About Founder History
This paper on the Precepts of St. M. Devadas is an attempt to know more about the teachings of St. M. Devadas who hailed from Andhra Pradesh and 1lived upto the age of 120 years as per popular belief . Eventhough he lead a simple life his devotion and his teachings continue to inspire many people in leading them towards our Saviour Jesus Christ. Before a detailed study on the precepts of St. M. Devadas it is more appropriate to know briefly about the life of this great man of God.
St. M. Devadas never tried to proclaim about himself. He attributed all the praise and honor to his Master the Lord Jesus Christ. He never wrote any biographical works concerning his spiritual achievements and never allowed anyone to write about them. All the information written about him in this paper is the material gathered from his followers who narrated their experiences with this great servant of God. He completely relied on Lord Jesus and did not accumulate any amount of wealth nor sought any honor for himself. This brief life history of this selfless great man is written for the glory and honor of Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Life of St. M. Devadas:
The name ‘Devadas’ itself gives us a great insight into the life of St. M. Devadas. The letter ‘M’ is his surname which stands for Mungamuri. It is a practise for the people of Andhra Pradesh to have surnames before their names. With regard to St. M. Devadas his ancestors could have come form Mungamuru which is a hamlet near the city of Rajahmundry. Further, his name Devadas is a combination of two telugu words ‘Deva’ and ‘Das’. ‘Deva’ means God and ‘Das’ means servant. Hence, his name means servant of God.
His Birth and Childhood:
St. M. Devadas was born to devout couple. In his writings he stated that his father Jonah as was a Preacher and his mother Satyavathamma was a devout and prayerful lady. From his childhood he had the zeal to join his father and mother in their daily prayers. He received the gift of revelation i.e. the gift of talking and learning from God in his childhood itself. When he was six years old he attended a Preacher’s conference in that conference one English missionary asked him to pray by making him stand on a table to enable everyone to see him . Then he prayed “Lord let me be like you when you are in my age.” Later at the age of twelve he wrote a hymn which was included later in the Andhra Christian Hymnal and later became a humming song in every Christian family. St. M. Devadas studied upto 8th standard under the patronage of the Lutheran missionaries.
His early life:
After his upper primary education St. M. Devadas joined the profession of teaching. He was very proficient in English language and is also said to have written a book on English grammar. He was also a good translator. Hence, he was appointed as a Warden in the school cum boarding run by missionary aid. He used to administer the hostel very efficiently. He was thrift and frugal in his spending returned the balance amount of his salary to his authorities. It astonished the missionary authorities who appreciated his life of faith. Whenever there was a scarcity of food materials in the hostel he used to assemble all his wards for prayer. Even before they finished praying food used to be supplied to them miraculously by some means or the other. Thus he was an able warden who not only disciplined the students but also taught them the concept of faith so as to contribute to their spiritual growth.
Later, St. M. Devadas was entrusted with the responsibility of caring for the T.B. patients There he used to pray for the diseased and preached the gospel to them. Because of his prayers and preaching many patients witnessed miraculous healing. He used to serve the patients upto 10 P.M.. and later went to a nearby hill to pray and have fellowship with the Lord and returned at 4 A.M.. to resume his responsibilities in the Sanitorium.
St. M. Devadas along with his responsibilities at the Sanitorium also preached the word of Lord on Sundays worship Services. In addition to preaching in Sunday Sermons he also used to attend the melas (religious festivals) organized by Hindus in several places to spread the gospel to them. Once there was strong opposition from a Hindu community. Then to silence their opposition he went to them and preached a few words about Lord Jesus Christ. To manifest the power of his gospel he showed them an egg and enquired whether their faith could transform that egg into a chick instantly. On hearing his words they looked at him scornfully and failed in their attempts. Then when St. M. Devadas prayed in the name of Lord Jesus Christ and said Amen immediately a chick came out of the egg. On witnessing this miracle they acknowledged the power of the Lord. Thus, by the powerful demonstration of the gospel through he could reach even to he non-Christians, and served as a preacher in the Lutheran mission by actively involving himself in the church ministry. He also served as a faculty member in the Theological Seminary.
Founding of The Bible Mission:
On 31st of January 1938 while he was meditating in his room in Luthergiri which is nearby Rajahmundry there appeared to him the golden words in Telugu ‘THE BIBLE MISSION.’ These words were written by the Lord Himself in the mid air in broad daylight. On seeing this vision St. M. Devadas hesitated in himself to leave his mother church ( that is the Lutheran mission.) Later, in the month of February the same year the Lord showed him the writing ‘Leave Lutheran mission.’ In the month of March the Lord again showed him the words ‘Come out as the prince of an army.’ Eventhough St. M. Devadas was disinclined to leave Lutheran Mission, he had to do so in obedience to the commandments of the Lord. After resigning from the Lutheran Mission he said “I am leaving my ‘mother mission’ to join my father’s mission (that is the Bible Mission). On 5th of May 1938 he finally established The Bible Mission which emerged to be one of the largest of the Indigenous Missions.
Spiritual Life of St. M. Devadas:
St. Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians in the 12th Chapter gives a list of all the spiritual gifts and virtues. St. M. Devadas possessed all these gifts and virtues. He was endowed with the gifts of healing, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues etc. He even had the experience of receiving the communion directly from the Lord. This event happened on the 24th of April 1938 when he went to attend the communion service in the Lutheran Church. As the local pastor declined to serve the Lord’s communion St. M. Devadas stayed behind in the pews and prayed. Later the Lord Himself appeared to him and served the communion to him i.e. His own blood and body which he named as “Internal Holy Communion.”
Dr. Nina Ottman a Scottish lady doctor established a prayer fellowship in Berhampur, Orissa State. St. M. Devadas used to attend this prayer fellowship . The members of this prayer group experienced the fellowship of Heavenly Saints, Holy angels and the Lord Himself. One day the Lord revealed to the members of the prayer group that He will ordain St. M. Devadas on a particular day. On the revealed day the Triune God laid His hands on St. M. Devadas and ordained him. As a result of this he was considered as an ordained minister. Later St. M. Devadas ordained his disciple Mr. Vijayaratnam.
Later life of St. M. Devadas:
The later life of St. M. Devadas was a culmination of great suffering and pain. He experienced great afflictions in his body. He wrote many pamphlets, songs, poems on being suffered and afflicted for Christ. Until today these literary works continue to provide great solace to those who are undergoing severe sufferings. He used to suffer the whole night like a wounded bird and in the morning after bathing used to join in prayers like a bridegroom. He personified affliction and suffering and spoke to suffering saying “O Suffering! Suffering! you had already come, whether invited or uninvited. So do not leave me until you give the reward that was specially brought for me. Finally he said to his disciples “I am leaving this furnace of suffering and whoever wishes to attain glory can enter this furnace.
St. M. Devadas has the experience of seeing the Lord Jesus and hearing his word. He wished that everyone should establish this relationship with Jesus, and so he started many prayer fellowships in many places. He having seen the establishment of a number of divine fellowships to commune with God, felt glad and said that “since the prayer fellowships to see and talk to God have come . I can take leave.”
On the 9th of February 1960 he summoned his followers and asked them to find out what the Lord would do to him on that particular day. But they failed to find it out from the Lord. At about 7 P.M.. the same day St. M. Devadas left this world to join the presence of his Master.
Precepts of St. M. Devadas:
- Baptism: The water baptism given by the pastor is the baptism for the spiritual life. This baptism is performed in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. God is our Father and we are his children. This birth relationship is established by baptism. In the Bible it is simply mentioned as baptism but no clear method of baptizing is specified. The pastor using water without any measure baptizes him that repents and believes in Christ in the Name of the Trinity. Therefore baptism wither by immersion or by sprinkling of water is correct. In the Gospel of Matthew 28th Chapter verse 19, our Lord commands to baptize in the name of the father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Hence the baptism either by immersion or by sprinkling is accepted. If a person is baptized once, no matter when he received it or by whom it is performed, in which way it is performed, in which denomination it is performed is baptism. A person baptized in the name of Trinity should not be baptized again. The apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:5 writes ‘one Lord, one Faith, one baptism.’ Hence baptism is one.
- Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Through water baptism, one will get membership in a Church. But through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, one will get heavenly membership. This baptism of the Holy spirit is given by Lord Jesus Christ. It is the chief instrument for the development of the spiritual life and also for the spread of the gospel. In John 3:5 it is written ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ Hence, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is vital in the life of every Christian.
- Washing of the Feet: Our Lord washed the foot of His disciples before the last supper administered the last supper to His disciples as written in John 13:1-5. In John 13:15 Jesus said “for I have given you an example, that ye should do as I had done to you.” He had set an example and commanded His disciples to follow. In obedience to this word pastors should wash the feet of the believer before administering communion to him for the first time.
- The Lord’s Supper: By observing the Lord’s Supper the believer will receive the body and blood of Christ inwardly. It is desirable to observe the Lord’s supper as often as possible. Some sick people will be healed of their diseases if they observe the Lord’s supper. (I Cor 11: 23-34).
- Word of God: The Holy Bible was written by the inspiration of God. It is the base of Christianity. This book reveals the mind of God. God may reveal some points through creation, the conscience, divine revelation, good deeds and through troubles. In addition to the written word. When we show the word of God to Satan he will become dumb. Our Lord when He was tempted by Satan on the Mount rebuked Satan by quoting the scriptures. (Matthew 4th Chapter).
- Tithes: God commanded the Jews to offer a tenth portion of their income in the temple. The Lord said to prophet Malachi that if they offered tithes they will prosper (Mal 3:10). Apostle Paul also mentioned that the Macedonians offered beyond their power. Hence, every believer should sincerely contribute their tithes to the church and if possible try to offer amounts in excess of the tithes.
- Wearing of Jewellery: Regarding wearing of Jewellery in the Old Testament it is written that Rebecca adorned herself with precious jewellery, in the time of Moses also the Lord commanded that the Israelites should borrow precious jewels form the Egyptians and adorn their women with them. In the new Testament our Lord says in Mark 9: 43-47 “if thine hand offend thee cut it off….” Hence whatever could offend can and should be removed. The Bride in New Jerusalem will be adorned with ornaments. They are ornaments of glory. To the Bride in this world ornaments are not forbidden. Adorning with indecent jewellery is not admissable.
On faith and Healing:
- Divine Healing: Divine Healing means healing experienced through the prayers of faith without the use of medicine. God has put the healing powers in herbs and plants. Hence, it is not wrong to use medicines. But it is better to get healing through prayer of faith.
- Leading a life based on faith: To believe that salvation is available only through Jesus Christ, its nourishment only available through Jesus Christ, and to believe that all the necessary things for physical and spiritual life are available with Christ is Faith. In Philippians 4:19 it is written that ‘God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ In Matthew 10:10 it is written our Lord says ‘that the workmen is worthy of his meat.
- Casting of devils: Lord Jesus Christ commanded His disciples in Matt 10:8 to cast out devils and has given his disciples the power to do so. Even today the Lord is giving this gift to his believers to rebuke devils and cast them away. (Some people do not believe in the existence of devils. The devils like this kind of false notion.)
Prayer and Meditation:
- Waiting upon the Lord: Every believer should practise the habit of waiting upon the Lord for an hour everyday. Distinction should be made between prayer and waiting upon the Lord. After we pray we should wait for sometime in His presence so that the Lord may respond to our Prayers Hence, this practise of waiting upon the Lord should be observed by all the believers.
- God’s Presence: After finding a convenient time and place and having cleanliness of heart, body and clothes if we gather together, sing a song, read the word of God one by one, conduct prayers according to prayer steps and if we question the Lord about our doubts and inquiries the Lord will appear and speak to us and will answer all our questions.
- At one time God will appear and speak.
- Sometimes, He will send His angels.
- He may send the spirit of the Heavenly saints.
- He may send the spirit of a saint on the earth.
- He may send the spirits of the ungodly people of this world.
- He may send the spirit of ungodly people who were dead.
- God will send whomsoever we request. They will appear to us, talk to us and give replies to our queries.
- He may also allow a demon to appear to us. After the demon has gone, He will comfort us saying that we should not believe the word of the demon and not fear.
Even if we possess all the riches, fame, education etc. nothing can be equalled to the privilege of waiting upon the Lord. Because of meditation all our privileges will prosper.
- a) Revelation by vision: In the revelations by vision everything may appear to believers. The places such as the earth, the heaven, the hell, upper air region and all things in them may appear in due time. This is called vision. We will feel happy if God , angels and the glory of God appear to us. We also must feel happy if things such as filthy places, horrible places and dangerous places etc. appear to us for these thongs are there so let them appear to us. Ref: Isa Chapter 6; Num 12:28; Acts 9:27; Eph 3:3; Acts 10:3,4; Mt 17:3; Acts 9:12; 16:9-10.
- b) Revelation by voice: In this revelation the words of our Lord and the words of the Holy people will be heard. It reminds of the words that the Lord had told in John 10:27 “My sheep will hear my voice.”
- c) Revelation by writing: In this revelation the message or the words that were written in the air will appear. Sometimes these words may appear like the printed letters. It was written in the I Chronicles that God had shown to David the way of construction of the temple through writing. Sometimes handwriting also will be seen. Sometimes a cardboard will appear from heaven and someone will write on it and show to us. We can read and write them down on our note books. (Exo 31:18; I Chronicles 28:19; Dan 5:5; Jn 8:6.
- d) Vision by dreams: The angel of the appeared to Joseph in a dream and informed he matter. Likewise our Lord would appear to the believer and speak to him. If the things that are seen in our daily lives appear in dreams it cannot be called as a revelation. The revelation in dreams indeed is a divine revelation. (Exo 37:7-10; Num12:6; I Kin 3:5: Mt. 1:20; 2:12,13; 27:19.).
- e) Vision by thought (perception): It is also one of the methods of divine revelation. It was recorded in Acts 15:28,29 ‘For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us…’
- f) Vision by knowledge and wisdom: this is the understanding power given by God’s knowledge and wisdom. Was it not through wisdom that King Solomon had judged the harlots? (I Kin 3:11,12). Invention of latest machines, steamers, aeroplanes, computers etc are the result of knowledge. God by His universal love is bestowing this knowledge to the unbelievers also. This is not spiritual wisdom. God gives this spiritual wisdom to the believers only. It was recorded in the Bible that knowledge and wisdom are God’s gifts. (Acts 6:10 ; I Cor 1:6 ; 12:8).
- g) Vision by the word of God: After praying when we search the Bible carefully using our knowledge duly, we will get proper word for our prayers. Luke 4:17,18. If searched with ignorance and folly proper word cannot be found. To illustrate, a Christian prayed the Lord to show from His word what he had to do. After praying he opened the Bible and found the words ‘Judas committed suicide.’ It did not seem good to him. So he opened the Bible again. Now the sentence which he came across was ‘Go and do likewise.’ Ashamed of this he did not open the Bible again. This is the ignorant and foolish type of devotion. There is no knowledge in it.
Note on Visions:
- a) Some people may have any of the revelations cited above. Some may have two or three. And some may possess all of them. The dangerous thing is that when the evil spirit appears, some will misunderstand it as if the Lord had appeared. When the Lord appears, some will misunderstand that it is a demon. When the Lord had appeared on the sea, the disciples thought that it was a demon. So we must think carefully and properly. Paul writes that ‘Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.’ (II Cor 11:14).
- b) The believer should be away from bad visions and demons. When visions are not understood, pray for the revelation of their meanings.
- c) If the words ‘you has prayed but it has not been fulfilled’ are told by others or by your own mind or by a demon and even if their words however sweet they may be should not be believed. The written word only should be believed only then we can be safe.
Speaking in Heavenly tongue: This is a gift of the Holy Spirit to a believer. Hence, this cannot be forbidden. Interpretation of this heavenly tongue is also a gift. Those who are destined to go to heave will learn this tongue. No other gift was written in the Bible as explicitly as the gift of Heavenly tongue. (I Cor 12:10; 13:1; 14:2, 39,40; Mark 16:17).
Prophecy: By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophets of the Bible period prophesied to the people about the things of present, past and the future. They recorded their prophecies in their writings. God is bestowing this gift of prophecy on some people nowadays also. Interpretation of the written prophecies with inspiration of the Holy Spirit is another kind of gift bestowed on some by God. God is giving this gift to some in these days also. Some people say that today there are no such prophets as there were during the Bible period. They think that this gift has been stopped at the end of the Bible period but it is not true. God continues to bestow this gift nowadays also. (I Cor 12:10; 14:39,40; I Peter 1:10,11).
Communion with the saints: In the apostles creed, it is mentioned that we believe in the communion with the saints. Saints are those who are saints in this world and he saints in Heaven. It is easier to have communion with the saints who are in Heaven. They will come to us when we pray. In this context we recall the events of the past which read about Moses and Elijah descending on the Mount of Transfiguration; the event of the holy people coming on the day of the death of our Lord and the event of coming of two men on the day of the Ascension are some examples regarding the communion of the saints.
The Second coming of Christ and the Later events after the Second coming:
Depiction of the Church as the Bride: Among the saved people those who are selected by the Lord according to their state of heart belong to this group called the bride. Of them those who are alive until the Lord comes will be caught up in the air with life, those who believe in the second coming and who are ready will be caught up in the clouds with glorious bodies along with the Lord when He comes. Those who died in Christ will also rise and come. Both groups together form a single group called the Bride. (Rev 22:20; Heb 12:23).
The Second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ: The signs that were to take place before the second coming of the Lord have taken place. So we believe that He will come in our life time. We should firmly believe that He is coming soon. What is the use of believing of the events in Christ’s life such as His birth, His death on the cross, his resurrection and His ascension without believing the last and final event that is the second coming. (I Thes 4:13-18; Matt 24th Chapter).
The later events after the second coming: After the ascension of the bride (the congregation of the believers who are selected by the Lord) the rest of the people who are left behind will undergo seven years of Tribulation. This tribulation will be caused by the enemy of Christ the anti- Christ. During that period many people will get repentance. (Rev 6:1-17; Mark 13:19; Zephanaiah 1:14-18).
Lord Jesus Christ will come form heaven and make war against anti-Christ at Armageddon and will cast him and his companion namely the false prophet and demons into the lake of fire. And Jesus Christ will bind Satan for one thousand years in a bottomless pit or in the abyss. (Rev 16:12-15; 19:19,20; Zech 14th Chapter).
Later the Lord Jesus Christ will reign on earth peacefully. During this period gospel will be preached completely to the whole world (Rev 20:4-6; 19:15-16; 5:10). The Lord will put His throne on the earth to judge the people who heard the gospel during the period of thousand years and He will hear their decisions. This is called ‘the judgement of the living nations’ and otherwise called the judgement which separates the sheep and the goats.’
When the Lord looses Satan from the bottomless pit, He will come on the earth and will collect several nations as an army and will make war against the Lord. Fire which comes from heaven will devour that army of Satan. Then the Lord will cast Satan into the lake of fire (Rev 20:7-10). Later the Last judgement, the Lord will judgeall people from the time of Adam. In this judgement some will ask “Lord have we not prophesied in Your Name?” (Rev 20:11-15; Ecc 12:14; Daniel 2:27-29). The spirits of those who died in Christ will go to Paradise. This place is also a part of heaven. This was the place about which the Lord had told on to one of the thieves while He was crucified. 16:22; 23:43; II Cor 12:14; Rev 2:7). The spirits of those who died without repentance will be in Hades. St. Peter in his epistles writes about Christ going to this place and preaching there. Because God is Almighty He can save those that have repented, even after their death also. In Psalms 139:8 it was written that ‘If I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there …even there shall thy hand lead me.’ This point can be known form the book ‘Heavenly visions’ written by Sadhu Sundar Singh. (Ps 9:17; 139:8; Amos 9:2; I Sam 2:6; I Peter 3:20; 4:6; Phill 2:9-11; Isa 13:14). Heavenly Congregation of Prayer: In this congregation prayers will be made for the sake of earth. It will be very delightful to know more about this prayer group. (Rev 4:6; Is 6:3; Eze 1st chapter).
The bride will dwell in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2). Those believers who are not included in the group called ‘the Bride’ will go to another part of Heaven which is called ‘heaven for the saved.’ (Rev 7:1-14; 20:4; 14:3). The believers during the period of vials (held by angels) will remain on earth forever. After the thousand year reign, this earth will be a part of heaven.’ (Rev 21:1; II Peter 3:13).
The above are some of the particulars the Bible Mission preaches.