The Purpose of the Pastor-Teacher Gift, No. 2


I have nothing but good things to report to you on the first week of summer camp. You have an excellent staff there. We are enduring some new things this year, some new features. The particular part in Oklahoma around Lake Texoma in which we operate is a kind of a fascinating geological area so we have included a geology tour. The youngsters have been very responsive to this. It’s particularly interesting to see the little boys. The instructor was amazed on how they came up with their little hands just full of fossils and things they had found. In fact we had to make a new rule. We had to start acting like park rangers in that we can’t pick up so many things or we won’t have a tour. It is fascinating to see these (fossils) that are just there, fully developed, lying right there the way they were embedded, perhaps even from the flood itself.

We’ve been running this as one tour and then we have for our older boys and older girls a whole course in scuba diving. So, this is a whole new realm. We had two boys when we started off on the bus for the first scuba lesson. We operate out of a live pool and all of a sudden they weren’t there. So, we stopped the bus and they were down at the lake and they came around and said, “We don’t want to go scuba diving.” So, we said, “OK, get on board the bus.” That’s how we deal with kids who tell us they don’t want to do things.

So, we got at the pool and they were sitting under the cabana and they had the first instructions on how to handle the gear and what’s all involved. Then they said, “Alright, let’s go down to the pool now and we’ll have it where one is underwater and an instructor follows him, checking him out on the equipment. Guess who the first two boys were who jumped in line to get on the two tanks. The ones that we had to tell to come. Then the next day I was telling the instructor that I noticed that these boys were kind of enthusiastic. He smiled and said, “Yeah, one of them who was not eligible for today’s session said, ‘I’ll carry all of your tanks and gear if you’ll let me go today.’”

We’re learning how to do things that we’ve never done before with enthusiasm in a very excellent camp. We’ve telling the kids around the campfire where the world is going, and most of them have gone home a lot smarter than their parents relative to where history is moving. One of the kitchen staff got in on the last session and he said, “Have you been talking about that all week?” I said, “Yeah, we’ve been sort of on that same theme.” He said, “Boy I want to get there next week and not miss a single one of those. We’ve just tapped the summary of where history is moving.

We even talked about dope one night. The final church, the world church, is going to be a ritualistic church. One of the phases that the book of the Revelation tells us that will constitute this church will be the use of drugs. The Bible says that society will be heavily drug-oriented and that the final worship will be a drug worship, which of course is just where it’s going today. It uses the word sorcery in the book of the Revelation. The Greek word is “pharmakeia” from which we get the word “pharmacy,” and the word means enchantment with drugs.

You should have heard, once we brought up that subject. I asked some question, I forget what it was, and the circle of kids exploded with information about drugs. They were popping off words such that it was hard for me to keep up with: amphetamines, barbiturates, or what I was in, and they knew all about it. The fact is I called marijuana “Mary Ann,” and some kid said, “No, it’s Mary Jane.”

We’ve all gotten briefed on the drug scene pretty well this week at camp. I knew you would be glad to hear that. I hope your daughter is going. She’s in for a great and a fascinating week.

We continue this morning with the purpose of the pastor-teacher gift, number two. Just to bring you up to date, we have indicated in our summary of the doctrine of the ministry that the word “ministry” is used in reference to the specific relationship of a specific ministry of a pastor who is in charge and authority of a local church.

One of the things you should evaluate to make a judgment as to the spiritual stability and soundness of a church is to look up the church’s constitution and see who runs the church business meetings. If you find that the chairman of the board of elders runs the church business meeting, you have a spiritually disoriented church. Here’s another thing you can look for. See whether a man who has served faithfully as an elder or a deacon or in some capacity can follow himself in office. If he can’t, you’ve got a spiritually disoriented church. These are two clues of the people dominating God’s man and the people dominating the voice of God.

Can you imagine a person who serves faithfully for three years in an office, and God the Holy Spirit says, “OK, you’re going to be out for a year now,” as church constitutions sometimes do before you can be in office for two years. You can tell a lot just by reading through a church constitution to see how they’re oriented toward this position of the pastor-teacher. Most churches are grievously disoriented.

We’ve seen that he’s called “elder,” which means, not that he’s an old man, but that he has spiritual maturity. He is called “bishop,” which stresses that he is an overseer. The word “bishop” means overseer. His business is to oversee the flock and to take care of the sheep, keep them out of trouble, to stand up to their enemies and to stand up to the sheep if necessary. He is also called a combination name of “pastor-teacher.” In the Greek it’s one combination name. You can’t say one without the other. That’s why the Bible says if you’re going to be a pastor you must be apt to teach. You have to have the ability to teach or you’re out of business to begin with.

We’ve also found that this man was told to feed the flock and that the language was such that he was to do it himself. He was to perform this function, and it was given to him as a command. We found that the Scriptures speak of the authority of the pastor. While he is in office, he is the chief authority within that local congregation, but the congregation has the right to remove the pastor. Once he’s removed, he’s no longer an authority over that congregation. An evangelist is not an authority over any congregation. He’s an authority in reference to the gospel, but a pastor is an authority within that local congregation. Therefore, you have these words such as rule, obey subject, and submit. These are all strong words in reference to the ministry of this particular leader.

Now the wrong pastor can cause a lot of problems for a certain church. There is a right pastor for a right church. When you have that combination, you have God’s ideal condition of blessing. No pastor will last if he’s the wrong pastor. One of the signs of his being the wrong pastor for a church is that he will flit out after three or four years of ministry and he’ll be on his way. A right pastor for a right church will be there over an extensive long period of many years. He will not be using the church as a springboard. Some churches are in a constantly rotating pastor situation because they’re people-dominated. So, the pastor has no particular authority and he has no really particular interest. He’s simply doing his job, and as his professional status is promised a better step upward someplace else, he moves on. He says, “Well, I like you people. We’ve grown to be good friends. I’ll always remember you.” But he doesn’t have any deep emotional attachment to that congregation as he should to someone of his own family that he was living. He’s a professional, so there’s a professional detachment. So he comes and he goes.

Now the right pastor for the right church is protected by God. Therefore, when the members move against him, they find themselves removed. You have these conditions that are the most amazing things that happen to people when suddenly they’re filtered out of the church—the people you would least have expected. The reason for it often is they have taken a position of opposing God’s man. They were in the wrong and God isn’t going to tolerate it. He himself is warned that he is to give an account for the people. He is not to lord it over them. But he is to be respected as the one who speaks the voice of God. As long as he speaks the truth, he is a personality to contend with. When he no longer speaks the truth, then God will take care of him very quickly.

The purpose of the pastor-teacher gift was summed up in Ephesians 4. Let’s turn back to it. This is the passage that we’re working our way through and coming to the climax. Ephesians 4:12 is the verse that we’re looking at now. Verse 12 has the word “for” in it three times. We looked at this last week. We stopped here. In Ephesians 4:12 we have the word “… for … for … for …” In the Greek language it’s three different words. It’s the word “pros” and then “eis” and “eis.” Grammatically what this means is that numbers two and three are dependent on number one.

You have three purposes here in this verse. If the first purpose is not performed, which is described by this word “perfecting.” The pastor is to perfect the saints (that’s the Christians in the local assembly), and the word “perfecting” means to equip them for combat, to get them ready to do spiritual combat. Now if he’s not doing his job of getting the people ready for spiritual combat, you cannot experience the next two “fors” that we’re going to look at in greater detail. In this verse you have the totality of what the local church is all about.

Now if that bothers you to hear that said, then you need to revise your thinking about the local church. If you think there is something more in the local than what you find in Ephesian 4:12, you’re in trouble in your thinking. If you think there is something more that a pastor should be doing before God than what is in Ephesians 4:12, you’re disoriented to God’s point of view on that subject. He is to perform number one in order that number two and number three may be executed. If you do not have number one, you cannot stand up against Satan.

The Grace System for Spiritual Perception

Now what we’re going to do is to run very briefly through some things we have mentioned before. We won’t apologize for this because a review is necessary in order that we bring things together that you know and bring them together maybe in a new light and a new relationship. First of all, we want to look at this system by which we learn spiritual things—the grace system for spiritual perception. God has a grace way for you and me to learn. We have distinguished between human IQ and spiritual IQ. We found that human IQ uses the process of the senses (empiricism) or it uses the process of just reason (rationalism). 1 Corinthians chapter 2 tells us that we do not learn spiritual things by reasoning nor do we learn them through our senses. So, rationalism and empiricism are out. The reason they’re out is because they’re merit systems. They depend on your human ability. They depend on the human IQ for their functioning.

God says He gives you a system that’s a grace system. He will give you an understanding of the Word of God, and the person He has given you for that is God the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus promised. He said a time is going to come when God the Holy Spirit will indwell you. You won’t have to have any man to teach you. You will have to get information from some man in the form of a pastor-teacher through the Word of God. But what you learn will be the result of God the Holy Spirit who will indwell you. He will show you many wonderful things. He will bring to your remembrance the things that I have told you and He will show you what’s in the future. He will tell you things to come. He will tell you where history is going. All of this is going to be totally apart from your abilities.

Now this system works because it is a grace system. It is something that God is doing. 1 Corinthians 1:19 – 2:16 you may read at your leisure. You will discover that God’s system excludes any human ability from learning spiritual things. This is important to understand because the Christian who may not be so sharp mentally is not disadvantaged by that. He’s not in an inferior position. He can learn spiritual things just as well as a person who’s a genius when it comes to human IQ.

The goal and purpose of this system of spiritual perception is to take that human spirit of yours and to fill it as a storage place with these various compartments of doctrinal understanding. This is the key to your survival. That’s what the first part of this verse means, “for the perfecting of the saints.” This is the only way that a pastor-teacher equips you for the other things that are coming. He equips you for your combat with Satan by filling your human spirit. He can give you information. You don’t have a human spirit until you’re born again. Up to then you’re spiritually dead. You don’t have a human spirit. It’s dead. Then when you’re born again you come alive spiritually and you have a human spirit. You then have a chance to come to understand and to know what God is thinking.

1 Corinthians 2:12 gives us a little clue about how this system works where God says, “Now we have not received the spirit of the world.” We can’t go over this in detail as we’ve done before but you’ll remember that the expression “spirit of the world” refers to a technique for learning. The world’s technique for learning is senses or reason. Now we Christians have not received this. Incidentally, in the Greek Bible, the word “we” is at the first of the sentence which is an emphasis. It’s the point of emphasis. We Christians are different than the world. We don’t operate by the world’s methods of learning things. There’s a different technique and the world is excluded from it completely.

Now when you understand this you see why it is that intelligent men are such fools when it comes to spiritual things. They’re the greatest ignoramuses on the face of the earth. A great man in a university that has great learning is a dodo bird when it comes to spiritual things because his intelligence and his reasoning powers will not get him one step into spiritual perception.

“Spirit” vs. “spirit”

Now we as Christians have not received these techniques of learning. Now at this point you should have some corrections in your Bible if you’ve been with us before. You should know that it is not “Spirit” with a capital “S” as it’s printed in some Bibles, indicating God the Holy Spirit. The Greek says, “the spirit out from God.” Not the Spirit of God. This is a total mistranslation here. It’s the spirit out from God which means it’s the spirit which God gives us. “That we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” And the word “freely given” is just what word? “Grace given.” That’s what it means. It’s the word for grace. “The grace given.”

So, what God is talking about here is this system whereby you may learn as the result of grace. But none of this works unless you have a pastor-teacher who is giving you information.

Now I want to establish something with you in case there’s a little doubt in your mind about this business of the importance of your human spirit. There should be no question in your mind that if your human spirit is not filled with divine truth, you have no contact with God. God does not lead you through your mentality. He leads you through your human spirit. He leads you as the result of doctrine that you have in your human spirit.

I want you to think for just a moment about an Old Testament personality, the young man named Josiah. Josiah was called a good king. He became king when he was eight years old. His father was an idol worshipper as was his grandfather Manasseh before him. They were the kind who built these high places where the sex orgies took place and where the vilest kinds of immorality was practiced, including the burning of infants—often throwing them into the flames, and the Baal worship.

Here’s this little boy growing up. His grandfather Manasseh is a big promoter of idol worship. His father Amon follows in the grandfather’s steps and is another promoter of the high places, the groves, and this little eight-year-old boy becomes king upon the assassination of his father Amon. Now there is something about Josiah even as an eight-year-old that is reaching out for God.

Here you have an example of a person who is in a primitive situation. It’s like a person today who has never heard about the name of Jesus Christ. But everybody sooner or later comes to consciousness of God, and if you go positive toward that consciousness, God will bring a missionary down that trail to give you the information you need to be saved. And Josiah reaches out for God.

The book of 2 Chronicles 34:1-4 says, “And Josiah was eight years when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of David his father, …” He took David as his example, as his ideal—not his father or his grandfather. “… and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David is father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the idols, and the carved images, and the molten images.”

(“And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the image, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.”)

Now this is where the phallic cults were being worshipped where idols were used for the sexual orgies and everything else that was connected with this kind of worship. Now here is a youngster who grew up in the surroundings of this kind of darkness and immorality. He goes positive toward God. One thing that he does not have is the Word of God—no Bible. There is no Bible because what has happened at the temple? The grandfather has set up the cult of the idol worship right in the temple itself. The temple is a shambles.

Now when Josiah comes to the throne when he gets older, he orders that the temple be cleaned up. You know the story. In the process of repairing the temple, somebody looks in the corner and says, “Hey, what’s that sticking out there?” And a workman reaches down and he pulls out the end of something. It’s a long thing and it proves to be a scroll. And they unravel it and they say, “Why this is the Bible.” They finally found a copy of the Word of God. Now this is important so they rush it to the young king Josiah.

Verse 14 says, “When they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord (for its repair), Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of the Lord given by Moses.” Verse 18 of 2 Chronicles 34 says, “Then Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, ‘Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book,’ and Shaphan read it before the king.

Now here’s a young lad who is positive toward his awareness of God but he has no information. He is in the condition as most Christians who go to church. Many a Christian walks into church. They’re sitting in churches all over this city now, and all over this nation. Many of them are very receptive to God. They would go right to him. They would open their hearts, if they had some information. This boy had an open heart but no information. Well look what happens when he gets the information.

“And it came to pass when the king had heard the words of the law that he tore his clothes…,” which was the oriental way of expressing sorrow and repentance and grief. “… and the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe and Asaiah a servant of the king’s saying, ‘Go inquire of the Lord for me. And for them that are left in Israel and in Judah concerning the words of the book that is found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us because our fathers have not kept the Word of the Lord to do all that is written in this book.’”

Leviticus 26 - Discipline

As he looked into the Word of God being read he realized that his nation was in a disastrous situation. He realized that the nation had gone so far against God’s principals, and God had said what He was going to do to people. All you’ve got to do is look up Leviticus 26 and you’ll see six stages of discipline through which God brings people and a nation who rebel against Him. And he (Josiah) realized that they were in one of the latter stages of the series of discipline. So, he said, “Ask God what’s going to happen to us in view of the way we have violated the will of God.”

Now in verse 24, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Behold I bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, even all the curses which are written in the book which you have read before the king of Judah because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense unto other gods that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore, my wrath shall be poured out upon this place and it shall not be quenched. As for the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord, so shall you say unto Him. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard. Because thine heart was tender (which is another word for positive volition) and thou didst humble thyself before God when thou heard his words against this place and against its inhabitants and humblest thyself before me and didst tear thy clothes and weep before me, I have even heard thee also saith the Lord. Behold I will gather thee to thy fathers and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace. Neither shall thine eye see all the evil that I will bring upon this place and upon the inhabitants of the same.’ So, they brought the king word again.”

Now what the king was told was the nation is going to suffer. There is no return. This nation is doomed, Josiah. That might ring a familiar note to you and me in the United States of America today because everything that’s going on in this country today spells out another step in the doom of this nation. Interestingly enough, the drug bit has become so monstrous that the president of the United States has taken personal command of dealing with that issue. Now he’s kind of busy. When he says, “I’m taking personal command of an issue,” you know it’s something big. And I’ll tell you something else. The president of the United States is not going to turn the tide backwards, and the drug culture is going to mount precipitously in this nation. Berkeley has already been taken over by a communist oriented government, and one of its purported goals is to make the drug culture safe within the confines of the municipality of Berkeley.

This nation that we live in is headed for disaster. We know that it cannot be the leading nation of the world in end times. The western world will be led from Europe by the Antichrist. So you live in a nation that’s headed for disaster. Josiah is a tremendous example of what a Christian can do who is living in a disastrous situation, either personally or nationally.

God, in another place in the Word of God, said that if such great men as Noah and David and Job were in a city that God had doomed such as had been pronounced upon Judah at this time, the Word of God says the only people that would be saved by their positive volition would be Job and Noah and David and men who had responded as they did to the Word of God. But they would not save the city. What the Word of God is telling us is that the Davids and the Jobs and the Noahs can survive through national disaster. Why? Because of their righteousness. Where does the Christian have his righteousness? Right there, in the human spirit. This is what preserved Josiah. In his day there was peace.

(The Word of God) says you Christians are the salt of the earth. You are the preservers. When a nation comes to a certain point where it has fallen below a certain line of people who have divine viewpoint in their human spirit, that nation goes to destruction. Once it goes there’s no turning back. So, is the pastor-teacher an important job or isn’t it? Is it something that we can take lightly? Can you afford to keep going to a place where this is not functioning, and pouring your money into such an operation?

You should see what we can tell about these kids in camp and these counselors of ours. You’ve got some over high school kids and some young college adults that have a lot of savvy. They spot these kids just like that. They talk with them a little bit and they size them up immediately and they’re the kids who come from the big denominations. They’re just as disoriented to spiritual things. They’re just as dull in spiritual things as you can imagine because they’re sitting in church every Sunday listening to something else except the exposition of the Word of God.

The human IQ is excluded from all this. We’re told that this system works. It’s a grace freely-given system. But it’s all as God contacts you in your human spirit. If there’s nothing there, there’s nothing for Him to contact you. Josiah went on and he became a very great king because once he had the Word of God, he had information. And the more information he got into his spirit, the greater the king he became. When he died, we won’t take time to read it, but when this man died, he was killed in battle, the response of the people was, “Who can take his place? How will we ever have another Josiah? We have lost something that we shall again see in our day.”

Now why could they say that? Because he was positive to the Word and God saw to it that he got the Word. He had a mother who was teaching him. His father was teaching him how to run orgies up on the hillside, but his mother was giving him God’s point of view, and probably Hilkiah the high priest. Once the father was out of the way, they were free to give him the information, and he was a kid who responded.

I want you to notice something about this human spirit of ours in Romans 8:16 so we can tie a few things together. The Bible tells us that God the Holy Spirit himself beareth witness (makes testimony) with our human spirit that we are the children of God. Now here’s a clear verse that tells you where God contacts your life with information. He makes it clear to you that you belong to the family of God, not up in your mind, but by the information that He gives you in your human spirit which then does come up and affects your mentality.

1 Corinthians 2:12 (which we have already looked at this morning) says, “Now we have not received the spirit of the world (the world’s techniques for learning) but the spirit which is out from God” (our human spirit). Why have we been given this human spirit from God? “… that we might know the things of God that are freely given to us.” The word for “know” here is not the word to “know” by experience. This is not what you get by experience. It’s the Greek word for knowing by information that is delivered to you. And you have to have a human spirit to understand spiritual things. It ties together beautifully.

Job had this information in Job chapter 32. This was one of the first books of the Bible written, maybe the first book. Job 32:8 says, “But there is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.” “There is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty.” What God tells (is what) gives them understanding. He gives men understanding as the result of the spirit that is in him. Look at the verse before. It says, “Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.” It says that as you get older you should get smarter. But it says here that when it comes to spiritual things, there is a spirit in man and God gives that understanding, not the fact that you’ve lived.

There are some people who go around religiously. They think they’ve been in church for a long time. They’re adults. And I can take a lot of adults and match a few juniors out of this church up against them and they’ll run circles around them in spiritual understanding. Just because you’ve got years doesn’t mean that you’ve got understanding in spiritual things because you get that from the Word of God into your human spirit. And if you’re not around the Word of God, you don’t have anything in the human spirit.

Let’s match up a couple more verses here in Proverbs. Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inward parts.” It is the human spirit of man which God uses as the lamp to shine upon our understanding, to give us direction, and to show us the way. And in Psalm 18:28 it says, “For thou will light my lamp. The Lord my God will lighten my darkness.” Now put those together. The spirit of man is the lamp that God uses to give him guidance, and it is God who will light the lamp.

Now you may pursue this on your own but you had better have an appreciation for your human spirit because it’s different than your soul and it’s different than your body, and it is the key of God’s dealing with you in your lives. Now you can apply human knowledge from your mind but you can’t apply spiritual knowledge from your mind. Truth in the mind is just knowledge. We’ve been calling it that Greek word “gnosis.” But when you believe God, then it comes into your human spirit and it becomes full knowledge or that “epignosis.”

So, here’s the grace system for learning doctrine. God has given us the Scriptures. He has established local churches. He has given us pastor-teachers to instruct. They have a special gift. Every Christian is a priest so he can listen privately and make his decisions. 1 Peter 2, 5 and 9 tells you about that priesthood. We have the Holy Spirit who indwells us to make this system work. 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 tell us about how the Holy Spirit indwells us in order that we may learn. We may take the information that is given and we may learn from it.

Let’s look up 1 John 2:27. It says, “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you.” Let’s compare that to 1 John 2:20, the anointing of which he’s speaking, “But ye have an unction (or an anointing) from the Holy One and ye know all things.” The Holy One here is God the Holy Spirit who enables you to understand all spiritual things. 1 John 2:27 says that the anointing which you’ve received of Him abides in you, and you don’t need any man to teach you. “But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things and is truth and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in Him.

Now people who are negative to the idea of the necessity of a pastor-teacher will bring this verse up to you. They’ll says, “Ah hah.” And I’ve had them come to me and say, “I want to show you. You don’t have to have a man to teach you. All you have to do is sit down and start reading the Bible.” And in some of our Christian schools you’ll find resistance over the idea that you need a pastor-teacher.

Well what this verse is saying is that an understanding of spiritual things can’t be delivered by a human being. That has to be delivered by God the Holy Spirit. But that understanding, as we search the rest of Scripture we discover, is dependent upon information—right information from the Word of God, and that’s what comes from the pastor-teacher. Naturally, he’s not going to give you the understanding. He’s going to give you the information. As to whether you understand it or not depends on what? If you are filled with God the Holy Spirit. If you’re sitting here this morning and you have sin that’s in conflict in your life and you haven’t confessed it to God, you’re not going to understand much of anything at all. But if you are open to the Word because you are filled with the spirit, you will understand. Now you may reject it as you understand it, but you will understand it. And it is God the Holy Spirit who is the teacher in every church service. So, the confession of sin is important to open the door. Then what you do with it determines how useful this truth is to you.

So, the pastor-teacher teaches. He explains, he gives you summaries, the Holy Spirit gives you understanding, you have volition towards this into your human spirit (or you reject it), and you get knowledge in your head and you get full knowledge in your spirit. It builds up this tremendous frame of reference that we’ve already been talking about which does so many things for us. It gives us the knowledge of advanced doctrine, and conscience.


I hope you understand what the human spirit does for your conscience. Once more, here you have this area of your mind. Here is this frame of reference. God the Holy Spirit takes up information and He gives it to your frame of reference. Your frame of reference comes over here and it gives rules and values to your conscience. Your conscience takes the understanding side of your mind. Your conscience gives information to your understanding, to your perception. And your perception determines your actions.

Now the poor world has nothing for a frame of reference but all that human viewpoint guff that is given out from society around us. So, it has a bad conscience. There is a conscience that gives its perception bad instruction. This is why our nation is in trouble. We have a bad frame of reference nationally. We have a bad outlook toward communism. We have a bad outlook toward the war in Vietnam, and the fact that it is the will of God that we defend national entities. The more disoriented you are in your conscience, the more opposed you will be to everything the Word of God stands for. Your human spirit and your reception of the Word and your ability to be able to have the Word from somebody is all tied together. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” And you remember that this Hebrew word means the way you cut a thing, how you divide it, how you look at it. The word conscience in the Greek means joint knowledge. It’s information that has been put up there. So, if you have bad information, you have a bad conscience. If you have good information, you have a good conscience.

When you’re out of fellowship, you short-circuit all of this and you can’t learn anything. You short-circuit at this end where it’s coming down from your mind, and you can’t learn anything. So, the conscience is dependent on your relationship to the Lord. When you have it, you have a stable divine viewpoint.

Incidentally, this resolves the problems of your subconscious. This is what makes psychiatrists rich. They get some poor joker out there on the couch who’s got some deep-seated guilt complexes that he’s not even aware of. And you are guilty of things perhaps that you have done in the past that shoved down into the subconscious and you’re not even aware of them, but those things eat away at you. You are not built to be able to live with unresolved subconscious guilt. But this system that God had created will remove that. That’s what the frame of reference does for you. It cleans up your subconscious and gives you a conscience which is stable with God’s point of view.

You find Christians who are unhappy that once they start getting the Word of God become very happy Christians. Christians who are depressed because of what’s eating away underneath in their subconscious become Christians who have a relaxed mental attitude once they get the Word of God. What you’re breathing out towards God and towards man is this full knowledge. This is what your experiences are with people. You’re actually dealing with people on the basis of divine principal. You’re breathing out toward them “epignosis,” instead of just your human viewpoint.

Now a Christian’s fellowship is this constant exhaling out of his being of this full knowledge toward God. So, you can love man. You can remove callouses off of your soul. You can love people in the right way. You can build up this spiritual maturity structure which we’re going to go in great detail on which is your defense against Satan and his attack. You can’t communicate what you don’t know, and you can’t use what you don’t have. That’s why God has established the system of the local pastor to provide this spiritual maturity.

Now the second purpose that we want to just get into this morning is the next “for.” The first purpose in Ephesians 4:12 is to equip you for the work of spiritual combat. The second purpose is “for the work of the ministry.” The first purpose has to do with preparing you for Satan’s attack. The second purpose has to do with divine versus human good.

This is the other problem we face as Christians. We’re forever running around producing human good instead of divine good. The work of the ministry here refers to that which God the Holy Spirit produces through us. If you are going to go heaven and be rewarded as a Christian, it will be because you have produced divine good. If you go to heaven and find yourself at a loss as a Christian it will be because you spent your life producing human good. This is immediately a very sobering thing. Here if the pastor-teacher has not done the first part of his work, then you are doomed in the second part. You can’t produce one bit of divine good if the pastor-teacher fails in his job. Now that’s frightful.

Now you think of all those poor Christians who are sitting around in churches where the Word of God is not being talk by explanation, according to the historical background, and people being given summaries of truth so that they get human spirits that are filled with the Word of god, they don’t have a chance. They just do not have a chance and they are spending their lives being nice people producing human good.

Next Sunday morning we are going to begin with the doctrine of divine good, and I’m going to spell this out in great detail to you as to what’s involved in producing divine good, and what it constitutes. You need to have this thoroughly in your understanding so you can constantly be questioning yourself and saying, “Just a minute. Am I doing some nice sweet humanitarian do-goodism, or am I really producing, because of what God is doing through me, divine good?” Don’t you kid yourself. There’s many a seminary student that’s shoveling out human good by the carload, and he feels tremendously pleased with himself because he’s out there in the do-goodism of society. He doesn’t realize that there’s no difference between him and the unbeliever who can do human good just as good as he can.

God has a divine program of divine good for your life. That’s his plan. I’m happy to tell you that there’s a way for you to function under it but you have to understand what it is. We begin there next Sunday morning. If the pastor-teacher fails at the first “for,” for the perfecting of the saints, there can be no work of the ministry. Do you see why the church is viewed with such contempt by young people today? Because there is no work of the ministry.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

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