THE ABUSE OF HONOR

This piece may get me in trouble with those in the world of Christendom who crave honor. But if you imitate the Master you will love and appreciate the following Scripture very much. 

“I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame]…” (John 5:41 — AMPC).

I believe in honor. The Scriptures have much to say about it. I believe in giving honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7). I believe in honoring worthy leaders, especially those of high character who labor in the Word and prayer. In fact, double honor is encouraged for them (1 Tim. 5:17). 

In one form or another, however, all my Christian life I’ve heard plenty of messages on the necessity of honoring leaders. What I don’t remember ever hearing is on the abuse of honor and the inequality of it. Please allow me to explain. 

Case in point, who gets the best parking space at church? Who gets the best seats in the sanctuary? Who has the finest office? Who gets special days of appreciation in their honor? Who gets the most attention on their birthday and anniversary? Who gets access into the VIP lounge after special services?

Is it the dear single godly mother who is busy working two jobs to support her two children? Is it the humble couple who are caring for their invalid father or mother-in-law? Is it the church handy man who services the poor and needy at no charge? Is it the saintly widow who regularly visits the nursing home and cares for the forgotten of society? Is it the local working soul winning evangelist who is not on church staff payroll, but puts in more hours per week ministering to the poor and homeless than they do sitting in their plush offices? Sadly, in most cases, it is not.

Why this seemingly inequality? Why this lack of balance? Do esteemed leaders have need of more honor and esteem? I think not. Read these verses carefully:

“And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another” (1 Cor. 12:23-25).

When honor does not also flow to those parts that have need of honor we are standing on unscriptural and ungodly ground. Again, I take no issue with honoring leaders. The problem is in many circles the gross overemphasis and spotlight is usually on them, and hardly ever on those who most need it. And it is the constant glaring example of the former is always before us. 

How did we become so uneven? 

Let me share what I believe has greatly contributed to this imbalance. Be warned; this will irritate our glow-in-the-dark celebrity ministry icons.

COULD THE MODERN APOSTOLIC AND PROPHETIC MOVEMENT BE THE CULPRIT? 

I believe the modern apostolic and prophetic “movement” has to take much of the blame for this. The flagrant overemphasis on apostolic “alignment”, prophetic “counsel”, pastoral “covering”, and spiritual “fathering” and “sonship”, although it contains a truth, is excessive and extremely overstated — at least in the world of Charismatic-dom.

I neither have time nor space to delve into the intricacies of this convoluted doctrine that borders on the heretical, but I’ll offer some admonition. 

Jesus warned us, actually forbid us, from the use of inflated titles, false prestige, and inordinate reliance placed upon men acting as mediators and brokers for the favor and blessings of God in the lives of ordinary believers and up and coming young leaders. 

“But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ” (Matt. 23:8-10).

The modern apostolic, prophetic, and even pastoral policies of honor are in many cases quite dishonorable and some are downright abusive. Apart from the rebellion and dishonor found in some members of the body of Christ, it is also littered with hurt and disillusioned believers who have been abused by church leaders and authority figures. 

Take the theme of spiritual “fathering”. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “son in the house”? It’s a term to describe the supposed loyalty of a believer to align himself in submission and service to his “spiritual covering,” whether it be the “apostle of the house” or the ambitious pastor pushing for the same. Most of the time it’s not a spiritual “covering” but a spiritual “smothering”.  

This teaching is usually presented as a spiritual concern for the success of  upcoming young leaders, but it’s often veiled by the real issue at hand — the need for preeminence among ignorant and insecure “spiritual fathers” and the protection from the hurt and betrayal of unfaithful sons or so called “Absaloms” or a “Judas”. The fact is, Jesus had a Judas, and so will every spiritual leader at some point in his life and ministry. 

Apostles and pastors/leaders who set up authority structures and father-son ministry paradigms to insulate themselves from the betrayal or personal hurt of an “Absalom” or a “Judas” are actually working against the principle of death and resurrection that will greatly aid in transforming them into the image of Christ. Stop trying to save your life and save your ministry. 

TRUE SPIRITUAL COVERING

This is what true spiritual covering is. 

“Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13”17).

The word “obey” those who have rule over you, implies obedience learned and earned through trust. 

Again, please hear my heart. I am 100% for the principle of honor and honoring true leaders, and there may be a lack of honor for leaders in certain places where teaching is needed, but I believe the lack is on the other end. The less honorable and less presentable parts need more honor, so “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.”

Why are we addressing the abuse of honor and highlighting the apostolic and prophetic ministry? Because if the Church is going to be transformed from an ego-centric, entrepreneurial, consumer-based ministry to a Christ-based community, the example of it must begin with this foundation of authentic apostolic ministry and true fathers of the faith, who though they be less loved will “the more abundantly love others and will very gladly spend and be spent for their souls” (2 Cor. 12:15).

The modern apostolic and prophetic movement needs maturing. When we see maturity there, we will see it everywhere else.  

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PRAYER AND PROPHECY CONCERNING THE CLEANSING OF CHRIST’S CHURCH

While waiting on the Lord in prayer before an evening meeting in a particular city the communications of the Spirit of God began to flow…(Carolyn and I recorded it and then transcribed it). For the last several years this has been our pattern and mode of operation. We have 100s of pages of prayer notes, or prayer jottings, as we like to call them. We’ve been praying about redesigning our blog and calling it The Prayer Jotter, and also writing a book on the wisdom of God that has come forth during these special times. Following is a lengthy one for spiritually minded people:    

And even here you know something is not right and you’ve been picking it up in your spirit, but you’re not seeing anything for it’s been masked…

It’s very skilled at being deceptive…it’s veiled in religion…a mask of religion… and its only a certain kind of utterance and power that is going to break through this very strong veil of deception.

Tongues…

I see that Lord, so we can’t go in light and fluffy for it’s all disguised in that religious display.

More tongues…

So this then is why the demonstration of My power, not with enticing words of man’s speech, is necessary here (1 Cor. 2:4-5), for this mask that has been here knows what to say, knows what to look like on a Sunday, knows how to pretend and is very good at it, but their faith must be established in the power of God.

We just surrender now to the Holy Ghost and power, to the One who shows us Your heart and Your will, shows us the sick and diseased, and shows us and penetrates through with the preaching that cuts to the heart, and separates the soul.

Hebrews 4:12-13  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Lots of tongues, heaving…

This utterance must come forth to break through the veil of religion, to break through that deceptiveness that is here…and what Ananias and Sapphira were trying to do, because they saw people doing it so they did it, too.

But the anointing and the power and the glory were too great at that time to allow deception. That lie could not walk past the anointing and the one who was walking in the spirit of truth (Peter), for it not to be recognized as a covering and a veil to bring in an impure spirit, a falsehood, and a lie.

And what was going on at that time? There was such a great awareness of the truth of Jesus Christ; there was such an anointing and a power in the body.

There were miracles going on outside the church walls with the shadow of Peter…there was demonstration and power that was being seen, yes, that was going on. The demonstration of the Spirit of the Lord was upon My people, My ministers, so much so that they didn’t need to be in a building; they just had to walk the streets and there I was moving. Yes, that same power that raised Christ from the dead was upon them and could move even away from them and the shadow, yes, even the shadow, which was My Spirit, was healing and delivering and moving through My apostles at that time.

Tongues…

Yes, and even the preaching that came forth was causing hearts to decide, either to disbelieve and oppose, and get angry at the words coming forth, or repent, be glad and rejoice.

Can you not see what it looks like? Can you not understand what it looks like when I am moving? There is power and there is an utterance and a word that causes there to always be a dividing, and you said it through your own words and through your own mouth that I either make them glad, sad, or mad.

This is evidence of My Spirit moving and My Spirit in dominance and the authority on My ministers of reconciliation.

Tongues…

You see it’s almost like He’s highlighted this morning the beginning of Acts where it started, how there was an anointing, how the Holy Spirit first came through a people who prayed and were consecrated and waited on Him, and He came like a whirlwind and the people automatically went out of the upper room and into the streets…that is automatic and that is something you should see and recognize, even in the body today.

When the Holy Spirit is poured out people cannot stay in the pew; they have to go out to the streets for there’s an activation.

And so you have seen, and so don’t you remember when you went to_________? Aahh, I remember when we were moving in the Spirit at _____________ and how gifts were activated and how some started waking up when the Spirit was released, and yet that leader stopped it because of being in control, and all of a sudden it was all stopped. And what was the release and what happened out of that?

It burst, and instead of life, it brought forth adultery in the body and it brought forth coldness and people walking away; it brought forth people being taken away, this marriage being destroyed, this one going off into false doctrine, that one moving away from God and becoming cold and it brought forth a dry cold monument of religion.

Whenever someone or something comes to stop (a move of God) that is the result…the work of Satan, the work of death…but oh remember how it all started and how they let the Holy Spirit move and Peter got up and preached, and the word cut to their hearts and there were so many that came to the Lord and believed, and then there was a movement in homes.

But understand what tried to come with Ananias and Sapphira was disguised in religion, disguised with a mask of pretension, but because of the sensitivity of the ministers (Peter), they were watching and they saw it as soon as it moved by. There was a discernment that came because the Holy Spirit was in charge and He recognized in the disguise that which was false.

But oh how many today would allow Ananias and Sapphira to walk in the door with their pay checks, with their checkbooks, with their debit cards and credit cards, and their bank accounts, and say: “Oh, God told us to give this to you pastor, and oh they would be received and yet it was a messenger of Satan; it was a pride that got in, and then there comes the control through the money…a control of what goes on through the Spirit because of the money.

Tongues…

And so I see the disguise that’s gone in and infiltrated the church in this area.

They know what to say, they know what to do, they know how to come in, and make havoc of pure things that may have started with the right heart, but oh…

They know how to raise their hands, they know how to dress, they know how to move, they know what to say…

It’s a disguise I say.

But now me and Bert pray, for we have a little bit of understanding now. You told us to come in demonstration, for how will they even pay attention, how will their faith even be in the words that are spoken, except they first see the power of God—the pure power of God.

Thank You for this revelation and understanding and what we’re dealing with in this religious spirit.

Now let’s give place to praying in the the Spirit together…

Bert:

Honest with God, honest with God…the honesty and unveiling starts with God; it starts with an individual’s relationship with the Lord, it starts with transparency, it starts with an unveiled face, it starts by beholding the glory of the Lord as in a mirror…it starts vertically with every believers’s relationship with the Lord…for you cannot hide from God…you can put a mask on but He sees through the mask.

For nothing is veiled but all is open and naked before Him with whom we have to give account and every creature is naked before God. For the sharp sword of His Word cuts through the soul and spirit and the joints and marrow and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart.

You cannot hide from Him!

So there is the need to walk before Him in purity and integrity and honesty without defilement and without guile and without hypocrisy and without malice, and as babes in Christ, desiring the sincere milk of the Word so that you may grow thereby.

As babes, as babes…for He hides His wisdom from the wise and prudent, but He reveals them unto babes, so as babes, desire the pure milk of the Word. And receive the wisdom, yea, even the hidden secrets of God.

Tongues…lots of tongues…

I’m reminded that the true apostolic and the true prophetic is in this manner—that it turns the hearts of the people towards God; it turns the motives of the hearts of the people towards God, and that which is veiled and masked is ripped apart, so that they see even as they should see and are known even as they’re known, not even just through a glass darkly, but in the Spirit they see, even as God sees what He desires for them to see at that moment and at that time.

So I see where we forget that that operation is supernatural and is such an integral and critical part of the apostolic and the prophetic even as you just said when ___________ ministered at __________, and his opening statements ripped a veil and ripped a mask off the fake and phony carnal prosperity gospel and it turned the motives of people’s hearts immediately toward God,  and it put them face to face with God and with pure truth, and then they decide.

For too many have spoken smooth words from smooth lips when there’s been war in their hearts.

Oh but the truly apostolic and prophetic even as seen in the early apostles and Peter in the early Church, oh, it ripped that mask and that veil and political talk (correctness) right off of people.

So I see the Church has had a mask, and many things have been veiled even as You have shown us today, and the great need is for true apostles and prophets to come with strong words and a certain kind of utterance that would penetrate and unmask and unveil those things which are hidden and that are hindering the Church and God’s people and pure truth from seeping through…hindering the true move of the Spirit of God, for the Spirit cannot be yoked with darkness, and what manner of agreement has God with Baal, and how can we dine at the table of God and the table of devils, and what accord has light with darkness?

So you see even the need of the hour, even as you’re beginning to write that My house shall no more be called a den of thieves but a house of prayer.

So you see that there must be a cleansing and there must be a purification before the true power can really come, for if the power comes without the purification the deception would grow and people would say, “Oh, God is pleased with us for He’s demonstrating His power and pouring out His Spirit and therefore He must be pleased,” and then people would continue to walk on in their blindness and in their deception.

For I will not pour out My power on a church that is blemished and full of pride and sin and deception…no, no, no for that would only further add to the deception that already is.

So there must be a purification, a purifying, a sanctifying, a cleansing of all the impurities that have been veiled and masked.

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day.  If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. Again, if this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.