The Blank Check Of Generic Authority

Outline By: Brian A. Yeager



I. Introduction:

A. The word generic means: “having no particularly distinctive quality or application; not specific” (Webster).

1. Here is a complete list of the verses that talk about “Generic Authority”: (References are not missing, there simply are NONE).

a. I understand we have authority for expediencies (II Timothy 4:13).

b. However, the tool to use to carry out an instruction first requires there to be an instruction (I Chronicles 13:1-10; cf. I Chronicles 15:1-2).

c. Furthermore, an expedient must be something that is really necessary to carry out an instruction (Psalms 92:1; cf. Deuteronomy 31:19).

i. We’re commanded to sing (Colossians 3:16).

ii. We’re commanded to understand what we sing (Psalms 47:7 and I Corinthians 14:15).

iii. We’re commanded to sing from the heart (Ephesians 5:19).

iv. We are NOT commanded to sing on key or to have the right pitch!

2. Here is what man says is generic authority: “Jesus' commands both to "Go" and to "Teach" illustrate this principle of general authority.  Both command to do something, but many of the details are left to us.  For example, we are to "go", but it does not say how…” (

a. This is not true.  We are shown that we can:

i. Walk (Mark 1:16-17).

ii. Use modern transportation (Acts 20:1-17).

iii. Write (II Peter 3:1).

B. Similar false reasoning is used here: “There is general authority for the observance of the Lord's Supper either morning or evening or for both morning and evening. Some have demanded specific authority for having communion at the evening service as well as at the morning hour. Of course, there is none. But the authority is there just the same. By what reasoning can we conclude that there can be an assembly of any kind more than once on Sunday? By general authority. And in the same way there is authority for communion” (,11b.html)

i. We are only authorized to assemble on the first day of the week for the Lord’s Supper when we can do so “together” (Acts 20:7).

ii. When people are not present, we are told to wait for them (I Corinthians 11:23-33).

iii. While we see SPECIFIC authority to sing (James 5:13; cf. Psalms 149:5), pray (I Timothy 2:8), and teach (Acts 5:42) anywhere anytime; we have NO authority to serve or partake of the L.S. more than once (cf. Proverbs 30:5-6).

B. Why can’t people learn from the words of our Master (John 5:30, John 8:26, and John 12:49-50)?

1. Don’t we have everything, in writing, which the Lord wants us to do (Matthew 28:18-20, II Timothy 3:16-17, and II Peter 1:3)?

2. Doesn’t “whatsoever” mean everything (Colossians 3:17)?

3. Shouldn’t we stop thinking at a certain point (I Corinthians 4:6)?


II. Body: People sign the Lord’s name on all sorts of actions {not just checks either} that He has NOT authorized (Isaiah 30:1, Jeremiah 7:24, Jeremiah 7:30-31, and Mark 7:7-9).  Let’s consider a few modern examples of this as our study…

A. The false conclusion that “go & teach” allows human judgment on the method of teaching and also the setting leaves room for signing the Lord’s name to any way you want to teach (including entertainment, missionary societies, etc.):  (

1. The method [form; approach] is specific (I Corinthians 2:1-5, II Corinthians 3:12, I Timothy 1:3-7, II Timothy 4:1-5, Titus 2:1, Titus 2:15, etc.).

a. Can I be dishonest to get a Bible study [i.e. undercover preacher posing as a baseball coach just to get studies] (Romans 12:17; cf. II Corinthians 11:3)?

b. Does entertainment make Christians (John 6:26-27 and I Peter 1:23-25)?

2. The setting [place or soundings] is specific (Mark 16:15-16 and Acts 20:20).

a. Can I go into a strip club to preach to naked women (Psalms 101:3, Proverbs 7:4-10, Proverbs 7:22-23, and Matthew 5:27-30)?

b. Can I go into a bar and sit amongst alcohol to peach the Gospel (Proverbs 23:30-31 and I Thessalonians 5:22)?

B. The argument that Jesus and the Apostles “ate together”, Jesus fed people, thus the church should assemble for common meals.  Scriptures they twist: Matthew 12:1, Matthew 15:32-38, Mark 14:22, etc.).

1. First hint… The church didn’t exist so stop there (Matthew 16:18 and Acts 20:28).

2. Food is not part of our collective work (Romans 14:17).

3. Understanding the difference between the work of individuals and that of the collective body of Christ (I Corinthians 11:22; 34 and I Timothy 5:3-16).

a. Those in favor of “kitchens” (because Jesus ate) sure won’t use the same logic to build hotel rooms in meeting houses (cf. Matthew 26:45).

b. Sex is an authorized work of Christians (I Corinthians 7:1-5 and Hebrews 13:4), so why not “sex rooms”?

c. Fact: people reason themselves into what they want (I Samuel 15:10-15, I Samuel 15:22-23, and Proverbs 16:2).

C. When God hasn’t spoken He really has said NO (Acts 15:22-24)!

1. Unauthorized = strange (Leviticus 10:1-2).

2. How simple is this point (Numbers 9:1-9, Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, II Samuel 7:1-7, Romans 14:23, Ephesians 5:10, Colossians 3:17, I Thessalonians 5:21, and Revelation 22:18-19)?


III. Conclusion: Isaiah 8:20!



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© 2012 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain.  Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful!   Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies.  – Brian A. Yeager