Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Tell?

I was asked again yesterday, "Why do you post all these personal facts in cyber space?" Answer: For the sole purpose of teaching others the nature and workings of Satan. The person who asked me, and found fault with my blogging, has never read any of my blogs.

There are some who believe that I am seeking revenge against those who have falsely accused me. Not so! Revenge belongs to God and not to me. I love them who have been ensnared by Satan to falsely accuse one of God's children. I pray for them. I do not wish harm upon them, but rather I pray that they will receive help to recover themselves from their error. In their sleepy condition they have despised those who have made them uncomfortable. Division comes upon the church, not because of differences of opinion or even differences of doctrine (although I assure you that I believe doctrine to be very important); rather, division comes from a lack of mercy and righteousness. Division comes because of a lack of longsuffering, gentleness, kindness and not having a burden to build up one another.

Sin is the only thing which will separate us from God. Therefore, sin is the only thing which should separate us from each other. Unfortunately, many have taken upon themselves the authority to charge another of sin.

I do not write and post these blogs to condemn or judge another child of God. I write for your instruction, that you may know the craftiness and deceitful ways and works of the devil. I cry out against injustice, not some person. I cry out against lukewarmness and the silence of the Seventh Seal church. I am not motivated by what people have thought or will think. I write because I am confident that God wants the conditions affecting the church today to be exposed and shouted from the roof top.

If you have allowed ill will to enter your heart, you need to ask God to forgive you and help you get under a burden for souls. In grief, but with hope, I pray for and long for the day when the church will once again become a paradigm of the ministry of reconciliation.

Righteousness by Faith

Do you know what is the work of righteousness? Would you like to know what the Bible tells us is the work of righteousness? Only the righteous will inherit eternal life and heaven. We must be righteous. It is therefore imperative that we understand what is necessary to be righteous.

Acts 10:34-35, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

I do fear God and I sure want to work the works of righteousness. We want to be accepted with God don’t we? How do we make sure we are accepted with God? Peter said that we must fear God and work righteousness. How do we make sure that we are doing the work of righteousness? What is the work of righteousness?

Romans 1:16-21, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

I want to use the Bible to prove to you that the work of righteousness is faith. There is nothing that pleases God more than for you to love Him and trust Him enough to believe Him. Remember the words of Christ, “If thou canst believe.” When Jesus returns, will He find faith on the earth?

In a land of prosperity wherein we enjoy such increase of goods and have need of nothing, it is so easy to trust in ourselves instead of God. We have prepared for retirement so we have no need of trusting God for our daily bread. We have health insurance, home insurance, car insurance and many other types of insurance to protect us against the unknown possibilities. We don’t need God. Ministers, who are exhorted by the scriptures to set the example, are more likely to trust human physicians for serious or terminal afflictions than to trust the Great Physician, Jesus Christ..

Mark 11:20-24, “And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

Only by faith can you touch God. Without faith, there is no answer to prayer and there is no power to change circumstances. In Luke 6:19 it says, “And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.” They believed that if they could touch Him, they would be healed. Can you believe that if you touch Jesus, you will be healed? You are not healed and you are not saved by works, you are saved and healed by faith. You must believe in God’s love for you. You must believe that God’s word is true. You must believe that the Word and the Spirit were given to meet your needs. The only formula, the only special requirement for receiving an answer to your prayer, is faith. Not someone else's faith, but your faith.

Romans 4:1-5, “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

We do not discount the necessity and the value of works. What we want you to understand is that faith is not produced by works, but rather works are the fruit of faith. Faith must come first. Faith and works must be companions, but faith is of the highest priority. God has clearly taught us that we ought to believe Him and trust Him without works. An evil and adulterous generation requires the works of signs and wonders to lead them to believe. Jesus told doubting Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.”

Romans 4:16-25, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

Weak faith is a very dangerous condition. Weak faith can cause you to become discouraged and doubtful and lose hope in salvation. Weak faith will lead you to trust in some man or some power other than God. Weak faith is one of the characteristics of a sleepy, lukewarm church. How is your faith? To whom do you turn to in time of need? Can you wait on God, unto death, or does fear of death drive you to turn to some other? Are you an example of the “believer?” “If thou canst believe.”

Romans 10:1-10, “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Do you want to be righteous? Then you must believe God and have faith in God. This is the only way you can ever be judged as righteous in the eyes of God. How do you get faith? What produces faith? Paul tells us. Let us read a little further.

Romans 10:14-17, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Paul clearly states that “faith cometh by hearing the word of God.” There are three ways you hear the word of God. It is very important that you exercise yourself in each of these three ways.

1. You need to listen to a pastor who will preach the truth to you. You need to hear the Word of God from the man of God who will warn you and exhort you and rebuke you if you need it. The pastor must be an example of righteousness by faith in order to inspire faith in the hearts of those who sit under his ministry.

2. You need to read the Word of God. God has provided you a copy of His holy Word and He expects you to love Him enough to read it with desire. He will talk to you through His Word. The Word is a mirror with which you examine yourself. It is a measuring tool by which you determine if you are spiritually growing or shrinking.

3. You need to pray and talk to God. He will speak to your soul and tell you what you need to know. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Fast and pray, until you pray through. Pray past your fears. Pray until your mind grasps hold of faith.

We have church services three times a week; nevertheless, you need to read and pray every day. Faith cometh by hearing the word of God. When God speaks to your soul, you will be encouraged to believe. Nothing can be a substitute for a personal talk with God.

John 4:40-42, “So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."

It is very good to hear about Christ because it makes you think about Christ. It is much more important to hear the voice of Christ speaking to your soul. There is great power in the witness of the Holy Spirit when He gives you understanding and knowledge. Let the voice of God be the loudest voice you hear. The words of Jesus Christ had a much greater impact on the people’s faith than did the words of the woman. But don’t forget, it was the words of the woman which brought them to Jesus to hear Him speak.

Philippians 3:8-9, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”

Noah was righteous. Abraham was righteous. Job was righteous. Paul was righteous. Many prophets and disciples were righteous. God requires that all His children be righteous. You can be righteous, if you will have faith in God. Who can enter heaven’s portal without having become righteous by faith?

Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

We have given you many scriptures to prove to you that righteousness is by faith. Satan is working hard to weaken and destroy your faith. Satan understands that if you would be strong in faith, you would overcome all his temptations. If you would be strong in faith, you would be victorious in every battle. Satan is well aware of his task of getting you to fear and to doubt. How are you doing? Are you letting Satan cause you to fear and doubt? Is the Word of God a lie? Have we proven God to be unfaithful? NO! NO! NO!

Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. If you believe God, it will be counted unto you for righteousness. Rebuke the Devil, Resist the Devil and BELIEVE GOD!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

At Ease In Zion

God gave me a profound thought from a passage of scripture from Job. Job was speaking to his three "friends" who were so adamant in their false sin charges against a man whom God said was a righteous and perfect man. Job reproved his friends with these words:

Job 12:3-5, "But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these? I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn. He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease."

Job's friends believed that they were right and Job was wrong. They were very comfortable with their ability to judge Job and understand the cause of his afflictions and hardships. Job, in his honesty and humility, had admitted his human errors and weaknesses and supposed that God must be just in sending such chastisements his way. Job's friends professed that God was punishing him for his sins and not chastiseing him for his human weaknesses.

In Verse Five, Job has spoken a profound truth. When a man is walking through dangerous ground, where his feet is "ready to slip", those who are "at ease" will despise him. Those who are motivated by love and mercy will come to his aid and restore him. But those who are at ease will feel free to condemn and cast him out of their fellowship.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Hebrews 12:11-14
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

When the Seventh Seal was opened there was silence in heaven for the space of half and hour. This silence is in agreement with the parable which Jesus gave in Matthew 25 where He prophesied of the whole church which was slumbering and sleeping. When people are sleeping and slumbering, they are silent and at ease. This is the sad condition of the church from 1930 until our current day. It is time for the church to wake up and realise that they have been sleeping. An enemy has come in and sown some tares while we slept. Men's ideas, opinions, methods and judgments have taken the place of Holy Ghost discernmet and leadership.

Some ministers have cried out against this condition. They have confessed their condition as well as the condition of the universal church body. Those who are at ease in Zion have responded with rejection and despite. They refuse to accept that many in the church have let their lights go out and the rest are in a condition where they give off more smoke than light.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marital Disagreement

Some weeks ago, I sent the following email to several ministers with whom I have had fellowship. I had hopes that some would be willing to discuss the difficulties which are inherent within a marriage relationship where there is spiritual dis-unity. Not one minister responded to the invitation to discuss this important subject. I re-publish it here for the purpose of stirring up the pure thoughts of the universal church to consider a subject which may affect more saints than we might think. Saints need to understand the divisive spirits which are warring against the homes and marriages of the saints. If you have knowledge of righteous principles relative to the following comments, feel free to post them.

Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

Acts 28:23-25, “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed…”


What kind of relationship can two people have when they both claim to be a child of God and do not accept each others claim?

If a married couple has a relationship where one is saved and the other does not claim to be saved and they both agree, there is no disagreement. I know couples whom neither claim to be saved and they have a relatively peaceful relationship. They both agree on important issues and therefore there is no division in their relationship. I also know couples where one is saved and the other is not and they are in agreement concerning each other’s relationship with Christ. They have no disagreement in their relationship concerning each other’s condition before God.

How important is the subject of a person’s relationship with Christ? If a person claims to be saved and another person rejects that claim, what level of intimacy can they enjoy? How close is their friendship when one person condemns the other person’s soul?

Can a person reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and be friends with Jesus? If you reject the claims of Christ, have you not rejected Him?

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

Relationships are built upon mutual respect and agreements. If you reject a person’s claim of salvation, there is spiritual division containing enmity.

Ephesians 2:16, “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

I don’t think that I have ever known a peaceful home where the couple disagreed on religious beliefs, unless they were both insincere and careless in their religion.

There is a certain deception which exists in a relationship wherein both persons claim to be saved and yet do not accept each others claim. One of these has falsely accused the other and holds the belief that they are in order with God, standing upon the claim of loving the other like Jesus loves the sinner. What kind of relationship can these two have?

What do you think?

My belief is that if both persons sincerely believe that they are saved and the other is either not saved or deceived, they ought to continue to love and respect the other until God exposes and reveals the error and deception. However, there will be saddness and sorrow because there is division and only Christ has the power to reconcile. I believe that it is unreasonable to expect this couple to enjoy happiness with each other when condemnation exist in the relationship.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Earthquake A.D. 33 - 270

I am convinced that the reason certain ministers came to oppose me so strongly was because I rejected the belief that the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet and the event of the Third Earthquake took place in the decade of 1960. These two events are recorded in The Revelation as they were revealed to the Apostle John by the Lord Jesus Christ. These three earthquakes are spiritual events and not literal earthquakes on this literal earth. A spiritual earthquake takes place when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in such a manner as to exhibit all the graces of salvation with all of its power and divine promises. Great numbers of new converts are brought into the fold of the church; and, bodies are healed, devils cast out, the dead raised and the poor have the truth preached to them. Additionally, these things occur in the fullness of prophecy according to the scriptures.

Let us examine the scriptures and the records of history and compare their testimonies. If we can not prove what we believe with the scriptures, we ought to be very cautious about the spirit whose doctrines we are accepting.

The Holy Scriptures tell us about the First Earthquake:

Acts 5:11-14, “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)

What a testimony! Multitudes of men and women were added to the Lord as they believed the message of the ministers of the church of God which Jesus purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28). The prophets had prophesied that "a nation would be born in a day." Many signs and wonders were worked among the people because of their faith in the great commission of Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. They had unity among themselves, which is a sure sign of the grace of God working in the congregation. The unity of the saints along with the power of the presence of God caused everyone in the community to respect and honor the church. Is that the kind of testimony church of God congregations have today? Are multitudes of men and women being added to the Lord. Are great signs and wonders proving our relationship with Jesus Christ as children of God who have access to all grace and power? Does the world see our unity and love for each other; or, do they see criticism, strife and one trying to have dominion over another?

Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

Acts 2:22, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:”

Acts 6:8, “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”

Acts 15:12, “Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.”

Acts 19:11, “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:”
These scriptures express the general and universal condition of the church of God in the First Seal, when the saints of God had victory over sin and strife. These scriptures identify a church which was pure, holy and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. These are they of whom “the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also.”

Who is turning the world upside down today? The world hardly knows anyone in the church of God. If you mention church of God to the people in the community, they are likely to think of the Anderson, Indiana group or the Cleveland, Tennessee group. The fellowship which I was part of does not support one foreign missionary. I had been making an annual two to three week trip to Kenya and Malawi to do missionary work for the Lord and was accused of neglecting the local congregation.

I was asked by one minister why I didn’t just move to Africa. The ministry and the people were moved to sedition against me in great part because of my belief that as God had forsaken the Jews who rejected God and Christ; and, is possibly now rejecting the Europeans and Americans because of their unbelief and unfaithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had expressed to the ministry a strong belief in the possibility that Africa would be the Third and final field of ministry for the church of God in this world. To them that was heresy. Four years ago, I was frequently confronted with the warning that if I did not believe and publicly preach that Jesus could come back “tonight” then I was proving that I am a false prophet.

1 Cor 12:8-10, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:”

These are the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the members of the Bride of Christ, the church of God. Do they occupy a prominent and visible position in the congregation today? What gifts are missing in your congregation? What needs are not being met? Who is fasting and praying for the Lord to make them a vessel of His grace and power for His glory? I remember another frequent statement of certain “senior” ministers saying, “We don’t need any D.S. Warner’s in our day.” One minister publicly, in a fellowship meeting in Morgan City, Alabama, called the younger ministers “young whippersnappers.” He was upset with us younger ministers trying to stir the saints up to desire a closer walk with God. He said that the church was more glorious than it had ever been. He warned us younger ministers to quit calling people to a greater commitment for the Lord’s work, else we would lead them into fanaticism. Some of these ministers taught that the hope of an end time revival was discouraging to the saints.

Revelation 8:3-5, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

These verses describe the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. There can never be an earthquake until God chooses to pour out the power of His influence upon the affairs of the church. In the First Seal earthquake these characteristics were manifested: voices, thunders, lightnings, and an earthquake. The voices are the ministers of God preaching the timely message of salvation for the inhabitants of that day. The thunders are the divine revelations which give the people understanding of the message for that day. The lightnings are the divine illuminations of the Holy Spirit which are given to each person as the Lord directs. The earthquake is the result of all these divine outpourings upon the church for the redemption of lost souls, bringing the world to Jesus Christ.

These are the things which happened during the First Earthquake. Are they happening in your life, in your congregation and in your community? In the last 80 years, have you seen scriptural evidence of an earthquake which shook the church and the world?

About the Morning Time church, Paul wrote this in 1 Thessalonians 1:8, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.”

The Jews were warned against their rejection of the gospel of Jesus Christ. this same warning holds true for all nations and people who have the opportunity tot know the Lord and serve in His Kingdom. Hebrews 12:25, “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. Let brotherly love continue.”

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Part Three - My Testimony

There are many components of my life story which are not pleasant to record or to read. I have written them for the benefit of those who may learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of those who were involved in my experiences. We were participants in the struggles of the church, the battle of good against evil. I pray that they who read these words will not read to criticize but read to learn and gain wisdom from the lives of others.

I was recently talking to one of my children about how God has blessed me on my job which God gave to me in April 2007. (I was excommunicated in October 2006.) My job has enabled me to build a new home and enjoy a beautiful scenic view on property next to my children and grandchildren. Seven years ago, while I was still the pastor of the COGK, God enabled me and my children to buy twenty acres of land and we have built three homes on this property. My income has been restored to what I was making in 1990 when I answered the call of God to become a full time pastor at the COGK. As I was mentioning these things to my child, they asked, “If you were making such a good income from 1980 to 1990, why were we living in low income housing and wearing hand-me-down clothes which made us look like we were part of the family from the “little house on the prairie?” I was surprised to hear her say that, when, in those days, we had been so blessed by God to have many material blessings. I asked her where she had gotten that impression and she said that it was from talking to other members of the family. The perception that my children have lived a deprived life is totally false. We did not live in low income housing. In about 1977-1978 I bought a new, three bedroom, brick home where we lived very comfortably. Our neighborhood was middle-class America. Our life style was middle-class America. I did not golf, fish, hunt or have any hobby which was an expense and took income from the family. Family and church was all I had and all I wanted.

The perception that we were poor could not have originated from any other than my wife. She has communicated to the children that she was never at liberty to buy what she wanted because of my poor financial management. When I recently asked her about our child’s statement, she admitted that she always felt that if she bought something it would always be put on a credit card and she never felt free to contribute to our being deeper in debt. Her fear that I would not properly manage our finances was a snare which Satan was setting in place for future use. Rather than resent and resist my authority to make the final decisions, she should have just submitted it to God and allowed the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. When you can not change a person with good advice, you must give them to God and prepare for the consequences of their actions. You must not lose your joy or condemn without sin.

This financial discomfort is at the very root of all of our relationship and spiritual disagreements and division. I will admit that I have not been the efficient financial manager that succeeds in becoming financial independent. I have not been good at building long term savings and investment portfolios. Instead of investing in stocks and bonds, I invested in the Kingdom of God, in the church and in helping other people. When I received my annual bonuses (several thousands of dollars), I always gave over half of those bonuses to the church. When I became pastor of the COGK and received my separation pay from the company I worked for in Oklahoma, I invested almost all of that money (tens of thousands of dollars) in remodeling the parsonage, the church property and trips to other congregations to strengthen fellowship between congregations. In all of my sixty-four years of life, I have never defaulted on a loan or failed to be able to pay my debts. My decisions denied my wife of the financial security of having adequate investments in stocks, bonds and property.

My use of credit and debt to accomplish important goals was always a point of contention with my wife. Her dissatisfaction eventually grew from disapproval to division. This disapproval took on a new character when I became a pastor. In her eyes, my financial misconduct was a bad reflection upon the church. When I did not agree with her financial decisions, she believed I was not listening to the Holy Spirit. She would occasionally say that if I were a man of God, I would not borrow money to do things which she deemed the Holy Spirit did not require. Her perception of me not listening to the Holy Spirit grew until she felt it was her responsibility to expose all of my faults (which in her mind had become sin).

As early as 1999-2000, I recognized that my wife and I needed the help of the ministers to work through our disagreement. I had strong confidence and trust in the ministerial body with whom I had enjoyed fellowship since 1976. I had no reservations in going to them for counsel. During our visits with several ministers, I was counseled to not use debt so freely and work with my wife. She was counseled to stay out of the church finances and leave that subject to the pastor and the trustees. I do not believe that we received the counsel we needed. The counsel did not teach us what we needed to learn to have victory in our situation.

My philosophy has always been: If we use debt to have the things of this world that we want and need, then we should not decline from using debt to accomplish the objectives which seem necessary in the Kingdom of God. It seemed wrong to me that my wife did not object to expenditures for the things of the world but she did object to those expenditures which were for the church. Unquestionably, my wife’s spiritual condition and our relationship was greatly affected by our disagreement over the right use of money. After years of disapproval in money matters, she began to find fault with my ministry, my teachings, my prayers, my counsel, etc. In spite of all these warning signs, I continued on in my na├»ve, optimistic belief that because we loved the Lord and hated sin, God would help us work it all out in the future. Little did I realize that Satan was craftily laying the ground work for the destruction of my reputation and fellowship with the those I loved and trusted.

I am confident that the Holy Spirit was not in control or leading in any of these proceedings which led to my excommunication. There were too many mistakes made by myself, my wife and certain ministers. In retrospect, it is very obvious that all parties involved were influenced by human opinion and human error. There were accusations made which were not established on facts or truth. Speaking for myself, I know that the attitude of my heart and the conduct of my life, though there were mistakes, there was no willful sin or rebellion.

I would remind my readers that this report is not intended for judgment or condemnation of any person. It is intended to be a lesson on the dangers of being a sleepy church. If you agree or disagree or would like to make a wise and useful comment, please do so. If it is truthful, I will allow it to be posted for others to read and discuss.

While the laborers slept, an enemy has sown the seeds of strife and division. Leave judgment and condemnation to the One who is able and never fails. We must sound the trumpet for reconciliation between individuals and groups which have a true experience of salvation but lack the mutual understanding which produces the unity of the Spirit and the unity of the Faith.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Part Two - My Testimony

Time is quickly passing. Most, if not all, of those who witnessed the glory of the Sixth Seal have passed away. That was two generations ago. It has been eighty years since the ending of the Sixth Seal. There was some residual glory which lingered on in the hearts of faithful saints. And there have been a significant number of saints who have overcome the influence of spiritual lukewarmness and taken firm hold of faith in God. The church has suffered but Satan has not prevailed against it. As in any apostasy, there have always been a faithful number of godly people who have held steadfast in faith and in obedience for the glory of God.

I have personally witnessed many cases of divine healing. I have heard testimonies of those who have experienced the resurrection power of God’s mercy bringing life back to them after they have died. I and many of my brothers and sisters have been healed of life threatening afflictions. My sister, Carolyn, has given me a copy of her birth certificate which records that she was ”still born.” She is now sixty-eight years old. The story has been often told of how the doctor worked for a long time to revive her when she was born dead. Having failed to revive her, the doctor left our home with a birth-certificate which stated that the child was “still-born”. After the doctor left, my parents prayed for Carolyn, spanked her, and she began to breathe. Unfortunately, both spankings and prayers have lost their valuable place in our world today. I could write many paragraphs about the cases of divine healing. However, we could also write many paragraphs were the faith of the people was too weak to grasp the promise of divine healing.

Our God has not changed. The promise of divine healing is still yet available today for those who will obey, believe and not doubt. I have stated before and do so again, any instance of divine healing is the results of someone having believing faith. It does not mean that God approves of all the activities of the group to which the healed person may belong. I have heard people make the statement: “Look at what God is doing in our congregation.” What God has done for an individual in the congregations does not translate into God’s approval upon all the teachings and activities of the congregation.

What does your pastor do when he gets sick? Does he go to a doctor when He suspects he may have cancer? Does he go to the doctor when he has a stroke? Does he take medication in the place of exercising faith for divine healing? I understand that we have not taught that it is a sin to go to a physician. I still agree with that. But have we become so weak in faith that divine healing is rare because we have such competent doctors and do not need The Great Physician. Has the prophecy come to pass: “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:”

We have hospitals and doctors; we just don’t need God like they did in the past. We have retirement funds and social security; we don’t need to trust God for our daily bread like they did long ago. We have cars, homes, bank accounts, jobs, medical insurance, car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, etc. We just don’t need to exercise faith and ask God for much today.

Who has not been affected by this evening time silence and spiritual weakness? Jesus said they all slumbered and slept. There is hope. Jesus also said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Part One - My Testimony

On February 21, 2010, I posted a blog with the title “Who Am I?” I would like to expound on that topic, so that my readers may know a little more about who I am. Once again, my purpose in relating my story is to help people find Jesus Christ and identify the snares of Satan who continually seeks to steal, kill and destroy every good thing which God has given to us.

In a few days I will be sixty-four years old. I have been through many spiritual battles. The last four years have been the most grievous and difficult ones of my life. But my God has sustained me with His grace. I have learned the meaning of persecution and rejection. I have leaned upon the arm of Christ because there was none other to help me. I now have a better understanding of the words of Paul when he wrote in Romans 5:3-5, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Patience did not come naturally or quickly. I grieved much too long. I felt sorry for my self much too long. I squirmed and complained under the purging of the Holy Spirit much too long. However, my grief has finally ceased and I now have victory in my soul. Yes, it is true, “tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.”

I am not against any person or group of people. I do not judge the servants of God. God has not appointed any man to sit upon the judgment seat of Christ and pass judgment upon the souls of others. I do stand firmly in opposition to the works of Satan. I will fight the good fight of faith until the end. In my long journey, I have experienced Protestantism and the deceptive work of establishing fellowships, where men have more control than does the Holy Spirit. Beyond all these divisions and spiritual wars, I have a hope of the beautiful Bride of Christ being awakened to righteousness. I believe the scriptures prophecy of a better day at the end of the Seventh Seal era than at the beginning.

I was born in 1946, near the beginning of the Seventh Seal time. The year 1930 is widely and commonly held to be the end of the Sixth Seal and the beginning of the Seventh Seal. In The Revelation message the announcement and comments concerning the opening of the Seventh Seal are both brief and profound. Revelation 8:1, “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” End of remarks. With twenty short words, Jesus Christ told John that the Seventh Seal would be ushered in with spiritual “silence.” I was born and have lived in that silence. I have been influenced and affected by that silence. My teachers and contemporaries have been subject to the same spiritual environment. None have avoided it. None can truthfully deny it. They all slumbered and slept. The truth is revealed in Matthew 25:5-6, “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” My hope and belief is that we are approaching the midnight hour when the saints of God will be awakened by the sound of the Seventh Trumpet and “go forth” to meet the Bridegroom and awaken others to prepare themselves for His coming.

I was born in a sparsely populated community in southeast Oklahoma. My father was a tenant farmer on a 160 acre farm where he raised corn, cotton, peanuts, cows, pigs, chickens, a large garden and nine children. The tenth member of our family, Dorothy Lee, died at the age of six months. My mother was one of those unusual people who could take little and make much of it. She worked hard and she taught her children to work hard, be happy and love the Lord Jesus Christ. We did not have much, but we were thankful for what we had. Our home was frequently filled with many guests who seem to enter into an almost festive air of celebrating the blessings of God.

We lived about a quarter of a mile from the little country church “Texas Banner Church of God.” W.C. Upchurch was the pastor of the congregation for many decades, which included all of my childhood. There were numerous stories of the presence of the power of God to heal the sick, raise the dead and save lost souls. These testimonies became increasingly less frequent as the influence of the Seventh Seal silence crept over our little congregation as it spread like a deadly contagion across the nation. That beautiful little congregations became a center of division and compromise. Today, it has no resemblance to the glorious powerhouse it once had been. And so goes the report of Christianity in North America and Europe.

Except in a few isolated cases, here and there, little is known of the power of God to heal the sick, raise the dead and preaching the gospel of holiness. Is it not so in your area?

Which one of these two scriptures best describes what you have witnessed in your area?

Scene Number One:

“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

Scene Number Two:

“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.”
“Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.”
“Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.”
“These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summary Update

Good Morning! May God bless each of you who read this post. My desire and burden is to speak the truth in righteousness that the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28) will be exalted in the minds of every reader. Please refrain from drawing the conclusion that I am seeking revenge or possess an attitude of malice toward any person. I intend to expose error and measure the actions of men by the standard of holiness which is clearly found in the scriptures. It is not my duty or responsibility to judge the servants of God. I do not pass judgment or condemnation on the soul of any person. Jesus Christ is able to judge all men and all things in His time.

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; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

If you are new to this blog, I would like to give you a brief explanation of how the site is arranged. On the right side of the first page of this blog site there is a summary list of all the postings which I have made since I began in February 2010. Counting this post, I have posted 100 messages to this blog site. You will notice that each month has a certain number of postings identified within parentheses. As of today, I have posted thusly:

June (3)
May (23)
April (30)
March (32)
February (12)

By clicking on each month you will then see a list of each of the postings within that month by topic title. These postings do have a sequential/consecutive character because I have unfolded my story and experiences during the last 10 years. These posting contain both biographical and doctrinal material for the benefit of the reader. I pray that the telling of my experiences will give wisdom to others who have been in similar situations or may in the future be tested as I have been.

It is also my humble and fervent prayer that the ministry of the church of God will shake themselves and awake to righteousness through the divine leadership of the Holy Spirit in the administrations and operations of the church. In the sleepy, Laodicean age in which we have come through, some unrighteous methods of dealing with disagreements have crept into the administrations and operations of the church. Some ministers with strong personalities and zealous desires to protect the church from sinners and heresy, have exceeded their authority and responsibility, operating without Holy Ghost direction. I am convinced that this error is not isolated to just one group or fellowship. There is plenty of evidence of this fault in each of the splits, groups and divisions of the precious church of God.

In my particular case, the errors and false accusations are clearly evident and numerous. My wife has confessed to me and in my presence asked God to forgive her for over-riding the Holy Spirit. There is not one valid sin charge formed against me in the lengthy statement which was read to the congregation against me on October 29, 2006. The ministry knows these things and have discussed them repeatedly. However, those involved in bringing the false charges against me can not bring themselves to admit that they acted in error without the direction of the Holy Spirit. I believe that they have submitted my situation to the Holy Ghost with a claim of innocence in that they have done the best they knew to do. I do not believe God will accept that position.

I stand ready to confess to the congregation and to the universal church that I too was influenced by the sleepy, Laodicean spirit which came upon all of us during the last 80 years. My lack of wisdom and Holy Ghost discernment surely played a part in this crafty deception which Satan was able to bring upon the church. However, my error did not rise to the level of willful disobedience or rebellion against God.

I petition the saints of God in every place to pray for the ministry. Many saints who have been scattered in all these various groups would love to have fellowship with their families and friends whom they have enjoyed sweet peace in the past. But cruel and unjust divisions have separated friends and families in the church of God. God requires us to do the work of reconciliation and repair the breach. Someone must be willing to stand in the gap and tell the truth. If not in this generation, then in the next generation to follow, perhaps God will raise up a man or men who are willing to lift up the standard, resist the temptation to condemn souls, and submit the cleansing into the hands of the Holy Spirit.

What a shame it is to die in the wilderness and not reach the glorious land which God has prepared for His people.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Authority in the Church of God

I recently made a statement something like this: “Children should submit to their parents. The wife should submit to her husband. The husband should submit to the pastor. The pastor should submit to the Lord Jesus Christ who is head over all things to the church.” I was taught this as a young child by a godly, Christian mother. In my 64 years of living, I have never learned any other truth which would contradict this principle which my mother taught me. Of course, we know that truth never contradicts truth. When we really know the truth in a matter, we will never need to change our position. Sometimes we think we know the truth but we latter learn that what we thought was true is not true. Many if not most of this world’s problems is because people violate this principle. In response to this statement, I was asked to provide scriptural proof that a husband ought to submit to his pastor.

I must say that I was a little surprised at the request for scriptural proof. After considering what the church has gone through in the last 80 years, it is understandable how some people are fearful of trusting and following a pastor.

I believe that part of the problem is found in how people define “authority.” Words have definite and specific meaning. If we are to communicate with and understand one another, we must say what we mean and mean what we say. If we fail to convey what we really believe, we must try again and again, until we have a mutual understanding of what we believe to be true. All too often we make mistakes in speaking what we think and we are misunderstood. When this happens, charity, longsuffering and patience must help us to withhold judgment and condemnation. Satan is crafty and will tempt you to begin to evil surmise about the other person.

There are different administrations of authority in the world and in the church. The various levels of social government have varying degrees of authority. Jesus said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosover will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

We understand the words of Christ to say, “The princes and rulers of this world exercise dominion (lordship and subjugation powers) over other people and the great men (kings) exercise authority over the princes. The act of subjugation is the exercise of authority by force. Jesus said “IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU.” The Lord Jesus Christ does not use force to produce converts. Neither do the ministers of righteousness use force to obtain conformance to the standards of holiness. It is the will of God that ministers of the gospel provoke people to good works in love and not by psychological or physical force. The old adage holds true, “If you convince a person against their will, they are of the same opinion still.”

Now let us endeavor to keep this subject in balance with the scriptures. There is the right exercise of authority in the church. But keep in mind it is not lordship, nor is it the use of the powers of subjugation. Listen to the counsel of the Apostle Paul as he instructed a young minister named Titus: “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” Paul is not telling Titus to use the power of force to gain conformance. This exhortation is to be carried out in love and in agreement with other scriptures. Hebrews 12:11-15, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”

The burden of the ministry should always be to, “lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” By use of wisdom, which is the right use of knowledge, we endeavor to help the weak to become strong. We endeavor to help those in error see their need of correction. We do not want to excommunicate the lame, but rather let them be healed. However, it has been my grief to observe some ministers who have felt so compelled to protect the church and keep out sinners and heresy; they begin to make themselves the judge of individual souls. They have unwisely cast out the wheat with the tares. They did not trust the husbandman. They did not trust the Holy Ghost to expose, reveal and purge the branches. They took upon themselves this awesome duty of judgment and the condemnation of eternal souls.

These are the mistakes and errors of the ministry which have promoted a mistrust of pastoral authority. If all ministers were to conduct themselves in righteousness with mercy and charity in judgment, there would be little contention and that only on the part of those who are disobedient or deceived. What shall we do? Should everyone’s children disregard the authority of their parents because some parents have been abusive? Should we counsel all wives to disregard the authority of their husbands because some husbands have been abusive and dishonored their wives? Should we tell husbands and congregations they do not need to submit to a pastor because some pastors have lacked wisdom and discernment? No! And again I say No! The way of truth has not changed. The administration and operations of the church have not changed. The scriptures, the unchanging Word of God, are relevant to our conditions today.

Let us consider a scripture which specifically outlines the authority given to a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Luke 9:1-2, “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” A minister who has power and authority over all devils, and has faith to cure diseases will find that he has little resistance from the saints when he teaches the standards of holiness. A minister who demands conformance to his judgments while few converts are being added to the Kingdom; and the saints have little faith for divine healing will undoubtedly encounter opposition to his imposition of his holiness standards.

Who are the leaders of the church of God? Has God appointed and ordained men and women to be instruments of righteousness to the children of God? Do leaders have any authority? I believe that an honest examination of the scriptures will teach that responsibility and authority are always coupled together. If a person does not have the authority to carry out his assignment, how can he be held responsible? I would ask you to study the following verses:

Ephesians 4:11-16, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

Who are these individuals whom God has appointed and ordained for the perfecting of the saints? Are they people who have received assignments from the Holy Ghost to teach the saint and the sinner the way of righteousness? Are they instructed to help us come together in the unity of the Spirit and the unity of the Faith? How do they accomplish these duties? Yes, by “speaking the truth in love.” And also by following Paul’s counsel to, “speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” The word “authority” as it is used here in Titus 2:15 means to “censure, rebuke, charge and forbid.” It does not include the condemnation of a soul. It does not carry the force of subjugation.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian congregation and gave this understanding: 2 Corinthians 1:24, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” We can thus plainly see that Paul’s position was not one of dominion over the faith of the people. Rather, he considered himself a helper of their joy and their faith. He did not endeavor to force their obedience. He labored to entreat them and to enlist their voluntary submission to the righteous principles of God.

It is my prayer that all those who read these words will have a better understanding of the scope and limits of pastoral authority. They do have authority and they must exercise that authority as it is required of the Holy Spirit. However, they must not exceed their authority and give people cause to fear “man rule.” Only wisdom and grace will enable us to do it right.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Submission in the Home

I am thankful to have my computer back from the repair shop. I will continue to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with all that will listen. I would remind those who read my blogs that my desire is to build not condemn, divide and destroy. I do not judge the Lord’s servants. He is well able to bring all things under the light of truth in His time. We must learn to expose error without condemning souls. The wisdom, faith and grace which accompanies righteous judgment has suffered great attacks in our day.

In some of my recent communications, I have shared thoughts about marriage, the family and the authority which God has invested in certain positions of leadership. The Bible has a lot to say about the relationship of marriage. The husband and wife relationship is an earthly parallel to the spiritual relationship of Christ and the Church of God. The covenant relationship of holy matrimony was instituted by God with Adam and Eve. God has given many commandments concerning this covenant and the individual duties and responsibilities of the husband and wife within this covenant.

Satan has continually attacked this relationship and the laws of God which are given to make it righteous and glorious. Satan works to corrupt the wife’s attitude toward her husband and children. Satan works to corrupt the husband’s attitude toward his wife and children. Many families have been destroyed and many have been hurt because they have believed the lies of Satan about others in their family.

A church of God minister recently commented to me that “the message of wives submitting to their own husbands is not being taught in the church of God.” I would agree that it is not being taught properly. The church has been affected by the world. The world has lost the proper perspective of authority and submission in the marriage because the church lost it first.

As a pastor of sixteen years, I endeavored to teach that husbands should take responsibility for making decisions in the home. God will hold husbands responsible for how they have handled this responsibility. There is a delicate balance between the virtues of mutual honor and respect, and that of authority and responsibility. On the one hand, we teach the husband to honor and respect the wife’s opinions, needs and perspective in making decisions which affect the family. On the other hand we teach the wife to submit to the final decision of the husband and hold him harmless for any mistakes he may make.

Husbands and wives will make mistakes because they have certain deficiencies in grace, knowledge, and wisdom. There are none who walk through this life without making some mistakes along the way. Many have fallen on the battlefield in the war of love and hate. When we allow disagreement to turn into division, hate must lie at the door. It is never required of a wife to submit to any requirement or decision of the husband which would lead her into sin. However, when a wife will not submit to her husband because she does not agree with his judgment, she has become a companion of those whom “despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.”
In a recent exchange, I responded to the following post:

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. - John F. Kennedy (Cannot the same be said of those in leadership in religious circles?)

My comments were: Yes, “Unless your authority rests upon your position instead of your knowledge of truth. A leader, who is afraid to let his people judge the truth and falsehood in an open forum, either does not trust the Holy Spirit to uncover and expose error; or, he does not trust his own ability to prove his interpretation with the Bible. These ministers, perhaps in innocence, will claim they are standing against arrogant rebellion. With some ministers, anyone who has a different opinion and will not submit to their belief is held to be arrogant and rebellious.

In a holy relationship, e.g. brothers and sisters in the true church of God (including pastors and saints) when two people do not see eye to eye and can not accept the other's position and can not come to a scriptural agreement; and, both continue to hold to their belief in what they think is true: MUST SUBMIT THIS CONTROVERSY TO THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, JESUS CHRIST, AND TRUST HIM TO REVEAL THE TRUTH. They must not condemn one another and become divisive, bringing about a split in fellowship.

Children submit to parents. Wives submit to their own husband. Husbands submit to the pastor. Pastors submit to Jesus Christ. A failure to submit at any of these crucial links will cause a division. Submission is always established upon the divine principles of justice and righteousness. When a pastor tries to exercise his authority contrary to the Word and Spirit, he will cause hurt to the body and his actions may lead to division and sin. I am convinced that there is a widespread misunderstanding of the righteous principle of submission. The works of longsuffering, mercy, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, patience and trust in the Holy Spirit are absent in many matters of controversy.

The husband should be the spiritual leader of the home. Families gather together in the congregation. The pastor is the ordained man of God who rules over the congregation as the Holy Spirit guides him. If everything is in order, the husband will hear the pastor and then teach his family those spiritual values which he has learned from the anointed preaching of the pastor.”

I was asked, “What scripture supports the claim that a husband must submit to the pastor?” I believe the following two scriptures support this principle.

Hebrews 13:17, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."

1 Timothy 5:17, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine."

In the divine institutions of marriage and church, there are righteous principles of authority and responsibility. Satan is continually working to pervert these essential principles in order to destroy the unity of the family and the unity of the church. Practical unity among the people of God is a vital part of our witness that we are the children of God. Satan can not and will not produce the fruit of unity. He will tug and pull and twist and deceive until he causes someone to get out of order.

Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

Acts 28:23-25, “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed…” How sad it is when professing Christians depart from one another without reconciliation and without peace.

What kind of relationship can two people have when they both claim to be a child of God and do not accept each other’s claim?

If a married couple has a relationship where one is saved and the other does not claim to be saved and they both agree, there is no disagreement. I know couples whom neither claim to be saved and they have a relatively peaceful relationship. They both agree on important issues and therefore there is no outward division in their relationship. I also know couples where one is saved and the other is not and they are in agreement concerning each other’s relationship with Christ. They have no disagreement in their relationship concerning each other’s condition before God; therefore they have a measure of peace.

How important is the subject of a person’s relationship with Christ? If a person claims to be saved and another person rejects that claim, what level of intimacy can they enjoy? How close is their friendship when one person condemns the other person’s soul?

Can a person reject the gospel of Jesus Christ and be friends with Jesus? If you reject the claims of Christ, have you not rejected Him?

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

Relationships are built upon mutual respect and agreements. If you reject a person’s claim of salvation, there is spiritual division containing enmity.

Ephesians 2:16, “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

I don’t think that I have ever known a peaceful home where the couple disagreed on religious beliefs, unless they were both insincere and careless in their religion.

There is a certain deception which exists in a relationship wherein both persons claim to be saved and yet do not accept each others claim. One of these has falsely accused the other while continuing to hold the belief that they are in order with God. They stand upon the claim of loving the other like Jesus loves the sinner. What kind of relationship can these two have?

What do you think?

My belief is that if both persons sincerely believe that they are saved while they believe that the other is either not saved or deceived, they ought to continue to love and respect the other (without condemnation) until God exposes and reveals the error and deception. However, there will be sadness and sorrow because there is division and only Christ has the power to reconcile. I believe that it is unreasonable to expect this couple to enjoy happiness with each other when condemnation exists in the relationship.

I pray that God will have mercy and that precious souls will find help in their time of need. We surely need God to expose error and shine the bright light of righteousness, mercy and true judgment upon the pathway of the saints. Let brotherly love continue. Pray for one another.