Peace Between the Apostolic Farmer & the Pastoral Herdsman
By Ricardo ‘Reason’ Butler
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY …
Last week I was doing my personal devotional time in the Word of my Father and I was reading the story of Cain and Abel. The Lord took me in another direction with it.
Let me back up a bit. For me, when I read and study the Word of God specifically looking for apostolic ministry principles to fool proof my own ministry as well as share this insight with others in like ministry.
So the Lord was showing me a relational principle between Cain and Abel that I believe Apostles and Pastors should pay attention to.
SO WHAT’S WRONG …?
What I’ve notice a LOT of over the last 10 years or so during the apostolic movement is the negativity shown the pastoral ministry by several apostolic ministers, apostolic ministries, prophets, prophetic circles, believers who follow the apostolic and prophetic moves, and even a few teachers in the word.
It’s this idea that now that the Apostle, Prophet, and Teacher have been restored to order that the Pastor is the guy (or girl) that you pick on in our messages. I get it that in the beginning we were teaching and trying to get the church to understand how out of order it is. But I think it has gone a bit too far now that it is 10 years later from when I first picked up on this trend.
So I want to share a few things the Lord has shown me from the story of Cain and Abel.
Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer
In verse 2 of the 4th chapter of Genesis the Message translation says,
“Then she [Eve] had another baby, Abel. Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer.”
We all know that a herdsman is a Shepherd also known as a Pastor. Cain being a farmer or as the KJV says, “tiller of the ground” is no accident apostles. In so many places in the New Testament the apostle is the one who is called to plant and to bear fruit that remains and works in “God’s Garden.” I believe there is an important message today’s apostles need to learn from Cain and Abel.
Verses 3-5 say,
“Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.”
This is where I am going to do a little substitution and paraphrasing to see if you can see what the Lord is showing us apostles.
Some time has passed and the Apostle brought an offering to God from the fruit of the ground. The Pastor also brought an offering from the first born again to mature believer of his flock. God liked the Pastor’s offering but the Apostle’s offering didn’t get God’s approval and the Apostle has lost his temper and is angry about the whole ordeal.
Bearing Bad Fruit
I believe here is the problem. Cain, like his father Adam were both farmers who were to keep their gardens in order. You have to remember in chapter 3, God said to Adam (the apostolic farmer at the time),
“Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: CURSED IS THE GROUND for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee …” (Genesis 3:17-18).
The ground was cursed! Cain was working with cursed ground that could only bring thorn and thistles. It was OF THE GROUND. The dirt in the Scriptures is symbolic for carnal flesh. I believe the thorns and thistles spiritual represent the works of the flesh (see Gal. 5:19-21). How much good could curse ground produce? There is no indication that says that Cain gave HIS BEST offering as it did with Abel’s.
Hebrews 6:8 says,
“But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh [near] unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”
I believe the bitterness that a lot of apostles and apostolic people (even the prophetic folks and many teachers) have towards the Pastoral leadership in many of the churches today are the thorns and thistles and briers that raise up in our hearts and spoil other believers attitudes and mindset about the important of the pastoral ministry. The Pastor is STILL important as they are still members and ministers of the five fold.
Hebrews also says,
“Follow peace with ALL men [including the Pastoral ministers who are out of order], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you [trouble YOU apostles], and thereby many [those who follow are ministries] be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15).
By now we should be making peace with the Pastoral ministers out there in mainstream Christianity. Just because they carry a majority of God’s people who follow them over the apostolic and prophetic ministry is never a reason to show bitterness towards them and what they are doing.
Master our Bitterness Towards the Pastoral
God then tells Cain,
“God spoke to Cain: ‘Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.’” (Genesis 4:6-7).
Again, I don’t think the literal fruit that Cain brought had nothing to do with why his offering was rejected. It was the spiritual fruit that he brought through the works of the flesh called bitterness. This is the sin lying in wait ready to pounce of apostles, apostolic people, prophets, and prophetic people who have not been accepted into the mainstream churches where a majority of God’s flock is fellowshipping.
In Cain’s case, he did not take the Lord’s counsel to heart and he kept on “preaching against the pastor and the church system” but out of bitterness. There is a right and wrong way to do this. For example, when I read the story of King Saul and David I see the beef between a Pastor who is chasing the Apostle away from the church. David did it right and the God elevated him to where “the church” recognized his apostolic ministry and authority and they followed him. But the whole time, the Apostle David still had respect for Pastor Saul and made sure that all around him respected the Pastor.
David knew that God put Saul there and that God would ultimately remove the out of order Pastor on His own timeline. This is the mindset that I believe all apostles should have when dealing with the pastoral ministries out there.
HERE’S HOW WE CAN HELP
The Pastor is still a brother (or sister) to the Apostle and WE ARE OUR BROTHER’S KEEPER (Hebrew: ‘Shepherd, Pastor’). Apostles should be coming along side Pastors and becoming brother’s keepers or shepherding the pastors. What if we did this and Pastors accepted out help, wisdom, and insight on how to better lead the flock of God’s people? I’m just saying!
If we rise up and slaughter and names and characters of Pastors out there who may be out of order, but God is still working with and through them to fulfill His will, we delay are coming fully into apostolic ministry as Cain did and was driven out into the world rather then coming in to help lead the fold.
IN CONCLUSION …
Think about it. Think before you bash the pastor or call out the shepherds out there in the mega churches. God is watching YOUR ATTITUDE AND HEART! There is a RIGHT WAY and a WRONG WAY in dealing with out of order pastoral ministries or churches who still reject apostles, apostolic people and apostolic ministry.
Jesus already told us what He would do to those who REJECT and ACCEPTS the Apostolic. He said,
“And whosoever shall NOT receive you [receives NOT or rejects apostles], nor hear your words [the Words of Christ], when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves …
… He that receiveth you [you Apostles (the Apostles are who He was talking to in context)] receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him [God the Father] that sent Me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:14-16, 40-42).
YOU CAN START TODAY BY DOING THIS…
The last verse in Genesis chapter 4 says,
“That’s when men and women began praying and worshiping in the name of God.” (verse 26b).
This is the goal of both the Apostles and Pastors! We are to lead people to begin calling on, praying to and worshipping in the name of God, which is Jesus Christ. Is this not the goal?
Ephesians 4 says that the Apostle and Pastor are given to …
“… train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.
No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the Source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.” (Ephesians 4:12-16, The Message).
So continue to feed the Seed and Nurture the Nature, for by Divine Enlightenment you are Becoming What you already ARE! Apostolic blessings and do know that you are highly FLAVORED of the Lord!
May the blessings of the KINGDOM of the Father come upon you and your family through the Seed of the Word planted grow up 30fold, 60fold, 100fold, and even a double portion, which would be 200fold in Jesus’ name by the power of the Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ WHO IS THE SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE WORLD! Amen!
Grammatical errors are left in intentionally to let people know that a real human named Ricardo Butler is really writing his own content! 🙂
My name is Ricardo Butler and I’m passionate about helping and equipping emerging mature ministers who are Salt, Light, Humble, Loving, Wise, Anointed, Servants into their Kingdom appointed Five Fold Ministry assignments as Spiritual Parents while imparting Faith, Hope, and LOVE in the process so that they will be able to unite, mature, equip, and release the Body of Christ into their ministry and inheritance which the Father has given to the Body of Christ to advance the Kingdom and Glory of the God throughout the nations.
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Love you and Christ bless!
Ricardo ‘Reason’ Butler
Son of God | Disciple of Christ | Father | Husband | Leader | Writer | Entrepreneur | YOUR PERSONAL FEET WASHER | SERVANT & Apostolic Founder & CEO of Ricardo Equips Apostolic Leaders (R.E.A.L.), LLC @ https://ricardoequips.wufoo.com/forms/five-fold-ministry-development/
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