Stop Building Monuments To Prophets
The Bible is full of verses that talk about blind leaders and viscous wolves. Who is this talking about and how can we get those folks back on track? This passage helps us to recognize them and it leads us to our assignment.
Eze 22;27 Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money! 28 And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign LORD,’ when the LORD hasn’t spoken a single word to them. 29 Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice. 30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. 31 So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”
This old testament passage really spells it out for us. The vicious wolves, these blind spiritual leaders can be identified by their actions. They destroy people’s lives for money! They refuse to build on Paul’s foundation, the humble tentmaker Sheppard (see 1 Cor 3;10-15 in Which Jesus Do You Follow?)
God is calling us to stand in the gap, restoring “the wall of Righteousness”. If we fail to heed this call God’s anger will consume us. History shows that God means what he says here. We should not think that we are immune from this. How are we to rebuild this “Wall of Righteousness”. Common sense tells us that we need to start by rebuilding the foundation.
Building on Paul’s Foundation 1 Cor 3;10
10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
The consequence for the lesser sin, building w/ wood hay & straw [building with wisdom of men, money, ego & pride] building with worldly stuff, is very severe. The builder barely escapes the fires of Hell. That leaves little doubt that building on the wrong foundation, the foundation of the old Levitical priesthood; the authoritarian priesthood of men, can cost you your salvation. Cleary these folks are not building on the foundation that Paul established, the tentmaker, servant-slave, humble priesthood of Christ.
How will we find these false prophets?
Mat 7;15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
These false teachers can be identified by the way act. It is very easy to see if these folks build on Paul’s foundation, or the false foundation of the old Levitical Priesthood.
Act 20;28 “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood —over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. 29 I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves , will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. 30 Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. 31 Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.
Even some men who follow Paul’s servant slave tentmaker priest example will distort the truth in order to draw a following. The bottom line here is that those collecting disciples to their group, those gathering followers are not building their gatherings with the Holy Spirit, they are building with selfish motives, and God is not in charge. In the next verse these blind teachers are told to clean themselves up from their corruption by “giving gifts to the poor” by building heavenly treasure. I’ve discussed this in more detail in my previous article Seeing Straight, Seeing With Spiritual Eyes.
Giving to the poor
NLT Luke 11;39 Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! 40 Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? 41 So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. 42 “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. 43 “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. 44 Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.” 45 “Teacher,” said an expert in religious law, “you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.” 46 “Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with impossible religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. 47 What sorrow awaits you! For you build monuments for the prophets your own ancestors killed long ago. 48 But in fact, you stand as witnesses who agree with what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you join in their crime by building the monuments! 49 This is what God in his wisdom said about you: ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’ 50 “As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world— 51 from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation. 52 “What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” 53 As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. 54 They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him.
These corrupt and wicked teachers refuse to enter the Kingdom and prevent others from doing so. They create an alternate church. They refuse to let the Holy Spirit control their gatherings. They continually interfere, cutting people off from the headship of Christ. Their path back to righteousness begins by giving gifts to the poor. When they do this, when they build some heavenly treasure, God starts to clean up their eyes. He can replace their dark worldly eyes with clear eyes so that they can begin to see the truth. There is another verse that strongly reinforces this concept. The passage below tells believers to withdraaw from those who imagine that godliness is a way to make a living, a means of livlihood.
Those Seeking Profit from Godliness AMP 1 Tim 6;1-9
1 LET ALL who are under the yoke as bond servants esteem their own [personal] masters worthy of honor and fullest respect, so that the name of God and the teaching [about Him] may not be brought into disrepute and blasphemed. 2 Let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful or scornful [to them] on the grounds that they are brothers [in Christ]; rather, they should serve [them all the better] because those who benefit by their kindly service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. 3 But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God), 4 He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, [although he is] woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in (produce) envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions, 5 And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.
This verse is pretty clear we are not to associate with anyone who thinks it is ok to profit personally from our efforts to seek and follow God.
Lets rebuild the wall of righteousness starting today! We can not restore this wall with convenience and tradition. We need to dig deep. We need to build on Paul’s servant slave tentmaker priest foundation.
Please Help Us Rebuild His Wall of Righteousness! In Jesus name we pray, Amen.