Have you ever thought about this scripture?
Matt 23:9 “Call no man on earth Father, for you have only one Father which is in heaven.”
What was Jesus saying? If what Jesus says is true, why do we still so earnestly seek after spiritual fathers that we refer to as Pastor, Rabbi or Reverend? Do we still need mediators to help us find our way? Jesus also said in that same chapter Matt 23:10–11 “Neither allow yourself to be referred to as “teacher or guide” for you have but one Teacher the Christ.” Then Jesus wraps up these statements with this: “For he who is the greatest among you will be the servant.” Jesus goes even further on this topic and states in verse 12, “Whoever exalts himself among men shall be abased or humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” I honestly believe that Jesus is trying to get us to understand the way the government of His kingdom works. He is trying to convey that these men that call themselves by these names are not your father, teacher or guide, they are mere vessels that our true Father and teacher has equipped to serve as He serves. So in the area of entreating those that hold these titles; is it the man that we bestow fatherly honor and authority upon or He who is the author and finisher of our faith?
Paul says in 1Cor 3:7–9 “So then it is neither he that plants, neither is it he that waters; but God that makes it grow.” But he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are all work companions for God, God’s husbandry and builders.” You see in 1Pet 2:5 it states, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” We are all just overseers and builders of God that together are used as Living Stones that make up the household of God. I believe that Jesus made it very clear that we are no longer required or in need for a priest of any kind. This is portrayed so beautifully in the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the Temple and it being rent from top to bottom, the moment of Christ’s death laying completely open the pathway to boldly go before the throne of God.
You see we are stones that make up this wonderful Temple of God where the Spirit of Christ dwells. Jesus said that there was coming a day when not one stone would be left laid upon another, that there would come a complete throwing down of the temples that are built by the hands of men, so that we as the living stones could lay ourselves down as servants, side by side to provide the pathway to the kingdom for those that are seeking Him. It is this very pathway that Isaiah was speaking of concerning John the Baptist when he said, “a voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.” You see we are called to serve one another in love and not for profit.
No man is to use his service to the kingdom as the source of his income.
In Act 2:45 the apostles set the example of how to be true shepherds it says selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. The only time money was ever collected in the New Testament was for the poor. The tithe was specifically for the Jew as a requirement to see that the house of Levi had food for their families. The Levites were those that served in the Temple day and night on behalf of the 12 tribes of Israel. It was the responsibility of the other 11 tribes to give the first fruits from a tenth of their fields to supply food for those that serve the Temple of God. Now I must also point out that the only time the word “tithe” is mentioned in the New Testament is when Jesus is reprimanding the hypocritical Pharisees concerning a tenth of their mint, dill and cumin and in Hebrews 7:5 when Paul is speaking concerning the Old Testaments command for Israel to support the priestly tribe of Levi. We as believers in the promise of Christ as Gentiles are not called to collect such tithe. The only requirements of the Old Covenant we are required to uphold as Gentiles is listed in Acts 15:20 it says: “write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” Nowhere is it mentioned that we are to observe the tithe. The only reason I mention the tithe is because it is the source of income of those that call themselves guides or teachers. If we only understood what the scripture 1 John 2:27 means: “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
The word “pastor” isn’t even found in the Bible; it is a weak translation of the word “diakonos” which means “servant” or quite literally “one who executes the wishes or commands of another.” It is derived from the word “diako” which means to “run errands.” Another word that is transliterated as pastor is “pionos” or the plural “piomen” which means “shepherd” or “herdsmen.” Jesus says in John 10:12 “He that is a hired servant is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, so when he sees the wolf coming he will leave the sheep and will flee: and the wolf will then catch them and scatter the sheep.” The hired servant flees, because he is a hired servant, and cares not for the sheep.
Ask yourself this question. If a man is paid for his service is he really serving? Can what he is doing actually be called charity? Or is he merely performing his duties that he might receive his wages? A true servant of God serves out of his compassion to care for the needs of others. If a man receives wages other than food, shelter or his immediate needs for his oversight and service to the body of Christ, he does not fit the qualification of a true servant but a mere hired man that works for his wages. Even the word “bishop” is a transliteration of the word “episkepos” which means to “oversee” or to “see that things that need to be done are done rightly.” These are not vocations for profit but callings to serve. Paul said in 1Cor 7:20, “to abide in whatever job or calling you held when you were called.” Paul remained a tent maker and Peter a fisherman so this makes me ponder as to why men leave their jobs and start buildings they call churches and decide to make these their livelihood?
I’m afraid as long as we keep putting our trust in teachers, guides and spiritual fathers these men will always have a Fortune 500 business in the making. So many guides and teachers today use the scripture, Deut 25:4, “Do not muzzle the ox while he is treading the grain,” to justify their exorbitant salaries. This passage refers to those that work for the household of God that they should be allowed to be fed and housed by the household of God.
Simply it means that if someone is serving; see to their immediate needs. Are they hungry? Feed them. Do they need a place to stay? Give them shelter. Are they sick in need of care? Tend to their needs. It certainly does not mean to untie the ox that he may freely graze about in the storehouse of God.
When you are a servant of God your reward and compensation is in Heaven, and not of this earth. This is why James 1:9 says, “those of you who are poor should be proud of your high position,” for great is their wealth in heaven. Jesus said “Blessed are the poor for theirs is the Kingdom of God,” No I don’t believe that this means that those that have wealth are not members of the kingdom of heaven, what I am saying is: who should we be putting our trust in to encourage us spiritually? The rich man that is described in James 1:10–11
“But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and the beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.”
Or the humble and lowly man that is rich in the spirit and his service to God? We are not called to profit from the administration of truth that Christ already paid for in full on the cross. 1Tim 6:5 says, “there is a constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” Paul also says in 2 Cor 2:17, “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.” He also says in 1Timothy 6:3–10 — “If anyone teaches differently, and does not consent to sound words, than those of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching according to godliness, he has been puffed up, understanding nothing, but is sick concerning doubts and arguments, out of which comes envy, strife, evil-speaking, evil suspicions, meddling, of men whose mind has been corrupted and deprived of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. Withdraw from such persons. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we have brought nothing into the world, and it is plain that neither can we carry anything out. But having food and clothing, we will be satisfied with these. But those purposing to be rich fall into temptation, and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all evils, by means of which some having lusted after it were seduced from the faith, and they themselves pierced through by many pains. And lastly and most importantly Jesus said “freely you have received, freely give.”
My friends and fellow believers are you beginning to understand deeper why Jesus said in Matt 23:-11, “Call no man on earth Father, for you have only one Father which is in heaven. Neither allow yourself to be referred to as teacher or guide for you have but one Teacher the Christ?” It is because He foreknew that men would wrongly represent the Kingdom by twisting the scriptures to justify receiving wages. Let us always search the scriptures and follow the commands of Jesus to tend to the poor, the widow and the orphan which Jesus states is true religion, instead of the biblically erroneous teachings of the collection of the tithe. Please let me assure you that my motive is not to discourage people from giving but rather to encourage people to give to a righteous cause. Ask your pastors and teachers how much of that money goes to the poor and how much gets paid to them as their wage? And you will see why Jesus gave us this command and reminded us that we have but One Father.
I pray this article has not offended you, but has rather set you free to a new level of relationship with our one true Father. God Bless you.
The Shoes of the Father
The world is not satisfied with a God they cannot see,
We’re all so comfortable in our own humanity.
We cannot receive what our minds cannot perceive,
So we persist to fulfill our own carnal needs.
I’ll be my God, and author, and counselor too, and when things go wrong I’ll just blame it on YOU…
“Amazing Grace’ we’ll say,
How sweet to us it sounds,
Without true separation from the sin that still abounds.
Still living in the outer courts of grace, never really trying to seek HIS face.
We then find our hearts empty, and our worship just displaced.
How did this happen?
I believe it can all be traced back, to the desires of man,
to have a man rule and reign where God should only stand.
Now we look to our preachers our pastors and guides,
And wonder if they really know the Lord or where true love abides??
They must have the answers, I’ve searched long to possess,
So why when I follow them, I only regress?
The answer is simple and explanation clear,
God has been speaking to us, but it’s man we want to hear.
“Tell me I’m anointed,” “I’m special,” “I’m blessed,”
And in your ministry and church I’ll blindly invest.
So, we tune out the Father and look to a man
To explain God’s mysteries and reveal to us God’s plan.
Then we wonder why without them
Our thoughts we can’t discern?
And why is it our heart cries out and in our souls we yearn?
For something so much more than what our minds can understand?
It’s because the shoes of the Father, dear friend
Can NOT be filled by man!