How many people want to be like Jesus? Many confess that they would like to be like Jesus but have their reasons why they are not. These reasons range from “It is just too difficult” to “I am not called” to “I am not worthy.” But sadly many reasons just plainly boil down to “I don’t really know what it takes to even come close to being like Jesus”.
But I truly believe that many people would love to be just like Jesus…if they only knew how. I will even take it up a notch. I believe that both men and women, children and teenagers, the old and the young, would pour out their lives and exhaust themselves in service of their Savior and King…if they only knew how.
Let me explain.
A survey was done to find out why sales people were not selling. They first asked their managers who promptly listed as the number one reason why that their sales people weren’t selling, was because they were lazy. Then they asked the sales people who listed as the number one reason why that they weren’t selling was because they were not properly being trained and did not know how to sell.
This brings us to the question…is the church today properly training it’s people to do the works of Jesus?
Most churches today are a spectator sport. They are setup for that purpose by design. Come and hear the preacher preach and bring a friend to come and hear the preacher preach. And be sure to bring your weekly donations! And don’t you dare visit another church because your tithe belongs here! Our church building expenses and employee payroll depends on it!
The primary works that are being taught today are to serve the church organization by attending service and donating money. This is the backwards church. There is not one scripture to support either of these positions. Neither of them are works at all. Dare to miss a service or two and risk being questioned about it! Dare not tithe your ten percent and not feel convicted by the pastor’s last sermon about tithing! Dare visit another church and not feel guilty about it!
The church as we know it today is not the church of the New Testament. When we use the word church today, we are really talking about a particular 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporate organization with a president and a board of directors that has one or more buildings and several employees on payroll with employee benefits. They also have a particular brand of a denominational flavor, even if just a non-denominational plain vanilla flavor. This is what we call a church today. And this is what is expected by the leaders of such a church that the believers should serve the church organization which in reality is nothing more than a corporate fiction. It is set up as a construct in the same fashion as McDonald’s and IBM are setup as constructs and corporate fictions.
The church of the New Testament is known by the word “ecclesia” which means the “out-called” or in other words, the believers in Jesus Christ who are called out of this world to stand apart and do the works of Christ. As such, the church organization as defined in the prior paragraph should be there to serve the church out-called as defined in this paragraph. Not the other way around. Big difference!
The closest that the New Testament out-called came to having a name was The Way. Even the name Christians was first used in Antioch and not even by Jesus’ followers.
…And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 11:26
They did not use fictions or have buildings but they met in homes.
Paul said:in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Paul was a follower of Christ. The Greek word for follower is “mimētēs” or “imitator”. In other words, Paul imitated Jesus Christ. And he did a very good job at it. He preached and taught the gospel like Jesus did. He also had signs and wonders following him confirming the word that he preached so people knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the kingdom had come nigh unto them. He even did greater miracles than Jesus because, as far as we know, no one ever took a cloth or a handkerchief from Jesus to heal anyone as was done with Paul in Acts 19:12. It is also not recorded in the scriptures that Jesus healed anyone by his shadow falling on them like Peter did in Acts 5:15-16. Paul and Peter did these special miracles by the Holy Spirit power within him. And since the Holy Spirit is spirit, it can permeate and infuse handkerchiefs and even shadows.
There are many imitators today. People that imitate certain singers or bands some of which are no longer playing or even alive. And we sit there and judge them by how close they sound like the original. Many bands play songs they did not write themselves and are called cover bands because they “cover” or imitate an existing piece of music. And we sit there and judge them by how close they sound like the original. If we can close our eyes and pretend that they sound just like the real thing, then we judge them to be good. If not, then we judge them to be unworthy of our time to pay any attention to.
Following Christ means to imitate Him. To imitate Christ means to take or follow as a model. Jesus is our ultimate role model. To learn how to imitate someone we can start by mimicking them, to copy and acquire their words and their actions and make them our own. This is done by renewing not only our mind but also the spirit of our mind as the word tells us to do.
Some actors in order to get into the role they will be playing, will seclude themselves and pretend to be the person they are trying to act like. Some carry this to obsession and some have let it affect their lives to a point that the character remains with them, or haunts them, all throughout their careers and their lives.
With imitating Christ this is a good thing although people close to you and who are not true believers, will not understand and think that you have gone off the deep end. That’s OK. They thought the same thing about Jesus and about Paul.
The Pharisees told Jesus: “Do we not say correctly that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”
King Festus told Paul : “Your great learning has driven you mad! Almost would you persuade me to become a Christian.”
So the two things required to imitate Christ are as follows:
- Do what Jesus said, and,
- Do what Jesus did.
Jesus led by example. Unlike the Pharisees who laid heavy burdens on people but would not lift a finger themselves. Jesus showed us how to walk like Him and how to act like Him. He even taught us how to talk like Him. He even left the disciples with these parting words:
Teaching them to observe (keep, preserve, hold fast, carefully attend to) all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (age) Amen. Matthew 28:20
What happened? For the first 300 years all these things were being passed on and practiced by the believers and early church fathers. Then came the religious usurpers who claimed authority by establishing institutions hijacking the gospel and perverting it by morphing it into something Jesus Himself had preached so vehemently against. They are the wolves in sheep’s clothing Jesus warned about who would come in and ravage the flock. These are the merchants who made merchandise of them by fleecing the flock to enrich their own coffers.
Much of the gospel was being obscured by what is also called the dark ages. But Jesus said: “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” After all that the enemy has tried to do to suffocate and drown out the message of the good news, it is now coming back at him with a vengeance and true believers are storming the gates of hell and vanquishing the strong man.
Just type “street healing” into YouTube or Google and you will get hundreds if not thousands of videos and testimonials of instant healing miracles as great as in Jesus’ day when he walked here with us on earth. Try it here and see for yourself.
Here is just one random example:
There is a new church rising up today in all the power that Jesus has delegated to us as His believers and sons and daughters of the most high God. Believers are finally waking up to walking in all the power that they are endued with from on high just like the disciples were at Pentecost. They are performing signs and wonders and many miraculous works just as Jesus said they would.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. John 14:12-14
Join us today! You are being called by the Master Himself. Will you heed His call? This is the greatest adventure you will ever have in this life and it will be the greatest investment you will ever make into your eternal future.
Franciscus M. Dartee
Grow in Faith | Walk in Power
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