Over the last several years, the Lord has practically taught me to see and know that one can be a minister, priest and worker in God’s vineyard and yet have dirty garments. (Rev.1:5-6). One can be an evil and deceitful worker in God’s vineyard (Phil. 3:2; 11 Cor. 11:13). Of course, God calls imperfect men and women into His service and vineyard, but He commands us to be holy, pure and whole for Him. A true priest must be whole, righteous and wholesome in every area of his life
Rev. E. O. Folarin said; “He whom God wants to use, the devil wants to destroy”.
Therefore, there is the great need for self-examination. I know a Pastor who has been in ministry for over 5 years, overseeing churches before he realized that he was not genuinely born-again, just plain religious and slave of his carnal weaknesses.
- Biblical Foundation– 2 Cor. 13:5; Zechariah 3:1-4
Garment speaks of glory, beauty, holiness and righteous living of ministers and priests of God. While filthy, dirty garment speaks of secret sins, unregenerated hearts, impure living, ungodly actions and hypocrisy of priests and ministers in the temple (Psalm 19:12-13).
✓ It is possible to minister to God with filthy garment.
✓ Zeal and ambition can blindfold you to your dirty garment.
✓ Miracles and results can deceive you about your filthy garment.
✓ Ministry with filthy garment will be hard and a struggle.
✓ Material achievements are still possible even in dirty garment.
✓ Satan will have access to you because of your filthy garment – Hosea 8:3
✓ Your work and soul will perish due to your filthy garment.
✓ Your physical success is nothing to God in your dirty garment.
✓ Dirty garment is a type of lunacy and demonic influence – lunatics are always clothed with dirty garment.
Ministers in ministry who operate in dirty garment have these 5 major traits:
- Stopped personal fellowship with God – in word and prayer.
- Have no accountability team or to any leader.
- Counsel opposite sex privately alone for long period.
- The pride of ‘it cannot happen to me’.
- Moving with other Priests with dirty garment.
- Two Major Filthy Garments of Ministers
I could pinpoint many examples of dirty garments of priests in modern ministry, but I feel led to emphasize just two areas that serve as the foundation for many others.
- Attitude of Money– 2 Cor. 7:1-2; 1 Samuel 12:1-4
“One must beware of ministers who can do nothing without money, and those who want to do everything with money” – Indira Ghandi.
Wrong attitudes to money have led to:
➢ Greed – Wanting all for yourself, cornering all the money.
➢ Covetousness – Not satisfied with what God gave you but coveting more.
➢ Stealing – Gimmicks, defrauding God, ministry and others. Thieves in ministry.
➢ Cheating- Not reporting income correctly to authorities. Inflating projects.
➢ Stinginess – Difficult to give but always take from others.
➢ Lying – Economical with the truth. Lying ministers for gain and profit.
➢ Debt – Getting indebted and not paying back.
➢ Worship of money – Doing everything and anything to gain as much as possible.
Lots of Priests of modern churches borrow church money and don’t pay back; take what they were not given; claiming it’s their entitlements and generally mismanage personal and ministry monies. These are heavy stains in their garments and leave them disqualified before God, and accusations of the enemy. Wrong attitudes of money have let to gimmicks, strange practices, prophetic works, lowering of gospel truth and compromises.
- Immoral Lifestyle– Neh. 13:26; Prov. 6:25-29; 7:25-27; 23:27-28
Many Priests in the house of the Lord today have had their garments soiled through:
❖ Lustful thoughts and looks.
❖ Adultery and extra-marital affairs.
❖ Masturbation and pornography.
❖ Sodomy, gay and lesbianism.
In the name of deliverance, prophetic acts, wrong teachings and examples of fallen, depraved ministers. Polluted lives, polluted altars and polluted people are the outcome. The evil I see in ministry these days is that ministers with filthy garment of immorality still go about ordaining young ministers, thereby polluting the ministry much more. It is only the Lord that can truly purge His church!
- Divine Cleansing And Change of Garment– Zech. 3:1-4; Eph. 5:26-27
Continuing to minister with dirty garment will spell doom now and hereafter. God is willing to cleanse, wash and purge His ministers (Isaiah 6:1-8). He is ready to provide inner cleansing, outward purging and upward cleaning. It will take the following:
- Genuine and sincere repentance – a true turnaround from sin – Prov. 28:13
- Cutting off from every attitude and vestige of sin.
- Restituting your ways and making things right.
- Keeping your heart and life holy unto the Lord.
- Running from every appearances of evil.
- Praying for grace to live a sanctified life in private and open.
Until you intentionally, prayerfully and penitently put off your dirty garment, you and your ministry will lack true progress, impact and mercy of God.
“The main thing God gets out of your life is not the achievements you accomplish. It’s the person you become” – Dallas Willard.
“The main thing you will give your congregation… is the person you become. If your soul is unhealthy, you can’t help anybody” – Unknown.
“The best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self” – Unknown.
BOOKS BY BOLA AKIN-JOHN
- Fruitful and Fulfilling Ministry Today
- Grow the Pastor Grow the Church
- Sexual Purity in Leadership
- Money, Ministers and Ministry Today
- 22 Dynamic Laws of Church Growth
- 25 Pillars of Church Health
- Personal Growth Today
- The Loyal Associate
- Guest Ministers Today
- 120 Strategic Ways to Increase Church Attendance
- Quality and Quantity Growth in Churches
- Strategic Church Planting Today
- Spiritual Warfare for Dynamic Church Growth
- Supernatural Power, Miracles, Signs and Wonders Today
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- The Place of Anointing and Administration in Church Growth
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- Healthy Leaders Healthy Churches
- Anointing Alone is Not Enough
- 101 Ministry Lessons
- Healthy Home
- Small Middle-Size and Mega Churches
- How to follow well
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- True success in ministry
- Rise and Fall of Churches / Ministries
- Closing the Back Door
- 25 Indispensable Qualities of a Competent and Credible Minister
- Church Growth Principles of Jesus
- Your Church Your Community
- Your Growth is Your Future
- Frank Talk to Men
- The Cell Church
- Our Churches and His Church
- How to Support & Strengthen your Pastor
- 101 ways to progressively kill a church
- The Real Man in Every Church
- Matured Pastor’s Wife & Female Minister
- Pray and Grow
- Short Course on Family Growth
- Short Course on Church Growth
- Short Course on Wholesome Sexuality
- Short Course on Financial Growth
- Short Course on Personal Growth
- Fundamental Teaching & Doctrines of the Bible
- With Jesus in the School of Money
- Holy Spirit the True Vicar of Life and Ministry
- Five Fold Ministry
- Prophet & Prophetic Ministry Today
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- Abusive Pastor Abusive Churches
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- Pastor and People’s Price For Church Growth
- Fatherhood and Sonship
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- Clergy Coupes
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- Front and back Door of Your Church
- Discipleship Process Recourse
- True Biblical Church Growth is still Possible
- Daily Nourishment 2
- Reaching and Disciplining Children and Youth in today’s Church
- Eschatology and Kingdom Teaching Resource
- I Can’t Breathe