Watchfulness, Of Leaders
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So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die for his sin; but I will require his blood at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, if he does not turn from his way, he shall die for his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He said unto him, Yes, Lord thou knowest that I love thee. He said unto him, Feed my sheep.
When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die and thou dost not give him warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, that he might live, the same wicked man shall die for his iniquity; but his blood I will require at thine hand.
As the man who, taking a far journey, left his house and gave his estate to his slaves and to each one his responsibility and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore, for ye know not when the Lord of the house comes: at evening or at midnight or at the cockcrowing or in the morning,
Listen to your pastors, and do not resist them, for they watch for your souls as those that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.
Therefore watch and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has placed you as bishops to feed the congregation of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
It is expedient, therefore, that the bishop be blameless, the husband of only one wife, vigilant, temperate, of worldly affections mortified, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
For the bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God; not arrogant, not quick to anger, not given to wine, not hurtful, not greedy of dishonest gain,
Feed the flock of God which is among you, caring for her, not by force, but willingly; not for shameful lucre, but with willing desire;
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Preach the word; be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, they shall heap up unto themselves teachers who shall speak to them according to their own lusts, and thus they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall return unto fables.read more.
But watch thou in all things, labour, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry.
holding fast the doctrine according to the faithful word, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many insubordinate and vain talkers and deceivers of souls, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths it is expedient to stop, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain.
And I beseech you, brethren, mark those who cause dissensions and offences outside of the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them.
envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; which I denounce, as I have also told you in time past that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
It is in order then, brethren, that we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that in the manner ye were taught of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would continue to grow.
A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject him,
For I testify unto everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If anyone shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book;
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night; ye that make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent and give him no rest, until he establishes and until he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Moreover as for me, in no wise should I sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you, but I will teach you the good and the right way.
For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I always remember you in my prayers, making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Therefore in this manner we pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of his calling and fill each will with goodness and the work of faith with power
Then Peter said unto him, Although all be scandalized, yet I will not. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crows twice, thou shalt deny me three times.
It is expedient, therefore, that the bishop be blameless, the husband of only one wife, vigilant, temperate, of worldly affections mortified, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, not hurtful, not greedy of dishonest gain, but gentle, not contentious, not covetous; one that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all integrity;read more.
(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the congregation of God?) not a novice, lest being puffed up, he fall into judgment of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of those who are outside lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Occupy thyself in these things with care, for in this is everything, that thy profiting may be manifest unto all. Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; be diligent in this, for in doing so thou shalt both save thyself and those that hear thee.
He who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children who can not be accused of dissoluteness, nor insubordinate. For the bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God; not arrogant, not quick to anger, not given to wine, not hurtful, not greedy of dishonest gain, but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, temperate, just, holy, gentle,
My brethren, make not unto yourselves many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
All ye beasts of the field, all ye beasts of the forest; come to devour. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs; they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, they love to slumber. And these anxious dogs are insatiable, and even the shepherds did not know enough to understand: they all look to their own ways, each one for his gain, from his quarter.read more.
Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, or much more excellent.
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto the pastors, Thus hath the Lord GOD said; Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the milk, and ye clothe yourselves with the wool, ye kill those that are fat; but ye do not feed the flock.read more.
Ye have not strengthened the weak, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty ye have ruled them; and they are dispersed because there is no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and they were scattered. My sheep were lost and wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill; my flock was dispersed upon all the face of the earth, and there was no one to search for them or to require anything of them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; as I live, said the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became food to every beast of the field, without a pastor, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed my flock; therefore, O ye pastors, hear the word of the LORD. Thus hath the Lord GOD said: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any longer; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, and they shall no longer be food for them.
For the idols have spoken vanity and the diviners have seen a lie and have told vain dreams; they comfort in vain; therefore they went their way like sheep; they were humbled because there was no shepherd. My anger is kindled against the pastors, and I will visit the he goats, for the LORD of the hosts shall visit his flock, the house of Judah, and shall make them as his horse of honour in the battle.