ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
(continuation from: A Community of Election and Order)
Applying Church Government Now
Honor (value) thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which YHWH thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head,
and honor the face of the old man/ Presbyter (πρεσβυτερων),
and fear thy God: I am YHWH.
(G4245 Presbyter: (elderly); older, old one)
The first question in this series called “A Lawful community of Election and Order” was “Why Can’t we have community?”, and so I’ve devoted nearly a year, from many different angles to this important question that can be answered simply, Why? Because we do not accept the words of our united faith as it is delivered from Scripture alone.
And thus, I am convinced that if men could settle on this one point of doctrine honestly and truly they could unite to form the bases of a church community that would be much more resilient to the whiles of the Devil.
For in the life of a believer, in the life of one who is elect according to the foreknowledge of God, that is one who has been drawn by the father and given to the son by the power of the Holy spirit to a true and spiritual worship of God via Sola Scriptura / scripture Alone as the rule of life in demonstrating the absolute rule of law and grace, I had pointed out prior, this doctrine starts not with itself, but in fact with the Doctrine of Grace Alone and this is where the whiles of the devil and the surmising of deceived men by the whiles of the devil enveloped in Pride lose all grip hold as it reduces all to poor and needy recipients of God’s Grace.
And so in the event one is made proud by a doctrine that is non-systematic (that is it cannot fit into the system presented in the totality of Scripture, like a cog in the wheel of the mighty gears of a Swiss clock, non-systematic understanding old scripture create pride and throw the whole system into a halting jamb, or they by going through the gears occasionally and being aloud to do so through the system’s timing off in like manner according to the clock analogy.
By when we understand we needed grace to teach our heart to fear, when we needed grace to teach us how that fear is relieved in Faith, Scripture, Christ and YHWH God’s Glory all alone, we realize how poor and needed we are in fact if we are totally dependent on a free gift called Grace to wake us up like all who have experienced the same awakening.
This is why I’ve focused on this element to much in answering this question “What can’t we have community?” in bringing that question into the subject matter of Church Government where we are today ending.
Namely, because if the heads of homes (fathers) that are to be the God ordained authority of families , of which are to comprise the presbytery (the elder / old men) of the collection of men 20 years old and up ward all who are able to go forth to war in Israel, and if from those presbyters an Episcope or Bishop is to be appointed over those men in every unit of 10, of 50, and of 10 units of 100, unto a Captain over 1000 men, all 20 years old and up ward able to go forth to war in Israel- that man must be a man of faith in Scripture which teaches Christ and God’s glory knowing such faith in all this is not a product of good breeding alone, not a product of good schooling alone and is not a product of life experience alone, but is a product of God’s Grace Alone and in fact derived from nothing than one grain of Grace bestowed upon him that has become a mighty tree in the field of God’s kingdom.
If you lose this Israel, you lose it all, you lose the bread crumb trail back to the house of God, you lose the message of regeneration and reduce it to a message of your own doing and good works, rather than retaining in every victory and defeat
“Christ in you the hope of Glory”.
Without this fundamental doctrine settled before all else two men, let alone 10 men can never accept each other even if kindred relatives as brothers willing to die together on the common field of battle, as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ, because the sectarianism of pride and the inability to accept a brother that differs from you on any matter will be unfit in your eyes to call him brother in fact- an as a repercussion you will both die alone, even if each say “We believe in scripture alone!” You will die alone believing in your differences,
when the enemy comes against you like a flood, because the Spirit of the LORD was not lifted up as a standard against him.
There must exist in every unit a joint resolution that
the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith YHWH. Isa_59:20
And so how does a community compact in times of peace and adversity?
By jointly declaring YHWH’s Covenant in their units, and accepting that there are differences but that we desire YHWH God to say of us
“My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, …from henceforth and forever.
That together we can sing :
Isa_60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon us, and his glory shall be seen upon us.
If this isn’t our joint resolution…THERE WILL BE NO COMMUNITY.
And so in Ending this study, what of Now?
What of new when we can scarce find 10 men 20 years old and up ward of 10 families and kindred’s to do this let alone 10 men of 1 common father to rally around the 5th commandment in a familial fervor?
That is the sad place we find ourselves in in this day and age.
The sheep of our tribes have been ravished by wolves set on feeding from the flock, as well selfish desires of father’s and mother’s have scattered the their own children, daughters not marring and sons not becoming godly men has led to this state of affairs in Israel.
The destruction of our flock come by the denial of 1 fundamental point expressed through out this bible study and that is the 5th Commandment of God’s Law taken seriously by Fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers aunts and uncles and lastly by the sons and daughters under the age of 20.
In fact upon the biblical examination of the commandment we know that this law does not speak to the toddler to honor parents, it does not speak to the adolescent or the teen even as much as it does the father and mother themselves to be the example to children God’s Law has called them to be by the effervescent work of God’s free grace if indeed they have been bestowed with it.
Because of the failures of the family and extended family, so called evangelists and teachers (perhaps with good intent) have allured your children to a doctrine where the 5th commandment is little more than a mantra, a number in the 10 words, because of parents failures this command is not biblical reality offering security by the promise of God
“that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
, that because a people whose God is the LORD in fact are a people whose land is preserved, their inheritance is preserved by the value they place upon their parents and their parentage and this will not be taught as part of a proper church Government by anyone who senses that such a system might dissolve their pulpit and offering plate.
Biblical Church Government rather sees the place of the giving of some as…
Eph_4:11 apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
That is for:
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 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:
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
And so the doctrine of every apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers must be to
Eph 4:15 speaking the truth in love,
that this redeemed people, called the church:
may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
This is the job of the kingdom builder, not to promote himself but to promote the church, the family and the at becoming a mighty kingdom.
The Apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, pastor and teacher is but the handy man of the kingdom, not the master but the servant, not the head but the head doctor, and each has his place in the unit he belongs to. Having spiritual tools given him by God he will use those tools first on his own self and family of course, but he will share his abilities with others, not to keep himself as a definite part over every person’s life (except for in friendship and brother hood of course) but he seeks to help establish, fix and guide and then be on his way.
Even in the case of the local Pastor who is like a shepherd to the flock of his family, a father or grandfather, a great uncle or uncle.
You must consider what a shepherd did in the days of Christ and prior, we have seep, we have fences- they did not. Some people grain feed sheep to keep them together- this was not a time of this practice.
Rather a shepherd or Pastor depended on some key items, his sling, his staff and his dog. and he moved his sheep around to new pasture and kept them together and protected them from wolves and bears and other predators.
A Pastor was a protector primarily and a safe keeper of the sheep, sheep generally are able to find their own grass and vegetation without his help, and that is the problem, them grazing another shepherds pasture.
And so a shepherd must also at times keep other sheep from grazing his flocks field, that is keep the neighboring flocks out of the pasture of his heritage or inheritance.
Even a father or uncle in this position must be mindful of his job and place, because if the predators are at bay, then what of the sheep ? and what of the field ?
And so my point is this to get back to the question “What about Church government now?”, these things need repaired, fixed and left alone for local Pastor of families to manage while all being brothers.
In Shepherding terminology, do what God has appointed you to do, regardless of what time we are in and then step out of the way until you are called upon, do not graze in another mans pasture more than your work in his flock affords.
Does not the Law say by this allegory?
Exo_22:5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.
Thus Pastors need be careful of assuming too much responsibility and proclaiming such as ‘authority’, and worse as ordained ‘power’, for the Lord will avenge this allegory.
And worse of the prophet who is desirous to call down fire from heaven to devour another’s 10 and his 50 2Ki_1:9 Luk_9:54
Exo_22:6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
These know not as James and John
what manner of spirit ye are of.
Not knowing that
… the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. Luk_9:56-55
And thus he that kindled of the fire of his own means shall surely make restitution: For the Lord will avenge this allegory also.
And with that What are we to do as we have scarcely the numbers to number a properly devised church even near the lawful model presented in the New testament?
We need to recognize the need for changing this unhappy situation, NOW.
And we need to practice this order with who we have.
Some of us may need to leave where we are to be part of what will in 1 generation or 2 be a proper unit of 10…it doesn’t take long with a genesis 1:26-28 mindset
But this requires a change in cultural mentality as we have received it in our 20th and 21st century mindset. We need the mind of Christ on these matter a mentality more a kin to what our fathers did in leaving Europe for America, Like Moses:
Heb_11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: having respect of the recompense of the reward.
And because so many of us find ourselves not in family units with a father or grandfather or uncle or great uncle even able to command the respect of his son and brethren, sadly (because of the ministerial neglect of this issue by the apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers, we must recon our selves at this time as those in need of a military order, a martial law of God so to speak until Lawful order is reconstructed in families of 10’s, 50’s, 100’s and 1000’s .
This is must be able to happen when individuals and families unite together though they have no familial bond of relationship by a common father which they have personal knowledge of.
Because the lawful model is a Father or G. Father a Uncle or G. Uncle that is head of your unit of 10 in a peaceful situation, tis is the goal and aim for the first generation to achieve … this is the goal.
But because we are so scattered at this time, and dishonorable at this time and ignorant of the Laws of God at this time we need special measures to fight this battle as soldiers.
No matter how spiritually you look at these issues facing the family and Church, what is before us is a war, a predator and prey scenario with our sons and daughters as the prey, and I think it is for this cause when we ask the question of how to organize the Church before we have proper lawful requirements we are lead to examples of warfare and not to those of peace in Israel’s history to see such occur:
Let us consider the time when the Lord chose a man to deliver Israel when they were beaten and small, and sinful, and a general call was used by an Apostolic call of Gideon:
Jdg_6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.
Jdg 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.
Jdg 6:35 And he sent messengers [LXX. messengersG32 he sent]G1821
throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
At this small example of Gideon endowed by the spirit of the Lord we see him calling out to his family the Abiezrites who were of the tribe of Manasseh and then sending messengers to the other tribes and it is in this formation that we see a time when those of other families and tribes are under the Oversight of a non-congenial relative, though of Israel and all congenial relatives in that sense, they are not of the same paternal tribe and thus we have a military order needed to produce Headship at this time with Gideon as the Judge of this army.
It is in this way and not in the familial way the Apostles are called Overseers also, the very word Apostle being the exact idea of the Greek LXX of the men of Abiezra ‘sending messengers to” the other tribes…
But these are temporary measures, not primary measures, that is that the man who is Head among a church of non-congenial relatives is not the head once the non- emergency measures expire by the fulfillment of the normative arrangement of civil 10, 50, 100, 1000…
This is very much what we find in most churches where multiple families come together for worship on a day presumed as holy.
And the Structure of the Presbyterian church of the modern type is only deficient in that it’s presbyters are not lawfully qualified in some sects and in representation of a man’s family, having a wife and children whereby he is
known to have 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?)1Ti_3:4-5
And it is here that we may best find our place of Reform, to structure ourselves as families bound together in anticipation of a better situation, more lawfully.
That is that if individuals and families who are not truly related, but are of a common heritage and culturally submissive to the word of God by covenantal measures can compact together as if they are an army preparing for the battle under the mighty hand of the Lord, to go out against their enemies, as men 20 years old and above who are able men ready to go forth to war in Israel having sword allegiance to his church unit, and father’s of families and heads of homes as men who know how to preside over his own house, with his wife and children submissively under him as a Presbyter, and of these that one of these is taken from the 10 to be a captain over the covenantal unit, as a Shepherd and or Pastor as David was when he fled from Saul over the men who followed him to the caves and holes of the wilderness (not when he was at peace living among his own kindred) , or as Ezra an Nehemiah was in the time of the captivity where Ezra taught the men of Israel how to repent effectively, and Nehemiah organized the construction of the place of worship for the Messiah to Come, if these can covenantally come together as a militarized unit to support one another, to help reconstruct what must be made organically, Never to replace it!, then perhaps such a future exists that can weather the storms and battles to come.
But listen, these are temporary means we are speaking of! If the Church again gets stuck in the mentality of ‘going to church’ and that the church looks like men and women singing and a preacher preaching, a pastor presiding, and Elders holding money plates, this situation will fail yet again. The Church are the people who hear the call and trust in the word of God, the law of Moses as the Rule of Law and they support the Law where so ever it leads so long as the Gospel of the Grace Jesus is preached as the only affective means of salvation before all else.
Listen to me as I finish up, Though a man may covenant or make an agreement to allow another man’s sheep to pasture in his field, that sheep is not owned by that man.
Let me offer one more allegorical understanding of a realistic law to serve our minds again in this example before we close as it pertains to adoptive Pasturing:
Deu_22:1 Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother.
Deu 22:2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again.
Deu 22:3 In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother’s, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself.
Deu 22:4 Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.
And so let me end with this citation, which I interpret according to biblical law prior ordained by Moses in regards to this family based, Organic Church Government a Presbyterian episcopate of Election and Order, that which Peter speaks of here in these verse, but also to be case understood even by those who have under them non-family members in their fold, those who maybe not of the family church they are naturally ordained to be Elder and Pastor of, but are taking care of thy brother’s sheep who is fallen down under the weight of sin heavy laden in this present evil world:
1Pe_5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
1Pe 5:2 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;
1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.