Sunday, January 17, 2010
Watch yourself in apostolic etiquette
By Roger Sapp
1. Thou shall not make thyself a god to the people that you lead. Thou shall not present thyself as perfect, faultless, or above questioning. Thou shall not allow thy people to adore thee and have an exalted or unrealistic opinion of thee. Thou shall not replace Me as Father to My children.
2. Thou shall not allow prophets and others to flatter thee and mold thy opinion of thyself above thy actual capacity to supernaturally function in thy ministry calling. Thou shall maintain and present to others a realistic view of thyself. Thou shall not vainly call thyself by a ministry title even if others are willing to call thee by that name. Thou shall not be encouraged to self-exaltation through the self-righteous religious example of others. Thou shall not use self-serving logic to avoid humbling thyself before Me and other people. Thou shall take a humble posture before Me and My people and empty thyself of glory as did My only begotten Son Jesus.
3. Thou shall not require an unquestioning loyalty from others before serving them. Thou shall not seek another covenant from them before freely giving thyself to them. Thou shall not forget that they are already in the New Covenant with thee because of Calvary. Thou shall not calculate their capacity to give financially to thee before serving them. Love them as I have loved thee freely without cost or expectation of reciprocation. Thou shall not resort to pragmatic techniques to increase offerings. Thou shall not become a hireling.
4. Thou shall not hide thy humble origins and humble circumstances in ministry and seek to be known among the great and mighty. Thou shall not be a spiritual social climber. Thou shall not walk in the way of least resistance for the honor of men. Thou shall not purchase a theological degree based on experience to impress others rather than earning one by legitimate theological study. Thou shall remember the humble details of the season of thy salvation. Thou shall not forget the day of grace and the mercy of Christ that saved thee.
5. Thou shall learn to rest in thy Savior Jesus Christ about thy calling and purpose and not seek to fulfill thy destiny by controlling other people. Thou shall function in thy present grace and not seek to function in a prophesied future grace.
6. Thou shall not use the darkened wisdom of the world to control and manipulate others. Thou shall not use intrigues and scheming to harm others. Thou shall not pit others against each other. Thou shall not create a police force and spies in the church to enforce standards and to inform on others. Thou shall walk in innocence and integrity in all thy ways not matter what the outcome may be.
7. Thou shall not have two standards of conduct. Thou shall not have a hidden and secret standard that allows for the carnal appetites of leaders and a public standard that encourages righteousness. Thou shall not practice hypocrisy.
8. Thou shall not interfere with or weaken the marriages of others by usurping the covering authority of husbands and fathers by exalting thy fatherly authority over the families of My people.
9. Thou shall not compete with others in ministry for the allegiance of the saints. Thou shall not build buildings and believe that this activity is building the church. Thou shall not think that apostolic work is recruiting other believers and churches into a network. Others have created denominations before and it was not apostolic work then either. Thou shall focus on the numerous lost and build where others have not built. Thou shall plant new churches in new areas. Thou shall expand My kingdom and not just rearrange it for thy purposes.
10. Thou shall be an equipper and releaser. Thou shall not discourage or subtly punish someone from starting a new work or from seeking to fulfill their calling or vision. They do not need thy permission to serve Me from their hearts. Thou shall never assume that I am not sending them or that they are unprepared. Thou shall be a blessing and not a curse to them even in disagreement