x430.......Links--Ministry Limited To Leadership

WE Believe:

1. The gifts of ministry are NOT to every one of us--but rather only for SOME people

2. "Authority = Leadership = Ministry"

3. "things must be done decently and in ORDER" We translate this to mean when we are gathered together, a "minister" who is in "authority" is the leader of the church--and the only person qualified to function in the church. We assume that "decently and in order" means the Roman church tradition of a Sunday meeting in a large building--where most of us watch the leader perform the ministry. A holy day of obligation, which is representative of the sabbath of the old testament--only the Levitical priest was allowed to serve God or do any work on the sabbath.

the Bible reveals our misconceptions--

Misconception #1.--- the gifts of ministry are NOT to every one of us--but rather only for SOME people

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (Ephesians 4:7-11, KJV).

The Bible clearly tells us by clear doctrine and by many examples, that the gifts of ministry--service to God--are given unto every one of us--are given "unto men" (mankind)-Psalm 68:18. the gifts of ministry are simply the anointing which God has given to serve His will in the earth. there is absolutely no scripture in the Bible which limits ministry only to "some" people. this misconception comes when we read Ephesians 4:11-12 out of context--

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-12, KJV).

These 2 verses put of context seem to say that these people--(apostles prophets evangelists pastors and teachers) are somehow separate from the body of Christ--somehow "over" the body of Christ--in that it is they who are supposed to "perfect" us. But when we read in context, we see it clearly says that these are gifts--not people who rule over others. These gifts are a description of what the body of Christ is supposed to look like. If we were to read all of the book of Ephesians we will see that it is in the process of describing the glorious body of Christ. It is God who gave these gifts-- different gifts which are in all of us (see also Romans 12 and 1Corinthains 12--which repeat the same doctrine) and it is the gift which is meant to perfect (equip) us and build us up (edify) and work in service (work the ministry) to God and His purposes in the earth. They are NOT titles of rulership which people earn, they are simple anointings which we are ALL to function in, in order to serve God.


Misconception # 2. "Authority = Leadership = Ministry"

This misconception comes from our experience in church. There is absolutely no scripture in the Bible which gives "authority" specifically to the leadership of the church. There is no scripture which gives special authority to only "some" Christians to rule over the rest.

There is no scripture which says that amongst ourselves, we ought to have a person--a leader--who exercises authority over the rest, and if we submit to that authority, it will benefit us. Yet this is one of the central functioning principles of the organized church and is believed by a large number of Christians!

the word of God says exactly the opposite----!

25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. (Luke 22:25-26, KJV).

25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (Matthew 20:25-26, KJV).

42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:42-45, KJV).

Ministry is specifically NOT authority over others.

Leadership amongst Christians is specifically NOT authority over others.

Jesus in these verses, describes 2 kingdoms. On of these kingdoms specifically describes our concept of what "church" is. Most Christians would say that "church" is a place where there is "ministry" which is the leadership of the church, and this ministry "has authority" over the rest of us. Most believe that if we "submit" to this authority it will benefit us...

"........they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors."

It is beneficial to have this leadership exercise it's authority upon us--it is beneficial to us. This is one of the central operating principals which we believe "church" to consist of.

YET THIS IS THE EXACT DESCRIPTION OF THE WRONG KINGDOM!

Jesus says--

"....they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: "

(What if--we built the church upon this principle--would not then Christ be the true Head of the church??)


But--doesn't the Bible say to "submit to authority?--No it does not!

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17, KJV).

This verse tells us to obey (listen to) "them that have the rule over you" This phrase is simply one word in the Greek--"hegeomai"--which simply means "leadership". If we only know Hebrews 13:17, without knowing Luke 22:26, we will have in our churches something which even the world does not accept--undefined rule. When we read Hebrews 13:17 out of context, we are lead by our experience that "rule" translates to authority--

"Authority = Leadership"--Now we have found the root of our incorrect equation.

But Jesus Himself specifically defines "rule" amongst Christians. He specifically defines "hegeomai"--in Luke 22:26--

26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief ("hegeomai"), as he that doth serve.

The word translated "chief" above is the Greek "hegeomai". This is Jesus' definition of what Christian leadership is--"service". And as we have seen this servanthood is specifically NOT authority over others.

When Jesus says "he that is great let him be as the younger" He was speaking against all Jewish tradition. the people of that day put great authority in elders--in people who were older. Younger people were considered to be ignorant and openly disrespected for their age. Again He is saying NOT to confuse leadership with authority as the world does--not to operate the church in this way. It is specifically a New Testament change--it is specifically the operational principle of the New Covenant--how do we know this?

29 And I appoint ("diatithemi") unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; (Luke 22:29, KJV).

The words which Jesus uses here--to "appoint a kingdom" are the Greek word "diatithemi" which means to "surrender over the covenant". This is the only time in the entire Bible in which Jesus speaks this word. This word is used elsewhere in the book of Hebrews where it speaks of the New Covenant and how that Jesus was the "testator" of this covenant. So the kingdom principle which Jesus has described here is meant to be the central operating principle of the New Covenant church.

Isn't it amazing that most Christians would pick the wrong kingdom principle?


3. "things must be done decently and in ORDER" We translate this to mean---when we are gathered together, a "minister" who is in "authority" and is the leader of the church--and the only person qualified to function in the church. We assume that "decently and in order" means the Roman church tradition of a Sunday meeting in a large building--where most of us watch the leader perform the ministry.

This is another big misconception in most churches. We have taken a few familiar words out of context and used them to establish the operation of the wrong church again. Our assumptions that "decently and in order" means exactly what our experience is in church attendance. A Sunday meeting, under the "authority" of the ministry"--we "sit under" this "authority" and receive the benefit of this "authority".

{But wait a minute--I go to church on Sunday and get blessed when I do this! Why? the Bible tells us why--if we were to read and understand Hebrews 13:17 fully and in context--

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17, KJV).

We have already seen that the first part of this verse really says that we should "listen" to those who "serve" us and cooperate ("submit")--but if we read the rest of this verse it tell us exactly what we are to be "served"--as they that must give account, the word "account" here is the Greek "logos" meaning the word of God. What Hebrews 13;17 really says is quite important for us to understand. It really says that if we listen to (obey) and cooperate (submit) to those who serve us the word of God, it will benefit us. It is the word of God which comes through the person serving (ministering) to us that benefits us--that will "profit" us. It is NOT the "authority" of that person which benefits (remember how Jesus told us that this was the WRONG kingdom?)--so now we understand why we are benefited when we go to church on Sunday morning--it is the word of God coming through to us that benefits--it is NOT "sitting under the authority" of the leaders that benefits. You see, man has always come along and taken credit for what God does--and if we believe that it is authority which benefits us--we are not recognizing the truth which the Bible clearly tells us. Yet we are not receiving all the benefit that the Bible describes, when we operate the church by the "one-way-street" of tradition---watch--}

So just what is "decently and in ORDER" ? We have already seen that it is not sitting under proper authority--right? WELL, why don't we read these words in context. they are found in 1Corinthains chapter 14...

40 Let all things be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40, KJV).

This is the last verse in chapter 14. The best way to find out what the Bible says "decently and in order" is, would be to read for yourself chapter 14--and better yet--start at 1Corinthians chapter 12. These 3 chapters describe what the functioning of the church ought to look like. It describes the gifts of ministry and the gifts of the Holy Spirit--in action--moving though the entire body of Christ.

There is a "rule" which is found in this chapters--one which is certainly not stressed in our ideas of what "church" ought to look like. We could call it the "rule of everyone of you"--

26* ¶ How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1Corinthains 14:26)

This verse--along with the rest of these chapters--tell us plainly that "everyone"--should have the right to sing or teach or prophecy or speak the revelation the tongue or the interpretation that he or she has. All as the Spirit of God directs. There is no one described in these chapters who is the leader or the authority over the others.

Gods idea of "decently and in order" is the Spirit of God moving through everyone--speaking through everyone--ministering through everyone, and everyone freely released to minister (serve) outward to others.

No "offical rulership"--only the rulership of Christ the Head of the church, operating freely through ALL of His body.