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Thursday, August 31, 2017

THE HERESY INVADING LOCAL CHURCHES

ELECTION?



II Peter 1:10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail.”

 Election is the doctrine of God Himself choosing man to do something specific for Him by using His Sovereignty! There are some who teach that salvation has to do with election. They say that God by His Sovereignty chooses who will be saved. That is simply not true! Man chooses whether he is saved or not. Whosoever will may come. Man either accepts or rejects God’s payment of His only begotten Son for sin.

 Some teach God knew who would be saved and so He then elected them to be saved. That is not the doctrine of election. The doctrine of election has nothing to do with salvation, but it has to do strictly with our working for God to get salvation to others.

 A man is saved by trusting Jesus Christ as payment for his sins, God wipes away all of his sins, refuses to record future sins, and places Jesus’ righteousness on the saved person’s record in Heaven. He is declared innocent, as if he had never sinned at all. God appeases Himself! God sets the saved person apart for a future life in Heaven. 

 God gives him or her a new birth and as a new creature escorted to Heaven. God gives the saved person the person of the Holy Spirit to convert him to usefulness for God with his life on earth. God prepares a glorified body for the saved person to give him when he arrives in Heaven. God made reconciliation possible so that man could fellowship with God Himself. God preserves the saved person for Heaven. This is amazing because all of that took place the moment the saved person placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation!

 Now comes the doctrine of election! God elected me to be in the ministry! God elected my two sons to be pastors! When you were saved God commanded you first to be baptized, join a local church, tithe and give offerings, and go soul winning. Then second His election will put you into and area of ministry to others. In essence election has to do with you working for God. No one is elected for Heaven or elected for Hell. That is as much heresy as a bloodless religion is or a non-inspired preserved Bible is!

 When God saved me at age eleven at 132 E. Michigan Ave., Galesburg, Michigan in February of 1957 He cleared my record in Heaven, declared me justified or innocent, appeased Himself, court adjourned, He gave me a new creature, He gave me the Holy Spirit, He prepared a glorified body for me in Heaven, gave me an opportunity to fellowship with Him, preserved me for Heaven, and elected me to be in the ministry.


ISRAEL WAS CALLED AN ELECT NATION


 Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 you find that Israel was not chosen for salvation, but was chosen by God to do a unique work in the world. She was chosen by God to give us the Scriptures, give us the Messiah, and give us the local New Testament church. In Matthew chapter 10 all of the members of the first Baptist church of Jerusalem were all Jews. Israel was chosen by God to present the Gospel to the world.

 When God elected Israel to do all of that He was saying I need a nation to give the Scriptures too, the Messiah too, the local New Testament church too, and the Gospel too! God is not saying I have chosen Israel to go to Heaven and all the other nations to go to Hell. No, God elected Israel to do a particular work for Him on earth.


A LOCAL NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH IS CALLED “THE ELECT LADY”


 II John 1:1, “The elder unto the elect lady…” The local New Testament church is called “…the elect lady…” Does that mean that everybody who’s a member of your church is elected to go to Heaven? Oh, no! election is not about going to Heaven or Hell in the Scriptures! The local church has been elected to be the instrument of the propagation of the Gospel in your area and to the world.

 Israel was elected for a particular work for God on earth. Your church and every other local New Testament church is elected to spread the Gospel on earth. Election is when your pastor was saved God said, “I’m going to elect him to be the pastor of your church.” At salvation God elected you to do what you are doing for God.

 Here is the question! Your calling is to be a soul winner! Are you doing it? Your election is to do a specific work for God on earth at this very moment! Are you doing it?

 Israel was an "elect" nation. Elected to Heaven or Hell? No! Elected to give the world the Saviour, Scriptures, Gospel, and New Testament. The local New Testament church is the “elect lady.” Elected to Heaven or Hell? No! Elected to give the Gospel to every human being on earth for God! God has elected the local New Testament church not to Heaven or Hell, but to spread the Gospel to “every creature.”


THE APOSTLES ARE CALLED HIS ELECT
  
 Does this mean that the Apostles are the only ones going to Heaven? No, thousands were saved and baptized during their day! Election cannot be referring to going to Heaven or Hell. The Apostles were the first ones chosen for a specific job on earth for God. They were chosen in a unique way to lead in spreading the Gospel to the world. Election is being chosen for leadership to spread the Gospel around the globe to every nation.


PAUL WAS CALLED THE ELECT
APOSTLE


 Titus 1:1, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;” Paul calls himself a servant and an apostle with both being according to the faith of God’s elect.” He is saying God has elected him or chosen him to be a servant and an apostle. Paul was elected for Heaven? No! Paul elected to get saved and then God elected Paul to be a servant and an apostle.

 II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Our God does not want any one to go to Hell! Our God does not elect people to Heaven or Hell. He elects people to do a work on earth for God


ELECT ANGELS


 I Timothy 5:21, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels…” Are angels born again? No! Thus, this cannot be dealing with Heaven or Hell. Angels cannot be saved! What are angels? Messengers! What are they elected too? To be messengers!

 Paul was elected to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He took the Gospel to the Western World. The Jewish nation was an elect nation to give us the Messiah, the Scriptures, the Gospel, and the local New Testament church. The local New Testament church is the elect body to spread the Gospel to the world. The angels have been elected as special messengers to help us spread the Gospel for God.

 Election is a Sovereign act of God to do a specific work to spread the Gospel to the world for God. If God makes an act based based on what you do then that is not a Sovereign decision by God. God cannot elect you to do something or be something you have already chosen. I did not choose to be a preacher and neither did any one else who is in the ministry.

 All are commanded and called to be soul winners, but only a few are chosen to be the pastor, preacher, principal, chancellor, choir director, youth director, or bus director, etc. Just before Matthew 20:16 is the parable of Jesus sending forth labourers in to the vineyard. In dealing with those labourers He said, “few are chosen.” Thus, this doctrine of election has nothing to do with who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell, but who works or who labors in a particular field.

 John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” God does not want you to be barren spiritually, but fruitful spiritually. 

 Jesus is saying the being “chosen” relates to the work in the vineyard. Every context of the word “elect” in the Scriptures has to do with work! God has elected you not to be a lazy hound dog! All of us are called to be a soul winner, but some are elected to be the principal, youth pastor, mission’s director, college president, or pastor, etc.

 At salvation God took away our sins, decided not to record any future sins, put Jesus’ righteousness on our record, declared us justified, appeased Himself by Himself, declared the case closed with the court adjourned, set me aside for Heaven in the future, regenerated us, gave us a new creature, sent the Holy Spirit into us to convert us, reserved a new body in Heaven for us, made it possible for us to fellowship with God, preserved us by sealing us with the Holy Spirit, and then election is God giving us a specific work to do for Him!






Monday, August 21, 2017

I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MY VINEYARD

NOT FOR SALE



I Kings 21: 3, 4, 6 “And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.”

“And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.”

The vineyard could be found often on a hillside a peak, or sometimes it would be terraced. A hedge surrounded the vineyard or a stony wall to keep out destructive animals and a tower was erected for the watchman. A press was constructed and a large vat was hewn out of stone. Laborers were sometimes hired to work in the vineyard for it was necessary to prune it to dig about it, to pull weeds, and so on.

Picture this? At Jezreel lived Naboth who was a good upstanding citizen whose ancestors had occupied the same land for many generations before him. The land contained a vineyard, which happened to be just outside the palace walls of King Ahab. The king wanted to plant an herb garden and his search for a plot of ground he noticed Naboth’s vineyard.  Naboth’s vineyard was a very desirable piece of ground for what the king wanted.

The longing for Naboth’s vineyard just would not go away. The yearning became more overwhelming by the moment. King Ahab then approached Naboth with what might seem to some a reasonable offer for the land Naboth owned. However, this land was inherited and Naboth was the protector as well as possessor.

This ancestral possession with the Lord as his witness caused Naboth to shun King Ahab’s offer. Naboth said it’s not for sale! In actuality the law forbade the selling of the land. This land could not be sold for the law stated the selling of the land which was divided to certain families could not be consummated because the land was God’s land entrusted to Naboth.

Naboth was exactly correct in refusing the king’s office on the basis of two things. Legally he could not sell and spiritually he could not sell.  King Ahab not willing to use force attempted to negotiate a fair value either in money or better land for Naboth’s vineyard. Naboth would have been a fool to turn down such an offer some might say but Naboth must obey God rather than man thus he says “Not for sale!”

The king was upset, distraught, discouraged, and dismayed about Naboth’s refusal to make a deal with him or worse than that Naboth would not even consider the proposition. The king like so many has now let his emotions and his feelings come before the will of God. Naboth simply replied, “The LORD forbid me.” Why wouldn’t Naboth strike a deal with the king?

·      He knew who wanted it
·      He knew the king and queen followed Baal
·      He knew who the land really belonged to – God
·      He knew he was given the inheritance at a great price.

He thought about how hard his daddy had worked to keep and maintain and protect this vineyard. He thought of grandpa and his great grandpa’s hard labor. The truth is none of us have a right to sell something that does not belong to us. It would be like you going out into the church parking lot and auctioning off the cars parked on that church lot. Why not? Because they do not belong to you!

King Ahab was mad because he knew Naboth was right! So he goes home and pouts! He goes home and acts like a three year old that cannot get his way. King Ahab here s a picture of the devil and the world. Naboth here pictures God’s people who are in God’s family. The vineyard pictures what God has entrusted with his children.

SATAN IS THE DEAL MAKER

Satan is going around attempting to make deals with God’s people about what God has entrusted them with, because if he can get the possession he can get the person! Do not forget this, if Satan can get what you have he automatically has you!

The devil has no interest in destroying your church or the believers in that local church for all he wants is ownership. If the devil can get the possession he can get the person! If the devil can get what you have then he will have you!

IBOC IS NOT FOR SALE

I never thought that as I entered my senior days that Satan would attack my ministry like he has done in the past year.  There were no attacks of profound significance until God led me to found INDEPENDENT BAPTIST ONLINE COLLEGE. Suddenly it was called a "conflict of interest." What in the world is   a "conflict of interest?"  If I were founding a college for Satan that would be a conflict of interest.

I began 5 ministries after my retirement from the pastorate without any problem, but suddenly IBOC became a problem. SORRY enemies IBOC is NOT FOR SALE. I have been threatened and attempts to intimidate me have failed because I and my ministries are NOT FOR SALE.  In my 45 years of ministry I have never sought approval from any man to do what God told me to do and I am not about to start now!

Let me make it perfectly clear.  No deacon board has a right to dictate to a preacher which ministries live and which ministries die. I have been given ultimatums and I refuse to be bullied into not obeying what God led me to do.

This college is here to help those who, under their pastors' direction, could not move to attend a Bible college.  Maybe someone did not finish and they would like to finish. 

Our college was called a "universalist" college. Sorry, wrong again! This college is under the auspice of a local church. 

Maybe the pastor senses it is not in the best interest of the student to go off to college.  He has an alternative now. Some should go away and some should not go away.  This is the call of the parents and the pastor. How many young people have we lost to the cause of Christ because they were too immature to go off to college.  All of these decisions are made by the pastor and parents. We are simply here to help the cause of Christ.

We work with local colleges to provide classes that are unavailable in their college rotation of classes. There are certain classes that are required for graduation that sometimes are not offered during someone's Senior year.

We are here to help missionaries train their members. Our faculty is filled with those men and women of God who have no less than 20 years ministry experience. These are not "novices" whom we have on our IBOC faculty.

We are here to help pastors' who never finished Bible college to finish. We are here to help those who desire post-graduate work.  We are here to offer "refresher courses." These veterans who make up IBOC faculty are experienced and successful in their field of service.

PUT A NOT FOR SALE SIGN UP IN YOUR LIFE

There is no doubt that at the present time we are living under the rule of a wicked king in this old world, but there are certain rights and privileges that the devil cannot violate. Satan wants to make a deal, but our cry ought to be “Not for sale!”

All of us should put a “Not for sale!” sign out in front of our lives. When you put a “FOR SALE” sign up you are saying, “I’m quitting! I no longer want what I had given to me by God!” All over this nation people are placing “FOR SALE” signs up in front of their lives! 

LOOK WHAT HAPPENED IN AMERICA WHEN WE SOLD THE SCRIPTURES

·      1860 – The first perversion of the Scriptures was published in America
·      1861 – The Civil War began
·      1914 – the World Bible Society adopted the NASB as Scripture
·      1915 – The start of WWI
·   1927 – William Heronias an American Bible scholar said the RSV were the exact words of Christ
·      1929 – The Stock Market crashed
·      1940 – the TEV is accepted by the Social Ministerial Society
·      1941 – Pearl Harbor was attacked and we entered into WWII
·    1960 – The American Council of Churches accepted and promoted the NRSV as the words of God
·      1962 – Prayer was banned from the public schools
·      1971 – The NIV was widely used and accepted by major denominations
·      1972 – The death penalty was voted as unconstitutional
·      1988 – The King James Bible defenders came to the fore front in America
·      1989 – Communism in Europe falls

The Christian schools, standards, convictions, the word of God, ministries, bus ministry, Sunday school class, purity, marriage, Baptist church, soul winning, life, walk with God, children, church, and the will of God are for sale! There are some things God’s people ought to remember before making a deal with the wicked king of this world!

·      Remember this is an illegal transaction
·      Remember when you sell God’s possessions you go with the possessions
·      Remember those who labored for what you have before you arrived
·      Remember those who labor with you
·      Remember those who will follow you
·      Remember there will be a new owner
·      Remember it is not yours to sell
·      Remember you will stand before the Judge of the universe and give account

The only reason anyone sells what they have is because they are lazy and they let it run down! When you let your prayer life fall apart, your Sunday school class fall apart, Christian school fall apart, standards fall apart, convictions fall apart, word of God become corrupted, bus routes fall apart, purity falls apart, soul winning fall apart, walk with God falls apart, and the will of God falls apart then you sell!

The “For Sale” sign says a lot. It says you are lazy! No wonder your vineyard has a “For Sale” sign on it. You never work your prayer life, bus route, Sunday school class, your church, Christian school, marriage, children, soul winning, or walk with God and so you put a “For Sale” sign up.

A man who will remodel his house, plow his fields, landscape the yard, paint, and fix up the outside of the house will not sell! The man who stands with sweat dripping off of his brow from laboring is approached by someone wanting to trade what you have for something he has will find the answer to be “Not For Sale!”


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

FIT TO BE KING

FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD



Revelation 1:6, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Revelation 5:10, “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Luke 9:62, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”


The question of being fit for the kingdom is not a Bible question about being redeemed or not for one cannot be fit for the kingdom of God if one is not saved. However, just being redeemed does not make one fit for the kingdom of God or putting ones hand to the plow does not save any one. For if that were true then looking back would cause one who was saved to lose his or her salvation.

II Samuel 16:5-14 may not be one of the darkest hours of David’s life, but certainly it must be the most humiliating. By all rights David is King of Israel. He has been anointed three times. He is the man after the very heart of God according to Acts 13:22.

David has been dethroned, David has been removed from his position, and his own son Absalom has dethroned David. I just cannot imagine a greater heartache than to be betrayed by ones own son or by someone whom you have given your very life too. 

I have more respect for a prostitute than a disloyal person. I have more respect for a pimp than a disloyal son, assistant pastor, staff member, or deacon. I cannot fathom David’s own son removing his father from the throne.

Absalom had stolen the hearts of the men of Israel. Ironic, for you never hear any one naming their boy Absalom. He as a good-looking longhaired boy. He was a charismatic self-centered son who never built anything and lived off of his dad’s success. His dad made him! His father gave every thing he had to him, for his dad gave him his position, his prominence, and the ear of the people.

However, this was not enough for Absalom. There is nothing wrong with receiving things from dad, but one had better do more with it than consume it and run it into the ground. Absalom had convinced himself that he deserved more than he had been given. He wanted to rule and he wanted his dad’s position. He set out to get it by guile, deception, and he did.

DAVID REFUSES TO IMPOSE HIS AUTHORITY

David refuses to lead by force so David gathers his family, his staff, faithful servants, and departs Jerusalem. David refuses to impose his authority for he knows his authority exists because of the followers and not him. He derives the right to lead from the right to follow. The day a leader decides the follower doesn’t want him should be his last day as leader. I’m not speaking of a minority of disgruntles for they will always exist. I am speaking of the majority however.

Please understand this David did not leave Jerusalem because he feared Absalom. David had dismembered bears, killed lions with his bare hands, and felled the great giant Goliath with one smooth stone. Don’t tell me you thought David feared Absalom for he did not.

Absalom has flattered the people and stolen their hearts from the king. He would say to the people at the gate, or head quarters of the government, “My father is too busy. Now, if I were king!”

The one who truly loves you is not the one who gives you what you want, but what you need knowing it may cost him your affection toward him. It is discipline not favoritism that is the maximum love given. You receive very little help when you get what you want instead of getting what you need.  As a pastor I would rather hurt the members’ feelings than harm their future. One will get over hurt feelings, but you will never get over the harm done to ones future.

Israel chose Absalom to rule over them because he promised that which he could not possibly produce. (Sounds like Obama) The carnal man will always choose what he wants and what feels good. The devil’s plan is to offer you what you have always wanted and rebellion is the only door to getting what you want.

DAVID LEAVES JERUSALEM

Thus, David leaves Jerusalem and goes to Bahurim as a dethroned king, an exiled king, a rejected king, and a dejected king, but still a king nevertheless. By the way in his heart and God’s heart he was still a king. A just man may be down, but he is never out because he will always end up on his feet.

All of a sudden there appears a descendant of David. Shimei is his name. Shimei begins to curse David. He throws dust and dirt at David. He throws stones at David. Dust in Bible times was a picture of shame and scoffing. The throwing of stones was not to kill David, but a Middle East custom of showing disgust and provocation much like what you see on TV today in the Middle East with Arabs throwing stones at army tanks. They know they can’t hurt the tanks, but it is an act of disgust and provocation.

Shimei a bitter man accuses David of stealing the throne from Saul who was a bitter enemy of David and an old nemesis. He tells David that losing the throne is exactly what David deserves.

Then Abishai comes on the scene. I like Abishai. He is a loyal, loyal, loyal man. He is a man’s man! II Samuel 16:9, “Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the King? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.”  By the way this is the spirit every loyal man ought to have.

Please take note of David’s response concerning Shimei his accuser. David said Shimei’s not worth my attention. Sometimes the best answer is no answer. Silence may be the best sound to make. David rebukes Abishai his defender and ignores his critic. David defends the one who is insulting him and challenging him, and saves the life of the one who is cursing and stoning him. David rebukes the one who wants to silence his critic. Sometimes a leader has too much true grit and not enough true grace.

This is one of the reasons God called David a man after his own heart. In Isaiah 53:7 it is just like how Jesus responds to his accusers for “He opened not his mouth.” A Christian is more Christ like sometimes when his mouth is shut.

II Thessalonians 4:4, “Study to be quiet.”

A man appears more masculine when he shuts his mouth and a lady is never more lady like than when she’s quiet. There is no law that says you have to express your opinion. The truth is you do not say what you think you say without thinking, because if you would have thought about what you were going to say you probably would not have said it. Most have diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain.

David did not address Shimei, he did not allow Abishai to retaliate against Shimei, neither did David retaliate against Shimei, nor did David allow Abishai to silence Shimei.

DAVID IS A DISPLACED KING, BUT STILL A KING

David is a displaced king, but a king nevertheless. In II Samuel 16:10-11 David is saying leave Shimei along. David is saying this is a minor irritation. My own son has broken my heart for I gave him life, I fed him, I clothed him, I loved him, and he has chosen to betray me and this relative of my mortal enemy, Saul, is nothing to me.

David is saying I have more important matters to attend to than this and I do not have time to get side tracked with this Benjamite and what he has to say to me. David is saying to Abishai let me focus on the real problem; let me focus on the kingdom, and on that which really matters.

ARE YOU FIT TO BE A KING WITH A KINGDOM?

My question is, are you dear leader fit for the kingdom? Are you allowing the little things side track you and make you unfit to be king of your kingdom? We are so obsessed with our little inconveniences of life that we do not pay attention to real life issues of our kingdom.

Do not become an Abishai or allow an Abishai seek revenge. Do not let your whole life be defined  the wrong others have done to you. They will sleep at night while you toss and turn. Never let your life be defined by your enemies, or controlled by your enemies, or let your mind be distracted by your enemies, or allow your love of life to be destroyed by your enemies.

His own son dethrones David, but David knows he will return. David knows this is a small setback. Some men endured things that caused us to admire them and then watched them fall under the weight of a straw of something small or something insignificant. David refuses to let a response to Shimei disqualify him from returning to his throne. Do not think David could not have taken his head off.

GOD HAS MADE A THRONE FOR US TO INHABIT

God has made us kings and priests, a throne to inhabit, a scepter to hold, a royal crown, and a royal robe. Do not let a little conflict keep you from God’s blessings. Jesus is the King of kings. If we will stay focused Jesus will use us in our kingdom as a king.

The insignificant becomes significant to some. Some allow little petty things to get under their skin. Comments from someone who doesn’t really matter to the whole scheme of things can become a stumbling block. Refuse to let them cause you to be dethroned.

What a thousand Philistines could not do to Samson, Delilah did with a smile and a razor. The blessings of God are more important to me than the opinion of someone who doesn’t like me, maybe do not even know me, never heard me preach, never visited the church I pastored or some rebellious carnal Christian who has visited. 99 % of the people who criticized Dr. Jack Hyles never attended the church he pastored.

Do not become sidetracked by the Shimei's in your life or even the Absalom's whose life's goal is to take you down.  Only God can do that. Stay focused on God's will for your life and stay diligent in the service to your LORD.  Become fit and stay fit!


·      You are meant to rule
·      You have a kingdom
·      You will have set backs
·      You are still a king in those times of set backs
·      You must not let insignificant or significant enemies sidetrack you
·      You must do right even when done wrong

·      Never give up on your kingdom

Thursday, August 10, 2017

PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE IN TOTALITY!

I'M WARNING YOU PLEASE DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER!



Psalm 119:45, “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.”


The Psalmist is saying I will walk in liberty because I keep thy commandments. This is a strange statement to me for it seems to me that the opposite would be true. It seems like one would walk in liberty if one did not keep commandments. However, verse 45 is amazing for God says that those who keep his precepts or his commandments will walk in liberty. I will walk in liberty because I keep God’s commandments!

In our churches, schools, and colleges we have some rules, regulations, and standards. We have rules about dating, dress, haircuts on the males, makeup on the females, hairstyles, clothing, smoking, dancing, bad music, Hollywood movies, speech, respect for authority, proper conduct, etc.

Immediately the accusations begin to come when such a stand is taken. The cry is always the same and the charge is always the same. “Why, that is nothing but legalism with all those rules, standards, and regulations for they are nothing but promoting legalism!”

The truth of the matter is when you associate legalism with rules, regulations, and with standards people with neo-evangelical hearts who masquerade make such statements in fundamental Baptist clothing. Sometimes they are made by people who were real fundamental Baptist at one time and yet have become weary of the battle and long to return to the onions, watermelons, leaks, cucumbers, and garlic of acceptance. Also, this cry of legalism often comes from the desks of colleges and seminaries built on fundamental foundations with walls of compromise and a leaking roof of pseudo liberty.

We have grown to desire that our truth be accredited by worldly educated error. We want a license from wrong to do right! My I extol and return all of us to that fundamental world we believed in and practiced before we had teenagers, home-schoolers, liberal fundamental colleges, Bill Gothard, Oral Roberts University, Benny Hinn, his girlfriend Evangelist Paula White, amusement parks, and before Jerry Falwell slid down a charismatic water slide!

May I push what Dr. Jack Hyles used to call that little “reset button” to return us back to the old fashioned fundamental Baptist convictions. I’m speaking of when we believed in separating ourselves from the world and building walls to protect the next generation from being sucker punched by Satan and his crowd.

Since when did it hurt to not smoke? I would suggest that separation is not bad, but good for the next generation. No one can sow so-called wild oats and then pray for a crop failure with success! Each institution must decide themselves what is going to be good or bad for those following them. I am talking of old-fashioned standards our fathers use to have for us.

Faith of our fathers living still
In spite of dungeon fire and sword

PROPHETS OF COMPROMISE ARE THROUGHOUT THE LAND

This generation must not listen to the prophets of compromise who are silently bridging fundamentalism to a liberal Southern Baptist Convention in order to garner the crowds. No one is legalistic who insists on standards. When someone adds anything to salvation other than the shed and applied blood of Jesus Christ is by definition a legalist.

When you conveniently compromise you are not only betraying Billy Sunday, Sam Jones, Bob Jones Sr., Mordecai Ham, John Wesley, John R. Rice, Curtis Hutson, Lester Roloff, Lee Roberson, Tom Malone, and Jack Hyles but you are betraying your own standards of just a few years back.

If we cannot have our padded pews with hell fire and brimstone preaching then let us go back to the sawdust trail and the store front buildings while sitting on wooden benches.

If we cannot have organs with trained choirs without the seven-fold Amens and the crusty anthems then let us go back to the “pie-anar” and tuning fork.

If we cannot have a marriage of proper grammar and the mourner’s bench with preaching on hell, heaven, the rapture, the second coming, and separation then let us go back to split infinitives, dangling participles, and hung gerunds.

If tiled restrooms and chandeliers are not conducive to the old time religion then let us mark off a path and build an outhouse. Let us screw a 60-watt light bulb in it and order a Sears and Roebuck catalogue for the outhouse and get right with God.

If we have to include Kierkegaard, Brunner, and Niebuhr in our required reading in order to be intellectual theologically then let us go back to the Blue-black Speller, the ABC’s, the alphabet, and the simple preaching of thus saith the Lord God! 

We have listened too much to psychologists in the pulpit and not enough to leather lunged Baptist preachers. We have listened too much to philosophers and not enough to old-fashioned prophets of God. We have listened too much to so-called Christian TV and radio and not enough to men of God.

Ladies and gentlemen common shoes have historically shod the beautiful feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. The hands that have wielded the sword of the Spirit have been old and calloused ones. The eyes that have looked through the helmet of salvation have been tear stained ones. The bodies that have been protected by the shield of faith have been pure and separated ones.

It is sad to say but there are those inside the walls of a local independent Baptist church that would have their man of God forsake his standards simply because their daughter does not like them. It is sad to say, but there are those outside the walls of the local church who would have you forsake your standards or as they refer to it as “legalism.”

Standards do not make nor keep you right with God, but they do keep you from wrecking your life with one stupid stunt. No man of God is attempting to run anyone’s life, but he must do his best to use his influence to warn. I hate to say this, but there are more people in fundamentalism who want us to lower our standards than who want to raise the standards. These are the ones who cry “legalism.”

Legalism has nothing to do with living right, talking right, or walking right. Legalism is adding to faith something else for required for salvation other than just faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Dr. Bill Rice was a half-brother to Dr. John R. Rice. He was preaching a revival camp meeting when a deacon jumped him about being so negative with his preaching. One night Dr. Bill preached against dancing, then the next night against movies, then the next night against smoking, then the next night against teen petting and necking.

The deacon told Dr. Bill that he would have to preach something positive or he would see to it that the meeting was closed down. Dr. Bill agreed to do so. The next night Dr. Bill stood up behind the pulpit and announced that a deacon had asked him to preach a positive message. So he told them he was going to do that very thing. He said tonight my sermon is “If you don’t get saved you are positively going to Hell!”

LEGALISM IS SALVATION PLUS WORKS

Legalism is salvation by faith plus works! It is salvation plus baptism, plus church membership, plus keeping the law, plus communion, plus confession.

The Seventh Day Adventist doctrine, Church of Christ doctrine, Catholic doctrine, Armenian doctrine, Armstrong World-Wide Church of God doctrine, the Mormon doctrine, and the Jehovah (False) Witness doctrine are legalism.

WHAT IS NOT LEGALISM

Legalism is not a godly mother who insists that her daughter dress modestly. Legalism is not parents enrolling their children in Christian school that believes as they do about separation from the world. Legalism is not a dedicated aged godly dad who takes his son to the barbershop instead of a beauty shop every two weeks.

Legalism is not a faithful youth director who insists his teenagers dress appropriately. Legalism is not a hard working pastor who insists that his Sunday school teachers not smoke, not drink alcohol, no tobacco use, no movies, they visit absentees, and go soul winning.

Legalism is not the careful godly educator who forbids his students to dance or listen to bad music. Legalism is not the man of God who cries aloud against mixed swimming, in essence mixed nudity, against vampire lipstick promoting drugs, and young males with their Billy Idol bleached porky pine spiked chili bowl hair do!

Right has not changed and wrong has not changed just because you enter into a different century. Black is still black and white is still white. Good is still good and bad is still bad. Legalism is not the faithful man of God who cries aloud against sin.

Was Paul a legalist when he told men not to have long hair in I Corinthians chapter 11? Was Paul a legalist when he told the ladies not to have short hair in the same chapter? Sit still and read the rest of the article before you become mad!

Was Moses a legalist when he said, “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not steal,” or when he said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery?” Was Paul a legalist when he said in I Timothy chapter 3 that the deacon should not be double tongued, or when he said a deacon should be the husband of one wife, or should be honest, or should be temperate?

Was Paul a legalist in I Timothy chapter 3 when he said the pastor should be sober, or the husband of one wife, or not greedy of filthy lucre? Was Titus a legalist if he obeyed the Apostle Paul in Titus chapter 2 when he told the aged men to be sober, grave, temperate, sound, loving, patient and the aged women to be holy and temperate? Was he a legalist when the told the young ladies to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their husband, and the young men to be sober and of sound speech?

MOST OF THE SCRIPTURES ARE ABOUT HOW CHRISTIANS OUGHT TO LIVE

Most of the Scriptures are about rules on how Christians ought to live! I challenge you to take Genesis and try to show unsaved people how to be saved or redeemed form going to hell. Now you will find types of salvation but you will have a tough time finding the plan of salvation in Genesis.

Ok, after that go to Exodus. You will find the Passover and it is a type of salvation but the plan of salvation is not listed there. Try Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and you will have a tough time finding the plan of salvation.

That is why in Acts when the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading Isaiah the best chapter on salvation in the Old Testament and the best part of that chapter on salvation he said, “How can I understand unless some man should guide me.”

You will find how to live in Genesis and rules in Exodus, standards in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and in Nehemiah. The truth is if you do not believe in standards and rules you will have to neglect most of the Scriptures.

These pussyfooters dote in II Corinthians 3:17, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” The truth is that verse is not talking about where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty for the child of God to do what he wants to do.  It is not saying that where the Spirit of the Lord is the deacons can drink liquor or the Sunday school teachers can smoke. He is saying where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty for the Holy Spirit to work among his people.

THE BATTLE HAS SHIFTED FROM FORMALISM TO INFORMALISM

As a result in our day we find ourselves not fighting the vehicle of formalism; as Dr. John Rice boldly put at the top of his SWORD OF THE LORD paper in a banner. We find ourselves fighting INFORMALISM. The pendulum has swung to another extreme with the same cry against the rest of us who hold our feet to the fire on being separatist and are being called "legalist." 

It takes more than facial hair to make a man. Your flowery shirts and glass pulpits are not impressing the Holy Spirit at all. Your "worship teams" disguised as a singing group are not fooling anyone. , especially the Holy Spirit of God. Your colored lights to get the atmosphere you want is insulting to the Holy Spirit. When you decided to secretly follow Rick Warren you had to embrace the tactic of calling the rest of us "legalists." You are substituting convenience for conviction.


WHY THEN HAVE STANDARDS OR RULES?

Psalm 119:45 is saying, ”I will walk in liberty because I keep thy commandments” or “I will walk in liberty because I walk within the walls of the city.” Let us suppose that your church building is a city. Suppose your pastor were the mayor. Suppose outside the walls the enemy lurks with his weapons of warfare. Now are you at liberty outside the walls or inside the walls of the church auditorium?

Where is the freedom inside or outside the walls? I will walk in liberty if I keep thy commandments and the commandments of God are walls built around us to give us a little area where we can walk in liberty and not be enslaved with the captor outside of the walls. The enemy is outside and he cannot reach those inside of the walls.

God’s people have a choice! You can be free inside of the walls or you can be enslaved outside the walls. It bothers me when I hear God’s people using liberty as a license to sin. Liberty is inside of the Laws of God and not outside of the Laws of God. Every commandment, rule, or standard of God has been given for one purpose and that is to build walls around his people especially the young people.

Liquor, dope, elicit sex, Hollywood, cigarettes, bad music, etc., enslaves and is addictive. God’s do’s and don’ts build walls of protection for his people!

If fundamentalism is not careful we will lose everything that is near and dear to us! Being a fundamentalist is more than believing salvation by grace, verbal inspiration, plenary inspiration, preserved inspiration, virgin birth, sinless life of Christ, security of the believer, and vicarious death of Christ. Being a fundamentalist also includes having some rules and standards to live by so we can be free.

Those rules are bricks in a mighty wall that has been built by our founding fathers so that we might have a place of freedom in this world of slavery. Rules and standards have never enslaved for the truth is they liberate for all that enslaves has been placed outside the wall.

We know cigarettes enslave so we put nicotine warnings on the outside of the packages so why shouldn’t God’s people put them outside the wall. The same is true of marijuana, liquor, and dope.

Rationalize with me as I ask you a question. “Thou shalt not kill” is a law but you say I want my freedom so who is free, the man who does not kill or the man who does kill?

I’m free and if I want to go outside the walls of God’s Laws for dope I’ll do it! Yes, and you will find out when you arrived outside those walls that you will be a slave on the outside and that you left your freedom inside of those walls you escaped from. Where is the freedom in I am free to drink liquor? Where is the freedom in I am free to use dope? Where is the freedom?

Love is not breaking down the walls for love is the building up of the walls! Love is not freedom to go to the captor for love is freedom from the captor!

Elvis Presley was free he thought and yet ended his life at the young age of 42 enslaved to dope. The same is true of Jimmy Hendricks, Janis Joplin, and hundreds of other rock stars. The youth director who breaks down those walls loves himself more than he does his youth The truth is he loves their love and not them.

The preacher who breaks down those walls loves you not for he loves your love. The principal who breaks down those walls loves his students not for he loves their love. The preacher, the youth director, and the principal that love will build up the wall of standards and rules to keep the ones they love from that which will enslave them.

·      There is dope outside those walls
·      There is liquor outside those walls
·      There is addiction outside those walls
·      There is indecency outside those walls
·      There is heartache outside those walls
·      There is heartbreak outside those walls
·      There is disease outside those walls
·      There is divorce outside those walls
·      There is wife beating outside those walls
·      There is child abuse outside those walls
·      There is enslavement outside those walls


The Psalmist said he would walk in liberty because he of keeping God’s commandments and not because he breaks them. God has built for his people a wall where he can protect his people. This gives freedom to his people from those enemies outside of that wall who would enslave God’s people.


FREEDOM IS NOT DETACHMENT

If I unplug the microphone from a pulpit because the microphone cries and pleads to be free does not give freedom to the microphone. The microphone was made for one purpose and that purpose is to be attached to the source of power.

Here is a piece of steel or iron in the ground. It is held captive by earth. A man takes a pick and shovel. He digs, digs, digs, and digs! He reaches down into the ground and retrieves that piece of steel or iron. That piece of steel or iron is detached but not free because that piece of steel or iron is meant to be apart of a great machine somewhere. It is not free because it is detached! It is free only when it is being used for what it was intended to be used for.

When you go to servitude that is a higher servitude from a lower servitude you are free. It is not leaving a purpose but arriving at a greater service that is true freedom. Jesus pleaded, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest…” However, he did not stop there for he continued, “… take my yoke upon you and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

He is saying come unto me and I will free you, not to be detached, but so you can be attached! That is why the Scriptures speak of  “the law of liberty.”

Here is a piece of coal held captive by the earth and the earth says, “I’ll hold you.” The piece of coal says, “I want to be free!” A miner comes to that Kentucky mine and he goes down into that mine. He breaks free that piece of coal from its’ captor. He puts that piece of coal from that mine on the ground outside the mine. That piece of coal is not free it is just detached! That coal was not made to just be detached and to lie there on the ground. That coal was meant to give warmth, blessing, energy, or comfort to human beings by its usage somewhere!

Jeremiah puts it this way, “Thou hast broken the yokes of wood but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.” A young person says I’m tired of rules and slavery of my Christian school. Let me be free! So he or she runs from the yoke of wood of the rules of their school and so the yoke of dope overtakes him or her. “I’m free to drink liquor if I want too!” He or she breaks away from the yoke of wood of the rules and the yoke of liquor captures him or her.

God is saying to the government, parents, schools, colleges, and churches free the young people by building walls of standards and rules around them so they will be safe from the captors outside of the walls. That is why our educational system in the USA is so low in world rankings.

That is what Romans 8:2 means when it says, “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” A law made me free from a law! Freedom is when you are liberated from a bad law by a good law.

King David said, “I’ll be free to court Bathsheba.” He went outside the wall that he though enslaved him and found slavery was outside the wall. He ultimately discovered he was really free on the inside of the wall.

Samson said, “I’ll be free! If I want Delilah’s head in my lap, or if I want to live in sin with Delilah I’ll be free to do so!” He later found out he was really free on the inside. While on the outside of those walls the put out his eyes. They bound him to the mill. Blind and bound while grinding around and around and around on that giant grinding wheel!

I do not hear him saying how much he loves this freedom now! Samson you are a slave!

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH SOME OF OUR LEADERS?

Leaders must take this seriously and quit massaging their egos by being like Aaron and allowing the people to do what they want to do and start speaking for God to man. Leaders must quit bringing God down to man and start bringing man up to God. We are made in his image! God is not made in our image! We conform to him not he to us!

Leaders please let us keep the people free with walls of standards, rules, and protection so that the enemy from without will not capture those whom God loves and we love!

I thank God every day for an old-fashioned wall building Mama, teachers, and preachers! Thank God for wall building schools, colleges, churches, Bible Conferences, and leaders who stand firm inside the walls. This is not legalism but rather it is liberty!

We need the walls to remain strong so that our young people can stay innocent and remain fearful of an enemy that lurks on the outside of the walls of protection where there is the bondage of compromise. Give me liberty inside of the walls.

The rules must be consistent between the pulpit, parent, and peer pressures. If all three are going in the same direction and provide the same consistency the odds are in favor of the follower being allowed to make right decisions! Liberty or legalism?


OBSERVATIONS

·      Rules do not make rebels they merely expose rebels
·      Obeying the rules does not make one spiritual
·      Rules keep you from that which will scar for a life time
·      Rules will keep one innocent
·      It is the responsibility of leaders to provide standards and rules
·      Rules cannot be established by a novice
·      Rules come from Scriptures

·      Rules come from Seniority that has dealt with destructive behaviour