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    Matthew 23:6-12 (NKJV)
    They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi. ’ 8 But you, do not be called “Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
    In today's society, titles in front of our names or following our names, lend themselves toward recognition, honor, respect and, shall I dare say it, entitlement. It is rare today to see some business card with a person's name that does not have a string of titles following it. It is something we worked hard for, whether through years of schooling or through years of sacrifice and commitment so that we may be able to look back on our lives and feel that certain satisfaction of accomplishment. A life well spent, at least in our own eyes. If others recognize our efforts, it becomes icing on our cake. These titles become symbols of our success and our sacrifices. We wear them proudly and expect our due honor and respect as well.

    Jesus, on the other hand, was of a different mind as He lived a life of complete sacrifice and selfless living, not to gain the favor of mankind but to please His Father in heaven. His focus and purpose was for a much nobler goal, His own death as a final sacrifice for the redemption of all mankind back to the Father who created them. Although He made His arrival from the exalted halls of heaven, from the very throne room of the Father, He chose to not esteem himself more highly than any mortal man but humbled himself and took the form of a servant to mankind and a slave to His Father's will and purposes.

    During His brief ministry on earth, Jesus was in constant encounter with the religious leaders of His day, most of which, did not end well. Just as in the verses above, His criticisms of the pride of these leaders was well documented. God hates pride! It was because of pride that Lucifer, the most beautiful of all the angels God created, turned his back on God and was lifted up in his heart because of his own beauty and power. Inside of pride resides violence. It is this violence that reared its ugly head to rebel against God and His kingdom and this now fallen angel, renamed Satan, drew with him a third of the angels of heaven. He is still at war against God and His chosen One, Jesus the Messiah. Although Jesus defeated him at the cross, the war of Satan against God and His Anointed continues to this day.

    In this war, Satan's battle strategy is to impose his own pride upon those who are in service to God. If he is able to succeed, then his efforts will fly in the face of God, provoking Him to anger. It is Satan's express purpose to steal, kill and destroy and in the doing of this by inciting pride in the heart of mankind, including those who are the servants of God, he will have succeeded. Today as it was in Jesus' day more than two thousand years ago, servants of God have lifted themselves up by adopting titles and seeking the honor of men above that of the honor of God.

    Just as in the dark ages, when the Roman church ruled over all of Europe and the known world by lording over them all, they each wore their respective titles as badges of honor and self glorification. The judgment of God against them became evident in time and so it will again today. Men and women, seeking the glory that belongs only to God and lording over God's people. Brethren, these things aught not to be so among the children of God. Jesus warned explicitly that we are not to desire the recognition of man but to humble ourselves as servants to our brothers and sisters of the faith.

    Jesus said that we should not be called RABBI or FATHER or TEACHER but should chose to be known only as brother or sister. Because He did not mention the words PASTOR, PROPHET, APOSTLE, ELDER, BISHOP, REVEREND, DOCTOR or the myriad of other titles, did not mean these are approved. The issue He was addressing is that which is at the very heart of that which brought rebellion and the fall of mankind...PRIDE!!!

    He knew what power these titles bring when men add them to their own names. We would feel we have arrived and deserve the honor and respect of others because of our sacrifices and our commitment and calling. Instead of walking humbly, we walk proudly and to promote the service of others above our own congregation, those whom we serve, we set aside the best seats and reserve the best tables and say to those we wish to honor, "Sit here beside me and drink the best wine with me so that we may share together the benefits of that which we deserve."

    There was a word that Jesus used when He decried this kind of attitude that was so prevalent in His day, “ Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves...BLIND GUIDES!

    These are declared as being BLIND for the god of this world has blinded their eyes and they can no longer see that the path they are walking on is the path that leads themselves and others to hell fire. In this, they shut up the gates to heaven for themselves while preventing others from entering in. The worst of the judgment of God is reserved for those who walk in this manner. For having known the truth, these have turned away from the truth to follow after their own fleshly desires while they continue to deceive themselves and others into thinking they are serving God when they are serving themselves first.

    TURN.....TURN....REPENT!!!! Turn away from this path of destruction and repent while The Lord may be found for great is The Lord and greatly to be praised is He. He will not have mercy on those who exalt themselves or seek to share in the glory which belongs to God and Him only! You seek honor for yourself? Then that is all the honor you shall ever receive. For all that you have will be taken away from you and given to those to whom is more deserving, to those who walk humbly before The Lord and seek the honor which is by Him and Him alone. These choose not for themselves titles to be loved and accepted by men but lay down their lives for the sheep and make themselves of no reputation to the glory and honor of their Lord and Master.

    Chose today whose glory you will give, to yourself and the praise of men or will you bow your hearts before The Lord God Almighty and cast your crown before Him. If you desire to be great in His kingdom, then become the servant of all and do not lay up for yourself treasure in the earth but rather lay for yourself that treasure in heaven where the thief cannot steal it. Do not allow yourselves to be called by great and swelling titles but chose to be called simply as brother or sister. Do not seek to lord over your brethren but humble yourselves as their slaves, doing the bidding of your true Master, The Lord God Almighty.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    Item Reviewed: TITLES AND RECOGNITION Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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