New King James Version (NKJV)
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Beloved Let Us Love … Rightly Discerning the Body
Because of Abrahm’s Godly wisdom he was able to rightly discern Melchizedek, the king of Salem, as someone he should honor. Melchizedek came to Abrahm presenting to him bread and wine. (Sounds like our lord’s communion.) Abrahm gave Melchizedek a tithe from the bounty they won in battle, for reason they both joined together. Like Abraham of the bible, we need to discern the mysteries of God (the hidden spiritual significance) of those whom are sent to us, and give honor to them. For they are meant to extend the essence of who we are beyond where we could have (otherwise) gone. The Church needs to move in this revelation. Melchizedek, was the type and shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ, who offered up his body- the bread of life, and shed his blood, sealing the new covenant. Abraham recognized and gave honor to the essence of Christ in the King of Salem, in the same way we should recognize and honor Him in one another.
To often, the people that God has joined us with are hammered down to our own liking, forced in the four square box we want to receive them in, instead of embracing them in the fullness of who they are in the house of God. This kind of conduct towards His anointed vessels will eventually result in God protecting His own, and calling them out of the assembly they are being abused in. A lampstand removed. (This is God’s vessel that holds His oil of anointing, and displays His glory, and flame of revelatory enlightenment). Dishonoring God’s (Spirit filled) vessels is dishonoring GOd.
In Christ we are parts to a whole.
Who we are may not always be understood. The hand with out the elbow is useless. These two parts alone have no similarity, or commonality with one another. They are worlds apart in likeness. Yet their relevance or use to the body is contingent upon both parts working together. Co-operation is required to each one’s own success. This is representative of two very different personality traits, and callings that would never give honor one to another, or minister to each others needs, with out revelation knowledge. Know no man after the flesh, but after the spirit …
Interesting that the elbow’s own hand cannot scratch its itch but takes the other limb of the body to do that. Even our own fellowships are limited with out the reach of others coming in to minister and assist us in like callings. This enables the body to extend its reach far beyond itself and into greater, and higher, spheres of influence.
We need revelation knowledge of some parts in order to comprehend their place in the bigger picture of God’s plan. Often we attack, or ignore, what is not understood. This is why there is dysfunction in many churches. Leadership, not discerning, nor honoring, the parts of the body of Christ whose mode of operation is largely “hidden”. If they are not an elder, usher, Sunday school teacher; or administrative, they often miss the hidden functionality of who these individuals are in Christ.
It requires careful prayer for wisdom and understanding to serve these giftings, anointings, and enablements of God. Even to equip them who are yet underdeveloped. Some of whom, have personality types that seem to marginalize them from the main social flow of the church. This is because of the unique cluster of giftings they walk in, and the personality traits that best facilitate what they are called to do. It is up to the shepherds to teach the flock how to best flow as the flock, in love and understanding, giving light to functionality, and operations, in the spirit, that are not main stream, and giving honor to them in the light of who they are. This same kind of wisdom is useful in all arenas of life where people work together in groups or teams. It is the independent tributaries that feed fresh water into rivers. Each coming from a different place, all flowing from the same mountain source into one common stream.
There has been a lot of books, talks, and studies on the personality traits of those who are in the fivefold ministry. A lot is known about the nine gifts of the Spirit and the vessels God uses to operate them. We have learned that there are those who have apostolic attributes (ability to establish and assign people to govern new works), but not necessarily sent to start new Churches. Or, those who are prophetic, but not necessarily called to stand in the office of a Prophet. Those who teach, yet are not occupying what is know as the “office of a teacher”. People who are administrators can have the gift of prophecy, or healing, yet their primary calling is administrations.
Or they have a unique pastoral calling to a certain group of people. Or, they are found within unusual settings shepherding. An inmate in prison not acknowledged as a pastor, but is being used of God in that gifting. A teacher in a high school who the staff and students go to for encouragement and advice. A co-worker who people gravitate to for guidance.
Kingdom Living Beyond Church Walls.
What many of us may not realize is that we are where we are, often times, because of our giftings, because who we are never leaves us. It is not unusual for those operating in the market place, to be shadowing as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher. The scripture says, your gift will make a way for you. If you are greatly satisfied in what you do, the chances are that you are able to freely operate in God given anointings, and abilities where you are at. If you are frustrated and unhappy it is because, where you are at, or what you are doing, stifles these things. That plays in at home, work, school, and church.
Years ago, a prominent leader in the prophetic movement prophesied over my husband and I that we would be used of God in hospitality, and in that, an apostolic work. As it turned out, one year later, the Lord brought us into the Hospitality Industry- not what we were expecting at all. We relocated three times from promotional transfers, where I certified area staff for management and trained general managers to staff their properties and run their motels. I found myself re-opening newly renovated properties, and re-establishing a fresh vision with newly trained personnel.
I can assure you that this was done in Christ and based upon the principles of His word. This kind of functionality is grossly overlooked in the body of Christ where certain anointings have been called to govern in secular economies to bridge accesses to position and wealth. Much like Joseph serving in Egypt, and Daniel of the bible. This is God’s priesthood, in positions of secular government, applying kingdom principles in the land. I asked the Lord why he would move his people out of ministry and into secular government. He said, “When the righteous are in positions of authority in the world system, there is less suffering in the earth.” This is God’s desire and will for humanity, that righteousness rules in the earth, and that no man would perish.
We had difficulty finding a church that understood this call into the secular, and its commitments, with revelation of what God was doing. Because, many Sundays were absorbed in this business our attendance in Church could not be what some thought it should be, but the House of God is beyond Sunday mornings, and our fellowship with one another should reflect that. My husband had His own occupation, but where we lived, and where we were sent was tied to this career in the hospitality industry, and his part in it was imperative for us to be successful. Both of us were “called to it” so therefore our reward, or any honor that came out of it was equally shared. We need to change how we see God’s house, for we ARE God’s house, his holy habitation, if we are married we are ordained as a pair to work as one in Him! The Lord our God in the midst of us is MIGHTY! This is kingdom living. The hand can never say to the foot, ” I have no need of you.”
Little Spoken of But Greatly Needed
The gift of helps can have many different kinds of operations but for the most part, they are reflective of the anointing they are called to help. In other words they can “carry the armor” of that anointing, which requires an understanding of it, and usually “the gift of helps” that serve those different anointings are being mentored to stand in them. As Elisha was for Elijah, or David for Saul. (Note the different conclusions these two examples teach us.)
A well establish minister may be called to “help” in a new area he/she has never operated in before because God is wanting their ministry to branch out into another realm. They find themselves serving another minister, to help them succeed in their endeavors. Holding their coat, making phone calls, preparing a meal … how many well established ministers do you think would submit to something like that? Abraham was a friend of almighty God, should he have given such honor to Melchizedek? Yet, this very mindset of being to high to serve is what holds up our growth in areas beyond our self in new arenas. Sometimes we have to step down to move back up. Sometimes we have to walk through another farmer’s field to get to undeveloped land that we are called to. Wouldn’t it make sense to help that farmer with his harvest while you pass through? Give honor to whom honor is due. The greater anointings truly are there to serve the lesser. Honor those whom come to you bursting in Holy mystery, you just may be sowing into a harvest far beyond comprehension. As Abraham did with Melchizedek.
Humble your self in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Bear ye one an others burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. (which is love)
Wisdom, discernment, and the hidden parts of the body.
The unseen realms of authority that God has given many to walk in, often can only be spiritually discerned, in the body of Christ. Unlike, natural positions in the church that are seen and readily understood just by how they play out before us. For instance there are those who operate in apostolic authority in intercessory prayer. They have the same kind of vision as an apostle for souls, and can prophetically speak into the work yet to be established, in the region it belongs because of this anointing. They are (in the spirit) sent to a specific work to pull up, and tear down; to build, and plant, spiritual strong holds in cities, territories, nations, and continents. Having jurisdictions (if you will) in the spirit over God’s spiritual work in domains unseen, as they prepare those places for God’s anointings to occupy with natural works, that result in the saving of the souls of men and women, and the establishment of new fellowships.
Sometimes it is that Apostle or Prophet called to that area, who is laboring over it in prayer, many times it is not, for often we “enter” into the spiritual work that others have labored in, in like anointings, just so no man can glory. To God belongs the glory, alone. 1 Corinthians 3:7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. Even the laborer (who stands labor ready) and enters the field at day-end shares the same reward with those who have been there from day-break. Any one making themselves available to God’s service, yet overlooked, will share their rightful place when rewards are given. Many will be astonished in that day of revealing.
Matthew 20:1-16 The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (NIV)
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.“About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Apart from Him we are nothing.
The Message 1 Corinthians 12:21
The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”: