intellectual Leadership in the 21st Century Kingdom

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Intellectual Leadership in the 21st Century Kingdom

Leadership is influence. The people that have the most influence in the church are thus the leaders. Perhaps someone sits in the church pew and is very quiet at church, but that person is very active behind the scenes, having a dynamic influence on the congregation. Such an unsung Christian is a leader. Unfortunately, influence can be of an evil nature. One primary reason that evil influence takes hold in the church is due to apathetic souls, unwilling to crave and fill the intellect with wisdom and knowledge.
J. P. Moreland speaks to the lack of intellectual endeavors among modern Christians in his book Love Your God With All Your Mind. Therein he states, “Whoever controls the thinking leadership of the church, in a culture, will eventually control the church itself,” (Moreland 24). Consider this in light of those who were leading the parties in Corinth. The Corinthian leadership elevated human wisdom over the wisdom of God. A corrupt church was the result, the fruit of a corrupt intellect. In response to this Moreland would respond, “If we are going to be a wise, spiritual people prepared to meet the crises of our age, we must be a studying, learning community that values the life of the mind,” (40).
The leadership of the church must have the same mission as Jesus Chris: seek, save the lost, and increase the disciple’s faith (Luke 17:5, 19:10). Jesus gave a Great Commission to do just that. He told his disciples to baptize and teach said disciples to observe all things He commanded (Mt. 28). However, just because a man stands in a pulpit offering emotional rhetoric, even advocating virtue, does not mean the church is being intellectually stimulated, and their faith (grounded in evidence) being built.
Knowledge is power, and leaders should have this power. “We give surgeons and not carpenters the right to cut us open precisely because surgeons have the relevant knowledge not possessed by carpenters,” (Moreland 28). Knowledge makes one bold and strengthens them in their conviction. And while that boldness can be wielded inappropriately to produce pride and condescension, society has relegated humans to the idea that any claim to spiritual knowledge whatsoever, is an automatic vice and show of pride.
Contrary to modern views of knowledge, “The spiritually mature person is a wise person. And a wise person has the savvy, and skill necessary to lead an exemplary life and to address the issues of the day in a responsible, attractive way that brings honor to God,” (Moreland 40). If our spiritual leaders sought the intellectual knowledge of God, while utilizing it with the wisdom of Solomon in Proverbs, this end could be reasonably achieved amidst those who would regardless doubt. Knowledge is valuable, knowledge in God’s will is the highest value, and to reason towards that knowledge should be the foundation for those who would be the church’s leaders.
In concluding these thoughts on intellectual leadership, consider one last quip from J. P. Moreland. “God is certainly not a cultural elitist, and He does not love intellectuals more than anyone else. But it needs to be said in the same breath that ignorance is not a Christian virtue if those virtues mirror the perfection of God’s own character,” (46). Realizing this truth makes it clear why Israel was destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). So will the leaders and constituents of the 21st century church be laid to destruction if the apathetic intellect of American culture persists within this blood bought institution.

Reference:
Moreland, J. P. Love Your God With All Your Mind, 2nd ed., NAVPRESS, 2012, pp. 24, 28, 40, 46.

Aaron Battey

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org

Abortion

 

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ABORTION

Ronny F. Wade

(Proverbs 6:16-17) “There are six things which Jehovah hateth; yea, seven which are an abomination unto him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…”

Each day in America over 3500 unborn babies are put to death. In a one year period, 115,000 cases of abortion were registered in New York City alone. This number is higher than the total number of Americans killed in the Viet Nam war. New York City officials predicted that the following year more than 600,000 abortions would be performed, with over 10 million nationally.

World-wide an estimated 40-55 million will die annually.

The victims will die without the benefit of trial or counsel. They are not convicted criminals, but innocent unborn human babies.

Such make Pharoah’s extermination of Hebrew boys appear as only a ripple on the ocean of time. The slaughter of babies in Bethlehem by Herod would not equal one abortion clinic’s daily quota.

Question That Demands an Answer

Is the fetus a human life? Is that which is growing in the mother’s body alive? The answer to this question will help us in determining the truth on this subject. What the Bible Says…
Some basic facts:

1. Life is a gift from God. (Acts 17:25) “He giveth life and breath to all things.
God alone has the right to take man’s life. (Genesis 50:15-19) Only human life is made “in the image of God.” (Genesis 1:26)

Because of this, human life is elevated to a plane above all other forms of earthly life.

2. Christ taught the value of human life. (John 3:16; Mark 16:15-16) Little children were precious to Him. (Matthew 19:14)

3. No distinction in the Scriptures between babes in the womb and those born.

The word Brephos used to describe the baby in Elisabeth’s womb is used interchangeably for both prenatal and postnatal babies. (Luke 1:41) It means “an unborn child, embryo, fetus, a newborn child, an infant, a babe.” (Thayer p. 105)

Anyone who questions this should ask themselves, “Was it the Christ-child in Mary’s womb or a lifeless blob of fetal tissue.

The following scriptures teach that the unborn child is a human being:

(Jeremiah 1:5) “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou comest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee.”

If Jeremiah’s mother had chosen to have an abortion, she would have killed Jeremiah.

(Isaiah 49:1, 5) “Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken ye peoples, from far; Jehovah hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name… and now, saith Jehovah that formed me from the womb to be his servant.”

This indicates that Isaiah was a person before birth.

(Job 3:11) “Why did I not die from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when my mother bore me?”

If the fetus had died in the womb, it would have been a person. – Job

4. The scriptures teach “Thou shalt not kill”, i.e. “thou shalt do not murder.”

The deliberate taking of human life without provocation or just cause is murder. Abortion intentionally kills a human life. The abortion victim is totally innocent, having done no wrong towards the mother, doctor or society.

What abortionist doctor would want a corrosive poured over his body and forced into his lungs and stomach and then be left to convulse for hours ‘til death? This is the baby’s fate in the salt- poisoning abortion. What nurse who attends in abortions would want to be ripped apart by a powerful suction machine? By the time early abortions are performed (8 -12 weeks) the baby has his entire organ system in place and has sense of pain.

(Psalms 139:13-16) “Thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Obviously testifies to the fact that the fetus is a person at the time of conception.

(Luke 1:15) An angel promised Zacharias that his soon to be born son would be “filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother’s womb.” If a fetus can have the Holy Spirit, it surely must be a person.

(Luke 1:41-44) “the babe (John the Baptist) leaped in her womb for joy.” The unborn child is a person.

Just Suppose: Joseph and Mary discover she is with child. Joseph thought she was guilty of fornication, and sought to put her away privately, lest he embarrass her publickly.

Suppose Joseph and Mary had listened to the advice given many today. Mary could have had an abortion to get out of this humiliating situation. In doing so, she would have killed our saviour. (Matthew 1:21).

Murderers Will Be Punished

(Exodus 20:13) “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”
(Deuteronomy 27:25) “Cursed be he that taketh a bribe to slay an innocent person.” (Proverbs 6:16-17) God hates “those who shed innocent blood.” God hates abortion.

What does God think of the premeditated taking of a child’s life? We cannot take the sin of abortion lightly; “Lo children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Psalms 127:3)

Everyone should give serious thought to what God says about abortion. He will not let this grevious sin go unpunished. If God will not permit us to kill a child already born and get by with it, neither will he let us get by with killing an unborn child. Abortion is a sin, murder in the first degree.

The psychological effects upon the woman who has an abortion are often devastating and far- reaching. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to forget the unborn child that has been murdered. In years yet to come, this woman will be haunted by such questions as, “Was it a boy or girl?” “Would she be like me or he like his father?’ “Today would he be going to school?” etc., etc.

The Secret to a Long Life

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People everywhere want to know the secret to long life. Solomon was the founder of the long life scheme, God giving him long life as a result of his asking for wisdom. The secret is found in the very thing Solomon asked of God…wisdom.
In Solomon’s book of Proverbs, he writes to his children over and over about the value of instruction, guidance, and wisdom. Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.” Solomon details the value of wisdom in Proverbs, but he also tells his children how to obtain this valuable blessing. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you,” (Proverbs 3:1). Here Solomon introduces a foundational truth to those who would be wise: listen to your parents and you will have a long, peaceful life. The idea that long life directly correlates with obeying one’s parents is a natural law. A natural law is nothing more than an observable truth born out in nature. The fact that children obeying their parents will result in a long, peaceful life is evidenced by children who disobey their parents, go out drinking with their friends, followed by driving a car, ending with perishing from a traumatic motor vehicle crash. This may not happen in every single incident a child disobeys their parents, but it is an observable fact that disobedient children have fewer days and a more troublesome way in life.

This precept is repeated by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament scriptures by the hand of Paul. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Three key principles are listed here: honor, obedience in the Lord, and a promise. Honor means to value and respect (Strong’s Dictionary). If a child values and respects their parents, they will undoubtedly obey their parent’s commands. However, Paul emphasizes obedience “in the Lord.” In the drunk driving incidence above, if the child had obeyed his parents, he would not have been drinking and driving at the same time. Then again, if he had parents instructing him “in the Lord” (according to the Lord’s instruction) he would not have been drinking in the first place. Finally, Paul repeats the same natural law that Solomon laid out: respect for parents equals long life and peace of days.

If you are a young person reading this, know that your parents are smarter than you give them credit. God knows this to be true as well. That is why God, through the prophets, teaches children everywhere to honor and obey their parents. After all, if you don’t obey your earthly father, how much more your heavenly Father?

Aaron Battey

oldpathsadvocate.org

The Back Page

Carl Johnson has been holding us a meeting at Marietta and he has done some excellent preaching. Carl is a regular contributor to the OldPaths Advocate, writing  a column called, The Back Page. If you are not a subscriber to the Old Paths Advocate this is a sample of what you are missing. Please consider subscribing to the paper. The price is 15.00 per year and you can subscribe at http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org.

 

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SAME OLD, SAME OLD

In the most recent issue of The Christian Chronicle, “an international newspaper for Churches of Christ,” chief correspondent Bobby Ross gives us a glimpse of a movement going on among our “cups and classes” brethren concerning the planting of new congregations (June 2016).

Convinced that a traditional evangelistic approach no longer reaches lost souls, ePIC Church in Torrance, California, will no longer meet for worship in a building with wooden pews, but will be conducting services in a movie theater in one of America’s largest shopping malls beginning in August. After services, church members will head straight from the AMC theater to a food court “ filled with lost souls.” one member implies his multiple tattoos will actually be an asset as he tries to initiate religious conversations with diners.

Lead church planter Matt Raines says they do not intend to “franchise” a traditional Church of Christ. He explains, “our guiding ethic is to do what makes sense in our West Coast context (culture).” associate stan Granberg says, “Churches rooted in and practicing 20th century church models are not doing well in our 21st century culture.” Ted Vogt adds, “every generation must reevaluate what practices may hinder others from turning to God.”

In view of the above logic, churches associated with EPIC Church have decided to continue to observe the practice of baptism and the weekly lord’s Supper, but apparently everything else is up for grabs. They no longer call themselves “Churches of Christ,” they allow women to lead prayer and read scriptures in the public assembly, and 60 percent of the associated congregations use instrumental music in worship services. Vogt argues that the church needs to make even GREATER CHANGES than these if it is going to engage our modern culture successfully.

The willingness of church planters to compromise almost everything Churches of Christ have practiced for centuries reminds me of the spirit of the church in Pergamos (rev. 2: 12-17). Jesus directs some of His harshest words toward the sin of compromise found in the Pergamos church embodied in the doctrines of Balaam and the nicolaitans. Both doctrines were efforts to adjust Christianity to the level of the world rather than lift the world to the level of Christianity. They taught the people to go along in order to get along, in short, to compromise. However, Jesus says he “hates” the doctrine (2:15), and the scriptures warn us repeatedly against it (2 Cor. 6:17; rom. 12:2; 2 Tim. 2:19).

The members of EPIC Church may think their approach is new, exciting, and relevant, but in reality it is more of the same old, same old. in 1993 John McAuthur wrote a scathing expose of a similar philosophy within the “evangelical” churches. He says, “Church growth experts have concluded that the priorities of the early church-the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers (Acts 2:42)-do not seem to work any more … Preaching is being discarded or downplayed in favor of newer means, such as drama, dance, comedy, variety, side-show histrionics, pop psychology, and other entertainment forms. The new methods are supposedly more effective-that is, they draw a bigger crowd. Since for many the chief criterion for gauging the success of a church has become attendance gures, whatever pulls in the most people is accepted without critical analysis as good” (Ashamed of the Gospel xiii).

If you buy into EPIC Church’s philosophy you will be forced, as Ted Vogt says, to reevaluate your church with the arrival of each new generation and eliminate any practice you decide is no longer relevant. That conclusion is necessary because what appears to be relevant to our culture today will be out-of-date tomorrow. That is one of the problems with culture-it is transitory. Christ, however, is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8), and the church is an eternal kingdom (Dan. 2:44). Therefore, God never intended the church to be reinvented and conformed to the cultural demands of each succeeding generation. The Apostle Paul says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (rom. 12:2). God never intended for us to adapt the church to re ect the culture, but rather He intends for people of the culture to be adapted into the image of His dear son (Rom. 8:29).

The word translated “church” in the new Testament is ekklesia, and it means “a called out body.” Christians are called-out from the world and separated as the body of Christ. While we are not isolated from the world, we are separated from its attitudes, its sinful behavior, and its God-defying lifestyle (1 in. 21 :5). Therefore, the last thing we need in order to make the church more relevant today is to put back into it more of the world out of which we have been called. cmjthebackpage@gmail.com

By Carl M. Johnson

Should I Follow My Heart?

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There are few phrases that society has embraced like the phrase “follow your heart”. It is a statement that is found in numerous stories, movies, songs, and often used as the answer to some of life’s toughest question. In truth, those who stand by this phrase believe that the heart is a compass that will guide you to your own true north and true happiness if only you would have the courage to follow it, as it is believed “your heart will never lead you astray”. How beautiful and liberating this is, the problem, none of these quips are biblically supportable.


In fact, instead of trusting our hearts, we are to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6). Instead of following our hearts we are to give our trust to the Lord with the promise of guidance to those who choose to follow Him. When we search for direction in life our compass must be based on The Truth and the Light (John 17:17; Psalms 119:105). But if man still chooses to reject this truth God says “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool. . .” (Prov. 28:26) because, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked who can know it” (Jeremiah 17:19)? God makes clear two reasons why no one should bind himself to following his heart, it is deceitful and it is wicked.


It doesn’t take much to see that the heart is not leadership material. But the heart has an opportunity to be good and wise, if it is willing to “receive commands” (Prov. 10:8). A person’s life is a reflection of his heart. Proverbs 4:23 states it like this: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” therefore, we must guard our hearts and watch over them so that our heart follows hard after the things of God. If we first humble ourselves before God, if we can put our ego to the side, our heart can become of great benefit. In the sight of God a heart that is humble and pure is a blessing (Matthew 5:8), and it is this same heart that when humbled before God is where we keep His word (Prov. 7:3). The heart has endless possibility of good, but only when humbled before God will the Church and the Christian flourish.


The heart, like any coin, has two sides but unlike a coin the outcome of which side our heart is on is not left up to chance. We have to make the decision whether to serve God, or to place ourselves as idols above God, a decision we get wrong every day. Man continues to try and keep God out of the picture but they fail to realize that pretending to be independent from God leads people down a path of their own ideas of happiness, success, and fulfillment. But King Solomon who went down this road further than most said at the end of it all “I hated life” (Eccl. 2:17). Be careful who you choose to follow, your eternal happiness and salvation depends upon the choice you now make.

 

Aaron Boone

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org

Why Mega-churches Are Wrong

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Why Mega-Churches Are Wrong
The bigger the number the better. This is the unsung motto of the denominations today. Churches today would leave the impression with their gargantuan assemblies that Jesus said, “Broad is the gate and easy is the way that leads to life, and there are many who go in by it!” But wait, Jesus said, “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it,” (Matt. 7:14). Jesus would further proclaim, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword,” (Matt. 10:34) indicating that the way is indeed rigorous. This type of teaching would lead to many of his disciples forsaking Him in John 6:66. This is not the portrayal in the modern mega-church era.
Mega-churches are by definition, churches with more than 2,000 people in attendance on an average weekly basis (Bird, 2012). Warren Bird cites the earliest known church to have more than 2,000 members and sustain that number through the 21st century as the Moody Church of Chicago (2012). Subsequently modern community churches like Life Church may not equal 2,000 in weekly attendance (or maybe they do) but when a police officer is required to safely direct the traffic into and out of the church…the church is too big. This truth can be understood from reading 1 Thessalonians 2.
1 Thessalonians is a very intimate epistle by Paul to a young church. Perhaps no other epistle by Paul is more positive and uplifting besides the book of Philippians. The church had not been established long, as can be logically deduced from reading the epistle in conjunction with the history of the Thessalonian conversion in Acts 17. Although Paul was only with these brethren and sisters for a short time before being driven out of town by the unbelieving Jews, he says this,
“We (Paul, Silas, and Timothy) were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us…as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,” (1 Thess. 2:7-11).
Paul, Silas, and Timothy’s relationship with these brethren was as personal and intimate as a mother’s care for her children and a father’s love for his children. No greater bond of love can be found than the two used in illustration by Paul. This is how well Paul knew these brethren on an individual basis. Certainly he could not have said these words had the church been 2,000 in attendance every week, even if he had stayed in Thessalonica for years on end. These verses exemplify the Christian unity and closeness required of every congregation.
This bond of unity is impossible when there are so many people in attendance that one cannot remember the names of people, let alone actually know the people. Bigger numbers do not equate to a better church. This is only one of many reasons that mega-churches fail to meet the New Testament church example.

Bird, Warren. (2012). World’s first megachurch? Leadership Network. Retrieved from http://leadnet.org/worlds_first_megachurch/

Aaron Battey

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org

“Some Having Swerved”

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“Some Having Swerved”
I Timothy 1:5-8

Both of Paul’s epistles to young Timothy teach a great deal about basic truths that Timothy needed to learn in order to become a successful servant for Jesus Christ. These truths are plainly seen in the first chapter of the first letter to Timothy. The apostle wastes no time in telling Timothy why he left him at Ephesus. This journey refers to one of Paul’s missionary journeys in Acts where Paul went to Ephesus, accompanied by Timothy, but departed to Macedonia shortly after arriving at Ephesus. Verses 3-4 point out the reason for their separation. Paul instructed Timothy to ensure the teaching of the gospel was for the use of edifying because several law lovers had deceived some of the new congregational teachers at Ephesus by binding fables and “endless” genealogies as New Testament truths. These were not for the use of edifying, but rather to promote pointless question asking that caused many to veer from the truth! Timothy had to stop the spread of this false doctrine, or the church at Ephesus would fall into apostasy! Listen to Paul’s words on how such error is combated. He says, “the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned;” For the Christian, that is the basics of Christian living. Thayer even says that the word “commandment” mentioned in verse 5 refers to right living! How do you refute false doctrine? How do you destroy scorners of church members? How do you combat evil? Your actions must bespeak your name—Christian. We have to live righteously. This is done through charity (love) out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned. But then Paul says, “from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling.” It is apparent that some of the members at Ephesus had erred from the truth that edifies and turned unto “vain jangling” which is defined as “empty chatter.” It is interesting that the Greek word astocheo is translated “swerved” in this verse. In the English, this word means “to deviate from; miss the mark.” Yet this same Greek word is found in two other passages, both in the epistles to Timothy. But in the other two verses, the English word translated is “erred.” They all mean the same thing, but this is noteworthy because the verb “swerved” is a good way to describe some Christians today. They believe the truth and obey it, but somewhere along the way, an abrupt right turn is taken, and they have veered far from the straight and narrow.
Over the years, many have deviated from the divine Word in an effort to justify their own personal beliefs and life styles! That’s what these law lovers were doing. They muddied the waters surrounding what had to be obeyed, and what had been fulfilled; the result was the swerving of members from the truth because the law lovers were clinging to their Jewish heritage out of pride. Today, it’s the same thing! Some have swerved because of their pride. Yet God does not justify swerving. He gives us three principles to practice in verse 5 to prevent swerving and pride. Time will not permit discussion of those three principles, but charity out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned is God’s solution to swerving. May we all seek after these things, so we do not miss the mark.

Colby Culbertson

Developing the Church in 2040

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Developing the Church in 2040

​Once upon a time there was a little church who had an honored and revered church leader. This respected man carried the congregation on his shoulders. A few years went by and that leader deceased, followed by the dwindling away of the church only two brief years later. This is not a fairy tale. This story represents the sad fate of many churches after the patriarchal leader of the church passes away. Why does this happen? The problem may be more complex, but one integral quality of a great leader is the development of other leaders. Great men develop and leave greater men after them so the above circumstance does not repeat itself.
​Consider four examples of leadership development from the Bible. The first is a unfortunate example. Joshua was selected by God and Moses to be his right hand man and the next leader of Israel. Upon designating Joshua as the next shepherd of Israel, God declared to Moses, “Set a man over the congregation, who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd,” (Joshua 27:16-17). From this point forward a careful Bible reader will notice Joshua at the right side of Moses. Joshua accompanied Moses half way up Mt. Sinai when the 10 commandments were first delivered in Ex. 32. No later than Joshua chapter one, Joshua is highly respected by all Israel after giving an inaugural address prior to leading the fall of Jericho. The Israelite nation would go on to follow Joshua at his word, and at Joshua’s death it would be said of him, “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the Lord which He had done for Israel,” (Joshua 24:31). Moses success in developing a stalwart leader out of Joshua is evident from scripture. However, as excellent a leader as Joshua was, he failed in one of the key qualities of leadership. Joshua failed to leave another Joshua after him. Certainly, Israel was faithful during the days of the elders that followed, but Joshua did not develop those elders as Moses had developed Joshua, leading to the dark ages of Israelite history during the judges.
Other premier examples of leadership development are seen in Elijah’s tutorship of Elisha who would follow to be the most profound prophet of miraculous ability in Israelite history. Look at Jehoiada who would guide the young king Joash from the time of a young child to when he would reign autonomously on the throne of Judah (2 Kings). Jesus Himself selected twelve men to be his right hand men, and among those twelve, Peter, James, and John would receive special interest from Jesus as they displayed strong leadership abilities. These three were especially selected to go with Jesus on the mount where He was transfigured in Matthew 17. When reading the gospels and Acts, these three are mentioned more than any of the other disciples besides Judas Iscariot. These men made sure the church thrived during the deepest of persecutions.
Moses, Elijah, Jehoiada, and Jesus all practiced leadership development and intended that the church in 2016 do the same. Every congregation is faced with this task. Without leaders who practice leadership development, it may be said of the church in 2040, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes,” (Judges 21:25).

Aaron Battey

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org

“After The Due Order”

 

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In 1 Chronicles 13 we read an interesting account about the Ark and the Israelites. King David and the people determined to bring the Ark back. The Ark had not been in use since before King Saul. The returning of the Ark would be a big celebration. The Israelites planned a large procession and put the Ark on a new cart. As they were going along they came upon a rough place in the road. The Ark began to fall and a man name Uzza held his arms out to stabilize it. When he touched it, he fell dead.
David had the same reaction to Uzza`s death that many today would have. He was angry with God. David reasoned that all Uzza did was try to stabilize the ark to keep it from falling.
Two chapters later, in 1 Chron. 15 David proclaimed that it was time to bring back the ark. This time David said that the Ark would be carried on the shoulders of the Levites as God had commanded. As David readied the men he proclaims in 1 Chron. 15:13 – “For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.”
What does David mean when he says “After the due order?” The word due, in this case, means what is correct or right. The work “order” means mandate or commandment. So when David said they did it not “after the due commandment” he meant that they did not act in accordance with God`s commandment. Thus when God caused Uzza to die he not only punished Uzza for touching the ark but also caused the people to stop and consider if what they were doing was honoring God or pleasing themselves.
Today many departures have taken place in our self-gratifying world. Many continue to leave the faith. We still have the charge to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3. It is sad to see many turn their backs to the truth. They turn their backs to the only way to God. They do not walk not after the due order.
Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the Life and no man comes unto the father but by me.” John 14:6 Paul says in Eph. 4:4-6 ” There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and earth and is the one in control of the church Col. 1:18. Yet many seem to think that even though they have good intentions, that they can improve or help God in the worship.
Paul warned of such departures and divisions in Acts 20:29-31, 2 Tim. 4:3, 4. In Tim. 4 Paul said that there would come a time when “they would not endure sound doctrine but would heap to themselves teachers having itching ears.” This can be clearly seen today. If you want to hear some so called preacher tell you that you can be saved by grace alone, you can have it. If you want to hear someone tell you that all you need to do to be in touch with God is send them money you’ve got it. If you want to hear that you don`t need to go to church or become part of God`s institution to be saved you can find it. If you want the doctrine of prosperity, you can find. None of these ideas can save anyone because they are not after the due order.
If we want to please God we must follow him “After the due order.” Notice with me a couple of examples:
1) Communion
Changing the number of drinking vessels in the Lord’s Supper is an example: Individual cups were invented by J.G. Thomas. They were first used in Putnam County, Ohio in 1893. The idea became very popular and spread rapidly throughout the country. As people became more conscious of germs and the possible transmission of disease by several people drinking out of the same container, more and more churches adopted the practice. This innovation is not following the “due order.”
2) Sunday school classes
The dividing of the assembly for the purpose of teaching is another example. The Sunday school movement began in Britain in the 1780s. The Industrial Revolution had resulted in many children spending all week long working in factories. Christian
The English Anglican evangelical Robert Raikes (1725-1811) was the key promoter of the movement. It soon spread to America as well.
Religious education was a core component. The Bible was the textbook used for learning to read. Many children learned to write by copying passages from the Scriptures. A basic catechism was also taught, as were spiritual practices such as prayer and hymn-singing. Teaching Christian morality and virtues was another goal of the movement.
These innovations, as well as others were started with good intentions. God doesn’t accept them? The reason is; they are not after the due order.
When we tamper with God’s design, we become like David, Uzza, and the rest of the Israelites. We must follow the “due order.”
Sean Smith

Jesus-The Defense Attorney

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Jesus- The Defense Attorney

​In Deuteronomy 18:15 Moses told the children of Israel that God would raise up a prophet from them like Moses himself. This prophet was Jesus Christ who would save the world of their sins. Moses and Christ were alike in several respects, and a brief survey of Exodus will evidence this parallel.
Moses was a mediator between God and Israel just as Jesus is the mediator between God and man today. Understand before reading any further: a mediator is a negotiator who lobbies with an authority for the sake of another. Now consider Exodus 20:19. This passage follows the event of Moses descending from Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments when God’s magnificent power and glory descended on the mountain. The passage reads, “Then they said to Moses, ‘You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’” Because the Israelites knew they had been unfaithful to God and felt unworthy to be in God’s presence, they asked Moses to be the mediator between themselves and God. In like manner 1 Timothy 2:5 says Jesus is our mediator and for good reason. Jesus became our sin sacrifice on the cross, and now whenever we sin and ask for forgiveness, Jesus goes before God to lobby for our forgiveness. Think of Jesus as the defense attorney in the court room, God being the Supreme Court justice, and the sinner being the guilty party on trial. The attorney lobbies to the judge on behalf of the guilty party with the end goal of forgiveness. Another Biblical example would be that of Abraham lobbying with God on account of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham negotiated with God, bringing the magic number for destruction down to 10 righteous people in Genesis 18.
Today, no man on earth or angel in heaven has this unique authority as defense attorney besides Jesus Christ. We may intercede for our brethren and sisters in prayer, requesting for forgiveness, healing, or blessing on their behalf; however, this is not the same as negotiating back and forth with the Father. Only Jesus has this privilege, because only Jesus is both man and God at the same time, able to equally represent both parties in the courtroom of forgiveness. Think about this heavenly scene ongoing in the highest of Supreme Courts the next time you ask for forgiveness.

Aaron Battey

http://www.oldpathsadvocate.org