The United States of America is in trouble today because the church has failed to be salt and light and also in its purpose to reveal the glory of God over the earth. Psalm 72:19. In Genesis 1:26-28, Luke 19:13 and Matthew 5:13 God tells Christians to take dominion, subdue, be salt, occupy and make disciples of the inhabitants of the earth. Consequently, instead of being led by the righteous where people prosper, America is being led by evil men in a Marxist coup toppling the Republic of America. The true reason for the church failing and our nation being conquered is The Pastor Behind the Pulpit; The Minister of the Word.
Text: Acts 6:4 reads. “But we will devote ourselves...to the ministry of the word.”
I used the book, THE MINISTRY OF GOD’S WORD by WATCHMAN NEE as a source of inspiration and warning. Another source of inspiration and warning comes from my dream in 1985 that changed my life and career and gave me my commission and burden.
Nee, “If the word of God is taken away, then almost nothing is left of God’s work... Once the word is removed the work of God ceases immediately, for God operates through His word... God’s word is spoken through the mouth of man...Since His word is delivered by man, the minister of the word becomes a real concern.” Page 9
In 1985, after repentance of unforgiveness because of pride, I received my first supernatural dream. I saw myself traveling the nations and speaking to the leaders of governments; speaking to the masses. I saw apocalyptic events including death lines. I also saw the heart of God and that God’s heart was broken. God told me His heart was broken because the church was in love with the world more than they were in love with Him. When I asked why He said, “Because the pastor behind the pulpit is more in love with the things of the world.”
When I awoke I was sweating and had an incredible burden to warn the church to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ; to repent and be baptized because they were not ready. I especially had a burden to warn pastors for I knew, as did Watchman Nee who resisted the Communist takeover in China and Dietrich Bonhoeffer who resisted the Nazis and Hitler in Germany, and many other giants in the faith, that the failure of the church is because of the pastor behind the pulpit.
When the Lord Jesus came to the earth, the Word became flesh. John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Jesus primary ministry was the ministry of God’s word.
- GOD HAS ALWAYS USED MAN TO CARRY OUT HIS COMMISSION AND PREACH THE WORD.
Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion...over all the earth.”
Matthew 28: 18-20, “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Both in the O.T. and N.T., God used men to carry out His will and warn the people to repent from their sins and serve the true God or be condemned by God Himself (The Word of God). God used Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Noah, Daniel, Samuel, David, Esther, Joseph, Moses, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John, and Paul to represent God, confront sin and warn of God’s judgment.
Each of these, representing both Old and New Testament, was used by God, but they were also disciplined by the Lord in order to be used effectively. Each of them had their own type of wilderness experience which groomed them to be better usable instruments for the Lord.
Watchman Nee states, “God must not only put His word in...ministers but must deal with them as well. He needs to raise them to the level He demands. He will use their thoughts, feelings and characteristics, but these have to be dealt with first. So God deals with these...ministers in respect to their experiences, words... communicated through them.” Page 15
- GOD DISCIPLINES EACH OF US IN ORDER THAT WE MAY BE MORE EFFECTIVE FOR HIM!
Hebrews 12:6, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son who he receiveth.”
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:4, “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears.”
Watchman Nee states, “Since the Lord Jesus has already come and the Holy Spirit has now entered into the believing man, God will work in the man until his human elements do not damage God’s word. This is the basis of... ministry. The Holy Spirit so operates in man, so controls and disciplines him, that the latter’s own elements can exist without impairing God’s word; on the contrary, they fulfill it...Under the discipline, control and work of the Holy Spirit, all human elements can be properly engaged by God.” Page 17
It becomes abundantly clear from the scriptures, and in Nee’s book, that God allows circumstances to enter our life. He even allows trials and thorns for us to deal with our carnality or selfishness so that He can use us more effectively.
Nee writes, “To be one who believes God’s word we must be pruned and refined. God has to lay aside those whose human makeup contains many uncleanness, fleshly things, and matters condemned by God. Others He has to bypass because they have never been broken before God, or their thoughts are not straightforward, or their lives are undisciplined, their necks stiff, their emotions untamed, or they have controversy with God. Even if these individuals receive God’s word, they are not able to deliver it for it is blocked within them. Should they force themselves to preach, the word is ineffective. Hence man’s condition before God is a basic problem for...ministers.” Page 18
As God’s warning in my dream in 1985, the minister behind the pulpit is the reason for the condition of the church. He is more in love with himself than Jesus Christ, thus he is not able to effectively preach the Word of God.
Nee, “How very great, then, is the responsibility of those who preach God’s word! If the man is wrong and mingles his own unclean things in with the word, he defiles the word of God, greatly damaging it...This flesh must therefore be wrought upon by God. We need to be daily disciplined. Any defects in us will defile the word and destroy its power. Do not think that just anybody can preach the word of God. We know of only one kind of person who may preach it - those who have been dealt with by God.” Page 20
John 7: 37-38 reads, “...Jesus stood and cried saying, ‘if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ ”
It becomes crystal clear that the only way a minister of the word can be effective, is to have a true daily relationship with Christ. It cannot be a theological scholarly knowledge of the scriptures like the Scribes and Pharisees. It must be a true relationship such as Saul, the Pharisee of the Pharisees, had when he became the Apostle Paul.
Nee explains: “We must allow the word to come to us, to drill and to grind us, until if flows out with—yes, our personal elements in it—and yet not spoiled or corrupted in the least. The Lord wishes us to be channels of living water...It is the consequence of the working of the Holy Spirit within us as well as His disciplining us through arrangement of our environment. We become channels of living water only after the Holy Spirit has succeeded in breaking and grinding us down. Our outward man needs this breaking by God. It needs drastic and thorough dealings. Where upon our spirit may begin to breath freely – the holy spirit being freed within us — and the word of God may commence to flow from us. The word of God and ourselves are consequently like two streams merging and flowing together.” Pages 27-28
The Apostle Paul certainly allowed the word, or Jesus Himself by the Holy Spirit, to come upon him thoroughly and completely. He was willing to go through many trials and tribulations, even a thorn in the flesh, to drill and grind down his carnality and pride so the character, values and power of God could reign through his body, will, mind and emotions.
“The seven sons of Sceva tried to cast out a demon in the name of Jesus whom Paul preached. Not only could they not cast out the demon, but two of them were even overwhelmed by the evil spirit. The word was there, yet the Spirit did not work. Word alone is futile; there must also be the minister. When God’s Spirit joins the minister and the word together, living waters flow.” Pages 28-29
Most ministers of the gospel today that do not embrace the will and discipline (training) of the word and the spirit find out, just as the seven sons of Sceva, the Scribes and Pharisees did, that they have no power to cast out demons or heal the sick. All they can do is tell Bible stories and much of the time their denominational biases get in the way of the scriptures being taught correctly.
- MAN IS UNUSABLE—THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM.
“God does not want to speak alone, yet man is unusable— this is the crux of the problem. Brethren, if God wills not to speak alone, and if the ministers are incompetent to speak, what must be the condition of the church? All the barrenness, poverty, and corruption found in her are due to inadequacy of the human element in the word of God. Would that God could find those who are broken and stricken to the ground so as to allow His word to flow out from them. We are always trying to find God’s word, but God is continually looking for those whom He can use. We are seeking for the word of God, but God is seeking for His ministers. If we have not been chastened we cannot do the work of the Lord...If we are not right, the word of God is blocked.” Page 29
The church is supposed to be the voice of God to the nation. It should be the conscience of the nation. But if the ministers of the word are incompetent to speak God’s word, then the nation is shipwrecked, tossed about and subject to being dashed upon the rocks and destroyed.
“The Holy Spirit does not side with the word alone; He also sides with the man who is broken and bears the marks of the cross. A broken, stricken human spirit is a usable spirit. Should the Holy Spirit fail to be released, it is because of the hindrance of our outward man. Our emotions, temper, and will can each one hinder the word. We may speak well, yet it actually can be merely word, doctrine or teaching—not the word of God. God’s word needs to enter into your being, into your feeling, understanding, heart, and spirit. It needs to make a turn in you and flow out again. Then the word is intimately knit with you, it is pressed and pushed forth in you. But if there should be any defect in your emotions, thought, understanding, heart, or spirit, the word of God will be damaged by you. Not only will your word be defective but the whole church will be adversely affected. You will have ruined God’s word as well as despoiled God’s church. We must let His word pass through us without hindrance. If God is merciful to us, we shall see light.” Page 30
If there is going to be any hope for The United States of America, 2 Chronicles 7:14 must take place. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”
The ministers of The word must be qualified to preach the entire word if America has any chance for recovery. If not, certain judgment is inevitable. Since God has always used man on earth to carry out His commission and preach the word, then man has been the problem. Only man can be the solution for America and the nations to be redeemed, apart from the Return of Jesus Christ, when Christ will do it himself without man.
Man must come under the discipline of the Holy Spirit. He must embrace the humility and mercy of God so God can give him revelation, illumination and light to be a MINISTER OF THE WORD. Man must allow God to break his outer self and give man the feelings, compassion, heart, mercy and love of God that is needed to be an effective MINISTER OF THE WORD.
Only when we can weep with those who weep, laugh with those who laugh, and feel the pain and anguish of those in grief or the depths of sin, can we bring the spirit of God to others in our preaching with true conviction, anointing and grace. I will continue with GOD’S DEVELOPMENT OF HIS MINISTERS ~ Part 2 next time!
Blessings, Jonathan Hansen
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