Bringing God's Order Into The
By George Kirkpatrick
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The cry we hear from the church today is, "Why has God forsaken the church? Why is there no power, no authority, and no fear?" The answer is very simple. It is because there is no Godly order in today's modern church. What we have is a "one man, one plan, out-of-order social club." The so-called leaders come out of their denominational seminaries with a head full of precepts and doctrines, but with no idea of what God's Word says about proper order.
If they have an eldership or deacon board, it is only there to rubber stamp the one plan of the head man. We see the results of this travesty because there is no respect for the church system today by those who attend the church because they can carry their sin into the church services with no fear of correction or conviction. The pews are full of adulterers, liars, cheats, fornicators, and every other abomination. These are mixed in with those who are seeking God, and their Spiritual growth is being dwarfed by the warmed over, watered down, regurgitated Word of God. They sit and weep for the old days when God moved in the services. Today the loud music, the shouts, the working up of emotions is all they can expect. They are informed it is the Spirit moving, but they leave the services empty, starving for true substance.
So, what must be done for God's blessing and His presence to return to the church? The answer is simple. Bring the church into order. How do we do this? The answer is even more simple. Go back to the Word and find God's ordained order. Jesus never informed us how the church should operate. Instead God anointed Paul as His chosen vessel to reveal God's order for His ekklesia (church).
As we seek out the truths of God's order and compare them to what the church has become, we can see how God's heart is grieved, and why He cannot bless the modern out-of-order church in our day. Paul informs us:
"Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." Ephesians 4:8
When Jesus ascended off the earth, He gave gifts unto men. These gifts were given to man to set up God's proper order in the assemblies. These gifts included:
"And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" Ephesians 4:11
Why were these gifts given to man?
"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:" Ephesians 4:12-13
It is the responsibility of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to do the work of the ministry, to edify the body of Christ, and to perfect the saints. The first thing we need to note is these gifts were given unto men - - - not women. Yet the leaders of many churches in our modern day are women. (This will be addressed later when we discuss the qualifications of leadership in the church).
The first gift given to man was the apostle. The word apostle means "one who is sent." Jesus had twelve disciples (learners), and when He ascended off the earth, these became the twelve apostles. The last words Jesus spoke to His disciples were:
"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 Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8
The twelve apostles were sent to be witnesses of Jesus. They were to begin in Jerusalem, and then go to the uttermost part of the earth. When they were sent, they became apostles. Paul was another man who was sent. He was called the Apostle Paul. Paul and Barnabas were ministers together:
"And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed." Acts 14:21-23
Paul and Barnabas set up churches as they traveled. And they ordained elders to run the churches they set up. They did not appoint one man to be the leader. The church was to be run by a plurality of elders. The use of elders in God's Word is always `plural'. Paul anointed both Timothy and Titus to be apostles. Paul gave Titus directions:
"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
The apostle is to set the church in order and ordain the elders. Paul also directed Timothy:
"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." II Timothy 2:2
Timothy was to commit the words Paul taught him to faithful men - - - not women. The apostle is to ordain and teach those who are to teach others - - - in other words the apostle is to teach teachers to teach. When we inquire of the church who their apostle is, they do not know what you are talking about. They just assume the head man is the apostle. But we need to ask the question, "Was He sent, and who sent Him?"
Next, we need to look at the office of the prophet. Today we have many who claim they are prophets, but are they the gift of God, or are they simply self-ordained. In Pentecostal circles, many claim to be prophets or evangelists. The leaders desire to be called `reverend'. All seem to want a flattering title. We need to look at the words of Elihu, the Spirit filled young man. When Job's three friends finished their discourse against Job, Elihu spoke against those who give flattering titles:
"Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing My Maker would soon take me away." Job 32:21-22
There is a very definite danger if we give flattering titles to men. How does this warning affect those who desire to be called reverend? An unknown Psalmist was inspired to write:
"He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: Holy and Reverend is His name." Psalm 111:9
There is only one who ever lived that sent redemption unto His people and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is to hold the title of Holy and Reverend. Those who desire to be called reverend want to share His glory. The prophet Isaiah recorded God's words:
"I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8
Our God is a jealous God, and He will not bless those who want to share His glory. All those who desire flattering titles do so to be high and lifted up before others. Paul informed those in the church at Rome:
"For I say, through the grace given unto Me, to every man that is among you, not to think of Himself more highly than He ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3
Today's prophets must speak by the Word of God. Jesus informed His disciples:
"But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." Mark 13:23
This has not changed. He has told us all things in the Old Testament. The Old Testament prophets prophesied "Thus sayeth the Lord." The New Testament prophets could only prophesy "The Lord hath said." Anything prophesied outside the Word of God is false prophecy. Any prophecy given must line up perfectly with the Word of God or it is false. The prophet Jeremiah spoke much about the false prophets of our day:
"Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart." Jeremiah 14:14
The prophets today in the church who are not a gift of God, prophesy lies, and a false vision out of the deceit of their own hearts. Jeremiah continues:
"I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;" Jeremiah 23:25-26
When man takes flattering titles such as "prophet", then he feels he is expected to prophesy. If God does not speak, he still prophesies anyway, out of the deceit of his own heart.
The next gift to man was the gift of evangelizing. Evangelists are generally part of the local church, but they do not have to be. Evangelists can or cannot hold a position in the local body. Generally, the evangelists are anointed and sent out by the local church, and supported by the local body. If the evangelist is sent over seas, their support may come from many churches. The evangelist has one job, and that is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. These generally only preach a salvation message to turn people to repentance. When converts are made, they become part of a local body. It is then the pastors' and teachers' jobs to shepherd and teach them the deeper things of God's Word, and how they are to walk to become pleasing to God.
Pastors and Teachers
The next two gifts God gave unto men were pastors and teachers. These are the leaders God has set in the local church body. These are called the elders or the overseers. There are two basic Greek words translated as `elders' and `overseers'. The first word is the Greek word PRESBUTEROS and is translated "elders." The second word is the Greek word EPISKOPOS and is translated "bishop or overseer." Both words have the same meaning.
The leaders who oversee the flock are in charge of the local body of Christ. The leadership can be made up of the apostle, prophet, pastor, teachers, and also perhaps the evangelist; but all are part of the eldership. The eldership is to be co-equal. When decisions are made concerning the local body of Christ, then all must be in agreement because God speaks with one voice. Therefore the number of elders can be of an odd number or an even number because it is not a majority rule. Majority voting is a democratic concept, but the body of Christ is a theocracy.
As stated before, the apostle is the one who begins the church. He can function as an elder or he can be sent out to start other churches. Most apostles are part of a local body. The Apostle Paul traveled extensively, but in some instances he became part of a local body, and stayed in some churches as part of their leadership for years until the young men could be raised up to take over the work of the ministry. As the apostle of the work, Paul returned to these churches to make sure everything remained in order.
The prophet can also be part of the eldership, although God may call them out to prophesy to other groups. But the backbone of the local church, once it is established, are the pastors and teachers. The Greek word for pastor is POIMEN and means "shepherd." The pastor is the shepherd of the flock.
The Greek word for teacher is DIDASKALOS and means "one who teaches the things of God." The pastor can be a teacher, the apostle can be a teacher, and likewise the prophet can be a teacher in the local body. All these positions are to be held by men, not women. In order to understand this we must look at the qualifications for leadership. To be in leadership one must meet the qualifications Timothy lists. Some of these qualifications are:
"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre: but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 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? Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." I Timothy 3:1-7
Again in Paul's letter to Titus, he lays out the qualifications for God's leadership:
"If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." Titus 1:6-9
There is another position in the church. It is not a position of authority, but a training ground for eldership, and that is the office of deacon. The Greek word for deacon is DIAKONEO and means "to serve, to wait tables." The deacons's job is a position where a man must learn to serve. His job is to serve, to wait tables, to keep the church property up, cut the grass, etc. The deacons are to do the laborous duties to free up the elders in leadership so they can devote their time to the Word and to ministry. The reason we know deacons are being trained as elders is because they are to fulfill the same qualifications as the elders. In his letter to Timothy, Paul gives us the qualifications of the deacons:
"Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre. Holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.
And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." I Timothy 3:8-12 & 15
There are twenty-five (25) qualifications listed by Paul which must be met in the leadership of the church if it is to be ruled properly and in order. The men in leadership must be men of high standards. They are to be looked up to as role models to those whom they oversee. Paul wrote to Timothy concerning these men of quality:
"Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the Word and doctrine." I Timothy 5:17
This is God's plan for His perfect order in the assemblies. It should be plain for all who will see, how God's perfect design will use the pastors and teachers to raise up the deacons who have a willing heart to serve in the eldership. And from the eldership, more apostles can go forth to set up more churches in proper order. The prophets are sent to confirm the Word and more elders are anointed and trained to operate the new assemblies. This is the way the early church operated, and from Jerusalem this idea spread the gospel all over the earth.
The miracles we witnessed in the early church could once again turn the world upside down. Prison gates and walls could not hold God's anointed. The anointing was so strong on Peter that the very aura of Peter's anointing healed the sick as he walked down the street. Man and wife dropped dead when they lied to the Holy Ghost. Miracles of healing and raising of the dead were commonplace. The manifestation of God's presence was in every home when they came together to break bread. Those who had a repentant heart were saved, then guided and directed by those who were the true leaders of God's church.
When we compare this with the way churches are run today, it is plain to see why there is no anointing in these out-of-order churches. The Pentecostals are one of the most out-of-order churches. They know what to say, but they do not do what they profess with their mouths. They operate on the one man, one plan basis. If they have eldership or deacon boards, they generally come into what is called shepherding. They claim to be the covering for the flock, and those who attend can do nothing without the permission of the elders or deacons. This was never God's plan for His church. The only covering any of His body needs is the Holy Spirit anointing. Any questions along these lines are answered in the revelation of the beloved John:
"But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him." I John 2:27
The Holy Spirit anointing is the teacher. Those who are mature enough to learn by the anointing are ready for leadership. Those who want to `lord over' God's people will be dealt with severely.
The old denominational church system does not have any set order. They simply operate by the precepts and doctrines of their founders. If someone would make a noise or add an `amen', it would completely disrupt the service. They truly believe silence is golden. How fooled they are, showing up each week, but starving for the Word of God. It is no wonder their dead system is failing and coming to nought.
God has set His order, and those who operate in His order will be blessed abundantly. When His order is not followed, then the hirelings must fleece the flocks to keep their works going.
Another reason God's blessing is not on the church is because they have made women pastors and elders in their man made systems. So when the Word is so clear that the leadership in the church is for men only, why does the hierarchy of the church insist on ordaining women to be pastors? Their claim is, that in God's sight there is no difference between the man and the woman. This erroneous belief comes from the mistaken application of Paul's letter to the churches at Galatia. Paul was referring to the law as our schoolmaster:
"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:25-28
Paul was writing that once we come into the faith we are no longer under the law of Moses. Paul continues that in Christ Jesus, there is neither Jew or Greek, bond or free, male or female. What Paul is saying is that all God's children are set free from the law by faith in Christ Jesus - - - both the Jew, the Greek, the bond, the free, no matter if one is male or female. No one should construe from this Scripture that God has done away with His creative order for the man or the woman. This absolute truth is proven throughout Scripture. When man sinned in the Garden, God spoke to Eve:
"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
Nowhere in God's Word does it state God has changed His mind from His original plan. In fact God's perfect plan is enhanced in the New Testament. To the church at Ephesus, Paul writes:
"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
If Christ is the head of the church, then the husband is still the head of the wife. To the church at Corinth, 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
To the church in Colossi, Paul writes:
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." Colossians 3:18
Paul made known to all the churches that God has not changed His mind about the relationship or the position of the woman. He wrote further to the church at Ephesus:
"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
The husband is to love his wife, but the woman is to reverence her husband. The word reverence means "to venerate or to be obedient to." Peter also gives us insight to the relationship between the man and the woman:
"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." I Peter 3:5-6
We need to remember all these Scriptures speaking about the husband and the wife have the same application as Christ does to the church. Stating again:
"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
So instead of God changing His mind as to the woman's place in the home and in the church, He has through the New Testament confirmed time after time His intended purpose for the woman, and that is to be an helpmate to the man.
Now, then, what is the order for women in the church? Paul gave direction to the church at Corinth:
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law." I Corinthians 14:34
The church at Corinth was a very out-of-order church. We will address more on the Corinthian church later. But as Paul directed, the women were to be silent in the church, and they were not permitted to speak or address the church. Paul wrote this same message to Timothy, who was an apostle that was to set order in the churches.
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." I Timothy 2:12
A woman was not to teach, nor were they to usurp the authority needed to be a teacher, elder, or pastor of the church. The word usurp means "to govern, to exercise dominion over."
It has been said Paul disliked women. If we believe that, and that he wrote these things because he disliked women, and was therefore not led by the direction of the Holy Spirit, then we would have to dismiss all of Paul's writings because we would believe Paul wrote by his own feelings, instead of being directed by the Holy Spirit. We would then have to dismiss what Paul wrote to Timothy in his second letter:
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" II Timothy 3:16
When we believe the Word of God, then we know all Scripture is given by the Spirit of God. Therefore our doctrine, direction, and our order must come from the Word of God. If we are true believers, then our correction and instruction in righteousness, too, must come from the Word of God; not man's teachings, not what man believes, but what he can prove by the Word of God.
As stated before, the church at Corinth was a very worldly church and it was very much out of order. In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul described the condition of the church:
"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto Spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. And I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" I Corinthians 3:1-3
The church in Corinth was a carnal church full of babies. Paul could only give them the milk of the Word. The church was full of envying, strife, and divisions, and they walked as men. This sounds like the church of today.
Paul gave direction to bring the church into order. One area in the Corinthian church that was very much out of order was the use of Spiritual gifts. This is true today in the churches that practice the Spiritual gifts. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth:
"Now concerning Spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." I Corinthians 12:1
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." I Corinthians 12:4
Then Paul reveals these nine Spiritual gifts:
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:" I Corinthians 12:8-10
Most of these Spiritual gifts are never used in the church today. There are five of these that are most used in the church: the word of knowledge, gifts of healing, prophecy, kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Let's examine these closely.
First the word of knowledge: This gift is exercised when the Spirit reveals something to the person who has this gift, concerning something in another person's life. Unfortunately, most times the gift of knowledge is thought of as the gift of prophecy. The two gifts are distinctly different.
Next is the gift of healing: This consists of praying for the sick with faith to believe they will be healed. The gift of healing was very prevalent in the early church, but it is exercised less and less in the modern church.
Next is the gift of prophecy: Many have this gift, but it does not mean they hold the office of a prophet. Philip, the evangelist, had four virgin daughters who prophesied, Acts 21:9. These had the gift of prophesy. This does not tell us where they exercised their gift, but we know the Bible states the women are to keep silence in the church. So we must assume Philip's daughters did not prophesy in the church.
The next gift is kinds of tongues: The word divers was not in the original text, but was added. So let's look at the kinds of tongues. The word kinds is the Greek word GENOS and means "kindred, nationality, and descent from a particular people." The word tongues is the Greek word GLOSEA and means "language or dialect used by a particular people, distinct from other nations." So tongues always means languages. Many times the Word speaks of unknown tongues. The word unknown was placed in italics which means it was added to the Scripture. The word unknown did not appear in the original text.
Lastly, of the five most used gifts in the church today, is the gift of the interpretation of tongues. The word interpretations is the Greek word HERMENEIA which means "to translate." So it is plain to see when the Bible speaks of tongues (languages), it is not what we hear spoken in the church today. What is spoken today is gibberish, and not the languages of different peoples.
This confused speech has deluded the people into thinking their speaking is from God. Every false religion, including the Mormon, the Jehovah Witness, and many of the eastern religions speak in tongues as a sign they are of God.
To understand the use of tongues, we must look at the Day of Pentecost. There were about one hundred and twenty gathered in the Upper Room when there came a mighty wind, and cloven tongues of fire sat upon each of them.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4
They were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues. The word other means "not of the same nature, form, or class." When we are filled with the Holy Ghost, the first thing that changes is our language. It does not necessarily mean they spoke a foreign language, but let's assume they did. Present at this time were Jews out of every nation under heaven, Acts 2:5.
Luke listed sixteen nations that were present. These spoke every language in the whole known world. We need to ask ourselves if there were one hundred and twenty people speaking at least sixteen different languages, how would you understand, or even hear, what was being spoken in your own language?
We need to realize what happened in the Upper Room was not a spontaneous happening. As Luke related, it was when this event was noised abroad. Luke recorded:
"Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language." Acts 2:6
We would say, "When this was talked about all over Jerusalem, then the multitude gathered to hear what was happening in the Upper Room." Every man was confounded because they heard what was being spoken in their own language. The multitude knew the one hundred and twenty were Galileans.
"And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans" Acts 2:7
How did those present know those speaking were from Galilee, if they were all speaking different languages? Those speaking must have been speaking the language of Galilee, but the multitude were hearing what was spoken in their own language. The men then questioned:
"And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Acts 2:8
Truly a miracle happened on the Day of Pentecost.
Number one: If the one hundred and twenty were speaking in their own language and the people heard in their own language, that was indeed a miracle.
Number two: If God gave the one hundred and twenty different languages and those present were able to hear and understand what was being spoken in their language, this, too, was a great miracle. If God could allow the hundred and twenty to give discourse in sixteen or more languages, we know God could translate the Galilean language in the hearers' ears. Again they proclaimed:
"Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." Acts 2:11
The one hundred and twenty were simply testifying of the wonderful works God had done in their lives. Three times it stated those from all over the known world heard what was being spoken in their own language.
The church at Corinth misused and abused these Spiritual gifts, and that is why Paul's letter was to bring order again into the church. Paul asked the church at Corinth:
"How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying." I Corinthians 14:26
Everyone who came into the gatherings had something to say. This sounds like some of the Pentecostal meetings we have all attended. Paul established an order as to how these Spiritual gifts are to be used in the assemblies:
"If any man speak in an (unknown) tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." I Corinthians 14:27-28
What then, of the meetings where all are standing, speaking in what they call their tongue, and it sounds like a bunch of meaningless babble? This is called exercising their tongue, and we wonder when we witness these out-of-order scenes, what God must think? The Holy Spirit let us know through Paul's writings what God thinks:
"If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?" I Corinthians 14:23
Whatever happened to Paul's direction for the order of having two, and at the most three, speak in tongues? If there was no interpreter, they were to keep silent in the church, I Corinthians 14:27-28. If asked, this out-of-order activity is explained as, "They are all praising God." How can God be praised if His order is violated. This out-of-order activity continues when the leader says, "Let us arise and begin to pray in tongues?" Whatever happened to the prayer of agreement? How can anyone agree with anyone's prayer, if they are all speaking? Jesus gives us directions:
"Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven." Matthew 18:19
Again, we wonder why there is no power in the church. It is because there is no prayer of agreement. Paul tried to inform the church at Corinth:
"For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." I Corinthians 14:14
Why would anyone pray if they did not have understanding of what they were praying for? The worship services have gotten so out of order, that one must wonder who they are worshipping, when the amplified instruments are turned up, and the people sing at the top of their voices with shouts of what is called praise, as if they must sing loud for God to hear them. Again they must have forgotten the words of Jesus when He promised:
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
We wonder if all the loud music and the shouts do not drive Him out of their midst? One really wonders how anyone can hear God's still, small voice in the midst of all the confusion?
Then Paul addresses the prophets:
"Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." I Corinthians 14:29-32
Only two, or at the most three, prophets are to speak; and all are to judge what has been spoken. Paul stated that all may prophesy - - - one by one - - - but he did not mean all at the same meeting. And yet, one after another gets up to prophesy, and many who prophesy are women, and no correction comes forth that they are out of order. Paul's next statement should make us all question what goes in today's services:
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." I Corinthians 14:33
Where there is confusion in the services caused by the misuse of the Spiritual gifts, then these meetings are not of God. Paul recognized this:
"Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine: And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle." I Corinthians 14:6-8
The trumpet Paul related to is the voice of the prophetic ministry, and truly the prophetic voice is giving an uncertain sound in our day. God's people are not preparing themselves for the battle ahead. Paul concluded his correction to bring the church at Corinth into order:
"If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." I Corinthians 14:37
Paul knew his corrections were the commandments of the Lord.
Paul tells us all five of the Spiritual gifts used in the church today are temporary:
"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." I Corinthians 13:8-10
Prophecies will fail. Tongues will cease. If there be knowledge, it will vanish away. Paul stated we only know in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which we only know in part will be done away. The word perfect means "maturity." When maturity comes into our lives, then the temporary Spiritual gifts will vanish away. When Paul came into maturity, he could look back at the beginning of his walk. When he did, he proclaimed:
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." I Corinthians 13:11
Paul had put away His childish understanding. He no longer spoke as a child. The church needs to put away their childish things, their toys of the Spirit, and move on to maturity, and demand the church come into order. Only then will God restore His power and His presence again in the church. We must remember Paul's words to the church at Corinth:
"Let all things be done decently and in order." I Corinthians 14:40
If order is not reestablished and restored quickly, then God will remove His candlestick. This He has already done in the old denominational orders who have quenched His Spirit over these many years. We need to heed the words of the prophet Jeremiah:
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people. Ye have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 23:1-2
But God has made promises to the backslidden church and to the overseers of the flock if they will only take heed and REPENT!
"Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed My voice, saith the Lord.
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." Jeremiah 3:12-15
Those who desire to go on into God need to get out of these out-of-order churches who fail to heed God's Word. God's desire is to bring you up to Zion, the high place in God. But He cannot do this as long as you follow leaders that do not know how to get there.
The way to Zion is not through worked up emotion. It is by being quiet and concentrating on God's Word and His direction given in His Word. When we do this, then God can show us His path to Zion, and the way we must walk to get there. Peter spoke to God's leaders of HIS (Christ's) church. Those who practice shepherding need to heed Peter's word to them:
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." I Peter 5:2-3
The elders must not oversee the flock by constraint. The word constraint means "by force." The overseer must not feed the flock for filthy lucre. It is not for what the overseer can get out of it, but doing their God-given job for the flock.
The elders are not to `lord over' the flock who are God's heritage. They are to be examples to the flock of a righteous and holy life. Too many leaders in the church today say, "Do as I say, not as I do." But this is hypocritical. The elders need to be examples of what they teach. Peter also informed us:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:17
Peter was an elder, and he stated, "If it first begin at us . . .". The time has come that judgment will begin at the house of God, and it will begin with the eldership. Peter asked, "What will be the end of those leaders who do not obey the gospel of God?" Those who fail to bring the church into order will suffer the severest punishment.
There is still time to move in the right direction, and set God's work and His inheritance in order. May God give you wisdom and understanding of the importance of God's Biblical order. May God bless you in your endeavor to become pleasing in the sight of God.
Click on the following related books:
Order in His
Proper order in the Eldership
Power, Authority, and Submission
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