"Separation of Church and State of Religion"
There are many comparatively great ministries embracing the reality of the Kingdom but just can't seem to truly break into the reality of the full "culture" of the Kingdom.
There is a neo-Catholic compulsion to convince people of the legitimacy of ministry by donning the garments of the clergy. I am talking about the clergy collars, robes, bishop's ring, 3" cross and 18" chain and among some groups, they are even wearing the fish-head (mitre) hats, gold lame' high priestly garments, and other such things as are being done under the guise of legitimacy of ministry. And most certainly without a doubt these people genuinely love God and God loves them. So why am I bothering to bring this us at all? I am glad you really want to know.
When you truly understand the Kingdom you begin to understand that Jesus was against ever vestige or religious pretense and hypocrisy. He came to tear down the practices of the Old Testament priesthood and establish in the true follower of Jesus a priesthood without garments, and with greater commitment not to be those who were of the scribes and pharisees.
You could not distinguish Jesus or His disciples from anyone else in the towns, villages or provinces. There was nothingJesus wore necessarily to draw attention to Himself. His Words were spirit and they were life and spoke such doctrine that astounded those that heard Him, even His own disciples were amazed at His doctrine, which later would prove to be their doctrine as well.
We have ignorantly, inadvertently, yet well meaning as we may be, have in some ways rebuilt what Jesus came and tore down. No doubt we derive some measure of piety, even pride in wearing the clergy collar and colored shirt complete with cuff-links and the like, but have we really considered what message is really speaking subliminally to the people.
Are we not telling the people indirectly and sometimes directly that the call of clergy is to a neo-Catholicism, Presbyterianism, Methodism that identifies clergy as being not just over the people but above the people, having arrived at a position of spiritual superiority? You are really going to have to decide just what hidden messages you may be giving. Sadly, in many a church the leader wonders why the people just don't seem to be getting it, in terms of truly receiving the teaching that is being given, but more often than not the answer is in the fact that the preaching while good, maybe even great, in large part is being made ineffective by your traditions. It is true, the traditions of man make the Word of God ineffective.
So what is the sum of all that I am endeavoring to say to you today? Well it is this; if you are a ministry beginning to embrace the doctrine of the Kingdom, don't be half way about it. Challenge your practices. Prove all things and don't become satisfied just because you have that feeling "oh what the harm", instead ask, is what I am doing really important? Ask, would Jesus wear the attire of clergy and would he require His ministers to do the same and then be honest with your answers. If Jesus wouldn't do it then we shouldn't do it and the only reason we do it at all is because we learned to by those who were leading us into what we surmised were the things of God.
Friend, if God is exposing you to the revelation of the Kingdom He is giving you a fresh and new start. Make no mistake, while you are beginning to behold the revelation and reality of the certainty of the Kingdom the enemy would stop at nothing in having you embrace the truth yet still keep you bound to the vestiges of religion. It is a terrible thing to know enough to be safe, even on the cutting edge of revelation, but not know enough to truly be free.
The true revelation of the Kingdom, intended for every man, is God through His Son Jesus, bringing us all back to the beginning before Adam ever sinned. You are being restored back to Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and being made ready for the final day when we all stand before the judgment seat to give testimony of what we've done since meeting Jesus.
It would be a terrible thing to have to answer to God for having persisted in religion when God sent Jesus to restore to us the Kingdom, its dominion and the culture that results from realizing we've been brought into the family of God.
One might argue, Paul said that he made himself all things to all people that he might win the few, but let me tell you, upon further review of the lives of the disciples there is no record that they ever wore the garments of the priesthood or gave instruction for the New Testament to do such.
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