- Published: Wednesday, 09 March 2016 13:47
- Written by Pastor Efraim Valverde Sr.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:15-18).
We have already mentioned the urgent need for the minister to have authority for the effective performance of their work, and now based precisely on this, I write this article using the biblical text quoted as a base. In recent days, I have felt moved to speak more particularly about this, and I am certain that it is the Holy Spirit who is directing us, especially when we understand that the days are short and that the Church of Christ the Lord will soon be united with Him.
In the ministry of the Lord's Church there are diverse gifts that have been given by the Lord, and I need not say much for the people of God to believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, much less to accept the vessels who in an extraordinary way are used by the Lord. In fact, in recent times, I have noticed a more marked inclination each day among many members of the congregations, to follow after those environments. I do not criticize or blame them for it, because the reason behind their desire is a good one (although on the other hand, I do not justify those who go to the other extreme and begin to take lightly and to even despise what they have in their own spiritual home). But this current tendency among God’s people gives us something to think about and this is precisely the subject that I would like to draw the attention of my fellow pastors to.
In the verses I use as the basis for this article, we find a perfect, concise description of the message and the divine authority that God has given to each and every one of His ministers. The apostle Paul declared: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:4). The initial verses are not referring to a special or extraordinary minister, but they are referring to the common, ordinary work of the man who is called by God to care for His flock and to bring those who are need of salvation to the feet of the Lord. I repeat, that the special gifts and ministries have their place in the work of the Lord, and we would never do well in ignoring them, much less in despising them. But we also do not well in taking lightly the authority God with His Holy lips promised to those who believe in His Name.
Each of the responsible pastors and ministers in the Church of the Lord have believed in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We preach will all certainty and confidence that “he who believes and is baptized (in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 2:38) shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). We believe and teach that all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ should have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, and that they should be obedient to the Word of the Lord (“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them,” Mt. 7:20, Gal. 5:22-26). We also believe that they should seek the gift of “speaking in other tongues” (Acts 2:4). We do not present this message as something spectacular or extraordinary or as a novelty, but as a part of the common, universal message of salvation. Therefore, if we consider part of this message as “ordinary” for all who believe in the Name of the Lord Jesus, why should we not consider the other part of the message to also be “ordinary?” If we believe that God has given us all the authority to clothe the bride (baptism, Gal. 3:27), and to ask that she receive her dowry (the Holy Spirit, Eph. 1:12-13), we should also believe that He has given all of us the authority to place upon the bride (the Church) the adornments given to her by the Husband, which are precisely the signs and manifestations that the Lord mentioned in the initial verse.
We harm ourselves when we tell ourselves that these signs are only for a select group that God has chosen to give these special gifts or that they are only for “super” ministers who are much holier, who are better and who are more consecrated than we are. This type of thinking cause an inferiority complex among ministers and the devil takes advantage of this complex to blind the minister so that he will not see the AUTHORITY that God has given him, and therefore he does not use it to its full potential.
My beloved brother, if you and I are ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have divine authority and power, and we must put it to use. Not for our own benefit or honor, but we must use this authority for the salvation of the lost. Remember: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (1 Tim. 4:14). Exercise that authority! Put it to use! You know that the same hands which are holding this publication that you are reading are the hands has already used. Lend yourself so that He can use them even more. Don’t underestimate the Authority that you have as a minister of God. Don’t harm yourself and don’t harm those faithful members that you preside among there in the place that God has placed you by saying that you do not possess this authority.
I have used this divine authority for a lifetime and I know that He has moved me to tell you to do the same. I am totally confident that the Lord will confirm in your heart that what I say here is true and that it is not me speaking to you but Him. As all of us believe and put into practice this divine authority, there will be great blessing in the Church of the Lord which will benefit all the saints who are in need and who thirst for God. It will also serve as a sign for the lost so that they will be drawn to salvation. God bless you.