Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The Teaching Ministry (1)

We all know who a teacher is, he is one who teaches. But there is a separate anointing and office of teaching. I have seen evangelist and prophets trying to operate in the office of the teacher because it is much easier. We feel we don't need the supernatural to teach, that as long as you have the ability in your flesh then you can go ahead and do it. The house of God is not a place of flesh. It is not a place where flesh comes to demonstrate their skills. It is the house of the God who is spirit and who demands that we worship him in spirit.

As such there is a special gifting by the Spirit for teaching. Not the gift that you have in the flesh, but something produced by the Spirit of God inside of you. We have so much subjected the teaching ministry to the flesh that almost anybody can do it, including a none believer. Just pick a Bible, read a few verses and interpret it. That's what we think the teaching ministry is all about. And we love it that way, we are always trying to subject the things of God to the flesh.

Some people have even succeeded in subjecting the prophetic to the flesh. They tell you prophecy is just about teaching God's word. So they pick the Bible, teach on some verses, and that's it, they have prophesied. No need for the supernatural, they do not want anything that is not subjected to the flesh. They don't want to reach beyond the flesh, they want to have everything and do everything within the faculties of the flesh. Anything that has to do with using your spiritual faculties, they try to cut it out.

Even evangelism have been subjected to the flesh. We have this pamphlet about the four steps to salvation, and all you have to do is administer it to people and you have evangelized. So easy, we don't even need God and the Holy Spirit, and such we've kicked them out of the Church. Our God is a supernatural Being, and everything about him is supernatural. Jesus walked the earth and we see the supernatural all over him. If the teaching ministry is of Jesus then it is definitely supernatural.

Now, when you say someone teaches, the question that follows is, what does he teach? The teaching ministry is not about teaching the Bible. It has never been about teaching the Bible, even the first century teachers did not teach the Bible. Let me share a note based on history; "Nope! The Apostles did not teach the Scripture... the first century had no printing presses. Do you realize what that means? All copies of Scripture were made by the agonizingly painful, incredibly slow, and terribly expensive process of hand copying. A city was fortunate if it had one complete copy of the sacred Hebrew writings!

Furthermore, about the only place that Scripture was available was in the synagogues - and those synagogues simply were not all that excited about making their scrolls available to followers of Jesus Christ! It is an indisputable fact that in every place the early church met it had virtually no access to Scripture. No, dear reader, those Apostles weren't standing up there teaching Bible studies for eight years. (In fact, some of them couldn't read either!) Nor will you find the 3,000 sitting around, later in the day, in little Bible study classes. But none of these facts is the real reason the Apostles did not spend their time teaching the Scripture.

If there had been no illiteracy, if there had been an abundance of Scripture, if the Apostles had all been educated men, they still would not have spent their time teaching the Scripture... The idea of teaching the Scripture never entered their minds!! The twentieth century mentality alone has superimposed such an image on those men. They didn't hang up some long wall chart and give lectures on the Scroll of Ezekiel or on "Eyeballs and Bears Tails in the Scroll of Daniel." What is more, the saints gathered in Solomon's Porch would have thrown olive pits at the Apostles if they had tried.

The believers had poured into that shed to hear one thing and one thing only. And the Apostles were interested in talking about one thing and one thing only. What was that? You can answer that question yourself. If you could go back to that day and be a new convert, and if you could actually sit at the feet of the original twelve Apostles, what would you want to hear? Or put it another way. If you had just spent four years, eighteen hours per day, living with God, what would you talk about? The twelve Apostles talked about Jesus Christ! Night and day. That's all you got out of them - Jesus Christ.

They originated the whole idea of the topic of Jesus Christ, hence [the books of] the gospels. They couldn't have thought of anything else to talk about if they had tried... Dear reader, if you ever really get to know the Lord in a deep, abiding experience, it will suddenly dawn on you that teaching doctrines was something invented by men who just didn't know the Lord all that well. Men who really know Christ well, will talk about Christ. Men who don't... they teach all sorts of interesting, unimportant things." (Revolution, by Gene Edward).

What you see in the four books of the gospel were all that the Apostles talk about—yes, the story of Jesus. It was all about Jesus, what he did and taught. They were not teaching Bible verses to Christians. The only time they expound on scripture is when they were defending themselves to the Jews and religious leaders who were trying to persecute them. There was nothing like a teacher, standing in front of fellow believers and teaching Bible. In fact, all the people that were coming only wanted to hear about this amazing Jesus, that the disciples walk with and sat with for three and a half years. That was all the apostles knew, that was all they could talk. And they talked about Jesus as a person, until Apostle Paul came into the picture and introduced another side of Jesus.

"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." (2Cor 5:16).

They used to know Jesus after the flesh, but now they must know him beyond that, they must know him as a spiritual reality. This is why the last of the books of the gospel written—the gospel of John—emphasizes Jesus the life, the light, the bread from above, the way, the truth, the living water, etc. They were moving beyond knowing Jesus as a flesh to knowing Jesus as a spiritual reality. And when we enter the epistles we see Paul keep penning down the clause "in Christ". All over Paul's writing you will see that clause, "In Christ... In Christ... In Christ". Paul was obsessed in trying to unveil Christ as a spiritual reality and that which is in this reality called Christ.

That is the work of a teacher. Paul, as an apostle came to lay the foundation for the teaching ministry. The teaching ministry is about discovery Christ and teaching the reality in Christ. No, they are not Bible teachers, they are teachers of Christ. Yes, they may sight the Bible every now and then, but their main subject is Christ. Their subject is not Christian concepts, or Christian doctrines. They are not here to teach Bible stories and the morals in it, their focus is to teach Christ. They use the Bible to teach Christ, it is all about teaching Christ. When we do not get this right, that is when we fall into the trap of teaching our own worldviews, or the doctrines of man passed down to us.

Sadly that is what is happening in the body of Christ today. People use the Bible to teach their worldviews, they try to impose their own worldviews on others. Denomination try to use the Bible to pass down their doctrines. Do you know that nobody, since the birth of the Church, ever used the book of Malachi to teach tithe (as practiced in Christianity today) until 1873. And it wasn't that the book of Malachi suddenly appeared in the Bible in 1873, no it has always been there. So what happened? They were looking for a way to fund church activities.

You see, the first century church didn't need much funding, it wasn't as elaborate as it is today. And the people of those days were burning so much for Christ that they were ready to sell themselves to give to the church. 300 years later Christianity became a state religion, and it was the government that was sponsoring church activities. 1,200 years later the protestant came and said government is corrupting church, so church and government should be separate. When church separated from government there was now a problem; how would they get money?

The money people were dropping was too small and the pastors had tried as much as they can to get this people to drop more money yet they refused. They were not like the first century Christians who were ready to die for Jesus. These people didn't choose to be Christians, they were only Christians because they were born into Christianity. They had very little passion for Christianity or church ministry. So they careless about sponsoring church. It was now left to the pastors and bishops to figure out a way of getting this people to drop their money. That was how two southern Presbyterians, Alexander L. Hogshead of Abingdon, Virginia, and John W. Pratt of Lexington, Virginia, produced a set of scholastic treatises on tithing, which bound into one volume called, "The Gospel Self-Supporting".

In their writings they argued that it is the Christian solemn duty to give ten percent of their income to the church. They said it is their essential worship to God and it is non-negotiable. Christians were coerce to drop their money whether they like it or not. This system worked as perfectly as they wanted, and they were able to generate enough funds for church ministry. My point is that the teaching of tithe was never really about following the Bible, it was about looking for a convincing way to get people to drop their money so that church would have enough funds. For 1800 years, nobody taught such a thing, not even Paul or any of the apostles. And we had the Bible all this while.

I said all that in order to impress upon you the fact that many of what we call Bible teaching today is really not about the Bible. It's about our worldviews and about the doctrines developed by men for some reason or the other, and passed down to us. The same way I trance the history of the teaching on tithe to man's agenda, I can also trance the history of many of our Bible teachings to one agenda or the other—some brilliant idea that man came up with, and looked for Bible verses to support it. The teaching ministry is not about teaching man's doctrine masquerade as Bible teaching. It is a ministry of Christ and it should be about teaching Christ.

What they do in seminaries or theology school is imbibe in people the doctrines of man passed down from generations to generations. And these people come out as teachers in our churches. That is not the teaching ministry that Jesus gave to the body. That is just man passing down their doctrine through teaching agents. When we speak of Christ's teaching ministry we are talking about people who have been caught up in the reality in Christ, who possess a supernatural gift of understanding and identify patterns in Christ.

This post belongs to a series, below is the whole series:
The Teaching Ministry (1)
The Teaching Ministry (2)
The Teaching Ministry (3)
The Teaching Ministry (4)

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