Mon, 6 April 2009
APOSTLE TALK - Future News Now!
DIE TO MINISTRY: EXPERIENCE RESURRECTION
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DIE TO MINISTRY: EXPERIENCE RESURRECTION
MUSIC / INTRO
Unfed sheep will scatter. Today we see many large churches and synagogues. Does this mean the sheep are being fed, or does it mean they are being fed, but possibly NOT being fed nutritious food, just junk spiritual food. Lots of restaurants cater to large crowds (especially on Sundays) but does that mean the food is nutritious? Large churches and mega churches are NOT necessarily a sign of productive ministry in the eyes of the LORD.
To be a productive church (in the eyes of the LORD) the shepherd / leader must be obedient: He / she must attempt to create, or to form, a POWER church: a real New Testament church. Programs and cell groups mean nothing if people are not being instructed in the ministry precepts of Jesus. WHAT are those precepts? Look at what Jesus instructed His followers to do in Mark 3:14-15:
Preach and teach;
Heal the sick; and
Cast out demons.
Also, look at the Great Commission:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
What are some of the things Jesus taught and commanded us? Here are a few: love, prayer, faith, healing, discipleship, casting out demons, forgiveness, binding and loosing, etc.
Pastors that do NOT minister healing are cheating the flock over which God has placed them. Why do they do this? Usually because they do NOT believe in healing. Oh, they will tell you, "I believe Jesus can heal," or, "we have had people healed," but the TRUTH is they do NOT know HOW to minister healing so they dismiss it. That is, they either do NOT believe Jesus WILL heal, or they do NOT have the faith to pray or believe for healing. The same applies to MIRACLES: real miracles!
God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the shepherds of the flock of God: “The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost.”
Many times pastors look upon their parishioners as their flock, when in reality they are the flock of God; also, there are many outside who are in the flock of God but can NOT receive ministry. For example, they may need healing (including some in the flock of parishioners) but do NOT receive healing because it is NOT being ministered, or served, in the church local to them.
Healing ministry should be a part of all church worship services, or at least one service a week designated for healing (and the people informed of the time and location.) But what about people who are sick, diseased, bound, or afflicted who come to ANY service in need of healing, deliverance, or prayer?
The same applies to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and instruction concerning it.
Let me ask you some questions:
When - or how often - does your church pray for sick people and lay hands on them? How often are people anointed with oil (either in the church or in their homes)?
When - or how often - are people being sent out (commissioned / ordained) to the ministry with the laying on of hands?
When - or how often - are people baptized in the Holy Spirit (and speak in tongues) for the first time in your church or ministry.
A person said to me the other day, "Healing is for salvation: to bring people to Christ." I answered them, "Healing is part of salvation; PART of the WHOLENESS of Christ. So is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, deliverance, prosperity, ministry, and Kingdom responsibility." Healing is for the sick to be healed. One miracle healing can do more than 25 years of preaching.
Salvation is wholeness. The Hebrew word commonly used for salvation in the Old Testament is Yeshua (the name of Jesus) and means: deliverance, health, victory, prosperity, welfare. In the New Testament it is the Greek word soteria and means rescue or safety (physically or morally), deliver, health, save. If pastors / shepherds were doing their job, they will include and offer ALL of salvation. Then mass numbers would come to Christ. The church would be the church.
Just recently a person told me, “I believe in keeping the ramp down low to make it easy for people to come to Christ.” This is foolishness, because Jesus made it possible for there to be an infinite number of approaches to Him. God said, “Whosoever.” However, having the ramp down low, or whatever angle, must include repentance. When a person comes to Christ, there should be a CHANGE in their lifestyle: in any lifestyle, no matter what ramp they took to Jesus. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
In years past I attended churches where there were numbers of people coming to Christ, where healings, miracles, baptisms in the Spirit, deliverances, and great teachings were always present. I taught at a graduate theological seminary where one Thursday morning prayer meeting (in the founding church) so many miracles happened that 77 people were baptized in water. Thousands were turned away at the doors at special meetings.
I saw a lady devastated with cancer, get up out of her wheel chair in church healed, and her slip (her under garment) fell off because she was so skinny.
I saw a man with his head locked into his wheel chair (because part of his spinal column was removed) - his nurse took him to church - get up out of his wheel chair completely healed and walk after the nurse unlocked his head. These are only a couple of the MANY healings and miracles I could write about.
I have seen blind eyes opened, deaf ears unstopped, people walking out of wheel chairs, demons cast out: all part of the NORMAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH MINISTRY.
There are many good expositors today, but NOT many good teachers. WHY? Because only PART of salvation (wholeness) is taught. It has been my experience in the past that whenever the WHOLENESS of Christ is preached, the teaching will be dynamic, edifying, prophetic, and gift accompanied. A truly gifted teacher (one who has the ministry gift of teaching) will see and experience the gifts of the Spirit (which include healing and prophecy and tongues) accompany the ministry of the Word. The Holy Spirit will always defer to the Word of God where there is faith and expectancy to go along with it. And, usually faith and expectancy will go along with the Word, because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Many churches see people coming to Christ with lots of Bible studies and home prayer and cell groups; however, MANY MORE could be saved if the pastors / shepherds would have the boldness, the faith, and the compassion to minister the WHOLENESS of Christ.
Let me say to you today, my brother or sister in Christ, if you are a pastor / shepherd and you are NOT providing your people with the WHOLENESS of Christ, the complete Good News, when you stand before Jesus, He will ask you, “Why did you cheat my people?”
It's like a party of blind men, none of which will tell the others they are blind. They all see nothing, but act as though they do see. No healing service offered for the sick or afflicted, no ministry related to the importance of praying in tongues, no deliverance for the mentally, physically or spiritually oppressed (or possessed). And many times justified by theology that teaches these things stopped happening after the early church. In other words, the real Jesus is partially paralyzed. He is NOT the same today as He was, even though the scripture teaches: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Just as the lawyers and Pharisees rejected the counsel of God not receiving the baptism of John, likewise many pastors / shepherds and trained theologians today reject the counsel of God by not receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, justifying their actions, or inactions, on the overt basis of theology or their church doctrine, or the covert basis of pride and fear of persecution. “They are (as Jesus described) like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.”
And the sad thing is that many of these pastors / shepherds once operated in the gifts of the Spirit, and have turned their backs on them for reasons that have earned them the sterility and impotency they are experiencing. “Pleasers of men, but not of God.”
Look at the New Testament Church in the Book of Acts. Look at your church (whether you are the pastor / shepherd or a member of the congregation). If you are the pastor / shepherd, you can at least do your part: preach and teach WHAT Jesus told you to; and minister the WHOLENESS of Christ. At least do your part: TRY!
WARNING: You will have to pay the price of being ostracized, persecuted, and maligned by people and the devil. However, you will be BLESSED by the LORD.
CHALLENGE: Take some time alone in prayer and fasting, and make a commitment to minister the WHOLENESS of Jesus Christ. He is willing to help you in this consecration. If you do NOT have the faith to believe in His wholeness, or if you do NOT believe Jesus Christ is the same today as He was in the past, ask Him to forgive you, and then ask Him to help your unbelief.
Podcast time: 15 minutes, 22 seconds (with music)
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