Monday, May 02, 2016

Get to Work!


May 17, 2015

The verse I’d like to focus on there in chapter 22 is verse 12 where the Bible reads, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” I want to preach about this morning the importance of working for God. The Bible says here that we will all be rewarded according as our work shall be. Flip a few pages back to Revelation chapter 14. While you’re turning there, I’ll read for you from Matthew 16:27, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Over and over again the Bible is telling us that our reward when Jesus comes will be based upon the work that we’ve done.

The Bible says that God will render to every man according to his deeds in Romans chapter 2. Look at chapter 14, verse 13, it says, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, ‘Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth’: ‘Yea,’ saith the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.’” When the Bible talks about people dying in the Lord, he says, “They rest from their labors and their works do follow them.” Over and over again work is being emphasized.

Go to Revelation chapter 2 and we’ll see the scriptures where God is talking to the seven churches which are in Asia and giving them particular admonitions in each verse. Revelation chapter 2, verse 2 where he’s talking to the first church, the church at Ephesus, he says in verse 2, “I know thy works and thy labor,” which is just another way of saying work, “…and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.”

Jumping down to verse 5, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Verse 9, “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, but thou art rich and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Verse 13, “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.”

Verse 19, “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works,” he mentions it again, “… and the last to be more than the first.” Look at verse 23, or actually, look at verse 26 “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Look at chapter 3, verse 1. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Audience: Right.

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; ‘These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.’” What’s he judging the churches on? What’s he judging us on when we get to heaven?

Now look, I don’t to tell you, I don’t need to spend the whole sermon telling you that salvation’s not of works because 97% of the people who are here this morning are already saved and you already know that salvation’s by faith and it’s not of works so lest any man should boast. That’s not what this sermon’s about. This isn’t about salvation. Salvation has nothing to do with works. Salvation’s by faith alone.

No works involved whatsoever with salvation, but after we’re saved, God wants us to commit our works unto the Lord. The Bible says in the famous verse, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” In the next verse it says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” We’re not saved by works, but we are saved unto works. God saves us and then says, “All right. Now get to work.”

It’s just like my children don’t have to work to become a part of my family, they don’t have to work in order to stay a part of the family, but they still have to work in order to be well pleasing in the sight of their parents. God commands us to do works. This isn’t about salvation, this is about sanctification. This is about a lifetime of serving God. The Bible says that we’ve been bought with a price. Our salvation is free, it’s paid for by Jesus, but that we should glorify God in our body and in our spirit which are God’s.

Look down at your bible here and it continues. It says in verse 8, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” Verse 15, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.” How does God know whether you’re cold or hot? He looks at your works. He says, “I know your works that you’re neither cold or hot.” How does he judge a Christian on how well they’re doing? How does he reward them? How does he look at a church and determine whether that church is a good church or a bad church, a profitable church or a worthless church?

He says over and over again, “It’s because I’ve looked at your works. I know your works. I’m going to reward you according to your works. When you die, your works are what are going to follow you.” We need to understand that works is something that God emphasizes in our Christian life, that we need to work for the Lord. He expects us to work and do something for him.

Look at Matthew chapter 21, if you would, Matthew chapter 21 and then after Matthew 21 we’re going to go to 1 Corinthians chapter number 3. Matthew chapter 21, and this is something that is being deemphasized in today’s Christianity, I’ve noticed. Now, I’m all for the emphasis on the gospel being by faith alone, but after we’re saved, it’s time to get to work for the Lord. I mean, how many verses do we need to look at? I’ve noticed so many people deemphasizing this because they want to get so focused on the relationship. You know, when they say, “Hey. It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.” Of course, the word relationship’s never found in the Bible, don’t let that bother you.

It’s just the relationship, the relationship, the relationship. You know what? In order to have a right relationship with God, you’d have to keep his commandments. He commands us to go to work, over and over again. I’m not just talking about going to your secular job, that’s another sermon. I’m talking about working for God. I’m talking about working for Jesus. I’m talking about doing the works that he is before ordained, that we should walk in them. Look what the Bible says in Matthew chapter 21, verse 28, “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons,” and let me ask you this, aren’t we all sons of God if we believe on Jesus?

Audience: Yes.

Bible says, “Many as received him, and to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” It says, “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work today in my vineyard.’” That’s what God’s saying to all of us. He says, “Go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, ‘I will not:’ But afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir:’ and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, ‘The first.’ Jesus saith unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.’”

Here we see in this story that God is commissioning us all to go do a certain work and that there are a lot of people who pay lip service to loving the Lord or wanting to work in the vineyard, but they’re not actually doing it. They say, “I go, sir,” and then they don’t actually end up going. Then other people who’d do less talking and less lip service actually go out and do the work and he’d say, “Well, who did God’s will?” It’s the people who actually did the work. Obviously there are other interpretations to this parable.

Flip over to 1 Corinthians 3, this is deemphasized today. Today is just about a relationship. People just want to just go to church and they want to feel close to God and they want to sing some songs and have a worship experience and then they want to wake up every morning and have a worship experience in their devotional time. Hey, let me tell you something, it’s great to worship the Lord, but you need to get to work for God and you need to do something out in the vineyard to do the labor and the work that he’s ordained. That’s what you’re going to be judged on by the work that you accomplished in the life that you have.

I mean, think about this, what if I went to a job and I went there and I followed all the rules of the job. I tucked in my shirt, my shoes were polished and I got there on time, I clocked in and out, I had my name tag in perfect order, but I just didn’t do any work. I was very respectful, every time the boss told me, “Yes, sir, boss,” my cubicle looked perfect, but I just never got any work done. Do you think I’m going to be acceptable in the sight of my boss?

Look, God is looking at our works. How many verses did we just look at? Like, 20 to start the sermon? You know, I bet you that there are even people out there who maybe even are a little slovenly in their uniform, I’m not condoning that, but they might be a little slovenly in their uniform, they may not be as clean and tidy and whatever, but they’re getting all the work done, they’re probably going to get the raise than the guy who gets nothing done. He’s going to get fired the first day.

God demands us to work and this is something that seems to be forgotten by so many Christians. They’re so focused on themselves and we live in this society in America that’s very self centered and self absorbed, so it’s just all about, “Well, what can church do for my life that makes me feel good?” I want to wake up in the morning and I want to read a little devotion book that’s going to make me feel good, but there’s no thought of going and working in the vineyard.

There’s no thought of going out and rolling up your sleeves and sweating and working in accomplishing something and building something and doing something, but yet God says when you get to heaven, he’s going to reward you, not for your knowledge, where does the Bible say, “My reward is with me, to give every man according as his knowledge shall be”? Where does he say you’d get a reward for knowing a lot of stuff?

Now look, I’m all for knowledge. The Bible tells us to grow in grace in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, but why should we grow in knowledge? For the work of the ministry, Why do we want to have knowledge? So we can use it, not just to be a hearer of the word, but to be a doer of the work the Bible says. It says, “If any man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

He didn’t just say, “Hey, reading a lot of Bible, you’ll be blessed in deed,” no, you read a lot of Bible and then you go do the work, you use the sword. You don’t just sit there polishing the sword, sharpening the sword, practicing pulling it out of its sheath, putting it back in over and over again. No, you actually need to go out and start swinging the thing. You put it into use. We need to get back to works today.

These big new evangelical fund centers, these big giant party rock and roll mega churches, they’re not interested in putting their people to work for the Lord. It’s a show that they come and are entertained a few times a week. God forbid that faithful word that the church would ever degenerate to a place where you just show up, you listen, you go home and you do no work for God. Get to work.

That’s what I’ve been saying this morning. Look at 1 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 11, in case you’re not convinced. It says, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

It’s another scripture that clearly shows you that you can be saved without any works. Because he says if you have only build upon the foundation of Jesus, because he said the foundation’s Jesus, but he says if you build on that foundation with wood, hay and stubble, he says your works are going to be burned and he says you will suffer for loss, you’re going to have a loss of reward. That’s the context. He’s talking about getting a reward versus the loss of reward, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. It is possible to be saved and to have zero works, and there are plenty of other scriptures to teach that. But hold on a second, God wants us to do the works.

Now, are works that we perform in our life are classified as wood, hay and stubble, gold, silver and precious stones. Now, the wood, hay and stubble is not talking about sin because of the fact that there’s nothing sinful or wicked about wood is there? I mean, is wood inherently a sinful object? Hay, you know, I’m preaching you this hay this morning. Because wood, hay and stubble are just objects that have no permanent value, they have temporal value don’t they?

I mean, hay has value, you can feed it to animals. Wood has value, you can build things, build a pulpit. You can do all kinds of things with wood, but they have no eternal value. They’re not going to last. The Bible says that in a trial by fire, they would all be burned up. What wood, hay and stubble represent is all the works that we do in our life that have no eternal value. Not bad things, but they just don’t have any eternal value.

Now, we all have works. All of us do something. I mean, I hope so, that you do something, do some work. Here’s the thing, when you go to your job and work and make money and then just spend it on yourself, that’s not wrong, that’s part of life, God wants you to do that. That’s part of what God has ordained for us as men, go to work, do a physical job, pay the bills, but here’s the thing though, it doesn’t really have eternal lasting value in the sense that it’s not going to get you rewards in heaven. The thing that gets you rewards in heaven are the works that you do that are of eternal value, that’s the gold and silver and precious stones.

Now if you would, flip over to Titus, actually, 2 Timothy, we’ll go to Titus in a minute. Go to 2 Timothy chapter 2 and while you’re turning there, I’ll read for you from 1 Peter 1:17, “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” God is judging you today. God is up in heaven and he’s judging you right now. You know what he’s judging you based on? Your work. That’s what it says. I mean, this is the Bible. He says, “He without respect of persons,” meaning he doesn’t care if you’re the pastor or if you’re in the pew, whether you’re a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, whether you’re free or bond, red, yellow, black, white, none of that matters. God’s not a respector of persons. He is looking down from heaven and judging you according to your work, that is what the Bible says.

It says in 2 Timothy, chapter 2, verse 20, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.” Look at 2 Timothy, chapter 4, just across the page, “Prepared unto every good work,” that’s the purpose of reading your Bible, that’s the purpose of church, that’s the purpose of listening to preaching. That’s the purpose of prayer and serving the Lord. It’s to prepare you for the work that you’re supposed to be doing.

It says in 2 Timothy, chapter number 4, verse 5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” What’s an evangelist? One who brings the gospel. Go to Matthew, chapter 9. Matthew, chapter number 9, first book in the New Testament. Matthew, chapter number 9. While you’re turning there, I’ll read for you from Titus 3:1, “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.” Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

I mean, how many scriptures does he say this in the New Testament? It’s the theme of the New Testament. It’s almost every chapter, he’s going on and on about the work that we’re expected to be doing. You say, “Well, I’m a lady.” Yeah, but it says in 1 Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But which becometh women professing godliness with good works.” It says that women should be adorned, not with a bunch of fancy clothing and jewelry, but with good works. It says in 1 Timothy 5 that the widows that are godly widows, in verse 10 he said that they will be “Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.” That’s what the Bible says right there, even to judge the widows.

Look at Matthew, chapter number 9, it says in verse 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. Then saith he unto his disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.’” It’s not that there isn’t any work to do. This is like that parable in the Bible where the men are sitting around at the eleventh hour and Jesus was saying, “What are you doing? Why are you sitting? Why aren’t you doing any work?” and they’re saying, “No man hath hired us.” “The work is there, the fields are already white unto harvest,” the Bible says, but he says the laborers are few.

Let me tell you something, out of those who are saved, the vast majority are not doing any work for God virtually whatsoever. Virtually none. God is not pleased. It is not acceptable in sight of God for him to look down and find you not working. The Bible says that the kingdom of heaven is like a man who goes off into a far country and he says unto his servants, “Occupy until I come.” Now occupy means like an occupation, it needs work. It doesn’t mean like occupy a chair in the church, occupy space. No, occupy there means work, like having an occupation is the work that you do that with which you are occupied.

Where did I have you turn? Matthew 9 there? Look, it’s white unto harvest, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” You say, “Well, what’s the work that we need to do?” Well, there are lots of works that need to be done, but a big work is the work of an evangelist.

You know, the fields are white unto harvest, lift up your eyes, pray that God would send laborers into his harvest. Look, every single person go to Colossians, chapter 1. Every single person has a work to do for the Lord and multiple works to do for the Lord, to earn reward in heaven, to be pleasing in the sight of God and so that when God looks down and judges you, he’ll be pleased with you. Like the way he looked down at Jesus and said, “This is my beloved son in whom I’m well pleased.” Why was he pleased? Because Jesus went about doing good, because Jesus said, “I’ll finish the work which thou gavest me to do.” It’s one thing to be saved, it’s another thing to please God.

In order to be found pleasing in the sight of God, you must do the work. You know what? Some people will listen and serve and say, “That’s not true. It’s just all by faith.” Look, we’re not talking about salvation. This is being deemphasized today and as a result, the harvest is just rotting on the vine because no one’s going out to work in the vineyard, no one’s going out to harvest it, it decays and rots and sours, and the work isn’t done.

Christians today are slothful in the work of the Lord. They’re not interested in serving God. They don’t want to do any work for God. The only work they want to do is for themselves. Go to work and earn money for themselves. They’ll cook meals for themselves. They’ll clean the house for themselves. They don’t want to do any work for the Lord. They don’t want to get their sleeves rolled up and get out there and actually accomplish something for God. Imagine that.

I mean, the fields are white unto harvest. He says, “Do the work of an evangelist.” Winning souls to Christ is one of the biggest jobs that we have, that’s why we’re here on this earth, that’s why this church exists. That is the first works. You say, “Well, you know, I just don’t have enough knowledge.” Look, you’re just making excuses because you’re lazy.

Audience: Yeah. Right. Amen.

Everybody’s got excuses for why they don’t want to go to work and why they’re slothful. Of course, the slothful man is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. They have all kinds of excuses. “I just want to learn the Bible a little more before I go out sowing.” Hey, listen. It doesn’t take a lot of work to go out and be silent partner. You know how you learn anything by doing it. That’s how you learn things.

You could sit there and go to a classroom and learn how to be a plumber in a classroom with a pencil and paper, or learn how to be an electrician in a classroom with a pencil and paper. That’s not the right way to learn to be an electrician or plumber. You know how you learn to be an electrician or a plumber? You go out on a job with somebody who knows what they’re doing.

You start out by being the gopher and all you do, you just go to the truck. “Hey, bring me this fitting. Bring me that fitting. Go get me some wire. Go get me the cable.” You’re the gopher, you’re the helper, you’re the apprentice. You come along, you watch and learn. “Here, now you try.” You do an easy task and you get better at it and you learn and then eventually you get your own truck. You go out and you’re doing the service calls on your own. That’s how you learn. You learn by doing. You learn by showing up to the soul winning time and going with somebody who knows what they’re doing and you just go as a silent partner.

Brother Dave Berzins is a great example, pastoring up in Prescott, Arizona. Dave Berzins, when he first started coming to the church, was a babe in Christ as it were, he hadn’t even baptized. He got baptized, he started reading his Bible, grow into the Lord and right away he got into going soul winning, right away. He and I would go soul winning together. He and I went soul winning together for about three months before he did any talking. For the first three months he just came along as a silent partner. I did the talking, he was just praying in his heart and learning and just being there as a helper.

In the course of those three months, we had a bunch of people saved and then the New Year rolled around and he said, “For the New Year, I’m going to do the talking.” I still remember it like yesterday when he talked at the first door and he was talking to a teenage boy and he was nervous and he literally dropped his Bible, just because he was nervous, but the boy got saved. He did a great job. He started out, humble beginnings, started out with just months of being a silent partner. Then he became an amazing soul winner, got a whole bunch of people saved and now he’s pasturing a church.

You got to start somewhere though don’t you?

Audience: Yeah.

You start out just as a silent partner. You just come along. How hard is that? It’s not hard at all, but people just make excuses for why they don’t want to. “Oh, I just need … ” Yeah, you really need to be a theology expert to go be a silent partner on soul winning. That doesn’t even make any sense at all. Here’s the thing, even if you’re doing the talking, you don’t need to be an expert on theology. “Well, I have to master every false religion first in case somebody hits me with something that I can … ”

Sometimes, people who know the most about false religions are the worst soul winners because they just go out and get in debates and arguments and waste a bunch of time with people who have no interest in listening to gospel. Sometimes, the people who know less do a better job because they just go out and they keep it simple, and they keep it on the gospel and they keep it on Jesus Christ and they’re not tempted to get into all these weird debates and all this stuff.

If somebody asks you a question that you don’t know, just say, “Well, listen, you know, let’s come back to that, but let me finish my thought here. Let me finish what I’m showing you.” If they’re like, “No. Answer me about Aliens.” Then just tell them, “Hey, have a good day. See you later. Go to the next door.” Don’t worry about that person because there’s plenty of fish in the sea my friend. There are 4 million people in this city and if you go out, you’re going to find somebody who wants to hear the gospel, who wants to get saved, who wants to listen to the Bible, preach, the fields are white and there are others who make all kinds of excuses about, “Soul winning doesn’t work. I’m too busy. It’s too far away. I just don’t know enough Bible.” No, you know ... Are you saved? Then you know enough to go soul winning.

Just tell somebody how to get saved. If you don’t know how to get saved, you’re not even saved. Because how could you be saved without knowing how you got saved. Anybody who’s saved, knows how to get somebody else saved. “Well, I don’t know all the verses.” Do you know John 3:16?

Audience: Yup.

Here’s the thing, be a silent partner and learn how to do a better job. Obviously, some people are better at this than others, but you know how you get better? By doing it more. You know why I know how to preach? Because I’ve preached like two thousand sermons. You should’ve heard me when I started preaching. You think my preaching’s bad now, my preaching was awful when I started. I’m many times … My wife’s nodding her head vigorously. Because here’s the thing, I honestly doubted many times whether I could ever pastor a church. Many times, I wondered, you know what, “Do I just not have the aptitude? Am I just not cut out for this?” I thought about that many times. Other people brought that to my attention also. “You may not have the aptitude for this.”

You get better at it just by doing it. It’s the same thing with soul wi- It’s the same thing with anything else, you learn by doing, or you can just sit around and keep talking about today or tomorrow we shall do this or that, no , knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. No one’s saying today or tomorrow or a year from now, “No, son. Go work today in my vineyard. Not next year, not next month, go work today in my vineyard.” God wants us to work for him.

There are all kinds of works that need to be done for the Lord. The primary work is soul winning. That’s the work that anybody can get involved in, anybody can jump right into, but there are other works that need to be done. Obviously, there are works to be done such as pasturing the church, such as preaching sermons, such as leading the singing, such as playing the piano or an organ, such as cleaning the buildings, such as all manner of clerical and all manner of just day to day work that is needed for the Lord. There’s all kinds of work to be done and God wants us to work. The main work is soul winning, but there’s a lot of work to be done as well.

Look at Colossians, chapter 1, verse 9, it says, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it,” it said, “We also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge,” of course God wants us to have a lot of knowledge. He says I want you to be filled with the knowledge of his will and all wisdom and spiritual understanding. That’s great. Wisdom, knowledge, spiritual understanding, these are all things that are great but why? Why does God want us to have knowledge, wisdom and spiritual understanding?

Verse 10, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” See, he doesn’t want us just to increase in the knowledge and gain the understanding. What are you a Buddhist or something? Are you going to sit Indian style and just, “I’m just meditating and just understanding so much. I’m just solving the mysteries of the universe as I sit here and stare at the wall and say ‘Ohm’.” Go to work. God wants you to work today. Christianity is the work religion.

Audience: Amen.

Buddhism is the religion where to seize from all activity is the goal of human life. That’s a stupid goal Buddha. You’re burning in hell. We need to go to work. Christianity is the work religion. Did you hear me? I said religion. Religion. “Yeah. It’s a relationship.” It’s a religion. The Bible says, “If you’re a religion and I’m defiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fathers, the fatherless and the widows and their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Hey, that’s a religion that I’m a part of this morning. I want to keep myself unspotted from the world and I want to go out and visit the fatherless and the widows. I want to go out and preach the gospel to the poor. I want to set the captives free spiritually and go preach the gospel to every creature. It’s a religion that’s about work today. This whole talk of it’s not a religion, it’s a relationship, it’s a bunch of people who don’t want to work. They want to sit around and feeling spiritual, and they want to listen to their Christian contemporary music that makes them feel spiritual instead of going out and doing work.

Audience: Amen. That’s right.

“Oh, I just feel so close to the Lord right now.” Did you do any work? Then you’re not close to the Lord, period. How are you even close to God if you’re not doing any work? He says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” A yoke is something that connects two animals or two people and makes them work together, that’s what it is. Jesus is saying get in the yoke with me and let’s go to work. Let’s work together. He wants us to be his fellow laborer. He wants us to be his fellow servant.

Have you noticed that you develop the best relationships with the people that you work with? Have you noticed that? You know, if you want to build good relationships with people at church, go soul winning together because you’re working together, you’re getting something done together. Some of our best relationships in life are work relationships where we work together with someone and share that experience of working. Jesus wants us to work with him. You can’t say, “Oh, I have this really close relationship with Jesus,” just walking out in the forest quoting Bible verses. That’s great but you know what you’d be a lot better off quoting Bible verses to some poor person and winning them to Christ than just going out in the woods and quoting Bible verses for yourself.

Look, if there’s a time to go and be alone with the Lord so that you could become spiritually refreshed, then go do more work. I mean, look at Jesus. He went up in the mountain and prayed alone. He sometimes had to get away from the multitudes and pray alone so that he can be refreshed and recharged, and go back and do more work. You know what? Jesus did so much work while he was on this earth that people said that he was literally insane. That’s what they said. They said, “He is beside himself,” which is an old way of saying, “He’s nuts.” They said he’s skipping meals, he’s working day and night, he’s not resting enough, they said, “He is beside himself.” They didn’t see him just sitting Indian style saying, “Ohm,” you know, just relaxed. No, he was working all the time to the point when they’re saying, “Nuts. He’s working so much.”

They’re telling him, “Look, you need to relax.” He said, “I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day, then night cometh when no man can work.” He was a worker. He went about doing good. He said, “I’d finish the work which thou gavest me to do.” The disciples come to him in John, chapter 4, and they try to offer him food, says in verse 31, “In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, ‘Master, eat.’ But he said unto them, ‘I have meat to eat that ye know not of.’ Therefore said the disciples one to another, ‘Hath any man brought him ought to eat?’ Jesus saith unto them, ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.’” He said, “I just want to get the work done.” “Here, eat this.” “My meat is the work.” That’s who you’re following, if you’re following Christ.

What would Jesus do? The bracelet, right? Work. That what should be on the other side of that bracelet. It should say, WWJD, you flip it over, it says, “work.” That’s what he did. He said, “The son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He said, “I must work the works of my father.” He said, “As long as I’m in the world, I am the light of the world.” Are you in Colossians 1? He said, “Be fruitful unto every good work,” in verse 10. “nd increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

Go to 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Corinthians 9:8 is what I’ll read while you’re turning there. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Some people, this verse does not apply to you because you don’t have any labor. How could God tell you that your labor is not in vain in the Lord when you don’t have any labor in the Lord?

You have people who quote this verse as if it somehow applies to them when they don’t do any work. Your labor’s not in vain, what labor? What are you doing? Just living your life. Yeah, that’s just really hard work for the Lord, just living my life and going to church. Going to church is not work. I’m working right now because I’m preaching the sermon. You are not working right now, all right? You are sitting in a chair.

Look, I’ve sat in a chair many times. Sitting in a chair three times a week is important to learn, and to grow in knowledge and spiritual understanding, so that you can work, since you can work, not just to come and just sit and listen. “Man, I’m really working hard for the Lord, going to church three times a week, reading my bible every day.” How is that work? It’s like if you went to work and you’re just reading manuals in the shop. You’re at the plumbing shop, the electrical shop, fire alarms, whatever you do and you’re just reading manuals.

“What are you doing? Get to work.” “I’m working, reading these manuals.” “Okay. Are you going to use what you … ” “Look, reading the manual would be work if you went out on a job, lay it into a snag, pull out the manual, read it, fix it,” but, “No, no, no. I’m just reading the manuals” What do you mean work? “I come here every day, don’t I? I’m here. I’m dressed. I’m in uniform. I clocked in. I’m reading the manual. What do you want from me?” “To produce something, to get something done, to work.”

Look at Mark, chapter 13, while you’re turning there, I’ll read for you James 3:13. I mean, look, there’s so many scriptures I can’t read them all. Yet, some people miss this important truth don’t they? “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” Somebody who is wise and has knowledge, okay, show me it by your works. Show me your faith without your works, I’ll show you my faith by my works.

How do you show your faith? Works. How do you show your knowledge? Works. How do you show your wisdom? Works. How d you show your spiritual understanding? Works. How do you show your love for the Lord? Your works. Your works. How does God judge you? By your work. How does he judge this church? By the work that we do. How are you going to get a reward? The work is going to be what your reward is based on. This is all straight from the Bible and it’s just hammered over and over again, that we’re to be workers.

Mark 13, verse 34, it says, “For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” What does he say there in verse 34? He said he’s given authority to his servants and God has given us authority today. He’s given us power and authority through the word of God and as emissaries of Christ, as ambassadors for Jesus Christ we’ve been given power.

He says, “Whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. Whatsoever you lose on earth, shall be lose in heaven.” He gives us the power to tread on scorpions and asps and to go out and to preach the gospel to every creature with all authority and with all boldness. He says, look, he gave them authority and they gave every man his work. Don’t let him catch you sleeping when you’re supposed to be working. You’re just asleep at the wheel and not getting anything done.

He said in Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” Titus 2:14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people,” You know, I’ve heard a lot of sermons on being purified and being a peculiar people, but then there’s that last phrase, “ … purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” That’s the peculiar people God’s looking for. He’s not just want to just look down from heaven and just see a bunch of peculiar people and just, “Man, these people are so different from the world. It’s great.”

Living in their commune, living out in the middle of nowhere in their secluded commune together, isn’t that wonderful how spiritual they are? That’s not what he wants. He wants people that are zealous of good works. You know what? This thing of, “Hey, let’s go move out in the middle of nowhere, somewhere, strategic relocation or whatever” You know what? I’m not interested. I want to be right here in the middle of a city, full of people who are dying and going to hell. I want to be where the harvest is. I’m not interested in going out and moving into the boonies.

So many people will say, “I just want to go out and live in the country and farm and have animals and have a ranch.” You know what? That’s great too. In our flesh, we all think that’d be pretty cool to go out and live in the middle of nowhere, but I’d rather be a spiritual farmer. I’d rather work in God’s vineyard. I’d rather sow seeds in the hearts of people that are dying and going to hell with the word of God, than just sit there and sow seeds of organic plants. Is that really what life’s about, growing organic produces?

Look, somebody’s got to grow organic produce but you know what? I’m not going to do it. I’m going to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ because I’m filled with the spirit and that’s what God’s told me to do. Not everybody can do what I can do. An unsaved person can grow organic produce. I mean, do you have to be saved to grow non-GMO crops? But you have to be saved to preach the gospel and get somebody saved. What are you doing that an unsaved person couldn’t do? An unsaved person could do most of the things that you do, but you know what an unsaved person can’t do? Preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to someone and win them the Lord.

You know what? Living the Christian life’s all about making sacrifices and working for the lord. You know what? “I just really want to go live out in Timbuktu.” You know what though? If that’s not where the lost are, you need to stay where the lost are. Why do you think that I live in the middle of this city? Why do you think I bought my house which is way too expensive for what house I live in? You know why I bought it in this area? Because this is where all the people are. Because right across 48th street, you have just all this throngs of people that are just white unto harvest, ready to be saved, right there.

You know what? I don’t want to live in the middle of nowhere where there’s no people to win to the Lord. Not interested because I want to win thousands of people to the Lord. That’s why I’m here, that’s why our church is here, otherwise our church could go and get way out of the city somewhere and build some ivory palace somewhere on really cheap land. I want to be on expensive land in the middle of the city where the lost are. It’s about work my friend and it’s not about just work that we do that’s just wood, hay and stubble, it’s about working for the Lord. It’s about gold, silver and precious stones.

You say, “What is the work? What is the work that we’re supposed to be doing?” Well, here are the works that we’re supposed to be doing. Number 1, soul winning, evangelism, getting the gospel to the lost, that is the most important thing. Heaven and hell are real and people’s souls are in the balances. How could anything be more important than pulling them out of the fire? As the bible says. I mean, if people are in a burning building, what’s the priority? Get them out of the burning building. That’s got to be the number one priority. Those are the first works.

You know what? There are other works that need to be done because also, God’s people need to be taught the word of God. The word of God needs to be taught unto Christians. It needs to be preached unto Christians. Those are good works too. If we can take somebody and teach them the bible, somebody who’s already saved, if we can take somebody who’s already saved and teach them the Bible, if we can get them baptized, and then teach them to observe all things that Christ commanded, you know what? That is a great work for the Lord. Because, here’s the thing, if we win somebody to the Lord, we’ve won one person to the Lord, right? But if we can take somebody who’s already saved, teach them, train them, edify them and teach them to be a soul winner, we could be potentially winning a hundred people to the Lord.

Think about that. If you can get somebody who’s already saved and teach them the word of God, and train them to go soul winning, you might have just won a hundred people to the Lord by teaching that person who’s going to do likewise for the rest of their life. The work of the Lord is not just soul winning, that’s a big part of it of course, but then it’s also teaching God’s people. It’s also edifying God’s people. It’s also doing the work of the church because the church is here to edify God’s people.

You know part of the reason why a bunch of people are staying around on spiritual street corners at the spiritual eleventh hour saying, “No man hath hired us”? It’s because their church is not giving them any work to do because you got to have a church to send you out. I know that from the time that I was 6 to the time that I was 16, I wanted to win people to Christ. I wanted to work for God. I remember just one day like, “What’s the work?” I want to work for God. I want to do works. I’m reading into the Bible, work, work, work, work, work. God, I want to work and there was no work to do.

You try to find opportunities in these churches to work and you couldn’t even find any work to do. There was no work. Why? Because the church isn’t doing any work. It reminds me of my sister who worked at a state job, for the state of California, and she had no work to do. Everybody’s just watching the printer print or whatever and there’s just no work. She was going around, “Hey, can I help you with anything?” She literally went to people’s offices and said, “Is there anything I can help you with?” Here’s what they said, “No. We’re just as bored as you are.” Just government workers getting paid t surf Facebook all day. They literally said to her, “No. We’re just as bored as you are.” You know what? That’s the picture of a lot of churches today. No works are being performed. Nothing’s being accomplished. You go to them and say, “Hey, can I work?” “Nope. We’re just bored as you are.”

When people come to me and ask me for work, I have work for them to do. I’ve had out of town visitors come and be like, “Hey, is there any work I can do?” I’m like, “Yeah. Can you ship out these 400 packages?” “Let’s work.” It’s like, “Yeah. Clean the building.” You know what? Don’t be one of these people that only wants the most glamorous work. “Well, I want to work but I don’t want to do that. I want to do something glamorous and I want to preach the sermon.” But you know what? Before you preach the sermon, you clean the toilet, and you vacuum the carpet, and you fold the invites, and you ship out packages, and you do things that are meat but little as much when God’s in it.

You know what? Before you stand up and preach to the masses, you go out as a silent partner of soul winning. You shut up and listen to somebody else and learn how to do it. You know what? You say, “Well, what’s the point of me going out soul winning as a silent partner, I’m not even doing anything.” Yes, you are. Because guess what, if we have four people show up for soul winning and they all know how to do it, they all know how to talk, then you know what we’re going to do, we’re going to divide them into two groups of two. Then we’re going to have two groups of two going soul winning.

Let’s say we have four silent partners show up. Now you know what we’re going to do? Now we’re going to send out four groups of two and we’re going to knock double the doors and twice as many people saved. That’s what a silent partner does right there. It allows us to double the manpower. Because here’s the thing, we don’t have a shortage of talkers in this church. Now there are some churches that are new churches, that are just getting started, where when you first started you have people coming. Sometimes, you only have a couple of talkers and everybody’s a silent partner. We don’t have that problem here.

Who here goes out soul winning and does the talking? Put up your hand right now. Look around. Does it look like we have a shortage of people to teach you how to go soul winning? You’re not going to show up at the soul winning time and, “Not enough talkers.” No. There are going to be people there to talk and we can double the soul winning just by getting more silent partners. You know what? If you go out soul winning as a silent partner for a while, nobody’s going to have to force you to start doing the talking because eventually you’re going to get sick of just sitting back and letting somebody else do all the talking. You’re going to realize and you’re going to say, “Hey, let me get the next door.” You’re going to get to the point where it’s kind of a fighting to get to the door and do the talking. Because you know what? It’s a lot more fun to be the talker.

Anybody who’s the talker knows that it’s more fun to be the one doing the talking, but guess where you start, as a silent partner. Guess where you start, mopping the floor, sweeping the rug, that’s where you start. You start humble and you’re willing to do whatever God wants you to do. There’s all kinds of work that can be done. The fields are white unto harvest. There are 4 million people that need to be reached. There are all kinds of young new believers that need to be disciple and talked the word of God and taken out soul winning and shown the ropes. There’s musical instruments to be played so that we could have a church service that honors and glorifies God, and praise him with the instruments of ten strings, all the different things he says that he wants us to do.

Look, these are all important tasks to perform. There’s somebody running the sound system right now so that this can be live streamed throughout the world, so that thousands and thousands of people can hear my preaching right now. Somebody is working. Somebody is running the dials. Somebody’s running up the switch board back there and making it happen. Because things just don’t happen by accident. You know what? Everything that you see in life always took way more work than what you think.

You go to a restaurant, you don’t really realize what goes into it until you work at a restaurant. You see all the behind the scenes. You don’t realize that after the restaurant closes, they’re there for hours cleaning. You don’t realize that Round Table Pizza, where I worked for example, opened at 11, guess when people started getting there in the morning? 6 or 7. They open at 11:00. You get there at 6 or 7 and you start rolling out the dough and getting everything ready, people are counting the drawers. Look, there’s always way more work that goes into things than you think. You go into a department store and see clothes everywhere, but then you look in the back room and there’s a whole another operation going on in the back of work that you’ve never even seen or thought about. Everything is like that.

You need to understand that God’s work is not going to do itself. We just don’t sit back and let God’s work do itself, like we’re Calvinists or something, “Well, if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, right?” “If God really wants these people to hear the gospel though, they’ll hear it.” “No. He already told us he wants us to hear it.” He says he’s committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation. It’ll be like if I took my wallet and I said, “Brother Dominic, I’m committing my wallet to you for safekeeping.” Doesn’t that mean I’m trusting him? “Hey, hang on to my wallet.” I get it back, all the credit cards are gone, cash is gone. There’s trust there if I say I’m committing unto you my wallet. Our wallet’s are pretty important because if we’re to lose our wallet, we got to call every single bank and credit card, get them all cancelled, get a new card in the mail, you got to go get a new driver’s license.

You know what? What God has committed unto us is way more valuable than that wallet and there’s way more at stake. If I lose my wallet, that’s negative, but you know what? If people’s souls are lost, isn’t that worse? God has committed unto us the ministry of reconciliation, the ministry of soul winning is what he’s talking about there and what he’s saying there is that he’s trusting us. He’s saying that I’m relying on you to get this done. Here you go, I’m trusting you with this job and he leaves into a far country and he says, “I want to come back and I want to find the job done. I don’t want to come back and find you sleeping. I don’t want to come back and find you eating and drinking with the drunken and beating your fellow servants.”

He said, “I want to come back and find you working and I want to see results. I want results. I want to see that you say, ‘Lord, I was given one talent.’ Here are 10 talents. Here are two talents.” He wants to come back and he wants to see the fruit that’s been harvested and brought in. We could say, “Lord, this is the fruit. This is the produce. These are the results. This is the work that’s been … ” Give me my wallet back. These are the works that have been finished. This is what we did.

You need to do some soul searching this morning no matter who you are and ask yourself, what am I doing for the Lord. What am I accomplishing for the Kingdom of God? You say, “Well, it’s your job because you’re the pastor.” You know what? That’s true. It is my job because I’m the pastor, but you know what? I was working for the Lord long before I was ever the pastor, ‘til I became the pastor, because I was in the pew for many, many years, working, doing the non-glamorous jobs, doing the soul winning and I still continue to work now, but it’s everybody’s job to work for … He didn’t say to give every pastor according to his work shall be. He said to give every man according as his work shall be. The Bible says even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure and whether it be right.

In the harvest field now ripened, there’s a work for all to do. Hark the voice of God is calling to harvest calling you. Little is much when God is in it, labor not for wealth or fame. There’s a crown, and you can win it, if you go in Jesus’ name. [Inaudible 00:55:21] in this church, not to work. There could be a lot of churches where you could sit there and say, “Look, there’s just no work to do.” They’re not working. They don’t have any extra work to go around. This church will put you to work.

You know what? If showing up on Sunday to the 1:30pm soul winning time for three hours is too much, no problem because there’s a Monday night soul winning for one hour and there’s a Wednesday night soul winning for one hour. There’s soul winning out in Gilbert that’s shorter that starts at 2:30. There’s soul winning all the times that you want, Saturday morning soul winning at 10am. All different times, all different parts of the town, but some people just are going to make excuses no matter what.

Look, there’s all kinds of work to do. You know we were looking for the other day volunteers to clean the building. We had a bunch of volunteers come out and clean the building. I saw the ladies here yesterday and cleaned the building. Praise the Lord for people that want to do some work. They want to get something done. Some people have talents and abilities with computers. You know what? The computer is a great tool to get the word of God out to a lot of people.

The amount of people that are tuned in to the sermons and the preaches of this church, and then people are soul winning, and people are learning, and people are growing and things are going to be that. People who have talent with computers, people who have talent with music, people who have talent with whatever the case may be. Use your talents for the Lord and be a servant, and show up, and play the piano, and show up and be a song. Look, we need more song leaders at our church because sometimes the song leader’s not here, we need a backup song leader. We need other people to step up the plate to play the piano and play the organ when people are gone.

There are all kinds of jobs to do, soul winning, teaching and preaching the word or God. We need people to go out and start churches because we need churches to be started all over the world and all over America. You know what? I wish I had more people to train and more people that are qualified, more people that want to do the work, that desire the office of a bishop because they desire a good work. There’s a lot to do and we need people to step up to the plate and get it done, and we can make a huge, huge, huge difference in Phoenix, Arizona and around the world.

One person can do a lot and a hundred people can do a lot more than one person can do, but they have to be willing to work. You know what? A lot of people are going to be real disappointed someday when they get to heaven and they’re all excited ready to cast their crowns at Jesus’ feet and they’re going to be like, “Oh man, I’ve been waiting my whole life to cast my crown at Jesus’ feet.” There’s like a cheap beanie on their head and they’re like, “Oh man, I don’t know if I want it.” They’re going to have one of those Jew hats on their head. “Oh man, I got a doily on my head. I got a coaster on my head.”

What? Because people are going to get to heaven and they’re going to think like, “Man, I went to church my whole life. I read the Bible every day. I’ve read it for the big rewards. I’ve kept a clean life.” Jesus is going to be like, “Okay. Let’s see your work.” “What did you say? Work? You mean we’re supposed to work? You mean I was supposed to be actually working for the church and working for the kingdom of God and working for Jesus? What are you talking about? I thought I was just supposed to follow the rules in the Bible and just sitting in a chair three times a week.”

It’s going to be disappointing. You’re disappointing Jesus right now if you’re not a worker. All kinds of work that needs to be done, all kinds of stuff to do. Come to me with your talents and abilities and I will put you to work. Come to Jesus, he’ll put you to work. Come to the soul winning times, we’ll put you to work.

Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for your word Lord and we thank you for salvation. Thank you that salvation’s free, Lord, that we don’t have to work for it. I think everybody in this room already understands that, but Lord, help us that are saved to actually now go out and work for you, not to earn salvation which can never be earned, but because we love you. We want to show our love for you and we want to earn rewards and earn wages unto life eternal. Lord, just please help Faithful Word to always be a working church and I pray that every person who hears this sermon would be inspired to say, “You know I want to do some work for God.”

Whatever that work is, whether it’s a translator, somebody who can translate things into a foreign language, that’s work that needs to be done. Whether it’s somebody who can go out and speak Spanish and win people the Lord in Spanish, we need more soul winners that can speak Spanish, Lord. People who can work with computers, people who can do the cleaning, people who can cook meals for people that need help, people that are having a baby or people that are sick, Lord, just help us all to do the work and roll up our sleeves and to never lose sight of the primary work which is winning souls with the gospel, and to Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.



Sunday, May 01, 2016

Parachurch Ministries


May 24, 2015

First Corinthians Chapter 12 is a great chapter about the local church and the different gifts that people that they exercise within the local church, the different members of the body of Christ and the functions that they have within the local church. What I want to preach about tonight is the local church, and how there are many things today that want to try and replace the local church.

There are a lot of these parachurch organizations or parachurch ministries that people want to become involved with, and they de-emphasize the local church which is God's institution. It's really the only institution that God set up. You don't see God founding colleges or television ministries. You see him founding the local church.

Congregation: Right.

Pastor: I believe that God's work should be done through the local church, God's institution. I'm going to show scripturally why I think this is so important. First of all, before we can really have a sermon that talks about the local church and its importance versus these other parachurch ministries that are there as cheap substitutes for the local church, we need to understand what the word church even means. This is a word that many people fail to understand.

I think church is a good word, but it's just a word that people misunderstand. The previous bible translations before the King James Version, the older English translations that predate the King James Version, they would always translate of it as, or some of them anyway, would translate it as congregation. In our King James Bible that's the way it's translated all the time in the Old Testament. Throughout the Old Testament we see this word over and over again, congregation.

We don't find the word church until we get to Matthew, but all throughout the Old Testament we see congregation, congregation, congregation. What's interesting is, that when an Old Testament verse that says congregation is quoted in the New Testament then the New Testament uses the word church. Showing us that church and congregation are the same thing, which is why a lot of these older English translations would use the word congregation instead of church because that's what it means.

It's the same thing. It's the same word. For example, in Psalm 22:22 it says, "In the midst of the congregation I will sing praise unto thee." Then that's quoted in Hebrews 2:12 as, "In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." Showing that those 2 words have the identical meaning. Now go back, if you would, to Exodus Chapter number 33, Exodus Chapter number 33.

While you're turning to Exodus Chapter number 33, I want to read to you from First Corinthians Chapter number 10. In First Corinthians Chapter 10, the bible says in verse 1, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness."

Now these things were written, he said, "They were for our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." On and on, neither do this, neither do that, but the point is, he says, these things were written for our examples. He explains the symbolism. He says, "Look, when the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea that picture baptism." They had the water on all sides, they had the cloud above and then they had the water on both sides. That's a picture of baptism. It wasn't baptism that was a picture of baptism.

When the blood was put on the doorpost in Egypt with the Passover lamb that was a picture of salvation, the blood sprinkled on our hearts and the lamb being the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He says, "Look all of these things happen for examples." When you're reading these stories in the book of Exodus and elsewhere in the Old Testament, you need to understand that these were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the worlds are come.

He says, "When you read it you have to understand that that Passover lamb is Jesus. The sprinkling of the blood is talking about the blood sprinkled in our hearts. That crossing of the Red Sea pictures baptism. That congregation in the wilderness pictures the church, and Moses was the pastor of that church." So on, it's all the different things. The manna that they ate, it's all symbolic, everything. Now I'm not saying it didn't really happened. Of course it really happened, but it's also symbolic. It's also things that are written for our admonition.

Now look what the bible says in Exodus 33 verse 2, "And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments."

Chapter 33 verse 5, "For the Lord had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee."

Basically God is saying, "I'm so angry at you. I don't know what to do with you. Take off your stupid ornaments and let me figure out what I'm going to do with you, because you're such a stiffnecked rebellious people." God's very angry because the children of Israel have been sinning and so forth.

It says in verse 6, "The children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb. And Moses took the tabernacle." This is the key verse in verse 7, "And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp." Outside, so everybody's camped. Keep in mind not everybody is saved. It's just a bunch of people who came out Egypt. First of all it's the whole nation of Israel.

Many of which are not saved of course, there's Korah, there's Dathan, Abiram, all the rebels, all those people. Then also there's a mixed multitude that comes up with them, just a bunch of people who just jumped on this bandwagon. There's that millions here, of course they're not all saved.

There's the camp where the whole multitude is camped in the wilderness, but Moses took the tabernacle and pitched it without the camp. He takes God's house and he moves it outside the camp, a far off from the camp. Now look, this is not in the bible by accident. It's not just incidental. God's trying to teach us something here. He takes it without the camp, "Far off from the camp, and he called it the tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp."

Go, if you wold, to Hebrews 13, Hebrews Chapter 13. What's he saying here? The tabernacle of the congregation which in the Old Testament was God's house is basically pitched without the camp, afar off from the camp, and he wants to make a delineation and a separation between those who want to seek the Lord and don't. He say, "We don't want to have the whole world in the church, everybody in church."

He says, "No, we're going to put the congregation outside the camp, and anybody who wants to seek the Lord is going to have to make the effort to go to that congregation." It's not going to come to you. It's not going to be where you live. No, it's just going to be outside the camp so that you have to leave your house and go to that congregation and seek after the Lord in that way.

Now look what the bible says in Hebrews 13 which ties in with this, verse 6 it says, "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

"Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate."

Now watch verse 13, "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."

Now the part that I really want to emphasize here is in verse number 13 when it says, "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." That's exactly the wording used in Exodus 33:7 when he said that the tabernacle of the congregation was pitched without the camp, and that anybody who sought after the Lord would go to that congregation. God's telling us in the New Testament, "Let's go forth unto Christ outside the camp bearing his reproach.

This is an admonition about going to church, about going to the congregation. In the Old Testament, they went to the congregation, and here that's what he's talking about, which is why it starts out in verse 7 and ends up in verse 17 in this section talking about, "Hey, remember them that have the rule over you. Obey them that have the rule over you."

What's he talking about? He's talking about the local church here. He's not talking about, "Hey remember some king or emperor, whatever." No, because he says, "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God." This is talking about the church. That's why those bookends are there in verse 7 and 17 because right here he's saying, "Look, let's go without the camp. Let's go to the tabernacle of the congregation."

He just said a few chapters ago, in chapter 10, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." What does that mean? To congregate, to assemble, that's what congregate means. He says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." He says that we need to no forsake the assembling of ourselves together.

Where? Without the camp. Where? In the congregation. Where? In the local church. He says, "Don't forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another." What does exhorting one another mean? It means to tell other people, "Hey, you need to be in church. Exhorting one another, but in the end times this will become lest important."

Is that what it says? No, it says, "But exhorting one another: and so much the more, as we see the day approaching." That means in 2015 we need more church than in 2014. It's even more important not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together now than it was yesterday, because it says it's more important as we see the day approaching. Yet we see the exact opposite today.

We see the church being de-emphasized, and we see more people than ever forsaking the assembling of themselves together. Exactly what the bible's predicting would happen, which is why he adds that phrase, "So much the more, as ye see the day approaching." God knows the end from the beginning. He knew that in the end times people were going to start forsaking the assembly, forsaking the congregation.

Now the reason I make a big deal about that, and if you would go to Fist Corinthians 12, the reason I make a big deal about that is that the church is a congregation. The church is an assembly. The church is a group that you go to. Now a lot of people would say, "The church isn't a building." Of course church isn't a building. I agree with that, the church is not a building. Here's what people miss though, when they go around and say, "Hey we're the church." Yeah that's right, we're the church because we congregate. As soon as we stop congregating we're not the church anymore.

You could be have been a saved Israelite, and you could've even be "baptized." You went through the cloud and the sea, but if you don't go out to that congregation you're not a part of that congregation. You're with all the wicked people that are hanging out in the camp murmuring against God and against Moses and don't care and don't want to listen to the truth and don't want to go to that tabernacle of the congregation.

Just because you're saved it doesn't make you the church, but see, this is what people are teaching now. People teach this doctrine that's called the Universal Church Doctrine. It's amazing because the world universal means Catholic. You want to know what Catholic means? Look up Catholic in a dictionary. Catholic means universal, and it's this teaching that there's one true church, the Catholic Universal church. We all need to look to this one church and its universal pastor, the pope. That's what the Catholic church sees it.

The Protestant Reformation comes along and says, "Well, there's not a visible Catholic church or Universal church, but there's an invisible (making sounds), there's an invisible Catholic church, an invisible Universal church. In fact, if you talk to Protestants who actually know their doctrine, protestants who actually follow the teachings of Martin Luther, John Calvin, these heroes of theirs, then they'll even say, "I'm Catholic."

Will literally say, "I am Protestant Catholic." That's what they'll tell you, and they'll say, "We are members of the true Catholic church." This is what they'll say, "Well we didn't leave the Catholic church, Rome left us. The Roman Catholic church left the true church. We're the true church." They'll teach there's only one true church, this Universal church mentality. Then you have today the Evangelicals who will often believe in this Universal Church Doctrine, and they'll say, "Well, it's just a Universal church that's just made up of all the saved."

That's the evolution, you have the Roman Catholic church with their visible Universal church. Then you have the Protestant with their invisible Universal church. Then you have the Evangelicals that just say, "Hey, if you're saved, you're automatically the church." This is not what the bible teaches because that doesn't even make sense in light of the definition of the word church.

Once you realize that the word church means congregation, once you realize that it means an assembly, you just have to ask yourself the question, "Am I congregated with all believers? Have I ever congregated with all believers?" The answer is no. There is no Universal church. There is no church made up of all believers. It's a fraud. It doesn't exist. There are local churches. That's why the bible uses the word church, singular, 80 times, but it uses the word churches plural, 37 times.

Here's the thing, 80 mentions, most of them are clearly talking about a certain geography and saying, "The church at Ephesus. The church at Smyrna. The church at Pergamos." How can you say, "Well we're all part of the church when you got a church at Smyrna, and you got a church over at Pergamos, and you got a church over in Ephesus, and you got a church over in Laodicea, and you got the churches of Galicia, plural. It's a multitude of church as plural.

When these Catholics will tell you, whether they be the Roman Catholics or the Protestant Catholics, they'd tell you, "Hey there's only one church." Then explain to me 37 plural mentions of churches. How do you explain that? How do you send it to the 8 churches in Asia if there's only 1? Evangelicals will often answer this with, "Well it's both. It's both. There's a local church, and then there's also a Universal church." There simply isn't a Universal congregation of believers. It just doesn't exist. It doesn't make any sense.

It's just a turn, the definition of the word church on its head to come up with that doctrine. It's a very dangerous doctrine because of the fact that God has ordained separate churches for a reason. There's a big important reason why they are separate. You know what this reminds me of when we think about the importance of being independent? Look, this is why our church is Independent Baptist. Why are we an Independent Baptist church?

Why are we not part of one of these denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention, or the North American Baptist, or the ABA, or the GARB? Why are we independent? Because we believe that it's biblical to be independent. The bible says that as Christ is the head of the church, it says, "the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church." Now a lot of people will just take out of context that phrase, Christ is the head of the church, and say, "See, there's only one church."

Christ is the head of the church, but here's the thing, he said, "The husband is the head of the wife." Is there only one wife per guy? Is there only one wife? Is there only one husband? No. When he says, "The husband is the head of the wife." What's he saying? That the husband is the head of the wife, that means every husband is the head of his wife. When it says, "Christ is the head of the church." It's saying Christ is the head of any true church, any spiritual church.

It's talking about the institution of being a husband and the institution of being a wife, and it's talking about the institution of the local church saying, "Look, the church has Christ as its head." That means that Christ is the head of the church at Ephesus. Christ is the head of the church at Smyrna. Christ is the head of the church at Pergamos. Everybody understand?


Pastor: If I were to say, "Hey, the president is the head of the corporation." If I were to make a statement like that, am I talking about one certain corporation or am I just explaining something about businesses? What if I said, "The partners are equal in a partnership." If I'm just speaking in generalities. Do you understand what I'm saying? What if I said, "Hey the father is in charge of the children." Am I saying there's only father and one set of children? No, I'm saying that fathers in general are in charge of their children.

That's all the bible is saying when it says that Christ is the head of the church. That means that Christ is the head of Faithful Word Baptist Church. That means that Christ is the head of any other bible believing church. Then that church has Christ, that's it. Here's the thing, if Christ is the head, then how can we take orders from anyone other than Christ. We don't need a middle man folks. That's what these denominations are, a middle man.

Some headquarters somewhere in Texas or in some distant country or distant state, we don't need them telling us, "Hey we just decided that Sodomites are allowed." That's the kind of stuff these convention are constantly voting on. I just read this week how the Southern Baptist Convention said, "Hey were going to allow tongue speaking now or something." Our missionaries in Africa, because they said, "Look it's just not cool to go to Africa and not speak in tongues. Everybody in Africa is speaking in tongues. If we want to be popular over there we got to speak in tongues."

They just started saying, "Hey we're going to allow our missionaries to speak in tongues in Africa." Allowed to be demon possessed in Africa. What they call speaking in tongues isn't what the bible calls speaking in tongues. It's people that are (making sounds), people that are demon possessed, or they're just acting a fool or whatever. The bottom line is that when you have some other convention that's giving you orders, you can do this, you can't do that. Then they're taking a portion of the funds and redistributing it, et cetera, et cetera, then the church no longer has Christ as its head, but rather it's answering to someone else instead of just answering to Christ.

Here's the thing, the pastor is not the head of the church, Jesus is the head of the church. The pastor is basically an executive that basically just executes the will of the main shepherd, Jesus. He's the head. He's the boss. The pastor is just here physically on this earth as an undershepherd to the chief shepherd, just making sure that Christ's will is carried out, that Christ's word is taught.

Just to be an onsite, on the ground ... It'd be like if you went to a company and there's the manager onsite making sure everything happens the way it's supposed to, but he's not the owner of the company. The owner of the company might be in a distant state. That like the Lord is the owner. He is the real boss. He is the head, and then he's got his pastors that are there to basically run things on the ground according to his will, not according to their own wishes and will.

Not just a manager who just runs it how he wants. No, he's taking orders from the boss-man, the owner of the company. That's what a pastor is supposed to do, take orders from the real boss which is Jesus. That's the head of the church. Here's the thing, if the pastor is taking orders from a denomination, that's interfering with his ability to let the spirit lead him.

That's why we believe in an independent church and we believe in a pastor run church, not a church that's run by an organization, or a board, or a fellowship, or other churches. We don't want one church telling another church what they must do. We want the churches to me independent, autonomous, self-governing, and answering only to Jesus, and only having the bible as a guideline. I'm going to explain why that's so important.

Once we understand that there is no Universal church. All the scriptures talk about geographically local churches, the word church itself means a congregation, an assembly of people, then when you look at all these scriptures that talk about the importance of the church. Then you have to ask yourself, "How can we really be in the will of God if we're not a part of a local church, when God commands us to be a part of a local church?" A lot of the New Testament is written out to churches. Over and over again he talks about the importance of the church.

We need to go out to that tabernacle of the congregation. This saying, "We all make up the church." That's not really true. That's deceptive. It is true that the church is the people not the building. It's the people that congregate. The people that don't congregate aren't part of the church. A person who never attends Faithful Word Baptist Church is not a member of Faithful Word Baptist Church. They are not congregated.

Even somebody who just listens online, "I listen to every sermon." Praise the Lord. I'm glad you listen to every sermon, but you're not a member of this church, you need to be a member of a local church in your area. Listening to preaching online can be a great supplement, but it should never be a substitute for physically attending a local church and being a member of that local body.

What these parachurch ministries are is they are ministries that are outside of the authority of any local church. They are just operating freestyle as a competitor to the local church, but they're not modeled after God's plan for the local church. They're basically just doing it their own way. Instead of following God's plan for establishing churches in every city, and for the church to be instrument of evangelism, for the church to be the instrument of teaching and training up God's people and training up the next generation of leaders, this parachurch ministry comes in and just operates outside of that paradigm and just operates on its own principles that don't follow the patterns laid forth in scripture of what a bishop or pastor should be, what a deacon should be, what a church should look like, what the function is, what the protocols are.

They just operate outside of that and just do their own thing. They just say, "Oh, we're such and such the ministry. We're so and so the ministry." They might be just selling a bunch of Christian materials and books. Here's the thing, there's nothing wrong with selling a Christian book friends. When you're setting up a ministry, that is basically substituting for the local church, and is under the authority of no local church. That is not scriptural.

If you want to set up a ministry where you're selling your Christian book, you still need to get your backside into a local church and be part of a local church. A person who's a part of a local church can publish whatever book they want and be right with God or whatever CD, or whatever video they want to do, but they're a part of the church. They're not just operating freestyle outside of the local church. Instead of going to church, it's just, "Oh, I just have this ministry. I just run this ministry. I'm just a part of this ministry."

No, that does not take the place of church. You need to get in church and be under a man of God preaching and teaching. "Oh that sounds so controlling." Shut up and read the bible. You need to get in a local church. You say, "What do you mean outside of the authority of the local church?" Look at Matthew 16. This is the first time the word church is used in the bible. Listen, anybody who has gone to this church for a long time will tell you that this church is not a controlling church. Pastor Anderson is not a controlling person.

I'll say this, I've gone to church my whole life and I am more of a hands-off pastor than any church I've ever attended in my entire life. I'm very hands-off. I'm not a micromanager. I don't like to tell people what to do and get involved in the details of this that and the other. I like to just basically let people do their things and interfere as little as possible. Just try to provide guidance and preaching and teaching.

Here is the thing though, there is a time when I've had to step in in certain situations and just say, "No, we're not going to do that here." As the bishop, as the overseer, as the watchdog, as it were, because otherwise false doctrine can creep in, wrong bible versions can creep in, sinful practices can creep in. Part of the pastor's job is to say no!

When these things try to creep in and when bad things are happening and when the church is going the wrong direction, most of that, 99% of that is just taken care of from the pulpit through preaching. When I see an issue, I just try to preach about it. Then people can learn and grow. But there are times when you just have to confront people and say, "Hey look, we can't do this. We need to change this." So on so forth.

When we talk about the church having authority, we're not talking about authority over anybody's personal lives. That would be like a cult. If you go to a church and the pastor is dominating your family and telling you what you can and can't do in your personal life and trying to basically order you around. That's obviously cult-like and strange.

When we talk about the pastor having authority in the church, what we're talking about is authority in the church as far as running the church, not running your family, your life, your business, or anything like that. Just basically somebody is in charge or the church. This church is not a free-for-all. You say, "What would a free-for-all look like?" Where just anybody who wants to can just come up behind the pulpit and start teaching and preaching.

Is that the way we run things here? Just an open mic, open mic at Faithful Word Baptist Church. No there's not an open mic at Faithful Word Baptist Church. Anybody can come up here and sing and play whatever kind of music they want. Anybody can come up here and preach. Anybody can talk. No, that is not the way that we do things, because there is a boss here and it's Jesus, and then there is a guy that Jesus has given authority to rule the house of God in the sense that he's there to make sure that things are done according to his wishes and will.

If somebody wants to get up and read, and you would say, "I can't see this ever happening." You know what? You haven't been around for very long. I've been in churches where all kinds of bad things are constantly creeping and the pastor doesn't always put a stop to it. Where somebody can just get up and just get behind the pulpit and just say, "Let me read you something that touched my heart." Then just started reading the NIV, not going to happen in this church.

Pastor: You'll say, "What gives you the right?" You know what? There is an authority structure in the local church. Here's the thing, you say, "Church is supposed to be a democracy." Really? What chapter and verse is that? Democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. You know what? In a democracy that would mean that a whole bunch of people could come in here and just say, "We like the NIV better." Then it's the NIV.

A bunch of people could come in and say, "We want to have Christian contemporary boy bands in here. Get rid of these hymns. We want to have jiving and jamming for Jesus and swinging and swaying for the Savior. We want to bring in the effeminate Christian boy band music. Who's going to stop us?" I am. I'm going to stop you. That's what my job is. The bible a principle of leadership.

Again, that not what the sermon is about so I don't want to spend a lot of time one that. I just want to quickly touch on that because it's in the passage there in Hebrews 13 about the congregation, and so that we can understand what's going on here. Where did I have you turn?

Congregation: Matthew 16.

Pastor: Okay, look at this. This is the first time church is mentioned. Don't tell me this is a coincidence. We're going to look at the first 2 times the word church is ever used in the bible. Matthew 16:17, "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Watch verse 19, "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Now go to Matthew Chapter 18, Matthew Chapter number 18. The bible says in verse 15, it's the second mention of the church, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church."

Now again, this is where the foolishness of the Universal church comes in. Okay, tell it to every believer? "All right I'm going to go travel to Ethiopia and tell all the believers there that I have a problem with somebody here in Phoenix Arizona. Tell it unto the church right? Every believer, every saved person right?

No, it's ridiculous isn't it? I've heard people actually refer to this is in that context as bizarre as it sounds, and say, "We need to tell it unto the church." Then they did a radio broadcast or a television broadcast, literally. We got to tell it to the whole church, every saved. It's like what in the world?

I'm not kidding folks. It says, "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." What is this saying here? That God has given authority to the church, and God allows the church to make decisions. God respects those decision and says, "Hey if you bind on earth I'll bind it in heaven." Isn't that what it says?

Congregation: Yes.

Pastor: Right. God gives the church the right to judge in certain situation. Again, this isn't about controlling anyone or dictating personal lives in a cult-like way. It's about situation like in First Corinthians 5, where here's a guy living in open fornication and he said, "You need to judge this guy, and you need to cast him out of the church." The bible says, "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person."

He said, "I being absent have judged already as though I were present. What should be done concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

He gives the the authority to cast out those who are living in major sin, and the sins are listed there. He says, "Hey if they are in drunkenness, they could be cast out." By who? By the church. Who can cast them out if they're in fornication? By the church. He says, "You know what? Whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." This isn't talking about people's salvation.

Obviously their salvation is based on their personal faith in Jesus. You don't have to be a member of the church to be saved. You know what? The church does have a certain authority to judge people that are living in major sin. If somebody's a drunk, the church uses its authority and exercise that authority and throw them out. If they're a fornicator, the church exercises and uses its authority to throw them out.

When we talk about a parachurch ministry not being under the authority of the local church what we're saying is that this process couldn't even be followed when sin is in that organization. There is no church to tell it unto, because they're operating outside of the local church paradigm. There is no pastor. There is no overseer. It's a free-for-all. There's no keys to the kingdom of binding on earth and binding in heaven. It's just outside of that. It's just a freestyling it, doing their own thing.

Why is this important? Go to First Corinthian 12. I think you might already be there, or you were there and I took you away from there. First Corinthians Chapter 12 is a great chapter about the body of Christ, the church. It's an often misunderstood passage. Let's look at it word by word and let's see what's being taught. Verse 4, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord."

Verse 6, "And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." What's he saying? The church does all kinds of work. There are diversities of administrations and operations of the church. Things that the church does, there's soul winning, there's the music, the church might print scriptures, or the church might make a sermon CD, or whatever the church does, whatever the ministry the church does.

The church could have a ministry feeding the homeless. The church could have a ministry that's visiting prisoners or sending gifts to prisoners, and sending them letters and preaching and whatever. The church could have a ministry for foreign missions. The church could have all kinds of ministries. God is saying that it's the same God, the same Lord, the same spirit with all these diversities of administrations or operations. Whatever the church does work of the Lord-wise.

It says in verse 7, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues." Meaning various types of languages, foreign languages.

He says, "To another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ." "For as the body is one," He says in verse 12, "And hath many members." Now is that saying that there's only one body in this earth, more like 8 billion bodies in this earth. When he says the body is one, he's saying each body is one that is composed of many members.

My body is one body, but it's made up of the hands, the feet, the head, the eyes, the nose, the mouth. Watch what he says here on verse 13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body." A lot of people will just stop there and say, "See right there, it's the Universal church." No, he says, "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles."

What's he saying? We don't have a separate church for Jews and a separate church for Gentiles. No, "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we're Jew or a Gentile." Meaning that there's one church for Jews and Gentiles. There's one church for red and yellow, black and white. We don't segregate it to the Chinese church, the black church, the white church, the Jew church, the Gentile church. He's not saying that's there only one church in the planet.

He says here, "By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?"

Here's the key, verse 17, "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body."

Now listen, this is very important, I want you to think about this, God builds the church. He said, "Upon this rock I'll build my church." The bible says that God will severally put into that church whom he will and he will put in there a diversity of people that have a diversity of gift, diversity of skills. They're all different. They have different roles, different functions, and they're all necessary. Even the parts that we think are not that necessary, they are necessary.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: You might just think, "Oh it's all about the pastor." No it's not all about me, it's about all the people. If the whole church were a pastor that wouldn't ... You need different types of people. Look if this church were just a hundred Steve Andersons that would not be the church that God wants to exist. God wants there to be all different types, the hand, the nose, the foot, the mouth, the eye.

Now what does this have to do with these parachurch ministries? Here's the thing, these paracurch ministries they always specialize in one thing. Therefore they are imbalanced. What are these parachurch ministries? Just a big giant nose, a big mouth, it's a big mouth ministry. Here's the thing, a lot of these ministries are just nothing but a mouth.

What are they? It's just a radio show, or just a TV show. It's just talk but there's no real boots on the ground action, there's no knocking of a physical door, there's no going to the physical ghetto and actual talking to human beings. It's just all, just blah, blah, there's no feet of the gospel of peace going to the ghetto and preaching the gospel to every creature.

Somebody said, "Oh, if you want to give the gospel, everybody just put it on TV, put it on the radio, put it on the internet." No, because here's the thing, you'll never reach the poor that way and you never reach the derelict that way. You know how you reach the poor and the derelict? You go to their house and open the bible and tell them how to be saved. You know what? The poor and the derelict when they go on TV, and when they go on the internet, and when they go on the radio, guess what? They're not seeking after God.

Congregation: Yeah.

Pastor: See the derelicts of this world, the ghetto people of this world, the poor of this world that are just living in slims and ghettos where we go soul winning, you know what? They're not just going and say, "How can I be saved? What does the bible say about heaven and hell?" No, you know what they're doing? They're looking at, hey what's ... I'm not up with the times. Rihanna or who's the famous? Come on worldly one, who is the famous pop start right now?

Female: Beyonce.

Pastor: Beyonce, okay, we have one worldly one right here, okay. No, I'm just kidding. They're looking for Beyonce's latest song. They're looking for the latest Hollywood movie. Am I right or wrong? Are they seeking out the New Testament of Jesus Christ? Look, you are never, listen to me, you're never going to reach the poor, you're never going to reach the illiterate. Look there are people in this world that can't read and write. How are you going to reach them? Walk up to them and preach the gospel.

You're never going to reach the derelict, the child, the teenager. There are plenty people who are not going to the internet and surfing looking for these stuff. To sit there and say, "Oh, if we just put it on the internet we'll reach everybody." No. There are people that you'd reach through the internet, true. You know what? There are many people that you will never reach through the internet and you will only reach with boots on the ground, physically going to their door and giving them the gospel, and that's is a fact.

That's why God said to do it. Go into the highways and hedges daily in the temple and in every house they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. To sit there and say, "Hey, all we need is a broadcast." No, wrong, we need to physically go talk to people. Human beings, imagine that, in 2015 interacting physically in the flesh. These parachurch ministries, they're specialized.

"Oh, we just specialize in being the nose. We just specialize in being the foot. We just specialize in being the hand." Is that what God designed? Did God design a body where he puts every diversity in it and says, "This is what I've designed as my institution that I'm building, the local church. I'm going to put members into it severally as I will."

Let's talk about the parachurch ministries of our day and what's wrong with them, and why we don't support them, and why we need to get back to supporting local churches. I'm not saying just it's all about supporting Faithful Word Baptist Church. No, local churches in every city, they are completely independent from Faithful Word Baptist Church.

People have said to me, I want to start a church and I want to call it Faithful Word Baptist Church, and I want to promote your ministry. I'm like no, call it something else and do your own thing, be independent. There's nothing wrong with, "Hey I'm going to promote this guy or promote that gut." You know what? When you have this network of churches that are all looking to one person as the leader, that's dangerous.

You need to have Independent Baptist churches who are thinking for themselves not just a franchise of the home base. You know what I mean? What we have with these parachurch ministries, they'll usually have just one specially, for example, the family. Where it's all about dealing with family issues. The big one is what? Hocus pocus on the family. Right?

Dr. James Dobson, Christian psychiatrist. Christian psychiatrist? What are you going to be like Christian bartender? Christian prostitute? Christian psychiatry, I thought psychiatry is of the devil. Hello Sigmund Freud. Unbelieving Christ-rejecting perverted Jew, false teacher, false prophet, Sigmund Freud. I don't want anything to do with him, the father of modern psychology.

When I was a kid the churches preaches against the psychology, and the psychobabble, and the psychiatry, but he is this Christian psychologist and he's got this parachurch ministry Focus on the family. Then sometimes even when they go to church they won't tell you what church it is. It's all about their parachurch ministry, and that supersedes and is greater than the church. No, nothing is greater than the church because the church is the institution for which Christ died.

The bible says, "feed the church of God," he said, "which Christ purchased with his own blood." That's what we ought to be doing. He didn't write this, "Hey, I'm sending the book of Revelation to the 7 ministries out in Colorado Springs, Colorado." Where a lot of these organizations are all based, in Colorado Springs. It's like a hub of evil there in Colorado Springs by the way.

It's one of the most satanic, and I'm not against people who live in Colorado, obviously, it's not their fault, but there's a lot of satanic things that go on in Colorado. There's a lot of satanic things that go on in Colorado. There are a lot of Satan churches, even if you fly into the Denver Airport. Who has seen the satanic things at the Denver Airport? It's weird.

I went there before I'd ever heard about it. I went to the Denver Airport. I was on a layover, and I'm just like, "What in the world." There's all these demonic artwork everywhere, showing mass murder and all these satanic, Illuminati, freemasonry, and people with gas mask and everybody's dying. You're just like, "This is an airport, what are you doing with these." Then I look it up online, and it's like, "Oh yeah, it's all demonic and everything."

The Mile-High City worshiping Satan in the high places, and thank God for bible believing Christians that live in Colorado that are serving the Lord there. I'm just saying, there is a lot of evil there as well, and a lot of false prophet, a lot of false teachers. They come out of Colorado Springs with all their parachurch ministries, promise creepers, hocus pocus on the family. All these other different parachurch message that are just all about marriage, or all about childbearing, or all about this or that or the other.

Another big one is Bill Gothard. This is one the ... What's it called? Help me out [Juja 00:48:50]. The ATI, the Advanced Training Institute, what in the world is that? The Advanced Training Institute. That doesn't sound like something that Christ built. That doesn't sound like a local church. Then it also called, what's the other thing? The Bible Life Principles-

Female: IBLP.

Pastor: IBLP, the Institute of Biblical Life Principles, and it's just all about the book of Proverbs and having character, and it's all about modesty. They have these certain issues, are you listening? Listen to the sermon. This is important. They have this certain issues that that's all they care about, and that all they talk about, and overemphasize and are imbalanced.

How are they having an eye, and a nose, and a mouth, and a foot, and a hand when they're just like, "We just only specialize in Proverbs." There's 65 other books you need to specialize in or whatever. Then, "All we do is bible prophecy." You're imbalanced. You're all one body part. "All we do is the family. All we do is strength in marriage." These ministries, and here's the problem with these ministries is that there's no nose.

What does that the nose represent? Why do we have a nose? Have you thought about that? Of our 5 senses probably the one that we would say is the least important would be our sense of smell, wouldn't we? If I were to take away one of your sense tonight, would you give up your sight? No way, you don't want to give that.

Would you give up your hearing? Oh man that'd be terrible. Would you give up your sense of touch? That's going to be awful. You'd go to eat your food and you'd chew up and swallow your own tongue if you don't have any feeling. If you're just numb everywhere. You wouldn't even be able to function. Would you give up your sense of taste? Good night. You enjoy food every day.

Your sense of smell, it's like, "I could live without it." You know what your sense of smell does for you? It wards you of stuff that's rotten. Think about how many times you'd go to eat something and you're (sniffing), "Somethings wrong." Think about, those of you who have kids, the dirty diaper. Sometimes you forget to check the diaper. The diaper will remind you because you smell it.

What is the sense of smell? It tells you when something stinks, when there's dung, when there's junk, when there's rot, when there's decay, when there filth, when there's mold, when there's something that putrefying your nose warns you. Couldn't that be what Christ is telling us here in First Corinthians when he says, "Hey, somebody in the church is the nose to smell when there's something rotten in Denmark and let you know, 'Hey, wait a minute, something isn't right here. Something doesn't smell right.'

You know why? That's why these parachurch ministries are constantly having scandals. Where perverts are just running rampant in them for decades and they're not getting busted. Why? No nose, too specialized, no qualified pastor. It's also often characterized by people getting way too much money and way too much power than what they can handle.

Here's the thing, if we follow a local church model, nobody gets too much power. Think about that. If we follow a local church model, "Okay, Pastor Anderson has authority over a local church. It's not really that big. There's not really that much money." Then we got another church over here, people that we've trained and sent out, Pastor Romero over in Fort Worth, Texas. He has certain authority and certain things that he says over over there.

Pastor Burzon up in Prescott Valley, Pastor Jimenez in Sacramento, California. These guys are independent. I don't have any authority over them. They don't have any authority over me or each other. We're just all Independent Baptist. That's it. We're just friends, and that friendship can change. You know what? That friendship doesn't make or break anything because we're all independent functioning, self-governing, autonomous churches.

Here's the thing about that, the thing about that is that if you had a bunch of churches that are all under the authority of one guy aren't you giving that guy way too much power? Aren't you putting him over way too much money? Then it can go to their head. You say, "A good pastor would never do that." Here's the thing, a lot of good man had been corrupted by way too much power.

Now think about how God laid it out in the Old Testament with the Children of Israel. Did he just have one guy that had all the power? No, because he had the judges. They were all the different judges in all the different tribes. They didn't have a king that had all the power. They said, "Give us a king. We want to be like all the other nations." God said, "No, no. I'm your king. You don't need a king."

They had all these different judges so there was not a centralization of power. Does everybody understand that? There were ruler of 10s, ruler of 100. Ruler of 1,000, but there was not a centralized ruler of millions, because of the fact that when you give people too much power bad things happen.

Look at King David, may after God's own heart, give him too much power, what happens? He commits sin, he does all kinds of thing. Most of the kings of Judah and Israel had a multitude of wives. Why? Too much power goes to the head. Then they feel like they can take liberty and everything like that.

With this Bill Gothard and the ATI and the IBLP, and by the way my dad warned me about this guy when I was a small child. My dad used to scream and yell about a lot of things, but he screamed and yelled about Bill Gothard and ATI and the IBLP because he talked about it that it was a cult, that it was a cult of Bill Gothard, and that people would start coming to church with these red notebooks. This is what it was, thy carry and their ATI notebook or IBLP notebook or whatever.

It was like that was their authority there, they get the bible and they got their red book. They carry this thing everywhere and it was a lot of strange falls doctrines, and my dad was fighting it back when I was kid. Here's the thing, this guy turned out to be a complete pervert. He ran this $80 million empire of this organization, this parachurch ministries, there's no church.

Here's the thing, all throughout the history of this organization they were covering up for a whole bunch of scandals, multitudes of people that worked for the organization were constantly involved in scandal. They were not being cast biblically because there's no church even there to do it. It's just this parachurch ministry, free-for-all, freestyle, and you have all kinds of scandal and molestation and adultery and fornication running rampant in that institution all along, but it doesn't come out for decades.

Decades later it all comes out because there's no watch dog, because it's not being run on a biblical model. Therefore this stuff is allowed to just run rampant. Listen, we will never cover up that kind of filth in this church. If we find out that any kind of sin or filth as far as, if anybody is being molested or if anybody is committing adultery, we will expose it.

Congregation: Amen. That's right.

Pastor: We will expose that. We will not allow that in this church, because this isn't your little parachurch ministry where we sweep that under the rag. No, this is a local church where we exercise the authority given us by Christ to clean house. We will do it. We've done in the past and we'll do it in the future.

Thank God there's been no molestation or adultery but we cleaned house on fornication repeatedly, that is something that has taken place in the church. When we find out the people who's living in fornication we give them a chance to either get married, get out of fornication, or get out of the church. They have 7 days to do it, and that's what we've done many times.

What I'm saying is these parachurch ministries, and this Bill Gothard was a total pervert, surrounding himself with all these young girls that would be his secretaries and assistants. He's being totally inappropriate with multitudes of them, because he's a pervert and he was exposed as such when he's 80 years old. He gets away with it for decade upon decade upon decade.

Here's the thing, he was the head of a very imbalanced ministry that's just all about one thing, not about a whole bunch of other important stuff. Now listen, God is telling us here that the local church is his institution. It's his body. He designed it. Why do we think we can design something better than what he designed.

Listen, anybody who is part of a parachurch ministry or the head of a parachurch ministry but not a part of a bonafide local New Testament is not part of a local New Testament church and is therefore living in sin and is not right with God. They need to get under the authority of a local church. They need to get and become a part of a body, and join the body.

Now, in our church we want to make sure that we do not become focused on one thing where we just become just the eye, or just the foot, or just the mouth. We need to make sure that we maintain the diversity of administrations, the diversity of operations, and that every member of the body is doing their part and playing a role.

How can we become imbalanced? All of these parachurch ministries are all imbalanced. Listen, if they weren't imbalanced they would be a parachurch ministry. Think about that. If they had all the elements, if they had a pastor, if they had soul winning, if they had bible teaching and preaching, if they had the singing of hymns, if they had the congregation of believers then they would become a church at that point. They would be a parachurch ministry.

By definition, a parachurch ministry is just a chopped of piece of the body that's just riving in the gutter. Think about it. This is what spiritually a parachurch ministry is, if we would just hack of an arm and just that arm is just there. That's a parachurch ministry.

Here's what a functioning body looks like. Here's a human body, Steven Anderson. This is a functioning body, hands, nose, mouth, eyes. Now here's the thing, there could be a functioning body that's missing a part and it could still function. Let's say I just had only one foot. This is me. I'm Pastor Steven Anderson, and I only have one foot. Could I still function? Am I still human? Of course. I could still function here. I can do something. I can make something happen.

Maybe I'm just missing a hand. Okay, but I can still function. I could still accomplish something. I'm missing an eye, but look I can get something done for the Lord like this. Here's the thing, am I going to be as effective if this is who I am, am I going to be as effective, am I going to be able to do as much for the Lord like this, as if I were complete?

Congregation: No.

Pastor: No. Here's the thing. When you don't show up, this is what you're doing to our church. We don't get involved, when you don't show up; this is what you're creating. We want to be a fully functioning body. Here's the thing, even this, even our church that's got issues is still better than just an arm laying in the street, just a foot.

Imagine Jezebel after she torn of dogs. It's just the palms of her hands that are left. Isn't that what it said that, that they just found hands? That's the parachurch ministry today, it's just hands. It's just feet. It's just an eye. Imagine an eye and say, "Man look at what the Lord's going to do with this eye. God's going to use this eye for great things."

No. If we were to take that eye and install it into somebody's head, then we can do something great for God. It's true folks. Without the body, that eye is not going to do anything. You can have the most beautiful mouth ever, but if it's not installed in a body, it's not going to do anything.

You can have a perfect foot with the perfect arch, if it's not installed it's not going to do ... Look, all these people out there, "Oh, but they have a YouTube channel." Hold on a second, are they installed in a body? Folks what I'm telling you is true tonight. We need to be a part of the body. We need to be functioning.

Here's the thing, one of the biggest things that I strive for in my ministry as pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church, I'm telling you, this is the thing that I think about more than anything else when it comes to preparing sermons, and I think about what am I going to preach on? People often ask, "How do you decide what to preach?"

I'll tell you the biggest thing that determines what I preach is I always ask myself what have I not covered in a while. What have I talked too much about? What have I not talked about enough? I really strive for balance, and not to just get all up on one thing. You find so many people that are just so specialized on one thing.

All they talk about is why the King James is right and these other versions are wrong. All they want to talk about is bible prophecy. All they want to do is soul winning. You think, "What's wrong with that if it's all about soul winning?" Churches that are all about soul winning they start getting worldly, because they don't have the hard preaching against sin. It's all about reaching people.

No, it needs to be also about holiness. Then you have other people that are all about holiness, and all they want to talk about is dressing modestly and keeping yourself pure and having character, and blah, blah, blah. Let's get our red notebooks and talk about it. Here's the thing about that, where's the soul winning? Where is the hard preaching? Where is the music ministry? It all has to be there folks.

Other people they get all about the music. There are plenty of Christian rock bands who have been found snorting cocaine out in the trailer after the show. Where do you even want to start with that? Enjoying a 6-pack of beer. Snorting a few lines of coke. Having all the groupies, and all the sins, and the filth, plenty of times.

You know what? Their band members know about it. The manager knows about it. You know what? There's no nose there, and there's no boot there. No boot in the rear end to these type of people. We need to be a part of a local church, under the authority of a local church, that's a real bonafide church.

"You're making it about the building." It's not about the building. It could be outside, but it better have a scriptural pastor. It better be reaching people. There better be a soul winning program. You know what? If we're missing a hand, the goal should be eventually to at least get a prosthetic going. You know what I mean?

Look when you first start a church, obviously when you start a church from scratch you're not going to have all of the elements, but that's why God said, "I'll build the church." He'll put the members in severally as he will. Obviously with the human body we can't just install eyes, but you know what? In Christ's body he does as it goes. He builds it.

It's like an embryo in the womb. It starts out, and then the heart starts beating, and then the eyes develop, and all the different parts of the body develop in time. That's how it is with the church also. It grows and members are added. We need to strive for balance.

We are not a church that is only all about soul winning. We are a not a church that's only about exposing false prophets. We are not a church that's only all about bible prophecy. We are not a church that's only all about King James only. We're not a church that's only all about singing praises to God and having the hymns, but we're all of those things.

We're not a church that's just about memorizing the bible, but that is part of what we're about. We need to have the whole package. A local church has it all, or should have it all. These parachurch ministries are just a chunk of flesh. That is not a functioning body.

They're not legitimate, and they are not God's plan for reaching the world and they're constantly scandal ridden as a result. When they go down they take down everybody with them, because they're this massive organizations that have their little tentacles all over the place. Then when they go done, it all goes down.

You know what? You say, "You could have scandal in the church." Here's the thing, if we have all local churches that are totally independent and autonomous. Let's say Faithful Word goes down, the rest of them don't. Let's say one of them goes down, we don't. We're all separate. We're all independent.

That's why it's important not to put all the eggs in one basket and give one person all the power because then they'll start taking liberties with the ladies and everything else. They just think that they're just running an $80 million empire. That's one of the reasons why I'm glad that our church doesn't own any property. It's great.

You say, "How long are we going to be in a storefront?" Till Jesus comes. Until Jesus comes. "When are we going to get a real church building. Get our own property and everything?" Never, never. You know what? It's not because we're not going to grow, our church is growing by leaps and bounds. I believe that our church will eventually run more than a thousand people, but here's the thing, we're still going to be in a storefront because we're just going to get a bigger storefront.

You know what? Storefronts come in all sizes my friend. Have you ever seen a Bed Bath & Beyond go out of business, or Linens 'n Things? That's a big building right? Grocery store? I'll rent a grocery store space for our church. Why not? You know why? When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor: They can't come in and take it all away from us, because we don't own anything. The IRS tried to come after me for money, and I just told the IRS I don't have any money. I don't own anything. I have 8 kids. Here's how much money I make, and they looked at how much money I made. Then they looked at how many kids I have, and they said, "You have no extra money." I'm like, "Yeah, tell me something I don't know." They're like, "How are you going to pay us?" I'm not. Drop dead.

Basically, I don't have any money. People are constantly saying, "I'm going to sue you Pastor Anderson." Sue me for what? I don't own anything. I own nothing. "We're going to sue the church." The church owns nothing. What do we ... Okay, we own a van. That's what our church owns, a van. I'm ready to kiss it goodbye any moment. I'm not kidding.

Look, loosen your grip on the things of this world folks. You know what? Here's the thing, what if we just own millions of dollars of property and then we started getting corrupt ideas. It's like, "This property is worth millions, and oh man, we better ... " Who cares about property, it's about souls. I don't want to go into debt. Why would you want to bring the church into debt to go into some building?

Then it's all about the building fund, and the building program, and all about the property, and blah, blah, blah. Then we're constantly worried. "Oh they're coming in, they're seizing the church property what do we do?" It's like, "Hey you want to seize the church property, IRS man? It's all yours buddy." Then we'll go start a church across the street and call it something different.

All right IRS man, thank you. I don't know what that had to do with the sermon, but you know what, when you got nothing you got nothing to lose. You know what? We don't want to put too much power. We're talking about too much power in one person. It's better to diversify and have all different independent churches where one guy isn't running some $80 million of a parachurch ministry. Then he gets into scandal and then all of his employees are coming out and whatever.

Why don't we just get back to the model of the local church? Why don't we only ever have a guy in charge who's biblically qualified, would be a good place to start. The qualifications are there for a reason in First Timothy 3 and Titus 1, let's get a guy in charge that's biblically qualified. That would get rid of a lot of these problems. Then let's also exercise church discipline as it's stated in First Corinthians 5 and elsewhere.

Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much for the institution that you've given us Lord. We thank you for the local church. It's a marvelous institution Lord, and everybody is downplaying it. Everybody's got a better idea. Everybody wants to be just a body part floating around Lord. Help us to realize the importance of being a part of this body, or somebody that is a bible believing church with Christ as the head.

Lord help us to stay balanced, and to have all of the body parts. Never to think of certain church members with disdain, and to think, "Oh that person is not important, all they do is clean the building, or all they're doing is ... They're going soul winning but are they really leading."

Lord help us just to understand that every person's important, the piano leader, whether it's the song leader, whether it's the preacher, whether it's the person that reads the scripture, whether it's the person who cleans the building, whether it's the soul winners, whoever and whatever they do Lord, help us understand that everybody is important.

Lord help us not to desire a church of clones, but rather to desire a church of all kinds of people, different nations, different styles of people, rich, poor, middle class. Help us to be a place for all people so that we cam be balanced and a healthy body. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.