We were pleased to have David and Brenda Mensah with us this weekend. This morning, David took us through Scripture to remind us that Jesus is the Lamb of God. He challenged us to share this exciting news with those around us and encouraged us with stories of God’s work in Ghana.
See below for a transcription of the message.
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As Brenda mentioned, it’s like coming home, anytime we are here with you at ECC. You’ve been with us since 1988, 1988, that you first give us the very first money that we got to start our well. It came from this place, it came from this church. So we are so excited and so thankful to the Lord that he has used you. He has used you, and we have worked in partnership, and we have made a dent in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen? In the name of our Lord Jesus, together we are serving, together we are proclaiming, together we have made his name known. Amen? Amen!
I just realized this morning, when I was dressing and putting on this shirt, that three years ago when I was here this is the same shirt that I wore. I just want you to know that I have two of them. So my wife takes care of them very nicely. I just wanted to tell you that so you don’t start taking an offering for me to say, “That poor African boy, let’s buy him another shirt. He’s always wearing this shirt.” I’ve got two and they are all nice—and they are easy to preach with, to swing around. Amen?
It’s exciting, it’s exciting to know the Lord! It’s exciting to serve him, and the word that our sister has just read for us is so important for us to always recall because the world is changing. It’s changing and moving, and we have to go back, we have to go back to Scriptures, we have to affirm what we believe. We have to know what we believe. We have to be certain, because if we are not certain, we cannot speak about Christ unless we believe what we believe. Unless we believe that Christ is par excellence, unless we believe that he is the Lamb of God, we cannot share him. We cannot, unless we know for sure in ourselves. And when John said that the Lamb of God, John’s mind goes to Genesis, Chapter 22. Chapter 22, his mind goes there, where the ram was brought out from the big thicket and saved Isaac’s life. God said, “Don’t kill the lad. Look in there—there’s a ram. Bring it out and save your son’s life.” And Abraham goes there and takes the ram and saves Isaac. John’s mind goes there, it goes there to extract it, to tell his audience. When John spoke about the Lamb of God, his mind goes over to Exodus, Chapter 12. You remember that, when the night God finally said, “I’m going to come into the land and every firstborn is going to die, so all the men, every man, take a lamb and sacrifice it and use the blood on your doorpost, and death will pass you by.” You remember all that? Well, John’s mind went back to that when he made this announcement, “The Lamb of God.” His mind went there–that they indeed used the blood on their doorpost, and when the angel of death came that night and all Egypt was wailing, the people of God were saved. The Israelites were saved that night because their lamb that night…Bible says every man was to sacrifice a lamb, so there were lots of them. That is, it’s recorded in Numbers, the book of Numbers, Chapter 2, we know that the first census was taken by the Israelites, and the men were over 600,000. So there would have been about 600,000 sheep killed that night and their blood used on the doors. But now John says this time, those 600 were used to save all the Israelites in Egypt. But now there’s a par excellence Lamb. One Lamb, Jesus Christ, of Bethlehem. That Lamb is the only one, the only one, the only Lamb. And now, there’s a catastrophe that is coming, a big one. Jesus is coming again. He is coming again, and this time, it’s not just for the Israelites. It’s for Bloomington, it’s for Ghana, it’s for Russia, it’s for Turkey…Jesus is coming. And John says, this time it’s not 600 lambs, but one. Your Lord and my Lord, the Lamb. “Behold, the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.” His mind went way back in Scripture for John to make that pronouncement. This Lamb will save us, and the Father proves here when Jesus appears again, the people of God, we are no longer going to need to put any blood on our doorpost. When we make our confession in him, that he’s our Lord, the blood is already put on our foreheads, in our souls. Amen? Oh, that is exciting, isn’t it! It is also exciting to know that the Lord, the [ ] one, that the one who believes in him this morning, that you’ve got that mark already, that he’s set you aside, that when this big day comes, that the Lord Jesus, you can walk to him. And that is what it is, that John makes this [ ], makes my heart, me coming from a home of witchcraft in Africa. I come from a place where we knew nothing but serve the devil, Satan. We worship, we sacrifice idols, we kill sheep, we kill dogs, we kill cats. But oh, when I found out that this is the Lamb, the very First, the very First and Last, it made my heart leap. And I get so excited, I’m just so excited. My daughter Carole always tells me, the last daughter, she says, “Dad, you have a bad accent. You have a very bad accent, and Americans and Canadians, they can’t, they don’t understand what you say very much. And when you get excited, it’s worse, and even your kids, we can’t understand you.” But I said, “Carole, my heart leaps when I know that Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, is more than Mohammad, is more than Buddha, is more than everything. He’s the par excellence, it makes your heart [ ] that you have found it, the final thing, oh, halleluia!
Halleluiah’s not a bad word you know.
So John, he speaks, and Andrew, who was a disciple, Andrew heard, and Andrew left John. And he and his friend—the Scriptures don’t mention who this other disciple is—but they went and asked Jesus, “Could we come and see where you live?” and he said, “Sure, [ ]. Come.” Come anybody, anybody who asks and wants to see Jesus, he goes to you first. He says come, Jesus leads Andrew and his friend and they come. “Come and see where I am!” I want to tell you this morning that when you seek him, that when you want to find him, you’ll see him waiting for you. You will see him already waiting for you and saying, “Come on! Come on home and see!” and in the end he goes there with his friend to Jesus and spends the day with him. And when they came back, when they came back, Andrew came back, he found Peter and said, “Oh, we have found the Christ, the Messiah!” They’d been searching, they’d been searching, they’d been looking. He says, “We have found him!” And I want to tell you this morning that nobody goes to spend time with Jesus and won’t come back changed. If you’re not changed, you haven’t met him yet. When I got converted, even dogs and cats knew that, that I was changed. Because I was a gangster, I was having a little gang of my own. Some of you know my story. Today I have decided not to share my story, but to speak along with John. But in the streets of Africa, out of poverty and being an orphan, I was in the streets. I lived and ate in the streets and picked up garbage, to find through them what I could survive on. And my heart was bitter because I had no father. My mother had neglected me, and I was on my own. Anytime I ate, anytime I had something to eat in my stomach, it was because I stole it. And I became very hostile on the streets, but I met the Lamb of God. Halleluiah. Halleluiah! I met the Lamb of God. I met the Lamb of God on the streets and he changed me. He changed my heart. And the things that I used to do…my stomach started rumbling, but I could not steal anymore. Halleluiah. Is that something? That’s what I believe he’s done for those of you who’ve met him like Andrew and got to spend the day with him. They come and say, “Peter, come and see! We’ve seen the Christ, the Messiah.” The Greeks call him Christ and the Jews call him Messiah, but it all means “anointed one.” Those two words all mean “the one who is anointed.” And Christ, our Lord Jesus, is the Anointed One. And he picks up, he picks up a book, in Isaiah Chapter 61–you remember that—when he picks it up and read it in Luke, in Luke 4:18, he says, “I have been anointed.” He agreed to that, what John said. “I am the Anointed One. The Lord has anointed me to proclaim the gospel, the good news to the poor, to set the captives free, to let the blind see.” You remember that, in Luke 4:18. “I am the Anointed One”—that is the Scripture he was quoting from, Isaiah 61. The Lord is the Anointed One. John sees that, he tells Andrew, and Andrew tells Peter that we have found the Anointed One, the one Isaiah spoke about. That’s our Lord, he finds.
The Lord calls Philip, and Philip adds more to it. Philip looks at his, at his friend Nathanael, and he says, “Nathanael! Nathanael, come! Come and see! We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one Moses wrote about in the Law. What did Moses write about in the Law? There are so many things. There are so many things, that Moses wrote about in the Law about Christ. And also wrote the prophets, the prophets wrote about, the prophets wrote so much about, and he said, “We have found that.” Philip is like probably an accountant. Philip sorts things out, they are the guys that look up in to make sure things make sense. That’s the kind of person you can tell that they’ve been checking Scripture, and checking Scripture, and checking Scripture, and checking history, and reading, and trying to find out who is this person that God is talking about. Finally, Philip says, “We have found the One, the One that the prophets spoke about, the One that was spoken about in the Law. We have found him.” The prophets…the prophets, were they exciting! John [ ] in Chapter 9 of Zechariah, the prophet Zechariah, he speaks and said, “O Daughter of Zion, Daughter of Jerusalem, shout with joy because your king comes to you riding on a colt, and he holds salvation in his hands, and his rule, he will rule from sea to sea, and his kingdom will not end.” Amen! He said, “We have found him.” That’s what Philip was talking [about].
My brothers and sisters, I shouldn’t be preaching this morning because you have found the Messiah, but it’s always good to go back and know that our faith is built on history. Our faith is built on authenticity. Our faith is built on the word of God. Our faith is a real faith. Our faith is not a “fly by night.” Amen? We have to understand that or we’re sunk on the currents that are [ ] these days on the work in the world. So we don’t cave in, so we don’t start looking. If you’re still looking, don’t look anymore, don’t look anymore. Jesus of Bethlehem, Jesus of Nazareth, is the par excellence of God, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And Paul, Paul sees that and he says in Romans 1:16, he says “You Romans, I want to come. You know why? Because I’m not afraid of the gospel. I’m not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16–Paul says that. And Peter, Peter, Acts 4:12, he looks at all the people talking and [they] said, “There are all kinds of faiths, there are all kinds of religions, there are all kinds of beliefs. Don’t make too much noise, Peter. Don’t talk as if your God is the only God.” Remember how he said in Acts, Chapter 4? Acts, Chapter 4, verse 12, he says, “Listen! Listen to me. There is not any other name, not any other name given under heaven to man by which we must be saved. Not any other name.” For me…not just only in Scripture…I’m so grateful to the Lord for the Scripture, but let me tell you something. When I got saved, my uncle, who lives in Teselima, a village called Teselima where we took your pastor to… By the way, I was so moved when you loaned your pastor to us, right here, Bob, and one of the things Bob spoke to our pastors was always in this text, where he says our duty is to point to the Lamb of God, our duty is to point to the Lamb of God and this part of the Scripture.
My uncle, [ ], in the entire Bole area, he was the leader of the witch doctors. [ ] was the leader of the witch doctors and when I went there before I got saved, I thought the man was God. He could do so many things that would defy science. But when I gave my heart to the Lord–I was about 12 years old—when I went back to that man’s house, his witchcraft and all the things that he was doing, he said, “They will not work.” So he kicked me away from the house and called for my mother because I had gone for something; he thought I had gone for a much more powerful witchcraft than he had. I was 12 years old, about that. My mother came to me and called me and said, “Kwabena, whatever you have, give it to me to give to your uncle. Because your uncle is worried that you have something.” And I said, “Ma, I have nothing, I have nothing. All I have done is believed in Jesu.” A 70-year-old man had led me to Jesu, and I said, “Mom, my heart feels good. Jesu had snapped something in my heart. The bad things, he snapped them off. That’s what I know.” And I’ve come back to this witch-man’s, witch doctor’s house again—I was there for another week—and he called Mom and said, “That’s it. That’s it with this boy, I can’t have him. Anytime he comes back to the house”…all these things that he did, he lived, he made money with his witchcraft. “All that I do, this young boy comes to the house and all is scrambled, scrambled, I can’t do anything.” He kicked me out, and that’s the reason I ended up on the streets.
I didn’t know then, I did not know the Lamb of God and the power of his resurrection. [ ] I didn’t know that, but my uncle the devil, the witchdoctor who practiced Satan, knew that there was something more potent following me to his house. Oh, halleluia! That there was something more important, more potent, following me to his house, than his witchcraft. Now if you have found that Jesus Christ, you indeed have found it all, you found it all. And it is in that name that we are excited to do our work in Ghana, where the Minister of Agriculture comes and tells us and mocks at us, and says, “You can’t raise tilapia here. You’re crazy. You can’t raise tilapia in the Northern Region where the land is parched. It’s parched. You’re crazy. This your studies you did in Toronto at University of Toronto—eh. You don’t know anything. You can’t raise fish there.” But now, those same people from the government of Ghana fisheries, they come to us to learn how to grow tilapia. Halleluia! They came one time and asked, “How are you doing this? How did you get water here?” I said, “You know the veins, the water veins that run beneath? They are made by my God, and he knows where to direct our drills to it.” We show them.
They develop seed for their farmers, and their percentage, everything was about 40% germination ratio. Ours? Ours is 98, 98% germination ratio. The Ministry of Agriculture come to us and say, “How are you getting 98% of your crops?” We said, “They’re Jesus’ crops!” Amen? It’s Jesus’ crops, they have to do better!
Oh my people, we have found the Messiah! We have found the Lamb, and we continue to testify, continue to testify of his work. We go into Muslim communities, and we take them captive for the Lord, and we build a church. And Bob has mentioned, one of our dearest churches is in Tinga, and it is a predominantly Islamic community. And we went there to proclaim the gospel, and people thought we would be chased away, but the Lord assured Joshua, “Wherever you put your foot on, I will give it to you.” And we went to Tinga town, we saturated that Islamic village, town, that the chief imam of the town was so compelled and moved, and he donated a cow to us for our church activities. We have a big church now planted there, Muslims coming to know the Messiah, the Anointed One.
Oh Bloomington, we are glad we partnered and worked with you, but the work, the work is not what excites me, but the Lamb, the Lamb, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world—he continues to prove to us, day by day in Africa, that he is the One that we should follow. Let him be the One that you are going to follow, regardless of what has been thrown at you, regardless of the sophisticated minds, some of which are being used by the evil one. Pave the way! Lead! For if we know him the way Philip and Andrew have known him, we cannot help but also call out, call out and say, “We have found him, come and see!” So that professors in universities, you can talk to your colleague professors and say, “Come and see!” Students, you can talk to your colleague students and say, “Come and see! I have found the Messiah!” Those of you working in restaurants, call your colleagues in the restaurant and speak with integrity, speak with a firmness, that you have found Christ. “Come and see!” Housewives, call your colleagues: “Come and see, we’ve found the Christ!” Lawyers, talk to your colleagues, that you have found the par excellence. Oh, amen! My heart is so full this morning, I could explode standing here. See, we have the opportunity, we have the privileges, and we have the best—we should be able. The hard hardliners like the Ghana government that come to mock, we have the opportunity, the privilege now to tell them that we found the Messiah. That’s how our crops are 98%. You know, He makes it easy for me to talk to them. We praise the Lord that he’s been kind, that he’s alive.
Let me tell you my last story, then my time is up. That’s one thing here, in Canada and United States, it’s what I was telling Bob—you guys come in very nicely, like Africans, very nicely…you come in African time, but you want to go at Canadian, U.S. time. John and I were speaking this morning… One of my drivers, his name is Simon. He drives our cargo truck. We supply shea butter to The Body Shop, L’Oreal—some of you know Lorena Cosmetic Group. The shea butter that they use, our program, we supply it all to them, they don’t take it from any place. Simon, who drives this tractor trailer, developed a sore on his left foot just recently before I came here. I want to share this story with you. He developed a sore on his left foot, and his doctor, we got a doctor and the doctor said, “This leg, it can’t be helped.” They took him to a specialist, and they worked together, and “We can’t help you, Simon. The only way we can save your life is to amputate this leg.” And Simon came back to the project, and every morning we have devotions, we pray before we all go to our various workplaces. And we prayed at Simon, with tears, and he said, “It means I’m finished. When this, my left leg, is amputated…that’s what I use to step on that big clutch.” He said, “Dr. Mensah, that’s the leg that I use to truck all this shea, but when it’s cut off, I’m done.” Tears welled in his eyes, but he took the vehicle to a filling station, a big tractor trailer, you know that takes about two drums. And he was filling this vehicle with diesel, and a man, a man approached him, a man he’s never met before approached him–and Simon, and his situation, and the man knelt down and held the back of his leg and said, “You’re really hurt. You’re really, you’re really…the leg is green.” Big sore! It’s not a make-believe that I’m telling you, Simon is my driver. A big sore on his leg—and he looked at the man and said, “You know what…” He took the man to be a beggar. In Africa we have beggars all over the place. He thought this man was a beggar. He said, “Actually, I’m in a very difficult situation today. I don’t want you to pester me.” The man took an ointment from his pocket and put it on the back of his leg and left. And Simon went to the fuel station people and asked them, “Who is this your man, here interfering with your customers?” And they said, “We thought he’s your person, you came with him.” So they both went out to look at this man, and he was not there. The man is gone. They looked all around; they couldn’t find the man. This was Friday. Simon went home on Sunday and told his wife what has happened and the fact that Monday they will go and get his leg amputated. Well, Monday morning, I was going to go with him to get this leg cut off. But Monday morning came and I saw Simon come back and we sat at the devotion—solemn, very solemn on our face we all sat, and Simon came late. When he appeared I thought, “Oh, he’s, he’s back to work.” As we started, we wanted to pray–Simon started jumping, and jumping, and jumping, and I said, “Simon, calm down, your leg…” He took off his socks and said, “The sore is gone. Completely.” I said, “Simon, you know I have believed in miracles myself for many years, but this…” You know we looked at Simon…”Is he the same driver at all?” While we were [ ] Simon started to jump, because he [ ]. And we took him to the hospital, with the two doctors. One of them is a believer, and one of them is not. The one who is not a believer quickly ordered for the x-rays, and they brought x-rays. He looked at them, and he looked at Simon, looked at him, asking the other doctor, “Is he really the patient?” Simon said, “I am the one.” The other believer said, “The Lord, the Lord has touched you.” Amen? “The Lord has touched you.” Amen. So Simon is still using his leg to drive the vehicle. Our God is great. He’s a mighty God. Go home and serve him with excitement in your hearts. Amen.