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-- © GodSpeak International 2000 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

Author: Jim Wies jimmy@cornerstonemin.org
Cornerstone Church and Ministries [http://www.cornerstonemin.org/]
Editors: Teresa Seputis, Paul Cummins

Prophetic-School MiniTraining Series

Prophetic Ministry: Rightly Related To The Body Of Christ

by Jim & Carolyn Wies

Part 3

The Essential Issue of Relationships

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Cor 4:6-7)

A prophet is a unique instrument in the hand of God. He/she is prepared by God to communicate the knowledge of the glory of God to humanity. We do, however, have this problem of a wonderful "treasure" in "earthen vessels". There is an adequate provision through the cross of Christ to render our flesh dead indeed unto sin. But the working out of that great positional truth is, in reality, a life-long process. The apostle Paul even admitted God had to allow a messenger from Satan in the form of some kind of "thorn in the flesh" to buffet him lest he be lifted up in pride over the level of revelation given to him. There so often seems to remain just enough of a residue of self in us that it keeps us recognizing the excellency of the power is of God and not of us.

Character vs. Gifting

It is also important to realize there is a very distinct difference between gifting and character. The reality is that gifting does not insure character. Giftings are received by faith. Character is grown as fruit. The one does not insure the other. Anointing DOES NOT automatically guarantee a person's correct doctrine, character or maturity level. This is a very, very important lesson to learn; especially in this day when we are seeing a resurgence of many signs and wonders and supernatural giftings, making it critical that the Church move in wisdom and discernment.

We see a sad lesson from Biblical, as well as contemporary examples. Gifting without character and maturity can actually be a contributing agent to a minister's demise. We see King Saul, for example, who was a very gifted and "charismatic" leader, but whose lack of a foundation of character eventually caught up to him. Or we see Jonah, a prophet who had a severe unforgiveness problem. Though his ministry was very successful to the Ninevites, it only lead him to suicidal depression.

(A more thorough dealing with this story can be found in the series called "God's Character Curriculum for Prophets-in-training" found at the GodSpeak web site, )

With that concept in mind, we understand that God will demonstrate His wisdom and love through the "processes" He takes His prophets through as He prepares them for greater usefulness. It is not pleasant, but necessary. Hebrews 12:11 states: "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." It is with loving care that God goes about beating the "self-life" out of us so that we can be mightily used by Him. One man put it very well when he said "death to self" is like the insulation on an electrical wire so that God can pour His voltage through it, without it damaging everything with which the wire comes in contact. If we have selfish motives intact, we become dangerous when the "juice" starts flowing.

We also need to see that God deals with a man or woman in terms of their entire lifetime as they invite Him to move them slowly but surely toward their destiny. He seems at times to not be in a hurry at all. Then at other times takes us on a crash course to learn some hard but necessary lesson. He does all this with our good as well as our usefulness in mind.

The Hurdle of Corporateness

One of those life-long "dealings" pertains to the fact that God insists that we be rightly related to one another. The Scriptures in 1 John 2:9-11 & 3:19-21 imply that if we want to stay in right relationship with God, we must be about the work of maintaining a right relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This means the task of building and maintaining right relationships is not an optional sideline. Rather an essential ingredient of our Christian life.

In Ephesians 2:19-21, Paul the apostle states that we are no longer alienated, but rather fellow citizens with the saints; that we are being "fitted together" and "built together" into a dwelling of God. God wants us to be "connected" by relationship with one another.

Independence and isolation are sure signs of unhealthiness or immaturity. Prov. 18:1 states "He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.(NAS) Instead we are to "Grow up in all aspects into... Christ... from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love" (Eph.4:15,16). (NAS)

God is so concerned that we are rightly related to one another that He has inextricably connected His dealings with us to our dealings with one another. For instance; if we don't forgive others, He will not forgive us (Mk. 11:25,26). The entire law and prophets are summarized in Matthew 22:37-40 as our being rightly related to God and to one another.

Being rightly related speaks as well to the issue of proper structure and government within the Church. Being rightly fitted and held together includes understanding how to relate to spiritual authority and how to properly exercise spiritual authority. This is a touchy issue to be sure, but one that faces us all. It also means more than experiencing healthy relationships and proper structure within, but also having proper relationship with the greater Body of Christ.

Proper relationship with the larger Body of Christ necessitates recognizing both peer relationships and mentor relationships. Peer relationships with other ministries are those with whom we form alliances and coalitions for more effective ministry. Mentor relationships are those from whom we receive instruction, oversight and accountability. Scripture states that the Church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, (Eph.2:20). These ministries are more often translocal in nature rather than within the local Church. Therefore, it is important as well, to recognize their value and place in relation to the local Church. Every local Church must always recognize the need to network with the larger Body of Christ. Psalms 133 states that where the brethren dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands a blessing. We must always recognize we are only a part of God's work in our area. These relationships are vital to the ongoing health of any Church or ministry. One of the vital issues of the Church in the years to come is destined to be how to properly relate to trans-local government within the Body of Christ.

God is desiring to bring into the Body of Christ a level of unity and team ministry that is significantly lacking right now. We need to recognize our need for one another and our need for foundational input from apostles and prophets. These gifts are given to us by our ascended Lord and Savior Jesus because He thinks we need them. I think I agree with Him.

[Please Note:
This is intended as a discussion series. Please feel free to send your discussion (comments or questions) to prophetic-school@godspeak.net. We will have online discussion each week, MC'd by Jim Wies, the author of this series. These discussions will NOT be put on the WWW page.]

-- © GodSpeak International 2000 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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