Month 5:8, Week 1:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5941:126 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 31 July 2017
Of Titles and Honours
A Timely Warning to Leaders
Shabbat shalom, brethren and sisters, this is just a very short but necessary message to the Remnant especially but in principle to all believers at this critical hour.
Beware the Titles and Honours of Men
Beware the honours and titles of men, both the frauds as well as the well-meaning but deceived. Do not receive these accolades even if they are from believers. There is only one title we should gladly receive of fellow believers and that is 'Brother' or 'Sister', and possibly 'Pastor'. Even the use of titles like 'Elder' and 'Deacon' make me cringe.
We do not need a title to validate our ministry, position of authority or calling. Nor do we need fancy robes to decorate ourselves with either. A former minister of ours in Asia got upset because we had no ministerial robes because he claimed the locals would not respect him without them. The only two outward clothing signs or emblems that Yahweh has commanded is that women wear headcoverings and men wear tzitzit (tassels) and that is for all born-again and committed believers, not just for some.
If we are endowed by Yahweh with a gift, it will be plain for all to see. When Yah'shua (Jesus) taught, it was obvious He had toqef (authority) but He never wore a ministerial robe, hung a rabbinical certificate up on his wall or wore a medallion around His neck. Neither did the apostles. Only Peter and Paul ever opened or closed their letters with the statement they were "apostles", but then these men were physically called to that office by Yah'shua (Jesus) while He was in the flesh in the presence of witnesses. They lived, breathed, talked and walked with the Master. Most people who call themselves 'prophets' and 'apostles' presumptuously call themselves, or are called by other men equally presumptuously. The Mormons do it all the time. What is important is not, in any case, the messenger but the message.
Vanity and Pride
Over the years people have tried to flatter me with titles. I have been called 'apostle', 'prophet', 'Moses-man', 'Man of God', 'rabbi' and other things. Words like 'great' and 'mighty' have been generously added to these titles more than once. I have always refused them partly because they're not always true but mostly because such play on a man's vanity and pride. It is not long before those invested with titles start viewing themselves as better than others, or if they are mature enough not to do this, others will start viewing them as greater than they actually are and end up committing idolatry. One of the first duties of a minister is to vigorously preach against idolatry. We should never crave attention, adulation, validation or recognition from men in our service to the King and His Kingdom for in doing so we rob Yahweh of all the glory, the glory entitled to Him and Him alone. Rather, we are to "in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Phil 2:3, NIV), the best possible antedote to pride, and especially to those who obviously aren't (or so we might think).
Maturity and Leadership
A man or woman who seeks any of these is quite simply too immature to be in a leadership position, no matter what their physical age or how gifted they may be. "Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands...keep yourselves pure" (1 Tim.5:22, NIV) is a mitzvah (commandment) that needs to be adhered to strictly. Do not let your impatience for spiritual manifestations overtake your temperance and humility.
If we, as Messianic Evangelicals, are to have any place in the Kingdom of Elohim (God) and give worthy service, we need to first of all know who we are as servants. Sadly, there are those who will even turn the word 'servant' into a title of honour, regarding themselves are more pious than they really are. Our attention has to be off self altogether and on the Crucified One. That means, in a word, dying to self. Daily.
Have a blessed Sabbath, chaverim.
 Sermon series, Pride
 Sermon series, Resisting the Devil
 Pastor or Rabbi? What Scripture Teaches About Titles