Experts - Lifesavers from A Sinking Ship
If you have not read the introduction and previous pages, please click here.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Jesus Christ is the head of the church. He is to have the preeminence in all things. To quote one pastor, "All means all, and that's all all means." If Jesus Christ cannot be or is not included in a thing, then something is wrong with it. Examine it. He should be the most important thing in every "ministry." "Preeminence" according to Johnson's Dictionary means: "Superiority of excellence. Precedence; priority of place. Superiority of power or influence." That means the Lord Jesus should have the most important place - the place of honor. Nothing should be above Him. Sadly, while many ministries and experts would try to claim this for themselves, their teachings and actions prove it otherwise as we have already seen.
Revelation 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Christ Jesus is worthy of this place! He is worthy to receive glory and honour and power because He created all things. And, He created them for His pleasure. Do you think that it gives the Lord pleasure to have you running to experts for your answers instead of to Him and His word? Do you think it gives Him pleasure to see you gathering useless lifesavers instead of resting on Him, the Rock of your salvation (if you are saved)? Can it please Him to have you passing on those useless lifesavers to others instead of pointing them to the Lord God Almighty? How could it please Him to have us run with dogs and wallow with pigs? He has given us the tools in His word to identify these creatures so that we can avoid them and point them out.
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God the Father has exalted His Son above every name that is named. Every knee shall bow to His name. Sisters, when we stand in heaven someday, whether it be at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3), or as observers at the white throne judgment (Rev. 20) all of the experts will bow their knee to Jesus Christ, whether they did on this earth or not. God grant that we may not be ashamed in that day to see someone bow whom we allowed a place of preeminence in our hearts above the Lord Jesus!
2Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise...17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
There are a lot of people around commending themselves. It has become a popular method of "reaching people" not only among the Laodiceans and compromisers, but also among those that claim to walk the narrow way. Listeners and "audiences" have become used to this and do not even seem to realize any more that something is wrong. Self-commendation is not wise according to God's word, yet some who profess great godliness do it.
We have a video on music by Alan Ives that is quite useful. It was produced by S. M. Davis' group. At the end there is a long "commercial" about S. M. Davis' other "wonderful" videos and tapes that are available. Strangely enough, this "commercial" is done by none other than S. M. Davis himself. He tells us how great his videos and tapes are, how much the Lord has used them, how many people have been blessed and helped, what a tremendous thing they are...etc. ad nauseam. One video on courtship allegedly contains footage from the courtships of his daughters. I have to really wonder about the people that take this guy seriously. Since when are we called to video tape our own private lives so that other people can follow our wonderful example? There is something about that kind of self-commendation that is just too much to swallow. Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
Mike and Debbie Pearl (and their daughter) fall into this category too. Anyone who has read much of what the Pearls write knows that they are wonderful, and not afraid to tell you so! Nobody can help you raise your children better than the Pearls according to their own admission. Mike Pearl can help your marriage be sexually outstanding above and beyond anything anyone imagines, according to Mike Pearl. The Pearls have the best ideas about homeschooling according to them.
.......Are you getting the picture?
Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Ladies, only Him that sitteth on the throne in heaven and the Lamb are worthy of this kind of exaltation! When men exalt themselves, or others exalt them, beyond measure they are taking glory that is due unto the Lord and giving it to a man. Isaiah 40:6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: No man, not even your pastor, is worthy of the glory that should be God's alone. When men or women exalt themselves this way, or enjoy others doing so, they are calling themselves into serious question.
Sad to say, self-exaltation has also become accepted among Bible believers and people professing godliness. The Charismatics have been adepts at this for years, as have many other cultic leaders and glory boys; but it is becoming all too common on the narrow way. We expect to hear these things from the likes of Katherine Kuhlman, Paul Crouch, Pat Robertson, Robert Schuyler, Benny Hinn(om) and many more. Why are we supposed to accept it without question from so-called "Fundamentalists," Independent Baptists, and Bible believers? Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
A prime example of this is the glorying that occurs among many preachers over their buildings, ministries, schools, colleges, Sunday Schools, bus ministries and so forth. I read an article in "The Baptist Vision" by Lee Roberson in which he exalted himself and his ability to build large Sunday Schools. He even included numbers so we would know he was telling the truth and how really great he was. How pathetic.
Beware of those that exalt themselves covertly or underhandedly also. This is to say, they make themselves look humble, but they come off seeming so wonderful through one means or another that their followers exalts them. Some men will also resort to getting others to shine on them to make them look good. They will surround themselves with other important men, or they will develop a covey of less important men that are totally "gaga" over the great guru and will sing his praises like a bunch of trained parrots. [Judges 9:4 And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.]
My dad heard Hyles speak in person on at least two occasions as well as on tapes. He saw the false humility and heard the self-serving stories. Even in the stories where Hyles did something stupid, he came out looking cute and adorable in the end. It was all to exalt himself.
My dad also got to see the "flying wing" in action both with Jack Hyles and with Walvoord (former resident expert of Dallas Theological Cemetery). In such cases the guru takes the place at the lead as the center of the "V" while the men of lesser importance line up on his left and right in descending order. They will walk along talking and acting cool, but none dare step forward ahead of the guru or of his closest men, unless it be for the purpose of opening a door for the group to pass through.
Peter Ruckman has been faulty in this matter as well. The "Bible Believers' Bulletin" for years has been full of "proof" of how God is using him. His constant picking at others for picking at him becomes very self-serving. Proverbs 18:17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
Here are some other clues of self-exaltation:
Talking in the plural - "We
believe..." when he or she is standing by themselves.
3John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
John the Apostle had little use for those that loved to have the preeminence. Surely if the apostle who just got done telling us in 1 John that we should love the brethren and He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love [1John 4:8] - if this apostle would threaten Diotrephes and lay his sin open before all, then why should we be listening to men and women that love to have the preeminence? Only the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of that place!
The Lord Jesus is the only one that is able to save us, or to keep us from falling. All else are pretenders to the throne!
1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling,