I recognize the need for order in the body of Christ and I respect those whom God has called to be servants (ministers) to equip and mature His body (Ephesians 4:11-15). It should be obvious that God uses those servants whom He has called within the five-fold ministry gifts to help us grow into unity and perfection. However, they are not called to Lord themselves over the body, but rather to be gentle servants who exercise the fruit of the Holy Spirit in all long suffering and forgiveness. Those whom God has called and chosen in these ministerial gifts can help the body understand the truths of God as a parent helps their children prepare for life with the added years of accumulated learning they possess. The dilemma is in discerning worthy, mature and true servants of the Lord who can speak into your life and help perfect it:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these you ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:23-24).
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1).
EXAMINE THE PERSON’S SPIRIT (attitude) CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOURSELF TO THEM FOR ACCOUNTABILITY: Do they possess the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Such as: love, joy, peace, gentleness, self-control, patience, temperance, long suffering, slow to wrath and anger and quick to forgive. Are they willing to meet with you to gently answer all your questions and allow you to express your views and together accept total truth?
See also 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:4-16; 2:1-14, as this describes the qualifications of those people to whom we are to be accountable to.
Matthew 12:35-37 states, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
The Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of Ministry help develop the Bride of Jesus, in conjunction with the responsibility that each believer has to one another. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, John 16:13, Matthew 18:15-17).
We are all individually and corporately responsible
for one another and are to submit one to another
as equals in the body as is within the Trinity
where each is equal yet having different
roles and responsibilities.
I have never counseled anyone to depart from the fellowship of believers. Quite the opposite, I urge Christians who can meet with other believers to do so. Furthermore, I have never urged anyone to defy a genuine ministry of eldership nor to rebel against wise Biblical counsel or correction. 1 Peter 5:1-5 reads:
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre; but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
1 Timothy 5:1 tells us, “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren.”
There is a so-called “covering” teaching that is heretical. Some denominational and independent coverings can also be demonic and idolatrous and often lead the body away from the initial and most important covering of Jesus Christ. I trust the Word of God which calls us to separate ourselves from all that is counter to sound doctrine and teaches that we no longer need a Priest as mediator between God and man:
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).
We are also not obligated to be under the “covering” of an illuminated church board of elders when other ministries working with elders are functional within their particular fellowship. Jesus Christ alone is our Head, our Master and our Cover. Matthew 23:2-13 warns:
“…The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you,scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”
The respect which Scripture tells us to have towards those who are called as leaders is very different from the sort of servile obedience demanded by many self-appointed “pastors, apostles and prophets” today.
Today, many ministers who are tied into the business oriented church are demanding people and ministries to be under their “church covering” where one would theoretically have to submit all their thoughts and actions to a church board, elders, or other representative group. They would then decide whether one would be allowed to speak against error or teach certain truths and doctrine. Through experience, I know this could severely curtail my ministry and dilute what God has commissioned me to say. Too many church leaders today function as masters and lords and have set themselves over the body as rulers and authorities and no longer as it’s servants. The term ‘minister’ is derived from the word meaning a “servant” and pastors are called to exhibit the humblest of attitudes, not the most arrogant.
Galatians 5:22-26, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Galatians 6:1-3, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thus also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fullfill! the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
As President of World Ministries International, I act as the Senior Pastor does within a body of believers. We have elders and other leaders who serve in various roles and capacities, such as, Board of Governors, Board of Advisors and our Department Heads and Spiritual Ministry Council. I submit myself to correct Biblical counsel and correction from all our elders. I will also listen to others within the body of Christ and I am a strong proponent of Scripture’s exhortation to “come let us reason together”. I take exception to the notion that is quite popular today, which mandates that only the “local church” can provide covering and authority to the body of Christ. What is the “local church”? Furthermore, what components must a group of believers obtain to deserve such a title? The church or “ekklesia” is the common wealth of Israel made up of living stones. Is not the only prerequisites necessary to be considered a true body or group of believers is that of born again individuals who come together to celebrate and learn the ways of God within a construct of leadership who have been called by God to serve in such a way? Today we hear terms such as, “local church,” and “para-church,” and we are incorrectly taught that the former is the only true authoritative church and the latter is only for the service or support of the other. This is pure nonsense! Any fellowship of believers who come together and who meet the above criteria are as qualified to govern their affairs as any other. It is sheer arrogance, ignorance and idolatry to insist otherwise.
As mentioned, I submit to others in matters of correction, and I keep open lines of communications between myself and other ministries, pastors and churches. However, there is a big difference between working together networking in the harvest field and coming under their covering rather than that of Jesus Christ. So with this in mind, my question still stands, “What is the ‘local church’?” Are the above-mentioned characteristics not sufficient, or have other stipulations been added that a group must meet in order to be considered an authoritative functional fellowship? Must a group purchase land, build a physical structure, run multi-faceted programs and sell espresso in the foyer in order to graduate to the title of “local church?” God forbid! I optimistically believe that most saints, if asked, would totally reject this notion: Yet if not this, then what? Scripture tells us that
“We are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field,
you are God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
So then, what is the motive of those who so emphatically struggle to try to maintain these distinctions within groups of believers? Are there hidden agendas, false motives, or unscriptural belief systems that have been instituted such that the one pure body or bride of Christ has been lost for the sake of the building of ones own “local” kingdom? I believe we are not to become mega united churches and ministries, but small, humble stones covered by the Chief Cornerstone where our loyalties belong solely to Him and we are not bribed or influenced to compromise in word or deed. As the Apostle Paul ministered, he sought to plant and nurture as many churches as possible that would comprise the entire body of Christ. When bringing believers together in a home or small gathering place, Paul did not do so in order to legitimize, solemnize, or initialize authority, rather, they met in homes as a matter of convenience that would allow for intimacy, accountability and vibrant growth within the fellowship.
Today’s “Mega-churches” totally loose these dynamics, and instead
have allowed for the possibility of thieves, fornicators,
gossips, slanders and the like to mingle
with the fold of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
It must be asked, what is the motivation, what is the benefit to having such a structure that puts God’s sheep in the midst of the wolves and totally rejects Scriptures cry to “know those who labor among you”? At WMI, we hold weekly meetings, which are instituted solely to train others in the ways of God so that they can effectively carry out the will of the Lord. Each person who attends is intimately discipled and nurtured so that they can be effective in ministering to the bride of Christ throughout the world. A person who is not interested in seeking truth and growing in righteousness would not want to be a part of this ministry or fellowship.
I am ordained nondenominationally and the name of it is not of importance other than to the Pharisees. Refer to our Statement of Faith for doctrinal positions and beliefs, which can be found on our Web Page. If you have a complaint against me then come to me as Scripture admonishes (Matthew 18:15-17). If it is not rectified as Scripture prescribes then send a complaint addressed to our Spiritual Ministry Counsel who will deal with the matter as a local fellowship would do when issues arise with its Senior Pastor. Before action will be taken against an elder or myself, the complaint must be proven whether it is sin or your disagreement over the Scriptures. The Scriptures state that we are to prove all things, not just your opinion or that of your particular fellowship. WMI is part of the bride of Christ and was founded and inspired by the Holy Spirit to minister to the church at large. By the precepts and foundation of Scripture, WMI models the characteristics and prerequisites of a viable authoritative ministry who’s aim is to serve Christ’s church. In this, we are able to rightly divide the truth in order to teach, correct, rebuke and train others in righteousness so that the body may be equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13).
The person and fellowship we submit ourselves to should be determined to build God’s Kingdom and not their own!
World Ministries International (WMI) is The Church Without Walls.
We are not a local church! We believe people should belong to a local church if they can find one that is holy. The true church of Jesus Christ cannot be numbered and the real membership is accepted solely by Him. WMI is dedicated to faithfully preach the truth and warn the nations what God is sending upon them. We are dedicated to help the local church develop the saints through our semi-monthly pastoral letters entitled “The Church Without Walls”. Many pastors throughout the United States have put their entire congregations on our mailing list. They know that the truth we share edifies and matures the people so they are more faithful wherever they attend. Some people live in countries where Christians are persecuted and our pastoral letters become one of their only sources of teaching.
In many churches today, the Pharisees once again are trying to own and control the people to support their kingdoms. They twist the Scriptures to lead the congregation with a spirit of witchcraft (control). Then they label you a rebel because you do not submit to their authority. We all need to belong to a local body of believers (church) if we can find one and submit ourselves one to another in accordance to the Word as our judge. Jesus is our covering and the Holy Spirit our guide with true gifts of leadership as servants and not tyrants or masters. Please be faithful in helping us continue to speak the truth to as many nations as possible!
Psalm 26 talks about “integrity.” David equates “integrity” with keeping himself separate from evildoers, idolaters and hypocrites in the congregation. Integrity has nothing to do with paying tithes to a local church, but it has everything to do with living a righteous life manifested with the fruits of the Holy Spirit to support the bride of Christ and Kingdom of God instead of individual empire builders.
Please help us get these messages throughout America and the World! These pastoral letters that you receive cost thousands of dollars monthly in stamps alone. I am asking each of you who receive these semi-monthly mailings to please send us a minimum donation of ten dollars per month. Thank you
© 2000 World Ministries International