Watchfulness, Of Leaders
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So you, O son of man, I have set you a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die; if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me? He said unto him, Yea, Lord; you know that I love you. He said unto him, Feed my sheep.
When I say unto the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch you therefore: for you know not when the Master of the house comes, at evening, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning:
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, not violent, not given to dishonest gain;
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for dishonest gain, but of a ready mind;
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 gatekeeper opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
Preach the word; be diligent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they draw to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto myths.read more.
But you watch in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fully carry out your ministry.
Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to refute the opposition. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who ruin whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them.
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of which I tell you beforehand, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us how you ought to walk and to please God, so you would abound more and more.
A man that is divisive after the first and second admonition reject;
For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night: you that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence. And give him no rest, till he establishes, and till he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should 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 with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at last 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 also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crows twice, you shall deny me three times.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, not violent, not greedy of money; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all respect;read more.
(For if a man knows not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them who are outside; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Meditate upon these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your progress may appear to all. Take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and them that hear you.
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of rebellion or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, not violent, not given to dishonest gain; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good, sensible, just, holy, temperate;
All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all you beasts in the forest. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs who can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, everyone for his gain, from his own quarter.read more.
Come you, they say, I will bring wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus says the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat, and you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill them that are fed: but you feed not the flock.read more.
The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed those who were sick, neither have you bound up those who were broken, neither have you brought again those who were driven away, neither have you sought those who were lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became food to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; As I live, says the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became food to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus says the Lord GOD; 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 more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.
For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. My anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the leaders: for the LORD of hosts has visited his flock, the house of Judah, and has made them as his royal horse in the battle.