Preaching for Pay
Preaching for pay?
The question of a Hired "Located Evangelists" probably flows from a failure to understand the meaning of "Church" and the meaning of "Worship." From the Church of Christ (the Rock) in the Wilderness and never changed for the godly sector. Because of Instrumental-Trinitarian-Perverted idolatry at Mount Sinai, God REdefined the Sabbath or REST for refreshing principally by assemblying in small family groups to Rest, Read and Rehearse or repeat only the Word God supplied to Moses. This assembly was always built upon or educated by the Prophets in contrast to the abandoned Civil-Military-Clergy complex: God had turned them over to worship the starry host: their SERVICE began as Abadoh a form of Abaddon or Apollon.
Because of their violence with Swords and Musical Instruments, Jacob Cursed the Levites, commanded no one to attend their assemblies (synagogues) nor to enter into a covenant with Levi. The direct command was to wait for Shiloh meaning REST.
Gen. 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Christ is whatever or whomever God ordains to speak to the godly class through words or miracles. Stephen warns against the fall from grace because of vocal or instrumental PLAY and playing with one another. This is his example or PATTERN for us. Shiloh or REST was available for the godly people who were quarantined from the Civil-Military-Clergy complex whom God gave kings in His anger to carry out the captivity and death sentence.
Exodus 18 gives authority for NON-MERCINARY men who would PREACH the Word by READING or Reciting the Word handed down from God.
The Word (Dabar or Logos) is God's BREATHED Word as His Regulative Principle: it outlaws rhetoric, personal experiences, personal opinions, singing, playing instruments, acting or anything beyond ONE VOICE and ONE MIND speaking "that which is written for OUR learning." The Lord's Supper preaches the death of Jesus which WILL silence anyone not teaching that which Jesus commanded.
Both Jews and Gentiles were "wise unto salvation" because both attended synagogue rather than the pagan instrumental and perverted shrines fleecing the poor:
Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that PREACH him, being READ in the synagogues every sabbath day.
THE RESTORATION LEADERS WERE BIBLE READERS AND COMMANDED.
Thomas Campbell, one of the leaders of the American Restoration Movement away from denominational organizations, placed reading the Word as one of the most important external acts of worship and nullified "yarn spinners" in keeping with Jesus and Paul:
"who, at the same time are ignorant of, and even averse to, the religion it inculcates; and whilst others profess to embrace it as a system of religion,
without imbibing the spirit, realizing the truth, and experiencing the power of its religious institutions; but merely superstruct to themselves, rest in, and are satisfied with, a form (acts) of godliness; and that, very often, a deficient, imperfect form, or such as their own imagination has devised;
"let us, with an open bible before us, distinguish and contemplate that religion which it enjoins and exhibits--I mean the religion of christianity, for it also exhibits the religion of Judaism;
...but with this, in the mean time,
...we christians have nothing directly to do--
...we derive our religion immediately from the New Testament. TC
"But that this may be the case, the next immediate ordinance of the christian religion, namely,
the reading, I mean the musing upon, or studying the Holy Scriptures;
taking them up in their connexion, and meditating upon the subjects they propose to our consideration, with a fixed contemplation of the various and important objects which they present.
This dutiful and religious use of the bible, (that most precious, sacred record of the wonderful works of God,
the only authentic source of all religious information,) is inseparably connected with, and indispensably necessary to, the blissful and all-important exercises of prayer and praise.
"Hence it is evident, that if we would be spiritually minded, spiritually exercised in this delightful and heavenly employment,
- we must be filled with the Spirit;
- and if we would be filled with the Spirit,
- we must be filled with the word;
- the word of Christ must dwell in us richly;
- for we have no access to the Spirit but in and by the word.
There is no God-ordained role for anyone that requires a HIRED mediator. Evangelists are commanded to depend on his supporters to give them good and necessities.
"Give money to make poor pious youths learned clergy, or vain pretenders to erudition; and they pray that they may preach to you; yes, and pay them too.
Was there ever such a craft as priestcraft? No, it is the craftiest of all crafts. It is so crafty that it obtains by its craft the means to make craftsmen, and then it makes the deluded support them!" (Campbell, Alexander, Christian Baptist, Dec. 1, 1823, Vol. 1, p. 91).
"Those who lord it over the people will soon begin to destroy Them. The word Balaam means 'the destroyer of the people.' If we turn back to the history of this strange figure as recorded in the book of Numbers we find that which clarifies three passages in the New Testament where 'the error of Balaam' (Jude 11), 'the way of Balaam' (II Pet. 2:15) and 'the doctrine of Balaam' are discussed." (Barnhouse, D.G., Revelation, Zondervan, p. 54
The Restoration Movement had been plagued with dominant ministers and taught and patterned the notion of preaching as establishing churches. It also began teaching free will giving. However, moving closer to the tithe, the LAW OF GIVING has been used to finance LOCATED EVANGELISTS and has dried up the help needed by evangelists who GO and preach to the untaught.
No Biblical principle even suggests THE LAW OF GIVING and without it free will giving wouid finance the non-professional, clergy class. Here is where the Biblical laying by was stored:
The Bible and history knows of evangelists whose emphasis is preaching the Gospel. While men served in central cities, their ministry was to teach the entire province:
This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. Ac.19:10
And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. Ac.19:26
Therefore, the evangelist does not "DO" programs but he sees his entire district as his "students" and the local assembly (sunago or synagogue) is a school of the Bible or as Thomas Campbell called it "the school of Christ."
Therefore, we post the Biblical and historical view of the church as "organization" needing professional staff to make it operate, as contrary to the Word of God. Each evangelist has to decide whether he is "authorized" or not but our experience has been that most preachers yearn to do missionary work.
Next Phase After after Sowing Discord and Creating Dissociation or Post Modern's Schizophrenia is a NEW VISION FOR THE CHURCH. This is the Catholic-methodist RE-IMAGING or RE-VISIONING The Church. The New Vision is through NEW GLASSES and includes the elders as Shepherds over the True Leaders and Ministers. Some background to the April Re-Imaging Conference in Nashville.. The Goddess is Sophia or ZOE. Click Here
Being a dedicated evangelist is not easy: you had better abandon your own life before you begin. Not everyone can do that. If you cannot then God excuses you. Indeed, He cannot use anyone who begins to plow and then takes out and returns to the shade tree.
However, there have always been sacrificial men and women John Calvin would ask "why should the ploughing oxen starve and the lazy ass be fed."
The New Testament, church fathers, denominational founders, church history, the Reformation leaders, the Restoration leaders and the rapid crashing of many groups under the weight of the burden Jesus Christ died to remove. Click for the entire history.
"It is possible that some spiritual immaturity today may arise from other causes. It may be produced by a failure to provide an adequate program of Bible instruction for the whole church. It may be the result of indifference and lack of a real desire to know the rich things of the Word. Too often people have assumed that all the Bible should be as simple as kindergarten lessons. It that were true, it is doubtful if there would ever be such a thing as a full grown Christian. The usual Sunday morning scolding which the church receives for not doing this will only make the situation worse. (Applebury, p. 51)
Under the law, after Israel's elders fired God and "set a king over us" the form of teaching was with the "oriential incentive." The Promise Keepers and the "Sons of Shamgar" love to carry the oxgoad which is a violent threat not to get in the way of the children on their masculine journey. The oxgoad of the teaching outlawed for the Christian is:
Lamad (h3925) law-mad'; a prim. root; prop. to goad, i. e. (by impl.) to teach (the rod being an Oriental incentive): - unaccustomed, diligently, expert, instruct, learn, skilful, teach (-er, - ing).
Here is the "pedagogues" of the Law (music is legal) applying the "oriential incentive." Preaching for pay? Jesus warned about payiing for pray.
Does this remind you of the "weekly scolding of the employers by the employee?" Any preacher who presumes the right to preach at the congregation is in serious need of a return to the Happy Tutor.
This form of teaching will not be followed under Jesus Christ although some of His modern successors try. Isaiah sounds the warning of Jesus and Paul that when you don't love the truth what comes out of the songs and sermons is trivia "taught by the precepts of men." This, too, is God pouring out His Spirit of judgment upon those who say: "Don't preach that God anymore."
III. From Book II. Asterius Urbanus writing of Montanus c. 172-173 who presumed that the Scriptures needed further expounding or private interpretation. He used a charismatic style to fool the fools and extract pay for preaching:
Wherefore, since they stigmatized us as slayers of the prophets (Num 16:41) because we did not receive their loquacious ["unbridled of tongue," and thus also mendacious.] prophets,-for they say that these are they whom the Lord promised to send to the people,-let them answer us in the name of God, and
tell us, O friends, whether there is any one among those who began to speak from Montanus and the women onward that was persecuted by the Jews or put to death by the wicked?
There is not one. Not even one of them is there who was seized and crucified for the name [Compare Tertullian, vol. iii. cap. 28, p. 624.] of Christ. No; certainly not. Neither assuredly was there one of these women who was ever scourged in the synagogues of the Jews, or stoned. No; never anywhere.
It is indeed by another kind of death that Montanus and Maximillia are said to have met their end. For the report is, that by the instigation of that maddening spirit both of them hung themselves; not together indeed, but at the particular time of the death of each 22 as the common story goes.
And thus they died, and finished their life like the traitor Judas. Thus, also, the general report gives it that Theodotus-that astonishing person who was, so to speak, the first procurator Note 23 of their so-called prophecy,
Note 23 oi\on e0pi/tropon. Rufinus renders it, "veluti primogenitum prophetiae ipsorum." Migne takes it as meaning steward, manager of a common fund established among the Montanists for the support of their prophets. Eusebius (v. 18) quotes Apollonius as saying of Montanus,
that he established exactors of money, and provided salaries for those who preached his doctrine.
and who, as if he were sometime taken up and received into the heavens, fell into spurious ecstasies, and gave himself wholly over to the spirit of delusion-was at last tossed by him into the air, and met his end miserably. People say then that this took place in the way we have stated. But as we did not see them ourselves, we do not presume to think that we know any of these things with certainty. And it may therefore have been in this way perhaps, and perhaps in some other way, that Montanus and Theodotus and the woman mentioned above perished.
For what duties do they perform in return? In the same way as anciently, under the laws, those who served at the altar lived by the altar,
"even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel" (1 Cor. 9:14).
These are Paul's words. Let them, then, show us that they are ministers of the gospel, and I will have no difficulty in conceding their right to stipend.
The ox must not be muzzled that treadeth out the corn [1 Cor. 9:9]. But is it not altogether at variance with reason that the ploughing oxen should starve, and the lazy asses be fed?
They will say, however, that they serve at the altar. I answer, that the priests under the law deserved maintenance, by ministering at an altar;
but that, as Paul declares, the case under the New Testament is different. And what are those altar services, for which they allege that maintenance is due to them?
Forsooth, that they may perform their masses and chant in churches, for example, partly labor to no purpose, and partly perpetrate sacrilege, thereby provoking the anger of God. See for what it is that they are alimented at the public expense!
But he that speaks through books, consecrates himself before God, crying in writing thus:
Not for gain, not for vainglory, not to be vanquished by partiality, nor enslaved by fear nor elated by pleasure;
but only to reap the salvation of those who read, which he does,
not at present participate in, but awaiting in expectation the recompense which will certainly be rendered by Him, who has promised to bestow on the labourers the reward that is meet.
But he who is enrolled in the number of men [Ps. li. 7-12.] ought not to desire recompense.
For he that vaunts his good services, receives glory as his reward.
And he who does any duty for the sake of recompense, is he not held fast in the custom of the world, either as one who has done well, hastening to receive a reward, or as an evil-doer avoiding retribution?
We must, as far as we can, imitate the Lord. I And he will do so, who complies with the will of God,
receiving freely, giving freely, and receiving as a worthy reward the citizenship itself.
"The hire of an harlot shall not come into the sanctuary," it is said: accordingly it was forbidden to bring to the altar the price of a dog. (male prostitute)
And in whomsoever the eye of the soul has been blinded by ill-nurture and teaching, let him advance to the true light, to the truth,
which shows by writing the things that are unwritten. "Ye that thirst, go to the waters," [Isa. lv. 1] says Esaias, And "drink water from thine own vessels," [Prov. v. 15] Solomon exhorts. Accordingly in "The Laws," the philosopher who learned from the Hebrews, Plato, commands husbandmen
not to irrigate or take water from others, until they have first dug down in their own ground to what is called the virgin soil, and found it dry.
For it is right to supply want, but it is not well to support laziness.
For Pythagoras said that,
"although it be agreeable to reason to take a share of a burden, it is not a duty to take it away."
The prophecy of today. Preaching for pay
To the Preachers: And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: Isaiah 29:11
To the elders: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Isaiah 29:12
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Isaiah 29:13
Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Isaiah 29:14
The entire Kingdom period, still used as proof texts for honoring God with the lips, was a period when the Word of God was sealed in a book.
Therefore, Lord Jesus Christ is our ONLY Teacher through His Word. This means that there is no preaching for pay without presuming that Jesus didn't know how.
However, the Jews had a legal system and a priesthood imposed because of Israel's sin at Mount Sinai. The people refused to listen to Moses speak the Book of the Covenant but God promised a new Covenant:
This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. Acts 7:37
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: Hebrew 8:10
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest Hebrew 8: 11 .
We should not expect that God will pour His will into our minds like radio waves. Rather, God teaches through His Words which were revealed and presented to mankind to be used as the teaching resource and not just as a grab-bag for sermon topics and shallow songs and "workbooks."
If we sermonize and versify GOD'S Words we disqualify ourselves as a Son modeled by Jesus who as "Son" spoke only what He heard from the "Father."
Refusing to listen to the Old Testament puts a double lock on the mind urgently trying to get God to come into the presence of unholy "temples."
Only by understanding the Old Testament is it possible to turn to the Word as God teaching us and turn away from those whose business it is to take away the key to knowledge.
As background, God put both breath and His spirit into people so that they might commune with Him. God is not the god of institutions or priesthoods. He is the God of individual believers to Whom He will reveal Himself in a "still, quiet voice." He is not in the public whirlwinds, earthquakes or firestorms of people burning themselves up with their own breath.
When God "breathed" into the natural Adam who was "formed" by the same word used of a child forming in the womb, He gave Adam:
Neshamah (g5397) nesh-aw-maw'; fr. 5395; a puff, i. e. wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect. or (concr.) an animal: - blast, (that) breath (-eth), inspiration, soul, spirit.
While certain prophets and apostles were selected to reveal God's Mind through His Spirit words, there is no class of professionals who have more power to read and understand God's Word than another. To make the claim is to refute the Spirit of God Who said:
Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: Isaiah 42:5
I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; Isaiah 42:6
To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. Isaiah 42:7
I am the Lord; that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8
God would not send a preaching for pay class to feed the flock. He would personally lead those who had been introduced to Him through the Word:
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16
They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. Isaiah 42:17
These graven images are self-selected men who have the quality of being appealing to both men and women, women as performers of "talent," organs which are actually "baptized," beautiful buildings originally begun as "tools of evangelism" when the first ones were built, sermons which have a face of Bible but a body of self, songs composed out of human sentimentality which often distort the Word and on and on. We "Worship" that which we pay attention to. Indeed, all of the ancients believed that the "gods" lived in and spoke from their musical instruments.
When Jesus told the Jews that "not many miracles were done" among them they knew that He was not their man. They wanted food and circuses, musical praise and pomp. But if He was going to continue to open their blind eyes in a spiritual sense they wanted none of it: their whole livlihood depended upon keeping people blind and ignorant.
Therefore, Isaiah made sure that we understand blindness as inablility to hear God. The only way to get the teaching job done was to cut out the middle man selling watered wine:
Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. Isaiah 42:18
Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lords servant? Isaiah 42:19
Who in all the world is as blind as my own people,
who are designed to be my messengers of truth? Who is so blind as my "dedicated one,"the "servant of the Lord"? Isaiah 42:19LIV
Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. Isaiah 42:20
The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake;
he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. Isaiah 42:21
Woe to the man or "worship team" who dares to get between God and His students!
Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house. Ezekiel 12:2
Jesus healed the spiritually blind and the Pharisees understood the message:
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. John 9:39
And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? John 9:40
Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. John 9:41
The "seers" were the professional star gazers (God abandoned Israel to the worship of the starry host). They were always preaching for pay:
Chozeh (h2374) kho-zeh'; act. part. of 2372; a beholder in vision; also a compact (as looked upon with approval): - agreement, prophet, see that, seer, stargazer.
For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, Davids seer, saying, 2 Sa 24:11
The word "praise" often used of David when he seems to have lost contact with the Spirit of God is defined as "making self vile." When Saul "propesied" this was not to make him into a spiritual person but to "pervert" him to make the elders see their evil for rejecting Him as their king and demanding a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations.
"There were guilds of roving prophets who indulged in practices not unlike clairvoyancy and used music to induce the state; madness was ascribed to the prophets as a class (II Kings 9:11). Saul came under their influence, and in frenzy he stripped off his clothing, rolled on the ground, and prophesied for a day and night." (Clark, Elmer T., The Small Sects in America, p. 85, Abingdon)
Lots of rhetorical displays seem more like madness than teaching as Jesus would do. WWJD? Why, He would read the Word and then have the common decency so sit down?
When Israel "rose up to play" this includes the same practices and when David "played" to move the Ark he confessed that he was "making himself vile" and would be held in honor by the "playing" women.
"The rich mythology of Canaanite religion implies an elaborate ritual, and all the evidence shows that it was enacted in sumptious temples with every aid from art and music.
The performance of these rites was the responsibility of a large and highly organized priesthood (worship team) under the leadership of a hereditary High Priest. There is no doubt that Canaanite religion was gorgeous and spectacular." ((Heaton, E. W., Everyday Life in the Old Testament, p. 215, Scribners)
The End of Preaching for pay Prophesiers
Prophets were often organized into guilds in which they received their training. The guilds were led by a prophet master, and their members could be distinguished from other members of their society by their garb (such as a special mantle) or by physical marks or grooming (such as baldness, a mark on the forehead, or scars of self-laceration).
ALL modern "speaking in tongues" is a learned activity but it is not speaking Barbarian dialects to preach to the Barbarians:
> The nature of prophecy is twofold: either inspired (by visions or revelatory auditions),
> or acquired (by learning certain techniques). In many cases both aspects are present.
The goal of learning certain prophetic techniques is to reach an ecstatic state in which revelations can be received.
That state might be reached through the use of music, dancing, drums, violent bodily movement, and self-laceration. [You can see some of that in most sermonizing where the preacher has gone "outside of himself."]
The ecstatic prophet is regarded as being filled with the divine spirit, and in this state the deity speaks through him.
Ecstatic oracles, therefore, are generally delivered by the prophet in the first-person singular pronoun and are spoken in a short, rhythmic style. Britannica Members The professionals knew that they had not right to support. Therefore, they pretended that they were "farmers" but they stole the houses of widows and used some of the money to buy little bits of herbs to tithe so that they would look honest.
"In the Western world, Israelite prophecy is regarded as unique, for not only did it oppose institutionalized religion
but it is understood as having propagated an ethical religion emphasizing individual freedom,
a religion not dependent on mechanical ritual and legalism. Britannica Members
We hear lots about legalism these days but nothing is more legalistic than religious rituals calculated to get the worshiper "high" so he will pay for the services.
On the other hand, the church was SYNAGOGUE and prophesying or preaching or reading the Word was followed by "thus saith the Lord."
Jesus warned the professionals whose tithing was a lie.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Mt.23:23
Does that mean that we should still tithe? No. It proves that the professionals KNEW that they were supposed to hold an honest job. But since they had no little spices to tithe they traditionally bought them and pretended that they were still farmers. Zechariah speaks of this in warning that God would put an end to the false prophets who preached for a fee:
And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. Zech 13:2
And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live;
for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. Zech 13:3
Jesus defined a devil as "speaking on his own." And these professional preachers pretended that they were speaking for God.
Jesus repeated that He was the True Shepherd Whom the true sheep would follow. Those who pretend to be agents of Jesus, He said, are thieves and robbers unless they are out gathering His sheep living like He lived.
VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. John 10:1
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. John 10:2
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. John 10:3
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. John 10:4
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:5
This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. John 10:6
Ain't it the truth. They still make you pay to hear that parables are to make understanding Jesus easier.
Isaiah 53 prophesies of Jesus who would be rejected and despised by the clergy and smitten, wounded, and murdered. This was the model for the "professional" redeemer and no man would ever go through that. However, Paul was the model of the "oxen who deserved his nibblings, the soldier who earned his daily dole of food or the priest who ate his food while he was on duty at the temple."
In Isaiah 54 he said:
"All your children shall be taught by the Lord. And great shall be the peace of your children." Isaiah 54:13
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression [unjust gain]; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Isaiah 54:14
Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.
Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake." Isaiah 54:15
Those who assemble to listen to the preacher or musicians are NOT assembling to listen to God: church buildings are constructed with the pulpit as the holy place into which only authorized people can go.
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. Isaiah 54:16
No weapon (h3627 sword or musical) that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue (lashown) that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17
Keliy (g3627) kel-ee'; from 3615; something prepared, i. e. any apparatus (as an implement..., artillery, bag, carriage, Instrument, psaltery..
In Isaiah 55 the food and water is free and God asks, "Why do you spend your money for what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance." Only then would He make an everlasting covenant with individuals. God describes the spiritual "water cycle." Only the Word which comes from God does God's work when it is recycled through those who have never heard it. They, in turn, replate the word and it returns to God. Your words, O presumptuous child, do not have this power.
HO, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Isaiah 55:2
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Isaiah 55:3
Worship is then defined as it isin the New Testament as giving heed or seeking God through His Word. The universal warning of depending only on God as our Teacher through His Word is based on the fact that professionals will try to sell GOD'S FREE WORD to you!
In Isaiah 56 the children of the foreigner and the eunuch (emasculated while observing pagan rituals) will be honored more than the natural children.
This was because all human leaders become irresponsible. In the book of Enoch and many other ancient documents, the enemy is identified by the name of a beast. For instance, the serpent is actually the Chaldean soothsayer: he is a musician. Isaiah showed us how to recognize the problem:
All ye beasts (merry congregation, or multitude, singing and dancing) of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. Isaiah 56:9
His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs (keleb = male prostitutes), they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Isaiah 56: 10
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Isaiah 56: 11
Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. Isaiah 56: 12
But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Isaiah 57:3
Against whom do ye sport (effeminate play as at Mount Sinai and by David moving the ark) yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, Isaiah 57:4
Sport: Anag (g6028) aw-nag'; a prim. root; to be soft or pliable, i. e. (fig.) effeminate or luxurious: - delicate (-ness), (have) delight (self), sport self.
Sachaq (h7832) saw-khak'; a prim. root; to laugh (in pleasure or detraction); by impl. to play: - deride, have in derision, laugh, make merry, mock (-er), play, rejoice, (laugh to) scorn, be in (make) sport.
The Jewish clergy are identified as children of the Devil who "spoke of himself" and as "seed of the vipers."
Here is the common understanding of music and sorcery. You can probably see it in your church next Sunday:
Strabo Geography [10.3.9] "But I must now investigate how it comes about that so many names have been used of one and the same thing, and the theological element contained in their history. Now this is common both to the Greeks and to the barbarians,to perform their sacred rites in connection with the relaxation of a festival,
these rites being performed sometimes with religious frenzy, sometimes without it;
sometimes with music, sometimes not; and sometimes in secret, sometimes openly.
And it is in accordance with the dictates of nature that this should be so, for, in the
first place, the relaxation draws the mind away from human occupations and turns the real mind towards that which is divine; and,
secondly, the religious frenzy seems to afford a kind of divine inspiration and to be very like that of the soothsayer; and,
thirdly, the secrecy with which the sacred rites are concealed induces reverence for the divine, since it imitates the nature of the divine,
which is to avoid being perceived by our human senses; and,
fourthly, music, which includes dancing as well as rhythm and melody,
at the same time, by the delight it affords and by its artistic beauty,
brings us in touch with the divine, and this for the following reason;
for although it has been well said that human beings then act most like the gods when they are doing good to others,
yet one might better say, when they are happy; and such happiness consists of rejoicing, celebrating festivals, pursuing philosophy, and engaging in music;
This is the spectacle worship much like witchcraft being pushed by professional, performing preacher on churches of Christ and many other groups.
The only solution is to accept the free "water" from the mouth of God and "play it back" to others as it has been played to you:
I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. Isaiah 57:19
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Isaiah 57:20
See Jude and the book of Enoch to see that the false preachers are "wandering planets" or stars and empty clouds. The terminal sin was rejecting the Word of God and substituting it with mixed-sex choirs, instrumental music, wine drinking and perverted sexuality.
In Isaiah 58 Isaiah was to lift up his voice like a trumpet and tell them why all of the people have gone and we don't have food enough to feed the pastors and the poor are not considered:
Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Isaiah 58:2
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Isaiah 58:3
Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Isaiah 58:4
In Ezekiel, the people were consumed with meeting at all times pretending to listen to the Words of the Lord. But their songs and sermons proved that the message came out of their empty heads. Therefore, they were looking for musical prostitutes to tell them smooth things and meet their needs. God warned Ezekiel that they would listen but listen like a customer listens to the prostitute:
Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. Ezekiel 33:30
- And they come unto thee as the people cometh,
- and they sit before thee as my people,
- and they hear thy words,
- but they will not do them:
- for with their mouth they shew much love,
- but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Ezekiel 33:31
- And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song
- of one that hath a pleasant voice,
- and can play well on an instrument:
- for they hear thy words,
- but they do them not. Ezekiel 33:32
However, God had a solution: dedicate one day out of seven to the Word. This would be better than eight days a week with no Word being taught -- and God didn't need the entertainment, food or drink.
The fatal flaw was trying to worship God with a Seeker-friendly false doctrine. The Sabbath was not a day of worship but of rest:
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways,
nor finding thine own pleasure,
nor speaking thine own words: Isaiah 58:13
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Isaiah 58:14
In Isaiah 59 God reveals the universal truth: there is not a single man, woman or child on the face of the earth who can mediate truth, prayer or song for another person.
Even pretending to do so marks them as ignorant and presumptuous. The poor, empty poetry sold as "praise" to invite God to open up His "ears" and enjoy our efforts is the rankest of heresy:
Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. Isaiah 59:15
And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. Isaiah 59:16
For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. Isaiah 59:17
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. Isaiah 59:20
As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seeds seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever. Isaiah 59:21
ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1
Jesus identified His nature as "Son" by speaking only what He heard from the "Father." If we speak our own words rather than read and meditate on the Words of Christ then we are not sons of God.
But, listen to our songs and sermons and you will discover that the Spirit Words of God just don't fit into the mouth of those who cannot tolerate having God be our Teacher.
Peter explains how the once-delivered Spirit Word accomplishes God's purpose without human mediators:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1: 19
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:16
as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,
for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:19
"Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Eph 5:14
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Pet 1:20
Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, Eph 5:15
These were sophists who composed and sold their speeches.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:
understanding what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:17
but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet 1:21
be filled with the Spirit Eph 5:18
BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Pet 2:1
Speaking to one another is the only guard against false prophets.
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (God's Words) of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth:
in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
that God in all things may be glorified
singing and making melody in your heart
through Jesus Christ,
to the Lord; Eph 5:19
to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Pet 4:11
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Eph 5:20
Keeping the Sabbath does not mean "going to church on Saturday instead of Sunday." You cannot observe the Jewish Sabbath and get up, take a bath, shave, cook breakfast, drive ten miles to 'church' have 'worship' and leave to eat at the steak house, come home and mow the lawn." No. One keeps the Sabbath, even now, by resting body and soul and giving self to the Word of God and thinking. This is "worship in Spirit and in truth." Sunday is now a day for the collective assembly which in the beginning was to teach by showing forth Jesus Christ in the Lord's Supper, praying together, reading the Word, dialoging (not preaching) the Word and making sure that the group was not in want.
God came in the flesh to fire these people but they have risen like Dracula in their second incarnation. God warned them once and He warns them again about doing everything in their power to chain the Bible to the pulpit and choir loft:
AND the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Ezekiel 34: 1
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ezekiel 34: 2
Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. Ezekiel 34: 3
Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must trample (abusive, oppresing) down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? Ezekiel 34:18
And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. Ezekiel 34:19
Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. Ezekiel 34:20
Because ye have thrust (expelled) with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns (flask or coronet - trumpet), till ye have scattered them abroad; Ezekiel 34:21
Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. Ezekiel 34:22
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. Ezekiel 34:23
In the "singing" passages of Paul (Romans 15; Ephesians 5; Colossians 3) the task is to "fill up with the Word" and then we are able to teach one another. And we are commanded to "speak the same things" in order to prevent ugly billy goats from taking over the top of the hill. Connecting this to letting Christ do the teaching, we are confined to His Words or His Spirit or His Water to feed the church.
Furthermore, a shepherd leads beside still waters and one who would deliberately sing and play loud, harmonic music, sing, clap, wave their hands and dance in their midst would drive them insane and over the nearest cliff.
Jesus denounced the clergy (Rabbi, Doctors of the Law) who saw "godliness as a means of financial gain" and blamed them for taking away the key to knowledge. Somehow they just won't stay fired and the only way to hold on to their office is to keep the "people chained in ignorance." True servants love the truth and reach out to teach those who have never heard the gospel.
The Explanation by Jesus
No human clergy, teacher or mediator had ever remained faithful and taught the Word of God.
Without exception, they saw themselves as masters and imposed burdens to force the people to serve them. In the process, the festivals they imposed were for the benefit of the clergy but were a physical and emotional burdens upon the people. The result was that they tot their nerves frazzled and the Word of God taken away from them. Therefore, Jesus said:
Woe unto you, lawyers for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. Luke 11:52
In Matthew, there apparently was not one professional clergy person to be saved as seed for the New Covenant:
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on mens shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. Matthew 23:4
But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, Matthew 23: 5
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief Matthew 23: 6
And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. Matthew 23: 7
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. Matthew 23: 8
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Matthew 23: 9
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. Matthew 23: 10
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Matthew 23: 11
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23: 12
This is an absolute law against professional or '"set aside" clergy to usurp the role of Jesus Christ as God among us. However, modern ministers and musicians clearly see and claim themselves to be the mediators between God and the "audience" watching a neo-pagan theatrical performance.
How, then, does God do the teaching in a personal sense. In John six, Jesus begins:
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. John 6:45
A king speaks to his army by writing an epistle, sealing it and sending it by a herald or evangelist to the field. The evangelist does not unseal it, make changes and then take it to the army. If he did such a thing he would be executed for treason. Therefore, the example of Jesus, Paul and the command of Paul was to "deliver the Word as it has been taught to you." This is the way God teaches us directly.
"... a herald dare announce only what he is ordered to announce, no more and no less; he must also word it just so and not otherwise. The herald is only the loudspeaker of the radio... God wants heralds, he supplies the grand announcement to be made, and no herald can improve upon it... This God who sends his heralds with his announcement and the people to whom he sends his heralds are not expected to pay those heralds." (Lenski, 1 Thess., p. 250).
As Jesus began to speak of eating his flesh and drinking His blood as a source of life just as in ancient paganism, Jesus calmed the Apostles by saying:
and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? John 6: 62 What
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6: 63
Paul to the Corinthians
So, it seems that Jesus Christ teaches through His Word which, because He is God, does not need to be translated or pre-digested by others:
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corinthians 3: 3
Paul knew that the power was not in his appearance or his preaching style. Rather, the power was the Spirit of Jesus Christ inherent in His Words which created the universe.Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves;but our sufficiency is of God; 2 Corinthians 3: 5not of the letter,
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament;but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Corinthians 3: 6
Paul does not dismiss the written Words of Jesus Christ: he does dismiss the need for his flesh or any flesh to bring the Spirit within the Word to Life. In the parallelism, the contrast is not between the written Bible and a direct operation of the Holy Spirit; it is between the power of Paul's person and the Spirit power of the Words of Christ.
Again, see that not even Jesus put any power in His human flesh:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6: 63
The Jews refused to accept a personal teaching role of God through the Covenant, sinned and God gave them the Book of the Law as punishment:But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail
untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. Corinthians 3: 14But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 2 Corinthians 3: 15
Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 2 Corinthians 3: 16
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Co.3:18
But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but, by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every mans conscience in the sight of God. 2 Cor 4:2
By turning to the Lord the "babe in Christ" is able to learn on their own and "eat the meat of the Word" without the distraction of musical or preaching performers.
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 2 Peter 1:17
And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 2 Peter 1: 18
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1: 19
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 1: 20
This does not mean that we don't prophesy by stating "thus said the Lord." It means that the Word of God needs no further expansion or expounded. Why would you hire a professional further expounder when there is a DIRECT COMMAND outlawing it:
Epilusis (g1955) ep-il'-oo-sis; from 1956; explanation, i.e. application: - interpretation.
Epiluo (g1956) ep-ee-loo'-o; from 1909 and 3089; to solve further, i.e. (fig.) to explain, decide: - determine, expound.
But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. Mk.4:34
Jesus defined a devil as one who speaks on his own which He, as Son, never did:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44
Why is it so important that we not "further expound" the Scriptures trying to fit them into a different context? Because:
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1: 21
Because no man was able to be "the Spirit of Christ" in the prophets then no man is able to "further expound" as in the modern Post-Modern sense able to turn the sin beyond redemption at Mount Sinai into a "pattern for Christian worship and community." They, in effect, Christ couldn't explain it but I can.
While Christ ordained evangelists to go out and preach, no university can make any person more qualified to read the Word or sing it than another.
If he pretends that he is then he pretends to be a 13th apostle or Christ Himself.
BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Peter 2:2
If you open up the prophecy for hirelings you will assuredly invite the evil to come in with the good:
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:3
Merchandise is: Emporeuomai (g1710) em-por-yoo'-om-ahee; from 1722 and 4198; to travel in (a country as a pedlar), i.e. (by impl.) to trade: - buy and sell, make merchandise.
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2 Pet 2:4
And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eigth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2 Pet 2:5
And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 2 Pet 2:6
This is why Paul told the Romans that they could get around the musical Orphic and Musical Dionysic problem in Romans 14.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (teaching), that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Romans 15:5
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Romans 15:6
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Rom 15:14
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me,
to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed. Rom 15:18
This is identical to the "singing" passages in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3. Paul, th vocational evangelist, set the pattern:
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Eph 5:17
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Eph 5:18
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; (John 6:63 Words = Spirit)
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name (authority) of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Peter understood that God the Spirit of Jesus Christ spoke through the prophets in words to be obeyed and He spoke to the Apostles in person and in Spirit. The personal Spirit in the form of Jesus taught the Apostles and later guided them into all truth:
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 1 Peter 1: 12
Whatever they preached was Holy Spirit: thus saith Jesus in John 6:63
The Word has been delivered. It is the job of the preacher or evangelist to take it to those who have not heard and help organize a feeding-program for the flock to be administered by senior men who are then able to teach which was primarily through reading the once-delivered Word and dialoging it with equally-competent members of the flock. In this developed church, the head or chief shepherd is in heaven.
Thomas Campbell and many others of his time identified reading and giving the sense of the already expounded Striptures as a primary way to worship God.
John - The Word To Defeat Antichrist
If Jesus Christ is not our teacher we are in grave danger. John wrote:
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 john 2:18
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 1 john 2: 19
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 1 john 2: 20
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 1 john 2: 21
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 1 john 2: 22
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 1 john 2: 23
Jesus Christ was and is God as Word. That Word has come in the flesh and revealed Himself to men who revealed it to us. Paul to the Hebrews shows that when the first anointing or teaching of the Word by Christ and the Apostles is accepted, believed and relied upon, and then one decides that the Word is not adequate for the job Christ intended then that person has committed the unforgivable sin.
This is why John insisted that we not tamper with the Word:
Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 1 john 2: 24
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. 1 john 2: 25
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 1 john 2: 26
God knew that no man could be the teacher of others. Nor could they be the redeemer in the sense of being priest or holy man to be the "conductor between man and God" as the "pastor" clearly sees himself.
Therefore, when we hear the first "application" of the Word of God it cannot be further expounded or have someone "fill in the holes of god's silence" because they become a MAN who teaches you and thereby deny that GOD is the teacher.
That teaching resides in the Word and is discerned only when we turn our selves to Christ not only as Savior but as the only authentic Teacher.
Therefore, while others man "teach you" it has value only to the extent that the first "anointing" continues in him and he is warned against further expounding>
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 john 2: 27
Timothy had a province to teach or "herald" the gospel to. A herald does not change the message: he is an ambassador but not a rewrite man:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim 3:16 A
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim 3:17
charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Tim 4:1 I
Preach (herald) the word (Logos); be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Tim 4:2
Origen: b. c. 185,, probably Alexandria, Egypt d. c. 254,, Tyre, Phoenicia [now Sur, Lebanon] Quotes from Dabney
From Origen's day we find the Christian Fathers constructing their discourses on the principles of philosophy, anda false, artificial rhetoric. See Chrysostom
Then began the season of shallow and heartless conversions and of general corruption.
And soon after came Arianism, Prelacy, Neo-Platonism, Pelagianism, Popery.The same steps of decline were trodden again after the Reformation.Luther and Zwinglius, Farel and Calvin, Latimer and Knox, preached expository sermons,in which the word of God was simply set forth in its application to the soul; and the consequence was a revival almost as wide as christendom.
Paul and others would identify self-composed sermons or songs as speaking in tongues:
"The central meaning of the Arabic root is "anticipating another," then hurry, negligence, excess, inadvertence in act, and, in speech, exaggeration in praise, and 'got the first word,' 'spoke precipitately, the tongue outrunning the sense.' Walid... says that the corresponding Arabic participle is used to those 'who extemporize poetry, i. e. sing extempore without thought. (Barnes, Albert, Amos, p. 308). Barnes identifies this with "soulless versifying which Bruner in The Holy Spirit identifies as "low-level glossolalia."
While you may not agree with Carl Ketcherside on all issues, his comments on the Professional Pastor are factual and Biblical. They are also in agreement with the founders of the Restoration Movement.
"It is a common error in this degenerate age for men to reason that the duty of elders is to oversee and supervise the work, but they may hire another to do the work."They are willingly ignorant of the fact
"that their relationship to the flock in a governmental sense is expressed by the term bishop;
"but their relationship to the flock in a developmental sense is expressed by the term pastor.
"Now they would refuse to hire a man for the first, and claim to hire him only for the second. But it is the second which makes him a pastor, and not the first.
"Ask a hireling minister or "located evangelist" the difference between his position and that of the other sectarian pastors about him. His sole glib reply will be that he does not run or manage the church, but is under the elders.
"This has nothing to do with "pastorating." The overseeing or superintending is covered by the term bishop.
"The question is not about hiring bishops, but pastors! If a rancher hires a man to prepare feed and dispense it to his sheep, to visit the flock and lead it, has he not hired a shepherd?
"And if the work becomes too arduous and an associate is hired to assist, is he not an associate shepherd?
"Could these argue that they were not shepherds because they worked under supervision of the rancher to whom the sheep belonged, and were subject to him as an overseer?
Supervising is the work of bishops,
feeding the flock is the work of pastors.
"Just because one is not hired to supervise or govern is no sign he is not hired to pastorate. The whole truth is that the very argument of the hireling ministers is a candid admission that they are "pastors" and "associate pastors." (That they All May Be One, Carl Ketcherside, p. 9)
Jesus validated His own preaching by saying that he did not compose or make up His sermons. Rather, He spoke only that which the Spirit within revealed to Him. In the same way Paul validated his ministry by repudiating the messages of song and sermon which came out of the Corinthian's own spirit and preached only that which the Spirit revealed to him. The restoration movement fails to the extent hired help usurps the authority of the collective body of Christ.
Those who followed Paul understood the difficult nature of Spiritual teaching and knew that those who tried to embellish this Spiritual truth must be false teachers. For instance, Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4? B.C. - 65 A.D.; Roman philosopher, dramatist, & statesman) in the early literature entitled "Paul and Seneca" which is supposed to be correspondence with Paul, wrote:
"I profess myself well content with the reading of your letters which you sent to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Achaeans; and may we so live together as you show yourself to be inspired with the divine frenzy (horror). For it is the holy spirit which is in you and high above you which expresses these exalted and adorable thoughts.
(BUT) I would therefore have you careful of other points, that the polish of the style may not be wanting to the majesty of the thought. And, brother, not to conceal anything from you, and have it on my conscience, I confess to you that the Augustus was moved by your views. When I read to him the beginning of the power (virtue) that is in you (perhaps he meant your exordium about virtue) his words were these: that he could wonder that a man not regularly educated could think thus. I replied that the gods often speak by the mouths of the simple (innocent),
not of those who try deceitfully to show what they can do by their learning. And when I cited him the example of Vatienus the rustic, to whom two men appeared in the territory of Reate, who afterwards were recognized as Castor and Pollux, he appeared fully convinced. Farewell.
When the people ran out of bread, Paul sold his coat to feed them. He was the feedER not the feedEE.
In chapter 13 he wrote-
"Much in every part of your works is enclosed in allegory and enigma, and therefore the great force that is given you of matter and talent (?) should be beautified, I do not say with elegance of words, but with a certain care. Nor should you fear what I remember,
you have often said; that many who affect such things vitiate the thought and emasculate the strength of the matter.
But I wish you would yield to me and humour the genius of Latin, and give beauty to your noble words, that the great gift that has been granted you may be worthily treated by you. Farewell.
Paul disqualified the exploitive teachers in Corinth by implying that they were "trained speakers." If they had read or taught his inspired message without having to resort to preaching skills then they could have added nothing to that which the Corinthians already had free of charge and could not, therefore, have commanded a wage. Seneca understood that anyone who "set off" Paul's writings with "rhetorical flourishes of speech" simply repudiated Paul's message. Seneca understood that all that the teacher had to do was to read the message with proper elegance.
Paul warned Seneca that the Word of God is not popular and the masses will not or cannot receive it:
"To your meditations have been revealed those things which the Godhead has granted to few. With confidence, therefore, I sow in a field already fertile a most prolific seed, not such matter as is liable to corruption,
but the abiding word, an emanation from God who grows and abides for ever. This your wisdom has attained and you will see that it is unfailing -so as to judge that the laws of heathens and Israelites are to be shunned.
You may become a new author, by showing forth with the graces of rhetoric the unblameable wisdom of Jesus Christ, which you, having well nigh attained it, will instil into the temporal monarch, his servants, and his intimate friends,
yet the persuading of them will be a rough and difficult task, for many of them will hardly incline to your admonitions.
Yet the Word of God, if it be instilled into them, will be a vital gain, producing a new man, incorrupt, and an everlasting soul that shall hasten from hence to God. Farewell, Seneca, most dear to me.
The writers of the American Restoration Movement came out of churches where the pastor was dominant as a continuance of Catholicism.
However, they knew that this was not part of the church they sought to restore to Jesus Christ as the Master Teacher:
> "The priests of the pagan temples had been paid from the purse of the Empire, but now Caesar was a Christian and the priests of Mars and Venus hastened to their baptisms.
For the first time in the history of the church, salaries were paid to Christians workers. Tradition has it that Constantine's mother was the first to give the money for the erection of a church building... All this (meetings in homes) was over now. The rags of persecution gave way to softer garments, and the church began to enjoy the feel of silk upon its flesh.
Thus the Pergamos stage of church history came into being, the church was married to the world." (Barnhouse, D.G., Revelation, Zondervan, p. 52).
> "With the victory of Christianity and the development of the service came
a soaring of the sermon. Preaching became more frequent, being employed even during the week and during fast seasons in some places daily.
As the Church during that period assimilated more and more Greco-Roman culture, the sermon developed para passu.
The most noted Christian preachers had not seldom been educated in the rhetorical schools of the heathen,
and employed in their sermons the rule of rhetoric and the artistic effects taught there, and polish became almost an end, often giving more brilliancy than warmth.
The hearers came to look for esthetic satisfaction rather than for edification,
leaving after the sermon and before the Eucharist." (The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Preaching, p. 150)
Indeed, preachers sowed discord by adding musical instruments and appealed to pagan authority which is the only authority. Writing to Alexander Campell one of them wrote:
"Music exerts a mysterious charm upon man--it takes captive the citadel of life--carries him out of himself, and leads him where it will. The shrill fife and the rattling drum, inspire the soldier just about to enter into battle, with a zeal and daring which no hardship can overcome, and no danger intimidate, and causes him to rush headlong into the thickest of the combat, regardless of consequences.
If martial music thus inspires the worshippers of Mars, will sacred music do less for the humble followers of the meek and lowly Jesus--the worshippers of the true and living God? Alexander Campbell
Denominational Urges to Restore Paul's Pattern
As the early church fell into apostasy, those men (often elders or bishops) who had travelled around their region preaching the gospel and establishing churches, began to settle into a given church from which they could "oversee" their district. In time, they saw themselves as permanently located with the power to tax the people for "buildings and grounds" and "salaries." The Biblical command to take collections only for the poor was satisfied by a "poor box" into which people could put their loose change.
Because these located men had control of the funds of the church they had power to remain in power. It is fitting, therefore, that when the Reformation came the buildings were taken over by the state and the "poor preachers" went out preaching the gospel as a reformation of the preaching task.
In time, however, the church regained control over the "taxing power" and the "pastor" controlled the church. It is significant that denominational scholars have led the way in trying to put down this evil. In this, they are part of the restoration movement.
While the absolute command of Jesus and Paul is understood by most thoughtful Bible students, it seems impossible to restore it as part of our restoration movement. That this is totally irrational is shown by Fredrick Bruner in his book on the Holy Spirit when he wrote-
"At a time when there is a rising protest against monologues and therefore sometimes monotonous 'one man ministries' in the churches, and when it is complained increasingly that
the preacher is one of the few remaining public figures whose formal remarks allow no public interrogation or discussion (even Presidents are subjected now to the discipline of public interview),
it is perhaps in order for the churches to look here in Corinthians to their earliest structures.
Perhaps the worship services should include or append a period of thoughtful discussion following the sermon-or sermons (v. 29)-in place of the often dull and unprofitable responsive readings before it and of
some of the singing which seems to be often, at the conscious or mental level at least,
low-level glossolalia with instrumental accompaniment." (Bruner, p. 300). (Note, in the church, Paul used a Greek word which means "dialog" and not preach in the form of "sermonizing." (Bruner, Fredrick, The Holy Spirit)
"There is, in our day, a marvellous idolatry of talent; it is strange and a grievous thing to see how men bow down before genius and success. Draw the distinction sharp and firm between these two things-goodness is one thing, talent is another. It is an instructive fact that the son of Man came not as a scribe, but as a poor working man. He was a teacher, but not a Rabbi.
When once the idolatry of talent enters the Church, then farewell to spirituality; when men ask their teachers, not for that which will make them more humble and God-like,
but for the excitement of an intellectual banquet, then farewell to Christian progress.' (F. W. Robertson, Hastings on 1 Cor. p. 10).
Again we quote the Pulpit Commentary as it "dots the i's and crosses the t's" of the warning from the Old Testament, of Paul, and of the testimony of church history about one-man ministries-
"If this be so: 1. Should Christian teaching be regarded as a profession? It is so now: men are brought up to it, trained for it, and live by it, as architects, lawyers, doctors.
Surely preaching the gospel should no more be regarded as a profession than the talk of loving parents to children.
Is the Church justified in confining its attention to the ministry of one man?
In most modern congregation there are some Christian men who, by natural ability, by experimental knowledge and inspiration,
are far more qualified to instruct and comfort the people than their professional and stated minister.
Surely official preaching has no authority, either in Scripture, reason, or experience, and it must come to an end sooner or later." (Pulpit Commentary, 1 Cor. p. 464).
Commenting on Paul's prohibition of a one-man teaching ministry-even by inspired prophets-in First Corinthians, chapter fourteen, Albert Barnes said-
"It was possible that those who claimed to be prophets might err, and it was the duty of all to examine whether that which was uttered was in accordance with truth. And if it was a duty then, it is a duty now;
if it was proper even when the teachers claimed to be under divine inspiration,
it is much more the duty of the people now.
No minister of religion has a right to demand that all that he speaks shall be regarded as truth, unless he can give good reasons for it:
no man is to be debarred from the right of canvassing freely, and comparing with the bible, and with sound reason, all that the minister of the gospel advances." (Barnes, Albert, 1Cor Commentary, p. 273).
Paul prescribed a system of "dialog" rather than "preaching" in the assembly so that one man's comments (even if inspired) would be tested or judged by another person. He could make wild claims about Scripture but he was regulated by knowing that he would be challenged before the spit dried from his bombast. This was the Scriptural pattern.
The Restoration Movement claims for itself and condemns those who disagree that "there must be a direct command, an approved example, or a reasonable inference in the New Testament or it is a sin to add any belief or practice to the church."
Those who are more tolerate might allow reason to rule. For instance, there is no command, example, or inference that the church should own real property but reason allows us to believe that God did not have to command us to get in out of the rain. We violate our Restoration Rule because it appeals to our human reason.
Another writer said-
"We Americans have tended to take Christianity for granted, and we have used our sophisticated intellects to concoct a myriad of pseudo-religious notions that we follow as if they were the gospel.
Many Americans file into church sanctuaries Sunday after Sunday
to hear befuddled ministers blather a confused mixture of Scripture, psychology, humanistic philosophy, and advice from Dear Abby.
Many of our seminaries send out graduates who aren't sure whether Jesus is the Son of God, whether the Bible is God's inspired Word, or even where to find the book of Hosea. We have invested tremendous amounts of money and raw human energy in our quest to know the truth about life;
all we have found are abstract philosophies, empty symbols, and a perverse kind of self-worship. We have much in common with the Greeks and Romans... Professing to be wise, we have become fools". (Sumrall, Lester, Where was God when Pagan Religions Began, p. 81).
[Heard a TV bishop showing how "God shut Noah up in the Ark of the Covenant.]
"Modern fraudulent teachers are not newly invented but have ancient Babylonian, Canaanite, Egyptian, and perverted Jewish ancestors for their pattern. More recently, the sale of relics such as bones or enough fragments of the cross to build the ark, church offices,
indulgences and other devices have been used to dupe the ignorant or superstitious into allowing the idle clergy to live without making an honest living.
"In 1300 we are told that Pope Boniface VIII declared a "jubilee" and offered indulgences to pilgrims to St. Peters. It is estimated that two million people attended the "jubilee" to see the "marketeers" display their bodies and their wares. After designating a tomb as that of the apostle Peter, two priests used rakes day and night to rake in the money. The proceeds were used to buy castles for the "in" group who were primarily relatives of the Pope."
By the Middle ages the church owned whole cities and much of the farm land and those who occupied it were taxed by the church. This was not "free-will" giving but what was "of necessity" or extortion which Paul opposed in 2 Cor. 9:7. For instance, Woodward reports that because few people knew how to draft a will, the priests were required to witness it and any secular notary who wrote a will was excommunicated. This coupled with the demand for Extreme Unction as a man died guaranteed an endless supply of extortion for the self-proclaimed leaders.
After one was baptized and then sinned:
"there still remains the temporal punishment required by divine justice, and this requirement must be fulfilled either in the present life or in the world to come, i.e. in Purgatory. An indulgence offers the penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt during this life on earth" (Woodrow, Ralph, Babylon Mystery Religion, p. 66).
Perhaps too often, money is contributed as a legal way to buy unstated "indulgences" and because there is too much, it is stored by the "treasurer" in the "treasury" because their might be a "rainy day" even if it is presently raining on the heads of the poor.
We are told today that if you find yourself in a bookstore to buy a certain book, don't think that you had anything to do with it: God led you there to buy the book to learn what the Bible claims for itself: surely the sale of the free Word (Isaiah 55) goes on.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
"the practice was fraught with grave danger, and soon became a fruitful source of evil... a means of raising money... indulgences were employed by mercenary ecclesiastics as a means of pecuniary gain... abuses were widespread." Those whom Paul would call "pedlars of the word" travelled over the land and "issued a letter of pardon, sometimes for the payment of two pence, sometimes for a glass of beer, for the hire of a harlot, or for carnal love."
An indulgence is in the form of a promise or a threat.
A modern INDULGENCE is to promise widows that "they are sacrificing to GOD" if only they will pledge their farm to GOD rather than provide for their children.
An indulgence is to falsely claim that "God commands that you give us a tithe of your wage income and lay it by in the collection plate EACH Sunday or you have not worshiped.
The "Sliding Scale" for buying redemption still persists.
"High mass can be very expensive, depending on the flowers, candles, and number of priests taking part. It is sung in a loud tone of voice. The low Mass, on the other hand, is much less expensive-only six candles are used and it is repeated in a low voice. The Irish have a saying, 'High money, High mass; low money, Low Mass; no money, No Mass!" (Woodward, p. 69)
None of this could ever have happened and millions of people never died or imprisoned to protect the faith if the professional clergy had not usurped the authority of those paying the bill.
The Restoration Movement Restored Christ's Pattern
A fundamental goal of the American Restoration Movement was to root out the "dominant pastor" or clergy from the church just as surely as it intended to root out the changes which such a system had introduced. it has succeeded in removing instruments form the building, opening up "closed communion," and restoring believer's baptism but these arose again like a Phoenix from the ashes. It appeared, for many years to have substituted "lay" preachers who went everywhere founding the movement for clergy trained in liberal schools but it wasn't too long until those who had planted churches were succeeded by "located" men whose leisure permitted time to "conference" with others and gradually restore those things which had been put down.
It is logical that a non-professonial like Alexander Campbell who understood the cause-and-effect between going out to virgin territory and planting churches would see the located clergy as "Jay birds" or Cuckoos who found that nest stealing is easier than nest-building.
While Alexander Campbell was wealthy, his principles were based upon the Bible and the history of division created by dominant pastors.
And, first of all, be it observed, that in some churches there appears to be wanting a proper method of handling the Scriptures to the edification of the brethren. It is admitted by all the holy brethren that the Scriptures of truth, called the living oracles, are the great instrument of God for all his purposes in the saints on earth. Through them they are converted to God, comforted, consecrated, made meet for an inheritance among the sanctified, and qualified for every good word and work. Every thing, then, depends upon the proper understanding of these volumes of inspiration. They can only operate as far as they are understood.
The system of sermonizing on a text is now almost universally abandoned by all who intend that their hearers should understand the testimony of God.
Orators and exhorters may select a word, a phrase, or a verse; but all who feed the flock of God with knowledge and understanding know that this method is wholly absurd.
While his comments may not represent the total movement, or necessarily the opinion he always held, the following quotation clearly shows that Campbell saw the need for a total restoration movement back to the Biblical model of the church:
"Give money to make poor pious youths learned clergy, or vain pretenders to erudition; and they pray that they may preach to you; yes, and pay them too. Was there ever such a craft as priestcraft? No, it is the craftiest of all crafts. It is so crafty that it obtains by its craft the means to make craftsmen, and then it makes the deluded support them!" (Campbell, Alexander, Christian Baptist, Dec. 1, 1823, Vol. 1, p. 91).
"Money is of vital consequence in the kingdom of the clergy. Without it a clergyman could not be made, nor a congregation supplied with a 'faithful pastor.' O Mammon, thou wonder-working god!" (Ibid., p. 124).
"'Will you,' said an honest inquirer, 'allow the clergy no salary at all? Will you not allow the poorer class of the clergy a decent little competence?' I replied I have no allowances to make. Let them have what the Lord has allowed them. 'How much is that?' said he, Just nothing at all, said I. A church constituted upon New Testament principles, having its own bishop or bishops, or, as sometimes called, elders, will not, and ought not to suffer them to be in want of any thing necessary, provided they labor in word and doctrine, and provided also, they are ensamples to the flock in industry, disinterestedness, humility, hospitality, and charity to the poor. Such bishops will now be esteemed very highly in love for their words sake; but especially those who, by their own hands, minister not only to their own wants, but also to the wants of their brethren." (Ibid, p. 140).
"That any man is to be paid at all for preaching, i.e. making sermons and pronouncing them; or that any man is to be hired for a stipulated sum to preach and pray, and expound scripture, by the day, month, or year, I believe to be a relic of popery." (Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 185).
"Our Elder labors with his own hands, that he may live honestly..." (Vol. 5, p. 163).
"... our elders labor... for their support, and are not burdensome to the church; but in case of need..." (Vol, 5, p. 95).
Campbell undoubtedly lived with and ate with members in the communities in which he preached and would not, therefore, have objected to treating preachers the way Paul advised when he allowed the ox to eat part of that which it had personally produced. However, he would not allow the ox to stray and consume the work-product of the donkey. Like the modern threshing machine, he was not hired for the whole year.
"IN my former essay I showed that there is not a single passage in the whole of the New Testament, from beginning to end, which records the fact, that any disciple of Christ ever had hands laid on him to authorize him to preach the gospel and baptize believers. The object of this essay is to ascertain the scriptural use and meaning of the term "ordination." 
"It is deeply to be deplored that in the common English version of the scriptures there are to be found so many outlandish words, which to the common reader can convey no definite signification whatever.
Had every word been translated into plain English, and the "laity" been permitted to hear the truth in their own mother tongue, the creed-makers would have been in a great measure defeated;
and the "clergy" would have been deprived of one of their most successful methods of imposing on the ignorance and credulity of mankind.
Had Bishops, which in England has no meaning, except what the reigning Priesthood choose to give it, been translated Overseer, then every body would have known,
that, in the New Testament, Bishops meant nothing more than the associate Elders or Overseers of one Christian congregation.
Had Minister been translated servant, as it should have been,
then the distinctions between servants of Christ and Ministers of Christ would have been unknown.
"How fatal must the base translation of this word have proved to the dominion and arrogant pretensions of the Clergy, who impiously dare to lay an exclusive claim to the rank of Ministers of the Gospel, and to the right of performing certain parts of the service under the New Constitution--such, especially, as preaching the gospel and "administering its ordinance;"
thereby disfranchising the great mass of God's "royal Priesthood," and degrading them to the rank of mere menials in the Kingdom.
"In like manner, if ordination had been translated into English, it would have been simply appointment. Every appointment, then, no matter to what duty or office, or in what mannerit might have been made, would have been an "ordination." But by anglicising the Latin word ordinatio, instead of using the English term appointment, ORDINATION easily comes to have a cabalistic meaning.
An ambitious and self-constituted Priesthood can easily attach to the word a signification favorable to their exclusive pretensions, and persuade the 'laity' that it means consecration to the "HOLY MINISTRY"
by the laying on of the hands of a duly "ORDAINED MINISTRY." Thomas Campbell
Oh! for the day when faithful translations of the scriptures into every tongue under heaven shall enable us all, every member of the human family, to learn the truths of scripture, "in that language in which we were born." May God hasten its advent!
When a peculiar meaning, no matter how erroneous, has thus been appropriated to an outlandish word, and that meaning has been extensively incorporated with religious prejudices, it becomes a Herculean task to disabuse the public mind, and restore the word to its true signification.
Ordain, and its derivative ordination, fall within the scope of these remarks. So soon as ordain is heard with reference to religious matters, it is immediately and almost irresistibly inferred that hands were imposed; and he who would question this inference would be regarded as questioning the fact of ordination, and doubting the veracity of the historian. But is this a correct view of the subject? Let us examine a few passages where ordain occurs, and see what is the scriptural meaning of the term:-- 
Isaiah xxvi. 12. "Lord, wilt thou ordain peace for us?" Psalm viii. 2. "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength." Psalm viii. 3. "The moon and the stars which thou hast ordained." Psalm cxxxii. 17. "I have ordained a lamp for mine Anointed," Acts xiii. 48. "As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed." Acts xvi. 4. "The decrees that were ordained of the Apostles and Elders." Romans vii. 10. "The commandment which was ordained to life." Galatians iii. 19. "The law was ordained by angels." I Tim. ii. 7. "Good works, which God hath before ordained." Jude 4. "Ungodly men, who were of old ordained to this condemnation."
In all the foregoing passages (and similar ones might be multiplied almost ad infinitum) it is manifest to the intellect of a child, that to interpret ordain so as to include the laying on of hands, would make sad havoc alike of scripture and of common sense. MILLENNIAL HARBINGER, NEW SERIES. VOLUME III.-----NUMBER XI. B E T H A N Y, VA. NOVEMBER, 1839.
Lipscomb and Sewell held a view which undoubtedly reflected their understanding of Jesus and Paul. They understood that hiring a preacher meant that he became the defacto "pastor" managing or administering the church. Because they understood that God put this task into the hands of senior, respected, able-to-teach males (husbands). If they are "able to teach" then they do not need the "pastor."
"And unfortunately for congregations, preachers of this sort (young) are called to congregations to be pastors, in the modern acceptation of that term, and at once made elders. They then assume control of things and introduce human inventions, such as humanly devised societies,
the organ, festivals, and such like.
Then follows a split in the church, some siding with the preaching and glorying in what has been done,
while others who have conscientious scruples against such things
are driven out in order to worship God and carry on the work of the church as the word of God directs.
"It is altogether out of harmony with the word of God for a congregation to employ a young man as pastor and put the management of things into his hands. The elders, and not the youngers, are God's divinely appointed rulers of his people; and any perversion of this inspired rule brings trouble sooner or later.
"Young men make good evangelists to bring people into the church; but not many of them are suited to do the work of elders, and should not be put at such work...
Such a man.. with the help of a few women... can split any church in the land." (Lipscomb and Sewell, Questions Answered, p. 207-208).
Even when they do not have the absolute power to introduce false practices, they still have the power to advocate such practices. Brother M. Norvel Young, Gospel Light, October, 1966 wrote:
"Today I hear from elders who are frantic to 'employ' a full-time preacher before the attendance and contribution drop. Sometimes they 'bargain' with high offers to attract a widely-know preacher to leave his present work to come work with them"
He then defined the New Testament pattern and wrote that:
"Within a few generations most of the early churches departed from this practice and developed an organized and powerful priesthood." He then said:
"The New Testament does not give us the picture of a church in which a few highly trained people take care of our obligations to God and the rest of us merely pay for their services."
For a short period of two or three hundred years, we can see how the church understood the teaching of Jesus and Paul by observing their practices. For instance, about 150 A.D. Justin showed that the "preaching" was actually long readings for up to three hours of the inspired Word. The "presiding elder" explained difficult passages and urged that people obey the Word. Their "response" was the simple Amen.
Understanding Paul's prohibition of professional speakers "trained in the Greek theater" those who grew tired of being evangelists (located evangelist is an oxymoron) claimed to be prophets or apostles. This still happens and to question the preacher is to "touch God's anointed."
The early churches, not being ignorant or fools, developed a test:
"Let every apostle, when he cometh to you, be received as the Lord; but he shall not abide more than a single day, or if there be need, a second likewise; but if he abide three days, he is a false prophet. And when he departeth let the apostle receive nothing save bread, until he findeth shelter; but if he ask money, he is a false prophet." (Didache or The Teachings of the Apostles, 11)...
When Paul said, "If he will not work neither let him eat he was not speaking of the members but the ittenerant preachers troubling Thessalonica." Obeying Paul's clear command they said:
"But if he wishes to settle with you, being a craftsman, let him work for and eat his bread. But if he has no craft, according to your wisdom provide how he shall live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness. If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ. Beware of such men. In like manner a true teacher is also worthy, like the workman, of his food." (Banks, Robert, Paul's Idea of Community, Eerdmans, p. 12, 13)
Another translation reads:
"But let every one that cometh in the name of the Lord be received; and then when ye have tested him ye shall know him, for ye shall have understanding on the right hand and on the left. If the comer is a traveller, assist him, so far as ye are able; but he shall not stay with you more than two or three days, if it be necessary. But if he wishes to settle with you, being a craftsman, let him work for and eat his bread. But if he has no craft, according to your wisdom provide how he shall live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness. If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ. Beware of such men." (Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, p. 128 quoting the Didache).
The test of a supportable teacher was whether he was inspired:
"And he, the false prophet, having no power of a divine Spirit in himself, speaketh with them according to their enquiries [and according to the lusts of their wickedness], and filleth their souls as they themselves wish.
For being empty himself he giveth empty answers to empty enquirers; for whatever enquiry may be made of him, he answereth according to the emptiness of the man." (Shepherd of Hermas, p. 194).
There is no command, example or precedence for a located evangelist (as oxymoronic as a located travelling salesman). It specificially violates the warnings of Paul.
It is a fact that God let Israel be tempted at Mount Sinai to see whether they would RETURN to musical idolatry and they did:
God uses the 40 day plan to let people be tempted: Satan tried it on Jesus.
Ephraim Syrus On Our Lord notes that Sinai was a test. The Israelites were consummate idolaters in Egypt. However, God gave them one more shot at the Abrahamic Covenant. By removing Moses as a visible "authority figure" He wanted to let them answer their own prayer:
18. But when their heathenism from being inward became open, then Moses also from being hidden openly appeared; that he might openly punish those whose heathenism had revelled beneath the holy cloud which had overshadowed them.
But God removed the Shepherd of the flock from it for forty days, that the flock might show that its trust was fixed upon the calf.
And he was there in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. Mark 1:13
While God was feeding the flock with all delights, it chose for itself as its Shepherd the calf, which was not able even to eat.
Moses who kept them in awe was removed from them, that the idolatry might cry aloud in their mouths,
which the restraint of Moses had kept down in their hearts. For they cried: Make us gods, to go before us.
19. But when Moses came down, he saw their heathenism revelling in the wide plain with drums and cymbals.
Speedily, he put their madness to shame by means of the Levites and drawn swords.
So likewise here, our Lord concealed His knowledge for a little when the sinful woman approached Him, that the Pharisee might form into shape his thought,
as his fathers had shaped the pernicious calf.
1. Should Christian teaching be regarded as a profession? It is so now: men are brought up to it, trained for it, and live by it, as architects, lawyers, doctors.
Surely preaching the gospel should no more be regarded as a profession than the talk of loving parents to children.
Surely official preaching has no authority, either in Scripture, reason, or experience, and it must come to an end sooner or later." (Pulpit Commentary, 1 Cor. p. 464).
Robertson has called theatrical performance in song and sermon "the idolatry of talent." And now they are "standing in the holy places."
"There is, in our day, a marvellous idolatry of talent; it is strange and a grievous thing to see how men bow down before genius and success.
Draw the distinction sharp and firm between these two things--goodness is one thing, talent is another. It is an instructive fact that the son of Man came not as a scribe, but as a poor working man. He was a teacher, but not a Rabbi.
When once the idolatry of talent enters the Church, then farewell to spirituality; when men ask their teachers, not for that which will make them more humble and God-like, but for the excitement of an intellectual banquet, then farewell to Christian progress.' (F. W. Robertson, Hastings on 1 Cor. p. 10).
"Paul was devoted to a Person not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ's; he saw nothing else; he lived for nothing else. "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers 1989.)
Commenting on Macedonia's gifts--which Paul called robbery when the men in Corinth wanted to be paid--Lenski stated:
"Paul says that he 'robbed' other churches, he took from them what he should really not have taken, namely 'sustenance.' 'Wages' is too liable to be misunderstood as meaning regular pay,
which Paul never took from any church. This was a fixed principle with him."
"The noun has no article and means some sustenance.' It denotes a gift that was sent to him after had left those churches, which he could, therefore, not refuse. Yet even then he felt that he was robbing those churches,
letting them press something upon him which he would not let the Corinthians press upon him." (Lenski, 2 Cor. p. 1250).
"These men had funds and came to Paul's assistance.
This is sometimes taken to mean that they brought Paul a collection from Philippi or from Macedonia,
but the words contain no hint of a collection." (Lenski, 2 Cor. p. 1251).
"These so-called apostles are not in Paul's view genuine apostles at all, but only spurious counterfeits of whom his church should beware. Paul is therefore extremely scornful of those 'false' (2 Cor. 11:13) or, as he ironically describes them, 'superior' apostles (12:11),
who go beyond the boundaries of their commission
and give themselves a position in local churches to which they have no right.
Such men, he says, 'commend themselves' (10:12, 18), 'compare themselves with one another' (v. 12) and 'boast beyond the limits in other men's labours' (v. 15).
In order that the churches 'may make much of them' (Gal. 4:17) they 'put on airs', 'take advantage' of others, 'prey' upon them and, in effect, 'make slaves' of those they are to serve." (Banks, p. 174). (Banks, Robert, Paul's Idea of Community, Eerdmans, p. 174).
While it may be acceptable to hire help to run the "programs" he is not hired to run the church. Within our lifetime churches have been divided over hiring a located minister as a defacto elder. Before that time most churches were served by vocational ministers like Paul. In the day of wide-spread education it may be time to resume the goal of the Restoration Movement and return honest ministers to the field of evangelism because they always seem to take away the key to knowledge..
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