Pastor Zachary Tims: The Autopsy Report

by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

In anticipation of the autopsy report of the late Dr. Zachary Tims, it is important that we focus on the fact that sometimes autopsies are inconclusive. Even after the toxicological tests returns, we may or may not know what really caused his death.

I am aware that the police through the media put out the “white powdery substance” found in his pocket. Most police patrol units and CSU (Crime Scene Units) have a kit to test for cocaine and heroin on the scene.

So we already know that the police may already know the actual substance. The million dollar question is that if the police already know what it is, did it enter his body and cause his death?

That’s what the toxicological tests may or may not conclude.

There’s always that possibility that it will be ruled a natural death.

Even if a certain “substance” is found on or near the decedent, any substance that is known to cause death may or may not be the true cause behind a person’s death.

What is so troubling is that no one seem to put the pieces together before his death.

No one traced the “needle trail.”

Or, perhaps, the trail was hidden so well that even if there were certain tell tale signs, we would ignore or intentionally suppress them. I find that when people do intentionally suppress the truth, they do it to cover a leader.

No one wants to uncover and disclose the truth of the trail because it would uncover another trail to places where certain people (high level, prominent, outspoken church leadership) do not want you to go.

What is the “needle trail?”

Again, it uncovers the dark side of the pulpit that we all know is going on.

Case in point.

According to Gay Christian Movement Watch (www.gcmwatch.com), COGIC Superintendent Joseph E. Hogan Jr. was recently selected to be Bishop over Central Georgia. He has a child out of wedlock and was arrested for being a deadbeat father.

In a separate incident, a well loved person in church leadership passed away. He was known in his church in the south to smoke, drink, and sleep with women. The pastor eulogized him as a person who did much good. “Let his good overshadow his bad.” Yet, he was divorced, had a child out of wedlock, and his girlfriends showed up at his home going service.

Sadly, pathetically, and hypocritically, we have no problem speaking well of people in ministerial leadership that are known to have committed Secret Sexual Sins at home goings but we have a problem not preaching about the true Biblical fact that fornicators, homosexuals (catamites), and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.

Only hypocrites judge.

Only those that expose sin (because the truth need to be told), do so to warn the rest of the hearers and seers that this is what happens when sin is left unchecked and undiscovered in the hearts and minds of believers and powerful leadership.

And even babes in Christ and the laity that know their God and their Bible will never call sin a “train wreck” to covertly cover the sins of a fallen minister.

The secret is only a secret when few know about it or are told about it.

The power of a secret is safe where few know about it or the few that do know do not talk about it.

Collaborators and conspirators do not want the truth to come back to them because it will reveal a bigger picture that something sinister of epic proportions is too much for the church to bear.

So they fight so hard to speak the good over a leader while intentionally overlooking what is bad at the same time. It’s never commendable to cover sin. It makes such a cover, a cover up. Sin can never be covered. There is only one thing to do about sin that God agrees with. Sin can only be washed away by the blood of Jesus. Covering sin or speaking good over a sinful leader is the way of co-conspirators. Cover a leader’s sin and my sin will not be discovered.

The anointing on a person’s life or their persona has a way of hiding even obvious signs of trouble.

No one really seen Dr. Tims’ death coming even after the fact of death. Sometimes certain people will act a certain way that may be key behavioral factors that are not ordinary.

Sometimes this is not a good way to determine that something is wrong because it is a fact that people will snap on a moment’s notice and go crazy. Then we are left trying to figure out what happened that led to an unthinkable incident.

Again, for preachers in particular, the “persona” and the “anointing” can cover dark happenings in a person’s true character.

It’s called “Undercover Christian Brother.”

The story of a book is never read or understood on the cover.

The story is always found inside the book.

Speculation is a failed attempt to understand the true meaning of what took place or to get into the mind of the deceased. After all is said and done, we conclude that we will never get at the heart of the matter. Speculation, therefore, becomes “hit or miss.”

More miss than hit.

It’s very easy to blame the dead on a number of things.

Which is why we must always recognize the obvious signs of pastors that are not so obvious to believers and even close associates.

Bishop Jakes tapped into something that was very telling that Dr. Tims was “unhappy.”

Folks, as much as you want to believe that even when a pastor has a lot of people, it is not all peaches and cream. But just because a person or a pastor is unhappy, it doesn’t mean that we now understand all that is going on in an unhappy person.

Behind the scenes, there are many pastors that are unhappy with life and ministry.

This is not a reflection on Pastor Tims. I know this to be true in almost every pastor and it is a reflection of my own life and ministry.

Early in my ministry, I began to experience “the ministerial mountain top blues.”

You’ve preached the best messages and people receive. Then you go home or back to your hotel.

It is there that the mind sometimes goes crazy.

No matter how much Word a preacher has in him, there is always that moment when the devil or even your own mind retreats into a place of seclusion and second guess the message.

Or the message was received but it wasn’t good enough.

Or it was good enough but you are still looking for something.

That something we are all looking for is accomplishment, affirmation, and acceptance. No one wants to be rejected. Sadly, we male preachers, or males as a whole are afraid of rejection and failure. Behind all of our strength we are susceptible to these two vulnerabilities that drive us to commit sin to achieve apart from God.

There is also the ferocious intensity to minister in such a way that completely obscure our past moral failures, or current involvement in Secret Sexual Sins that there is no flow of the Holy Spirit. Just a forceful push that looks like an out of control freight train going downgrade heading towards a turnout (curve), with no brakes.

Instead of resting in the Lord, it’s fast paced preaching as if you are running from something or someone. In essence, you are running from God.

The majority of ministers of the gospel will never tell you that what drives them is their ability to perform before people. It is a “form of worship” that we are not permitted to have but some of us search for it anyway. Even after a scandal, there is that one thing called “performance” that drives us to give us a false awareness that we are truly successful.

Sexuality is the highest form of physical pleasure. The use of drugs has been known to heighten sexual experiences as part of heightening the false sense of escaping reality. Candidly, false intimacy and the aftermath of male or female orgasm gives a person seeking for some measure of success, a deceptive means of achieving accomplishment.

Because of “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind” and “the pleasures of this world,” it is very difficult for many to go “cold turkey” on self gratification, commonly called masturbation.

Victory over masturbation is achieved by employing “moment by moment” sanctification which is the same discipline used by Jesus in Hebrews 4:14-16.

It’s called the “Sexual Discipline of Jesus.”

Just because the Bible is silent about masturbation, it doesn’t mean that you have permission to engage in the practice. Silence is never permission.

We pastors refuse to admit that we masturbate nor do we even discuss the reasons why we masturbate because it is embarrassing. In our secret and hidden lives, this is what males and females do to relieve sexual tension when we are alone to fulfill the lusts of our flesh and mind. And as a secondary reason, to acquiring some measure of self worth, accomplishment, self love, acceptance, and affirmation.

We violate Scripture by measuring ourselves by ourselves. It’s part of pride and arrogance, and it always lead to elitism, entitlement, empowerment, and expediency.

Even when it is assumed that we are actually helping people, sometimes we pastors can be so full of ourselves (egomaniac) that we believe the hype about ourselves. Like Paul, we always need to judge ourselves and we need that “thorn in the flesh” so we would not go beyond the limits of our measure.

Even behind our praise of God in front of people, if we are not careful, we will try to steal God’s praise in broad daylight.

As Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up.”

And when the hurts and wounds of a pastor is mixed with our emotions, coupled with great pulpit performances, and a desire to be received or worshipped, we get into trouble. As I have said before, humbleness of mind and humility will keep us from places of humiliation.

This is where pastors must recognize that this is the moment to find God for you and not for others. It is the moment to find a close friend to share your heart with and lay what’s in your heart bare.

Coming down from the mountain is the most vulnerable moment in a preacher’s life because of the lack of complete satisfaction.

When you are constantly pouring out of your life and ministry, the expending and dispensing of the Word and the anointing out of your life is for the people. It is not for you. It is there that you seek to put something back to fill the void.

If you are not getting ministry for “you,” it is very easy to fall into the traps of loneliness.

After most Sundays, I look to channel surfing to preaching that will feed me and minister to me. I particularly look to Fred Brothers. His ministry really has been found to be the thing that I need from the Lord at precisely the right moment. As Fred Price said, not everyone can minister to you. And you will not receive from everybody.

That’s good preaching.

Hotels are very lonely places unless your family is with you.

According to www.XXXChurch.com, the average time spent on porn is 12 minutes.

For the single and divorced pastors, it is a very lonely world. For single and divorced pastors, to be isolated from family is another spot of vulnerability. Without loving family support, it makes ministry all the more troubling and dangerous.

Too many “options.” Too many “distractions.” Too many “opportunities.”

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine, Pastor Roger Jamison ran into Bishop Eugene Tanniehill. “The Bishop,” a former death row inmate, was released from Angola Prison and we went down to Louisiana to visit with the Bishop.

This was just after I was delivered from porn and masturbation. I was in a hotel room away from my associates.

By myself.

I can’t tell you the number of times the flesh started to rise and the mind battles in that hotel room. But to fall back into Secret Sexual Sins of 13 years of porn, such a turn back from a great deliverance would be the greatest hypocrisy ever.

On the day that inmates were expecting visitation, there were many women that we waiting to get in. All these temptations surround a man every where. Preachers are not exempt.

But God was good. He kept me from turning on the television. He kept me from filing the “images” of the day in my mind to fuel the fire of “urges and impulses.” I knew what was waiting for me if I surfed the channels. I prayed, stayed in the Word, and called my wife regularly to ensure that I stay pure before God.

I’ve determined that loneliness is a “trigger mechanism” to commit Secret Sexual Sins.

If you fail to identify your trip wires and trigger mechanisms, you will never end the cycle of sexual addiction. You will continue the “ritual” and fulfill false intimacy or act out sexually to attain unattainable satisfaction. Seeking unattainable healing through false sexual satisfaction is never acquired or accomplished, but these drugs are released into the blood stream.

Testosterone, adrenaline, vasopressin, and dopamine.

I was acting as my own “pharmacist.”

When false intimacy by self sex takes place, the addict demands these chemicals, and it is what makes sexual addictions become “medicinal properties” to vainly attempt to heal deep seated wounds in the soul that only God could heal and make whole.

Males seek to masturbate because these feelings govern his refusal to approach God, to search after Him for true healing and intimacy. We want to do it ourselves for two reasons.

1. Sin’s pleasure.

2. Medicinal or pharmaceutical properties for self healing.

This is our disturbed way of autonomy.

That’s why self sex or masturbation leaves a bad feeling (violating the conscience) because you are violating the “one flesh” principle, thus, sinning against your own body, and against God. Sex in marriage between male and female is designed to be shared. Masturbation is selfishness.

When sex is done according to the “one flesh” principle, between husband and wife, these same chemicals produce positive effects of love and bonding to secure the marriage relationship. The conscience is clear.

Loneliness can only be satisfied in Jesus. Him alone!

Loneliness

Pastor Jamison shared this Scripture with me at our Come Clean Conference in 2009.

“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.” Proverbs 18:1

The Amplified Bible says it this way,

“He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment.”

More pastors run into trouble when there isn’t a close person to talk to about the “ups” and “downs” of ministry.

The prideful pastors will always find a way to break out against all wise and sound judgment. We walk the streets or drive in our cars lusting for flesh. We go back and fulfill our fantasies through false intimacy.

Then, after having our fill of false sex, we look to take it to the next level. We look for another live body on the level one of sexual addiction.

Not realizing that deep inside, there is a longing for true intimacy with God.

I was watching “Faith Of Our Fathers” or “Fathers Of The Faith.” They had a panel of 5 or 6 “senior” pastors sharing their secrets of 40 plus years of ministry apiece.

One pastor lamented over the fact that he wished that early in his ministry that he had a close pastor friend to bounce ideas off or to just share in his personal struggles in his life and ministry.

A pastor could have many people, many friends, but few close friends that is able to speak into his or her life. More often than not, many pastors close the doors to such personal ministry because, for men, we tend to believe we could fix our own lives.

We also want to keep our personal sins personal so we could stay in ministry. We try to “heal our own wounds” in sin when the Savior is waiting to help us. Even pastors need Jesus.

We know what is wrong with us. Even though we may know what is wrong with us, we do not know how to fix ourselves. We think we do, but we fool ourselves into thinking that there is nothing wrong. We pretend all is well, yet, we cry silent tears within.

Inside the heart of most pastors are wounds. Self inflicted or sheep inflicted that never get attended to. We bleed while we preach. We bleed while we minister to others. We bleed while we laugh. We bleed while we sin. We bleed while people watch.

Our false intimacy becomes a place of failed attempts to stop the bleeding. We refuse to believe our own preaching and find the Healer through safe associations with other pastors. We can’t share, or we refuse to open up our hearts because we have this false understanding that we are all right.

We can’t let the people see and know how much we hurt.

Sin deceived us into thinking that sexual ritualistic activities is the only way to bring healing to ourselves.

No lie could be more deceptive than this.

How are you going to heal yourself by hurting yourself?

And then when it is detected that somebody can see our hurt, we refuse their prayers, their comfort, their counsel, their ministry to us. We run from the very thing that God sends to help us heal.

It’s like asking a heart surgeon to do heart surgery on himself, without anesthesia.

If you are a lonely pastor, it is time to furl the superman cape.

It is time to find a close friend to share your heart with. Life and ministry is not designed for the pastor that goes it alone. You’ve sat in that office crying to God for companionship. You’ve gone home looking for someone to help you understand the process of the “ministerial mountain top blues.” Only to fall into various Secret Sexual Sins or other common sins to heal a desperately lonely heart.

It takes courage to find a friend in Jesus that understands what you are going through.

Pick up the phone and call someone. Or when that friend calls to see how you are doing, do not do what I have done. Never return that call. Leave it on voice mail. Or worse. Cut them off forever.

Physician, it’s time to get healed.

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The Aftermath of Pastor Zachary Tims, Why The Mighty Have Fallen?

by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

The body of Pastor Zachary Tims was laid to rest. Such a sad thing. So young in life. Death has taken away the mighty at the prime of his youth.

It is not enough to say, “How the mighty have fallen.” We need to know and understand “Why The Mighty Have Fallen.” Saul didn’t fall from battle victorious. He fell from battle because of a life of disobedience to the Lord. Leaders must be obedient. As imperfect as we are, leaders must be obedient to the Lord and His Word.

As I was studying Solomon, there was a statement about him that stood out. The Scripture said that Solomon followed in the footsteps of his father, David. Except he burned incense on the high place (see 1 Kings 3:3).

It is clear that sometimes burning incense on the high place was unto the Lord, however, if you study the high place, it usually has a dual purpose. It is dedicated to sacrifice to the Lord but when the leadership of Israel operated in rebellion, the high place would be used to sacrifice to idols.

When I see the word “except,” that is a clear indication that a door is left opened that will eventually destroy a man if they do not cease and desist.

Many pastors must understand that if we leave backdoors wide open and do not close them, eventually the enemy will have a way into our lives to destroy it. “Give no place to the devil” is applicable for pastors too.

As we continue to mourn over the passing of Pastor Zachary Tims, it is important to reflect on the fact that pastors are the most targeted ministry gift in the fivefold ministry.

“I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered,” Matthew 26:31.

Of course, it is a prophetic Word about what the Lord God will do to the Lord Jesus from Zechariah 13:7-9, but the implications is the same.

If the sins of a leader remain unchecked, this verse of Scripture is not going to cease. The Lord desires to clean, prune, refine, and transform our lives, even in the midst of tragedy.

However, from a demonic standpoint, there is no question that the devil is looking to destroy every pastor. Or, let the pastor destroy himself. One of the things that we have to look very hard at is that it’s not just the personal sins of a pastor we are to pay attention to.

It is the very fact that the devil will either come at a pastor and directly destroy him or if there is unchecked sins in the life of a pastor, it makes the job of the devil very easy to destroy him.

“How the mighty have fallen” was part of a tribute from David when he was lamenting over the loss of Saul. David paid a tribute to the first king of Israel. However, Saul repeatedly disobeyed God.

Saul’s continued disobedience is How The Mighty Did Fall.

The outcome of the battle against the Philistines would have been different if Saul had obeyed God.

Anytime a leader is destroyed, the sheep is left in a vulnerable place. It all depends upon the heart of the people after a tragedy that will determine whether they will survive it, overcome it, or never rise again, and be scattered.

The ministry of a pastor is very complicated and complex. The dangers for a pastor range from bouts with loneliness to abrasive, pompous displays of pride and arrogance.

Pride and arrogance is not a reflection on Pastor Tims, but it is a reflection on my own life as a pastor.

It’s time to uncover the scandal before the scandal.

My life is the object lesson of any pastor that still desires Secret Sexual Sins. It is time to expose what we pastors do or have done in secret.

As I have preached before, the people only see a small part of the life of most ministers. That small life is the part that carries a high impact on the people. From the pulpit, he or she is able to communicate the Scriptures in the most dynamic way possible.

The goal is to change as many lives as possible so that they reflect the very life of Jesus from new birth to death. While a pastor is powerless to change a life, pastors certainly can impart into a life and, by the Holy Spirit, shape that person to reflect the very life of Jesus (see Romans 8:29-30).

This is what discipleship is all about.

Disciples are not just called upon to be taught. Disciples are called upon to take what is taught and implement it throughout the course of life. It is not enough to declare that you are a follower of Christ. Your life must now reflect your statement. Otherwise, you are operating under false pretenses.

With pastors, when it comes to living before God’s people, one statement comes to mind. One pastor told me as my wife and I were preparing to resume pastoral ministry is that, “You must have the smell of sheep on you.”

Translation?

A pastor’s ministry is among the people of God. We are called upon to minister to the people as a shepherd ministers to His sheep.

This requires diligence, transparency, honest, integrity, holiness, and brokenness or humility.

Lives that reflect humility or humbleness of mind will always avoid humiliation.

This is important because when you are ministering to His people, if your life lack these basic ministerial ingredients, it makes living a life free of “contaminating influences” a serious problem for those in ministry (see James 3:1).

Getting back to “the most targeted ministry gift,” we are called upon, not just to minister the Word of God, we pastors are called upon to minister out of our lives. The devil hates any minister but in particular, the pastor that constantly points people to the rightly divided Word of truth and ultimately, towards Jesus.

Sometimes, the Lord calls us into ministry with busted, sin filled, broken lives. And we wonder “Why are you mindful of us? Why do you take the time to visit with us?” (see Psalm 8:4).

Usually, it’s because we should have found a way to overcome in our busted, sin filled, broken lives. He takes us and uses us as He pleases. Provided we do what He said in His Word and be faithful to Him.

God didn’t call us to try to be faithful. He called us to be faithful. He didn’t call us to try to live holy. He called us to be holy. He didn’t call us to try to have life and have it more abundantly. He called us to have life and have it more abundantly.

I’ll say it again. It’s not a reflection upon any pastor. It’s a reflection on my life as a pastor.

There is no question that pastors must live above the fray. We are called upon to live holy, honest, full of integrity kind of lives before God and the people. The Lord and the God of the Bible doesn’t give any exceptions. That’s why we must deal with issues that we may not want to deal with.

For many pastors living sinful lives, no matter how good our preaching game is, it is difficult to preach to people to live according to the word of God when we are not living the Word of God we preached for ourselves.

Such was my case.

Let’s try to understand the scandal behind the scandal. Not from Pastor Tims life, but from mine.

The worst sin a pastor could commit is the sin of hypocrisy.

Secret Sexual Sins is a scandal of hypocrisy.

WHY THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN?

1. Pride and Arrogance

When a pastor fails to walk in humility, the Lord has a way of dealing with you.

When I was in my life of Secret Sexual Sins, I was full of pride and arrogance.

Porn and self gratification, commonly called masturbation, was a mainstay in my life. One of the things that I knew was the Word of God but how to live the Word was a different story.

My personality and ability to project my persona was key to cloaking known sin in my life.

1 John 2:15-17 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world will pass away and the lust thereof but he that does the will of the Father abides forever.”

In these three things, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” was my secret world of sexual sins.

Lust or the desire for that which is forbidden, drove my every move. My eyes would be in search mode to “file” flesh in my mind to gratify my flesh at night. The pride part was my ability to assume that I would never get caught because I would overuse and abuse 1 John 1:8-9.

However, the Lord would be the Only One able to look past my eyes and know what was in my heart and mind. There are many pastors that is unwilling to deal with this area because it is a revelation that need not be exposed.

Why doesn’t a pastor want his Secret Sexual Sins to be exposed?

One person once said on Focus On The Family, “If God exposes it, I have no job. If I expose it, I keep my job.”

Committing sin makes it seem fun up to a point, but we do not understand that when we sin, we break the heart of the Father, and we must be disciplined by Him. Sin hurts God like a child that run away from home.

Besides, that’s what the prodigal son was partly about.

Freedom to sin or freedom to be “human” by running away from home.

When we are dealing with our own personal hurts, pains, wounds, loses, and successes, sexuality is the greatest “pick me” up or rewarder known to man.

Dr. Archibald Hart, who wrote the book, “The Sexual Man” said, (paraphrasing) “No matter what kind of success or failure you have in life, sex is used as a rewarder.”

Why?

There are four basic chemicals that take place in men. Testosterone, adrenaline, vasopressin, and dopamine. The male sex drive is a very powerful drive.

The mighty have fallen because there is a lack of control of these hormones.

When failure or low times after a “mountain top” event is experienced in the life of a pastor, he will seek sex to reward himself.

Such was the case in my life. When the reward chemical “dopamine” enters the blood stream, it is very difficult to abstain unless you operate in the discipline of Romans chapter 6 and 1 Corinthians 9:27. To abstain from sexual immorality and live a sanctified life according to 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5, you must understand what is going on with you. You must identify your “trigger mechanisms” or events that start you down the path to fulfill the need for satisfaction.

The “urges and impulses” of the body will not stop. They are there as part of your physical make up. However, we must learn the “sexual discipline” of Jesus according to Hebrews 4:12-16.

Sin is sin and there is no excuse for it because of what the Lord has done for us on the cross.

Along with this, when a pastor reaches a level of success, he feels he need to reward himself apart from Christ. And even though he may be married, it doesn’t make a difference. If he is single or divorced, it’s a different ballgame.

The temptations are even greater when you are single or divorced. The reward of sex and getting that dopamine fix will drive a man to get that reward over and over again. And in some cases, escalate from fantasy into reality very rapidly.

Patrick Carnes’ Cycle of Sexual Addiction is a classic explanation that powerfully depicts the sexual addict.

1. Thoughts and Fantasy.

2. Ritual.

3. Acting Out.

4. Remorse.

How do you know that you are a sex addict?

When you cannot stop or manage your sex life. When you cannot stop masturbating or thinking about sex. When the urge is permitted to exceed your ability to say no and keep your hands from touching yourself sexually.

Pride and arrogance will bring a man to the 4 “E’s” of pride and arrogance.

1. Elitism

2. Entitlement

3. Empowerment

4. Expediency

Briefly, when a person feels that they have made it in life, there is a sense of accomplishment apart from humility called “elitism.”

Elitism takes you to “entitlement.” You believe that you are entitled to certain things, including sex for yourself, whether it is self sex, prostitution, or affairs. That’s why certain promiscuous pastors have many women in the same church to choose from.

Or, they go to different speaking engagements and make arrangements. Such as the saying in the Navy that I served in 30 years ago. “A woman in every port,” a woman in every church is not that far off.

Entitlement takes you to “empowerment.” You go after your pursuit of your reward and you will not be denied. Mind you, while all of these things are going on, there is only one thing that is driving these “E’s.” The male sex drive. Testosterone, adrenaline, vasopressin, and dopamine.

Finally, empowerment takes you to “expediency.” You will violate every ethical or principle you lived by to satisfy yourself.

Why is this important?

When you are dealing with the church culture, there is a “seamless connection.”

The “seamless connection” is drug and alcohol dependency, and sexual immorality.

The use of drugs or alcohol heightens the escape experience. Drugs and alcohol is a part of the escape from reality. Sex is used to feel some measure of intimacy.

Even in the church, there are people that come to church high or they are coming down from that high. Just go back to the days of the jazz world in Harlem, Broadway, and lower Manhattan, and you will understand some of the history of the drug, alcohol, and sex culture.

They were interconnected to provide a false sense of peace and escape. The volatile activities of the pressures of life that pervade the soul; coupled with demonic suggestions to search for places where these destructive tools were available, is more prevalent than we are willing to discuss.

Many will try to sweep it all under rug in the church because we do not want to expose the reality that these things are happening more often than we are willing to admit. Partly because we want to protect the image of our leaders and the people that we minister to.

This is what is not supposed to happen. If we are the children of the King, we need to come to the King of kings to get healed, delivered, and set free. To hide the true dealings of what happens in the church is only setting our selves up to see another leader or believer’s life destroyed. Concealing what we do as sin only makes us a co-conspirator.

“Touch not mine anointed” and “Do not judge” is code for, “Do not judge my leader because if you expose his or her sins, it will force me to deal with my sins.”

These tools reveal a known fact that people that fail or succeed are hurting within and will look to commit sin to find rest. It is silly because the God of the universe is the only One that knows all about us and can fix anyone (see Matthew 11:25-30).

But we do not believe our own preaching.

So we retreat to the secret place of sin instead of the secret place of the Lord to heal our wounds in sin ourselves. All behind closed doors so that our facade is preserved.

This is the hidden world of pastors, music ministers, praise and worship leaders, and male dancers.

The desire to feel affirmed, loved, accepted, and accomplished.

Hence, male orgasm is the one way to accomplish something positive in life.

How stupid and deceived I was.

The devil has lied to us and we have fed these lies with our desire to heal ourselves.

This is the hidden world of Christian believers in almost every local church, denomination and non denomination.

We are intentionally blind to MOAB, the Mother Of All Battles called sexual immorality.

The mighty will continue to fall until we pull back the veil and uncover the secret world behind every scandal.

If we don’t, we have no one else to blame, and we will see another tragedy unfold before our eyes.

We will continue this subject in the next blog.

www.amazon.com/SecretSexualSins/lm/R368T18PDSQB6F

www.prevailingwordbiblechurch.org

The Passing Of Pastor Zachary Tims, How The Mighty Have Fallen

by Fred C. Rochester. How The Mighty Have Fallen, Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

In the wake of the untimely passing of Pastor Zachary Tims in my former home city of New York, we see a progressive pattern.

While facts surrounding his death are being determined, we must not let speculation and second guessing rule the issues. We must be disciplined enough to let the facts be revealed. We must learn that as a Body of believers in Jesus, we can do more good by walking in love and speaking the truth in love.

This lost is profound, partly because of the history behind the man. New Destiny lost a pastor that, under the circumstances, tried to lead a lot of people.

There are many believers at New Destiny that loved him, that followed him, and his teaching. According to certain sources, it appeared that he had a major positive impact on the young generation of his time.

With Pastor Tims, it is a clear indication that we need not hang dirty laundry out to dry. We must, however, live with what is factual and present the Word of His grace in truth and love.

At this time, we must let the family mourn.

After a reasonable time of mourning, they must select a new pastor and receive from God, His eternal plans, purpose, and ordained destiny for New Destiny.

A tragedy occurred that will impact his family and members of New Destiny for some time to come but earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

There is no question in my mind that sooner or later, if we do not get to the root causes of open doors of demonic forces invading the lives of pastoral leadership, we will never stop the onslaught of destruction that seek to destroy more pastors.

It does matter that it’s a mega church because the magnitude of the loss is incredible. We are beginning to see an alarming trend that become clear warning signals that pastors of any sized church must take heed.

At a later date, we will discuss and address these issues.

For now, our love, condolences, and thoughts goes the Tims’ family and the New Destiny family.

We know and graciously expect that God will comfort those that mourn and give them sustaining strength to bear up under this tragedy with love and God’s everlasting grace.

www.prevailingwordbiblechurch.org

To Tithe Or Not To Tithe

by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. To Tithe Or Not To Tithe? Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved

My point is simply not to manipulate you to tithe. Neither is it my objective to discourage any one from tithing.

My objective is to address extreme teaching and hopefully dispel the confusion by the Scriptures.

You have to decide whether or not you want to tithe.

According to Proverbs 3:9-10, when we give the Lord the first-fruits of our increase, we honor Him. While the word “tithe” is not used in these verses, it would be dangerous to draw a direct line and conclusively declare that these verses of Scripture specifically talks about tithing. It could be talking about tithing but it could be talking about any kind of giving as far as offerings is concerned.

Without question, first-fruit is about giving to the Lord your very best.

This Scripture talks about giving to the Lord the top and the best of what we produced as a result of our labor. We must remember, it is the Lord that gives us “physical strength” to get wealth (look up that word “power” in the Hebrew).

In the NT, we do not see a clear mandate as far as chapter and verse in the NT for believers to tithe.

When you read 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9, it is not about tithing. It is about giving. The circumstances surrounding the kind of giving that was to be done was about sending relief supplies to needy believers in the Lord.

Tithing wasn’t mentioned one time.

However, we have manipulated tithing and giving by including certain Scriptures in a failed attempt to bolster tithing. I called this “applying elasticity to the Scriptures.” In other words, people stretch the Scriptures beyond contextual boundaries to sell a false doctrine. Or at the very least, take a valid doctrine and use it manipulatively.

The economic times of our day is challenging many believers not to tithe.

Since the monetary crisis hit the world, the believer and the church is affected as well. It is estimated that giving is off by between 20% to 30%. All across the United States, believers are pulling back on paying tithes and giving offerings.

The obvious reasons is job losses, reduced salaries, personal debt, and high cost of living increases. Additionally, many of us have failed to take heed to beware of covetousness.

Many of us lived beyond our means and called it a “blessing.” Not realizing that a famine in “Egypt” was coming. A Joseph moment was in the atmosphere.

The Joseph principle (see Genesis 41) is clear.

In times of abundance, store up. Because times of leanness is coming.

Many of us didn’t pay attention and we “ate, drank, and were merry.”

Not realizing the the Lord was warning us, we went ahead and bought everything the world offered to us. Even pastoral empires bought more church than what they could reasonably pay for. This caused many pastors to be escorted off the property, or become very harsh toward people to give beyond their ability. Or, they become very crafty in their preaching about money. To command people to give when their personal bills were past due.

For many people, debt was a “blessing.”

Take out a loan and put it on a card.

Sarcastically, “It is God!”

Prominent preachers want you to buy their books and other paraphernalia. When they come to preach, they have their staff ready to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express or other credit cards, putting you in debt for a product. Or when you know that you have a bill to pay, you write out a check or use your ATM card to buy some teaching. And sometimes people buy this stuff and they never apply any of its principles. Or it is so manipulative that you attempt to put it into operation but nothing happens. Just like the “no money down” real estate deals.

You use money to buy a book or DVD series instead of exercising wisdom to pay your tithes, utilities, rent, mortgage, groceries, etc.

Sadly, and pathetically, some preachers go home to their “mansions” while some of God’s people go back to their much coveted roach and rat infested, paint pealing, leaky ceiling apartments. Looking for that “hundredfold” return that seemingly escapes them every week.

Do not get me wrong.

There are many miracles out there when tithing and giving is done correctly and is not a result of manipulative means. There are many believers that have powerful testimonies because they’ve tithed and gave offerings. But with the right motive in mind from the pulpit to God’s precious people.

Some pastors have machines in the vestibule of most churches so you could pay your tithes and offerings by ATM.

The choice of payment and what you decide to give is totally up to you but we pastors should never be putting other believers into a system of debt to get them to purchase a product. A system of convenience is more costly than the old fashioned way of doing things. The wrong kind of convenience has long tentacles.

Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.”

Sadly, some preachers do not believe in this any more.

While it is true that Paul said that the “Laborer is worthy of his hire,” we preachers should never be looking to “pull” on people to pay for every little thing. I still believe that God knows how to take care of His own.

I am convinced that when God stops paying for a ministry, it is time for its doors to close. It is time to transition into something else. What He calls for, He provides for, however, when the Lord stops the provision there is no longer a need for that vision. Pastors must draw the line and never place an unnecessary burden on the believer to take from them or to put them further into debt. When God speaks to a believer to give, it is always in accordance to what they have and never according to what they do not have.

Somehow, many preachers do not believe what Paul said, let alone what he meant by that.

It is the same at Prevailing Word. The moment the Lord stops providing for the vision is the moment Prevailing Word closes its doors forever. The work is His, not mine. Only God knows how to pay for it. And it makes no sense to try to make Him pay for something that He is discontinuing or never called for in the first place.

You give offerings, not because you want to be blessed but that the Lord blessed you with it to give. That blessing was enough to pay tithes, give offerings, pay bills, and to save some of it for another time of famine.

With credit, we were able to buy things now and pay later or pay the minimum over a long time. However, things got tight. Interest rates increased. We couldn’t resist the items advertised. We went and bought more than our paycheck could handle.

We all maxed out on all 200 of our credit and store cards. Like a boneheaded sucker, that “ten percent off” discount offer at the checkout counter was an attractive drag queen (I’m talking about the offer, not the checkout person at the register).

The discount offer looked like a lady but a closer look revealed masculine facial hair and a deeper voice than usual.

For the believer, it should have been a clear sign that something was about to happen to our financial system that would directly affect tithes and offerings.

Now there are many believers that question tithing.

When things weren’t tight, tithing was never a problem. Now that gasoline prices are beyond reason, buying food is beyond a normal bi-weekly salary. Financing a car is near impossible. Even with a great credit score of 780. Mortgages? Forget it. This is a system that is as dysfunctional as it gets.

Candy bars now are taxable in many states. Not that we need to eat them but the mere idea of taxing a food item is ludicrous. As it stands now, there is no relief in sight and the vultures are flying over head every day. Waiting to devour the next carcass.

As far as tithing is concerned, many believers are now walking away from tithing. The arguments for walking away from tithing are from the usual responses.

1. The preacher is taking the money and using it.

2. Tithing is OT not NT.

3. You won’t get cursed because we are not under the law but we are under grace.

4. Tithing is a manipulative way to finance a pastor’s church empire.

5. I can’t afford to tithe. I got bills to pay. I don’t want to lose my home.

In more cases than not, some of these arguments is valid.

However, you will never see God’s Word telling you that tithing was evil. That tithing was of the devil. That tithing is not the will of God. That there is absolutely no benefit in tithing.

You see the opposite.

Then there are those that do tithe that will argue that they tithe only the net, not the gross (see Proverbs 3:9-10).

They “shortchange” God.

There are clear Scriptures in the book of Genesis that declare that tithing occurred before the law of Moses. The argument that non tithing believers use is that tithing is under the Old Testament law.

It is true that in the New Testament, Jesus never mandated that believers in the church or assembly must tithe. However, we see Jesus instructing the Sanhedrin that they should be concerned with the weightier matters of the law while not leaving the other things (including tithing) undone (see Matthew 23:23-24). As a point, the four gospels is not the beginning of the NT. Remember, Jesus operated as the last OT Prophet. His death fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law (see John 19:28-30 and Romans 10:4).

Even the Lord Jesus told Paul, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Why didn’t the Lord Jesus mentioned that it is more blessed to tithe?

However, their argument continues…

I am a NT believer and I am not subject to tithing under the old covenant. The law was fulfilled in Christ and was done away with by His death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore, I am not under the curse of the law because Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” Therefore, the curse of Malachi 3:8-10 doesn’t apply to me.

This argument almost seemed plausible but let me point something out.

Remember, money is the issue.

Remember when Jesus was confronted by the Jews about whether it was right or not to pay taxes to Caesar (see Matthew 22:15-22)? They asked Him a very pointed question. But the Lord responded, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

If the inscription on the coin is Caesar and it is his money, what belongs to the Lord?

Where did the material that made up the coin come from? Who put the substance there so that somebody could make a symbol of value out of it?

Remember, it takes money to get things done. When the children of Israel returned from exile, they needed money to rebuild the wall and the Temple (see Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).

So, how would this get done without money?

What happens when you do not give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar?

We all know what will happen. So what do you think should happen when we do not give to God what belongs to God?

Read Haggai chapter 1, Zechariah chapter 5:1-5, and Malachi 3:8-12.

You will note that the first incident of tithing occurred with Abram.

Well before the law.

It is clear that when a covenant is established before the law, it is out of a covenant relationship that we honor God. This is precisely what Abram did.

For argument’s sake, Genesis is one of five books of the law. However, the book, in and of itself, has no recording of the law. The recording of the law took place in the second book of the Pentateuch called Exodus. According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary, Pentateuch is a Greek term meaning “five-volume”. In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, we see detailed instructions on how the nation of Israel is to tithe out of the law.

After Abram returned from the battle of the kings to rescue Lot, Melchizedek, king of Salem brought Abram bread and wine. Abram gave Melchizedek tithes or ten percent of the spoils of war (see Genesis 14).

Melchizedek gave Abram a test. “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” Abram answered wisely, “…I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth…that I will not take anything that is yours,”

Melchizedek served as the high priest. Abram recognized Melchizedek’s authority and right as high priest and rendered to God what was God’s to the high priest. When you fast forward to the book of Hebrews, you will see that the High Priest of the new covenant is the Lord Jesus and according to the writer of the book of Hebrews, it is declared that the High Priestly ministry of Jesus is like or patterned after the ministry of Melchizedek (see Hebrews 7).

In Hebrews chapter seven, the issue is not just about tithing. The main issue is about the High Priestly ministry of Jesus. I know that many well intentioned believers accuse pastors and preachers of using this Scripture in Hebrews manipulatively but there is no manipulation in the clearly stated fact that the Lord Jesus is our High Priest.

There is nothing manipulative if you choose to honor your High Priest by paying tithes to your High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you believe you are in covenant with the Great High Priest, you choose to honor Him with 10% of all your earnings. By giving your High Priest what is His, you are rendering to God, what is God’s.

Some of you Bible scholars will note that there is a Biblical Hermeneutics Principle called “The First Mention Principle.” When a principle is mentioned for the first time, it becomes the standard all the way through the Bible.

Tithing was mentioned in Genesis 14. We see tithing again in Genesis 28:18-22.

These two incidences is the “Witness Principle.” When two persons say the same thing in two different places and at two different times, it becomes an unrehearsed corroborated witness, and it becomes an “established” word (see Deuteronomy 19:15 and 2 Corinthians 13:1).

It is impossible for Abram to get with Jacob to corroborate tithing.

So, you not only have two different witnesses, you also have the fact that tithing was clearly established before the Law of Moses.

The conclusion is simple.

Tithing is a matter of a man willfully entering into covenant with God to render to God what belongs to Him. Because Jesus is our Great High Priest, we honor Him with 10% of all our increase. We give offerings, not to be blessed but because God blessed us. This is called the law of reciprocity according to Ecclesiastes 11:1-6, Luke 6:38, and Acts 20:35. The rate of return is commensurate with how and what you give according to 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 and Galatians 6:7.

According to 2 Corinthians chapter 8 and 9, we give according to what we have and not what we do not have, and tithing is no where recorded or discussed in 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9. We operate in wisdom by giving to God what belongs to Him and then we exercise discretion in paying all our bills. Whatever is left, we store up for the season of famine that is to come and we do not overspend.

We do not look for the “hundredfold” on our return because there is no such return of 30, 60 or 100fold. We look only to be a blessing as a result of God blessing His people.

We must understand that if we fail to render to “Caesar” what belongs to him, we know what will happen. In the same manner, if we fail to render to God what belongs to Him, we know what will happen.

Now you have to decide what you want to do. I will not tell you what you must do.

In light of these Scriptures, you have the opportunity to tithe or not to tithe.

The Fastest Way To Grow Your Church

by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. The Fastest Way To Grow Your Church. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Over the last few decades, many pastors are looking for ways to grow his or her local church. The Lord gave the apostles a blueprint to do just that.

During the 1980’s and 90’s the churches that came about were more or less “TRANSFER” growth churches.

In other words, people heard about a particular church and what they were offering. People “shifted” their membership from one local church to another.

Transfer growth is a part of church life but abuses on both parts unnecessarily takes place. It is frustrating for pastors because when you are trying to build on the momentum, sometimes people act funny after they make a commitment. Sometimes pastors act funny too and abuse the people that truly desire to be a part of the local church.

Sometimes people are led of the Lord according to the divine plans and purposes of God to go to a local church. Sometimes people relocate to certain parts of the city, state, or nation. Sometimes a church closes for whatever reason and they look for another place to fellowship.

Sometimes people are spiritually restless and they are looking for another place to grow spiritually. Sometimes people do not want to come to church and go to channel surfing church or they check out live streaming as opposed to leaving their homes.

Then you have believers that roam from church to church, having multiple memberships. They say that they are “led” and they call everyone their “pastor.”

Whatever the case may be, it is important for people to have “a” church home. Why is it important? Coming to church is about honoring God and hearing from the Word of God from competent spiritual leadership. It is about joining a community of believers to fellowship with each other and to help one another grow spiritually.

It is about meeting the spiritual needs of the community that the local church is assigned to. It is about people participating in the greatest work on earth. Building the kingdom of God on the earth to manifest the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.

God cannot make everyone go to church. He’d rather have a willing heart than a heart that grudgingly serves Him. Either you love Him or you don’t.

I do not agree with pastors using “spiritual manipulation” to get people into church. I do not condone pastors using “strong arm” tactics to keep people in the pews. I don’t believe that the local church was designed to be socially agenda minded to the degree that the original intent of the church is overwhelmed and lost.

If the people come and stay in His local church, it’s because they love the Lord and they trust the leadership. As long as the leadership follow the Lord, and the Word of God. Trust, honesty, accountability, holiness, and singleness of purpose must be the benchmark of the minister.

The pulpit, the pew, and the musician must endeavor to live holy lives. Without holiness, no man may see the Lord (see Hebrews 12:14). Without holiness, no man is anointed.

The church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. The people belong to the Lord. According to Hebrews 10:25, no one should intentionally “…forsake the assembling…”

As a side note, if you study out the book of Hebrews, you will note that the Hebrew Christians were challenged by the followers of angel worshippers and the law of Moses to walk away from Jesus, and return to Judiasm.

The Hebrew Christians were terrorized and harshly persecuted. Even to the point of death. This kind of persecution caused many of them to walk away from the Lord and the church. While Saul wasn’t a part of this persecution, Saul was a terrorist until he met the Lord on the road to Damascus (see Acts 8:1-3, 9:1-9).

Today, many believers have walked away from the assembly (church). Not because of persecution but because of many other church “options” such as live streaming, cable, satellite, and the Internet. Another alarming thing is that many denominations are closing its doors because there is no replenishment of young people to pick up the torch.

Sometimes, when church leadership and people do not move to where the Spirit of the Lord is, that church, it’s leadership, and people will remain trapped in its traditional setting. In other words, when the church started 40 or 50 years ago, the same hymns, preaching, and praying is done today.

They cease to be a movement because they have monumentalized or crystalized what once was a fresh move of God.

Then you have people in the church that is afraid to take risks to evangelize. They leave evangelism up to the pastor that is already overwhelmed with prayer and the ministry of the Word according to Acts 6:4. They leave the shepherd to have sheep when sheep is supposed to produce sheep.

It is ultimately the responsibility of the pastor to train and equip the people to do the work of the ministry according to Ephesians 4:11-12. Not to train and equip the people to sit after they are trained. The pastors must motivate people to take partnership seriously according to Romans 12:1-13. Church life is more than just filling seats. The vibrant life of the church has its foundation in the worship service but the people come to life in its extracurricular activities.

Many were a part of the local church until they’ve experienced pastoral and parishioner “church hurt.” Many people will not darken the doorstep of a church because of hypocrisy in the pulpit and in the pews. Many will not come to church because of clergy sexual sins. Many will not come to church because of sins in their own lives.

While these reasons is not a valid reason for not finding a sincere church to be a part of, we that declare that we are “changed” should never give saints, sinners, and backsliders a reason for not coming to church.

The imperfect church is a place where we mature as believers in the Lord. We learn how to walk in love and grace towards one another. In being the church, we have to depart and refrain from iniquity while learning how to have forbearance towards one another.

When it comes to sin, light and darkness cannot fellowship, associate, or have anything in common. It means that sin must be dealt with by making a quality decision to obey the correct preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

Teaching people how to live lives free of sin and satan’s devices. It doesn’t mean we prevent people from coming to church with their sins unless they are not producing fruit in accordance with John chapter 15.

We give all believers the opportunity to grow and mature in the things of the Lord.

Having said this, the church must return to the true Biblical reason why it exists.

The church is an assembly of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The intent of the church is to be a place of God’s holy habitation through the Spirit.

The church is centered around seven things.

1. Worship
2. Prayer and Evangelism
3. The Doctrine Of Christ/The Apostle’s Doctrine
4. Fellowship Among The Believers
5. Accountability And Stewardship Among The Believers
6. Company Of Believers Becoming One In The Temple
7. Meeting The Needs of the Needy

1. Worship

John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”

The word “worship” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, comes from the Greek word, “proskuneo” and it is a compound word. “Pros” means “towards” and “kuneo” means “to kiss.”

Some of you will recall the Scripture in Psalm 2 and verses 11 and 12, “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoicing with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way.”

The Amplified Bible says, “Kiss the Son [pay homage to Him in purity],”

As an assembly of believers, our first intent is to provide an atmosphere of worship unto the true and living God. It’s not about the sound of music in the house. It is not about the praise and worship “experience” that makes a worship service.

In everything that we do, God is to be worshipped. However, the worship service is our weekly celebration of the true and living God through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to hear from the teaching and preaching of the Word of God by His appointed man or woman of God. In addition to paying homage or respect to God, we are loving Him. We love Him because He first loved us (see 1 John 4:7-11).

Matthew 22:37 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

Therefore, our total worship is an expression of our heartfelt, genuine love to the Lord.

Expressing our love to the Lord involves everything in us. Our heart, soul, mind and body according to Acts 17:28.

When people that do or do not know the Lord come to your church, do they see that you love the Lord? Is the atmosphere filled with a heartfelt genuine love for God? Can they perceive the love you have for God? If they cannot see that you love the Lord your God, then your worship service is not a real worship service.

Many will see something going on inside the facility but nothing that you do is drawing them to where you are because God doesn’t draw people to a place where He isn’t loved. The Lord will direct people to walk right past your church, walk across the street to the other church, and fill that place up.

If you come to church with a bad attitude towards God, they will see it. If you cannot live holy for God, they will see it. If you have hatred in your heart toward one another, they will see it. They will visit and never return because they cannot sense the love you have for God. God will not bring people into a house that hates and disrespects Him.

2. Prayer and Evangelism

THE PRAYER OF FAITH

Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Verse 6 tells us, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.”

Prayer is useless unless you come to Him with faith in Him and His Word. Even when it comes to worship. We must believe that He is God, the true and living God. The whole basis of faith involves our willingness to take God at His Word and believe that He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power (faith and His Word) that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20.

THE PRAYER OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP

The Book of Psalm is the Prayer book of the Bible. There are 150 Psalms. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words defines the word “Psalms” as “a striking or twitching with the fingers (on musical strings), then, “a sacred song, sung to musical accompaniment, a psalm.”

So the combination of singing and instruments is used as part of the prayer service of the local church.

While there are several kinds of prayers to pray in the Bible, primarily, part of the worship service involves the use of the Book of Psalms.

Isaiah 56:6-7 says, “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants— Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant— even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

While the facility is the place where prayer is to be made, the house that the Lord is referring to is the believer. We are the ones that do the praying, not the building. It is important that you come prepared to pray.

We must always come to praise and worship the Lord for Who He is and not just for what He can do. The things in His hands come after we touch His heart. For He longs to be with His people, to love and fellowship with us. This is the ultimate purpose of why we were created.

The whole premise of worship centers on these two prayers that are primarily in use in the worship service of the church.

Praise and worship and believing that He is God.

EVANGELISM

We are to pray that the Lord send us (laborers) to work the fields that is ripe for harvest (see Matthew 9:35-38 and John 4:34-38). We are to pray that the Lord draw people to Himself and pray that the Lord would draw us to the sinner to be a witness for Christ.

True numerical growth will only happen when we commit ourselves to be a witness for Christ and lead people to the Lord. The moment we commit ourselves to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the lost and win them to the Lord, is the moment we will see the kingdom of God expand.

Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”

When the Lord said, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, for the violent take it by force.” He didn’t mean faith to believe God for something. He meant that the people grasped the message of repentance to the degree that people violently entered in. They pressed into the kingdom viciously.

The message of repentance grabbed them so badly that they violently and relentlessly pressured the kingdom of heaven to let them in. They got to the gates and the gates couldn’t withstand the assault.

Or, the amount of people that were pressing into the kingdom was overwhelming.

One of the most fascinating things that I have come across in many church growth conferences, books, and blogs is the reduced or lack of believing God in prayer for opportunities to witness. A lack of believing God to draw sinners into the house of worship. The lack of prayer to ask God to draw people to Himself.

The praying is twofold. Pray to go out and get them or to pray that God send them in to the house of worship to get saved.

We trust more in demographics, marketing, and targeting specific people. We trust more in our human ability to put out a product than putting our trust in the living God.

Do not misunderstand what I am saying.

It is important to recognize that as a local church, what you are specifically called to do, and to whom the Lord has assigned you to reach.

However, the moment that we minimize God’s divine influence, is the moment we keep the One Person responsible for bringing the people into the church building and ultimately, His kingdom out of the most important work of the church (see John 6:44, 12:32-33, and 1 Corinthians 3:5-6). The church is the ark of safety. It is a soul saving station. It is God’s house of redemption.

In places like these where prayer is minimized, it only reveals a deeper problem. A clear intentional reluctance to call on the name of the Lord for the lost. A sad lack of prayer to the Lord of heaven and earth.

There must be a balanced combination of the two things in order for results to manifest. We cannot afford to sit and pray all day when the Lord said, “Go, therefore…” And we must not “Go, therefore…” without receiving divine instructions on where to go.

In Luke chapter 5, after the Lord concluded ministering to the people, He told Peter to “Launch out into the deep…and let your nets down for a catch.” Peter told the Lord that he “toiled all night, nevertheless, at your word…” Peter didn’t pray a lick for fish. He gave up fishing after being out in one or several known spots all night long.

But perhaps Peter and the rest of the fishermen left one spot un-searched. Or the Lord withdrew the fish to assemble in the deepest part; undetected until it was time to catch them. Whatever the case may be, the lesson is clear. You cannot catch anything unless you rely on the only Person capable of drawing them to the net to be caught.

The Lord instructed them to go back out.

Three things that need to be shared.

One, it is important to understand that positioning had something to do with it.

Two, obedience, even after working all night long, is essential to receiving the manifestation of your prayers and efforts.

And three, no matter what, do not give up, is the final point. Persistence will pay off after while.

Methods and means will change but you have to be current with what the Spirit of God tells you to do. We do not have to compromise with the world to get God results. The world is competing against God for souls.

When the Lord moves, we must do so at His command. Therefore, do not seek just fill seats. Your church must be prepared to disciple those whom the Lord sends. This is what evangelism is all about.

We must remember that the Lamb of God came to take away the sins of the world. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Jesus came to die for the sins of man. He is the propitiation or appeasing sacrifice, satisfying the just claims of the Most High God.

Man is to be reconciled to God through the blood of the everlasting covenant. God was never in the wrong. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. However, we were justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

The ultimate reason for the existence of the church is to inform sinners that the price of sin was paid in full by the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have victory over sin through the blood of His cross. Evangelism. True evangelism will always remind the sinner of the price the Lord Jesus paid to free us from the power and guilt of sin.

The pain and suffering of Jesus on the cross is what we must remember every single moment of our lives. He endured the cross and despised the shame. The joy that was set before Him caused Him to endure the suffering.

The joy that one day, we would be saved from our sins. The joy of being united in heaven with the Savior. The joy of being with those that made Jesus Lord of their lives. The joy of not being cast into the lake of fire, separated from the presence of the Lord forever.

True evangelism will never exclude the power of the cross.

If we water down this gospel, the true meaning of the gospel is lost or veiled to those that are blind and do not believe. Woe to the church if we fail to preach the cross of Christ.

Every time you go to a funeral or home-going, a soul’s name, written in the Lamb’s book of life is all that matters at the end of the day.

In Part Two we will cover…

3. The Doctrine of Christ. The Apostle’s Doctrine
4. Fellowship Among The Believers
5. Accountability And Stewardship Among Believers
6. Company Of Believers Becoming One In The Temple
7. Meeting The Needs of the Needy

Economic Catastrophic Disaster

by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. Economic Catastrophic Disaster Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

For the last 20 years, the current economic system is showing clear signs of an impending catastrophic collapse. Not just in the United States but around the world.

Two instruments opened the door for this to occur.

One, China entering the WTO (World Trade Organization) and two, the Free Trade Agreement.

The economic pressure is rising and must release a cataclysmic disaster that will be unrecoverable by mere humanistic means. While there were other factors that opened the door for a complete global economic collapse, the Bible clearly speaks to the events surrounding our time.

For instance, James 5:1-6.

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.”

Where the Word says, “he does not resist you,” is evidence of a person giving up without a fight. For many, death is more welcomed than continuing in suffering. “Just kill me,” is their cry.

This crying out is evidenced in Libya, Greece, London(?), and Syria. Famine is hitting Somalia and other nations where millions of people and children are dying in the thousands.

Just as I was thinking about this, the Lord took me back to the Book of Genesis. The sons of Noah in particular. The Lord told me that Ham had his day. Shem had his day, and Japheth, his days are coming to a close.

If you look at the prophecy of Daniel. Daniel 2:28 says, “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.”

Notice the latter portion. “…what will be in the latter days.”

It is amazing that the Lord sets in motion the final events from the time the Israelis were exiled to Babylon. Why? The book of Revelation speaks of the Great Whore, Babylon in Revelation 14.

The current financial system is about to close in dramatic fashion to set itself up for the arrival of the kingdom of Babylon as declared in the book of Revelation. All across the world, we are seeing clear indications of many nations attempting to climb out of a slippery financial pit just to get sucked under as part of the beginning of the end of all things.

The only humanistic answer that the European nations and the United States have is to raise the debt ceiling or make more loans to itself. Bailout or borrow to pay for what we borrowed. This kind of madness is very risky.

Billions of people are maxed out on credit cards and loans. The United States government is experiencing what every American in debt is experiencing and they are using the same system imposed on it’s people to attempt to bail itself out of debt.

Billions of people do not have jobs to pay for what was borrowed, let alone provide for their basic needs. Many are strategically defaulting because their pay, for those that are working, will never be able to catch up to pay down their debt, taxes, and the increased cost of living.

Greed has finally caught up to every person on the planet.

Just look across your towns, municipalities, and “empires.” Businesses are closing. The buildings that they once occupied are closed. For “sale” or for “lease” signs are all across the nation. Small businesses are closing because no one is buying their products. People are unemployed. State budgets are beyond saving. Most states are selling their own properties to attempt to close their out of control budget gaps.

Some states are touting their fiscal discipline but it will be short lived. Many other states are attacking unions to destroy their bargaining agreements and pensions. Companies are laying off thousands of workers to save their bottom lines.

Come to think of it.

Perhaps Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay saw what was about to come. Panicked. And started to store up or have a good time because it would be the last time anyone would have good times. One is serving time and the other one is dead.

It is time for the church to grasp this reality.

Throw away the error of the gospel of prosperity.

It is time to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ commensurate with the times we are currently living in.

1 Timothy 6:6-10 says,

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Verse 11 says, “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”

Have you ever watched a movie when the part comes where destruction is about to come and someone is told to run but they don’t run? They ask a whole lot of questions, questioning why they have to run. Then some of them end up dead or barely escaped disaster?

So it is with many of you that do not pay attention to the Scripture above. I and God cannot make you run, but after you are destroyed, when it’s too late, it’s the only time when what is said here makes any kind of sense to you.

We are not about to enter into desperate times.

We are in desperate times.

Doomsday is no longer a great novel.

Doomsday is at the door.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

Already we are seeing regular families struggle. Recently, I read where a mother killed her son and then committed suicide because she was unable to financially make ends meet.

China sent a message to the United States through the New York Times (NYT) telling us the truth. The United States is addicted to debt. This is a clear sign to the US that the sins of this nation are approaching full. The judgment for sexual sins, covetousness, abortion, and blasphemy against the Lord have come upon her and the Christian church.

This is too gloomy. Could you please preach nice things preacher?

No!

It’s time to face reality and preach the Word of God in season and out of season. Whether you want to hear it or not.

Because these are the times that the Lord warned us about. Forget about any return to the good ol’ days. From here on out, we are going to see more financially destructive times. Just pay attention to 1 Timothy chapter 6 and verse 11.

Just as Paul told Timothy. “But you, O man of God, flee these things…

And while you are running, you might as well… “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”