【Bible Study】Acts 06: Managing the Church Requires an Intellectual Understanding of God


In Acts, Luke included lots of hidden meanings and ideas. I thought about it constantly because it was confusing to me, and I wanted to understand what he was trying to say.

Luke, in the second part of Acts, was talking about the church in Antioch and the works of Paul. The first part was about the church in Jerusalem. Luke was comparing the two churches. The church in Jerusalem was very clouded and unclear in what they believed in.

People are spiritually blind. Let me give you an example: if you are completing a task, you need to first have the wisdom and intellect to accomplish that task.

The Concept of Discipleship

You need to understand the first fundamental concepts before you can move on.

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. (Acts 6:1 NIV)

Their concept, those of Peter and the Apostles, were doing charity and good works. They completely ruined the concept of discipleship, but in the church, they weren't doing what Jesus told them. I find that as a church grows, the problems grow as well, because there is a management issue. The management isn't able to keep up.

These new apostles were actually far from the standards that were originally given to them. Jesus only picked twelve, and among them was Judas. But the church in Jerusalem was progressively lowering the standards for admission into the church.

Today, the concept of discipleship is this: those that can strip away wives, husbands, children, land and money for Jesus. There aren't many disciples, even today.

Do you think its normal? That problems among the disciples were increasing even as the number of disciples is increasing? There should be less problems.

Many people are like Peter, they just want the seats in their church to be filled. I desire it too, because who wants all the seats to be empty? But the standard for discipleship in our church is much higher than most.

Why is there so much grace in our church? Because people are willing to sacrifice themselves for God! Jesus does not need numbers, he just needs true disciples. One disciple is better than a thousand believers.

The Concept of Management

I have done a lot of work in the past few years to investigate this concept. And even though I have a lot to learn still, I want to praise our church.

A church needs to be managed. From the beginning of time, God entrusted Adam and Eve to manage the birds of the air and the animals on the ground. That is why I am so strict about management. If the church is able to manage like I do, then I think that there is a lot of potential.

Peter and the church in Jerusalem did not understand how to manage properly. Who can you blame if something goes wrong?

2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2-4 NIV)

A lot of churches have gone down this path and neglect to manage other aspects of the church because they are so dedicated to ministry. Let me give you an example:

God asked Solomon: Ask for whatever you want me to give you. Solomon asked for wisdom to govern the people of Israel. If the church in Jerusalem couldn't even manage the food properly, how were they supposed to focus on ministry?

If you are shepherding the people, you must know what you are doing. I don't care how much you eat, rather, I want to know what you are doing and how much work you are accomplishing. Many people are scared that they will be brainwashed into doing work, when all they want is to eat and have fun; they are like monkeys.

Some people do not grow in anything except age. I have been stressed recently for the future of the church, because we cannot be stagnant where we are; we must always keep on growing. You are like the ten talents of silver that God has given me, and I must turn it into a hundred. If you come to us, you are blessed. It is because we are not afraid to cut away anything that is bad, for you to walk out of poverty and grow. I will make sure that you are uncomfortable where you are you are lazy and rely on the flesh! I am not being unreasonable, but rather polishing and refining you to become useful to God. We should follow Paul's example of management!

Luke wrote Acts in a very ironic way to display the mismanagement of the church in Jerusalem. We need to grow to manage God's people. If you are worth 100 dollars one day, and 500 the next, isn't that better?

So the Tweleve chose seven people, but we are not sure how they accomplished to train them to become managers.

The Concept of a Prosperous Church

The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, but I think it because they gave away free food to whoever came. Of course the numbers grew. Is the number of people the only thing that brings prosperity to a church? If the number of people are many, but the word of God isn't prosperous, that is a problem.

The number of people does not count for a church's prosperity, but the number of true disciples does. At our church, we teach you and train you to become disciples. Today, many churches show their prosperity by the number of people. I measure prosperity by what you have accomplished.

If you don't manage, and constantly just focus on ministry, what are you doing?

Reflect Frequently

We must always reflect on our understanding of God. Do we really know God intellectually? If you build a car that cannot run, that is called incompetence. If you build a plane that cannot fly, that is also incompetence. So if you build a church that does not have the glory of God, that is divided, quarrelsome, and gluttons, then it is not a church. Is this the will of God? God's kingdom is not concerned with eating and drinking. You cannot be better, not solving problems.

Our church has done a lot of work getting rid of many myths. Everybody else talks about these few chapters from a positive perspective, but I do from a negative perspective, like that of Luke and Paul.

The Myth of Constantly Praying and Preaching

Is praying and preaching the role of a shepherd in the church? No, you must intellectually know God and have his wisdom. If you are the leader of the church, you have to take on the responsibility of management and govern the church.

I often reflect on God's work and think about this problem. God gave me a revelation, because whoever asks shall receive. Therefore, everyone should get rid of this myth of preaching and praying. It is not easy to concentrate on praying and preaching, but you must learn to manage and govern.

In summary, you must learn to manage people. Once you do this properly, they will become more valuable, and will definitely let you manage them. The most of what I am doing is training pastors to train others. Most of Jesus' time was spent training disciples. If you concentrate on praying and preaching, it is foolish if you don’t care about anything else.

The Myth of Making Up Numbers

Some people ask me why there is twelve tribes, or twelve disciples. There is nothing really special about this number. When Judas died, there were only eleven disciples. So they added another disciple to make the number round. And now they choose deacons, seven, but this is only arbitrary.

A lot of times people skip over the fourth floor because the homophonic pronunciation of the number in Chinese sounds like "death". Don't worry about making these numbers anymore.

The Myth of Laying on Hands.

They don't say or train the deacons to manage the food, or any goals, methods and strategies. Instead, they just laid their hands on them and prayed for them. Laying hands is still a myth in the church today. If you ask me, I will lay my hands on them, but I don't think it is very useful. If I lay my hands on you and arrange for you to do something, this is called responsibility given to you.

But in reality, this is just a religious symbol. Religion is useful, but we should understand God intellectually. It cannot replacement good governing of the church.

The Myth of the Filling Up of the Holy Spirit

To this day, many people are still influenced by this, and think that the filling of the Holy Spirit is the culmination of faith. Being filled with the Holy Spirit cannot replace reading the Bible and understanding God intellectually. Whatever you do, do it well, whether that is accounting, engineering or law. Don't live under a myth, thinking that the filling of the Holy Spirit can replace everything.

Some Christians say they were born again after the filling of the Holy Spirit, but they haven't accomplished anything since then. Is that useful?

The Myth of Miracles and Wonders

Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, was assigned to manage food. Scripture does not say how he governed this, but it does say that Stephen was constantly debating with the other Jews and Christians.

We all need to know that performing miracles and wonders cannot replace your understanding of God. Through signs and wonders, God’s power and power confirm the message we preach. However, our message is definitely not only signs and wonders. We cannot live under this myth. We need both miracles and wonders, as well as an intellectual understanding of God.

Can you take on this responsibility? Moses of eighty and still managing the entire nation of Israel. We must begin to gradually make breakthroughs in our understanding, not losing sight of miracles, wonders and God’s power, but to know God in our understanding and build His glorious church according to His will.

People are easily decieved, and according to our understanding today, we are unable to defeat Satan and his lies. But even if you are confused, learn more and grow to get out of confusion.

The Myth of Angels

Stephen was constantly debating instead of doing his job managing the food. When people don't want to accept they are wrong, there is no point, and as a result, Stephen was captured into the Sanhedrin.

The bulls we see here on earth are created in the image of the bulls in heaven, so are the horses and all different animals. But angels are created in the image of heavenly animals, an embodiment of those spirits. Humans, we are created in the image of God. Here, it is written that Stephen's face was like that of an angel. But isn't is better to be like God?

Both Peter's Epistles and the Book of Jude talk about angels in awe. Luke writes that they saw that his face was like an angel, but noboody knows what angels look like. So what is the image of an angel?

You cannot build a church by relying on the appearance of angels. But you can build a church, only by knowing God with all your heart, knowing God’s thoughts, plans and will, and acting according to God’s word. Luke is actually satirizing these people, who rely on angels.

In our church, you hear very rarely about angels and visions and dreams, but we focus on understanding God physically and solidly, through intellect.

May God bless you all and enable you to fully understand God, to govern and manage God’s church, to shepherd God’s flock, and to be a people who loves God with all their heart, soul, and mind.

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