x457.......Wanting Luke 4:18
"The Spirit of the Lord is
upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the
poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach
deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable
year of the Lord."
(Luke 4:18-19, KJV).
This verse of the Bible spells out Jesus' ministry--it spells out exactly how He operated and functioned in His ministry.
Jesus brought the Gospel--He healed the sick--He brought deliverance to those in need--And He "set at liberty" (the Greek "apostello" to "send"--to "release freely").
When Jesus met people He desired to do these thing for people--it was the way He served God--it was His ministry. When Jesus met a sick person He prayed for their healing--When Jesus met someone captured by the devil--He prayed for their deliverance---and when He had healed and delivered and taught the Gospel to a group of people--He desired to "set them at liberty"--He desired to release them to freely serve God.
Now think of you and your brothers and sister in Christ. When we meet someone who is not saved--we have a desire--God inside of us moves us--we want to tell them the Gospel which can save them and set them free--and we do this (but here are some of us who have a greater desire and ability to do this than others--this is absolutely correct since we each have certain gifts and not all the gifts that Jesus Himself had--as His body in the earth). The same applies to so many of us when we see someone who is sick--we desire to pray for their healing--and we often do--and they are often healed (by the way--healing and deliverance--just like salvation --are reliant upon the person who receives the word of healing or deliverance or salvation accepting it with faith). Again, when many of us see people who need deliverance--perhaps from drugs or alcohol--deliverance from demonic activity in their lives--we desire to pray for them--to see them delivered from their problems--and we often do pray and they are often delivered from their addictions and oppressions. And again--when many of us see the poor--those in need--those who are homeless--we desire to see them fed and clothed and cared for--and we often do these things to help them--and it is God inside of us who desires to do these things.
Now hold it right here--think of some other Christian brother or sister, who ,unfortunately does not attend a church which believes in healing. There are many Christian churches whose leadrship teaches that the healing that Jesus did in the past is just that--for the past and NOT for today. When one of those brothers or sister sees a sick person--they do not pray for them--since their leadership has taught them NOT to pray for the sick--that Jesus does not heal anymore--so they loose their desire to see this part of Jesus' ministry carried on. The same situation applies toward the deliverance ministry--if a church group is unaware of this ministry--if they do not believe that it is necessary for us to pray for deliverance--or if they believe that the casting out of the devil was for "the previous dispensation of time"--they simply will not pray of deliverance--and once again this part of Jesus' ministry does not continue in the earth today.
Now, let's go the final step--Jesus, at the very beginning of His ministry--finds some common people and tells them that they will become "fishers of men". Jesus spends much of His time and effort and teaching on making apostles. Jesus spends much of His earthly ministry instructing other people and releasing other people. He releases many many people in 3 years of ministry. Certainly, "the 12"--but also the 70--who are named apostles--but also literally thousands are "released" (the Greek "apoullo" usually translated as "send away") for example after the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus "sends away" the crowds--the Greek word used there is "release". Jesus released thousands of people --in fact it is reasonable to say that He traveled to all parts of Israel (since His ministry was specifically toward Israel) and released everyone who heard and believed Him. Jesus desired to "set at liberty"--every bit as much as He desired to heal and deliver and save.
But now the question is this--Do we feel the same way?
We as Christians certainly feel as though we want to bring the Gospel to those who need it--and we certainly feel the need to pray for the sick--and to pray for deliverance.--But, when we see another Christian--do we really have the Godly desire inside of us to see them released to their ministry? Do we really have the desire to see them serve God fully--in their gifts and anointing? Do we make apostles in our churches today? Where are the apostles?
The fact is that there are no apostles--and we have no desire to see others released to serve God freely. Why? Because we do not accept the fullness of Jesus ministry (nor do we follow after the example which is set for us by the New Testament church--which followed exactly after the same ministry as Jesus did--spreading the Gospel--healing the sick--casting to the devil--and releasing apostles--allowing everyone to serve God quickly and effectively.)
Oh, we have a million excuses. "in our day and age a minister needs training" the church in the Bible was "starting the chruch"--we don't need as many ministers as they did".--We are the end-times church--and in the end times apparently the church will be built by the leaders who can get on television and preach to the world--yipes!!! all the excuses we have. they are all just that. the fact is that we operate in a corrupted church system. Our entire concept of church operation depends on one man being in charge--"having the rule"--and it all depends on the concept that most of the people cannot serve God--and are only qualified to give to the leadership--and they have the right --somehow--to spend the tithe they collect on whatever they please. These concepts come to us directly from the Christian church which operated for over 1,000 years in Europe during what is known as the Dark Ages. It was a time of kings who had absolute--God given authority--to rule their subjects (words which are familiar to Christians since much of what we base our ministerial operations upon, come from a Bible which was translated for a king of this era!)
So money--and tradition--and our own selfishness and weakness stand in the way of us completing Jesus' ministry. Our tradition--and the way we build the church (mostly based on Old Testament ideas--we continually build a temple to God--when the NT church had no such goal--rather to build the invisible kingdom of God through the people who were the church)--all our traditions and concept --most of which go back to the dark ages--all stand in the way of us desiring to see one another serve God fully.
So this is why we have jealousy and back-biting within the church. This is why we have ungodly systems within the church--in fact perhaps a more ungodly system than we would accept in the world! This is why we have "undefined rule" in the church--we believe that God put in place rulers how have absolute power over us to do what they will. This is why we have hundreds of denominations and non-denominations--they are all still "nations" little groups of people who are in disarray--all centered around our misconceptions of leadership and government and ministry within the church. Each defining "rule" by man's authority, rather than by Christ's authority.
One of the "great mysteries" that many "scholars" find in the Bible--is why there is apparently no "clear-cut" governmental system within the New Testament. They completely miss the point--this is just what God wants! The NT bible states that "Christ is the head of the chruch"--and that we are all to have commonness and love to bind us together--not laws and rules--and definetly NOT the rule of man--definitely NOT for us to exercise authority one over another amongst ourselves......
"And he said unto them, The kings of the
Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority
upon them are called benefactors. 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).
"No government" is the right government in the church--at east no government of man. If we are all equals, then God can rule. And if God ruled--and "ministry" did not mean "the right to rule" then, we would understand and have it in our hearts to desire to see other Christians released to serve God fully in their unique gifts and anointings.
We would begin to see the fullness of Jesus' ministry return to the earth--restored to it's place of operation---within the church. We would desire to see and encourage and pray for other Christian brothers and sisters--that they may be released to use their gifts to serve God freely. We would understand the importance of releasing people quickly--there is no such thing as "seniority" with God for He is no respecter of persons--when a brand new person--newly saved walked into the church--we would quickly want to instruct this persons to the point where they could quickly begin to serve God. If we had the simple and direct ministries that Jesus operated in (Gospel witnessing--praying for the sick--deliverance---and feeding the poor) it would be easy for anyone to quickly walk right in and serve God. (instead we have repetitive format which bogs all of us down in ritual--and makes many complacent and jealous!--how many Christians take on the "ministry" of judging newcomers and the other people in the church--usually on their attendance--dress-code--etc--yipes what a waste!!)
Jesus ministry will return to the earth--in churches--true "bodies of Christ" which will do His ministry again--spread the Gospel--heal the sick--bring deliverance--feed the poor--and release other to other same---make apostles!
Do we really "want" all of Luke 4:18? It has taken the church hundreds of years of restoration to want the Gospel to be free--and more time for healing and deliverance to return to the church (although not to many churches even today!)--But when will we want all of Luke 4:18? When will we want all of Jesus" ministry to return to the earth--in all of us?