Friday, October 9, 2015



Please allow me to put into perspective the delicate relationship  between old and dear friends of a life time.  In fact, let me give you a Bible principle that will help any one of God's people to get along with their worst enemy.

Human relationships always reflect our relationship with our God.  If you cannot forgive and move on with your life, then the real problem is with the relationship you have with God, not your enemy.  (I John chapter 1) It merely rises to the surface for all to see because of a failure to grasp this truth.


In Joshua chapter one and verse two the Scripture says, "Moses my servant is dead..." God said that!  In the closing chapter of Deuteronomy in verse 10 it says, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face."  Verse five of Deuteronomy chapter 34 says, "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there..." 

Hold it, why did God look at Moses' death, which God Himself had caused because of Moses' rebellion, and call Moses a "servant"?  God Himself had taken the life of Moses before Moses wanted his life to be taken.  Moses was never able to enter into the Promised Land.  He saw it from Mount Nebo, but he, who had led the Israelites for 40 years, never was able to set foot in that very Promised Land.

Why, because of an awful sin he committed, a sin so awful that God took his life.  Wait a minute!  This is astounding, for as soon as God takes his life God Himself says, "Moses my servant is dead..." God killed Moses and then says in essence, "What a great guy!"

I have a question, why didn't God say, "Moses the hot head is dead."  Why didn't God say, "Moses the rebel is dead." Why didn't God say, "Moses the disobedient one is dead."  The truth is, Moses was a hot head, a rebel, and disobedient, for which God took his life.  Yet God said, "Moses my servant is dead..."


Why did God call Abraham his friend?  When God speaks of Abraham he says, "...Abraham my friend." How can God make such a statement about Abraham?  Wasn't Abraham the one who left the land of Canaan because of the famine and sojourned down into Egypt, where he should not have gone?  Did he not leave the will of God?  Did he not hire the little Egyptian gal Hagar to be his servant while in Egypt?  Did he not bring her back to Canaan?  Did he not impregnate her and they had an illegitimate child?

Is this the same Abraham of whom God said, "Abraham my friend." Yes it is! This is amazing to me.  Listen to this, after Abraham's life is over God says, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God." How do you figure this?


Why did God say concerning David, "...I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart."  Someone forgot to tell God that David was the one who stole Bathsheba, Uriah's wife.  Someone forgot to tell God how David has Uriah killed to cover up his adultery.  Yet God looks back at the life of David and says, "...a man after mine own heart."


Why did God say of Noah, "...a preacher of righteousness..."? Someone forgot to tell God that Noah got drunk after the flood. Didn't God know that Noah took off all his clothes and was lying there naked after the flood?


Why did God say about Lot, the one who fathered illegitimate children from his own daughters, "...just Lot...vexed his righteous soul..."?  I believe you would have to agree with me that this does not make any sense whatsoever.  After fathering two illegitimate children by incest, God looks back and says Lot was just and his righteous soul was vexed.


Why did God put an ex-harlot, Rahab, into the hall of fame of faith in the book of Hebrews chapter 11.  This is confusing to all of us.  Certainly there is no doubt that God Himself placed her name in the hall of fame on purpose.  This is no mistake with God.  This is not an uh oh with God.


Why did God call a deceiver, a liar, a crook, and a thief like Jacob. He stole from his own brother and lied to his own father, a "prince of God."?  This is confusing.  This just does not make sense to me or you.  If God keeps this up His reputation and credibility will be hurt and if the internet ever gets a hold of this God's name will be hurt.


Here is another one.  Why did God allow Peter to preach on the day of Pentecost?  It seems to me that the Bible college he graduated from should have demanded his degree be returned along with his ordination certificate.  Maybe the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem should demand he return both?  

Fifty days after he had denied the Lord denied the faith, and denied his church, he preached on a big day.  Why did God allow this one who had cursed and swore just 50 days earlier to organize and preach on the day of Pentecost?  Certainly this does not line with the modern day excommunication policies for local churches.  The church disciple by-laws are being violated.  This doesn't seem to be in tune with keeping the church pure and holy.


Why did God allow John Mark, the quitter, the man who turned back on the first missionary journey with the Apostle Paul, to pen the second book of the New Testament. A quitter was allowed to be the human author of the second book of the New Testament?  Something must be wrong with this?  Is this a scandal on God?"


Here is one that tops them all in my book. Why did God call Solomon the wisest man in the whole world?  Dear readers he had 700 wives and that is not wise.  He had 300 substitutes in case one of his wives called in sick and that certainly was not wise.  Yet, God looked back at Solomon's life and said he was the wisest man in the world.


How can all of these cases be true?  What was God thinking?  Maybe this is what God did.  Could it be that He looked at each individual's life and average out that life? Did God take one day and grade it?  Did he then take the next day and grade it?  

Did God, at the end of their lives, average out their days and then come to the conclusion that on an average Moses was a "servant," David was a "...a man after mine own heart," Noah was a "preacher of righteousness," Lot had a "just" and "righteous soul," and Solomon was a "wise" man?

God is not saying that Moses never did anything wrong.  God is saying the average came out to be such that God called him "my servant." God is saying the same thing about Abraham. God is saying that He averaged out Abraham's life and his average was defined in the word "friend."

God summarizes Moses' life taking into account the bad days, good days, and high days giving him the average grade of "my servant."  God did the same with all of the above people mentioned.


Sammy Sosa led the major leagues in strikeouts the same year he broke all of his home run records. Babe Ruth did the same thing in his baseball days. Michael Jordan in his prime missed half of his shots.  So, if Babe Ruth can fail 60% of the time he went to the plate, doesn't it seem feasible to average out life when it comes to others before summing up our opinions about them?

The professional baseball player who will lead his league in hitting will be the one with the highest average.  The Valedictorian for the class of 2013 will be the one with the highest average.  Isn't this a wonderful thought?  Think about it! God will not judge any of His people by bad days, or by high days;  He will judge all of the days and give an average.


Let us consider all of the good things people have done and average it ALL out.  A pastor is never happy when someone leaves their church.  However, I refuse to be a part of this crowd that says, "What have you done for me lately?"  How about changing the motto to "What have you done for me formerly?"   Averaging it out will cause you to keep a right spirit about those who forsake you and to keep a right spirit about those who are currently involved in your life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015



Acts 2:38, “The Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

 The word “repent" can be defined as changing ones mind, reasoning, or opinion. In essence the word “repentance” means, “to change ones mind.” It could be defined as “a deciding to change” or  “a deciding to go another direction,” but basically it means to change one’s mind or direction. II Timothy 2:25, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;”

 All we have to do is find out what makes a person lost spiritually. Then if we can change what makes that person lost then he or she can be saved from an eternal hell. Thus, one must repent from whatever it is that makes that one lost without salvation. John 3:18, “But he that believeth not is condemned already.” Why is a person condemned? Simple, because “he believeth not.” 

 If he is lost because he believes not then what must he do in order to be saved from going to hell? He must repent! Repent from what? Repent from believing not! If it is believing not that makes you lost then it is changing to believing that makes you saved.

 John 3:18, look at the last part of that verse, “because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.” What is it that makes a person lost and on their way to hell? Not believing in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

 Which means if you do not believe on Jesus to pay for your sins and to take you to Heaven you are lost! John 3:18, “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed.” Thus, a man is lost because he does not believe on the Son of God for payment of his sins.

 Man then must repent of that which makes him lost in order to be saved from a devil’s hell. John 3:36, “He that believeth not the son shall not see life.” What is it you do not do to see life? Believe not the Son of God. The verse goes on to say, “But the wrath of God abideth on you.” What do you have to do in order to have the wrath of God abiding on you? Believe not the Son of God. 

 Believing not is what makes one lost and on their way to hell. You must repent or change your mind about something you are doing to trust in to keep out of hell to what God says is THE way to heaven, which is to believe on the Son of God for payment of your sin penalty of hell. 

 You believe in your mind and your will. So, you must change your mind. You must change from “I will not receive Christ” to “I will receive Christ.” Consequently you must undo to be saved what you do that makes you lost. What do you have to do to go to hell?  Believe not on the Son of God! What do you have to do to go to heaven? Believe on the Son of God for payment of the price of your sin!

 John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”What kept these people from having life? Not coming to Jesus! If you do not come to Jesus for payment of your sins you will die and go to hell! What you have to do in order to go to heaven is to change your mind and come to Jesus for payment of sin. 

 You undo to be saved what you did to be lost. You are lost because you do not come to Christ and you are saved because you do come to Christ for payment of the penalty of sin. What you are repenting of is not coming to Christ and not believing on the Son of God.


 Repent means to change one’s mind. If a person decides to go to town and then decided not to go to town he has repented. If a person decides to be married and then decides not to be married he has repented. 

 Matthew 27:3, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders.” Was Judas saved? No! Judas was not repenting of his sin! Judas realized he had made a bad deal. He changed his mind about what he should have done, but he never repented of being a sinner. You can repent of something other than sin. 

 By the way, Judas went to hell and yet repented. Everybody who lives in sin sooner or later repents of it. There is a difference between that and repenting of not believing on the Son of God. You can repent of a sin or sins without repenting of the sin of unbelief. It is the sin of unbelief that sends one to hell. Thus, it is the repenting of the sin of not believing that sends one to hell. Judas repented but was not saved.

 Genesis 6:5-6, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”  Does that mean that God sinned? No! You can repent of something other than sin. 

 God who cannot sin, lie, or do wrong repented in Genesis 6:6. God repents, but does not commit sin. Repentance does not always have to do with sin, but it does always have to do with the changing of one’s mind.

 I Samuel 15:35, “And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the Lord repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” God chose Saul to be the king of Israel, but he changed His mind! God repented that he had made Saul king. You can repent of something other than sin.

 Exodus 32:14, “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.”  God and Moses are having a disagreement and the Lord repented. Hold it, God is not speaking of sin here. He is talking about punishment here! God repented! Did God get saved here? No! God simply changed his mind here!

 The same is true in Jonah 3:9-10 and Amos 7:3, 6! Repentance does not always have to do with sin. It is not always sin you are repenting of and it is not always salvation as the issue in repentance! The wife says, “I think we’ll have roast beef Sunday. No, no I think we’ll have fried chicken.” Hold it, she repented, but it was not sin she repented of.


 You do not clean up and then get saved! You get saved and then clean up! Not believing is what condemns a person to hell. Believing is what un-condemns a person! Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22; 3:19 repentance from sins is directed toward God’s children in Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, etc. 

 Not one person in the Bible was saved by repenting of his or her sins! Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” They did not say repent! They did say, “Believe.” This is the only verse in the Bible that goes directly to the issue of being saved and it does not say, “Repent.”

 Jesus does not forgive sin! Jesus paid for the price of sin with his death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus does not forgive sin for he paid for sin himself.  He forgives sinners by paying for their sins.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


The Lust of the Ministry

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?"

The Book of James is one of the most practical books in all of the New Testament. Some have compared it to the Old Testament book of Proverbs in its practicality. When James wrote these words he was writing them to believers, anticipating the fact that there were going to be conflicts among them. 

Preachers are also believers, so there is no reason to believe that preachers are exempt from the truth of this passage. In fact, sometimes preachers are the most guilty of fighting and warring among one another. 

What causes conflict between preachers? It is usually ministry based. It is easy for a preacher to believe that his ministry is more important than the cause itself. In other words, a pastor or preacher can be guilty of thinking that his ministry is the cause rather than being a part of the cause.  

When that happens jealousy, envy, bitterness and other sinful attitudes can come into the life of a preacher. These attitudes can infect his spirit and make him think he must fight other ministries in order to protect or even advance his own. 

It is a dangerous thing when the preacher begins to place his ministry in an idolatrous type position. Some preachers have placed their ministry above other ministries and even above the overall cause of Christ. As a result God has removed men from their ministry. In other cases God has removed his blessings from that ministry. 

I am saddened when I see preachers war and fight with one another not over principle or doctrine, but rather over power. Power struggles take place when a man feels his ministry is more important than another's. 

My mentor, Dr. Jack Hyles believed that every ministry was important. He may not have agreed with everything they did, but he did not believe his was more important than theirs. 

He did not believe his church was more important than other churches. He did not believe his conferences were more important than other conferences. He did not believe his college was more important than other colleges. He did not believe his personal ministry was more important than other men's personal ministries. 

There were times when other ministries conflicted with him, but he did his best not to conflict in return. When ministries fought him, and many did, he did not fight back unless it was based upon a departure from the faith or from sound biblical positions. 

I am amazed at how good men become petty because of their egos. They are more concerned with the furtherance of their ministry than the furtherance of the Gospel. 

When Dr. Hyles started Hyles-Anderson College he did not want to be a competitor to other colleges, but rather provide another opportunity for students to be trained in his ministry. He did not put down Tennessee Temple in order to elevate Hyles-Anderson. 

When I began Texas Baptist College many men would've considered that an affront, but not Dr. Hyles. Not once did he offer me an ultimatum, or suggest that as an alumni of Hyles-Anderson College I was being disloyal for starting another college. He cheered me on. He encouraged me. In fact, he sent Dr. Wendell Evans at his own expense to help start our college. 

Did I take students from his college? A few, no doubt. However, not once did Dr. Hyles make me feel that Hyles-Anderson College was more important than Texas Baptist college. 

Many men have started colleges who either graduated from Hyles-Anderson College or were greatly influenced by it, yet not once did I hear Dr. Hyles speak ill towards those ministries or minimize their importance. He praised them. He encouraged them. He did not fight against other ministries because they had some "negative" effect on his. He believed that the cause was bigger than his ministry, and proved it by the way he behaved towards them.

When God placed upon my heart to start Independent Baptist Online College, A pastor friend with a Bible college did not look at IBOC as a competitor, but rather saw the possibility of working together. He asked if he could use the online college to help missionaries who were close to graduating, but who were ready to go out for deputation. He saw this is a way for them to finish their studies while they were raising support to go to the mission field. 

This pastor also agreed to speak and teach in our online Pastoral Education class. I respect this pastor for seeing the cause as bigger than his ministry. He could've seen independent Baptist Online College as a competitor, but he didn't. He saw it as a part of the cause  In other words, the cause was more important than his ministry.

The same was true with my good friend Dr. Jeff Fugate and many other pastors with their own colleges. The devil is our adversary not each other. To frame someone as an enemy simply because he obeys God to start a ministry is absurd. 

We need a revival among preachers of having the right spirit towards other ministries which may appear to be in competition with their own. 

I recently heard of two fine pastors who had scheduled national church growth conferences the same week in different parts of the country. I celebrate both of these conferences. I rejoice that both of these men are encouraging preachers to build churches and reach more lost souls. 

Will they effect each other? Probably they will in a small way, but I hope and believe these men will not fight and war among themselves, but rather rejoice in the furtherance of the cause.  

We need preachers to quit fighting each other about what God wants the other  do for the cause of Christ. We need them to see the cause bigger than themselves. 

Let's face it, none of us are indispensable. There will come a time when all of us will be gone and someone else will take our place. In some cases our ministries will not survive after we are gone. 

None of us are so important that we cannot be replaced. God in his sovereignty chooses to use us as He wills. There will be times when He will lift another's ministry above ours, and we should rejoice and encourage that one. 

Would to God that all of us saw the cause bigger than ourselves and bigger than our ministries. 

I loved Longview Baptist Temple and Texas Baptist College when I was their pastor and leader. I love them to this day. However, I love every other church, conference, college and ministry that is doing the same thing of bringing souls to Christ and bringing our country back to God. 

Ours was not superior to others. There were times when I had to remind myself that we were not THE cause to the exclusion of others, but a part of a greater cause. Woe be it for me to hinder a work of God because of my pettiness, my jealousy, my envy or as James calls it, my lusts. 

Far more preachers succumb to ministry or power lust than to sexual lust, and that is what causes us to fight others who are trying to do a work for God that they feel God has led them to do. Our enemy is the devil not each other.

May each of us do our best to build our ministries, but may our ministries never become our idols. May they always be a part of the greater cause. 

Let us encourage one another and do nothing to stand in the way of the work of God. May we always remember that the work of God is bigger than us and thus bigger than our ministries.

Saturday, September 26, 2015



Many pastors of the past have worked wonderfully well with ministries that were not started by a local church. Men like Dr. Roberson, Dr. Hyles, Dr. Malone, Dr. Vick, Dr. Rawlings, Dr. Billington, and others worked with The Sword of the Lord, Bill Rice Ranch, Bob Jones University, BIMI, Youth for Christ, Word of Life, Gideons, Salvation Army, Pacific Garden Rescue Mission, Christian Law Association, Revival Fires, International Board of Jewish Missions, Gospel Tract Society, etc which were all para-church ministries. John 10:16, "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold..."

Oh you say, “But look at the direction many of the ministries have gone." Yes, and we could easily look at the direction many of those churches have gone.

Dr. Hyles often taught that we all use para-church ministries in one way or another. He loved the idea that the local church could do it better, but he never black balled those who provided helps to the local churches whether in or out of the local church. One time he told us that all of us drew the line of using para-church ministries at different levels, but at the end of the day we all use para-church ministries.

If we are not careful we hypocritically oppose men of God led of God who start ministries. These are men of God in their own right and are just as led of God. There may be a disagreement of the thought of should they be started by the local church or a man of God. Good men may disagree, but that does not seem to stop God from leading men to start such ministries. 

Logic with me, if they are started by the local church obviously they would budget that ministry in their church budget. Many local churches have ministries brought to them with the membership transfer of a man of God. These men who join never ask to be put into the churches budget for they live by the faith of that man of God. These men of God choose independent Baptist churches because that is who they are in the faith. 

Yet, to be consistent no pastor should accept any ministry not started by that local church if they are going to be consistently opposed to para-church ministries. The pastor who takes this stand should start and finance every ministry. He should refuse to take a man of God into the church membership who has a ministry from God; if the pastor cannot control and run it. 

Through out the years men with ministries would join churches I pastored and I never stuck my nose into their ministry.  They stayed out of my ministry I stayed out of their ministry. When they asked my opinion or counsel I gave them my opinion and counsel. 

The truth is I have never in my 33 years of pastoring ever had a problem with a man who brought or started a ministry while being a member. I was not opposed to them because I was not the final authority on what God was doing in another man of God's ministry. I simply made myself available to them.

I, like Dr. Hyles, preferred the local church start these ministries, but I quickly learned from Brother Hyles, and these other great men, that God moved on other men of God to start ministries to aid the cause of Christ. Also, I quickly learned that I could not finance everything I wanted to do. 

I desired to have a camp, but the finances never materialized. However, we still went to summer camps whose ministries actually started the camp first and then the church second. It was not the way I would have done it, but I still used them. The wonderful thing is they have enough sense to be associated with an independent fundamental Baptist church of like faith and order. 

It is not at all like years past with those whom I call “Protestant Baptist” had NO association with local churches. They were truly defined as “para-church” because they had no association with any local church. That is just not the case today in independent Baptist circles. This is not your father's para-church.

I worry that we are not looking at the bigger picture and have become so small minded that we believe without us nothing can be accomplished for Christ. Again, I prefer the local church start everything, but if they cannot finance it they should not start it. 

So, here comes a man of God who is doctrinally sound and is led of God to start a ministry to help win the world to Christ. He does not ask to be put into the church budget.  He believes like the pastor doctrinally. He tithes and give offerings. He is a personal soul winner. He and his family live separated lives. He defends fundamentalism. He is King James only. He is rarely there for he is traveling with his ministry. Should he not have the right to be a member and lead a ministry as God tells him?

The para-church ministries produced by the “Protestant Baptists” of yesteryear are different from the ones started inside of local churches of our day. Many today who are independent Baptist Evangelists, Periodicals, camps, etc., started their ministries while members of a local independent Baptist church. They would never have started their ministry outside of their membership in a local independent Baptist church. 

These men were men of God in their own right and totally agreed with the independent Baptist church polity. To ostracize these men’s ministries and define them in the same definition as those of yesteryear is duplicity of definition. 

These ministries are not at all like the ones of years gone by started outside of ANY local church; simply because those of old believed in the universal church. To compare those to these of today in independent Baptist circles is ridiculous. 

There was respect in days gone for such. Because they understood the callings of God in various ministries. Our mentors never mistreated the men or the ministries of such who were members of their local churches or chose not to ask to be put into the church budget. 

Dr. Hyles used to say that if the church can do it that is better, but if the church cannot do it then we need these ministries to accomplish what the church cannot do. One of the reasons Dr. Hyles wanted to build a great church was to be able to provide as many ministries through the church as possible, but he never completely abandoned his association with para-church ministries.


1. They come alongside the church to assist it.
2. They do not take the place of the church.
3. They are not a substitute for the church.
4. They are not necessarily a ministry of the church and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
5. They are not to make the church subordinate to them.
6. They are para not anti-church.
6. They have been a part of the work of God since the New Testament. Christian publishers have traditionally been para-church.
7. If a ministry is strictly under one church then all churches who submit to or use that ministry are submitting to that church.
8. Any ministry that provides a service to a church is a para-church ministry even if it is under the authority of one local church.
9. Para-church ministries should never solicit the tithes of a local church, but they should be allowed to generate funds from the services they provide. (If I bring my people to your conference and you ask for money you are soliciting money from my people.)
10. Every Christian college is a para-church ministry to you even if it is under another church. You are putting your faith in that church the minute you support that college.
11. Effective para-church ministries strive to serve the church.
12. The danger for a para-church ministry is placing the welfare of the ministry above that of the church.
13. Many para-church ministries began to fill a void the church was not filling. Most homeschooling is para-church and if not then the materials we use often come from para-church groups.
14. Having to pretend a ministry is of a local church just to appease other pastors is foolish and needless.
15. God started the home, yet we have many para-home institutions. If we strictly applied our para-church rules we would find we are a bit inconsistent in our position. 
16. If a ministry is truly a ministry of the local church then why do we support it when it picks up and moves to another local church? MANY of the ministries named above have relocated "under" a different church. If they were truly under the church they would not have the freedom to do so.
17. The leaders of a para-church ministry should all be active members of a local church and personally accountable to their pastor.
18. It is not best when a church is under a ministry, such as a campus church or a church that is started by a Christian camp. However, even thought it is not best, it is not necessarily wicked.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015



Acts 10: 37-38, “That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;”

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

After the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist Jesus was empowered by the Holy Ghost. Jesus did his entire ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

What condescension when the Lord became a man! He was housed in a human body with all of its frailties.

Revelation 1:13-16, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the papas with a golden girdle.”

“His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;”

“And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

“And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”

John the Beloved saw Jesus and his response is recorded in Revelation 1:17-18.

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:”

“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”

What a difference between Jesus in Heaven and Jesus on earth being in the form of a servant! Jesus did not do one of His great works in the power of His deity or His power as the Son of God! His works were all done as a spirit-filled man! They were all done in the power of the third person of the trinity.

So, it is with every saved person! Whatever the redeemed do must be done in the power of the third person of the trinity and not the second! It is done not because the saved are the children of God.
Jesus left His power in Heaven! Jesus left the manifestation of His glory in Heaven. In Acts 10:37-38 the Scriptures mention often the association of what Jesus did in connection with the Holy Spirit such as His preaching, His miracles, and His works.

Isaiah 42:1, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.”

Isaiah 61:1-2, “The Spirit of the LORD GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”

According to Isaiah 11:1-3 Jesus returns to reign on the earth and He will reign in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself is the sprout form the trunk of Jesse’s tree. It is by the third person of the trinity that Jesus will reign perfectly and gloriously on earth.

The anointing and the power came upon Jesus when He prayed standing in the Jordan River after having been baptized by John the Baptist. In Acts 10:38 we have the three persons of the God Head are mentioned.
Hebrews 9:14, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God…”

This is how Jesus faced the cross! The Scripture says, “…through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God…”

Acts 1:2, “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.”

Jesus gave commandments through the power of the Holy Ghost! Jesus did none of His work outside of the Power of the Holy Spirit. He gave commandments to His apostles after His resurrection and He did that in the power of the Holy Spirit. We discovered that when Jesus returns to rule and reign He will do it in the power of the Holy Spirit. His very resurrection was in the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 1:32, “And John bare record, saying I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.” Matthew 3:13-15; Luke 3:21-23

Jesus was baptized and praying when the Holy Spirit came visibly upon Him at the age of 30. Jesus was perfect, sinless, blameless, had never grieved His father, loved the Word of God, was pure, without sin for those 30 years but He could do no work for God without the power of God via the Holy Spirit of God.

Luke 3:21-23, “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized and praying, the heaven was opened,”

“And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”

“And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.”

Luke chapter 4 starts out “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost…” In verse 14 after the temptation it says, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit…”

John 3:34, “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

Jesus was given the Holy Spirit without limit! WOW! Jesus delighted to call Himself the Son of man while not hesitating to declare that He and the Father were one! (John 10:30) Yet, He continually stressed the fact that He was a man.

Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

We are often commanded to be like Jesus. Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 12:1-2; I John 4:17; Romans 8:29)

Jesus is the Son of God! The redeemed are the sons and daughters of God! Jesus was conceived of the Holy Ghost and the redeemed are born of the Holy Spirit. Jesus now is in a glorified body and one day the redeemed will be in a glorified body. Does it not make sense that we cannot do what we do without the power of the Holy Spirit?

Philippians 3:20-21, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Matthew 3:15, “…thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.”

The miracles of Jesus were not given to prove that He was God’s Son. They did prove that God was with him but He often insisted that the miracles should not be told! Jesus gave one sign only that was to be the positive sign of His deity and that was His resurrection from the dead. (Matthew 12:39-40; Revelation 13:14; Matthew 10:1-8)

The important thing to remember is that Jesus did not do His work in the power of His deity. The redeemed cannot do our work in the power of just being saved. It is not the second person of the trinity but the third person of the trinity that empowers a saved person! Jesus was empowered in the flesh through the Holy Spirit and the same must be true for the rest of the redeemed!

Jesus left Heaven and emptied Himself. He became a man! He gave up His advantage over man and took man’s weakness and man’s limitations. Jesus gave up the use of His power as the Son of God, the power that created the worlds, and the power that holds the universe together. Jesus was content to use only the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:21-22, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto yo0u: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”

“And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”

John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”

John 17:18, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”


·      Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean the carnal nature is eradicated for Jesus had no carnal nature

·      Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not require speaking in some unintelligible tongue for Jesus did not such thing

·      Being filled with the Holy Spirit of God does not mean there must be outward manifestations such as a cyclone, rushing mighty wind, etc., for Jesus experienced no such thing

·      Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean ecstasy and a hat warm feeling through out your body for Jesus experienced no such thing

·      Being filled with the Spirit of God is not for personal edification for Jesus needed no such edification and He did not look for something to brag about

Wednesday, September 2, 2015




Sometimes you just can't win. Some Christians are going to find the devil in a new brand of paint. And so it is with something as "new" as an online Bible college. It seems that there are those whose scrutiny has become almost without logic or reason. One such being the notion that somehow this online college is a form of Universalism. This is quite silly, however, in an effort to answer questions regarding our connection to the church, let me address this issue.

Just because it is on the Internet does not make it anti-local church anymore than local churches who put their sermons on YouTube make that church a "cyber space universalist." The fact that others see it over the Internet does not indict that local church as theologically conjoined with universalists. IBOC is not a church. IBOC is an academic helper for the local church. The final authority is the local church led by their pastor.

The internet makes it possible for Christians to accomplish things for the Lord in ways we could not before. Rather than looking for what is wrong with that, we ought to rejoice at the possibilities.

The internet allows us to perpetuate the ministry and influence of some who otherwise we would lose. Our goal is to raise the influence of men who may be limited in their ability to travel yet who have much to offer this generation.

Yet, there are those who are trying to find some anti-church conspiracy in this endeavor. Here are some of the ways we support the local church. By the way, we do not ask for nor intend to accept support from churches. Our ministry is not para-church any more than Revival Fires, Sword of the Lord, Reformers Unanimous, Mount Salem Camp Grounds, Agape Homes, The Torch, etc.

1. We are officially a ministry of Victory Baptist Temple in Elyria, Ohio, which is where the president of our college, Dr. Jeffrey Smale pastors.

2. Every administrator, advisory board member and faculty member is an active member of a local New Testament Church and most are current or former pastors.

3. Every IBOC student is a member of a local church and must be recommended by their local church pastor. 

4. That same local pastor oversees their student's spiritual life according to his church's standards and convictions.

5. IBOC will supervise their academic work, but the local church pastor will guide their additional training. 

6.  Each pastor will hold their own commencement service for their students at their church giving a diploma provided by IBOC which will be signed by Dr. Smale and the graduates pastor.

7. The IBOC Degree will be given on their church platform to their church member.

8. The pastor will have the final say as to whether their church member is spiritually qualified to graduate.

9. IBOC will have the final say as to their church member being academically qualified to graduate.

We are not seeking to control any ministry of the local churches to which we do not belong. We are seeking to provide a means of obtaining an online degree for those who seek one. It is easy to look for the flaw of such an endeavor and miss out on the fact that we are paying much more homage to the local church pastor than most campus colleges. I trust this clears up any confusion regarding our church association.