Updated: Jan 30, 2020
When Jesus was on the earth, he taught those who followed Him to place each others needs above their own. After He was gone, they walked in it. They sold possessions to help meet the needs of others and the result was...that everyone's needs were met, and there was NO LACK among them. They continued to honor what the Lord had taught them. The result: God added new believers to be taught by them. Scripture continues to say that, "God added daily", not just one or two people, but thousands. (Acts2:40-47 and Acts 4:32-37) Jesus brought the Kingdom of Heaven within the hearts of man and they were living in it.
Today many leaders try to come up with manipulative ways to get people into their churches. Yes, I said manipulative. In fact many leaders struggle with this issue of drawing followers. With the first believers, this was not a problem because God was the one who added. The answer is simple: They were walking in what the Lord had taught them, the Lord could trust them with the care of new believers, so God added. Simple!
There’s more...they also honored God, by honoring each other. They honored each others responsibilities in the Kingdom. These responsibilities were given by the Lord Himself to help and assist in bringing each believer into maturity, which is the "very image of Christ", which is, the absolute goal of every believer. Eph 4 God NEVER leaves us alone, He always brings others to walk with us. Therefore we need each other and the gifts God has placed within us.
For many years the enemy has used us (YES, US!) to dishonor God and each other by dishonoring His ways. How? By getting us to dishonor the gifts He gave to us. Why would anyone in their right mind not like or appreciate a "gift" especially a gift from God Himself? BUT...The very gifts from the Lord that assist in bringing us into maturity and into the very likeness and image of Christ, we have pushed away and even fought against.
Let me ask you...
Do you have a problem with someone calling themselves a prophet? What about apostle? Or even a pastor? Do you yourself know that God has gifted you in one of these areas but you refrain from telling people? Do you think it's prideful? Or better yet, do you think others are prideful if they announce to others they are gifted in one of these areas? Let me ask you some questions. Do you ever need the help of an electrician or a plumber? If they arrived at your house at the same time and you asked them, "Which one of you is the plumber?" and they both looked at each other and one of them said, "Well I don't announce myself with a title, it's just too prideful."
What would you think? Sounds absurd right?
What about the local fire chief? Do the firemen have a problem addressing him as “Chief”? Do the other firemen walk in contention with him, are they jealous of his position? Do they speak evil of him behind his back because he has the title of “Chief”? Do they tear him down with their words behind his back? Do you really think the fire chief walks around saying, "I know I'm the fire chief, but I don't address myself as such. I don't want to be prideful." The obvious truth is, everyone respects and honors him and the job he does. All the firemen respect each other and they work together as a team.
Everyone has a responsibility to perform the duties for which they have chosen and/or have been assigned. Do you appreciate the local police department and those who give their lives to be put on the front line of assault. What about the local EMT's? We place a high honor on them and the work they do. We have absolutely no problem with their "vocational title". We do have a problem though in the body of Christ and it needs to be straightened out! Think about this...What we are saying is that it’s okay for the world to address themselves by the talents, vocations and giftings, but not the Body of Christ.
Have you ever really thought about why we have a problem with this "title" thing in the Kingdom of God? Truth is, the enemy has perverted (again) what God has called good. The enemy does this with everything that comes from God. In Ephesians 4:11, God calls these titles actually “gifts” and that He Himself gave them to us, the body of Christ.
Listen…if a person's identity is not clear, that person’s talent or occupation (natural and spiritual) will never be used accurately or to their fullest potential. The lack of identity renders them a complete disservice to everyone they come in contact with. They will become absolutely useless in this life. Hmmm, sounds like something the enemy would want doesn’t it? If the enemy can get us to dishonor who God says we are, He has gotten us to dishonor God and diminished His transforming power in and through our lives.
Clearly in scripture we can see God's stamp of approval on the believers in Acts2:40-47 and Acts 4:32-37 because God Himself was confirming how they were living through signs, wonders and adding souls. It was God that was adding souls, DAILY!! One of the reasons was, they honored each other and the "gifts" that God had given to assist, encourage and help them grow spiritually, as well as help them with their everyday needs. Everyone's needs were met.
Can we say this today?
The church today has gotten far away from the teachings of Jesus and it is absolutely obvious. Jesus has not changed, His teachings have not changed, the Kingdom of Heaven has not changed. So why do we feel we need to change what Jesus taught? The reality of the Kingdom of Heaven, that very Gospel (good news) Jesus taught the first apostles...the enemy has worked overtime to get us to completely abandoned and speak evil of.
Jesus had taught the first disciples day and night for years. When He could trust them to teach the truths of the Kingdom of Heaven without twisting His words...He “sent” (apostolos) them to share the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven with others. He announced His seal of approval on them. This is very clear in scripture.
Today, we see many leaders who have heard the Lord call them for a specific purpose and task, but they have abandoned sitting at the Masters feet to learn His ways first. They have not been transformed into the image of Christ and sadly they have not attained His character. These have abandoned their first love Jesus and have followed the ways of man instead..
These leaders are well aware that something is wrong, but instead of returning to seek the heart and ways of Jesus, they have come up with new teachings and call them “foundational truth” in an attempt to fix the problem. Head’s up...it’s not working. We are still not seeing the Kingdom of Heaven among us. Why were miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles? Why was the fear of God among them? Why were all the believers needs met, with no lack among them? Why did God add daily those who were to be saved?
Because they honored Jesus teachings and they taught others exactly what Jesus had taught them. They honored one another and the gifts the Lord had given them. They esteemed others higher than themselves and their possessions, they shared with everyone else. They believed what God had given them, was not their own, but to be shared to meet the needs of all.
This my friends is a clear portrait of Heaven. This is what Jesus brought to us. This is how we all should be living, in the Kingdom of Heaven here with us and in us on the earth. It is time to stop letting the enemy of our souls lie to us. It is time to stop letting him use us to put each other down, discredit and dishonor each other. It is time to know who we are, stand up boldly and announce that we love who God has made us to be, and love others for who God says they are and their God given responsibilities for the perfecting of the saints.
It is time for honor and clear Kingdom identity to come back into God's House. To honor God for who He has made us to be, and honor others with open hearts, receiving them and allowing them to do what God has called them to do and supporting them in the process. We need the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We need the realtors, plumbers, electricians and painters...AND we need them all identified clearly!
We need those that have more experience in life than we do? We need them to pour into us all that they know. Where would we be without fathers and mothers pouring into the lives of their children,. Where would we be without doctors, policemen and aunts and uncles? It sure is nice when we need someone else to help us fix our fence, electric problems, plumbing problems or cut our hair. God made us to need each other! He made us to be a part of each others lives here and in Heaven.
We require the assistance of others in both natural and spiritual things to help us grow, to help mature us. We all have a spiritual destiny and that is to become one with each other in the unity of the faith, and grow up into very image and likeness of Christ. Eph 4:7-16 If we remain immature in the things of God, we will never fulfill the call of God on our lives, NOR will we be perfected as His Bride.
The gifts that God has given us in the apostle, prophet evangelist, pastor and teacher all require a hefty price to pay to actually walk in these gifts. They require death to self and the complete laying down of their lives continually for others. We are not gifted for ourselves, but for others. Those who have paid the price to walk in these gifts and be used by God to assist others should be honored as they have walked where many have not, and many more are not willing.
Yes, I realize that the enemy has tempted many to get prideful and abuse their gift. Many have been immature and stepped out too soon, been unclear of their identity and made a mess. It's time though, we see the enemy for who he is. He is a thief and enemy to all of us. Remember, our battle is not against others, but against Satan. It's time to rise up and put him in his place and stop allowing him to use foolish things like this dishonoring “title” thing to divide us. We must stand together in Christ.
When we love each other, it is evident that we love God. When we dishonor each other, we are dishonoring God. Without the gifts that God has given to us in full operation, we will not reach maturity in Christ and attain His very image in and through us, NOR will His bride be perfected. When we dishonor the very gifts God gave to us, we dishonor God.
Blessings and Shalom,
Zanild Tsadak Kohein