Sunday, June 30, 2013

THE BODY OF CHRIST

Are you the body of Christ?

As an individual, are you the body of Christ?

No.  As an individual member, you cannot be the body.

The body is composed of living members which are connected in an orderly fashion according to God’s design.

An individual cannot be the body.

When an individual takes on a spirit of preeminence, he begins to think that he is the body and in need of no other.  An independent attitude, that begins to influence you to think that you have no need of the other members of the body, will cause division.  God hates divorce and division and so do His children. 

1 Corinthians 12:12-14
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.

“THE BODY IS NOT ONE MEMBER, BUT MANY.”

The only way we can be the body is through the UNITY of the members.

The members of the body must be united and working in harmony for the good and benefit of the body.  The members must have a strong loving care for each other.

If the members are divided from each other, they will perish and die. 

God will not put His glory, His power and His approval upon a fragmented congregation.  The church is not me and it is not you.  It is us, who by the grace of the indwelling Holy Ghost, have unity and fellowship with one another.  You cannot achieve this spirit filled fellowship WITHOUT the grace of the Holy Ghost.  His grace in us enables us to be patient, longsuffering, gentle, kind and merciful.

1 Corinthians 3:1-11
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

You cannot build the church of God by doing things your way.  Neither can I build the church of God by doing things my way.  We all must be workers together in the harmony which is only made possible by the grace and guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Carnal men cannot and will not build up the body of Christ which is the church of God.  The church of God, which is the Bride of Christ and the body of Christ in this world, will not be built up and edified by men and women who have envy and strife .  Envy and strife produce division, and division destroys the body.  The members cannot survive if they are separated from one another. 

So what do you think the devil wants to do?  He wants to divide the members from each other.  He wants to cause division.  Has he succeeded?  How did Satan succeed in separating the members from one another?  The answer is by envy and strife. 

What is envy?

Envy is present when one person begins to compete with another person with a desire to be perceived as being better.  There is present the element of jealousy with a strong unfavorable attitude toward the other person.    This envy and jealousy will cause the person to be contentious and quarrelsome.  They will begin to argue and be at variance with the other person.  Their discussions will turn into debates where they will defend their variance at all cost.  Brotherly love will be sacrificed as this preeminent spirit rises up to exercise rule over others. 

When envy is allowed to rule, strife will be the result.  This is what Jesus was talking about when He warned the disciples about the importance of submitting to one another. 

Matthew 20:25-28
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

In the body of Christ, the church of God, we do not exercise “DOMINION” over one another.  Jesus Christ is the Head of the church and there is no other person who has the equal power of dominion as does Jesus Christ.  This is what has always been the charge against the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.  He claims to have been given the privilege of sitting in the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ to determine and judge matters of sin.  His authority is assumed to be so great that he can bind sin upon another person or forgive sin and release persons from their guilt of sin. 

Sin separates us from God and one another.  If you charge me with sin, then we are not members of one body.  If I have repented of my sins and am walking in all the light and understanding which God has given to me, and you cut me off from your fellowship because you charge me with willful sin, then you have made yourself a judge of men’s souls.  Again, we must listen to the words of Jesus Christ.  He has warned us to not enter into judgment of one another.

Matthew 7:1-5
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Do you have any faults?  I do not refer to willful disobedience.  The imperfection of our humanity is not equal to willful disobedience and rebellion against the known laws of God.  We are capable of making mistakes.  However, God has given us the grace to say no to every temptation and live free from willful sin. 

If you, who are capable of making mistakes, condemn your brother or sister for their mistakes, then you have made yourself a judge and a hypocrite.  If you allow Satan to cause you to become envious and begin to fight against your brother, then you have caused division and are in danger of killing an innocent member of the body of Jesus Christ. 

The carnal man is strongly tempted to be envious and jealous of another person.  The carnal man has a strong desire to be favored and elevated in the opinion of others.  The preeminent spirit wants to be held as more important than another person.  This attitude is one of pride, wanting to be first, chief and the person in charge.  Just because a person is in charge does not mean that they have a preeminent spirit.  Likewise, just because a person is poor and lowly does not mean that they do not have a “wannabe” spirit which makes them jealous, envious and preeminent. 

A person, who is full of the Holy Ghost, will have the grace to resist the temptation to be envious and cause strife.  He will have victory over every temptation to exalt himself.  He will remain humble and willing to be a servant to the rest of the body.  The grace of God which is seen in his attitude and conduct will bear witness that the Holy Spirit has come into his heart and filled him with the power and holiness of God.  It is the daily consecration and death to the desires of the flesh which the apostle Paul referred to when he said, “I die daily.”  He refused to be exalted.

2 Timothy 2:19-26
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

A sanctified person will be able to be identified by the manifestation of the grace of God in his life to conduct himself in accordance to these instructions.  An envious person, who causes strife and division, is not full of the Holy Ghost. 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

FORGIVENESS AND MERCY


Matthew 6:12-15
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I wonder how many people think that they have repented and been redeemed and yet they still have bitterness in their heart against some person who has transgressed against them. 

You can not be forgiven if you do not forgive.

Bitterness in the heart will cause you to be unable to forgive another person his trespass against you.  If you are so hurt that you can not forgive, you do not have the grace of God working in your heart.  You need to love others like God loved you and forgave you of your many trespasses against Him.  It is very improbable than anyone has sinned against you more than you have sinned against God. 

Matthew 18:21-35
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
I want you to notice that Peter had a limit in his mind on how many times he should forgive someone.
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Christ did not have a limit.  Seventy times seven was a descriptive way of saying as many times as needed for reconciliation. 
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Peter knew that seven was a perfect number in the eyes of God.  Thus, he supposed that seven would be an acceptable and appropriate number to forgive another person their trespasses against himself.  Jesus corrected him by teaching that there is no limit to forgiveness to that person who is truly penitent for his trespasses.  Often times God’s children have erred by putting a limit on forgiveness which contradicts the teaching of Jesus Christ. 

Do not confuse conditions with limits.  There are conditions which must be met to bring about forgiveness.  There are no numerical limits to secure forgiveness when the repenting one is truly sorrowful, contrite and humble. 

Let the virtues of love be found in the one repenting and in him of whom forgiveness is sought. 

Mark 11:25-26
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
 
If you do not forgive, you can not be forgiven.  How often do people say, “I forgive you,” and do not truly have forgiveness in their heart. 

Forgiveness must come from the heart and not the lips only. 

Luke 6:35-38
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Do you realize that God’s mercy to you is measured by your mercy to others?  When you are sick, afflicted and in need of God’s mercy, He will give you just as much mercy as you have given to others who were in need of your mercy. 

Concerning judgment, I fear that many have judged harshly; and, they may find harsh judgment when they stand before Jesus Christ on that great judgment day.  In this passage, Jesus brings together several vital elements of the Christian’s conduct.  We must have mercy, judgment, forgiveness and charity.  These Christian virtues must be evident in our relationships with one another.  If they are absent, God will not be pleased with our conduct.  Many poor souls will hear the sad words, “Depart from me” when they expected to hear the words, “Come, ye blessed of my Father.”

Luke 17:1-5
1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

At this instruction, the disciples cried for help, “Lord, increase our faith.”  We need more faith and grace to do this commandment. 

We are instructed to “rebuke” that person who trespasses.  We are not told to condemn. 

John 3:16-21
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 

Who is not worthy of forgiveness?  The answer is:  Him who hates the light and whose deeds are evil.  Before you withhold forgiveness, you must know that the person who is seeking your forgiveness is evil and hates the light of truth. 

You say, “I tried to teach him the truth and he would not accept what I taught so therefore he is evil and hates the light.” 

This position and attitude is what leads to divisions and sect making.  Just because someone does not understand a certain subject or doctrine the same way you do does not make them evil and haters of the light. 

A lack of understanding is not equal to rebellion.  Rebellion will lead to a failure to understand; but, a failure to understand is not always caused by rebellion. 

Psalms 32:1-2
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

To whom does the Lord not impute iniquity?  The answer to this question is:  Him who is walking in all the light of truth which has been given to him by the Holy Spirit.  There is no sin where there is no knowledge and understanding of the law of God. 

Psalms 85
1  LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
3 Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
5 Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.
8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.

It is my continual prayer that God will help us to see and experience the wonderful blessing when righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 

Jeremiah 3:11-15
11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.
13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.
14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

The door of opportunity to gain God’s forgiveness and mercy is open to us because God is merciful.  Do you let people know that you are willing and ready to forgive them? 

Amos 1
1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdman of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
2 And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.
3 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad.
5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.
6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:
7 But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:
8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
9 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:
10 But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.
11 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:
12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.
13 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:
14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
15 And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.

God withheld his forgiveness to the enemies of Israel who were cruel and unmerciful in their persecution of the Hebrews. 

Gaza left no remnant in the land. 

Tyrus wholly forgot the brotherly covenant he had made with Israel. 

Edom was ruthless and without pity in his destruction of the Hebrews. 

Ammon was extremely cruel to the women of Israel who were pregnant.  

God’s mercy restrains Him from sending forth utter destruction.  In His punishments, He allows for repentance and restoration. 

Ephesians 4:26
 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Don’t withhold your forgiveness or you will not be forgiven.  Don’t hold on to your anger.  Rather work to bring about a quick resolution and reconciliation. 


The mortar of truth,

which binds our hearts together in Christian love,

is mercy and forgiveness.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

COUNSEL FROM GOD

We live in a society where authority and counsel have been attacked by people who are doing the work of Satan.  Many people have taken the position that parents no longer have the right to put their personal convictions on their children.  Discipline and Christian training are seen as oppressive and restricting the civil rights of others.  Parents, teachers and pastors have been largely demoted as honored leaders and counselors for children and the citizens of our communities.  Preachers and Pastors have lost the confidence of the people just like bad politicians.  This is none other than the work of Satan. 

However, in spite of all the evil and false leaders in our country, we must not fail to trust and obey the godly leaders whom God has ordained in the church.  If we disobey the counsel of the leaders in the church we will fail of the grace of God.  We will be destroyed spiritually.  God has not designed the saints of God to walk in victory without spiritual counselors.  God speaks to parents, teachers and pastors and requires those in authority to teach the people the commandments of God. 

WEBSTER:  COUNSEL, n. [L., to consult; to ask, to assail.]
1. Advice; opinion, or instruction, given upon request or otherwise, for directing the judgment or conduct of another; opinion given upon deliberation or consultation.
2. Consultation; interchange of opinions.

You ought to ask for counsel.  However, counsel may be given without your asking.  Even though you did not ask, it is still godly counsel. 

There is a right person to whom you should go to for counsel.  Satan will try to get you to go to the wrong person for counsel.  All counselors are not your counselors. 

Jeremiah 3:14-15
14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 

This is the method which God has chosen and you can’t change it.

There are some who want to take away the authority of the parents and the teachers and the pastors and invest that authority in a committee of individuals.  They have lost their trust in the will of God to speak to one man and that one man be the mouthpiece of God.  If you lose your trust in the way God has chosen to operate, it will lead you to disobedience. 

If you do not trust a person, you will not follow their counsel.  Satan is out to destroy people’s trust in parents, teachers and pastors.   

Proverbs 1:23-33
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that (1) they hated knowledge, and (2) did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. 

What are the Bible examples we have in Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and all the other prophets and apostles?  Was obedience to the commandments of God expected of the people as they were presented by one man?  Where then is our safety from false leaders.  We prove them by the word of God.  We prove their conduct.  We prove their record of being faithful to preach the truth of God’s word.  If a man has proven himself to be faithful, then you ought to follow his counsel without fear.  There are two reasons given here for people not seeking counsel.  (1) hate knowledge, and (2) loss of godly respect

Proverbs 20:18-20

18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.
19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness. 

Talebearer: one who slanders and works to gain by talking to the wrong person.
Secrets:  a company of persons in close deliberation; seeking counsel from the wrong person.

When Satan tempts you to get out of order, he will try to get you to talk to the wrong person about something that is bothering you.  If you have a problem with Brother J and you talk with Brother M about it, you are sharing something private with the wrong person. And it will cause hurt and confusion. 

V20. Curseth: If you make light of and bring into contempt someone who should be respected, mother or father, pastor or teacher, you are cursing that person.  Your light shall be put out in obscure darkness.

1 Kings 12:6-14
6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:
9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?
10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins.
11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.  [compare to counsel of old men in verse seven.]
12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.
13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men's counsel that they gave him;
14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

Which counsel would you take?  Would you:

1.   be a servant to God’s people

2.   please yourself and take advantage of others

If you reject God’s counselor then you have rejected God’s counsel. 

You can not pick your own counselor.  You have to accept and honor the one whom God has appointed over you.  You did not choose your own parents, God chose them for you.  You do not choose your pastor.  God sets them in place and then sets you in the body where He wants you to be.  Then we all must operate according to the rules of God’s Word.  God’s word gives us many rules for our conduct in the church of God. 

Are you willing to obey God’s rules of conduct for the church?

God’s rules are given without respect of person.  You and I must obey them.

Matthew 19:16-22
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the ommandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

The rich young man would not take that counsel.  He, no doubt, thought that Jesus did not have the right or the authority to make such an extreme requirement.  He probably said to himself:  “Where did Jesus find that command in the Book of Moses, the Law and the prophets?”

If it is good for the congregation; or, if it is good and wise for your situation, then you must obey counsel.  You only have the right of refusal, if it is bad counsel and by following it you would commit sin. 

Deuteronomy 17:8-13
8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;
9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
 
 In the Old Testament, when the priest did not have the blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit, people were put to death for not following the judgment and sentence which the priests gave to them to obey.  In this New Testament Holy Spirit dispensation, will you not die spiritually if you refuse to take the counsel and advise of a godly pastor?  If you disagree with pastoral counsel, disobedience is not an option available to you.  You may seek the confirmation and counsel of the ministerial body, but disobedience is not an option.  You only have the right to seek the confirmation and counsel of the ministerial body, if you think that following the counsel of your pastor would cause you to commit sin.  And furthermore, you only take that step after you have thoroughly discussed the issue with your pastor. 

If a pastor believes that he is following a righteous principle and requiring the members of the congregation to conform to a certain rule for the sake of godliness and holiness, then every individual ought to honor the rule that is set for that congregation.  There are sometimes local issues which require local rules.  The pastor is the overseer of that congregation and must give account for the counsel which he gives to the people. 

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.

You can not reject this commandment in God’s word.

You must obey and submit to that Holy Ghost ordained pastor who watches for your soul. 

There are rules for handling any disagreement. 

We labor together in love and mercy.  There is no excuse for sanctified persons refusing to work together according to God’s rules. God’s rules are not optional or arbitrary.  They have been given for our safety and our success. 

If you would make heaven your eternal home, you must submit to the godly counselor whom God has placed over you to instruct you and guide you. 

Can you do that?  If you have full salvation, you can and you will. 

If you can’t do that, then you have a spiritual need.  Can you do it? 

Will you do it?  Listen to the Holy Spirit as He counsels you. 

Do what He tells you to do.