July 28, 2021



GIFTS AND ORDER 2 Last week, I taught that the local church is built primarily on the teaching of God's word. And the five-fold ministries are ministries of teaching and feeding God's flock, even though the office of a teacher is specific, yet everyone must teach and be discipled. Fed with the word. Ephesians 4:11- 16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. The word of God is core to the local church. The five-fold ministries bring us to maturity and edification in the KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. They get us built up, edified (oikodomeo) in the reality of the Lord Jesus, that we may grow up into a perfect man as He is, in all things! Thus, they ground us in the revelation of the saviour so we are not tossed to and fro by the deceitful doctrines of this world. This is primary. I said Jesus told Peter to FEED HIS SHEEP. I said God promised to give pastors in the book of Jeremiah who will feed His people with knowledge and understanding of His will. I also said the foundational apostles have already written the epistles to the end that we may be built up in Christ. Those of us who are apostles after them (someone like me) do not have the right to teach anything apart from what they have taught us upon the authority of the Holy scriptures of old. I said every other gift in operation must be taken as supportive realities. I said you basically cannot call a gathering a local church is all they do is to receive miracles and healings. While we must walk in miracles and healings, that is not the foundation of God's local church. Now, the place of order in the local church is very important because without order we cannot be blessed the way God expects us to. With disorder comes all kinds of evil works. Satan loves disorder because how can you tell Satan is working when there is no order to detect if he is working. Imagine if a school wears white over white and everyone must wear a lab coat then you find a student who doesn't wear a lab coat or wears black, how can you detect something is wrong except there is an order in place. God planned for His work to be done graciously. A seamless way. Everything taking its rightful place. All things working to His glory. Even in the home, there is order! You see, God is a God of order! 1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order. All things here refer to spiritual gifts in operation. God wants our use of spiritual gifts to be done orderly. If this is not the case, there will be confusion, and nothing satisfies Satan like confusion, when we are confused, then he can work freely, he can do so much havoc, we will not know if he is at the root of the matter or God. 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. God doesn't confuse any church! Any church! Any church! He is a God of order! He doesn't confuse any family. He is a God of order! We cannot maximize God's gifts without order! It is impossible. Imagine you have pipes all scattered around a tanker and everyone just flowing in different directions, even though water is flowing, what you have is waste! Waste! One of the great problems from disorder is pride cannot be seen, you cannot see pride because only when order comes can you really see if a person is going to submit to order or he prides in his way. Imagine the Bible doesn't say a woman should submit to her husband, how can you tell if a woman is humble? Imagine if God doesn't say a man should love his wife, how can you tell if he is humble? In chaos, you hear all kinds of noise and you have pandemonium. Many churches are markets of rowdiness in the spirit. You hear all kinds of voices, everyone trying to get prominence, everyone using their spiritual gifts to an agenda. All kinds of works of the flesh. Disorder! THE KINDS OF ORDER IN THE LOCAL CHURCH. 1. Order of intentions. The intention to use a gift in a local church is so important. Why does a fellow want to use a gift? To shine? To show off? To get applauds? Why? 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. The Corinthian church already descended into a chaos of spirituality. They used the things of the spirit to tear each other down! They used utterance gifts to shine. 1 Corinthians 1:4 - 5 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5. That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; They had the use of utterance gifts so much in that church, it is why Paul wrote an epistle on unknown tongues to them. The right use of gifts is LOVE! To be a blessing, not for self-aggrandizement. And this is why order is important. Imagine apostle Paul didn't create orderliness in the Corinthian church, they will keep using prophecy to destroy one another! You may have discovered that in some churches, just while preaching is going on, a fellow just stands up and begins to prophesy, thus diverting attention to him or her and causing divisions. People use spiritual gifts in ways that don't lead to edification in a local church. They want glory for themselves. The intention of gifts is very important. Most important even. 2. Order of administration. Gifts must be administered in order. For example, you cannot just speak in tongues in front of the church without interpretation. You cannot just interject a fellow who is prophesying by your prophecy. You cannot just prophesy wrongly with a malicious intention. 1 Corinthians 14:5 - 6 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 6. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? You cannot give tongues and not give interpretations probably to just show off that your tongues is powerful, you can't! 1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. You have to keep silent if you know you cannot interpret your tongues or there is no interpreter in that local church. Some local churches already have interpreters, such that when the set man gives room for such gifts, you know already that you will give tongues, another will interpret. But I have been in a gathering before where a fellow just spoke up in tongues and no interpretation. That's not orderly! First, you have to be given the authority to give tongues and interpretation, secondly, you must interpret. You cannot just give prophecies that are spooky or well taught out to bamboozle the church. There have to be judges. It depends on the administration in place. In this case, Apostle Paul administered the use of gifts in the Corinthian church. 1 Corinthians 14:29 - 32 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. You can't Lord your prophecy on everyone for we all have the Spirit. Now, many believers think that once something is supernatural, it has to be unruly. They call it freedom! That is not freedom, that is disorder! Recently in Lagos church, a lady will come to church and while I am preaching, she will keep talking to others, as if to hold her service, I let it slide twice, for she was new, the third time, I called her to order from the pulpit. She was embarrassed. She felt she was caged, after all, church is for all kinds of rascality, so she thought. She was wrong! You don't just start prophesying to put the spotlight on you! You do it as you are called to do it by the leader of that ministry or the one who is the leader on that particular meeting. Your spirit must be subject to order! 3. Order of importance! Either you like it or not God has an order of importance in His local church. The Lord Jesus exemplified this. He was full of power and grace, yet He made the people submit to doctrine first. Jesus was called rabbi for a reason. St. John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Again. St. John 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Again. St. Luke 24:25 - 27 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Jesus taught from the entire old testament scriptures about Himself! Our Lord was a teacher and is a teacher! St. Luke 4:31 - 32 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 32. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. He taught! He was a man of doctrine! He is a man of doctrine! Glory!! The Acts 1:2 - 4 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3. To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4. And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. He had a 40 days word seminar about the kingdom of God! 40 days! Before His ascension. Do not forget that the miracles of the loaves were all because He had taught in the wilderness. When He was in Peter's boat, it was to teach! He always taught! The local church must always prioritize teaching first! Then every other thing followed. Jesus once had a crowd who loved bread and miracles, the moment we decided to teach them doctrine, they left! St. John 6:26, 40, 45, 51 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. St. John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. St. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Teaching God's word is so important because God's word is about God's plan for you. God's desire for you. God's plan for your life. God's corrections and instructions. God's will must come first! In a local church, God's word must come first before other things that are basically man's needs. Ministries who don't prioritize God's word often have shallow Christians who itch to only have their needs met and should in case, they don't get it the way they want it, they move to Babalawos and fetishism. 1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Even though scholars argue if this is literal, yet it connotes order of importance. Lastly, let me discuss the ENCHANTMENT OF GIFTS. Gifts are very enchanting. Everyone is fascinated by gifts, either physically or spiritually. Everyone is enchanted by a powerful singer, a skillful drummer, a skillful drama actor. How much more miracles, signs, and wonders. You see, in a local church, when gifts are prioritized over training, we will have problems. Gifted people often become very proud! Without spiritual training, they will go astray. I believe every local church must maximize all the gifts within them but I must say that orderliness is often the problem. Look at the Corinthian church for example. The church had quickly become divided among three apostles. Meanwhile only one was actually the called one over that assembly. 1 Corinthians 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Do you see? It wasn't even that Peter said they should follow him but as we see in most churches, followers often become drawn to certain persons in the church apart from the leader and soon use this to cause wars and disorderliness! I particularly will love to just call a brother whom I know is good with a gift of the Spirit and give him or her the floor, but before you know it, followers will begin to fan his flesh and make him or her act disorderly. Everyone loves affirmation and it takes quite some discipline for a fellow to stay in their position in a local church, refusing to be used as a puppet of disorder. It is very difficult to achieve this, especially in ministries where order is scarce. We have fine examples of apostles who were orderly in their days. The Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 14. N ow when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15. Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16. (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Philip won the souls, but being under the apostles, they sent men to lay hands on the souls won. Today, we find prophets under a local church who begin to use their influence to buy the people over. We find singers who begin to use their influence to win the congregation over. We find folks who walk in miracles wanting to put the spotlight on them rather than make the people commit themselves more to the leadership over them. These issues are replete in our generation. It is all a lack of orderliness. We can draw a powerful example from Philip, who was a deacon under the early church, yet won an entire city for the gospel. In reality, the most use of power gifts is seen during evangelism. Thus, our local church must be committed to evangelism both individually and collectively. Utterance gifts are mostly used in local churches and then special meetings cater to needs (miracles, healing, deliverance, etc) but no better place to find so many needs to meet like in the evangelism fields. St. Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every wher e, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. Again. Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Again. Hebrews 2:3 - 4 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? The reality is many people may complain that they do not have all the freedom to demonstrate power in their local churches, but they are just being funny. The field is wide and ripe. In your neighborhood, you can work all the miracles you want; you can preach the gospel; you can give a word of knowledge, word of wisdom; you can discern spirits; you can heal the sick! Many folks will tell you they want more opportunities to minister in a local church, while the local church must allow for ministries to be maximized in an orderly fashion, it is also clear that the local church is under the authority of the pastor or apostle God placed there, as the case may be. Instead of trying to wield power where God has not given you power, you can go into the world and preach the gospel, you can unleash power as you go and bring the harvest to be taught the word in your local church. And in case you are in a ministry where there are so many opportunities to minister, you must maximize the opportunities in order! You find some folks complain that the church doesn't sponsor music enough, doesn't sponsor arts enough, etc. They simply forget the most important part of the ministry. There is order in the use of gifts. In a well mature ministry, people who have offices of healing should be able to heal people upon the authority of their pastors without yielding to pride and disorder. People should be able to prophesy like Agabus when called to do so without submerging the authority of their leader. People should be able to sing when called to do so without intending to spend more time than allotted to them or using any manipulations to sway others. The body of Christ can be so beautiful and orderly yet in full glory! This can only be achieved when we understand ORDERLINESS even as we appreciate the GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT! God bless you!