“After this thing Jeroboam… made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.”
(1 Kings 13:33)
Reading about the kingdom of Israel, a major personality that separated the Israelites from God greatly is Jeroboam. He was the first king so given to idolatry. But compared to what the church has become his sin is not so grievous. Jeroboam did not instruct the Israelites to leave the God that brought them out of Egypt, he only told them that the idol which he set up was an adequate representation of that God that brought them out of Egypt. The person who made the Israelites forsake God completely (after the reign of David and Saul) to go after Baal was Ahab.
The sin of Jeroboam is narrated thus: “Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.” (1 Kings 12:28 – 30). So he made them a religion to serve the living God but after his own prescription.
For fear he coined up a religion, and for ease and comfort, the Israelites accepted the new religion. Nothing varied from the old religion except the location of where to offer sacrifices. As far as they were concerned, it was still the God that brought them out of Egypt that they were sacrificing to. They thought he must be pleased with their sacrifices. Little did they know that this thing had become as sin. This is the same with the church of today. For the fear in the clergy to secure their selfish interest, they’ve coined up doctrines for the church contrary to what is written, and the laity for ease and comfort accepted it. For in this new system they say, “you don’t have to serve God, just go and work, make money and bring it to us. We, as your priests are the ones to work for God.”
There are many ways of which we have left the mark to go our own ways. But one that is particularly close to the error of Jeroboam is in the way we choose our leaders. We of course can’t choose to leave God. Who wants to go to Hell? Sure we can’t do that, but we refuse to choose our leaders by God’s prescription and we draw out our own prescription.
We also read thus: “And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.” (1 Kings 12:31). Jeroboam like us appointed priests by his own standards, leaving God’s instructions behind. He made them to minister to these “gods that brought them out of Egypt.” Jeroboam actually consecrated these priests, making them holy unto God, by his own standards. He made holy a people who God had not made holy. God said, “I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” But Jeroboam assumed that position as it is written, “After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places.” (1 Kings 13:33).
The church today also appoints leaders leaving the Biblical pattern for appointing leaders. The current state of the church is as sad as what was expressed by Micah who said in Micah 2:11, “If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.” As Jeroboam consecrated anybody that wants to be priests, we also make anybody who wishes into a church leader so far they go through our prescription. Anybody that goes to the seminary and graduates become ordained. We consecrate them. We make them holy. Jeroboam, in throwing God’s rules out and making his own took the place of God. The church too has taken the place of God in making our own rules and anybody that lives according to them is ordained and accepted by us. We ordain people who don’t have the qualities of elders, bishops and deacons as not even elders, bishops and deacons but as very priests. Greedy people who can’t stop talking about money. Foolish preachers who can’t shun sin and compromise. Dumb people with little or no understanding. Foolish immoral people who extort the poor. Some are adulterers. What doctrine of Christ have they not thrown to the ground. Even women who, by Biblical standards should not even ask questions now speak and lead churches. Why? They graduated from the seminary. Yet such people who the Bible prohibit from leading the church lead us just because they went to a seminary. So our own prescription stands while that of God is done away with. This way, the church has disowned God and made itself its own god.
[In a book I am writing, I shall explain in details how to appoint leaders. It is glaring in scriptures but have been neglected by the modern day church system. Please look out for the book. I haven’t concluded on the title yet, but it is going to be on church leadership, by God’s grace.]
When ever things like this happen, small may seem the shift, but great is the sin. Jeroboam appointed people to sacrifice to God after his own rules and it seems that was all, but hear what the Bible says of this his rule: “And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.” (2 Chronicles 11:15). He in his change of rules ordained priests for devils. There’s nothing that can make us think that he deliberately wished that these priests should offer sacrifices to devils. All we see as the motive for his actions was that he was afraid that in going to Jerusalem they’ll return to their true king. So he introduced a religion of convenience. But in doing this he ended up consecrating priests to offer sacrifices to devils. The church too in changing God’s rule, and seeking after a religion of convenience, have been ordaining priests for devils, in fact, they’ve been pouring out priests from every seminary in large numbers. For we have redefined priesthood contrary to what scriptures say. We have made a new order of priesthood namely the pastoral priesthood. All we have in scriptures is the royal priesthood and the High Priest, who is Jesus and Jesus alone. While in the Bible, we become priests by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Saviour, we today make priests in seminaries. Well trained priests of devils are they.
There’s no time that God leaves his people to be Lords of themselves. He does not give room for you to choose your own leaders. However, all churches of today have their own rules which they coined up for convenience. First it is usually required that you go to the seminary. When you graduate, you become a priest. They consecrate you. They make you holy. When you become priest, they lay other rules before you by which if you play the game well you can rise to the very apex of the church hierarchy. Is that not nonsense? God denounced the choices of kings of Israel saying in Hosea 8:4, “They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.” God owns us and he is never happy when we start behaving like he doesn’t. He doesn’t like us pushing him to the side in our affairs. He wants to choose for us those who’ll lead us. For this reason, if it must be well with the church, God must choose our leaders. We must make sure that all our leaders possess true qualities (not pretended ones) of leaders as prescribed by the Bible. All systems of choosing leaders, whether seminary, election, etc, most be done away with.
This is the close allegory the church has with Jeroboam. We are sinning after the manner of Jeroboam in appointing priests to sacrifice to devils. When such happens, an Ahab is always at the corner with Jezebel his wife to take us completely from our God. But we can be sure that the gate of hell cannot prevail against the church. For this reason the word of God is coming to us today that we may repent and return from our evil ways.
May God help us. Amen.
Prayer: Dear Lord and Father, I see that we have completely left you and followed after vain person that did not know you. We are sorry and repent of this evil. Please grant us the wisdom and grace to play our part in restoring the leadership of your church to the way you desire and ordained it. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.