There was a question that was asked of a particular group in the early days of the Church. It went like this: Are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
There was a comment prior to this, that we rarely heard through the years. He asked if something or someone, had “bewitched” them. They had started out right, after they had received the Holy Ghost. But now, after all that they had been taught and even seeing miracles done, they had begun doing what men, or their own flesh, wanted them to do.
For a long time, we believed that the writings of the Apostles, were for all of the church; from the beginning and until now. The more I seek to study the Word, the clearer things become.
If you ask the Holy Ghost to teach you, with the right motive, He will do it. We also have to pray, that He opens our understanding.
No matter what we think about the early church, it was not perfect. They made some of the same mistakes and errors, that we have made and continue to make even now. These issues, were covered in all of their letters.
Paul wrote some things to Timothy, that we need to re-visit today.
He was instructing this man, in how he should conduct himself, and what he should preach and teach to others he was sent to. One of the first things we need to absorb here, is that he told him to “preach the Word.”
Like it or not, there were already false brethren, false teachers and false prophets, trying to work themselves into the church. Unawares, means that they were so slick, that they were so good at putting on a show, they weren’t recognized at first.
But the apostles knew, and so did others who were seeking an even deeper walk in the Spirit. We must not forget, that these imposters, look and act like they are genuine; just as they did then. We may not like to face it, but many ministries today, seem to have started out in the right steps.
However, it might be that the love of money, the approval and high recognition they enjoy, and flesh that has to maintain control and power, changed them. Can we undo all of this?
But who was it, who was supposed to be watching over all this? How was it different from so much of what we see today?
There were some other things this writer said to this younger minister. “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an Evangelist. Make full proof of thy ministry,” 2 Timothy 4:5.
After instructing him to preach the word as he traveled to all of these places, he also told him to “reprove, rebuke and exhort.” And told him in what kind of manner he should do so: “With all longsuffering and doctrine.”
There are many today, who won’t endure sound doctrine; just like Paul told Timothy it would be. We see it now; as never before.
One of the doctrines of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, was the five-fold ministries. And what were they for? The perfecting of the saints. For the work of the ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ.
It was the same Apostle, who wrote all of this. He said quite clearly, that these church folk, were being very foolish. To think that they could start out with the right Spirit, but end up operating in the flesh.
In our time, it appears that most of those ministries that truly were appointed and anointed to reprove, rebuke and exhort, have been basically pushed out.
An evangelist who was following after the Holy Ghost, brought truth and growth to the entire Body. Under the true anointing, they could address issues and problems in every church. Without any prior knowledge, but by the Spirit.
We believe that Christ comes back for His Church; without spot or wrinkle. We began in the Spirit. We cannot be made perfect, following the flesh.
~ Robert Blackburn