Here’s an exhortation that concerns many in Christendom who believe they do not need a pastor, because of the false belief that God will teach them all they need to know to be saved without the pastor He called, chosen, and prepared for them — to hear, receive, and submit to; so that they may be fed with knowledge and understanding according to God’s heart … and be presented perfect in Him.
God provided pastors (past tense) for us as He ordained Jeremiah….
“…Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” — Jeremiah 1:5
Even though the Lord said this to Jeremiah, the sanctification and ordination has been passed on to God’s pastors He gave who are according to His heart to feed us with knowledge and understanding….
Also according to Jeremiah 1:5, the word “prophet” refers to “one who brings forth the inner fruit.” We have duly noted that, the inner fruit of the prophet (inspired speaker) is the abundance of words in their heart received, believed, and practiced—words of truth from God, or words of deceit from the angel of light … to distinguish God’s prophets from false prophets.
This affirms that, only God is first to know who His pastors and pulpit leaders will be (even before the foundation of the world) who spake, speak, and will speak as they were, and are, and will be moved by the Holy Ghost (1 Peter 1:21).
You see, God’s inspired speakers preach and teach the gospel of peace, and they are blessed (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15). False speakers preach and teach another gospel, and they are accursed (Galatians 1:8-10). God’s preachers build upon the foundation which He hath laid (1 Corinthians 3:11). False preachers build upon the accursed foundation of the angel of light (Galatians 1:8-9; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Therefore, it is not possible even to the least degree for any person to pastor themselves and meet God’s approval, and give Him an account of their own growth and steadfastness of faith in Him. Why? God appointed and required His pastors to watch for the souls of the people, as they who must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for them. (Hebrews 13:17).
With that being said, it is impossible for God’s sheep to shepherd themselves as it is written in Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Without a shepherd the sheep will not find the right path — that’s why it is necessary for the shepherd, i.e., the pastor to leadeth the people in the paths of righteousness for God’s name sake. (Psalm 23:3).
Do you want to run around in circles and not know which way to find the Lord? He is far from the wicked: but He heareth the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29). The wicked are those who departed from the correct path or way already established and laid by the Lord through His leadership. But, the righteous are those who obey the Lord through His leadership; they strive to be good in conduct and character, and to walk in the path of the just which is as the shining light … (Proverbs 4:18).
Let’s consider the functions of God‘s pastors:
- (Jeremiah 3:14-15) Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
- (Ephesians 4:11-13) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ…
- (Colossians 2:5-9) For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
- (Hebrews 13:7) Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
- (Hebrews 13:17) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
- (Colossians 1:28) …Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus…
…these are a small fraction of God’s pastors’ overall functions….
God provided pastors over us just as He sent Moses to the children of Israel by His power to deliver them out of Egypt from the hands of the taskmasters. God raised up His prophets to judge His people in their generations. He gave His Church the gifts of some apostles; some prophets; some evangelists; some pastors and teachers to perfect, and edify the saints … and He inspired Moses, the prophets, the apostles, and Mark and Luke to write the holy scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation, which is in Christ Jesus. He appointed His pastors and bishops to preach, warn, and teach us in all wisdom; so that they may present us perfect in Christ Jesus.
Now, please know and understand that, we cannot present ourselves perfect in Christ Jesus … just as the children of Israel could not leave the bondage of the taskmasters in Egypt, by themselves; they could not cross the Red Sea, by themselves; they could not live in the wilderness 40 years, by themselves; they could not cross the Jordan river en route to the promised land, by themselves. They needed God’s leadership….
On the day of Pentecost the people could not repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, by themselves — the apostles needed to receive the Holy Ghost first, so that they could be His witnesses as He said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). The apostles received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost; they preached the gospel, and 3,000 souls were saved … (Read: Acts 2).
The hierarchy of leadership which God established through Moses and the prophets continued to the apostles and to His leadership unto this day. Since we know that God cannot change … His established order of leadership will remain intact until the rapture.
God required leadership then, and He required leadership for today. Anyone without a pastor according to God’s heart is in danger of the judgment!
See the pattern here? Hope so!
Do NOT be fooled by the masses of today (and of old), deceived to think they can serve God their own way and still be with Him in His kingdom forever! It is an act of unbelief, and all unbelievers shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).
Don’t find yourself in hell lifting up your eyes … it will be too late to repent. That’s right! There is no penitence in hell but torments; remember the rich man “…And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” — Luke 16:23
This was not a parable but an actual event because Jesus called Lazarus by name, as an indication that his death was precious in His sight… (Psalm 116:15), and He said, Lazarus was in the bosom of Abraham … but the rich man also died, and was buried (Luke 16:22). This is an example of what Jesus said to the wicked, “…I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23). This concept suggest that the rich man was never known by the Lord Jesus (he was a worker of iniquity), therefore, his name needed not to be mentioned. (See: Ezekiel 33).
Doesn’t history teach us that when the people disobeyed the Lord‘s leaders (and refused to turn from their wrong behavior after God’s leadership pleaded on their behalf) many of them either died or were taken into captivity? For even Solomon wrote, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” — Proverbs 29:18
The word “vision” in Proverbs 29:18 means, a revelation, or an oracle. Herein is the wisdom of God—the oracle is the word of God spoken by His authorized leaders—to warn the people to turn from their wickedness … to repent and believe the gospel, for the kingdom of God, and of heaven, is at hand…. (Ezekiel 18:21; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15).
Why would God waste His time to prepare and send His ministerial leadership to preach and teach us how to live holy and victorious lives in Him … if He could have come to us directly without any mediator?
He wouldn’t … and that’s why He didn’t!
- He chose Moses to lead the children of Israel to mount Horeb to worship Him.
- He chose the prophets and the apostles to be integral parts of the foundation of His Church, as it is written:
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” — Ephesians 2:19-22
God is first to designate authority through His prepared and sent leadership for His glory and for our profit. Remember, He created us for His glory, and we glorify Him when we bear much fruit (Isaiah 43:7; John 15:8). In order to bear much fruit we must be His disciples who believe on Him and continue in His word (John 8:31-32). The word “disciples” is defined, “learners and pupils” by authorized pastors and teachers.
- God’s pastors teach us to take Jesus’ yoke and learn of Him (Matthew 11:29);
- God’s pastors teach us the principles of the doctrine of Christ so that we may go on unto perfection in Him (Hebrews 6:1-2);
- God’s pastors preach to us, warn us, and teach us in all wisdom; so that they may present us perfect in Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:28).
The Lord established the hierarchy of leadership which flows from the top down as “…the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments…” — Psalm 133:2
God’s authority flows down from Him to His leaders to the people … it never flows from the people up to His leaders to Himself — never! (It’s a violation of His divine nature.) That’s the way it was; that’s the way it is; and that’s the way it shall be until He returns to make up His jewels….
Whose report do you believe? Let it be the report from the Lord. Amen?!
In Christ We Do Remain
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