In my newsletter and sermon titled: God’s Development of His Ministers Part 1, I 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.
In Part 2, I wrote about these topics: 4. THIS IS THE PROBLEM IN THE NATIONS TODAY. THE HOLY SPIRIT CANNOT SIDE WITH MOST OF THE MINISTERS OF THE WORD. 5. HOW DOES GOD DISCIPLINE US IN ORDER TO USE US? and 6. WHY MUST THE LORD HAVE US GO THROUGH SO MANY TRIALS IN LIFE?
TEXT: Mark 16:15-18, “And he said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’ ”
The Great Commission of the Christ, as stated by Mark, is the responsibility of the Church as well as each believer, and yet most people fail miserably in carrying out this mandate. Why? The problem, as I explained in my first two newsletters and sermons (Parts 1 and 2) using 6 points, is the men behind the pulpit who are leading their congregations.
My content comes from the Scriptures, Watchman Nee’s book, “The Ministry of God’s Word”, and my dream in 1985.
- GOD SPENDS MUCH TIME IN TRAINING OUR SPIRIT AND ALLOWING OUR OUTWARD MAN TO BE BROKEN.
Nee, “God spends much time on us in training our spirit to be usable. He so arranges our environment that our outward man may be duly broken. He places us in circumstances completely beyond our ability to cope with, circumstances as serious as those of Paul described in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9: ‘we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves.’ The situation which the Lord orders orders is usually greater than we can endure. It is beyond our own strength. Whenever a thorn comes to us it afflicts us more than we can bear...the Lord uses them to break-down our outward man. Sometimes it is our thought which is broken, at other times it is our emotion; and most often it is our will which is cast down until we wholly yield to the Lord and acknowledge our total inability. Pages 222-223
God is always concerned with the will of man and especially His ministers. It is the will of man which must become God’s will or that person is too dangerous to represent God in preaching His word.
Nee, “When we enter into trial we are hard-pressed, but when we emerge we thrust the circumstance aside and transcend it. We enter in weakness, we come out in strength. We enter in death but we exit with resurrection life. No trial can keep us in; and when we emerge from a trial we are not the same. A trial will either break us into an unusable vessel or make us more glorious. If it does not cause us to be better it renders us worse. He who cannot stand trial is unusable.” Page 224
When my first wife died, I could either get mad at God, go into depression, and quit the ministry, or allow the Holy Spirit to comfort me and accept the will of God when He did not heal her. During her time of sickness and eventual death, I learned more patience, sympathy and compassion for people. Now I understand the horrible grief people go through when they lose their spouse. Now I can minister to those people and cry with them, instead of just speaking some standard phrases of comfort that have no true understanding or emotion in them.
Nee, “This is the way we go through difficulties. The Lord gives us a trial; He allows our outward man to be broken. Yet His work does not end here; our inner man must rise up and overcome the trial. The circumstance which overcomes our outer man is the same which our inner man must overcome. Each time this happens our spirit receives further training. And in this way our spirit learns what the grace of the Lord is. Our spirit waxes stronger than before. Through such training our spirit becomes more usable at the time of ministry. Hence a minister of the word needs the Lord to break down his outward man on the one hand and to strengthen his spirit through training on the other hand. Both of these are done by the discipling of the Holy Spirit. Please note that each one comes out of a trial a different person—either he is stronger or he is weaker. You either murmur against God and go under or you emerge in victory. 2 Corinthians 12 shows us that when the thorn is on us God gives us grace to overcome it...Paul exclaims, ‘I will all the more gladly boast of my weakness!’ ” Page 225
- A MINISTER OF THE WORD MUST LEARN NOT TO LET HIS SPIRIT BECOME WOUNDED.
Watchman Nee tells us, “A minister of the word must therefore learn not to let his spirit be wounded...This unquestionably demands a great price...If we will impart grace, we shall help people to grace; if we will enlighten people, they will be exposed and broken...Whether the audience hears the word of God or merely hears a sermon depends on how you push out your spirit...The strength of the words is wholly governed by the speaker. What he has learned is what he possesses, and his willingness measures out his gift to others...Particularly in all strong ministry, the spirit is not merely pushed forth, it explodes...you find people prostrate before God. As your words flow forth you overpower many opposing spirits, many cold and hard hearts. You spirit is exploding all along the way. No one, however strong he may be, can stand up against this from God. He must be stricken to the ground. Let us therefore note how much of the spirit is released while speaking. Your spirit cannot be stronger than what you really possess. Nothing can be forced. No word, no voice, no gesture can counterfeit the spirit. Never attempt to imitate the manner of speaking and the tone of voice, for people fall before God only when the spirit is released.” Pages 230-232
A person’s outer man, his pride, must be continually submitted to the will of God. A minister of the word needs to constantly emerge victorious from each trial, tribulation, thorn in the flesh and discipline of the Holy Spirit victoriously. They cannot allow anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness to affect their spiritual emotions. Instead of feeling the pains of people and loving them, whether they are the innocent or the guilty, they become insensitive to people’s feelings and concerned over their spiritual condition before God.
- HOW DO YOU EMERGE FROM A TRIAL?
Acts 16:22-34 reads, “And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, after receiving such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: And the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: And immediately all the doors were opened, and every ones bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto them the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.”
If you are being persecuted for the testimony of Jesus Christ, are you rejoicing like Paul and Silas did that you are being counted worthy to suffer for the Lord’s sake? Or, are you complaining and actually, maybe even cursing that you are going through the ordeal? We resist where it is scriptural to resist evil men. John the Baptist resisted King Herod. Paul, Silas and Jesus resisted those in authority with the truth such as kings, Pontius Pilot or the Scribes and Pharisees. Yet when they were arrested after their resisting failed, they continued to have a good attitude. John the Baptist, Paul, Silas, Jesus and many other martyrs’s died for God, loving their enemies even though they continued to speak the truth and verbally correcting their sins up to their deaths.
Watchman Nee resisted the communist revolution by speaking the truth and not compromising with the Chinese Communist Party’s doctrine of state atheism. Through intensive propaganda campaigns and threats of imprisonment, believers were influenced to accuse one another. False charges and arrests were brought against many... On January 11, 1956, there was a nationwide sweep targeting the co-workers and elders in the local churches. Some died in prison camps, while others faced long prison sentences. On January 18, 1956, the Religious Affairs Bureau began twelve days of accusation meetings at the church assembly...in which many accusations were brought against Nee in large accusation meetings. On June 21, 1956, Nee appeared before the High Court in Shanghai, where it was announced that he had been excommunicated by the elders in the church in Shanghai and found guilty on all charges... many of Nee’s co-workers were arrested, put in isolation and forced to repudiate Watchman Nee. Some co-workers joined in the accusation of Watchman Nee, while others...remained silent and were punished with life imprisonment. Following this, mass accusation meetings were held across the country to condemn the anti-revolutionary sect of Watchman Nee. Nee died in prison. Wikipedia
Nee continued to love his enemies and exhibited the character, feelings and emotions of Jesus Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian and anti-Nazi dissident. He was known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned, sent to a concentration camp and died there. His German prison guards loved him because of his Christ like character and love for them. Wikipedia
The minister of the word is the most critical person responsible for the Great Commission and not only the salvation of men, but their healing, deliverance, marriage, health, prosperity etc. Pastors are also greatly responsible for the deterioration of America and the nations. They are responsible for the church being dysfunctional, divided, weak, powerless and lacking the authority to save a nation by confronting sin and tyranny. Weak pastors are only able to compromise, ignore and even cooperate with Hitler, in this case Biden, and his evil government made up of henchmen.
Around 1990, I was ministering in a large church, when two angels walked into the service and sat in the back pew. A lady watched them as they were writing down every word I was speaking. During the hours following the service, as many people were slain in the spirit, I asked the Lord why He sent two angels and what were they recording. The Lord told me, “Angels are in every church service recording what the minister behind the pulpit is preaching. On Judgment Day, two holy witnesses (angels) will testify what the pastor preached. The minister will either be vindicated because he preached the true unadulterated word of God, or be condemned because the Bible warns them not to add or subtract from the word of God lest you be damned!”
Yes, some ministers of the gospel behind the pulpit are not qualified to preach the word of God. They are not fit to do THE MINISTRY OF GOD’S WORD as Watchman Nee explains in his book. Their vanity changes the word of God when they preach, because they feel God’s word spoken or read directly is too offensive. They have the audacity and arrogance to think they can change God’s words and still have the same results. It is this same pride that causes them to be in love with the world, meaning themselves, more than laying down their life to be qualified to serve God by correctly speaking His word. Also, their own selfish, lazy lifestyle example causes a pathetic, gutless, spineless, selfish church to flourish, destroying themselves and their nation.
Pastors like these, just as the Scribes and Pharisees, might know the scriptures, yet they really do not know Jesus. They refuse to submit their will to God and are blinded by spiritual deceivableness. The Scribes and Pharisees and pastors think they were and are still serving God when in actually they are working against the establishment and extension of the Kingdom of God.
With many denominations not enforcing applied hermeneutics, the scriptures are taken out of context forming a multitude of different interpretations of scripture, denominations and independent churches. Many of these bodies even denounce and reject the gifts of the Holy Spirit, thus losing the power and authority they need to truly be an ambassador of Jesus Christ and do the works of the ministry. Some even deny the apostolic and prophetic gifts of ministry to lead and correct the church, thus we have a powerless, headless, sick and very sinful American church, totally ineffective in bringing a revival which brings repentance to The United States of America.
Let us allow the Holy Spirit to continue to discipline us and change our will, mind and emotions so we can feel with compassion when people need ministry and salvation. Preach and speak the truth of the word through the leading of the Holy Spirit, ministering with signs following so the reality of Christ can change America and the nations. May God richly bless you.
Blessings, Jonathan Hansen
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