Monday, September 07, 2009

A Minister, A Ministry, Titles Men Give Themselves

Adj.1.ministrant - ministrant-, to serve, from minister, servant; giving practical help to; "a ministering angel"; "the angels ministrant sang"; "the attending physician"

Most people today have been programmed to accept the nicolaitan (clergy) religious system as a replacement for true christianity. The problem with that is that even when they read the bible today, it is of little use to them because they have a "programmed response" to the words written there. Lets look at one example of this with the word "minister." Do you know what a "minister" is? The world would have you believe its some guy who dresses fancy and stands above you on a raised platform to speak the words of God down to you. When you look up the word "minister" what it actually means is servant.

This is an important point that we can't gloss over. Today we have people running around calling themselves "ministers" which in turn evokes a programmed response in the heads of people of "oh, he must be special...he must be close to God" when the reality from the bible is, a minister is a servant. Think about the difference. When someone calls themselves a "minister" today, there's a certain amount of glory they expect to come with the title, but why do we hear of nobody walking around calling themselves a lowly servant? Nobody wants to call themselves or think of themselves as a "servant" because the "servant" in this world is looked down upon. There is no glory in this world for anyone who is called a "servant," but that is precisely what we are called to be. We are lowly servants. If you consider yourself a "minister" then understand what you really are is a servant and the next time someone asks you what you do tell them you are a servant, or better yet a slave. A slave? Yep, another "no glory for me" term from the bible that is shunned and looked down upon in this world:

Romans 6:18
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness

1 Timothy 4:6
... If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine

When you look this word "minister" up in a greek lexicon, it gets even less glorious:
διακονος -diakonos- dee-ak'-on-os: an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); a servant. The term "minister" here means an "attendant" or someone like a waiter at a table or someone else who does menial duties. You read that? Menial duties, no fancy title... we are menial, nobody, servants and slaves.

A great example of what we are looking at is here:

John 13:12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

I think we all understand that there is nothing glorious about getting down on our knees and washing each others feet but that is exactly what we are called to by our Lord and master. We do not "lord ourselves over" our brothers as todays clergy through their pastoral/nicolaitan system have done. We do not stand on raised platforms and speak down to the brothers, we are on our knees. How can a slave/servant who is on his knees washing the dirt off a brothers feet speak down to another brother? Answer? Its physically impossible, he can't.

People may wonder why all the fuss about names and titles? What's the big deal? We know that names and titles ARE a big deal which is why men have created for themselves titles and names that honor themselves. Names and titles are also associated with pride and pride was the original sin. Who cares about what men think about names and titles though, what does our God think about names and titles? Do you think that he thinks it is important what wedo and do not call ourselves?

If names were not important to our God, then why do we read this?

Phil 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

and this

Psalm 138:2 I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

and most importantly this:

Matt 23:5Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteriesa wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’
8But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.b 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

There's everything summed up nice and neat in one passage of scripture. We are not to call the clergy members of this world by any honorary titles. Why? We are all brothers and we have ONE MASTER. That one master is not a man, its Jesus the Son of God. Men have created religious systems with religious titles (like "pastor") that we are not to use to honor any man. Go through the book of timothy using a literal translation of the bible and see that there is no mention of "pastor" or "bishop" or "deacon" or any other of today's manmade titles. You will see manmade titles in the KJV and most other translations but they use those man glorifying titles to their own shame. Pull up a parallel bible that compares the KJV to a literal translation like YLT and you will see the truth. Here's just one example, look at how radically different the translations are:

1 Timothy 3:1 (KJV) This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1 Timothy 3:1 (YLT) Stedfast is the word: If any one the oversight doth long for, a right work he desireth;

Radically different ^^^

We are humble servants and slaves of one another and our Lord Jesus. How much error and sin has been introduced into the church through the manmade religious systems and titles we see all around us today? How much pride is bound up in these men who speak down to you from raised platforms every Sun-day with their manmade titles (pastor..correct translation is poimen=shepherd-Eph 4:6). How much leverage has the enemy gained over the church because men have chosen their own ways based on manmade tradition instead of the word of God?

There was a time when the errors committed by men in perpetuating the idolatrous nicolaitan system and pride filled titles was more excusable than it is today. Why you ask? Because with increased knowledge comes increases responsibility. Today we have something called "the internet" which gives men the knowledge of the world with the touch of a button. I can do one 3 second search and get results of one sentence of scripture in 15 different bible version and one more click gives me each word in that sentence in Greek or Hebrew. Like I said, we who have such tools are without excuse. What "pastor" today does not use the internet? They all do. So why do they perpetuate a babylonian system that has no foundation in the bible? They do it because they revere and respect the traditions of men.

Men love titles and honor but our bible tells us that the way of truth is not that way. The flesh loves to exalt itself, the Word and the Spirit call us to humility in everything to INCLUDE the titles we use for ourselves. For this reason you have never seen the word "ministry" used on this blog to refer to what is done here. Why? I am a brother and a servant, a nobody. We need to be very careful how we view ourselves. We need to be careful about praise we accept when it comes from men. Who cares about praise from men that comes to us one day and turns to criticism the next day? I will gladly accept praise from God though which we must work for and strive for until we stand before him.

Why write about this today? The writing here for 4 or so months has been about preparing ourselves to meet our Lord. Part of our preparation is detoxifying ourselves from the world and its ways. We are told to be separate from the world which includes things calling themselves "christian" which are not:

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belialb? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”17Therefore come out from them and be separate,says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing,and I will receive you.”d 18“I will be a Father to you,and you will be my sons and daughters,says the Lord Almighty.”

The Lord is my witness when I tell you that I have been in many of these manmade buildings that are called "churches" in this world and I have sense more darkness than light. When our spirit senses the darkness, what should we do? Well, what does the word of God say?

what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Therefore come out from them and be separate,says the Lord.

The last "church" I attended, the only reason I went in the doors the last time was because I had volunteered as an usher and I did not want to break my promise for that last time. During the entire "service" my stomach was turning like I had a fist in my gut letting me know "this is not it" as in, not the "house of God."

The Lord used to dwell in the ark of the covenant but these days he lives in jars of clay, that and me. Wherever we go, that's where the Lord is. Pretty awesome to think about really. The writing here today is not to condemn you or any other individual, but to encourage you to right thinking in accordance with the Word of God. We are to purify ourselves. The Lord is coming back for a spotless holy bride. Anything that would hinder our walk with the Lord must be done away with, and that includes manmade religious systems, pride, ego, titles and anything else that gets in our way.

one last point and then I'm done.

Probably one of the most important take aways from all this is that we must remain humble to be in fellowship with our God. People who walk around in life puffed up with pride for whatever reason are actively opposed by our God and that is not a good thing for someone who is striving to walk with God. Pride was the original sin and it is alive and well in todays world. We must take a hard look at ourselves and see ourselves as the humble servants and slaves that we are. We can title ourselves as brother, sister, servant and slave without fear that we are puffing ourselves up with pride. Have you ever heard that saying "the devil is in the details?" Well our God lives in the details as well. There are no little things, the smallest things are really the big things. Let us watch our lives and behavior carefully that we do not hinder our walk with the great God we serve:

1 Peter 5:5
... All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

James 4:6
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

So let us walk in humility toward each other and our God. With this in mind I can safely say I am not a "minister", and never will be. Also, I do not have a "ministry." I am a brother though, here to serve and as an obedient slave do what our master commands me to do. There is no glory in any of this for me because even after doing everything I have been told to do, I am still just an unworthy servant who is doing his duty. We must adjust our thinking to what we really are, unworthy servants and slaves:

Luke 17:10
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say,'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"

Will that kind of thinking assist us in walking in humility to other people and the Lord? I think so. Grace and peace