This has a lot to do with sexual immorality because if you could fall for false apostles, you can fall for everything false apostles are about, including sexual immorality. Though it may not be detected early in their ministry, just watch over time and you will see things emerge.
If an apostle can excuse the small sins, the big ones are very easy to excuse as well. As compromise sets in, it is only a matter of time before you will hear the justification of sin in the life of an exposed false apostle. When you see people excuse the sin of homosexuality and abortion, it is clear that you had better start making your way for the exit.
It is very easy these days to accept an indefensible position. However, it is not worth losing your eternal salvation. In fact, the gospel of inclusion has it’s roots in Calvinism. Once saved always saved by election is very similar to the doctrine of inclusion.
And the goal of inclusionism is to get the unsuspecting, carnal person to include sexual immorality, not just homosexuality, as an acceptable activity. That homosexuality is not a sin. It is a sexual orientation.
When you see Calvinism, you see inclusionism.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
Whenever a person appears to be authoritative, they are attempting to be authentic.
In these two passages of Scripture, Revelation 2:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, we see that when the Lord Jesus left the earth, all of a sudden, everyone wants to be an apostle. Lately, we have seen many “new comers” to the work of an apostle.
A close friend of mine, Pastor Darren Butler of International Good News Fellowship in Hicksville, NY and I had a lengthy fruitful discussion about this. From this discussion that I had he shared something that is worth noting.
Function is more important than title.
Over the short years, we have seen that when a person desires to be legitimate and authentic, people will reach into areas where this could be achieved. The ill-advised pursuit of notoriety crept into church leadership simply because if you are “discovered,” you can get the great speaking engagements that others appear to be getting.
It’s never about getting souls into the kingdom and they will lie like a dog by the fireplace to make you think it’s about souls.
It’s about stardom, glamour, fame, and money.
We all should know that whenever the true manifests first, the false will follow. When the false manifests, the truth comes to refute it. We see this consistently in Scripture. Who was here before everything?
Who showed up with sin?
False always follow after the truth. That’s why the devil has to wait for truth to manifest so that he could bring an alternative or opposite.
So why do people want to follow the false instead of the real? The lie, instead of the truth?
You can make up your own rules. This is at the heart of all rebels. You are able to do what you want. Hence, the satanic verse of verses……“Do as thou wilt.”
The quest for authenticity apart from the truth is a pursuit that will always be unobtainable. Besides, authentic mean real. With a lie, you have to keep that lie going with another lie. That’s why Jesus said that the devil is a liar. He speaks from his own resources. There is no truth in him (see John 8:44).
With false apostles, it’s not about going out to establish new local churches. It’s not about raising leadership from within that new work. It is not about preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in places where He wasn’t preached. It’s about establishing their own personal kingdom. Additionally, another thing that is connected to false apostles is that they appear authoritative and powerful.
While some of them have great organizational skills, we see that is usually the backdrop for being able to help floundering pastors grow the work. This aspect is rather a necessary component of viable apostles. However, it is important to stay with the basic Biblical structure of an apostle.
We all know that an apostle mean sent one.
When a person says that they are an apostle, the question must be asked…..“Who sent you and where are you supposed to be.”
Pastor Butler shared this tremendous insight and called it “region.”
Look at this Scripture…
John 6:38-39 says…..
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.”
Notice Matthew 15:24…
But He answered and said, I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
And Matthew 4:12-17, notice the word “regions.”
“Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
So here is the pattern.
Jesus was sent by the Father, not to do His own will, but the will of the Father. Jesus was sent to the lost sheep. Jesus went to the regions……
However, in the regions where Jesus was sent, something happened.
Jesus is obviously the Light of the Word, there is no dispute about that. What else took place? He preached repentance. Very few that claim to be apostles these days will stick to the basic gospel message, let alone, the basic framework of the call to be an apostle.
These are the three significant things that lack in modern day people that call themselves apostles.
1. Who sent you or did you go yourself?
2. Are you doing the will of the One Who sent you or are you doing your own thing?
3. To what area or “region“ were you sent?
Many of them will claim all of the above and they should just to save face. However, Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruit.”
Just watch them and watch what they do.
Another thing that is happening is that we are seeing a consistent crop of females enter into the place of the apostle.
We must understand that the Lord used 12 male apostles. It must be understood that God predominantly uses men to preach the gospel and to lead in the church. In the family nucleus, the husband is the one that binds the house together. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, we see that it was specifically written to males. There is no feminine qualifications for women in ministry. It doesn’t mean that the Lord has excluded women from ministry. It means that the Lord predominantly issues the call to males to assume leadership positions in the ministry.
God used women tremendously in certain places of the Bible, but the Lord’s consistent pattern has always been and His preference is clearly noted that He wants a man to lead. There are places where male leadership must yield to ministering to women. Males know nothing about what goes on in womanhood just like women know nothing about what goes on in manhood.
Just like a man is uncomfortable talking to a female pastor about being impotent, a woman is uncomfortable about talking to a male pastor about feminine issues.
Are you hearing me?
Therefore, it is important to yield whenever possible, to the gender that has knowledge in these areas.
However 1 Corinthians11:3 is there for a reason.
Please note that Paul did not say that the head of every woman is man. He said the head of woman is man. Therefore, Paul here, is speaking of married women. The order for the house is God, Christ, man, woman. That’s the order. And we see that predominantly and preferably, man is to lead in the church. And again, this is not exclusive. Women leading in ministry is an exception when it is called by God.
If they aren’t called, just like when a man isn’t called, the fruit will not manifest and it’s an intrusion or false work.
I have no problem if a woman claims to be called to any of the areas of ministry, however, the test for them is the same. They have to be sent by God. They have to be found doing the will of the Father and not their own thing, and they have to be sent to a region. You will know them by their fruit.
The gift of gab and emotional energy is not proof of any call of God on a person’s life.
Everyone can talk about taking Michael Jordan, but until you get on the court with him, talk is cheap. So it is in ministry. If your calling cannot produce the fruit, then the ministry is suspect. Busy preaching in established works is not considered apostolic work. You must be able to preach the gospel. Win folk to the Lord, raise up leadership, and start the process all over again in another region as you are directed and sent by the Lord.
Why is it so hard to follow this established pattern? Starting a work from the ground up, is hard work.
These days, the chief apostles have it easy. They go into other works that are already established and pick up a paycheck for all their expenses, depleting the local church of resources needed to cover their costs. These modern day false apostles pick the weak, low productivity churches, and they know that the young, inexperienced pastor desires to be a big time pastor and preacher.
Develop a relationship with them. All the while stringing them along. Every time these super apostles show up, they plunder them. What is offered in return is a chance to probably preach with them. Sit and receive some deep counsel and that’s about it. You’re fulfilling their dream. You chase after theirs while leaving your dream to waste away. All the while, your dream is left unfulfilled. You come to their conventions with big offerings and they are able to meet their needs, but you are left with nothing, and you preach heavy tithing messages to your small congregation to impress the chief apostle the next time you see him or her. You manipulate and coerce the people to give more. You badger them and make them give what some don’t have.
And that’s another thing. Since when did chief apostle become a title? There is only one Chief Apostle and it is not you. It’s Jesus.
You try to prove your worthiness to the chief apostle with a big offering every year.
Sooner or later, you will wake up and see what this is really all about.
Then for title purposes, you start calling yourself an apostle. You get all these credentials. Educational and ordination credentials. You desire to feel important and worthy of some some respect.
All the while, things are left undone.
Many of you are wondering what a real apostle looks like. You see the TV, DVD’s, and you go to these conferences, and you watch them work. You call it God. Not realizing you are being bamboozled. You get into more debt by giving in to their money demands. Extortion without a baseball bat. False apostles say great swelling words to work you into an emotional hissy fit. You are looking to be blessed by giving away your life savings.
You give it all away and they come and repo your car, foreclose on your home, garnish your check, while Ms. and Mr., Dr. Apostle is able to drive their Bentley right by your house.
There are real apostles out there that you will never see, nor know their names. The real ones that are called will never ask for anything. They will work with their own hands even though they are entitled to compensation. The people they minister to are not known but they are able to meet their needs as the real preachers simply preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The regions these apostles are sent to, have no medical facility but the Great Physician, Jesus, is there moving in their midst to save their sin sick soul and heal their physical diseases.
These apostles move from region to region because of the love of God to preach against sin, minister to their needs, and watch God do things that big city store front preachers like me know nothing about.
Yet, there are a lot of big city, store front preachers that call themselves apostles that claim to be sent to do nothing but look important, have armor bearers chase after them to carry their Bibles, shine their shoes, carry their robes and escort them to their car.
It is time to try them and find them to either be apostles or not. So far, we haven’t tried them and they are able to get away with having a title without function. No wonder we are ineffective. And then you have these people support LGBT positions and abortion.
Enemies of the cross of Christ that fill their own bellies.
Plundering wonders that unhesitatingly rape and monetarily molest the saints during an emotional hissy fit.
Right on cue to take advantage.
You would do well to heed the message of the late David Wilkerson.
RUN!!!!! Run from these false apostles and preachers that pretend to be something but they are found to be false apostles!!!
Years ago, I would make reference about Ananias and Sapphira. As some of you may recall the story in Acts 5, they conspired to lie to the Holy Spirit. There were wealthy people in the church and they sold land to give money to the church.
It appears that everyone of them gave all of the proceeds of what was sold to the church.
Ananias and Sapphira did the same.
Except, they kept back part of the proceeds.
At any time, they could have told the apostles.
“We sold the property but we decided only to give you a portion.”
That would have saved their lives.
They intentionally conspired to tell a lie and it cost them their lives.
Death came for both of them because they lie about how much money they gave.
In the Bible, we do see that consequential judgment is serious.
However, we know that God is a God of mercy and endless compassion.
The end result of this incidence was that the fear of the Lord came upon them all.
In fact, verse 11 said,
“So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these sayings.”
The NIV said,
“Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”
The Amplified Bible said,
“And the whole church and all others who heard of these things were appalled [great awe and strange terror and dread seized them].”
Today, we are not as fearful to walk into the house dedicated for the service of the Lord. I was in sin myself and I had no fear of dying. I thought that I could quickly “repent,” sort of mean it, and thought that God was pleased that I quickly got right with God.
It was like playing chicken with a train on the railroad tracks. It was like truth or dare.
Almost four years ago, the gig was up.
Not that God tolerated my stupidity, but He had mercy on me. Mercy prevents that which you rightfully deserve. And God had every right to fire me by way of death.
Every week, I brought my perverted self to the house of the Lord. Stood before the people to “preach.” Before Sunday, Monday through Saturday would be my time to occasionally watch porn (from 1998 to 2008), masturbate and then ask for forgiveness.
But it was more than that.
I would fill my mind with watching women lustfully. Committing adultery with my heart by watching flesh as I strolled the streets or ride in the car (see Proverbs 27:20, Matthew 5:28, and Job 31:1). I would get up Sunday morning, pray and preach, and return to business as usual.
1 John 1:9 meant little more to me than a “get out of sin and judgment” verse.
I deceived myself into thinking that God was pleased when I “confessed” my sin. All I was doing was lying to Him because I never really meant it. I loved my sin more than I loved my God and His Word.
Those promises. Empty promises to quit became the epitaph of my dead life. The calculated coldness of how I treated God with utter contempt didn’t mean nothing to me. And the complete disdain for my wife who faithfully prayed for my deliverance every night.
A sex addict is one that cannot control, stop, or manage his sexual urges and impulses.
In my one bedroom apartment, while my wife would be praying, I would gratify myself.
Such perversion was a regular thing in my life prior to God’s deliverance.
The utter disrespect of women and my daughter was nothing to me.
One night while watch porn and masturbating, the Lord said to me, “You know, you could be watching your daughter?”
I ignored Him, suppressed His warning and continued. Talk about running a red light.
At age 14, my daughter checked the history on my Directv receiver and discovered my porn addiction. The year was 1999. A year after I first started watching porn.
At any time, my greatest fear would destroy me. Thankfully, the Lord did my wife a favor because when you are in sin, your prayers are not heard according to Psalm 66:18.
I’m sharing this because all over the church world, we know that there are many pastors, music ministers, singers, preachers, bishops, and deacons, elders, apostles. You name it. We blatantly sin and bring our morally corrupt attitude with us before the presence of the Lord as if God didn’t mind at all.
We bring our Secret Sexual Sins as idols right into the temple. We bow down in obeisant worship to our Secret Sexual Sins and we disrespect God.
It would be a matter of time before the last measure of warning would come.
God said this to me.
“Come Clean or be exposed.”
That was no imagination. He was the voice of the Lord.
As a result, the Lord set me on a path towards the intersection of destiny.
Either come clean or you will not come this way alive again.
While I will never know what would have happened if I persisted, it is clear to me that I know that something dramatic would have happened.
Looking back at those days about four years ago, I should have resigned the ministry. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about resigning. But it would have been good if I would have taken time away to get my bearing straight.
However, a friend of mine, Pastor Roger Jamson, after I came clean about sexual sins, he recommended several places on the Internet to delve into to fortify my walk of sanctification in the Lord.
These last few years were very challenging to say the least but well worth the effort to be free forever. And like all men, we have our moments where relapse occurs. No, not into porn. No relapse there, I praise God to report. You really do not need porn to do masturbate. Just imagination.
But the Lord warned me again.
If you ever know what it is like to clearly hear God’s voice in sin, and to hear His voice after you come out, the difference in His sternness and volume is incredible. The grieving of the Holy Spirit is more intense. The holy attitude of God is more pronounced. The failure you experience, overwhelming. But His love is incredible. He doesn’t want to condemn us with the world and that’s why His consequential judgment varies.
And after all that, when you disappoint God, it’s kills you.
You begin to weigh the fact that you crossed God and He never tolerated it. Then He began to teach me all over again.
“Son, what are you doing with your moments.”
So that became uncoded. There was something that God was doing in me.
Do you want to be the same or do you want to be changed forever?
Several weeks ago the Lord shared this song with me. A song that led me to a song that set the pace for the next level was “Give Me You.”
Then the Lord shared this song…..
“I’ll Never Be The Same.” From the album “I Love You (Live),” by Shana Wilson.
It became the new level of challenge in my life. I no longer want to be the same.
Another song, prior to this one was…
“I Won’t Go Back” From the album “Arise,” by William McDowell.
Then the Lord brought something else that changed my life.
“Do you desire to sin?
You see, you cannot be for something that God is against.
So I had to decide that I no longer desire to sin against God. That meant controlling my urges and impulses to the degree that I no longer desire to cross God. To love the world is to be an enemy of God according to James 4:4.
There was something that the Lord was doing within me. Hence the next level.
Check sin at the door of the facility of Prevailing Word Ministries.
As I am led by the Spirit of God, those that serve with me will be challenged and confronted. Not to do them harm by embarrassment but to show the seriousness of approaching the things of the Lord with the level of holiness required to serve Him. It is not just to sit them down, but to get them help. The Lord was gracious to me and in that same graciousness, I desire to help as many as need His help (see Hebrews 4:12-16).
We’ve been playing church too long.
It starts with me, the pastor.
If I ever go down the path of porn and masturbation, I will resign the ministry on the spot.
The worst kind of preacher is a hypocrite (see Matthew 23).
It is not fair to God, His Word, and the people God entrusts in our care. We are a small congregation. Only 16 persons.
Been that size for the last 18 years. But it is still the work of the Lord. It is that serious. God and His people expect their pastor to be an example in word (speech), conduct, love, faith, and purity. If we can’t live right, we cannot expect people to live right.
This is not an “incentive” to keep me holy because it’s not about that. To please the Lord overrides any wild pomposity edict.
It’s about approaching the holy things of the Lord with the level of gravity required for the service that God deserves. If we are not prepared to do this church service on the same level, we are lying and we do not the truth, as John, the eyewitness apostle of the Lamb said.
The reason why LGBT don’t believe some of what we say is because we are great liars when we want to keep on sinning.
The time for lying and Secret Sexual Sins ceased with me.
WIll you choose to cease and desist in your operations to sin against God?
In Isaiah 52:11, the captivity prophet Isaiah said,
“Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.”
I mentioned Ananias and Sapphira, because we will see this. When you take communion in sin, many are sickly among you and some fall asleep.
Whenever you take the next communion, in mockery to God, it might be your last.
Judgment is already in the house of the Lord but the degree and severity of the judgment of the Lord all depends on where you stand in your relationship with the Lord.
People will come to church a lie to the Holy Spirit about their sins. The Lord was warning me and because I know, first hand, what His warning to me is like, there is no question that pastors need to be put on notice.
Will you join me in checking sin in your heart first?
There is a difference between making a mistake and intentionally sinning against the Lord.
You can stop sinning because Jesus told that to the man at the pool of Bethesda and to the woman caught in adultery.
You can stop sinning.
If you dare to serve the Lord while habitually sinning, I admonish you to stop and think about what you are doing. If you are falling into temptation, it’s because, according to the parable of the sower in Luke 8, that you are not giving the Word place in your heart. You are on stony ground and the Word cannot penetrate a stony heart.
You need to change the texture of your heart from stoney to good ground where the Word could penetrate and produce fruit.
Oh. By the way. You will notice that AF followed LGBT.
The AF is for adulterers and fornicators.
I was never in combat situation while I was in the Navy. However, while I was on the USS Savannah AOR4, in 1983, we were ordered on a contingency operation to Beruit, Lebanon in support of Marines on the beach for peacekeeping purposes. Washington tasked us to deliver whatever supplies we had left by Commander, 6th Fleet to the amphibious forces. For the first time, I saw and participated in combat operations but from sea. We anchored just off the coast and delivered our dry goods and other supplies. Then we received orders to transit out the next day to proceed on duties assigned.
However, just before we transited, we heard shooting and bombings. The pounding from both sides were incredible. This was my only brush with observing combat while serving my country. We got word after we departed the area that the fighting turned towards the peacekeepers and the ships anchored at sea. The task force commander ordered all US vessels to aweigh anchor and get their ships out of range. Just a few months later, 241 marines, sailors, and other military personnel were killed in a car bomb.
The reason why I shared this story is because in many battles, brushes with death can and will occur. When you are sent to fight, death is imminent. The sad thing is that it’s one thing to be shot at by the enemy. But when you get shot at by friendly fire, it’s another thing.
Sometimes these incidents occur because of miscommunication. Wrong coordinates. Malfunction of weapons systems. Human error or all of the above. However, there is also intentional firing upon another person by a person that claims to be on the same side. Much of that is happening in Afghanistan.
When there is a clear objective, the intent is to pull your resources together and deal with the objective. In spiritual battle, at times, there will be dissenters. People who, for whatever reason, decide no longer to fight against sin, when they fire off at the preacher, it is a clear indication that rebellion is before you.
Pastors and preachers are expending enormous amounts of energy fighting against the world and their insistence of infiltrating sexual immorality in the church. The church is over run and the enemy is inside the camp at will. At the same time we are fighting against “well intentioned” believers that insist on living their lives of Secret Sexual Sins, and when their sins are exposed they are blasting away at pastors.
Pastors are shooting at the devil and then have to turn around and shoot at rogue preachers and believers.
The devil has us in a crossfire.
The world has season tickets to the great joke on earth.
Ringling Brothers can’t top the show in the church. The ratings are off the charts and they are laughing at some of us with disdain.
It is a shame when people that called themselves preachers are sympathetic towards sin. Here you have two persons in an interview and you can’t discern the difference. You expect a stand, a solid stand on the Word of God and you expect a solid stand on sexual immorality. The position of sin was clear but the rebuttal was….inept, at best.
Preachers must state their position and back it up with Scripture. Not with politically safe rhetoric that cause one to scratch their head in bewilderment. God never minced words. He said what He meant and that’s what we need in this hour. Preachers with backbone. Preachers that will not wear collars and apologize for being a messenger of God.
The fear of God must return to the preacher in order for the fear of God to return to the church. Otherwise, our impotent performance is another charade.
When a believer becomes sympathetic of sin, that’s when they have turned into a pillar of salt. There they stand, callous, cold, and unresponsive.
God is against all sin.
If you cannot agree with this objective of hating all sin, you are an enemy of God.
If you practice sin, you hate God. If you practice righteousness, you hate the devil.
You can’t do both.
Sometimes people that claim to know Jesus forget that Jesus was sent to the earth to die for the sins of the whole world. God hates sin and He condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus.
So if God hates sin, and you claim to know God, it’s a no brainer.
You too must hate sin.
So when you love sin, you hate God.
And don’t you dare say that you love God but you love sin too.
It’s a contradiction.
Then when it comes to leaders expressing that other leaders should support the president in same sex unions, I STRONGLY CONDEMN AND REBUKE THAT!
Leviticus 18:22 is the grounds for issuing the rebuke.
I will stand on the authority of the Word of God and rebuke what people say that is against the Word of God and those that choose the side of sin.
If you cannot come up with Scripture to support God permitting you to commit sin, do not tell preachers to stop preaching against sin.
And when a person insists on committing sin and we rebuke them, it is for the purpose of getting their attention to repent.
If a person genuinely repents, we forgive them, pray for them, and admonish, and help them to live for Jesus.
Do we continue to rebuke them? NO!
Unless they rebuke you for rebuking them.
You want to help them stay from the curse of sin. You want to help them live clean lives for Jesus.
Pastors must be sensitive to the degree that abrasive, harsh words, and un-Scriptural action is not a part of their pastoral responsibility.
But when others insist in committing sin, when carnal Christians teach others that sin is permitted, when they turn on a preacher, and then blaspheme the name of the Lord, like Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus, that’s when the rebuke is to be issued.
Where is Phinehas when you need him? Cozbi and Zimri, a leader of Israel walked right past God, the Tent of Moses, Moses, Aaron and Phinehas. While the plague was in full swing in the camp. Phinehas said, “Oh, no y’all don’t!”
He took a javelin and thrust them through.
It appears that they were in a compromising sexual position because all Phinehas needed was one thrust to kill them both and the plague ceased in the camp.
Zimri made it by God and Zimri thought he was safe. He thought that God permitted his sin. Zimri made it by the Tent of Meeting. Totally disregarded the worship place of God. It’s called desecration. Zimri made it past Moses and Aaron. Certainly, they approve. But Phinehas wasn’t having it.
The zeal of the Lord rose up within him and he took care of business.
By the way, Cozbi was a woman of Moab that was part of the Moabite leadership.
Which is consistent. Whenever leaders desire sin above God, you can be sure that their punishment will be worse. Hence, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, and any other sinful preachers or pastors that fails to uphold the standard of the Word of God.
You can’t be sympathetic for sin and call yourself a preacher.
Paul said, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!”
Many carnal believers want to have it both ways.
You cannot walk down both sides of the street at the same time.
You cannot live in two houses at the same time.
You cannot be a sinner and a saint at the same time.
You cannot live for God and live for the devil at the same time.
You cannot be good fruit and bad fruit at the same time.
You cannot speak righteousness and speak evil at the same time.
There are too many “believers” that claim to know God but when you bring the truth about the Word regarding sin, they can’t stand the truth.
And then they speak against you to try to condemn you.
All we preachers are doing is agreeing with what God said and repeating what God said.
In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you!
Paul said to Timothy about leaders, preachers that sin, “Those that sin, rebuke before all.”
Believers are shooting pastors and preachers that live the truth and preach the truth in love. If we didn’t love you, we would let you be judged and that would be the end of it.
We see the car that is about to hit you. It would be wrong for us not to warn you, wouldn’t it?
But before God brings judgment, we are tasked to warn you.
Sadly, people pull out their weapons that they are supposed to use against the devil and shoot the preacher that is living and telling the truth. These people do not realize that they are in a combat situation and they do not know who to fight, much less know how to fight.
People in the church are so confused that they sit too comfortably in church.
So comfortable that when you tell them to pray and fight, they roll over and look at you like you are mad crazy. We are in the fight for the church and the devil has us fighting and shooting at each other.
You fell for the devil’s trick to deflect responsibility and place the blame all on the preacher.
It’s the pastor’s fault.
It sure is if he or she is living in sin.
But woe to you if they are living what they are preaching and you are caught in sin.
Just be warned. Your day of exposure is coming.
Preachers are shooting against the enemy with the truth of the Word and then they have to shoot at their own people because the preacher has discerned that there are people that claim to know Jesus that turned against God, and they have become enemies of the cross of Christ.
This is expected.
Enemies of the cross.
Jesus met heavy resistance because He lived and preached the truth. The spiritual leadership of His day changed the commandment of God and replaced God’s Word with their traditions.
They were money grabbers and spiritually inept to help people get it right with God. The church is asleep and drunk with the world. It’s no wonder that the world is playing us against each other because they want to live in their world of sin. And they want to drag the whole church into sin so they can live comfortably without confrontation and conviction.
It is our job to confront sin in the house of God. If you do not want to hear about sin, stay away from the church. Don’t read our blogs. Just avoid everything that has to do with God and His Word. But we know that can’t be possible because the Holy Spirit lures you back to where truth can be found in God’s Word and you have to make a choice to receive truth in the inward parts or reject truth and be judged.
Some of you do not realize it that preacher must now turn up the intensity of the fire of the Scriptures because the world is trying to tell us what the Bible says. Sinners have no right telling the righteous what the Word says.
They are not in the kingdom until they are born again.
Carnal Christians do not have any right to tell a preacher that is living by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God what the Word says.
We are called to be an example in “in word, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
It is out of being that example that gives us the right to rebuke people that is in sin. The worst thing in the world that carnal believers can do is live in such deception that when they are caught living in sin that they lose their minds and try to go up against the Word of the Lord that comes from the preacher whom God sent to straighten you out.
You try to get us to back off.
You do not realize that the Lord was speaking through that preacher and you use everything to curse, condemn, ridicule, slander, abuse, and berate a pastor that is living by the Word of God.
I command you to repent, in Jesus name, and command you to back off.
You do not know what you are getting yourself into. You got a right to say anything you want but we will, by the authority of the Head of the Church to rebuke you.
I was told that I could quote Scripture all day long but it doesn’t make me right.
I know that I am right just by this statement.
When a person says, that I could quote Scripture all day long but it doesn’t make me right, I was waiting for “because the Bible said……”
And that’s where you rebuke people because there is no excuse for sin.
And if we are to know where a person stands, it must be done by examining them through the Scriptures. So far, some misinformed people still do not know their Bibles and that is a travesty.
You expect believers to uphold the Word of God at all times but I find that people uphold the Word when it’s convenient.
I rebuke you in Jesus’ name for that!
Babes in Christ, that’s one thing. But people who claim to be in the faith has much left to be desired.
You can’t pick and choose when it’s convenient to follow the Word of God.
You must follow the Word at all times.
When it comes to rebuking our national leaders from every level of government, the reason why they get away with what they get away with is that pastors are not strongly condemning their actions. It’s a give in that the majority of the politicians will do it regardless of what pastors are charged to say, but they should know that pastors that supposed to have impeccable credentials and the highest credential…God’s ear, must never be lightly esteemed.
I do not think that this level of the fear of the Lord may return but God has a way of turning it around.
Pastors and preachers called by God do not work for politicians and it is abundantly certain that pastors and preachers do not work for people in the church.
Pastors and preachers have One Boss.
His name is Jesus.
He called us, and by His grace, He found us to be faithful to Him and His Word, and He placed us in the ministry.
The politicians and people in the church do not pay us. We work for the Head of the Church. Any pastor or preacher that fails to live according to the standards of God’s Word and teach others to do so must be strongly rebuked and their acts must be condemned.
When it comes to the president of the United States, do not let the office mesmerize you. Too often, pastors and preachers lose their bearing. God puts them in strategically to give them the Word of the Lord to these politicians and it is the responsibility of the preacher to uphold the standards of the Word of God at all times. They must never be allowed to intimidate a preacher.
We fear God not man.
When a preacher fears a man more than God, it is bad because your opportunity to minister the Word of Life must never be lost.
For the most part, why would a sitting president be in support of gay marriages? My first question, which I know I would never get an opportunity is to ask him if he is gay. It is rare that a person supports homosexual sin and not be homosexual themselves. Now we all know that there are many heterosexual couples that support gay marriages that is not homosexual but what is interesting is that there are many men that will admit to some bisexual activity.
In this day and age, we must never put it past people of the possibility of bisexuality unless there is conclusive evidence that they are not. Such questions must be asked so that we can have a clearer picture of the intent of our political leaders. Again, we are headed down a perilous path of judgment and if we do not get at the heart of the issues and deal with this and other spiritual issues, we will face what must be an inevitable series of consequential judgment upon the nation that will have implications until Jesus comes.
Friendly fire will continue to happen in the church. But it must come to a stop. Otherwise, the real enemy, the devil, will continue to ridicule us until Jesus comes.
As I have mentioned on FB, we are seeing a smoke in mirror situation. Why would the president come out and support gay marriage? He and those that are “steering” his presidency is avoiding the up coming issues that will face this nation. At this stage of the game, it looks like everything is mending but it’s not and we know it.
The economy is still in shambles. The Federal Reserve admits this. When you are looking for a job, your salary will not be able to pay for the basic necessities of life. Benefits are also cut. The price of the cost of living is no longer tenable. It is clear that something sinister is on the horizon.
That’s the price for thumbing your nose and turning your back on God.
The combination of immorality and the economy is a diseased umbilical cord and the death of a nation because of its refusal to repent is before this nation. When you have 3% of the American population crying out for marriage rights.
It’s the destruction of the economy stupid.
The gay issue is a big immorality issue but also what’s interesting is that the African American base is in shambles.
So in essence, it appears that the president is dependent upon a new minority.
The gay vote.
And with such a solid support from the gays, their 3% voting will trump the 12% African American vote. More like 10 or 11% with 1% or less of them gay African American.
But we all know that according to Proverbs 14:34, sin will never sustain a nation.
These are the end times.
Preachers that refuse to bring their congregations to the place of repentance for sin to seek the forgiveness of God are playing with men’s souls. And the price will be eternal retribution. Just as the Lord Himself came and rebuked the Sanhedrin in His day for not knowing the time of His visitation, so too, the church is oblivious to the seasons and times of our day.
We need to cry out before the Lord comes. Because when He does, no one will be spared.
It is time to get ready and stay ready. We do not know the day or the hour and we can ill afford to use Israel as the time piece to discern the Lord’s coming. When will He come? James tells us that the “Judge stands at the door.” We do not know when but now is not the time to walk away from the Lord.
Now is the time to get ready.
Paul gave Timothy a solemn charge,
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom….”
Let me stop.
Did you notice, “…who will judge the living and the dead…”
Who is the living?
That’s the church, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:5 says, “made us alive together with Christ.”
Many will say that the analogy is those that are currently alive and those that are currently dead.
Because you can be alive in your body but dead to God according to Romans chapter 6.
Just thought I’d give that to you for good measure.
The statement that Paul is making is clear, you will be judged.
Good question. Are you ready for the answer?
For refusing sound doctrine or teaching.
According to Strong’s Greek/Hebrew Definitions, the word “sound” means, “to have sound health, i.e. to be well…to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine).
So when a person insists on perverted doctrine or teaching, it is not healthy. It is corrupt. It is false in doctrine.
There is plenty of false doctrine that only underscores the fact that we have many unhealthy people in the Body of Christ. When the Lord is dealing with people, it’s because some of them are unhealthy as a result of unhealthy teaching.
Let’s face it, there is a lot of strange teaching that sounds so close to the truth.
Some of it is designed to play on your situation. For instance, financial miracles. “Sow a seed, meet a need.” “First fruit offering.” They sound so convincing that because of your situation, you can’t help but attempt to “give your way out of debt.” Do not misunderstand me God does help us out when we need help, but we need to live within our means and not beyond them.
People that are not good with money anyway are gullible and they are vulnerable. Instead of relying on the miracle of a budget, they overspend beyond their means and lose everything. Then when you teach them sound principles in the Word of God that require budgeting, they reject you as an unbeliever. All the Lord is telling you is that you have unhealthy doctrine in you and you need to get well.
When you are dealing with loving someone according to John 13:34, you still have hatred in your heart towards them. You see, the Word is designed to pinpoint (Hebrews 4:12-13 where you are having trouble and then give you a remedy, relief, or solution that may not be convenient for you.
This is the kind of sound doctrine that Paul is talking about. Sound doctrine that challenges you to live right. Living by sound doctrine will cost you.
Then Paul continues, “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season.”
Many pastors wrestle with the timing delivering the Word. When a message is given, sometimes it is supposed to be given to the individual or individuals addressed. When people are not prepared, God uses his servants to deliver the message.
Sometimes, people make the mistake and do not realize that it was God speaking to them all the time.
They put a face on and accuse you of speaking directly to their heart. Not realizing that God was speaking through them to speak directly to you because you wouldn’t listen or come to the place of prayer where you can listen to Him.
So, the Lord uses His shepherds or other men and women of God to speak into a person’s life. However, the grace to preach comes at the moment something needs to be Biblically addressed. Sometimes when people are in their “stuff,” they do not want you to go in that direction.
There are some that stay in bed when they need to be in church, but they do so to avoid being cornered by God.
Immediately the Word from the Lord is a Word that you intend to resist. God has been pulling on you and you continue to resist. Rebellion is a very dangerous place. To resist when the Lord insists, is not a good thing. That means that if you continue to resist, you may encounter a series of events that is designed to get your attention.
This is not the perfect will of the Lord. However, when the Lord is after someone, if a person insists on resisting, the events that come will culminate into your obedience or disobedience.
The ones that resist all the time do not believe that God is serious and they mock God.
Case in point.
Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33. His father, Hezekiah brought reform to Israel and Manasseh rebuilt the evil altars to cause Israel to go backwards into sin.
God allowed the Assyrians to take Manasseh by the nose with hooks and bound him with bronze fetters.
Manasseh got the message and repented.
Some will say that this is the OT, it doesn’t apply today.
Paul said, these were written for our “example” so we wouldn’t follow in their folly (see 1 Corinthians chapters 10 and 11).
There are many that believe that since we are in the dispensation of grace, we can’t be judged. How misinformed a person must be.
Do we honestly believe that we are immune or have impunity since we are under grace?
When a pastor, under the direction of the Holy Spirit goes into places where people do not want you to go, they quickly make for the exits. Or, if they can’t leave, they stop their ears and reject the voice of the Lord operating in the preacher.
You see, there are people that will walk away from sound doctrine. When they do not want to hear the Word, they will not put up with it. They do not realize that they will be judged for it.
Paul continues and says, “Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
In other words, lovingly and patiently stay with that Word. Don’t get angry with them. Just be ready to minister to them. Convince them. Rebuke them. Stir them up with patience and a lot of teaching.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
When you are done with this article, please go to gcmwatch.com for an outstanding article on truth.
If you are a saint, and you are not called to the ministry, this is directed at you.
When the Lord pins you down, do you shut off, walk away, click away, or stay away from the voice of the Lord in your pastor or any man or woman of God?
Why are you running from God?
Are you afraid that you now have to trust Him? That you have to let it go? That you have to stop depending upon your ability and depend totally upon His?
Believe me, it is much easier to trust Him than to trust in myself.
I will let myself down.
God will never let you down.
When God is trying to help you out, you do not want to endure sound doctrine.
So you, “according to your own desires,” have a supply of radio preachers or music in your car to listen to. The purpose is to intentionally drown out the Word of the Lord ministered directly to you. And if you are not careful, they will turn your ears away from the moment of truth or the truth of the Word. You will be quicker to listen to stupid stories that will never help you than to hear a Word from God designed to help you.
But after you’ve had your fill of good to strange preaching, the Lord returns and speaks into your heart about that Word or sound doctrine designed specifically for you.
When God is after you, He is unrelenting. As long as you are not dead, he will pull on you. He will pull on you whether you are ready or not. Remember, God is God of times and seasons, and timing. God doesn’t care what is on your clock or calendar. When He wants you, it is at the most inconvenient time and season in your life.
God is Gentle according to Isaiah 40:11. He will continue to speak into your heart according to Psalm 8:4.
Now, preacher, you cannot stop them from walking away from the out of season Word but you cannot stop preaching the Word when they walk away or you will be judged too.
If you are going to be judged for anything, be judged for the fact that when they walked away from hearing the Word, you are found faithful. Little do they realize that God is marking it all down and when the time comes, the Lord is going to pronounce sentence, call in question, or try that individual. He will pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong.
It amazes me that people are quick to walk away from the Lord when an out of season Word from the Lord comes. It only underscores the fact that the Lord has been on their case for a while and each point of resistance only brings about unnecessary episodes and dramas of life.
Yet, we still don’t get it that the Lord was talking to us all the time.
All because we do not like sound doctrine.
The moment you stop rebelling and resisting is the moment the Lord works wonderfully on your behalf. It’s that simple. It doesn’t mean that life will be easy. It gets tougher because you have to honor your word that you would never cross the Lord and His Word again.
Everyday is a test.
Will you pass of fail?
There is no question in my mind that the church as we once knew it doesn’t exist any more. There was a time where people would hear the correct, unadulterated teaching of the Word of God, and God’s people would lovingly apply what was contextually and correctly taught.
I had some hope.
I once believed that the best days of the church were ahead but that’s questionable. This is a covetous, rebellious, and sexual immoral church that makes the Corinthian church look like gold.
On the other side, men and women of God would teach people correctly how to love God and His Word. And the fear of God would be known. Nowadays, there is no fear of God before their eyes. They are quick to sin, and dare anyone to tell them about it.
In taking a deeper look at the economic conditions of the United States, I see that the church and the world is equally affected. The answer is clear, almost everyone is in sin except those that truly love God enough to stay free from covetousness, rebellion, and sexual immorality.
On both sides of the fence, pastors and people, have changed the rules according to Matthew 15:1-9. When a Word from God is brought to bear on people, they do not want to hear it. When there is a worldly word that they like, they eat it up.
Now we have parishioners with very little Bible experience telling seasoned pastors and teachers what they think the Bible is actually saying. They have not been called by God. They sound like they could preach or teach but God did not call them.
This is the most rebellious bunch of pastoral leadership and parishioners to ever walk the face of the earth.
And it is going to get worse.
We have a watered down, self help, motivational atmosphere in the church.
What’s more important to today’s modern day pastor is filling seats, not changing lives by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are more ashamed of Jesus than at any other time.
There is no one seeking after God like in the days of old. We are more mesmerized by the “stardom” of preachers than by the Person of Jesus. We have brought in a religion in a new cart. Very few prayer meetings could be called prayer meetings. Demons couldn’t be more unafraid.
We have people that are called certain titles but without Biblical unction to function. Some of them are preaching and getting grand offerings that would make Paul jealous. Paul literally begged for financial support and rarely got it. He had to sew tents to make a living. Not just for Himself but for his company of real apostles. The fourth chapter of Philippians was Paul’s only recorded expression of gratitude.
It was only a miracle that they were able to go on four missionary trips. They were under Roman rule and still got the job done.
What is our excuse?
The “apostles” of today are more title than function.
Soul winning is a thing of the past. Plenty of Missionaries, but they are missing in action.
Some of the pastors of today are hirelings. They do not care for the sheep. On the other hand, sheep give shepherds a hard time.
Have you ever seen sheep run shepherds?
They bring “their gifts” to be used in the church and when they do not have it their way, they as Dr. Earl Johnson said, “…hold the church hostage!” They take over the church and take the church in a different direction.
Then they threaten to leave the church and take a bunch with them to start another church.
Let them go.
Do not be threatened by them. More people like them will be attracted to “their ministry of misery” so misery would have company.
Only a small percentage of believers know how to access the very throne of God correctly and get results.
Is your church one of them?
Our children rebel against parents because parents rebel against God. If you try to tell folk that they are in sin, they leave the church. If you try to correctly teach people how to handle their finances, they look at you cross eyed but they are the first ones to ask for prayer when they get an eviction notice.
Some believe that tithing is the law. Others believe that tithing is a matter of covenant. Many believe that we shouldn’t tithe at all.
On the extreme side, pastors teach tithes and offerings incorrectly and give believers, apart from solid, contextual teaching from the Scriptures, a reason not to tithe or give offerings, even to the degree of manipulating the Scriptures themselves to give a “spiritual” reason not to tithe.
And many of them will not be able to tell you where Abram got tithing from since tithing was first recorded in Genesis 14.
After all the good that God did for me, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Is anyone less of a servant if they do not tithe? NO!
Is anyone less of a servant if they tithe? NO!
If a person chooses not to tithe, it is their business between them and God.
If a person chooses to tithe, it is their business between them and God.
Neither side has the right to look down on the other.
Neither side should condemn the other.
NEITHER SIDE SHOULD QUESTION THEIR LOVE FOR GOD!
They wonder how the bills of the church get paid. And they wonder why the doors of the church are closed. As far as Prevailing Word is concerned, the moment the Lord stops paying for the church, it’s time dissolve the ministry, and close its doors.
I will never beg the people for a dime to pay the bills of the church. The moment that account runs dry, as a good steward, it is time to close the doors because God never reneges on His bills. He will never be in debt to anyone. Neither should a pastor overburden the people.
When Jesus died, even though the earth is the Lord’s, God returned the tomb to its rightful owner. Which is proof that if God asks for it, when He is done, you get it back. What do you think happened to the donkey and the colt that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on? There is no Scriptural reference as to what happened to them. So we do not know.
I will never arm twist people to pay for something that God said He would provide for. I will never manipulate the Word to coerce people to pay tithes and offerings according to 2 Corinthians 4:1-2.
And wayward pastors should never embarrass people to give. Wayward pastors should never have five or six offerings in one service and then come back for the evening service and have five or six offerings. If you cannot pay your church bills by taking up one offering, you are not called!
If you go to any of these churches, the game is simple. Bring 25 cents for each offering.
Covetous pastors build more church than they could afford because of a stupid label.
“Build it and they will come.”
How soon we forget Matthew 16:18 and Psalm 127:1. And these Scriptures is talking about building people into the house of God for a holy habitation of God through the Spirit. There are churches on the continent of Africa that fervently worship God for hours in 100+ degree heat.
Both preachers and parishioners are having extra marital affairs, watching porn, masturbating, and are involved in bisexual relationships. Some of them love their animals more than a human being. That’s right. Bestiality.
50% of pastors struggle with porn. 49% of professed Christians struggle with porn.
Some churches have gay musicians, praise and worship singers, and gay praise dancers. Truly, the church is in a very rebellious, apostate state. When holy men and women of God would speak the contextual teachings of the Scriptures with clarity, anointing and understanding, it used to be respected.
There would be the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Not emotional performances. True life changing Holy Spirit conviction. When prostitutes and shack people can sit comfortably in your service, there is something, or more appropriately, Someone missing in the service.
It is a crying shame that when the correct teaching of the Word is ministered, people did their best to adjust their lives to please God when the teaching is correct. Now we have people that will fight pastors tooth and nail. They will resist God overtly.
We are not talking about questionable, non heaven or hell issues here. We are talking about real black ink on white paper issues in the Word of God.
Many so called preachers and believers are prepared to disagree with the correct teaching of the Scriptures because it puts more responsibility on them to live what the Lord said in His Word.
That’s why the economic conditions of our times are here to stay. We are not climbing out of this.
And if you so called prophets try to prophesy out of this mess that we are in, think again and read Jeremiah 28. Not that you would die, but the fact that you weren’t sent by the Lord. You cannot be in rebellion and ask God to deliver you.
Your prayers, according to Psalm 66:13, is annulled. Then these same people will say, “I disagree with you.” You have every right to disagree with a preacher.
But you sure enough do not have a right to disagree with God because you are told by His Word that if you regard iniquity in your heart, He will not hear you.
What part of that Scripture don’t you understand?
Get rid of the iniquity and the Lord will hear you.
Like the Jews during the times of Jesus.
“Why can’t you understand My speech?”
Now you are probably insulted, but have noticed that by your rebellion, you have insulted God?
From here on out the struggle in the church and the world will continue until righteousness runs like a mighty stream and justice prevail. Until God’s people and preachers get serious about God and the Word, the world will step up its persecution against Christians.
You will be forced to deny or admit you know the Savior, and be faithful to God.
And you better not deny the Savior because He will deny you if you deny Him.
At gun or knife point, you will be called out to renounce your Savior.
Will you stand up for Jesus?
You that are in sin, you think you are going to make the rapture.
You won’t. You will see with your own eyes the disappearance of many.
Your day is coming where one will be taken and the other left.
You will crowd the churches just to hear the Word of God you mocked last week with your sinful living.
To get into heaven will cost you your head, provided you do not take the mark of the beast.
You preachers that are disobedient to the heavenly vision. The preachers will have to explain to the carnal saints left behind what happened.
You apostate preachers that crept into the church to deceive many, you will bear the brunt of your hypocrisy. Sealed for hell, you will bust hell wide open. A hole so wide that all who followed you will have no problem getting in. For broad is the way that leads to destruction. Apostates are not hard to find these days. All you have to do is look at the homosexual or sexually perverse preachers in your pulpits, homosexual praise and worship singers, and homosexual or perverse keyboard music ministers.
They will sing you right into hell.
From here on out, you will struggle until you come to the Lord in righteousness and true holiness. From here on out, as long as you resist the Word of God, you will only see God’s mercy fall on the ones that call for mercy out of a pure heart.
Is there any chance of correcting this?
But time is running out.
We have a chance to marvel God.
We can surprise God and make Him take a second look at us.
We have an opportunity to get God to say this about us.
“That’s My church.”
He says that about us any way but this is the moment to cause God to really be proud of His bride.
by Fred C. Rochester. The Fastest Way To Grow Your Church, Part Two. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
In Part One we covered two out of seven things that is essential for church growth.
1. Worship and
2. Prayer and Evangelism
Without these two important things, your church cannot grow.
Church growth begins when there is a pursuit to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. True church growth is never a shift in numbers. Transfer growth is when people that are already believers stop going to one church just to attend another church.
That’s church hopping.
They are pursuing membership, not discipleship.
When church hopping happens, this is an indication of immaturity on the part of the believer unless they are arriving at churches that are faltering or failing to provide true stability. Granted, there are some churches that do not provide genuine discipleship but God never called His people to uproot at random based on feelings.
You must have a solid discipleship plan to bring them along and help stabilize them in their relationship with the Lord Jesus.
If you are only counting numbers of people in a chair and not ministering to them so they can grow in the Lord, you will have a church full of babies that will never reach their full potential in Christ. The Lord wants you to be fruitful and multiply, however, maturation is a long term investment process.
It is important for the pastor and the people working with the pastor to establish an atmosphere of worship, prayer and evangelism.
Too often, many pastors look for natural means to do a supernatural work. In other words, when they see that nothing is happening, they look to do natural means alone to get the job done without inquiring the Lord.
What kind of natural means?
Marketing. Mailings. Attraction gimmicks.
I am not saying that we are not to do these things (except gimmicks) but we are not to be totally reliant on these things.
I encourage you to do like David. Before you make a move, inquire of the Lord. Get God’s counsel on what you need to do. When you get God’s counsel, anointing, and grace, you must be prepared for twists and turns.
You cannot rush God.
As a side note, when you are with working with people, there will be some that will not agree with what the Lord placed in your heart.
There is two kinds of opposition in the church.
All opposition comes from the devil, however, the opposition originates in the realm of the spirit and enters into the heart of the unsuspecting.
Demonic opposition is when the devil is fighting everything you do in the realm of the spirit. This is where the “Daniel kind of praying” is warranted. You go into prayer and fasting against what is against you, or against what is preventing you from receiving what God has in store for the local church. And you take a stand until there is a definitive release from the Lord.
People opposition is Galatians 5:7-26 in operation in the local church.
When the people inside the church is fighting one another, it is a clear indication that the devil has found someone to work through to stop the momentum. When people intentionally become unwilling to do certain things to help you facilitate growth in the church, it is people opposition.
When people disappear at the right moment or quit when they are most needed, it is people opposition. I should point out that not all disappearances and quits is a person’s fault.
There are other factors that do occur that makes disappearances and quitting easy. Sometimes, difficult pastoral leadership or difficult leaders alleged to be working with the pastor can make doing the work of the ministry difficult.
When people willingly agree to disagree, and it is their right to do so, it is still people opposition. If they disagree just over trivial things, they are being difficult and they want to control the pastor.
As a pastor, you cannot make people agree with you. You cannot stop people from opposing you when they’ve made up their mind to stand against you. You cannot stop people from disappearing when you need what they have.
What you can do is pray for those that are in opposition to come into agreement with you. Or, pray for new people to come and replace them.
Pray, as Pastor Robyn Gool would say, “for the right kind of help.” Don’t just pray for help because the wrong kind of help will show up.
Pray that God would send people that is agreeable with the will of God, the vision, and mission for the local church. Pray that they can receive pastoral authority and Biblical leadership. Pray that they are teachable and have a humble spirit. Pray that they have the wisdom of God.
Pray that they can work with little to no supervision to get the task done. Pray that they can discern the will of God for the house and work with each other, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
And when the Lord sends them to you, you must teach them that they are necessary for the body to function according to 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Teach them to operate in the fruit of the Spirit according to Galatians 5:22. Teach them that their measure is required of them according to Romans 12:1-13.
You teach them that they cannot hold the church back by withholding what God gave them. You teach them that they do not have the right to withhold the gift of God. God gave us life, health, and strength. He has blessed us and we feel that we have the right to tell God that we are not going to give Him what is His all along.
All of a sudden, we assume the right to tell God how we are going to be used.
“In Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28.
In the same way He gives us breath, in an instant, we can stop breathing. In an instant, because we were obedient, the abundant blessings of the Lord comes. In an instant, because of willful disobedience against the known will of God, the abundance could be dried up.
Sometimes, only a few people will grasp what you see and join in with you to get the job done. Sometimes people are not patient and will exhibit frustration and anger. This is not the time to join in their frustration and anger. It is the time to be patient and teach them what the Lord told you to do.
As a pastor, you must be faithful with what is in your hands.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
3. Acting Out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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