| What is your sphere?|
Today most pastors try to be all things to all men. Many complain that this is foisted upon them, but the reality in so many churches is that this is by design. It is the nature of what we now call church. God has shown us that church is where two or three or ten or 100 are gathered together in His name. The number is not important, what is important is God’s definition of what church is and how it should operate.
Now we know that the Body of Christ is just that, it is a body. It was God Himself who uses this analogy and if we are to follow Him then we have to follow what He has laid down. “For the body is not one member but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If all the body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If all hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where would be the body?” (1 Cor 12:16-19)
Where is the body today brothers and sisters? Does it function as you have just read? Does your church function in the Biblical fashion or is it ” one member,” a pastor who does all the preaching, all the praying, all the exhorting all the prophesying , all the words of knowledge and so on? The truth is that this is the Catholic model and it is indeed a sick model. How can the body function if it operates as one member? In your church, are you merely a spectator? What does your participation look like? Paul says ” We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the sphere which God appointed us.” ( 2 Cor 10:11)
God has appointed men and women to operate within the church in the gifts He has bestowed upon them. Any system which suppresses these gifts or simply does not allow them to function is in direct conflict with that which God has ordained. And so, rather than measure themselves against the Word of God, modern pastors ‘measure themselves by themselves.’ This is not wise and God will not participate in any system that so directly violates His commands and instructions.........bro Frank
| 2013/11/20 12:17|
| Re: What is your sphere?|
I agree. So what do we do?
| 2013/11/20 13:39||Profile|
| Re: |
Amen, bro Frank!
In an orchestra do we just hear the tuba?
Jesus Christ is the Conductor of His orchestra and He knows just when to have the violin, piano or flute play.
They all give different but very important sounds. We need them all.
The tuba cannot sound like the flute no matter how hard it tries.
Sadly, in most congregations, Jesus Christ is not the host and not even the special guest. He is relegated to the back row and many times, not even let into the congregation of believers.
Paul taught new disciples how to look to Jesus, hold fast to Jesus. He taught the centrality and headship of Christ and he demonstrated it.
What do we do?
We demonstrate in our lives that our Conductor is alive and that we are looking to Him for direction.
Apollus, I think it is difficult for people who have grown up in a religious setting as a "benchwarmer" to understand what it means to be engaged and participating in the life of the Church.
I think this is why I love the apostle Paul, so much. With all his religious knowledge, he was able to take a back seat and always encouraged the church to be the church. Paul did not hog the show. He let the hand be the hand, the foot be the foot, and knowing the relationship between the Head and the Body, he had much trepidation when it came to interferring with what ONLY the HEAD could do.
It's ghastly when you see a knee trying to be the HEAD, or a toe trying to be the HEAD. I'm usually pretty embarrassed for them. When the body is malfunctioning or has morphed into something hideous, no one at all is seeing the TRUE HEAD. And isn't that what we all want? To see Jesus, the Life of Christ in His Body?
| 2013/11/20 15:22|
| Re: |
"I think this is why I love the apostle Paul, so much. With all his religious knowledge, he was able to take a back seat and always encouraged the church to be the church. Paul did not hog the show. He let the hand be the hand, the foot be the foot, and knowing the relationship between the Head and the Body, he had much trepidation when it came to interferring with what ONLY the HEAD could do. "
Amen bro, I agree entirely with that. Now, as to the question of what to do. I believe that God is raising up a generation of saints, remnant saints who are ready to make the break and so many already have. We start by gathering together with like-minded saints in fellowship..........bro Frank
| 2013/11/20 17:55|
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Yes, you do have to make a break from anything that does not exalt and glorify Jesus Christ, and most religious organizations fit that bill because they are focused on men and not the Lord. I know that is very offensive to those who gather around men and unto men, but Jesus did not come to win a popularity contest.
The religious system persecuted Him for offending them and drawing disciples away from them and the kingdom that they built, and they do the same to His remnant down through the centuries. It should not surprise anyone that the "children of the flesh" will always persecute the "children of the Spirit".
| 2013/11/21 8:46|
| Re: What is your sphere?|
Frank - This reminds me something you wrote a while back, it was one of your relations in Wales, saw a vision if I remember correctly and you posted it in three parts. It is the second part that you posted that this reminds me of what you written here.
Control that's what I saw while in the church, now don't get me wrong I did grow within the church, but there was a ceiling a ceiling placed over us in the church by a man.
After all the church being invited closer to the front. So you run to the front and sit on the second row, I was full of zeal and wanted to soak up every part of the message and take it all in. Only in a rage to be told to go further back as I hadn't been in the church long enough to sit there. Strange what upset him? Wasn't that what he wanted?
For example he wanted you to win souls, so you go out and win souls, but he reacts strangely and he stops others in the church from supporting you in there discipleship.. Why? because I had to learn. But learn what, should he have not been trying to nurture that gift rather than crush it.
These are just a couple of things that went on and I saw as long as he wasn't 'threatened' in any way you would get on fine. There was room for the Spirit to operate in others as long as it was under his terms they way he wanted.
You see may Pastor's will struggle when the move of God comes as some control the people, why will they struggle as God is going to raise up the people, but he will help the shepherds to.
| 2013/11/21 16:08||Profile|
| Re: |
Control seems to be a great part of the system of churches. I know that in very many Pentecostal circles that unless the testimony is in some way connected to the Pastor then it will rarely be heard from the platform becuase it does not lift him up. This only exemplifies kingdoms and thiefdoms of men. The notion of Jesus truly being preminent is something that is lost to almost all of Christendom. What a beautiful thing it is when your chief role amongs the bretheren is to come along side them and support them in what The Lord has them do. Oh it is so beautiful when a man can say from the bottom of his heart that he must decrease that The Lord may increase.
The pyramid system of authority in the churhces, rather than a plurality of leadership is truly erosive amongst the Body. He has His parts and He has aportioned gifts and leadership. That is why I believe The Lord is raising up a remnant generation, hungry for His presence, hungry for His preminence and hungry for the organic church we read of in Scriptures........bro Frank.
| 2013/11/21 17:36|
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Music to my ears, brothers.
The reason you don't see the Body of Christ operating and functioning freely and powerfully in Christ in many congregations is because one member is trying to be all things.
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
My point exactly, Paul! "Where were the body"? It ain't no where! (excuse my eloquence).
The body is paralyzed, sitting like zombies, not knowing what their function is. How sad. Religious quadriplegics who have been rendered that way by the spirit of Control!
When Paul wrote 1 Cor 12, He really understood God's heart for His Body. He must have been in awe regarding what the Holy Spirit inspired him to write. And he wrote it while thinking of the Corinthians, no less! Now, there is an apostle of love! I know John gets that distinction but Paul stuck it out with difficult brethren in difficult circumstances and I am sure many brethren are thankful that Paul stuck with them. His testimony of love and patience echoes down through the centuries to me. Christ was truly alive and functioning in Paul. He was not functioning in Paul to be the "big shot", or draw men to him, or get rich. He really was walking as Christ walked. I cannot read any of Paul's writings and call Paul a hypocrite. He lived what he wrote.
Apollus and Colin, it is truly exciting that God is bringing healing to His Body, which has been paralyzed (by lies) for so long.
| 2013/11/21 18:01|
| Re: What is your sphere?|
That's the model I see. Really tight control even where I attend. I visited an anti baptist site once and listened to a sermon by Dan Esch. I noticed that at the end the men stood and talked and even the ladies. I like this. I remember Paul saying "By now You should all be teachers". But you can't become a teacher by listening to the minister alone. I read widely and listen to others as you do.
One of the necessities of listening to others is that many old heads have already pieced together some of the stories from the past and have the lessons to pass on. David Wilkerson was great at walking through the Bible. Zac Poonen was another. I would read the word and try to visualize the situation. Often more things would come forth. But it takes time to become a teacher. Just attending on Saturday or Sunday is not enough. One needs to be at it continually until it becomes your best friend.
I didn't mean to offend anyone about Sabbath Keeping. I have learned that all are seeking God and we are all at different levels. Some haven't mastered this or that. I don't judge. I continue to look at what Jesus said on the cross, "forgive them, they know not what they do" and that's how we should look at our brothers. We all have a lot of pride to eat as there seems to be a lot at my house. I seem to find it all the time.
James R Barnes
| 2013/11/21 22:09||Profile|
| Re: |
Well said just-in:
"Apollus, I think it is difficult for people who have grown up in a religious setting as a "benchwarmer" to understand what it means to be engaged and participating in the life of the Church. "
There sphere is the church system, they have grown into it and anything that "looks" as a contrast of what they have known is to them anything but christian. They ignore the history of how the church system developed and just excuse it away. Many feel just to comfortable in it, and in a way they want the comfort of knowing they don't have to do anything and being controlled and managed with in the system.
Obviously there are some benefits in the church system and not all of them are bad or wrong. But to ignore and close off other forms of fellowship and gathering as believers just shows that religion and structure has more control over them and that should be cause for examination in anyone.
| 2013/11/22 7:03||Profile|