This is quoted from Psalm 105:15 and is speaking of The Nation Israel and Her Prophets. In verse 14 God says, "He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."
There is a growing attitude in religious circles, even in Bible-believing Churches, that it is okay to do God's Prophets (preachers) harm. This is brought about because of the present day profiteering of hireling preachers. I must confess, I have never seen or heard of so much corruption in the Ministry. I also agree with much of the condemnation of this group. It certainly has made it difficult and sometimes impossible for us to win some people to Christ. Hirelings have put stumbling stones and rocks of offense in the way of their faith. For this, I am truly sorry. I personally believe a preacher who has been caught in immorality, extortion and such should be brought before the Church (local), disciplined according to the Scriptures, and therefore unable to move to another place and repeat the same offense. This would put a stop to most of it and encourage the faith of lost people. In fact, I believe God will hold a local congregation accountable for not dealing with immorality in their Pastor, and especially allowing him to move on without warning the next congregation. For example, I know of several cases where an assistant Pastor was caught in immorality and was allowed to resign and move to another place where he repeated the same immorality. I also believe God will hold a Church and its leadership responsible for the next transgression which would have been avoided had it been dealt with in a Biblical fashion.
I said all that to say this: There is a vast difference between dealing with an ungodly Preacher and a Godly man of God. You would be wise to be careful and not raise a hand or voice against a true man of God. What does the Bible say about it? I will continue next week with some Bible examples and some true life illustrations of God's dealing with those who did His Prophets harm.
On this past Sunday at lunch, I heard a man "have his Pastor for lunch." He was criticizing the Pastor's Sunday message, saying he should have preached such-and-such a message. Now, even if I felt that, I sure wouldn't say it in a public place where others could hear. I think it impossible to be a coincidence that the very day after I write on the subject, I get a firsthand example of my subject. It was a strong confirmation to my heart from God that He indeed placed it on my heart to write on the subject.
Listen, friends, you could be right in your opinion and wrong in your actions. A bulldog can whip a skunk any day; it just isn't worth the battle.
In Numbers 12:1-2, 4-9 we see, "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it... And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed." Read the rest of the chapter and notice the LORD departed and in verse 10, "Miriam became leprous." In verse 11 we see "And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned." Then in verse 13, "And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee." Look at God's reply to Moses' "Heal her now" in verse 14. "If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days?" If she had to be unclean and shut out seven days for that, she certainly would be unclean for what she did to the Man of God. By the way, did you notice that Miriam is most likely the instigator in this and the complaint in verse 1 and 2 are different? Aaron is a follower! Isn't that the way it usually happens? Warning: Be careful who you follow. It could cost heavily! To be continued...
In Numbers 16 we have the account of Korah, Dathan, Abiram and their company of rebels who rose up against Moses and Aaron saying in verse 3, "Ye take too much upon you... wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?" Verse 4 states, "And when Moses heard it, he fell on his face." Then he spoke to Korah and all his company telling them to show up tomorrow and God will show who are His. He tells them to bring censors and put fire therein and incense. Then in verses 7-11 notice: "Ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi."; "Seemeth it but a small thing unto you?"; "seek ye the priesthood also?" Moses states that they are "gathered together against the LORD." He calls for Dathan and Abiram and they refuse to come and accuse Moses of making himself a Prince over them. Moses becomes very wroth and "said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them." Then he tells them to meet tomorrow with his company and their golden censors. They meet at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and the glory of the LORD appeared. Verse 20-21 states, "And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment." Moses intercedes for them in verse 22, yet God says, "Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram." Moses goes to their tents and speaks verse 26, "Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of their's, lest ye be consumed in all their sins." In verse 29, their sin was so severe that they are not going to die a common death and God was going to make a new thing to teach others of the severity of the offense. Verses 30-35 tell us that the earth opened up and swallowed them all alive with all they had and then closed up. Then a fire went out from the LORD and killed the 250 followers.
Do you realize that all this happened because they raised up against a man of God?
May I sound out this warning again? Moses, Aaron and every other real man of God are in positions that are protected by God Himself. The honor belongs to the position rather than the person holding the position. Look at 1 Samuel 24 and 1 Samuel 26 and see that David spared Saul, not because he deserved it, but because he was in an anointed position. He even felt bad about cutting off the skirt of Saul's robe. 1 Samuel 26:9 states, "Who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD'S anointed, and be guiltless?" See verses 11, 16 and 23. When David heard of Saul's death in 2 Samuel 1:1-16, he mourned, wept, and fasted. In verse 14, David asks, "How wast thou not afraid to destroy the LORD'S anointed?" Then in verse 16 after the young man is slain, David said, "Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD'S anointed." Saul was not special in himself, but the position he held was.
Last week I gave the example of Miriam and Aaron rising up against Moses and having God rebuke them. God asked Miriam and Aaron a question in Numbers 12:8. "Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" That is a good question for today. Why are people emboldened to speak against and criticize a man of God? The answer: They either do not know what the Bible says or they do not care what the Bible says about this subject. In Numbers 12, God did not rebuke their opinion. Please notice however, He rebuked their rebellion against the man of God. Verse 9 tells us, "And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them;" God never said their opinion was wrong. The crux of the matter was their boldness to criticize the man of God. May I sound another warning: You may be correct in your opinion, but you will be wrong to go against a true Spirit-filled man of God. I have often told my congregation that if My Pastor, Dr. Charles E. Wright, told me he wanted a light pole in the middle of the parking lot, I would ask him to mark the spot and ask no questions. Furthermore, I would not let anyone criticize him. Let me go a step further: If anyone opened their mouth about it to me, I would ask, "Have you said this Pastor?" If their response is "no", I would tell them they have no business saying it to me, and they better hurry and get to him before I do. This would put a stop to most gossip, backbiting and criticism in Churches.
Let me give another example from the Bible. In 2 Kings.2:23-25, Elisha is going toward Bethel "and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them." There is no doubt that these children learned their irreverence from their parents in town. They didn't just mock anyone...they mocked a man of God and God made an example of them. Read it in your Bible. All they did was make fun of his bald head. Not only that, but they are also poking at him by saying "go up." Elijah went up and they are alluding to that. Again, it is obvious that they are following their parent's criticism. Let me sound another warning: Parents, if you make a habit of having the preacher for lunch and criticize him before your children, do not be surprised if they become irreverent and uninterested in the things of God. If you criticize the man of God in front of them, you are their own worst enemy and you place a stumbling block that will destroy.
Read Matthew 23:29-39 and Acts 7:51-52 and see how Israel treated the Prophets God sent to them. In Matthew 23:35 Jesus said, "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar."
Would you please look at Hebrews 13:7,17 and 24 and notice: "Remember them that have the rule over you...", "Obey them that have the rule over you..." and "Salute them that have the rule over you..."
My dear friends, we preachers did not write those words. You would be wise to heed those words.
I know there are churches in our area that have a constant turnover of Pastors. Usually it is the same 5% of unspiritual, cantankerous Church members that bring this about. The same crowd tries to run the Pastor. When that doesn't work, they get up a campaign to get rid of him and stop at nothing, including ruining him and his family. Let me give some free advice. The other 95% of the Church members ought to stand with the good Pastor, go to the troublemakers and attempt to correct the situation. If that doesn't work, tell it to the Church and practice discipline on them. The cause of Christ demands it! The Word of Christ demands it! If you fear them more than you fear God, you can expect Ichabod to be written over the door of your Church. I am not trying to run other Churches. It is just sad to hear of constant Church trouble by the same people year after year. Look at Proverbs 6:19 and notice one of the things God hates is "A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren."
I want to give some examples of how God dealt with folks for rising up against the Man of God. A young Pastor in Michigan started a Church in a storefront. The Pastor felt it was time to buy land and build. He presented his burden to the people and gave the first $100 to buy the land. (He worked a job and pastored) He was asking for commitments following his example. He asked, "Who can give a hundred?" "Fifty?" "Twenty?" "Ten?" Finally, he asked with his index finger lifted, "Who will give a dollar?" Later a young couple with a critical attitude began mocking him at home lifting the index finger and saying "Who will give a dollar?" Four months later, their little baby girl was born... without an index finger on the right hand. They apologized to the Pastor and were left with a reminder of their rebellion against God's man. To be continued with more examples.
In article #5 I started giving some examples of how God dealt with those who raised up against the true man of God. A baby lost a finger and a couple saved their lives. It was not so with a lady in Alabama. A disgruntled Church member had been calling around stirring up people about the Pastor. The Pastor and his wife were to sing and Bro. Phil Kidd was to preach. A church member stood up and wanted to "Testify". When he started to attack the Pastor, Bro. Kidd told the Pastor and his wife to go ahead and sing. This made the man mad and he and about 35 people walked out and stood at the front seeking a confrontation. The Pastor and Bro. Kidd went out. In the group was a good woman who had been listening to the man. She ran up to the Pastor shaking her finger in his face and said, "you are the problem; you have ruined our Church; this is our Church; you need to leave." The Holy Spirit spoke to Bro. Kidd's heart and said, "Tell Mrs. White I am going to kill her for what she just did to the man of God." Bro. Kidd walked up to her and said, "I need to say something to Mrs. White." She said, "Bro. Kidd, I'm sorry you're here and I'm sorry for what I said. I'm sorry you're in the midst of this mess." Bro. Kidd said, "Mrs. White, the Holy Spirit told me to tell you you're going to die for what you just did to the man of God." A hush just fell over the place and folks began leaving quietly. Twenty-nine days later the Pastor called Bro. Kidd from her hospital bedside. The doctors were puzzled stating her system was shutting down for no reason. She had apologized to the Pastor and the Church and wanted to apologize to Bro. Kidd. Bro. Kidd said, "Mrs. White, I love you and I forgive you, but you are still going to die." She died the next morning.
Dr. Charles E. Wright, Pastor for 22 years of Peoples Baptist in Morrow, Ga. had this experience. A woman would call the Church and ask for a member of a certain family, harassing them. She was after the husband. Finally, Bro. Wright answered the phone. She asked, "Who is this?" Bro. Wright said, "I am the Pastor." She responded, "You're not a Pastor, you're the devil." She dropped dead a few days later. Bro. Wright also told me of four men who went against his Pastor years ago. One had his wife leave for another man, a son that died, and finally, he died unexpectedly. Another, a banker, had a daughter give birth to an illegitimate child, a son to commit suicide, he went into bankruptcy, his wife lost her mind and he died of a stroke. Another one went to the hospital with severe indigestion. The doctor said he felt it was a blood clot. Bro. Wright visited him and he said boldly with his continued attitude, "I don't believe I got a blood clot." They sent him home and he died of a blood clot.
When I began writing on this subject weeks ago, I knew it would be an unpopular subject. We have had several positive calls indicating there has been a need for this series of articles. I rest assured that there are some Pastors who have been encouraged to hear an unfamiliar voice giving an unbiased Biblical viewpoint on such a needy subject. I am sure some careless Christians who have let their guard down under the influence of carnal critics have been warned by God and have responded in a positive fashion. On the other hand, I would not doubt that there has been critical talk over the articles by those consumed with bitterness, hatred, variance and vengeance. Finally, taking Bro. Charles E. Wright's Monday night message titled, "They Got What They Wanted, But They Lost What They Had", I am also convinced that some will continue on in their sinful behavior and lose in the end.
Bro. Wright took us to 1 Samuel 8:5-19 and showed how the people of God desired a king like the heathen nations. Samuel prays in verse 6 and God answers in verse 7, "And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: FOR THEY HAVE NOT REJECTED THEE, BUT THEY HAVE REJECTED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM."
Now notice, They got what they wanted but in verse 9 God tells Samuel to tell them what it will cost them to have this king. They lost their freedom, their sons and daughters and their lands. They would be brought into servitude. They could get what they wanted, but lose what they had. Even after Samuel told them what it would cost, they refused to be instructed. Verse 19 states, "Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us."
Please look again at verse 7 and notice, "For they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." When a person goes against a true, Spirit-filled man of God who is being led by God to make the decisions or give leadership, that person is indirectly rejecting God's delegated authority.
I could go on and on with Biblical examples as well as real-life examples of people who got what they wanted, and yet lost what they had because they crossed over the line and attacked the man of God, not realizing they were really attacking the authority invested in him by God. One of the most dangerous things you could do is put your hands on a true man of God!
SUMMER REVIVAL WITH DR. CHARLES E. WRIGHT, JUNE 5-11th