Who Is To Be Called Reverend, God Or Man?
'You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: 'This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men ' ( Matthew 15: 7 - 9, ESV)
'He sent redemption unto his people: he commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name (Psalm 111: 9 KJV).
OF A TRUTH, Satan is cunning, artful, subtle, wily and good at deceiving people including some of God's elect, the church of Christ. Satan is good at manipulating servants of God to disobey their Master, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Chief Shepherd of the church.
There is no doubt at all that many pastors in Ghana and the world in general are functioning in the imperfect or permissive will of God. They ought to function in the Maker's perfect will.
Most of today's soldiers of God have fallen into spiritual stupor. They have ears but cannot hear. They have eyes but cannot see how far Satan has caused them to drift away from the truth.
The Head of the Christian Faith, the Lord Jesus Christ, by His sovereign will choose some people and give them ministry gifts. He gives the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds (pastors) and the teachers (Ephesians 4: 11).
The Lord gives them myriad specific and direct instructions to guide them in the performance of their work. He tells them to go 'and make disciples of all nations, … teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you' (Matthew 28: 19- 20) .
Now, nowhere in the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ to the early apostles who are regarded as the foundational apostles and the five-fold ministers did He instruct them to use The Reverend as a prefix to their names.
Interestingly, the Lord promised to give the apostles the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever they bound on earth would be bound in heaven, and whatever they loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven.
This means that Jesus gave them divine abilities, power, authority and graces of the Holy Spirit to bind (prohibit) certain things and loose (permit) some other things. It is ironic that the things or doctrines that the apostles permitted, espoused, taught and preached did not include the conferment of The Reverend title or name.
Again, nowhere in both the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, a complete, accurate and precise word of God which has stood the test of time did any prophet, king or shepherd call himself or herself The Reverend.
Moses, a great prophet of God who performed great miracles in the attempt to redeem Israel out of Egypt never called himself The Reverend. Abraham, a faithful man described as a friend of God did not use the name or title either.
The same can be said of David, a great prophet, musician/psalmist and king who was said to be after God's own heart did not take delight in enjoying the privileges associated with the use of The Reverend mantra.
In fact, during His days on the earth as the express image of God, the Lord Jesus Christ did not use it. Neither did His disciples nor the apostles advocate its usage. If they did use it, it definitely would have been recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
The biblical apostles were obedient to the instructions and admonitions of the Saviour of the world. The Lord Jesus had warned them against titles and entreated them to see themselves as brothers.
'But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.
The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted' (Matt. 23: 8- 12).
Having been taught this, the apostles went about preaching and teaching the gospel and healing the sick under the power and authority of the Holy Spirit without calling themselves The Reverend Ministers.
Check the 27 books of the New Testament, they always called themselves brothers. They were united in spirit, soul and body sharing things in common. They ministered in one accord. The biblical servants of Christ were very humble and obedient to the instructions of Master Jesus.
They always saw themselves as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4: 1). They knew that being united and obedient servants of Christ was the key to the supernatural. This was the secrets of their great anointing and unparallel exploits.
They knew that the term Reverend which appears only once in the holy Bible was God's name. 'He sent redemption unto his people: he commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name (Psalm 111: 9 KJV).
Also, read what Job said, 'Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away' (Job 32: 21- 22).
By James Quansah