Vol. 3 Number 9, Sept. 1997
Inside This Newsletter
1. The Local Church
2. What Have Ye-Preacher or Pastor?
3. The Bible Believer And Heretics
4. NEWS WATCH
5. CNV NOTES
The Local Church
By Andy Neckar
The local church is a far cry from the local New Testament churches in the Apostle Paul's day. I will now proceed to clarify this statement.
The churches of today are filled with a mixed multitude of people. I spoke some on this subject in my June '97 newsletter, "Little Leaven Leavens Lump".
The "Body of Christ" (true believers) are members of the "Church". This "Church", founded by "Jesus Christ" with "Christ "as the "Foundation", or "Chief Cornerstone" (Mark 12:10; Eph 2:20; 1 Pet 2:6) will stand the test of time and of Satan. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt 16:18) I have always preached in my newsletters this truth.
But are the churches of today parallel to the early New Testament churches? I think not The churches of today are filled of a mixed multitude of obedient believers, disobedient believers and heretics..
FIRST--The churches are full of disobedient brethren. Well, you say, this was true in the New Testament churches too. (1 Cor 5:1) But-the New Testament churches practiced "church discipline", a forgotten practice in the churches of today. We are told to disfellowship disobedient brethren after the third exhortation. (Matt 18:15-17); and carnal Christians in 1 Cor Chapter 5)
I am sure there are many piously fervent Christians in the churches who feel out of place in their devotion to Godliness because the majority of people present are devoted to worldliness. Even "sound" churches are falling short of God's commands. There are divorced and remarried couples in the churches in great numbers. Yet from the pulpit to the pew they are welcomed with open arms, no questions asked. There are many young women and girls coming to fellowship in micro mini skirts. Yet the older women do not teach, correct and/or discipline the younger as commanded. (Titus 2:3-4)
SECOND-the churches are full of heretics. We are told to separate from the heretic after the second admonition. (Titus 3:10) According to the latest poll, 30 percent of those claiming to be "born again" say they believe that Jesus while on earth, committed sins; and a large number do not believe the key Christian doctrine that He was physically resurrected.
The reason for unsound churches today is the fault of the people in the churches. You see, God has given us instructions, yea, commands even, on how to keep the local church pure. We are to practice church discipline. We are not to allow a little leaven to leaven the whole lump. We are to remove the leaven from our midst, or remove ourselves from the leaven.
Hold on, you say. You are boarding on legalism here. Again I must say, I think not. The things I speak of are New Testament commands of God, not Old Testament ordinances. Well, you say, the things you speak of don't bother me. They do not tempt me in any way, or diminish my witness to Christ in "any way". I can see no harmful effects in my church because of these "minor" infractions, you say.
Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? (by implication-disobey) shall their unbelief (disobedience) make the faith of God without effect? (KJV)
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (KJV)
Are our standards ruled by our personal opinions, or by the Word of God? Would we dare to slander "God's Name"? No? Then why do we slander "His Word" which he exalts "above" His Name, ( Ps 138:2 ) by willful disobedience.
Fellowship with a mixed multitude is harmful to the true believer. I know so because GOD SAYS SO. God established safeguards to protect the believer, revealed them to the believer, and commanded obedience of the believer. Have you ever heard the old cliché, "One day you will thank me for this, I'm doing this for your own good?" Ever wonder why we're called the "children" of God.?
The majority of denominations are falling away from the faith once delivered to the saints, much less contending for that faith. (Jude 1:3) The end-time apostasy is upon us. As Christ is sitting at the Right Hand of the Father till his enemies be made his footstool, (Heb 10:12-13) the Anti-Christ is waiting in the wings until his friends prepare the world for his coming. One thing about it though. The Anti-Christ, with permission from God, will rule the world in terror for only seven years. The Lord Jesus will rule with a rod of iron, in peace, for one thousand years. In due time, my Master the King will defeat the Prince of this world forever.
A Brief History of the CHURCH
The Holy Bible
A Plan For Mans Salvation.
Instituted by Jesus Christ
Implemented by God
In contrast to paganism.
The Various Councils of the Roman Catholic Church
An Alternate Plan Of Salvation
Instituted by Christendom
Implemented by the Popes
A limited return to the Bible
Instituted by the Reformation.
Implemented by Man.
Returning to paganism.
Still a Remnant as always.
When you find a local church still true to the "Founder" of the "CHURCH", hold on tight and don't let go. Obey it. Support it. Get involved in it. IT IS PART OF YOU.
Practice what the Bible preaches. It is up to you. Purify the local church through church discipline before God decides to purify it through persecution. Persecution will rid the churches of heretics. The disobedient will conform out of fear, and the obedient will glorify the works of the Lord..
May God bless and encourage the remnant.
What Have Ye-Preacher or Pastor?
By Andy Neckar
(All definitions are from the Strong's Greek-Hebrew Dictionary)
Matt 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. ( shepherd is Strong's # 4166) (KJV)
4166 poimen (poy-mane');of uncertain affinity; a shepherd (literally or figuratively): KJV-- shepherd, pastor.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors ( pastors is Strong's # 4166) and teachers; (KJV)
4166 poimen (poy-mane');of uncertain affinity; a shepherd (literally or figuratively): KJV-- shepherd, pastor.
You will notice that the Greek word "poimen" is translated both pastor and shepherd in the King James Bible. The word "shepherd" appears in the New Testament 14 times. The word pastor does not appear, but the word "pastors" appears 1 time. In all 15 verses the word in the Greek is "poimen," Strong's # 4166.
I say this to establish that the word shepherd and pastor have the same meaning, and refer to the same calling, but is far different from the word "preacher".
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (KJV) (The Greek word translated preacher is "kerusso" and is Strong's word # 2784)
2784 kerusso (kay-roos'-so); of uncertain affinity; to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel): KJV-- preacher (-er), proclaim, publish.
The word preacher appears 4 times in the New Testament. In all 4 verses the word in the Greek is "kerusso" Strong's # 2784.
So-pastor, (shepherd), is not the same as preacher. One can be a street preacher or a newsletter preacher, but that does not qualify one to be a shepherd. So--what have ye in the local church? Preacher or pastor?
A preacher is the herald of the good news of the gospel of Christ, the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. (Rom 1:16) Now, this message can be preached anywhere. Not just in the assembly of believers. Now this says a lot, as the assembly should be of "believers" not a "mixed multitude" in the first place. This message should be preached foremost where the lost sinners congregate. That is "in the world".
A pastor (shepherd) on the other hand, in addition to preaching the gospel of Christ in the assembly, but foremost "in the world", must wear "many hats"..
FIRST. .He must be a "leader". Not all preachers possess this gift. The pastor must lead the assembly in church discipline. He must lead the flock in the spirit of righteousness. (obedience to God's Word) He must exercise his gift of leadership in word and example.
The pastor must go before the flock and not tag along behind. He must "lead" the flock, not "drive" the flock. The following is an interesting parable on the subject taken off the Internet.
A party of tourists was on its way to Palestine and its guide was describing some of the quaint customs of the East.
"You are accustomed to seeing the shepherd following his sheep through the English lanes and byways," he said. "However, out in the East things are different for the shepherd always leads the way, going on before the flock. And the sheep follow him, for they know his voice."
The party reached Palestine and, to the amusement of the tourists, the first sight to meet their eyes was a flock of sheep being driven along by a man. The guide was astonished and immediately questioned the shepherd.
"How is it that you are driving these sheep?" he asked. "I was always told the Eastern shepherd leads his sheep."
"You are quite right, sir," replied the man. "The shepherd does lead his sheep. But you see, I'm not the shepherd. I'm the butcher."
Not everyone possesses the gift of leadership. If you can see this "hat" on your pastor. Praise God for him.
SECOND... He must be a" teacher". He must be proficient in God's Word to teach the flock. Paul's words to Timothy in 2 Tim 2:15, although fundamental to all of us, is chiefly directed to the pastor. The Apostle Paul claimed to be a "preacher" and a "teacher", as well as an Apostle.(2 Tim 1:11) The Apostles received their insight through direct revelation from Christ, and the pastors (shepherds) obtain theirs from diligent study of God's Word. By the way. It is requisite that he believe "all" of God's Word. He should teach through insight and example. A far cry from some of the "pastors" of today's organized churches.
If you can see "this hat" on your pastor (teacher). Praise God for him and the multiple hats he wears.
THIRD.. He must be a "watchman". He must guard the sheep already in the fold. In addition to preaching the gospel of Christ to add to the flock, teaching those in the flock, and leading the flock, he must "guard" the flock. He must study the tactics and disguise of the "wolves in sheep's clothing" who penetrate to deceive the flock and attempt to lead them astray. He must warn the flock of those deceivers who have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. (.2 Timothy 3:1-5) And-on top of all this he must be willing and capable of searching for the "lost sheep" who was led astray and bring him back to the fold. (convince him of his error)
If you can see "this hat" on your pastor (watchman) Praise God for him and the multiple hats he wears. It is no easy job.
If your local church has a pastor endowed with these gifts and practices them to the glory of God, you are in "good hands" and in a "sound church" Praise God for him. If you don't have one, GET ONE. If you can't get one, go find a church WITH ONE.
May God bless His remnant in the world.
The Bible Believer And Heretics
What The Bible Says About A Godly Attitude Toward Heresy
Adapted from an article by:-G. Archer Weniger,
In these days of theological confusion and ecclesiastical compromise, what is the Biblical position for the Bible believer to assume toward heretics and false religious teachers? Are we to patronize them, associate with them, accept their sponsorship, increase their numbers, send them converts, add to their prestige, follow their leadership, identify our churches with them, obliterate important Biblical distinctions with them??? The Bible's answer is clear.
1. Try them...I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but trv the spirits, whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
2. Mark them...Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
3. Rebuke them...Titus 1.13, "This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith."
4. Have no fellowship. .Ephesians 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
5. Withdraw thyself...II Thessalonians 3:6, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us." (See also I Timothy 6:3-5).
6. Turn away from them...11 Timothy 3:5, "...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
7. Receive them not...II John 10-11, "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. " To our day false teachings are fostered by misplaced hospitality.
8. Have no company with him. . 11 Thessalonians 3:14, "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. "
9. Reject them...Titus 3:10, "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition, reject."
10. Be ye separate...II Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
Contend For The Faith...
The Bible teaching is plain. God's people and God's churches are forbidden to make common cause with modernism. Heresy is to be exposed. The ecumenical movement is controlled by heretics. Ecumenical evangelism ignores the Scriptural teaching on sound doctrine, in order "to reach lost souls." What a farce! We should be interested in lost souls, but compromise is not God's way. Jude was interested in "the common salvation", but he also contended for "the faith."
Jude 3, 4, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
An estimated 60,000 homosexuals participated in the annual Gay Days at Disney World. The homosexual weekend has become so popular that Universal Studios Florida and Sea World have launched their own homosexual weekends (National Liberty Journal ,( 7/97).
[Editor] The world continues it's downward spiral away from God. The "really" sad part though is, so are the organized churches.
In a new book Enough Is Enough, published by Jerry Falwell's Liberty Press, Rick Scarborough says he grew discouraged at his work as an evangelist and now sees more hope for America in his political activism. According to a book review in Baptists Today (3/6/97), "the pastor now reflects on his fourteen years as an evangelist as virtually futile."
[Editor] A man called by "God" to do "His" work will not experience a virtually futile ministry for fourteen years A politically active one will though. The reason is that he was called by "man" to do the work of the "world".
A Roman Catholic bishop is encouraging homosexual priests and bishops to "come out" to help the church change. Thomas Gumbleton, auxiliary bishop of Detroit, was among 650 participants at a symposium for homosexual Catholics (Christian News, 3/24/97).
[Editor] Help the church change to what? The acknowledgment of homosexuality along with the apostate United Methodist, United Church of Christ and others who acknowledge them as "Alternate Lifestyle Christians" and not as "abominate lost sinners", as Christ acknowledges them?
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ revealed an abusive heavenly Father Who is not fit for Christian worship, declared a speaker at the recent Global Gathering III, sponsored by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. The speaker urged that the church revere the baby Jesus along with all the world's children as equally little messiahs. Speaker Nancy Periera, a Methodist theologian from Brazil, said, "We have to stop praising Jesus' cross. . . . We have to look at Jesus's cross as a tragedy, a human episode without any meaning." Around 4,000 Methodists from around the world attended the event, which focused on the welfare of today's children (AFA Journal ,( 6/97).
[Editor] What can I say? Believing the message of Global Gathering III allows sole worship of a pagan god found to be fit according to Methodist standards. If one is taught to worship a god fitting the standards of man, and to live a life befitting of those standards, who needs salvation? Man will be his own god, and his own judge.
Well folks, if all goes right and if the Lord be willing, and it will go right if He be willing, I plan to increase the newsletter from the present four page format to eight pages. The reason for this is I would like to make available more items from my CNV E-Mail News Service to the printed version subscribers, and include resources for sale and maybe letters to the editor. The resources are sold for two reasons. First and foremost to offer aid in discernment to believers, and to aid in the finances of this ministry.
Please pray that the Lord guide me in all that I write and do in His Name.
See you next month
We Must Earnestly Contend For The Faith.