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COVENANTS WITH PASTORS AND THEIR PROGRAMS
A covenant is between two. No resolution that we might make is strong
enough to keep us true. The most fervent of our vows can fail in the
hour of trial. A covenant is permanent only as long as God is party
to it. If Jesus is the co-signatory then we can be certain that all
hell will never be able to overthrow it.
The New Covenant which Christ ratified for us at Calvary is the only
one we are party to. It is often said, “don’t make promises
you can’t keep”; and that’s good advice, but we
should not make promises to anyone regarding anything, not even to
our best friends. We affirm or deny and nothing more than that. In
the sermon on the Mount Jesus warned us that to say anything more
than ‘yes’, or ‘no’, is evil.
Our word should be our bond. If as Peter says we are partakers of
the Divine nature, what is true of our Heavenly Father will be true
of us His children. God is not a man and cannot lie, and that’s
why we can do business with Him, because He can be trusted to keep
James 5:12. “But above all, my brethren,
do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath.
But let your "Yes be yes," and you’re "No be
No," lest you fall into judgment”.
want their people to commit to them personally:
They expect them to pledge money for their expansive programs; and
to support them financially, even if it hurts. Family time that
belongs to couples and their children is stolen off them to work
for the church. Why do saints yield to this kind of pressure? Our
time is to be used as God decides; it does not belong to Pastors.
You are deluded if you think that serving the Pastor’s dreams
is the same as serving God? It most definitely is not! That fact
is irrefutably wrong! What happened in the shepherding movement
is a classic example. Absolute submission to the leaders was mandatory.
Women were to be seen and not heard. The big 5, Bob Mumford, Charles
Simpson, Derek Prince, Ern Baxter, and Howard Carter, insisted that
every one must submit and come under a personal shepherd if they
wanted to join their movement. Submit or split was their dictum.
The tithes were passed up to the top. Their subjects could not move,
work, buy or sell without their express permission.
This suited lazy Christians because then they didn't have to make
decisions; they were made for them. But these decisions were not
made by God, but by fallible men. The sheep were told that God would
not hold them responsible as long as they were under the covering
of their shepherd, so when anything went wrong (and plenty did)
they had an excuse, but that does not wash with God.
Every man must bear his own burden of responsibility. To be sure
it’s an extreme case, but multiplied tens of thousands in
the United States the UK, Australia and NZ took to it like dumb
ducks to water. In hindsight it’s amazing to see how many
supposedly mature saints down under whom I knew personally got caught
up in this charade, many of them are still licking their wounds.
The New Covenant was designed for our total benefit. It is irrevocable.
He voluntarily bound Himself to each one of us. Then by an oath
He sealed it with His blood at Calvary. It is personal. There is
no room for a third party.
We should never foreswear to any man, (especially a Sola pastor)
that would be in violation of our covenant with Christ to whom we
now belong. Find out exactly what the word redeemed means. When
I married I made a vow before God to love, cherish, protect, and
provide for my bride. All who were present witnessed it. God heard
it, and accepted it, and 54 years later I was still by His grace
lovingly abiding by it. My bride made the same commitment to the
Lord regarding me. From that moment we belonged to each other, body
soul and spirit.
What condition is your covenant with the Lord in? The first thing
that happens when a covenant comes under pressure is intimacy ceases.
Galatians 5:1 “Christ has truly
made us free: then keep your free condition and let no man put a
yoke on you again”. (BBE)
As oft as we come together we have been commanded to gather around
a table upon which are two elements, bread and wine. It is for the
purpose of remembering the covenant that He ratified that fateful
day when He offered Himself by the Eternal Spirit unto God for our
redemption. He has fulfilled His part, and by His obedience to His
Father drawn us into union with himself. When we accepted Him as
Lord and Savior we became party to this covenant with Him.
All our relationships are predicated upon this covenant. What we
are doing when we eat the bread and drink the cup is reaffirming
our covenant with Him. It is a table of remembrance. As we come
to this “Altar” (Heb 13:10)
we will find forgiveness and grace to readjust our lives. The cup
we drink, “is it not the blood of the everlasting covenant”?
The bread we eat isn’t it His body broken for us?
It is only at the foot of the cross that we will find true union
with Him, and unity among ourselves. We show it whenever two or
three come together to break bread in His name. It is personal!
“Let a man examine himself, before he eats”. If he has
violated the covenant he can by confession, not only find forgiveness,
but grace and strength to enable him to go forth renewed in spirit
as he continues to walk with Christ.
It is a feast with consequences that are negative as well as positive,
and so we must examine ourselves before we eat. Sadly many pastors
fail to exhort their people to do this, and for this cause many
of them are weak and sickly, and some even die. Most pastors overlook
this table of remembrance altogether because they believe the sermon
they have prepared is more important than Christ’s desire
to sup with us. Besides the Pastor wants the people to keep coming
back, so he must give them a service that leaves them feeling warm
and uplifted by his message.
Moreover mentioning the subject of sin, and separation from worldly
pursuits and the need for forgiveness in our lives would be detrimental
to his goals. Teach topical things pastor! Most churchgoers like
the Greeks in Paul’s day, love to have their ears tickled.
P. S. A word for Pastors; If you avoid truth and ignore heart issues
and the leave people with warm and fuzzy feelings it will open many
doors for you on the pastor’s merry-go-round.
An article printed in “House2House” magazine (the official
organ of Tony and Felicity Dales) made light of the way the Lord’s
Table is observed in traditional circles, the article was entitled
“The Lord’s Snack”. In so doing it tarnishes the
memory of our Saviors death, which He commanded us to memorialize
I’m not saying the way many observe it is perfect. It really
matters little whether it is a cracker or a whole loaf; the main
point is that we should observe it oft. The bread, which we eat,
“is it not the Body of Christ”? Lying around on the
carpet eating sandwiches as could be seen in a photo that accompanied
the article is a poor substitute. He was wounded for our transgressions;
He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace
was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. How could we who
owe everything to Him treat the memory of His sacrifice with such
P. S. I wrote to the Dales about the article and sent them a copy
of “The Lord’s Supper”.
They acknowledged receiving it and Tony contacted me and said he
would give it to his wife to read and they would get back to me,
but they never did.
When someone has a personal conviction about an issue it’s
their business, and they are absolutely entitled to it; but if they
go public with it then it’s every bodies business.
President Harry Trueman said; “If you can’t take the
heat, then stay out of the kitchen”.