The Local Church

THE LOCAL CHURCH

In this lesson, as the above title indicates, we will be dealing with the Local Church and its various aspects.  We will see what a local church is and what it is not; what is the purpose of a local church; church; and the pastor of a local church.  Then we will conclude with discussing problems that are being faced by local churches today.

I.      DEFINITION OF A LOCAL CHURCH
         We will define what a local church is and what it is not.
        A.      What a Local Church IS.

       “The Local Assembly is the physical body by which the Body of Christ is manifested.”–(Mark Cambron, Bible Doctrines; Beliefs that Matter,

       “A local church is a body of baptized (by immersion) believers gathered together by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of carrying out the principles and precepts of God’s Word”–(Emery H. Bancroft, Elemental Theology).                 

  1.     A local church is an organism. 
        It is a living entity because it is composed of living and functioning people who themselves are  organism; therefore,
         a local church itself must be judged to be an organism.
  2.      A local church is an organization.
        
    Because it is composed of people, who need to be organized and guided in order to accomplish a common goal;
         the  local church must be organized and have its own functioning officers.
  3.     A local church is a corporation
        a.      For its own economic protection, and,
        b.      For the protection of its membership

 There are many false ideas regarding what a local church is, so now we will attempt to  clarify some of these false ideas.
      B.      What a local church is NOT.
                1.      A Local Church is not an extension of Israel.
                        Israel and the Church are different in calling. 
                        a.      Israel’s calling was earthly–to an earthly inheritance;
                        b.     The local church, being part of the Body of Christ, is heavenly in calling—to heavenly blessings.

It is a sad fact that many people have the false, and totally unscriptural idea that God is finished with Israel, and therefore all the O.T. promises given to Israel have been taken over (perhaps in some spiritual sense) by the churches.  Such an idea, known as “Replacement Theology,” is heretical at best, and not just un-Scriptural; but is even anti-Scriptural. Such teaching blasphemes God for it is an outright attack on the veracity of God Himself. There are two basic differences between Israel and the church.

              2.      Israel and the local church are different in worship.
                       a.      Israel offered sacrifices looking forward to the Coming of Messiah. 
                       b.     The local church believes that there is no more sacrifice that can be made for sin;
                               that
Christ made the sacrifice once and for all  (Heb. 9:14-15; 10:25-28).

There is NO MORE sacrifice that can be made for our sins!  Christ has already done it ALL.  The local church worships looking back at what Christ has already done for

3.     The Local Church is not the Body of Christ.
        Rather, a local church is composed of those who themselves are part of the Body of Christ.
        This can be proven by some pertinent questions:

4.     The Local Church is not the Kingdom of Heaven 
         Nor is it even part of the Kingdom of Heaven,
         for the term
Kingdom of Heaven refers to the Messianic earthly rule of Jesus Christ as is set forth in the Davidic Covenant of II Samuel 7:12-16.

II.    PURPOSE OF A LOCAL CHURCH
        A.      A Local Church is to Worship God (Phil. 3:3; H
                
This is its primary purpose. 
        B.      A local church is to be a witness. 
                 It is to be a witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, a witness to the truth of the Word of God.
        C.     A local church is to perfect the local believers.
                To “perfect” the believers means to grow” or “mature” the local believers unto the ministry (Eph. 4:12).
        D.     A local church is to evangelize its local area.
                To reach the lost and dying world around them.
III.      PASTOR OF A LOCAL CHURCH
            The pastor is one of Christ’s gifts to His local churches.For its good, Christ set up four main gifts for His fledgling churches.
            A.      Gift of Apostle

Paul tells us in Eph. 2:20 that these apostles were the foundation stones of the Church, with Christ Himself as the Chief Cornerstone. That foundation was been laid (in the First Century A.D.) so there is no longer a need for apostles.  Therefore, the Office of Apostle no longer exists.  Let us examine some facts regarding these apostles.

1.      Apostles were appointed by Christ Himself.his we know in the case of the twelve, and as Paul claimed for himself  (Gal. 1:1).
2.      Apostles had the Gift of Miraculous Workings by which their supernatural mission was attested.
          In spite of the fact there are some men today may attempt to take this title upon themselves,
          there are no longer any apostles.

B.      Gift of Prophet
These prophets were important during the time that the full canon of the Word of God (the Bible) was being written.  However, this Gift of Prophet also no longer exists, for the Word of God is now completed—“…that which is perfect is come…” (I Cor. 13:10).       

            Unfortunately (and erroneously) there are those would attempt to make I Cor. 13:10 apply to the Second Coming of Christ, but a close examination of this verse in its original Greek will show that this is impossible.  The Greek word translated as “that” is teleion which is a neuter case word, and should have been literally translated as “perfect thing.”  Paul is speaking of a thing, not a person.  If he were speaking of Christ, he would have used a masculine pronoun, and not this neuter pronoun as he uses here.  To assert that this applies to Christ to call Him an it; and that would be blasphemyspeaking derogatorily or evil of the Son of God.
            No one in their right mind can imagine Paul speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ as an “it.”  The “that” referred to is the Bible, the Word of God in its completed form. The Bible,  (God’s written revelation of Himself) became completed with the writing of the Book of the Revelation (about 95 A.D). and nothing more is to be in the way of revelation from God (Rev. 22:18-19).

  1. Purpose for the Prophet

In each local assembly Christ would raise up certain ones to whom he gave this Gift of Prophecy, which consisted of both the gifts of foretelling and forth telling.  Whenever He had something that He wanted to be known to a local assembly, the Lord would reveal IT to the prophet in that local assembly, and then that prophet would forth tell, or reveal it to the assembly.  But now, because the canon of the Word of God is complete, there is no longer the gift of prophecy.

2.      No purpose now for the Prophet

            All that the Lord wants His local churches to know is contained in the Bible, the verbally inspired, inerrent, and complete Word of God.  Also, in Rev. 22:18, we see that words of Christ: “…I testify unto every man that heareth the word of the prophecy of this book, ‘If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.’”
            Therefore, we must conclude that there cannot be any more prophecy, for any prophecies would be adding to the Book of the Revelation; a crime that is herein condemned by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  Therefore, we must conclude that the Gift of Prophet no longer exists.

C.      Gift of Evangelist

We now come to the third of the gifts which Christ gave to His Church.  This is the gift of evangelist.  Let us look at the word evangelist as it is used in the N.T.

1.     Only one Biblical evangelist.
        It is interesting that in all the N.T. there is only one man who is called an evangelist.
        a.      Philip the Evangelist  (Acts 21:8)
        b.      Philip the Deacon
                
Philip was also one of the original 7 deacons (Acts 6:5).           
2.     N.T. evangelists were really traveling missionaries.

It is also interesting that  Paul, though being an apostle, also did the work of an evangelist.  N.T. evangelists went into new territory, and they did it all alone with the Spirit of God Who went before them.  These ancient evangelists were not only preachers of the gospel, but they were also church planters.  Apollos in the Book of Acts is a good example of such.

3.       Comparison with today’s evangelists.
          Those whom we call evangelists today are really not the same as the evangelists of the First Century church.
4.        Miss-use of evangelists

Unfortunately, many of the evangelists of today are filling the position of pastor,  and  this has caused great confusion in  the Body of Christ.

D.      Gift of Pastor (Eph. 4:11)
         This position is in operation today but unfortunately there is much misunderstanding as to just what a pastor is to do.

Unfortunately most of those who hold this position to not really understand what they are scripturally supposed to be doing. When we closely examine Eph. 4:11 we will find that this might be a hyphenated word; i.e., pastor-teacher,  for he fulfills both positions at the same time

1.      The Position of pastor-teacher.
To really understand this position we must examine it as is written in the original Greek text (poimên kai didaskalos).   What we have here are two nouns and a conjunction. First we will examine these two noun.
          a.      poimên
         This word means “shepherd.”  This denotes the function of the position.
                   (1)     Task of a shepherd–what he does.

                   To understand the true meaning of this word we must determine just what it is that a shepherd does.               
                             (a)   The shepherd feeds his flock;
                              (b)   The shepherd protects his flock;
                              (c)  The shepherd leads his flock;
                              (d)   The shepherd watches over his flock;
               (2)    What the shepherd CANNOT do.
There is one thing that the shepherd cannot possibly do:  he cannot
reproduce his flock.  Then who does reproduce his flock?  The answer is simple and obvious:  the flock reproduces itself!

         b.      didaskalos
         As the English text indicates, this word means, “teacher, instructor or trainer.” 
         This denotes the duty of the position of pastor.

Notice that nowhere do we see that this positions shows that the pastor is to be the sole, or even chief soul-winner.  In fact, the passage does not indicate that the pastor is even to do the evangelizing, or soul-winning (i.e., flock reproducing), in the local church.  Now, having investigated the two nouns,  we now come to the third Greek word—the conjunction.

        c.      kai– This little Greek word is a very interesting word. 

This word  kai is usually translated into English as “and;”  but, interestingly enough, it can also be rendered as “even,” or “also.”  Therefore, perhaps a better way of translating these three words might be, “shepherd (or pastor), even a teacher;” or, perhaps as “shepherd (or pastor), also a teacher.”  But we are not finished with this office of pastor.  We have looked at: the meaning of the office; ; and the duty of the office. of pastor.  But there is third aspect of this position.

2.      Position of Overseer ( aka,  Bishop)  (I Tim. 3:1-2)

In this chapter the Holy Spirit, through the inspired pen of the apostle Paul, introduces us to the third aspect of this position of pastor-teacher; to the position of overseer of the local church, for that is what the word really means. 

a.      The original Greek word. 
        The Greek word which we translate as “bishop is (episkopos).
b.      Meaning of the word. means “overseer.”|
         Unfortunately, the KJV translators erroneously rendered this word as, “bishop.”

         Why they did mis-translating we will look into lster.

This describes the authority of the office of pastor, for a pastor has been given, by Christ Himself, the oversight of the local church.  But even though he has this authority from Christ, remember, as the Lord Jesus said, “for unto whosoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”  Along with the authority given to pastors comes a grave responsibility to the Lord as to how he fulfills this position.     

          c.         Qualifications for the position

      When we examine the qualifications of I Tim. 3:2-7, we find that all but one of these have to do with the personal or ethical qualifications of bishops.  This one exception is found in verse 2, which says that the bishop must be, “apt to teach.”  Notice that this qualification goes along with that which was given in Eph. 4:11—“pastor and teacher.”You cannot get around the fact that a pastor’s primary responsibility to his flock is that he is to be their teacher, and he must have the ability to do that very thing.

There is yet one more title at which we must look, and to do so we must go to Acts 20:17 to find this title.This is the title of “elder.”

3.         Position of Elder (acts 20:17, 28)         
            a.         The original word

                        The Greek word that is translated as “elder,” is  (presbuteros).  
                        (1)   This is the root word  from which we get our English word of  presbytery or Presbyterian. 
                        (2)    This denotes the dignity due the office.

            When we look at Acts 20:28 we see that Paul is speaking to these “elders” from Ephesus, he applies the task of pastor–“…the flock,” and the task of overseer—“which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers,” to these very same elders.  Also, when we look at I Peter 5:1-2, we see that that apostle also applies these titles together to himself..
            Now to summarize these four titles:  pastor, teacher, overseer-bishop and elder—all four of these titles are for the one and same office;  to the
Office of Pastor of a local church (flock).  Each of these titles shows a differ aspect or function of this all-important office in the local church.

Pastor:  This denotes the function of the office.
               The one who is to feed the flock; guard and protect the flock from heresy, and leads the flock of the local church.
Teacher:  This denotes the duty of the office.
               This is how the pastor feeds the local flock. 

And to what purpose does he feed this flock?      The answer is found back in Eph. 4:12—“for the perfecting (growing; maturing) of the    saints (believers; church members), for the work of the ministry (train believers to be  Sunday School teachers; deacons; soul-winners), for the edifying of the Body of  Christ.”

Bishop–Overseer: This denotes the authority of the office.

 The pastor has the administrative authority over the local church.  It is his responsibility to choose  teachers and song leaders; to decide who is to come to the pulpit and preach, or teach; and to decide on  which ministries the church is to proceed.

Elder: This denotes the dignity  and honor due the office.

This shows that the pastor is to treated with respect and honor.  But understand, that all four titles apply to the one and same office of pastor of the local church.

IV.   PROBLEM WITH TRANSLATIONS
        We now come to a problem; or rather, several problems that are prevalent today, and even in the KJV translation of the Bible.
        A.       QUESTIONS:
                   1.      Why did the KJV translators render the Greek word (episkopos) as “bishop” instead of its true meaning of “overseer?”
                   2.     Why do some denominations have the position of “bishop”
                            That is, one who serves as some sort of boss-preacher, who rules over pastors of local churches?
|
                  3.      Why do some denominations have the position of “elders” when the term really applies to the position of pastor?
       

B.      ANSWERS:
         1.      Regarding the mis-translation of episkopos to “bishop.”
                  This came about because of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church over the  Church of England.        
                  This may also explain why the translators changed all the Greek/Hebrew proper names to Latin names.

                   a.        Church of England broke away from Roman Catholic Church.   

Never forget that it had only been about a century that the Church of England, (i.e., Episcopal Church) had broken away from the Catholic Church.  However, when they broke away they did not move away far enough.  They brought out they brought out much of their Catholic teaching with them. 

         b.     Church of England brought with them “bishops”
                 Catholic Church has “bishops” and also Church of England also has “bishops.”
2.      Regarding the position “bishop” in many denominations.
          For the answer of this we must go all the way back to the First Century and the Seven Churches of Asia.
          a.       Church of Ephesus (Rev. 2:
           In this verse we find the word, “Nicolaitans;” and we also find that this is a term that   Christ said that He HATES.
                      (1).       Meaning of Nicolaitans.
                                   This word comes from a combination of two Greek words.
               
                    (a).       Greek verb(nikaô)
                                                 Meaning: “to conquer; to rule.”
                                     (b).      Greek noun(laos)
                                                 Meaning: “the people.
                       
                         This is the root word from which we get our word, “laity.”
                                     (c)        Greek words combined:
                                                  When we combine the words (nikaô) and (laos) we get the word Nicolaitan.
                         (2).     Identity of Nicolaitans.
                                   They were a group within the Church who were attempting to set up a priestly
hierarchy or holy order.                         

         Most likely, they were attempting to model the Church after the O.T. order of priests, Levites and common people.  This is really the beginning of the priesthood and hierarchical system that became the Roman Catholic Church, and the Lord Jesus Christ says that He HATES such a system. 
         When we put these two words together we get the real meaning of Nicolaitan:  “to rule the people or  to conquer the people.”  In Rev. 2:6 we see that Christ commends the Church of Ephesus (which represents the First Century Church) because of its resisting these, “deeds of the Nicolaitans.” However, when we look on to Rev. 3:15, to the Church of Pergamos:

         b.     Church of Pergamos (Rev. 3:15)
                This church represents the Fourth Century Church) we see that Nicolaitism is now a doctrine  of the Church.

By the Fourth Century, when the Roman emperor Constantine usurped author over the church and made himself the head of the church instead of Christ, the apostate leaders of the church had made Nicolaitism is now a doctrine or tenet of the Church.

3.      Problem of Nicolaitism in the Church today.

            The Reformers of the Protestant Reformation, those who “protested” and pulled out of the paganism of the Roman Catholic Church, did a great work in their day; however, when these churches and denominations did come out of Romish paganism, they all had the same problem:  they did not come out far enough.  Each of these church/denominational groups brought out with them, and retained, some part of Catholicism. 
            All of the Reformers retained some form of the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans. REMEMBER:  this is something that Christ personally said He HATES (Rev. 2:6). Simply stated, Nicolaitanism is a church denomination that has some form, or other, of a hierarchal system in its church polity (government) system. Any church system, or denomination, that has some form in which there are separate positions of bishops, elders or priesthood contains some form of Nicolaitanism; and REMEMBER:  this is something that Christ personally said He HATES (Rev. 2:6). Any system that makes the position of “elder” or “bishop/overseer” to apply to anyone but the position of pastor is a form of Nicolaitanism.
           Such a plan is foreign to and in contradiction of the N.T. plan for a local church to be a DEMOCRACY.  God's plan is that each local assembly is to be autonomous, without any one assembly or body having the ascendancy over any other.  The vote of each local assembly is to be final and there is no higher authority to which one can appeal than that of the voting body of local believers.  This fact of each individual church being a democracy is illustrated in Acts 6 when the church there in Jerusalem was told to pick from (vote on) their midst seven men.  This fact is also demonstrated in the churches meeting in Jerusalem (Acts 15).

 

Confused Pastors Make Confused Flocks

CONFUSED PASTORS
MAKE

CONFUSED FLOCKS/CONGREGATIONS

            If I were to go into the average church in America today and ask this question:  “Suppose you were the pastor over a local church, what would be your primary task?”  What do you suppose would be the answer I would most likely get.  Most likely, the answer would be, “to preach,” that the primary job of a pastor is to preach to his church.  But do you know what:  that would be the WRONG answer, even though it is what the pastors do in 99.999% of our local churches. 
            But the pastor might say, “But God called me to preach.”  Then if God wants you to be a preacher, then you should not be a
pastor:  you should be an evangelist!  This confusion has come about because most “pastors” have never spent the time to study what our one-and-only apostle to the Gentle church has to say that should be going on in our churches. I am referring to the writings of the apostle Paul.  Christ only called ONE person to tell us Gentile (non-Jewish) believers what to do, and that one person is the apostle Paul.  Look at Galatians 2:7-9 and Acts 11:13.

   “…when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (gentiles/non-Jews) was committed unto me (Paul) as {the Gospel} of the circumcision  (Jews)  {was}unto Peter;
   “For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision (Jews) the same was mighty in me (Paul) toward the Gentiles (non-Jews):|
  “And when James, Cephas
(Peter) and John, who seemed to be the pillars, per-ceived the grace that was given me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship that we {should go}unto the heathen (gentiles/non-Jews) and they unto the circumcision  (Jews)”  (Galatians 2:7-9).
   “For I speak to you Gentiles (non-Jews) inasmuch as I am the apostle of the gentiles, I magnify my office” (Romans 11:13).


Now that we have established as to who is our apostle to the Gentile church  (Paul),  now let us look and see what our apostle tells us that a pastor of a local church should be doing.  Look at Ephesians 4:11-12.

   “ And He gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and som, pastors and teachers”
   “For the perfecting
(mending) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (building up) of the Body of Christ
 (the Church) (Ephesians 4:11-12).

            Notice that verse 12 is specifically describing the duty of the pastor; also, notice that you do not see the word “preaching” in that verse.  Instead, we see that the emphasis is on teaching, and not on preaching.  In fact, preaching is nowhere in view here as the task of the pastor.  The problem is that most of those in our pulpits as “pastors” really should be there as “evangelists”–or those who put out the evangel  (good news/gospel),  because all their listeners get is gospel preaching and never receive teaching, mending, building up, as a pastor/shepherd should really be doing. 
            Your flock comes to church 52 Sundays of the year and all they hear is 52 versions of John 3:16; and you wonder why your people are not growing in the Lord.  They are past that, but in most churches they are just more-or-less left on their own while the “pastor-evangelists” are so intent on making more “baby Christians.”  Your flock (those who are already born-again believers) need to get past John 3:16; but they are never given food for the new believers to grow on.  All they ever hear is how to become a believer, but never hear what a believer is to do, or how a “baby” believer is to grow.
            Far too many men are in the pulpits attempting to pastor a local church but they have never studied what the Holy Spirit has taught about the church through the inspired pen to the one-and- only apostle to the Gentile church.  Is it any wonder that these “pastors” have taken the wrong course?  But you might say, “but God called me to preach.”  Well then, DO IT!  Preach the Gospel, but don’t do it in the office of under-shepherd of a local flock. But  do it in the office that Christ created for preaching to the lost–the office of Evangelist (Eph. 4:11).
            If God called you to the office of pastor, then you are supposed to be teaching, or feeding and growing and building up and mending those who are already saved; but your primary task is not to be preaching to the lost. But growing and feeding the believers. However, as an individual believer, you are to be doing this according to the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.  Let us now closely look at this office of pastor and teacher of Eph. 4:12

The Pastor-Teacher

         To really understand this position we must look at it as it is written in the original Greek text:  poimen kai didaskalos. Let us examine these three words:  What we have here are two nouns and a conjunction.  First, let us examine the two nouns.

1.      poimen–T his word literally means “shepherd.”  What does a shepherd do?  A shepherd feeds his flock; protects his flock; leads his flock; looks over his flock; but he CANNOT reproduce his flock.  Then who does reproduce his flock?  His FLOCK reproduces his flock!  Only the flock can reproduce itself.

2.      didaskalosAs the English text has explained, this word means, “teacher” or “instructor,” or “trainer.”
Notice that nowhere do we see that this position shows that the pastor is to be the chief, or even, only, soul-winner in the local assembly.  In fact, it does not even show that the pastor is to be doing the soul-winning, or flock reproducing, (church growing) in the local church. 

3.     kai–his little Greek word is a very interesting word.  Usually it is translated into English as “and,” but interestingly enough it can also be translated as, “even,” or “also.”  Therefore, perhaps the better way of translating these three words might be; “shepherd (or pastor), even a teacher,” or perhaps, “shepherd (or pastor), also a teacher.”  

        Notice that nowhere in this do we see any reference whatsoever to preaching;  au contrare, the emphasis is totally on teaching.  The act and gift of preaching is for another office:  that of evangelist.
        Understand that there are really four-parts of this office of pastor.  We have just looked at two of these parts:  that of pastor, which word literally means, “shepherd;” and we have look at the task of the pastor, that of teaching.  But there are yet two other aspects of this office–that of overseer and elder.

OFFICE OF OVERSEER
(I Timothy 3)

In I Timothy chapter 3, the Holy Spirit, through the inspired pen of the apostle Paul, introduces us to the third aspect of this position of pastor-teacher:  that of the position of bishop or overseer, of the local church.  This Greek word should never have been translated as, “bishop,” but literally means, “overseer.”  Understand that this office of bishop is not some super-pastor, or some boss-pastor, who has authority over other pastors. Such a  position is totally unscriptural.   This is not the meaning of the word at all. It is only the Doctrine of Nicolaitans (Rev. 2:15)–a doctrine that Christ HATES, is so deeply rooted into the Church that such a false idea is in the Church.

DOCTRINE OF NICOLAITANS

         This “doctrine” of these Nicolaitans was their efforts to establish their priestly Holy Order and place them over the people. The people were to call these Nicolaitans “Holy Men.”  Not pastors, but clergy:  i.e., bishops, archbishops, archdeacons, etc.  Here we have the origin of the so-called Apostolic Succession, and the separation of the “clergy” from the “laity,” a separation which Christ says He HATES!
         These Nicolaitans were most likely attempting to model the Church after the Old Testament order of priests, Levites and common people.  This is really the beginning of the priesthood and hierarchical system that became the Roman Catholic Church, and the Lord Jesus Christ says that He hates such a system.  The word Nicolaitan comes from two Greek words: (1) the verb nikao, which means “to conquer; to rule”, and (2) the noun laos, which means, “the people. This the root word from which we get our English word, “laity.”  Put the two words together and you see that  Nicolaitan means, “to rule the people; to conquer the people.”
        Such a plan is foreign to and in contradiction of the New Testament plan for a local church to be a DEMOCRACY.  God's plan is that each local assembly is to be autonomous, without any one assembly or body having the ascendancy over any other.  The vote of each local assembly is to be final and there is no higher authority to which one can appeal than that of the voting body of local believers.   But enough of this side track.  Let us get back to examining this office of overseer.

         The Greek word which was erroneously translated as “bishop” is episkopos, which literally means, “overseer.”  This word describes the authority of the office.  Christ Himself has given to the pastor the oversight of the local assembly.  But remember, as the Lord Jesus said, “For unto whosoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”  Although the pastor/shehpherd has been given much authority in this position of overseer over the local church, he also bears a great responsibility to the Lord as to how he carries out this position.  It in this position that he must give an accounting to Christ Himself as to what he has done with the local assembly that Christ has placed in his trust.
         When we examine the qualifications given in I Tim. 3:2-7, we find that all but one has to do with the personal or ethical qualifications of the bishops.  This one exception is found in verse 2, which says that the bishop must be, “apt to teach;that is, must have the ability to teach (must have the gift of teaching).  Notice that this qualification goes right along with that which was given in Eph. 4:11—“pastor and (even, also) teacher.”  You cannot get around the fact that a pastor’s primary responsibility to his flock is that he is to be their teacher and must have the ability to do that very thing.

OFFICE OF ELDER
(Acts 20:17)

        But wait, we are not yet finished with the titles for this all important position of leadership in the local church/assembly.  There is yet one more title at which we must look, and we must go to Acts 20:17 in order to find this title.  This is the title of “elder.”  The Greek word that is translated as “elder,” is presbuteros. This is the root word from which we get our English word of presbyterian.
        In Acts 20:17 we see that Paul called for these “elders” of the local assembly of Ephesus to meet with him.  And when we look on over to Acts 20:28, we see that Paul applies the tasks of pastor“the flock,” and the task of overseer—of “which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers,” to these very same elders.  Also see I Peter 5:1-2 in which that apostle applies these four titles together to himself.

So we see that there are four aspects to this one position over the local assembly: 

1.      pastor–Who is to feed the flock; guard and protect the flock from heresy; and lead the flock of the local church.  This denotes the responsibility of the office.
2.      teacher–This is how the pastor feeds  the local flock.  And to what purpose does he feed this flock?  This is answered when we go back to Eph. 4:12—“For the perfecting (growing; maturing) of the saints (believers; church members), for the work of the ministry (Sunday School teachers; deacons; training soul-winners), for the edifying of the body of Christ.”  This denotes the duty of the office.
3.      overseer–He has the administrative authority over the local church.  It is his responsibility to choose teachers and song leaders; to decide who is to come to the pulpit and preach or teach; and to decide on which ministries the church proceeds. This denotes the authority of the office.
4.      elder–Who is to be the stabilizing force in the local church.  This denotes the dignity of the office. 

The Pastor and Church Soul-Winning

         Now this leads us to a problem that has come into most evangelistic Baptist churches.  Far too many pastors, and therefore those in the pews, have come to feel that the pastor is to be the primary champion soul-winner; but such an attitude really has no Scriptural foundation.  As we have seen, it is NOT his responsibility to grow the church; au contrare, it is the pastor’s responsibility to prepare his people, his flock, to reproduce the flock; i.e., to grow the church; that is, to do the soul-winning.
        Using football jargon; the pastor is not to be viewed as the star quarterback;   rather, he is to be reckoned like the coach.  It may be reckoned that his job is to direct the team; to plan the plays.  Or to use medical terminology:  the local church is not to be an
OB Clinic for the birthing of new souls.  Or using military terminology:  the local church is to be the “mess hall;” the dining hall for the feeding, nurturing and maturing of believers so they can bring about the birthing of new souls; so they can become soul-winners; so they can reproduce the flock.  It may even be viewed as the “field hospital; or the spiritual MASH unit where the spiritualy “wounded” may receive care.
         If your church is not growing, it may well not be the pastor’s fault.  It may be your fault; the fault of you people sitting there in the pews for not doing your job of reproducing the flock.  Now I understand that this could be because the pastor-teacher is not doing his job of instructing you (feeding you) as to how you are to do this.  So as you see, this growing a church is a two-pronged program.  The pastor teaches you and leads you, and then you do the evangelizing (reproduce the flock).  Understand that as an individual born-again believer himself, he has been called to be a personal soul-winner (Matt. 28:18-20); but this is also true of you as born-again believers.  All of us have been commissioned by the Lord to bring in the sheaves that are white unto harvest.  TIME IS SHORT!  The night is almost upon us.

 

 

Rules for Bible Study

 

FOUR RULES FOR PROPER HERMENEUTICS

(BIBLE INTERPRETATION)

QUESTION #1

WHO IS DOING THE TALKING?

QUESTION #2

WHO IS HE TALKING TO?

IS IT TO JEWS ,

OR IS IT TO THE CHURCH?

QUESTION #3

WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT?

QUESTION #4

WHEN IS THE TALKING BEING DONE?

(In What Dispensation Is IT DONE?)

Is it under the Old Testament.Mosaic Law

or is it under New Testament Church Age GRACE?

 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

KEEP YOU BIBLE STUDY WITHIN

SPECS

As you are studying a Bible passage, do you see any…

Sins to Avoid

Promises or Principles

Examples to follow

Commands or Comments to follow

Stumbling blocks to avoid

Are You a SAINT, or Are You an AIN’T?

Many pastors beleive there confusion over what a Christian IS; but the real confusion is over what a Christian is NOT.  Far too many people believe they are a Christian because they really do not understand what is involved in being a Christian.  God considers all His believers (Christian) to be SAINTS.  This word SAINTS really means "holly ones."  but many who think they are SAINTS are really AINT'S (not really Christians at all).  Perhaps the following will help.

1.      YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE YOUR PARENTS ARE.  GOD DOES NOT HAVE ANY GRAND- CHILDREN. 
          HE ONLY HAS
BORN-AGAIN CHILDREN.

2.      GOING TO CHURCH DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN, ANY MORE THAN GOING TO A FOOTBALL GAME WILL MAKE YOU
         A
QUARTERBACK.

3.      SERVING IN A CHURCH DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN.  YOU SHOULD SERVE IN A CHURCH BECAUSE YOU ARE A
          CHRISTIAN.

4.       COMING FROM A PREACHER'S HOME DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN.
          YOU ONLY BECOME A CHRISTIAN THROUGHF AITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (JOHN 3:16).

5.       JUST BELIEVING IN GOD DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN.  THE DEVIL ALSO BELIEVES IN GOD, AND HE BELEIVES IN
          HIM A LOT MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER DO BECAUSE HE HAS TALKED WITH HIM FACE-TO-FACE.

6.      KEEPING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE GOLDEN RULE WILL NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN. 
         A.      MOST PEOPLE WHO USE THIS EXCUSE COULD NOT NAME THESE TEN COMMANDMENTS IF THEIR LIVES DEPENDED
                   ON IT.

          B.     YOU COULD NOT KEEP THESE COMMANDMENTS EVEN IF YOU DID KNOW THEM ALL.               
                   GOD SAYS THAT IF YOU BREAK EVEN ONE OF THEM, YOU ARE GUILTY OF BREAKING ALL OF THEM!

7.      BEING BAPTIZED DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN. 
          A.     YOU COULD BE DUCKED IN WATER SO MUCH THAT YOU BEGING TO LOOK LIKE A PRUNE, AND STILL JUST COME OUT
                  JUST A WET SINNER.
          B.      HAVING SOME WATER SPRINKLED ON YOUR HEAD DOES NOT
MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN.   
          C.      BAPTISM DOES NO WASH AWAY YOUR SINS.
                    ONLY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST JESUS CAN DO THAT.
8.       TAKING THE LORD'S SUPPER (OR EUCHARIST) DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN NOR DO YOUR RECEIVE CHRIST THAT
          WAY.   YOU ONLY RECEIVE CHRIST BY FAITH IN HIM (JOHN 3:16).

9.      KEEPING SOME RULES OR SET OF SO-CALLED SACRAMENTS DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN.

10.     WORSHIPING ANY MAN (OR WOMAN), OR PRAYING TO MARY OR THE SO-CALLED SAINTS DOES NOT MAKE YOU A
          CHRISTIAN.
       
        "FOR THERE IS ONE GOD, AND ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AN MEN, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS" [NOT THE WOMAN
        MARY
]–
(I TIMOTHY 2:5).

RULES FOR SPEAKING IN TONGUES

SIX BIBLICAL RULES
FOR SPEAKING IN TONGUES

         Those who claim tongues were to be practiced today because I Cor. 14:39 says, “…forbid not to speak with tongues…do not follow the INSPIREDCOMMANDMENTS for speaking in tongues.  If God’s rules were followed, the sensationalism for the charismatics and Pentecostals would soon disappear.
         The tongues-speaker does the same thing with the rules of I Cor. 14 as he does with the “serpents” of Mark 16 and the preaching only to ISRAEL, or proselytes in Judaism in Acts chapter two: 
he just ignores them.

            The tongues-speaker says that I Corinthians 14 is the pattern for the church today, while at the same time he disobeys God’s commandments for tongues speaking that are written in that chapter.

I.       TONGUES WERE FOR THE BENEFIT OF ISRAEL!
            “In the Law it is written, ‘with men of other tongues and other lips I will speak unto this people; and yet will they not hear Me’ saith the LORD (I Cor. 14:21).

 

The charismatics and Pentecostals simply ignore Israel and try to make tongues benefit the CHURCH, the Body of Christ, but their reasoning is completely unscriptural.  “This people” is interpreted by the Word of God (Isaiah 28:11) to be the NATION OF ISRAEL.

ISRAEL IS NOT THE CHURCH
AND THE CHURCH IS NOT ISRAEL
They are two separate and distinct groups created by God to do His work .

II.   TONGUES WERE TO CONVINCE THE UNBELIEVING ISRAELITES.
        They were NEVER to convince a BELIEVER.          

“Wherefore tongues are a sign, not to them that believe, but them that believe not…" (I Cor. 14:22).
“He (Jesus) came unto His own (Israel) and His own (Israel) received Him not” (John 1:11).

The Charismatic Movement has so perverted the Word of God that in most tongues speaking assemblies the “gift of tongues” is sought by professing believers to convince them that they have the Holy Spirit. Just think If it is a gift, given sovereignly by the Holy Spirit, they why is it sought?" This shows three fallacies, or lacks, in the theology of the charis-matics.

         A.    It shows their lack of faith and trust in the written promises of the Bible.
                The Bible is the Book that the HOLY SPIRIT Himself did inspire!
                “For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen unto the glory of God by us” (II Cor. 1:20).
                “Forever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:89).

B.     It shows an ignorance of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in ALL believers.“But ye are no in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you

  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit)  he is none of His (Romans 8:9).

C.    It shows an ignorance regarding the DOCTRINE OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST.|
       A lack of knowledge, or understand, that ALL believers receive this Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

“For by one Spirit (the Holy Spirit) we are ALL baptized into one Body (the Body of Christ, i.e., the Church) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have ALL been made to drink into one Spirit (the Holy Spirit)”–(I Cor. 12:13).

III.   NO MORE THAN THREE WERE TO SPEAK IN TONGUES AT ANY SERVICE.
        “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two or at the most by three…”  (I Cor. 14:27).

God Himself has set divine limits on tongues speaking.  But charismatic meetings are held today which do not limit the number.  This is an open DISOBEDIENCE of commands that the HOLY SPIRIT Himself has given us through the inspired pen of the Apostle Paul.

IV.   EACH PERSON OF THE THREE WAS TO WAIT HIS TURN
        “…and that by course…” (I Cor. 14:27).

How different from so-called tongues speaking today!  In some places many “tongues manifestations” occur at the same time. Many sounds are fused together to make confusion, and “…God is not the Author of confusion…” (I Cor. 14:33).  You can be sure that the modern tongues movement is NOT inspired by the Holy Spirit; for He NEVER contradicts the Word of God, for He is the One Who gave it to us.

V.   ONE PERSON HAD TO BE PRESENT WHO COULD INTERPRET WHAT WAS  SPOKEN.
      “…and let one interpret.  But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God” (in silent prayer)
      (I Cor. 14:27-28.

According to the Holy Spirit, tongues are interpretable languages (see Acts 2:4, 6 for the Holy Spirit’s own definition.  When no interpreter was present, the speaker was to be quiet and speak to God (silently, in personal prayer).  The Lord hears the silent cries of our hearts and understands all languages and needs no interpreter.

VI.   WOMEN WERE COMMANDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, (through the inspired pen of Paul) NOT TO SPEAK IN TONGUES.
“Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the Law.  And if they will learn any thing let them ask their husbands at home:  for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (I Cor. 14:34-35).

If the disobedient tongues-speaking women in the charismatic churches were to obey this command of God’s, the tongues movement would be a “flop;” in fact, it would cease altogether.

THEN WHY TODAY'S TONGUES SPEAKING?

         The charismatic has been so busy “seeking” that he has forgotten to read:  READ THE BIBLE.  The Bible, the inerrent and infallible Word of God, tells us that tongues are a sign alright (I Cor. 14:22), but that it was the Jews who required the sign.

         “In the Law (the Mosaic Law, given to the Jews) it is written, ‘with men of other tongues (in a language other than Hebrew) will I speak unto this people (the Nation of Israel; i.e., the Jews) and yet for all that they (the Jews) will not hear Me, saith the LORD.
         “Wherefore tongues are a sign, not for them that believe (not a sign to believing Christians) but to them that believe not: (the unbelieving, Christ re-jecting Nation of Israel)—[I Cor. 14:21-22].

         The Book of I Corinthians is one of Paul’s epistles written during the Acts Period.  During the Acts Period, Paul went to the Jew first to reach the remnant of the generation of Israel (Romans 11:1-7).

         The charismatic who speaks in tongues simply because he believes Paul did it should:
1.      Circumcise all his converts to reach the Jews like Paul did (Acts 16:1-3).
2.      Go to the Jews first in every community like Paul did (Acts 13:46; 18:5-6).
3.      Take religious vows like Paul did to reach the Jews (Acts 21:26)
4.      Raise up the dead like Paul did in Acts 20:9-10.

NONE OF THE CHARISMATICS EVEN ATTEMPT THESE THINGS!
YOU CANNOT "PIECE-MEAL" THE WORD OF GOD!
IT STANDS OR FALLS ON ITS ENTIRETY!

         After Acts 28, Paul counted circumcision as “dung” (Philippians 3:4-8) and never tells any-body to give a “sign” or an “advantage” to Israel.  The Jew is to be treated like a Gentile during this present dispensation of time.  The “remnant” out of blinded Israel was saved by Acts 28 and no “signs” are given after that and has no advantage whatsoever.  So, with all this information in mind, what is the Scriptural need for speaking in tongues in our churches today?  THERE IS NONE!     

Remember what Jesus said about people who are always looking for some sort of “sign”
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…”  (Matt. 16:4).

Is Cremation for the Christian

IS CREMATION
FOR THE CHRISTIAN

(I Cor. 6:19-20)

Some time ago I was asked what was my thoughts concerning cremation.  First understand, that what I may think, or what you might think, on a subject counts for less than nothing.  It is what the Word of God has to say on a subject is what counts:  first, last and always.  I believe this passage from Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians may have the answer to this question.  But understand this one main point:  cremation has always been connected with paganism/heathenism.  Historically, Jews and Christians have always interned (buried) their dead. Probably the best way to analyze these two verses would be to examine them one verse at a time; so first we will look at verse 19:

VERSE 19:
“What?  Know ye not that you body is the temple of the Holy Ghost
{which is} in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.” There are some very important facts for us in this verse.
       

“What”:  (Greek–he)–Literally: “or”— Paul has just finished tell these Corinthians that all physical sins, especially fornication (illicit sex; sex outside of wedlock) is a sin against your own body. 

“know you not?”
Literally:  “do you not know?”  Now he is saying, “or don’t you know; or understand, this?”Here Paul is really lowering the boom on them.  In our vernacular we would have Paul really saying, “What, are you so dumb that you don’t understand this?”

Don’t you people realize?  Don’t you people understand?  Can’t you see it?   The trouble at Corinth grew out of a false attitude regarding evil. They apparently discounted and disregarded what they considered to be, “lesser evils.”  They took a tolerant attitude to sin. We have this same problem in our churches here in America. Paul points out that the danger of sin is its potentiality.  If the oak lies in the acorn, so the flagrant sin lies in the so-called “respectable” sin.  Sin is of such a nature that it multiplies on tolerance.

         “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost”
         Literally:  “your body a holy place of {the} Holy Spirit”–This is a most important phrase that we need to understand.

        Your body is a temple, a sanctuary.  Paul had already explained this to them in 3:16–“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and {that} the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Our own spirits dwell in our bodies and the Holy Spirit dwells in your body if you are a born-again believer. Paul also had basically covered this somewhat in the previous verse (v. 18)–Proof that “he that fornicates sinneth against his own body” (1Co 6:18) against this temple.
         What an astonishing saying is this!  As truly as the living God dwelt in the Mosaic tabernacle, and in the temple of Solomon, so truly does the Holy Spirit dwell in the souls of genuine Christians; and as the temple and all its utensils were holy; separated from all common and profane uses, and dedicated to the service of God, so the bodies of genuine Christians are holy, and all their members should be employed in the service of God alone.
       As God dwelt there among the Jews, as He had there a temple,  He dwells among the Christians.  Each Christian is His temple, the place of His abode.  His residence is with them; and He is in their midst.  As the Shekinah glory dwelt in the temple of Israel, so does the Holy Spirit dwell in Christ's temple, which we are.

         TEMPLE:  (Greek–naos)–This is the Greek word that is translated as “temple”  If we look at a Greek lexicon we find that this Greek word naosliterally means, “a     sanctuary; shrine; holy place.”  The latter explanation, “holy place” was the name given           to the front part of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness; the place where worship was carried on.

TabernaclePaul uses this same Greek word  (naos)  in 3:16 where it is rendered as, “temple.”  This same word is used in Acts 19:24:–“For a certain {man} named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines  (naos)  for Diana.

A Christian’s body is the very shrine for the Holy Spirit. Paul wanted his readers to realize these truths:
1.      Corporately, they were the temple of God.

2.      The Holy Spirit of God was dwelling in their midst.
3.      They themselves are made holy.
4.      Their bodies were now something special to God.

         To put it simply, the Holy Place and your local church building basically have the same function, for both are where the true worship of God takes place.  It is really not true that the local church building is the “House of God.”  It is simply a building that has been dedicated to the worship of God, just as the Tabernacle or the temple were to the Jews. It is interesting that in early America, the church building was referred to as the “meeting house.”  This is a more correct thought regarding a church building.  It is simply a place where believers meet to worship God. Also, do not think that God lives in the church building.  This is a totally an untrue thought.  He lives in  you , the individual Christian.           

“ye are not your own
Literally: “you are not of yourselves”–To put it simply, Paul is saying now that you got saved, you don’t belong to you anymore.  You belong to
God.  Your body is now a holy temple that has eternal God Himself, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, dwelling inside you.  His presence in your body makes it holy.  In verse 20 Paul explains why you are no your own.

VERSE 20:
“For ye are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

“For ye are bought with a price;”
Literally:  “For you were bought with a price”–And I might add, a terribly huge price–the greatest price in all the universe to be paid for anything–the BLOOD OF JESUS   CHRIST.  Paul ends this verse by saying that your body and your spirit belong to God.

Now from  what has just been said, do you really think you have a right to burn up your body, which is really the private property of God’s?  According to what the Holy Spirit  (in His Holy Word) has here said about your body, do you really think that you have no more right to have your body (which belongs to God and is His private property) burned up than you do to have a church building (which has been dedicated to God) burned up?  Would you really want to stand before God and try to explain why you told people to burn up His holy place (temple), and His own personal possession that He has bought and paid for with His own BLOOD?

The “Name”

REGARDING THE “NAME”

Matt. 28:19–“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”

             NAME:  (Grk.– onoma)–Literally: “title, person, authority, power.”   

            A sad misunderstanding, and therefore, misuse, of this word “name” has caused much problem within the Body of Christ, especially regarding how water baptism (immersion), is administered.  Some take it to mean we are to baptize (immerse) three times, each time in a different Person of the TTri-unity. Some even believe (erroneously and un-Scripturally, even anti-Scripturally) that we are to baptize in Jesus’ Name only. 
         The problem really comes about from the understanding the phrase, “in the Name of…”  The Greek word that is rendered as “name” is sonoma, which literally means, “power or authority.”  What Jesus is doing is telling His disciples (Matt. 28:19)–“…baptizing them in the Name of (authority of) the Father, and of the son and of the Holy Ghost”-is that all three Persons of the Tri-unity are giving them the authority to do the baptizing. 
         If you were to get a knocking on your door and you hear the words, “Open up, in the name of the law,” you know that the speaker is telling you that he has the authority given to him by the law to order you to open up.  Now to give this phrase in Matt. 28:19 a better and literal translation, it would really read, “Having gone, then, disciple all nations, baptizing them (literally:  immersing them) by the authority (or authorization) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  In other words, we have the authority of the full Tri-unity (i.e., all Three Persons of the Godhead) to do this baptizing.

WHAT A CHRISTIAN IS NOT

WHAT A CHRISTIAN IS NOT!

MANY PASTORS BELIEVE THERE IS CONFUSION OF WHAT A CHRISTIAN IS, BUT THE REAL CONFUSION IS OVER WHAT A CHRISTIAN IS NOT MANY PEOPLE BEIELVE THEY ARE A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS INVOLVED IN BEING A CHRISTIAN.

1.      YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE YOUR PARENTS WERE.
         GOD DOES NOT HAVE ANY GRANDCHILDREN. HE HAS ONLY BORN-AGAIN CHILDREN.

2.       YOUR ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN JUST BECAUSE YOU GO TO CHURCH.
         ANY MORE THAN GOING TO A SPORTS ACTIVITY MAKES YOU AN ATHLETE.

3.      YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN JUST BECAUSE YOU MAY BE SERVING IN A CHURCH.
         YOU ARE TO SERVING IN A CHURCH BECAUSE YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN.

4.       YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN JUST BECAUSE YOU CAME FROM A PREACHER'S HOME.       
          YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN BY ACCEOPTED CHRIST AS YOUR OWN PERSONAL SAVIOR (JOHN 3:16).

5.       YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN JUST BECAUSE YOU MAY BELIEVE IN GOD.
          A.      THE DEVIL BELIEVES IN GOD, (AND HE BELIEVES A LOT MORE THAN YOU EVER WILL).
          B.      THE DEVIL HAS SEEN HIM FACE-TO-FACE), AND HE CERTAINLY IS NOT A CHRISTIAN.

6.       YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE YOU ARE KEEPING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE GOLDEN RULE!
          MOST PEOPLE WHO USE THIS EXCUSE COULDN’T NAME THE TEN COMMANDMENTS  IF THEIR LIVES DEPENDED UPON
          IT.

           A.      IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU CANNOT KEEP THE TEN COMMANDMENTS!  NOBODY CAN KEEP THEM.
           B.      GOD SAYS THAT IF YOU BREAK EVEN ONE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS THAT HE CONSIDERS YOU GUILTY OF
                    BREAKING
ALL TEN OF THEM.

7.       YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIN BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED.
          A.      HAVING SOME WATER SPRINKLED ON YOUR HEAD, OR THE SIGN OF THE CROSS IN WATER PLACED ON YOUR
                   HEAD DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN.
          B.      BEING DUCKED UNDER THE WATER DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN. 
                   YOU CAN BE DUCKED UNDER THE WATER SO MANY TIMES THAT YOU BECOME WRINKLED LIKE A PRUNE AND
                   THE ONLY THING IT WOULD ACCOMPLISH
IS TO MAKE YOU A WET, WRINKLED SINNER.

          C.      BAPTISM DOES NOT WASH AWAY YOUR SINS.  ONLY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRISTWILL DO THAT.

8.       YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN JUST BECAUSE YOU TAKE THE LORD’S SUPPER (THE EUCHARIST) YOU DO NOT RECEIVE
          JESUS
CHRIST BY DOING THAT.  YOU CAN ONLY RECEIVE CHRIST BY FAITH IN HIM ALONE (JOHN 3:16). 
          NOT FAITH PLUS…

9.       YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE YOU ARE KEEPING SOME SET OF RULES OR SO-CALLED “SACRAMENTS.”        
          YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN BY FAITH IN CHRIST ALONE FOR YOUR SALVATION.

                    FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH
           IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE
.”
   (
JOHN 3:16).
                     
FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVE THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD 
                     
“NOT BY WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST"  (EPHESIANS 2:8-9).

10.      WORSHIPING ANY MAN (OR WOMAN)  OR PRAYING TO MARY OR THE “SAINTS” DOES NOT MAKE YOU A CHRISTIAN.
                     “FOR THERE IS ONE GOD, AND ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MEN, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS”
            (I TIMOTHY 2:5)-NOT THE WOMAN MARY OR THE “SAINTS.”

EGO

EGO
I have been contemplating a very little, but at the same time a very big word in several (including our own) languages.  This word is EGO. 

            EGO is a very interesting little word, with a powerful meaning.  It is used in both Latin and Greek, and both languages it means the same thing:  “I Am.”  It is interesting because this is the same name that God told Moses was His Name (Exodus 3:14).  In the KJV we read Moses asking whom should he tell the Children of Israel had sent him to lead them out of Egypt.  The reply that he got from was God was: “And God said unto Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM…”  Then God continued and said, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, ‘I AM hath sent me unto you.”
           When we look at this same Exodus 3:14 in the SEPTUAGINT, (a.k.a–the LXX), the koine Greek translation of the Old Testament that was used in the synagogues in the time of Jesus (and the Bible scrolls that Jesus Himself read–NOT the Hebrew or Aramaic text), we get a better understanding of the word; but before we do so we must clear up a misunderstanding that people have regarding the language spoken by the people in Israel in the First Century AD.  
            Most people have the misunderstanding that the Jews still used the Hebrew texts at the time of Jesus, but this is a totally erroneous idea.  The Hebrew texts had not been used for over 300 years; for about 250 BC Pharoah Ptolemy Philadelphus financed the translation of the Hebrew texts into the koine Greek language because by that time, this koine Greek was the spoken language of the people, and had been since Alexander the Great had conquered that part of the world about 329 BC.  Judea had been under either Greek rule or Greek influence ever since. Even the last royal family of Judea (the Macabees) were hellenist Jews (Jews educated under and influenced by the Greek language and culture).  
           The Septuagint (LXX) was commonly used in the synagogues for worship and as a text book for education in the synagogue schools for the children.  Therefore it is quite safe to believe that Jesus spoke Greek, and NOT Aramaic, for Aramaic had been dead for over 200 years.  Few, if any, could either read, or understand either Aramaic and fewer still could understand Hebrew.  When Jesus cried out from the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30),  He did so in the koine Greek word, “tetelestai.”   When He cried out from the cross in Hebrew, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabach thani,” i.e., “My, God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me,” He did so in Hebrew, and no one understood Him.  When Jesus said, “Eloi, Eloi”, hey thought He was calling to Elijah.  So you can see that Hebrew was basically a dead language in Jesus’ day.  The New Testament was written in koine Greek because it was the language of the people at that time.   

            James wrote his epistle (the first N.T. epistle) only about three (3) years after Jesus had ascended into heaven, he wrote it in koine Greek. And where had James learned his Greek?  In the synagogue school, the same place that Jesus would have studied Greek as a boy, since James was a half-brother of Jesus’ (after the flesh) and another son of Mary’s.  His full brother Jude (Judas) also wrote his epistle–the Epistle of Jude– in koine Greek.  So then, if the Lord Jesus Christ got the New Testament written in koine Greek because it was the spoken  language of the people, why then would He have spoken to them in any other language, especially in a language that had been dead to them for hundreds of years?
            When we look at Exodus 3:14 in the LXX we see that it says,Translated into English this reads,  "And God spoke to Moses saying, I AM (Ego) THE BEING ." and He said, ‘Thus shall you say to the Children of Israel, THE BEING  has sent me to you.’” Thus, we can almost conclude that man’s use of this word, EGO, is his attempt to make himself to be like God, like the great I AM Himself.

            This can further be seen when we look back at what happened in the Garden of Eden as is recorded in Genesis 3:5.  In the KJV we read, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”  When we look at the LXX we see:  translated into English–“For God knew that in whatever day you should eat of it your eyes would be opened, and you should be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
     “That you should be as gods”—that you should be as the I AMi.e., that you should be as the EGO.  And people have been striving toward that end ever since.  To be like the great EGO; to be like, “I Am.”    Another interesting fact about this word EGO is that it makes a very interesting, and most telling acrostic:

EGO

Edging
God
 Out

*  *  *  *  *  *  *
Ain’t it the truth?

America Has Been Judge by God

AMERICA HAS BEEN JUDGED BY GOD
(Dan. 5:26-27)

By:  Pastor David Anthony

         People are saying that God is GOING TO judge America for its godlessnessl however,  I believe they are too late.  God has ALREADY judged America–the kind of judgment of His just leaving America; i.e., Him just removing His protective hand from America.  America has forgotten God; America has turned its back on God and the American people, in their lives of greed and excessive materialism, have been, in so many words, saying, “We don’t need You God; we don’t want Your laws or restraints.  We can get along without You God.”  And so, God, Who will not force Himself upon anyone, has, in effect, said, “ALRIGHT, IF THAT IS THE WAY YOU WANT IT.  THEN SO BE IT.  TRY TO GET ALONG WITHOUT ME.”
        The United States of America, which was once a God-fearing Christian nation (which was once even pronounced by the Supreme Court to be so),  a nation much blessed by a holy God, is now under the Judgment of that same holy God.  This nation stands under this judgment for at least 6 reasons I can name:

  1. Judgment of Romans Chapter 1 (1:21-32)
  2. Judgments Because of the Supreme Court
  3. Judgment for the Murder of Millions of Pre-born Babies
  4. Judgment of Genesis 12:3
  5. Judgment of the Millstone (Matt. 18:6; Luke 17:2)
  6. Judgment of Proverbs 6 (Prov. 6:16-19)

JUDGMENT OF ROMANS 1:21-32

People are asking, “Has the country gone insane?    I answer, “Yes, it has!”
I.     REASON FOR THE INSANITY

        A     Ungodly Teachings

Soon after WW-IIthe diabolical teaching of evil-lution invaded our schools.Now we have teachers, and others in the realm of academia–those who “profess themselves to be wise,” (Rom. 1:22), who teach this anti-God religion as a fact, and not as a theory (which it really is).  No objections to this teaching are allowed. 
 

                                           1.     Anyone who objects to this teaching is ridiculed and silenced.
                                           2.     No questioning of this teaching is allowed.
                                                  Any student who has the temerity to question this unscientific evil is attacked.
                                                  a.     Such a student is either expelled, disciplined or fails the class. 

This done by those who readily scream for their own rights under the banner of “academic freedom.”

                                                  b.     Such a student may even be shouted down by other brain-washed/brain dead students.

          Almighty God (El Shaddai) as Creator  has been forgotten and no longer worshiped.  In fact, it is rapidly becoming a crime to even mention Him.  It is already a crime to mention His Holy Name in our government or schools or courts.  Court verdicts are being overturned because a judge or attorney even mentioned God during a trial.
          This evil-lution is the very foundation upon which communism, and all the other isms, wasms, and spasms from the polluted minds of rebellious. atheistic man stand.  Without this godless religion, none of these could stand.

               B.     Ungodly Religion

America worships at the altar of its new god–SCIENCE; and science worships at the altar of the “environment” or “ecology,” which are merely other words they use for The Creation (Rom. 1:21, 25).  They use these terms so they can keep from recognizing God as Creator.

              1.     Money is wasted on pseudo-science.

Billions of our tax dollars are dumped down the sinkhole of “Global Warming,”   or “Climate Change,” or other such pipe-dreams of liberal-Marxist politicians.

                                          2.     Money is being withheld from True Science

Anyone who questions these pseudo-scientific reports are labeled by the anti-God media as “crackpots” or “religious fanatics.”  One congressman has even gone so far as to say that those who are against such teachings should be rounded up and placed on trial, such as those held in Nuremberg.

                                 C.     Ungodly Entertainment.

America is on an “entertainment jag.”The heli-vision, and the trash and filth coming out of the sewer of Helli-wood dominates the lives of most Americans.
 
                                          1.     It dominates their amusements.

People who were once powerful workers for God have now been “placed on a shelf” because now they sit for hours mesmerized in front of the tube, watching all sorts of filth that comes out of the sewer of helly-wood.

                                         2.     It dominates their knowledge of what is going on in the world.

All that most Americans know of “news” comes from the main-stream Marxist-communist propaganda systems we call “news” networks on the heli-vision.Therefore, all that people know is the big lie.And now people see no truth, hear no truth, say no truth.

Someone has said that, “Television is an instrument in which you allow people, whom you would never allow into your home, to come into your home, and do things in your home that you would never think of allowing to be done in your home.”

II.     RESULTOF THE INSANITY
        
As a result of this diabolical way of “thinking,” God has given two, or perhaps even three generations of Americans over to “vile affections” (Rom. 1:24-28).

 A.     Resulting in Societal Evil

Our nation is being swept with evil and violence (Rom. 1:29032).We cannot build enough prisons fast enough to contain those who perpetrate these evils upon society, which are simply the natural results of depraved and diabolical thinking.

                    B.     Resulting in Entertainmental Evil

Not only do our people practice these evils, but they sit and watch such evils on their hell-ivision and “take pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. 1:32).Now we have a generation that sees no truth, hears no truth, says no truth.  America has become the most narcissistic nation on the face of the earth.

                   C.     Resulting in Moral Evil

Homosexuality, in all its forms, has now become the accepted norm.  Anyone who speaks out against it is attacked by the government, the “news” media,  academia, and the bullying forces of the Homosexual Agenda. 

                           1.     Our schools are indoctrinating our children that homosexuality is a normal alternate life style.
                           2.     Schools are being forced to allow cross-dressing children into other sex rest rooms.
                           3.     Schools are being forced to allow men into girls dressing rooms, and vice-versa.
                                  All this is taking place AFTER the judgment has fallen (Rom. 1:28-31).
                  D.     Resulting in God Judging America.
                          We have forgotten that God is HOLY and JUST.
                          1.     Our nation has forgotten that God is just.
                          2.     Our people have forgotten that God is just.
                          3.     Our national leaders have forgotten that God is just.
                          4.     Our churches and church leaders have forgotten that God is just.
                          5.     Our teachers have forgotten that God is just.

Thomas Jefferson knew that God is JUST.  In 1781 he said, “I tremble for my country when I recall that God is just and that His justice will not sleep forever.”  When you speak of the Justice of God and His Judgments, you must understand that there are different kinds of judgments.  There are:

I.      Cataclysmic Judgment, as in Noah’s day.
II.     Eschatological Judgment as in Revelation 6 ff.
III.    Abandonment Judgment

When God just abandons (or removes His protective hand from) a nation or person, as He did with Samson after Samson was barbered by Delilah; when Samson realized that he no longer had any power with God.

                  A.     This is the judgment God had Hosea pronounce over the Northern Kingdom.
                  B      This is the judgment God has pronounced over America.
                           1.     Romans 1:21-32 specifies this as the judgment that God pronounces upon a people who do not remember Him as Creator.
                           2.     God has simply removed His protective hand from America because we as a nation have long forgotten Him as Creator.
                                   Now we worship the creation (the “creature”) rather than the Creator.

JUDGMENTS BECAUSE OF THE SUPREME COURT

Since the 1960’s SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States), has been hell-bent on doing everything it can to destroy the Christian belief and heritage of this country.  Our court system has literally outlawed God from America!  Because of actions of SCOTUS God is now persona non grata in America.
1.     God is no longer allowed in our courts.

        Sentences and trial verdicts have even been over ruled and thrown out simply because God was mentioned by a judge.
2.     God is no longer allowed in our schools.
        Because of court rulings, our children cannot pray to God in our schools.They cannot even say grace before they eat.
3.     The Ten Commandments, which are displayed on the walls of the Supreme Court building, are not allowed to be displayed in our schools.
4.     Because of court rulings, Nativity Scenes are under attack.
5.     Because of court rulings, crosses erected to honor our war dead are being declared unconstitutional.
6.     Because of court rulings even the Pledge of Allegiance is under attack because of the phrase, “under God” being in it.
7.     How long will it be when God, and His holy Word, will not even be allowed in our homes?

 

JUDGMENT FOR THE PRE-MEDITATED
MURDER OF MILLIONS OF PRE-BORN BABIES

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying,
‘How long, O Lord, holy and true dost Thou not judge

And avenge our blood on them…” (Rev. 6:10)
The blood of the innocents cries out for vengeance.

 

I.     AMERICANS HAVE MORE REGARD FOR ANIMALS THAT FOR HUMANS.

We have those in our society (and government) who go “bonkers” to keep a murderer or terrorists from being legally put to death (as God has
so commanded
),
or will cry over an injured animal or a beached whale, but yet they see nothing at all wrong with killing an innocent pre-born baby (not a “fetus”) who has done nothing to anyone.

           II.     AMERICA HAS OUTSTRIPPED THE NAZIS IN KILLING

As a nation we have the gall to condemn the NAZIS for murdering 6 million Jews and doing medical experiments on them, but yet America has butchered over 70 million pre-born babies and now has advanced to the supreme barbarism we call “partial birth abortion.”  This act of barbarity consists of pulling a full-term baby almost completely out and then jamming a scissors into its head and sucking out its brains.  If this is not savagery and barbarity at its worse, then will someone please tell me what is!

          III.     AMERICA OUTSTRIPS THE NAZIS IN MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS ON HUMANS

If there is not enough evil and barbarity being done to pre-born babies, we are using these aborted babies, (not “fetuses,” or perhaps “feti”  as we prefer to call them to salve our consciences about our savagery and barbarity) for medical experiments–just like the NAZIS in Germany did experiments on humans beings.
A.     Aborted Babies Are Used for Medical Experiments

They are being used for stem-cell research.Of course the reasoning is that this may save lives from cancer.  But the end does not justify the means.

                   B.     Aborted Babies Are Used for Cosmetics

Even our cosmetics industries are using these aborted babies as a source of protein and collagen for their skin conditions and shampoos.

Compared to America, the NAZIS were just beginners!
America has reduced barbarism to an all-time low.

JUDGMENT OF GENESIS 12:3

The policies of the present U.S. Administration towards (against) the nation of Israel in particular, and Jews in general, has placed the United States under the judgment of Gen. 12:3–“I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee…”  This is part of the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant, the contract that God made with Abraham and his descendants (the Jewish people). 

I.     AMERICA ONCE STOOD WITH ISRAEL
        A.     For some 60 years America Stood with Israel.
        B.     America Was the First Nation to Recognize the Nation of Israel (May 14, 1946).
        C.     America Aided Israel in 1973

During the Yom Kippur War of 1973 America stood by Israel and supplied them with the weaponry that needed to fight off its attacking enemies.

                  II.     ISRAEL HAS ALWAYS STOOD WITH AMERICA.

Israel has been our staunchest friend and ally in the Middle East.And for this, God has held off His righteous hand of judgment–simply because we stood with His chosen people.
A.     While America Blessed Israel, God Blessed America; but

B.     Recent Administrations (especially this present one) have been Openly Hostile Against Israel.
C.     President Obama  has displayed open hostility toward Israel.
         1.     The State Department is hostile to Israel.

On every hand our State Department always puts Israel on the short end of the stick when it comes to negotiations with their Islamic terrorist groups.
                   2.     Israel Must Always Make Concessions.
                   3.     Israel’s Enemies are Never Told to Make any Concessions.
                   4.     America Makes Deals which Favor the Islamic Terrorist Groups over Israel.
                           Groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Quaeda (just to name a few)               
III.     ISRAEL NOW MISTRUSTS AND FEARS AMERICA.

The present American government has repeatedly “thrown Israel under the bus” when it comes to dealing with the terrorist and rogue nations sworn to destroy the nation of Israel.

                    IV.     AMERICA NOW STANDS AGAINST ISRAEL
                             America's President has made demands against Israel.
                             A.     Demand for Israel to Return to pre-1967 War Borders.

President Obama had the temerity to demand that Israel return to its 1967 borders and give up the land that it conquered from those who, without provocation, had attacked them and give it back to their attackers.
                           B.     Declaration of God Concerning Israel’s Land

Joel 3:2 says, “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them for My people and My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land.”

        That last phrase alone (parting of the land), when taken with the demand of President Obama is enough to place America under the Judgment of God.
            Yes, the present American government has repeatedly “thrown Israel under the bus” when it comes to dealing with the terrorist and rogue nations sworn to destroy the nation of Israel.  It is for such actions as this that America has earned the Judgment of Gen. 12:3.

JUDGMENT OF THE MILLSTONE
(Matt. 18:6; Luke 17:2)

              Godly people are asking, ”Why has the country gone so pro-homosexual?”  Homosexuality is running rampant in our governments, on the “silver screen,” and on the hell-ivision, and this  teaching is being forced in the minds of innocent children in our diabolically controlled Centers of Indoctrination we call public schools and state run universities.  Our children are being mind conditioned into believing this totally unscientific teaching of evil-lution; and our children are also being mind conditioned into believing that homosexuality is a valid alternate life style.  These evil actions alone being committed to innocent children are the reasons for the Judgment of the Millstone.
            Dr. Billy Graham has been said that if God does not judge America, He will need to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!  Amen and Amen Dr. Graham!

JUDGMENT OF PROVERBS 6
(Prov. 6:16-19)

          In in Proverbs Chapter 6 are listed 7 things which God hates:

  1. A proud look
  2. A lying tongue
  3. Hands that shed innocent blood
  4. A heart that devises wicked imaginations
  5. Feet that are swift in running to mischief
  6. A false witness that speaks lies
  7. He that sows discord among the brethren

I charge that the present government of American, and the present societal attitude and temperament of America is guilty of all seven of these things which God hates.  Let us examine each of these seven things as they apply to America, and the American society, as it is today.

A Proud Look
      If any one word could describe the leadership of American government and so-called “academia” it would be narcissism or egotism.  The order of the day is to satisfy big ME.   Elected representatives have long forgotten that they were put into office to represent others and not just their own bank accounts.  Meism is all that counts.
A Lying Tongue
        Believe it or not, there was once a time in this country when a handshake was enough to bind a business deal.  I as taught by my father to look a man in his eye when I shook his hand.  If a man would not look me in the eye, if he was “shifty eyed,” then don’t trust that man.  Now things are much different.  Now business deal can be finalized without a gaggle of attorneys looking over the deal and examining each detail.  Even then, the deal is subject to being challenged in court.  Now, a man who does tell the truth is look upon with suspicion and as some sort of “oddball.”

Hands that Shed Innocent Blood
       There was once a time in America when we did not need to lock our doors.  Now we are not safe in our homes even if we do lock our doors.  Every day we read of murders in our streets.  Our own nation’s capital has become known as known as the murder capital of the country.  The streets of our cities are not safe at all; what with gangs running wild, riotings and lootings, drugs and drug related killings and muggings, and even worse, the heartless murders of millions of pre-born babies every year in not only America, but throughout the world.

A Heart that Devises Wicked Imaginations
         This is basically the curse of Romans 1:28 in actions.  Because of the sins listed in chapter 1 before verse 28, God has given Americans, at least the unbelievers, over to “reprobate” thinking.  They simply cannot think straight or logically.  Liberal thinking every day that is supposed to help this country (the mean well), seems instead to always have adverse effects upon what is said to be intended

Feet that are swift in running to mischief
         It seems that now it does not take much to start a riot of looting and burning in American city streets.  Just any little “cause” can set one off.  Of course it is all for the “good” of the side doing so, no matter of the damage left in its aftermath.

A false witness that speaks lies
          This is simply speaking of how easy, and common, it has become for perjury in our courtrooms.  If you have ever set in on a jury you are sickened at how prevalent it is for false testimony and outright lying to be taking place in our court systems.

He that sows discord among the brethren
         Our nation is being ripped apart by those who, because of their own narcissistic and egotistic greed and personal agenda, are purposely working to pit one faction against another or one race against another.  The “race card” is constantly used by those with their own agenda, and who have no real regard for the good of the nation as a whole, to sow discord.  This same sort of discord is also being used in our local churches to disrupt services and ministries.

I.     THE JUDGMENT OF GOD HAS ALREADY FALLEN
        A.     God’s Judgment Has been Feared

        B.     God’s Judgment Is Already Here
                Unfortunately, God has ALREADY judged America and IS judging America NOW!

     When we look at Rom. 1:24 we see that men did not fall into such vile sins and “reprobate” thinking until after their sins had gotten too much for a holy God to tolerate; but even more so, after they had forgotten to acknowledge God as CREATOR.

                 II.     GOD'S JUDGMENT IS THE REASON FOR THE DEPRAVITY.    
                 III.  GOD'S JUDGMENT WAS HELD OFF

It has only been because of America’s assistance to, and standing with, Israel that has staved off this judgment as long as it has.  When America turned against Israel, God had no choice but to turn against America (Gen. 12:3).

                 IV.   GOD'S JUDGMENT  DESCRIBED

This judgment was really the same type of judgment that Samson experienced after he was barbered by Delilah–the judgment of God leaving him.

               A.     God Has left America
                       1.     He was outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court
                       2.     He has been barred from our court system.
                       3.     He was run out of our educational system.

                       4.    He has left from His previous position of protecting America.   
              B.     Americans Now Live in Fear.
                      1.      Fear of attack from rogue nations.
                      2.     Fear of attack from terrorist
                      3.     Fear of a legal system that protects the criminals and spits in the face of the victims of these criminals.
                       4.     Fear of the growing power and overreach of the federal government.   
             C.     America Now Worships a New god.
                    The god of money and materialism (mammon) rules in America.
             D.    America Now Suffers Mysterious Weather Patterns

       Our weather patterns have gone berserk and blizzards and/or draughts are hitting what was once humid and fertile areas.  Do not forget that Satan is the “prince and power of the air.”  So when God removed His protective hand off America, Satan was no longer restrained and took over, and he is running rampant in America.
        It was after this vile teaching of evil-ution had permeated our schools, after our Supreme Court had given its diabolical anti-God rulings of the 1960’s; after this wholesale slaughtering of babies was authorized by our court systems that all the rest of these abominable acts came out into the open.  I hear preachers saying (wrongfully, I might say) that God is going to punish America because of these actions; but when we read Romans chapter 1, we cannot help but see that God is ALREADY punishing America, and this is WHY we see these vile actions are taking place in in our country NOW.

REGARDING II CHRONICLES 7:14

       Many preachers are saying that all we have to we have to do is to appropriate II Chron. 7:14 and get back to God.  But understand this:  that passage was written            for National Israel regarding God’s dealing with that nation by sending draughts and locusts.  It DOES NOT apply to the United States of America. It CANNOT apply to the United States of America. God had already warned Israel in the Torah (Deut. 28:21-24; 30:1-3) that He would send certain  calamities upon them if they strayed from Him. 
       Much of the confusion has come about because of a diabolical heresy that has crept into American churches; a  heresy known as “Replacement Theology” (that God is finished with Israel and that all the promises that were given to Israel have been taken over by the Church.   This is utter heresy and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Words of the Bible which clearly state otherwise:  i.e.,

             “…Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (Heb. 8:8).
            “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in”
               “And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom. 11:25-26).

       Second Chronicles 7:14 was written as a solution if the Nation of Israel forced God to fulfill His promise recorded to them in Deuteronomy.  Deut. 28:21-24 is the threat given to them if  they (the Nation of Israel) did backslide, and Deut. 30:1-3 is basically the solution and this solution is demonstrated  in 2 Chron. 7:14.  
       Let us closely examine this passage of Second Chronicles Chapter 7 and see if this passage can be applied to us today. 

In verse 12 we see that God is talking to Solomon, who is king of Israel.
Can this apply to the USA?
Of course not!
 
WE DO NOT HAVE A KING!  We are a democratic-republic. 

In verse 13 God talks about no rain and a locusts plague.
Has this happened to the USA? 
NO!  Of cour not! 

This is the curse promised to Israel back in Deut. 28:21-24.  Can this apply to us?  NO!  Only if we do what most people do and take it out of its Scriptural context. 

In verse 15 God is talking about prayer done in “this place,” meaning the temple in Jerusalem. 
Can this apply to us? 
NO! Of course not! 

The Temple was a place for offering sacrifices, but we no longer offer sacrirfices for Christ was our sacrifice once-for-all (Heb. 7).

 

       It is high time we stopped taking Bible verses out of their context, both scripturally and dispensationally, and attempting to apply them to us. This is the Church Age; the Dispensation of Grace, not the Dispensation of the Law, the time of the Law of Moses.   If verses 12, 13 and 15 do not apply to us, how then can we turn around and say that this one verse, verse 14 can apply to us?  We best get back to sound hermeneutics (Bible interpretation and application), get back into New Testament Christianity and stop taking Bible passage, (although how apropos they may seem to be) out of their context.
       It is high time that America’s preachers get out of the Tanach (the Old Testament and the Dispensation of the Law) and get into the New Testament (the Dispensation of Grace), a.k.a. the Church Age.  No wonder the believers are confused, when the preachers themselves are confusing the Church with Israel!  Preachers need to get into the New Testament, and to OUR one-and-only apostle to us non-Jews (Paul–Gal. 2:8) because we are the New Testament Church, NOT Old Testament Israel.   Our people need to hear some sound hermeneutics FOR A CHANGE!