PART 3 ABUSE OF TRUST

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 9:15am

PART 3 ABUSE OF TRUST

CHAPTER 4

FOUNDATIONAL SCRIPTURES FOR THE TESTED LEADERSHIP MODEL
I am going to reintroduce the same scriptural sections that were looked at from the mandatory leadership model, along with the related characteristics or perspectives that were generated. However, the original content will be condensed, so if you need to have a more thorough understanding of the content of any scripture, please review the section where it was first introduced. As the material is re-read, it will become more engrained in the mind. The question that we will seek to answer is, “Will the tested leadership model use the same scriptures to support their doctrinal view on the topic at hand?” Why is this important? As mentioned earlier in this study, a believer should know the “why” behind the teachings of one’s church, recognizing the verse or verses used to support a view.

Will the verses that are used provide a perspective that is entirely different from one leadership model to another? If so, then it is likely that the teaching concerning a believer’s requirements for their walk with God will be different. I hope you caught what was just said. The accepted leadership model determines the requirements of a believer’s walk with God. The theology of the church in which one is engaged is determined by the verses used to support their teachings.

Just to remind us again. What is the tested leadership model? In this model, input is encouraged from the attendees relating to church theology, church functions, church participation, etc. All of the assembly is expected to examine whatever is taught from the pulpit. This model will interpret scriptures from a dispensational view with scriptures taken from the book of Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation along with some references to verses from the Age of Christ’s Incarnation (Gospels) that support a view on a topic of the Church Age as long as it was clear that these verses were written for that time period.

So let’s get started. A topic will be presented in the form of a question, followed first by the verses taken from the mandatory leadership modelused to justify it, as well as a condensed review of the characteristics generated by this model. Thenwe will look at verses from the tested leadership model that are used to justify it concerning the same topic, as well as the characteristics generated by this model.Will the perspective about this topic be different? We’ll see.

TOPIC: SHOULD EVERYTHING THE LEADERSHIP TEACHES BE ACCEPTED AS GOD’S WORDS, WITHOUT EXAMINING THE SCRIPTURES?

The Mandatory Leadership Model

And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush:
Suggested Reading: Exodus 1:1-2:15; Exodus 3:1-4:12

Moses was asked by the angel of the Lord to bring the Israelites out from their bondage in Egypt. He had to go to Pharaoh and request their release for three days so they could go in into the wilderness and sacrifice to their God. The angel also said that he should go before the elders of the children of Israel and convey to them His name, His Mission, and His Plan for deliverance.

The Mandatory Leadership Model Characteristic
Leaders in the New Testament church have the same authority as Moses did. In the same way that Moses heard the message for Pharaoh from God directly, so doesthe leadership of the New Testament church receive instruction directly from God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This infers that members should receive whatever those in leadership teach the assembly as being God’s words, obeying without hesitation. (Exodus 1:1-2:15; Exodus 3:1-4:12)

The Tested Leadership Model

Hear now, ye rebels:
Suggested Reading: Numbers 20:1-12

Moses did not deliver everything that was conveyed to him by God to the people.The children of Israel, residing in Kadesh, could find no water to drink so they complained to Moses and Aaron, who immediately went to the tabernacle of the Lord to seek His counsel. Then the Lord told Moses to take the rod, speak before a particular rock, and water would come forth, and Moses initially did as God requested. However, instead of speaking to the rock as instructed, he called the children of Israel rebels and questioned them as if to say, “Who are you to be demanding that we bring you water out of this rock?” He proceeded to hit the rock twice with the rod.

8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

Surely, when the people heard what Moses had to say, they didn’t think that his words were not from God. How would they know any better? Water did come out of the rock, but God spoke to Moses and Aaron and said that because of what they did they would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. This evidences the fact that those in leadership will not always restate God’s directives exactly as they were conveyed to them. Another example of this is found in the New Testament book of Galatians.

Peter…was to be blamed:
Suggested Reading: Galatians 2:1-14.

Certain Jewish believers, who commentators believe were in the Jerusalem church headed by the apostle James, came to Antioch and saw Peter eating food with Gentile believers. They had an issue with that, so they decided to direct Peter and the Jewish membership to stop eating with the Gentiles unless they began following the tenets of the Law. Whatever the specifics of the demands were, Peter consented, the result being that he endorsed the complete and final separation of the combined fellowship, including the common meal eaten at church, the love-feast, and meals eaten at the homes of the Gentiles9. Paul rebuked (blamed) Peter in regard to this when he publicly confronted him before the Jewish brethren at Antioch.

11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Apparently, Peter had accepted a wrong perspective or false teaching, and a fellow believer approached him about it. With this in mind, how does the assembly know if what those in leadership are teaching is the truth?

Ye need not that any man teach you:
1 John 2:27

The Holy Spirit, which the believers have received of Christ, abides (has taken up permanent residency) in them. While it is true that God has given some in the church an office gift of teaching, the same anointing (the person of the Holy Spirit) will teach (endue us with judgment and discernment; the corrector and approver of doctrine; he alone can be a witness to himself, so as to convince our hearts that what our ears receive has come from him10) each believer so that they will be able to recognize error.

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.

Along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, each believer in the assembly should also test the teaching they have heard by searching the Bible for themselves, according, to Acts 17:11,to determine if what was said is true.

Searched the scriptures daily:
Suggested Reading: Acts 17:1-14

In this instance, Paul and Silas had left Thessalonica and arrived in the city of Berea. They entered the synagogue and preached the gospel, finding that the Bereans were willing to listen and examine whether or not the Old Testament promises and types corresponded with the alleged fulfillment in the person, work, and sufferings of Jesus Christ. They made a careful and exact research against the scriptures in order (to) see if what Paul had said agreed with what the Scriptures said11.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

In like manner, each believer should make a careful and exact comparison of the scriptures concerning the teachings of those in leadership. Such research should be examined exegetically (hermeneutically), which refers to scriptural interpretation based on an analysis of grammatical features and historical background. Why would it be necessary for a Christian to do this if every word from leadership is from God?

In the Old Testament, Moses received the words that he spoke to the people directly from God. In other words, he received direct revelation from Him. ‘Revelation’ can refer to God revealing something by words that was not previously known. Likewise, in the New Testament newly revealed truths were conveyed to certain individuals. Over time, they were written down and eventually compiled in one book, the Bible, the completed canon of scripture.

Since there are no new revelations of truth, the leadership does not receive revelation directly from God anymore. However, since each believer has the Holy Spirit residing within, the Spirit does provide illumination of the truths already revealed, which means that He helps to make these truths clear. If those in leadership receive illumination from the Holy Spirit concerning their teaching or preaching, along with operating in the spiritual qualities of the Holy Spirit, then we can say that what they are conveying is anointed. However, like the apostle Peter, there are times when a leader’s perception, and hence decision about a church-related issue, is unbiblical, which infers that his/her teachings are not always scripturally sound, and subsequently are not anointed. The characteristic or perspective generated is as follows.

The Tested Leadership Model Characteristic
The decisions that leadership makes, as in the case of Peter, are not always scripturally correct.

It’s interesting that by using these scriptures (Galatians 2:1-14; 1 John 2:27; Acts 17:1-14), the conclusions of differing leadership models concerning the topic at hand differ. What comes to mind is that if you are operating under the tested leadership model it is likely that those in leadership will not be using the words, “Thus saith the Lord,” following their spoken words. Why? Because the leadership no longer receives direct revelation from God, but illumination from the Holy Spirit.

TOPIC: CAN THE TEACHINGS AND DECISIONS MADE BY THOSE IN LEADERSHIP BE QUESTIONED?

The Mandatory Leadership Model

Korah and his men:
Suggested Reading: Numbers 16:1-49

Korah, along with 250 men, have come before Moses to complain that the office of the high priesthood should be made available to the entire congregation. According to them, Moses had no right to bestow the priesthood upon Aaron and his sons. They also accused him of being a self-appointed ruler. Moses told Korah and his men to meet him the following day before the door of the tabernacle of the Lord. When they arrived, Moses told the congregation to separate themselves from Korah and his men, adding that if what Korah and his men had said was true then no harm would come to them, but if what they had said was not spoken truthfully, God would consume them. As soon as Moses finished speaking, the ground opened up and consumed Korah and his men.

The Mandatory Leadership Model Characteristic
This model holds that people in leadership are not to be criticized or questioned. If they are off doctrinally, and subsequently in the decisions they make, God will deal with them directly. This view allows those in leadership to promulgate doctrinal views and make decisions that are considered by them to be absolute, meaning that their teachings and decisions are God-sanctioned, and are not to be second-guessed. Disagreement with the teachings and subsequent decisions equates to not following God’s man, and thus isa refusalto follow God as well.

The Tested Leadership Model

It is true that in the Old Testament the discipline of the leaders was from the Lord. They were accountable only to Him, and God used various means to convey his displeasure—whether by the prophets, an angel, a donkey, etc. What if a believer thinks that the decisions and subsequent teaching or preaching of someone in leadership is false? How should this be handled? Let’s look again at Galatians 2.

Peter…was to be blamed:
Suggested Reading: Galatians 2:1-14

As stated earlier, the Apostle Peter’s decision to agree with those Jewish believers from the Jerusalem church that compelled the Gentiles to live as the Jews was not scripturally correct. According to Acts 15, an epistle was written and given into the care of four men; Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas; who would go to the churches of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia and read the epistle, informing them that the Gentile believers did not need to be circumcised in order to be saved; nor did they have to keep the law of Moses. It is believed that this occurred around the time when Paul rebuked Peter for his wrong actions before the entire church. Because Peter’s offense occurred in public, a public reproof was warranted.

But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? Galatians 2:14

Peter’s wrong perspective resulted in him making a scripturally incorrect public decision that affected many believers. The apostle Paul, a fellow believer, approached him about this in a public forum before the entire church because he was to be blamed (condemned). Our question becomes, what if a person in leadership makes an ungodly decision against a fellow believer in a non-public setting? How should this be addressed?

If thy brother shall trespass against thee:
Matthew 18:15

To review, some of the scriptures that were unveiled in the Gospels are to be used for the next dispensation, the Church Age, for the implementation of God’s plan for those who have repented of their sins, believed in Christ, and subsequently received the indwelling Holy Spirit. This verse is one of them.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Simply put, if someone in leadership makes a scripturally incorrect decision against a fellow believer personally in a non-public manner; then this individual can approach the person in leadership alone, privately, in order to resolve the issue. The characteristic or perspective that can be generated in regard to the question of whether or not teachings and decisions made by those in leadership can be questionedis as follows.

The Tested Leadership Model Characteristic
The example of Peter’s correction in public by Paul in Galatians 2:1-14 and the instruction in Matthew 18:15-17 regarding the settling of disputes make it obvious that the characteristics and/or perspectives of the tested leadership model are entirely different from those of the mandatory leadership model in regards to this topic. Which model are you under, and is this the one that will promote your spiritual growth? In the next chapter we will continue to address topical questions from the tested leadership model.

Endnotes
9Weust’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament PC Study Bible version 5, 2005, 04 Nov. 2014 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
10Calvin's Commentaries PC Study Bible version 5, 2006, 05 Nov. 2014 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
11UBS New Testament Handbook Series PC Study Bible version 5, 2005, 06 Nov. 2014
˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.

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