This six part series of articles deals with reconciliation - meaning, restoration. As the name implies, when we confront one another it is done in the interest of the other person to help, heal, enhance their lives and the relationship between both parties. It should always be done with a gentle and humble spirit; with the intent on helping the relationship grow stronger between the two individuals or group of people involved and God. It is done initially, privately, only between the two people involved in the situation or incident and it is done to heal, mend, and restore. It is never conducted for vengeance and the meeting is not meant to take place with bitterness or hostility, but with the purest of love.
Some people consistently get together with a trusted friend to judge (help) each other with their weaknesses. A trusted friend is critical and cherished.
James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Once again, it is good to get together with the purpose of taking the log out of your own eye first and then to help your brother find the splinters in his own eye that he cannot see without help. Again, it is good to allow a close friend to examine your life with you on a consistent basis.
But, the strong admonition is to judge ourselves. When we get together with a trusted friend we are to judge each other but not another person. Each trusted person is supposed to help the other one see their own weaknesses and confess one to another. This private meeting is meant to confess our own sins to our trusted friend. This private meeting mentioned in James 5:16 is not meant to become an inquisition wherein these two people now become judge and jury over their fellow pastors or members of the congregation. It is a private meeting consisting of two people, in which these two are supposed to concentrate only on each other over what they feel they see in each other. Then they can help one another evaluate their own lives and repent, confess and pray where needed; one for the other; period. This meeting between two friends is not supposed to turn into a witch hunt or mote hunting for weaknesses or sins in the lives of others. Their meeting is not designed to break Jesus’ clear instructions on protocol which prevents misunderstandings, betrayals, injustice and the like, which split relationships and churches. Their meeting is supposed to be taking place to pray for each other and help only themselves with their own short comings.
Luke 6:41-42, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either, how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.”
Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible comments, “The fifth parable in Luke 6:41-42, illustrating getting rid of our own faults before attempting to get rid of those of others and showing the faults of others are not nearly as bad as our own. A splinter or particle of dust. A log, tree trunk, telephone pole. A person who cannot see a telephone pole certainly cannot see a tooth pick” (pg 64).
I believe it becomes a very dangerous thing when people try to play God and criticize their senior pastor over his heart, motive, intentions, ministry gifts, or sanctification. One can certainly come to him privately and question him on anything in a spirit of reconciliation. But one can never talk to others about what they perceive is hard leadership or the method or style with which he chooses to lead without first discussing that with him earnestly, patiently and repeatedly. Waiting until he leaves town to talk to other people about what you feel is sheer disobedience and rebellion brought on by a lack of agape love. It comes from hurts, pains, anger, and bitterness. This is the root of pride that justifies oneself. It is the same old lie, “the end justifies the means.” Adam, Eve, Judas, Lucifer, Miriam, Aaron, Koreh, Absalom and every other proud person excused themselves for discussions with other people rather than speak with the leader himself. This is never condoned in the Scriptures. It is always condemned and it always initiates strife, discord and rebellion. It always separates friends and splits churches and ministries. One cannot justify violating the Scriptures by their “good heart" or "motive” because neither one is the case. The heart is evil and wants its own way. It can only be trained by mind renewal and a choice of the will with the help of the Holy Spirit to do it God’s way and follow Jesus' protocol.
Matt 18:21-22, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'”
We are to use all patience and humility to allow God to judge our own impatience, pride and selfishness but we are never to attempt to play God with another person. God uses the imperfections of those in leadership to test our carnality and God judges our responses accordingly.
Col 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
There is not a perfect leader alive other than Jesus and their perfection still did not stop Lucifer, Eve, Adam, Judas, Peter, the disciples and others from questioning their style, method, love and motive. It did not prevent sheer gossip, slander, conspiracy and rebellion from happening. People’s carnality, will, mind, emotions, pride and stubbornness want their own way. People do not want to follow God’s authority from the Scriptures or the ministry gifts/ governmental authority (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Teacher, Pastor) that Jesus has placed on earth to represent Him and govern his bride (Eph 4:11-16).
Romans 12:18 reads, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Some people will scream legalism, but how can a senior pastor/ set man, be accused of legalism when he expects his assistant pastors and congregation to follow Matt 18:15? These instructions, given by Jesus to bring people back together, were given out of true agape love for humanity. Jesus gave these instructions operating out of the spirit of the law which is mercy and grace. The spirit of the law is for protection against ‘mote hunting’ and to allow each person, including the leader to grow in his or her relationship with the Lord during the course of ones life long journey. Jesus gave these instructions to protect the relationship, reputation and ministry of members of the body of Christ. Jesus gave these instructions to restore relationships; to avoid schisms, splits, divisions and fractions. Jesus gave these instructions for us to operate in true agape love; to avert hypocrisy causing the church to become dysfunctional and carnal people taking sides with the carnal instead of under Christ’s authority which is his church authority on earth. To violate Jesus’ clear instructions identifies that person as immature, lacking in agape love, mercy and grace. It identifies him as a person who has unresolved hurts, pains, unforgiveness and anger. This person disqualifies himself from being part of the ministerial team as he is too immature to serve at that leadership level if he cannot follow Jesus’ instructions for agape love on the leadership team. This person himself, by going to other pastors and people and airing his complaints, commits the very violation he is accusing his senior pastor of committing. This person is breaking the spirit of the law which is mercy, grace, love and becomes a Pharisee following the letter of the law in accusing his leadership to others.
James 3:5-10 reads, “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."
Dear saint. Only the Holy Spirit can control our tongue. That only happens if we transform our mind with the Word of God and submit our will to the written word of God which is the Holy Spirit in written form. The battle throughout our life is always the Spirit of God against the soul (will, mind and emotions) of man. If a person is too immature (meaning lacking enough agape love) to choose to overcome his flesh-carnality-pride-selfishness (the old nature), then that person is too immature to serve as a pastor. This is an area where the minister must be willing to follow the spirit of the law (and not gossip) rather than the letter of the law which becomes Satan’s tool to accuse and separate the brethren. In the spirit of the law he goes alone to his senior pastor whereas in the letter of the law, he goes with a stacked decked as the Pharisees did when Judas turned Christ over to them. The spirit of the law is full of mercy, grace and agape love where the letter of the law wants its own selfish way to get back at a person that hurt their carnality.
Ephesians 4:29 exhorts, “Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
We are supposed to help benefit believers by exhorting them to follow Christ’s protocol exactly for mercy, grace and love to abound; for relationships to remain intact; to avert schisms and divisions caused by carnality, selfishness and pride. If a leader is too immature to follow Christ’s instructions on love and follow Christ’s protocol exactly, which is the spirit of the law, it is too early in that person’s life to serve as a leader on a ministerial staff.
Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Hebrews 12:15, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
Phil 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambitions or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Psalm 103:8-10. “The Lord is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Dr. Graybill states on page 22 in the syllabus for Resolving Conflict and Anger God’s Way, “It is important that we overlook minor offenses because that is what God does in our life by extending grace.”
Brethren, the Bible is very clear regarding the sources of conflict!
James 4:1-3, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Here, I believe James spells out the sources of human conflict. If a church conflict arises out of the soul (will-mind-emotions), that is a sign of immaturity. Where the soul is lacking in sanctification or agape love, the person takes offense with other believers that also operate out of their own carnality at times. The seriousness of the conflict depends on the measure of true agape love present. Another type of conflict could be between members, or sometimes assistant pastors, and their senior pastor. The Bible gives us many examples of this starting with God himself. Numerous other cases of conflicts in the lives of Moses, David, Daniel, Elisha, and Jesus resulted in betrayal, gossip, and rebellion. When a person goes against the spirit of the law, which is breaking Jesus’ protocol found throughout the Bible but defined in Matt 18:15, the end result is always schisms, strife, discord and a separation of relationships. Conflicts come from differences of opinions, purposes, goals, values and vision that frustrate the other person who God has not placed in governmental leadership as the set man.
God uses the set man to test the congregation’s loyalty to loving God and to develop their love for God. This results in an immediate struggle between the flesh and the spirit in a person’s life and the set man is caught in between because he represents God and is a voice for God. God uses the set man to help the people come under God’s control instead of people trying to control each other. In families where one spouse truly has made a decision to allow the Holy Spirit to control their life, there will arise a conflict with the other spouse. Feelings of jealousy and self-centeredness will cause the spouse to become irritated. Now the one spouse wants to live their life to extend the kingdom of God, which brings total freedom, fulfillment and peace. If the other spouse has not arrived at that point in their life where Jesus is truly the master and their rights are given over to him, they get upset at their spouse and blame the set man of the church if God has used him to bring the spouse into true loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Besides being the set man for World Ministries International (WMI), I am the Apostolic Pastor of Christ Worship Center (CWC). I travel to the nations for WMI and meet with the political and spiritual leaders of that nation, exhorting them to come under the control/ leadership of Jesus Christ. For CWC, I do the same thing: exhorting believers to come under the control/leadership of Jesus Christ. CWC was birthed to be a New Testament Church not an American minded church. A New Testament church is geared to serve Jesus Christ as Lord literally; putting Christ ahead of everybody and everything. Many American churches have the veneer of putting Christ first in their teaching and mentality, but in their daily decisions they actually serve themselves. Family, career, hobbies, etc., actually become forms of idolatry. If that American minded church, which is heavily influenced by humanism and ‘the American dream,’ were to be led by one of the original Apostles there would be an uprising. Most American minded pastors today, if they were part of one of the original Apostles’ staff, would break Christ’s protocol and accuse their set man of being hard, insensitive and controlling. They would accuse the original Apostles of being poor husbands and fathers.
Note: Usually when people serve on a board with other men of God they all respect and “love” each other. They boast how good, qualified men of God they all are. They come to the same decisions as their instruction manual (the Bible) dictates how the outcome of a decision is reached together in one accord. Yet, when these very same men themselves break the Scriptures, in either following Jesus’ protocol or actual sin, they now refuse to meet with these very men, calling them “yes men.” I find this to be the height of hypocrisy. A person who once judged others with these godly men but now violates the same things they judged other pastors for. Now they use the same type of excuses others gave to them when they refused to meet with these godly men. I have seen pastors correct and rebuke other pastors for breaking Jesus’ protocol of Matthew 18:15 for contacting others for advice, including outside people, sometimes “leaders” who they are not currently submitted to. This outside influence is total injustice and betrayal of their set man and leadership council that they are supposed to be submitted to. Then, these same men turn around and break Jesus’ protocol or commit another type of sin that they use to rebuke others for!
We will continue with part 6 of Church Restoration. Blessings to you and may we all live in harmony, unity, and peace.
WORLD MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
PO BOX 277
STANWOOD, WA 98292
OFFICE PHONE: (360) 629-5248
OFFICE FAX: (360) 629-6750
WEB SITE: www.worldministries.org
Church Restoration is an extremely important responsibility in the Body of Christ. I believe the reason why the church is so very weak in this area is because most congregations are not being taught how to confront sin or restore relationships through the Scriptures and neither do they watch personal role modeling by their pastors or other leaders in their lives. Proper confrontation is a mandate by God whereas improper discussion of the problem and subject is a sin often committed both by church leadership as well as their congregations. This is a primary tool of the enemy to cause a church split or create an ineffective body of believers. Proverbs 17:9 warns, “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends” (KJV). “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends” (NIV). Most people do not seem to care about the feelings of other people or the reputations of other leaders. They spread “hearsay information” without having the love or courage to go to the person in question first, and they give all the excuses which these articles explain to justify their disobedience to the Scriptures. Once again, church leadership is as guilty, if not more guilty than most of their parishioners and they wonder why there are problems in the church. They fail to understand the laws of “sowing and reaping.”
This is an apostolic ministry that is doing real warfare, not just talking about it. Our television and radio broadcasts, along with our newsletters, tapes and CDs, are not intended to tickle your ears, or put you into a spiritual slumber; instead, they will often challenge your carnal nature, and are designed to bring uncompromised truth. These teachings are based solely on the anointed, inspired Word of God. They should increase your conviction and motivation to join in this great battle.
Please pass this article on to other people whom you feel would support me with their prayers, and who would like to receive my anointed, Word-based articles which I send out twice per month. Also, pray about becoming a Tape or Video of the Month Partner. Through this partnership, in addition to receiving bi-monthly articles, a person would recieve one week of radio messages on cassette or CD and if you are on the video of the month program you would also get one week of television programs on video cassette. These articles, radio and television programs will equip you to better serve our Lord in the coming days of trails and testing. Together we can “sound the alarm” as your financial support will help get this message throughout the nations . Together many people will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. You must order the book, "STOP THE RUNAWAY CONVERSATION, TAKE CONTROL OVER GOSSIP AND CRITICISM." Telephone my office today at 360-629-5248 to order the book and get on my mailing list. God bless you!
© 2006 World Ministries International