The Life Appeared
Eternal Life Breathes
One day the LIFE appeared. I saw it. It changed everything.
I was then pastoring a good sized church with very good income, and I was getting a high monthly pay with lots of benefits and freebies. It was a comfy ministry. Well years earlier, in 1997, I had given up a luscious promotion to being marketing manager of a big company in favor of full-time pastoring. I thought I had given up something substantial, but later realized I hadn’t. I thought I knew what the Jesus Life was all about. I was wrong.
Oh, I was born again in 1980 and had since been associate pastor. I thought I was doing real ministry—preaching, teaching, leading bible studies, counseling and praying for people, opening outreaches—and handling 4 at a time, visiting, training people, the works. Lots of people insisted I was the best preacher and teacher they’d ever heard. They’d never heard anyone as good in systematic exposition of the Truth.
Without seeing the LIFE, you’d think best efforts like that are what it’s all about. And all that is further crowned with the notion that an expanding and beautifully improving church building is a trophy. What more if the church income grows each year—plus new guys being baptized annually? But then the LIFE appeared in 1998 and spoiled everything.
A Broken Spirit
The LIFE demolishes. Nicodemus found that out. When the LIFE appeared and he saw it upclose one night, his trophies melted. ‘You are a teacher in Israel but you don’t know what being born of water and Spirit is?’ the Master asked him. In short, you dare call yourself a teacher and not know the Kingdom basics? In 1998, I heard Jesus tell me that. Then came a radical and revolutionary paradigm shift. I saw that in all those years in ministry, I haven’t really done any genuine Jesus ministry. Everything was zero, pfft. And like Nicodemus, I too asked, ‘How can this be?’
In 2002, after quitting traditional church and having nothing to start anything with, no definite plans about anything, no Plan A or Plan B or Plan C—and no money—it was then that everything was laid out to me. The LIFE. John said in his first letter that they saw the Life. It was real. It was not just a concept or good idea or creed or theology or a doctrine. They saw, heard, and even touched it. They heard it breathe. They saw it walk, run, smile, get hurt, get angry, get tired, sleep, eat, drink, and cry. I’m sure, they smelled it, too. Everyday. It was then that their joy became complete and their fellowship with the Father and Son genuine.
Without the Life appearing and you hugging it daily and for real, everything is zero. Nothing can be built in the spirit, not even real fellowship. And genuine fellowship, the kind John talked about, had a common denominator—sharing what they’d seen and heard. The real, everyday Jesus. Without this, fellowship is merely socializing, the need for company with our own ilk—just like what animals do. Grouping together for survival. Having safety in numbers. Nothing more.
Carrying The Jesus Cross
For about 2 years, I and my wife did nothing but seek deeper about the Life. Without jobs and money, we didn’t know what tomorrow would be. It was enough that we had simple food on the table each meal. Next meal was up to God. My wife was pregnant and our eldest was in grade school. You can imagine the expenses of having a baby and a kid in grade school. Then the water and electric bills. We had no decent bed so my wife and the baby curled up in a corner of our small house. I and my eldest were tucked under the stairs, sharing the narrow space.
I had to wake up nights to see if my wife, the baby or my kid were being attacked by ants that proliferated. I commanded ants to scram in Jesus’ Name and they eventually disappeared. With lack of sleep, I still had to fetch water the following day to clean the house and do the manual laundry. Those were some of the fiery ordeals we had to endure. I don’t want to mention the other mind-boggling and maddening trials we had.
Yet, a little later, we even had a house helper, and God provided everything on a day-to-day basis. It was definitely a faith stretch to the max. It was scary yet wonderful. We learned how to weep in the Lord. We saw the importance of seeing Him, not through a glass darkly, but face to face. We learned the valuable lesson in seeking Him desperately in the face of dire lack. I’d never been so deep and soaring in the Word and in His presence. I saw wild and elating visions. I began to prophesy sharply.
Soon too, signs and wonders happened in various degrees, like commanding nature, miracle healing, and casting out demons. God also began blessing us financially and started forming my church ministry.
Vision of a Man of God
In 2005, the Life revelation was even clearer. In a vision, God showed me this end-time ministry. A man of God living in this small dilapidated house. People passing by there often report seeing angelic visitations—angels sitting on the roof or frolicking by the front porch or suddenly appearing by the door—all at least 7-footer, brawny, and valiantly armed with broad swords and shields, ready for war. Angels darting with lightning speed into the window of the man of God is a common sight. Then posh cars line up in front of the house because rich and influential people desperately come for healing or a Word from God for guidance—or just wanna plain see angels. But they have to line up with ordinary folks and beggars and street people. First come first serve. Everyone has to endure the heat and smell.
The man of God is often offered money by the rich and influential, but he turns them down. One rich business man offers a better venue for the ministry—an expensive and modern building in the heart of Manila so people served would be more comfortable—but the man of God refuses. Soon, news crews from various networks arrive at the house for interviews and footages which the man of God also stubbornly declines.
Scores start a genuine Jesus discipleship with the man of God but more back out. The ministry is well respected for rigid holiness. You join the discipleship and tell a small lie, you suddenly fall dead like Ananias and Sapphira did. No one dares join him; yet more and more are added daily. The teachings and revelations advance in ever-increasing glory. Many cannot accept them and quit. The man of God doesn’t care. He even challenges others to quit also. ‘You can always join other churches,’ he says.
The man of God gets invited to speak in other churches—even by mainline churches. Most of their titled and degreed pastors hate him, especially the way he demolishes their man-made traditions and doctrines. He says things like, ‘It was said of old that you should not do this and that. But now I say to you…’
Another thing they hate about him is his extremely informal attire. He gets invited in big and rich churches but he goes there wearing only an old, plain T-shirt and old worn out jeans, while their titled and degreed ministers wear their Sunday formal best, and their Sunday faces and moods, as well. They feel insulted, but can’t do anything—people just love the angelic appearances that often happen wherever the man of God goes—and which they cannot imitate. People are crazy to hear him talk and do signs and wonders in astounding degrees.
Extreme Man of God
He never opens or closes in prayer. He just preaches and then talks to God the next minute and then preaches again. He preaches without order or outline. He never stays behind the pulpit but walks around as he talks, like it’s some casual street corner meeting, demolishing their penchant for formality. During dinner fellowships after service, he and his disciples eat with their bare hands without washing them. And what they can’t stand is his short prayers. He simply looks up and says, ‘Thanks, Father.’ Unlike their expert prayer leaders who recite poetic long prayers in rhetorical tones and even pray for hungry people in Asia and Africa and the poor on planet Mars.
Soon, the contagion spreads like wildfire across the country. He gets invited to speak in a national park grandstand, covered live via satellite and holographic effects by TV and radio networks. He asks them to wait till he gets a go signal from the Father. After a few days, he’s on. Big-time organizers begin making things happen. Churches are rallied, a huge choir is organized, musical instruments flood in, politicians and tycoons reserve seats. Titled and degreed ministers of mega churches meet to discuss their next moves. Finally the big day arrives. Millions are at the grandstand anticipating a wild move from God and angelic activities. Many millions more watch on TV or listen to radios. But the man of God is still nowhere—and it’s only 3 minutes to airing.
Then, a dragging public jeepney stops about 20 meters away and someone jumps out. It’s the man of God—he commuted all the way going to the crusade. He runs to the stage and starts speaking, still in his type of attire—plain everyday shirt, old jeans, and sandals. He and his disciples go out to the crowd to minister, and when it seems like he doesn’t plan to give special treatment to the VIPs seated snugly in a comfy area of the stage, they join the crowd and wait for their turn. They experience what it feels like rubbing elbows with the masses under the heat of the sun, smelling sweat and common humanity. The pharisaical ministers sneer from afar.
After the incredible crusade, he and his disciples simply walk out and commute back to his humble home. He joins the crowd in their troubles taking a ride home and enduring the traffic. The organizers gather the gargantuan offerings and divide the plunder among themselves. The share of the Man of God is just his travel allowance and some love gift—a thousand pesos. The church leaders of mega ministries ride their limos or helicopters going home to palatial mansions.
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