Monday, 29 December 2014


A friend of mine told me he once said to God: "Do you expect me to work with these pastors?!"

And the Lord replied, "Well you find me better ones".

New Heavens and Earth in Isaiah

Isaiah 65 & 66 mentioned the temple, the mountain, offerings, priests, Levites, pilgrimages to Jerusalem for worship, prohibitions against pork - and other geographical place-names besides Jerusalem are also mentioned.

All of which was distinctly Old Covenant. It described Israel's return from captivity.

If these chapters instead describe at length the new heavens and earth as some say, then the new heavens and earth must have been created at the return from captivity!

It's likely therefore that the future new heavens and new earth were mentioned in these passages - to the faithful in Israel, pre-captivity -  in order to encourage their spirits.

As surely as God is able to create new heavens and a new earth, and as permanent as they shall be, so was God promising to restore Israel after their captivity.

And He did! Literally, historically, on the ground in Israel, and for Israelites.

Any extended application we make of the passage to the Gentile Church is only possible because there was first a direct historical fulfilment in Israel and for Israel.

House Churches

Successful house churches in persecuted countries still have a recognised and ordained leadership.

The reason they started meeting in houses instead of in public buildings was only because such a move was made necessary by their persecutors - it wasn't because they resented leadership at all.

In developed countries however it seems some home groups have started precisely because they resented a certain leadership style, and in seeking to correct it, they eliminated recognised and ordained leadership altogether, and seek to function without such organisation. 

But some important church activities require a certain amount of organisation - and that requires LEADERSHIP.

"...God hath set some in the church...GOVERNMENTS..."

"...the elders that RULE..."

"Take heed all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you OVERSEERS"

"And he gave some...pastors..."

"Obey them that have the RULE over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account..."

Even practical matters, not just the spiritual affairs of a church, required the appointment of qualified people:

"Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may APPOINT over this business."

(Acts 6:3; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; I Timothy 5:17; I Corinthians 12:28.)

The goal for every pioneering work therefore ought to include the goal that the group matures to the point of having qualified, recognised and appointed overseers and helpers. 

When such roles are carried-out faithfully, the whole church benefits.

All of us therefore ought to desire to relate in a healthy way to pastors and appointed helpers. 


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