Today I watched a heartbreaking event. The double funeral of two police officers killed in the line of duty. One had four small boys, the other would have been a father in a matter of days. During their lives, both of these men gave witness that they are now in the loving arms of Jesus Christ.
There were other witnesses in this congregation today. The wives and families of the officers, they too demonstrated strength that came from the Most High. The person that touched my heart the most however was the pastor. In deep sincerity and God like love, he compassionately expressed hope through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There was such an ability to genuinely convey the deep hurt and honest feelings of despair while offering hope in our Lord. What made his message so real to me though his humility before the Lord.
A few days earlier I received a notice to watch another service, to hear ‘this great preacher’. I reluctantly clicked the link. The results were predictable. Throughout the service ‘this great preacher’ gave numerous indications about how ‘this great preaching’ is so insightful and knowledgeable-if we hang with what he is saying, we might just get it too. A mixture of fleshly anger and Holy Spirit ‘warning’ signs went off –again- in my spirit.
1 Cor. 8:1-3 teaches us ‘Knowledge puffs up (without the fear of God-humility) , but love builds up…. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.’
Knowledge without abiding at the feet of Jesus, without the Godlike love to build up others, puffs up. (John 15:4-5). An extended look at His words can read ‘The man who loves (others) is known by God personally and walks with God. The man who comes across as knowing great things, does not know much because he has not discovered the most important knowledge…. a Godly love that builds others up’. (paraphrased)
I am so grateful for the loving example that this pastor from a Baptist church gave us. While speaking at the funeral I knew he not only discovered real knowledge (building up others),but more importantly he ‘lived it’. In fact, you cannot receive real knowledge unless we humbly walk before the Lord
PR 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
By his walk in Christ, he becomes a Godly light for others to see. His example of ‘building others up’ should to be shown to all preachers, young and old. For those ‘great preachers’ in many Pentecostal churches, his example would be a ‘compass’, pointing them directly to a heavenly witness (Rev. 4-see below). This is exactly what Paul is teaching in 1 Cor. 13.
1 Cor. 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Cor. 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Paul, talking directly to Pentecostal brethren, says love is greater than any recognition of power or knowledge. His gift’s and power are important, but never reverse the ‘seeking’ order.
1 Cor. 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, (1 Cor. 4:10)
Today a ‘non Pentecostal’ brother gave us an example of what we so desperately need in our ‘Spirit Filled’ pulpits. The ability to focus on building up the body of Christ, not ourselves (Ephesians 4:11-13). I firmly believe the lost recognize this ‘self glorification’-and avoid us. I believe many non Pentecostal brothers also recognize this-and avoid us (as I did for 12 years). (See. 1 Cor. 14, site map-Baptism of Holy Spirit-Tongues).
Again, Paul mentioned the Corinthians did not lack any ‘gifts of the Spirit’, yet they were so self centered they became abusive. (same article on 1 Cor. 12-14)
1 Cor. 1:7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
1 Cor. 6:6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
1 Cor. 5:1 it is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you and of a kind that does not occur even among the pagans.
With all my heart I believe God is challenging ‘non Pentecostal’ brothers to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. His great provision in power will help to defeat Satan and bring in His heavenly realm on earth. (see Baptism of Holy Spirit, Kingdom of God-site map). What concerns me even more however is the lack of maturity and sincerity with many in Pentecostal leadership. The parallels of error between 1 Cor. 12-14 and many ‘full gospel’ churches are strikingly similar. Before watching this pastors example at the funeral, I was having trouble writing this article. How could I explain that there really are pastors on earth exhibiting Godlike behavior as the elders in heaven
REV 4:10-11 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
In humility, this Baptist pastor followed the above example. A man close to God will demonstrate behavior like the elders living with God. They will sense His majesty and glory. In humility and love, they will say the only true wisdom comes from above.
John 3:31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
All men and angels fall face-down when they came into contact with a glorious God (Phil. 2:10, Mk. 3:11, Rev. 1:13-17, Rev. 7:11, Eze. 1:28, ,Eze. 2:1-2,Ex. 3:1-6)
The number one qualification for me to follow someone is the fear of the Lord. Are they humbled before Him-period! If they are truly following God they will exemplify being touched by God. Miracles can be a sign from God or a counterfeit by the devil (John 15:24, 2 Thess. 2:9) No one can imitate a heart that is one with God.
1John 3:19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, we have the assurance our hearts are before Him (i.e. In His presence-as the elders in heaven)
They will also have the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, etc. (Gal. 5:22).
To my brothers and sisters in Pentecostal churches. What we share is a precious Holy gift from above. Sometimes the experience is gloriously emotional and anointed. Sometimes it is deeply convicting, with tears of love for one another. These examples are meant to uncover damaging faults that we allow. They are not meant to permanently divide us. If we do not let His example from heaven prevail in our hearts-over our fleshly pursuits-Gods real light can never shine fully to those whose eternal lives are at stake!
Ephesians 5:27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Humbly before the Lord I ask you. Does the pastor you recommend (and those like him) demonstrate the same behavior as the elders in heaven, or the Baptist pastor on earth. Does he fall prostrate before God (in heart always, many times literally) in attitude and action. Is he on bended knee- in his heart- lifting you up before God.
No one can claim perfection until we reach heaven (Phil. 3:12-14). It’s about striving to be so close to God we are broken by His glorious love for you, and what He has done for you. Do you since in this leaders heart that God’s light is so strong he wants you to reach out and grab Jehovah! Is he saying is is not from us, don’t grab our ‘crowns’ or ‘our knowledge’-but enter the Holy of Holies. Together, we will experience Him-I will lift you up first then I will follow.
In simple words, has the Lord touched his heart that he desires nothing more than for God to wrap His arms around the saints in glorious love. Does he desire the Lord to receive the least to the greatest among you, before he is recognized by God or man.
Luke 9:48 For he who is least among you all–he is the greatest.”
If you have answered yes to these questions then please disregard this article and many like it on this web site. My discernment is in serious error.
If however, there is a better way as demonstrated by a Baptist pastor who sought to love others because our heavenly Father loves us this way, let’s start to follow Christ example and teach others in our congregations to do so. See Biblical Humility
May God bless you ever so richly for advancing the love of Jesus.