(Session One)

Fred R. Coulter—May 4, 2007

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{Announcements about website left out of transcript | Begins at 1:02 or the audio}

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What we want to do with the website is improve it, make it easy to use, make in easy to negotiate around and travel through it, to have as much as information as we can have there. There was a comment made to me when I was in Manchester, New Hampshire, about a man that he worked with and was talking to him about things in the Church and told him about the website. The man went to the website and came back out of it and whenever he had a question that would come up at work he'd go home and do a Google search and guess where it landed? truthofgod.org

How much growth this is going to produce in the future, God only know, but I tell you that there are enough people who are skeptical about all religion that they're not going to be making any quick leaps into anything. So, it's good to have all the information there, right up front so they:

  • know who we are
  • what we are
  • what we believe
  • why we believe it

And have lots of material for them to download and study, so that when they are ready to make a move, they will be more grounded than any people have been through the old system, through the Churches of God that we have come out of.

That helps to answer the question as to why we're all here. Not only the elders but also the men who have been invited to be here. Matt. 22 is the whole reason as to why we are here, do what we do and the motivation behind it.

The thing that is important is that God the Father has personally called every one of us. That's a fantastic thing! Too many times we're all like it is in the world, we're used to the religion in the world. It's a good place to go and you meet nice people, and you all more or less believe the same thing. You're recognized as good citizens in the society. If you're really a good person, you always vote Republican—a little humor!

The true Church of God—or Churches of God—which out of Worldwide came 374 denominations and growing everyday. That's why I've said that my prayer is that God would bring us all to repentance, and that we could all preach the same thing! Just think of the impact it would have on the world if there were 374 websites of the Churches of God that all preached the same thing. Then people looking for the Truth would say, 'WOW! Look at all those denominations that believe the same thing!'

Unfortunately, that's not so! God gives us choice, and our choices toward God begins right here:

Matthew 22:34: "But after the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together before Him. And one of them… [Here's a group confronting Jesus] …a doctor of the law, questioned Him, tempting Him, and saying… [he knew the answer before he even asked Him] …'Master, which commandment is the great commandment in the Law?' And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment'" (vs 34-38).

This establishes our relationship with God after He has called us and dealt with us. God demonstrated His love first by sending Jesus to be the Redeemer, the Savior, the Sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

It is absolutely true, you can never approach God without a sacrifice. That's why the Passover is the first Feast of the year. We're going to learn some principles as we go along here.

Notice that it's not a part-time thing. Too many people have 'religion' on Sabbath or Sunday and then they go about their business during the week.

Jesus said that "…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…" So, it involves every fiber of your being! You don't do this all at once, and it doesn't happen the instant that you are converted. It takes time, you grow in it.

Most of us have come out of churches that have had law, with very little grace, and hardly any love, because they didn't understand the first commandment! The greatest commandment!

"…with all your soul…" meaning you whole physical being!

"…and with all your mind."

That's how we are to approach God, and that why all of us are here today. "This is the first and greatest commandment."

Verse 39: "And the second one is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (vs 39-40).

Those who are truly dedicated to God have a relationship with God, and they do not have a 'religion' as the world considers religion. Though, since you believe in God they consider you a 'religious' person, because that's how they're trained to think in the world.

John 21 demonstrates our love to God in relationship to the Church. God has chosen to use men to teach and preach, because we're created in His image and He has a plan for us. He wants us to participate. God saved the world through Noah, but Noah had to build the ark. God didn't go down there and start banging the timbers together. God gave Noah the plans and said, 'Do it! Here's how to do it!'

Likewise with us, He says, 'Here's the Word and you go into all the world and you preach the Gospel to every creature, make disciples of all nations, baptize them into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and lo, I'm with you to the end of the age.'

Just before that, He said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.'

So, those who are the servants of God—elders, ministers, deacons, and faithful men—have the authority of Christ behind them in whatever endeavor that they do if they're truly loving God and seeking Him. And with this other factor here:

John 21:15—after Jesus was raised from the dead and appeared to them; this is the third time. Remember the background of this in relationship to Peter. Peter was gung-ho and wanted to do a good work for God; he would even go to the death for Him and never deny Him.

Jesus said, 'Whoop! Before the cock crows tonight you're going to deny Me three times.' No! Never happen! It did, didn't it?

Now Christ comes back to make sure that He is riveted in with what he needs to do.

John 21:15: "Therefore, when they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these?'…."—because in the Churches of God the way God wants it to be is:

  • love each other
  • serve each other
  • there's to be no politics such as is in the corporate Churches of God

So that men climb up the hierarchy by ingratiating themselves to those who are in power! This is given here by Christ to tell us that you don't run a Church that way!

"…And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Feed My lambs.'"

  • not yourself
  • not your vanity
  • not your arrogance
  • not your personal agenda

IF you are Christ's then you are His totally, wholly, solely and you have no personal agenda except to do the will of God.

That's why Abraham was counted so faithful because he obeyed the voice of God! Most people want to hear what God has to say, and then give their interpretation on it. Then they want to add something to it that will please them. That's why they would be very happy with the dummy Bible with nothing in it. They could make their own agenda.

Carnal men in their own vanity feel as though they know more than God, and they've got to add things to what God has given. That's a total opposite.

Jesus said, "…feed My lambs." What do you feed them with? Truth! The Word of God! God has chosen to use men to teach, but it's up to the teachers to love God with all their heart, mind, soul and being and teach the Truth! Teach what is right!

God is depending upon the ministry to feed the flock of God so they can attain eternal life. Let's see how God looks at the Church today. It's happened in the past with Israel as a nation. It's happening in the Church. I tell you, brethren, I weep for the Churches of God, the pitiful state that they are in, and all of the self-serving.

We'll talk about that a little bit later, because there's a reason why everybody is here. But as Marlin Fannin and Bob Hunnicutt mentioned last night, we're going to have those coming in, we're going to have battles to fight.

  • we need to be alert
  • we need to have spiritual discernment
  • we need to understand what we are doing
  • we need to guard the flock!

Very important! One of the worst sins that ever happened in the Church of God was taking the faith that people have toward God and divert it to the ministry; making a minister or the ministry idols!

God's judgment is going to come for that. That's why in serving the brethren we must have a pure heart, pure motives. Not that we don't have sins that we need to overcome. I have sins I need to overcome, you have sins you need to overcome. That's not the point. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God! But we are not to be living in sin.

We are to be growing in grace and knowledge so that we can serve the brethren. Here's the pitiful state of the Church.

Remember the Church of Pergamos—the one with the hierarchy—what did Jesus say? You repent of the deeds of the Nicolaitans and eating things sacrificed to idols, or I will come and fight with you, or against you, with the sword of My mouth!

That fits right in with what He's saying here; Ezekiel 34:7: "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD, 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'surely because My flock… [the sheep that Jesus was talking about] …became a prey… [you fed off them, used them, abused them] …and My flock became food to every beast of the field… [happened to Israel and it's happened to the Church] …because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock'" (vs 7-8).

It was mentioned last night that if we haven't learned the point, we should never start another college. Let the Church and the brethren be the college—online and with the materials—so they can be educated! We're all in training for eternal life! That's so far above our thoughts, and such a great calling that it is unfathomable with our minds as finite as they are. But we can realize it and attain the degrees of understanding of it like 'looking through a glass darkly' with the help of God's Spirit!

Verse 9: "Therefore, O shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock…." (vs 9-10).

That's why the Church is scattered where it is now. Every time I get the Journal there's another heresy, another false prophet. How many warnings have there been:

  • Watch out for false prophets!
  • Watch out for those who deceive!
  • Watch out!

Yet, like lemmings going over the cliff, they go right along. When someone says—after they've been massaged, worked over and deluded:

  • you don't have to keep the Sabbath an Holy Days anymore—hooray
  • you know you can eat unclean meats—really, let's all go to the Red Lobster

God requires it of the ministry. Remember that it says that the greater judgment is upon us.

"…Nor shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth that they may not be food for them" (v 10). That's why the Church is scattered!

God scattered it and He can re-gather those who are faithful. The faithful brethren God will call to whomever minister, wherever they are! We don't want to get an exclusivist attitude here that we're the only ones. Let's understand that!

Verse 12: "As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out My sheep and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land and feed them on the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the places of the land where people live. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their fold shall be upon the high mountains of Israel…." (vs 12-14). We're spiritual Israel by the waters likened to the Holy Spirit of God!

"'…There they shall lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture… [He's going to do it with shepherds] …they shall feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will cause them to lie down,' says the Lord GOD" (vs 14-15). And He's going to do it through His shepherds!

God says that He's going to feed and strengthen them (v 16).

Now then, God has something to say about the flock, because they have their problems, too.

Verse 17: "'And you, My flock,' thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I judge between lamb and lamb, between rams and he-goats. Is it a small thing for you to have eaten up the good pasture, but must you trample the rest of your pastures with your feet?…. [there are some people who just go from church to church causing problems] …And to have drunk of the clear waters, but must you foul the rest of it with your feet? And My flock, they eat what your feet have trampled…'" (vs 17-18)

  • poor sermons
  • poor behavior in the Church
  • self-serving
  • bring in anything you want with it

How do we fulfill the Sabbath rather than just keep the Sabbath?

  • so that the Sabbath becomes a real day of learning, growing and overcoming every Sabbath
  • to where that becomes the best day of the week
  • to where you learn the most of any time during the week
  • to where you drink in of the Spirit of God
  • to where you drink in of the Word of God
  • to where you have true fellowship with true brethren

They're not coming in with agendas and they can fellowship with true ministers that they can trust, because the ministers have proven that they are faithful! There have been so many the brethren could not trust, so many hidden agendas, so many hidden things.

Verse 20: "Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them, 'Behold I Myself will even judge between the fat lamb and the lean lamb. Because you have thrust with side and with shoulder, and with your horns have pushed all the weak until you have scattered them abroad, therefore, I will save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey. And I will judge between lamb and lamb. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, My servant David…." (vs 20-23)—Who is Christ!

When I first wrote the first edition of the Beliefs of the Christian Biblical Church of God—that was right after the Biblical Church of God—I was the only elder. We had a 'big' congregation of seven plus me. I determined in my own mind that if these seven brethren God wanted me to see them safely in grave unto the resurrection, and that's all He ever wanted me to do, that's fine, that would be fine!

I quit writing, I quit presuming anything. I had a job where I had to go out and be a loan broker, which I couldn't do today with dietech.com and so forth. I know what it's like to be out there in the world and work, and I know what you men to do to sacrifice your time and to give of your energy. You have your work, your business and everything, and you're going above and beyond to serve God in those matters. I hope the brethren appreciate that and respect you for it.

I had my own loan-broker business until 1995. Delores worked. She'd get up at 4:30 in the morning and drive 95 miles to go to work, and drive back. So, we know what it's like, and we also know—because of that—that God lays a great responsibility.

I look at it this way, that if I'm working full-time in the ministry, which I'm grateful and thankful to do, that with God's help I'll do it to fullest possible! The only way that I get things done that I do is because of God and the prayers of the brethren. I get letters all the time that 'we're praying for you.' Just let the brethren know that we're praying for you, too!

The greatest need right now is to learn the lesson of John 21: feed My sheep:

  • My Word
  • My Truth
  • My Righteousness
  • My Spirit

which is the true fodder of God!

John 21:16: "He said to him again a second time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.' He said to him, 'Shepherd My sheep.'"

  • take care of them
  • watch out for them
  • be concerned for them
  • pray for them
  • teach them
  • love them
  • teach them how to overcome their problems

Don't have them come to you and you solve all their problems. That's the job of a hireling and a corporate minister so they can keep everyone dependent upon a man and have men between God and the brethren. God doesn't like that!

We're to be on the sidelines and we're to be serving. That's why we need to understand what is the proper organization for the Church, which is: The Church is God Service Organization! It only exists to serve the brethren so that Christ can build His Church. I think He's pretty sick and tired of building with defective building parts—wouldn't you think?

  • with untempered mortar
  • with crooked beams
  • with nails that don't hold
  • sloppy workmanship

Verse 17: "He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?' Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep.'"

Delores has a little adjunct to that, that she helps me with: We've had too many vain, strutting ministers. So, she says all the time and has burned a little place in my brain, and this is the last thing she said to me before I left to come here for the conference: Just talk! In other words, just teach. God doesn't care about personalities. God can form in us whatever He desires if we love Him and serve Him!

So, Christ tells Peter, because he's still look ing at political things:

Verse 18: "'Truly, truly I say to you, since you were young, you have dressed yourself and walked wherever you have desired; but when you are old, you shall stretch out your hands, and another shall dress you and bring you where you do not desire to go.' Now, He said this to signify by what death he would glorify God. And after saying this, He said to him, 'Follow Me.'" (vs 18-19).

He knew the proclivities of Peter. That's why each one of us need to know our own weaknesses and proclivities and bring them before God so that we can overcome that. Peter's was still political:

Verse 20: "But when Peter turned, he saw the disciple whom Jesus loved… [John] …following, who also had sat at the supper and leaned on His chest, and had said, 'Lord, who is it that is betraying You?'…. [the question that John asked Jesus] …Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, what shall happen to this one?'…. [What's going to happen to John?] …Jesus said to him, 'If I desire that he remain alive until I come, what is it to you? You follow Me.'" (vs 20-22).

Jesus said to Peter three times, 'Feed My Sheep' and 'Follow Me' twice, in spite of everything.

  • in spite of what you think
  • in spite of what you think you may see

Follow Me! Don't worry about Me or someone else. Don't compare yourself to someone else. Of course, the rumor went around that they knew when Jesus is returning. When John dies Jesus is coming! Didn't happen, but John saw in the book of Revelation the return of Christ.

  • Why are we here?
  • What are we going to do?

2-Timothy 2:1: "Therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." Remember that we are to teach and preach grace, as well as obedience to the commandments of God!

  • mercy
  • love
  • kindness
  • love
  • forgiveness
  • redemption from sin and evil

Verse 2: "And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, these things commit to faithful men…"

That's why the other men are here in addition to the elders. We need faithful men! I know that each of you have come and I have discerned that you are faithful. That's not because of yourself, it's because of Christ!

"…such as will be competent to teach others also" (v 2). That's what we need to do in the Christian Biblical Church of God: teach, teach, teach, because it's sufficient that the disciple become as the teacher! The greatest teacher is Christ!

We've had some difficulties, which we'll have a report on it by Wayne Stenhouse and Roger Kendall, in the fellowship group in Pennsylvania. Stan Timek comes from there. We won't get into the reasons and causes for it, except to say that they wanted to exalt themselves and become ministers through changing of doctrine, which we'll get into later.

As Bob Hunnicutt admonished us many times, and as some of us discussed, we need to have the right structure in the Church. That right structure also includes those who are deacons.

We don't have full-fledged congregations that require ministers. But they require someone who is faithful. Just three meet with Ben. He's faithful in helping them. They learn a lot. I know the ones who attend there. Jesus gave the promise that 'wherever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of you.' So, we start with things like that.

The men who have been invited here, you're not going to all be ordained deacons today, so don't worry about that. But I want you to keep the things in mind that we're talking about and we're going to ask God to bless you with:

  • understanding
  • His Spirit
  • His wisdom

because we can't all carry the load the way it is now! But the Church must be educated as to a proper use of elders and deacons. Too many people living in the past because they've been burned. My word to them is:

  • When will you get over it?
  • Have you seen anything that we have done in Christian Biblical that is like the politics of where you have come from? No!

Then change your opinion and get rid of your skepticism! Don't be judging things that are not yours to judge.

For example: we had one severe problem that some people didn't think that I took care of in a timely manner. Some problems you let grow so that you fully understand the problem before you do something about it. I did get around to it and we did—with the counsel of the elders last year—handle the problem in a fair, just and proper way.

We're going to be faced with other problems, and we need to realize that. So, we need to seek the assistance of faithful men to help us. This is my desire for all of you who are here who are not elders, that perhaps you can be somewhere down the road.

It's not a matter of electing, climbing or anything like that. It's a matter if you love God, you love the brethren and you're faithful and competent and can teach. Then we will see what God does in your life. We're told that 'you'll know them by their fruits.' Let's read about the fruits that God says we need to look to:

1-Timothy 3:1: "Faithful is the saying, 'If any man aspires to be an overseer… [overseeing from the sidelines] …he desires a good work.'"

Because you're serving God, serving the brethren, helping them to attain to eternal life, and you're also assuring that you will attain to it.

(go to the next track)

It's not a self-appointment, and it's not charging ahead to make yourself be known. It is yielding to God. Here are some of the qualifications. We already saw that you have to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being. You have to love Christ and follow Him. And you have to feed the flock, etc.

Verse 2: "Now then, it is obligatory that the overseer be blameless, the husband of one wife…" Paul didn't have a wife, so there are exceptions to that when there's a need!

"…vigilant… [with his own live with the Word of God] …serious-minded… [not a comedian] …respectable, hospitable, skillful in teaching; not given to much wine, not a bully…" (vs 2-3)—like most police are today! There are two categories of bullies: those in jail and those who are policemen.

"…not greedy for selfish gain; but kind, not a quarreler, not a lover of money; one who rules his own house well, having his children in subjection with all respect…" (vs 3-4)—if he has children.

Doesn't that disqualify every single Catholic priest? How do they have the gall to continue in the way that they are doing and profess to be Christian? The true God has no part with them!

Verse 5: "(For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how will he take care of the Church of God?)" Isn't it interesting that he didn't say rule! "…take care…" because you are to feed!

Verse 6: "Not a novice, lest he become conceited and fall into the same condemnation as the devil." Thinking how good he is, how important he is!

Verse 7: "It is mandatory that he also have a good report from those who are outside the Church, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

This is why it's important that we need to watch ourselves, watch our lives, and be diligent about ourselves. It says there vigilant!

Verse 8: "In the same way also, the deacons… [all of this applies to deacons] …who serve must be serious-minded, not hypocritical, not given to much wine, not greedy for selfish gain; holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. And let those who meet the qualifications also be proved first; then let them be appointed to serve, if they are found to be blameless. In the same way also, their wives must be serious-minded, not slanderers…" (vs 8-11).

That means if you happen to know any business of any counseling of your husband—which in many cases because personal counseling you may not even know—but if you per chance know, you are not ever to discuss that with anyone—period—outside of a need that you may be able to counsel your husband in matters where you have input! That's very important to understand.

When I counsel people, I don't tell anyone about my counsel. It's personal and private between me and the individual. Occasionally, I get stabbed in the back and accused of things that I did not do. So be it!

"…sober and faithful in all things. Let the deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own households well. For those who have served well acquire for themselves a good standing and much confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus" (vs 11-13).

These are the guidelines that are given to us. We will have a report on the condition that led to what we are going to do now after we are done. We're going to ordain a deacon here to help the flock where they had this terrible split and division in Pennsylvania.

When I was in Manchester I made arrangements for Roger Kendall and Wayne Stenhouse to go down and talk to the brethren and bring the sermons that they needed to bring. They have judgment to know what to do. I'm not going to second guess what they do. If you pray and ask God to be with you to give you wisdom to handle the situation, so be it.

They talked with the brethren on how to help solve the situation, and they all recommended that Stan Timek be ordained as a deacon. So, I think this is the first step in what we need to do as a pattern to help the fellowship groups that are more than three and get up to 10, 12-13, 14, and if they get up more than that then they're doing the work of an elder and God will make that evident at that time.

What we need to do is take this as a first step in helping get the right kind of organizational service for the brethren to help them.

(ordination)

I'm happy that Roger Tointon is here because he come from the area of Sacramento, California, that fits Ezek. 34. They had over 900 brethren attending in three churches (in WCG). Where are they? Driven to the winds!

I hope and pray that God can start bringing some of them back. If you can help them, I count on you to help them. We would be most pleased if you would. Right here in Cincinnati there used to be 1600 brethren in five churches. I tell you what, the correction of God is pretty heavy!

We need to let the brethren know that, yes, there is a right structure. Yes, there are men who are faithful. Yes, there are those who love God more than themselves, status, power and prestige. They need to know that!

Let's look at what God charges us; we'll put this in the realm of faithful men, deacons and elders. This becomes very important.

1-Timothy 1:1: "Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is our hope."

What I want you to see is that the whole book of 1-Tim. is a commandment from God.

1-Timothy 6:14: "That you keep this commandment… [everything that I've written] …without fault and without rebuke until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ."

1-Timothy 1:2: "To Timothy, my true son in the faith… [these blessings that come here are very important] …Grace… [what we teach and preach] …mercy…"

God wants mercy and not sacrifice. If you have commandment-keeping without grace and law you become ruthless!

"…and peace… [the peace that Jesus said that He would give us: peace with God, peace with each other that comes] …from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord" (v 2).

The Church at that time was going through many things similar to what the Church is going through now.

Verse 3: "WhenI was going to Macedonia, I exhorted you to remain in Ephesus, in order that you might solemnly charge…"

  • to all the elders
  • to all the faithful men
  • to those all those called to guard the flock and shepherd the sheep

"…solemnly charge some not to teach other doctrines" (v 3).

There are a lot of doctrines flying around today. Some of them are so unbelievable it's pitiful!

Verse 4: "Nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which lead to empty speculations rather than to edification from God, which is in faith."

We're to edify and the that means to build: build the Church, all of us! Every single member, whether you consider yourself important or not, is important to God, because He's called you.

Every single member has a part in remaining faithful to God, and also to guard the flock to assist those who are teaching, or to assist the elders in that way. Not to be snitches or anything like that! That's not what is intended or implied! But we all have a responsibility to God.

Verse 5: "Now, the purpose of the commandment… [that's what he's talking about in v 1] …is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and genuine faith." That separates between the wanna-bes and the genuine article!

Verse 6: "From which some, having missed the mark, have turned aside unto vain jangling." We just experienced that! We have been experiencing it, even to the point that it is claimed that we don't need any ministers, that every one is a minister.

There was even one man that claimed he was a minister, who when he was anointed for a sickness by an elder in the Church, he claimed that he was ordained an elder. Guess what? People believe him! Now he's off into the never-never land of self-willed and false doctrines, and people still follow him.

Let's look at these charges:

Verse 3: [#1]"…charge some not to teach other doctrines." That also implies teaching them what are the right doctrines. You can't tell someone to stop it, unless you also know what is right.

Verse 18: "[#2]This charge I am personally committing to you, my son Timothy, in accordance with the prophecies that were made long ago concerning you; in order that by them you yourself might wage a good war, holding to the faith and a good conscience. For some, having cast aside a good conscience, have made shipwreck in regard to the faith; of whom are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I turned over to Satan in order that they may learn not to blaspheme" (vs 18-20).

That shows you how serious it is to bring in false doctrine. Very important! This shows us how important a charge is, 1-Tim. 5:7 I translated it command, because it's a little stronger form of the same word.

1-Timothy 5:7: Now these things [#3]command that they may be blameless."

Verse 21: "[#A]I charge you before God…" Paul does that a couple of times. Because the commandments that we read in the beginning came from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

"…and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that you observe these things without prejudice… [without politics, no judging down, making right judgments]…and [#3]let nothing be done by partiality…. [then Paul gives a warning]: …[#4]Do not be quick to lay hands on any man…" (vs 21-22).

That's why anyone is ordained as a deacon or an elder, we ask the brethren:

  • What do you think?
  • Does he have the fruits to do it?
  • Do you think that he has the temperament to handle it?

He has to have a good report from within as well as from without!

"…neither take part in the sins of others…. [which you do when you go along with false doctrine] …Keep yourself pure. No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities. Some men's sins are open to public view, going before to judgment; and some men's sins follow after…. [you don't see them right away; they sneaky; they're stealthy; they hide back and wait] …In a similar manner also, the good works of some are openly seen; and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden" (vs 22-25). God will make it known!

1-Timothy 6:13: "[#B]I charge you in the sight of God… [we're going to see that sounds a little bit like an admonition to Peter three times] …Who gives life to every living thing, and Jesus Christ, Who in testifying before Pontius Pilate gave the exemplary profession of faith, that you keep this commandment…" (vs 13-14).

Verse 17: "[#5]Charge those who are rich in this present age not to be high minded, nor to put their hope in the uncertainty of riches; but to put their hope in the living God, Who abundantly gives usall things for our enjoyment; to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous in giving, to be ready to share; treasuring up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, [#6]guard the doctrine, which has been entrusted to you… [everything] …avoiding profane, empty babblings, and contradictions of false knowledge that is called science; through which some, who are personally professing these false views, have missed the mark concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen" (vs 17-21).

2-Timothy 2:14: "See that they remain mindful of these things, earnestly [#C]charging them in the sight of the Lord not to argue over words that are not profitable in any way, but which lead to the subverting of those who hear…. [How do you avoid that?]: …[#7]Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth" (vs 14-15).

If you're wrongly divided, you come up with false doctrines that looked blessedly true but are not.

2-Timothy 4:1—this concerns any preaching or teaching, and applies to anyone who is teaching: ordained or not ordained.

2-Timothy 4:1: "[#D]I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: [#8]Preach the Word!…." (vs 1-2).

That's why in the bookthat you have received, the only bibliography is the Word of God! I mention two books concerning the History of the Church as a reference point, but with no quotes. Just the Word of God!

"…Be urgent in season and out of season; convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine. For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine…" (vs 2-3).

Paul talks about doctrine, doctrine, doctrine, and doctrine means teaching! Teaching comes from Christ.

"…but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings" (v 3).

There will always be someone to follow whoever says whatever is said. Why they do it? I don't know! I can't be a mind reader! I'm not in their shoes and I can't tell you how they think! But it's like P.T. Barnum of Barnum and Bailey said, 'There's a sucker born every minute!' The greatest number of liars that there are in the world, who should not be liars, are those who presume to be in the pulpits of Christian churches. When that happens, because 'a little leaven leavens the whole lump':

Verse 4: "And they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths."

There you have the eight charges! It's quite something, #8 is the number of a new beginning.

We're going to learn a lot and what you will find out is that the outline that I gave you will be answered by going through 1st & 2nd Timothy and Titus. Amazing!

1-Timothy 1:5: "Now, the purpose of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and genuine faith… [because there is a false faith] … from which some, having missed the mark, have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the Law, neither understanding what they are saying, nor what they are strongly affirming. Now we know that the law is good…" (vs 5-8).

Paul says that the Law is spiritual, righteous, true and Holy.

"…if anyone uses it lawfully" (v 8). If you want to know how to use the Law unlawfully, read the Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried & Goldin. Try keeping the Sabbath the way they say to keep it. Read the section on: if your house burns.

Verse 9: "Understanding this: that law is not enacted for a righteous man…" Because if you in law—and we have to be within law to Christ—if you are keeping the Sabbath then the law of breaking the Sabbath doesn't apply to you! Likewise with all the commandments.

"…but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for slayers of fathers and slayers of mothers, for murderers" (v 9).

 We haven't dealt with people who have repented of that. God is gracious and good.

Verse 10: "For fornicators, for homosexuals…" This is the law to convict them that their behavior is sin, the transgression of the Law is sin.

Lawlessness is even greater sin, because lawlessness also means that people bring their own standards and replace their own standards before the Laws of God.

"…for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing that is opposed to sound doctrine" (v 10).

It's not like the dummy Bible with nothing printed in it! It's full of the teachings of God!

Verse 11: "According to the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God, with which I was entrusted. And I thank Jesus Christ our Lord, Who has empowered me…" (vs 11-12).

You can't be a minister, elder or deacon without an extra gift of the Holy Spirit of God to do what He has given you to do. God does not send you out to do work without equipping you. Any of those of you are involved in any kind of work that requires equipment, you know that you must have the right tools. If you're going to be on a job-site and you're going to use power tools, you better have a source of power. If you don't have a portable generator you can have the electric company do a drop line on the lot. You have to have power!

Likewise, in order to be a minister, elder, deacon or teacher, you have to have the power of the Holy Spirit to do it. It's not something that you go down to the employment department and you fill out an application and you get the job. You have to be empowered with the Holy Spirit of God.

I'll tell you what, we need brethren. For all of us as elders and deacons, and for the brethren in the Church, we need to let the Spirit of God lead us to have a relationship with God through prayer and study and as you are thinking things through, maybe preparing for a sermon or sermonette, maybe counseling someone.

I never counsel anyone unless I have prayed that God will give me a spirit of discernment, because I don't have it by nature. God has to give it! Whenever I preach, I ask God for the strength, the understanding and His Word to preach His Truth! He has to give the strength and power to do that!

I remember that after I was ordained, I went over to Boise and, lo and behold, Friday came and I had to prepare a sermon. I had never given a full sermon, just a sermonette. My brain was like concrete! I had to pray! I prayed because I knew that I couldn't do it! I had to ask God to please give me the words and 'to please help me to do what You want me to do. If I go in and do my own thing, it's not going to be what You want!' So, I got through my first sermon!

Here's what all of us need to do so that God can give us of His Spirit to teach, to preach, to convict (2-Tim. 4).

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."

If we're going to teach the brethren, which God lays upon us to do, then we need an extra portion of God's Spirit. We also need extra help to overcome our own sins, faults and shortcomings, every single one of us.

Verse 15: "Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father.'" That's the relationship that we are to have with God!

Verse 16: "The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God." That's something!

If we—with the Spirit of God—really let the words of God sink in deep. Like Jesus told the disciples one time, 'Listen up and let these words sink deep into your ears.' In other words, let it be etched in your mind, so that we can be led by the Spirit of God.

1-Timothy 1:12: "And I thank Jesus Christ our Lord, Who has empowered me, that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, who was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent person; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. But the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with the faith and love that is in Christ Jesus" (vs 12-14).

That's how we are to grow in grace and knowledge and in faith. I remember talking to someone that said, 'What are we going to do when we've studied through the Bible and after about five years we know everything?'

I said, 'Well, you need to realize that the Word of God is inspired by God and His mind, and is a desired to be a lifetime study that you continuously grow in grace and knowledge. Every time you read and study the Bible, even though you've read and studied the sections previously, everything is 'line upon line, here a little and there a little and precept upon precept' that you learn every single time that you study the Bible.' I do!

I never use my sermon notes over again. I prepare what I need to do when it needs to be done. Not like some hireling minister who boasted, and I used to be his assistant, who was sitting in his office and had his stack of sermon notes and notebooks. 'You see that, Fred. These are all my sermons. I have three to five years of sermons and I'm transferred every three to five years. When I go to a new church, I just stop at the top and work my way through.'

At that point, I said to myself, I will never ever do that! Of course, I didn't anyway, because every sermon is a new one and different, even though you read some of the same words over again.

Verse 15: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."

That's a very important thing to understand, because Paul understood his own sins and weaknesses!

This is something you grow into. We'll talk about humility later, but suffice to say humility is a fruit of God's Holy Spirit and not something you affect by an outward behavior. Notice what Paul wrote here:

1-Corinthians 15:4: "And that He was buried; and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve. Then He appeared to over five hundred brethren at one time, of whom the greater part are alive until now, but some have fallen asleep. Next He appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all He appeared to me also, as one who was born of a miscarriage. For I am the least of the apostles, and am not fit even to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am… [Paul understood] …and His grace toward me has not been in vain; rather, I have labored more abundantly than all of them; however, it was not I, but the grace of God with me" (vs 4-10).

Notice how he grows in humility! Let's see how Paul understood himself in relationship to the great and marvelous blessing of having been given the understanding of the mystery and plan of God.

Ephesians 3:3: "How He made known to me by revelation the mystery (even as I wrote briefly before… [it came in stages; that's how we grow in grace and knowledge] …so that when you read this, you will be able to comprehend my understanding in the mystery of Christ), which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His Holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles might be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel, of which I became a servant according to the gift of the grace of God…" (vs 3-7).

There is a gift given to preaching and teaching by grace.

"…which was given to me through the inner working of His power" (v 7).

Notice what this does; this brings about true humility and understanding who and what you are in relationship to God and the brethren!

Verse 8: "To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, was this grace given, that I might preach the Gospel among the Gentiles—even the unsearchable riches of Christ."

That's quite something! When there has to be authority exerted, yes, God gives us all the authority we need. But we don't rule by authority, we lead by love, example and teaching. Christ does the rule in the heart!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 22:34-40
  • John 21:15
  • Ezekiel 34:7-10, 12-15, 17-18, 20-23
  • John 21:16-22
  • 2 Timothy 2:1-2
  • 1 Timothy 3:1-13
  • 1 Timothy 1:1
  • 1 Timothy 6:14
  • 1 Timothy 1:2-6, 3, 18-20
  • 1 Timothy 5:7, 21-25
  • 1 Timothy 6:13-14, 17-221
  • 2 Timothy 2:14-15
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-4
  • 1 Timothy 1:5-12
  • Romans 8:14-16
  • 1 Timothy 1:12-15
  • 1 Corinthians 15:4-10
  • Ephesians 3:3-8

Scriptures referenced, not quoted: Ezekiel 34:16

Also referenced:

Booklet: Beliefs of the Christian Biblical Church of God by Fred R. Coulter

Book: Code of Jewish Law by Ganzfried & Goldin

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6/2019

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