Moses was the first called and appointed by God to do ministry—he represented the official beginning of ministerial leadership over God’s people. He was the first to speak to the Lord God “mouth to mouth, even apparently” as it related to ministry …and… to lead His people to the promised land. (Numbers 12:8).
Moses was also known as the deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush (Acts 7:35). By the power of God, Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt across the Red Sea to mount Horeb (also known as mount Sinai) to serve the Lord (Exodus 3:1-12), and eventually to possess the land of Canaan full of milk and honey … the Lord promised it to Abraham, that his posterity will inherit it (Genesis 17:1-9).
Sadly, it turned out that, Moses was not permitted to enter into the promised land because he hit the rock, that is, because he believed not God to sanctify Him in the eyes of the people (Numbers 20:12).
The Lord said to Moses, because he had trespassed against Him, and did not sanctify Him among the children of Israel, he will only see the land, but will not go. The word “trespassed” means, Moses committed an unintentional or treacherous act that resulted in error. The LORD was angry with him for the people’s sake; He didn’t permit Moses to enter the promised land, but told him to go to (and die) in the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 1:37; 32:49-52).
Moses was guilty of unbelief in that incident—he acted as the rebellious people in a moment of irritation—even though his soul was vexed by their complaints “…would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!” (Numbers 20:3), he should not have hit the rock. It didn’t matter that the people were so determined to blame him for leading them into the wilderness to die, as they had supposed …and… they chode with him until their verbal attacks and fault-findings became such a sore pain in his neck, that he called them rebels … and also said, must we fetch you water out of this rock? In that brief act of unbelief … he hit the rock. (See: Numbers 20).
Friends, it is one thing to be angry against a wicked rebellious-minded people, even as the Lord is angry with the wicked every day (Psalm 7:11), but it is entirely different when His leader acts as rebellious as the people … even for a very brief moment. God never winks at such behavior from His servants — never!
In addition to this, the enemy always comes to entice people to chide or irritate God’s leaders to the point that they would hit the rock (so to speak), or using today’s vernacular, “blow off the handle” — the Lord will not be sanctified in the eyes of the people. You see, leaders must represent the purity of the Lord …but… if they become defiled, even abruptly, God will not be glorified.
Hard word … but truth.
Moses was the first to know how God operates with His chosen leaders in life (personal) and ministry. The Lord gave them to us to follow their faith and to know the end of their conversation (Hebrews 13:7); to obey them because they have the rule over us and watch for our souls; (at the bishop and pastor levels) they must give God an account of us …and… strive to preach, warn, and teach us in all wisdom so that they may present us perfect in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 13:17; Colossians 1:28).
Jesus said, much given, much required — Luke 12:48
God’s chosen leaders receive the strictest punishments for their unhealthy, hostile, or rude behavior … towards the people according to their level of leadership. The higher the level, the less He forbears … the greater the scourging. Why? God’s chosen leaders are His prisoners; they are commanded to be (and function) at the highest level of integrity at all times; they are commanded to be perfect “…examples of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” — 1 Timothy 4:12
Again, they are commanded to be perfect so that they can preach, warn every man, and teach every man in all wisdom; so that they may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28).
God’s chosen leaders are His prisoners who make known unto us His mysteries which were hidden, but are now made manifest so that we may be fellowheirs of the promise He made to Abraham—the father of our faith and of many nations (Galatians 3:7; Genesis 17:4-5; Romans 4:17-18).
That’s why it is so important for us:
- to know those who labor among us;
- to know if God gave us the pastor;
- to know if God has the pastor’s ear;
- to know if they reflect God’s heart;
- to know if we should follow their faith;
- to know the end of their conversation;
- to know if the Lord is in them of a truth….
…and the list goes on and on….
We need to know if their faith is according to the scriptures, or no. We are not obligated by God to follow any person claiming to be His servant and called to preach His word. We are commanded, however, to go from their presence when we perceive that they are foolish—without the lips of knowledge (Proverbs 14:7). We need to know if the word they preach is what God said, or no. In other words, if they preach what God prescribed, receive and live by it; but if they do not say the same thing God said, go from their presence, immediately!
Jesus’ sheep do not follow strangers but will flee from them the moment they recognize that the stranger’s words are not what God said … His sheep do not know strangers, that is, His sheep learns not to “pay attention” to man-made authorities of unauthorized leaders and speakers who are actually strangers with foreign messages — they come from another source, not from the Lord (John 10:5).
These unauthorized leaders only speak of themselves and seek their own glory; they do not seek the glory of God. Why? Well, He didn’t send them first of all, and therefore, they are unrighteous to claim that He did send them. But, for those who seek the glory of God whom He hath sent, the same are true, and no unrighteousness is in them (John 7:18).
It is most important for us to know the scriptures. For many, false leaders are easier to see publicly than God’s leaders because they promote themselves as His anointed, but they are really “…false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 11:13
If you think about it, God’s leaders in scriptures never publicized their call to ministry, (like introducing a new product), even though all the people knew that they were sent by Him. Isn’t that interesting?! Even kings from other nations knew God’s sent leaders who spoke His word.
It is the same, today. God can/will open our understanding to see the difference. We know that He cannot change, which makes it easy for us to find out the truth if we submit to Him, fear Him, and keep His commandments. He will reward those who diligently seek Him with understanding (Hebrews 11:6).
Here’s a brief list of who God did not send:
- If the preacher says that God is doing a new thing, God did not send them.
- If the preacher says live your best life now, God did not send them.
- If the preacher says you don’t have to be holy because God made you holy, God did not send them.
- If the preacher says that you do not need to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, God did not send them.
- If the preacher says close your Bible for forty days and study their self-made book, God did not send them.
- If the preacher says God is going to make a way somehow, God did not send them.
- If the preacher does not give the people warning from God’s mouth, God did not send them.
- If the preacher says nobody’s perfect, God did not send them.
- If the preacher does not feed the people with God’s knowledge and understanding, God did not send them.
…this list is inexhaustible, but we hope you get the picture….
Folks, we beseech you by the mercies of God, to know who He is; know who the pastor is according to what God said; know that His pastor will speak the secrets of your heart for your edification, exhortation, and comfort — and you will report that God is in them of a truth. God’s pastor will help to build you up in Him so that you can be a partaker of the blessed first resurrection. God’s pastor will always work to present you perfect in Christ Jesus. God’s pastor will not, under any circumstances, do ministry that will destroy your faith in Him!!!
Friends, since it is impossible for us to find a pastor (just as it is impossible for sheep to find a shepherd), we need to learn to depend upon God to guide us to the pastor He chose, who is equipped with the specific diet to feed us with, so that we may grow and be built up in Him unto an holy people zealous of good works.
Figuratively speaking, God’s pastors are on the mountain top with Him as Moses was (literally) to receive His word directly, then to bring it down to feed us for our nourishment, edification, and growth unto perfection in Him—not for our destruction. Remember that!
Well, that’s it for now….
Friends, believe what God said in His word about His chosen leadership … and live!
In Christ We Do Remain
Click to visit my Facebook Page