“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).
Before we look at mentor-ship, I first want to reiterate Part One and Two of this blog series and discuss more concerning the five-fold that was set up by Adonai. This type of foundation should be in place for unity and order.
Why is the body so against this? Could it be that we all would be held to greater accountability and greater righteousness if we had to answer to someone? Yes, I think this must be it. But unity smells sweeter than any title, in my book. If leadership can bring order and truth and unity, we all need to be [praying as Yeshua did–make them one as we are one Father. “And He Himself gave some as emissaries, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as shepherds and teachers for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah, until we all come to the unity of the belief and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the completeness of Messiah,” (Ephesians 4:11-13, ISR).
We need those who hold the offices to come out of their proverbial closets. You may be thinking, “Tekoa, how will we know they are apostles or prophets? How will we convince those operating with one man or one woman that they need the full 5-fold?
Yeshua tells us that we will know them by their ‘fruit.’ “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:15-17, NASB).
And Abba is good to send an apostle and prophet to every synagogue or assembly. Many are sitting at our gatherings, not operating in their gifting and not trained to carry it out. Often, those in leadership know apostles, prophets, and Elders/teachers are sitting in their assemblies, but they have such a fear to use them due to their Shepherding gift. They want to protect sheep. More often than not, those who carry the authority and anointing remain handcuffed, and duct taped.
On the flip side, We have sheep afraid of authority because authority has let them down (being fleshly/ it always will). Some men and women love the spotlight and the accolades of men, this too is immaturity and not fearing Yahweh. We have the structure for these bones, so that we can frame His House–His Body, but will we humble ourselves and do it? This has to start with Leadership and yes, titles.
“Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:20-22, NASB).
I have a theory; I say ‘theory.’ Could the five-fold be hidden in the five Torah scrolls? I think it could. Meditate on that for a minute.
Genesis or Bereshit means Beginning, but it’s so much more than that. The first letter is Beit/bet and means the house/tent of the Strong Father. This place in the garden was and is the foundation of all creation and the first temple with Adam acting as High Priest. The Apostles are also visionaries who lay a foundation to build on like Nehemiah. They venture into the fallow ground and turn over the soil, planting, and building and setting up new places to spread the Good News.
The second book, Exodus, is about leaving sin and Egypt, and we see the great prophet Moses receiving the covenant and instructing the people on how to keep the Commandments. So we have Apostle, Prophet, and then teachers, master instructors. Who were they? Levites. We now have the third scroll, the book of Leviticus (and He called). Remember, in our last portion, how Ezra read from the Torah and the Levites gave the knowledge and explained it?
“Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. 8 And they read in the book, in the law of God, [c]distinctly; and they gave the sense, [d]so that they understood the reading.”
You can’t lay a foundation and build without knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Prophets and Apostle need teachers, and they need each other. We need schools for prophets because they are wired differently. The prophet is one who speaks with authority. They speak the truth with great power. They are unafraid to confront men who slay giants. They were and are unafraid to confront kings and leaders in government, and they still are much needed today if we are ever going to become mature.
The prophet is liken to the eyes of the body. They are seers. They also hear in their spiritual ears things to come.
Rabbi Sacks has an interesting study on both prophet and priest and their characteristics. I want to share a bit from his blog:
“Let us, therefore, consider some of the differences between a prophet and a priest:
The role of the priest was dynastic. It passed from father to son. The role of the prophet was not dynastic. Moses’ own sons did not succeed him; Joshua, his disciple, did.
The priest offered up sacrifices in silence. The prophet served G‑d through the word.
The task of the priest was related to his office. It was not inherently personal or charismatic. The prophets, by contrast, each imparted their own personality. “No two prophets had the same style.” The priests wore a special uniform; the prophets did not.
There are rules of kavod (honor) due to a kohen. There are no corresponding rules for the honor due to a prophet. A prophet is honored by being listened to, not by formal protocols of respect.
The priests were removed from the people. They served in the Temple. They were not allowed to become defiled. There were restrictions on whom they might marry. The prophet, by contrast, was usually part of the people. He might be a shepherd, like Moses or Amos, or a farmer, like Elisha. Until the word or vision came, there was nothing special in his work or social class.
The priest offered up sacrifices in silence. The prophet served G‑d through the word.
They lived in two different modes of time. The priest functioned in cyclical time—the day (or week or month) that is like yesterday or tomorrow. The prophet lived in covenantal (sometimes inaccurately called linear) time—the today that is radically unlike yesterday or tomorrow. The service of the priest never changed; that of the prophet was constantly changing. Another way of putting it is to say that the priest worked to sanctify nature; the prophet, to respond to history.
Thus, the priest represents the principle of structure in Jewish life, while the prophet represents spontaneity.”
Very interesting, indeed.
Paul, (Sha’ul) was an apostle, and he was one who had been taught. We need each other. You can’t step into your role as Apostle, prophet, or teacher without a teacher!
Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today.” (Acts 22:3).
“Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. (Acts 23:6).
“ If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.” (Philippians 3:5-6).
Why is it important that he knew the law/Torah? Isn’t that old Testament stuff like killing animals? Why would Sha’ul be name dropping and explaining his titles and his teachers and how he was zealous for the TRUTH? Let’s meditate more on this.
“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.” (Psalm 119:142). If His law or Torah is truth, and Yeshua is the word made flesh, the living truth, shouldn’t we know what that entails?
“Your word is the essence of truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure.” (Psalm 119:160).
You can’t be an apostle or prophet correctly if the scholars do not train you. Scholars are not experts on calendars because they read a portion of Enoch. Stop running to people who cause division. Certain things may seem appealing to delve into but ask yourself a question: Does this topic divide the body of Yeshua Messiah? Can arguing for hours over how to say His Name, whether the earth is shaped round or flat, if Trump and Putin are buddies, etc., can any of this nonsense bring any good? What good can come from posting political memes or slandering leaders? Leaders, Abba has placed in authority, no less. Can our sarcasm change anyone’s mind? Do some act as if they have found a hidden calendar from a Pseudepigrapha document? Pseudepigrapha is a work falsely attributed, and texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past. Find good soil and get to gardening.
So much falseness is being spread that we need a messianic/Christian Snopes page, but who would be in charge of it? One type of grievous ministry to watch is one that spreads fear and causes antisemitism. Through ignorance and lack of knowledge about the Jewish people, many consider them sinners, evil Pharisees who have not the spirit of the Living God. The same God that called them His chosen people. These are the very ones who wrote our Bibles and protected His covenants.
On a side note: If you have a bad taste in your mouth about the Pharisees, might I suggest Dr. Hollisa Alewine’s latest book: Pharisee: Friend or Foe? You can purchase it HERE.
There has been an attack on all levels of leadership that I believe stems from ignorance and immaturity. We all may act immature at times, but the real issue is authority figures. It’s like Korah who wanted the title for himself. He already had a title!!
Korah said, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire congregation is holy, and the LORD is in their midst. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” (Numbers 16:3).
Ha! Moses, the meekest man to ever live, exalt himself?
Remember, what they tell you is wrong with you (exalting yourself,) is actually what they have a problem with. Next time we think we have someone’s number down and are saying ‘Aha!, we’d do good to go look in a mirror. The mirror will reveal.
Recently, I read a blog of a man who is active in the Torah Observant movement; I quickly noticed his insults and attacks were directed at leadership. He seemed to be comparing his righteousness to what he perceived as a lack of obedience in the leadership. But he did not have all the information. Many times we are quick to judge without having the whole story.
Korah looked in the mirror and compared all his gifting and knowledge to Moses and Aaron. He may have even witnessed things they did that he thought he could have done better.
He said things like, “You’ve gone too far! Who do you think you are? I am just as holy as you!” Korah was jealous of the fact that Aaron had been chosen as High Priest. He wanted all the Torah’s Glory without upholding it and without being thankful for what he already had.
This man, Korah, gathered 250 LEADERS of the congregation to come against Moses and Aaron. Men of RENOWN the scripture states. (Renowned) Strong’s Hebrew 8034: 1) reputation, fame, glory). These were men of glory, fame, and reputation.
Korah was Moses and Aarons, cousin. Family jealousy is often the worst–wanting the gifting or a position you have not been called to by Elohim. Are we not satisfied with being ‘renown?’
Korah’s name means ice, hail, and baldness. The perfect examples of judgment. Most of us know the end of the matter. The earth swallows them and takes them down to Sheol–death.
When Korah yells and demands to be exalted, Moses falls on his face before The Father. The most humble, merciful man to ever live does what any great leader should do first–a face plant! Oh, the heart of Moses to be holy at all times and to be set apart to hear the Voice of the Father and speak before the people. He listened to all their bitterness and complaining.
Moses said, “Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers?” (Numbers 11:12).
People want the titles without the responsibilities and the crushing.
This type of slander has hurt the real ministers who are trying to bring the Good News. Fights break out with name calling. Sarcastic titles like “Those big name Torah teachers, ‘the elite” and accusations of name flaunting, but Paul (Sha’ul) always explained in his letters what his title was in the body and not only his, but others.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus... ” (II Timothy 1:1, NASB).
(1 Corinthians 1:1) “Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,”
(2 Corinthians 1:1) “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,”
Of course, when you are doing what you are called to do and gifted to do, you don’t necessarily need a title, the body gives it to you. The titles of teacher, worship leader, missionary, prophet, apostle, shepherd, evangelist, etc. are all listed in the Newer Portion of our Bibles. Do you see them flowing through your gatherings?
I prefer what Amos said, (I was not a prophet) but can you imagine the stink I would get if I started my blogs as Bonnie (Tekoa), a prophetess called and appointed by Yeshua Messiah, by the will of Adonai? Forgetaboutit! But it’s okay to tell the world you have a doctorate or that you are a pastor. Why did Paul feel led to add it to his letters if the body of Yeshua already knew his title? Ponder. Meditate. Think outside of the box.
If we had leaders in place who knew His Torah and a structure to follow, we could get back to honoring the Moses and Aarons, and yes, Miriam’s He has placed in the body. We could also see the Spirit flowing through our gatherings like a mighty river of life.
Recently, two young ladies requested to be mentored by me. The truth is, I will learn much from them and already have. When we spend much time with someone, it is easy to pick up on weaknesses or uncover faults or ponder their words in a wrong manner. Both parties have to be mature enough to remember their own weaknesses and ability to express things unfavorably at times. The Mishnah tells us to make for ourselves a teacher. We are told that even if he or she, on their own, may not be up to the standard. If it is someone from whom you can learn, you are being taught.
Can we be servants of Yeshua? Servants to one another?
Can we with desire look for a teacher who has more years under their belts? More knowledge and empathy, wisdom, and understanding to help us become better disciples? Can we stop sounding like Korah? He said, “Everyone in the entire congregation is holy, and the LORD is in their midst. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” He says this with all the boldness and brashness of a man wanting to be in leadership, and he already was, but it wasn’t exalted enough for him. If he only knew what Moses went through and the burden of the people he carried in his bosom.
Being mentored is also making for oneself a friend. When we mentor or ask for mentor-ship, both parties win. Its a win, win situation. Each person learns from the other but for this to work both people have to become transparent, vulnerable, and open to discussing problems, asking questions of one another–pondering and meditating without being condescending or judgmental. One must be honest but also compassionate. Shoes must be exchanged and slipped on, feeling the others pain and problems, but also celebrating their joys. Multiple people in the Bible were willing to be mentored. Ruth and Naomi, Jonathan and David, Jethro and Moses, Timothy and Paul, Elijah and Elisha. But how does one know who to choose or what to look for in a mentor?
Mostly today, people do not request to be mentored. Today in certain circles, a drive-thru sermon of storytelling and prosperity reign supreme. With a click of a button, we can land on a plethora of teachers. We can watch videos by several or podcast. With a touch of our fingertips, we can run from place to place gathering food. Many times, it is good food and offers a variety of nutrients. Other times it’s mixed with things that need spit out, or it isn’t even fit for consumption. To sit and wash hands as a servant is not the norm. “And one of the kings of Israel’s servants answered and said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.” (II Kings 3:11).
Ministry is not fame. It is not titles. Ruth needed no title because the whole town knew what her character was. She was busy doing good works and carrying for her Mother-n-law. May we be as her. May we learn to be humble and pray for the Five-fold to take shape and begin to build His Kingdom in unity and righteousness.
I pray this has ministered to you or caused you to ponder some things about leadership.
Blessings and Shalom,
Sources: Unsplash free photos
Links can be found for blog on Prophet and Priest.
Photos –hand/five Zan Lic
Donkey –Umit Yildurim