Chikku Kuriakose the son of Pastor. K.P Kuriakose was called by God as a disciple of Christ to spread the Good News of Great Joy to the ends of the earth. In a legalistic Pentecostal culture which doesn’t recognize or honor Musicians and Singers unlike the time of King David or Solomon, Chikku was a God raised voice in this generation. Voices get silenced after souls depart, but Chikku’s voice still reverberates in our hearts by the extensive work of grace. His albums will continue to minister through the songs of praise he rendered with a heart of worship.
His voice: This young Royal Priest was gifted with a God breathed voice bringing glory to Christ Jesus our Lord and King. In Choral music the range of musical notes he sung falls in the category ‘Baritone’. His masculine voice overflowing with compassion portrays the Father heart of God. His voice was unique and soothing with textures pleasing to the ears. The choice of Christian songs he sang, the time and style of its delivery edified the audience. Every time he lifted Christ above all names, the Spirit of the Lord manifested to solace broken lives. If you want to console someone in sorrow, I highly recommend Chikku’s songs for that purpose.
His preparation as a warrior of faith: Before this young man visited the nations God blessed him with skills and anointing for ministry. I thank God for the love and support he received from the Firewings team of ministers and Raison Thomas, his mentor, who stood with him until the very end. Without true covering of elders no young man can come up to the national and international pulpits where Chikku stood. But from his teenage days God helped him grow mature through the hard terrains of life with financial scarcity, rejection from spiritual people and desperation caused by Cancer. However God healed him miraculously and established Chikku as a noble minister before the belittling persecutors. Years later suddenly when cancer reappeared, by faith he retaliated like a triumphant warrior singing songs of hope and victory. I remember what the Apostle Paul said: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.”– 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
The Challenges in the Ministry of a Royal Priest: The life and development of a performing singer born anywhere in the world is not so easy. And to rise up to a professional performing stage or studio circuit in India is even harder, especially in the highly opinionated and critical Christian traditions of Kerala. The chemistry of great singing is the synergy of a God given voice; breathe control, sense of rhythm and melody, selection and range of notes, microphone technique, tonality, largeness of heart and brilliance of intellect to bring out the emotion and the essence of any song alive. A good singer should be daring and adaptable to sing his unique style to compliment the sound of music. Chikku had the trademarks of a class singer. A strong lower back for a good posture is mandatory for any voice worker, but Chikku had major issues with his back and hip. A singer needs good lung power and stamina to do long performing sessions. However fragility failed to deactivate the violent inner vigour God put inside of him. In his weakness rendering a song well was a great miracle of grace.
A worship minister’s mission is to liberate worshippers from distractions by helping them focus on Christ the King of Glory. First he should make sure he himself is not a distraction nor an object of worship in front of people. With reverence and awe when the worship minister accesses the Throne of Grace to see the Lord’s face, his intercession and praise unveils his soul before God and people. If this results in a deeper communion with God, he and his listeners may receive the mercy of Christ from the Holy of Holies. Chikku did this ministry of a Priest with no sign of defeat or despair; no one knew his personal agony. Ministry was his passion and he paid a cost to do it well. He never sounded like a victim, because he did minister as a victor. Yes, in Chikku’s live stage and studio performances cancer was utterly defeated. He never gave up his hope in Christ until the last breath. To my knowledge he withdrew from singing on stage only twice because he was too tired. This is a phenomenal victory of an artist challenged by a life threatening disease. So I remember Chikku as a valiant conqueror of faith through Christ the Lord Who strengthened him.
The Historic Home coming service: His home coming service evidenced how people loved this young worshipper more than those with power, position, seniority or authority. We can make a wedding, a graduation or an ordination service look grand by inviting special guests and making stunning arrangements. Though no one is individually invited, a farewell service is where we see how God honours His beloved through what He did for the remembrance of that day. All of us will face such a day where God will expose who we are and how we have impacted lives by following Christ faithfully. Here the whole world saw how God and His Saints honoured Chikku the young warrior of faith. But insecure leaders like King Saul humiliate and abandon anointed artists like David the man after God’s own heart. Spiritual pride mixed with jealousy give rise to fault-finding experts with a spirit of Cain. Their wickedness condemns and oppresses those who are appointed to reflect the Majesty of Christ. Unfortunately in Kerala, artistic excellence and spiritual relevance of the great artists are recognized only at clichéd funeral speeches. This culture refuses to give an individual his intrinsic value as he lives but pays tribute after he is dead. Nevertheless Chikku’s farewell created a historic awakening over this sheer ignorance existing today.
Many thousands gathered wherever his body was kept even for few minutes starting from the hospital in Kochi to the place of burial in Chingavanam. Everywhere people paid their last respects and got inspired beyond words to live or die for the cause of Christ. I personally thank God for Pastor. Babu Cherian of IPC for the brilliant message he spoke in the funeral; Pastor. V A Thambi and the New India Church of God and Firewings for their involvement in his farewell. Like never before in a funeral, believers welcomed the move of the Holy Spirit shifting the atmosphere of mourning into a celebration of thanksgiving and praise. The popular figures in the Malayalam Christian Worship Ministry stood united with a flame of passion to boldly sing praises to God for Chikku their Blood brother. People from the entire Malayalam body of Christ worldwide joined live on-line with tears in their eyes. True worshippers globally experienced the presence of God sweeping them like a tidal wave during that unified adoration. Thousands heard pure Gospel and saw the power of the Message of the Cross setting souls free from the fear of death. Many people accepted Christ and received inner healing and hope, many returned to their first love for the Lord. The video presentation which showed Chikku singing caused a heart pouring Congregational worship. The funerals of the true Disciples of Christ will never be the same; it will be filled with awesome praise and worship. However I am sorry for the regular musicians of Chikku. Keyboard players like Jince, Blemin, Joemon, Bass player Saji, Drummers like Abe and Kochu Roy accompanied him day and night for the ministry. But in the funeral service no one invited them to share their hearts about their beloved friend. Such mistakes should never happen again in a musician’s funeral.
His testimony and family: Chikku witnessed how the Divine Power of Christ ended his suffering from Cancer when it appeared first. God’s grace enabled Him to fulfil the purpose of the extension of his life for partaking in the Great Commission of Christ. A few years after his healing I visited Chikku at Calicut as he went for the hip replacement surgery. Orthopaedic Surgeons of Baby Memorial Hospital meticulously studied his case and found no threat of cancer; they made sure he is healthy enough to go through a complex surgery. In the operation theater young Chikku was singing praises softly. When doctors heard it they turned off the ambient music inside the theater to hear him sing. They experienced a divine peace in the atmosphere and it complimented the success of his surgery. Yes, our God appears on the praises of His people.
Chikku really wanted to take care of his entire family and he did his best for them. He took real good care of his sister and mother. The previous day of his demise he laid hands and blessed his younger brother Ruphose to go for a ministry at Tamilnadu. And later on the funeral service itself the elders laid hands and blessed Ruphose once again to continue in the Ministry of Reconciliation. Chikku’s success was also from the godly counsel he received time to time from his humble father Pastor. K P Kuriakose.
The reflections from the life of this young hero of faith: In 2013 after seeing him losing weight in a frightening pace, I sincerely prayed for him. I asked him several times about this, but he never disclosed anything. His close mentors advised him for a check up. Gifted ministers like Sajith Kannur received revelations from God about his physical condition, yet he rejected those warnings. He firmly believed Cancer cannot take his life away until the appointed hour. Regardless of what may come he knew God is mighty to heal him a second time. Chikku had every right to believe this because Christ holds the key of death and Hades. He was unafraid; nevertheless he wanted to prevent lies spreading against him. He was right; gossipers in the spiritual world are merciless murderers. Nearly seven hours before his demise, fake news showed up saying: Chikku is no more.
Sin alienated mankind from God the Creator of life. Without His glory our flesh became subjective to decay. To regain immortality we have to believe and submit to Christ the Savior. We should inherit His eternal Kingdom by faith as we dwell in this perishable world. To fulfil our earthly responsibilities God will amply supply all our needs. But our union with Him is our supreme need. Before seeking prophets and healing ministers, we must cling on to Christ Himself first. Bond with Yeshua and believe the Word He speaks to us directly. Then we will see His glory much before our body and soul getting weak through a crisis. Because repentance is not possible in coma; we need to gain wisdom from our daily walk with God. At Gethsemane Christ confessed His faith in the power of His Father Who can do a miracle to save Him from dying. Son of God became a Man of sorrows and sweats His blood in agony, but the Father was silent. Father gave no hope for a miracle. Because Christ came to give us hope for the everlasting life through our faith in His death and resurrection. At last His sacrificial love for us destroyed the works of the spirit of fear. Christ gave Himself to die in our place to gain the forgiveness of our sins that separated us from God. For this purpose the Lamb of God was slain for all on the cross. The perfect love brings perfect submission to accept and do the perfect will of God.
Psalms 90:3 says: You turn man back into dust And say, “Return, O children of men”. In my experience when God called souls to return home, those who hoped in Christ to finish well yielded to the Lord’s voice adoringly. Such saints saw the Lord on the receiving end and blissfully vanished like a vapour in the wind. For them death was a peaceful passage to enter the Glory of Christ. Nevertheless the other believers who never responded to the upward pull from God rebelled against Him. Without seeking the Kingdom of God and its Supreme objective their souls were locked up with the unworthy things of this momentary world. And they fell into deep emotional mess and drowned in all kinds of adversity. Without dwelling with Christ the Hope of Glory, death became a terror for them. Paul is exhorting all of us to gain the immortal hope which never turns into a misery. 1Corinthians 15:19 says: “If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hope only in this life and that is all, then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied”. In a corporate fellowship we may experience the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a mighty way. But if our personal dilemma remains, we must individually bond more with Christ and get our answers directly from our intimate conversations with Him. When we share our private sorrows with the saints who really care, a united intercession or a healing ministry glorifying Christ may cause a miracle. But a gift of miracle is the work of God’s mercy for the praise of His glory. More than the miracle we wait for, God may have a superior purpose to accomplish. Romans 9:16 says: So then [God’s gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God’s mercy. [It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him]. So unquestionably surrender our freewill to Christ as we believe to witness the greater glory of His Lordship over us. His Grace is sufficient in our weakness. It will empower us to die daily to walk by faith in the power of His Resurrection. The true Gospel liberates us from the fear of death. Christ said: “I am the Resurrection and Life, he who believes in Me will live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this” – John 11:25-26
The lessons I learned from my dad who faced cancer: My dad [Kattachayan] was a man of faith; he survived a Cancer surgery in 1978. But cancer reappeared after six months. We had no money to go for another surgery. He quit medicines believing what the Bible said “My righteous one shall live by faith” – Hebrews 10:38. By faith in Christ he lived twenty two years with no medical treatments done until Cancer reappeared again in his body. I asked my dad three days before he departed, Papa tell me what is going on? And he said, if this is a test of faith, I will overcome now, but if this is the call to return home, I will fly! True saints have a sense of urgency in their soul to return home when God calls. When our eyes met the last time, we both knew we will not see again on earth. Someone said, “Children walk to school, they run back home”. We must acknowledge and confess that we are strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth. Paul the Citizen of Heaven once wrote, “For me to live is Christ and die is gain” –Philippians 1:21. God never did a second miracle to heal my dad, but He changed our lives miraculously. My dad’s absence exposed the lack of God’s presence in our family. And that spiritual barrenness shattered me. From fifteen years of backsliding, I returned to the Lord with full-time commitment in ministry. My mother decided to follow Christ and got baptised in water.
More than miracles embrace the Divine purpose of the God of Wonders. Our faith should rest in God’s purpose, or else our faith may cause unrest. Many have faith in faith, but true faith in Christ the Author and Finisher of faith make us gain immortality. Christ is the Alpha and the Omega; life extension is possible by faith in Him. Therefore if it is not the God appointed hour to go home, believe He will enable you to overcome now. And if this is the day to return, then joyfully surrender our spirit to Christ and be ready to fly home. But to know the hour clearly, abide in Christ inseparably. Whatever is the hour, remember, Christ is the God of eternity. He created the planets and the galaxies. He sustains them all until today. God remains faithful even when we are not; He cares for us and all our loved ones.
My last visit to Chikku and his sweet goodbye: Two weeks before Chikku left us all, he openly confessed to his friends about his change of heart regarding his spiritual life and attitude. He honestly mentioned the need for spending time alone with God more than becoming too busy in the ministry. He explained how he renewed his mind according to the life changing realizations Christ gave him personally before he passed away. Now to the rest of us on earth the Lord has a question deep from His heart. “Do you love me more than these”. Let the unquenchable passion of Christ burning in us help us show complete obedience of faith in our journey. He is able to make us stand blameless before His Majesty.
In October 2014 at Wellcare Hospital Kochi, near his bed I sang thanksgiving and praise to God for his life and ministry. I felt, that was my final fellowship moments with him unless God does a miracle again. At last I saw him less than a minute in his brand new house. We spoke nothing but I remember his blissful eyes saying goodbye to my soul. Later one week before he passed away I saw a dream. In that with an electrifying smile he said, “Vijucha, I am going home”. During his last days Chikku had a vision from Christ the Owner of his soul. From what I gathered, I feel the Lord graciously said, “Come up here my beloved”. As I conclude his great story here, his body is resting on earth. And his spirit has returned to Christ Who has bought him with His Blood to crown his head with the life eternal. I hope to see my Blood brother someday when the Lord says, “Come up here” to me. Until then may I humbly follow the Spirit of Christ in every breath I take and every step I make. May the Grace of the soon coming Messiah prosper our souls without a spot. Let His Spirit cause us to conquer this world and celebrate eternity in the Kingdom of Light. Amen! –www.vjtraven.com