Sunday, May 30, 2010

What A Mighty God We Serve

The power of God is not necessarily manifested in a process. God does not need to progress by steps or stages. He does not need to follow the course of nature. He has no need of experimental development.
His power is supernatural. It is miraculous.
Our God is a creator. He does not need something to create something.
By the power of His word He can speak life into existence.
By the power of His Word and His will, what did not exist becomes a material reality.
By the power of His word what is not becomes that which is.
Our faith must spring forth from this belief in the absolute ability of our God to do what is impossible with men.
Our God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we can think or ask.
He is God and there is none like Him. He has spoken and it will come to pass.

This “faith in God” is part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been called to be children of faith.
We have been called to believe in the miraculous power of God, doubting nothing.

Matthew 17:18-21
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

When the disciples came to a difficult case they were stopped by their unbelief. They allowed faith killing doubts to question whether or not God would do what they asked in this particular hard case.
What do we do when we come to a difficult time in our life? Do we believe God will do for us what He has promised and what He has done for others? Or, do we allow questions and doubts to kill our faith?
Will he heal me? Will He protect me? Will He answer this prayer? Will He meet my need in this situation?
One of the biggest hindering thoughts which Satan has ever put into the minds of God’s children is this: “If it be the will of God.”
We know God is able and we do not doubt His power; yet, we question His will for us in this circumstance.

Matthew 21:21-22
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith , and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

What limitation does Jesus put upon our asking? What did He mean by “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”? Has our faith in God been affected and diminished to where we believe that God can but doubt that He will? What benefit do we have in believing that God can and yet doubt that He will? Even the devils believe and tremble.

Acts 6:7-8
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith .
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

I believe that the church will increase and the number of disciples will increase when we get the victory over doubt. When we have the testimony that we are “full of faith and power, doing great wonders and miracles among the people” then the world will take notice that we have been with Jesus.

Acts 11:22-24
22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

Notice the same report we have repeated here, “he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people were added unto the Lord.” He that winneth souls is wise.” And, the converse is also true, if you are not wise, you will not win souls. Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. How often have we used knowledge in a wrong way? How often have we failed to know how to do the right thing at the right time?

Acts 16:4-5
4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

For the third time we have a definite connection between the growth of the church and the foundation of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11:6
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The child of God must come to God in faith with a clear conscience gained by faithful obedience.
We must have confidence in the will of God to supply all the needs of His children.
We must believe that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

So, can we identify a problem in this day in which we live? I do believe that we can.
It is the influence of the religious spirit which has come upon all men, both saints and sinners, to lean upon the arm of man instead of the arm of God. There is a religious spirit which has hindered our faith by causing us to believe that God wants us to help ourselves and take care of ourselves to the extent that we do not need the intervention of God so much today.

This religious spirit has bred an “air” of independence. It is contrary to the essential “breath” of God which is the Holy Spirit sent to minister to our every need. We discussed this in our Wednesday night Bible study. We believe that it is the air that causes salt to lose it savour. There is an important symbolic message in this short allegory.

Matthew 5:13
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Mark 9:50
50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Colossians 4:6
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt , that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

When salt is exposed to the air for a significant period of time it will oxidize and lose much of its saltiness. Oxidation is the loss of electrons. Reduction is the gain of electrons. In this short allegory, Jesus has once again warned man of adding to or subtracting from the Word of God. This spiritual air has caused some people to lose some of their spiritual electrons; while others have added some spiritual electrons to provide additional safeguards against the influence of the world.

Oxidation and reduction pertains to the results not the agent. Air is the agent; oxidation is the result. The use of the word “air” in some of these important passages is defined as having these implications: power, to breathe, by analogy to blow, an inanimate breeze; by implication of reduction of temperature by evaporation, i.e. to chill.

Yes, there has been a strong spiritual air which has chilled the church. People have lost their first love. They have neglected the brotherly love and kindness which is essential for unity. They have followed after the administration of men rather than the administration of the Holy Spirit. They have usurped the authority and leadership of the Head of the Church because they have been taught to believe that God will use them to minister according to their knowledge of the word rather than according to the anointing and leadership of the Holy Spirit. They have forgotten the counsel that the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.

Ephesians 2:1-3
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

James 1:19-20
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Revelation 16:17-18
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

Before the third and final great earthquake will come to pass, the Seventh Trumpet Angel must pour out his vial into the air. This religious spirit which has affected the church during the Seventh Seal silence must be identified and exposed before the church can regain the victory, glory and power with God which was enjoyed in the First Seal and Sixth Seal period of time.

Let us arise and prepare ourselves to be used of God according to His divine plan which has been prophesied in the scriptures. God is searching the world and the hearts of men and women, looking for humble, faithful, obedient and tender hearted people who will travail for children to be born into the family of God.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

95 Theses

I have posted a total of 95 theses which outline my current place in the race of eternal life. You may read each one by selecting the month and thesis title. My computer is in the repair shop and I may pause for a few days. I invite your comments and probably understand why most readers want to remain anonymous. I appreciate all the encouraging remarks. May God bless each of you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our Time Has Come

Our time has come! The Apostle Paul said, “It is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Let us read the context in which these words are found in the scriptures.

Romans 13:10-14
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

I believe that there are many people who may know the dictionary definition of love and do not know how to live according to the law of love. Under the claim of a love for God, many people dishonor one another. When we allow the lusts of the flesh to prevent us from doing the will of God, we will be lost. It is needful and right for us to take care of our family and provide for the needs of home. However, when we go beyond our needs and consume our time and energy on pleasing the flesh instead of consecrating ourselves to the work of the Kingdom of God, we have become selfish.

Matthew 13:24-30
24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

There is a time to sow and a time to harvest. We know that it is always time to sow. While time remains we must labor to sow the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes the discernment and participation of the Holy Spirit to know the time of harvest. There have been many unwise workers who have sown the good seed and demand an immediate reaping of fruit. They do not allow time for the seed to take root and bring forth evidence of life.

Matthew 26:18
And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

The time had come for Christ to give His life a ransom for the souls of mankind. It is God who appoints the time for all things. It is not in our power to dictate the time for anything. We must wait on God. We must wait for His time and His command to do this and that.

Mark 1:14-15
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

There is a fulfillment of time. There is a time and season for all things. Jesus did things in the order of God’s time. He did not do things by Himself or without the knowledge of Father’s timing. Neither can we do any good thing except it be according to the right time as determined by the Father.

Mark 13:30-37
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 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 porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

There are certain things which must happen before Jesus Christ comes back to receive His Bride, the church of God. All prophecy must be fulfilled. All prophecy will be fulfilled according to the right time as determined by the Father. The Seventh Trumpet angel must sound his message. The Seven Vials must be poured out. The greatest spiritual revival which the world has ever known must take place. All these things which are prophecies in the Word must occur before the second coming of Christ. When Christ comes He will find certain people sleeping and unprepared to meet Him, for so it is prophesied of that day.

Luke 9:51-52
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

This great Ascension which is recorded in the book of Acts, did not take place until it was time. According to the plan of God, there first had to be a death and a resurrection. There must also have been the witnessing of many people of meeting the resurrected Christ. All these things must happen and they did happen. According to the fulfillment of time, Jesus went to Jerusalem to be crucified. According to the prophecies and fullness of time, He was betrayed, crucified, resurrected and ascended to return to the Father. All these things happened according to the timing of God.

Luke 12:56-57
Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

People profess to know what the time for many things. Often they are wrong. They do not know the time of their own salvation. They fail to recognize the urgency of this present time in which we now live and prove their faith and devotion to God.

John 7:6
Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

Our time is always ready. Right now is the time to obey God and do the right thing. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the time which has been given to us to prove our faith in God. Today is the day in which we must work for Christ. If we miss it today, we may miss it forever.

Luke 19:44
And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

How sad it is when people do not recognize the workings of God in their day. The Holy Spirit speaks to them and they do not know that they have been visited by the Holy Spirit of God. They did not know His voice or the things which He spoke. Because of their preconceived beliefs and their religious agenda, they refused the Spirit of Truth.

John 16:1-4
These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.

The purpose of prophecy is to cause us to see that God is faithful to bring to pass all those things which He has spoken. Not one promise or prophecy will fail to be fulfilled. When you see things happen according to the written word of the scriptures, it ought to inspire your faith in God.

2 Timothy 4:1-5
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Are we not living in a day when people will not endure sound doctrine? People will follow some man rather than follow Christ. People will believe some preacher rather than the Word of God. People will listen to many voices in their mind, but not the voice of the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 4:16-19
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Obedience to godly principles must begin with us. People need to see holiness in us. They need to witness the love of God in us. They must see the brotherly love which we have for one another. God forbid that the world see strife and division, biting and devouring in the church of God.

Revelation 22:10-13
And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

In Revelation chapter 22, God is speaking to us about the end of all things. The time will come when God will say, “It is done.” Time shall be no more. The end of all things is at hand. Judgment day has come, time will end and all souls will pass into the realm of eternity. Every person will be rewarded according to the deeds done in this body. But before that final day, there must first come the fulfillment of all prophecy including the prophecies of the Seventh Trumpet and Seventh Seal age.

Revelation 10:7-11
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

Before the conclusion of all time and events, the Seventh Trumpet angel will minister “to many peoples, and nations, and tongues and kings.” Before the day of judgment, the prophecy which said, “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great…” must come to pass. Since the time of 1930, which is commonly held to be the beginning of the opening of the Seventh Seal and the silence which followed, who can say that such a spiritual earthquake has taken place? Who can say that this gospel message of holiness, living free from all sin, has been taken to many people, nations, tongues and kings?

Do you know what time it is? Who has told you what time it is? Did they know? Does their words agree with the prophecies of the whole truth as set forth in the Word of God? We do know that it is “high time” to wake up from the sleepy, lukewarm, Laodicean time in which we live.

I pray: “Lord, wake us up.” Trim your lamp. Hear the voice of the Bridegroom. Go forth to meet Him.

Matthew 10:16-28
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Judgment vs Standard

Anonymous said...
I feel for you but you aren't the first person that has been treated this way and won't be the last. During my lifetime I have observed many happenings in this group and I see history repeat itself over and over again. As a results the COG as I knew it has gotten smaller and smaller and each "little group" thinks they are the "big it". I hate to be that blunt and simple and am not being disrespectful but this is fact in a nutshell. Peace to you and yours.

Jim Storts said:
Quote: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

I know that I am not the first or the last to suffer the persecution which follows false accusations. However, I feel very strongly that I should break the silence which I have kept for three years. Considering the decision of the ministry to "shelve" the issue and leave it in God's hands; I feel strongly that the universal church needs to be aware of the sleepy, lukewarm spirit which has affected our fellowship and our dis-fellowship for many years. If it was just about me, I would shut up and live my life. God has blessed me and He continues to bless me. I have a great job, a nice home and a loving family. I am only two years away from retirement at 66, and I am very healthy. It would be easy to just give in to the flesh and let everybody choose their own way without any remarks from me. I do not believe that is what God wants me to do. I will cry aloud and do my best to preach the gospel of holiness, righteousness, mercy and JUDGMENT. By "judgment" I do not mean condemnation as some have exercised themselves. I mean to lift up the STANDARD of righteousness which is the JUDGMENT of God and not man. We have too much of men's judgment and not enough Holy Ghost discernment which can only be produced by a personal, consecrated relationship with Christ.

There is a very important point which I stated in the response above. I want to bring your attention to this point. Due to the sleepiness which came upon all the members of all the congregations of the church of God (in the half hour of silence at the opening of the Seventh Seal), the enemy sowed some tares among the wheat. Many have misunderstood the meaning and application of “judgment.” Instead of upholding the “standard” of holiness, which standards are the righteous principles of God, they have proceeded to condemn those whom they have judged to be disrespectful of their rule, their authority and their interpretations of doctrine. Hence, they have cut off and shun those who disagree with them. The group with which I had fellowship condemns the leaders of the other groups. The leaders of the other groups condemn those in my group. There have been a few ministers in these various groups who have endeavored for unity and a reconciliation of the ministers and saints. These gentle spirit ministers who have labored in love to heal divisions have been suppressed. The ministers who refuse reconciliation are adamant in their stand as they claim to be the champions of truth. I do not condemn those who have condemned me. I pray for their awakening.

The disciples asked Jesus if He wanted them to pull up and destroy the tares. His response was “No!” He told them that if they tried to pull up the tares, they would also pull up the wheat. Jesus told them to let both grow together until the time of harvest. There comes a time when every person produces the fruit which identifies himself. We must wait patiently and with confidence that the Holy Spirit will uncover and expose and purge all things that are contrary to truth and them that are rebellious. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.” The problem in the church is on this very point: Ministers have erred in judgment when they acted unwisely and condemned souls before the Holy Spirit proved all things.

It is a serious matter to condemn a person who is claiming to be a child of God. In the absence of a preponderance of the evidence of sin, men and women must refrain from condemnation. 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Satan is subtle. He will push and pull. If you do not have a firm hold of the truth, you may stumble and err in judgment.

Until we can truly come to the place where we trust and wait upon the Lord, we will stumble and err in personal judgment. Our duty and responsibility is to teach, teach, teach. Do not be weary in well doing. Be patient and longsuffering. We are not being ecumenical when we wait on the Holy Spirit to give someone a revelation of truth. We are not being guilty of compromise when we are longsuffering with someone who has not the same understanding we have received. It is not necessary to accept a person’s doctrine to accept their testimony of salvation. Remember the administration of trust and patience when Apollos was heard preaching the gospel without perfect understanding: “whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”

Pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will help ministers learn to trust in the divine government of the church. Jesus is still able to save and separate. We can do neither one without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Just because your intentions are good, does not mean that your methods are good.

Ask yourself this question and let the Holy Spirit answer it for you: Are you judging and condemning or are you lifting up the standard of holiness? Let brotherly love continue.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Departure From COG Knoxville

There have been numerous requests concerning my relationship with the Church of God of Knoxville. I have no fellowship with the congregation and I only visit there infrequently, e.g. camp meetings and revivals. After my departure from the congregation in October 2007, I did return in 2008 and endeavored for several months to re-establish fellowship and was rejected again. The following letter was written to Robin Thames who is now the appointed pastor of the congregation.

Thursday October 18, 2007

Dear Elder Robin Thames,

I am writing to you because you said last night that you would not have any spiritual discussion with me except that I come to the altar in complete and humble submission to your charge that I am a sinner before God, you and the congregation. You stated that you would not accept my testimony of salvation, you would not call me brother and you would counsel the congregation to not call me brother.

In the last two weeks, you left two voice messages on my answering machine telling me that you would get with my wife and I and you would make inquiry of the facts so that you could make an informed judgment. YOU DID NOT DO THIS.

You told me two or three times, in person, that we would get together and talk so that I could share my defense with you. YOU DID NOT DO THIS.

Last Sunday morning, I went to the altar and before witnesses gave you my assurance that I would submit to you as my pastor and that I would follow your counsel. I had no doubt that you were placed by God as the pastor of the congregation. I informed you that I was willing to follow your counsel regarding my burden for Africa. You said that you would accept my testimony of salvation, even though you would wait to prove all things before publicly acknowledging my salvation. Again, you stated that we would get together and talk. You said that as an insurance adjuster you had been trained to investigate the facts. YOU DID NOT DO THIS.

The Bible teaches us how that a man of God will handle matters of disobedience and controversy. Deuteronomy 17:4, “And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:” YOU DID NOT DO THIS.

It would be a gross perversion of justice if a civil judge were to hear only the statements of the prosecution; then give his judgment and sentence without hearing the statements of the defense. You repeatedly gave your word that you would not be hasty; yet when you were pressed in the battle, you gave in to the spirit of haste. After our conversation at the altar on Sunday morning, you had counsel with Sister Theresa Storts and Sister Denise Nyenhuis. In the next service, Sunday night, you denounced me as a sinner.

In the last two services you have devoted the entire service to the subject of excommunicating me from the Church of God of Knoxville and the family of God. You have threatened dire consequences if I fail to submit to your authority. I am greatly disappointed and sad to inform you that I can not accept you as one who is hearing the Holy Spirit. I believe that you are being influenced by the full report of my opposers. I do not believe you are being led by the Word and the Spirit. Not one time have you talked with me and made inquiry into this situation. You have not kept the Word of God, nor have you kept the words you spoke to me at the altar on last Sunday morning.

In reference to my tithes and offerings, they will no longer be given to this congregation. Four weeks ago, God impressed me to send my tithes and offerings to Africa to meet a special urgent need. I felt that it was a temporary command for the need then present. Last Sunday morning I put my tithes into the congregation’s collection. I informed you, at the altar, that I would bring all of my tithes and offerings into the congregation’s treasury. I was willing to submit my giving to the mission of preaching the gospel in Africa to your judgment. Your decision to excommunicate me from the fellowship of the congregation and to identify me as a sinner annuls that decision and reinstates my commitment to send my tithes and offerings to Africa. I have not robbed God and I will not rob God. This congregation robbed God by removing [my] access to $100,000.00 which was donated to the exclusive use of preaching the gospel in Africa.

It is my humble prayer: “O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” May God have mercy on all those who exercise judgment with respect of persons and fail to make faithful and diligent inquiry in all the matters of judgment.

Respectfully and in Love,
Brother Jim Storts
Since I have left the COGK congregation, I have visited several congregations. Contrary to popular false statements, I have not “joined Babylon.” As one COG minister frequently stated, “I am looking for people who either are holy or want to be holy.” One pastor who frequently attended the COGK congregation services and was strongly impressed with our standard and doctrine, after hearing from me and others in the COGK congregation remarked that he thought he was more church of God than the COGK congregation. He had read the books by D.S.Warner, F.G.Smith, Riggle, Byrum, etc. and he was able to discern the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness.

I want to be part of that portion of the ten virgins who heard the trumpet, trimmed their lamps and prepared themselves to meet the Bridegroom. And if He tarries, I want to be faithful in the harvest of souls until He calls me home.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Need of Nothing

Some ministers believe and teach that the Church of God is at its apex of glory in its present day condition. I see the church in great need of being awakened out of a sleepy and lukewarm condition. Consequently, many ministers have cast me off from their fellowship saying that I discourage the people and teach a false doctrine. They teach that the next great event in the affairs of the church is the imminent return of Jesus Christ to receive His Bride and present Her to the Father. I believe that there is yet in the future of the church the Seventh Seal Earthquake and sounding of the Seventh Trumpet. (Neither of these two positions should be a “test of fellowship”.) I believe that the church of God is in need of revival. She needs to be stirred up to consecrate Herself to the work of saving souls. Others preach that She has need of nothing.

Revelation 3:17, “ Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

There is a great danger to those who think that they “have need of nothing.” The Greek word “chreia” which is translated into the English word “need” conveys the thought of a lacking and a necessity. It is vital to our relationship with Jesus Christ to recognize that although He has chosen us unto salvation and blessed us with His grace and knowledge, we still have need of Him in so many ways.

When Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized, John was more cognizant of his need of Christ than Christ’s need of John. When Jesus came to John, there is no indication that John felt exalted because of his opportunity to serve God in this special deed. He said to Christ, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”

Let us search the scriptures for understanding. Let us examine our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to shine the candle of the Lord upon our attitudes and actions to see that area of need which can only be supplied by the help of the Holy Spirit. Salvation will meet and satisfy our needs as they are illuminated by the Holy Spirit. However, we do not ever achieve that spiritual plateau where we have “need of nothing.” Jesus told His disciples in Luke 15:7, “ I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” It is a wonderful condition and relationship with Christ where we can humbly and confidently say that we “need no repentance.” Yet, we must continually be aware of our necessity for more grace and knowledge and wisdom.

It is the greatest of blessings to be saved from all sin and made joint heirs with Christ Jesus. We have been adopted into the family of God. We are part of the Body of Christ. Although we are part of the Body, we are not the whole Body. We have need of all the other members of the Body. It is a serious and deathly condition when one member says to another, “I have no need of thee.” 1 Corinthians 12:21, “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”

It is not a sin to have a need. It is not a sin to recognize that we must increase in an area of our life to which the Holy Spirit is directing our attention.

Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God wants to show your need to you so that you can pray and ask God to meet that need. You have not because you ask not. It is possible to be so blind to your need that you think that you “have need of nothing.” Pride admits no need. Love takes pleasure in supplying every need.

Our point of connection with Christ Jesus is when we recognize our need. We need Jesus! We need the Holy Spirit. We need an increase in our souls. We need the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We need divine leadership and guidance. We need to examine ourselves. We need to pray for one another. We need to love one another and let brotherly love continue. We need to be united in true Christian fellowship. We need the presence of the power of God to heal and restore. We need more faith. We need more consecration to suffer the crucifixion of the flesh and dedication to the saving of souls. We need more love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Judgment Gone Awry

A brother has responded to my blog with a measure of kindness and a measure of unkindness. I like to think that he meant well. However, there is an error in his response which is all too common in the relationships between God’s children in this present church age. This method of communication and administration, having a mixed multitude of ideas some good and some bad, is the common mode of operation with many ministers and saints. It is one of the paramount blemishes of a congregation and ministry suffering from the influence of spiritual lukewarmness. In large parts we have obtained godly wisdom and understanding and yet in very significant areas we have been hindered by the fleshly mind of man. God is not pleased with this lack of Holy Ghost control in the affairs of the church.

James 3:10-18, “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Follow with me as we examine the words of our dear brother who sincerely wants to help by sharing his opinion. His words are presented in bold type and my comments are in normal type.

Anonymous said...
Bro. Storts I am truly sorry to hear what has happened to you. Injustice should be repugnant to every saint of God. (I honestly believe he is sympathetic to my difficult trial). To hear your side of the story is quite enlightening. (A point of view which seems to be largely affected by the position from which it is observed.) What a sad day this is. To see the inner workings of this group of ministers exposed should make us weep. (Unfortunately, there will be some who read my reports and think that I am seeking revenge against those who have opposed me and falsely accused me. I have no desire to condemn my accusers nor judge them as being sinners, lost without the grace and mercy of God. These things have been done by sleepy people. The undesirable actions of a sleepy person ought to be dealt with in mercy and longsuffering. To be mistaken with no ill intent is not equal to being rebellious. God knows the hearts of all men and He knows if there was evil or disobedience in the heart of any person. I do not profess to make that judgment. I wish that all those who believe that I was falsely accused would reserve their judgment until God reveals and uncovers all things. Judge nothing before the time. Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. The ministry in this fellowship are not the only ministers of our day who have erred in the judgment of some matter. Perhaps Brother Anonymous is part of a fellowship which is comprised of individuals who have erred in like manner in some other controversy.) How can you execute this type of backroom, underhanded judgment and have God favor? You know it time to expose it for what it really is, "MAN RULE". (Can a child of God fall into temptation and act unwisely without being guilty of willful sin and rebellion? Satan is walking to and fro in the whole earth seeking whom he may catch in his crafty snares. The Word of God teaches us that in this Evening Time of the gospel days we will live in perilous times. Speaking of the universal church in the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus said “they all slumbered and slept.” Could that include us? Could that include you, my dear brother? Are we willing to leave judgment and condemnation in the hands of the Head of the church until he uncovers and makes evident the hearts of men?)

It really puts you in the mind of political posturing. This is not the first time they (and others) have acted in this manner nor will it be the last. How many lives and fellowships have been ruined because of misguided ministers? (This is true, but many ministers in various groups will share in the responsibility for these misguided actions. I submit to you that no group of ministers has been free of misguided actions. They all slumbered and slept. I have been mistaken. I would think that you dear brother have been mistaken.)

"Woe be unto the pastor who scatter and destroy my sheep". If the saints only knew what went on in these minister meetings. They would be appalled. (Yes, minister’s meetings ought to be so saturated with prayer and fasting that no flesh would glory in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Are there any minister’s meetings like that? Allowing for the absence of sin and ill will, is the divine anointing and inspiration of the Holy Spirit not found in these meetings? Do we find ministers demanding conformance by decree rather than by a holy love of truth?)

The bible says, "they that rule over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." Not in the fear of your brethren. This group uses false accusations to destroy anyone that gets in their way or their narrow understanding of what they consider the church of god stands for.

Respect of persons and backroom wheeling and dealing is rampant with this group. Where is the respect for the truth? You know if they will deal with ministers this way, the poor saints don't stand a chance.
(My dear brother, you have just descended into the pit of human reason which speaks not the wisdom of God but the wisdom of man. I earnestly desire to help saints and ministers see the error of condemning one another without knowing the hearts of those whom they judge to be sinners and destroyers. Please guard your heart against evil surmising and do not bite and devour one another.)

Anonymous said...
Brother Storts, I am truly sorry for the havoc that has been wreaked on your family and former congregation. (This may or may not be the same brother who wrote the preceding comments. He does sound like the first brother whose comments we have already addressed.) But I am even more sorry for the Ministers that railroaded you into saying you'd sinned, when according to your testimony, you had not.
Additionally, I am even more sorry for the ministers that saw the injustice, inequity, unfairness and the sheer wrong in all of this and stood by and did nothing for the sake of "unity with the brethren". (I admit that I do not understand their decision to allow the matter to be set aside. Once again, it could very well be credited to the influence of our lukewarm day wherein we have not had wise examples of how to address controversy among the ministry.) Well, who wants to be unified with a group like that? That sees wrongs being commited but for "unity's" sake goes along with the wrong. (We should not endeavor to be part of a group, but to be part of the body of Christ. A child of God never wants to be part of a group that is out of order with God. The ministers and saints who comprise the group you have judged may not understand how to correct what has been done. Some of them may not even think that anything wrong has been done.) I once heard a pastor say:"if you dont reprove wrong, wrong will reprove you". Well, that is what happened to you, brother Storts. I believe there were many times when you saw incorrect, false or unjust judgements being laid down by the likes of Bro. Spanogle, Bro. Ingley, Bro. Tanner and a host of others( though, some of these are no longer among you). But for the sake of "unity with the brethren" you did nothing to prevent,reprove or correct the injustice that was being done, even though you were in a position to do so. (This thing that this sympathetic brother has just done is the very problem which ministers and saints struggle with today in not waiting on the Holy Spirit. This dear brother has just judged and condemned me of willful sin. He does not know my heart. He thinks I am responsible for not doing something which he is sure I should have done. Evidently, he is not part of this group that he is condemning and yet he knows what I have done, should have done and didn’t do in meetings which he did not personally attend. This is a mystery to me. Why do people make important decisions concerning the fellowship of the church of God with so little information and understanding of what has happened? I believe that there are many ministers who do not have faith in the Lordship and Headship of Jesus Christ. This “Vicar of Christ” spirit is too strong in the church.) So then, these particular chickens that you helped to hatch have come home to roost. I'm sorry, Brother Stort, I know this isn't what you want to hear but it needs to be said. Philospher, Edmund Burke once said: "evil will prevail, when good men do nothing". You, Brother Storts, were one of those good men. (This brother is saying that I am reaping division because I sowed division. This is a false accusation. I am shocked at the strength of his conviction and the weakness of his supporting data. There seems to be no need of inquiry on his part. He already knows all he needs to know to judge me as being guilty of various injustices.) I would never again be in league with such a group of men. I saw terms like "man rule, injustice, misguided ministers, pope spirits" to quote just a few from this blog. All of which are fitting. (Yes they are fitting in describing the conduct of certain people. However, righteous caution must keep us from judging another person’s soul. Ministers can be mistaken without being evil.) Paul said "consider what I say and the Lord give thee understanding". Even though you are no longer pastoring, I hope that at least your marriage and family has been restored to some degree of normalcy and that you will stay saved and follow God's leading. Above all, please keep up a constant fight against the spirit of bitterness, which will continually try to enter your heart. Once that happens, the Devil has truly won. Dont let him. May God bless you and your family. (I really do appreciate the sympathy of the brother and I honestly believe that he is sincere in his expression. It is so sad to witness this mixed multitude of good and bad. I believe that it is probable that this is a minister brother who is making these statements. How can the church of God in America recover from this devouring spirit?)

God help us. Save us from ourselves before we consume one another. Pray Saints, pray for the ministry. Pray for me. Pray for one another. Pray that the Holy Spirit can move upon a large number of ministers who could come together in humility, righteousness and mercy, endeavoring for in the unity of the Spirit for the unity of the faith.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Politics in the Church

Anonymous said... Thank you for your detailed answer. It would seem that you have shifted ground on the essential of two works of grace. Are you now reaching out to those who hold to one work as the Newark God's Acres group?

Anonymous said... Not sure what your response is all about. Stop acting like a politician and make your words plain. I thought it was a simple question to your statements and position you now seem to have taken. In the past you have taken a very strong stand against any who stood against two works of grace. If you still hold to two works of grace as a doctrine and not a dogma please make that plain.

Jim Storts said: There is an obvious argumentative tone in your words. Jesus taught, by example, that it is best not to debate with people who are trying to identify every body with some group tag. Jesus taught righteous principles to those who were seeking for truth, not those who were trying to catch Him in some contradiction of scriptures. The attitude and position you seem to have is the very obstacle I am trying to warn people about. Too many people try to categorize someone as being in or out of a particular group before they can decide whether or not they will accept their testimony of being saved. I wish that I could visit with you personally to explore whether or not we could have a charitable conversation. It might be difficult for you to accept me as being a child of God if I don't convince you that we are in full agreement on all the issues which concern you. The fact that I am living free from sin and you do not have a valid sin charge against me, might not be enough for you to believe that I am justified. I don't believe that you know me very well; and yet, you are accusing me of "acting like a politician". I am sure many accused Jesus of avoiding issues and acting like a sorcerer. Be careful of drawing conclusions with insufficient data.

Speaking of “politicians,” let us consider the conduct of politicians and the forums in which they operate. A politician is someone who is actively engaged in the government of a society or body of people. As the church goes, so goes the nation. The United States of America has sunk into immorality and rebellion against God because the pastors of congregations have failed to stand for righteousness. A majority of pastors have excused error, sin and the works of the flesh, because it pleased the people to have it their own way. What we see taking place in the political arena, our congressional assemblies, is also mirrored in religious assemblies. We are no longer “one nation, united under God.” Men have taken control of religious assemblies, governing according to their own precepts. They have usurped the authority which belongs solely to Christ. These men and women endeavor to govern both the church and the nation by their individual and personal standard rather than the standard of the New Testament Church of God.

Many politicians pursue their personal agenda by alienating one group against another. Have we not witnessed this same conduct in the church? This sectish, political maneuvering originated in the pew and pulpit and then migrated into our nations governmental bodies. Beware, this spirit has not been purged from every congregation or group. I have been shocked to encounter it in places so unexpected. I fear that some congregations are so fragmented by mistrust it may not be possible to gather these congregations into a unified fellowship. It is my earnest, daily prayer that a few faithful ministers from these separate groups would come together with brotherly love and resolve to overcome the spirit which has scattered God’s people. I tried and I was crucified. Some ministers do not want to turn loose of their governmental control of congregations and trust Jesus to protect and purge the church.

In response to Mr. Anonymous’ question about two works of grace. There are ministers who teach that full salvation is obtained by the experience of two distinct and separate cleansings. The first being termed “justification”, and the second being termed “sanctification.” The first cleansing is accomplished by contrition, confession, repentance and pardon. A person becomes justified before God by faith and by accepting the shed blood of Jesus Christ as remittance for past, personal sins. The first cleansing is effective when Jesus Christ becomes the sacrifice for one’s sins. The second cleansing is effective when the convert presents his own self (having been cleansed, made whole, pure and without blemish) as a sacrifice dedicated and consecrated to the service and glory of God. The doctrine of a second work of grace is supported by many types and shadows in the Old Testament and by many exhortations in the New Testament.

At what point does a person become a born again, child of God and enjoy the sweet fellowship of the church of God? Does fellowship begin with justification, or is a person excluded until they prove to others that they understand and possess the experience of sanctification? Does the Head of the Family of God permit the children to judge one another as being heirs of the grace of God? Are the children told to endeavor in the unity of the Spirit until they come to the unity of the faith?

Let me now speak of those who hold that all sin, including the sinful nature, is cleansed and purged in the same instant of saving grace. It seems unreasonable to believe that an all-powerful and holy God would need two cleansings to remove all sin and fully restore the penitent sinner. Many scriptures support the belief that a person can not be filthy and clean at the same time. Does God cleans away the reproach of sin in degrees? Do you also withhold fellowship until a person proves that he understands and agrees with your interpretation and application of the works of justification and sanctification?

So, here we have a controversy in doctrine. How do we handle the matter? Do we separate people into groups? Those who have been born again and understand one way are put into one group; and, those who have been born again and understand another way are put into a different group. The ministers and saints of the church of God in the Laodicean church age have come to judge one another, condemn one another and form groups which identify those who agree with the several leaders of the groups. We all stand and shout that “MY WAY IS GOD’S WAY!”

But I ask you: who is manifesting the virtues and attributes of the Holy Spirit as instructed by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-26, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Oh precious soul, I challenge you to search out the meaning of the “love” of God. The love of God is not permissive of sin and heresy. But neither is it hasty to judgment and evil surmising. I challenge you to seek God’s grace to manifest the love of God as Jesus Christ did when He met with those who did not understand His gospel. Recognize the important difference he made between His accusers and fault finders and those who honestly did not know the difference between right and wrong or the perfect will of God. You will not be able to do these things without the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is not in man to direct his own steps.

I know that people in every group will emphatically claim that they have done everything right. But the people of God are not divided and scattered when everything is done right. The children of God are scattered by the rule of men, who are sincerely standing for what they believe to be right, and yet they have not the discernment and anointing of the Holy Spirit. The disagreements are not the principal issue. The principal issue is the lukewarm love we have manifested to those who disagree with us. Many of us have unwittingly believed that our adamant stand and defense of the truth is justification for our decision to judge one another as heretics. In this sleepy, lukewarm spiritual condition we have fulfilled the scripture: “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”

Once again I sound this sober warning to the Seventh Seal Church, to the Seventh Trumpet Church, to the Laodicean church which sit under the judgment of the Seven Vials:

Revelation 3:15-22, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Them Which Cause Division

Romans 16:17-20, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

There are those men who have “caused” divisions and created groups. As time passes converts are brought into these groups. Afterwards, there are those who come, repent of sin, walk in the light they receive and sit under the influence of the group without knowledge of the original “offences” contrary to the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Thus we find that there are innocent people in various groups which do not understand the “cause” of division.

What shall we say then: has the church of God been corrupted? NO! The church of God is not defined by the boundaries of a group. The church of God can not be corrupted, because Her Husband, Jesus Christ, will not allow Her to be defiled. There are people who claim to be citizens of the United States of America, but in fact they are enemies of our nation. There are people who claim to be church of God, but if they have become guilty of sin, then they are not part of the church of God. Just because someone ministers or attends a congregation, an assembly of the church of God, that does not make them church of God. Not every one who says, “Lord, Lord” will enter into the glorious church of God. Those who out of a pure heart manifest the fruit of the Spirit, these are the children of God.

I am a part of the church of God, not by men’s criteria for membership, but by virtue of a holy life obtained by the grace of God. I have repented, confessed and forsaken, of all my sins. I have been obedient to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I keep His commandments. I love the brethren. I desire fellowship with all those who are likeminded with Christ. I love those who have falsely accused me and cast me out of their midst. I do not judge them or condemn them. I do not understand why they did what they did; but I do know that there is nothing impossible with God. I pray for a reconciliation with all those whose hearts are pure, free from pride and rebellion. I pray for the ministry, that they may overcome the causes of division and be united in truth and righteousness.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Anonymous Response 5-14-2010

I do believe that the following response from an anonymous reader was written with a pure heart and with good intentions. However, there is a certain measure of injustice in the judgment which he passes against me. This false accusation is found in the statement: “I believe there were many times when you saw incorrect, false or unjust judgments being laid down… But for the sake of "unity with the brethren" you did nothing to prevent, reprove or correct the injustice that was being done, even though you were in a position to do so.” The reality is that I did not understand the workings of the spirit of division and lacking this essential understanding, wisdom and Holy Ghost discernment, I was incapable of doing anything about it. I was under the influence of a sleepy, lukewarm spiritual condition just like the ones who have falsely condemned me. When I began to realize my sleepy condition and began to “toss and turn” in my Laodicean bed, I was condemned for disturbing the peaceful sleep of 0thers. My duty is to cry aloud so that honest, humble individuals may be awakened to righteousness and sin not.

Anonymous said...
Brother Storts, I am truly sorry for the havoc that has been wreaked on your family and former congregation. But I am even more sorry for the Ministers that railroaded you into saying you'd sinned, when according to your testimony, you had not. Additionally, I am even more sorry for the ministers that saw the injustice, inequity, unfairness and the sheer wrong in all of this and stood by and did nothing for the sake of "unity with the brethren". Well, who wants to be unified with a group like that? That sees wrongs being committed but for "unity's" sake goes along with the wrong. I once heard a pastor say:"if you dont reprove wrong, wrong will reprove you". Well, that is what happened to you, brother Storts. I believe there were many times when you saw incorrect, false or unjust judgments being laid down by the likes of Bro. Spanogle, Bro. Ingley, Bro. Tanner and a host of others (though, some of these are no longer among you). But for the sake of "unity with the brethren" you did nothing to prevent, reprove or correct the injustice that was being done, even though you were in a position to do so. So then, these particular chickens that you helped to hatch have come home to roost. I'm sorry, Brother Storts, I know this isn't what you want to hear but it needs to be said. Philosopher, Edmund Burke once said: "evil will prevail, when good men do nothing". You, Brother Storts, were one of those good men. I would never again be in league with such a group of men. I saw terms like "man rule, injustice, misguided ministers, pope spirits" to quote just a few from this blog. All of which are fitting. Paul said "consider what I say and the Lord give thee understanding". Even though you are no longer pastoring, I hope that at least your marriage and family has been restored to some degree of normalcy and that you will stay saved and follow God's leading. Above all, please keep up a constant fight against the spirit of bitterness, which will continually try to enter your heart. Once that happens, the Devil has truly won. Don’t let him. May God bless you and your family.

I would like for each reader to understand that I do not know the identity of the person who posted the above response. I am not passing judgment on his relationship with Christ. I would also like to make a statement which many will fail to grasp the honesty and sincerity of my statement. I do not judge and condemn those who have opposed me. I would be willing to discuss various spiritual issues with anyone who would sit down and consider the facts in the love of God. I am not so naïve as to believe that no one has done wrong and need no repentance. I repented of the “sin of omission” because I was dissatisfied with my own performance of my pastoral duties as a result of not fasting and praying in such a manner as to bring about a certain perceived “power with God” in my ministry. Because of the strong opposition against me, I humbled myself and gave up my crown of salvation thinking that surely my accusers were righteous and I had been unrighteous. Afterwards, I am confident that the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had fallen prey to the false accusations of men and that the Holy Ghost had not condemned me. I have asked God to forgive me for my own weaknesses and lukewarmness. I believe there are many others in the various groups and sectish divisions of the church of God which ought to repent of their lukewarmness and obey the prophetic scriptures which apply to our day.

Revelation 3:14-22, “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

I would like to attempt to shine the light of holiness and righteousness on certain actions and attitudes which hinder the work of unity in the church of God. I am very sure that my statements will be rejected by many because they will not humble themselves to admit that they have innocently failed in the righteous administrations and operations of the universal church. There are certain weaknesses in the administrations and operations of the church which hinder the unity of the church and God will not bless the church with the power of His presence as long as these conditions continue.

In regards to certain false doctrines which have crept into the teachings of some congregations, these can not be addressed until we first ask God’s forgiveness for failing to come together in the unity of the Spirit. It must be accepted that a person can be lacking in understanding of a particular doctrine and still have a pure heart. A pure heart is the basis of fellowship. This is the point of departure which has separated many precious saints. God is displeased with the influence of men’s opinions which have displaced His judgments.

During the last seventy years, there have been various ministers who have gained the respect of the people for their faithful service to the church. Honor and applause has its temptation. A certain religious pride can creep into a minister’s thinking which moves him to take such a strong stand in defense of the doctrines of the church that he usurps the authority of Christ in judgment. He believes that he is exercising the authority of an overseer and husbandman in purging the branches and excommunicating the non-conforming members.

I believe there are many pure hearted ministers who have been caught in this devilish snare. They are in every group. Perhaps, the person who wrote the response given above has been affected by this same evil device which Satan has employed against the church in these last days. He has charged me with willful respect of person. He has charged me with knowingly refusing to speak out against an evil work. Does he know me that well to make that judgment? He disapproved of the actions of the ministerial body which allowed a false sin charge against me to stand. Then, he accused me of willful respect of persons which would be sin. Has the Holy Spirit revealed to him that I have committed Samuel’s sin of turning away from righteous judgment? I am confident that God has not disclosed such conditions to him. This Protestant spirit which has been loosed in the congregations of the church of God will bring about the fulfillment of Paul’s prediction: “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Ministers must come together with much prayer and fasting to obtain the favor of the Lord and receive power to be witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Man’s way will not work. We have had too much of man’s way and not enough of God’s way.

Saints, pray for the ministry. If the ministers can not come together, the congregations will continue to be divided and separated. God will be displeased. The presence of the power of God to heal will be absent. Darkness will prevail. Souls will be lost. God will turn to another nation and another people who will hear His voice and follow His leadership. As the church goes, so goes the nation. The spirit of division and unbelief is destroying our congregations and our nation. God help us!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Anonymous Inquiry

My blog yesterday prompted a response from a reader. I would like to address this response for all who read these words. The inquiry was specific in that it identified a particular doctrine of interest. I am not the Holy Spirit so I do not pretend to know the thoughts and intents of the heart of this person who submitted the inquiry. However, it is of interest to note the subject which prompted his question. He did not ask me if I made the “dress standard” a dogma. He did not ask me any questions about “divorce and remarriage.” He did not disclose his belief concerning the doctrine which he referenced.

This inquiry highlights the burden and concern that I have concerning the administration and operation of the church of God. Where does fellowship start? Does it start with the experience of salvation? Or, do we make some other criteria the principle test which admits or denies access into the fellowship of believers?

Additionally, where is the communication with which we must be engaged to promote the unity of the faith while we endeavor in the unity of the Spirit? A sleepy, lukewarm church can not successfully do the work I am describing; and yet, it is essential to building up the glorious church of God. Regardless of how sincere the religious men and women are, who have committed themselves to the work of saving souls, they can not succeed without the divine influence of the Holy Spirit. When a person is not being Spirit led, his work will fail.

Here is my partial response to the person who made this inquiry. “Are you now suggesting that two works of grace is a dogma? “

“Dear Anonymous,
Your question is of great interest and may shed much light on the manner with which many precious saints approach doctrinal issues. Dogma is stated to be the definite and authoritative tenets of a religious body. It is very unfortunate that many people put forth their personal opinions as dogma "without adequate grounds: an arrogant or vehement expression of opinion." In such cases the dogma of that person becomes a negative, dogmatic attitude and belief which will produce division in the body rather than unity. I would remind you of the warning from the Apostle Paul when he said: "The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;…" There are those who "hold the truth in unrighteousness." This statement means that there are those who take the letter of the law and kill with it, instead of providing spiritual nourishment and giving life. They take the truth and use it unjustly, unwisely and in unrighteousness. The fellowship of the Spirit has its beginning with being "born again." When a person or group sets aside the "born again" experience and makes any other truth the foundation for fellowship they have become guilty of "holding the truth in unrighteousness." A lack of knowledge or understanding does not make a person a sinner. Disobedience and rebellion is the indisputable nature of the only valid sin charge against the sinner.

My dear friend, I have a question for you. If a person believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, confesses and forsakes his sins, is obedient to the light of truth which God has given to him, can you accept that person as saved; even though he may not understand all things the same way you do? In other words: what is the essential foundation for fellowship with you? Where does it start? What are the conditions under which fellowship may continue? Can you allow Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to be the head over all things to the church?
Please read my blog for today, as we amplify our thoughts on this subject.” End of quote.

The author of this inquiry may believe that “two works of Grace” (referring to justification and sanctification as two distinct cleansing experiences) are essential doctrines of the Christian faith. My concern is does he and others allow this doctrine to preclude fellowship prior to an individual’s understanding and embracing this doctrine? The Apostle Paul said: “The just shall live by faith.” Do we accept that spiritual life and fellowship begins with justification; or, do we add other doctrinal requirements before fellowship is enjoyed?

If we don’t start right, we can’t end right. If the fruit of the Spirit is not evident in our relationship with others, then we are on the wrong path. Prayerfully read these words and measure your attitudes and purpose by the standard of God’s Holy Word.

Galatians 5:22-26, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Ephesians 5:8-17, “ For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From Dogma to Division

There is a subtle spirit of Protestantism working on the church of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, people are adamantly opposed to anyone whose understanding is contrary to the dogma received from their spiritual mentors. Regardless of your testimony of being saved and delivered from all sin, if your doctrine is different from the established teachings, which have been handed down by the elders of the church, you are rejected until you forsake your opinion and accept their opinion. In defense of their dogma, they are willing to promote division between believing brothers.

I say that the spirit of their actions and dogmatic beliefs is subtle, not because it is done secretly; but because, their dogma has the appearance of seeming to be good to those who have sat under the influence of good ministers. Their dogma has been formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by the elders of the church.

For example, one strong dogma is that the next great event in the future of the church is the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Their stated belief is that all the prophecies of the Bible have been fulfilled. For some person to believe and express to others that there is a future major revival (a spiritual earthquake) of Christianity in some other part of the world is heresy. Specifically, to believe that the Third Earthquake, spoken of in Revelation 16:18, is in our future is heresy and a Babylonian doctrine. Revelation 16:17-18, “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.”

The aforementioned example is but one of many. Dogma has led to division by the teaching of the elders concerning: the dress standard, marriage and divorce, two works of grace, women ministers, the limits of pastoral authority, the limits of fellowship, etc. All these issues are matters of faith which involves “growing in the knowledge and grace of God.” As the apostle Peter wrote to us this warning about contending for the true teaching of the apostle Paul: “in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Beware of dogma which produces division. Exalting the letter of the Word above the Spirit of the Word will lead to a point of view or alleged authoritative tenet put forth as dogma without adequate grounds. Consider and be instructed by the following Webster dictionary definition of the word “dogma”.

Main Entry: dog•ma; Pronunciation: d gm also dägm ; Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural dogmas \-m z\; also dogma•ta \-m d. , -m t \
Etymology: Latin, from Greek, from dokein to seem good, seem, think -- more at DECENT
1 a: something held as an established opinion; especially : one or more definite and authoritative tenets b: a code or systematized formulation of such tenets (as by a theoretician or a school of art or philosophy) c: a point of view or alleged authoritative tenet put forth as dogma without adequate grounds : an arrogant or vehement expression of opinion; 2 : a doctrine or body of doctrines of theology and religion formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church; synonym see DOCTRINE

2 Corinthians 3:2-6, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

Without the inspiration, anointing and leadership of the Holy Spirit, good men will go awry and use their dogma to cause division. The “letter of the law” is very important and vital to bringing men and women to perfection. However, if it is not administered in the Spirit, by the Spirit, it will not produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Romans 2:27-29, “And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

The Jewish Christians were very dogmatic in their steadfast belief in the necessity of circumcision and other touch not, taste not laws. Not all of them escaped their bondage to the traditions of the elders to embrace the true Spirit of Christianity.
Romans 7:6, “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Are you in bondage to a tradition, a doctrine, a certain teaching of the letter of the law, which separates you from other born again Christians who have repented of all willful sin and are walking in all the light and understanding which God has given to them? A person who has forsaken sin and consecrated himself to serve the Lord Jesus Christ is a member of the body of Christ. Will you cut off a member of Christ’s body? Will Jesus Christ accept your claim that your dogma justified division?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Modest Apparel

What is the purpose of “modest apparel?” What should be the Christian’s primary purpose in putting on clothes? It should be for the sole purpose of covering our nakedness, the nudity of the body. Christian decency requires that certain parts of the body be covered and quieted. Parts of the body should be covered so that they can not be seen with the eye. Those same parts need to be covered so that they do not express themselves through the clothing.

Revelation 3:18, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

The problem with rules is that the carnal person will either disobey them or use them to criticize others to condemn or cast them down.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”

Luke 12:22-23, “And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”

Mark 7:18-23, “And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

The key to understanding here is to be able to know the difference between what happened and why it happened. I am more concerned with why you did what you did than the fact that you did something wrong. I am referring to any action or conduct you may have done or may be tempted to do. I want you to be conscious of the why “more so” than the what. Although what you do is also very important.

It is more important to know why you dress the way you do than just to observe the fashions, brands and styles which you choose. Most people, and especially carnal people, need instructions on what is right and what is wrong when it comes to putting on clothes and adornments.

The prophet Isaiah wrote explicitly about the way women dress. It seems that it is part of the inherent nature of women to dress in a provocative manner to gain the attention of the opposite sex. One of the early signs of backsliding and apostasy is the way the young people in the church are allowed to dress according to the fashions of the world. The following passage from Isaiah is given with inserted definitions from the Strongs Exhaustive Concordance and Dictionary.

Isaiah 3:16-24, “ Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, [lofty, pride] (This is the principle problem. Pride always go before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is pride which causes you to believe what you want to believe instead of what the Word and the Spirit say to you). and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, [blink coquettishly (females are naturally feminine; their figure, their movements, their expressions are feminine. However, if you females willfully and intentionally use your femininity to allure and tempt the males around you to notice your femininity, you are guilty of what God is condemning in these verses).] walking and mincing [short steps]as they go, and making a tinkling [anklet-no reference to sound]with their feet: Therefore the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments [anklets]about their feet, and their cauls, [interwoven netting for the hair]and their round tires [neck pendant]like the moon, The chains, [pearl pendant for the ears]and the bracelets, [wrist band]and the mufflers, [long fluttering veil] The bonnets, [fancy head-dress]and the ornaments of the legs, [a leg chain to control measure of steps]and the headbands, [ornamental girdle]and the tablets, [??house pets (literally translated it could mean “a house for living creatures”; however this expression occurs only in this verse, it may be equivalent to the phylacteries mentioned in Matthew 23:5 and means a case to store scriptures texts.)]and the earrings, [charmed earring amulets] The rings, [signet]and nose jewels, [nose jewel] The changeable suits of apparel, [mantel like – easily put off]and the mantles, [cloak]and the wimples, [a wide cloak for a woman]and the crisping pins, [bag, pocket(could it be that this expression mean to curl your hair and make little pockets in your hair? Again, we must resort to help of the Holy Spirit and ask ourselves, why am I doing this? And don’t deceive yourself with your answer and your justifying your actions to favor a carnal heart condition.)] The glasses, [mirror]and the fine linen, [wrapper shirt]and the hoods, [cloth head-dress]and the vails. [spreading the veil] And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.

What is the spiritual message we have impressed upon us from this text? This is a condemnation of that type of apparel which is born of pride, often serving no other purpose than to decorate the body to draw attention and exalt the individual. If you will listen to the Holy Spirit, He will talk to you about the way you dress and the reason why your clothing is a reflection of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

1 Timothy 2:1-10, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”

MODEST: NT:2887 kosmios (kos'-mee-os); from NT:2889 (in its primary sense); orderly, i.e. decorous: Also translated: KJV - of good behaviour, modest.

APPAREL: NT:2689 katastole (kat-as-tol-ay'); from NT:2687; a deposit, i.e. (specially) costume: Also translated: KJV - apparel. NT:2687 katastello (kat-as-tel'-lo); from NT:2596 and NT:4724; to put down, i.e. quell: Also translated: KJV - appease, quiet.

The godly purpose of clothing is to cover the nakedness of the body. Clothing should put down the body language. It should quell, make quiet the message of the body. Adam and Eve made themselves “aprons” to cover their nakedness; but, God made them “coats of animal skin” to robe themselves.

A study of the scriptures will teach you the definition of nakedness. You can find expression in the scripture which speak of gay, gorgeous, bright, etc. clothing. The Bible tells us what parts of the body are considered nakedness and should be covered lest the shame of nakedness destroy your Christian testimony. When you study, do so with the purpose and intent to learn how to perfect yourself; not so that you can judge and condemn others.

Search the scriptures and use the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and Dictionary to understand passages of scritpures which talk about: the leg, the thigh, to make bare, to uncover, nakedness, shamefacedness, apparel, etc.

Be an example of the believer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gather, Don't Scatter

Please read this prayerfully and may the Holy Spirit help you know my intentions and purpose in making public the affairs of the church. It is time for each pastor, congregation and saint to examine their position in the church. It is time to examine our relationship with others who claim to be saved and living free from sin. It is time to examine our beliefs about each other and our responsibilities to each other. Satan has successful created sects, groups, division and a Protestant spirit among the saints of God in this Seventh Seal time.

Do not be hasty to think that I am judging and condemning people. I am crying out against the influence of men’s ideas in a sleepy church age. Let God be the judge. I come not to you to condemn but to give the light of truth a voice. Matthew 25:1-13and Revelation 3:14-22 clearly identify the characteristics and battles of the era in which we live. I know that many are uncomfortable with admitting that we all have been influenced by a lukewarm, Laodicean spirit. But it is true and it is irrefutable. Search the scriptures and prove the witness of God against the spirit of our day.

Many have expressed disappointment at the treatment I have received from the local congregation and some pastors. Do not think that this spirit is isolated to just one group. And do not think that all of the saints and pastors of a particular group are spiritually the same. We must escape the error of branding everyone with the same iron. Not everyone who is connected with a particular fellowship is a participant in the same error as others in that group. There have been a few ministers who have allowed a Protestant spirit to move them to cut off members of the body of Christ. They failed to endeavor to be reconciled in the unity of the Spirit until they could come together in the unity of the Faith. Many men and women have failed to trust in the Headship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is able to take care of His Bride, the church of God. Jesus is able to protect, to shield, to defend, to cleanse and meet every need of the church. Some men and women have been seduced by a Protestant spirit to think that Jesus has made them responsible for cleansing the church. They think that they have been given the authority to excommunicate a person who claims to be saved.

During the ministry of Jesus Christ, here on this earth, He set the example of holiness. He was the Righteous Judge and yet He came to save not to condemn. He preached the standard of holiness. He lifted the standard so that all could see it clearly and know themselves. He taught the people the right way so that they could see if they were in the wrong way. He did not condemn the woman at the well; but He revealed Himself to her so that she could make her decision to believe. He did not condemn Nicodemus for his lack of understanding, but he instructed him in the way of truth. We have no record of his warning the eleven of the hypocrisy and sins of Judas Iscariot, although he was a thief. He let Judas expose himself and fall into his own pit. Yes, Jesus did call the religious Jews serpents and he preached against their religious hypocrisy. However, He did not deal with it in public on an individual bases; because the time of individual judgment was not yet come.

I am convinced that too much emphasis has been put on the spirit of vengeance and pouring out the wrath of God upon sinners. Mercy and forgiveness has been set aside for hasty judgment and condemnation. A general failure to “endeavor” and work at reconciliation has been neglected. Some ministers are so afraid of the appearance of putting their approval upon sin and false doctrine that they have exalted themselves and usurped the authority of Jesus Christ as Head of the Church. They have not done this with malice or covetousness; but, they have been seduced to propagate the “Lamb-like beast” of Protestantism.

The saints and ministers of the church of God must humble themselves and confess their errors and make amendments to the manner in which they form fellowships. There ought to be a universal call to the ministry to come together and seek each other’s forgiveness and consecrate themselves as servants of God to feed the church of God. Shame on us if we can’t trust Our Mighty King to protect us and teach us to do the work of an evangelist and pastor without exalting ourselves to be the judge of men’s souls.

Saints, pray for the ministry. Pray for your pastor. Pray for all pastors of the church of God. Until we can overcome the fear of men’s disapproval, the congregations will continue to suffer division. Someone must be willing to stand in the gap and cry aloud for justice and righteousness. Ministers must be willing to begin the reconciliation of these many groups which separate the precious saints of God. There will be opposing spirits, but the power of holiness manifested in the virtues of righteousness will prevail. God’s way will work today.

Colossians 3:12-17, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”