By George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is called the book for young men. This book is full of wisdom and knowledge a young man should live by. We know by the Word, that God gave Solomon a wise and understanding heart. God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him, "What shall I give thee?" I Kings 3:5
Solomon's answer was:
"Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this Thy so great a people?" I Kings 3:9
God was pleased with Solomon's answer, and promised Solomon:
"Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee." I Kings 3:12
But this was not the end of God's promises to Solomon. God continued:
"And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days." I Kings 3:13
Because Solomon had not asked for long life, riches, or the life of his enemies, God gave Solomon all the things he did not ask for. Today, if God would ask most of those who occupy the pulpits what they desire, it would be a big ministry, a big house, a fancy car, and a following of thousands. God does not bless a greedy heart. But He does bless the humble.
Solomon accomplished much, but his most lasting gift to mankind was the book of Proverbs. One of the most endearing proverbs Solomon wrote was:
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17
God uses iron as the symbol of strength, affliction, and judgment. The word sharpeneth means "to make alert, and to be keen." We know God's afflictions and judgments will strengthen us. It is through our afflictions and judgments we become more alert or keen to search for God's answers and instructions in His Word. God's afflictions and judgments will also make those who violate His Word, His decisions, and His will aware of the things they need to change in their lives to become strong. As God's Word states, "Iron sharpeneth iron." Yes, it is the afflictions and judgments in our lives that will either draw us closer to Him and each other or drive us apart. It is only through this process of rubbing against each other that all the sharp points will be honed and be made keen, so that we may become what God intends us to be. In order for God to do this in His body, He has ordained leadership. God has empowered His leaders in His Word. Paul explains to the church at Ephesus:
"And He gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers." Ephesians 4:11
Why did God ordain apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers?
"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:" Ephesians 4:12
These ministers are to hone a people until they become a mighty power to break off the power of darkness, and become the light in a darkened world. These are leaders who know iron sharpeneth iron. God did not send His Son to start a church. He sent His Son to empower and build a people. All God's leaders come by and through the eldership, and it is the elders' responsibility to sharpen iron with iron to bring forth God's elect.
When the Spirit moved upon Isaiah to declare God's Son, he revealed how God would govern His body. Isaiah proclaimed:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
We know by the Scriptures that Christ is the head of the body, and God's government is upon His shoulders. His shoulders are the eldership that God has ordained in the body. It is the eldership's job to hone and sharpen God's people.
"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:" Ephesians 4:13
Today, God's people fear the government more than they fear God. Paul proclaims who we are to hold our allegiance to in his letter to the church at Rome:
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." Romans 13:1
As Paul declared, there is no power, but of God. What are the higher powers ordained by God? The only power God ordained is the leadership in the church. In his letter to Titus, Paul explains:
"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:" Titus 1:5
It was the apostles' job to ordain these elders to oversee the work of the ministry. Paul continues his revelation to the church at Rome:
"Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." Romans 13:2
Those who resist the power (God) resist the ordinances of God, or His set order. And as Paul declared, those who resist shall receive to themselves damnation. The word damnation means "judgment". The government cannot bring damnation upon the people of God. Only God can do this.
"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:" Romans 13:3
We need to ask ourselves, "Does the government praise us when we do good?" No, the exact opposite is true. When we do good, the government condemns us because they are not afraid of the power (God). Certainly the elders of the church are not a terror to good works. It is when we do good that we can expect praise from the eldership. Paul continues:
"For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Romans 13:4
Let's rightly divide the word of truth. First those in the government are not the ministers of God for good. They are the ministers of the devil for evil. The elders are the ministers of God for good. And when we do that which is evil, then we can expect the elders, the ministers of God who bear the sword (the Word of God) to admonish those who do evil. In his letter to the Hebrews, Paul informs us:
"Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God: whose faith follow . . ." Hebrews 13:7
It is the elders (the shoulders of the body) who have the rule (authority) over God's body, not the government. As we read in the Old Testament about the exodus, we discover God used Moses to lead His enslaved people out of the land of Egypt. Egypt is a type of the world. God used Moses, just as He uses His true Spiritual leaders today to lead His captive people out of the world. It was Moses' job to sharpen the people to get them ready to enter into their promise land, just as it is His Spiritual leaders' job today to hone His people to enter into their promise land, the Kingdom of God.
When Moses was born, the government declared all male children were to be destroyed by throwing them into the Nile River. Miriam, Moses' older sister placed him in an ark made of bulrushes, and put him in the river as commanded by the government of Egypt. We discover Moses was delivered from the Nile by Pharaoh's daughter. He was raised in Pharaoh's palace and was considered to be the son of Pharaoh. When Moses was forty years old, he killed an Egyptian and fled to Midian and became the son-in-law of Jethro. He tended Jethro's flocks for forty years until the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush where He gave him orders to deliver his people from Egypt. Moses tried to be excused from this task, and asked the Lord:
"And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." Exodus 4:10
Moses had lived in the wilderness as a shepherd; and he had a speech impediment. This does not sound like one of the charismatic leaders of our day. But God gave Moses, Aaron to talk for him. And after God placed ten plagues upon Egypt, Pharaoh let the children of Israel go, and Moses led them into the wilderness. Yes, God prepared Moses in the wilderness of Midian for forty years to lead His people out of Egypt, the world. But like today, when Moses tried to sharpen God's people, they began to rebel. First it was Miriam and Aaron who rebelled, then it was Korah with two hundred and fifty of the princes of Israel who rebelled.
As we study Israel's travels in the wilderness, we realize God also has His elect in our day doing a new thing in the wilderness. Those who have come apart totally unto God are about to enter into their promise land, the Kingdom of God.
We discover Moses and the children of Israel had not gone far into the wilderness before the people began to murmur and complain about the hardship in their lives:
"And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it." Numbers 12:1-2
It should be obvious it was not the Ethiopian woman they were concerned about. They were jealous of Moses' authority and the people looking up to Moses, and not them. They questioned Moses' authority, saying "We, too, hear from God." And the Lord heard it. We must remember God protected Moses from the time he was born.
"And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out." Numbers 12:4
God called Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to come unto the tabernacle of the congregation:
"And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And He said, Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall be behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?" Numbers 12:5 - 6, & 8
God made it plain to Aaron and Miriam, and to us also, that we are not to speak against the leadership God has chosen to sharpen God's people. God made it clear to Aaron and Miriam that God spoke directly and clearly to Moses - - - not in dark speeches or similitudes.
God asked Aaron and Miriam why they were not afraid to speak against His chosen leadership.
"And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and He departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous." Numbers 12:9-10
It should be plain to see who was guilty of beginning the rebellious talk against Moses. It was Miriam who became leprous, which was a sure sign of death if God did not intervene. God did not threaten and God did not warn. He acted, and acted quickly:
"And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, My Lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned." Numbers 12:11
Aaron repented before Moses, and asked his forgiveness. He said, "We have sinned." Also, there is nothing recorded where Miriam ever repented, but Moses interceded for Miriam, and she was healed.
The Lord deals differently with men, then He does with women. Today, women want to rule the world, but it is God who will rule the world through His godly men. This will only happen when men step up, and take their rightful place, instead of being afraid to deal with the woman's anger.
Moses was a man of iron, and God was sharpening him so He could sharpen and shape the children of Israel to go in and take their promise land.
Another group this man of iron had to deal with was Korah and his followers. Who was this Korah and his followers?
"Now Korah, the son of Ishar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:" Numbers 16:1
Korah was a Levite, the priesthood tribe. In fact, he was a cousin to Moses. Korah's followers were Dathan, Abiram, and On. Dathan and Abiram were brothers from the tribe of Reuben. And On was of the same tribe. Dathan was one of the chiefs among his people.
"And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:" Numbers 16:2
This was no small uprising against Moses and Aaron, God's leadership.
"And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?" Numbers 16:3
Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On lifted themselves up before the congregation, and came as one to accuse Moses of taking more authority than he should. They proudly proclaimed, "All the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them." In doing this, Korah and his followers justified rebelling against God's appointed leadership.
It should be plain for all to see that it was jealousy that moved Korah and his followers to come against Moses. They did not like Moses and Aaron having the anointing by God to lead his people. They wanted part of the authority. What did Moses, the man of iron, do when he heard these accusations?
"And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face." Numbers 16:4
It was said of Moses that he was the meekest man upon the face of the whole earth, Numbers 12:3. Moses was not high and lifted up in his own self importance, and he was not about to defend himself before the people. Moses understood like David also did in his day. Three times in the book of Psalms, David declared:
"My defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart." Psalm 7:10
"Because of His strength will I wait upon Thee: for God is my defense." Psalm 59:9
" Unto Thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defense, and the God of my mercy." Psalm 59:17
What was true in Moses and David's day is true in our day. Men of iron do not need to defend their stand before God. Moses spoke to Korah:
"And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even tomorrow the Lord will shew who are His, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto Him: even him whom He hath chosen will He cause to come near unto Him." Numbers 16:5
Moses was going to put Korah and his company of two hundred and fifty to the test before God. If Moses was chosen to lead God's people, then God would show the people. Then Moses told Korah and his two hundred and fifty followers:
"This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; and put fire therein, and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow: and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy; ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi" Numbers 16:6-7
The censer was a metal pan with a handle, in which fire (coals) from the Brazen Altar were then placed. Incense was then put on these hot coals to offer up praise before the Lord. But when people are in rebellion, their praise is not acceptable before God. Moses admonished Korah, because Korah was not satisfied with the job God had given the Levites to accomplish.
"Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them." Numbers 16:9
Korah was no different from many in the body of Christ today. Many are never satisfied with the job God has given them to do. The church at Corinth had the same problem. Paul addressed this problem:
"For the body is not one member, but many." I Corinthians 12:14
The corporate body of Christ is made up of many members. Paul asked the Corinthian church many questions:
"If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?" I Corinthians 12:15-17
Paul was explaining that every part of the body is important. When we realize and accept the revelation Paul is giving us here, then we can have that perfect peace God has promised us. Paul explains:
"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." I Corinthians 12:18
When a person knows they are in the place where God has put them, and are doing the job they know God has given them - - - then, and only then - - - can they enjoy the perfect peace and contentment God has promised them. Paul explained this to Timothy:
"But godliness with contentment is great gain." I Timothy 6:6
We can only witness this contentment, when we come to this place in God. Korah was not satisfied with his duties in the tabernacle, so he looked at Moses and Aaron as his enemies. Jealousy and rage were blinding his mind and his vision, so he raised up a rebellion to question Moses' authority and God's anointing.
"And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up:" Numbers 16:12
Dathan and Abiram would not come up. It is easy to shoot off your mouth, but it is hard to stand by your words. They were willing to talk behind Moses' and Aaron's backs, but when they were called to present their case face to face, they were not willing to come before Moses and Aaron. They only wanted to tear down behind the backs of God's anointed leadership. But what was their excuse?
"Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us? Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up. Numbers 16:13-14
They called Egypt the land of milk and honey. They had forgotten they were slaves in that land they called the land of milk and honey. They had forgotten Moses stood before Pharaoh with his life in danger to call down the ten plagues that caused Pharaoh to set Israel free. They had forgot it was Pharaoh who made it difficult for them, when he took away their straw which they needed to make bricks. Moses stood firm, and never faltered from his anointed position. They simply forgot. All they wanted to do was go back, desiring all the things they had left behind. They had no vision of the real land of milk and honey that lay ahead of them.
Korah and his group rebelled because Moses had not given them what God had spoken to their fathers and grandfathers. Datham and Abiram rebelled when Moses commanded them to come up to answer the accusations they had leveled against him. Then Moses offered up this prayer before the Lord.
"And Moses was very wroth and said unto the Lord, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them." Numbers 16:15
Moses said, "Do not accept their offering, their worship, or their praise." Then Moses declared, "I have taken nothing for what I have done for the Lord." Moses asked, "Who have I hurt?" Moses had given all, and now this rebellion had saddened his heart greatly. When a man gives his all, and his intentions are then questioned, it cuts very deeply. Peter gives us God's assurance:
"But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled." I Peter 3:14
When we suffer for righteousness sake, we should praise God we are accounted worthy to suffer for Him. We are not to be afraid of their terror (fear). Peter also stated:
"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." I Peter 4:16
When we suffer for the cause of Christ, we are not to be ashamed. Instead we need to glorify God. We know, as Moses did, that God's true appointed leadership is never appreciated for what they do for God's people. They are always thought to be heady and high minded, lifting up self.
Moses knew he had to deal with Korah and his followers:
"And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the Lord, thou, and they, and Aaron, tomorrow:" Numbers 16:16
There is a day when God will deal with all rebellion. His judgment is sure, and when His judgment comes, there is no turning back. Moses informed Korah and his followers:
"And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the Lord every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each of you his censer. And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron. And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the congregation." Numbers 16:16-19
God was about to deal with their rebellion:
"And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment." Numbers 16:20-21
Rebellion is a spirit, and it is a spirit that is not from God. Rebellion and jealousy cause more problems in the church and the home, than any other spirit.
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him." Numbers 16:23-25
Since Dathan and Abiram would not come up, Moses took the elders and went to their tents to warn the people to remove themselves from their presence. God was about to justify Moses and his decision in making him the leader of His people in the wilderness.
"And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind." Numbers 16:26 & 28
Moses was about to allow God to justify His decision to anoint Moses to lead His people through the wilderness. Then Moses declared:
"If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me." Numbers 16:29
Moses, the man of iron, stood before the angry multitude and declared, "If these men die a common death, then the Lord has not sent me." There was nothing Moses could do to justify his position. He left everything up to God. It would be God who justified Moses, or it would be God who would allow Moses to stand all alone to face the mob. We need to know it is God who appoints His leadership. He anoints them, empowers them, and protects them. We need to know the end of the matter:
"And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation." Numbers 16:32-33
No one could lay a charge at Moses' feet. What happened was all God's doing. As we witnessed how God dealt with the rebellion of Korah, we discover these were examples for God's men of iron today who need to stand when brothers and sisters come against them - - - as was the case with Miriam and Aaron - - - or our cousins, or any other relative, as in the case of Korah - - - or if the multitudes stand against us, as in the case of the two hundred and fifty men. Men of God, stand where God has put you. It is God who justifies, and it is God who will protect you.
Yes, there is rebellion and jealousy in the home, in the church, in the government, and in the work place today, just as in Moses' day. In his letter to the Corinthians Paul declared:
"Let all things be done decently and in order." I Corinthians 14:40
Where does this rebellion stem from? As mentioned before, it is because man has violated God's order. And the violation of God's order brings forth rebellion. This rebellion begins in the home, where the wife is not submitted to her husband. If the home is out of order, so is the church which is made up of the homes. And this rebellion is then transferred to the work place when the wife decides she wants her freedom and more money. This rebellion then spreads until it permeates every aspect of every day life. So, where do we learn about God's order? The book of Genesis explains God's relationship between the husband and the wife:
"And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Genesis 2:18
The word helpmeet means "one who helps, or one who supports." An helpmeet does not rule the home and wear the pants. When Eve was tempted and gave the fruit of good and evil to Adam, God proclaimed:
"Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Genesis 3:16
The word rule means "to reign and have dominion over." Since women still have labor pains in bearing children, then we must assume God has not changed His mind about the headship of the home. We realize most pastors will not deal with this problem in the church, and most men will not deal with this problem in the home.
It was recorded of Solomon, who was considered one of the most wisest men whoever lived, and should know about women:
"And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart." I Kings 11:3
Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs, had much to say about the fury of a woman:
"It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house." Proverbs 21:9
Solomon also declared:
"It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." Proverbs 21:19
With all the women Solomon had in his house, he truly understood the anger a woman can display. We need to realize what God's Word reveals about the woman's place. By the Holy Spirit, Paul writes:
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." I Corinthians 11:3
Many believe Paul did not like women, but Paul, by the Spirit, understood God's order. God set His order in the Garden of Eden, and He has not changed His mind. The world has changed to appease the women movements, but our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God used Paul to set the order in the home, in the church, and in our lives. He gave this same message to the church at Ephesus:
"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body." Ephesians 5:23
We can say we believe in God, but if we do not keep His Word, how do we prove it? The husband is to be the head of his home, as Christ is the head of the church. Paul continues his revelation:
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." Ephesians 5:22
If the wife is not in subjection to her husband, then by God's Word she is in rebellion to God and to her husband. The same is true of the man who does not take the headship of the home and his wife. If this is true, he is as guilty as she is. Both the Ahab and the Jezebel spirit are present in today's homes. Paul continues his letter to the Ephesians:
"Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." Ephesians 5:24
The wife is to be subject to her own husband, as the church is to be subject to Christ. The word subject is the Greek word HUPOTASSO. This is a military word which means "to submit to one's control, to obey." The wives submitting to their own husbands is not a one way street. Husbands are admonished by the Lord.
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it." Ephesians 5:25
If a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church, then the husband will discover the wife will have no problem submitting to him in everything he desires for both their good. Paul also gave the church at Colossi the same direction:
"Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them." Colossians 3:19
The phrase bitter against means "to be angry or irritated against the wife, to take advantage of her." It is God's intention for the home to be a happy and secure place to raise children. Paul summed up the whole matter of a happy home in his letter to the Ephesians:
"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Ephesians 5:33
Paul's whole purpose in his letters to the different churches was to reestablish God's order in the home and in the church. But what has happened? Now the big churches ordain women to be pastors, even though God's Word expressly prohibits women to be in leadership in the church. In his letter to Timothy, Paul proclaims:
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." I Timothy 2:12
The word usurp means "to act on one's own authority." When one acts on their own authority, then they are in violation of God's Word. This again is rebellion. Is it any wonder the church is in such a mess?
In Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus, he gives twenty-five qualifications for the leaders in the church. Many of these women cannot meet. Paul writes:
"A bishop, then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;" I Timothy 3:2
A woman cannot be the husband of one wife. Other qualifications a woman cannot meet are:
"One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;" For if a man know not how to rule his own house how shall he take care of the church of God." I Timothy 3:4-5
We have read that Christ made man the head of the house, and that if he cannot take care of his own house, how can he take care of the church. Paul continues:
"Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things." I Timothy 3:11
As Paul writes, their wives, indicating the husband is to be in leadership in the church. Paul also gives orders concerning the deacons:
"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." I Timothy 3:12
The office of deacon is one in which men are prepared for leadership in the eldership. So he must meet the same qualifications as the elders. Paul wrote the same thing to Titus:
"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot or unruly." Titus 1:6
God is looking for men of iron to stand up and take their rightful place in the home and in the church. These men will teach God's ways and His order. God made a promise through the pen of Jeremiah:
"And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 23:4
God is going to set up these men of iron to shepherd His flock. These men of iron will feed (teach) God's people the true Word of God. And they will no longer be subject to the spirit of fear. All their needs will be taken care of.
God is raising up a mighty army of men of iron. These men of iron are not being raised up in some military camp or some big church. These men of God are being raised up in the wilderness. These are not the big name elite in religious circles. This army is hid away in their prayer closets where God is preparing them to hear His voice and follow His directions. These men's only sword is the Word of God. God is empowering these men by the Spirit. These are the men Zechariah spoke of when he stated:
". . . Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6b
Paul also wrote of this army to the Corinthians when he described how these warriors of God will do battle:
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;" II Corinthians 10:4
These warriors of God will not be fighting carnal, physical battles. Their battle's will be fought in the Spirit. These will not fight, trying to get elected to an office in the government, who would end up as corrupt and vile as the ones they replaced. God explains this army to the prophet Joel:
"They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks.
Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining;
And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His Word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" Joel 2:7-11
This is not a physical army, but a Spiritual force the world has never witnessed. Paul also explained the preparation these warriors of God must make:
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." II Timothy 2:3-4
Yes, there will be many darts of misunderstanding thrown at these men, while God is preparing them for the battle that is ahead. But God is preparing them, and they will be armed. An unknown Psalmist gives us our first clue:
"Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Psalm 2:9
Yes, God is going to arm His army with a rod of iron. This rod is not a physical weapon, but it is the scepter of God's authority. It is the shepherd's crook. It is the mark of God's power to do His work. And with this power and authority, God's warriors will be able to break the powers that be, as easy as an iron bar would break a clay vessel. Jesus explained this power to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father." Revelation 2:27
These men of iron will have the same double portion anointing Jesus had when He walked the earth. And they will use this power in God's behalf to reestablish His Kingdom in the earth. Jesus continues His explanation to John:
"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne." Revelation 12:5
The word rule is the Greek word POIMAINO and means "to feed and take care of, to supply the needs of the soul." It also has the meaning "to shepherd." This man child company consists of God's men of iron who will free God's people from an oppressive government. Jesus completed His explanation to John concerning the men of iron:
"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Revelation 19:15
Many will say this is talking about Jesus, but they forget the words that came out of Jesus' own mouth. John recorded His words:
"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do." John 17:4
Jesus completed the work the Father had given Him to do. He is not coming back again to complete anything. But He has empowered His shepherds by His Spirit to reestablish His Kingdom on earth. This is what Jesus spoke to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever." Revelation 11:15
Yes, there is a great day of victory coming for our God and His elect, when the kingdoms of this world will have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. God's men of iron are His Christ, His anointed ones. Iron will truly sharpen iron to complete the work Jesus came for. Now it is up to His elect to finish the work. We need to remember the words of Eliphaz, Job's friend:
"Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways." Job 22:28
God will do anything we speak, because we will only speak and do as we are directed by the Spirit. We need to remember the words Paul spoke to the church at Corinth:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." I Corinthians 2:9
Jesus gave us His assurance of the work these men of iron will accomplish. John recorded Jesus' words:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall He do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." John 14:12
Praise the Lord!
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