A License to Preach

In my last installment I referred to relationship between the constitution and the government of the United States as that between a Bible and the faithful of a religious order. Part of that was intended to illustrate the parallels between the Will of the People and the Will of the Lord. Like the constitution the Bible is the written or codified Will of God. People have for a great while been questioning how to know the will of God on various important issues, but seem to be adrift in a sea of confusion regarding how to find out that will. But that is the very reason we were given the Bible. The bible is a living dynamic code for living and for developing doctrines whereby one can be assured of Godliness. If you follow not merely the specific rules and regulations contained in the Bible but internalize the principals and intentions of those laws, you will naturally be in the will of God. Finding God’s will on most subjects is merely a matter of honestly reading the word, and not rebelling against the parts that you find too hard to accept. When you recognize God’s authority by becoming compliant, and obedient to the authority of God, instead of using the Bible to find loopholes to make your sins or adulteries acceptable, you will find you know the heart and mind of God not just his will.

Does this mean you can always find God’s will in the Bible? No, there are some extreme circumstances where you cannot, simply because they are extreme. For those situations, you must have been filled with the spirit in the Pentecostal Fire Baptism, because it is the process whereby the heart and mind of the Pentecostal is directly informed by the Spirit of God by which you find those answers. Someone who is not initiate might say, ‘Well God may tell that one thing and this other one something else. After all it’s all subjective.’ No it isn’t subjective at all. When the will of God and his prophetic utterances are being made, it is purely and objective experience. The speaker is lead to speak, but in a Pentecostal Congregation there will be others who are spirit filled. When God speaks they all know, and they all are witness to the truth or falsity of the prophecy. In addition, a true prophecy is never in contradiction to the body of the cannon. It may provide answers to a specific circumstance that was not codified in the cannon, by God is self consistent and prophetic utterance will agree with the principals of the cannon.

Secondly, when an individual is seeking God’s will for that individual’s role in a difficult circumstance, that individual is the one God is most like to inform. What God conveys to that individual will be different than what he conveys to another, because they are not the same person and they have different lives to lead. However, when it is truly God speaking, it will be consistent with Biblical principle, and Spirit Filled believers will usually recognize the character of the communication.

Now in the last musing I pointed out that the only license and mandate that the US government has to exist or operate is the codified will of the people in the written Constitution. This is paralleled in the church by the fact that the only license or mandate that a religious institution can rely on, or ultimately needs to have, is the written Will of God in the Bible. When a Church or other Christian Religious organization argues against Biblical imperative, or Biblical Authority, such and organization has rejected the only license that they have. In the software world there is a large body of software called ‘Open Source Software’ or ‘Free Software’. The core of all this freedom is the Gnu Public License (GPL) which protects the authorship of the software while making the source freely available to the public. It doesn’t necessarily mean free of charge. I bring this up because a key passage in that document states, ‘You are not required to accept the terms of this license, but apart from it you have no other right to use or possess the software.’ That applies here because similarly if you reject the constitution, you have no other right to govern; make laws or enforce them, and if you reject the Bible, you have no other authority to govern the church; make doctrines and bylaws within it; or enforce inclusion or exclusion of members or other clergy. One immutable tenet of the Bible is that there is no other name under heaven [than Jesus], where by men might be saved. Reject that, state that all roads lead to God, preach universal salvation and ecumenicism that bridges the boundaries between biblical faith and world religions, and you have rejected the only mandate that might lend authority to you and to your organization. Make no mistake; God will deal with those who mock his word or his Spirit.

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