Pristine Grace

Modern Priestcraft
by Gary Shepard

     The preachers and priests of religion today are just like those of the past. They seek to make themselves necessary to us if we are to know God. They take to themselves titles such as “reverend” and distinguish themselves with their special clothing and symbols as well as exalting themselves with their degrees from religious institutions. They say or insinuate that one can only understand the Bible if they know the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, making these “learned ones” indispensable. What utter foolishness this is! The Bible was given by God through human instruments. Think about who they were: fishermen, farmers, and men from various other ordinary circumstances. Remember Paul’s words to the Corinthians who sought to distinguish even between God-sent messengers? “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” I Corinthians 1:26-29

     Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the Apostle, had all the things these religious hucksters seek after and glory in. Yet, when Christ revealed Himself to and in him, he called it all garbage, confessed that as such he had been a blasphemer, and had to be taken to the backside of the desert to be “taught of God.” This is what’s necessary for anyone to know God. They must all be taught of God. (John 6) The knowledge of God is through the Holy Scriptures preached by those “sent” by God not a man-made religion and revealed by the Spirit of God. Again Paul says to the Corinthians, it is not by the “wisdom of this world” but through God the Spirit revealing these things through the plain preaching of the Gospel of God wherein the righteousness of God is revealed. No one speaks for God except those He sends. No one speaks for God except they speak according to this Word. No one speaks for God who draws attention to himself rather than God. No one speaks for God who does not preach Christ and Him crucified as the one way of justification for sinners. If we look at the prophets and apostles, we shall clearly see that God uses ordinary men to be the messengers of His gospel “that no flesh should glory in His presence.” Furthermore, look at the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who is the “Truth” and “that Prophet.” What did they say of Him? “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” Hear Christ’s response: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” (John 7:15-18) God saves ignorant sinners; but He does not save them with ignorance but truth and knowledge. He uses means but not the means that fallen man would think. That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to Him. I thank God as Christ did: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Matt. 11:25-27)