Publications

TAKING CHRIST TO OUR COMMUNITIES
(Knowing Who We Are and What We Are Called to Do)
By Apostle Mark Darko (General Overseer; Mercyland Sanctuary, Inc.)

For me, “taking Christ to our communities” is a cyclic process whereby disciples of the Lord conscientiously engage in the following:

  • Explain to the communities that Jesus Christ is the “Lord” and the “Savior” (Yahuwah Yahushuwah in Hebrew; and aie sous in Greek); and that He indeed is the Way, the Truth. And the Life.
  • Recruit converts (those who accept Jesus as such), into discipleship-making units where they can be made to become disciples through the specific process given by the Lord in Ephesians 4:11-16; Acts 2:42-47.
  • Take the neophyte disciples back into the communities so they, in turn, can start new cycles.

Anyone, however, who intends to propagate the Gospel, needs to ask themselves (he or she) a few questions before starting.

  • Who am I? (What is my identity and what are my life values?). We cannot give what we don’t have. It is impossible for people who are in church, but are not regenerated, and who don’t have Christ reigning in their hearts, to take Christ to their communities. It is impossible for people who are in church; but are not disciples of Jesus Christ, to go and make disciples of all nations. For someone to obey the great commission, they must themselves be disciples. The question is “who are you?” You may be a faithful member of a Christian denomination or congregation and a devout religious person; but the question remains: Is Christ reigning as Lord in your heart? Do you personally know Him?
    I believe the most important reason that most people sitting in the pews cannot take Christ to their communities is that they don’t have Him, and can’t give what they don’t have.
  • Who is my Client? (who sent me or who am I doing it for?). For the purpose of this write-up, the “client” is the person who places the order for the goods; the one for whom the manufacturer is producing the commodities. The client is different from the customer in that the later is the consumer. In taking Christ to my community I need to know who it is that sent me to do the job. We all know it is the Lord that sends (Mat. 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19) us to “make disciples of all nations”. However, someone sent the Lord in the first place, to make the first disciples. Then the Lord; after so doing, commissioned the disciples He had made, to continue His mission

    So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. (John 20:21)

    Thus, the original Client is the Father who sent His Son to fulfill the mission of reconciling mankind to Himself.
    If Yahuwah is our Client, then we need to find out His specific requirement.

    God created mankind for relationships. He created us in His image and likeness so we would relate to him in a loving fellowship. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John makes it explicit: “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 Jn. 1:3)

    From Adam and Eve through Abraham, and Israel, to the Church; all God wanted was, and still is, a relationship of love that can be summed up in these words

    “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” (Ex. 6:7; 19:5; Jer. 7:23; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Pe. 2:9)

    The person going to present Christ to their communities should therefore pay attention to what the client demands. He is looking for men and women who would be reconciled to Him through the finished work of His Son Jesus Christ, and who would relate to Him as sons and daughters in the present age until they can see him face to face.

    Our Client (Yahuwah), is looking for a relationship of love; not religion.

    When a military unit orders uniforms for its soldiers, they give the manufacturer very specific instructions about texture, colors, sizes, etc. The manufacturer must meet those requirements or lose the contract. When we say we are preaching the Gospel, the question we would have to answer is who is our client? In other word “who sent us?” ( Romans 10:14)

    When I was in Bible School in London (1990) A pastor friend who was a businessman asked me to pastor his church at Seven Sisters. He himself was often too busy to prepare messages, so he could preach the same message for a whole month. Within the church, the rumors were rife that my friend had not been called by God to preach the Gospel, or that he had not been sent to establish a church.

    One Sunday he mounted the pulpit and angrily gave an answer to his critics, and said:

    You guys keep saying God didn’t call me to be a pastor; even if He didn’t call me, I have called myself!

    We all used to laugh at that kind of assertion and made a joke out of it. However, over the years I have come to realize that what the pastor said is true to many preachers today. They became Gospel Workers because they thought it was a good means of obtaining a regular income or building wealth, so they “called themselves” into it. Thus, they are the clients, the artisans and the consumers; all at once.

    They decide on the specification of the products and determine the best materials to use. They prepare the recipes or formulae to use and carefully control the nature of the output.

    If God sends us to evangelize, then God is our client. He tells us what He intends the end-product to be. He provides the tools and the wisdom to produce the exact outcome He desires. (Exodus 36:1)

    When God is our Client then the input materials are “dead souls” or “sinners”, and the output or finished products are Living-Soul made to become disciples of Christ

  • Who is my customer? (Who will be the consumer of what I produce?) It is clear from Scriptures that the Lord Jesus is our Customer. He is the one for whom disciplers are to be made (“my disciples” Jn. 8:31). He is the Groom for whom the Client (the Father) is looking for and preparing a Bride (Eph. 5:27) without wrinkle or spot.

    As one presenting Christ to my community I must be aware of the preferences and tastes of my Consumer. I am in the business of helping prepare a Bride for Jesus Christ, and I must continuously have in mind what kind of bride He wants.

    Jesus Christ wants disciples who will be like Him (1Jn. 3:2) when He appears. He wants men and women within whom He would reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

    Jesus is looking for people who would have a covenant relationship with Him; a covenant in which He would be in them (Jn. 15:4, 5) and they in Him.

    Jesus is looking for people who would submit to His rule and who would live in total obedience to Him (Lk. 6:46) as their Lord.

    As one presenting Christ to my community I must constantly humble myself and allow the Holy Spirit to keep me focused on what Jesus Christ wants, and not what my denomination wants. I must always remind myself that the Lord (my Customer) is ready to accept anyone; irrespective of nationality; male and female; young and old, rich and poor, etc; but not anyhow (Mat.22:11-14). I must endeavor to work towards meeting His criteria, not my own.

PART II

  • What is the BRAND? (What are the elements and the exact recipe that account for the uniqueness of the products I sell; that makes them different from all other similar products?) What separates Christianity from religion?
    The Brand of the Lord’s disciple (His Bride, His Church) consists of the following:

    • The Lord Jesus Himself.
      1. He is the Bread of Life (Jn. 6:35-51; 10) which His disciples must eat every day to have life. Eating the Lord is personally communing with Him in such a way that
      2. He is in us and we in him (Jn. 14:20). Eating Jesus as the Bread of Life means abiding in Him and He in us; just as when we eat bread, the nutrients of the bread become part of; and build our bodies.
      3. The Lord Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn. 14:6). He is unique and complete as to the granting of Eternal Life and cannot be associated or grouped with anyone else.
    • The Holy Spirit:
      He is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, who alone is able to take whatever ingredients we put into sinners, and use them to transform the sinners into disciples. He is the One in charge of the production. He makes sure that sinner-inputs are transformed into disciple-outputs. He it is, that has the power to regenerate the soul and transform people into new creatures. Any production system without him will produce religious people; and not disciples of Jesus.
    • The Words of the Lord Jesus Christ
      (The direct words of the Lord as recorded in the Gospels):
      It is His words that give life (Jn. 6:63, 64). We must feed on the Words of the Lord daily; that is read or hear them, meditate on them and obey them. Those are the words that we should feed to the sinner.
    • The testimonies of the Apostles
      The words of those who walked with Him, as written in the Epistles, explain the teachings of Jesus and apply them to different cultures.

      We must study them to help us avoid misinterpretation and misapplication of the words of Christ.

    • The words of the Old Testament Prophets:
      We study Old Testament Scriptures that are relevant to the revelation of the Father and the Son; especially when they testify (Rev. 19:10) about the Lord Jesus Christ as do many texts in the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms.

      Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. (Luke 24:44)

      All such Old Testament prophecies must conform to the Life and Words of the Lord Jesus Christ to be relevant. This is because Jesus is the final revelation of the Father (Jn. 1:18) and the final interpreter (Mt. 5:21-47) of the Law of God. This is very important if we will produce the “Christian Brand”.

      The Brand and the Logo

      There is a difference between the “Brand” and the “Logo”.

      The Logo is the visible symbol that is displayed publicly to represent the company manufacturing the product. In the case of the church some logo used are the Cross, the image of a dove, the image of a fish (ichthys) etc. People wear little wooden or metal cross on their bodies to show that they identify with the church.

      Buildings on which crosses are set are known to be places where some form of Christian activities are going on.

      However, there are many people wearing the cross that do not carry the brand of Christ. They don’t represent him and have nothing in common with Him.

      There are temples decorated with many “Christian logo”, but which do not produce disciples for Christ.
      In the United States when someone sees the Mcdonald’s logo, and goes in for say a cheeseburger, they can be sure that the taste and texture they had in a McDonald’s shop in Florida would be the same as the one they would have in Maine. This is because the owners of McDonald’s ensure that the elements that are used to produce their brand and the secret recipes are the same everywhere. That is why when you enter a McDonald’s shop you know exactly what you are going in for.

      There is no such control in the modern organized church. Most of the time people follow “Christian logo” and end up directly in the hands of Satan and his human agents.
      When I decide to take Christ to my community I must constantly ask myself what my life represents and what I am taking to my community; the “Christian Logo”, or the “Christian Brand”?

  • Where is the factory (production center) with the requisite human and material resources to produce the brand?

    Where is the production unit of a disciple of Christ? I am sure you would say “the church, of course!”. But it depends on how you define “Church”. If your definition of Church is any gathering of disciples with Christ in their midst:

    Again[d] I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Mat. 18:19

    then you are right.

    However, if your notion of Church is a temple or cathedral with hundreds or thousands of attendees, then you are wrong.

    The celebration services on Sundays contribute a very small part of discipleship; if at all. The shear sizes of congregations make discipleship impossible, and the temple format with a priest or mega-preacher is ineffective to produce disciples.

    Large congregations must organize their members into small groups of between 3-15 members, to provide effective discipleship. Indeed, that is how the New Testament Church was organized since their focus was on discipleship.

    The New Testament church had no temples and no priests like the religions of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Babylonians. The discipleship production unit was the homes of believers. The small numbers in the homes and the peculiar homely (“non-Churchy”) environment made it possible for them not only to send Christ to their communities, but also the recruit and train other disciples on a one-on-one basis.

    It is important to note that the fist temple as a place of Christian worship was not built until the Third Century AD.

    Unless claims for recent discoveries of early Christian meeting places are confirmed, the earliest building certainly devoted to Christian use is at Dura Europos on the Euphrates River in eastern Roman Syria. It was a house that came into Christian possession and was remodeled in the 240s1

    Before then Christians met in homes groups as seen in such phrases as “the church in the home of” or “the household of” (Acts 2:1-4; 12:12; 2:46; 20:20: 16:31-34: 16:40: 21:8: 28:30: Romans 16:4, 5, 11: I Cor. 16:15, 19: : Gal. 6:10: Eph. 2:19: I Tim. 3:15: Phil. 4:22: Col. 4:15: 2 Tim 1:16; 4:19: 1:11: Philemon.1:2: 2 John 10).

    Sometimes, wealthy members who owned properties that could hold more people (Acts 1:15) allowed the church to hold meetings there. However, most of the meetings were in normal homes of members.

    The temple setting shifted the emphasis from personal discipleship to corporate celebration until discipleship as commanded by Christ and practiced by the early church almost disappeared.

    Today the emphasis of most personnel of the five-fold ministry is not discipleship-making, but “kingdom-building”. Even though this term has an appearance of innocence, it is the building of huge congregations where they (the five-fold ministers) are the kings; receiving tributes and homage from their parishioners and wielding absolute power over them.

    For many of such “kings” discipleship is now a forgotten mandate, and evangelism has been reduced to inviting people to join one’s congregation.

    The good news, however, is that there a few Church leaders making a genuine effort to get the members of their congregations to witness about Christ or evangelize. Among those are the ones who are true disciples of Christ and who are in the business of disciple-making. Such leaders have structured their congregations and activities with discipleship in mind and are faithfully making disciples for Christ. May the Lord bless and lift such faithful servants.

    1https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/november/why-and-when-did-christians-start-constructing-special.html

    There are others who sometimes talk about evangelism and discipleship in their sermons, but who make no room for any practical training. They; from time to time, encourage their parishioners to evangelize or make disciples. The problem is that with most people in those churches, even if they attempted to witness, they would be bearing false witness because they don’t know Christ. They came to the church because of all the flashy promises that preachers made to them as to obtaining life’s material goods. They were told that if they would come to the church God would miraculously provide those goods through the special anointing placed upon the church and its leaders.

    They joined the church and became committed members. However, no one told them what Jesus came to offer and the conditions for obtaining it.

Conclusion

Why did Jesus Come? He didn’t come to provide material prosperity because humans don’t need Jesus to get money, build mansions, and possess all the goodies of earthly life. In fact, those who hate Christ and blaspheme His Name have more of the goods of the world than those who serve him. You don’t need Christ to become rich or get a beautiful wife or stay healthy. These are things that any human being can obtain through hard work and good planning.

God would not send His only Begotten Son to come, suffer and die in the hands of wicked people, just to provide things that they could obtain without Him.

God had to send His Only Begotten Son who was in His bosom (John 1:18) to die to give to humans one thing only – Everlasting (Eternal) Life.

Jesus had to come because only He could provide mankind with Everlasting Life. If there were an archangel or some other spirit-being that could have provided Eternal Life (Acts 4:9-12), God would not have sent His Beloved Son to die; he would have sent those created beings.

The only reason that Yahuwah sent His Son to die was that His Son Jesus Christ doesn’t just give Eternal Life; He is the Eternal Life (John 14:6; 1 John 1:2; 5:11), Jesus doesn’t just speak the truth{Jn. 14:6) ; He is The Truth. Jesus doesn’t just show us the way to the Father; He is The Way.

The only means, therefore, by which humans can obtain Eternal life is by opening the doors of their hearts and inviting (Revelation 3:20) Jesus to come and indwell them. When Jesus (the Eternal Life) indwells someone, that person has Eternal Life and experiences the life of Christ. Only such a person can bear witness of who the indwelling Christ is, and what He does.

As regards our needs of material blessings, the Lord has made it clear that they would come in the same package with Eternal Life. We cannot reject Eternal Life and have the blessings that come from the Lord.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not WITH HIM also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

God is willing to give to every human “all things” WITH His Son. Most of us are trying hard to have “all things” WITHOUT God’s Son.

What most preachers are doing today is open the Eternal Life package, remove Christ from it, and sell the blessings to their followers.

After presenting to the people a package of material prosperity and social welfare without Christ, we then turn around (when we are convicted) and ask the church folks to take Christ to their communities.

No wonder most of them don’t witness. Those who attempt to evangelize just to obey their leaders are fake messengers declaring what they don’t know; misleading themselves and others.

If we want to obey the great Commission of going and making disciples, then we must be disciples ourselves.

“Man of God” and “Woman of God”; who discipled you when you gave your life to Christ? How can your people take Christ to their communities when they don’t have Christ in their lives? How can they have Christ indwelling them when you as their minister have removed Christ and salvation from your preaching; and continuously draw their attention to material blessings.

Bring Christ back into the package. Once your people have Christ, the Christ in their lives will ensure they have abundant material blessings.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

LET’S BRING CHRIST BACK INTO GOD’S PACKAGE!