In Answer To An Inquiry
Since I deeply feel the need of the presence and guiding Spirit of God, my prayer is that the Lord may bless me to answer your questions:
“Do you believe that an elder, either you or I both having been duly ordained to the ministry by a presbytery of Old School Baptists, have a right to go preach, without affiliation, to people of that Old Baptist persuasion, who are NOT in what we would call gospel order?”
Answer: I believe that the ministers have an obligation to God to go and preach anywhere and any place where the Lord leads and directs them.
“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.”
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Who is to question God for sending ministers to preach to certain churches?
Of course the question may arise:
Were they led by the right Spirit, or was it by a wrong spirit?
We do not know — God does.
We walk by faith and not by sight.
“Beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
(I John 4:1)
God called Paul to preach to the Gentiles and he did not seek permission from men to do what he was called to do.
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them where were apostles before me: but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”
Surely this is an apostolic example of this principle.
God directed Philip to go and preach to just one man.
“And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the Prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.”
In so far as nothing is reported by the Holy Spirit of the eunuch afterwards, one can surmise that the Spirit’s lesson to us today is that this is the way He has ordained to send forth the Gospel.
I believe that the Lord sends His ministers to preach at the appointed places prepared by God.
“So shall My Word which goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
God preaches through His ministers.
“I have put My words in thy mouth…”
“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God…”
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
(I Corinthians 2:4)
Question two: “Have you thus preached?”
Answer: I am not ashamed nor afraid to say that I have filled private appointments at Primitive Baptist Churches not of our affiliation. It is a strange experience to feel the outpouring of the Spirit of God in churches not of our affiliation!
The Word of God is not bound! (see II Timothy 2:9)
“And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Please read Galatians 2:9-14. I believe that Paul was blessed to be correct when he withstood Peter to the face.
Why did Peter eat with the Gentiles, but then withdrew and separated himself when he saw the Jews coming?
HE FEARED MAN!
Notice that some dissembled with Peter, and even Barnabus did the same. Paul saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel. Let us ask ourselves these questions:
Do we fear man or God?
Are we called to please man or God?
Are we a seeker after popularity?
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
May God bless us to follow the impression and guidance of the Lord and not fear the scorn and frown of man, “we ought to obey God rather than man.”
“. . . full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”
“So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
May God bless us to pray earnestly over the matter and follow this advice one old brother told me years ago: “Young Brother, it is good to strive as much as possible to follow the unction of the Holy Ghost.”
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.”
(Isaiah 54:17; see Psalm 27:1-6)
Yours in hope,
Woodrow W. Hudson
Sept. 6, 1976