This week I want you to meditate on what it would be like not to use your thumbs for a day ( try it) or possibly be deaf to sound. Shove cotton balls in your ears if you must. Picture being led by someone because you’ve lost your vision. Think of a time when you broke a bone and couldn’t use a limb. Picture the body as one whole temple with many parts. Now envision losing one part of your body this week. Gotta visual?
“You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.” (Deuteronomy 16:18)
We left off in Part One of this teaching with multiple scriptures on how the Body should be flowing and working in order. I posted numerous scriptures from Acts and other books on the five-fold ministry and what it entails, like the verses below.
But in fact, God (Elohim) has placed the PARTS (plural) in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. (I Corinthians 12:18).
“Now there were at Antioch, in the church (ecclesia) that was there, prophets and teachers:” (Acts 13:1).
And God (Elohim) has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (I Corinthians 12:28).
“And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4).
Have we matured to the full measure? No, and why is that? Is it because every man does what is right in his own eyes and we have thrown out the apostles and prophets, and Elders equipped to teach? When we throw out the apostles and prophets, we break the commandments. We would be wise to ponder this.
If we don’t need apostles, teachers, and prophets, why did Rabbi Paul (Sha’ul) list the fivefold both in Ephesians and Corinthians?
We read about all the different leaders and their titles in Acts. The Book of Acts was thought to have been written somewhere between 65 AD and 85 AD and by a woman. Priscilla is not the least among her fellow synergos, as “all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to her” and when apart from Priscilla and Aquila, Paul sends his greetings and appreciation (1 Cor. 16:19, Rom. 16:3-5), referring affectionately to Prisca with the diminutive Priscilla. She was called an apostle and she corrected or showed a man named Apollos a more scholarly way of preaching the gospel in Acts 18. both Luke and Paul promote Pricilla as one “who explained the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26).
“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”
(Do your Elders preach and teach?) Are there any women like Priscilla as elders?)
Even Saul knew he couldn’t come before the prophet Samuel to inquire of his father’s donkeys without bringing a gift to the Seer. Today we often don’t honor those who teach us. When was the last time you gave a love gift to the person you are running to for food? Carefully read these next few verses.
“And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law (Torah) of Moses which the LORD had given to Israel. Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam on his left hand. Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place. They read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:1-8, NASB).
(Translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.)
But we men and women in the West don’t need teachers or people to explain anything? We have google and a variety of on-line places to eat at. And teachers don’t need apostles and prophets checking up on them or working beside them? No, this is not truth! It would be beneficial for the Body to know its parts. Even a child like my grandson starts to learn their body parts at an early age. They point to their nose, ears, eyes, hands, feet, etc. Israel doesn’t even know their body parts.
“A Song of Ascents, of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!”
We look like a Mister Potato head without any parts. The oil is needed.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes”(Psalm 133).
What if you were hired for a new job and you walked into the office or door of the building, and they said: “go to work.”
“Oh, we don’t like to give titles or explain what your job is here at the plant/ office, so just do whatever?”
Not asking of what you were trained to do or gifted to do would be quite ignorant.
“For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;” (I Cor. 12:14-22).
From the beginning, Moses needed help, and seventy men were chosen for assistance. Aaron and Miriam were also there with titles and gifting. One verse that often gets misconstrued is the next one from 1st Timothy.
“Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin” (I Timothy 5:17, 22).
They laid hands on them to anoint them for offices (plural). This verse isn’t about demons jumping on you. All these false doctrines have crept in, and even in the Messianic groups.
Many teach that these groups listed in Ephesians were only for that time period and after the Gospel was preached throughout the earth, all we need today are teachers, and some do not even think they need a teacher. And they sure wouldn’t give them the title of teacher, even if they were a Rabbi, a master; a man or women so sold out, they would devote their whole lives to the study of Our Father’s Words. Studying both day and night and many times for hours longer than your work week. But we do not honor them, and we often lack honor among each other.
Oh, Abba pour the oil over the head and let it fall down even to the skirts before You pull our skirts up for all to see our nakedness.
When people fight against the leadership and the order that The Father sets into place, it grieves me. Not because I am itching to get a title, no, the calling is one of crushing and crushing at times is a thorn in the flesh—a daily burden. “Did I give birth to all these people?” If you think the apostles, prophets, evangelist, teachers, and missionaries back then did not have a burden, you are wrong. We are told to bear one another’s burdens. They died horrific deaths for the Gospel.
Why do people fight so much against order? There are many different gifts given by the same Spirit, but how can anyone use theirs and strengthen it if they don’t even believe they have any?
“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Romans 12:4-7, NASB).
Plenty of the garbage being preached among us would be thrown out if we had the offices of leadership in place. If we had apostles like Paul, Rabbi Shaul, who told the Corinthians, “I’ll straighten out this mess when I get there,” we would do good. May He mature and open the eyes of the self-anointed and appointed and those He has called to an order of leadership, so we can get busy looking and operating as a Body that works like a fine tuned machine, oiled and prepared to set up camp and set up schools, and to have all the positions in place as needed. To be a light to a dark world.
Part I HERE
Part III HERE
Part IV HERE
Part V HERE
Part VI HERE
Photos taken from unsplash.
Roberta Sorge–olive oil
Torah- Tanner Mardris
Blindfold– Ryoji Iwata