The Analysis of Scripture, No. 8

The Pastor-Teacher - PH04-02

We are now just beginning to study a new book, the book of Philippians. We are looking at the first verse, and we'll be in the first verse for the next few sessions. Those of you who are mature believers understand that the approach to the study of the Word of God requires two things. It requires, first of all, that you have a living human spirit which you receive at the point of salvation so that you may receive spiritual things. It also requires that God the Holy Spirit shall indwell you in the condition that the Bible describes as being filled with the Spirit. This is the condition prerequisite to God the Holy Spirit being able to teach you the Word of God. Filling is accomplished by the confession of all personal known sins.

So I'm going to ask you to pray, to give you an opportunity to search your own heart in order that if you are here carelessly without having given this any thought, you will not waste this study. You may yet, at this point, salvage this study for yourself, and God will have something very significant out of His Word for you, providing that you enter the status of being filled with the Spirit. Therefore you as your own priest must search your own heart in the presence of God and bring that to Him which ought to be brought.

As you know, the Christian, upon his salvation, takes into the Christian life a very diseased part of his being. That is the old sin nature--the inclination to evil. For this reason, every believer is capable of every imaginable sin and of every kind of deceptive human good. Anybody who does not think that he is capable of the grossest kind of sins and of the weirdest kind of human do-goodism is a fool. Often, all you need is an opportunity to demonstrate how true this is about yourself; your capacity to sin; and, your capacity to deceive yourself with human good production. The control of the old sin nature can only be accomplished through a knowledge of Bible doctrine, and through the status of being filled with the Spirit.

The Pastor-Teacher

The pastor-teacher gift that we have been referring to in the opening part of this series, and that you're going to be hearing more about, has been supplied to us during the church age to provide for every believer's critical need for the understanding of Bible doctrine. The pastor-teacher, as we have indicated, uses what may be called the HICEE technique. Those letters stand for Hermeneutics (principles of interpretation); Isagogics (the background--historical and social, at the time in which a particular book was written); Categories of doctrines summarized; Etymology which is the meaning of words; and, Exegesis is the explanation on the basis of the Greek grammar and syntax. This technique is cast within the Scriptures themselves. It is molded right into the structure of church life in the church age. This is the primary point of attack in our day. There is an antagonism toward the HICEE technique and toward the pastor-teacher responsibility in using this technique to unfold a knowledge of the Word of God to the flock.

Now, Satan is behind all of this opposition because, as a pastor-teacher does his job and people respond to the HICEE technique, they are not subject to Satan's emotional manipulation. For this reason, we have been saying that little devotional talks; clever phrases; cute stories; and, emotional challenges are not going to cut it for you. They will not prepare you as a believer to resist Satan. As a matter of fact, if you insist on listening to devotional expositions; people who are clever with turning a phrase that makes you smile; someone who tells a cute human relationship story of some kind; or, someone who gets up there and warms the cockles of your heart with a great challenging experience of emotion, you are a sitting duck, and you're going to get shot down. You are the kind of people that Satan can get to in the easiest possible way. So please don't think that we're coming on overly heavy when we stress to you that God has made a provision that you cannot afford to ignore. That provision has been described for us in Ephesians 4:11 as the pastor-teacher.

Granville Sharp's Rule

I want to explain to you a little bit more about what's involved in being a pastor-teacher. In the Greek language, there is a rule of grammar called Granville Sharp's rule. Here is what it says: Granville Sharp's rule declares that when in the Scriptures you have a noun connected by the Greek word "and" ("kai") to another noun; the first noun has the definite article "the;" and, the second noun does not have the definite article, the rule states that the second noun always refers to the same thing as the first noun. Now you may not be a Greek scholar, but you can understand this, and I want you to understand this so that you'll see we are not simply making up something. You are going to have to stand up to other believers and say, "Listen friend, you're wrong when you resist the fact that the Christian source of divine viewpoint understanding is the pastor-teacher. Any other techniques or any other devices are secondary." For you to be able to say that, you have to understand where we get that basis of teaching authority in the local church ministry.

Granville Sharp's Rule says that when you have two nouns connected by "and;" the first one has the article "the" (that is called "articular"); and, the second one does not have the article (it is "anarthrous"), then the second noun is talking about the same thing, or it's describing the same person as is mentioned in the first noun.

Now let's look at Acts 2:23. Here's an illustration which at the same time will give you an important bit of information concerning doctrine. Acts 2:23 says, "Him (that is, Christ) being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." Notice the phrase, "being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." The word "foreknowledge" looks like this in Greek: "prognosis." "Prognosis" in classical Greek simply meant "previous knowledge." It's easy enough to understand from English. Foreknowledge means that you know something ahead of time. However, the Word of God reveals to us (the way God the Holy Spirit uses this word in the Greek New Testament) tells us something that you would never see from the English Bible. The Greek takes the Greek words for "determinate counsel," connects them with the Greek "kai" ("and"), and then adds the word "foreknowledge." The "determinate counsel" portion is preceded by the word "the." "Foreknowledge" in the Greek does not have the definite article "the." Therefore, we know that "foreknowledge" is the same as "determinate counsel."

Look what this is telling us. People want to know, what is "foreknowledge?" What does election mean? Does election mean that God picks certain people for salvation? Some people say, "No, the reason you are elect is because God in His foreknowledge looked down the corridors of time and He said, "Well, look there, Sam Jones is going to believe the gospel. He's elect. John Brown over here--he won't. He's out." This suggests that there was a point in God's experience where He had to learn something. Now since God is omniscient, we know that that's wrong on that account alone. However, by Granville Sharp's rule of Greek grammar, we have here in this verse the definite statement that foreknowledge is the same thing as determinate counsel. Why does God have foreknowledge? Because He determined that a thing would take place. That's why He knew it would take place ahead of time.

In other words, out in eternity past, the Godhead had a conference. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit got together and they had a conference on what they were going to do about man's fallen sin condition. At that council, a decision was made. The decision was made that God the Son would go to the cross as a God man free of an old sin nature, and die a spiritual death in order to pay for the sins of the world. Because this had been determined in that Godhead conference of the Trinity, God knew beforehand that Christ was going to die on the cross. That's what Acts 2:23 says, "Being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by wicked hands and have crucified and slain." This was foreknowledge because God determined it.

Here's another one in 2 Peter 1:1: We have a phrase that raises the question, is Jesus Christ deity? Some of the cult groups like Jehovah's Witnesses say, "No, Christ is not God. He is just a good man. The Spirit of God came upon Him at His baptism, and left Him at the crucifixion at His death." However, 2 Peter 1:1 answers that question for us. For it says, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ." The question is, do the words "God" and "Savior Jesus Christ" refer to the same person? Or is this saying, "God the Father and another person, Jesus Christ, our Savior, who is not God? Well, Granville Sharp's rule comes into play, and here is what the Greek has: "Righteousness of God" is preceded by the article "the." It's connected by "and" to "our savior Jesus Christ" which does not have the article. It is anarthrous. Therefore, we know that "Jesus Christ our Savior" refers back to the same noun previously stated, which is "God." For this reason, we have definite scriptural statements that Jesus Christ was deity.

Ephesians 4:11

Now that you understand that rule, let's apply it to the thing that we are pursuing in this session. That's in Ephesians 4:11 where we have this phrase of several spiritual gifts which were given to the church. One was apostles, and then prophets, neither of which we have today. Then it lists evangelists which we do have today. The next gift (which is a combination gift) is pastor-teachers. "And some pastors and teachers" is what your translation may have. In the Greek, it simply says "the pastors and teachers."

Here's the Greek setup. You will notice that before the word "pastors" is the Greek article "the," but you will notice that before the word "teachers," there is no article. This is articular for the word "pastors," and it is an anarthrous for the word "teachers." Therefore, we know that "teachers" and "pastors" are the same person. The pastors and the teachers refer to the identical person. For this reason, we say that this spiritual gift is to be referred to as the pastor-teacher gift. It is a single gift, or if you want to abbreviate it, it is the "PT" gift. The pastor part of this gift has to do with His authority in the local church over the flock as Christ's under-shepherd. It refers to the fact that Jesus Christ is the chief shepherd. 1 Peter 5:4 speaks about the Lord as our chief shepherd. All the pastors are under-shepherds of Jesus Christ.

We have the word "pastors" which is masculine. We have the word "flock" which is feminine. I think that's significant because it indicates that the relationship between the pastor-teacher and his flock is comparable to the relationship between a husband and his wife. The woman is to respond to the man, and the flock is to respond to its pastor. Instead, you have this grotesque scene all over churches where pastors are patsies and employees of the congregation. They're not the authorities in the church. There is some board of businessmen that has been elected, and they are the final authorities in the church. There is never any justification for this in the Word of God. There is never any justification that a board should be an authority in a local church above the authority of the pastor. The pastor-teacher is the elder bishop in the local church. There is only one pastor elder in a local church. There is only one pastor-teacher per local church, and he is the authority responsible for that ministry. He's the executive head of that work.

In a city like Ephesus, a great metropolitan city, I know some of you are thinking, "Well, now wait a minute. There was the apostle Paul that we have in Acts 20. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Ephesus. Furthermore, in Acts 20, we have the record of how he called all of Ephesian elders to meet him at Troas. They had that final gathering--that very emotional meeting--where he said, 'Now this is the last time you will ever see me on this side of eternity. You will never see me again.' All of these pastors from the church at Ephesus came down. Doesn't this tell us that the single church of Ephesus had multiple pastors?" Well, we're going to go into more detail on this in the future, but I just want to clue you in this much.

Where did the Christians in the early church meet? In big gymnasiums like ours? Not on your life. They would have given a lot to have a place like that. But even if they'd had a big auditorium, it wouldn't have covered their needs. In a metropolitan center like Ephesus, there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of believers all over the place. They did not meet in church buildings. It wasn't until about the year 300 A.D. that they began building church buildings. Before that, they met in each other's homes. So, they had a city filled with hundreds of believers. How many people are you going to be able to squeeze into one house--even a pretty good-sized house? So immediately, we must recognize that all over the city of Ephesus were these homes in which believers met, and every home was a local congregation, and in every home there was one pastor-teacher gift provided by God for the provision; the sustenance; the training; and, the educating of that flock in the Word of God.

So when Paul said, "I want the Ephesian elders to meet me," he wasn't talking about elders from one church. He was talking about all these pastor-teacher elders from all over the city of Ephesus, and all of these many many church congregations that were meeting. When he wrote a letter to the church at Ephesus, he was looking upon this as a geographic area to whom he was writing. One church secured the letter, and then passed it on throughout the city to all the other congregations. It's important that you understand that there is no such thing in the New Testament as plurality of elders. Each passage that seems to teach that, when you look at it in the right context of the situation of the times, you will discover that it speaks about (and can be understood perfectly as) numerous congregations all over the city, each with its one pastor-teacher authority.

As the pastor exercises his responsibility towards that flock, and that flock alone (he has no authority over the church down the street), he will watch over the flock. He will guide them. He will fight for them, and he will deal with them severely if necessary unless they willfully cut out. Once they willfully cut out of his congregation, then they are responsible as their own priest to the Lord for that decision. The pastor that they left can breathe a sigh of relief, and he is no longer burdened with responsibility for them. For this reason, Hebrews 13:7 says, "Remember them who have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the Word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their manner of life." This refers to the pastor-teacher.

Verse 17 adds, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief. For that is unprofitable for you." If you reject the pastor-teacher's instruction, and if you go negative, then you will suffer the consequences of your negative volition. He will not be happy over it, but it will be unprofitable for you. It will not be unprofitable for him. Remember that God holds the pastor-teacher responsible for one thing--to explain to you God's divine viewpoint. As to what you do with it, he is not held responsible for that. That is your problem, and that is your duty and your responsibility. God will either bless, or your blessing will be lost according to your decision.

That's the pastor part of this. The teacher part of this is the gift that is necessary for him to do the work of pastoring. For this reason, when 1 Timothy 3:2 gives the list of requirements of duties that are required of a bishop (that is, a pastor-teacher), it says, among other things, that he must be apt to teach. You cannot be a pastor if you do not have the spiritual gift of teaching. Now many Christians have the spiritual gift of teaching, and they are to exercise it in the local church. Not all Christians have the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher. In any local church, there is only one man who has that gift provided to that church. He is the right pastor-teacher for that particular right church. Now the pastor teacher may on occasion be asked to travel elsewhere to teach the Word of God. When he does that, he is not traveling as pastor-teacher. He is not exercising his pastor-teacher gift when he stands up before a group of believers on such an occasion. He is exercising his teaching gift alone, for he has no authority in the congregation that he is instructing at that particular point.

A pastor-teacher has to do many things in the local church. Sometimes he may have to drive the school bus to get the kids to school when the bus drivers are sick. Sometimes he may have to substitute for teachers when they get sick. There are any number of things that he may do. However, ultimately there is only one thing that he is called upon to do, and that is to teach the Word of God. For this reason, it is to the best interests of the members to see to it that, as much as possible, the pastor-teacher has free uninterrupted time in order to do the work of study and the work of preparation that is necessary in order to explain the Word of God.

To have the pastor-teacher gift in a local church is crucial to the life of that church. However, you can neutralize it by delegating all kinds of things to the pastor. You have all kinds of problems that you could solve, but instead, you come along and you hand it back to him. So he has all of your work delegated back to him. You have a job. You have a teaching ministry. You can't be there. What do you do? You call him up and say, "I can't be there to teach." You treat him like he's Santa Claus with a little bag of tricks, and he can say, "Oh that's perfectly all right. If you don't show up, I'll reach into my bag and out will come a wonderful little thing, and everybody will be very impressed, and they'll never know that you're not here." His bag of tricks gets very very low.

Instead, you ought to find your substitute yourself. You ought to find the person to perform your duty until the time comes when you declare, "I'm no longer responsible for this particular job or this particular task." There are many ways in which you could relieve the pastor-teacher, and it will be to your personal eternal benefit to do so. It's not because he's trying to make his job so much easier.

Now just because a man has a pastor-teacher gift, does not in itself qualify him for the ministry. Here's where the trouble comes. There are many pastors who have the pastor-teacher gift, but what they have not been taught is that to exercise that gift, they have to operate on the HICEE technique. Nobody has ever taught them. Nobody has ever prepared them. Nobody has ever given them the background so that they could explain the Word of God on the basis of what those original languages are saying. This was different in the New Testament church in one respect because everybody understood Greek. Therefore, when they read the Greek manuscripts (those original manuscripts and copies), they understood all that the Greek was saying. Yet, even then, people still needed a pastor-teacher to explain doctrine and to classify doctrine for them as you can see by their gatherings in Acts 2:42. One of the things for which they gathered was the apostles' doctrine.

Signs of a Non-Functioning Pastor-Teacher

Alright, there are certain signs of the fact that a pastor-teacher is not functioning in a local church. Perhaps we should mention these because you may have occasion not to be fortunate enough to be in town sometimes. Also, these people who listen to our audio recordings may need to become alerted to the fact that they are sitting in churches, and that the reason they're having to send for our tapes in order to feed on the Word of God is because somebody is conning them in the churches that they're attending. There are certain signals that you will be able to spot.

No Verse-by-Verse Exposition

One of these signs is that there is no verse-by-verse exposition through a book of the Bible from the meaning of the original languages of the Greek and Hebrew in which these books were written. Instead, you will discover that there are three cute little points all hung together by an acrostic or something; there are some illustrations out of somebody's experience last week; and, then there is an emotional moving challenge. Every week you notice there's this little set up of three little points. Maybe they sneak in four sometimes--these illustrations that just keep you on the edge of your seat. Sometimes you have to come back next week to find out how the story ended. Then they make all of these challenges to the inside of the emotions of your soul. When you spot that, that should be a signal to you: "Uh-oh, I am not sitting in a HICEE-technique church."

Inspirational Devotions

Or, maybe the passage is used simply to bring you devotional inspirational thoughts. It's not explaining the text. One of the reasons for this is because it's a whole lot easier to preach sermons that just give little devotional thoughts, and just bring a little inspiration and recollection. It's the easiest thing in the world to stand up and reminisce. You can buy books that are just filled with these stories. They're like Dale Carnegie books--just one story after another in order to prove some spiritual truth. Now, listen. That's devotional talking; that's playing on your emotions; and, that's causing you to walk out and think you've been to church, and you haven't learned a cotton-picking thing. If you don't watch yourself, you'll be pulled in by that, and you won't know the difference. This is because a fellow who's good with words will put it across and put it over on you. You will notice the absence of the HICEE technique.

Indifference to Negative Volition

Also you will notice that negative volition in the hearers is treated with indifference. The preacher preaches with loopholes. He does not confront you in such a way that you know that this is what God says; and, what the implications of this in our society and in our practice are. Therefore, it has a certain implication. You may not like his implications. You may not like his applications. You may not like what he has to say about how you should dress; how you should look; how you should talk; how you should act; and, where you should go as a believer, consequent to certain doctrinal statements, but at least learn the doctrine and learn the basis of the application. Then if you want to go negative, that's up to you. That's your priesthood. However, you may find that you are never disturbed by the Word of God. You will sit in church, and you will have one of two responses.

When the HICEE technique is used, your heart will flow in gratitude to God in response for what is being opened up to you, and you will go home riding on a cloud with the thrill that you've been in the presence of the Word of God, and you have been able to worship God. The other response you may have is that you are resistant to the Word. You will sit there grinding your teeth. You will sit there thinking all kinds of nasty ugly things about the pastor-teacher. Every now and then, you'll look up and think, "Same to you, fella." You'll be striking back. However, you will not sit there neutral. I guarantee you.

So if you've been taught by the HICEE technique, either you're thrilled to the end of your brain cells by content of the Word of God, or you're hopping mad as you've heard God speak through His man. That person has encountered you and held up a mirror and said, "I want to show you what a baboon you look like. I just want to show you on the basis the mirror of the Word of God." You don't like what you see, and you blame him for holding the mirror up, forgetting that God made the mirror in the first place for what you see. When negative volition is treated with indifference, it's a sure sign you've got a professional pastor-teacher up there who's not doing his job.

Sharing Mutual Ignorance

Here's another good sign. This is when the meetings are thrown open for people to express what everybody thinks a certain verse means. This is learning through sharing of your mutual ignorance. I've already told you about the man I once had in a Sunday school class. I was explaining about a passage like Luke 21:11 that talks about earthquakes in divers places. I explained that that meant in various places around the world as one of the signs of the end times. This man said, "Oh I always thought that that meant the honky-tonks, the dives, and the joints along the highways, and that they're going to get all broken up and busted up by the Lord."

That's like the little kid whose Sunday school teacher said, "Now I want you to draw a picture about something of our Sunday school lesson that we learned this morning." They were learning about Adam and Eve and their sinning in the garden, and what God did to them. So this little boy hands in a picture, and there's a beautiful Cadillac car, and Adam and Eve are sitting in the back seat with all their little fig leaves on them, and there's God with his halo up in front driving. The teacher asked, "What does this mean?" The boy said, "You told us God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden." Now that kid was as good at exegesis as most people are.

This is like the guy who didn't like women wearing hair tied up in a knot on the top of their heads. So he used Mark 13:15 (and I kid you not), and he got up and he took the phrase, "He that is on a house top not go down," and he used the phrase "top not go down." And that was his sermon to prove that ladies shouldn't wear your hair up, but you should wear it long as a lady. (Although women should wear their hair long. That's how we tell the difference from the back--one from the other.)

But this kind of exegesis is just as inane as anytime that a group gets together and says, "Well, what do you think about this verse? What do you think this verse means?" This seems so sophisticated. There are some good Christian people who are promoting this kind of guff. They're telling you that you can sit down with your English Bible and you can learn just as much of the depth of the Word of God as they can who have been prepared with gifts and training to explain the Word of God to you, which is the way God intended you to learn it. Now this is not to say that you should not study the Word on your own or read the Word of God. As a matter of fact, we try to give you enough in one single session here at Berean Memorial Church that it will take you all week to study what you've heard, and get an audio recording to be able to get it down straight. It will take you all week to get that well learned and well understood. That's exactly what you should be doing. However, you've got some content and some basis for some straight learning.

Now when you get together in these groups, they're a danger to you because many people have gone into tongues as a result of getting into groups. You and your wife get together with some friends (other husbands and their wives), and you begin sharing the Word with one another. I have asked people, "How did you ever get into tongues?" I have had more people tell me, "Well, we got together with this couple. We were up at their house and we had some cokes and chips, and we began to talk about the Bible, and study the Bible together." Pretty soon, they were into the emotional pitch of tongues.

This is especially bad if in the group you have a couple of pushy opinionated women present. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 tell us that a woman is to sit in church silently, and listen to the Word of God explained by the pastor-teacher, and learn it. What she does not understand, she is to go home to ask her husband for further explanation. He should be her best teacher in the Word. If he doesn't know, he has to check it out and come back to her with the answer. This is not to say that she cannot ask the pastor-teacher also, but her basic line of instruction is in church--not in a women's group.

So you men should be smart enough never to let your wife attend a women's bible study group (especially if it's taught by a woman). That is the kiss of death, and you would be inviting a lot of disaster and grief into her life and yours. I would also be very cagey about women's prayer groups which have a way of degenerating into sharing with each other your personal private matters and business, especially concerning your husband that you have no business telling anybody else except the Lord. I know what I'm talking about. There is more grief and more heartache created by women's study groups and prayer groups than you can imagine.

I had one lady tell me only last week (who had heard me say this once before) that there was a little group in town that was inviting ladies to their class called the Sweetness and Light class. She said, "I almost did it, and then I remembered, and I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn't get trapped into that." Out of that class comes a lot that is something quite other than sweetness and light.

So men don't let other women get their claws into your wife. If you are in a local church when visitors come in, there's always a certain group of women who are this pushy opinionated type. They wish that they had been born pastor-teachers, and they're trying to make it up some other way on their own. They're this type, and they get their claws into every new woman who comes along to pull her into their little home study group. This is not justified in the Word of God. God has provided you a technique for learning the Word, and the person to provide that instruction.

Drama and Showmanship

The pastor who is not doing his job will try to substitute with dramatics and showmanship for teaching content. He'll go into legalisms. He'll counter the grace orientation that should be at the core of your life. It is a great loss when we reject what the New Testament has provided. God is (so to speak) sitting up in heaven tapping His foot. He has his arms folded, and He's just sitting there waiting to pour out the greatest blessing that you could imagine. Do you know why He can't? Because God can't pour anything into something that does not have the capacity to hold what He pours into it. The only way you get capacity is through the learning of doctrine. That gives you capacity.

Here is almighty God ready to pour out the riches of heaven's blessing upon you, and some idiot is telling you to go home and buy a little book and fill in the answers so you can learn the Word of God. Or, he's telling you to go and read the Bible by yourself and meditate out on the hillside, and to hustle around in some kind of program of sharing yourself with other people. Once you have doctrine, you will share yourself; you will perform Christian service; you'll be the Lord's witness; you'll be sharp; you'll know what to say; and, you'll have content for your prayer life. But getting doctrine is the first step. When God sees that you have capacity through His Word, He will be able to start blessing you, and you will have all that you can stand. It'll be more than you'll be able to contain. So quit faking it, and start making it with God's pastor-teacher provision.

Opposition Techniques

Here are some opposition techniques. One is name-calling. If you study the Word of God day-by-day in this way, you're going to be called a stagnant Christian. Nobody becomes stagnant by taking in the refreshing Word of God. You become stagnant by going negative to the Word of God. A second device is the virtue word device. "All we need is love." When a speaker gets emotional with you, you can almost always suspect that he's trying to cover up ignorance of doctrine. So we have books written, and titles say it with emotion in one way or another. It just means that the speaker has run out of doctrine. When a speaker gets up and runs out of doctrine, do you know what he does? He starts describing to you all of his emotions. He starts telling you about all the people he loves. He tells you about how he loves his wife. That's nice to hear. Aren't you glad you came to church so this fellow could stand up and tell you that he tells his wife that he loves her? You were dying to hear that, weren't you?

Then he tells how his little boy and his little girl wake up every morning and he says, "I love you." You couldn't wait to get up this morning to hear me tell you that, could you? This guy is so fine that when he sees his cat, he loves her too, and right down the line. Unless you watch this, these people are going to sneak up on your blind side. You're knowledgeable and intelligible Christians, and all of a sudden you're sitting there and you're asking yourself, "What am I doing here?" I'm sitting here listening to this guy unravel his love life to me. This should be a sign to you of what's happening. Down inside is somebody who's trying to substitute a humanly devised technique for God's technique. So he has this virtue word device. Forget pastor-teacher and HICEE--just love. And they don't really know what the word "love" means.

Matthew 12:34-35 is interesting. It's about the speaker who runs out of steam or of content. Or he has the transfer authority device. "You can study the Bible for yourself. You don't need a pastor-teacher's instruction. You are your own authority. The Bible says that you need no one to teach you. God the Holy Spirit will teach you." Well, that's true that God the Holy Spirit will teach you, but that is once you have the content and the understanding of the truth. He will teach you, but you need someone to give you the explanation of content.

Public Opinion

Or you have the unimpeachableness of public opinion. The majority is always right. Most Christians and most seminaries today do not hold to the role of the pastor-teacher in the lives of the people in the way that we have been describing it to you here. Does that mean that they're right? It doesn't mean that they're right one bit, any more than some mob is right. It's just flowing along.

Testimonials

Or there is the employment of testimonials of one who is respected or who has a status symbol. If somebody comes along who is a great religious leader, or he's a teacher in a seminary or something, and he comes along, and he rejects this technique, does that prove that he's right? Does that prove that the Bible does not stand for this? Not on your life. Employment of testimonials doesn't mean a thing. The Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship has run a banquet, as is their habit, and they invited people to attend this banquet without charge so that they could listen to the testimonial of some so-called prominent spiritual religious leader. Because of his testimony to the practice of tongues, they went into that kind of emotional self-destruction. Make no mistake about it that, if tolerated, tongues will destroy your spiritual life. Tongues is stimulated by Satan--not by God.

Mixing Truth and Error

There is also the camouflage technique. This is a mixture of truth and error. Because a person may be right on the gospel, is he to be trusted with everything else down the line? No, sir. He is to be trusted only to the extent that what he preaches (like the Bereans of old) you discover conforms to the Word of God. That's what he is to be trusted on. The camouflage device takes some truth and mixes it with a lot of error. There is also the bandwagon device. The proponents of this device like to say, "All scholars agree," or, "It's in a commentary, so it must be the right interpretation."

Some like to claim that there is no significance to the existence of two special gifts in the church age. This is a favorite one. Proponents of this device like to say that there's no reason; there's no significance; Ephesians 4:11 is not a significant passage; and, that it doesn't mean something special. There are only two communication gifts given to the local church in an official capacity, and those are the gifts of evangelism and of pastor-teacher. It is significant. There is a very great reason. If there is no significance, there is no difference between the pastor-teacher and the congregation as far as being able to enter into a learning of the Word of God. But there is a difference. One is God's means for the other to achieve that insight and that understanding.

So what we are declaring to you here is that you should support this very vital biblical principle. You should go to a church that functions on the HICEE technique where the pastor-teacher is on the one hand exercising the authority that is his within that local church under the final authority of the congregation. They're the stockholders--the congregation has the last and final word. But once they put him in charge, he is in charge. On the other hand, he is exercising his teacher role so that he is fulfilling his authority and responsibility as pastor. That's the kind of church you should attend. I guarantee you that God will never lead you to a church which is not explaining the Bible verse-by-verse on the basis of the meaning of the original languages; on the basis of the background of the Scriptures; and, on the basis of the historical grammatical technique. God will never lead you to a church which is not doing that.

Some of you have sat around in your past in churches like that, and I'm sorry to say that the extent to which you sat in a church like that was a pure waste of time, by and large. You denied yourself what God had for you. God sat there and tapped His foot all the while, waiting, and all those months and years have been squandered time out in the desert for you. You will not recognize your right pastor-teacher by his personality. You will not recognize him by the fact that he strikes you favorably and you like him. You may heartily dislike him, as a matter of fact. You will only recognize him by the fact that he preaches true Bible doctrine by the HICEE technique. That's how you will recognize, and that out of that instruction, you find yourself entering into spiritual maturity, and into a Christian life that functions on God's point of view.

You'll find that you are able to make right decisions. You'll find that you know how to relate yourself to people; you know how to pick the right people in marriage; you know how to pick the right friends; you know how to follow the right course in your business; you know how to deal with your family relationships; and, you have the discernment and the insight to look at your little children, and to projects years ahead something they're doing now, as to how this is going to turn out later in their lives, and you know when to clip it off. You know when to cut them down, and you know when to encourage them. You and I have a spiritual deficiency by nature. You are not going to get this unless you are under this kind of an instructional ministry. God will not lead you to someplace where you're going to starve spiritually. So if you are in a place like that, that's because you choose to be there.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1973

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