The Role of the Pastor-Teacher
This morning, we’re going to look at a new segment in this series on basic Bible doctrine.
Before we do, let’s review briefly what we have covered thus
far. First of all, we have reviewed the doctrine of reconciliation which was a declaration of the removal of
the wall which separated man from God.
This wall consisted of several specific blocks, several
specific problems that stand between God and man. And Jesus Christ removed each one of them
permanently. If you don’t have this straight in your mind, you don’t understand about this wall
of separation and how it has been removed, I strongly suggest to you that you get ahold
of the tapes on this particular phase and listen to them carefully.
The only thing between God and man now is the Lord Jesus
Christ. And this wall has been permanently removed because God, in grace, has solved the problem for us.
Then we look at the technique for restoration to fellowship,
based on 1 John 1:9. We found that the old sin nature comes into the Christian life, fully operational, and it
produces two things: it produces sins, and it produces human good- both
of which God has rejected.
Whenever we do sin as a Christian, we break our temporal
fellowship with God, we do not lose our salvation, but we lose our
communication with God: our prayer is useless, our reading of the Bible
is useless, our service is useless-it’s all human good, and
it’s all burned up at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. We
are out of fellowship.
Confession, naming of the sin,
restores us to our relationship of fellowship in time, and matches us up again to our
fellowship in eternity that we permanently have.
All of this is based on our union with Jesus Christ. Because we are
united to Christ, God can forgive us our sins on the basis of naming them, because He has already
paid, through His Son, for that sin.
Then we learned about neutralizing confessed sin, based on
Philippians 3:13, “forgetting the things that are behind”. We have found
that forgiven sins are forgotten sins with God.
But we have also found that a Christian may confess a sin
and yet react to it in such a way that by remembering it, he sets up a
chain of mental attitude sins and he falls into series sinning-one sin leads to
another. He may become bitter over the discipline that he’s receiving for that sin, or bitter
towards somebody who is involved in that sin. He may have some
guilt association. He may be thinking that something that’s happening now in his life is the result
of something that God is punishing him for because of something he did years ago
that’s already confessed. And of course that can never be true. It may be that he
falls into judging. It may be that he thinks he should get up and publicly confess his sin. He
may fall into blaming others. He may want to discuss his sins with others;
he may produce, as a result of this, a false love. All of these are the reaction of confessing
sin, but not forgetting. Series sinning is one sin leading to another.
And we also learned that this frustrates the grace of God,
as per Hebrews 12:15. We are responsible, we’re told, to avoid series sinning in our own
life. Nobody else can do this for you.
And we’ve also found that our mental attitude sins, which
sprout from the dead sin we’ve already confessed, has a way
of contaminating other Christians. And it results in their being defiled by our series of sins.
The goal of the Christian life and what we have done thus far is the groundwork.
First, we try to tell you how God has saved you, and we try
to explain to you on the basis of the doctrines of the Word of God how
that salvation is a permanent structure, which God has provided. Even
the people who are, at this moment, in the torments of hell are there with their sins completely paid for. God
will never judge you in the future for sins; the people who
are lost, when they stand at the great white throne of judgment, God opens the books of their works-
these books will not record their evil works, because those have been removed
and forgotten. But they will record their good works, which they have instead offered to God in place of the
divine good work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
We’ve explained to who how the sin nature can cause you to
sin and does hinder your progress in the spiritual life. The goal of the spiritual life is personal
spiritual maturity, and this is what we’re going to go into more deeply in the next few Sundays.
You are very, very fortunate in the providence of God to
have been brought to this particular service, because we’re
going to touch on the surface of what makes this key difference between one church and
the next church-two churches are standing, one next to another, on opposite
corners on the same street, and they’re worlds different. Two
churches that preach the same identical Word of God. Two churches that
have identical doctrinal statements.
yet the difference between the two: one place where
Christians are put downwind of themselves and so they see themselves as
they are, and they get the drift of where they really are. And
the other, who puts Christians upwind of
themselves, so they’re continually disillusioned as to how
they really stand in the eyes of God.
There’s one personality in the local church who’s responsible
for one or the other. The goal of the Christian life is personal spiritual maturity. In
Ephesians 4:14-15, we read that we henceforth, are no more children,
tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, the
slight of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But
speaking the truth in love may grow up into Him, in all things who is the head, who he is in Christ.
Evaluating God’s Thinking
Now it’s frustrating not to be able to evaluate some idea,
to evaluate it accurately, or to evaluate some advice that people give
you because you don’t have enough information. And
we’re always confronted in life with the
frustration of people giving us advice, people giving us their opinion, and you
don’t know whether it’s good advice or good opinion because you don’t
have enough information.
Now, the same thing is true in the Christian life. You have no idea
until you have come to a point of certain spiritual maturity, you can’t sit in the
church and know that you’re being conned by maybe a sincere, well-meaning
preacher, but who is disoriented or uninformed of the Word of God, or incapable of
explaining it, or whether you’re really getting God’s thinking on the
matter. You may spend your whole life as a result of
having been sincerely conned by some sincere preacher because you
didn’t have enough information like the Bereans of old who took the Word of God and
searched the scriptures and see whether these things are so.
Now what this basic doctrine series is trying to do is to
put you in a position where you can sit in any church, in any study
group, in any teaching group, and you can know whether what you’re
hearing things with the basic principles of truth or not.
Now this requires the filling of God, the Holy Spirit to be
able to receive divine information. And it requires the functioning of a pastor-teacher in the local church.
Christ’s Spiritual Death
My God, my God-two expressions because He was addressing God
the Father and God the Holy Spirit, and He was saying, “why
have you separated Yourself from Me?” It was in this
moment of agony, of separation from God that Jesus Christ died spiritually.
The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, and that
means that it is spiritual death. He, in
that moment, as per 2 Corinthians 5:21, took our place as our
substitute, paid the price of spiritual death. 2
Corinthians 5:21: “For He hath made Him who knew no sin to be
sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
So, what took place upon the cross, first of all, is that
Jesus Christ died for you spiritually. Now when the sin-bearing was pleaded to the
satisfaction of God’s justice, what the justice of God demanded for our sins, then Jesus
Christ said “it is finished.” And in the Greek
language, this is in what we call the perfect tense, which means it is
finished and it continues forever in that condition.
The wall has been permanently removed; there is no more
problem with the old sin nature; there is no more problem with our
being in Adam; there is no more problem with our being enslaved in the slave
market of sin; there is no more problem that we are born spiritually dead; there
is no more problem that we are short of the holiness of God, His justice, and
Now this act of divine good permanently removed the wall,
and you notice that Jesus Christ changed in His address from
“my God, my God” to “my Father… Father, into Thine hands, I commit
my spirit. It is finished” Because having paid with
spiritual death for our sins, and separated in that moment in His
humanity from the Father, God was satisfied. And now
the Son was restored to fellowship within His relationship to the
The Relationship of Spiritual Death and Physical Death
Now the fact of spiritual death is evidenced by physical
death, just as it was with Adam. You see, if the wages of sin had been physical death, Adam would have
dropped dead on the spot, just like that. But it was not.
When God says “you eat of that fruit and you rebel against
Me and disobey, you will die spiritually” is what He meant. And
spiritual death deteriorates the functioning of the body so that results in death. But
Adam immediately died spiritually, and in time, the effects of spiritual death were evidenced by his physical death.
The shed blood of Jesus Christ indicates that a perfect life
was given in spiritual death for our guilty lives. The
physical sufferings of Jesus Christ reflected the spiritual agony of being separated in spiritual death
from the Father and from the Holy Spirit. And since the Lord’s work is finished, He died physically.
This is what happens to you and me as believers; you are
immortal as a believer until God is through with you in His plan for
your life. And when He is through with you, then He takes your life. And so when
Christ had performed His mission, His spiritual death signified by His
physical death, His work was finished and the Lord took His life. Christ
is dead; He hangs on the cross.
Jesus’ Death on the Cross
What happened? Well the body is in the grave, the spirit has gone to be with the Father,
and His soul is in the place called Hades. Now we’re just going to briefly review it, we won’t put
the diagram up for you again.
Three Compartments of Hades
But the place Hades, or Sheol, as it’s called in the Old
Testament, has three compartments in the Old Testament era.
It was the place of the saved, that was called Paradise,
which means “the garden of the king”, which comes
from a Persian word. The Jews referred to it as Abraham’s bosom.
The place of the unsaved was called Torments, which means
fire. It was a place of temporary fire in contrast to permanent fire, which the unsaved are placed in the Lake of Fire.
Paradise and Torments were separated by a great gulf.
Then there was a third section of Hades, called Tartarus,
which was used as a prison for demonic angels who had intermarried with
humans in Noah’s day, as per 2 Peter 2:4, Genesis 6:1-7, and Jude 6. Hades
is the Greek name for this place of the dead, Sheol is the Hebrew name.
The Spirit, Soul, and Body of Christ
Now on the third day, the spirit of Jesus Christ which was
with the Father, returned from the Father and the soul returned from
Hades. The soul, which is His mentality, His will, and His emotions-the soul returned from Hades. Psalms
16:10a tells you about that, and His body returned from the grave. Psalms 16:10b tells you about that.
And all three reunited so that Jesus Christ in His humanity
walked through the stone entrance of the grave. Later, the angel came along and he rolled that stone
away so you could look in and see that He was gone.
For 40 days Jesus Christ moved about this earth, teaching
His disciples. He was giving them truth relevant to the new church age-doctrine in the line of the age which
was to come.
Jesus as the Target of Satan’s Attack
And with the ascension of Jesus Christ, a phase of conflict
with Satan came to an end. Because beginning in Genesis 3:15, where God promised Adam and Eve after they
had sinned that He would provide a solution for the sin: “and I
will put enmity between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed. He
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”. Satan was to
wound the Savior. But in return, Satan was to receive a mortal head would, which would permanently break his hold and
his claim to sinful humanity.
Now when the God-Man, Jesus Christ, ascended to heaven, he
ceased being the target of Satan’s panic attack. From
Genesis 3:15, throughout all the ages, before the ascension, Jesus Christ was the object of Satan’s
attack, through various lines of humanity: first through Abel, then through the Seth
line, then through Abraham, then David. At the point of his virgin birth, Jesus Christ personally became the target of
Satan’s Method Attacks
See, this was the point of the Genesis 6 incident, where
demonic beings took human lives and intermarried with them. The
point was to try to produce a hybrid race, so that you couldn’t have a pure human being to come
and die for the sins of the world. He had to be, as a kinsman redeemer, he had to be just like us, pure humanity.
And it was a brilliant move by Satan, and it almost worked. For all we know,
there may have been nothing at the end but Noah and his family who were pure humanity
down here before the flood, and the hybrids wiped out in the destruction of the flood.
But after Christ was born of this virgin birth, He
personally became that attack. And you know that under Herod, he immediately sought to kill the Christ child. Later,
in the wilderness temptation, he thought to break Him down by tempting Him to sin. He
even tried to kill Jesus Christ on various occasions during His ministry. While
Christ hung on the cross, Satan went so far as to goad Him to come off
the cross, shouting up at Him, “if You are the Christ, come off
the cross and prove Yourself, and we’ll believe You!” And
if He had, salvation would’ve been frustrated.
Christ’s Triumph in Death
So, in all the while, in that promise of Genesis 3:15, Jesus
Christ was the point of attack, But with the death on the cross and the
ascension to heaven, that phase of Satan’s campaign and
attack against God closed. And the result was a tremendous
victory for the person of Jesus Christ. Colossians
2:14-15: “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was
against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way,
nailing it to His cross, and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show
of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Now Jesus Christ is in heaven. He sits there as
the God-Man, as open to the fact that someday you and I will sit there. When
He came into heaven, the Father said to His Son to sit at His right
hand until He had made all the world His footstool. Matthew
22:44: “the Lord said unto my Lord, sit Thou on my
right hand, and I will make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”
The New Object of Satanic Attack
So, Jesus Christ has been removed from the scene of the
attack. Now guess who has been substituted for the object of satanic attack in this age
of the church? Instead of Jesus Christ, it is now you, the individual believer.
And this is a very horrifying fact. And I doubt that there are many Christians in
many churches you could walk into and ask this specific question, and
they would really grasp it in the entirety of the hellish forces that have
been directed against the Son of God that have now switched their objective
to the individual believer. For a Christian
to stand up and look at himself in the mirror in the morning and to know
that all of Satan’s aim is directed against him personally. And
that ought to scare you half out of your wits, just the very thought of it. Because
it is a frightful position in which to be.
Now the church age was begun with this
switch in strategy. And Satan and his demons, during the 10 days,
between the ascension of Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit
on the day of Pentecost-Satan and his forces in this 10 day period
realized all was lost in reference to attack against Christ; He was now
placed above and beyond the angelic host, and beyond their
access. So, that now a new phase in the operation of the attack
against God need be instituted.
The decision was made to attack the
individual believer. Ephesians 1 tells you, in effect, about this
new direction of attack.
The Baptism of Believers
So, Satan re-gathered his forces, and a
new dispensation began. On the Pentecost, for the first time in
human history, all believers were baptized into the body of
The baptism of the Holy Spirit unites
an individual believer with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not an
emotion, it is not an experience-has no emotions, no ecstatics.
It happens at the point of salvation for every believer, and he is
permanently united to Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). In John
14:20 the Lord said “ye in Me, and I in you”.
Now this union with Jesus Christ is
very important for us to understand, and we’ve gone over this
now; this is positional truth, we’re not going to repeat
this. You see, this is what I mean when I tell you that when you
come into the Christian life as a brand-new believer, you are really a
babe. You are really so far adrift that you can’t even sit
in a church service, for the first place you’ll have trouble
concentrating. For you to sit here and concentrate for 45 minutes
and study the Word of God really takes some development. And
furthermore, it takes some orientation to some basic lines of
scriptural truth and thinking. Then, the thing begins to fit
together, and more and more you’ve developed a frame of reference.
The whole area of positional truth
now, you see, comes into place here as a strategic answer to why you
are able to meet Satan’s attack. And why you are united to
Christ- because of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian’s Union with Christ
Now, this union is important, or there
would be no hope for us as the new target of Satan’s
attack. So, the doctrine of the ascension (19:23) is the key to
everything in the Christian’s experience. It explains the
distinctiveness of this church’s dispensation. It explains
why a pastor teacher is the necessary key to this dispensation.
It explains why we have a universal priesthood now instead of a
specialized priesthood, a Levitical priesthood. It explains why
the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian permanently, why he needs the
Now the arrival of the Holy Spirit was
delayed until the Son was glorified, but once He was in heaven, the
Spirit of God came, and this new age began. And with it came the
attacks upon the individual believer.
Now there are some people who object
to the idea of God dealing in dispensations. There’s some
people who don’t like the idea that God deals in different ages
and different ways with people.
Salvation is always the same, but He
deals with people in different ways; you and I are not confronted with
the same life circumstances that Adam and Eve were. We
don’t walk around concerned about eating from the fruit of the
tree of knowledge of good and evil. We have a total different
household situation which we live.
But it’s interesting how many
pastors object to dispensationalists who don’t see the
inconsistency of their own position, by the very fact that they are
pastors. Do you know that there were no pastors in the Old
Testament? A pastor is not a prophet, a pastor is not a Levitical
priest; a pastor is a unique gift of the church alone. And
anybody who is a pastor of a congregation is a dispensationalist,
whether he likes it or not.
And there’s a lot of re-thinking
going on about the business of being a dispensationalist.
That’s a fad, and when you rethink a thing it usually means going
with the tide, and that tide is usually one of ignorance.
The Role of the Believer as a Priest
Now the believer has a role to play
today under a very adverse set of circumstances, you see-the fact that
he has become Satan’s direct objective. Now the
believer’s role is that he is an ambassador for Jesus Christ-2
Corinthians 5:14-21 tells you about that. He presents Jesus
Christ as an ambassador. And he represents himself as a
Nobody represents you before
God. If you’re in the habit of running to your pastor
because you think he has some kind of access and representation of you
before God, you’re sadly mistaken.
That pastor should have long since
taught you how to be your own priest and how to handle your own
problems and how to handle your own questions and how to handle your
own difficulties so that you can go and confront yourself to God
directly and find the answers. Because the Word of God is filled
with promises and doctrines, all of which cover every exigency of your
life. Nothing left outside of the plan of God for you. And
so you are a priest. As 1 Peter 2:5 tells us, representing yourself.
Now every Christian has written
instructions in the completed scriptures, which we have been
given. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells about the prophet of these
scriptures for living our lives.
Every Christian is now indwelt with Jesus Christ, and is in permanent
union with Him. This is the positional truth of John 14:20.
Every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and is commanded to
follow a supernatural way of life, Romans 8:9.
Christ and the Law
Now the Mosaic Law has been completely
set aside as a way of life for the Christian. It was a system of
morality and a picture of Jesus Christ. Now the law was fulfilled
by Jesus Christ; His perfect character fulfilled the demands of the
morality of the law. He Himself, through His death, fulfilled all
the pictures of the Christology of the law.
In Romans 8:2 and 4 tells us the
amazing thing that God the Holy Spirit produces something in the
Christian that the law never could. Romans 8:2-4.
“For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me
free from the law of sin and death.”
The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus is being indwelled by
God, the Holy Spirit; the law of sin and death is the old sin nature
control. For what the law could not do, that it was made through
the flesh, God sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh-not
that He was sinful flesh. He looked like a human being, but He
didn’t have a sin nature, and for sin condemned sin, judged sin
The Pastor Teacher and the Supernatural Way of Life
Pastor teacher is given to the
congregation, therefore, to explain to that congregation the
supernatural way of life to which they have been called to live, and to
tell them the means by which they can execute the supernatural way of
life. Ephesians 5:1-2 says “be therefore followers, or
imitators, of God, as dear children. And walk in love as Christ
also hath loved us.”
Do you love other people the way Jesus
Christ loved you? God is asking you to love just the way He
loves; that’s the supernatural way of life-“and hath given
Himself for us in offering, a sacrifice to God for sweet-smelling
So, now, if you have a pastor teacher
who’s titillating your emotions and giving you inspirational
sermons and hop, skipping, and jumping around the Bible with a little
text here and a little text there, and who gets up every Sunday morning
and gives you some gung-ho inspirational, emotional talk to go out and
do something for God so that you jump up and grab the flag and go
storming out of the place to do something for God, and then stop and
say “uh, where are we going? What are we supposed to
do?” You are being conned, if that’s your
What the Ministry Requires
It takes a man of insight and a man of
courage to be in the ministry today, and not go along with the
gimmicks, and not go along with the professional profile of the
professional minister, and to stand against his propaganda and his
success stories and to stay with the Word-and to stay with the business
and the job of pastor teacher, which we are going to look at in
considerable detail Sunday morning. And if you want to know and
be clear once and for all what the local church is all about,
don’t miss next Sunday morning.
This is build-up to the most neglected
truth, just about, in the local church functioning in our day. It
was General Douglas MacArthur who, when referring to his experience as
a soldier-I think he was speaking to a class at West Point when he said
for him, it had always been the army, and the army, and the army.
And for those that are called into the pastor teaching ministry: to
paraphrase that expression-for them it is always the Word, and the
Word, and the Word.
Now you may have all kinds of ideas,
what you think that you’ve picked up, up and down the streets of
Christendom, as to what a pastor teacher is all about, what he should
be doing. You may have been carried away with the idea the pastor
should be occupied with human dynamics, a lot of educational gimmickry
and devices, rather than the power of God, through the Word of God, in
the lives of people.
But I summarize it for you that if you
cannot sit in church and you cannot honestly say that the thrusts of
the ministry towards you is the Word, and the Word, and the Word-then
you are out of phase with the divine arrangement for the local
And if you have to say to yourself, you can’t remember last
Sunday morning’s sermon, let alone last month’s sermon-not
that you don’t remember in detail, but that you can’t say
“I’ve gotten this much information from this sermon; I know
this I know this I know”-then somebody is conning you.
Because if the Word of God is being given, and you are functioning
under the grace system receiving it, your life is coordinating with the
mind of God.
The Pastor’s Role
So, the work of the ministry is a thing
that concerns us. What is the pastor’s role? Alright,
we go to Ephesians 4, beginning in verse 8: what is the role of the
pastor-teacher? “Wherefore he said, when he ascended up on
high, He lead captivity captive and gave gifts unto
Now the background of the pastor
teacher’s work and calling, prior to the ascension of Jesus
Christ, he had been the lower parts of the earth. That’s
what it means here in verse 8 when it says “when he ascended up
on high, he ascended from Hades to heaven, and when He did, we’re
told that He gave gifts unto men. And this, in that context,
refers to spiritually gifted men: men who have been given, for
spiritually types of men that we’re going to look at, who have
been given for the functioning of the local church.
Jesus Christ is head of the
church. First gave one of these, which is that of the pastor
teacher at the beginning of the church dispensation. Now the Holy
Spirit sovereignly bestows at the point of salvation the gift of pastor
teacher upon certain men; He never bestows it upon women. He
always bestows it only upon men, and only upon certain men. So, if
you have a lady who’s a pastor of a church, right away you know
you’re out of the Word of God. And you know you are
listening to someone who may know something about the Bible, but who
does not have the authoritative position of pastor teacher.
How the Gift is Given
Now the pastor teacher is a gift which
is given; nobody gets into the ministry by some dramatic surrender to
preach. Every now and then, I hear about pastors asking people to
raise their hands in the service and to some who will surrender to
preach. And it’s kind of an insulting way of treating God
and talking to God, like He’s put a gun to your head, and said
“OK boy, you are going to open your mouth and start
preaching? Or I’m going to pull the trigger.”
And so you say, “OK. I surrender.” Or some
public dedication: some dramatic, public move by which you enter
This always makes a hot, jumping
service when a professional preacher can get up and say,
“I’ve got 6 young kids to come up and say they’re
going to dedicate their lives to full time Christian
See, every Christian is in full-time
service. The moment you were saved, you were in the plan of
And it is the pastor teacher who was
also gifted at the point of salvation with his special capacity for
service. And it is a series of decisions-his gift is different
because it requires a series of decisions to train the gift, to prepare
the gift, and then to respond to the call in some specific church to
which he is to lead a congregation.
Because God has a specific pastor for
a specific church. When you find pastors who float around
everywhere, 2 ½-3 years, which is the average in the United
States, it is because they are not in the right church or they
don’t have the pastor teacher gift.
You can’t orient yourself to
your call as pastor teacher unless you understand what happened when
Jesus Christ went to heaven and the individual Christian became the
target of satanic attack. Satan’s attack has been countered
with a provision from God, and the man is the pastor
The Structure of Spiritual Maturity
Now the provision is that God is to
build your life, a structured spiritual maturity. We are going to
spend several Sundays on this structure of spiritual maturity. A
structure of spiritual maturity: and this is what the Christian life is
all about. And if you do not have this structure, you cannot
possibly meet Satan’s attacks.
I’m just going to abbreviate
this morning: this structure, first of all, includes grace
orientation. You know what it is to be oriented to grace.
The last couple of tapes should’ve given you some information on
Another thing that you will have when
you are a mature Christian is a relaxed mental attitude. That
means that you will have no mental sins. The Geek word agape in
its relationship as we showed you to the Latin language, is a mental
esteem. It is a non-emotional word, there is no emotion in agape
love. And it is a mind which is free of these mental attitude
sins, no ill-will on any front-toward anybody, toward anything.
And the result is a relaxed mental attitude.
Now we’re going to spend the
whole service on what a relaxed mental attitude is. And
there’s nothing so tremendous like a Christian who’s come
to the maturity where he’s got a relaxed mind.
The Details of Life
It will also include a mastery of the
details of life. The details of life are not the details of
things that are not necessary; they’re necessities. But
it’s your attitude toward them, it’s the fact that they are
not the supreme thing in life.
And I’ll tell you this is one
thing that aggravates and burdens a pastor’s heart, I’ve
found in 20 years which I just completed, I think today in this
church-this is what aggravates a pastor’s heart: the fact that
parents can’t teach their children how to master the details of
life. I have more high school kids that are in jobs that
interfere with spiritual activity, and their parents don’t see
that they are teaching their children a self-destructive role.
They think that because they get a little grubby for a few dollars,
that makes it a little easier for the family where they’ve
already got several people working. So, they put their kids to
working too, thinking it’s going to teach them something.
It teaches them something, all
right. It teaches them the doctrine and the Word of God and
service are not number one. And you have already violated a
principle of the Word that says “seek ye first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness, and these other things shall be added unto
you.” And so there are the details of life to which we are
enslaved, to which control, which drive us. This is one of the
hardest things in life for the Christian to get spiritually mature
Love and Pseudo-Love
It will also include a capacity to love. That love will be
toward God, opposite sex, friends. You cannot love unless you know
Bible doctrine. Jesus says, “If you love
Me, keep My commandments.” If you
don’t know His commandments, you can’t love Him.
And this is an amazing thing, when a
Christian is struck by the fact that I can’t even love the particular woman or
particular man that God created for me for marriage-I can’t love that person until I
know Bible doctrine. And so I go in with pseudo-love. And I go along with a
half-baked imitation quality.
Then, there’s going to be an inner happiness-that inner happiness
which is apart from circumstances. And this isn’t going around, gritting your teeth and telling
yourself, “oh, I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy, and the Lord is so
sweet!” This is going around and you are happy because
you are stabilized, and you are oriented to the Word of God.
The Pastor Teacher’s Job
Now here’s a whole realm that’s coming up, and pastor
teacher has been called to structure this into your life. And
that’s a job. And that’s why he sounds off, that’s why he
stands in the breach, that’s why he puts Christians
downwind-so that in these respects, they get the drift of how they really are. So
that they say: “here’s where my maturity level lies. So, he says, when
he ascended up on high, he held captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. And
what He gave is this pastor teacher.
Now he does his job in three ways. And you notice, it’s a pastor teacher,
we’ll get to that a little later. It’s a combined job. You
can’t be a pastor if you’re not a teacher.
Don’t get carried away with this talk about preaching. You know what
preaching is? Preaching is explaining the Word, not shouting and telling you interesting stories. I
could tell you a lot of funny stories. I can say things if I want to that would make you
roll in the aisles, because you would think they’re so, so cute. And
you would go home and say, “Boy, that was surely a jumpin’
service!” But you’d be ignorant of the Word of God.
A pastor teacher does his job in this way: first, he does it
by exegesis. That’s a fancy word, and that means “interpreting”. That
means he goes verse by verse through a book of the Bible, and he interprets it,
and he tells you what God the Holy Spirit meant when He said it. And
that’s verse by verse. Now sometimes he may go into a series and
take certain topics and put them together, like what we’re
doing now in this morning’s series. But you don’t learn
the Bible until you sit down and you start a book of the Bible and the
pastor teacher takes you through it verse by verse-and he explained to you on
the basis of the original languages what it means and what it’s
saying, what’s behind it.
He also does it-and here’s another good word: isagogically. That’ll
gag you. Isagogically. Here’s what they used in seminary, I
just wanted to show you that when you send money to seminary,
you’re not wasting your money. Isagogically: What
this means is that you take a scripture and you interpret it on the basis of what the conditions were under
which these were written, what the background was at the times, what the historical
situation was, what the people were facing, what their geography was,
what their way of life was. And you interpret a scripture on the basis of the times.
And then he does something else: he summarizes
doctrine. Every now and then, we say, “here’s the doctrine of human good in 12 points. One
point, two…” And you can go home, and if you put out the
effort and the trouble to think this through, there are people here
right now that if I were to say, “alright, let’s summarize
the doctrine of the old sin nature”-you couldn’t maybe go one, two, three,
four, but you’d stop and think and write into your mind the clear and definitive concepts of this
miserable thing that lives within you that is a destructive element in your life. And
you’d be able to go right down the line, explaining the old sin nature. And when
you can do that, you know how to function.
Now we’re going to have to show you what happens to what you
know, and when you receive it in more detail as we go along here. This
morning, we’re setting the basic groundwork.
What It Means
And so we now come to verse 9, “Now that He ascends, what is
it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the
earth?” What is it-is what does it mean? And the word
“first” is not in the Greek, he say what does it mean? The lower parts
of the earth refer to Sheol, or Hades. And verse 10 says, “He that descended is the
same also that ascended up, far above all things that he might fill all things.”
Now I want to just mention 4 things about this word,
fill. This is the point of the pastor teacher role. The word “fill:” The
Greek word is “pleroo,” and it means first
of all “to fill up a deficiency”. That’s
point number one.
When you are born again, you come into the Christian life
with a tremendous spiritual deficiency. And it is Jesus Christ who provided a means for
filling up the deficiency. This was at the point of
time when He provided a system for learning, by grace, and God is the
active agent who performs this.
This word also means “to possess fully”. The believer is
to be completely possessed by some information, and that is Bible doctrine. This
Bible doctrine in this human spirit will control his life.
The word “pleroo” also means “to influence fully”-to develop
a frame of reference, so that you have a guide for your life, a basis
for learning more doctrine, a basis for the content of prayer, a basis for
being accurate in witnessing, a basis for being able to discern a believer
And finally, it also means “to fill up with a quality”. And
that quality is divine good instead of the human good that the old sin nature cranks out.
Now, this is the introduction: the role of the pastor teacher.
Dr. John E. Danish, 1971
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