TAKING UP “THE CHARGE”   11.03.19

References:

Jim Caviezel,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9z-dMQjRBE&feature=youtu.be , “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” Published on Jan 5, 2018

Anita Fuentes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOOk9BQ9iQE&feature=youtu.be ,  “Jim Caviezel shares Charge from Jesus after Billy Graham’s Death “Student has to be the teacher n…”  Evangelist Anita Fuentes, Streamed live on Mar 5, 2018.

What does it mean to be given a “charge”? A charge involves the taking of responsibility, being entrusted with an assignment from someone in a high level of authority. “If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then you will judge My House and watch over My courts and I will give you a place to walk among these standing here” (Zech.3:7). From this, we see a depiction of the concept of being given a charge. Alternate wordings of this passage, for instance use the phrase, “perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts” (NAS). The central thrust is that of   taking over the command, as a General in the Army, or passing the torch, as from coach to athlete, teacher to student.

A mantle, although referring physically to a cloak, a loose fitting garment often worn by priests, monks, and prophets, represents a special covering, and that covering is usually in line with a calling, or ministry of some sort. Passing on the mantle, then, becomes an act of “taking up the charge” which occurs when one leader passes their ministry on to another.

Moses passed his ministry on to Joshua. Joshua was assigned to take over from where Moses left off, and complete the assignment of taking the Israelites into the land of promise. In doing so, he now received a special covering from Yahweh for the duration of God’s assignment.

When Elijah was translated into the heavens, his mantle/commission/charge was passed on to Elisha:  “He then picked up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him. When he returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan, he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen off him, struck the waters and said, “Where is Adonai, the God of Elijah?” As he indeed struck the waters, they parted here then there. Then Elisha crossed over” (2 Kings 2:13,14). So Elisha now received God’s covering, and the authority which had been given Elijah.

“Jehoshaphat . . . .  sought the God of his father, and walked in His mitzvot .. . .  So Adonai established the kingdom in his hand. Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials—Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah—to teach in the towns of Judah. They taught throughout Judah, having with them a Torah scroll of Adonai. They went throughout all the towns of Judah and taught the people” (2 Chron.17:3-5,7-9). Jehoshaphat passes on the charge to his men, delegating responsibilities to them.

Paul is passing on the torch to Timothy, when he says: “I solemnly charge you— proclaim the Word! Be ready when it is convenient or inconvenient” (2 Tim.4:1,2). Paul specifically wants Timothy to be prepared to deal with situations of conflict, false teachings, and backsliding, and instructs Timothy on how to proceed: “Confront, rebuke, encourage—with complete patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not put up with sound instruction, but they will pile up for themselves teachers in keeping with their own desires, to have their ears tickled” (2 Tim.4:2,3), warning, just as we need to be aware of now, that “they will turn away from hearing the truth and wander off to myths. You, however, keep a clear mind in all things, withstand hardship, do the work of proclaiming the Good News, and fulfill your service” (2 Tim.4:4,5). And in 1 Tim.1:18, Paul instructs Timothy: “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy my son, in keeping with the prophecies once spoken about you, so that by them you fight the good fight.” Paul knows his time is approaching the end. He wants Timothy to take over and carry on. In the same way, we need men and women to step up to the plate and take over and carry on from where people such as Billy Graham have had to move on.

Here is Paul’s understanding of taking up the charge/stepping up to the plate/taking up the torch from what our Lord and Master left for us to do:

Phil.3:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.

16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

And here, he is asking his followers to pick up on what they’ve been taught, and carry on from where he’s left off; take up the charge. . . . . .

“It’s your turn to lead; a changing of the guards,” as described by Anita Fuentes (https://youtu.be/cOOk9BQ9iQE). “Because there are not many doing the leading, we need to turn to the Word to learn how to be the teachers ourselves,” Fuentes points out. “You can’t close up your Bibles because the great Evangelist has gone to be with the Lord,” points out Fuentes. You have to be the one to seek Him, and go before the main Teacher so that you can become mature and learn and teach others. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb.5:12-14).

“Many Generals of the faith have left, and more will be leaving; it’s time now to pick up the torch . . . .” (Anita Fuentes, https://youtu.be/cOOk9BQ9iQE).   We have been under the teachings of leaders such as Billy Graham for some time; it is time for the student to become the teacher.

Jim Caviezel for one, believes the Lord has shown him that he must take up the charge. “Saul means Great One; Paul means little one. I learned that to become great requires us to be little . . . .  this is the way Saul became Saint Paul,” Caviezel says (Jim Caviezel, https://youtu.be/e9z-dMQjRBE).  Caviezel was called to acting, at age 19, and ultimately to the role of Jesus Christ, at age 33, in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. “This is not the time to back off or to give in” (Caviezel, https://youtu.be/e9z-dMQjRBE), says Caviezel. Recalling his time on the Cross during the making of the movie, “Passion of the Christ,” Caviezel “learned that each of us must carry our own cross . . …  there is a price for our faith, for our freedoms.” Injured during the filming, he was very impacted: “Suffering made my performance, just as it makes our lives . . . . . .  embrace your cross and race towards your goal. Go out into this pagan world and shamelessly express your faith in this pagan world. God is calling you, calling each one of us. It is time for this generation now to accept this call  . . . . to give ourselves entirely to Him. We must shake off this tolerance of evil. But it requires warriors . . . . set yourselves apart from this corrupt generation. You weren’t made to fit in; you were made to stand out” (Caviezel,  https://youtu.be/e9z-dMQjRBE).

Just like when Elijah left his mantle for Elisha, Moses to Joshua, etc., often a son or daughter has a parent’s mantle passed on to them. Similarly a Church/Congregation leader may pass on his/her mantle to another member. A “charge” may be teaching, preaching, evangelizing, mentoring; it may be whatever God appoints you to. “Freedom exists not to do as you wish, but to do as you ought,” Caviezel declares. It is now time for the young generation, and anyone whom the Father calls, to step up to the plate and take the charge.

© 2018, revised 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.

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