Howard Mooney - The Ordained Ministry - December 1980

Dronin, Australia , December 20, 1980
Howard Mooney

“And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.”  The Bible tells us about an ordained ministry and an ordained message, and an ordained peace, and an ordained fellowship, and an ordained future that God has planned for His people.  One of the meanings of the word “ordain is to invest with power.  When a man is ordained by an organization, all the power of that organization is behind that ordination, but when a person is ordained by God, all the power of heaven and earth is behind that ordination.  Isn’t that the assurance Jesus gave to His disciples that last night He was with them, when He said, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth, you go forth and carry My work on in the world and I will be right there to back you up with that power right to the end of the world.”  In this chapter of Mark which we read together, we read of the order of God’s ordination.  He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach.  He ordained them, and then He trained them, and then He sent them out to preach.

A few years ago when we were having this compulsory military draft over in America , we had a young man that had just gone out into the Work a few days before, and he received notice to appear before his draft board for induction into the Army.  We obtained an audience with the Board, and we explained the position and gave them a chance to get acquainted with that young man. We told them about our Work and how desperately we needed him, and they were very favorable toward him, and granted him his deferment.  One of the members on the draft board was also a board member of the local Lutheran Church.  He said, “Did I understand you correctly, that in your church the ministers are ordained first and then trained afterwards?”  I said, “That is true.”  He said, “Isn’t that rather unorthodox?”  I said, “It might be in comparison with the way it is done in the religious world, but this is the way Jesus did it,” and I had a wonderful opportunity to talk to them about the two and two ministry, and I quoted this verse.  Maybe I can tell you a few things tonight why Jesus planned a two and two ministry.  One is so that the young workers starting out can have access to private tutoring, instead of being run through a seminary with a mass of other students, a kind of mass production.  God has planned when a young worker starts in the Work under the guidance of an older worker and with the help of the Holy Spirit, they get the privilege of private tutoring and then the next year they get another companion that might help them along another line, and the next year they get another companion that might help them along another line, and I said at the end of five years this young worker has not only had five years of private tutoring, but he has had five wonderful years of practical experience in the ministry.  He turned to the other members on the Board, and he said, “Men, that makes sense.  That is the most practical thing I have ever heard.”  And he said, “We are mighty glad to let a young man go forth in a ministry of this nature.”  When we were leaving the court house, I said to the young man with me, “Dale, we don’t have to make any apology concerning the way of Jesus, because from whichever angle you look at it, it is the most sensible and practical way you have ever heard of.  In fact, it is the only thing that works, and it has never needed a change from the days of Jesus right to now.  So, this is the order of the ordination.  He ordained them, and then He trained them, and then He sent them out to preach.

Have you ever wondered how your workers were ordained?  Would you like to know how your workers were ordained?  I had a Chinese sister worker in Hong Kong ask me that question once.  She was reading where Jesus ordained His ministers and how Paul mentioned that he was ordained, and she asked, “Is there a record in the Bible of how that ordination took place?”  I said, “There surely is,” and I quoted 2 Corinthians 8:16, “Thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.”  I said, “When God ordains a person, He doesn’t do so by putting a diploma in their pocket, but He does so by putting something into their heart—the same earnest care that He Himself has for a perishing world,” the care that causes that young person to turn their back on all their future prospects and everything life holds dear, and on everything else because of that which God has put, not in their pocket, but in their heart.  That is why when Jesus was speaking to the Lord’s people about the necessity and urgency of more workers, He said, “You pray to the Lord of the harvest, you appeal to the Lord of the harvest, to see if He cannot send out more, because that is the way it is done.”  You cannot make a worker by outward pressure or anything like that.  God never works in that order, but God always works in the heart, and He puts in the heart that same earnest care that He Himself has for a perishing world.  A diploma in the pocket would never change a person.  All that a diploma does is gives them a passport into society.  But when God puts into the heart of a young man or woman the same earnest care that He Himself has for a perishing world, there is something about that that changes that young life completely.

Would you like me to give you some evidences, some proofs that this ministry is still ordained by God, and all the power of God and heaven is still behind that ordination?  You have proofs on either side of the platform, to begin with—these young sisters and these young brothers!  You know that only the power of God working in the heart of a young person could cause them to do what these young folks are doing, turning their backs on the possibility of a home of their own, and a family of their own, blasting every other prospect in life and all that a human heart holds dear.  They are doing so because the ordination of God is working in their heart, creating there the same earnest care and love God Himself has for a perishing world.  All the power of heaven and earth is behind them, enabling them to take a step like this.  And I should add, when you see these older workers on either side of the platform, past the years of retirement, past the time when people of the business world have retired, taking it easy and enjoying themselves, but you see these older servants of God putting more into it than ever before, it is proof that the ordination of God is still upon those old souls and all the power of Heaven is helping them pour out the last drops of their sacrifice.  They still have in their hearts the same earnest care that God Himself has for a perishing world.

Another proof, may I give you?  This involves money, and we generally don’t like to talk about money in connection with the Gospel or any part of our Work because this is too sacred to be associated with money.  But, at the same time, this is a miracle, and the more you appreciate this miracle, the more you appreciate the Truth.  The fact that God’s servants can go into all parts of the world and freely give the Gospel today, without any collection, without any tithing, without any books to sell, and no missionary board to support them, and no knowledge of where the next penny is coming from—when men and women can do that in this selfish age, that is a compound proof, folks, that all the power of Heaven and earth is backing them up, or this thing could not take place in such a selfish world.  When we talk to people about this ministry and tell them we can freely give this Gospel, they say it would not work today—it would not work in this selfish age, but it does work in this selfish age.

Jesus said to those first ministers when He sent them out to preach, you won’t have to worry a thing about your future, or your food or clothing.  Look at the birds of the air.  If you go forth to do His will, you won’t need to worry about your clothing.  Look at the lilies of the field, “They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these; wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you?  Therefore, take no thought saying, ‘What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or wherewithal shall we be clothed?’ for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  You seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and I will see to it that you are taken care of.  Not a board behind you, and not a group behind you, not any individual pledged to support you, but I will see you are fed and clothed along the way—a miracle which only God Himself is able to bring about.

We had an experience during the depression years.  I don’t know if you ever heard of the depression years over in America —they were called the hungry years because a lot of people were hungry.  In one year’s time, during that period, 18,000 churches over there closed their doors—in one year that happened.  They could not pay the preacher, the organist, the janitor, the fuel bill, the light bill, so they just had to close their doors.  Many of those churches had missionaries over in other countries and they could not send any help to them or a ticket to come home.  They were stranded and the U.S. Government, at their own government expense, sent ocean liners over and rescued those stranded missionaries.  Oh! I am glad to tell you this, folks, that during those hungry years never once did we have to bring a worker back from a foreign field, and we had many of them there, and never once did they suffer want or were they a charge to the country where they were laboring.  I was just a young worker at that time and it was a wonderful confirmation to my faith to know that He Who said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel” could still stand true to His promise even in the depression period, when He said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”  I will see that you are fed and clothed along the way.  This is the miracle which accompanies this ministry and it is this which has made this ministry revolutionary different from any other in the world.  That is because the ordination of God is upon it and all the power of Heaven and earth is backing up that ordination.

May I tell you a little now about the ordained message?  1 Corinthians 2:7, where Paul said, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”  If you don’t mind marking your Bible, you would find it beneficial to underscore those marvelous words “unto our glory.”  He is saying that everything pertaining to the Gospel is planned for our benefit that we might be the recipients and that we might have the glorious privilege of enjoying it in our own lives.

May I tell you now about the revolutionary difference between this fellowship and all other religious fellowships?  My parents were dedicated people; they were just as religious before they got saved as they were afterwards.  My father was a deacon and my mother a deaconess and Sunday school superintendent, and you know they had to work day and night to keep that organization going.  Those of you who were associated with some religious organization before you were saved know the truth of those words—you had to work day and night to keep your organization going.  But here is a fellowship where everything in Heaven and earth is working to keep you going.  This is what is said here.  This is planned for our glory that you might be the recipient.  It is not a fellowship where you have to work to keep the organization going; it is a fellowship where everything is working to keep you going.  This convention has been planned by God for your benefit, to help you keep on going. The help God is giving you at this convention is to help you  go on triumphantly through another year.  Paul said, “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”  That was for your sakes.  And when Paul was writing to the church at Thessalonica reminding them of the ministry, the unselfish ministry that he and his companion had brought unto that city when they brought the Gospel, he said, “Ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”  We didn’t ask for a penny of your money, we didn’t ask for your service or anything from you, but all we asked was that you would receive what we were offering to you, the unsearchable riches of Christ.  God ordained that it would be that way instead of you being in a movement where you had to work day and night to keep that organization going.  God has planned for your glory and your benefit that you would be a part of a worldwide fellowship where everything in heaven and earth is working to keep you going.  Paul said, “This is a mystery.”  The reason it is a mystery is because it is a miracle.  It produces a miracle life.  Where does that life come from?  People will listen to the simplest message you ever heard and all of a sudden something begins to happen in the process of time, and your understanding begins to change, and your outlook begins to change, and your attitude begins to change, and in the process of time you become a new creature in Christ Jesus.  The mystery is what is there about this simple message of the Gospel that can bring about a miraculous change like that?  When Jesus was trying to explain this change to people, He spoke of the parable of the sower and the seed, the seed sown in the ground producing a new life.  When the Gospel is sown in the hearts of those who hear it, it produces a new life that was not there before.  When they listen to the Gospel, the word of the truth of the Gospel settles down in their heart and produces a new life.  It doesn’t renovate the old life; it produces a new life that was never there before.  That is the miracle.  The reason Jesus used that illustration, and maybe you have never thought of this—in your garden every year, whether a flower garden, vegetable garden, or wheat field there is a miracle that takes place that you cannot explain.  Science with all their ingenuity cannot explain it.  All that they know is that some power beyond the comprehension of man transforms that dormant seed into that living vibrant wonderful something that it becomes.  Jesus said, when the seed of the truth of the Gospel, this message that God ordained before the world unto our glory, when that settles into a person’s heart, it brings forth the same miraculous change that takes place in your flower garden or vegetable garden or wheat field every year.  When Paul was writing his second letter to the Corinthians, in chapter 3, he said, we don’t need to carry about a pocketful of papers to prove we are the servants of God.  He didn’t put it in those words.  He said, “Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you,” because there were those going forth at that time presenting themselves as apostles of Christ, and they had a pocketful of papers to prove it, letters of recommendation and commendation, and this they felt was evidence of the fact that they were genuine ministers of Christ.  

Paul said such are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as the apostles of Christ.  If they had been true apostles of Christ, they would never have needed a pocketful of papers to prove their genuineness or that they were true servants of God.  Paul said we don’t need a pocketful of papers to prove we are the true servants of God.  To these Christians at Corinth he said, “You are our epistle.”  You are our letter of recommendation.  The fact that our message can produce converts like you, and can bring you into a heavenly fellowship that you are now enjoying, that is the proof the ordination of God is on this message.  On another occasion he said, “You are the proof of our apostleship.”  You are the seal of our apostleship, the fact that it can produce people like you.  If you want to know the miracle that took place at Corinth, look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and it will tell you the sordid background of those people at Corinth, but when Paul wrote this second letter, those people had now become new creatures, and that is why he said we don’t need a pocketful of papers to prove to the world that we are the genuine servants of Christ; you are our letter of recommendation.  When you think of the sad state you people were in when you obeyed the Gospel, but now you have been washed, and you have been sanctified, and you have been cleansed and have received the spirit of God, and now you are new creatures in Christ Jesus. You are God’s tillage, you are God’s temple, a wonderful change had taken place, a miracle that happened in their life, and when you see a miracle take place in the life of a person whose background is so far out, you understand it more fully.

I received a letter in the mail today with a convention picture in it, and on that picture was a young woman.  Five years ago when that young woman came to the Gospel meetings she was as far out in the hippie world as a person could possibly be - every evidence of dissipation.  She came to the Gospel meetings, and in the third meeting she professed.  She was desperate for help and she realized here is the life I am needing.  She was so happy over the change that took place in her life, we felt it was just emotional, or maybe it was an aftermath of the drugs she had taken, but no it wasn’t; she was genuinely happy that she had found the way out, a satisfaction for the first time in her life.  She had been only a few weeks professing when she offered for the Work, but we told her that in this ministry people prove this from every angle so that when they go out in this Work they can talk from the background of their own experience.  Jesus said, “We testify of that which we have seen,” we talk from the background of our own experience.  We said, “You experience this, you let God continue His work and later on we will talk about a place in the Work.”  Three years later we gave that girl a place in the Work.  This picture was taken at the convention.  It was taken at the end of her second year in the Work.  I saw her recently standing on a platform like this—no evidence of the past dissipation of her life, no marks to show anything had happened. The way she stood up, and the way she beamed, you would have thought she had grown up in the most godly home.  It is a comfort to us as God’s servants to know there is no one beyond the love of God and there is no one beyond the reach of the Gospel if a person is honest enough to accept it in their heart like in the case of those Corinthians.  When people come out of such a sordid background, the change is more outstanding and most noticeable.  This is what Nicodemus was talking about that night he came to Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God, for no one else can do the miracles that thou doest except God be with him.”  He was referring to the miracles he had seen that had taken place in the lives of those disciples.  He knew the Pharisee church could not do it.  Jesus did not have to tell him, like he told some of the Pharisees, they were like whited sepulchers.  He was using an illustration they could understand because people would from time to time whitewash the sepulchers to make them white and beautiful, but all it was doing was to cover up the fact that death and corruption were working on the inside.  When Jesus said, “Ye are like whited sepulchers which indeed appear beautiful unto men, but are within full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness,” He was saying, you are just like that, you are a sacrificial people and dedicated to your cause, and living up to the best of your ability to what you believe, but you are just putting whitewash on the surface.  You are not taking care of the dead corrupt condition inside of you.  Jesus did not have to tell Nicodemus that.  He already knew it.  When Nicodemus came to Jesus that night, it was with the question, “How can I get that miracle?”  Otherwise, the conversation would have been disjointed.  “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do the miracles that thou doesn’t except God be with him.”  And Jesus said, “Nicodemus, you must be born again.”  I believe Jesus saw in the heart of that man that night this great question, “How can I have that miracle in my life!”  Oftentimes men and women have come in contact with our brethren, maybe working with them, or neighbors to them, but they saw the miracle of God that had taken place in their lives.  And I could tell you tonight of a number who have come to us down through a period of time and asked us, “How can I get that same miracle in my life?”  I wonder if there is someone here tonight and that burning question is in your heart, and you are asking that question, “How can I get this miracle in my life?”  If that question is there, we want to assure you that this miracle is within the reach of you the same as anyone else.  You just honestly receive the seed and you will prove in your own experience, not from looking on others anymore, you will prove in your own experience that the ordination of God is behind this message and all the power of Heaven and earth is backing up that ordination.

May I speak to you about the ordained peace that God has planned for His people?  Isaiah 26:12, “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us, for thou also has wrought all our works in us.”  This emphasizes the fact that this peace that passeth all understanding is brought about by God working in us.  We have already told you about God putting into the heart of young people the same earnest care for perishing souls that He Himself has, God sowing into the hearts of men and women a seed that brings a miracle life, and the secret of that peace of God which passeth all understanding is made possible because of God working all our work within us.  There is a wonderful study about peace in this Book of Isaiah, and maybe some of our young workers would like to make a little study of them.  I always appreciated the older workers that came to us when I was a young worker and oftentimes dropped a little handful of purpose for my benefit.  They often said, “You take this now, and you go home and see what you can get out of it.  You make a study of it; you take it and make it your own.”  That helped me when I was a young worker, and I have found myself time and time again just suggesting, now this will be a good study for you.  There is so much mentioned about the peace of God in the Book of Isaiah.  We were hearing about Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  You put the government of your life on His shoulders and of that peace there will be no end.  You read of God leading His people in a way of peace—even in a world of violence on every side they go in perfect peace because they are walking in His way.  There are some wonderful things mentioned here in this Book of Isaiah about this peace that passeth all understanding.

This 12th verse explains how this is brought about.  It is God working within us.  Shall we connect that now with a verse in the New Testament, Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”  When you professed and first gave your life to the Lord, did you even have a hope that you could be enjoying what you are tonight?  You didn’t!  This is the only thing in the world that turns out to be more exceeding abundant than you hoped or thought, above all that we asked or thought, and so much better than we ever expected.  Think of anything else you turn your hand to—when the glamour wears off, you find it is not what you expected it to be.  This is so much better than we ever expected.  When I stood up in the meeting and gave my heart to God, I never dreamed, I never had the least idea I would be enjoying what I went on to enjoy.  When I left my home to go in the Work, I had no way of knowing what a glorious future God had planned for me, a future that turned out away beyond anything I ever thought could possibly be my portion.  This is the only thing that turns out to be better than we thought, and it is all made possible because of the God that is working in us.  When we let Him have His rightful way and accomplish His work, then this verse will be your reality.  Isaiah 32:17, “The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.”  It is so simple.  It is not a matter of attaining to some great scholastic standard, or to be able to pass some great IQ test or accomplish some great thing.  Just honestly turning your life over to Him, and trusting your life to His keeping.  Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”  If you do that, He will keep you in perfect peace, proving that this peace He offers to men and women is an ordained peace.  It’s a peace that the world cannot give and cannot take away.  All the power of heaven is behind that ordination.

I would like to read the next verse regarding an ordained future—1 Chronicles 17:9.  This is the Lord speaking. “Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place and shall be moved no more, neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more as at the beginning.”  I used to read that verse and think that it referred to the Promised Land and what God would do for them.  But one day it dawned on me, this promise was made to them years after they entered into the Promised Land, so I checked the dates in my Bible, and it was 409 years after they had entered into the Promised Land that God made this promise to them.  This was a promise that was in their future, and this is the promise God has made concerning your future.  God has ordained a place, a place that one day He wants you to finish up in, where you will move no more, and be wasted no more, and the enemies won’t bother you any more, and you will never know the falling of a teardrop, or an ache or a pain or any distress like that.  “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth.”  He created the Heaven first—a place in Heaven for you before He ever created the earth, or created man.  He had prepared for them that place.  Just like the offering in Leviticus 1—before that offering ever went on the altar, God had a clean place provided for the ashes after the sacrifice was consumed.  That clean place is just a little picture of the clean place that God has planned for you and me when our little sacrifice on earth is over: a place where there will be no more tears, no more sorrows, no more struggles and no more battles; all the former things will have passed away.  When Peter spoke of that, he said, it is an “inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and that passeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you.”  That is that clean place; that is the place God has ordained.  Four things cannot happen to it:  1) it cannot be corrupted; 2) it cannot be defiled; 3) it cannot fade; and 4) it cannot be taken away from you.  It is reserved for you who are kept by the power of God.  It is an ordained place.  All the power of Heaven and earth is at your disposal to help you finish triumphantly in the race, so that at the end of the journey you can end up in that ordained place.  This is the whole story of the Gospel. There are a lot of details that could be worked into the story.  This is the general skeleton or outline - the wonderful story of salvation that God has made possible and that is within the reach of everyone.

We would just like to close by assuring you that there is not a person in this meeting that is beyond the reach of anything we have been talking about in this meeting tonight.  This is something that is within the reach of all if you are honest enough to receive it into yourself and let God work as He wants to work in your life.  Then you will prove to your satisfaction the ordination of God is behind this, and all the power of heaven and earth is backing up that ordination.  It is something too good to miss, and I hope no one in this meeting will take any chance of missing it.