By Bob Myhan

Many seem to think Christians may act without authority from God. It has, how­ever, been shown that such had severe consequences under the Old Testament and will have even severer conse­quences at the judgment.

Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb. 10:28-31)

The rulers among the Jews understood that one may not act without authority.

Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?" But Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John--where was it from? From heaven or from men?" And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet." So they answered Jesus and said, "We do not know." And He said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Matt. 21:23-27)

Inasmuch as He was “born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4), not even Jesus was exempt from the necessity of having authority for what He did. Though He rightly refused to explain the source of His authority in the above incident, Jesus used three methods to establish authority for His teaching and practice.

First, He taught what His Father had commanded Him to teach.

He who rejects Me, and does not re­ceive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a com­mand, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak." (John 12:48-50)

Second, He did what He had seen His Father do.

But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sab­bath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for what­ever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:17-19)

Third, He taught what was implied, though not explicitly stated, in the Law.

The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: "Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her." Jesus answered and said to them, "You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching. (Matt. 22:23-33)

[To be continued]


By Clif Dennis

It is not at all uncommon these days to see church signs displaying various come-ons to entice people to choose this church or that church for their wor­ship. Phrases, such as "Dynamic Wor­ship," grace the signs of some church buildings. I saw one recently in a nearby city which said, "Join Us In Our Exciting Worship." Should such enticing phrases even be a consideration when choosing a place to worship God?

Is God pleased with "exciting worship" or does he seek those who will worship Him in "spirit and truth?" John 4:24. What is "exciting worship?" Is it the concert type, where a full orchestra performs and staged productions are put forth to entertain the worshippers and finally a "pastor" delights all by quoting great  un­inspired authors, while maybe in passing barely mentions the divinely inspired au­thors of God's word? Is this exciting wor­ship? I read recently of a "pastor" who suggested to his members some "self-help" books to help in gaining and main­taining self esteem. Check out Philippians 2:3 to see how truth contradicts what this "enlightened pastor" says. The greatest self-help reading I can suggest is the Divinely inspired word of God. Psalms 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." The en­tirety of this Psalm, 176 verses, is part of the best self-help anyone can read. It could even help that "enlightened pastor" if he could only find time to study it, meditate on it, and apply its wonderful precepts to his life. He could help himself and his "parishioners" by suggesting this kind of reading.

Is "dynamic worship" a contrast to some other kind of worship? Are wor­shippers bored with true Christian wor­ship directed to God rather than a per­formance for their entertainment? Jesus describes these people when He says, "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me, and in vain they worship Me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9

The Bible teaches that we should be concerned for the desires of God. (1Thessalonians 4:1) In Malachi's day the people were profaning the worship to God by offering the blind, lame and sick animals as sacrifices. The people had grown weary of true worship and had re-designed it to please themselves rather than God. He says to them in Malachi 1:10, "I have no pleasure in you." Be as­sured that God has no pleasure in the re-designed, "energetic, dynamic, ex­citing" worship today, which is likewise pro­faning the worship.

True Biblical worship is too simple for some. They have grown weary by the simplicity of it. True worship as God would have it is NEVER intended to en­tertain the worshipper, but is directed toward God. The Bible commands an assembly, Hebrews 10:25, "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together," Acts 20:7, "upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread". This is the act of each one partaking of the Lord's Supper. Also to "lay by in store" also on the first day of the week. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. Further, when they were assembled to "break bread", Paul preached. There must be teaching or preaching of the gospel in­cluded in worship. Prayer is always a part of true Christian worship, Colossians 3:17. Congregational Singing is specified, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, no ex­ample of instruments or choirs can be found in true New Testament worship. These five acts of worship is the pattern found in Scripture for worship and there are no others by command, example or implication. All of the glitz and drama found in modern worship is not true Christian worship and therefore is con­demned by no less than Jesus Himself. Please see Matthew 7:21-23. Please study the Scriptures and think on these things. &