It finally dawned upon me the significance of coming to accept one’s royal calling. It comes as an offshoot from the other morning when I considered my worthiness and value to G-d and to the Kingdom of G-d. It actually began as I lamented my unworthiness and unsuitability to service. Apostle Peter wrote (1 Peter 2:9):
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
These things were not new to me. I certainly had known them. But I’d let doubt and faithlessness into my head. Too many years having negative thinking imposed upon me had tarnished my royalty, if I had any at all. I’ve recognized the royal bearing of a Saint. I’ve just never really included myself in that category. A.W. Tozer. King David. Joshua. Naturally, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. . . But Me? The Saints are gathered around the table, Y’shua’s at the head. I’m standing somewhere beneath an arched doorway watching. Even if led to the table, even if I were to speak, I’m more inclinded to ask what they’d like to eat, or do they have enough coffee. When Elijah, Moses, and Y’shua gathered together on the mountain, what did Peter say? Shall I set up some tents and mix us a snack? Even Abraham, faced with Y’shua and two of His angels, said to stay there and he’d fix a bite, then sent out to the field for a fatted calf. Some little bite to eat. When we all get to Heaven, and gather around awaiting our places, we won’t hear a peep out of those preachers I’ve heard say, “There are some serious questions I have to ask when I get to Heaven.” Oh, no. We shall be so filled with awe at The Holy Presence, we may not be able to stand. Talk about getting dizzy. (Which I’ve been for the last two weeks, with one doc thinking it’s vertigo and another saying, “Let’s take a few brain scans.) There will be no questions on that day. And all the crowns we earned while on Earth, our golden badges that were stored up for us in Heaven? Those stripes some of the Saints have worn proudly while strutting on stage, er, alter, of their churches. Will we not bow down and cast our crowns at the feet of the One Who Is? We will then know it was not us earning those crowns anyway, but Him working though us. Oh, it will be glorious. But it won’t be like some think it will, yet it will exceed our dreams and imaginations.
On Earth, well that’s a different story isn’t it. We are to recognize our royalty. We are to walk in it. Y’shua washed the feet of His disciples, bending down to them in the process. It had to be that way, He told Peter, who thought it a betrayal, it was that or nothing. Just for a little while longer we are the True Royalty of Earth, we are the Y’shua, the only Y’shua, some people will every see. We must also recognize nobel oblige, the obligation nobility brings upon us. For it is all about balance. (Of which I plan to regain.) We wear a crown and we bend to help someone in trouble or in need. We wear a crown and we get dirty. We are the Royalty of Messiah Who walked upon Earth to demonstrate how a Shepherd serves the Spiritual Body of Messiah while on Earth. He came as the suffering Messiah, demonstrated a way of life, and died, finally resurrected to life and risen to sit on the throne of Heaven.
It seems to me that we have a reversal in perspective. The Jewish people to Whom our Lord came awaited a Conquering Messiah that would rebuild the Nation Israel as sovereign. The people wanted too often to take Y’shua by force, make Him King on Earth, defy the Roman rulers. They simply didn’t grasp the role of Y’shua. The Gentile “Church” has been deluded to look for a Suffering Messiah to come to Earth to sit on the throne the Earthly people have built for Him. He’s a Messiah that loves and loves and loves. A Messiah that would return to a strong self-built church nation. After all, they seem to say, Y’shua came and conquered sin for us. So we are perfect, god-like, containing divine selves. The Messiah they await isn’t the Conquering Messiah of Revelation, but the babe of Matthew.
What is totally forgotten is that out of the mouth of the One Who says He loved us so much that He died for us, also comes a sword. It is the double-edged sword, of which one side is of justice, of wrath, of death.
How then does the True Church on Earth perform, behave, continue on? First, it follows the model established in the earliest days of evangelization. The Apostles ran the Church. I believe the Apostles were granted All of the Divinely given gifts. The Apostles were leaders, empathically driven pastors, learned teachers, evangelists winning souls to Messiah’s Kingdom, and they were able prophets, able to discern and wield the sword of justice. I could look up more than enough support for such a statement, though I’m sure you know them all, if you study G-d’s Word. This Five-fold Ministry of Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet, and Teacher is what I was introduced to in Sri Lanka. Asoka Perrera, a Sri Lankan I met while ministering in Israel, kindly allowed me to stay with him in his town not far from Columbo, Sri Lanka. It was during the war between the Tamils and the Senegalese, yet his Church, The Apostolic Church of Sri Lanka, was alive and well with both Tamil-born and Senegalese-born men, women, and children. I was blessed to preach before a congregation while there, and to travel most of the country visiting various villages, seeing how the Church functioned The reason, I believe, for the Five-fold Ministry concept is that not all the gifts are vested with each member in Church leadership, as they were in the initial days of Messianic understanding, with the Disciples of Y’shua, the Apostles. Pastor Marvin William’s (Trinity Church, Lansing, MI) preached on this, encouraging all at Trinity to discover their unique, G-d-given gifts and to practice them. He said some will have only one, everyone has at least one; he said some will have more and be able to move between the gifts. I believe this is the reason some pastors are such a wonderful teachers; and explains why some also seem to lack the pastoral gift. Now there are other ministries evidenced in the writings of of the Early Church Founders—The Apostles. One of the first was identifying people to assist the Church Leadership, which meant the Apostles. Deacons were selected to provide table service, ensuring that the food brought for all the community dinners were adequately distributed and that some widows didn’t go without, and I’m supposing those that went without may have been bedridden, unable to attained the great banquets celebrations of food and Apostle’s Teachings. There are other ministers in the Church, of course. Those are not Leadership roles, necessarily. Pastor William’s listed, I think, thirty or so gifts, among them were gifts in prayer, mercy, even giving resources. Of course, another gift is the give of praise, worship, music.
The Modern Church, following what might only be considered a business model, has deacons acting as “elders,” as if they are the Board of Directors of the Church. While the deacons aren’t gifted in music ministry, or even mercy, or teaching, it seems to me that too many churches the deacons act as managers overseeing the ministries of those they simple can’t trust to perform their gifts as they feel inspired by G-d.
There are actually churches practicing the Five-fold Ministry Construct. Now, I’m only familiar with two particular Churches that I believe are of the LORD. There are other churches that SAY they are Apostolic International, or Apostolic Faith Mission, or Apostolic SomeThing. I don’t know about them. They may or may not be righteous Oh, The Apostolic Church of Sri Lanka, by the way, is totally a product of Sri Lanka, inspired and led by Sri Lankans, not missionaries from out of the country. There is another Apostolic Church that was formed independently long before the Apostolic Church of Sri Lanka. It is in Penygroes, Llanelli, South Wales, not far from my mother’s village. It was a product of the Welsh Revival of the early 1900s. It is Pentecostal, as is the Apostolic Church of Sri Lanka. Pastor William’s, in his teachings on Gifts, made mention of the gift of tongues, but said that it was a topic needing an entire series of teachings on it own. It’s controversial, I know.
The Welsh Revival. You know how people will say, “I should have been born [in this period, or that period].” I’m quite taken with the days of Israel when King David reigned, in the abbys of Wales in the 1100s, and in the late fur trapper, and early cowboy era of America—1838 to the 1880s or 90s. Well to have lived in the days of Pastor Evan Roberts, to have seen the way the Revival took off, to have experienced the work of the Spirit of G-d moving and changing a whole
generation of Welsh men and women and children. Wikipedia has some information on it, but it’s not as clear or accurate as some of the organizations in Wales that have maintained the historic accounts of that Revival. In American, we had the Azuza Street Revival that followed the outpouring in Wales by a few years. It impacted a small group of people for a few years, and it may have spawned many of the Pentecostal movements of America today, but it wasn’t by any stretch the Revival of Wales.
We don’t need a national revival in America today, as many are calling for. We need to look in our own backyard, in our own houses. If one church were to be set upon by a couple old prayer warriors, as I believe happened in Wales, it would ignite a church congregation and be like a fire in the grass lands, spreading far and wide. And the Mainstream Media wouldn’t touch it with one camera or one second of air time. And yes, some think the Toronto “Out Pouring” and the Lakeland, FL, version were Revivals, I believe they were only smoke and mirrors.
“Where two or three are gathered together. . .”
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine . . .