For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure [Grk. metron] of faith (Romans 12:3).
I have observed that a great many of the saints of the Lord are finding themselves rejected by the leaders in Christendom and it is out of concern for these precious ones that I have written this piece.
In the institutions of men that are drunk on power there are very few sober thoughts. Sober thinking is thinking with the mind of Christ who took on the form of a servant and lived a life and died a death for the benefit of all. The problem with institutions is that they have the life of Christ organized out to them and take on a life that is against the life which Christ desires to manifest in His saints, giving each member of His body a measure of the Spirit by which to serve one another. The mindset of that system is that the person at the top (pastor, apostle, evangelist, bishop, C.E.O., etc.) has every ability to do everything that needs to be done and that other people exist to augment those abilities. The trouble is that this is exactly what has been going on in the visible church for almost 1900 years and a disease called, “give us a king” (see 1 Samuel ch. 8: 4-7) has settled into the minds of the faithful who populate the church system and they “love to have it so.” Thus the prophesy is fulfilled spoken by Jeremiah almost 3000 years ago…
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction [by their own power]; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes? (Jer. 5:30-31 RSVA)
I believe that we are seeing “the end” of the visible church that is now laced with false teachers and false prophets and pastors and leaders who rule by their own fleshly charisma drawing away disciples after themselves. Paul saw this coming as well and spoke to the elders of the Ephesian church about it and it brought him to tears to see it coming (see Acts 20: 29-31).
How opposite this is from how the Spirit moves among us with HIS measures of grace given to each member to function not according to the dictates of an office holder, but rather to function according to the will of Jesus where all that is done is done in a mindset of pure servant-hood and laying down our lives for one another.
These delusional leaders which are so common in this system, might have a metron in which they are gifted by God and as a result gain much attention because of this gifting. But the mindset of the systems of the world soon has them trying to minister outside theirmetron and they fail every time. Not only that, but they take over in an area that God has given to other members of Christ’s body in their metrons and now the body is robbed many times over. Like all diseases, this infection soon becomes exponential and it is not long until the whole body is functionally dead and enveloped in dead works generated by man, simply because each member is not answering to the Head who is Christ but rather the will of an over bearing human with a title.
What happens to the dear saint that is caught in that system who desires to be obedient to the Spirit of God dwelling within them? They end up suffering much confusion because the Spirit is telling them to do one thing while the management is demanding that they do “the program” it has generated. Eventually, the poor saint that seeks to obey the Spirit leaves that system (or is driven out, branded as a “rebel”) and finds himself fulfilling another scripture as they follow their Lord…
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with foods [strange doctrines], which have not profited them that have been observing them. We have an altar [filled with spiritual food], of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.Let us go forth therefore unto him outside the camp,bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Heb 13:8-14 KJ2000 – emphasis added)
If they had “strange doctrines” circulating through the church in 55 A.D. when this was written, how much more it is true almost 2000 years later? As we obey the Spirit and our high callings to be conformed to the very image of Christ we will find that we must go “outside the camp” of Christendom because the spiritual atmosphere there is too stifling under all that man-made control which conflicts with what the Spirit is asking us to do. Just as Jesus was rejected and persecuted by the chief priests and elders of Judaism, so it will be with those who follow Him (see Mark 8:31 and John 15:20).
Jesus Christ is the same now as He was when the Book of Hebrews was written under His inspiration. The further one gets from eating the doctrines of men, the more he will find that God has a table set for Him with the wonderful truth of the true gospel of Christ. Yes, there is a reproach associated with following Jesus outside the camp whether it be the Baptist camp, the high church camp, the Pentecostal camp (or any one of 33,000 different denominations and Christian sects we have today), but going outside the gate unto Him and the call of HIS voice is worth it.
Remember that these saints of old mentioned in Hebrews chapter eleven never found an earthly city that they could call theirs, either, but they sought that kingdom that comes not with outward observation, a heavenly city with a heavenly temple made of living stones where Christ has been made the Corner Stone of all that is built upon Him. Just as that Precious Stone laid in Zion was rejected by the builders 2000 years ago, so it is with today’s church builders, so don’t be surprised that as you are laid upon Him by God, you will be rejected as well.
As it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom 9:33 KJ2000)
Jesus said unto them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Mat 21:42-43 KJ2000)
It is evident that the church has gone full circle in the last 1900 years and its visible form is being rejected by God and once again “given to a nation” that will bring forth the fruits of God’s kingdom in His love. Listen to the voice of the Spirit and seek to operate inside your God given metron, building up the body of Christ in His selfless love as the Bride makes herself ready.