Sermon 62 - THE CHURCH NEEDS TO RETURN TO THE BIBLE PATTERN

by Douglas Amobi

In the body of Christ there are different members.  1st Corinthians 12:12-27 reads, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ." For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether bond or free, Jews or Greeks or gentiles, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eyes cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.


Everything in the body of Christ which we believers are, is by the Spirit, and it is a gift of and from God. Ephesians 4:11 reads, "And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we come to the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God."


Bible

When you read and study these scriptures, you wonder if Christianity today is anywhere near what the bible has described as the body of Christ. People are using the gifts that they got from the Lord for personal or family gain instead of the edification of the body of Christ. The gift of God is not willed to family members or passed from father to son or grandson. (except among the Levites of old, but today we are in Christ, the body of Christ). Something is wrong in the church.


This scripture is an amazing eye opener, 1st Corinthians 12:28 which reads, "And God hath set some in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers (including pastors) after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongue. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts." Remember verse 18 reads, " But now hath God set the members, every one of them, in the body, as it hath pleased him."


 Looking at the ratio of the different offices  in relation to one another, you will be surprised at how the number of people who claim to be pastors has greatly outweighed the other offices. This tells you something is very wrong. It is a combination of who controls church money and the easy process of ordaining people as pastors. Greed has even made some organizations to ordain women as pastors contrary to the bible.


Today, the church is telling God their system of running the body of Christ is better. I saw a situation where the husband was the pastor and the wife was the apostle. I wondered in amazement at how such a church functions in light of the scriptures. There again I ask, is it possible that in a church everyone is either a prophet or a prophetess? Can a bible school produce all graduates as pastors or evangelists or apostles or prophets or teachers? There is something wrong in all these. What is wrong is that man has made himself the Spirit that gives the gifts or call to those offices. Apostle Paul said, are all apostles, are all prophets, are all teachers are all pastors etc? If you are in any of these groups or societies or lodges that practice these, better run to Christ. It is your responsibility to find the right place to worship God and understand the bible, the word of God. If you are bent on knowing which gift you have, SEEK GOD for the answer. You may need to fast , pray, search the bible and wait to get your answer. Every believer in Christ is a disciple and need to pick up their cross, deny themselves, and follow the Lord into soul winning and deliverance. 


Apostles are rare in today's Christianity because the church is not centralized, the apostolic ministry is not understood and not a popular choice for church economics. But look at the apostles of old and you will desire the office. They were focused on the Lord and his word, not on money and empires. The bible said first, apostles, but where are they today? Women apostles of today only show you that something is very wrong. Read Acts 6:1-6, see what the apostles did as faithful men of God and compare them with church leaders men today.


The prophets are an important group. The Lord doeth nothing until he hath revealed it to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). Remember Daniel, Elijah, Moses, Branham, Frisby and many more. Today prophets are another group that have a lot of clout over those that depend on visions, dreams, prosperity, guidance, protection and the likes. Today, they have power over the wealthy, who always need protection and a desire to know what tomorrow holds for them. Some think by giving large sums of money to the prophet they can get God's attention. Today, anyone with money and power can have a Levite (so called man of God, often a seer/prophet) to be at their side out of fear.


The pastors are the be all and end all of the church today because of economic control. Money in the church today is the principal thing. All the money comes through tithes and offerings. He who controls the economy in the church, controls it all.  That is the main reason why you have more pastors than any other office. Apostle Paul said, in 1st Corinthians 12:31 " But covet earnestly the best gift," (that which edifies the body of Christ). For sure the best gift is not the control of church money.


Back-To-The-Bible

A lot of blame goes to the pastors because the church is not working together as expected. There should be diversities of office. Sometimes the pastor wants to be both evangelist, prophet, teacher and apostle and not having the spiritual authority or capacity to execute those offices. Pastors trying to take care of the children of God, make some mistakes that could be avoided if the following occurs:


  1. The five ministries are operating properly in the church
  2. The children of God learn to take responsibility, by casting all their needs and problems on the Lord instead of on the pastor (1st Peter 5:7)
  3. Children of God need to seek God as individual disciples.  They need intimacy with the Lord, as to know his will on things. Instead of going the easy way of giving in to gurus in the name of men of God; seek God yourself
  4. Pastors have a role to play in the church. However, the ministry of the pastor is not the highest in the church. Why is it that other the other ministries/gifts are not operating  in the church? Seek God to find your ministry gift from God and help the church mature.

These offices are a gift by God and not by man, as is the case today. The reason is simple, today the church has become an economic enterprise, so sad a situation. Some of them officiate in all the offices as long as they are the pastor and control the tithes and offerings. There are real pastors according to the call of the Lord in their lives. Some are real children of God with evidence, operating more than one office and are faithful in the affairs of the Lord. God bless such ones that remain true to the word of God. Soon we shall all stand before the Good Shepherd. Everyone will give account of himself/herself to God and receive rewards according to our works, Amen.