In Part 1 we explained, 1. GOD HAS ALWAYS USED MAN TO CARRY OUT HIS COMMISSION AND PREACH THE WORD, 2. GOD DISCIPLINES EACH OF US IN ORDER THAT WE MAY BE MORE EFFECTIVE FOR HIM! and 3. MAN IS UNUSABLE—THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM.
NOTE: Once again I used the Bible, Watchman Nee’s book, THE MINISTRY OF GOD’S WORD and a dream I had in 1985 as my sources.
We concluded with a statement by Watchman Nee, “The Holy Spirit does not side with the word alone; He also sides with the man who is broken and bears the marks of the cross. A broken, stricken human spirit is a usable spirit. Should the Holy Spirit fail to be released, it is because of the hindrance of our outward man. Our emotions, temper, and will can each one hinder the word. We may speak well, yet it actually can be merely word, doctrine or teaching—not the word of God. God’s word needs to enter into your being, into your feeling, understanding, heart, and spirit. It needs to make a turn in you and flow out again. Then the word is intimately knit with you, it is pressed and pushed forth in you. But if there should be any defect in your emotion, thought, understanding, heart, or spirit, the word of God will be damaged by you. Not only will your word be defective but the whole church will be adversely affected. You will have ruined God’s word as well as despoiled God’s church. We must let His word pass through us without hindrance. If God is merciful to us, we shall see light.” Page 30
- THIS IS THE PROBLEM IN THE NATIONS TODAY. THE HOLY SPIRIT CANNOT SIDE WITH MOST OF THE MINISTERS OF THE WORD.
One reason is because most of the ministers of the word do not have intimacy with the Holy Spirit. They might acknowledge Jesus is God mentally, but they spend no time with God, other than preparing a teaching, sermon, or dissertation.
The second reason is that half of the American churches are mainline churches under the Communist organization known as the Federal Council of Churches which is the forerunner of the National Council of Churches (NCC) with its Geneva parent organization, the World Council of Churches. The NCC leads dozens of Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican denominations, including the Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist, and many others. There are many good Christians attending these churches, yet it explains why many of their pastors are so liberal, supporting the United Nations anti-Judeo-Christian agenda of abortion, homosexuality, and the theory that all religions serve the same god. Once again, as warned by my dream and Watchman Nee’s book, the pastor behind the pulpit is responsible for the pathetic dysfunction and even sinful condition of the church.
The third reason most ministers are not worthy or qualified to speak the word of God is that they deny or fail to enhance the Holy Spirit and his gifts in their lives. If they fail to “covet the gifts of the Holy Spirit” as the Bible and Jesus urged Christians to do so they could be effective in representing Him, then how can they be His ambassadors? They lack the empowerment and authority of the Holy Spirit in their lives to do the work of the ministry as Jesus did on earth.
Nee says, “Today is the time to ask for mercy. How the ministers have failed to bring God’s word to men! The poverty of the ministers causes the poverty of the church.” Page 98
I remind you that America today is involved in a Marxist coup of the Republic of The United States of America because the ministers of the gospel have utterly failed to bring the true word of God to the church. Instead they have used their own vanity to change God’s word so people can be more puffed up in their pride, prejudice and living in sin. Ministers such as Joel Osteen have produced Christians willing to cooperate with Hitler (Biden) instead of resisting his unconstitutional mandates.
Watchman Nee, “Always remember that helping others to know the Bible and helping others to know Christ are two opposite matters.” Page 112
Remember, the Scribes, Pharisees and Sanhedrin could help a person know the scriptures, but they did not interpret them correctly, because they themselves did not accept Christ, which is a prerequisite to leading others to Christ or ministering correctly.
Nee stated, “At the time the Lord Jesus was born many Jews were thoroughly conversant with the Scriptures that they could reply immediately—without need of further research at home— to Herod’s inquiry as to where Christ should be born. They referred to the Old Testament by quoting the prophet, ‘And you, Bethlehem, Land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel’ (Matt 2:6). They could recite Scripture by memory, yet did they know Christ? Their familiarity with the Scriptures did not help them to seek Christ, it instead helped to ‘kill’ Christ by giving assistance to Herod in his attempt to slay God’s Anointed. How absurd is such familiarity with the Bible! And distorted is the use to which such Bible knowledge may be put! When the Lord Jesus came to the earth He fulfilled the words of the Bible one after another. All who know the Scriptures know for certain, from all the fulfillments of prophecy, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. But did the Pharisees know Him? They neither recognized Him nor accepted Him. They inscribed Scripture verses on their phylacteries and the fringes of their garments. They possessed Bible knowledge and the ability to explain prophecies, to expound and to teach doctrines, yet they shut out Christ.” Pages 118-119
- HOW DOES GOD DISCIPLINE US IN ORDER TO USE US?
The Webster’s Dictionary defines Discipline as, “the training of the mind and character; a branch of learning; a mode of life in accordance with rules; self-control; control, order, obedience to rules; a system of practical rules for the members of a church or an order; punishment; mortification of the flesh by way of penance; to bring under control—to train—to punish.”
Nee, “When we were on the topic of the minister himself we especially noted the significance of our outward man being broken. This alone insures the going forth of the Lord’s word through us. If our outward man is not broken the Lord can use very little of us. Here too must we emphasize the necessity for the Lord to break our outward man that our emotion may be made ready for the ministry of the word. For the one who is under His dealing God orders all sort of circumstances by which to break him. Each stroke opens in him a wound which gives him pain. His feeling is automatically wounded, becoming more delicate than before. Man’s emotion is naturally the most sensitive area of the soul. It is more tender than will and mind. Nonetheless it does not possess enough sensitivity to be useful to God. It does not possess the degree of tenderness which is demanded of God’s word. If His word is to come through, we must be filled with the feeling of His word. We must match our feeling with that of God’s word. Our feeling must be able to cope with our words. Whatever emotion the word requires must be fully supplied, else the word will not be strong in others...We will have to be broken before our feeling will turn tender...broken by the hand of God... there must be wounds and suffering...One who has had the cross worked into his life and has been broken by the Lord. His stubborn will is no longer stubborn; his big brain is no longer inflated.” Pages 213-214
God uses all our trials, tribulations, and thorns in the flesh. Sometimes He even instigates them to discipline our carnal, selfish, stubborn, unfeeling nature so we can see, feel and sympathize with people as Christ did. It may include people attacking us, Christians betraying us, children turning against us, health problems, marriage problems, job problems, security problems, vehicle problems, or money problems. God uses all of them to break down the carnal, outward man enabling us be used by God through the Holy Spirit so we can do the work of the ministry.
Watchman Nee, “With the feeling within there comes the expression without. Peter ‘lifted up his voice’ when he addressed the audience at Pentecost. His voice was raised because his feeling was deep...The depth of emotion in Peter made him lift up his voice...Paul exhorted the church at Corinth ‘with many tears.’ Some may never have shed any tears in their preaching, for their sensitivity is inadequate...it is an indication of unbrokenness if one has never raised his voice or shed his tears. One’s emotion must be so refined that he can rejoice when God’s word is joyful and wail when the word of God is sorrowful...Some have been tightly bound in their emotion all their lives. They are so cold that they cannot dance when piped to and cannot weep when wailed at. Because their feeling lags behind, God’s word is obstructed in its delivery.” Page 216
There is only one way to become effective in ministry preaching the word of God. That is to allow our selfishness, pride, and stubbornness to be broken. Only when the outward man has been broken can we serve God by ministering the word of God to His people. Only when we can identify and have compassion with their infirmities can God use us to speak, teach and preach His word. It is only then that the spirit of God flows out of our belly through our vocal cords to bring life, conviction, salvation, healing and deliverance to set the captives free.
- WHY MUST THE LORD ALLOW US TO GO THROUGH SO MANY TRIALS IN LIFE?
Nee, “Why must the Lord bring people through so many trials? This is all due to the fact that feeling is essentially the person himself...Most people’s emotions are spent only on themselves. They can easily feel the things that concern them, but have no sensitivity for things which concern others. Some may be extremely insensitive to all things, yet when it comes to their own affairs they are most keen. A brother may be rude to others, but suppose you are rude to him; he will deeply resent it and feel hurt. All the feelings of this brother are spent on himself. He just loves himself and lives for himself. If he meets any personal difficulty he will cry, though he has absolutely no feeling toward others.” Pages 216-217
A Christian, and especially a minister of the gospel who preaches the word of God, must have his outward man broken. We are disciplined by the Holy Spirit so we can be used by God. This is how God develops His ministers. Unless we are disciplined by God, we are indeed ruled and led by our self-centeredness. We remain unfeeling toward the needs of others.
Nee says, “Brethren, unless the Lord has succeeded in breaking down our feeling how useless we are in the ministry of the word. Often under the discipline of the Holy Spirit the Lord’s hand remains on us until we can feel for others. We need to channel all our emotion into the ministry of the word. We have no time to spend on ourselves. Our feeling must grow in its sensitiveness. It ought not be exhausted. Many people mistakenly believe only in themselves: they reckon themselves as the center of the universe: hence all their feelings revolve around themselves...God will strike and deal with us till we do not feel just for ourselves, till our emotion has become sensitive. The secret of a sensitive feeling lies in not making ourselves the center. The finer we are ground the more selfless we become and the more effective will be our feeling.” Page 217
All of the heroes of the Bible, and all the prophets and apostles were made broken by circumstances, family, friends and enemies, by the discipline of the Holy Spirit, and by God’s Development of His ministers.
God constantly dealt with Moses as a prince of Egypt. He fled for his life after defending his brethren and killing an Egyptian, but then he was betrayed by his brethren. He spent forty years in the wilderness where God used the circumstances to continue to deal with his stubbornness, pride and selfish will so that Moses would be willing to return to Egypt and confront Pharaoh. During the time he was confronting Pharaoh with the ten plagues, God used his own brethren, which he was trying to free from slavery, to rise up against Moses.
Later when Pharaoh released the Hebrews from slavery, Moses was constantly being challenged by his own brethren in the wilderness. They not only rose up against his leadership several times, but his own sister and brother complained against him. Aaron was manipulated by the people to make another god, crafting a golden calf for the immoral mob to sin against God. Yes, during all these stressful, horrible times God was developing Moses to be his minister of the word. Moses learned the feelings and emotions of his people. He learned their heartaches, worries and sufferings. Moses learned to listen, follow God, and ultimately see miracles manifested by his obedience to the leading of the Lord. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and Potiphar, but in Pharaoh’s dungeon he learned wisdom, sensitivity and leadership.
Joseph turned from boasting to his brothers about what God revealed to him. He became more humble, realizing the dream God gave him was not to enhance his selfishness, vanity and pride. It was a revelation of the future in which God would have to discipline him, preparing him to care about the feelings, emotions and welfare of not only his brethren, but the people of Egypt as well.
I will finish my series on GOD’S DEVELOPMENT OF HIS MINISTERS in my next newsletter with Part 3.
Blessings, Jonathan Hansen
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