Sunday, September 16, 2007

THE POWER OF A SURRENDERED LIFE
By Innocent Maja
[1]

“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” PSALMS 51: 16 – 17

Introduction
This is a prayer of repentance which David wrote when he had sinned against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrating the death of her husband Uriah. This portion of scripture points Christians to how God does things in a way that is very different from how Christians think. That’s why the word of God says “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts”

David is one of my favourite characters in the Bible. He teaches us how a man is like when he walks with God. His life is a mirror of how a believer should react in trouble and right at the summit of success. He teaches us the art of pouring our hearts to God in good and bad circumstances.

SURRENDER
This portion of scripture teaches us what it means to be totally surrendered to God. Total surrender to God is the most difficult part of Christianity. It’s harder than preaching, teaching, singing or any form of service because we have the capacity to do all these things without God. We are able to sing without God. All we require to sing is a gift (or just talent) coupled with discipline and practice. You can even preach and teach without God. But there is no way you can live your Christian life successfully without God’s domain over your whole being. Our main problem is that we give God a fraction of our lives. If you really look at the lives of Christians you realize that faith is a philosophy that they have adopted in their minds but it doesn’t govern their life styles. Yet God desires total surrender from us. Some have said “If God is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” If you are a real Christian faith dictates every aspect of your life;

Why man finds it difficult to be totally surrendered to God

(1) SELFISHNESS – one of the barriers to total surrender is selfishness. Man is naturally selfish. If we are in church and I take a photo of everyone in the church and hand it over to you, the first person you will look for in that photo is yourself. You will then look at other people after identifying yourself. Man is naturally selfish. I thank God that He created man last because if man was made 1st or 2nd or 3rd he would claim that he finished some of the acts of creation. Today man can not claim creation but discovery of the cosmos.

(2) Inability to handle success – there are times when a man becomes successful, he forgets that he’s just man. Saul fell into this trap. In 1 Samuel 13, the Bible records a story about the prophet Samuel being late to offer a sacrifice on behalf of the Israelites befor going for war. Saul, in his arrogance proceeds to offer sacrifice – the duty of prophets. Again in 1 Samuel 15 when Saul was instructed to destroy the Amalekites, he disobeys God and chooses to spare some of them and the fat rams for sacrifice. God then rebukes Saul through Samuel. He clearly tells Saul that “You were small in your own eyes when I made you ruler over my people …” But now you have an exaggerated opinion of yourself. This happens frequently to people who prosper in the things they do. They forget the secret that took them that far. They forget the times when they used to pour their hearts to God, crying and yearning for help. They forget that they are merely hot blooded, toilet visiting man. They begin to have an exaggerated opinion of themselves and think they can do without God. They fail to observe the basic tenets of scripture.

(3) Everything that we do, we struggle hard to make a name and to build a reputation – this ambition has made many to have difficulties to surrender themselves wholly to God. I remember a time I prayed that whenever I preach, the blind eyes would open and the dead to rise. At that time I thought it was desire to serve God but I realized after searching my motives that I wanted to make a name for myself. I wanted to be identified as a dynamic preacher. But I thank God because He normally withholds such things until a time when our motives are clean. He waits until a time when all we are worried about if obeying Him rather than make a name for ourselves. That’s the 1st time when it happens – not when you are trying so hard to parade yourself using the pulpit. So God does things to break us and bring us to a place where we are really given over to him. He does things to humble us; embarrass us – to make us realized that we are just man as Job called us.

A story is told about a man of God, a preacher who developed a throat disease that made it impossible for him to preach. He could not utter a single word or whisper because of the throat disease. Yet he was called to be a preacher of the word of God. For 8 months he could not preach. One day when he was praying in the forest, he committed his life to God. He was in college then doing a degree in mass communications. He then prayed to God that because he understood that he had to preach the gospel even if he had a throat disease, he was going to establish a printing press when he graduates. He would print Christian literature and distribute it to the lost world. After college he was faithful to his promise. One day when he was in the middle of his ministry, he went to a Catherine Coolman meeting. She then prophesied that there was a man in the role where he was seated who committed himself to preaching the gospel even with a throat disease. She said that God has seen his commitment and because he had come to a point of preaching the gospel at whatever cost, God was opening his voice that day. Suddenly his voice opened. God wants us to serve him with purity of heart and purity of motives.

(4) We are propelled by various impure elements and motives - We usually don’t pray with clean motives but with selfish motives। We pray that God may give us what he has for us to create a name for ourselves. We forget that all the glory belongs to God and not us. Consider the story of Jesus riding on the donkey. It would have been very stupid if the donkey thought for one moment that the people of Jerusalem were laying cloths and blankets for it. The people did it for the man riding on the donkey. Had the donkey tried to go into the city the next day without Jesus and expect the same treatment, it would have been disappointed to realize that people did not hold it in high esteem at all. Those that are used of God should realize that all the glory belongs to God. You are what you are not because you are special (on your own right) but because of the anointing and grace of God upon your life. Don’t you dare rob God of the glory that belongs to Him.

God wants believers to succeed but believers should learn to handle success। Your biggest problem isn’t Satan/demons but yourself, your ego and self esteem। You have a serious capacity to destroy yourself – ruin yourself. Your biggest problem isn’t succeeding but handling success. When God gives you all the money, support, great names and friends the opportunity to do what you want, when you want and how you want – when you can be away from everybody and meet the bills; how are you going to handle the fame? Some believers are protected from sin not because they are righteous but because they don’t afford to sin. We have to develop a capacity to handle success before we succeed. That is the reason why Paul tells Timothy “Don’t put novices in leadership.” They are like a tree with big branched but show roots. When trouble comes, they can easily be destroyed.

3 John 2 gives a prescription of prosperity. It says ‘Brothers, I wish above all things that you prosper, even as your soul prospers.” Put differently your financial success has to be governed by my inner spiritual maturity if that success is going to sustain you. You should have the capacity to handle a billionaire lifestyle before you become one so that you don’t become an emotional disaster. I urge everyone to own money – don’t let it own you.

Back to the portion of scripture
In essence, David here is saying “Father God, if all that you ever cared for was sacrifices I would have given you – But I know that the sacrifices of our God are a broken and contrite spirit – only that you won’t despise. All my gifts and talents have the capacity to be corrupted. But a broken and contrite spirit you won’t despise.”

When you look at some of the events in David’s life, you could call him one of the worst sinners. He committed adultery with a married woman and murdered the husband. These are sins that most believers may not commit today. Yet God was well pleased with him. Acts 13 v 22 calls David ‘a man after God’s heart.’ The secret behind this was David’s heart. He was very sensitive to what God said. He would pour his heart; failures and success to God – surrender all before God and yield to God. He was quick to honestly repent whenever he sinned against God. He was a man of character. He knew how to give God glory when things were bad and when he was at the summit of success. I will illustrate this by at least four incidents that happened in his life.

(1) 1 Samuel 18
When David killed the ‘mighty’ Goliath, verse 6 – 7 says that all Israel came to meet him. Women sang songs praising him (not God). I tell you if these songs were sung for some believers today, God knows how they would react. The Bible further records that David was offered “Merab” the King’s daughter to marry. I want you to notice David’s reaction. In verse 18 David says ‘Who am I? and what is my life or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be the King’s son in law?’ Oh such humility!!!

(2) 2 Samuel 7
When David is told that he isn’t going to build the temple of God but Solomon his son was going to do that because David had shed a lot of blood, he does not complain. He does not quarrel with God. I want you to watch his response again. Verses 18 and 22 say “Then David went in and sat before the Lord and said “who am I oh Lord God? And what is my house, that you have brought me this far?’ He is even amazed that God has blessed him and taken his family this far. He is in essence saying that I am even grateful that you have taken me this far Lord.

(3) 1 Sam 24
This refers to incidents when David had the opportunity to kill his enemy who had bee pursuing David for a long time in a bid to kill David. David could not kill Saul – after cutting off Saul’s skirt; Bible says “It came to pass afterwards at David’s heart smote him such that when he had cut off soul’s skirt he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed” In 1 Sam 26 when Saul was pursuing David, he slept in a trench – exposed – his soldiers around him. David again gets an opportunity to kill Saul. Abishai, one of his soldiers, asks David for permission to kill Saul. But David says in verse II “…. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against the Lord’s anointed ----“

(4) 2 Sam 16
When Absalom revolts against his father David and chases David away from Jerusalem, Shimei curses David – he hurls all sorts of insults to the King. Abishal, son of Zerulah – one of David’s finest soldiers - said – “why should this dog curse the King” and asks for permission to kill Shimei. Notice that Shimei was insulting a head of state. I want you to notice David’s reaction in verses 9 and in V10. David said “what have I to do with you sons of Zeruiah? How do you know may be God sent him to say these things to me? But time is the great sanctifier” NB: David does not kill Shimei. Prior to his death as he instructs Solomon on what to do when he succeeds him, David revisits this issue. He tells Solomon of what Shemei did and instructs him not to kill Shimei. No head of state would do such a thing. Oh I admire such man of character

God desires us to be humble both in life, ministry and service. Preachers are warned not to exalt themselves more than God on the pulpit. NB: If you want to preach the gospel, preach it like the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Without the help of history, you won’t know that it was Matthew who wrote the book of Matthew – even when he writes about himself, he write in the 3rd person narrative and the focus is on Jesus. In Matthew 9 v 9, Matthew says “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth and said ‘follow me’ and Matthew got up and followed him ---“ If this story was being told by today’s Christian, it would be awash wish unnecessary redundancy, superfluity and verbiage. It would go like this. ‘One day as I was sitting in my office I was in a contemplative mood. I had a feeling that I was going to receive a visitation from God. I began to search the scriptures and pray. I asked God what it was He wanted me to do. Then God said my Son Jesus is going to visit you. You have been found worthy to be visited by my Son and be recruited into the ministry of the word of God…” It would go on in the I, I, I, narrative. It will be more about the servant than the saviour.

When you get the opportunity to preach, minister Christ. Never spend ¾ of the sermon speaking about yourself and your beautiful wife and children. This does not edify the church. In John 3 v 22, John the Baptist shows us the right attitude that preachers and children of God should adopt. His disciples came to him and reported that Jesus was also baptizing more people than John. John did not try to pull down the ministry of Jesus Christ as other ministers do today. He tells his disciples a fundamental truth that “Beloveds I told you that I only came to prepare the way ---- Now I must decrease and Christ must increase.” Jesus must increase in our ministry and we decrease.

It is quite shocking that some believers are arrogant even in prayer. Jesus gives us an illustration in LUKE 18 VS 9 – 14 about a man who goes to God and begins to parade his works before God as a qualification for God to hear his prayer. The Bible says that the Pharisee ‘beat his chest’ (a sign of pride) as he approaches God. He practically says to God ‘Halleluiah! Dad you know me. I pay my tithes on the 30th of every month – 10% not 9% and I pray - I fast…’ and chronicles his works. He thinks this would qualify him to have his answers heard by God. Jesus further talks about a sinner who couldn’t even look up but bowed down and confessed his sins and asks for mercy from God. Jesus says that the sinner was justified. Arrogant believers should realize that God’s word says that “He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”. When you pour yourself to Him, He will not despise you broken and contrite spirit.

God expects us to be humble. Humility or character is what determines the success of ministry and life. Ministry grows out of a personality and not only gifting. God can do anything through you – But wants you to totally depend on him. Our level or degree of dependence on God determines the extent to which God is going to use us in the Body of Christ. As such the saying is true that ‘Our attitude determines our altitude.’ This explains why simple boys like Joseph ended up becoming Prime Ministers in Egypt, people of slow speech like Moses ended up as great leaders, timid people like Gideon ended up as bold judges, sheep tenderers like David ended up as great Kings in Israel that even cities are given their names – “City of David.”; simple and timid fisherman like Peter became one of the great pillars of the early church, simple deacons like Stephen did great exploits and even died honourable deaths and murders like Paul ended up being great apostles and even wrote a substantial quantity of the New Testament.

Jesus has to remain Lord over your life everyday – the branch is connected to the trunk and should remain as such. God has no problems with doing what you ask – He even assures us that if we abide in Him and He in us we can ask whatever we want and He will do it for us. That’s maturity – increased dependence on God – a consciousness that you need God. God wants you to be broken – to pour your life to him. The story of the alabaster jar rings true to us today. It had to be broken for the whole room was filled with the good scent. You have to be broken for the good in you to manifest. You have to give yourself over to God totally. There is good in each one of us but there is chaff that God wants to deal with first.

[1] I am indebted to Pastor Cleopas Chitapa who preached this message when I was still in the University. The message touched me so much that I decided to not only document it but also research further on it. This is part of the product of this exercise. All mistakes herein are mine

Friday, September 7, 2007

VISION

(By Innocent Maja)


**Proverbs 29 v 18 says that “Where there is no vision (revelation), my people perish (or people cast off restraint)…”


Introduction

For some time I have been wondering why most people do not succeed in life (be it in ministry, career, marriage, finances, etc). It seems many people especially Christians are either mediocre or poor in everything they do. They seem not to know the reason for their existence. They are predominantly not focused even though they claim to live holy lives. Most of them cannot initiate anything. They are mere robots who are good at following instructions than pioneering projects. This painfully has enmeshed criticism from heathens. It has brought Christianity to ridicule. Yet there are a few who seem to succeed in everything that they do. I have been wondering why this is so for long until I came across this portion of scripture which gave me enlightenment on the things that I am going to share with you herein.


Analysing the scripture

I will explain this portion of scripture in the context of the words ‘vision’ and ‘perish’ which to me are key in understanding the Proverbs 29 v 18.


  1. PERISH

  • The Hebrew word for perish is ‘yipara’ meaning ‘to be loose’ or ‘carefree’ or ‘unrestrained.’

  • What Solomon is saying here is that without vision or revelation, people become loose, unrestrained or carefree. They live anyhow. Their lives will lack direction. That is the reason why the NIV says ‘…people cast off restraint.’

  • An unrestrained person can do anything. Nothing guides them. They do not accomplish anything at all in life because of their lack of focus. They are loose. Have you realized that anything loose does not accomplish any purpose. For example,

    • if the string to a bow is loose, the arrow will neither take flight nor hit the target

    • if the automobile fan belt becomes loose, it will not rotate the fan and cool the engine

    • if anybody becomes morally loose, he will not respect his body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and will abuse same with immorality, alcohol, drugs etc

    • If your trouser belt is loose ….


There are instances in the Bible when people failed to accomplish anything because of lack of direction. For instance, Judges 18 &19 records that there came a time in Israel when Israel had no king and people lived as they liked. Genesis 1v1 speaks of a time when the earth was formless and darkness afflicted it and everything was chaotic and the spirit of God hovered upon the earth.


Lack of direction is usually shown by a poor man’s mentality. If you ask a poor man what he would do with US$1Billion if he gets it, he will tell you that he will quit his job and spend the money. His mind does not even consider investing the money. He consumes both the seed and the yield. This is a wrong mentality and attitude altogether. God does not usually give us money until we know what we want to use it for.


** What is clear from above is that without vision, the life and welfare of the people become unfocussed and endangered. They become ineffective and will not realize God’s purpose on their lives. In the end they perish


B. VISION

*One woman who was born blind was asked this question “What is the worst thing on earth than being blind?” Instead of being offended and demoralized by this question, she confidently answered “The worst thing than being blind is to have full sight but lacking vision.” She raised an important concept that vision is a vital part of a human being’s life. The question that arises is ‘What is vision?’


I will attempt to define vision in 4 ways namely;


(1) Vision is the ability to see the future and securing it – a visionary is able to postulate the future. Visionaries know that it is guaranteed to happen.

**3 Characteristics of a visionary

  1. He sees more than everybody else

  2. He sees further than everybody else

  3. He sees before everybody else

Most people on earth today are shortsighted. They live in that “one day at a time sweet Jesus.” They do not see beyond today. If you are one such persons you have to see further.


There are numerous examples of people who lack vision in our day and age. A person who intends to get into Christian ministry must first count the cost. He needs to have a goal for his ministry. This goal should then translate into a plan coupled with activities to fulfill the goal. They then need to pursue the goal irrespective of resistance. Again character is the virtue that will sustain that ministry. Luke 14 v 28 to 32 is very instructive in this regard.


A person who intends to start a family should very well plan for it beforehand. The same applies with pursuing a career. One needs to plan, be focused on the goal and be diligent in the pursuit of the goal. One also needs to utilize opportunities that come their way. Ecclesiastes 9 v 10 & 11 clearly state that ‘..the race is not for the swift, nor the battle for the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill, but time and opportunity happen to them all’


People should also have discipline in their finances. People have to minimize their phone, rent and electricity bills. These are not assets but liabilities. People also have to learn to live within their means and to invest some of the money they generate. Ecclesiastes 11 v1-2 encourages you to ‘Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight, for you don’t know what evil shall be upon the earth’


People should take their health seriously because it is only when a person is healthy that they can be able to run around and work. They should mind the type of meals they take. It does not serve any purpose to eat foods with starch alone without other nutrients.


(2) Vision is the God-given ability to see possible solutions to the everyday problems of life

Visionaries do not usually focus more on the problems that they face but on the solutions to those problems. Jesus gives a clear example in the parable of the shrewd or unjust servant in Luke 16 v 1-9. This schemer was caught by the employer and was given notice that he would be dismissed. Rather than ponder on the problem of dismissal, he began to secure his future by granting favours to his employer’s debtors so that they could also assist him when he is fired. Jesus commends this shrewd person for his wisdom in finding solutions to his problem.


(3) Vision is the ability to see beneath the surface of people’s lives

I have come to realize that there is potential in every individual that we meet no matter how unpolished the people appear. Visionaries helps those people realize and utilize their potential. Jesus did this with Simon. He realized the potential that was in his life, helped Simon to realize this potential and even devoted time to develop the potential. In Matthew 16 v 18, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter ‘On this rock I will build my church and the powers of death will not prevail against it.’ Peter indeed began a pillar of the early church.


Proverbs 20 v 5 is very instructive in this regard. It says that ‘the purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters but a man of understanding draws them out.’ We need to have the ability to draw the best out of people. There is need for visionary parents who will study their children diligently, pray intensely and converse with them perceptively in order to identify and draw out each child’s uniqueness. There is a great need for visionary spouses who will look beneath the surface and probe around until they find jewels hidden deep in their mate’s soul. The world needs visionary business leaders who will treat their workers like real people and diligently try to match their unique skills with commensurate responsibilities. The lost world requires visionary witnesses who can look at unbelievers with no time for Jesus and say ‘I wonder what Christ’s transforming power could do in that person’s life’. The church needs visionary disciplers, mature Christians who can look past the stumbling and bumbling sod baby believers and say ‘I see potential there and I am going to draw it out’ For example, in Acts 18v24-27, the Bible says that there was a man in Ephesus called Apollos who was ‘mighty in the scriptures’ but only knew the baptism of John. Priscilla and Acquila invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Apollos later became a pillar in the Corinthian church. Do not thwart potential. Develop it instead.


(4) Vision is the God-given ability to catch a glimpse of what God wants to do through your life if you totally dedicate your life to Him

I always say to people that true success is when a person manages to do that which God destined him to do. We need to discover this and pursue it.



Importance of vision

Vision is very important in people’s lives. It brings direction, guidance and a road map to people. That probably explains why the word of God places much emphasis on vision. An example is Jesus’ healing of a blind man at Bethsaida. Jesus was very powerful. He only prayed for a person once or just commanded a blessing and a miracle would happen. But he had to pray twice for this person’s sight (or figuratively speaking, vision) to be restored. The world has also copied this important truth from the word of God. A study of all successful revolutions reveals that all revolutionaries emphasized on the slogan. The slogan served as a vision, a road map that people had to follow. By repeating the slogan over and over again, revolutionaries managed to drill important information (vision) into their followers. Even companies have mission statements that serve as a vision for the organisation.


Conclusion

Vision is one of the vital keys of success. A person needs to conceive a vision and become obsessed by it. In addition to this, one needs to execute the vision because vision without execution usually results in confusion.

DEALING WITH DISILLUSIONMENT AND DISCOURAGEMENT

By Innocent Maja


This article speaks about very crucial issues of discouragement, despair and disillusionment. These are common in the lives of Christians. It is therefore necessary for us to understand what the Bible says about them. Our theme scripture is Luke 24 vs. 13 – 35.


This portion of scripture introduces us to Cleopas and his friend. From their conversation it appears as though they were once disciples of Jesus Christ. Their leader or saviour Jesus Christ had been killed and they decided to leave Jerusalem and go to Emmaus. As they journeyed, it is clear that they are demoralized, disillusioned, discouraged, disappointed and despaired. This can be seen by their facial expression when Jesus Christ meets them. Luke 24 v 17b says “They stood still, their faces downcast.” Probably, they had left their homes to follow Jesus Christ whom they had hoped to have been the Messiah. Verse 21 says “But we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel…”


As a preliminary point, this story shows us that it is possible for a believer to be disillusioned, discouraged, demoralized and despaired. We have a number of examples of people who were discouraged and despaired in the Bible. The following are few examples in the Old Testament;


(a) Hagar – She was Abraham’s slave girl. When Abraham and Sarah could not have a child, Sarah suggested that Abraham sleeps with Hagar so that the couple will have a child. After Hagar got pregnant, Sarah began to hate her and began to ill-treat her.1 She became very bitter with Sarah and she ran away when she was pregnant. It took the intervention of the angel of the Lord for her to come back.2 The child was born but the problems continued. Sarah then requested Abraham to send Hagar away and he agreed. She went away with a few provisions which ran out when she was in the Wilderness of Beersheba. She had no provision and so bitter that she just placed the child down ‘… weeping inconsolably as she waited for her son to die.’3


(b) David was also subject to despair and disillusionment. He says

My soul is in anguish … I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears… My eyes grow weak with sorrow…4


(c) The anointed prophet Elijah was at one time bitter. After defeating Baal prophets, he is threatened by the woman Jezebel and he runs away and he is very much discouraged. I kings 19 v 3 says “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.’ He is even says ‘I am no better than my forefathers”


(d) Jonah is also bitter after preaching to the city of Nineveh and the whole city repents.


In the New Testament the following examples are apparent:

(a) When Jesus was betrayed by Judas and he was to be arrested, Peter took up his sword and cut the soldier’s ear. He is so discouraged that when he is asked about whether he knows Jesus, he denies Jesus three times in one night. In John 21, Peter is very much discouraged by Jesus’ death that he tells the other disciples that he is going back fishing. It is interesting to note that the other disciples (even those who were not fishermen) decided to go back with him. What emerges from this is that discouragement can cause people to draw back in their faith and even cause other to do things they would not ordinarily do when things are normal. Suffice it to mention is that they caught nothing the whole night in their discouraged state. We therefore learn that a person cannot be fruitful when they are discouraged.


(b) One can argue that even Jesus was subjected to this condition as well when he was alone on the cross. His disciples had rejected and run away from him when he was arrested. He had taken the sin of man and God the Father had forsaken him. He cries “Eloi, Elloi, Lama Sabachthan”

(c) Even apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 1 v 7 says:

For we would not, have you ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life…


WHAT CAUSES DISILLUSIONMENT?

The answer lies in Proverbs 13 v 12 which says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”

The heart is our inner nature. It is the central part of our beings from which our feelings emanate. When the heart is sick, everything about our lives is affected, our wills, minds, emotions, decision making, facilities e.t.c. That is probably the reason why Proverbs 4 v 23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for it’s the wellspring of life”


Today there are various ways in which people can be disillusioned and discouraged. These emanate from hope deferred. Here are some of the ways:

  1. Unforgiveness – this usually occurs when some people hurt you so much that you feel you cannot forgive them. One thing that Christians should take note of is that when you fail to forgive anyone, you imprison that person in your heart. It affects you. You nurse animosity. This retards progress in your life. In particular your prayers will never be answered when you do not forgive anyone who sins against you. Matthew 5 v 21 – 4 is very instructive about the settlement of disputes. It makes it clear that if you bring your sacrifice before the alter and remember that someone has something against you, you have to leave your sacrifice and make it right with that person first and then come and offer the sacrifice. The Bible is teaching us to deal with the horizontal relationship first before the vertical one. Once one fails to forgive, no matter how many prayers and fastings they make, God will not answer. Some end up discouraged in their prayer lives thinking that God does not answer prayers when in essence their unforgiveness is hindering their prayers from being heard by God.


(2) FALSE HOPES AND EXPECTATIONS – this again causes a lot of discouragement and disillusionment. For example, it is very dangerous for a lady to be disillusioned enough to think that the man she is marrying will be an angel of a husband who will be caring, loving, ever listening, prayerful e.t.c. most have been frustrated in the home when they realized that their spouses are not exactly the way they thought they were. They say that love is blind but marriage is an eye opener. Again, it is very dangerous for a young minister of the word of God to think that their ministry will be smooth wherein God will always be using them to heal the sick, plant very big churches, raise the dead e.t.c. Most young ministers have backslidden when their hopes were deferred. It is also dangerous for Christians to expect all their leaders to be evangelistic, to visit them always, give them money when we need it, pray for them when we are low and readily have the word of God for them whenever they need it. Some have been discouraged when this failed to happen.


(3) REVIVAL SICKNESS – this is one of the movements in the church (especially the charismatic church) today. There is so much talk and promise of revival that neglects to teach repentance as one of the conditions of such revival. The result of such defective teaching is that Christians hope for signs which do not usually materialize, promises that do not seem to come true and effective prayers that do not seem to be answered. Most Christians have heartaches from this. If only they knew that for revival to come, true repentance should come first. They have to acknowledge their sins and ask God to forgive and restore them.


(4) FALSE DOCTRINE – these are a major contributor towards discouragement and disillusionment. For example, it is doctrinally wrong for one to teach that Christianity is a life free from problems. Rather, the Bible teaches Christians that they will face many probles when they get born again. 2 Timothy 3 v 12 says “… In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted.” Again Acts 14 v 22 says “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God”5 Another wrong doctrine encourages peoples to pioneer things without counting the cost of engaging in the enterprise. Luke 14 v 28 and 31 warns us against such. It says

suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?... Or suppose a King is about to go to war against another King. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with 10 000 men to oppose the one coming against him with 20 000?


Another dangerous doctrine is encouraging Christians to engage in spiritual warfare blindly without being submitted to God. This is very disastrous. Many have perished as a result of this. James 4 v 7 encourages you to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Submission to God should be done first before engaging Satan.


(5) Falsely assuming that God deals in the same way with us – this is a problem. Christians should understand that we do not have similar circumstances. We have different measures of grace and different purposes in life. Do not expect God to deal with us in the same way. Acts 12 demonstrates this. Note that when Herod persecuted the early church, James died but Peter was miraculously released in prison. This does not mean that James had less faith than Peter. The purpose of God for James and Peter was different.


(6) Reading God’s word selectively and distorting it with our mindsets, preconceptions and train – this is very dangerous. It causes Christians to miss out on the truth of God’s word. For instance, Jews in Jesus’ time thought that the Messiah was supposed to be a political ruler who would release them from Roman subjugation and failed to accept Jesus as the saviour. Even though Cleopas and his friend could have been believers, they seemed to share this view as well. Even Jesus’ disciples reveal such a conception in Acts 1 v 6 where they ask Jesus “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel.” Another example is when Christians claim promises from the word of God without giving due consideration to the conditions attached to the promises. For instance, claiming that God will provide all my needs. (Phil 14 v 19) may not be effective if we neglect to pay our tithes and offerings in accordance with Malachi 3 v 10. Claiming that God Forgives us if we confess our sins (1 John v 9) will be pointless if we hold unforgiveness against someone else (Mark 11 vs 25). We need to be like the BEREANS (Acts 17 v 11) who examined the scriptures.


(7) Disillusionment in prayer – some think that God answers any prayer and they are usually discouraged when their prayers are not answered. I want believers to understand that God can answer all prayers provided (i) They are offered in faith, (ii) They are offered according to God’s will and (iii) We deal with hindrances to prayer such as sin, unbelief, stinginess, wrong motives, a critical spirit, ingratitude etc.6


Back to our story, it is interesting to note that Cleopas and friend never recognized Jesus because of discouraged state. This teaches Christians about one of the consequences of discouragement. We rarely identify God in our discouraged state. This is an unfortunate state of affairs since believers should always commune with their saviour.


How to deal with discouragement

(1) Never run away from the problem - Cleopas and friend tired to run away from their problem by leaving Jerusalem to go to Emmaus. This is an attitude that Christians adopt when they are discouraged. They withdraw from fellow Christians and maintain a ‘Me and God’ attitude. It is interesting to note that discouraged people always find company of discouraged people as well in the church. They then create a ‘Them and Us’ relation ship. This is a common biblical feature. There are many examples of people who walked with God who withdrew or ran away when they were discouraged. Adam and Eve hid from God. Jonah tried to run away from Nineveh via Jopah and Tarshish. Elijah ran away to the desert. Peter tried to go back fishing. Running way does not yield any fruit. Peter and the other disciples never caught anything when they went fishing.


(2) Tell God exactly how you feel - Cleopas and his friend told Jesus exactly how they felt. They did not hide their feelings. Back to our story, Cleopas and his friend had no super – spiritual cover ups. They were ‘downcast’ sad, rueful and morose. This is the first step towards healing. David learnt the secret of pouring out his heart to God in all circumstances. In Psalms 142 v 2, David said “I pour out my complaint befreo him I tell my trouble.” Even Job had the same conviction. He says in Job 7 v 11 “I will not keep silent, I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul”


(3) Get back to the scriptures – this is an important step towards healing. The word of God normally brings healing to a discouraged soul. As already indicated above, the causes of discouragement have their root in the failure to interpret the word of God correctly. The word can address that situation. It is therefore important to those that counsel discouraged souls to take them through the scriptures. Jesus Christ took Cleopas and his friend back to the scriptures. Luke 24 v 27 says “Beginning with Moses at all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself…” This brought healing to their souls.


Conclusion

The route to Emmaus is one awash with tears, loneliness, disillusionment, despair, discouragement, disappointment, and shattered dreams – a difficult and dry place. But Cleopas and his friend came back to Jerusalem refreshed, revived and awsh with a fresh revelation of Jesus. I encourage all believers to cast all their burdens to Jesus and he will take care of them. The Bible refers to Jesus as “A man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs” One of His missions was to heal the broken hearted. He is the Great High Priest who stands between the weak and discouraged human being and the strong and all powerful God. Hebrews 4 v 15 – 16 says “…For we don’t have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we were yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Jesus sympathizes with our infirmities. He is very much able to deal with our situation.

1 Genesis 16 v 6

2 See Genesis 21

3 Genesis 21 v16

4 Psalm 142.

5 Watch out for my book called ‘Trials and Temptations’ coming soon.

6 See my teaching on prayer coming soon.

CHRISTIANITY AND MONOTHEISM

Nuggets by Innocent Maja


There has been a lot of debate on whether Christianity is polytheistic or monotheistic. This has caused a lot of division in the body of Christ and has prevented Jews to embrace Christianity. It has placed a barrier on the effective ministry of the gospel. It would be important to address this issue. Below are my views about this debate. I invite you to challenge my views on this subject and contribute to the on-going debate. This can open our understanding of this issue.


Arguments used by Pseudo-Christian religions to destroy monotheism

Pseudo-Christians use quite a number of scriptures to attempt to propagate the conception that Christianity is not monotheistic but polytheistic. I will just highlight three scriptures from each testament to highlight their arguments and try to address them.


Three examples from the Old Testament that are used by pseudo – Christians to destroy monotheism are;

  1. Genesis 1:26, God says “Let us make man in our image.” In Genesis 3:22, God says “man has become like one of us.”

  2. In Genesis 11:7, God says “Let Us go down and confuse them.”

  3. And in Isaiah 6:8, God says “Who shall go for us.”


In all these Scriptures, God uses plural to refer to God. Pseudo – Christians argue that these scriptures reveal that there is more than one God. They argue on the basis of these three scriptures that Christians worship the plurality of gods.


However, this contention is misplaced because the use of plural by God refers to God communing with Himself and consulting with His own Counsel. This is a common phenomenon in scripture. Persons, especially Kings, would speak in plural while referring to themselves. For instance, in Daniel 2v36 Daniel refers to “us” when he is talking about himself. Again, in Ezra 4v18 and 7v24, the King refers to “us” and “we” when he is talking about himself. These scriptures therefore, do not destroy monotheism but supports it.


In the New Testament, the following scriptures are also used by Pseudo-Christians to try to destroy monotheism;

  1. Matthew 28v19 says "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Pseudo-Christians argue that Father, Son and the Holy Spirit refer to 3 gods thereby destroying monotheism. However, in this passage, Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize "in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." However, this verse does not teach that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate persons because the word name is singular and not plural. Rather, it teaches the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost identify one name and therefore one being. The verse expressly says "in the name," not "in the names."

  2. 1 John 5v7 says "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Pseudo – Christians argue that Father, Word and Holy Spirit are 3 distinct deities. This attempts to destroy monotheism. However, an analysis of this verse shows that this verse of Scripture refutes the view that Father, Son and Holy Spirit refers to 3 deities. It is also interesting to note that this verse does not use the word Son, but Word. If Son were the special name of a separate person in the Godhead, and if this verse were trying to teach separate persons, why did it use Word instead of Son? Son does not refer primarily to deity, but Word does. The Word is not a separate person from the Father any more than a man and his word are separate persons. Rather, the Word is the thought or plan in the mind of God and also the expression of God.

In a similar way, the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is not a separate person from the Father any more than a man and his spirit are separate persons. Holy Spirit just describes what God is. First John 5:7 says that three bear record in heaven; that is, God has recorded Himself in three modes of activity or has revealed Himself in three ways. He has at least three heavenly roles: Father, Word (not Son), and Holy Ghost. Furthermore, these three roles describe one God: "these three are one."

© 2 Corinthians 13:14 reads, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." Pseudo – Christians seem to think that this verse reveals that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are 3 separate persons. This again is wrong. The verse conveys three aspects or attributes of God that we can know and have. First, there is God's grace. God has made His grace available to mankind through His manifestation in flesh, in Jesus Christ. In other words, unmerited favor, divine help, and salvation come to us through the atoning work of Jesus. Then God is love, and love always has been part of His basic nature. He loved us long before He robed Himself in flesh as Christ. And finally, the baptism of the Holy Ghost gives us communion (fellowship) with God and with our fellow believers: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" - the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). Through the indwelling Spirit of God, not the presence of the physical body of Jesus Christ, we have a present, continuing relationship with God unlike anything available to the Old Testament saints.

2 Corinthians 13:14 is logical and understandable when we interpret it as three important relationships God has shared with us or as three different works the one Spirit accomplishes. There are diversities of operations but only one God working all in all (I Corinthians 12:4-6).


Is Christianity monotheistic then?


In my view, Christianity is monotheistic. Christians worship one God. This is a theme that runs through both the Old and New Testaments. For example, in Deuteronomy 6:4 the Bible elaborates and emphasizes that there is only one God. It says; "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD." Many other Old Testament verses of Scripture emphatically affirm strict monotheism. For instance, The Ten Commandments begin with, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7). God emphasized this command by stating that He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). In Deuteronomy 32:39, God said there is no other god with him. There is none like the LORD and there is no God beside Him (II Samuel 7:22; I Chronicles 17:20). He alone is God (Psalm 86:10) In short, the Old Testament speaks of God in terms of being one.


Again, Isaiah 43 v 10-11 says "Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” Other Old Testament scriptures are;"I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6); "Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any" (Isaiah 44:8); "I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself" (Isaiah 44:24); "There is none beside me. I am the LORD and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:6); "There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:21-22); "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me" (Isaiah 46:9); "I will not give my glory unto another" (Isaiah 48:11; see also Isaiah 42:8); "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth" (Isaiah 37:16). “There is only one God, who is the Creator and Father of mankind” (Malachi 2:10). In short, the Old Testament speaks of God in terms of being one.

The New Testament also teaches that there is one God. For instance, In Mark 12v 29-30 Jesus emphatically taught Deuteronomy 6:4, calling it the first of all the commandments. This notion is explicitly repeated numerous times in the New Testament. For example Romans 3:30 says "Seeing it is one God which shall justify." I Corinthians 8:4 says "There is none other God but one."(I Corinthians 8:6 says "But to us there is but one God, the Father." Again, Galatians 3:20 says "But God is one.” Ephesians 4:6 says "One God and Father of all." Also I Timothy 2:5 says "For there is one God" James 2v19 says "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Again, the Bible calls God the Holy One (I John 2:20). There is one throne in heaven and One sits upon it (Revelation 4:2). These scriptures clearly demonstrate that the New Testament teaches about one God. This is a position that Christianity has consistently maintained irrespective of the misinterpretations of other pseudo – Christian religions.

It is also pertinent to note that the mistaken view that Christianity is polytheistic stems from a misunderstanding of the name and titles God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Christian detractors are of the mistaken view that these names and or titles refer to 3 distinct persons. I have already argued above that scripture clearly exhorts Christians to baptize in the ‘name’ not ‘names’ of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. You will even realize from the book of Acts that the apostles baptized new believers in the name of ‘Jesus’. This does not mean that they were being disobedient to the Command in Matthew. Instead, they understood that the Godhead is fully embodied in Jesus Christ. This argument is supported by Colossians 2v9 that says “For in Him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily.”


Let me explain this a little further. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all describe the one God. It therefore follows that the phrase in Matthew 28:19 simply describes the one name of the one God. This interpretation is consistent with the Old Testament. For example, the Old Testament promised that there would come a time when Jehovah would have one name and that this one name would be made known (Zechariah 14:9; Isaiah 52:6). We know that the one name of Matthew 28:19 is Jesus, for Jesus is the name of the Father (John 5:43; Hebrews 1:4), the Son (Matthew 1:21), and the Holy Ghost (John 14:26). As already argued above, the New Testament church understood this to be so, for they baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; I Corinthians 1:13). Matthew himself endorsed this interpretation by standing with Peter and the other apostles during the sermon in which Peter commanded the people to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:14-38).

Matthew 28:19 does not teach three persons in one God, but rather it gives three titles of one God. These titles sum up different roles of God or modes of His revelation; by its singular reference to "name," it focuses upon the one name of God revealed in the New Testament. That name is Jesus.

1 John 5v7 says "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." This verse of Scripture refutes the view that Father, Son and Holy Spirit refers to 3 deities. It is also interesting to note that this verse does not use the word Son, but Word. If Son were the special name of a separate person in the Godhead, and if this verse were trying to teach separate persons, why did it use Word instead of Son? Son does not refer primarily to deity, but Word does. The Word is not a separate person from the Father any more than a man and his word are separate persons. Rather, the Word is the thought or plan in the mind of God and also the expression of God.

In a similar way, the Holy Spirit is not a separate person from the Father any more than a man and his spirit are separate persons. Holy Spirit just describes what God is. First John 5:7 says that three bear record in heaven; that is, God has recorded Himself in three modes of activity or has revealed Himself in three ways. He has at least three heavenly roles: Father, Word (not Son), and Holy Ghost. Furthermore, these three roles describe one God: "these three are one."

Another argument is that a thorough study of scriptures reveals that God did not use the name and titles God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to denote polytheism. Instead, he used them to reveal his manifestations, nature, roles, relationships to humanity, modes of activity and aspects of His self – revelation. Put differently, God used the name and titles God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit as a means of progressive self-revelation. Names manifest God’s character. Such a use of name is consistent with scriptures. For example, in Exodus 6:3 God said, "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known unto them." Verses 4 through 8 make it very clear that the significance to Israel of the name Jehovah was its association with redemption and salvation. It is important to note that even though Abraham had earlier used the name Jehovah in Genesis 22:14, God did not make known to him the full significance of this name in its redemptive aspect. So, in Exodus 6:3 God promised to reveal Himself to His people in a new way. That is, He began to associate His name with a new understanding of His character and presence.

A study of the Old Testament further reveals that God progressively revealed more about Himself as various needs arose in the lives of man. People the gave God specific names to express God’s self-revelation. When Abraham needed a lamb to sacrifice, God provided and Abraham named the place Jehovah-jireh, the LORD that provides. God revealed himself as a deliverer to Israel1. He also revealed Himself as Jehovah-rapha, the LORD that heals, when Israel needed healing. When Israel needed victory over enemies, God revealed Himself as Jehovah-nissi, the LORD our banner, i.e., victory. The list is endless. What emerges therefore is that these names do not suggest a plurality of gods but the manifestation of an aspect of the character, nature and presence of one God.

You will notice from the Old Testament that desired to know more about God and even expressed their desire by asking to know His name. a number of examples come to mind here. Firstly, Genesis 32 v 29 records that when Jacob wrestled with the man at Peniel (a manifestation of God), he asked, "Tell me, I pray thee, thy name." God did not reveal His name but did bless him. Secondly, in Judges 13 v 18, Samson’s father, Manoah, asked the angel of the LORD what his name was. This was the response he got: "Why asketh thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?"

It is encouraging to note that when the fullness of time came, God did satisfy the longings of His people and revealed Himself in all His power, majesty and glory through the name Jesus Christ. Jesus is the culmination of all the Old Testament names of God. Colossians 2v9 says “For in Him (Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily.” It is the highest, most exalted name ever revealed to mankind. The name of Jesus is the name of God that He promised to reveal when He said in Isaiah 52 v 6, "Therefore my people shall know my name". the name of Jesus Christ is supreme. It is the only vehicle to salvation. Acts 4 v 12 says: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Philippians 2 v 9-10 wraps it up neatly and stipulate that "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth"

God fully reveals himself through the name of Jesus. The Old Testament testifies that Jesus is God. For instance, in Isaiah 9:6 the Bible says "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father The Prince of Peace." The terms child and son refer to the Incarnation or manifestation of "The mighty God" and "The everlasting Father." Again in Isaiah 7v14 which was also quoted in Matthew 1v22-23 Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be called Immanuel, that is, God with us. Again, Isaiah 40:3 declares that one would cry in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy when he prepared the way for Jesus (Matthew 3:3); so Jesus is the LORD (Jehovah) and our God. These scriptures in the Old Testament clearly states that the Messiah and Savior to come would be God Himself.

Even the New Testament confirms that Jesus is God. For instance, John 1 v1 says in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the Word was God.” In verse 1 the Bible declared that the word became flesh or incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ. Acts 20:28 reveals that the church was purchased with God's own blood, namely the blood of Jesus. In Titus 2v13 Paul described Jesus as "the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" Again, in 2 Peter 1v1 Peter described Him as "God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Finally, the Book of Colossians strongly emphasizes the deity of Christ. In Colossians 2v9, scripture says "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." According to these verses of Scripture, Jesus is not just a part of God, but all of God is resident in Him. If there were several persons in the Godhead, according to Colossians 2:9 they would all be resident in the bodily form of Jesus. This obviously makes Christianity monotheistic.

From the foregoing, it is clear that Christianity is monotheistic and not polytheistic.



Comments can be posted to mrmaja@hotmail.com

















1 See Exodus 6:3-8

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Mutamangira, Maja & Associates

Profile


CONTACT DETAILS

2nd Floor Travel Plaza

Cnr Mazowe/

J. Chinamano

HARARE

ZIMBABWE


Tel: (00263) - 4 - 705563, 792341 & 792345


mutamangira@mutamangira.co.zw

farai@mutamangira.co.zw

mrmaja@hotmail.com

vandudzo@yahoo.com


Farai Mutamangira LLBS (Zim) MscIR (cand), Innocent Maja LLBS Hons (Zim) LLM (SA), LLD (cand), Itayi Ndudzo LLBS (Zim) ACCA DIP (cand)


INTRODUCTION

Mutamangira, Maja and Associates is a vibrant law firm replete with expertise and legal experience. It has earned a reputation of delivering expert, competent, excellent and satisfactory legal services to its clients. It currently has two partners namely Farai Mutamangira and Innocent Maja. They are Assisted by Itayi Ndudzo. The firm is an embodiment of seasoned professional lawyers and skilled personnel.


MR. FARAI MUTAMANGIRA – LLBS (Zim) MscIR (Cand)

He is the custodian of the Law firm’s vision. He is a seasoned Legal Practitioner of serene temper and intellectual maturity whose dynamism and strength lies in corporate, commercial and banking law. He renders pragmatic legal advice to a myriad of corporate organizations.


He is currently a Director in United Touring Group, NAFTA Holdings, SFG Insurance, Zetor Zimbabwe, Camelsa Chartered Accountants, and Interfrontier International. Farai is also the current chairperson of the Zimbabwe Youth Council. He was on the committee that restructured the National Discount House Balance Sheet; Legal and corporate bank advisors to Time Bank of Zimbabwe Limited and Sagit Financial Holdings. He is also legal advisor to the following: CFX bank under Curatorship, Liquidator of Century Discount House, Royal Bank under Curatorship. He has also rendered legal advice to Corporates such as NOCZIM, CAPS HOLDINGS, MIGDALE HODLINGS, Ernst & Young, CAMELSA Chartered Accountants, KETTEX ad PRODUCO. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Honors Degree from the University of Zimbabwe and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in International Relations and an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management. He is also a Lecturer in the Commercial Law Institute with the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Law. Attached to the profile is an extract form the Internet showing some of the matters he has handled.

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MR. INNOCENT MAJA – LLBS (Zim); LLM Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (University of Pretoria); LLD (Cand)

He was very instrumental in the founding of the law firm. Innocent commands an indepth and thorough knowledge of International Human Rights Law, International Law, International Trade Law, Corporate and Commercial Law, Contract, Labour Law, Conveyancing, Intellectual Property, Property Law, Family Law and Dispute Resolution. He has a succinct appreciation of Corporate Law, Corporate Legal drafting and advice.

He is founder and current Executive Director of Centre for Minority Rights and Development and sits on numerous Boards including the Centre for Human Rights and Development Swaziland, Domboshawa Theological College Trust, Glory Givers International, The Mozambiquan Community in Zimbabwe Trust and Shiloah Zimbabwe Trust. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Honors Degree from the University of Zimbabwe and a Master of Laws in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria. Innocent is currently pursuing an LLD. He is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Private Law Department with the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Law. He is very instrumental in human rights litigation, intellectual property, conveyancing and legal drafting for the Law Firm.


ITAYI NDUDZO – LLBS (Zim) ACCA DIP (Cand)

He commands an excellent reputation as a litigation specialist. He has successfully argued high profile cases in the High Court and other special courts like the Administrative Court and the Labour Court. He is a meticulous criminal lawyer who also has deep experience in family law, property, tax matters, insurance and legal disputes of an international nature. He is highly skilled in litigation involving complex financial issues and is now in his final stage of the ACCA Diploma in Financial Management. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He has been entrusted with big Legal portfolios by established corporate organizations including Cottel Enterprises, Cobra Securities, Moving Water Industries, Lasof Leadership International, Auto City etc. He is a teaching assistant in the Public Law Department with the University of Zimbabwe’s Faculty of Law and a senior research assistant to the Herbert Chitepo UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Governance and Democracy at the University of Zimbabwe.

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OUR AREAS OF SPECIALISATION


1. Banking Law

2. Corporate Law

3. Property Law

4. Commercial Law

5. Tax Law

6. Labour Law

7. Criminal Law

8. Conveyancing

9. International Law

10. Human Rights Law

11. Intellectual Property

12. Drafting Contracts, Shareholders Agreements, International Agreements, Take-overs, Mergers and Acquisition

13. Family Law.

14. International Trade Law