"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Apostolic Teachings 3: Least is Greatest

Another powerful apostolic teaching is the least is the greatest in the Kingdom. Church knows a bit about this but nobody believes it, because you see them all aching to be somebody. They want to hold the highest titles and degrees, positions, have highest church attendance, the mega-est church of all. They're obsessed with greatness. They all look down on small churches.

Why? Because churches do not devote themselves to the apostles' teachings--because they don't know what it is. They think it's some optional thing. It's either they don't know what it is or do know but belittle it--because nobody today wants to be least. They're all out to grab titles and positions and to be popularly great in men's eyes. But the Acts believers "devoted" themselves to apostolic teachings, one of which is Jesus' standard of greatness in the Kingdom--the least is the greatest.

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No doubt BIG IS GOOD. A big church is a good goal. I like to have a big church. Titles and degrees are likewise good. But more often than not, these things make people proud and conceited. Yeah, of course they act like they're humble, especially in front of a cam or an audience, but you see the pride in their hearts during unguarded moments. You also see how they treat and regard the small and the weak. They may pity them, but you also see how they despise them. God does not despise the weak.

What the majority sees as least or weakness or slowness or stupid, God sees as potential and high-ranking. The greatest. But don't get this wrong. Lazy is not being least. Being slack in the Lord's work is not being least. You have to obey the great commission--witness and disciple--and study the Word to prove yourself a workman of God. You have to live out the Word to grow in Christ. Do you have disciples? Are you training them to share the Gospel and disciple others who would disciple others, too?

Meditating God's Word day and night gives us the radical mind of Christ. We begin to see things differently. Our values system becomes worlds apart from that of the world--totally different. Like small churches. We begin to put more importance on them than on big ones. Paul said:
"...those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty,24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other." [1 Corinthians 12]
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God gives honor to churches that lack it. This is powerfully apostolic. But you see this nowhere in churches today. Church people honor big churches and see them as models. Pastors of big churches are seen as leaders, and the rest should listen to them to learn. Some pastors of big churches act like superstars. Small churches and their pastors are looked down on so that church people prefer to go to mega churches. If given a choice between big or small, they'll go for big anytime.

Or, they leave their small churches and join big ones. Why? Because they're taught this mindset. These things are downloaded into their minds and become a tacit standard. They see how in general, small churches are belittled and made a bad example in church growth or church planting seminars. Why are churches like this? Why is church culture in general biased thus? Because they are not apostolic. They don't really believe the least is the greatest in God's eyes. So they hate small.

But neither is small the standard. Big is not the standard, too. What's the standard then? Being the church God wants you to be--and devoted to apostolic teachings.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit." They memorize the verse but NOBODY really believes it. Actually, they look down on you when you're meek, quiet and simple. They think you're cheap. Small-time. Even dumb. But if you brag about yourself, throw your weight around and parade your titles and degrees, you get respect. I've seen how the rich (but immature) are voted to high positions in church while the meek and less-moneyed (but mature) are not.

Why this? Because churches are not apostolic. Nobody is apostolic in spiritual stature to teach them these things so churches can be devoted to genuine apostolic teachings. Even some so-called apostolic and prophetic churches are led by superstar pastors who are too eager to be recognized as the greatest worldwide. They're snobbish and refuse to work or connect with "lesser" pastors or ministries. You can hardly approach them when they see you as less.

Look at Jesus, the apostle. Anybody could approach him, even those considered unclean or those infamous for being sinners. He allowed them to touch him and eat with him. Multitudes crowded and pressed against him, rubbing shoulders with one another. He was willing to be baptized by John the prophet, showing positions were nothing to him. He showed himself in every way as being least.

Jesus knew he was the Son of God and Messiah. He knew he had unlimited riches and owned everything. Yet, he stayed low profile and lived just like lowly people. That's apostolic. You know your high standing in the Kingdom (because of Christ in you), but in the world you stay ordinary and average. You don't care one bit about recognition or position. You don't care if people don't treat you as they should. You don't look for special attention. You never see yourself as VIP.

Jesus knew he was equal with God but didn't think it a thing to be grabbed or showed off or proven to the world. A lot of church people need to prove who they are so they brag. They love being in the limelight. They're concerned about PR. They are not apostolic. Jesus didn't require recognition from others, but when someone did recognize him despite his radical, down-to-earth simplicity, he marveled. He knew the guy had been touched by God to see truth in him.

"Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonas, for this was not taught you by human beings but revealed by my Father in heaven," Jesus said of Peter when he recognized Jesus as the Messiah. This despite how Jesus looked and how the leading religious leaders of the time treated Jesus as dirty rag. If you see real value in what the world scorns, you are blessed with revelation. You should look for such men to man sensitive works or positions in your ministry. You deliberately try to look plain and unimpressive--you try to "disguise" your anointing--and yet some people see it. God has anointed them to be apostolic.

I don't try to look impressive. I don't talk much about myself. Don't try to attract people to yourself. Let God reveal to them who you are. If you show off and love talking about your achievements, people will follow you. But that's all artificial. They follow you out of ulterior motives. They want something from you. I've seen people who "devotedly" followed certain church leaders in hopes of someday being taken to South Korea or the US. That's rotten.

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