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©2001 Rev Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, ThM

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Disqualification from Spiritual Leadership Before the Lord

(c) 1996, 2000 Rev. Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, Th.M.

I. Old Testament Examples

The Lord God expected a certain standard from His Spiritual leaders that even covered their wives and families.

1. Outward Set-Apartness (Holiness)

A. One could not marry a prostitude nor a divorced woman as a spiritual leader.

Lev 21:7 `They shall not take a woman who is profaned by harlotry, nor shall they take a woman divorced from her husband; for he is holy to his God. (NAS)

Ezek 44:22 "And they shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman but shall take virgins from the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. (NAS)

B. The outward set-apartness was to be an example of the difference between the Holy and the profane.

Ezk 44:23 "Moreover, they shall teach My people {the difference} between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. (NAS)

C. This was maintained to the family so that a priest's daughter, turned prostitude was cleansed by fire.

Lev 21:9 `Also the daughter of any priest, if she profanes herself by harlotry, she profanes her father; she shall be burned with fire. (NAS)

2. Failures of Spitual Leaders having the gift and office.

God treats CIVIL and SPIRITUAL leaders differently. I believe correct application of Scripture demands separation of the examples of spiritual leaders (Levites & Prophets) from the Civil Leaders (Kings & Judges).

The gift was not lost, only the office was lost or lessoned by some major sin of the spiritual leader.

Rom 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (NAS)

A. Moses (a Levite) and Aaron (a Levite). Moses failed in his EXAMPLE and BELIEF before the people. He would not enter Canaan and forfeited his position to Joshua.

Aaron was pressured to lead the nation into sexual immorality with the Golden Calf party early in his ministry. This showed a weakness in leadership that later would follow Moses and somehow also participated in the major sin of striking the rock. For the unbelief at the striking of the Rock, Aaron was also disqualified from his spiritual leadership office. (Num 20:12)

Num 20:12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you[plural - Moses & Aaron] shall not bring [Hiphil - causative=leadership causing to bring] this assembly into the land which I have given them." (NAS)

Ex 32:2-6 And Aaron said to them, "Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring {them} to me." 3 Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears, and brought {them} to Aaron. 4 And he took {this} from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt." 5 Now when Aaron saw {this,} he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow {shall be} a feast to the LORD." 6 So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. (NAS)

Moses would be punished by not being allowed to enter the land of Canaan and forfeited his position to Joshua.

Deut 32:49-50 "Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. 50 "Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, (NAS)

Aaron would be punished by literally being STRIPPED of his office before the congregation in great shame for his sin of reproach. He forfeited his office (undoubtedly keeping the gift) to his son Eleazar.

Num 20:23-28 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 24 "Aaron shall be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the sons of Israel, because you rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25 "Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26 and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar. So Aaron will be gathered {to his people,} and will die there." 27 So Moses did just as the LORD had commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 And after Moses had stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar, Aaron died there on the mountain top. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. (NAS)

B. Hophni and Phinehas and the house of Eli (Levites).

Eli did not restrain his evil sons and together this family of spiritual leaders would steal from the offerings of the people by a scheme to get more of the meat into their hands. Their first line of sin was that of theft and deception.

1 Sam 2:13-17 and the custom of the priests with the people. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand. 14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw." 16 And if the man said to him, "They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire," then he would say, "No, but you shall give {it to me} now; and if not, I will take it by force." 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD. (NAS)

Hophni and Phinehas engaged in sexual misconduct with the congregation of Israel and violated the Lord's requirements of being set apart.

1 Sam 2:22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. (NAS)

God's punishment was to remove all three spiritual leaders from office by death. The two sons would die in battle and Eli would die from the news of the death of his sons.

Furthermore, God would also cut off the line of priestly succession in office from the house of Eli.

1 Sam 2:27-36 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, `Did I {not} indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt {in bondage} to Pharaoh's house? 28 `And did I {not} choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me; and did I {not} give to the house of your father all the fire {offerings} of the sons of Israel? 29 `Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded {in My} dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?' 30 "Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, `I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever'; but now the LORD declares, `Far be it from Me-- for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed. 31 `Behold, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father's house so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 `And you will see the distress of {My} dwelling, in {spite of} all that I do good for Israel; and an old man will not be in your house forever. 33 `Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar that your eyes may fail {from weeping} and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life. 34 `And this will be the sign to you which shall come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day both of them shall die. 35 `But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always. 36 `And it shall come about that everyone who is left in your house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and say, "Please assign me to one of the priest's offices so that I may eat a piece of bread."'" (NAS)

God told Samuel that the reason for His judgment on Eli and his sons was KNOWN SIN about which nothing was done. God called the open sexual sexual immorality a curse that they brought upon themselves.

1 Sam 3:11-14 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 "In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 "For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 "And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." (NAS)

C. Abiathar the High Priest

Abiathar, had fled to David as the sole survivor of the massacre that had taken place at Nob as Saul killed all the priests.

1 Sam 22:20-21 But one son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. (NAS)

David had Abiathar serve as a High Priest while he was on the run from King Saul. Later in David's Administration, both Abiathar and Zadok served in a unique double High Priesthood in Israel.

1 Sam 23:6 Now it came about, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, {that} he came down {with} an ephod in his hand. (NAS)

1 Sam 30:7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, "Please bring me the ephod." So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. (NAS)

2 Sam 8:17 And Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar {were} priests, and Seraiah {was} secretary. (NAS)

When Abiathar sinned greatly and stood against the will of the Lord to have Solomon succeed David as the next king of Israel, Solomon used the occasion to dismiss him from office and fulfill the prophecy concerning the house of Eli. Abiathar lost his office as High Priest. His sin was that he had joined the conspiracy to make Adonijah king and thus opposed the Lord's choice of Solomon.

IKing 1:25 "For he has gone down today and has sacrificed oxen and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king's sons and the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest, and behold, they are eating and drinking before him; and they say, '{Long} live King Adonijah!' (NAS)

IKing 2:26-27 Then to Abiathar the priest the king said, "Go to Anathoth to your own field, for you deserve to die; but I will not put you to death at this time, because you carried the ark of the Lord GOD before my father David, and because you were afflicted in everything with which my father was afflicted.» 27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh. (NAS)

D. Apostate Levites at the time of the Captivity.

The sins of these spiritual leaders, Apostate Levites was outright idolatry. When they should have been representing God and being set-apart unto Him, they ministered to idols and became a stumbling block. Their example was very important.

Ezek 44:10-12 "But the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. 11 "Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them. 12 "Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn against them," declares the Lord GOD, "that they shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. (NAS)

God's punishment upon the sinning spiritual leaders , Apostate Levites, was to remove them from office to bear their shame. God would give those Levites who repented a lessor position of service in the temple.

Ezek 44:13-14 13 "And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. 14 "Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service, and of all that shall be done in it. (NAS)

The offices lost by the sinning spiritual leaders, Apostate Levites, were to be inherited by other Faithful Spiritual Leaders.

Ezek 44:15-16 15 "But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood," declares the Lord GOD. 16 "They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge. (NAS)

3. Failures of God's Civil Leaders in Israel.

Again, it should be noted that God treats CIVIL and SPIRITUAL leaders differently. Correct application of Scripture demands separation of the examples of spiritual leaders (Levites & Prophets) from the Civil Leaders (Kings & Judges).

A. Samson as a judge in Israel would disobey the Lord on numerous occassions. He was severely disciplined by the Lord, yet did not lose his civil office.

Jud 15:20 So he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines. (NAS)

Jud 16:31 Then his brothers and all his father's household came down, took him, brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. Thus he had judged Israel twenty years. (NAS)

B. King David held a civil office as king. David had a spiritual gift of prophet, but never held the office. The spiritual leadership office was in the hands of men like Nathan, the prophet. David sinned with Bathsheba in adultery and murdered her husband.

Acts 2:29-30 Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet, ["Gift" only] and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat {one} of his descendants upon his throne, (NAS)

God's penalty was death, but He commuted the sentence. God would still punish King David severely, yet he would not remove him from his civil office. David was not the spiritual leader of Israel. In fact, he established the major temple worship of the Levitical leaders in Israel.

2 Sam 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. (NAS)

2 Sam 12:10 `Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' (NAS)

C. King Solomon was also a civil and not a spiritual leader. Solomon sinned by women, fornication, and idolatry. The Lord would punish Solomon by removing the kingdom from his house and spliting it with his enemy, Jeroboam.

1 Kings 11:9-11 Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded. 11 So the LORD said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. (NAS)

II. Sexual Immorality - a Sin with Greater Consequences

Whether we like it or not, the Scriptures place greater long term consequences upon the sins of sexual immorality than upon other sins. This can be seen in several passages.

A. Adultery promises self-destruction and disgrace. Furthermore, the reproach is lasting in the eyes of the world.

Prov 6:32-33 The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. 33 Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out. (NAS)

B. Adultery had a maximum penalty of capital punishment if the victim (spouse) so named for the mate and the partner. This is the "destruction" that is summarized in Proverbs.

Lev 20:10 `If {there is} a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (NAS)

Deut 22:22 "If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. (NAS)

C. Sins of sexual immorality are Biblically PREDICTED to be devastating to life, family, position, and reputation. The believer is forewarned. The "death" may be more painful than physical death.

- Sexual sins are predicted to COST the sinner dearly. This is no secret!

- Sexual sins will CAST DOWN those who follow after them. Bible examples show the loss of office and reputation.

- God is clear on the greater consequences for sexual sins.

Prov 2:18-19 18 For her house sinks down to death, and her tracks {lead} to the dead; 19 None who go to her return again, nor do they reach the paths of life. (NAS)

Prov 5:5 Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. (NAS)

Prov 7:22-27 22 Suddenly he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as {one in} fetters to the discipline of a fool, 23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it {will cost him} his life. 24 Now therefore, {my} sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. 26 For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death. (NAS)

Prov 9:18 But he does not know that the dead are there, {that} her guests are in the depths of Sheol. (NAS)

D. Adultery is shown in Scripture to be remembered. Reuben was involved in sexual immorality with a concubine of his father Jacob.

Gen 35:22 And it came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine; and Israel heard {of it.} Now there were twelve sons of Jacob-- (NAS)

Years later, Jacob on his death bed still remembered and spoke of the sin even in a prophecy. Spiritiual leaders destroy the "blameless" and "above reproach" qualifications by this sin.

Gen 49:4 "Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled {it}-- he went up to my couch. (NAS)

E. As Amnon was seeking to commit an immoral act with Tamar, she tried to advise him that the reproach would last indefinitely.

2 Sam 13:13 "As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you." (NAS)

III. New Testament Examples

As in the Old Testament qualifications for spiritual leadership, the Lord requires high standards for the spiritual leaders of the New Testament. Most notable is that they are to be "above reproach" or in the old English of the Authorized Version, "blameless."

1 Tim 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (NAS)

Titus 1:7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, (NAS)

As elders or pastors were to be ordained, the number one qualification is that they be "above reproach." The second qualification is a sexual qualification of being "the husband of one wife." Views on this phrase vary, but in all views, sexual imorality would disqualify a man from the office.

Titus 1:5-6 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 {namely,} if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. (NAS)

Furthermore, the requirement of being "above reproach" within and among the assembly of believers translates externally to those on the outside as having a "good reputation."

1 Tim 3:7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside {the church,} so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (NAS)

The necessary qualification of having a "good reputation" in the representation of God and the things of the Lord is found in many contexts:

-Offense is not to be given by sin nor areas of misconduct. The spiritual leader must make decisions beyond such things OR suffer consequences.

1 Cor 10:32 Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; (NAS)

-Codes words for spiritual leadership are blameless, innocent, above reproach, and as lights of the Lord.

Phil 2:15 that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, (NAS)

-Further code words for the spiritual leader are godliness and dignity.

-The summary of it all is that the enemy may have nothing bad to say about us.

1 Tim 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (NAS)

Titus 2:8 sound {in} speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. (NAS)

1. The Failure of the Disciple Peter

I believe that the Scriptures distinguish between those who are gifted, learning,and seeking to qualify for a position of spiritual leadership and those who have qualified and posess the office.

[Jesus chose and called 12 to train. This included Peter as well as Judas. Judas fully failed!]

Luke 6:12-13 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: (NKJ)

A. Peter failed the Lord as a spiritually gifted believer - a student. He did not yet possess the office of apostle or elder in the not-yet-formed church.

B. Furthermore, when Peter failed and sinned, he experienced immediate remorse and undoubtedly repented of his denials of the Lord. He did not commit idolatry, nor immorality.

Jn 13:37-38 Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You." 38 Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a cock shall not crow, until you deny Me three times. (NAS)

Jn 18:27 Peter therefore denied {it} again; and immediately a cock crowed. (NAS)

C. Jesus Christ would restore Peter as a disciple and a student, to ultimately take the office of apostle, shepherd, and elder.

Jn 21:15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, {son} of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." (NAS)

2. Peter as a Spiritual Leader.

Peter, as a spiritual leader began and ended with an excellent record. The only "mark" against him was the cultivating of legalism which when rebuked by Paul was promptly accepted. He did not fail as a spiritual leader possessing the office of apostle or elder.

Gal 2:11-14 11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he {began} to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how {is it that} you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? (NAS)

3. Disqualification of other possible New Testament spiritual leaders.

A. Hymenaeus & Alexander are believed to have possessed offices of spiritual leadership by many commentators. In their failure they were not only disqualified, but evidently, by not REPENTING, were turned over to Satan for a "lesson!"

1 Tim 1:20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered over to Satan, so that they may be taught not to blaspheme. (NAS)

B. Diotrephes was evidently a spiritual leader who assumed a position of arrogance and was in the process of disqualifying himself from his office. John, the elder, would handle this problem in person if Diotrephes refused to repent.

3 Jn 9-10 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and he forbids those who desire {to do so,} and puts {them} out of the church. (NAS)

IV. The New Testament emphasis upon sins of immorality.

Like the Old Testament, the New, in building upon the foundation in the Old, continues to uphold the greater consequences for sins of sexual immorality. One sins against his body.

1 Cor 6:18 Flee immorality. Every {other} sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. (NAS)


1. Both Old and New Testaments place an enormous emphasis upon the spiritual leader as a representative of the Lord God. In the Old, he is a shadow of what every believer priest should be in the Christian Walk. In the New, he is one who provides leadership and example (1 Cor 4:16; 11:1; Phil 3:17; 2 Thes 3:7, 9) of the Christian Walk. The Old Testament demands his holiness and set-apartness. The New Testament demands being above reproach and blameless with a good reputation within and without.

2. The Spiritual gifts which the Lord gives to spiritual leaders are permanent (Rom 11:29). However, the exercise of those gifts in office are dependant upon obedience to the Lord. This is the same principle as Israel possessing ownership of the Land of Promise eternally, but living in the land in actuality was based upon obedience (Deut 8).

3. There is a difference in the the Spiritual Offices and the Civil Offices given by the Lord. Civil leaders had far greater latitude to fail and be restored. David, Solomon, etc. are examples of Civil leaders. On the other hand, Spiritual Leaders, beginning with Nadab and Abihu and their act of "strange fire" (Lev 10:1-2), brought swift and immediate judgment including the removal from office - sometimes by death.

4. Peter's restoration is not an example of a spiritual leader's, but of a student and disciple having spiritual leadership gifts and advancing towards taking the office of a spiritual leader.

5. The only real example of spiritual leaders who were restored were the Apostate Levites of Ezekiel 44, who upon repentance were not restored fully to their former offices, but were restored to fellowship and given lessor positions in the service of the Lord.

6. In both Testaments, sins of sexual immorality are given greater emphasis and hold greater consequences for both the short term as well as the long term.

7. Therefore, the OFFICE of spiritual leader is a serious position and calling before the Lord. When it is violated in some major way, the weight of Biblical evidence, rightly divided, seems to scream out DISQUALIFICATION (at the very least for quite some time to reestablish requalification and reputation both within and without).

8. The appeal to some over-riding arguement of "Grace" seems to fly in the face of the solid Biblical examples given in Scripture. Salvation Grace covers all past sin and God extends such grace to save the believer. Under the Christian Walk, Romans 6 emphasizes the making of good decisions as believers to walk in Him. The office of Spiritual Leader is not to be entered into in a hasty fashion (1 Tim 5:22). Those in such a position are to be mature and UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF DEFAULT AND DISQUALIFICATION. The appeal to "grace" to "let bygones be bygones" is, I believe, and evasion of responsibility and an abuse of His marvelous grace.

9. The experiential consequences of such sins seem to bear out the Scriptures in the lives of many fallen spiritual leaders. I do not believe the consequences are failures on the part of believers in misapplying grace or being ungracious. Generally speaking, spiritual leaders who follow God's examples in repentence and stepping down are astounded by His marvelous Grace and the gracious of believers. Those who reject and walk in unrepentant lives face consequences from the Lord and not from "ungracious," "rebellious" congregations.

10. Lastly, let us all determine to hold this ministry in the highest regard and press on to make our decisions in maturity and fear of the greatness of our callings so that we will not be "stripped of our office" as was Aaron.