Work of the Ministry vs Denominational Professionalism
What do we learn from the boys at DTS and other Scofield devotees. (We could easily call them children, because any such pastors and teachers that are tossed about by winds of doctrine like the heresies of the criminal Scofield are called by the Word in Ephesians 4 as children.). 15
Here in talking about the one body, the church, reconciled to God by the cross of Christ, these members and fellow citizens of the kingdom simultaneously become members of both the kingdom of God and of the church.. 20
It is obvious that as Jesus is talking to his fellow Jews, minus the Pharisees who have not found the kingdom, they are already members of the kingdom and not like the Gentiles. Of course in Acts and other places in the Bible, the necessity of “repentance” is added to the requirements for membership in the church which was growing rapidly among the Jews immediately after Jesus. 20
Scofield followers in their choice of the kingdom of the Pharisees over Jesus’ kingdom have chosen to line up in theology and doctrine with the Pharisees. Jesus pronounced 7 woes on the Pharisees:. 31
DTS graduates like Jeffress, Jeremiah, and MacArthur will not admit it, but they definitely share common eschatological beliefs with the Pharisees. The Pharisees were the good ole boys of their days, a movement among and for the people, and today that DTS trio in large and popular pulpits has a similar position among Southern Baptist people in spite of being known by their DTS status as Scofield followers. In their high-priced suits of millionaires which all 3 are, they even have the clothing dress appearance of the Pharisees, which were famous for their robes and paraphernalia. A thing that is so different today is that these men feel so secure in their status they are also comfortable to preach on the 3 favorite subjects of Scofieldism—rapture, millennium, and dispensationalism. In fact, we would have to say unfortunately that these 3 subjects have come to dominate eschatological thought. What common beliefs on eschatology do this dynamic trio share with Pharisees. I think if we list the eschatological beliefs of the Pharisees in the first century, you will begin to see and appreciate the similarities, of course realizing that the Pharisees were replaced by the Rabbis who hold the same conservative Jewish beliefs.
- God redeems the Jewish people from the captivity that began during the Babylonian Exile, in a new Exodus
- God returns the Jewish people to the Land of Israel
- God restores the House of David and the Temple in Jerusalem
- God creates a regent from the House of David (i.e. the Messiah) to lead the Jewish people and the world and usher in the Messianic Age, an age of justice and peace
- All nations recognize that the God of Israel is the only true God
- God resurrects the dead
- God creates a new heaven and a new earth
They also had a carnal view of the Messianic kingdom which included the following:
1. Messiah would come in the flesh and destroy Rome and the apostate Jewish sects such as the Essenes and establish them as the rightful heirs of the Kingdom.
2. Messiah would destroy all the Gentiles.
3. The OC Mosaic Law of Moses would continue in the age to come.
4. Some believed that when Messiah came, He would recapitulate Israel’s history and thus usher in a second or new exodus by which Messiah would have a 40 years transitionary reign from their “this [OC] age” to the “age [NC or Messianic] about to come.”
5. The kingdom would be physically seen and set up in a geographical location.
6. All of this would be fulfilled during the time of the fourth world Empire (Rome) per the prophecy of Daniel.
There is just plain no simple explanation apart from the Word of God in II Timothy 4 as to why good men like Jeffress, Jeremiah, and John MacArthur go astray on doctrine with the Scofield and DTS heresies, which are so far away from “the faith once for all delivered to the saints”. You must however look beyond them to the audience that made them what they are, because the falling away is a grass roots movement. Unsound doctrine first gets a foothold among the people and then spreads to the leaders. If you are willing you can see that in the words of II Timothy 4:3,4.
Church members in time just plain tire of sound doctrine, the right way not longer appeals to them and they wander to something new, novel, and dangerous, Of course, you might say the minister before did not do a very good job because he did not preach the word sufficiently which is talked about in the previous verse—
The previous ministry to his people preached words other than the Bible, or his ministry was not consistent in season and out of season, or could have been he was too nice and did not reprove and rebuke, or perhaps he tired with longsuffering and doctrine, not exhorting the people enough on sound doctrine. From years of experience as interim pastor of many churches, I prefer this latter theory, in numerous churches from testing on sound doctrine I have found that church people simply drift away from sound doctrine in favor of something that is not bad but insufficient, like major doctrines of read your Bibles, go to church, visit, and so on the repeats of the Sunday school slips. There is another big factor among the people of God I have noticed during these years of the falling away, that is the toleration of the American Democratic faith. That is, the people of God fear that if they are too dogmatic it will turn others off and they will lose a friend.
Regardless unless we are going to go counter to the Word of God in the 42 words of II Timothy 4:3,4, we have to admit that first the people of God go astray and take the minster down with them so to speak. The people are the first in a grassroots movement to develop an endurance against sound doctrine, the minister would notice and be sensitive to that occurrence even without words being spoken on the subject. It is not simple among the people as with any people movement, they become motivated by their own WANTS or DESIRES. II Timothy 4:3,4 expresses it in so few words, that we almost miss the significance—” but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers…”
I can best illustrate denominational professionalism as used here by a true story that happened to me in the Mansfield Methodist Hospital.
Why is it the best Christian witnesses are the cleaning ladies. In the hospital room recently, a friendly lady was cleaning and talking about Bible matters. She was particularly concerned that her grandkids and others do things to get ready because of the apocalyptic events going on now. In the extended best ever conversation, she told of how her priest would not give the last rites to her mother because she was behind on her tithe and she stopped going to that church, rather depending on something else she knew she had in a personal relationship. I agreed with her she had it and it was an unseen membership in the body of Christ. Actually a priority of membership, especially in times when organized religion (denominations) would let her down. We all are members of the one body of Christ written in heaven, and that is the body of Christ spoken of in Ephesians 4:12 that is to be built up as the saints are equipped for the work of the ministry. It is a body or church of Christ mentioned often in Ephesians.
Not only is this priest, and I am sure typical of most, obviously well qualified as a Pharisee but an extreme example of denominational professionalism. He is not even being Christian, but he is upholding the tenets of his denomination, and he would be considered a real professional.
Southern Baptist are even worse. If a Christ authorized teacher in a local church were to go on a mission for 6 months, he would when he came back not recognize the workflow in his church so much unauthorized from Christ would have flowed into his church of new programs. Where in the workflow of the ministry from Christ to Bible (prophets and apostles) to evangelists to pastors and teachers do you find denominational workers and board members? The answer is you do not find them anywhere in the workflow of from Christ to the churches down to evangelists, pastors and teachers. Even Baylor is going to start exering itself in the workflow of the ministry, of all things at the beginning replacing Christ, the Bible, evangelists, pastors and teachers. No good and illegal New Testament. Bad, becaus Baylor has learned to be of the world and worldly. DTS is even worse inserting itself into the workflow of southern baptist and Christ.. Another extreme example of denominational professionalism Among Protestants would be of a local church that withholds the Lord’s supper from those members of the body of Ghrist.
Southern Baptist just can not get it right that there is one universal church of all born agin Christians and that body of Christ is be given both a preeminence in theology and the work of the ministry. I recall in the 50’s a miserable book, the work of many prominent and active pastors, came out that was flop from the beginning. The reader could find little or no connection to the Bible, and surprised many of us because working pastors could not better define the church and churches. When so many SBC preachers hold that false position that there is no universal church called the body of Christ, as part of their denominational professionalism, there is little hope southern baptist can either write a book on the church or adequately represent it in the world. Of course, the active beyond their numbers DTS graduates and other Scofield mites with their strains of theology that must separate the kingdom from the one body of Christ, there is little hope of a unity of agreement.
Brethren, we must face up to one church, the body of Christ before we can have an adequate Bible ministry.
In Ephesians 1:22,23, unmistakably it is “the church”, and as surely as God the Father has put all things under the feet of Christ, made him to be the head of all things, it is to the benefit of the church. The church is His body.
Notes on the kingdom of God and the one church the same, or as good as the same as much as humans reading the Word of God can know and tell. It is the most gigantic mystery of all revealed in the words of the Bible..
An Introduction, Part I of II, of how the Forever Kingdom and the Church as the One Body of Christ is the same.
That can easily be proven by a comparison in Ephesians of what it means to be “In Christ” or to “Learn Christ” properly and the characteristics of kingdom membership in the Sermon on the Mount.
Some general differences between Ephesians and the Sermon on the Mount are obvious:
1. While Ephesians is obviously more oriented to the Christ, the Sermon on the Mount is to the Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Father. Of course in Matthew as yet Christ had not died and been resurrected so it was not possible for Him to take over the headship of the body of Christ. Christ also made no demands on Israel to believe in Him or to follow Him or even to acknowledge Him as the Christ, the Son of God in the Sermon, it was all pray to the Father and acknowledge the Father.
2. There is a point in history when the kingdom has to become one with the body of Christ, that is when in I Corinthians Christ delivers the kingdom to God the Father, that God may be all in all.
“24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all”
Surely most of us did not realize that the END can not come until Christ has mastered all authorities and powers on earth.
3. Jesus came preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, centered around what it is now with God the Father, then after the big announcement on how “I will build my church”, an announcement of the body of Christ and the Cross, the gospel became more the gospel of the church and Christ, then finally when the Lord Jesus Christ puts all authority in this world under His feet. He will deliver the whole works-kingdom and church to God the Father, that the Father might be all in all. The gospel is in sort of two stages which Scofield and his followers were trying to understand when they came up with, with assistance of Satan, with dispensations. We like the two gospel stages—before the announcement of the Church and after the announcement of the church, to prevent the heresies and trying to impose on the whole Bible a system of dispensations.
For 40 days after the resurrection Jesus taught the disciples “the things pertaining to the kingdom”, and I like to think those teachings through the first disciples and then Paul who was designated to be the chief editor of the NT, those eschatological teachings of Jesus would be incorporated in Ephesians, Mark, and Luke.
We can not emphasize too much the significant turning point in the history of the gospel, naturally made by Jesus Himself, when He announced, “I will build my church.” You do not find subjects like church, body of Christ, cross, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation in the Sermon on the Mount, because they were not possible until the Cross. After that the message of the gospel became, “Come and See” the Rivers of Living Water.” Of course, it always remained “the gospel of the power of God unto salvation” which Paul reminds us of in the first of Romans (1:28).
“13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not [g]prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth [h]will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.” (Matthew 16:13-19)
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