Col 1:9-18 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Notice it's called the Kingdom of His dear Son. He is the King. ) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. The preeminence belongs to no one but Jesus Christ our Lord.
3Jn 1:9-11 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. The Apostle John said in these verses that for a man to seek the preeminence is evil. As we saw in Col 1:18, Jesus is the head, and the head has the preeminence in the body.
Joh 13: 3-17 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. We are called to be servants. Jesus took upon Him the form of a servant, and He has called us to do the same. We are not called to dominate, and to control, and to rule over one another. Jesus said in Joh 7:18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Whose glory are you seeking? Are you seeking your own glory, or are you truly seeking to glorify God? He that seeks His glory that sent him, the same is true and no unrighteousness is in him. Diotrephes sought his own glory. He loved the preeminence among the disciples, and he dominated, he controlled, he manipulated; why? Because he did not have the authority, because he was in disobedience. He was after the glory for himself. He was not true. But a person that is true, even in this scripture in 3John, we see that John said that he would deal with Diotrophese when he came. John had authority to deal with that man. John was obedient to the Lord. He loved the Lord. He served the Lord. He sought to glorify the Lord, and so he kept that authority that God gave him to be an apostle. When a person tries to go beyond what God has given them, they lose that authority, and so they fall into witchcraft, domination, control, to try to rule in that position. A true man of God is a servant of God, and seeks only to glorify Him. 1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Who do you love? Do you love God, or do you love yourself? Are you seeking the honor of God, or are you seeking your own honor? Are you seeking the honor of men? Jesus said in Joh 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Joh 16:13&14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
So when you are sent by God you will be led by the Holy Spirit, and you will speak the things that He gives you to speak, and you'll be seeking His Glory, of the one that sent you. His name is Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be leading you to glorify Him, according to this verse. These are the words of Jesus; He shall glorify me, for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. So the Lord sends a person, and He gives them abilities; He gives them gifts. Not everyone has the same gifts. Different gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to different people for different purposes. We need to be happy and thankful for the gifts that He has given us, and serve Him and seek to glorify Him and love Him; seek to edify the church. All the gifts that God has given are for that purpose; to glorify God, and to edify the body of Christ, to build up the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit will always lead us to glorify Jesus, never a man. Mar 9:33-37 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. That's just such a beautiful picture; He took that child, and He took him in His arms; That's our Jesus. He took that child and He took him in His arms. I'm reminded of 1Cor 13:2 where the Apostle Paul said, though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. Whatever we're doing, if we don't have love, it's worthless. So, the key to all of this is love. Love God. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself, not loving yourself, loving your own pleasure, seeking your own glory, but loving God, and loving the body of Christ, loving His people and seeking to edify them. And if you know Jesus, you know that you can't do anything without Him. In verse 35; If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And, of course, that agrees with the example that Jesus gave in John 13 where He washed the disciples feet. Jesus said I didn't come but as a servant. He came to serve us. He gave Himself for us.
Because He gave Himself unto the death of the cross, the Father exalted Him. He didn't exalt Himself. The Father exalted Him, and the Father has set Jesus as the head of the church. He's also made Him the King of Israel. He's also made Him the Savior of the world. He's also given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee bows, and every tongue confesses that He is Lord. No one is above Him! Anyone who seeks to take His place, anyone who seeks to take the honor that belongs only to Jesus, is a thief ! and a liar ! and you will be judged severely ! I speak to you false prophets who seek the preeminence that belongs only to Jesus; you will be judged! You must repent of your evil ways and humble yourself and be willing to clean toilets, or whatever God would have you to do, and stop seeking to be something you're not. If you do that, you don't have authority. God has a real purpose for your life, and if you obey and be faithful in that purpose, you will have His authority, the authority of God will continue, and you'll be able to minister, to edify people, but He will get the glory. You will be seeking to glorify Him, and you will edify others; truly edify them.
We need to understand that it was pride that led Satan to try to become like God. He was lifted up in his own heart, and that brought about His fall. It's the same thing with us. It's only pride and wickedness that would lead us to try to be something we're not, and it will bring about our fall. Any man who seeks the preeminence forfeits the God given authority of his gift. So he falls into witchcraft, domination, and control, not God's authority, and that brings destruction upon himself and upon the people. So be content to fulfill your true calling, to be a servant, and you will have authority to accomplish God's purpose, as you continue loving Him and obeying Him. The purpose of your gift is to glorify the Lord, and the Father, and to edify the body of Christ.
Isa 9:6&7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. The government is upon Jesus' shoulder. He can bear it. He's given us differing abilities, different gifts, and we are able to bear what ever He has given us to bear. We cannot bear more than that. When we seek to do that we bring destruction upon ourselves and others.
Zec 6:12&13 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. Jesus will bear the glory. If we seek honor, if we seek a position that the Lord has not given us, He has not given us the strength or the ability to bear that glory, and we will fall. But if we will humble ourselves, the Lord will grant us grace, and He will lead us to fulfill His calling in our lives, and we will be honored as we remain faithful in that calling. Gal 6:3-5 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. That's what happens to many people; they think themselves to be something that they are not, and they deceive themselves, and they end up in a burden that they are not able to bear.
So what is the answer? Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. Humble yourself and He will exalt you in due time. He will be glorified.
I want to share some personal testimony so that you can understand that this not just something we're talking about out of our head, or even out of the scriptures. This is something that we have been through personally, both my wife and I and many of our friends have been through this. I was in a church for over twenty years. When it started out there were many good things happening, and many of us were hopeful that it would be a real church, a true, scriptural church. There were many times that the Holy Spirit manifested with the gifts of the Spirit. There were many wonderful worship services where God was present, and even miracles happened. Many things happened. So, it's not a simple thing, it's never a simple thing. In any given ministry there are good things that happen because of faith and love that is in the hearts of the people, and even in the leaders, and there are many leaders that start out loving the Lord and wanting to serve the Lord and wanting to minister to people, but some men and some women, as I said earlier, get caught up in seeking after glory, seeking after the honor of men. They get lifted up in pride. They begin to think that they are something that they're not. They begin to go after things that they should not. They begin to go after things that are not theirs. The preeminence belongs to Jesus. He is the head. We are the body.
The way that a church should be run is plainly explained in the scriptures. All the different administrations and governments are all written out clearly in the Bible, and it is clearly written that we should be subject, one to another. Never do you see a situation in the true church where you have a dominating ruler controlling the people through fear. But we had that. We went through that. The man that was running this ministry was a very strong man in the flesh, and he ruled the church with a strong arm. He taught us to fear him. And as I said in the beginning, there were many good things that happened, and I am thankful for this man, and for the many good things that happened while I was going to that church. But there was error being taught, there were things that were going on, there was sin in the body and there was sin in the leadership, and it was being covered up, and it was being justified. Many people do not understand when you tell them about this. They say, how could you possibly believe such things, how could you possibly allow yourself to be dominated and controlled like that? What they don't understand is it is a process over time. False prophets teach the word of God. They teach the truth. Jesus talked about wolves in sheep's clothing. The sheep's clothing is the Word of God. I learned this by experience. They speak the Word of God, they use the Word of God, they teach the truth; for a long time that's all they teach, and you look in the scriptures and you see that what they are teaching is scriptural, and your heart is won over to that man. The mistake that we make is that we begin to look to a man. We begin to trust in a man. Our trust should never be in a man. It should always be in the Lord Jesus Christ, in Him alone. He alone gets the glory. He alone is worshiped. The scriptural way to be exalted is for any person to humble them self and God will exalt them according to His will and purpose for their life.
When the Lord healed the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple through Peter and John, the people came together, greatly wondering, Act 3:12-16 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Here we see that Peter refused to accept glory of men, and he gave all glory to Jesus. And, of course, it was Jesus and the power of the Holy Ghost that healed that man. This is how it works in the body of Christ. What ever we do we give God glory. We cannot do anything of ourselves, as Jesus said, without me you can do nothing. So we give all glory and honor to the Father and to Jesus Christ, and then everything will work, as we humble ourselves and glorify Him, we will find our place in the plan of God, in the body of Christ, and we'll be able to function as a healthy nose, or a healthy foot, or a healthy hand, but we will never seek to be the head. Jesus is the head, and as we cling to him we will glorify Him, we will glorify the Father. We will have unity, and the whole world will know we are Christians. We will have the love, the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts one for another.
Getting back to my experience; those things were all disrupted because of the corruption, because of the lies, the sin, and because of the desire of the leader to have honor that did not belong to him. I actually heard him say one time in church that the whole earth would be filled with the glory of God through him. So it was over a period of time we were brought into bondage. But also we are responsible for the condition of our hearts that we ate the fruit of lies, that we received those lies, and this thing is going on all over the world right now. There are many false prophets. There are many lies being taught in the name of Jesus, damnable heresies. When people receive those lies they are established in their hearts, and they cannot see the truth, and they will be damned if they don't repent. The Bible says that we must receive the love of the truth. The Word of God is the truth. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.
So I want to talk about how I was delivered from that bondage that I described earlier. It was through the truth. When the Lord sent me to that ministry He told me to go there and stay there until He told me to leave. And I was there over twenty years, and towards the end I wanted to leave. I was offended at my pastor for some things that he did and said and I wanted to leave, but the Lord would not allow me to, and He started to walk me through a process. First of all I began to search the scriptures and compare what was written with what this man had been teaching, and I found some great differences between what was written in the scriptures and what I had been taught.
Jesus said to the Sadducees once, you do greatly err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. That is a big problem through out the body of Christ. That's how we err, because we don't know the scriptures, and we don't know the power of God, and also we don't fear Him. That's a huge problem. The Lord began to lead me in the scriptures, especially in the first epistle of John. John said, these things I have written unto you concerning them that seduce you. So the way these people operate is with seducing spirits, speaking the Word of God out of context and in error, and they justify lies. So through reading the Word of God I began to see and understand things, but first of all, the Lord led me to repent. He led me to forgive my pastor from the heart for the things that I was offended at, and He led me to repent to God for my own sins, and the things that I had done wrong, and He led me to repent to my family face to face for the trouble that I had caused them, and He led me in the Word of God as I said. And one day I was able to judge what was going on in that ministry through the Word of God, and it was the next day that the Lord told me to stay home. Shortly there after I made a full commitment to God to believe what was written in His Word above what my pastor or any other man might say from that day on, and ever since then I have been able to see and understand the Word of God clearly. So that is how the Lord Jesus led me out of that bondage. Also there were people praying for me to come out of there, and I thank God for them and for their prayers.
So I want to encourage anyone of you who is reading this message, if you feel like you are in this kind of a situation and you don't know what to do, the Bible says, humble yourself and CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered, and God will do it. He's faithful. He loves you. If you want to really know Jesus and really follow Jesus just cry out to Him. Tell Him so, and be willing to meet His conditions, to do whatever He leads you to do. Call upon Him in the time of trouble. He's a very present help in the time of trouble. No matter what your situation is, call upon Him. He will help you. He loves you. He's already given his own self for you on the cross at Calvary. He took care of everything, and He will deliver you by His power, and by His Word.