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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NEW BOOK COMING OFF THE PRESSES THIS WEEK

INTRODUCING JACK HYLES TO A NEW GENERATION

I just received word that my new book INTRODUCING JACK HYLES TO A NEW GENERATION will be off the presses in MN by this Friday. I am excited about this book and its' insight into the man of God that God used to build one of the great ministries of his day.

This is a 320 page hard back book with a beautiful dust jacket. There are 53 chapters and each helping the reader to grasp and put their minds around this man and his ministry. No one has effected fundamentalism with such a great impact as this man of God.

My heart goes out to young men of God who never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jack Hyles and get to know him on a  ministry basis or a personal basis.  His ministry was astounding to say the least.  

Before there were ever, what we call mega-churches, there were hundreds of independent Baptist churches leading their respective states in the winning of souls as well as building great Sunday schools. This was partly because of PASTORS' SCHOOL hosted by First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN, led by Dr. Hyles, also his preaching around our great nation.

This book will help those who have a desire to keep alive the cause of soul winning and Sunday school.  No one who knew Dr. Hyles ever doubted his love for his people, the souls of the unsaved, and men of God.

50 % off for churches and bookstores

There are 20 books in a case and they can be drop shipped to your location within a week. The books sell at a retail price of $25 per book. If you order a case you will receive the 20 books for $12.50 per book or $250 per case of 20, plus shipping and handling. This is a 50% savings.

A lot of time, sweat and tears have gone into this book and I know it will help anyone with an honest heart for souls and ministry. If you desire to see a move of God again on our beloved nation it will have to begin in the pulpits of America. This book will help you to understand the heart of this great man of God.

September 25, 1926 to February 6, 2001

Email bgraysr@me.com or call 903-237-9019 and order today at this special pre-order rate. God bless you and your labor for souls!

HOW ARE WE TO HANDLE OUR ENEMIES?

VENGEANCE



Nahum 1:1-3, “The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.”

“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.”

“The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”


God is saying here that he is a God of vengeance. He is saying the Lord revengeth. He then goes on to say he will not acquit the wicked. God then says there are something’s that help him. He has the lever that turns on and off the whirlwind. He has the buttons that turn on and off the storm. He has the power to make the clouds to come. He has tornadoes and hurricanes at his disposal. God is telling his people that he has all of these things at his disposal.

Our God is a loving God but our God will not acquit the wicked. He is a God of vengeance. Please do not misunderstand this but God wants people who do wrong to receive their just desserts. God will not acquit the wicked. God has three ways to see to it that people receive their just vengeance.




GOD’S PART

Romans 12:19, ”Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord.”

You are not to get back at anyone! “avenge not yourselves” is in the same Bible that promises you Heaven if you trust Christ as your personal Saviour! The same God wrote this too. You are to attempt to get back and anybody.

God is not saying here that he does not want those who have wronged you to get away with it and not receive their just punishment. He is just saying you will not do the best job of vengeance. You want to scrape while God wants to salvage! God does what them to receive their just dues but it is not your job or my jog. “… give place to wrath…”

God’s children are to transfer vengeance to someone else. Defer to someone else who can do a much better job than you can! God wants people to get their come uppins! God wants people to pay for their wrong.

In my 45 years of ministry I have experienced every attack imaginable from every person possible.  Men who thought they held my ministry in their hands to make or break failed. They failed for two reasons; because I would not bow or back down to them and the realization that God could handle this far better than I.

When I started INDEPENDENT BAPTIST ONLINE COLLEGE you would have thought I had started a college for Satan. I obeyed God to start a college to help those who quit and never returned to finish what God had started in their hearts. Our first year we had over 1,000 students. Our second year God gave us 560 new students after 4 months in 2017.

It cost us financially. Mrs. G and I are making it, but no thanks to some who would want us to disappear. It would be very easy for me to fight back, but God loves my enemies as He loves me. I would be in essence fighting God not my enemies.

I have decided to use the attacks as a teachable moment to help others who will go through what we have gone through. I'm 71 as of the writing of this article and I honestly thought the days of battling were behind me.  But, the enemies still keep sticking their heads up.  What can I do?  2 things- I will not bow nor back down-I will leave the vengeance up to God.

Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

However, God’s children are not the judge, jury, and executioner. If someone does you wrong then “give place to wrath” or defer to someone else who can do the job properly. God said, “…I will repay…”
   
God’s children are not to get back at anyone

I wish all of us would stop and think about this before we react. In my 33 years of pastoring I spent more time refereeing stupid disagreements between church members. The Scripture says, “Bless those that curse you” and “Pray for those that despitefully use you” and  “Do good to those who do evil to you.”

God is for avenging wrong

It is not that God does not want the guilty to be punished. It is just that God wants it done right. We want to kill em’ while God wants to salvage em’! God will do it right and we will always do it wrong!

God says avenging is his job

If God is in charge of the storms, the whirlwind, and the tornadoes I would suspect God could get back at them far better than you and I could. You and I cannot send lightening, a hurricane, a tornado, or thunder. God has the entire universe at his disposal and God is saying stay out of my business and let me take care of this thing.  I’ll take care of it for you and I’ll do it right because you will blow it and mess of the job. You will and cannot do it right!

Please do not misunderstand me God does not want them punished for it is just that God wants it done right and he is the best one to do it. God is not saying here let the sinner go free for he is saying back out of it and I will take care of it. The truth is if you really want your enemy to get what he deserves then step out of the was and let God do it!

God will avenge

In verse 19 God said simply, “…I will repay…”! God will get vengeance on those that do wrong. God will see to it because he is a God of justice.


God can do a better job than we can

God admonishes his children to “…give place to wrath…” or in other words step back and let God do his work! Please understand personally I do not want any bad thing to happen to any of my enemies. There was a time when I wanted them to suffer but after 71 years of life and 45 years of ministry I do not wish anything bad on anyone. Life is tough enough as it is!

I have learned that God can do a much better job of taking care of my enemies than I can. I suffer maybe because of lies but truth always prevails. I do not have to defend myself I only have to stand and fight for the truth of God’s word!


God is telling us he will get him for you

When I was 13 my dad took me one summer to work with him loading gravel for a road construction job. I was to operate a front end loader and daddy was driving the truck to the road construction area. He would pull the truck up and I would load it with gravel. He then would deliver the gravel. While he was gone I took the front end loader and went into the mound of gravel to have a load ready to load daddy’s truck when he returned. 

When I took the front end loader and pushed into the mound I hit a water line that I did not know was there. A man came running out of the worker’s shed screaming and cussing at me. He pulled me off of the tractor and threw me into the mound of gravel. He was on top of me and I was no match for him, but here came daddy pulling up in his dump truck. He jumped out of the cab and grabbed the man on top of me pulling him off of me and beat the snot out of him! I was never so happy in my life to see my daddy!

Hey, I was no match for my enemy but my father was. Could it be that we are no match for our enemies but our Heavenly Father is?





Monday, April 17, 2017

JESUS DID HIS MINISTRY IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

JESUS WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT


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.”


OBSERVATIONS

·      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 no 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



Thursday, April 13, 2017

LEADERSHIP LESSON

THE DEMISE OF LEADERSHIP



Proverbs 26:2, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.”


There is always a reason. There is in life recipes for every facet of life. Our God is such a meticulous creator. All one has to do is to observe and absorb all of natures’ wonders. The physical body of a human being certainly is wonderfully and miraculously made.

The curse causeless shall not come according to the word of God. Therefore it is necessary for those who lead others of us to realize the tremendous responsibility to succeed in that leadership.

However, there is a downward spiral that occurs among leadership that just must not happen. Too many literally sink their leadership and take with them their followers because of these steps of demise.




A LEADER IS CAPTURED BY A TRUTH

Passion cannot exist without an eternal truth to bring continual fuel to that passion. Leaders are passionate people immersed in a truth and are intrinsically motivated while being extrinsically challenged. 

No challenge is too great and no obstacle too big that passionate beings living for a truth cannot overcome. Every one must have some thing that is bigger than themselves that will lift them out of themselves to do something greater than themselves.

Behind the success of every great leader is the being captured by a truth. The truth overshadows all conflicts and overcomes all struggles. Leaders cannot remain leaders without conviction baptized in passion. This passion will turn a timid man into a lion and deliver meekness without weakness.


A LEADER IS EXCITED BY A TRUTH

The truth goes to the very heart of the leader and he exudes emotion because of it. He cannot wait to share this truth and to excite others about this truth. The leader leads others to a truth that has captured his heart and life. He grows beyond the exhorting to exemplifying.

Those whom choose to be apart of this action are only initially involved because of the embodiment of truth in the life of this leader. The results begin to draw and the fascination of the incredible work makes the leader a hero to many.


THE LEADER DELIVERS THAT TRUTH WITH EXCITEMENT

The excitement and enthusiasm of the leader is internally based and needs not to have the validation of the external. To him the external is a bonus. To him the obeying of truth is in itself a reward. When he sees something come of his embracing of a truth it is so exciting he cannot wait to share it with others hoping they will enjoy not the fruits but the labor that brings such inward satisfaction.

The sad truth is though the ones who are attracted to him are attracted to the external result and not the internal resolve. It is the obeying of a truth and living for that truth that has brought about the blessings of that truth. The leader’s obedience has brought about in due time a result, but he still revels in the existence of the truth and his discovering of that truth.


HE EXCITES OTHERS WITH THAT TRUTH

This excitement is contagious. Unfortunately the excitement of the follower is based on the external and not the internal. Truth will set a man free through obedience so he cannot be fettered and bond by it so he is free to move on to the next truth. 

Many a businessman has been enthralled with the life of a Russell Anderson or a C. T. Studd or an R. G. LeTourneau only to find it to be an elusive dream for him. The dream has turned into a nightmare for some.

The excitement of any leader is because he has discovered a truth in life that he is excited about which turns his work into his play. He then because of the eventually blessings of his labor in that truth attracts attention. The attention however is rarely to the truth, but to the results of the obedience of that truth.

Dr. Jack Hyles told me one time that thousands have come to his Pastors’ Schools and only a hand full actually caught the truth that captured his life and created his passion. The attraction is to that which became seen while many ignored the unseen that made it all possible. 

A Dr. Hyles’ prayer life, hours of study, thousands of counseling sessions, fasting, observing great men, seeking the common denominator of the individual rather than the crowds, paying his bills ahead of time, 80 hour work weeks, organization of staff, hours of personal soul winning, organizing Sunday school staffs, overseeing the schools, and overseeing the college are usually unseen by the seeker of greatness.


THE FOLLOWERS RESPOND TO THAT TRUTH

It seems the work of obeying the truth is paying off and those who choose to follow are responding. The church begins to grow. The business begins to grow. The Sunday school class begins to grow. The Sunday school bus route begins to grow. The followers are responding and it is a joyful thing to see others see what you see.

This all comes about because the leader is captured by a truth and the truth develops passion in the leader. He obeys that truth and his work turns into play. He would rather work than eat or play. He gives his life to this truth and finds an inward satisfaction that needs no outward affirmation. He loves what he is doing for he is obeying the truth that captured him.

Soon as time moves along he sees results from his obedience to that truth. He is attempting to reproduce himself in those who have chosen to follow him in his quest to obey truth. The leader delivers his obedience to truth with excitement in his voice and his life. 

Others see the excitement and note the enthusiasm. They are intrigued by what they see and the attraction is the results and not the truth. However, some are diligent and observant enough to investigate further to find out it is truth at the bottom of all of this excitement.

Then the “Amens” begin to come from the congregation to the pulpit. Soon, the followers are echoing a verbal response of excitement. This is new to the leader for he had never noticed them before because he was always focusing on obeying the truth that captured him. 

He wanted others to become excited also, but he never thought about any thing big coming of this for his work had become his play. He enjoyed what he was doing via this truth.


THE LEADER BECOMES EXCITED ABOUT THE FOLLOWERS’ EXCITEMENT

Soon this leader becomes use to the excitement of the congregation or the followers. Soon he is excited about the excitement of others over the truth that captured him. He assumes they are all captured by the same truth when in reality most of them are caught up in the results of that truth.

It is so easy to become attracted to the attractiveness of results and not value the attractiveness of responsibility to truth. For the bottom line is the truth that captured the leader and the obedience to that truth that brought about the initial joy and satisfaction of that leader.

Many a successful pastor has built something great because of a great truth and allowed the results to become overwhelmingly the main thing. This all came about because of truth and the satisfaction that obedience to that truth brought to the leader.


THE LEADER THEN BEGINS TO LIVE OFF OF THE EXCITEMENT OF THE FOLLOWER

The preacher says after making an emphasis on a point in his sermon, “Well, somebody say amen?” However, one day there is a weaker response than normal. Over a period of time the pastor begins to question what is wrong with the congregation, when the truth is he has shifted his satisfaction from obeying truth to being satisfied with the followers response to his delivering the truth.

Example of a leader has far more of an impact on the follower than the exhortation of a leader. You see it all started with the leader discovering a truth and then finding satisfaction in obeying that truth. However, after living for that truth brought about results and the attracting of others to the results with few being attracted to the truth that started it all, demise began.

For 3 decades, every Sunday of the world, I had one of my converts down the aisle and baptized. I spent on an average of 15 hours a week giving the Gospel to 15 different people. I am not saying that all 15 trusted Christ, but I did have a goal of at least 5 converts lined up by Saturday night to come to church with me on Sunday. 

In 1972 at a SWORD OF THE LORD CONFERENCE in South Bend, Indiana, I hit the altar, after hearing Dr. John R. Rice and Dr. Jack Hyles, vowing to be a personal soul winner. 45 years later I am still having on an average of one soul saved a day. I was captured by a truth, excited by that truth, impassioned about that truth, attracted others to the results of that truth, and some even were attracted to the truth itself.

I was always cognizant of the fact to allow the obedience to that truth is my passion and not the followers’ applause or Amens be the fuel for my passionate search for the unsaved.


THE LEADER THEN TRANSFERS LEADERSHIP TO FOLLOWSHIP BASED ON THE EXCITEMENT AND NOT THE TRUTH

I love the amens of a congregation, but I love the truth more than their response. You see truth is greater than family, friends, business associates, or position. I do not live for a position for I live for a purpose. You may and probably will not hold your position, but you can always hold on to a purpose.

Many a pastor has asked with deep concern how was I doing since retiring from pastoring. At first I thought there was something wrong with me for I did not have a sense of remorse or buyer’s remorse for I did what God wanted me to do. 

I knew that when the church called my son, Dr. Bob Gray II, to be their pastor that they were in the hands of a man who already loved them and cared for them. You see for 21 years he was the best Youth Director in the nation and had a deep love for Longview Baptist Temple of Longview, Texas.

When a leader lives for a purpose then the position does not really matter to him. Do you know congregations sometimes fire pastors? Do you know Mr. businessman that companies sometimes fire their employees? I simply state this for when you are so obsessed with your position and you live off of the excitement of the those who follow you one day if you lose your position you will die on the inside.

I refuse to live off of the response of those who follow me or listen to me preach for truth is more important than applause or accolades. One day you will have to decide would you rather have God’s approval or man’s approval and if you have begun to live off of the approval of man you will one sad leader.


THE FOLLOWSHIP HAS NO LEADERSHIP AND IT COOLS OFF

When a leader lives off of the response of the followship then he is no longer the leader. In the Bible there is a teaching of “mutual faith.” In this God gives us a little insight into the leader follower relationship. The leader is in love with truth and receives his satisfaction from obeying that truth. He looks around him and all of a sudden there is someone else who is looking up toward that same heavenly truth. You say to them, “You love soul winning too?” 

They respond, “Yes I do!” Thus you have mutual faith. They are not attracted to you they are attracted to the truth. Let that be the truth of Sunday school, King James Bible, standards, prayer, missions, bus ministry, soul winning, etc., and you will find a crowd around you that was not attracted to you but to the truth that you were attracted too.

Then if the leader is not careful he will begin to live off of the follower’s faith and not his own faith in the truth that excited him to begin with. This whole scenario began with a leader being captured by a truth and in the obedience of that truth he found satisfaction. 

The leader wasn’t worried about building the world’s largest church he was concerned about keeping the next man, woman, boy, or girl out of Hell.

However, the leader begins to cool off of his obedience to the truth because after all if he misses a week of soul winning there will still be converts down the aisle and baptized for he has so many more soul winners out on the streets now. Now the followship has not leadership and they begin to fall to the level of passion of their leader.


BOTH LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWSHIP BECOME COLD

When the leader ceases to be enthralled by the truth and cools his obedience to that truth he then loses satisfaction in proportion to his obedience. If the leader jumps 10 feet the follower will most likely jump 5 or less feet. That is the reason they are not the leader. Thus when the leader jumps 5 feet the followers will most likely jump 2 ½ or fewer feet.

The thing that determines the heighth of the jump of the leader is directly in sync with the obedience to the truth that brings excitement. I do not care how you craft this for it all depends upon the leader’s obedience to truth that results in enthusiasm that fuels the obedience to that truth.

The bus ministry will live or die on the passion of the leader not the follower. The godly music program will live or die on the passion that fuels the obedience to the truth of godly music. The soul-winning program will live or die based on the passion derived from the personal obedience to soul winning by the leader. The standards of the church will live or die based upon the personal obedience to the truth of Bible standards.


THE LEADER RESIGNS INWARDLY

There is nothing as pathetic as a leader who has a form of godliness, passion, conviction, drive, concern, and power while yet denying the godliness, passion, conviction, drive, concern, and power inwardly. It is sad to see a leader go through the motion outwardly and obviously is dying inwardly.

When the leader resigns inwardly he has to recognize it is not all over. I don’t care if the fat lady does sing you can still have fresh oil. It is the return to the truth that will invigorate the soul of the leader. It is the obedience to that truth that started this wonderful journey and adventure. It was the obedience to truth that brought with it internal satisfaction. 

It really didn’t matter what the results were for you were obeying truth. It really didn’t matter what others said for you were obeying truth. You had an indescribable inner peace of satisfaction.

When it is you, the leader, and truth being obeyed, Hell itself cannot stop you. You may have transferred your obedience to truth to living off of the excitement of the followers to that very truth, but you can come back to that same truth and obey it once again.

Unfortunately some leaders have traded obedience to truth for fame, a platform, an honorary doctorate, a large love offering, famous friends, or applause.

·      The leader is captured by a truth
·      The leader is excited by that truth
·      The leader delivers that truth with excitement
·      The leader excites others with that truth
·      The followers respond to that truth
·      The leader becomes excited about the followers excitement
·      The leader then lives off of the followers excitement
·      The leader transfers leadership to followship based on the excitement and not the truth
·      The followship has no leadership and the follower cools off
·      Both the leader and the follower become cold
·      The leader resigns inwardly
·      Most of the time the leader resigns outwardly


Monday, April 10, 2017

PASTORS' ABDICATING TO BOARDS

SOME PASTORS ARE ALLOWING THIS CONTRADICTION TO SCRIPTURE 

A WARNING ABOUT DEACON BOARDS OPERATING CONTRARY TO SCRIPTURES!

When ever this topic is touched on it brings to the surface a delicate issue. God is the one who created the office of "deacon." However, the evolution of the office has been misshaped by churches who are abdicating pastoral responsibilities. Major denominations have ruined Biblical church polity by creating Trustee Boards and Deacon Boards with powers far beyond Scriptural boundaries to the detriment of local churches.

When someone brings it to the attention of God's people visceral attitudes are expressed in emails and articles defending the usurping of pastoral power with deacon boards. Thank God for every deacon who knows his place of service. I am grateful for the men who served with me in my decades of pastoring. They were good godly men who won souls and lived the right example. However, I reminded them of their Biblical roles and avoided the pitfalls I see so many young men falling into.

However, I had to work to keep outside influences of denominational powers from perverting the office of deacon in the churches I pastored. God intended for them to wait on tables so the man of God could study the word, pray, teach, and preach for God's people. When men of God begin to give away power that does not belong to them to deacons it becomes a cancer and nothing good will come from it.

NO DEACON BOARD SHOULD EVER DECIDE THE LIFE OR DEATH OF A MINISTRY OF A MAN OF GOD

Good churches have been destroyed because of a church polity that does not exist in the Scriptures. No deacon or deacon board should EVER decide the life or death of ministries.  I detest that kind of power in the hand of a board. God's men make those decisions not deacons. In many cases the man of God is TOLD what ministry can live and what ministry MUST DIE. No Biblical basis for this action.  

Deacon boards who give ultimatums are usurping authority given only by God. They in turn give that ultimatum to the local church so they can hide behind the vote.  Their only role is to care for the physical and let the man of God care for the spiritual. Pastors are scared of their boards and that is a shame because the members become complicit in this mutiny by voting.

Recently I was told to cease a God-given ministry by a deacon board. The board demanded the pastor give me an ultimatum and to tell me to resign that ministry or they would stop the money used for Mrs. Gray and my retirement. We depended upon that income for 7 years. It cost me financially, but at least I still shave a man in the morning. 

The pastor laid it on the deacons and wanted like Pilate to wash his hands of the matter. My ministry was called a "conflict of interest."  Silly! If I had started a Satan Church that would be a conflict of interest. It would have been so easy to give in to their pressure because of the financial repercussions of their threats. BUT, I could not do so!

I had no obligation to give in to their ultimatum because they did not like that particular ministry. God told me to start it and start it I did.  There was no Biblical basis for such a demand from those deacons.  They told the pastor, who folded like a cheap Sears Sucker suit, and then had the church vote to follow their recommendation; even though in a letter he recommended my ministry.

This happens more than even I would like to know. It saddens me for I remember the demands on Dr. Lee Roberson, which led to his retirement. I was asked if I would serve on the Trustee Board because of the unjust pressures on Dr. Roberson. This type of government in the local church is NOT BIBLICAL and is deadly for any local church.

THE DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANS


"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate."  Revelation 2:6 Have you ever wondered who the "Nicolaitans" were, mentioned in the book of Revelation? Whoever they were, Jesus loathed their doctrine and hated their deeds. Let's delve into this subject today to see if we can ascertain the identity of this group. What was their damnable doctrine? What deeds were they committing that elicited such a strong reaction from Jesus? 

Let's begin in Revelation 2:6, where Jesus told the church of Ephesus, "But this thou hast [in your favor], that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." Jesus was proud of the church of Ephesus for their "hatred" of the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which He also "hated." 

The word "hate" is a strong word, so let's see exactly what it means. It comes from the Greek word miseo, which means to hate, to abhor, or to find utterly repulsive. It describes a person who has a deep-seated animosity, who is antagonistic to something he finds to be completely objectionable. He not only loathes that object, but rejects it entirely. This is not just a case of dislike; it is a case of actual hatred

Any doctrine or practice that hurts the espoused bride of Christ, for whom He shed his blood for, is a dangerous path to tread.

The thing Jesus hated about them was their "deeds." The word "deeds" is the Greek word erga, which means works. However, this word is so all-encompassing that it pictures all the deeds and behavior of the Nicolaitans - including their actions, beliefs, conduct, and everything else connected to them. 

To crack the door for compromise silently and secretly to override the local church is the action of the Nicolaitans. Jesus died and shed His blood for the local church not a board or a denomination. For there to be any authority over and above a local church is the goal of the Nicolaitans.

The name "Nicolaitans" is derived from the Greek word nikolaos, a compound of the words nikos and laos. The word nikos is the Greek word that means to conquer or to subdue. The word laos is the Greek word for the people. It is also where we get the word laity. When these two words are compounded into one, they form the name Nicolas, which literally means one who conquers and subdues the people

It seems to suggest that the Nicolaitans were somehow conquering and subduing the laity or the members of the local church. His say took precedence over their say as a local church.

The Nicolaitans were the spiritual descendants of Nicolas of Antioch, who had been ordained as a deacon in Acts 6:5. That verse says, "And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch." 

We know quite a lot of information about some of these men who were chosen to be the first deacons, whereas little is known of others. For instance, we know that the chief criteria for their selection was that they were men "...of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom..."(v. 3).

Once they had been chosen, they were presented by the people to the apostles installing and officially placing them as deacons to relieve the pastors from waiting tables to prayer, to the word of God, and to the ministry. Bible deacons have no authority over ministry and certainly should not lead the members to do so either.


CONCLUSION

It is significant that the "deeds" and "doctrines" of the Nicolaitans are only mentioned in connection with the churches in two occultic and pagan cities. It seems that the "doctrine" of the Nicolaitans was that it was alright to have one foot in both worlds and that one needn't be so strict about separation from the world in order to be a Christian. This, in fact, was the "doctrine" of the Nicolaitans that Jesus "hated." 

It led to a weak version of Christianity that was without power and without conviction - a defeated, worldly type of Christianity. The conquering of the laity or members of the local church was hated by Christ. When a deacon board unjustly leads the members to an unjust decision it is because the pastor has abdicated his responsibilities.  The members become complicit in the injustice and the devil is happy.

I have a question-Where is the church at Ephesus? Where is the church at Pergamos? Where is the church of Antioch?  No church is infallible in its decision making, but it will come a whole lot closer to the right decision when roles are understood and obeyed. 

 Not every church vote is a vote sanctioned by God
The pastor should never receive nor deliver ultimatums from the deacon board on ministries' of men of God for the members to vote on. This deciding if the ministry lives or dies is up to God alone.  It is just as right for the church to be right with its members as it is for the members to be right with its church. Not every church vote is a vote sanctioned by God.

The overthrowing of local church entity, autonomy, and indigenousness was despised by Christ. It would lead to compromise. Christ's church is to be presented without spot and blemish. This cannot happen if one or a group of ones dictate and usurp authority over a local New Testament Church autonomous and indigenous church polity. Where are the pastors with a back bone who clarify and identify Biblical roles of deacons.

Nicolas' deep roots in paganism may have produced in him a tolerance for occultism and paganism. 

Growing up in this perverted spiritual environment may have caused him to view these belief systems as not so damaging or dangerous. This wrong perception would have resulted in a very liberal viewpoint that encouraged people to stay connected to the world. This is what numerous Bible scholars believe about the Nicolaitans.  

They justified their position by getting their way through conquering the local church bathing it in compromise by controlling the life and death of ministries of men of God given by God. Ultimatums on men of God and their ministries is not the deacons' Biblical role.

This kind of teaching would result in nothing but total defeat for its followers. When believers allow a persona or a board to over rule the man of God, his ministries, and the local church they are opening up the potential of sin and compromise to be in their lives. It drains away the power in the work of the Cross and the power of the Spirit that is resident in a believer's life. 


THE MAN OF GOD IS THE CUSTODIAN FOR HIS MINISTRY

Ministries are given by God to His man not the deacon board. These ministries belong to God and in many cases not even the local church. Some ministries are birthed in a local church, but many are brought to a local church by a man of God. What right does a deacon have to shut down a ministry given by God which was brought to them. The man of God is the custodian for his ministries.

To financial support a ministry is one thing that comes with a ministry birthed by the local church. However, those ministries that are brought to the same local church are under the control and leadership of the man whom God gave the ministry to. These ministries are God given not man given.

This is the reason the name Nicolas is so vital to this discussion. The evil fruit of Nicolas' "doctrine" encouraged worldly participation, leading people to indulge in sin and a lowered godly standard. 

In this way he literally conquered the members of a local church and over threw their stand by controlling the life or death of ministries.  

God wants to make sure we understand the doctrine the Nicolaitans taught, so Balaam's actions are given as an example of their doctrine and actions. Revelation 2:14,15 says, "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate."

Just as the men of Israel compromised themselves with the world and false religions, now the "doctrine" of the Nicolaitans was encouraging compromise via over ruling the the man of God, his ministries, and the local church membership's stand as a local church. As you are well aware, compromise with the world always results in a weakened and powerless form of Christianity. 

No board or no one person should ever over rule a local church, the men of God, their ministries; for if they do they open the door to compromise by over throwing the local church autonomy. When they force a vote with threatening statements something is wrong. No deacon board should ever demand to oversee a ministry or demand a ministry be stopped. When the pastor forfeits his spiritual role a vacuum is created and it will be filled by the deacons.

This was the reason Jesus "hated" the "doctrine" and the "deeds" of the Nicolaitans. No board should ever over rule the vote of a local church or reverse the vote; for if they do they open the door to compromise with "board rule" instead of "church rule."  

They should never intimidate the members to vote to rule on ministries with an up or down vote on the ministries' very existence. This is not their place. Taking care of the widows and the physical is there ONLY role. When they make a back room decision and then threaten the church that they had better agree with the back room deal, nothing good will come from this overthrowing of valid ministries. Where was the man of God in this process?

Thus the "deeds of the Nicolaitans" leads to compromise and generations to follow will pay the price of their compromise of overthrowing the will of the local church. Every church deserves to have a real man of God at the helm who has the fortitude of strength to remind everyone of their Biblical roles. It is not easy, but a necessary fight for right.