The Doctrine of Suffering – Part 2

The Cross Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. NIV

In part 1 of the Doctrine of Suffering, we looked at some biblical definitions and principles around this topic. The motivation behind this reflection on suffering is twofold: 1) suffering is an important principle of Christ and of the faith, 2) we live in uncertain and challenging times in which we must not only affirm our faith but where we must also understand the principles by which we can lead a victorious life, as we walk through this personal, local and global disaster. We noted in the first article that suffering must not be confused with “false humility and a self-induced harsh treatment of the body for religious reasons” (Col. 2:23), or put differently, a self-induced difficulty or crisis, in an effort to “please God”. In its basic definitions, suffering is the determination to live for Christ in the midst of adversity; the resolution to advance the Kingdom of God even when it is costly to do so; the attitude to deny yourself in pursuit of the Will of God.  The principle of suffering does not describe mere pain or a position of powerlessness, on the side of the believer. This principle recognizes that the flesh, evil forces and the world system are inherently and structurally opposed to the life of the Kingdom of God, that the believer must walk through cycles of joy and pain, and that the journey to the end of time involves natural disasters. Acknowledging this reality empowers the believer to expect opposition and difficulty in the journey of salvation, and to decide beforehand, to always choose the Will of God. It is only in this context of obedience to the Will of God, that the conversation of suffering becomes relevant. Biblically, we understand the Will of God to be both life missions God may want us to engage in and a Way of Life that He wants us to adopt and express, daily. In this sense, the Will of God is not only “an occasional thing”, it is also a daily, ongoing reality. Jesus tells us “to take our Cross daily” (Luke 9:23). It is as a result of these two dimensions of the Will of God, that we encounter hostility, adversity and suffering. Sometimes we can have an imbalanced or limited view of the Will of God as something that relates to occasional life missions, and not to a Way of Life we are called to lead daily. In this regard, Peter speaks about “suffering for doing what is right” (1 Pet. 2:20, 1 Pet. 3:14&17). Peter is talking about suffering as a result of a Way of Life. Ultimately, love surpasses ministry – “where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away… and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:8-13).  “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal…” (1 Cor. 13:1-3). 1 Corinthians ch. 13 reminds us, that it is easy to excel in the Will of God as it concerns to life missions, and to find ourselves stumbling in the Will of God, as it concerns to God’s Way of Life. This scripture further exhorts us, to carry the two dimensions of the Will of God, in proper balance – love will always outweigh ministry (love is eternal, and ministry is temporary), and love must be the motivation of all ministry.

The bible clearly teaches us that in the faith, we are like solders in the battlefield, that the life of salvation is one of warfare and wrestling…

Phil 1:27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing side by side, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. NLT

When we embrace the Word of the Lord in our lives, it triggers suffering…

Matt 13:20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. NIV

We are wrestling against our own flesh

Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. NIV


1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. NIV

The verses above give a picture of structural conflict between the spirit and the flesh. The word “contrary” used by Paul in Galatians 5 vs. 17 means to be placed against each other, to be adversaries or opponents. The word “war” used by Peter in 1 Peter 2 vs. 11 means to wage war, to serve in a military campaign, to lead an army. The picture that we get in both these verses is that there is active war between the spirit and the flesh. This war is resolved by our intentional obedience to the leadership of the Holy Spirit – “but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law”.

We are wrestling against the world system

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” NIV

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. NIV

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. NKJV

1 John 5:4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. NIV

The scriptures above give a clear indication of the hostility that exists between the people of the Kingdom of God and the world. Since the world hated Christ, it will hate us also. The word “world” used in John 15 vs. 18 is the word “kosmos”, which means orderly arrangement. This word refers to the surrounding culture, arrangement and way of doing life. In context, Jesus is referring to the order of human life corrupted by sin and or established by fallen humans (Rom. 5:12). The nature and structure of such an order does not incorporate God and His commands. It is built out of the lawlessness of man and against the command of God. According to 1 John 2 vs. 16, this world order reflects three principles of sin and of the Fall: A) The lust of the flesh – this reflects the supremacy of human feelings and self-will against the command of God of ; B) the lust of eyes – this reflects the supremacy of human perspective, desires and pleasure against the command of God; C) the pride of life – this reflects the imperative of self-life and human prosperity over the command of God. Everything that is built according to the principles of the world, whether family, church, economics, politics etc. will always reflect these three components, and can therefore be described as worldly. If it is worldly, it will always be hostile to the Kingdom of God – because the world hates Christ!

The word “hate” used by Jesus in John 15 vs. 18 means to detest and abhor, to not show love and embrace. Such is the relationship between the Kingdom of God and the world. Jesus also says that in this world, we shall have trouble. The word “trouble” means pressure, anguish, affliction, tribulation and distress. There is structural conflict between the world and the Kingdom of God. This conflict will always have impact on the journey of the believer. However, the believer (and the church) is called not to be worldly, in order to be loved by the world, but to have faith that overcomes the hostility of the world.

We are wrestling against evil spiritual forces

Eph. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. NIV

We must put on the full armor of God – components of the life of salvation – because we are struggling and wrestling against powers of this dark world. The word “wrestle or struggle” means hand-to-hand combat, either in the context of soldiers in the battlefield or of athletes in a sport contest. The principle is based on ancient military battles which required proximity, physical contact and face-to-face combat. During these ancient military battles, a soldier would pick an opponent for a battle. And the winner would always be the one who possessed strength, skill and agility. Our warfare against evil is that personal – evil forces pick on us as individual believers, but they must always find us well prepared, wearing the full armor of God (not some components of the armor) and able to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. In other words, we must be well trained in matters of doctrine – we must be able to apply doctrine in matters of life.

The Cross – A Symbol of Suffering

Matt 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. NIV

In Matthew ch. 16, Jesus tests His own disciple’s understanding of who He is. He asks them the question, “who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16:15). Peter answers, “you are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). On the basis of this conversation, and having been satisfied with the answer of His own disciples to His question, Jesus begins to talk about His suffering…

Matt 16:21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. NIV

Peter, failing to understand that Jesus is not simply “venting” and complaining about an unfortunate future but is outlining His purpose and mission, pledges his support and declares that “this shall never happen to you” (Matt. 16:22). Moreover, Peter rebukes Jesus! The word “rebuke” means to evaluate, disapprove, admonish and charge. Basically, Peter evaluates Jesus’ thinking and utterance and finds it to be inappropriate and incorrect, and he therefore seeks to reprimand and “shush” Him. Jesus responds with a counter-rebuke…

Matt 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” NIV

Jesus recognizes the source of Peter’s concern to be from the devil. He then rebukes the spirit behind the statement. The phrase “stumbling block” is the word that means the trigger of a trap on which the bait is placed, and which, when touched by the animal, springs and causes it to close causing entrapment (Strong’s Dictionary). In other words, Jesus realizes “the concern” to be the attempt of the enemy to abort the mission of God. The phrase, “you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” reflects the conflict that exists between self-will or humanism and God’s Will.

The Process of Peter: “This shall never happen to you”

The statement, “this shall never to happen to you” shows us that what Jesus has just said is beyond Peter’s theology, worldview and mindset. Peter cannot reconcile God and pain. He cannot reconcile God and suffering. The Peter, who later would write, “to this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21), still needed to have His doctrine refined and improved. Peter represents our journey. We too cannot reconcile God and pain. We “judge” God on the basis of the five senses of our flesh, and of our basic human need – which is human wellbeing and prosperity. But this is not how the Kingdom of God is structured. The basic need of life in the Kingdom of God is to obey God. On the basis of obedience, we are guaranteed human wellbeing and prosperity (Matt. 6:25-34, especially vs. 33),  but in disobedience, we are guaranteed death – for the wages of sin is death.

After resolving Peter’s issue, Jesus then makes the statement to His disciples…

Matt 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. NIV

These words, “if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”, must have fallen into the hearts of the disciples with weight. We can imagine Jesus speaking to the disciples, but with a sharp and an intent look at Peter, who would become a significant apostle a couple of years later. Jesus was basically saying, we have nothing in common, unless you embrace the Cross. Thus, Jesus established the Cross as a symbol of suffering, long before He was crucified. These words must have marked a significant crossover for Peter himself, who beyond his pledge of support to Jesus, still had to process his own fear of death (as was seen during the crucifixion). Fear! This was in fact the basic motivation that led to Peter’s stance against suffering, in the first place. Clearly, when we have basic motivations of either fear or success, this always inevitably affects and shapes our doctrine or theology. To truly walk with Jesus, we must possess the Will of God as our cardinal reference point in our dealings with life. That is, the Will of God, and not success or safety of our lives, must in fact become the basic motivation or driver of our lives.

Let’s state this again, Jesus established the Cross as a symbol of suffering, long before He was crucified. That is, the symbolism of suffering in the Cross, was not determined by the Romans, but by Jesus, long before the drama and shenanigans of the Pharisees and the Romans came to a climax. It is upon this foundational reality that we should embrace the Cross as a living spiritual principle in our hearts. The Cross is neither a symbol of jewelry nor a religious element – it is a living principle in our hearts. It is a symbol of spiritual determination in the heart of the disciple, to walk through the valley of crucifixion in this world, joyfully taking on “the 39 stripes and the insults”.

Developing Spiritual Psychology to engage Suffering

Spiritual Psychology refers to the attitude of the mind and a frame of thinking that originates in the knowledge of truth in Christ. Spiritual Psychology is the fruit of spiritual formation of our humanity in Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). It defines an identity, mentality and emotional outlook that is anchored in the truth of life in Christ. It is a product of applied knowledge in the process of human thought. Of significance to Spiritual Psychology is the substitution of the right to life with the duty to obey (God).

Luke 22:41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” NIV

Jesus is the second human and the last Adam, in the order of creation. He came to show us how to be human, so that we would follow in His example (1 Cor. 15:45-49, 1 Cor. 11:1).

1 Cor 15:47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. NKJV

The word “man” used in the phrase, “the second man”, is the word “anthropos” from which we get the English word “anthropology”. This word (man) deals with the nature of humanity. Jesus is not just the second man; He is not just a “distant-historical Saviour, but He actually represents a model of humanity that we must adopt, as His disciples (1 Cor. 15:49).

1 Cor 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. NKJV

We must bear the image of the heavenly man (or a heavenly humanity). The word “borne” (or bear) means to wear as clothing. We must put on the clothing of the image of Christ (Eph. 4:22-24). The word “image” is the Greek word eikon (or the English word “icon”) which defines a profile of something, a resemblance and a copy. The word eikon implies the existence of a prototype – it defines both a copy and a prototype after which a copy is made or developed. Jesus Christ is the prototype of our humanity, after Him we must establish a Kingdom Humanity here on earth that is a resemblance of His Nature. We must establish a Community of People who do not only identify with the humanity of Jesus Christ but who also take after its form (2 Cor. 3:18).

Eph 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man (the old humanity) which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man (the new humanity) which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. NKJV

Through the Cross, we get to see beyond the veil as we interact with the kind of humanity that heaven is calling us towards…

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus… NKJV

Luke 22:41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” NIV

In the Scriptures, we are advised against standing from a distance to “receive grace” and then walk away, wiping our mouths in “selfish thankfulness”. Rather, we are invited to come close into the same experience of the Cross, in full identification with the crucified Christ, to carry our own Cross and resemble the same attitude as His in our process of life. We must conform to the death of Jesus, so that we may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Phil. 3:10&11).

What is the point of all this?

There is a psychology that is displayed by Jesus during the crucifixion, that reflects the kind of humanity and psychology we must reflect in our own life experiences, even during this time of a global disaster. This psychology is reflected in the following words…

Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” NIV

The words, “not my will, but yours be done” reflect the basic structure of the psychology of Jesus – it was one of substitution of the right to life with the duty to obey. During our Fall in Genesis, we reflected the exact opposite…

Gen 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. NIV

The principle of the Fall and of sin is one that emphasizes our sense of right to life – that which is “good for food, pleasing to the eye and desirable for gaining wisdom”. In other words, fundamental to the Fall are the three principles of, 1) the right to human wellbeing (good for food), 2) the right to pleasure and self-desires (pleasing to the eye), 3) and the right to success and prominence (desirable for gaining wisdom). Note that there is nothing wrong with these things, it only becomes a problem when we hold them as fundamental rights even when they are conflicted with the Will of God. Thus, the basic block and the first step to a successful kingdom life, is one in which we have clarified and resolved in our hearts the tension between the right to life and the duty to obey.

The right to life was given in the context of the duty to obey

Gen 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” NIV

The first freedom that was ever declared to the human being was placed within a broader context of the duty to obey God. “The Lord God commanded the man…you are free” – i.e. in the command of God, we found our freedom.

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” NIV

If the first temptation of the human by the devil carries any fundamental clues in understanding the way Darkness operates, then we have to realize that this involves both the (a) twisting and manipulation of what God has said (doctrine), (b) and the placement of a human’s sense of right to life, in conflict with the Will of God. This is what Jesus had to overcome through the Cross. He therefore demonstrates for us that the lineage of the Second Man and Last Adam (or of Kingdom Humanity) is one through which we reverse the order of sin, and where we don’t only place the duty to obey as the first block of life, but also as a fundamental necessity to human wellbeing. There can be no peace where there is violation of the order of God.  Kingdom Humanity (which is structurally unlike the humanity of the world) is built on the fundamental principle of obedience – the duty to obey God. This duty to obey God is born out of our love for Him; it is the fruit of our spiritual affection and devotion, it is not coerced.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. NIV

John 15:10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. NIV

It is because of our love for God that we obey His commands. Unlike in “religion”, where we obey out of humanistic fear, in true kingdom life, we obey out of love and a holy fear of the Lord, because we know that His commands release the true potential of our humanity. Not only so, when we walk in obedience, we experience a divine exchange – as we show God our love, He also keeps us in His love. In the process, we experience the full and complete joy of the Lord.

The Duty to Obey: The Foundation of Psychological Strength in Suffering

Ps. 119:46 I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, 47 for I delight in your commands because I love them. 48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees. NIV

Ps. 119:126 It is time for you to act, O Lord; your law is being broken. 127 Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, 128 and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. NIV

Prov 6:20 My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, 24 keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. NIV

Deut. 5:32 So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. NIV


Matt 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” NIV

Obedience is both the basic human need and the highest form of human consciousness. On the other hand, self-life is the lowest form of human consciousness – this is what temptation brought us into. Obedience gives us a sense that our lives are the outworking of a command from a higher authority – a command which comes from God through human conscience. When humans respond to this reality, rather than their physiological needs, they realize their true potential. Even outside of spirituality, when humans are committed to something deeper and higher than their “stomachs” (some may call this “conscience” or “ideology”), they realize their true potential, and they also unleash destinies for themselves and their generation. In other words, this is the generic principle of life. When obedience is understood outside of “religion” but as a life principle, it unleashes a sense of purpose and meaning, which in turn unlocks true and godly humanity. Humans are most dangerous and evil when they are motivated by self-will, fear and indulgence. This is how Paul put it, “for me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Paul equally spoke against those (within the ranks of the church) whom he called “the enemies of the Cross of Christ, whose destiny is destruction, whose god is their stomach, and whose glory is in their shame” (Phil. 3:18&19).

The true potential of our humanity in God (or of Kingdom Humanity) is realized not when we walk in self-will, but when we walk in obedience to God. And obedience to God reflects our affection and devotion to Him. The reason why suffering can produce maturity and a harvest of righteousness in us (provided it is administered correctly – see Rom. 5:1-5, Heb. 12:4-11) is because it resolves the conflict between the right to life and the duty to obey, and it crystallizes and distills our sense of love for God. This is because we realize that without Him, we can’t even dream of “a right to life”. Any branch that is cut off from Him will wither, it cannot produce life (John 15:1-17). Jesus therefore went to the Cross with full understanding that if He obeyed God, He could not lose life – not even the grave could keep Him. Those who walk in obedience will produce life even during difficulty and adversity. Obedience keeps us in union with God – and in God, nothing dies. Death is not the fruit of mortality; it is the fruit of being separated from God. Like Daniel and his friends, those who walk in obedience, even though they may be living out of a lean diet, will always look healthier and well-nourished than those who indulge in the pleasures of self-life (Dan. 1:8-16).

Rom 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NIV

To do justice to this scripture, we must pause and re-read it to understand what Paul is dealing with. The answer to the question, “who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” in verse 35, is implied in the things listed afterwards, i.e. trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger or sword. Paul continues to say, “in all these things (mentioned above) we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (vs.37). “These things” are the troubles, hardships, persecution etc. In other words, it is our own attachment of greater value to “these things” (our sense of right to life or the right of not going through hardship, as an example), that can separate us from the love of God. But if we can continuously live as “more than conquerors”, implying our continuous victory over hardship, persecution etc. (i.e. our sense of duty to obey God even in suffering), due to our commitment to God over our lives, then we will be guaranteed that we shall live in perpetual union with Him. What “these things” come to test is not our threshold of pain, it is our affection and devotion for Christ. There was nothing that was going to come between the Son and the Father. The Son’s love of the Father would stand, even during the most feared or gruesome death during the Roman Empire.

The foundation of Spiritual Psychology is a correct internal structure of priority between the duty to obey and the right to life. When the duty to obey comes before the right to life, then life in God is guaranteed. But equally, we humans must be careful of “a sense of duty to obey” that is born or founded upon the pride of life and a deep-seated desire to build a name for ourselves. This too is a dangerous presumption that leads to death. This sense of duty to obey must be carried in the human heart with a deep sense of sincerity and humility, tempered and measured by the Holy Spirit, tested in the process of time and administrated in the right spiritual temperature of healthy fellowship.

The foundation of Spiritual Psychology is a correct internal structure of priority between the duty to obey and the right to life. When the duty to obey comes before the right to life, then perpetual union with God will be the result, and victory in suffering will be guaranteed.


Robert Ntuli

Pastor – LivingStones Agency (

Visionary Leader – Kingdom Humanity Fellowship (



Please follow the links below to access other resources relevant to the current pandemic…


  1. The Doctrine of Suffering – Part 1
  2. Covid-19: A Prophetic characterization of the current pandemic (part 1)
  3. Covid-19: A prophetic characterization of the current pandemic (part 2)
  4. Restating the foundations of the New Covenant
  5. Drivers for effective life in the current season of the pandemic
  6. Doing church in the crisis of coronavirus

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