We are the Household of God by Pastor Lafayette Scales
What a blessed night we had last night. We were brought into worship by the Psalmist Chris Bethel, and then taught by Pastor Lafayette Scales. The combination of the two working in tandem was powerful and all were blessed. If you can get the CD of this service I highly recommend it. Powerful praise music and prayer by Pastor Scales combined to bring us deeper still into the Lord. Then an anointed teaching on the Church Family, followed by a healing prayer for people who have been betrayed. Chains fell off of many tonight and they will not be picked up again.
Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
The only legal, legitimate governing agency that is an extension of God on the earth is the Church. God gave us the Keys of the Kingdom. The Church is His Body, a living organization of people in unity. Jesus is the Head and we are His body.
We are works in progress.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Pastor Scales reminded us that we are to work out OUR OWN salvation, not another’s. It is far easier for us to try and work out someone else’s salvation, giving them pointers on how they can improve their walk with the Lord, than to focus on working on our own salvation.
Ephesians 2:19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God
We are the household of God.
We can choose our friends, but we are stuck with relatives. We are stuck with each other through eternity. Whether we like it or not, we are stuck with the Body of Christ.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We are being conformed.
Romans 4 speaks of Abraham and his seed – hundreds of thousands of people are in our church family. We are in the household of God. A household is a dwelling place where family dwells. In a family we learn stability, security, how to become homogeneous , how to get along with one another, how to forgive, how to form a community. Not everyone does things the same way and that can create tension in the family.
Rodney King said, “Can’t we all get along?”
In a family people will get on each other’s nerves, rub each other the wrong way, and the family is how we learn to get along with each other.
Pastor Scales spoke about family vacations where he took his three kids and wife in the car. Inevitably there would be questions about when would we get there, and as time went by they would start complaining – “He’s looking at me.” She’s touching me” …. Pastor Scales would pull over to a rest stop and tell the kids that they needed to get along for it was a long trip and he did not want to hear the bickering. We too need to get along.
We then looked at the first church family – Jesus and his twelve disciples.
Mark 3:13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.
Jesus picked His disciples, the ones He wanted.
Mark 3:14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,
Notice the order of ordination. The FIRST LEVEL OF ORDINATION – is to be with HIM. Before you go ye, He says, “Come unto Me.” Regarding preaching, we don’t have anything to say unless we have spent time with Him. If we don’t spend time with Him we end up just echoing what other men have said.
John has a voice. He sent the out to preach and
Mark 3:15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:
Jesus picked 12 disciples. I wish you could hear Pastor Scales’ delivery of the description of the disciples. The whole packed church was laughing so hard at his characterizations of the disciples. I love how Pastor Scales can deliver a message with humor, so much is taught this way.
Mark 3:16 Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter;
Simon means a reed shaken in the wind, and Peter is the Rock.
Mark 3:17-19 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.
There are four places where the disciples are listed
Mark 3:16-19 (the above passage)
Matthew 10:2-4 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
Luke 6:14-16 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.
Acts 1:13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James.
Judas Iscariot is not in the list in Acts.
Pastor Scales pointed out that the disciples are always listed in three groups of four. The leaders of the groups are the same, but the other disciples may be listed in various orders.
PETER (the leader) – James, John, Andrew
PHILIP (the leader) – Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas
JAMES the son of Alphaeus (the leader) – Thaddeus (also known as Alphaeus, Lebbaeus, Judas Son of James), Simon the Cananite (also known as Simon the Zealot) and Judas Iscariot
Peter, Philip, and James are always the leaders of the groups, but the groups represent different levels of relationship in a church or with Jesus. That is not to say one is lower or higher, just different.
Pastor Scales had us laughing as we looked at some of the diverse characteristics of the various members of this family of Jesus – and he pointed out that we have room for all these people in the family of the Church.
PETER – had a foot shaped mouth. He never had an answer right but he was always the first person to speak up. He had it so wrong so often that the one time he got it right, Jesus said you did not know that in your flesh, you had to have it revealed to you by the Holy Ghost.
Can our family have a few Peters?
JAMES AND JOHN were called the Sons of Thunder – they were often suggesting that Jesus bring fire down on the people. They were sort of the Hell’s Angels Disciples. Probably would have tattoos today. They were the bad boys. If anyone would have disagreed with them, they would have suggested to burn them up. They were not full of grace, mercy, and long-suffering, at least until Jesus reshaped them. The Sons of Thunder would have evangelized by saying get saved today or burn in hell.
JOHN was the apostle of love. When he writes of himself he writes in the third person – never I John, but rather “The one the Lord loved.” He had a positive self image. When Jesus told the disciples that someone was going to betray him, all the disciples asked “Is it I?” except John who said, “Lord tell me who it is.”
Can we handle a James and John in our family?
ANDREW – was good for the little things. He could find stuff. Pastor Scales compared him to David’s mighty men who, when David wanted a drink from a certain well on the opposite side of the enemy camp, his men strapped swords on and went out and made it happen, getting David his water. Andrew was an if you need it, he can find it. He knows what is hidden in a garage, where to find the best deal at Odd Lot, Lowe’s, etc. When Jesus wanted to feed the crowd it was Andrew who found the boy with the lunch, five loaves of bread and two fish.
Can we handle an Andrew in our family?
PHILIP was the bean cruncher. He would go to the calculator before consulting the Lord. When Jesus was going to feed the 5000 with the five loaves and two fish, he pointed out that even 200 denari would not be enough to feed the group. He is the one that, if God gave you a vision, would tell you why it won’t work, reminding you of the high cost of the vision. How we can’t afford to do that God-given vision.
Can we handle a Philip in our family?
BARTHOLOMEW – he was the guileless one with no hidden agenda. There are some in the church that are happy to worship, sing songs, eat chicken, and tell you exactly what they think. They are not the ones who say, “I will stick with you forever,” and then leave the moment they are not pleased with something you do. Pastor Scales said that one of his members came up to him and said, “I don’t like you, but God wants me to come to this church.” With the guileless ones you know exactly where you stand.
Can we handle a Bartholomew in our family?
MATTHEW – sold out to the system, working for the man. He was collecting taxes from his own people, extorting money from them. When Jesus wanted Matthew, Pastor Scales speculated that the other disciples would have said, “Wait a minute, don’t you know who he is? He’s working for the man. He probably votes Republican. Wears a shirt and tie.” The other disciples were fishermen, blue collar workers. Matthew would have been wearing a suit and winged tipped shoes.
Can we handle a Matthew in our family?
THOMAS – we know him for doubting. They are the kind that say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Jesus died, was buried, rose, and was seen by the women, and the 10 disciples, but Thomas was not at the meeting. He is the one that said that He needed to touch Jesus’ side and stick his fingers in the nail holes to believe that Jesus really was risen. Pastor Scales said, Some make it happen, some watch it happen, and some wonder what happened. Thomas represents the skeptics and doubters.
Can we handle a Thomas in our family?
JAMES SON Of ALPHAEUS –which means the less – this is the short people, they grow so far and stop growing. There is a syndrome called the short man’s complex, where those who feel short assert their personality, become exhibitionists, and assert themselves to compensate for their perceived lack.
Can we handle a James, son of Alphaeus in our family?
THADDAEUS, AKA LEBBAEUS, JUDAS SON OF JAMES, AND SIMON THE ZEALOT – this man has a few AKA’s (Also known as). He was a zealot, a zealous Jew who carried a sword, and tried to kill Roman soldiers whenever he could. He would have been sort of the Black Panther of the Jews. He would not have approved of Matthew being in the ranks. Pastor Scales speculated that maybe Simon provided the sword when Jesus told his disciples to find a weapon. Peter could not cut the neck of the servant, missed and cut off his ear. Simon the zealot would not have missed.
Can we handle a Thaddaeus, aka Lebbaeus, aka Judas son of James, aka Simon the Zealot in our family?
JUDAS ISCARIOT – who betrayed Jesus. In a family there are those who betray us. They smile to your face but are plotting to take your place.
Can we handle a Judas Iscariot in our family?
Pastor Scales then went on to speak about betrayal. He said there is no pain like the pain of betrayal. When someone you expect to be loyal, steadfast, and faithful stabs you in the back, it hurts. If an enemy attacks you, you expect that, but not betrayal at the hands of a friend, loved one, or family member.
Jesus was a member of this family of disciples. Judas had supped with Jesus, laughed with him, traveled with him, and then betrayed him with a sign of affection, a kiss.
All of us have been betrayed at some point in our lives. The person who is the betrayer is trying to get to your heart. The enemy wants this to happen, wants you so wounded that you never trust people anymore. He shoots arrows at your heart.
When you receive the pain of betrayal your hearts close down for survival and you vow never to trust again. Some never recover from betrayal, they are the ones who isolate themselves, and never join a small group in the church or get close to anyone in the church. They want to attend the services, but not get involved.
Judas was paid to betray Jesus. Jesus was such a part of this household that he did not stand out from the others. Unlike the Medieval paintings where Jesus has a lighted halo around his head, he did not have such a thing when he was on earth. If he had a lighted halo on his head, he would have stood out even at night and the soldiers would not need Judas to point him out. Judas kissed Jesus, and then Jesus hung on the cross. While on the Cross, Jesus did not let the pain of the betrayal touch his heart – had it hurt him in the heart, we would not be sitting here saved today. Instead, Jesus forgave those who hurt him.
Pastor Scales loves our church because there is such a diversity of members. He told us that our church is a little taste of what Heaven will be like, many people with such diverse talents and lifestyles and cultures. Not all churches are like ours.
He then had us laughing when he mentioned that he likes most kinds of music but at one point country western used to irk him. He kept being invited to a church to teach, and finally God told him to go and teach there. When he walked in he said it was as if Elvis was reincarnated – the pastor had the hairdo, the belt buckle, the jeans, etc, and the church was definitely country western. He know knows where Elvis is hiding, a small church. When they sang praise and worship music it was country western. Pastor Scales said something to God about this and God told him in his spirit, “You need to like all kinds of worship music, and if you refuse to learn to like country western, I am going to place you in the country western section of Heaven.” Pastor Scales told us that now he appreciates all styles of music, and he saw that he could not close his heart on worship no matter the style of it, when he saw these people in this church worshipping, he knew that they were seeking and loving God. That is what matters.
We are the family of God. He told us to never be afraid to invite people to our church – every family has a few weird members.
We are coming into the season of the Feast of Tabernacles, and we need to remember to Tabernacle with our family members, not only at church, but outside the walls of the church. The Feast of Tabernacles involves building a Sukkot at church, but also one at home – taking church into your neighborhood.
He suggested that we invite church members over to our house for meals, take walks together, meet at a cafe for coffee, bowl together, play tennis, golf, etc. Show that our fellowship does not happen only within the four walls of the church. Those who are not believers will observe how we get together and act in love, and want that kind of relationship in their lives. It is a good way to draw people to the church.
We then were asked to come forward if we had been betrayed in our past and were still hurting from the betrayal. Members of the congregation who did not step forward laid their hands on the people who had step forward and prayed over them – while Pastor Scales prayed and Chris Bethel played anointed music over us. The prayers consisted of asking God to come into our hearts and heal us of the hurt of betrayal. We were asked to touch our hearts and take that betrayal and give it up to Jesus, and let Jesus heal us. Then we were told not to take back that betrayal or close our hearts.
We sang and shofars were blown. An awesome feast of fried chicken, greens, and many side dishes and desserts were served. I especially want to thank the kitchen crew who worked so hard to make sure all were fed – there were over 200 in attendance. Also, our own praise and worship teams and dancers, the youth and adults added to the atmosphere of worship and praise that pervaded the church last night. I am so grateful for all who help so much to make evenings like this possible.
Praying God blesses you and that if you have been betrayed in your past that you give it to Jesus for healing. Don’t let your heart be closed to the love that is available to you in the family of God.
God bless you.
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