"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Moses Complex and Rulers Over God's People

Moses Strking the Rock at Meribah
There are two unbiblical practices in the present-day institutional church that foster the mistaken notion that there is an inherent authority in certain “offices of the church” that enable pastor/elders “being over other people” instead of “being the greatest servants of all the people.”

One of those false practices is the division between clergy and laity, where the former does all the work of ministry, and the latter pay the salaries of the former for doing the work.

I am not saying it is wrong to draw a salary for pastoring people, or for doing any other ministry in a local church for that matter. But I am saying that the division between clergy and laity is not a concept found in the text of scripture. 

All believers are called “ministers.” According to Jesus, there are to be no elevated positions of authority and power in His church (Matthew 20:25-28).

Sometimes people will be paid to do the work of the ministry because he [or she] is devoting full-time attention to the ministry. But that’s a far cry from being above - and ruling over - someone else in the fellowship.

The clearest example of what can result from elevating oneself over others in the congregation can be found, of all places, in the life of Moses and his leadership of Israel.

Who can forget the sad story in the Old Testament of Moses being forbidden by God to enter the Promised Land? THAT had been the greatest desire of his entire life.

But Moses made one fatal mistake that kept him from the Promised Land, and it was a doozy! What was the mistake that Moses made?

The usual reason theologians give is that Moses “struck the rock” with his staff at Meribah, instead of “speaking to the rock." That rock represented Christ. Paul tells us that the rock portrays Christ in 1 Corinthians 10. Moses striking the rock was a problem, but that does not paint the whole picture.

Early in the Exodus journey, Moses had been commanded to “strike the rock" at Meribah. He obeyed,  and when Moses struck the rock, water flowed from the rock

BUT, years later, coming a second time to the rock, according to the Numbers account, God commanded Moses this time to “speak to the rock." But Moses did not. Instead, in anger, Moses struck the rock again!

Water flowed anyway, but to see the whole picture of Moses' personal sin, which kept him from the Promised Land, we HAVE to understand Numbers 20:10-12 and what led Moses to strike the rock a second time, in opposition to God's command.

In verse 10 of Numbers 20, Moses stood in front of the people of Israel and chided them saying:
"Hear now, you rebels; [name calling deluxe] must WE [Aaron and I] fetch you water out of this rock?" [Temper on display.] Then, he struck the rock with his staff and abundant water came out for the people and their animals. [There is no clearer picture of the fact that the purposes of God are not thwarted by our silly acts of rebellion.]
But the next verse - v.12 actually holds the key to understanding the severity of this rebellious act. God said to Moses and Aaron:
"Because you believed Me not, [believed not what?] to SANCTIFY me in the eyes of the children of Israel, you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."
The word SANCTIFY is from the Hebrew word "qadash" which means to “dedicate, consecrate, purify or cause to be seen as pure.”

What does it mean that at Meribah, the second time, Moses did NOT trust God enough to "set apart God" before the people?
Answer: In all other instances of the people rebelling and murming against God, Moses had been very careful to NOT speak as if he were the peoples' authority (God) over them, but to ONLY BE God's spokesman to them and to intercede for them (See Exodus 32:30-34; Numbers 11; 12; 14:1-21; and Numbers 16 as examples.) Moses recognized his place as one WITH Israel and though he WAS their servant/leader, He knew he WASN’T their authority (God)! Only God was over Israel.
So, the sin of Moses at Meribah, the sin that kept him from the Promised Land,  was Moses' failure to set God apart from himself.

Moses definitely had feelings of his own in terms of his personal disappointment in the people; but his grave mistake was setting himself above the people as their judge, spiritual authority, and even worse, their god. 

Moses made God appear unclean and impure to the people by speaking to them out of his [Moses] own angry heart and setting himself and Aaron apart and above (sanctified) among the people:
 "Hear now, you rebels; must WE [Aaron and I] fetch you water out of this rock?" [Numbers 20:10.]
That kind of hierarchical approach servant leadership is an egregious sin, one that kept Moses from his dream of entering the Promised Land.

Any servant leader that takes for himself an incorrect, inappropriate, spiritual authoritative right to speak to people that produces fear instead of love, is anathema to God back in Moses' day, and it is anathema to God today in the New Covenant Body of Christ.

This is exactly what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 20:25-26 when He said:
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over people, and their great men exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…” [NASV]
To make a difference between the clergy and the laity, as if the former has the spiritual authority and the latter has none, is the same category of mistake that Moses made, which caused him not to be permitted to move into the Promised land.

While in the New Covenant there is no loss of salvation when this "lording over others" happens, there is a loss of the blessings in the promised land (in a manner of speaking)

The Unbiblical Practice of Ruling Males in the Church


The other false practice that winds up elevating some people OVER others in the local church is when pastors, elders, or deacons are thought to be RULING LEADERS in the local church because of a supposed OFFICE of the pastor, elder, or deacon, that has a supposed “inherent authority” within the office. For this reason, some within a local fellowship will grant “authority” to the “pastor” [Southern Baptists have done this with the office of Deacon as well] because they believe God has given the pastor/elder [deacon] greater authority because of having that “office of” concept fostered by the KJV.

Neither of these concepts of authority over people has a textual basis in scripture and, thus, they lack a biblical foundation.

The constitution of an institutional [think 501c3 non-proft] church must grant “legal authority” to a group of trustees [or appointed people called "elders" or "deacons"], and may even call them "officers" of the 501c3 non-profit to operate within the guidelines of the state. But this is a cultural construct and practice and has no biblical basis at all.

Institutional churches may be closed by the state, but the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ's church.  "Legal authority” may be required by the state, but “legal authority” has nothing to do with “spiritual authority” in the church.

I will be taking BOTH the idea of “office of pastor” and “office of deacon” together to show the textual incorrectness of both.

I don’t deny that there were certain men set aside to serve the saints in a specific and practical way in the first century church. Acts 6 shows this as well as other passages. However, when New Testament believers used the Greek word diakonia (the KJV uses the word “deacon” the better word is “serving or servant”) to describe what was being done within that early congregation, they had in mind what had been seen in Jesus:
“Who made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant...[diakonos]” (Philippians 2:7).
What they had observed in Jesus, as illustrated in the washing of feet experience of John 13, His feeding the multitudes, His healing the sick, all being an example of one serving, can only be explained with the Greek word diakonia, which means “ministering or serving”. There was no hint in the minds of early disciples and authors of Scripture of any “inherent authority” in diakonia, nor was there any office of authority implied in that word either.

In fact, the general sense of the word “diakonia” throughout scripture is simply "to assist," which indicates not just to serve in general, but to work so as to benefit someone else. 

This servant spirit is in all things done for others, whether “the ministry (service) of tables” or“the ministry (service) of the Word”. Preaching truth is called a diakonea serving ministry in Acts 6:2-4
The ministry of serving tables through dishes and the ministry of serving truth through doctrine are both serving ministries without authority over anybody.
The Apostle Paul also uses the word “diakonos” to describe himself as a servant of the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:5), a servant of God (2 Corinthians 6:4), a servant of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6), a servant of the gospel (Ephesians 3:7, Colossians 1:23) and a servant of the church (Colossians 1:25). All the passages above used the Greek word diakonos, but English translators often alternate between the English word "servant" and the English word "minister." Nothing wrong using both those English words when translating diakonos, for every follower of Jesus is to imitate Him, and He was a diakonos (Philippians Servants and ministers are the same things, and every Christian is a minister/servant. 

Paul noted that many of his co-workers were also servants. For example, the woman Phoebe is called a diakonos or minister/servant (see Romans 16:1).  

However, when King James and his translators in 1611 came across the word “diakonos” when describing Phoebe and other women (Priscilla, Lydia, etc.) they always used the English words helper or servant, and never the word "minister" as they often did when diakonos was used to describe men in Scripture.

For example, when King James and his men came across diakonis to describe Tychicus, (Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7) Timothy, (1 Timothy 4:6) and Epaphras, it is always translated minister, and never “helper" or "servant."

As we have seen, the word diakonis in Scripture means "to assist" (help), "to serve" (servant), and "to minister" (minister). It is used in the Bible of both men and women. The English word "deacon" is only a transliteration of this word diakonis, not a translation of it. 

Why then, did King James and his translators call men "ministers" and "deacons" and women "helpers and servants" when the same Greek word (diakonos) describes them all? 

By 1611, the Church of England had a hierarchal structure of men who ruled over people in the church. They had  "deacons" and "ministers" (sometimes called bishops) who held spiritual authority over the laity. Could it be that English translators in the early 17th Century allowed cultural bias to creep into their translations of the Greek Scriptures to justify institutional church structure?

We do know that by the late 1500s, the Church of England had created the “Office of Deacon” and the "Office of Bishop" within the institutional Church of England, and wouldn't it be convenient if those offices could be shown in Scripture, with the Divine Right of the King to rule over everyone, wouldn't it King James? 

But let's not get on the Church of England too quickly for violating the Scriptures due to cultural bias without pointing our finger at we Southern Baptists who are doing the same thing. 

The Scriptures teach that all believers do the work of a deacon (diakonos) as servants of Christ and His people, servants of His message, and servants of one another, but one is hard-pressed to find “authority over” in that word, EVER!

Let me restate the problem with the word “office” in the English versions of the New Testament. It simply was NOT in the text of scripture! But, because the Church of England already had an “office of authority” called Deacon or Bishop, that cultural bias made its way into the King James Version. IT WAS ADDED! 

The Word OFFICE in the Bible Is Not There


Their concept of “church authority” is nowhere to be found in the TEXT of the sacred scriptures, but was a religious hierarchical system by 1611 that was carried over in the KJV translation. The translators practiced what is called eisegesis in their translation of the Greek into English, which means they read something into the text that is not there.

In fact, the word “office” occurs only three times in the King James Version of scripture, one time tied to the “office of deacon.” The other time it is tied to the “office of Bishop.” The final time in Romans 12:4 where the KJV says, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office.”

Let’s look at those 3 times.

In 1 Timothy 3:13 Paul says this: 
“For they that have used the “office of a deacon” [there it is] will purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
The words, “have used the office of a deacon” were all used to define the ONE GREEK WORD, “diakoneo”, which is translated by A. H. Strong as: “To be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, to wait upon.” 

W.E. Vine, the marvelous Greek scholar of the last century, adds this about I Timothy 3:13:
 “The Revised Version rightly “omits office” and translates the verb “diakoneo” to mean simply to serve.”
The word “office” is an English addition to the text in I Timothy 3:13.

Throughout the entire New Testament, the word diakoneo is NEVER used to imply or show an office, and it certainly doesn’t imply “to rule”. It is the service done by one who is a servant to another person. The use of the words “have used the office of a deacon” was an attempt by the King James Version, as already stated, to identify an office that was already in operation at the time of translation.

But it isn’t just the incorrect inclusion of “Office of Deacon” in 1 Timothy 3:13 that leads the church astray. It is ALSO the erroneous concept of an “Office of Bishop” found in the King James Version rendering of 1 Timothy 3:1 where Paul said this about a bishop according to the KJV
“This is a true saying, If a man desire "the office of a bishop" [there it is again], he desires a good work.”
Again, the word “office” is NOT present in I Timothy 3:1. The word “bishop” is the single Greek word, episkopos which, as an aorist imperative, a noun used as a verb, means “to tend or to give oversight.” 

So, the word English word “office” was incorrectly placed in I Timothy 3:1, and the NOUN “bishop” was used to translate a VERB ("to tend, to oversee") because, as stated before, King James and his Church of England already had BISHOPS in 1611 who "ruled over people." It seems that King James and his boys wished to maintain their “hierarchical positions of authority” by adding to the Greek text words that were not found there at all. 

Adding to Scripture your cultural preference, and then demanding conformity to your preferences as if God's commanded them, is a dangerous practice indeed!

A proper translation of 1 Timothy 3:1 would simply be, 
“Whoever sets their heart on episcoping/bishoping (e.g. tending, serving, overseeing) others, desires an honorable task” 
There is no “office of bishop” at all in the text. It is just a person desiring a ministry of overseeing to which the Apostle is referring. 

The only other instance in the New Testament where the English word “office” is found is in Romans 12:4 where the KJV says:
 “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office.”
The English word “office” in this verse DOES NOT properly translate the Greek word at all. The word being translated “office” is praxis, which means “a doing or deed or function.”

Praxis is the same word Greek word in Romans 8:13:
 “...for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds (praxis) of the body, you will live.”

IN SUMMARY:

The “office of pastor/elder/bishop or deacon” as an office that conveys “inherent authority” in the institutional church does not exist in the text of the sacred Scriptures. 

If you declare that those Scriptures are your guide to faith and practice, then you look to the Scriptures of God, not the traditions of men, for your marching orders. 

That being so, it becomes clear that we must admit that there are cultural constructs and personal preferences that give rise to the mistaken notion of male (or female) hierarchal leadership in Christ's church. 

Leadership in Christ's church is by gifting, not gender; an offer to approach with favor, not an office of authority with fear; a humble spirit of service, not a haughty status of superiority.

(Source: The above article was written by my father, Paul Burleson. A few minor additions for clarity have been made by me. My father and I have put together a booklet entitled The Bible and Authority in the Church, which is available for a free download). 

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to me that I frequent a coffee shop almost daily that sits right below two very nice churches (one I attend) and quite near some others.

I never see their pastors in that shop. I do watch however, and have gotten to know, one of the cleaning staff. This person ministers while cleaning, stopping to talk to folks and really listening if they respond. He quickly prays with those who need prayer, teaches those who need that, and leads the lost to Christ. Not to mention seeing those that are down on their luck eat.

It is his ministry. Other jobs pay more, but his employer keeps him on staff BECAUSE he leads people to Jesus. Love my town!

I suspect when we get to heaven, and rewards are being passed out, that he will receive some really nice acclaim from our Lord, and many who are too busy to minister where the poorer and hurting people are will be shocked not to get as nice acclaim.

linda

Anonymous said...

Coffee shops draw lonely people

Rex Ray said...

Wade/Paul,

I don’t know how you print post, but when I write on a computer, it puts red-lines under misspelled words, and blue lines under things like an extra space between words.

Red lines on this post:

Striking vs. Strking
murmuring vs. murming
profit vs. proft
or “the ministry vs. or“the ministry

Blue lines on this post:

Promised Land was…vs. Promised Land, was…
They had “deacons”…vs. They had “deacons”…
“…a true saying, if a man…vs. “…a true saying, If a man…” (KJV’s capital incorrect.)

Rex Ray said...

opts,

They had "deacons"...vs. They had "deacons"...

Rex Ray said...

Something keeps changing what I write. I'll try again.

They had "deacons"...vs. They had "deacons"...

Rex Ray said...

Lets see it change this!

They had (two spaces) "deacons"...

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks, Rex!

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

To the question why Moses wasn’t allowed to go to the Promise Land.

In Deuteronomy, Moses tells three times it was the people’s fault why he’s not allowed.

1. “And the Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, “Moses, not even you will enter the Promise Land!” (1:37 NLT)

2. “Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land…But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me…Speak of it no more.” (3:25-26 NLT)

3. “But the Lord was angry with me because of you. He vowed that I would not cross the Jordan River into the good land the Lord your God is giving you…you will cross the Jordan…but I will not. Instead I will die here…” (4:21-22 NLT)


In Numbers, God tells three times why Moses can’t go to the Promise Land.

1. “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” (20:12 NLT)

2. “The time has come for Aaron to join his ancestors in death. He will not enter the land I am giving the people of Israel, because the two of you rebelled against my instructions concerning the water at Meribah.” (20:24 NLT)

3. “After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin…you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters…in the wilderness of Zin.” (27:13-14 NLT)

So, do we believe Moses that it was the people’s fault, or do we believe God that Moses and Aaron didn’t trust God and rebelled against him?

Anonymous said...

What is true?
Is the Coronavirus a hoax?
Is that why there is no testing kits available at local hospitals for coronavirus?
The tests are not needed?

What is true?

Anonymous said...

I dunno….no testing kits? I'm from a large city that has heretofore been untouched by the virus. On the news this morning, someone went to a major hospital here, was tested, and had the results by the next day (Sat.). The person was most recently an exchange student in Italy and just came back to the US. Not sure where the 'hoax' is.

Anonymous said...

Coffee shops draw more than lonely people--busy people on the way to work, families with babies, etc at least here in our town.

But if coffee shops really do draw lonely people seems it might be really important for "leaders" to frequent them. You fish where the fish are not where the fish ain't.

linda

Tom said...

Rex,

You said

So, do we believe Moses that it was the people’s fault, or do we believe God that Moses and Aaron didn’t trust God and rebelled against him?

But there is another reason for this dilemma, and that is you are quoting a poor translation of the original Hebrew text where the bias of the translator{s} for a particular point of view is displayed in the words/expressions they have chosen to use in the applicable passages you have quoted.

This is one of the issues that all of us are faced with where we trust the diligence of the translators to present the truth of the matter. Unfortunately, we all have biases in our POV’s with respect to God and His “statutes” and covenants and his expectations of us to be “Holy.”

A small error/mistake in our understanding, at or near the very beginning of the scriptures can lead us into grave error later in our reading of the scriptures as we progress through the cannon as we have it.

What was Moses’ sin? Acting “god like” when he struck the rock, instead of being obedient and acknowledging that God had instructed him to speak to the rock.

This error is very common within the “church” today, among the “leaders,” and it causes division instead of unity.

God still allowed Moses to see the sign covenant of the Promised Land that was given to confirm that the Godly Saints at the end of time would receive the whole earth as our inheritance.

God reclaimed His position with the Nation of Israel with His punishment of both Aaron and Moses which was not a hardship for them to bear. Their punishment was for the sake of the Israelites and the relationship that was desired by God with them.

They same is also true today.

Shalom

Rex Ray said...

Tom,

Thanks for replying. (There’s nothing worse than being ignored.)

You wrote fourth a page telling why the translation I used (NLT) was in error. Since you didn’t quote another translation, do I just take your word?

I’ll bet you can’t find any translation that disagrees with the NLT which states: “The Lord was angry with me because of you…” (Deuteronomy 1:37)

“The Lord was also angry with me for your sakes…” (Deuteronomy 1:37 NKJV)

Can you give any Bible reference in your saying: “Moses sin was acting “God like” when he struck the rock…”

Or is that reference only on Wade’s post?

Also, what was Aaron’s sin? I believe you should check out what God said his sin was in Numbers. (In any translation.)

Tom said...

Rex

You have misunderstood the point of my comment. The NLT is not the only translation that has glaring errors in the manner of its translation. All of our translations that we often refer to have errors in their translation of the original Hebrew text that they present.

The errors have come from man's perceived theological understanding.

When we turn away from God and not do what God has told us to do, we replace God with ourselves and begin to act god like in doing so.

All of us have fallen into this dilemma on and off over the years of living our life.

It is our ability to be able to see this sin and quickly repent of it that is the mark of being a righteous person.

Shalom

Rex Ray said...

Today’s the worst knowledge I’ve ever had on my birthday. Last night, my niece ‘connected’ our cellphones so my brother and I could see each other. He’s home from the hospital, but that’s not good news. He was told he wouldn’t survive an operation to locate where he’s bleeding.

I’m thinking the hospital had rather him die at home rather than dying with them.

Bob Cleveland said...

Something strikes me about all this power and authority thing. In "the world", when a person is responsible for accomplishing certain things (as are the servants of the church), that person is given authority over the people situated down the organization chart. But that isn't true of the church; people responsible are actually servants of the church.

Perhaps the power/authority thing in the church is just the ways of the world creeping into God's work,

Hmmm.....

Christiane said...

Rex Ray,

I continue to pray. I agree, not the best news, no. Is your brother in pain?

Christiane said...

Hello Bob Cleveland,

yes, you are right, the title for a leader in ancient Church is "Servus Servorum Dei",
meaning 'Servant of the Servants of God.'

Christiane said...

I found this on Internetmonk and thought people here might like it for those times when it seems to grow dark and we do not know the road ahead:

King George VI quoted this in his Christmas broadcast in 1939:

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”

In the midst of all of today's troubles and concerns, I have found some peace in the quote and I hope it helps some of those who might need it also.

Wade Burleson said...

Rex,

My prayers are with you and your brother.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE and Wade,

Thanks ever so much. No pain that I know of. But he’s paralyzed from the waist down.

His son has left Alaska, and will see him tomorrow. He texted: “Best dad I could have had in 100 lifetimes.”

Rex Ray said...

Wade/Paul,

This post is about “pastors/elders being over other people. I believe the wrong person in the Bible was chosen as an example.

“Now Moses was very humble; more humble than any other person on earth.” (Numbers 12:3 NLT)

Just for Tom :) “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3 KJ)

So, how could Moses to be described as written below?

“…his [Moses] grave mistake was setting himself above the people as their judge, spiritual authority, and even worse, their god.”

Rex Ray said...

I think Moses and Aaron had a long discussion why Moses should hit the rock instead of speaking to the rock as God said.

Hitting came natural to Moses. He hit stone in writing the Ten Commandments, and water came from rock when God told him to hit it in Exodus 17:6.

They probably agreed they’d look like fools if water didn’t come out by speaking to a rock; better stay with what works.

Mary/Paul Burleson said...

Rex,

I've been away from reading or commenting on a lot of posts the past 8 to 10 days having been a caregiver to Mary after some major surgery, so I'm late in coming to the commenting atmosphere. I appreciate all that's been said. Some of it is pretty interesting.

I'm sure Moses was a pretty good guy, all in all, but his particular failure, as described in the text used to illustration the point being made, is pretty clear to me. I guess it is much as the "man after God's own heart" with his failure of murder and adultery, we're all of us, the very best of us, capable of anything when our own choices are made in the heat of any moment of weakness.

I also am assuming the good record we might have, all in all, doesn't negate our being used as an example of some particular sin, if we are, in fact, guilty of it. It certainly does expand the picture of grace that reaches to us all, does it not!

{Mary is doing really well, by the way.]

Rex Ray said...

Paul,

Glad to hear from you, and glad Mary is doing well.

I believe one of the heart-breaking things David caused was:

“So Ishbosheth took Michal away from her husband…Palti followed along behind her…weeping as he went…” (2 Samuel 4:15-16 NLT)

David didn’t want anyone having his ‘trophy’ for killing the Giant. (She ridiculed David and never had children.)

Paul, David didn’t have the Holy Spirit within him that Christians have today. Therefore, Christians have the advantage NOT to act as David, and we’re not going to murder someone because we get angry.

Rex Ray said...

Paul,

‘Moses becoming angry and hitting the Rock THEORY’ doesn’t explain why Aaron was not permitted to go to the Promise Land.

Should Aaron pay for sins of his brother? NO! God is just, and He tells why Aaron was just as guilty:

1. “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “BECAUSE YOU DID NOT TRUST ME enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” (20:12 NLT)

2. “The time has come for Aaron to join his ancestors in death. He will not enter the land I am giving the people of Israel, BECAUSE THE TWO OF YOU REBELLED against my instructions concerning the water at Meribah.” (20:24 NLT)

3. “After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, for YOU BOTH REBELLED AGAINST MY INSTRUCTIONS in the wilderness of Zin…you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters…in the wilderness of Zin.” (27:13-14 NLT)

Christiane said...

Keeping Christ as the focus of the faith strengthens the Church

https://youtu.be/ihJAJA4ibEs

Rex Ray said...

Paul,

I incorrectly assumed that the death of Moses was God’s punishment, but in Psalms 90, Moses wrote: “Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to 80…”

Joshua lived to 110.
Aaron 123.
Moses 120.

“Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever.” (Deuteronomy 34:7 NLT) Guess he hit that rock pretty hard. 😊

P.S.
Several weeks ago, my daughter, Beth, asked us to attend a ‘Dealer’s Convention’ at the golf course Banquet Room where they advertised. One guy had a limousine service. His 40-foot-long vehicle was outside. (I took Judy’s picture by it.)

Last week, Judy told me Beth wanted us to come to another one, but when we walked in, I heard, over 50 people yelling, “SURPRISE, SURPRISE!” (Judy was in on it.) I got a little dizzy blowing out 88 birthday candles. Some I hadn’t seen in 20 years. I’d been on several mission trips to Mexico with one man, and we’d won first place trophy in a ping-pong tournament. My brother-in-law had a lot of fun conducting a quiz. He had me sitting as he asked the crowd for five minutes what they knew about me; such as “How many bones has he broken?”

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