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Duty to distinguish.
of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. — 21: 20 Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee : because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.
Is. 58: 1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Ezk. 16: 2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations.
Mic. 3: 8 Truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
Ac. 2: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. - 7:51 Ye stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost : as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers ; 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
1 Tim. 5: 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
2 Tim. 4: 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.
Tit. 1:10 There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 13 This witness is true: wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. [See 610, 611.] 462. Drity to distinguish saints from sinners,
Jer. 15: 19 If thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. 20 And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Ezk. 44: 23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24 And in controversy they
Duty to pray, watch, etc.
shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments.
Mal. 3: 18 Then shall ye reutrn and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. [See 458, 645.]
463. The duties of praying, watching and visiting required and exemplified — negligence reproved.
1 S. 12: 23 As for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way.
Jer. 23: 2 Thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings saith the LORD.
Joel 2: 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
Mat. 25: 42 I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink : 43 I was a stranger, and
ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Ac. 20:31 Watch, and remember, that by the space of three
years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Rom. 1: 9 God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.
2 Cor. 11: 2 I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. — 12: 14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you ; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you ; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
Gal. 4: 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with
you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt Ph. 1: 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first
Entire devotion erjoined.
day until now; 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
Col. 1: 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding ; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness : 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
-4: 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis
1 Th. 2: 6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 9 For ye remember, brethren, our labor and travail : for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and justly, and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. [1 Th. 3: 7–10.] 464. Entire devotion to the calling required and exemplified.
Lk. 9: 59 He said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead : but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Ac. 6: 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this busi
Responsibility — Temptations. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
1 Cor. 2: 2 I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1 Tim. 4: 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
MINISTERIAL TRUSTS, TRIALS, AND REWARDS. 465. Ministerial responsibility.
Ezk. 33: 7 O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, of thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezk. 3: 17, 19.] — 34: 8 As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because
flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9 Therefore, 0 ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more ; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
1 Tim. 1: 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. - 6: 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called ; 21 Which some professing, have erred concerning the faith.
466. Ministerial temptations. 1. To please their hearers.
Num. 24: 10 Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honor ; but lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honor.
Trials and Persecutions of Ministers.
2. To avoid the frowns of the influential.
Am. 7: 12 Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: 13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel : for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court.
Ac. 4: 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus.
3. To conceal the true God,
Is. 30: 9 This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD : 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits : 11 Get ye
out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. 4. To countenance popular errors, delusions and vices,
Ex. 32: 21 Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? 22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot : thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 23 For they said unto me, Make us gods which shall go before us.
Åm. 2: 11 I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O
children of Israel? saith the LORD. 12 But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and coinmanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. 467. Trials and persecutions of faithful ministers.
Jer. 2: 30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction : your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion. - 15: 10 Wo is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth
Ezk. 33: 30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses.
Mat. 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he