Write The Vision
I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!” Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. Psalm 116:1-7
Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. Habakkuk 2:2
What amazes me about many false pastors and preachers is they write their own rules and doctrines and then are surprised that God doesn’t believe in them or follow them? As a result many shall find themselves in places they never expected to be for God gives grace to the humble and contends with the proud. And many of them are sure not humble! They don’t seem to understand the purpose of ministry as demonstrated in the life of Jesus. The Word of God has given us God’s vision or definition concerning ‘the purpose of ministry’ by the five fold ministries in the church of Jesus. And it’s very clear:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16
Apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are not called to do their own thing, to build their super ministry, but to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Yes, God is concerned that we call come to the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. To do or give any less to God’s people is to rob them of their birthright and inheritance for which apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers will give account on the Day of Judgment.
‘The mission of ministry’ is to be like Jesus who in love ministered to everybody without exception and without being a respecter of person. Jesus Christ, who was no different from you or I, except He was filled with the Spirit from birth and anointed with the Spirit for ministry at the river Jordan, by the power of the Spirit, was able to meet whatever need the people had including casting out demons, healing sick bodies and miraculously feeding five thousand men, not including women and children.
It’s to be noted that Jesus started and finished each day with prayer, even long hours of prayer. And to God the heart of man, including that of the person who ministered, was more important than outward appearance or character. As a matter of fact Jesus never taught about excellence in ministry. He just ministered to the people! He had a servant heart and came to minister and not to be ministered too. He taught that faith in God will do the impossible, with God nothing is impossible, and according to your faith it will be done for you. He also taught on the importance of heeding His words:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:21-27
A pastor, who had visited heaven and talked with Jesus there, told the real story of a man who died and went to heaven, expecting Jesus to welcome him at the gates of heaven. He waited there three days before an angel told him that it is pointless for him to wait there since Jesus won’t see him. He was puzzled because he had done a great work for Jesus. He had initiated a Christian businessmen fellowship that encircled around the globe. There are chapters in every city and town in almost every country. There are meetings, magazines for Christian testimonies, souls were saved – surely he had done a great work for God. But the angel asked him one question. When he started the work, did he really get the idea from God or was it from himself? He pondered for a long time before he admitted that it was his own idea. The angel showed him his book of records and he was shocked at seeing the consequences of his actions. “You mean I did that?” was all he could utter repeatedly. His work was actually drawing many Christians from their true callings when they jumped on the bandwagon he started.
To do things such as prophesying in Jesus name, casting out demons in Jesus name, and doing many wonders in Jesus name not in God’s timing and will is to practice lawlessness for which apostle, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers shall not enter the kingdom?’ Also Jesus Christ, the epitome of love, did not have much patience or was kind and benevolent to the religions and political leaders of His day. He called King Herod who wanted him murdered a fox. The bible records:
On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.” And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ “Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! Luke 13:31-34
There are real consequences in life for the things that we do or don’t do. Dr. Paul Dhinakaran relayed about one of these consequences:
Once a woman suffered severely owing to some illness. A Pastor requested my father (Bro. D.G.S. Dhinakaran) to offer personal prayers for her. My father visited this woman’s house and prayed fervently for her. The Lord revealed the reason for her illness. At once my father looked at the woman and said, “Sister, you don’t have to suffer like this anymore. The Bible says in Matthew 6:14, ‘For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.’ Do you have any brothers?” That woman responded saying, “Yes I do have brothers.” Then my father continued saying, “Dear sister! You have not followed the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. You have been unfairly hoarding the possessions and land documents of your dear brothers. They are suffering greatly and are terribly in want of money. Please handover all their documents and make them happy. Surely God will heal you and make you happy too.” That woman resented this statement because she did not want to give up the possessions of her brothers that were under her control because she craved for worldly honour, respect and power. Therefore, suffering with that illness she passed away.
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may cover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26
It’s a fact that Jesus Christ our example, friend and Lord, did not shy away from any contentious public fight with the religious ones or politicians. He didn’t hold back on what He thought of them. He called Herod a fox! Scriptures record:
Luke 13:31 On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32 And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ 33 Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem. 34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ”
Jesus the epitome of love and character bad mouthed people. He called them all kinds of names including fools, hypocrites, murderers, serpents, brood of vipers, liars, blind guides, sons of hell, etc. He told them they would not escape the condemnation of hell (matthew 23:15, 33, luke 11:24-25, 23:38-31) and they didn’t!
And Jesus the epitome of love and character didn’t go around blessing people with words. He didn’t bless the religious and political leaders of his day but cursed them with ‘woe to you’ which doesn’t mean something good is going to happen to you especially when spoken by God incarnate.
But when it came to the poor and needy Jesus attitude and approach to such as these was completely different. The bible says of Jesus ‘A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; And in His name Gentiles will trust’ (Matthew 12:20-21). He demonstrated His love for them by His miracle deeds. He healed the blind and cleansed the lepers. He was and is very kind and compassionate towards those who are poor and needy and need a miracle. When he saw a bereaving widow whose only son had died, he had compassion and brought the son back to life and presented him to his mother (Luke 7:12-15). When He saw a great multitude, He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick (Matthew 9:36, 14:14). When the blind men asked for healing, He had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him (Matthew 20:30-34).
The Word of God tells us in Isaiah 11:1-5 that Jesus was totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, direct, help and anoint Him, as well as to do the miracles. The power of the Lord was present to heal all (Luke 4:18, 5:17). Everyone who came to Jesus was healed by Him! He had a perfect track record in the area of healing. He unlike others never made an excuse why some were not healed. He didn’t collect the names of people who were healed to show them off or to build a mass mailing list, or see and use them as usable commodities as some Christian ministries do? Jesus’ anointing was unlimited or without measure for the purposes of healing and delivering all that came to Him. And we can all have the same anointing for all that belong to Jesus belongs to the Father, and what belong to the Father belongs to Jesus and what belongs to Jesus belongs to us (John 16; 14-15)? And this includes Paul, Apollos and others. God’s word is unchanging:
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.(1 Corinthians 3:5-15)
It’s to be noted that ministry is not to facilitate the vision of the house and its evangelist or pastor. Ministry is not to get rich off the sheep. Ministry is not to purse a secret hidden agenda for prominence, fortune and fame like Judas who betrayed Jesus for his greed (Matthew 26:24, Luke 6; 16, Luke 22:3). Yes Judas healed the sick, cast out devils and fellowshipped with Jesus and also stole money from the treasurer and was a betrayer and traitor! Unlike others even of our day, Jesus did not just teach or preach but He did real works such as cast out devils, heal the sick, raise the dead, cause cripples to walk, and rebuked religious Pharisees who didn’t do such things! What Jesus lacked in any area of His life He made up for it by the power of the anointing. Prayer, knowledge of the Word of God and the anointing were the only things Jesus needed to minister to the poor, hurting and needy people. And He did a very successful job!
Because the bible teaches that seedtime and harvest shall not cease (Genesis 8:22) and what we give shall be measure back to us (Matthew 7:22, 23:32), those who are in the ministry must sow the Word of God in the lives of others and do practical works such as opening the eyes of the blind and healing the cripples like Jesus, Philip, Barnabas and Paul did. The bible records:
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:5-8
Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. Acts 15:12
Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Acts 19:11-12
Yes, what God has done for one minister of the gospel He will do for another? He will work with them and confirm the word through the accompanying signs.
Jesus was neither blind nor stupid about the truth that not all will be saved. He told a new disciple to let the dead bury the dead and he was to follow Him. He purposely spoke in parables so that all would not be converted (Matthew 13:14-15). He did not appear to his murderers because He didn’t want them to be saved but to reap what they had sown. But Jesus explained in private all things to His disciples and gave them miracles like a net breaking boats sinking load of fish when they had fished all night and caught nothing or a gold coin from the mouth of a fish for Peter to pay the taxes when Peter foolishly said Jesus paid taxes. Jesus healed and delivered and anointed all His disciples and they lived in divine health and divine prosperity. He also gave them the Baptism of the Spirit and the anointing and boldness. God’s word is unchanging:
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, “by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:29-33
Although God inhabits the praises of His people, Jesus never conducted a mass prayer and praise meeting for the multitude? I wonder why this was so? Jesus never taught on Church structure or leadership – rather He warned to beware of false prophets and religious leaders? Jesus never said He would send pastors and preachers and the Greek version of the bible to be our teacher? Rather He stressed that the Helper, Guide, Counselor, He would send in His name would lead them into all truth and teach them all things, bring back to their memory all that He had said, and they were to trust the Holy Spirit completely just like He did! He also told us to do what He had commanded us to do? God’s word is unchanging:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20