated faith dictates it. (Some years earlier, I had made a solid covenant with God regarding my own will. Well, I lost my will then. My life ceased to be precious in my own eyes, neither had I realized then that ‘I no longer have my own free will’ nor do I have ‘my own eyes.’ All is His.) Imagining things is empty and futile. Proving things as coming from God is not just the substance, but also the actual work of faith.

I went straight into the lion’s mouth. I was searched, arrested and imprisoned, but before they took me, God appointed a time for me to preach the Gospel. I snapped the opportunity knowing very well that this was my chance to fulfill my mission in life as His Evangelist. I picked up one of the confiscated Bibles. I lifted it and said, “This is the bread of life, which you are about to take away from the hungry mouths.” From there on it was like prophesying. All the arriving travelers were not in a great hurry to go anywhere. They stood around me for about 20 minutes while I kept preaching in Russian. (I learned Russian in school, and from my father, a native of Russia.) No one dared to move. All officers stood frozen, still and terribly perspiring. Their frightened red faces dripped sweat.

People just stood there watching this wild preacher. I was practically laying down my life for the Gospel. The Lion of Judah in me roared, and I seemed to have lost my natural senses. I sort of watched myself through their eyes. It was unusual.

I finished my preaching and invited all those around me (about 100 people) to give their lives to Jesus. One of the Customs officers in charge whispered in my ear telling me that his mother was also a born-again Christian. Then I told him, “Now you know what to do with those Bibles.” He winked.

The next day, an angel of the Lord with a smiling face came to rescue me. My being was flooded with the heavenly peace. Then, he told me to run after him. I wanted to remember his face. All I can say is that his rather golden short hair was well trimmed. His eyes were piercing blue. His face glowed. His skin seemed transparent without one crease or wrinkle, discoloration or even a minute pimple. He wore a high-ranking military uniform and everyone along the way saluted. He took me through all the security checkpoints bypassing all the metal detecting gates and scanners. There was no time to go through it. Everyone watched us running in disbelief as if Yuri Andropov himself was passing through. He brought me to a plane departing for Frankfurt, West Germany. He seated me in First-Class. The plane was almost completely empty. The door closed, and I arrived in Frankfurt.

* * *

“It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.”—Jesus said. We would rather sit on our warm pillows and sort out epochs of time, or speculate as to the exact date Jesus might return. Worse. We would formulate our theses about God and His ways, which is theology. Would that please Him? – I do not think so. This disease must go. Being introverted leads to implosion.  

A visionary is not blind. An Olympic jumper knows how high he can jump. A prophet knows what’s ahead, and so he dares the “impossible.” But, impossibilities are only viewed as such by those who have lost their vision.

[Ephesians 2:14-17] For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, (John 10:16) thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. And HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR.

Peace is mixed with altruism, consideration, intuition, and deduction. I call it the mercy factor. Helping someone else heals and restores, for in helping others, I also help myself.

In the 80s, an expedient and self-serving trend started in Christianity. It started with the PTL TV network. Americans started to lose their missionary outreach vision. Too many Christians started to get more interested in rewards for their own “wonderful faith” and their “own goodness” instead of beaming the light of grace beyond their frontiers.

It was the missionaries that made Great Britain great and spread America’s influence far and wide, like Hawaii and Guam. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the Bahamas are what they are today thanks to Christian missionary activities. Knowing this, some Islamists forcefully convert many today. Many in Africa and Asia have fallen under the spell of Islam, which uses the Koran based intimidation.
We ought to be careful how we present the Gospel, for if you threaten people with Hell and eternal damnation then you do not seek God’s lost children, but strangers. The prodigal sons and daughters have always been God’s children, but they went astray, we seek them out by driving sense into their clouded minds. The Gospel is that sense, but if it is a bunch of nonsense then we better leave it alone. This world has enough of religious confusion.

If we intimidate people with those things like devils, hell and lakes of fire for eternity; then we do what Muhammad wrote in his Koran. Is our God an oppressor?  

Is God a terrorist? A strange question isn’t it? But, let me bring here Yasser Arafat who spoke at the UN Assembly in 1974. Arafat stated that ‘Zionism is racism and that the Jews are a religion and have no right to national self-determination.’ According to Arafat, ‘UN Resolution 181, partitioning Palestine, was invalid and that it was the Zionists who attacked the Arabs in 1948.’ Arafat told the UN General Assembly that terrorism is permissible as long as it has the “right” goals.

“Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”  

Obviously, the gun represents the threat and the olive branch a peace offering. In other words give me the land or else. In the same we portray God. “Accept My Son Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross or else you’ll burn in Hell.”

Some fundamentalist Muslims do not know God’s love the way we do. Our Heavenly Father’s love for His Son, and through Him also for us is a strange thing to a Muslim whose outreach has nothing to do with the love of Christ, or the freedom of the Holy Spirit. Instead, it is filled with punishments, intimidations, and threats of lashes, or beheadings. So many Muslim are oppressed, stuck in the letter of their holy book.

America opened the gates of mercy to countless immigrants until protectionism and racism slowed the pace of entry. Time rolled on, and all of a sudden scientific and creative geniuses started to also come; some became famous, others remained unknown. Extraordinary artists, writers, and inventors are being squashed and stonewalled because they’ve got no prayer in this world of clandestine protectionism and special interests. The land of opportunity is not shrinking, but the opportunities are.

When I came to this land of opportunity in 1979, I came with just the shirt, pants, and shoes I wore on my body. That was all. I ran from oppression and a crazy system of limited space and limited thoughts. I wanted to bloom, and I have. But, what I see today is the reversal of the American values as I came to know them. Americans seem to be obsessed with their identities because they were born here. They sing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as if that alone is some great achievement.

Americans crave culture and antiquated history; when they did not find it here, they tried to invent it. Those ancient genes echo that distant past, although the Founding Fathers wanted to start something new, and to certain extent they have succeeded. Let’s continue their legacy and focus on the new. God loves the new. There are no antiques in heaven. Everything is constantly new.

We must be careful to not oppress people for if we do; that oppression usually turns on itself and on the one that caused it in the first place.

I must say that I have obeyed my Master. I travelled the globe preaching the Gospel and was successful in bringing tens of thousands new souls into God’s kingdom. Yes, I was persecuted, rejected, beaten and spitted upon my face. If I took all these things personally I would perhaps become ill and die, but the boldness of the Lion of Judah within me does not give up so easily. Once He calls you; He anoints you; and once He anoints you; He sends you out; and once you are sent; you must preach and practically lay down your life for the Gospel.

[Romans 10:14-15] How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

Miracles signs and wonders follow the preaching of this potent message of the Gospel, and quite naturally so. It is all in one package. Unless you have assumed that you are anointed; and then have sent yourself, you can’t be anointed and sent out; and yet see no miracles. Some are self-motivated hirelings who go for rewards of different sorts, like fame, name and money, but that’s just unavoidable; the package also includes it. In whatever way the Gospel is being preached, what really matters is the obedience to the Great Commission.

[Philippians 1:15-18] Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.  

Here is a typical example of the sons and hirelings. Obviously, since it was given to Paul to see it, by this very measure of insight; Paul is God’s son, not a hireling. Even his last sentence, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, speaks of Paul’s belonging as son, a living sacrifice.

Apostle Paul never used the word hell. Not once. Sons do not talk about hell that’s oppression and we are called to lift all forms of oppression.

[Luke 4:18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed. – Jesus.


Post a Comment