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It is very easy for a sincere leader to lead God’s people in the flesh without the power of God!  Romans 8:8, “ So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” The fear of the “wrath” of the elder or his displeasure is not the basis for any relationship with God as James 1:20 tells us, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”   Far too many times they begin to depend upon traditions as mandated by the “church” to keep the people of God instead of the fear of the Lord.  Proverbs16:6 teaches us, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”
This is very evident in the “plain community”, which lives its life by the traditions of men
and although not “of the world,” still battles inwardly with the “lusts of the flesh.”  They now glory in appearance and a “form of godliness”, yet the majority have not Christ!  They now emphasize the “rules” and “traditions” instead of the Word of God and His commandment— “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  They trust in their “performance” of man’s traditions and actually begin to disobey God’s commandments!
 These leaders caring for the outside of the cup, have failed to wash the inside in the Word! Yet Jesus warns us, “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” Mathew 23:26. These “…have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:3. This causes their followers to follow the commands of man in the flesh instead of in the Spirit, thus producing a fear of man instead of a love and reverence of God and His commandments. This mistaken “unity” in the church has now taken the place of scriptural obedience and borders on idolatry.  They are not keeping God’s commandments, but the “commandments of men.”  You can tell this by these commandments of men causing one to disobey God’s commandments.
Old Testament prophets found themselves called of God to proclaim, “Thus saith the Lord.” Their responsibility was just as the “errand boy” or “bond slave” of which Jesus spoke, which was to deliver a message from God to His people. The people were to submit to the words of the “errand boy” from the mouth of God. Read God’s instructions to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:10-11), “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.  And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” These that would hear this message from Ezekiel would not be rejecting Ezekiel, for these were not the words of Ezekiel, but the Word of God!

 

Who was Ezekiel but a mouthpiece that proclaimed, “Thus saith the Lord”? God also warned of changing His word in Jeremiah 26:2, “Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word.” Again, those who rejected Jeremiah the Prophet did not reject Jeremiah, for the words that he spoke were from the Word of God. Jeremiah was only an errand boy that answered only to the Sender of the message! If the people rejected the message, they were rejecting God. Who was Jeremiah, but a mouthpiece that proclaimed, “Thus saith the Lord”?
God sent Amos to Amaziah to proclaim God’s judgment because of his sins. When Amaziah refused the Word of God, Amos said, “I was no prophet…but I was an herdman, and gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.” This meek address from this prophet of God shows us the meekness and humility of a true servant of God that realizes that he is only a mouthpiece to proclaim, “Thus saith the Lord.” Who was Amos but a farmer, called of God to be a mouthpiece that proclaimed, “Thus saith the Lord”?
In the New Testament, we have the same God working through humble and meek men that proclaim His message. Acts 5:1-11 finds God, not Peter, working miracles in the early church as God, not Peter, kills two who lie to the Holy Ghost. They sinned against God Almighty, and He brought judgment upon them. Who was Peter, but a mouthpiece that proclaimed, “Thus saith the Lord”?
Acts 15 teaches us of a coming together of the Apostles and elders as they laid the foundation for the church.  Upon hearing of Gentile brethren, they were not sure how to teach them; therefore, they were careful not to mandate anything of their own opinion. This coming together was to establish God’s commandments, and it was made up of Apostles upon which Christ built His church. Any directive coming from the Apostles at this time was by the direct hand of God. Divine inspiration as the Holy Spirit speaking through them in their writings has given us a perfect copy of the Word of God. II Peter 1:21.  This is an example of God’s people seeking God’s will and commands.
Jesus built His church upon “…the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Ephesians 2:20.