How Were Marriages Conducted In The Bible? What Roles Did The Clergy Play In The Conduct Of Marriages In The Scripture?

Some Christian denominations (especially in Africa) recognise only those marriages contracted in the church and officiated by the clergy as ordained of God. All other forms of marriages contracted outside the church are viewed with suspicion and are considered incomplete, until church wedding is conducted. Thus, people who marry according to accepted traditional rites or via the marriage registry, and who have not conducted a church wedding, are considered by some Christians as living in fornication, if they are to have sexual relations. Because of this, some people who have been married traditionally still live apart, and cannot consummate their union, until they have been wedded in the church. And, should pregnancy occur while they’re waiting for the church wedding, the church will not wed them. Are church weddings necessary before couples who have been married traditionally can lawfully consummate their union? Are church weddings even valid on their own, without a traditional or court marriage? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her to the man.

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

In the first marriage in human history, we see God making Eve and then handing her to Adam, as her Father, Maker and Owner. God handed over Eve in marriage to Adam, and that became the standard and pattern for all marriages: the father deciding the condition for giving his daughter in marriage, and once those conditions are met, he hands her over to the man, and from that very moment, they become husband and wife.

The important point here is that, a woman has to be handed over to a man for marriage. The person to hand her over is her father, or the father figure in her life. God was Eve’s Father, since she didn’t have an earthly father. Therefore, God handed her over to Adam himself. Sisters, don’t hand yourself over to a man in marriage without your parents’ consent. Your glory and respect in marriage come from your being handed over by your parents to your husband, who will then become your new caretaker. Honour and respect your parents by allowing them to hand you over with blessings, so that your marriage will be blessed!

Ephesians 6:2 Honor your father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

Ephesians 6:3 That it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.

Let’s look at the next record of marriage in the Bible and see how it was conducted. We will turn to the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah.

Genesis 24:48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter to his son.

Genesis 24:49 And now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.

Genesis 24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceeds from the LORD: we cannot speak to you bad or good.

Genesis 24:51 Behold, Rebekah is before you, take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the LORD has spoken.

Genesis 24:52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.

Genesis 24:53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

Genesis 24:54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away to my master.

Genesis 24:55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.

Genesis 24:56 And he said to them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD has prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.

Genesis 24:57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.

Genesis 24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go.

Genesis 24:59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.

Genesis 24:60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, You are our sister, be you the mother of thousands of millions, and let your seed possess the gate of those which hate them.

Genesis 24:61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode on the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

Genesis 24:62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelled in the south country.

Genesis 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.

Genesis 24:64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

Genesis 24:65 For she had said to the servant, What man is this that walks in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.

Genesis 24:66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.

Genesis 24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

In the account of the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah, we see some startling truths. The marriage was contracted in Rebekah’s house. Rebekah’s father and brother had to give their consent, as well as Rebekah herself. Gifts were given to the family of the bride from the family of the groom. Once the family of the bride and the bride had given consent and the dowry had been paid, the marriage was concluded. Feasting followed, to celebrate the concluded marriage. Thereafter, the bride was taken to her husband’s house and the marriage consummated without delay. We did not see any priest joining the couple on behalf of God. Does this mean that because no priest joined them before an altar, the marriage was not approved or blessed of God? Of course not! We know God approved and blessed the marriage because it was legitimately contracted! When parents hand over their daughter in marriage, following extant traditions, the marriage is approved of God. The people who represent God in joining a couple in marriage are the parents, not priests or pastors! Children belong to the parents who are their God-given care takers. The parents represent God and once their approval has been given, God’s approval is implied. Like God handed over Eve to Adam, it is the father or father figure that hands over a bride to her husband.

The next recorded marriage in Scripture was between Jacob and his two wives. Let’s see how those marriages were solemnised.

Genesis 29:15 And Laban said to Jacob, Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? tell me, what shall your wages be?

Genesis 29:16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

Genesis 29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favored.

Genesis 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.

Genesis 29:19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.

Genesis 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

Genesis 29:21 And Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.

Genesis 29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.

Genesis 29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in to her.

Genesis 29:24 And Laban gave to his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.

Genesis 29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? did not I serve with you for Rachel? why then have you beguiled me?

Genesis 29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.

Genesis 29:27 Fulfill her week, and we will give you this also for the service which you shall serve with me yet seven other years.

Genesis 29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

Genesis 29:29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.

Genesis 29:30 And he went in also to Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

Here again, we see how marriages were contracted among God’s people in the Bible. The father of the bride was in charge of the proceedings from beginning to end. Jacob declared his interest in Rachel, Laban’s daughter. Laban set a bride price which Jacob met. As soon as Jacob had met the bride price (seven years of unpaid labour in Laban’s enterprise), Laban, the bride’s father, made a wedding feast inviting all his people to come and celebrate the marriage of his daughter in his house. Again, we see no priest taking charge to solemnise the marriage. We only see the father and care-taker, God’s representative, taking charge and handing over his daughter in marriage. After the feast, Jacob took his wife and consummated the marriage. God was in it because it was done according to locally approved traditions, with the parents handing over their daughter properly. The marriage was blessed by God and produced the twelve tribes of Israel, from whom Christ came!

Another point of interest in this passage cited above is that, marriage was conducted according to local traditions. Laban told Jacob it was against their tradition to give out the younger daughter in marriage before the elder one, hence Jacob was given Leah instead of Rachel. Though he was deceived and the act itself was despicable, it is important to note that tradition was held in high esteem among the patriarchs in issues of marriage. That’s how God intended it to be. Any marriage conducted lawfully according to tradition is considered honourable, even if it’s among heathens who do not know God. That’s why such marriages conducted before people became born again Christians are honoured by all. It is for this reason that heathens who become converted to Christianity are not to abandon the partners they married as heathens, as the Apostle Paul admonished:

1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother has a wife that believes not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

1 Corinthians 7:13 And the woman which has an husband that believes not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

Whether or not people knew God before marriage, as long as the laws of marriage in a culture were met, God joined those people together! This is the same way every child comes from God, even if illegitimately conceived. God will give children to people once they fulfil his laws of reproduction, even if they don’t know him. That is why Christians honour all marriages, whether it’s among pagans or idol worshippers.

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

A record of a failed attempt at marriage in scripture reveals some interesting features among the ancients with regards to marriage. Let us look at that portion of scripture carefully to extract some important lessons.

Genesis 34:1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bore to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.

Genesis 34:2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

Genesis 34:3 And his soul joined to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spoke kindly to the damsel.

Genesis 34:4 And Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

Genesis 34:5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.

Genesis 34:6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to commune with him.

Genesis 34:7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had worked folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter: which thing ought not to be done.

Genesis 34:8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.

Genesis 34:9 And make you marriages with us, and give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to you.

Genesis 34:10 And you shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade you therein, and get you possessions therein.

Genesis 34:11 And Shechem said to her father and to her brothers, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what you shall say to me I will give.

Genesis 34:12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as you shall say to me: but give me the damsel to wife.

Here, we read of a sad and tragic encounter. Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, was raped by Shechem, a prince of the Hivites, who later came officially for her hand in marriage. Shechem approached his father to get Dinah for him as wife. His father approached Jacob and his family and asked for Dinah’s hand in marriage. They promised to pay whatever dowry that would be required of them. If the sons of Jacob had not acted treacherously and murdered the people for defiling their sister, the marriage would have been concluded by Jacob’s acceptance and Shechem paying the dowry. A feast would have been organised to celebrate it and the couple would have consummated the marriage immediately after the feast. Again, we see marriage as a business entirely between families, with no place for priests as mediators needed to join people on behalf of God. Parents were God’s representatives in joining their children in marriage, not priests. Parental consent and agreement were needed to legalise the contract.

Marriage among the ancients in the bible was a process that was not cumbersome, expensive, time consuming or frustrating, as it is today in certain parts of Africa. What was required was just parental or family consent, with payment of a dowry (which could be in kind as in the case of Jacob and Moses), with an accompanying feast to celebrate the union.

Exodus 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelled in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

Exodus 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock.

Exodus 2:17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

Exodus 2:18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that you are come so soon to day?

Exodus 2:19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock.

Exodus 2:20 And he said to his daughters, And where is he? why is it that you have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.

Exodus 2:21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

Exodus 2:22 And she bore him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

There was no record of Moses paying dowry in cash. However, like Jacob, he worked for his father-in-law and paid his dowry in kind. The most important thing here was that, as soon as parental consent was given and the bride handed over to Moses, the marriage was completed and it was immediately consummated. No priests were involved, and no ceremony was conducted in the temple. Reuel, the father of the bride and her God-ordained caretaker, handed Zipporah his daughter to Moses, like God handed over Eve to Adam.

The next phase in the evolution of marriage in Scripture was under the Law. Here, we see marriage brought under the Mosaic Law and regulated by it. The Israelites were enjoined to marry only within themselves, to avoid being led into idolatory by their heathen spouses. But, even under the Law with an established and revered priesthood that acted as mediator between God and the people in spiritual matters, fathers still retained the power and authority to hand over their daughters in marriage. The priests had absolutely no say in marriage ceremonies, which were conducted in the brides’ fathers’ houses, and never in the Tabernacle or the Temple. Under the Law, the people who joined couples in marriage, on God’s behalf, were parents, not priests!

Deuteronomy 22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

Deuteronomy 22:29 Then the man that lay with her shall give to the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he has humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Exodus 22:16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

Exodus 22:17 If her father utterly refuse to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

A father had a right to approve or reject a suitor for his daughter, and the law respected and honoured that. A father was the final authority in deciding on marriage matters involving his children, not the priests. The Law about the rape of an unbetrothed virgin was clear as to parental authority: the rapist must pay the dowry for a raped virgin and marry her, subject to her father’s approval.

Also, if a virgin made any kind of vow, including the vow to marry someone, the father had a right to nullify it, and God upheld his parental rights over her to disallow any rash vow she may have made.

Numbers 30:3 If a woman also vow a vow to the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth;

Numbers 30:4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond with which she has bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond with which she has bound her soul shall stand.

Numbers 30:5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he hears; not any of her vows, or of her bonds with which she has bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

As we can see above, parental authority over an unmarried woman was powerful and honoured by God. Your parents are your care takers acting on behalf of God! When they hand you in marriage after lawful traditions have been observed, your marriage has God’s blessings, since God’s legitimate authority in domestic matters had acted on God’s behalf. For domestic matters, the final authority is the father, not the priest or pastor!

Under the Law of Moses, marriage was decided and concluded by the family elders, not the priests! Once the elders approved and gave their blessings, the marriage was ratified. The couple so joined by the elders were considered joined by God.

Ruth 4:1 Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; to whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

Ruth 4:2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit you down here. And they sat down.

Ruth 4:3 And he said to the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, sells a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:

Ruth 4:4 And I thought to advertise you, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it: but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside you; and I am after you. And he said, I will redeem it.

Ruth 4:5 Then said Boaz, What day you buy the field of the hand of Naomi, you must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance.

Ruth 4:6 And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance: redeem you my right to yourself; for I cannot redeem it.

Ruth 4:7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor: and this was a testimony in Israel.

Ruth 4:8 Therefore the kinsman said to Boaz, Buy it for you. So he drew off his shoe.

Ruth 4:9 And Boaz said to the elders, and to all the people, You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.

Ruth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place: you are witnesses this day.

Ruth 4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do you worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:

Ruth 4:12 And let your house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give you of this young woman.

Ruth 4:13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.

The marriage between Boaz and Ruth was concluded in the presence of the city elders, after Boaz had fulfilled the necessary rights to possess Ruth. The elders witnessed and gave their blessings to the marriage. No priest was involved and the ceremony took place, not in the temple, but at the city gate. The priests, God’s representatives in spiritual matters, had no business with marriages under the Law. Yet, all such marriages were recognised as being joined by God, because God’s representatives in domestic matters, the parents and elders, handled them! The final arbiters in the joining of people in marriage under the Law were parents and family elders, not priests!

Let us carefully examine the marriage of Samson, to further buttress the point that in the Old Testament, marriages were conducted according to local traditions, and were superintended by parents and family elders.

Judges 14:1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.

Judges 14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

Judges 14:3 Then his father and his mother said to him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said to his father, Get her for me; for she pleases me well.

Judges 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Judges 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.

Judges 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

Judges 14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

Samson saw a woman he liked and wanted her as wife. What did he do? He went to his parents and told them about his desire. It is instructive that he told his parents, not the priests, about his desire to get married. He told his parents to get the woman for him as wife. It was the biblical tradition for parents to get wives for their sons, and for parents to give their daughters away in marriage, as we’ve consistently shown. Parents, as heads over their children and responsible for them, were the final arbiters on the issue of marriages of their children, not the priests. So, having accompanied Samson to his prospective in-laws’ house and concluded the initial negotiations, it was now time for Samson to go and get his wife. Let’s see how it was done then.

Judges 14:8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.

Judges 14:10 So his father went down to the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.

Judges 14:11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

Having concluded the initial negotiations and settled on the issue of bride price, Samson now went back to take his wife, accompanied by his parents. According to the marriage tradition then, a wedding feast, lasting for seven days, was organised at the house of the parents of Samson’s wife, to send her off to her husband’s house. It was the final wedding act, at the end of which the new wife officially left her father’s house to the husband’s house. It is instructive to note that this wedding feast was conducted at the bride’s house, not in a temple. There was no record of any priest there who joined them in holy matrimony! The priests had no jurisdiction in joining people in marriage! It was purely a family issue!

Next, let us examine the marriage of David to his first wife, Michal, the daughter of King Saul. We will quickly look at the relevant portions of Scripture to draw some pertinent conclusions.

1 Samuel 18:20 And Michal Saul’s daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.

1 Samuel 18:21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Why Saul said to David, You shall this day be my son in law in the one of the two.

1 Samuel 18:22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you: now therefore be the king’s son in law.

1 Samuel 18:23 And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seems it to you a light thing to be a king’s son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?

1 Samuel 18:24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spoke David.

1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall you say to David, The king desires not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 18:26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son in law: and the days were not expired.

1 Samuel 18:27 Why David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.

Saul’s daughter indicated interest in David, and David too loved her, but he felt he was unqualified to be the king’s son-in-law. However, because King Saul was trying to get David killed, he demanded for 100 foreskins of his perennial enemies, the Philistines, as dowry. David, motivated by his love for Saul’s daughter, slew double the number of Philistines required, and brought 200 foreskins to King Saul. Having reneged on his promise to make David his son-in-law once, Saul was obliged to hand over his daughter Michal to David as wife. King Saul used his parental authority to join David and Michal as husband and wife. No priests officiated and no temple ceremony was done. It all started and ended in the Palace, with King Saul as the joiner-in-chief, being the father of the bride.

Having examined the conduct of marriages in the Old Testament, let us now turn our attention to the New Testament, where we’re most concerned. Let us consider the role New Testament ministers are expected to play in the solemnisation of holy matrimony.

John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

John 2:2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

John 2:3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said to him, They have no wine.

John 2:4 Jesus said to her, Woman, what have I to do with you? my hour is not yet come.

John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, Whatever he said to you, do it.

John 2:6 And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

John 2:7 Jesus said to them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

John 2:8 And he said to them, Draw out now, and bear to the governor of the feast. And they bore it.

John 2:9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not from where it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

John 2:10 And said to him, Every man at the beginning does set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but you have kept the good wine until now.

John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

In the passage above, we see Jesus and his disciples attending a marriage feast that they were invited to, not as officiating ministers, but as guests. The wedding feast was not in the Temple but in a home. Jesus went there to celebrate and rejoice with the celebrants who were probably friends or acquaintances. Not only did he rejoice with them at the feast, he even ensured there was enough wine for all to drink, by performing the first miracle of his ministry, turning water into wine! Jesus obviously didn’t have a problem with people drinking wine at a wedding. He was a socializer, not a hermit! You can’t evangelise the world by separating yourself from the people!

The wedding feast we saw Jesus attend was the final act in the marriage process for the Jews, the celebration of a concluded marriage which was contracted between families, with priests having nothing to do with it. The prominent person in charge was the governor of the feast or the master of ceremony. Jesus and his disciples attended as guests, not as officiating ministers! Jesus did not go to join the people in holy matrimony or read out some vows for them to recite. He and his disciples went to rejoice and celebrate with the couple that just wedded traditionally, and to eat and drink with them!

Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables, and said,

Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like to a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

Matthew 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

Matthew 22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatted calves are killed, and all things are ready: come to the marriage.

Matthew 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

Matthew 22:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

Matthew 22:7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

Matthew 22:8 Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Matthew 22:9 Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage.

Matthew 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

Matthew 22:12 And he said to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Matthew 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In the passage above, we get a glimpse into how weddings were conducted in Jesus’ day. A king organised a wedding for his son. The key things to note here are the facts that the wedding was organised by the father, not the priest, and that the wedding took place in the King’s house, not the Temple. The feast was a wedding reception for a marriage that had been concluded traditionally. It was to receive the new wife into the husband’s house.

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

Matthew 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:

Matthew 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.

Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Matthew 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

The passage above illustrates how the final wedding feast was conducted in most Oriental countries, at the time of Jesus. The feast was conducted at the bride’s house, and usually at night. The maids of the bride (usually virgins like herself) would go out to meet the bridegroom and his entourage, once their coming was announced. The bride’s maids of honour would then escort the groom and his people to the wedding hall, where the final feast was organised. After this feast, the bride (now the wife) would follow her husband home. All the marriage ceremonies were done and concluded at the bride’s house, never in the Temple. The people in charge were the bride’s family, not the priests. Marriage was essentially traditional in Jesus’ time, not religious!

Now, let’s look at the Apostolic perception on whose right it was to give a girl away in marriage. We should consult the Apostolic writings for their view on this issue.

1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaves himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sins not: let them marry.

1 Corinthians 7:37 Nevertheless he that stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well.

1 Corinthians 7:38 So then he that gives her in marriage does well; but he that gives her not in marriage does better.

The passage above described the authority and power a father had over his virgin daughter in the Apostolic period. Because of the intense persecution the Church was undergoing at the time, making it difficult for people to settle in one place and fend for a family, Paul advised people to avoid marrying during the distress. He told fathers who had earlier made up their minds not to hand over their virgin daughters in marriage but changed their minds later, that they were not sinning by their change of mind. However, the Apostle reassured those who resolved to keep their virgin daughters unmarried, because of the distress at the time, of their better judgement. In either case, the authority rested with the fathers to either give their daughters in marriage, or refrain from doing so. The Apostle saw fathers as the final authority over their daughters in matters of marriage, not the Church and not the Apostles! The Apostles did not intrude into the domestic rights of parents in the matter of marriage. They followed the understanding that marriage was a traditional institution that was regulated by the customs of each people, with parents in charge of deciding the matter for their children.

So, if both the priests in the Old Testament and our Lord Jesus and his Apostles did not participate in joining people in marriages, where did the Church get the idea that only marriages conducted by the clergy are blessed of God? Certainly, there is no biblical support for this teaching. As we showed conclusively from Scripture, marriage is a traditional thing, and marriages all over the world, as long as they involve the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of companionship and procreation, are approved and blessed of God, and should be considered honourable by all. The involvement of the clergy does not make the marriage any holier than the one done without the clergy. Infact, from the conclusive evidence of Scripture alone, there is no authority for the clergy acting on behalf of God in the solemnisation of marriage. The clergy have usurped the position and authority of parents and the traditions of each people concerning marriage, and they have absolutely no scriptural backing for this! Not one scripture can they quote to justify their dabbling into the role they have taken upon themselves in conducting marriages, and in disdaining every other form of marriage conducted outside their supervision as not being blessed of God! Infact, Jesus recognised all the marriages contracted traditionally by the Jews (without the involvement of the priests) as being joined by God:

Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Mark 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and join to his wife;

Mark 10:8 And they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh.

Mark 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

The issue of the clergy hijacking the traditional institution of marriage has only made marrying more expensive, more tedious, more time consuming and more frustrating for a lot of people. To meet the demands of Church or Christian marriage (which cannot be found in Scripture), Christians are expected to marry traditionally and still marry in the Church. The most annoying part is that, after a traditional marriage in which all the traditional rites have been met and the couple have been joined and blessed by the parents and elders, the Church still does not recognise them as husband and wife, until after the Church marriage has been done! Any sexual relations between such couples is viewed by the Church as fornication! Can you imagine this?! How can people who have been married the only way the Bible recognises (traditionally) be considered fornicators, just because they have not done a wedding that does not have a basis in Scripture? How can the Church delight in putting stumbling blocks in the way of people, making the commandment of God void by their traditions that have no basis in Scripture?

Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death.

Matthew 15:5 But you say, Whoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatever you might be profited by me;

Matthew 15:6 And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Matthew 15:7 You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

Matthew 15:8 This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

The Church is making marriage more difficult and rather discouraging, by the exorbitant costs of conducting two marriages (traditional and Church). It is also infusing unnecessary guilt and confusion into people, by not regarding people who have been married traditionally as husband and wife who can legitimately have sexual intercourse. They are also encouraging abortion among married people, by insisting people who have been married traditionally must not have sex and must not be pregnant before a Church wedding, otherwise the Church wedding would be called off! Some of these people have sexual relations (which is legitimate, because they are now husband and wife, having been married traditionally), get pregnant, and are forced to abort the pregnancy because they want a Church wedding and want to avoid the disgrace of being denied a Church wedding. The Church is aiding and abetting sin in this regard!

Finally, let us look at the legitimacy of Church wedding on its own. A Church wedding cannot be conducted without a prior traditional wedding in most places in Africa, meaning a Church wedding without a prior traditional wedding is useless! Also, the marriage certificate Churches issue is useless! Only a marriage certificate from a marriage registry can be used for official purposes. So, the Church requires one to do a traditional wedding first, followed by a Court wedding (to obtain a valid marriage certificate), before undergoing a Church wedding. This shows just how useless the Church wedding is on its own. It is not recognised traditionally and it doesn’t offer a valid certificate in law. So, what then is the purpose of the Church wedding? It is simply a tradition of men imported into the Church to make marriages more difficult and more expensive. It has no basis in Scripture!

In conclusion, we have shown exhaustively from Scripture that marriage is a traditional institution which depends on local customs and has nothing to do with spiritual leaders. Both in the Old and the New Testaments, we proved conclusively that marriage proceedings started and ended in the home of the bride, with her parents and other elders in charge. Once all traditional rites have been met and the couple joined and blessed by their parents, they become husband and wife from that moment, and sexual relations between them become lawful and blessed of God. There is therefore no place for a Church wedding, and no place for pastors to join people in marriage. They have no such authority from Scripture and should therefore desist from putting stumbling blocks in people’s way when it comes to marriage. Pastors can counsel, advise and pray for people who are planning to marry. They can also pray for such people and bless their union after the traditional or registry marriage. To insist that only marriages conducted in the church and officiated by the clergy are recognised and blessed of God is not supported by Scripture.

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Is The Wearing Of Jewelries A Sin?

There are some Christian churches that believe and teach that the wearing of any form of jewelry is a sin. These ultraconservative groups of believers adopt the position that any artificial thing used to beautify or adorn the body is unnatural and sinful. They thus judge other believers who are more liberal and permissive on this issue as carnal, worldly, and sinful, and try to ostracise and shame them. Because of the division this issue has brought to the body of Christ, it’s important to examine the Scriptures carefully in order to understand the Biblical position with respect to the use of jewelries and other forms of adornment.

For the purpose of this exposition, jewelries will be interpreted to include earrings, nose rings, chains (for necks,wrists and ankles), bangles, beads, bracelets, necklaces and other related stuffs used to adorn the body. We shall look at Scripture to see if the wearing of jewelries is forbidden and therefore sinful, as sin is a transgression of the law. For an act to be considered sinful, it must violate a specific word of God.

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

So, an act can only be judged to be sinful if it transgresses a specific and extant law of God. For the New Testament believer, a violation of the terms of the New Covenant, not the old and expired Mosaic Law, must be demonstrated to prove an act as sinful, for we are not under the law of Moses, but under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Let us then begin by examining relevant portions of Scripture as they relate to the wearing of jewelries.

Genesis 24:22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;

Genesis 24:23 And said, Whose daughter are you? tell me, I pray you: is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge in?

Genesis 24:24 And she said to him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bore to Nahor.

Genesis 24:29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out to the man, to the well.

Genesis 24:30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spoke the man to me; that he came to the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.

Genesis 24:34 And he said, I am Abraham’s servant.

Genesis 24:35 And the LORD has blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he has given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.

Genesis 24:47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter are you? And she said, the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him: and I put the earring on her face, and the bracelets on her hands.

Genesis 24:48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter to his son.

Genesis 24:53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

From the account of Abraham’s servant’s search for a wife for Isaac, we read of how God blessed Abraham abundantly with flocks , herds, silver and gold, among other things. We also read of Abraham’s servant using jewelries of silver and gold (earrings and bracelets) both to appreciate Rebekah for her kindness, and to pay part of her bride price. Obviously, to Abraham, a friend of God, keeping such jewelries and using them to get a wife for his son wasn’t a sin. It was nothing to be ashamed of! No where did we read of God being against this practice!

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said to his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

Genesis 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

Genesis 35:4 And they gave to Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

Here is a favorite portion of scripture frequently quoted by those who condemn the wearing of earrings, equating it with idolatory! However, let us consider what an idol is: an idol is whatever a person chooses to worship or venerate, outside of the Almighty God. Thus, anything can be used as an idol, including silver, gold, wood, iron, stones, trees, animals,etc. That some people choose to worship or venerate an object does not make it a universal idol for all. And that doesn’t make the use of such an item by others a sin. Some people worship graven images of wood, but that has not stopped people from using wooden items for comfort and beautification of their homes!

Exodus 32:2 And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me.

Exodus 32:3 And all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.

Exodus 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a engraving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be your gods, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

Exodus 32:5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

Here again, we see another favorite scripture used in the condemnation of the wearing of jewelries: the people used their jewelries to make an idol, therefore wearing of jewelries must be a sin! What a simplistic way of reasoning! That a thing is put to an evil use doesn’t necessarily make it evil. A car can be used in the service of God or in the service of the devil. It doesn’t make the car bad. It’s the bad use of that car that should be condemned, not the car itself. But, let’s look at another scripture closely following the one just quoted above, whereby jewelries were put to a godly use.

Exodus 35:4 And Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying,

Exodus 35:5 Take you from among you an offering to the LORD: whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,

Exodus 35:6 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair,

Exodus 35:7 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood,

Exodus 35:8 And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,

Exodus 35:9 And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.

Exodus 35:21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.

Exodus 35:22 And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold to the LORD.

Exodus 35:23 And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers’ skins, brought them.

Exodus 35:24 Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the LORD’s offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it.

Just three chapters back, the people had used their jewelries to make an idol, like Jacob’s wives. Now, they were bringing their jewelries to make the vessels of ministry in the Tabernacle of God! They brought their earrings, nose rings, bracelets, and tablets (golden beads), all jewels of gold, for the vessels of ministry in God’s tabernacle! The problem was not with the earrings and other jeweleries! The problem was with the use they were put to! You can make an idol out of them, or you can glorify God with them. It is the use of a thing that makes it evil or good, not the item itself!

To show that God has no problem with jewelries in themselves, and infact encouraged their use, let’s examine some scriptures to see God’s perspective on jewelries.

Exodus 3:20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the middle thereof: and after that he will let you go.

Exodus 3:21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when you go, you shall not go empty.

Exodus 3:22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbor, and of her that sojourns in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters; and you shall spoil the Egyptians.

Note from the scripture cited above that God specifically commanded the women of Israel to demand jewelries of gold and silver from their Egyptian mistresses on their way out of Egypt, and to beautify their sons and daughters with those jewelries! Did you see that? Would God require us to ask of what is sinful from others, and to use such sinful items to beautify or adorn our children? Surely, we can’t appear to be holier than God!

Exodus 12:35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:

Exodus 12:36 And the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent to them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

Here, we see the Lord fulfilling his word to the Jews, by granting them favour in the sight of the Egyptians who lent them jewels of silver and jewels of gold, to adorn themselves and their children. They left Egypt, not as miserable-looking slaves but, beautifully appareled in fine garments and gloriously decked with jewelries of gold and silver! Isn’t God wonderful in giving his children the best, and making them stand out in his glory?

Numbers 31:48 And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near to Moses:

Numbers 31:49 And they said to Moses, Your servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacks not one man of us.

Numbers 31:50 We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what every man has gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the LORD.

Numbers 31:51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all worked jewels.

Numbers 31:52 And all the gold of the offering that they offered up to the LORD, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels.

Numbers 31:53 (For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.)

Numbers 31:54 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation, for a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD.

The scripture cited above listed the offerings the Israelite soldiers who went to war against the Midianites brought to the Lord, from their loots, after a victorious war in which they didn’t lose a single person! Their offerings of gratitude to God included jewels of gold, chains, bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets (gold beads). Moses took all these into the tabernacle and dedicated them to the Lord, as a memorial. Will God accept for a memorial an offering that’s inherently sinful? Think about this!

Judges 8:24 And Gideon said to them, I would desire a request of you, that you would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)

Judges 8:25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.

Judges 8:26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks.

Judges 8:27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare to Gideon, and to his house.

Here, we see earrings put to an evil use, in the making of an idol, like Aaron did for the Israelites in the wilderness. It became a snare to Gideon and his house, as people started worshipping the ephod made from the golden earrings the people donated to Gideon, from the loot of war. If Gideon had dedicated them to the Lord, like Moses did with the offerings of his soldiers, it would have attracted God’s blessings. Or, if the people had kept their earrings for their personal use and adornment, there would have been no problem. Once more, scripture shows that jewelries are not a sin in themselves. They only become a sin if they are put to a sinful use, like every other thing in life. Just like they can be dedicated to idol worship, they can also be dedicated to the beautification of man and to the service of God.

Isaiah 3:16 Moreover the LORD said, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:

Isaiah 3:17 Therefore the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.

Isaiah 3:18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,

Isaiah 3:19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,

Isaiah 3:20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,

Isaiah 3:21 The rings, and nose jewels,

Isaiah 3:22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,

Isaiah 3:23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the veils.

Isaiah 3:24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.

The passage above was a prediction of judgement that would come upon the people of Israel because they had departed from the Word of God and were living in idolatory and
rebellion. God promised a total punishment for the rebellion of the people, to affect all cadres of people in the society, because the rebellion was near total. The soldiers, judges, prophets, elders, artisans, and the intellectuals would all be affected by the impending judgement. There would be famine, and all things of beauty and pride or joy would be destroyed. The women would have all their items of adornment and beautification removed from them, as a punishment for sin. Now, look at the items of beautification and adornment that women in Israel were using: tinkling feet ornaments, chains, bracelets, mufflers, tablets (gold beads), earrings, rings, nose jewels, etc. These were legitimate items of beauty and adornment among women in Israel which they were to be deprived of, in the impending judgement for sin and rebellion. God does not forbid the use of jeweleries rather, he allows and approves them for the beautification of his children! He’s not a sadist!

Ezekiel 16:11 I decked you also with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain on your neck.

Ezekiel 16:12 And I put a jewel on your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.

Ezekiel 16:13 Thus were you decked with gold and silver; and your raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; you did eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and you were exceeding beautiful, and you did prosper into a kingdom.

In the scripture cited above, God described how he picked Israel out of obscurity and made her famous and renowned. God said he beautified and decked Israel with ornaments like bracelets, neck chains, jewels on the forehead, earrings, nose rings, and a beautiful crown on her head. Imagine God himself delighting in the fact that he decked and beautified Israel as a woman is decked and beautified with all these jewelries! Will God use the similtude of sinful ornaments to describe how he beautified his own wife? If God delighted in these jewelries, then we should also! Whatever God delights in cannot be sinful, for God is holy! Stop condemning what God has not condemned! Stop acting holier than God, oh sinful man!

Ecclesiastes 7:16 Be not righteous over much; neither make yourself over wise: why should you destroy yourself?

As long as Israel used these ornaments God decked her to glorify God, she was fine and God was happy with her, and she prospered. But, the moment she used the ornaments that God decked her with to worship other gods, the wrath of God fell on her and she was punished severely!

Ezekiel 16:17 You have also taken your fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made to yourself images of men, and did commit prostitution with them,

Ezekiel 16:31 In that you build your eminent place in the head of every way, and make your high place in every street; and have not been as an harlot, in that you scorn hire;

Hosea 2:13 And I will visit on her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgot me, said the LORD.

During the time of Saul as Israel’s king, ornaments of gold were used to adorn the clothes women wore, and this added to their beauty and glory. The women in Israel were gloriously and beautifully decked in their scarlet clothes studded with gold. This was revealed by David in his lamentation for Saul. David called on the women of Israel to weep over Saul who ensured they appeared beautiful and glorious during his reign.

2 Samuel 1:24 You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel (ESV).

Solomon, who was endued with so much wisdom by God, considered the wearing of jewelries by women a thing of beauty that should be celebrated and not ridiculed or frowned upon. In Solomon’s reckoning, adorning a woman with jewelries is graceful and not sinful!

Song of Solomon 1:9 I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.

Song of Solomon 1:10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

Song of Solomon 4:9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

Song of Solomon 1:11 We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver (NIV).

We shall now look at some scriptures that people use to condemn the piercing of the ears, and by extension, the wearing of earrings. A careful examination of these scriptures will give us a proper understanding of the boring of ears as used in scripture.

Exodus 21:1 Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them.

Exodus 21:2 If you buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

Exodus 21:3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

Exodus 21:4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.

Exodus 21:5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:

Exodus 21:6 Then his master shall bring him to the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or to the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

Above is the portion of scripture vigorously quoted by those who condemn the wearing of earrings, equating the boring of the ears of a perpetual male slave to the piercing of the ears of women who wear earrings, and thus making the wearing of earrings an act of slavery! This shows how dangerous taking scriptures out of context can be! We end up forcing scriptures to say what they don’t mean!

Now, let’s examine this portion of scripture in the proper context. The law here was about male Hebrew slaves serving their fellow Hebrew brothers. The law mandated Hebrew slave owners not to keep male Hebrew slaves beyond six years. At the end of six years of slavery, the Hebrew slave masters were to release all male Hebrew slaves to go free. Such male slaves had an option to accept their freedom when released, or remain in the service of their masters. A male slave who came into his master’s house single but was given a wife and now had a family, couldn’t leave with his family during his release after six years of slavery. He had to forfeit his family if he chose to go free. Those male slaves who loved their family and their master so much that they couldn’t afford to part from them would have to sacrifice their freedom for their loved ones. They would have to remain slaves forever to be able to continue living with their families. Having agreed to be perpetual slaves for family sake, they would be taken before the judges and have their ears bored with an awl, as a symbol of perpetual slavery.

Please, note that only the male slaves were treated in this way. Female slaves became wives to their masters or their masters’ sons, and couldn’t leave unless they were no longer loved, no longer cared for, or no longer granted their conjugal rights. In such cases, they were to be set free to go and find happiness elsewhere.

Exodus 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

Exodus 21:8 If she please not her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her to a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her.

Exodus 21:9 And if he have betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.

Exodus 21:10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

Exodus 21:11 And if he do not these three to her, then shall she go out free without money.

Thus, we see that the boring of the ears was for male slaves only, and was not practised on female slaves. Also, the boring of the ears of perpetual male slaves had nothing to do with the wearing of earrings by both males and females, who wore them in Israel before and after this law was given. The scriptures we read in Ezekiel 16 , where God described how he decked Israel with earrings and nose rings, among others, and in Isaiah 3, where the women in Isaiah’s time were decked with all kinds of jewelries (including earrings and noserings, which required the piercing of the ears and nose) were both written after this law regulating slavery was given by Moses. The Jews never took this law concerning the handling of slaves to mean the forbidding of the piercing of ears for the wearing of earrings. If you were never a male slave whose ears were bored in the presence of judges as witnesses, piercing your ears did not make you a perpetual slave in Israel!

Besides, we are no longer under the Mosaic Law and all its injunctions. So, why would people misuse an expired scripture to keep people in bondage? The New Testament Church seeks its guiding principles, code of conduct and rule of faith from the Gospels and Apostolic writings, not from the expired Mosaic Law!

Now, let us look at what the New Testament teaches about female adornment and the wearing of Jewelries. Let us now go to the Apostolic writings for guidance and enlightenment.

1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1 Timothy 2:10 But (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works.

From the scripture above, the Apostle Paul taught about the need for modesty and moderation in dressing and the use of jewelry. He advocated not just the adornment of the outward man (the body) but, more importantly, the beautification of the inner man, which in the sight of God is more valuable. Paul was saying, “be modest in the clothes you wear, in the making of your hair and in the wearing of jewelries. Beautify your bodies, but more importantly, make sure you beautify your inner man with good works! ” This teaching of Apostle Paul was further corroborated by Apostle Peter in his first epistle.

1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

1 Peter 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

1 Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands:

1 Peter 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Peter, like Paul, taught that the adorning of women should not just be the outward adorning of the body in plaiting hair, wearing of gold or putting on of clothes. It is instructive that he didn’t condemn the wearing of any of these items, otherwise he would also condemn the wearing of clothes! What he was teaching here was modesty in outward dressing and use of jewelries, with more emphasis on beautifying the inner man with the graces of God. Neither Paul nor Peter condemned the use of jewelries, the making of the hair or the wearing of fine clothes. Both preached and taught moderation and modesty in the use of these things, while paying more attention to the spiritual virtues and the eternal covering and adornment with the fruits of the Spirit.

Finally, let’s see how God intends to deck and adorn the bride of Christ, before her marriage to his only begotten Son:

Revelation 21:9 And there came to me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like to a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Revelation 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like to clear glass.

Revelation 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

Revelation 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

The bride of Christ, like Israel, Jehovah’s wife in the Old Testament, will be decked with precious stones and all manner of costly and beautifying ornaments. God will spare nothing to make the Lamb’s wife beautiful within and without. Hallelujah to the Lamb who has purchased and redeemed us, and has made us kings and priests unto our God!

In conclusion, we have seen conclusively from Scripture that God does not condemn the use of jewelries by his children. We also showed from Scripture that God actually delights in decking his children with beautiful ornaments, even as he adorns them spiritually with his glory. What therefore God has not condemned, let no overzealous man condemn! Let’s speak where God speaks, and be silent where he’s silent. We cannot be holier and more righteous than God. If we decide as a matter of conscience not to wear jewelries, let us not condemn those who do, for God has received and accepted them.

Let me leave us with this portion of scripture which teaches tolerance towards things which are not forbidden in scripture, but over which people may differ in their acceptance:

Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive you, but not to doubtful disputations.

Romans 14:2 For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs.

Romans 14:3 Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God has received him.

Romans 14:4 Who are you that judge another man’s servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand.

Romans 14:5 One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Romans 14:6 He that regards the day, regards it to the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. He that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and gives God thanks.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, comment and share to others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

An Exposition Of The Lord’s Supper From The Apostolic Point Of View

1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse.

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

1 Corinthians 11:20 When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating every one takes before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

1 Corinthians 11:22 What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

The Apostle Paul, to whom the Lord committed the gospel to the Gentiles, discovered some errors in the way the church in Corinth was taking the Lord’s supper. He used the passages above to express his displeasure and dismay at the way the sacred communal meal of the Church was being desecrated, before setting out to correct the wrong observance of the Lord’s supper in that church.

A lot of errors exist among the various denominations and believers today, as to the observance of the Lord’s supper. I want to use this medium to set things straight, by using the Apostolic writings to expose the erroneous practices with regards to the observance of the Lord’s Supper. I will also present the Apostolic view on this important ordinance of the Church. This exposition will focus on the origin and significance of the Lord’s supper, the elements of the supper, qualification for participation at the Lord’s table, as well as the timing and frequency of observance of the Lord’s supper.

The Lord’s supper was instituted by our Lord Jesus, on the night in which he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, while he was celebrating the Passover with his disciples. It was during that night that he took bread, broke it and gave his disciples as a symbol of his body that was to be soon broken for them. He asked them to do it in remembrance of him. He also took the cup of wine on the table and gave them to drink, as a symbol of his blood that would soon be shed for them, for the remission of sins. He also enjoined them to do it in remembrance of him.

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The Apostle Paul taught that any time believers correctly observed the Lord’s supper, they were proclaiming and remembering the Lord’s death. So, anytime we partake of the Lord’s supper, we are commemorating the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It’s the Lord’s supper that we are instructed to observe in remembrance of the Lord, in commemoration of his death, not Easter!

We’re enjoined to remind ourselves of his sacrificial and substitutionary death and subsequent ressurection always, not just on a particular day in a year. In fact, believers are told to partake of the Lord’s supper often, in remembrance of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.

So, the Lord’s supper was instituted on the night our Lord was betrayed, and symbolises his sacrificial death for us that gave us life.

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

John 6:56 He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.

John 6:57 As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me.

John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever.

The bread represents his flesh which was broken for us. The wine represents his blood which was shed for us. Taken together, they signify the appropriation of his death on our behalf, and faith in his sacrificial and substitutionary death, which was a ransom for our soul. If you believe in that and place your faith in him, and him alone, you move from death to life!

Now, let’s look at the elements of the Lord’s supper, the bread and the wine. Let’s start with the examination of the bread. I’ve seen people and churches use all kinds of stuff as bread for the Lord’s supper, ranging from leavened bread, cakes and biscuits, to all kinds of pastries. Surely, people can’t just choose whatever they like as bread for the Lord’s supper? Surely, there should be a scriptural standard for the bread to be eaten at the Lord’s table? Thank God there is!

Recall that the Lord’s supper was instituted while our Lord was having the Jewish Passover feast with his apostles. During the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread that followed for the next seven days, the Jews had an injunction not to eat leavened bread or even keep leaven in their houses. Anyone who did that was to be cut off from his people!

Exodus 12:6 And you shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

Exodus 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

Exodus 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Exodus 12:15 Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

So, no Jew eats leavened bread during the Passover or the following seven days feast of unleavened bread. There is a reason for that. Do you know what leaven (or yeast as it’s commonly called) signifies? Leaven signifies hypocrisy and sin! Leaven or yeast makes bread or dough to rise when there’s really nothing inside it. It makes bread or dough to get puffed up! That’s pride! Leaven or yeast symbolises pride and hypocrisy.

Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, so that they stepped one on another, he began to say to his disciples first of all, Beware you of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Leaven or yeast also typifies malice and wickedness, or sin generally.

1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Like we mentioned earlier, the bread of the communion meal represents the body of Christ. There is no sin in Christ. Four times, both Herod and Pilate, after examining Jesus, admitted they couldn’t find any fault in Him. Jesus still remains the only man who was born sinless, lived sinless and died sinless!

John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me.

John 8:46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The Passover lamb was to be without blemish, and was to be observed for four days to ensure that it was free of any defect or blemish, as we saw in Exodus 12. The Passover lamb was a type of Christ, and of course there was no sin in Christ, as we’ve shown from Scripture. And the Passover lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread, as we showed earlier from Scripture. That’s why the bread of the communion meal, which represents the body of Christ, must be unleavened, for leaven represents sin!

I Corinthians 5: 8 says we keep the Passover (which was a type of the Lord’s supper) with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth! The elements of the Lord’s supper are symbolic, and represent deep spiritual truths and principles! So, the bread for the Lord’s supper is unleavened bread (bread without yeast)! Don’t corrupt and distort the body of Christ by representing it with leavened bread! There is no sin in Christ! It’s an abomination to use any thing other than unleavened bread as bread for the Lord’s supper! Using bread or any substance containing leaven or yeast distorts scripture and misrepresents Christ’s body as being sinful! God forbid!!

Let’s move to the wine. That’s where a lot of people are going to have the shock of their lives! We see churches and individuals using all kinds of things for the wine of the Lord’s supper, from colored carbonated drinks, to fruit juices. Let us examine the Apostolic writings to find out what the Apostles of the Lord taught about the wine to be used at the Lord’s table.

1 Corinthians 11:20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.

Ladies and gentlemen, some people in the Corinthian Church were getting drunk on the wine used for the Lord’s Supper, because they were gulping it excessively and selfishly, not waiting for others! Fruit juices would not get anyone drunk, however much you take it!

The wine for the Lord’s supper, as initially instituted,was the fruit of the vine, the product of the vineyard.

Matthew 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it;

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink from now on of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

The fruit of the vine, as the Jews knew it, was something that had the potential to intoxicate, being alcoholic.

Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.

Genesis 9:21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.

Let me zero in to the heart of the matter. The wine for the Lord’s supper is not coca cola, it’s not ribena and it’s not any non-alcoholic wine! It is the fruit of the vine which is potentially intoxicating if taken in large quantities. The wine for the Lord’s supper is alcoholic red wine, which is what the fruit of the vine is!

Somebody may want to crucify me and say, ” You mean we’re to take alcohol at the Lord’s table? But, didn’t the Bible say a Christian shouldn’t drink alcohol?” I’m not going into the argument for or against alcohol today, but just know that, except for people who took the Nazirite vow in the Old Testament, no where does the Bible condemn alcohol. What the Bible condemns is drunkenness! Do you know that, under the Mosaic Law, people were to use their yearly tithes to purchase wine and strong drink, and drink same in the presence of the Lord in the holy place in Jerusalem?

Deuteronomy 14:22 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field brings forth year by year.

Deuteronomy 14:23 And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of your corn, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herds and of your flocks; that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.

Deuteronomy 14:24 And if the way be too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from you, which the LORD your God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD your God has blessed you:

Deuteronomy 14:25 Then shall you turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which the LORD your God shall choose:

Deuteronomy 14:26 And you shall bestow that money for whatever your soul lusts after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul desires: and you shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you, and your household,

Deuteronomy 14:27 And the Levite that is within your gates; you shall not forsake him; for he has no part nor inheritance with you.

The wine is symbolic. It represents the blood of Christ which is shed for the remission of sin. The blood of Christ has power to deliver and transform and free people from sin. The alcohol in the blood of grapes or the fruit of the vine which is used for the Lord’s supper represents that power to transform.

Now, I’m not advocating for drunkenness, or even for anyone to go and start taking wine or alcohol. It’s a matter of conscience, both ours and those of other not-so-convinced believers, and is dealt with in relevant portions of scripture, which I’ll be willing to discuss with anyone who’s interested. But, don’t let’s try to be holier than God, or force scripture to speak what it does not say.

So, the wine represents the blood of Christ. And there’s power in that blood. The people in Corinth as we saw in 1 Corinthians 11 were taking the wine during the Lord’s supper in a disorderly way, some were gulping it and getting drunk (you don’t get drunk non-alcoholic wine). Paul rebuked them for their disorderliness, and instructed them to wait for one another, and take the supper in an orderly and reverential manner. People just need to take a little sip of the wine during the Lord’s supper, because it’s just a symbolic meal. The wine represents the power in the blood of Christ to transform and make one a new creature!

Having dealt with the elements of the Lord’s supper, let’s look at the qualifications for participation at the Lord’s table. Who qualifies to partake in the Lord’s supper? As usual, we shall turn to scripture for our answer.

At its inception, only the disciples of Christ took the bread and the wine at the first Lord’s supper.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

Matthew 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it.

The Lord’s supper is only for believers in Christ. It is a fellowship meal that signifies communion with the Lord. You cannot commune with Christ unless you’re already his and part of his body.

1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

1 Corinthians 10:17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

1 Corinthians 10:18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

Even with Israel under the Old Covenant, no uncircumcised person was allowed to partake of the Passover, a type of the Lord’s supper. A foreigner could only take the Passover if he had been converted to the Jewish faith and had been circumcised.

Exodus 12:43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

Exodus 12:44 But every man’s servant that is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof.

Exodus 12:45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.

And so brethren, unbelievers who have not been circumcised in heart by the circumcision made without hands (by the Holy Spirit) are to be excluded from the Lord’s table. An unbeliever who eats the Lord’s supper eats and drinks damnation to himself or herself! Keep unbelievers away from the Lord’s table!

Also, even believers need to examine themselves carefully and ensure they’re not living in unconfessed sin, before taking the Lord’s supper! We must be free from any known sin whenever we partake of the Lord’s supper, if we are to receive the blessings at the Lord’s table and not curses!

1 Corinthians 11:27 Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

1 Corinthians 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

What does the scripture mean by “not discerning the Lord’s body”? If you don’t recognize and understand that you’re actually having a communion with the Lord, and therefore approach the Lord’s table without due reverence, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body. If you don’t understand the significance of that broken bread, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body. If you don’t understand that you’re now a part of the body, and you come with the leaven of sin in your heart to partake of the unleavened bread, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body. If you don’t recognize that it’s one bread (body), even though broken into many pieces (members) and therefore fail to appreciate the unity of the body of Christ, you’re not discerning the Lord’s body.

Those who come to the Lord’s table must come with clean hands and sanctified hearts. The Lord’s supper is a sacred fellowship meal with the Lord, and must be approached in the most reverent way possible. Eaten the right way and with the right approach, the blessings of a Lord’s supper are incalculable! If people could become weak and sickly and even die from eating the Lord’s supper unworthily, like we saw in 1 Corinthians 11, imagine what would happen if people ate it worthily! Taking the Lord’s supper worthily will bring such strength and healing and life and power to the body of Christ and all the members! It will make every participant so vibrant and so charged to take on the devil and the world, and manifest the power of God for all to see!

Now, let’s talk about the correct time to partake of the Lord’s supper. Here again, I’m going to shock a lot of people. You are forewarned! Is there a specific time of the day or night we should eat the Lord’s supper? Or can it be taken at just about any time? Answering these questions should not have been any problem if people have regard and respect for the scripture and follow apostolic teachings! The question we should rather ask is, when should supper be taken? If we can answer that question, then we should know when the Lord’s supper ought be taken! Remember what the meal is called: The Lord’s supper! It’s not the Lord’s breakfast or the Lord’s Lunch! It’s the Lord’s supper! I hope we really catch this profound revelation!

Let’s go back to the Apostolic writings to settle what should never have become an issue, if we had been following the rules of everyday language. Remember when the Passover was eaten? At night! Remember when the Lord’s supper was instituted? At night! The night when Jesus was betrayed. And if we remember that the Passover was a type of the Lord’s supper, there wouldn’t be any problem at all appreciating why it must be taken at night or in the evening, and not in the morning or afternoon, as most people erroneously do!

1 Corinthians 11:20 When you come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating every one takes before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

Luke 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them.

Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Luke 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Luke 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon.

Luke 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

The Acts 20:7 And on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

The Acts 20:8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.

The Acts 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

The Acts 20:10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

The Acts 20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.

It is instructive to note that the Lord’s supper, like all other suppers, was eaten only in the evening or at night, by the apostles and early church believers. It is not only contrary to common sense to eat supper in the morning or afternoon, it is absolutely unscriptural and a blatant violation of scriptural and spiritual principles which the Lord’s supper represents, to partake of the Lord’s supper during the day. It is completely unapostolic to do so. It amounts to desecrating the most sacred ordinance of the Church.

Finally, how often should the Lord’s supper be eaten? How frequently should believers come to the Lord’s table for the breaking of bread? There is no clear cut instruction as to how often we may eat of the Lord’s supper. We are only told that each time we partake of the Lord’s supper, we remember the Lord and proclaim his death.

Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.

So, how often should we partake of the Lord’s supper? As often as we can do it! As often as we want to remember the Lord! You can eat the Lord’s supper daily, weekly, monthly, etc, as often as you choose! In the early church in the book of Acts, they were breaking bread daily, from house to house.

The Acts 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts.

In conclusion, the Lord’s supper is one of the most sacred ordinances of the Church. However, it has been greatly corrupted in its practice, thereby robbing the Church of the great benefits of this sacred meal. Because the majority of the Church have been partaking of the meal unworthily, a lot of believers have been weak, sick, and have been dying prematurely. Only a return to the Apostolic pattern of coming to the Lord’s table will restore the Church back to power and glory.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, comment and share to others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

An Exposition Of Water Baptism From The Apostolic Point Of View

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

Matthew 28:19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.

Jesus Christ committed the preaching and teaching of his Gospel to his original Apostles, and to the people they would disciple thereafter. In his last words to the Apostles, he instructed them to preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples for him among all people. Part of the salvation message he handed over to his Apostles was to baptise those who would repent and believe the Gospel.

It is important to note how Jesus made water baptism an essential part of the salvation process :

Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.

To be saved, one must believe the Gospel and be baptised! Thus, without water baptism, the salvation process is not complete!

This was exactly what the Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost:

The Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do?

The Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Everywhere in the Acts of the Apostles, we see water baptism being done immediately after people believed and received the Gospel. Thus, we see that the Apostles, in obedience to Jesus’ command, made water baptism an integral part of the salvation process.

Being an integral and essential part of the salvation process, water baptism needs to be properly understood and correctly practised. In this article, we shall look at the practice of water baptism from the Apostolic point of view, with the aim of exposing and correcting wrong doctrines and practices with regards to water baptism. The writings of the original Apostles of the Lord, unto whom the Gospel was committed, will be our reference point. We will look at water baptism in terms of its meaning and symbolic importance, the qualifications for it, when and how water baptism should be conducted, and in what name people should be baptised. Finally, we shall also examine how those who were wrongly baptised should be treated.

The word baptism is derived from the Greek word “baptizo” , which means to overwhelm with or to fully wet. It means to dip fully or immerse completely inside water. The act of immersing people in water, immediately they believe the Gospel, is to demonstrate their faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the means of their salvation.

Romans 6:3 Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.

Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

By being buried with Christ in baptism, we appropriate his death, burial and resurrection as our own. We place our faith in his finished work on Calvary as the basis of our salvation. In baptism, each believer plays out the salvation story, by admitting he died on Calvary when Christ died for him. By agreeing to be immersed in water, the believer admits he was buried with Christ when Christ was buried in the heart of the earth; by coming up out of the water, he demonstrates his resurrection from death, with Christ, into a new life of a new creature who has been freed from sin, and is now a servant to righteousness and godliness!

Romans 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dies no more; death has no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he lives, he lives to God.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Water baptism is the initiation of the new believer into the new life of righteousness in Christ. In his heart, he believes unto righteousness, accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. With his mouth, he confesses that Jesus died and was raised from the dead for his justification. He now plays out his belief and confession in the water, before many witnesses, to demonstrate before all his new found faith.

Romans 10:9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

Romans 10:11 For the scripture said, Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him.

Romans 10:13 For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Water baptism, as an initiation rite of passage, is done before many witnesses, as the new believer confesses and demonstrates his new faith and new life before all other believers.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses.

The qualifications for water baptism can be inferred from the scriptures authorising it:

St. Matthew 28:19 Go,and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.

The Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

From the scriptures cited above, we can correctly infer that water baptism is only to be carried out on people who have repented, have believed the Gospel, and have become disciples or followers of Christ. Only those who have believed the Gospel, and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour qualify to be baptised by water, as a rite of passage into the Christian faith!

The Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.

The Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?

The Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

The Acts 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Without believing in Christ as Lord and Saviour and confessing same, baptism is meaningless! Without repenting from one’s sins and accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour, one will just go into the water a dry sinner and come up a wet one. Baptism is the answer of a good conscience towards God!

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So, we see from the words of our Lord and from the Apostolic writings that only believers in Christ qualify to be baptised by water. It follows therefore that unbelievers, including children who cannot reasonably make a decision to repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, do not qualify for water baptism. The practice of infant baptism is there unscriptural and wrong!

When is water baptism to be conducted? How soon after repenting and accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour should a person be baptised by water? Traditionally, most churches conduct baptismal classes for all new believers, where people are taught about the rudiments of the faith and assessed thoroughly before they are subjected to water baptism. Most churches who operate baptismal classes believe people should be properly grounded in the faith and know what they’re in for, before committing them in water baptism. The length of the baptismal classes for new believers vary from church to church, and ranges from a few days to several weeks. In the light of the original Apostolic teachings, are preparatory baptismal classes scriptural? How long did new believers have to wait in Apostolic times before they could be baptised? Let us go to the Apostolic writings to find scriptural answers to these pertinent questions.

The Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.

On the day of Pentecost, those who believed Peter’s sermon and received Christ as Lord and Saviour were baptised same day! Their baptism was not delayed for even a day!

When Philip preached to the Ethiopian eunuch, he baptised the man on his way home, immediately he believed the Gospel!

The Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.

The Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?

The Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

The Acts 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

The Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

There was no need for any baptismal class!

When Paul (then Saul) believed the Gospel, he too was baptised the same day!

The Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared to you in the way as you came, has sent me, that you might receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

The Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight immediately, and arose, and was baptized.

When the Gentiles first received Christ in the house of Cornelius, they too were baptised by water immediately they believed!

The Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

The Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Acts 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

The Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

The Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

When Paul and Silas preached to the Philipian Jailor and he and his family received Christ at midnight, the Apostles baptised them that same night! They couldn’t even wait for day to break!

The Acts 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

The Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

The Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.

The Acts 16:32 And they spoke to him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

The Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

From the teachings and practices of the original Apostles of the Lord who are the foundations of the Christian faith, we see that baptism is to be done immediately one believes. There is no need for any preparatory baptismal class, because the only preparation one needs for baptism is to believe the Gospel and accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. Once one believes the Gospel, he should be baptised right away! It is part of the salvation process and so should not be delayed for any reason! If Apostle Paul had to baptise people at night, if Evangelist Philip had to baptise a man on his way home from church, then there’s absolutely no reason why any church should delay baptising anybody after they have believed the Gospel. Jesus said that those who believe the Gospel should be baptised immediately, to complete their salvation process!

Mark 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.

Don’t delay anybody’s salvation process by an unscriptural church doctrine that contradicts the Word of God! Baptise people immediately they repent, even if it’s at night! Away with the unbiblical and satanic doctrine of preparatory baptismal classes! The only preparation anyone needs for baptism is repentance! Don’t put a stumbling block to people’s salvation! Let’s go back to the original Apostolic Gospel!

How should water baptism be conducted? Some churches sprinkle with water in the name of baptism, while others insist baptism must be by immersion. What is the Apostolic view on this issue? Let us turn to the Apostolic writings for insight on this matter.

Matthew 3:13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan to John, to be baptized of him.

Matthew 3:14 But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of you, and come you to me?

Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him:

Matthew 3:17 And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

In the account of the baptism of Jesus, we are told he came out of the water, meaning he first went into the water! Jesus was immersed totally in water in his baptism! That is what baptism means: to be dipped or immersed in water. You cannot immerse or dip someone in water by sprinkling him with water. That is not baptism. If Jesus was immersed completely in water at his baptism, then everyone must be immersed in water to be correctly baptised!

Let us also see how Evangelist Philip baptised the Ethiopian eunuch, where baptism was described with some details.

The Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.

The Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized?

The Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

The Acts 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

The Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Note some important points here: the Ethiopian eunuch saw a body of water and drew Philip’s attention to it, requesting to be baptised. Then when he had declared his faith in Christ and had thus met the qualification for baptism, both of them went down into the water where Philip baptised him. After the baptism, we read of both of them coming out of the water. Thus, we can safely conclude that the eunuch was baptised by immersion in water, which is what scriptural baptism means!

This was what Paul described metaphorically in Romans, when he talked about being buried with Christ in baptism, and rising thereafter in the likeness of his resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). You don’t bury someone by sprinkling him with water. You bury someone in water by submerging him under water. That’s how baptism was done in Apostolic times, and that’s how it should be done by anyone who preaches the original Apostolic Gospel!

In whose name should baptism be done? A cursory look at the practices of the original Apostles with regards to the name into which believers were baptised readily reveals that baptism is to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen on none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

The Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

The Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

From the scriptures cited above, we see that there was no controversy in Apostolic times with regards to believers being baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer in the book of Acts was baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And why shouldn’t it be so, when baptism is into Christ? When you’re baptised into Christ, you put on Christ, you bear his name!

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Romans 6:3 Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

If baptism is into Christ and and a personal identification with his death, burial and resurrection, then it doesn’t need any stretch of the imagination to understand that baptism must be in his name. There is no name under heaven whereby we must be saved!

The Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

The Church does everything in the Name of Christ, including baptism, for he is head over all things to the Church!

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Now, based on Matthew 28:19, some people insist baptism must be in the titles of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and actually immerse people three times in water during baptism, one for each person of the Godhead. Now, let me make it abundantly clear that the original Apostles of the Lord did not disobey Christ. They had the revelation of the command he gave them concerning baptism and used the right name in baptism. When Jesus told them to baptise people in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, he meant people should be baptised into the Godhead through the name of God in salvation. You can only come to the Godhead through Jesus Christ, for he is the One that paid the price for man’s salvation and reconciliation to God. It is in the name of Christ you get saved and gain access to the Godhead! The name of God in salvation is Jesus, which means “Jehovah is our salvation“. It is the name by which the whole family in heaven and earth is named! The name above all names is Jesus!

Baptism symbolises and demonstrates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and our identification with that process, as we put our faith in him to be saved. It was Christ that died to save us, and we are baptised into his death, so we are baptised into his name! Father is not a name; Son is not a name, and Holy Ghost is not the name of God in salvation. These are all relational titles of the Godhead. The name of the Godhead by which he revealed himself to mankind is Yahweh (Jehovah), and his name in the salvation process is Yahshua (Jesus), meaning Yahweh is our saviour. So, we baptise in the name of Jesus Christ, not in the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In a similar vein, we don’t bury people three times, for each person of the Godhead. We baptise into Christ’s death, and since Christ died only once, was buried once and rose up once never to die again, we also bury people just once and raise them up just once!

Finally, let us look at the issue of people who were baptised wrongly, either by undergoing sprinkling instead of immersion, or by being baptised as infants or by being baptised in titles of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, rather than in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. All such baptisms are wrong and invalid. Such people need to be rebaptised in the proper way, when they come to the knowledge of the truth. The Apostle Paul had to rebaptise some disciples who had been baptised wrongly:

The Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

The Acts 19:2 He said to them, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? And they said to him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

The Acts 19:3 And he said to them, To what then were you baptized? And they said, To John’s baptism.

The Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

The Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.

In conclusion, water baptism is an essential and integral part of the salvation process, being the initiation rite of the new believer into the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Water baptism is thus to be carried out immediately a person believes and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, with no preparatory baptismal classes needed. Also, water baptism is to be done by immersion in water, with the believer buried just once in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, since Christ died just once and rose up never to die again. Thus, infant baptism and the sprinkling of water are unscriptural. May we catch the true Apostolic revelation of the importance and significance of water baptism, as well as the proper way of doing it, so that we will follow the Apostolic traditions in serving God the right way, for the original Apostles of The Lord are the foundation of the Christian faith, and the Gospel they preached remains the only authentic version.

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Merchants In The House Of God

John 2:13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

John 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

John 2:15 And when he had made a whip of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

John 2:16 And said to them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of your house has eaten me up.

Jesus was infuriated by how men of God in his day had turned the house of God into a business centre. He was mad to see the priests more interested in selling sacrificial animals and running a bureau de change inside the Temple, than in ministering the Word of God, standing in the gap for the people and leading the people to God. The high and holy calling of the priesthood had degenerated into the business of selling commodities for pecuniary gains! Priests of God had become unscrupulous merchants in the house of God! They had turned the house of God into a den of thieves!

Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

Matthew 21:13 And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.

If turning the house of God into a place of merchandise and a den of thieves infuriated Jesus so much that he had to whip people out of the Temple and scatter their wares (what a sight that was, from the meek and gentle Jesus!), I imagine he would be even more disgusted by such practices inside the Church he has purchased with his own blood!

The Church right now glories in the wealth and prosperity of her leaders and overseers who are having a swell time running very profitable businesses inside the Temple. Things have never been rosier financially, for CEOs and Founders and General Overseers of mega churches, who compete favourably with the multi-millionaires and billionaires of this world.

Revelation 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.

Revelation 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

The men and women who have replaced the Gospel with the preaching and pursuit of material and financial prosperity, and who have transformed God’s house into a place of merchandise and a den of thieves, are already having their heaven on earth right now. They are rich, increased with goods and have need of nothing! They’ve achieved their end result: fame and fortune from the pulpit!

It’s easy to identify a false minister of the Gospel, if one really wants to know. One of their key attributes is their unbridled love of money. They are called into ministry and motivated in it by the love of money. The material and monetary benefits they derive from preaching influence and condition the messages they preach and teach. False Ministers have no regards for the word of God, and absolutely no concern for the salvation of souls.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.

These merchants in the house of God will twist the word of God anyhow, introduce damnable heresies into the Church, and preach and do anything that will attract a large crowd and fatten their bank accounts. Their target is your wallet, not your soul! Let’s look at some of the things these perverters of the Word of God do just for the love of money.

Merchants in the house of God take God’s people back to the bondage of the Law, so they can justify tithes, firstfruits and other sacrifices of the Old Testament. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, preached and taught that the Gentiles were not under the Law of Moses, because they never had been! God’s Covenant on Mount Sinai was with Israel, not the Gentiles. The Mosaic Law was given to regulate that contract God made with Israel on Mount Sinai. It has nothing to do with Gentiles, who were not a part of that Covenant. In law, you cannot benefit or suffer from a contract you were never a party to. The laws of tithing, firstfruits and other sacrificial offerings to support the Levitical priesthood, under the Old Covenant, do not apply to Gentile believers in Christ, nor does any part of the Mosaic Law (Please see my teachings on : “The Relationship of the Gentile Believers To The Law Of Moses”, and “Is The Law Of Tithing For New Testament Gentile Believers?”). By subjecting New Testament believers to any part of the Mosaic Law, such tithe and first-fruit seeking ministers bring the Church of Christ back into the bondage of the Law! Once you agree to keeping any part of the Mosaic Law, you must keep the whole Law, otherwise you’re under a curse !

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

And going back to observe the Mosaic Law or any part of it is tantamount to falling away from Grace!

Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace.

These manipulative merchants in the house of God place God’s children under a curse for not paying tithe, whereas tithe-paying as a law has been abolished under the New Covenant of Grace in Christ! Giving financially to support God’s work and God’s servants under the New Testament is voluntary and inspired by love, not by any mandatory laws of tithing!

2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as you abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that you abound in this grace also.

2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

2 Corinthians 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brothers, that they would go before to you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof you had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.

Thieves and fraudsters, masquerading as men of God, delight in selling and imparting the anointing for money! We see people being manipulated and psyched up to sow financial seeds into the lives and ministries of these so-called men of God, in order to tap into their anointing and grace. Most of these swindlers will tell you they sowed heavy financial seeds into their mentors’ lives before the anointing was transferred to them. The question to ask these merchants is: is the anointing of God for sale? If the anointing of God is to be imparted through financial exchange, the original Apostles of The Lord should know something about this. Let’s look at Apostle Peter’s reaction, when he was offered money, to transfer anointing to someone.

The Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

The Acts 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

The Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

The Acts 8:21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

The Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

The Acts 8:23 For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

What a stinging rebuke from Peter! Your money perish with you! How dare you think you can buy the gift or the grace of God with money? How come these merchants in God’s house don’t see this scripture? And how come their blind followers haven’t read this part of the Bible? Let no man deceive you! No man can buy the gift of God with money. God freely gives his gifts to those he has called and sanctified for his work. You don’t pay money for God’s gifts! They are the free gifts of grace!

Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfies not? listen diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give.

Because they believe in monetary exchange for impartation of spiritual blessings, merchants behind the pulpit sell everything for money: anointing oil, holy water, aprons, handkerchiefs, stickers, wrist bands, and anything that can be mass produced and paraded as a talisman. The business behind the pulpit is indeed a mega business!

Businessmen behind the pulpit preach to satisfy itching ears in the congregation. A true servant of God preaches the uncompromising Truth of God to the people, whether or not the people want to hear it. The servant of God hears from God and speaks to the people as he is commanded. Most times, it’s not what the people want to hear, but what they need to hear! The word of God rebukes, exhorts and chastises, depending on the spiritual condition of the people. A true servant of God does not preach to please the people, but rather, he aims to prick their conscience and correct their erroneous ways !

Ezekiel 2:3 And he said to me, Son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even to this very day.

Ezekiel 2:4 For they are impudent children and stiff hearted. I do send you to them; and you shall say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 2:5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Ezekiel 2:6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with you, and you do dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 2:7 And you shall speak my words to them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

Ezekiel 2:8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you; Be not you rebellious like that rebellious house: open your mouth, and eat that I give you.

Merchants in the house of God however preach to satisfy their listeners. Their preaching is aimed at pleasing the crowd. They neither rebuke sins nor chastise the people living unrighteous lives. They seek to please the people because they want a mega crowd that will enhance their chances of getting money.

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2 Peter 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbade the madness of the prophet.

A true servant of God does not please men, but God! He does not care about the people’s money or their praise. He looks to God for his reward.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

John 5:44 How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only?

Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

Luke 3:9 And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: every tree therefore which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

The Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

The Acts 20:26 Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

The Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God.

Merchants in the house of God do not preach about the cross and the suffering it entails. Jesus said anyone who would come after him should be prepared to deny himself, take up his cross and follow in his footsteps. A true servant of God follows in Christ’s footsteps.

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:24 For whoever will save his life shall lose it: but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Luke 9:26 For whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

The cross of Christ is foolishness to the world, but to the believer, it’s the power of God that brings salvation.

1 Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;

1 Corinthians 1:24 But to them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The preaching of the cross entails embracing justification by faith in the finished works of Christ on Calvary, following the footsteps of Christ in living and suffering for righteousness, living humble lives, seeking first the kingdom of God, and being heavenly minded.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God.

Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

Philippians 3:17 Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.

Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Merchants in the house of God cannot preach and live by the message of the cross, because they do not want to live righteous and humble lives. They want the reward of ministry here and now! They are in ministry for their belly ( whose belly is their God, who glory in their shame and mind earthly things) and their end is destruction! Flee from such merchants of death!

Preachers who peddle the word of God for pecuniary gains are distinguished by their profound covetousness and unbridled love money! The hallmark of the businessmen behind the pulpit is their undying love for money! Their greed and covetousness know no bounds! They are driven and motivated by the god mammon, in whose temple they serve and worship.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Luke 12:15 And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.

To these merchants of the Gospel, a man’s life consists only in the abundance of the things he possesses! To them, material and financial prosperity alone are proof of God’s favour and blessings! To them, the lack of money, and not its love, is the root of all evil!( I actually heard a prosperity minister say that!).
However they may twist the word of God, the love of money still remains the root of all evil! That’s what the Bible says:

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:11 But you, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.

The reward for ministry is not here. It will be given by the Lord at the end of ministry, not here, and not now!

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

2 Timothy 4:8 From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.

1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

1 Corinthians 9:26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air:

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Finally, merchants of the Gospel are noted by the flamboyant and materialistic lives they lead. Men who make merchandise of the Gospel live very flamboyant and materialistic lifestyles. They live like kings and lords, at the expense of their flocks whom they fleece and milk dry, with reckless abandon, inorder to finance their ostentatious lifestyles. Obviously, they disdain men like John the Baptist, whom the Lord described thus:

Matthew 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, What went you out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Matthew 11:8 But what went you out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

Matthew 11:9 But what went you out for to see? A prophet? yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.

Matthew 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before your face, which shall prepare your way before you.

Matthew 11:11 Truly I say to you, Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

John the Baptist did not dress flamboyantly, and he didn’t live in a palatial mansion either. He lived a simple and humble life, but was he a fire behind the pulpit! He preached righteousness and condemned evil to the very end , and was so hated by evil kings and religious hypocrites. However, he was loved by the Lord and held in high esteem by the God who sent him. He may not have had many admirers on earth, but he was certainly the beloved of heaven! The reward of the Lord and his testimony are all that should matter to a servant of God!

What will it profit a man of God if he flies a private jet, travels with a retinue of armed police escorts, live in a palatial mansion, dresses like a dandy, only to lose his soul in hell? Why will you compromise God’s word just to please men and fill your pockets with filthy lucre? Why do you choose to serve Mammon rather than God? Think about this!

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Blasphemous Names and Titles for Men of God

Revelation 17:3 so he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit on a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

God has designated names and titles by which his servants may be lawfully addressed. The titles of men of God reflect the services they render to God and God’s people, as well as the special gifts of God they bring to bear in God’s Church.  However, there are some names and titles that should only be used with respect to the Godhead. To ascribe such names and titles meant for the Godhead to any human being amounts to blasphemy and deification of man, which is idolatry. God is jealous of his names and titles, and will not share his glory with any man!

Exodus 34:14 for you shall worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

For the avoidance of doubt, let us go to scripture to find the titles by which men of God or servants of God in the New Testament Church may legitimately bear.

Ephesians 4:11 and he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

1 Timothy 3:1 this is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.

The Acts 20:17 and from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

From the scriptures cited above, we find the entire range of names and titles servants of God who rule over God’s Church may be lawfully called. A man of God may be an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, a pastor or a teacher, depending on his calling and the spiritual gifts he operates. If a man of God oversees a group of God’s people, he is a shepherd, a pastor or a bishop. These terms all mean the same thing- a superintendent or an overseer. Every member of the five-fold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher) is an elder in the Church of God. These are the titles and names by which servants of God in the preaching ministry may be legitimately called.

Now, let us examine some titles servants of God bear that are offensive to God, and may be outrightly blasphemous! We will look at these titles in the light of the Word of God.

Psalms 111:9 He sent redemption to his people: he has commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

The first of these names of men of God we want to examine is “Reverend“. The word “reverend” means to fear, to revere or to be afraid of. It is a name that is ascribed to God in the scriptures, as the holy One who deserves to be feared and held in awe. That a man will even consider to bear a title reserved only for God and which is inspired by God’s holiness and majesty is unthinkable. However, some servants of God gladly carry that title about and demand to be addressed as such. What blasphemy! What an affront to God that a mere servant, a mortal man made of dust, will decide to contend with his Maker and rub shoulders with God. A mere man to be called a “Reverend“? This is crazy! This is blasphemy!

Another title people call men of God that I find unscriptural and an affront to God is “Pope“, “Father” or “Daddy“. Used of men who begat us in the flesh in the context of earthly or natural fathers, there is no problem with the title. But, used in the spiritual sense to mean spiritual fathers, I find it unscriptural and an encroachment upon God’s prerogative.

Matthew 23:9 and call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Our Lord makes it abundantly clear that we have only one spiritual Father in heaven, and as such, we should not call any man of God “father” (in the spiritual sense)  here on earth. We are all brothers and sisters in the faith, and only God in heaven is our father. To address any man of God as “father” or “daddy” or “pope“, in the spiritual sense of the word, is unscriptural and blasphemous.  Servants of God, you are a brother to every other believer. Be happy for your people to call you “Brother“.  You are not father or daddy in the Lord. You did not father anybody in the faith. There is only one Father in the faith, and he is in heaven. He’s not you! Stop taking God’s glory or position. You are just a servant and a brother.

Closely related to the title of father is the title “Master“.  It was a title of honour the Pharisees of old loved to be addressed with, and which Jesus found offensive, because it’s his personal title!

 Matthew 23:6 and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Matthew 23:7 and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Matthew 23:8 but be not you called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all you are brothers.

Matthew 23:10 neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

We have only one spiritual Master or Rabbi, and his name is Jesus Christ! Any man of God who allows himself to be addressed as “Master” is usurping the position and title of Christ. Every servant of God is just that- a servant! To desire to be called a Master when you’re just a servant is delusion of grandiosity. It is pride and arrogance of the highest order. It is blasphemy!

Another blasphemous name and title commonly ascribed to men of God is the title of “General Overseer” or “Archbishop“. It is enough that a servant of God be called an overseer or a superintendent of God’s people. However, there is only one Chief Overseer over the house of God- the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Chief Shepherd and General Overseer of His Church and not any man. He alone is the Chief Bishop or Archbishop of His Church!

1 Peter 5:1 the elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

1 Peter 5:2 feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

1 Peter 5:3 neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.

1 Peter 5:4 and when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.

1 Peter 2:25 for you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Jesus Christ is the good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd and the General Overseer of the Church of God. He is the Overseer over all overseers. He is the General Overseer. No man should call himself the General Overseer of any Church, for that title belongs to Christ. Christ alone is the High Priest over the house of God.

Hebrews 10:19 having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 10:20 by a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Hebrews 10:21 and having an high priest over the house of God;

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Closely related to the title of General Overseer are such titles as Prelate, Primate and Cardinal. They mean first in order of pre-eminence or first in importance. The only one who is preeminent in the Church of God is the First Begotten, who is the head of the Church. Only Christ should have the pre-eminence in the Church, and in all things.

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Colossians 1:17 and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Colossians 1:18 and he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

It is only arrogant, proud and boastful men in the Church who love to have the pre-eminence among the brethren. Only such worldly-minded people who love the praise of men, as well as exaltation and glory, revel in being called Primates, Prelates or Cardinals.

3 John 1:9 I wrote to the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, receives us not.

3 John 1:10 why, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and forbids them that would, and casts them out of the church.

Such men who love to have the pre-eminence among the brethren usually are destitute of the Spirit. They are carnal men who have no understanding of what it means to be a minister or a servant of God.  A minister is a servant. A servant is not a lord or a master, but some power-seeking and glory-chasing ministers of Christ would rather be lords over God’s heritage than be just servants. They must therefore have the befitting titles to match their lordship!

1 Peter 5:1 the elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

1 Peter 5:2 feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

1 Peter 5:3 neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

The problem with some of our leaders in the Church is that, they copy the worldly leaders in seeking to be served and honoured by all. They think honour comes by amassing outlandish titles and having people genuflex to them . They think having flattering titles makes  one really great. What delusion! Let’s hear what Jesus has to say about this carnal quest for greatness .

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them.

Matthew 20:26 but it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

Matthew 20:27 and whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

John 13:13 you call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am.

John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

John 13:16 truly, truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

John 13:17 If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.

A true leader is servant of all. A true minister is the chief servant of the people. He does not seek honour through flattering titles, but through humble service. The true servant of Christ has the mind of Christ, which is meek and lowly.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.

A true servant of Christ seeks the honour and praise which come from God only, and not the praise and honour of men. The Pharisees loved those flowering titles because they loved the praise of men. Let us seek the true praise and honour which only God can give.

John 5:44 How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only?

In conclusion, let us desist from giving God’s titles and honour to men of God, who are just mere servants saved by God’s grace and kept in ministry by the same. To give God’s glory to man can attract the awful wrath of God. Let us learn from King Herod!

The Acts 12:20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country.

The Acts 12:21 And on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne, and made an oration to them.

The Acts 12:22 and the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.

The Acts 12:23 and immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

Let us not give flattering titles to men, so that the wrath of God will not fall on us too.

Job 32:21 let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles to man.

Job 32:22 for I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, comment and share to others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

The Difference Between The Old and The New Testament Priesthoods

A priest is someone appointed of God to act as a go-between, a mediator between God and men. He acts as an intermediary between God and men, interceding for the forgiveness of the sins of the people, as well as beseeching God for merciful intervention in the affairs of men. He offers the appropriate sacrifices to access and appease God, in order to avoid God’s wrath and secure blessings for men.

Hebrews 5:1 for every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 5:4 and no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.

From the book of Genesis, we see the origin of the priesthood. Every family head was initially the priest for his house, offering sacrifices for sins, both for himself and for his family. We see Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, etc, acting as family priests. They led their families in worship and service of God, offering sacrifices to approach and appease God, and supplicating God for his favours for their various families.

When God established his covenant with the nation of Israel on Mount Sinai in the book of Exodus, he moved away from having every family head as priests, establishing instead, the Levitical priesthood. He separated the tribe of Levi unto himself, and appointed Aaron and his sons as high priest and priests respectively, with the other Levites to assist them in the service of God. With the establishment of the Levitical priesthood under the Mosaic Law, nobody outside the sons of Aaron could approach God for the people. To do so was to intrude into the office of the priesthood reserved exclusively for Aaron and his sons. The consequence of such presumptuous intrusion into this sacred office was grave. A king in Israel tried it and God struck him with leprosy and made him an outcast forever.

2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

2 Chronicles 26:17 So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the Lord—valiant men.

2 Chronicles 26:18 and they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.”

2 Chronicles 26:19 then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was furious with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the alter of incense.

2 Chronical 26: 20 and Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead. And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the Lord had struck him.

2 Chronicle 26: 21 And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord. And Jotham his son was over the King’s household, governing the people of the land.

2 Chronicle 26: 22 now the rest of the act of Uzziah, from first to last, Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz wrote.

2 Chronicle 26: 23 and Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his farthers in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper”. And Jotham his son reigned in his place.

So, the Levitical priesthood continued on a hereditary basis, from father to son, until Christ came and abolished the Old Covenant and its priesthood, by his sacrificial death and resurrection.

Hebrews 7:11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?

Hebrews 7:12 for the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.

Through the sacrificial death of Christ, God abolished the levitical priesthood and established a new high priest to act as an intermediary between God and men.

Hebrews 7:22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

Hebrews 7:23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.

Hebrews 7:24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

Hebrews 7:27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Now we have a perfect, immortal and eternal high priest, who is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven, making intercession for us.

Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 10:20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,

Hebrews 10:21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,

Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

We have the great high priest, Jesus, now interceding for us in heaven. He offered the sacrifice of himself once and for all, on our behalf, to secure for us eternal access into God’s presence. We can now boldly approach God’s throne of mercy to find grace to help in time of need, because Jesus has reconciled us to God, and still intercedes for us in heaven continually!

Hebrews 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Christianity has only one High Priest! He’s our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, the Founder, Owner, and General Overseer of the Church of God. He’s the only mediator between God and man!!!

1 Timothy 2:5 for there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

Don’t allow any man to act as a mediator between you and God. Go through the only divinely approved and ordained mediator between God and men. You can access God on your own, through Jesus Christ, without the need for any man to act as a mediator.

Now, apart from having Jesus Christ as the only acceptable high priest between God and men, every born again child of God is a priest in God’s Kingdom.

Revelation 5:9 and they sang a new song, saying:“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; for you were slain, And have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 5:10 and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1 Peter 2:10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Brethren, every believer in Christ is a priest, while our Lord Jesus is the High Priest! As a priest, you can access God directly, through your high priest, Jesus Christ. You don’t need any man to talk to God on your behalf. You don’t need a pastor or a prophet to pray for you for God to accept you or answer your prayers. As a born again child of God, you have direct access to God. God is your father! You don’t need anybody to stand between you and your father. All you need to do is deepen your relationship with God your father. Get to know him better through studying your Bible and attending fellowship with other children of God. Get to spend more time with him in fellowship and prayers.

Ministers of God are not to act as mediators between a child of God and God. The purpose of their ministry is to teach you to understand your position and standing with God, as well as your rights and privileges as a child of God. They are to help you grow in spiritual maturity, so that you can relate properly with God, and enjoy the full benefits of your sonship.

Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

Ephesians 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

The reason we have ministers in the five-fold ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) is to equip other believers and help them develop and cultivate their spiritual gifts and talents, so that they can grow to spiritual maturity and independence. Every believer has a ministry and a gift to use in the body of Christ and to serve the world. We don’t just go to church to support pastors in their ministries. No, that’s a wrong concept of the Church! The true church is not a one-man ministry as we see it today. Everybody is a minister in the house of God. Everybody in the body of Christ has a gift and talent to be developed and used in the service of the body of Christ and the world in general.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Romans 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching;

Romans 12:8 Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Don’t allow any pastor or prophet to cage your gifts and talents and make you a perpetual supporter of his ministry, while neglecting your own gifts and ministry. Don’t tend other people’s vineyard and neglect your own.

Songs of Songs 1:6 Look not on me, because I am black, because the sun has looked on me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of their vineyards; but my own vineyards have I not kept.

1 Timothy 4:14 Neglect not the gifts that is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying of the hands of the presbytery.

2 Timothy 1:6 why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands.

True ministers of God will help you stir up and make use of your own gifts, and not just use you to enlarge their own ministries.

Don’t allow any body to make you a perpetual child in the things of God, by not allowing you to grow up spiritually. You can’t continue to be a babe forever. Any parent who desires to have his or her kids in perpetual childhood, so they can continue to serve them endlessly without becoming mature independent adults, is nothing but a witch and a wizard. True parents want their children to grow up and become mature and responsible adults. That’s their pride!

3 John 1:3 For I rejoice greatly, when the brothers came and testified of the truth that is in you, even as you walk in the truth.

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Recognize who you are in Christ, grow up in the things of God and learn to approach God on your own. He is your father and desires a close and personal relationship with you, devoid of any intermediary. You are a priest and a prince (or princess)! Start living and acting as one!!! If you’re not born again, if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and saviour, then you are not yet a priest. You can’t access God on your own.

You can be born again right now.

Just kneel down wherever you are and ask God to have Mercy on you. Tell him you acknowledge you’re a sinner, and that that you believe Christ died for your sins. Tell him to forgive your sins based on the sacrifice Christ paid for you on Calvary, then accept Jesus as your Lord and saviour. If you do that sincerely from your heart, God has accepted and forgiven you your sins.

Next, you need to get to a Bible-believing church and get baptized with water and with the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

The Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

The Acts 2:40 and with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.”

The Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, comment and share to others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

Should Women Be Ordained Into The Five-Fold Ministry?

The role of women as elders and leaders in the Church has engendered so much controversy since the immediate post-Apostolic period. The dispute as to whether women can be legitimately ordained into the five-fold ministry has generated a lot of heat over the years, especially since the rise of the feminist movement, which demands equal representation for women in all spheres of life. The Church is thus torn between the orthodox wing, which insists on keeping women away from the pulpit, and the progressives, who see no reason why women should not be ordained into the five-fold ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. The aim of this article is to unveil the Apostolic position on the issue of female ordination into the five-fold ministry, so that believers can have a solid scriptural footing on this contentious and visceral topic that is threatening to tear the Church apart.

As a starting point, let it be quickly stated here that the teachings and writings of the original Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ provide the foundational basis of Christianity.

St. Matthew 28:18 Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.

St. Matthew 28:19 Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

St. Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Ephesians 2:19 so then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,

Ephesians 2:20 being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone.

Ephesians 3:2 if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you;

Ephesians 3:3 how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words,

Ephesians 3:4 by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ;

Ephesians 3:5 which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

Ephesians 3:6 that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Good News.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds on it.

1 Corinthians 3:11 for no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Not only were the original Apostles of the Lord the foundation of the Christian faith, their teachings and the Gospel they preached are not to be modified or altered by anyone.  The Apostolic teachings are to be handed down, unchanged, from generation to generation, irrespective of changes in human society, as the Gospel is the eternal word of God which abides forever.

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel:

Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.

2 Timothy 2:2 the things which you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

It is instructive to note that, any attempt to alter the teachings of the original Apostles of the Lord is seen as perverting the Gospel of Christ and troubling the Church thereby, and all those involved in such corruptions of the Gospel are accursed. It’s pretty serious then to tinker or adjust the Apostolic teachings to suit changes in human culture. The brutal message here is that, the Gospel is not subject to generational or cultural changes in human society. It is as constant and as unchangeable as God himself, since the Word of God is God!

John 1:1 in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Jesus Christ does not change! Therefore, his Gospel does not change. Christians are not to conform to the fashions of an ever changing world, but are to change the world by the unchanging Word of God.

Romans 12:2 Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Now, having established the unchanging Apostolic teachings and writings as the basis and guiding principles of Christianity, let us look at the writings of the original Apostles of the Lord, to find the scriptural view on the position of women in the Church, in relation to the five-fold ministry and leadership.

1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also said the law.

1 Corinthians 14:35 and if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1 Corinthians 14:36 What? Came the word of God out from you? Or came it to you only?

1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, expressly forbade women speaking in Christian assemblies. He stated clearly and unambiguously that it was shameful and reproachful for women to speak in church gatherings. This was not Paul’s personal opinion, as some people often say, nor was it because of the incessant chattering of the Corinthian women during church meetings. Paul made it abundantly clear that what he was writing was the commandment of the Lord for all churches of the saints (verses 34 & 37)! And he went on to say that any true prophet or spiritual person should acknowledge that what he wrote was the commandment of the Lord. This means that, whoever disagrees with this teaching of Paul and acts contrary to it, is neither truly spiritual nor a true prophet of God. It’s that simple! Why is this so? That’s because the Gospel Paul preached was specially revealed to him by the Lord Jesus himself. No man taught Paul the Gospel! He received it as a direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brothers, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Galatians 1:12 for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:23 (a) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you.

Because the Apostle Paul was only transmitting what he received from the Lord Jesus Christ, to argue with Paul’s teachings is to argue with Jesus Christ himself. To reject Paul’s teachings is to reject the teachings of Christ. It’s as simple as that!

John 13:20 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that receives whomsoever I send receives me; and he that receives me receives him that sent me.

To receive the teaching of an Apostle of Christ is to receive the teaching of Christ. Conversely, to reject the teachings of an Apostle of Christ is to reject Christ’s teaching.

Let us look at another of Paul’s letter, to shed more light on the issue of female leadership in the Church.

1 Timothy 2:11 let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection.

1 Timothy 2:12 But I don’t permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness.

1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

1 Timothy 2:14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience.

Paul further expounded the scriptural views on the position of women in the church by forbidding women from teaching or exercising authority over men in the assemblies. Women are not only to be silent in church meetings, they are also not to teach or exercise authority over men. Paul used the creation order to justify this position: the man was first formed before the woman, and thus by the creation order is her head. The woman was made for man (to be man’s helper), and not man for the woman!

1 Corinthians 11:8 for man is not from woman, but woman from man;

1 Corinthians 11:9 for neither was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

The subordination of the woman to the man is shown everywhere in Scripture, from the very beginning in Genesis.

Genesis 3:16 to the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bear children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:23 for the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body.

Colossians 3:18 Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1 in the same way, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don’t obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word.

Apart from the order of creation, Paul also mentioned another reason why the woman is not to teach or exercise authority over the man: the woman’s greater susceptibility to deception! It was Eve that was deceived by the devil, not Adam. The woman is considered in scripture and in nature as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). She is much easier to deceive and manipulate than the man. Having been deceived originally by Satan to disobey the Word of God and plunge the human race and the whole of creation into chaos, God has now placed the woman under the headship of the man, and has forbidden her from teaching his Word or exercising authority over men in the Church. That’s God’s decision, which is not subject to human questioning! Ours is to accept and obey his commandments, and not to challenge them.

Romans 9:20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”

Job 40:2 shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproves God, let him answer it.

God in his wisdom has so decreed the position and role of the woman in the home and in the Church. Our responsibility as believers and obedient children is to accept and obey. We should not question our Maker!

Furthermore, if the woman is to be subject to her husband and cannot head or rule her own home, how can she be lawfully expected to rule the Church of God, which is a collection of many different Christian homes? If she cannot exercise authority over her own husband, how can she legitimately exercise authority over other women’s husbands in the Church? Think about this!

To buttress this point further, let’s look at the position of our Lord on this issue, in the choice of his Apostles. It is not a coincidence that out of all the original twelve Apostles of the Lord, there was not a single woman. Jesus had many women who were close to him and who ministered to him during his ministry (Luke 8:2-3; John 11:5). However, when choosing his Apostles, he did not consider any of these women for this leadership ministry in his Church. Jesus was making a statement here, he was setting the pattern for leadership in the Church for everyone to note and follow.

Even after his resurrection, after he had ascended to Heaven and released the gift of the Holy Spirit and the five-fold ministry to the Church, he still did not consider women in the five-fold ministry. He still appointed only men into the leadership ministry of the Church.

Ephesians 4:8 Why he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.

Ephesians 4:11 and he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

Note that he gave these gifts to men, not to women!

When the original Apostles of the Lord wanted to fill the vacant position among the Apostles created by the death of Judas, they too, following the examples and teaching of their Lord and Master, excluded women from consideration.

The Acts 1:20 for it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his position as bishop let another take.

The Acts 1:21 one of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

The Acts 1:22 beginning from the baptism of John, to that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

The Acts 1:23 and they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

The Acts 1:24 and they prayed, and said, You, Lord, which know the hearts of all men, show whether of these two you have chosen,

The Acts 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

The Acts 1:26 and they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Though they had many women in their company (including Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, who first carried the news of Jesus’ resurrection Acts 1:14), Peter and the rest of the Apostles did not consider any of the women fit for the vacant position of an Apostle, simply because, the position was not for women! Women are not to be leaders and rulers in the house of God! They are to be silent, learn quietly and not exercise authority over men in the Church.

Another way to find out if women are qualified to be ordained into the five-fold ministry is to look at  the qualifications people are required  to meet before they can be ordained into the preaching ministry.  Surely, these qualifications should determine who is fit or unfit for ministry? Again, we turn to the writings of the original Apostles of the Lord, whose teachings form the foundations of the Christian faith.

1 Timothy 3:1 this is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:4 One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Titus 1:5 for this cause I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you:

Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Titus 1:7 for a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the disputers.

As we examine these scriptures closely, we note some salient points. First, the position of bishops or elders is for men, for it says if any man (not woman) desires the office of a bishop, he desires a good work. Next, we are told that a bishop must be the husband of one wife, further buttressing the fact that a bishop has to be a man! Finally, a bishop is required to rule his house well, for if he cannot rule his own house, how can he be expected to rule the Church of God? Now, the woman cannot rule her own house, because she is to be subject to her husband who is to rule over her, as we showed earlier. Therefore, if she cannot rule her own house, she cannot rule the house of God! She cannot be an overseer (a member of the five-fold ministry) because the elders or overseers are rulers of the house of God.

The Acts 20:17 and from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

The Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:17 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.

Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

1 Peter 5:1 the elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

1 Peter 5:2 feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

1 Peter 5:3 neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

To be an elder or bishop in the Church, to be a member of the five-fold preaching ministry (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers) is to rule over the house of God. It is to oversee the house of God and take oversight of it. A woman who is forbidden to rule over her own husband or oversee her own home cannot be legitimately expected to rule over the house of God. This is an error and an abomination!

Even the positions of deacons, the administrative elders in the Church, was not made open to women by the original Apostles of the Lord.

The Acts 6:2 then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples to them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

The Acts 6:3 why, brothers, look you out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

The Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

The Acts 6:5 and the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

The Acts 6:6 whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1 Timothy 3:9 holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

1 Timothy 3:10 and let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1 Timothy 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1 Timothy 3:12 let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1 Timothy 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

The deacons, who are to assist the bishops in the administration of the Church, are to be men also, not women, as shown by the teachings and Epistles of the original Apostles of the Lord. Only men can be appointed deacons, as we saw in the qualifications given by both the original twelve Apostles of the Lord (Choose seven men…) and by Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles (husband of one wife…).  Church administration and leadership are not for women. They are sole prerogatives of men, as shown by the teachings and writings of the original Apostles of the Lord, on whose foundation the Church is built.

Let me clarify some issues here. Women can pray, worship, sing, and prophesy in the Church. Both in the Old and New Testaments, we have records of prophetesses whom God used mightily to bless his people. And in the Church today and until Christ returns, the gift of prophecy will continue to be poured out on both men and women for the edification, comfort and exhortation of the Church (Act 2:16-18; Act 21:8-9; 1Cor 11:5). A woman can be a prophetess, but she is not to be an overseer or ruler over the house of God, and she is not to teach or exercise authority over men in the Church. To prophesy is not the same as to teach and exercise dominion or control.

In the Old Testament, even though we had female prophets (Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, etc), it is instructive to note that there were no female priests. The priesthood, which is the equivalent of the pastoral ministry of today, was an exclusive preserve of the sons of Aaron. Even the Levites, who assisted the sons of Aaron in the priesthood (the equivalent of the deacons), were all men.

Numbers 3:10 and you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office: and the stranger that comes near shall be put to death.

1 Chronicles 6:49 But Aaron and his sons offered on the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, and were appointed for all the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.

The priests in the Old Testament were the ones who ruled over the house of God and taught the people the law and the precepts of God. And there was no female in their ranks. Only Aaron and his sons were appointed into the Priesthood. The prophets and prophetesses brought the inspired revelation of God to Israel, but it was Aaron and his sons, assisted by the male Levites, that ministered in God’s temple, offered the sacrifices for the sins of the people and stood in the gap between God and the people. It was the priests (males), assisted by the Levites (males), that taught the people the law and administered the house of God.

Deuteronomy 17:8 If there arise a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within your gates: then shall you arise, and get you up into the place which the LORD your God shall choose;

Deuteronomy 17:9 and you shall come to the priests the Levites, and to the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall show you the sentence of judgment:

Deuteronomy 17:10 and you shall do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall show you; and you shall observe to do according to all that they inform you:

Deuteronomy 17:11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment which they shall tell you, you shall do: you shall not decline from the sentence which they shall show you, to the right hand, nor to the left.

Deuteronomy 17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not listen to the priest that stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or to the judge, even that man shall die: and you shall put away the evil from Israel.

Deuteronomy 33:8 And of Levi he said, Let your Thummim and your Urim be with your holy one, whom you did prove at Massah, and with whom you did strive at the waters of Meribah;

Deuteronomy 33:9 who said to his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brothers, nor knew his own children: for they have observed your word, and kept your covenant.

Deuteronomy 33:10 they shall teach Jacob your judgments, and Israel your law: they shall put incense before you, and whole burnt sacrifice on your altar.

As we can plainly see from the above scriptures, the teaching ministry of the law, as well as the rulership of the house of God in the Old Testament belonged to the Priests, Aaron and his sons, who were to be assisted by the male Levites. God has never allowed women to teach and exercise authority over men in his house. Not in the Old Testament, and certainly not in the New Testament!

Most people who support female ordination into the preaching ministry quote Galatians 3:28 as sufficient scriptural backing for their practice:

Galatians 3:28 there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Taking that one verse of scripture at face value and out of context, it would seem God does not recognize any difference between the sexes, and as such, either sex can lead the home and the Church.  This argument flies in the face of countless scriptures that distinguish between the sexes anatomically, emotionally and ministerially. But, let us look at that verse of scripture in context.

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up to the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Why the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:26 for you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 3:28 there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 and if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Looking at that scripture in context, we come to understand the Apostle Paul was trying to make the point that in salvation, God does not discriminate against anyone based on tribe (Jew or Greek), social standing (freeborn or slave), or sex (male or female). Anyone who has faith in Christ will be saved, irrespective of race, social standing or sex, for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:11 for the scripture said, whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:12 for there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him.

Romans 10:13 for whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

As can be seen here, Galatians 3:28 simply means God will save anyone who puts their faith in him, without discriminating with respect to race, social standing or sex. It doesn’t mean after being saved, a Jew stops being a Jew or a Greek ceases to be a Greek. It does not mean there is no more a distinction in the role of the sexes at home and in the Church.

I will like to mention one final issue on this topic. People who support the ordination of women into the eldership ministry of the Church always look back to the prophetess Deborah, who was a judge, and mention her as an example of a woman leader in the Old Testament Church. Let us carefully examine the ministry of Deborah. Deborah was a prophetess who judged Israel in a way that was different from all the other judges of Israel. Unlike the others who were more or less military leaders that led the people in wars of liberation from their oppressors, Deborah judged Israel by her prophetic gift. She would hear from God and solve disputes or answer the people’s questions through her prophetic ability to hear from God. That’s essentially what every prophet does!

Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.

Judges 4:5 and she dwelled under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

Judges 4:6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said to him, Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?

Judges 4:7 And I will draw to you to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into your hand.

Deborah never commanded or led the Army of Israel to war. It was Barak who commanded the Army. Deborah only played her role as a prophetess who brought messages from the Lord to exhort, encourage and comfort the people, either by fore-telling (predicting a future event), or by forth-telling (revealing things in the past or in the present). This is still what every New Testament prophet or prophetess is expected to do. Despite being a wonderful prophetess and a courageous mother in Israel, Deborah was neither a priest nor the commander of the Lord’s Army.  She was not a leader in the temple, and she did not serve in the temple. She could not offer the sacrifices which only the priests, the sons of Aaron, were mandated to offer; and she could not teach the law to the people, which only the priests, the sons of Aaron were empowered by Law to do.

Deborah was a prophetess, a wife and a mother, but not a priest or an army commander! Because Deborah was not a priest (the equivalent of today’s pastors), she could not minister at the altar in the temple of the Lord. She could not enter the holy of holies which only the high priest could lawfully do. So, Deborah’s prophetic ministry cannot be used to justify ordination of women into the eldership ministry of the New Testament Church.

In conclusion, the Apostolic writings and teachings constitute the rule of faith and the basis for doctrines in the New Testament Church. With regards to the Apostolic writings, there is no place for the ordination of women into the five-fold ministry, which is the exclusive preserve of men. The Christian women are to be silent in the Churches, abstain from teaching and refrain from exercising authority over men. The women are to be in subjection, at home and in the Church. Any teaching that opposes this Apostolic view is unbiblical, null and void, and amounts to perversion of the Gospel and a falling away from the faith.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, comment and share to others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

Is The Law Of Tithing For New Testament Gentile Believers?

Tithe means one-tenth of a thing, or a tenth part of something. The doctrine of believers paying a tenth of their income to the church, as a mandatory biblical requirement, is zealously taught and demanded by almost all churches. In fact, some people teach that not to pay tithe is such a heinous sin against God that it could even affect one’s salvation. This topic is so important that it merits a detailed biblical exposition, in order to understand the place of tithing in the New Testament Church of Jesus Christ.

The first record of tithing in the Bible is found in the 14th Chapter of Genesis, where Abraham (then Abram) paid tithe to King Melchizedek, the High Priest of God.

Genesis 14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

Genesis 14:19 He blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth:

Genesis 14:20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” Abram gave him a tenth of all.

We are not told whether Abram had a specific commandment to give a tenth or 10% of the spoils he had seized from the enemies he fought and overcame. We do not know and cannot tell whether tithing was a regular habit with Abram or whether it was just coincidental that he gave a tenth of the spoils as offering to God’s Priest.  It is instructive to note that nowhere else is it recorded that Abraham gave tithes again.

The next record of tithing in the Bible is in Genesis Chapter 28, where Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, vowed to give God 10% of his wealth, if God would protect and bless him on the journey he was about to embark upon.

Genesis 28:20 Jacob vowed a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on,

Genesis 28:21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God,

Genesis 28:22 then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God’s house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you.”

It is worth noting that Jacob promised to give God his tithe, not as in obedience to a mandatory commandment from God, but as a vow, as a promise contingent on God’s protection and blessings. In other words, Jacob was saying he would give 10% of his wealth if God blessed and protected him on his journey. However, if God failed to protect or bless him, he wasn’t obligated to give God his tithe. Tithing for Jacob was a contractual agreement with God, not an obligatory commandment from God. You don’t give God conditions before you obey a commandment of the Lord. Whether God blesses you or not, whether he protects you or not, you are required to keep his commandment, as a child of God. You don’t negotiate on a divine commandment.

We do not see tithing again until it appears in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, as part of the laws given to Moses by God, for the support of the Levitical priesthood, the widows, the poor, the needy and the strangers in the land of Israel.

Leviticus 27:30 “All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is Yahweh’s. It is holy to Yahweh.

Leviticus 27:32 All the tithe of the herds or the flocks, whatever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to Yahweh.

Numbers 18:24 For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a wave offering to Yahweh, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said to them, ‘Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”

Numbers 18:26 “Moreover you shall speak to the Levites, and tell them, ‘When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a wave offering of it for Yahweh, a tithe of the tithe.

Numbers 18:27 your wave offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the wine press.

Numbers 18:28 Thus you also shall offer a wave offering to Yahweh of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and of it you shall give Yahweh’s wave offering to Aaron the priest.

Numbers 18:29 Out of all your gifts, you shall offer every wave offering of Yahweh, of all its best, even the holy part of it out of it.’

Tithing was thus made a commandment to the Israelites, to whom God gave his laws on Mount Sinai. As a commandment for the Jews, its observance was obligatory, with severe penalties from God for disobedience.

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:9 you are cursed with the curse; for you rob me, even this whole nation.

Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.

Malachi 3:11 I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before its time in the field,” says Yahweh of Armies.

Malachi 3:12 “All nations shall call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says Yahweh of Armies.

Because the tithes of the children of Israel, the Jews, belonged to God, failure to bring their tithes to God amounted to robbing God. Keeping God’s property away from God is akin to stealing from God. Such act of robbery against God was to be punished with a curse on such offenders in the land of Israel. Devourers would be released upon them (sicknesses, plagues, famine, war, pestilence, etc), and they would thus experience severe hardship, suffering, barrenness and unfruitfulness. However, if they were faithful in paying their tithes, the Jews would be tremendously blessed, all things being equal.

Now, let’s look at how tithes were to be paid and used in Israel, in accordance with the Mosaic Law which regulated the payment and utilization of tithes. The Jews were mandated to pay two sets of tithes, the first at the end of each year (the yearly tithe), and the second at the end of every three years (the three- yearly tithe). The yearly tithe was for the owner of the tithe and his family to eat and enjoy in the presence of God, sharing the feast with the Levites, the poor, the fatherless, the widows and the strangers.

Deuteronomy 14:22 you shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes out of the field year by year.

Deuteronomy 14:23 You shall eat before Yahweh your God, in the place which he chooses, to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear Yahweh your God always.

Deuteronomy 14:24 If the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry it, because the place is too far from you, which Yahweh your God shall choose, to set his name there, when Yahweh your God shall bless you;

Deuteronomy 14:25 then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose.

Deuteronomy 14:26 You shall trade the money for whatever your soul desires, for cattle, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you; and you shall eat there before Yahweh your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.

Deuteronomy 14:27 you shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no portion nor inheritance with you.

The three-yearly tithes were to be collected at the end of every three years, and were to be kept in storehouses within every city in Israel, for the sustenance of the Levites, the poor, the widows, the fatherless and the strangers.

Deuteronomy 14:28 at the end of every three years you shall bring all the tithe of your increase in the same year, and shall store it within your gates.

Deuteronomy 14:29 The Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the foreigner living among you, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that Yahweh your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.

The three-yearly tithe was the main tithe for the upkeep and maintenance of the Levites, widows, the poor, the fatherless and strangers in the land of Israel. Its purpose was to ensure that there was food always for the Levites (who had no inheritance in Israel and worked full time in the service of God), the poor, widows, the fatherless and strangers.

Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.

As shown from the scriptures above, tithes were not meant for the Levites alone. Tithes were meant to be brought into store houses in every city in Israel, and were to be distributed to Levites, widows, the fatherless, the poor and the strangers. Even when it was lawful to pay tithe under the law, it was not to be paid privately to a Levite, and it was not to be used by the Levites alone. The tithes of the people was to provide food for the entire house of God, and not just for Levites alone!

In the New Testament, tithe was mentioned only in the Gospels, and in relation to the Jews, who were still under obligation to keep the Law of Moses, of which tithing was a part.

St. Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

St. Luke 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.

Jesus strongly rebuked the hypocritical Pharisees, who would meticulously require the people to pay tithe of everything, including the smallest seeds, but ignored more important or weightier matters of the law, such as justice, mercy, faith, and love of God. As far as Jesus was concerned, these matters were far more important than tithing. Unlike our Pastors of today who make tithing the weightiest matter of the word of God and of the faith, Jesus placed tithing for the Jews on the lowest rung of the spiritual ladder, below justice, mercy, faith and love of God. Tithing is not the panacea our modern day Pastors are making it out to be. Tithing was a minor part of the entire Law of Moses, and was never the basis of righteousness or the means to secure God’s favour. In fact, a Pharisee, like a lot of Church members today who seek to be justified by payment of tithe, was condemned by Jesus and went away without God’s favour, though he was a faithful tither.

St. Luke 18:10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector.

St. Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortionists, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

St. Luke 18:12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’

St. Luke 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

St. Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted”.

Indeed, tithe paying does not justify anyone, and cannot be used as a basis to secure God’s favour, if you don’t observe the weightier matters of God’s word.

For those who quote these passages in the Gospels as evidence that tithing is a New Testament doctrine for the Gentile believers, let me remind us that Jesus ministered to the Jews only, throughout his ministry. Infact, he came primarily and originally for the Jews and was their minister.

Romans 15:8 now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

St. John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

St. Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus was sent to the house of Israel, as their Messiah, King, Prophet, Judge and Lord. He expounded and elaborated on the Laws God gave to Moses for the Jews. He was born as a Jew, lived as a Jew and upheld the Jewish traditions until his death. He lived and fulfilled the law!

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The purpose of Jesus coming as a man and as a Jew was to fulfill the law (which no man before him could fulfill), meet its righteous requirements and deliver from the law those who were under the law (the Jews, unto whom God gave his law). If he had failed to fulfill the law he would have been deemed unfit to redeem his people from living under the law.

St. Matthew 5:17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.

St. Matthew 5:18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.

When he had fulfilled the law and died as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the people, he abolished the law and redeemed the people from under the law, having fulfilled the law. In his life he fulfilled the law, and by his death he abolished the law!

Ephesians 2:14 for he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition,

Ephesians 2:15 having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace;

Colossians 2:13 you were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Colossians 2:14 wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;

Romans 7:1 or don’t you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 for the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

Romans 7:3 so then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God.

Romans 7:5 for when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring out fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

Did you notice verse 6? But now we have been discharged from the law (of Moses), discharged from all aspects of the Law of Moses (including the laws of tithing). We have died to the law, by the death of Christ! We are no longer under the law. Hallelujah!!! No commandment or ordinance of the Mosaic Law, including the laws of tithing is mandatory for the New Testament believer in Christ.

Whoever tries to keep any aspect of the laws of Moses, including the law of tithing is under a curse. Whoever does that has fallen from Grace!

Galatians 3:10 for as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Galatians 3:11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 the law is not of faith, but, “The man who does them will live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 5:4 you are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace.

The entirety of the laws of Moses (over 600 laws), including the laws of tithing, firstfruits, offering of sacrificial animals, laws of vows, etc,  are all obsolete, expired, null and void and therefore of no effect on the New Testament believer. Hallelujah!!! Tithing is no longer a law or a commandment requiring obedience for fear of a curse. You are free from the law of tithing and so, no one, not even God can curse you if you don’t pay tithe. Malachi 3:8-12 is no longer valid and cannot be used to threaten a New Testament believer, like any other part of the Mosaic Law, because we are not under the law. The law has no jurisdiction over us.

In conclusion, tithing as a law, like all other parts of the abolished Mosaic Law, is no longer applicable to the New Testament believer in Christ. Giving to support the cause of God and to support God’s servants is voluntary and according to what each person determines in his mind to give to God. Giving is to be done voluntarily, cheerfully, and abundantly, according to what a man has and chooses to give.

2 Corinthians 8:7 But as you abound in everything, in faith, utterance, knowledge, all earnestness, and in your love to us, see that you also abound in this grace.

2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love.

2 Corinthians 8:12 for if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don’t have.

2 Corinthians 8:13 for this is not that others may be eased and you distressed,

2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may abound to every good work.

Thank you so much for visiting this blog. We appreciate you and the precious time you spared to read through this lengthy post. If you were blessed by this message, kindly like, comment and share to others (with due acknowledgement of the source). You can also follow us to have subsequent posts sent directly to you through your email. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name! Amen!

The Relationship Of The Gentiles To The Law Of Moses

The Acts 15:1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.

The Acts 15:2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.

Paul and Barnabas, separated by the Holy Spirit to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, had been preaching about salvation through faith in Christ. And God had been blessing their efforts with massive conversion of the Gentiles.

Suddenly, some men came from Jerusalem, the headquarters of the Jewish Church, and started insisting that the Gentiles could not be saved only by having faith in Christ and by obeying the gospel. That to be fully and completely saved, Gentile believers must believe in Christ and also keep the Mosaic Law. What they meant was that, salvation for the Gentiles must be by grace plus observance of the Mosaic Law.

I want us to understand the fundamental issue here. Paul and Barnabas preached salvation by faith in Christ alone. By their preaching, you don’t need to observe the Mosaic Law to be saved. By grace you are saved, through faith in Christ alone.

Some men from Jerusalem who were also believers in Christ (Jewish believers) came from Jerusalem and countered the teachings of Paul and Barnabas on this issue. They told the Gentiles that faith in Christ alone was not sufficient for salvation. They taught that, to be fully saved, the Gentiles had to get circumcised (an entry point into the Mosaic covenant) and keep the law of Moses, in addition to having faith in Christ. In effect, those Judaisers preached that Gentiles had to become converts to Judaism first, before they could become born again.

As a result, a great dispute ensued. Paul and Barnabas argued fiercely with these Judaisers from Jerusalem. The contention on this issue was so hot that the Church in Antioch resolved the matter needed to be settled by the council of apostles and elders in Jerusalem. It was a big enough issue to call for the first church council. It’s still a big enough issue in our day because the confusion still lingers.

So, Paul and Barnabas and other appointed members of the church in Antioch went up to Jerusalem to meet the apostles and elders there to resolve this issue. Let’s hear what the first church council had to say about this matter.

The Acts 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.

The Acts 15:5 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.

The Acts 15:6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.

The Acts 15:7 And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

The Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,

The Acts 15:9 and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith.

The Acts 15:10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

The Acts 15:11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.

Above was Peter’s response to the debate. The Apostle Peter saw the compelling of the Gentiles to keep the Law of Moses as an unnecessary yoke which even they themselves being Jews couldn’t observe faithfully. Let us also carefully consider James’ response, one of the pillars of the Jewish Church, and the head of the Apostolic council in Jerusalem at the time. Isn’t it interesting that James (the half-brother of Jesus) was the head of the Church in Jerusalem at this time, and not Peter, whom the Roman Catholics consider the first Pope? Let’s look at James’ response carefully and digest it before we move on. Very important!

The Acts 15:12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

The Acts 15:13 After they finished speaking, James replied, Brothers, listen to me.

The Acts 15:14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.

The Acts 15:15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

The Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,

The Acts 15:17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things

The Acts 15:18 known from of old.

The Acts 15:19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,

The Acts 15:20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

The Acts 15:21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.

James too, like Peter, did not see any reason why the Gentiles should keep the law of Moses, other than the universal law God gave to mankind through Noah, to avoid eating blood, strangled animals and food offered to idols, and to abstain from sexual immorality. Out of the entire Mosaic Law, these were the things singled out for the Gentiles to observe!

The Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers,

The Acts 15:23 with the following letter: The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings.

The Acts 15:24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions,

The Acts 15:25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

The Acts 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 15:27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.

The Acts 15:28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements:

The Acts 15:29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.

That was the conclusion of the Apostolic Council at Jerusalem on the issue of whether or not Gentile believers should obey and keep Law of Moses, in addition to having faith in Christ Jesus, before they could be saved. Please, digest it carefully and let it sink in. This is potentially revolutionary!!!

The Acts 15:30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter.

The Acts 15:31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.

See the effect of this liberating truth on the Gentile believers!!!

Brothers and sisters, the solution to that seemingly irrelevant question was the defining point of the Gospel. It was what saved the Gospel of grace and preserved the purity of the Gospel. It was the greatest battle Paul fought throughout his ministry, the battle to  keep grace from being corrupted and made of non-effect by the Law. It was the crux of the Epistle to the Galatians, who had been seduced by the grace plus Law theology and had fallen from grace thereby.

To begin with, the Old Testament was a covenant between God and the Israelites. The Gentiles were not a part of that covenant, although God had in mind to bring them into His blessings later. But, the Gentiles were not a part of that Covenant on Mount Sinai that God made with Israel. A few Gentiles like Ruth had to renounce their gods and nationalities and become proselyted to the Jewish religion to enjoy the benefits of the Covenant. But, basically,  it was a contractual agreement between God and Israel. If you’re not a party to a contract, you will neither benefit from, nor suffer from the contract. True or false?

Let me draw a conclusion to what we’ve been saying: the Gentile believers do not need to keep the Law of Moses to be saved. We are not under the Law of Moses. Observance of the Law of Moses cannot save us. We are not under the Old Testament. The Old Testament is expired and has been replaced by the New. The Old Testament and the Mosaic Law that regulate it is an expired document that can only bring death, not life!!!

 The Law is a prisoner! And we have allowed it to hold Grace captive and made it ineffectual.

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.

Galatians 3:11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for The righteous shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:12 But the law is not of faith, rather The one who does them shall live by them.

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Galatians 3:2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Galatians 3:4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Galatians 3:5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s remind ourselves what the Law is, as used by Paul and other New Testament writers. By the Law, we mean the entire Mosaic Law! Yes, the entirety of the Mosaic Law! The moral law, the statutes, the judgments, the religious, the social, the economic laws governing the lives of God’s people in the Old Testament, the Israelites. This refers to the over 600 statutes and ordinances in the Mosaic Law, including the laws regulating the Tabernacle worship, the priesthood, tithes, etc.

Galatians 3:19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.

God’s gift of salvation does not depend on observance of the Mosaic Law. It’s predicated on the grace of God in his promise to Abraham. A promise made to Abraham not because he observed any works of the Law, but simply because he believed God.

Galatians 3:15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.

Galatians 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, And to offsprings, referring to many, but referring to one, And to your offspring, who is Christ.

Galatians 3:17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

Friends, the Law is a cage, a prison house! It is a curse! If you live under the Mosaic Law and expect to be blessed thereby, you’re living a lie. The only way you can live under the Law is by unfailingly keeping every single law/ordinance contained in the Law. If you break one, you’re dead!!! The Law is a trap house that leads to death. It doesn’t have life or blessing in it and it wasn’t designed to, in the first place.

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?

Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman.

Galatians 4:23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.

Galatians 4:24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.

Galatians 4:25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

Galatians 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.

Galatians 4:28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.

Galatians 4:29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now.

Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.

Galatians 4:31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

Somebody will go to Deuteronomy 22: 5 and say,‘ you see, a woman wearing a garment that belongs to a man is an abomination’, but Deuteronomy 22:9-12 also says, ‘Do not plant any crop in the same field as your grapevines; if you do , you’re forbidden to use either the grapes or the produce of the other crop. Do not hitch an ox or a donkey together in plowing. Do not wear cloth made by weaving wool and linen together’.

Why don’t they that desire to keep the Law, keep the whole Law? Why do they wear garments of mixed fibers, and sow different crops in their farms?

Grasp this! The Law was given to show man what sin is. And the Law was to be useful in that regard until the coming of Christ. After Christ has come, the Law, having fulfilled its purpose, becomes useless! Isn’t it distressing how ministers cage God’s people with the Law and make them live under a curse? Haven’t you heard people say ‘if you don’t pay your tithe, you’re under a curse’?, using Malachi 3:9, a scripture related to the support of the Levitical Priesthood under the Mosaic Law. Are these ministers of tithe and Malachi in the old or new covenant?

Those desiring to remain as part of the Old Covenant of Mount Sinai are children of Hagar. The Children of Promise, like Isaac, belong to the New Jerusalem. Hagar and her children are in bondage. All those under the Law are in bondage!!! And guess what? They will always be the ones to persecute the children of Promise. But, you know what? They will always be cast away, like Ishmael.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

Galatians 5:7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you.

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

It’s important we realize who Paul was addressing here- born again Christians in Galatia who once believed in salvation by faith in Christ alone, but had now been seduced to believe in salvation by Grace in Christ plus obedience to the Old Testament Mosaic Law. Think about it, friends. A born again Christian can start in the Spirit (justification and sanctification by faith through grace) and end up in the flesh (observance of the Law).

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.

Galatians 5:3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

 If you insist on keeping the Law that has been abolished, you have fallen from grace. Christ is of no use to you! Did you get that? If you want to keep one part of the Law of Moses, then you must keep the entire Mosaic Law. And if you do that (if you can!), you’re a lost slave!

Whoever persuades a believer to go back to any portion of the Mosaic Law is not under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The person is working at cross purposes with God, whoever he is! I don’t care if he’s a Pope or an Archbishop or a General Overseer. He’s missed the mark of the Gospel!

Galatians 6:12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:13 For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

Galatians 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

If you’re preaching grace alone minus the Law of Moses, you’ll get heavily persecuted. Religious people like to make a ritualistic, even if hypocritical, show of keeping some carnal ordinances, especially those make them self-righteous. They want to work for their salvation, and pay their way to heaven through tithe, etc. And the preachers who love the wages of unrighteousness, like Balaam, love to dwell on the Mosaic Law, because of tithes, first fruits and seeds!!!

Galatians 5:11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.

Galatians 5:12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

The Mosaic Law and the Old Covenant it represents have been nullified and abolished, and have been replaced by the New Covenant ratified on Calvary by the blood Jesus. We are no longer under the Law, neither are we anymore under the Old Covenant!

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 For he finds fault with them when he says: Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Hebrews 8:9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.

Hebrews 8:13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

Romans 7:3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

Romans 7:5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

Romans 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

All believers in Christ died with him on the cross and thus became dead to the Law of Moses. The Law does not have jurisdiction over a dead man, does it? If you’re in Christ, you’re dead to the world and the Law of Moses.

The things that are expired and that we are no longer required to keep, are the 600 plus statutes, judgments, ordinances and precepts in the Mosaic Law that govern the religious, social and economic lives of Israelites, from Exodus to Malachi.

When we say the Old Testament is expired and abolished, we’re actually talking about the Covenant God had with Israel on Mount Sinai, given through Moses, and regulated by the Mosaic Law.

The Gospels, the book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostles of Christ constitute the rule of faith for the New Testament believer.

What this means is that, you don’t have to go to the Mosaic Law to find out what God requires of you to do in matters of conduct, belief and practice.  Also expired and no longer to be observed are the laws regarding the Levitical priesthood, the sacrifices of that priesthood and the laws that sustained that priesthood etc.

Now, that doesn’t mean the Old Testament portion of your Bible is useless and should be ripped off. The Old Testament portion of the Bible does not contain only the Mosaic Law.

In the Old Testament, we have accounts of the creation, the progressive revelation of God, God’s dealings with man, prophecies (some of which have been fulfilled, and some of which are yet to be fulfilled)

Even in the Mosaic Law and other portions of the Old Testament, we have types and shadows of Christ in the various events and processes that transpired in the lives of godly men and women.

Most importantly, we have examples of godly men and women, how they stood for righteousness and how they were blessed of God. That’s the purpose of the old testament– to act as examples for us to learn from, so that we don’t make the same mistakes some people made and lost favour with God.

1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

 1 Corinthians 10:2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

1 Corinthians 10:3 all ate the same spiritual food,

1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:6 now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

1 Corinthians 10:7 and do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”

1 Corinthians 10:8 nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;

1 Corinthians 10:9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;

1 Corinthians 10:10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

The revelation of God in the Old Testament was in shadow and progressive, culminating in the full revelation of God in Christ.

 The Old Testament is not only truly historical, it also reveals the plan of God and declares the future of mankind. But remember– Christ is the substance and the fulfillment of the types and shadows depicted in the Old Testament.

So, read and study the Old Testament, along with the new. Both make up the Bible! Hebrews 11 also chronicles some of the heroic deeds of some of the men and women of faith in the Old Testament. Their biographies are inspiring.  If they accomplished what they did under the blood of bulls and goats which could only cover sin but not take it away, how much more should we accomplish under the blood of Christ which alone can take away sin.

But please, don’t forget the most important message of this teaching- the laws of Moses as contained in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are expired and abolished, and have no relevance in the conduct and practice of the New Testament church. What governs the New Testament churches is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, as contained in the Gospels, the book of Acts and the Epistles of the Apostles of Christ.

Read and study the Old Testament! Without a firm understanding of the Old Testament, you will not understand nor appreciate the new. But,  don’t let any man bring you back to bondage by demanding obedience to any part of the expired and abolished Mosaic Laws, especially the laws of tithing, first fruits, etc,.

As we study about the heroes and heroines of faith in the Old Testament and learn from their examples, let us remember one thing- we have a better covenant than theirs, which is founded upon better promises.

 Hebrews 11:39 and all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

Hebrews 11:40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Therefore let us not look back and yearn to be like them, rather let us look up and aspire to be better, because we have a better covenant founded upon better promises. Servants of God, fear not! The New Testament has better provisions for your welfare. Stop going back to the expired Mosaic Law to look for tithe and first fruits by fraudulent means. You’re not a Levitical priest!!!

Once you go back to keeping any part of the Mosaic Law, you place yourself under a curse and remove yourself from grace.

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