The Universal Priesthood of the Believer
THE UNIVERSAL PRIESTHOOD
OF THE BELIEVER
Text: "One believeth that he may eat all things: another who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth on day above another. Another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks" (Romans 14:2-6).
The doctrine of The Universal Priesthood of the Believer was one of the doctrines enunciated by that great revival known in history as "The Protestant Reformation." The return to Biblical preaching was, in fact, a return to Biblical doctrine. Among such doctrines as "Scripture alone," "Faith alone," and "Grace alone," are essential to salvation. Less understood is the doctrine of "the Universal Priesthood of the Believer."
This doctrine which once was a source of great blessing to Christians has become an obnoxious doctrine among modern saints. The reason is owing to the meaning that is given it, which on one hand is deviant, and on the other hand is cavalier.
In former days, saints rejoiced that they had become "a royal priesthood" (I Peter 2:9), i.e. "a kingdom of priests," and as such, they did not have to resort to any human priest, but could go directly to the Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. Each believer is himself a priest unto God, and, therefore, he has the right of private judgment.
The doctrine has been an especially great blessing to Baptists who have been persecuted by all Protestant brethren. However, in recent years, some Baptists have twisted the Biblical teaching to mean that as Baptists we have no right to identify as heretics those who deny cardinal Christian doctrines. Many false teachers have wormed their way into Baptist pulpits, and seminaries who deny the miracles and the faith recorded in the Bible. Those who would defend these infidels claim that unbelievers are themselves believers who have a difference of opinion, and that they have their right to private judgment. Nothing is further from the truth.
The doctrine under consideration is known as The Universal Priesthood of the Believer. The identifying feature, the distinguishable mark of a believer is that he "believes." He believes the "Faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). It is characteristic of unbelievers that they do not believe. The right of private judgment concerns believers. The mind of unbelievers is incapable of judgment because it abides in darkness.
There are areas of Christian deportment that most believers are no longer willing to defend. Mot modern saints have surrendered Biblical standards of dress and grooming in order not to offend the world. The standards God has set forth have not changed, but the degree of faithfulness among the members of the modern church has. For instance, the Bible says "If a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering""(I Cor. 11:15). A woman’s hair is given not solely for her beauty, but also to show that she is in subjection to the authority of her father, or to her husband. When a woman begins to cut her hair short, she loses her testimony to the world.
Correspondingly, the Bible asks, "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him" (14)? When a man grows his hair longer than most women, he has lost his testimony to the world.
Likewise, when a woman dresses like a daughter of Sodom, or is ashamed to bear the godly testimony of "a meek and quiet spirit" (I Pet. 3:4), but wears that which "pertaineth unto a man" (Deut. 22:5), she has lost her testimony to the world. Only worldly people have an argument with God. It is worldly people in the church who are permissive, and who allow their children to consort with, and to marry the children of this world.
But, there are areas in which godly folks may disagree, even though there are some who allow for no differences of opinion.
Take, for example, the subject of holidays –Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and even birthdays. When God says, "let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind," those who are intolerant make themselves to be more righteous than God. They have a spiritual problem!
Now, I have never known any Christian to worship a Christmas tree. If the reader is honest, he has not either! No Christian can worship a tree; he would not be a Christian if he did. But, when believers are divided about bringing home an evergreen—longtime a symbol of everlasting life—or of setting one up in their church, no Christian man or woman has the right to curse them, or to brand them as pagans, or treat them as heretics. They are brethren. "Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?"
Do the Scriptures mean anything? "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it" (vs. 6). The case is closed!
"Well," you say, "neither Spurgeon nor the Puritans observed Christmas." SO what? In our day, blood-bought, born-again believers may choose whether or not they will observe this day in remembrance of the incarnation, as saints have done the world over for 1500 years.
If you do not choose to honor the day, you have that right; and I have no right to castigate you for not doing it. But, if I choose to observe the day, you do not have the right to deny me the right hand of fellowship. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (5).
January 13, 1996
Mr. Ralph Reed
P.O. Box 2436
Chesapeake, Virginia 23327-2436
Dear Mr. Reed:
We are very concerned by your liaison with the Roman Catholic Church. It is yet another indication to us that there is no help for America. It seems "all have gone astray." There is no faithfulness in man. It only confirms our worst fears: that God has left America to her apostasy.
If the Christian Coalition is going to embrace Rome, and to prostrate itself before the Pope, and enlist his aid, it is because the Christian Coalition has placed its confidence in man, and not in the Lord.
Will the Christian Coalition turn from the reasonings, and the schemes of men, and walk by faith, doing that which is right before God? If not, the Christian Coalition will self-destruct. This is God’s judgment on all who will walk in disobedience.
May God give you eyes that can see, and ears that will hear.
Timothy Fellows (Signed)
William Rehnquist: (Chief Justice of the current U.S. Supreme Court) speaking of the purported "wall of separation" between Church and State drawn by the framers of the U.S. Constitution, said, "There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation" (quoted by Dr. D. James Kennedy On Separation of Church and State).
George Bancroft: "The establishment of freedom of conscience which brings with it freedom of inquiry, of speech, and of the press is not any of the states the fruit of philosophy, but of Protestantism. (History of the United States).
(July 19-Augnst 4, 1996)
This summer, the city of Atlanta, Ga. anticipates 1.2 million visitors for the 1996 Olympics. Some of the visitors will attend church, but most who do will hear either a rationalistic, or a charismatic gospel. The Lord, has given us a burden to confront with the gospel a large share of these people, many of these visitors will come to our country from abroad.
We want to publish our tract "The Resurrection of the Body" in the Atlanta Constitution and the Atlanta Journal. The combined circulation is 430,000 Monday through Thursday, but a bonus 100,000 will be printed during the Olympics. This totals 530,000 copies. Are there 2 readers of the newspaper in a family?
The message will require 3 columns x 12 inches, and will cost $4455 to run it one time.
Why the doctrine of the Resurrection? because the doctrine of the Resurrection is the foundation of all Bible truth. This single doctrine confounds every religious error, and repudiates humanism. This fact was recognized by the apostles. By proclaiming this doctrine, Paul confuted the Jews, who, having no answer, sought to kill him. When he refuted the Greeks and their humanism with this doctrine, they also set about to murder him.
The doctrine of the resurrection is the ever-recurring theme throughout the book of Acts. Paul staked his defense before Felix and Agrippa by pleading this doctrine.
Would you like to have a part in this endeavor? Send your check or money order to Pilgrim’s Bible Church, and mark it "Olympics."
Is this pouring money down a rat hole? Can you promise me I will see visible results in the form of people being converted? No, I cannot do that because God must bring the increase (I Cor. 3:6). Results are in God’s hands. Too much evangelism in our day appeals to profane religionists who, like Esau, want their pottage NOW?. But, I can promise you what the Lord Himself has promised: "(My word) shall not return, unto me void" (Is. 55:11). It shall accomplish what God is pleased that it should.
The Word of God is a two-edged sword: it is designed to bring some to repentance: and it is designed to bring everyone else to judgment. To some, the testimony of Christ is the savor of life unto life; to others, it is the savor of death unto death (II Cor. 2:14-16). Nevertheless as the Apostle wrote, "...God... always causeth us to triumph in Christ, because we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God..." (vs. 17).
What day would you want to publish it? Probably on a Tuesday, because it has been our experience having done this in our own newspapers over 20 years, that while larger editions, such as Sunday newspapers, may reach more people, it is likely the message will be lost in the mass.
Where in the paper would you place it? It will be in the main body of the newspaper, but ultimately, it will be left to the discretion of the Atlanta Constitution and the Atlanta Journal. I always seek to place a message in section "A" --World News, unless it is intended for the Christian community. Then we place it in the "Religion" section.
What if after I send a contribution for this project, you are not able to carry it though? Then, we will do what is almost unheard of in our day: we will return your gift.
* If you are unsure, and would like a copy of our tract, write and request one.
* We will have to have the full cost of the "ad" by July 10th.
* Will you at least pray for us, and ask the Lord to give us the privilege of publishing the gospel?
NEVSKY and THE POPE
After the Crusades, the Teutonic Knights turned militaristic. In the 13th century, they invaded East Prussia, and portions of Russia on the pretense of converting them to Christianity. The Russian people surrounding Novgorod called upon their prince, Alexander Yaroslavitch Nevsky to lead them against the invaders.
A large militia supplemented the regular army, and on April 5, 1242, the Russian people led by Alexander Nevsky met the Germans on the ice of Lake Chud. A fierce battle ensued, and many Germans were driven through the ice and drowned. Nevsky emerged a hero to the Russian people.
On, January 23, 1248, Pope Innocent IV addressed a letter to Nevsky who was now the Grand Duke of Novgorod, urging him to submit to the See of Rome. On September 15th another letter was sent. Nevsky responded: "We know what the Old and New Testament say, and we are also acquainted with the Church of Constantine, and from the first to the seventh council; but your teaching we do not accept."
Many patriotic Americans are concerned that the military has become an army of mercenaries to fight under the United Nations’ command. Some feel they are being used to establish a New World order. With increasing regularity since World War II, one-worlders have said that as feudalism gave way to nationalism, so nationalism should now give way to globalism.
The CBS Morning News for Dec. 5th conducted an interview with Scot O’Grady, the pilot rescued from Bosnia who captured the hearts of all Americans. In the interview, Capt. O’Grady was asked his opinion about sending troops to Bosnia. He answered that when orders come down, the orders are to be obeyed. I would have liked to have asked him if he could think of any order he would not obey.
I am told that 10 sergeants have now joined Pfc. Michael New in refusing to wear the uniform of the United Nations, or to fight under U.N. command. Pfc. New says he has taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, but that he has taken no oath to support or defend the charter of the United Nations.
Is our military being trained not to think, but to blindly follow orders? And, was not the excuse Nazi guards gave for their work at Jewish extermination camps that they were "just following orders?"
God holds every man responsible for his actions. The idea that we can blame others for any wrong we do is only wishful thinking. And, it is wrong for the American military to support the United Nations in imposing its will on sovereign nations; and it is wrong for this nation to establish a Muslim country in Europe. We have forsaken the God of our fathers.
MUSLIM INTOLERANCE and THE UNITED NATIONS
In "1994: Slavery Continues in Africa," an article that appeared in the Augusta Focus (7-29-94), it is said that in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a nation of about 2 million people, that it "contains the world’s largest slave population. Apart from those that live in shanty towns and a strip along the Senegal River, virtually all Mauritanian blacks are slaves." The article admitted the problem is that Muslims are enslaving Christians and Animists. "Woman and orphans of slain Christian men are being sold as slaves in northern Sudan and Libya" (What In the World, Vol. XVI, No. 8; Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC). "Christians are literally being crucified in the Sudan; but the United Nations which recently condemned the United States for ‘human rights violations,’ raises no protest against Muslim barbarities. Of 22 Arab nations, not one is a democracy" (Calgary Contender 2-1-96). The United Nations is anti-Christian; yet, this is the same organization America’s servicemen are serving as dupes and pawns. The professed religion of American Christians must make Muslim infidels laugh.
ON PROSCRIBING CHRISTIANITY: By its very nature, Christianity is evangelistic. Christ commanded His Church to "make disciples" of all nations (Matt. 28:19). One reason the Roman government persecuted the early Church was that Rome forbade religious groups to "make disciples," i.e. to proselytize.
True to form, our apostate society seeks to preserve heathen cultures with their demon worship that has led people down the road to cannibalism and to human sacrifice, and has left them "Wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind and naked" (Rev. 3:17); while ridding societies of the Faith that would point people to God, who would change their hearts, and thus their cultures.
We will see more of this in our own society as it becomes less and less fashionable to "make disciples."
* 1.) Were the small children and babies inside the compound treated as hostages? No. 2.) Were they gassed? Yes. 3.) How long were they gassed before they burned to death? Six hours.
4.) Has the U.S. government signed an agreement not to use this gas on foreign enemies? Yes. 5.) Does the manufacturer of this gas warn against its use in enclosed areas? Yes. 6.) Does the manufacturer of this gas warn that it might cause fires? Yes. 7.) Did Attorney General Janet Reno authorize use of this gas in an enclosed wooden structure knowing that inside were two pregnant women and more than 20 children and babies? Yes. 8.) Why isn’t Attorney-General Janet Reno in jail? -Linda Bowles, Syndicated Columnist, in The Spotlight, August 14, l995, reprinted in "Awake and Alert", Dr. N. Burnett Magruder, Editor.