Behold I Stand at the Door and Knock, Part II
"Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, 'I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.' " Revelation 3:20
Contrary to popular belief the above referenced scripture is not speaking of salvation but of the Lord Jesus Christ knocking on the door of the church. He was speaking to the church of Laodicea about their spiritual condition, being wealthy and in need of nothing as well as their works, being lukewarm.
Jesus is knocking at the door of His church asking to be invited in, but His sheep have been deceived into believing that the "Senior Pastor" is their shepherd! They don't need Jesus, Pastor will feed us and pray for us and visit us in the hospital, marry us and bury us, after all, we pay him very well to be our spiritual leader. He is all we need!
It was no different in Jesus day, He came to the temple run by the shepherds of Israel and they rejected Him too. They were satisfied with their position of Rabi, Pharisee, or Chief priest. Why this Jesus doesn't even have a degree in religion, what could He possibly benefit this people who are more than satisfied with what we give them. So whats wrong with the modern clergy/laity model of seeker friendly, consumer driven, pastor ruled church of the last days? Jesus Christ is not their Lord, man is!
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. I Corinthians 11:3
HEIRLINGS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheep fold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." John 10:1
Jesus came to earth for two primary reasons: to redeem mankind from their sins and to build His church. He didn't rent a building, stick a sign in the yard. fill it with chairs and hire Peter to be the Senior Pastor. That wasn't even thought of for several hundred years down the road.
First of all church is not a place, it is an assembly of people born again, filled with God's Spirit and led by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus spent three years training the twelve apostles, teaching them the principles of His kingdom and preparing them to be the foundational stones in His organic building. Nowhere in scripture can you find Jesus, Peter or Paul appointing a pastor over an assembly of believers, much less hiring one and paying him a salary.
When Jesus died on the cross the angels ripped the veil of separation in the temple from top to bottom, destroying forever the old priesthood and allowing the new priesthood of believers access to the Father without a human mediator. The law was fulfilled, the old done away with and a new covenant began giving every born again believer the right to come boldly to the throne of grace.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them." John 10:8,9
Jesus is the Chief Shepherd and the door to eternal life, He is the Head of the Church of the Firstborn enrolled in Heaven and will not share His glory with anyone. The danger of having a single person lead God's people is the fact that the believers will begin to follow him and not Christ. They will cease seeking God on their own and will rely on "Pastor" to feed them thus rendering the body useless to fulfill the Great Commission.
Now I know what you are thinking that there are some very successful churches out there and they are doing the work of God, and there are. There are also some very godly pastors serving in their capacity, but that is not the design that God intended for His church. Jesus chose twelve apostles because twelve is the number of the government of God. They were all apostles, not pastors, they were all to be sent as the foundational pillars to provide protection through spiritual warfare for the body.
If one can put a thousand to flight, and two ten thousand, twelve can put one hundred trillion of the enemies of God to flight. Pretty impressive, do you think one man could have handled the warfare that came with the initial harvest that God provided at Pentecost, not to mention the persecution that was being dealt out by the old priesthood. Satan hates the true work of God and will attack every time someone dares to walk in the will of God building according to His design.
For centuries the devil has moved man back under the old priesthood complete with temple, priest, tithe, and altar. This form of ritualistic worship is man-made and taken straight out of the old testament. Even the Protestant reformation, though it changed some doctrine remained under the old man-centered pastor dominated system. This modern day corporate model looks good to the middle-class yuppie seekers who come to be entertained at the Sunday morning social club, but in God's eyes it is an abomination!
It is so ingrained in the American mind that when the word church is mentioned you automatically think of a little white chapel with a steeple on it, a place to go on Sunday to worship and hear a nice uplifting message of peace and safety while the rest of the world goes to hell! Like McDonald's there is one on every corner, open for business and willing to do whatever it takes to sign you up and make you a bonafide tithing member in good standing as long as you sit in the pew and keep your mouth shut.
"I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:9,10
Under the old shepherd/sheep mentality of pastor rule the devil can easily manage one man keeping him worn down doing the work of the flock. Hospital visits, deacon's meetings, weddings, funerals not to mention writing another ear tickling message for the Sunday morning social club. That is why 1500 ministers leave the ministry every month, burned out, discouraged and totally depleted because they refused to train and equip the saints for the work of service and instead took it upon themselves, something God never intended.
If man would simply read his bible and obey the words of the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, this demonically inspired, man-centered system of ritualistic religion would die out and the true vine would grow up into a vineyard of the Lord. The harvest would be reaped and the saints would rejoice in their Chief Shepherd, well done good and faithful servants enter into the joy of the Lord.
"But a heirling, (a man hired by sheep to be their shepherd) he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees: and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them." John 10:12
UNITY OF THE SPIRIT
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Ephesians 4:4-6
Satan's plan from the beginning was to divide the people of God by bringing them under the rule of man thus weakening them and restricting their growth. When Israel entered Egypt and began to be fruitful and multiply Pharaoh fearing that they would one day rise up and conquer them divided them up and appointed cruel taskmasters over them.
Division is one of the devil's most powerful weapons against the body of Christ. Man against man, church against church, black, white, denomination or political preference, anything he can use to divide God's people. United we stand, divided we fall! For centuries this demonic tactic has worked and the body of Christ has been greatly weakened to the point that they have lost their effectiveness to fight against the powers of darkness.
There is strength in numbers and if the church of the living God would open their eyes and unite under the banner of the cross of Christ and refuse the schemes of the devil to divide them we would see a great revolution, a restoration of power and anointing and a great harvest of souls. The earth would tremble under the weight of God's people doing the works of Christ throughout the world. We would see strongholds tumble down, famines and plagues ended, weather patterns changed not to mention the fear of the Lord restored to His church.
You are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, you have been given all power and authority over the powers of darkness: sickness, disease and even death, so what more could we possibly ask for? What are you waiting for, the harvest is white and the world awaits a Savior to bring good news and we are His representatives, ones called out of darkness into His glorious light!
And He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head- Christ- from whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16