Turn to the work of the book of Jude right before Revelations. We’re going to come back to number 16 but go to the book of Jude. This is actually a continuation of my sermon this morning. There was so much that I wanted to preach about this morning and I already preached the long sermon this morning. I just didn’t get to all the things that I want to cover and this such an important subject. This is such an important doctrine that needs to be laid down strongly in 2014. The devil will love nothing more than to attack Jesus Christ institution the local church. The local church is the institution that throughout history and in our present day has done the most for the furtherance of the kingdom of God.
Don’t tell me about a school, a university, some TV show no it’s the local church my friend that Jesus Christ established and instituted. He said upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. You look at most of the books of the New Testament and they are addressed unto the church at emphasis. The churches of Galatia, the church at Philippi, the church at [Thessalonica 00:01:14]. The book of Revelations is sent out to churches. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit sayeth unto the churches.
Churches today are being slandered and maligned and accused by people who just don’t want to go to church anywhere. The Bible says not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is but exhorting one another and so much the more as we see the day approaching. We see a lot of people forsaking the assembly, forsaking legitimate congregations with legitimate pastors that are qualified according to 1st Timothy 3 and Titus chapter 1 and a lot of them justify this forsaking of local churches. They say, “We just have a house church.” What this means is that they just sit around with some buddies, with some Christian friends at their house but there’s no qualified pastor. They’re not growing. They’re not … it’s not a bona fide church.
This doctrine is of the devil and the reason that it is so devilish is that number 1 it’s accusing every church of being apostate which the devil’s very name derive from the fact that he is the accuser of the brethren. Not only that its devilish because today there are many people who are saved people who know the Bible, who are doing nothing for God because they’re not in church. You see if I were not in church, I would be doing very little for God. Let’s just be real tonight. If you were not in church, if you quit going to church but you know you kept reading your Bible, kept praying but you just didn’t have a church to attend you just want a part of a church, you’d be doing very little for God. You’d be doing very little.
You’re not just going of your own accord go out, do a bunch of soul winning, win a bunch of people to Christ. We do more when we get plugged into the institution that God commanded us to be a part of. He said he wanted us to be members in that body and to use our spiritual gifts for the edification of that body the local church, the local [inaudible 00:03:18]. Not the universal invisible church but a local literal congregation of believers.
This morning we talked about one of the big attacks on the local church and just attacking pastors and just criticizing pastors about being paid. I already covered that this morning. I’m not going to recover that. Secondly, another accusation that’s being made and another tradition that people want to throw out and again all traditions aren’t bad. Traditions are bad when they’re contrary to the Bible. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You’ve made the word of God of none effect through your tradition.” That’s a bad tradition that nullifies what the Bible says but a tradition that conforms to what the Bible says is something that we need to hang to.
That’s why Paul said to warn … He said, “I beseech brother in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walked disorderly and not after the tradition which you received from us.” There is a good tradition, a positive tradition where we’re handed down methods and ways of doing things that are from scripture. One of the things that I want to cover tonight is what the Bible calls the gainsaying of Korah and it’s a part and parcel of the movement that I preached about this morning, this so called house church movement.
Again, nothing wrong with the church meeting in a house our church met in a house for the first year and a half that we existed but we weren’t a house church. We were a real church that met in a house. Big difference. If you don’t understand the difference, you’ll just have to listen to this morning’s sermon. Look at Jude right here in verse 11. This is a chapter about false prophets. A parallel passage is 2nd Peter chapter 2. They both deal with the same subjects in the same order. They are about false prophets. Here’s what he says in verse 11. “Woe unto them! Woe under these false prophets for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.”
These are 3 aspects of false prophets. These are 3 areas that God wants us to be aware of so that we can watch out for these guys. First of all, we see they’ve gone in the way of Cain. What does that represent? Cain was the one who did not bring unto God the lamb. He didn’t bring of the first things of the flock. He didn’t bring that animal sacrifice that would represent the Lord Jesus Christ, the lamb of God slain for the foundation of the world. Instead he brought his own produce. He brought his own works. He brought fruits and vegetables that he had worked for.
That’s a picture of someone who teaches that salvation’s by works something that we produce as opposed to being through the blood of the lamb. That’s what Abel brought. He brought the blood of the lamb. He brought the right sacrifice. Cain brought his works and he was rejected. That’s the error of Cain. False prophets teach the work salvation in a lot of cases. Also a sign of false prophets is that they have run greedily after the error of Balaam for a reward. Again, nothing to do with just being a legitimate pastor who’s paid to do his job. This is talking about those who teach things which they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake.
If we go back we don’t have time of course but the study of Balaam, the story of Balaam is found in numbers 22 through 24. In that story we see that Balaam is told by God not to curse Israel and not to even go with the messengers of Balak. He is told not to go. He wants to go anyway because he wants that paycheck. He wants that money. God tells him, “Don’t do it.” Then Balaam ask God again and God says, “Okay, if they come call you in the morning go with them.” He just gets up early and goes. He doesn’t even wait for them to call. He’s like, “God kind of told me to go.” Then of course God sends an angel to come kill Balaam.
Thankfully his ass or his donkey that he’s riding on actually saves his life by refusing to forward because there’s an angel of the Lord with a sword ready to slay Balaam and just barely his life was saved. The Bible says the dumb ass speaking for bad the madness of the prophet. What does madness mean? Insanity, crazy. Balaam was the guy who was crazy for money. By the way, Balaam was an unsaved man. He was a false prophet. He is a false teacher. He was a soothsayer. He was not a bona fide prophet of God. Even though God did speak to him, he was not a righteous man of God.
When Balaam gets there he doesn’t end up cursing Israel. God actually gives him a different word to speak and he speaks when God tells him to speak. Then afterward he taught Balak … after that whole encounter the taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel to eat things, sacrifice onto idols and to commit fornication. He got them into sin and then God ended up having to kill a lot of the children of Israel.
What is the error of Balaam for reward? That’s preaching lies and false doctrine for gain sake. The preachers today who preach lies because that’s what people want to hear and they want to make a lot of money. Also it’s this permissiveness where Balaam is teaching it’s okay to commit fornication and its okay to eat thing sacrifice unto idols. He led people into sin with a permissive type preaching. Are you starting to see what a false prophet looks like?
Then the third thing about these false prophets is that they have perished in the gainsaying of Korah. He said, “They’ve gone in the way of Cain. They’ve run greedily after the error of Balaam for reward and they perished in the gainsaying of Korah.” These 3 men are false prophets. Cain, Balaam, Korah and these men are used as examples for us in the modern day of what to watch out for in a false prophet.
Let’s go back to the story of Korah and let’s see what the gainsaying of Korah was all about. Go back to numbers chapter 16. I think it’s pretty easy to see what Cain’s error was. Brought the wrong offering. I think it’s pretty easy to see what the error of Balaam was, disobeying God because someone is offering him money and gold and a reward. That’s pretty easy to understand. You can’t serve God and mammon. You can’t sit there and say, “I know God said this but there’s this money over here.” Obviously that’s wicked and ungodly.
What is the gainsaying of Korah? To find out we go to the story of Korah. It’s all found right here in number 16. This is the story. We’ll look at a few other verses that barely mention Korah but this is the story in number 16. Look at verse 1. It says, “Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth sons of Reuben, took men. And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, 250 princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown.”
Let me just point out to you 2 words in that verse, assembly and congregation. These are both words that in the New Testament mean church and they are translated in the New Testament as church. In fact in Acts chapter 7 this exact group at this exact time in this exact place is known as the church in the wilderness. These were with Moses in the church in the wilderness. The words congregation and assembly are referring to the nation of Israel that have gone out into the wilderness but that congregation or assembly is where they’ve gathered together and it’s called the church in the wilderness.
Look at verse 3. “They gather themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation.” This is whole story about Korah who is the ringleader. He’s got a couple of sidekicks Dathan and Abiram. Then besides these 3 men they have gotten 250 people that they’ve talked into joining them in a rebellion against Moses. They’re basically going against Moses and says in verse 3. They gather themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
These are the 2 leaders. Moses is the prophet. He is leading the group and then Aaron was the high priest that God has appointed. They’ve gathered together and this is what Korah says in verse 3. “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” We can read the whole rest of the chapter and we’re going to look at more things in this chapter. We’re going to see the story but let me just start by saying this.
This is the only thing that Korah says in this whole chapter. Dathan and Abiram say something similar a few verses later. This is where we hear from Korah. When the Bible says that gainsaying of Korah, do you notice the second half of that word? What is it? Say. If we want to know what the gainsaying of Korah is let’s go see what Korah is saying. It’s just this one verse that he say. It’s pretty easy to see what Jude is talking about because Jude is referring back to this character.
He wants to notice something about Korah and to be warned about something derived from the story about Korah. It has to do with what Korah said because it’s the gainsaying of Korah. What did he say? “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” What’s he saying? He’s attacking Moses for being the leader. He’s saying, “You can’t be the leader. We should all be the leader. We should all be in charge. We’re all holy. We all can lead.”
Let’s jump down to see what Dathan and Abiram have to say. These are Korah’s sidekicks. Let me just remind you we read the whole chapter before the sermon began but there’s some serious wrath being poured out of this chapter. First of all, the 250 guys that went along with Korah, Dathan and Abiram they all get burned up. I mean the fire of the Lord just burns these guys up and the 250. Then the chasm opens in the earth and Korah, Dathan and Abiram dropped down alive into hell. This is a pretty serious thing.
Then after that if you remember then God just sends a plague among the whole congregation because he’s angry at the whole congregation. In that plague 14,700 die besides those who died with Korah, Dathan and Abiram and the 250 men who had [inaudible 00:15:07]. They all died. This is after Moses has interceded and prayed for the people multiple times saying, “God please don’t destroy them. Please save them.” Even with Moses’s intercession 14,000 people die. There’s a lot of wrath here in this chapter.
A lot of people die. A lot of suffering. It’s a very negative occurrence here. Korah was a wicked man. Don’t downplay the wickedness of Korah because Korah was one that was so wicked that him and all his friends were destroyed, sent straight to hell and it ended up just wiping out 14,000 some other people even after Moses … I mean God just saying, “I’m just going to wipe out the whole congregation.” Moses is saying, “No God!” He’s trying to tone God down in this chapter that we read before the service.
Let’s see what Dathan and Abiram have to say because they say something similar it says in verse 12, “Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab” which said and of course this is not Korah but these are people that were with him. “We will not come up: is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness.” Watch this. Doesn’t this echo what Korah said, “Except though make thyself altogether a prince over us?” The word prince means first. It comes from the Latin there and it’s basically the principal thing would be the most important thing or the prince is the first born son of a king.
Prince means the first or the leader, the one who’s in charge, the ruler, whatever. Verse 14, “Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up.” Those are just Korah’s friend. What Korah said was in verse 3 that’s the gainsaying of Korah. “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?”
Let’s go to Jude again. Let’s go to the end of the Bible Jude. We already read the whole chapter so I’m not going to reread it even though a lot of it is in my notes again. We already saw the mass casualties that God carried out on the children of Israel because of this wickedness and this rebellion against Moses. When we look at the book of Jude we can get a little more information now that we understand what it means the gainsaying of Korah, what exactly they were attacking. I want to apply this to a modern day application of what today would be that gainsaying of Korah.
Today there are people who are teaching the exact same thing that Korah was teaching and then this ties in with what I preach this morning. They are teaching that it’s wrong for a church to have a single pastor or a single leader. Who’s heard of this doctrine? They say, “You need a board of elders.” If you go to like a Presbyterian church, there’s a board of elders or if you go to these reformed Baptist. They don’t have 1 pastor, they have a board of elders. Let me start out by saying this and I’m going to show you a lot of scripture in the New Testament to back up sound doctrine on this point.
Let me just start out by saying this. I am not against a church having more than 1 pastor or elder. I’m not against that whatsoever. In fact, for a very large church it would probably be advisable that there will be multiple elders or bishops or pastors whichever those 3 words you want to use. Those 3 words are used interchangeably in the New Testament. Pastor, elder, bishop it’s all the same guy. I think that in a very large church, it would make sense to have multiple pastors and multiple deacons also in addition to the pastors because there’s just a lot of work that needs to be done and it becomes too much work for one man to carry out.
I’m not against a church that has multiple elders or multiple pastors. I don’t think that’s unscriptural whatsoever. I think there are examples of that in the scripture. You know what I am against? I’m against the ones who are blaspheming and accusing the church that has 1 pastor as being an unscriptural church or that there’s something wrong with having 1 pastor. Frankly there isn’t anything wrong with a church having 1 pastor. Obviously in the early days of a church when a church is small, there’s only going to be 1 pastor and there aren’t going to be any deacons because frankly 1 person is able to do the work and carry out the deeds that need to be done.
Later on when a church gets huge like the book of Acts when they’re running thousands, yeah you’re going to … I’ve been churches that had a lot of assistant pastors. They had a lot of other pastors on staff that would help bear the burden of pastoring the people and leading the people and making decisions and just leading and guiding. That all makes sense. Having deacons just to do some of the main … although let me just stop and say this. The deacons in 99% of Baptist churches are not really deacons. It’s not what the Bible teach.
You want to talk about throwing out a phony tradition, it’s the deacons in modern day Baptist churches. By the way, you know what the word deacon means? Who knows what the word deacon means? The word, who knows what it means? Servant that is what it means. It means minister or servant. The deacon according to scripture if we actually look at Acts chapter 6 were those first deacons were ordained the first 7 deacons of which Stephen and Philip were part of that group. If we look at the qualifications for the deacon in 1st Timothy 3 and we look at all the scriptures surrounding deacons, the deacon was a guy who is a full time servant of the church.
The whole point in even having a deacon according to Acts 6 was because it was too much work for the elders or the apostles to do. They couldn’t get all the day to day work done and so they needed someone to serve the table so to speak just to do some of the menial task and so they said we need to ordain these men to be deacons to just run and it is the word they use the business of the church. By the way, if you’re part of this phony house church movement that I was preaching here this morning, you think business is a dirty word.
Business is only a dirty word if you’re a communist or a hippie. If you’re a communist or a hippie, you hate the word business. Jesus said, “I must be about my father’s business.” They said we need to appoint deacons to set about this. There you go. What I’m saying is that the deacons in the Bible were servants of the church. They were a full time worker. They were not a governing body but a lot of churches today are patterned more after the US government than they are after the Bible. They have like an executive branch, a legislative branch then the pastor is like the executor, the president.
Then the deacons are like a congress that votes on things and everything. That is so unbiblical. The deacon is a servant. I heard a story about a pastor one time that was being attacked by Korah in his church. He had Korah, Dathan and Abiram at his church. They started attacking him and they said, “You’re not letting the deacons make enough decisions. You’re not letting them rule like they should. The deacons need to make the decisions. One guy shouldn’t be running the show.” They said, “You take too much upon you oh pastor. You need to have the deacons …”
Here’s what he did on Sunday morning. He got a bunch of cans of food and he puts bags of food and then he said, “Every widow in the auditorium I want you to stand up.” Then he had the deacons come up and take the food and hand it to the widows. He said, “There you’ve just done everything that the Bible said that the deacon is supposed to be doing. Now you can’t say that I’m not having the deacons do enough because they just did everything the Bible said.” What I’m saying is the deacon in the Bible is a servant of the church when there’s just too much work to do.
You got to delegate some of that work and the church needs more full time workers. They’re not at the level of being a pastor but they’re a deacon. By the way, the deacon should be a spirit filled preacher. Not the respected businessman in the community. He needs to be a preacher. He needs to be a soul winner. Look at the first deacons. They were the some of the best soul winners. Stephen, Philip, they’re getting multitude saved down in Samaria and everything like that.
Having multiple elders, having deacons these are all good things. The rulers of the church are the elders. They’re the ones who run the show or a single elder in the case of a smaller church or a newer church. Let me say this all throughout the Bible there’s a pattern in God’s word of having a man lead and be the guy who God uses to lead spiritually. For example if you just think back through the Old Testament Moses I mean we just saw it. Moses is a guy that God had as a single leader. It wasn’t led by a board. It was led by one guy, Moses. Then after Moses gone Joshua.
Throughout history of the children of Israel when they were in God’s will and when they were at least following his form of government somewhat the judges, God would raise up these men like Othniel the son of Kenaz. He raised up great leaders like Ehud and Gideon and people that would rally the people and preach righteousness and guide them and teach them to lead. God using a man as a leader and Elijah and Elisha is not foreign to scripture for a guy to be used as a leader. Everything isn’t done by committee always in the Bible. There’s often just a man that God uses.
They say that all the people are holy and we don’t need a pastor and in fact having a single pastor is unscriptural. You take too much upon you oh pastor. We should all preach. We should all get a chance to teach and preach the word of God. Everybody should get a chance to talk and why are you this one man show and you’re this and that?
Let’s examine that with scripture. First of all let’s look at Jude and let’s get the scripture about the gainsaying of Core in context. The Bible says in verse 8 “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” What does dominion mean? It means somebody is in charge. Dominion means there’s a ruler and it’s not saying that they despise a particular ruler but it’s just saying they just despise dominion in general. They just don’t want anybody to be in charge. They just don’t want anybody to do any ruling. They just despise dominion. Then of course later it says woe unto them. They’ve perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Jump down to verse number 16. The Bible says, “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; That they told you there would be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” This is the point that I want to point out. “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”
Go to Acts 20. Let me show you what I think he means by these who be they who separate themselves. Look at Acts chapter 20. In Acts chapter 20 the Apostle Paul warns about some of the bad things that are probably going to happen after he’s gone. It says in Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departure grievous wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.” Does that sound like the false prophets of 2nd Peter 2 in Jude? “Also from your own selves will men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
These are the Korahs that basically separate themselves meaning that they try to split the church, form a different faction that rebels against the pastor and they separate themselves, they draw away disciples after them and they perish in the gainsaying of Korah. This is why we don’t do the whole new evangelical life group, sell group, small group type Bible study model of the church. Go if you would to 1st Timothy chapter 3. A false teacher would love nothing more than to develop his own little group, his own little faction that he can indoctrinate and teach false doctrine to and rebel against the church and rebel against the leadership of the church.
I’m going to get into what the leadership in the church consist of, what the pastor’s authority is and isn’t and what it means to have a single elder versus multiple elders. I’m going to get into that. First let me just touch on a few things. Where did I [return 00:28:55]? 1st Timothy chapter 3 but this is why its … for example we had a guy come in here one time and he said, “You guys have any Bible study where basically we can get smaller groups and where I can teach some things and everything?”
Five minutes later the guy is denying the trinity. His goal is to … he said before he started denying the trinity, 5 minutes before he started denying the trinity he’s telling me how “You can’t just have one guy preaching. Just 1 guy doing all the teaching and preaching. Everybody should get a chance to teach but we should hear from everybody. Aren’t all the people … look let’s just keep in mind throughout this sermon what Korah said.
What is the gainsaying of Korah? You take too much upon you seeing all the congregation are holy. Every one of them and the Lord is among them wherefore then lift ye up yourself above the congregation. What’s Korah saying? Everybody in the church is equal. Everybody should be teaching. Everybody should be preaching. Everybody should be leading and there should not be 1 person running the show. Is that not what Korah said? If not, then tell me what Korah said. Then what is the gainsaying of Korah. He only said 1 sentence in the whole Bible.
I just read the sentence to you and it’s him saying, “Well you single guy Moses and single guy Aaron, you 2 guys run everything when everybody should be in charge. Everybody should be leading. Everybody is holy. Everybody should be preaching. Everybody should be teaching.” Look, have you ever been to one of these small group Bible studies where everybody gets to talk? Who’s been to one? Put your hand nice and high.
When I was a teenager I went to some of these. You know why I went to these? To meet girls. Let me just tell you what because I was a teenager, I was a Christian young person and I was at the age where I was thinking about getting married. I wanted to meet Christian girls so I would go to a lot of different youth groups and different churches in the area and just try to make Christian friends. Not just to meet girls but just to make Christian friends in general. By the way, some of you single guys need to meet some girls. That’s another sermon.
Anyway, [inaudible 00:31:13] people said. Anyway what I’m saying is … What am I saying? No, I’m just kidding. I go to these small group Bible studies so I’m familiar with these small group Bible studies. I’ve been to a lot of them. When I was a teenager if you were to find me when I was 16 years old let me tell you what my week looked like. I went to church on Sunday morning. I went to Sunday school Sunday morning and Sunday night.
Then on Monday night I went to a small group Bible study. Then on Tuesday night, I went to a different small group Bible study. Then on Wednesday night, I went to Wednesday night church. Then on Thursday night, I went to another church that have their service on Thursday nights. Then on Friday and Saturday usually one of those churches or youth groups had some kind of a youth activity that I would participate in.
I was plugged into the local Christian churches and youth groups. Now once I became King James only got into soul winning and became fundamental, a lot of those people didn’t like me anymore. That’s what I did. I just liked the fellowship. I just wanted to be around God’s people. I just wanted to meet Christian friends and stay out of trouble so that’s what I did. Man, these small group Bible studies are ridiculous. The Korah group Bible studies. Everybody should be teaching. No guess what? Everybody shouldn’t be teaching because some people don’t know anything. What happens is when you get to these small group Bible studies this is how they work. Usually this is what they were. You read about 4 or 5 verses and then everybody like says what it means to them.
What does it mean to you? By the way, everybody had a different version of the Bible. That really made it interesting. That’s not what mine says. You go out and you hear from everybody and people said the dumbest things. Let me just give you some examples. I remember one time I was in a small group Bible study and we’re going over the story of Noah’s ark. People are going back and forth about whether there was an aquarium on the ark for all the fish to survive.
God’s pretty clear everything that’s creeping on the dry land is what he’s going to wipe out. He’s not wiping out the fish with the flood folks but they’re like asking themselves “What about the fish? Was there an aquarium or something to preserve the fish?” this went off for 20 minutes. Everybody is saying but this version is this. What about this? I mean it just goes on. It’s ridiculous.
You know what it is? The blind leading the blind and everybody falls in the ditch. These things are frustrating to listen to. Women, men, everybody and just … They don’t know anything. They’re just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks my friend in these Bible studies. There’s no leader. There’s no ruler. There’s no doctrine that’s coming from real knowledge and experience.
You know what? That’s not what Jesus ordained. Jesus said we need elders in every church. He said ordain elders in every church as I had appointed you. There needs to be a ruler. There needs to be a leader. There needs to be somebody who’s qualified and knows what they’re doing. Why did God even put these qualifications for the bishop or the elder if we don’t need them. We got to have them.
You say, “Wait a minute, I thought we’re talking about one?” Let’s get to that. Let’s look at the qualifications. This is why everybody doesn’t just teach and preach and why everybody doesn’t just run the church. By the way, this is like communism or something. Like democracy or something. By the way the people who founded our country never called it democracy. They said democracy is 2 wolves and a sheep voting on, what’s for dinner? They said democracy is a failure because democracy is just mob rule.
Let me explain it to you this way. Most people are always wrong about everything. Think about it “Broad is the way that lead to destruction. Many that be which go thereat. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few that be that find it.” Most people are wrong. Most people are dumb. Most people are uneducated. Most people don’t know the Bible so let’s put them in charge.
Let’s vote on what Bible we use. Let’s vote on what songs we sing. Let’s vote on what to preach. Let’s vote … no let’s not. Let’s have 1 guy who knows what he’s doing, who’s filled with the spirit of God, who’s qualified to run the church and then we can do it right. Let’s have Moses not 30 people who don’t know what they’re doing, 100 people who don’t know what they’re doing, 250 guys who don’t know what they’re doing.
Let’s look at the qualifications. First Timothy 3:1 “This is a true saying, If a man desireth the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then should be …” Is that what it says? No, it says, “A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife.” Is that optional? No. “He must be vigilant. He must be sober. He must be of good behavior. He must be given to hospitality and he must be apt to teach.” What is aptitude? It means you have the ability to teach. This guy has got to be married to 1 wife. He’s got to be blameless. He’s got to be vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospital and has to have the ability to teach.
What else does he have to be? Not given to wine verse 3. “No striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, but patient; not a brawler, not covetous; ne that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” Can you have your children in subjection with all gravity, if you don’t have children? No. look at the next verse. “For if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” How do you know how to rule your own house if you don’t have a wife and if you don’t have kids? You haven’t even proven yet. Let these also first be proved then let them use the office of a deacon being found blameless.
We don’t even know what your leadership ability is until you’ve been married and had children and you have ruled your house well then that is your training ground for being able to take care of the church of God. Until you’re married and until you have children and until you have properly run your marriage and properly raised your children and taught your children, then you’re not qualified because you have not known how to rule your own house well. You don’t have the experience or have been proven.
Verse 6 “Not a novice.” What is a novice? Novice comes from the word meaning new. Novice just means not somebody who is new or somebody who is a beginner. Is there anything wrong with being a beginner?
Is there anything wrong with being new?
Guess what? We all started out new. At some point we were all a beginner but that does mean that you should be the pastor when you’re new? You should be an elder when you’re new? You should be preaching the word of God when you’re new, behind the pulpit in the congregation when you’re a beginner? No. the Bible says, “Moreover, he must have a good report of them who are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
What we just did is we just ruled out a lot of people from being the elder. Again, I said I’m not against a church having more than 1 pastor eventually if there are more than 1 person in the church that are qualified and if the church can financially support more than 1 person because both the elder and the deacon I mean you heard the sermon this morning I proved it to the point of ridiculousness with so many scriptures to prove that point this morning. If the elder and the deacon are both paid positions, the church would have to number 1 have multiple people that fit that bill, that fit all of these qualifications and we would have to have multiple people that could be supported financially. It turns out to be a size where it can sustain multiple elders and multiple deacons.
Great! Let’s get there. Think about this now. Brother David Berzins I use him an illustration a lot lately just because we’re excited about the fact that he just went out to start a church in November. He’s doing a great job and he’s working hard and it’s a difficult job starting a church pastoring. He’s really doing a great thing and I’m proud of him. Let me just say some things about Brother David Berzins. Brother David Berzins was at our church for over 7 years. When he first came to our church he was already saved but he had not been baptized. He had also not been taught much from the Bible at all. He had also not read his Bible cover to cover at that time when he first came to our church.
He was just not a new believer because he had been saved 9 years earlier business pretty much like a new believer. He was a complete babe in Christ because he had never grown or been discipled or gotten in church. Not even getting baptized which is the first step will be is after salvation. When Brother David started coming to our church over 7 years ago, he got baptized and right away I mean he jumped in and started growing. He started soul winning. He started reading his Bible cover to cover multiple times a year, ton of Bible reading. He started preaching in the preaching class. He’s got knocking door soul winning.
He learned about how to run the church. He learned how to lead the singing. He learned all the things that he needed to go out and start a church and pastor someday. That took a long time. When he first started coming he was single. He was in no way qualified obviously to pastor or to be an elder or a leader anything like that. Over those 7 odd years, he got married. He had some children. He ruled his house. He started to get to the point where he could preach very well and he started getting that aptitude to be able to each. You say, “It’s an inborn talent.” I had to work hard to learn how to preach.
Brother David had to work hard to learn how to preach but now he’s preaching great sermons but he had to develop that. By the time he left he was no longer a novice. He was no longer a beginner. He got a lot of experience. He’d been with our church through all its ups and down for 7 years. He saw everything. He was right there in the thick of it. He was serving. He was working hard. He was loyal. He was faithful. He was serving with zeal for over 7 years. I think that Brother Dave grew about as fast as anybody grows because it takes time to grow in the Lord and to learn the Bible. He was on a fast path and it still took him 7 years to get to the point where he was ready to take on the challenge that he’s taking on because it just takes that long just to learn and to grow and to get where you need to be.
That being said it’s not easy to live up to 1st Timothy 3 and to get to the place where you’re ready to take on the office of a bishop or an elder. This willy-nilly just okay let’s just make everybody an elder. Let’s just have 5 elders just because we want to have 5 just because somebody is telling us we need 5. Somebody is just telling us we need 3 and let’s not pay them at all and let’s just have guys that are half qualified or whatever. Look, we have a lot of great people in our church. We have a lot of great men in our church and I love the men in our church. Do you really think that all the men of our church are qualified to pastor this church?
Do you think that most of the men of our church are qualified to pastor this or any church? No, there are a lot of guys that are on their way toward reaching that qualification and maybe even very close to reaching that qualification. Honestly, what we’re probably going to do at that point is to send them out to start churches somewhere else just because number 1 that’s what they want to do. Number 2, that’s what needed today. We don’t really need this. We’re not just dying to have a second elder at Faithful Word Baptist Church right now. You know what? There are churches all over America that are dying for another church to be started.
Now eventually our church is going to grow to the point where we’re going to have more staff and more leaders and that’s great. Praise the Lord. Thank God. This idea of “Yeah 1 man show, 1 pastor everybody should be [teaching 00:44:23].” No it’s stupid. If you got a guy who’s qualified, if you got a guy that fits the bill and he’s preaching 3 times a week, thank God for it. So what? We don’t have to just have 2 just so that we can say we have 2 or just to say we have 4, just to say we have 5.
People that fit the bill on 1st Timothy 3 are a little hard to come by that have the apt to teach part also. Some people might be qualified in the sense that they’re faithful godly people who are the husband and 1 wife and are great leaders in their home but can they preach? Can they teach? That is an ability that takes time to develop and some people will never develop. Other people will develop better than others. Obviously we can’t just put everybody behind the pulpit and just everybody saying. I like to put guys from church behind the pulpit from time to time.
Brother Dave preached behind our pulpit many time before he was pastor. Brother Romero has preached behind the pulpit and brother miller has preached and other people have preached. Nothing wrong with that but we don’t have to just do it just to make somebody happy. It’s just not biblical. Look at Titus chapter 1 verse 5. I’m just going to hurry up and crank through the rest of this material.
Again, what is the gainsaying of Korah. Let me read it for you again. “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them.” What a bold statement. There’s millions of people every one of them is holy? I doubt it. The Lord is among them wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord. Was Moses really lifting up himself? No. The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man upon the face of the earth. This is a false accusation. This is a lie.
Just because there’s 1 pastor or 1 elder, does that mean he’s lifting up himself above everybody and talking down to him? No, it just means that 1 person is in charge. Was Moses in charge?
Was he lifted up above the people and a prince? He was made a prince by God. Was he haughty and prideful and arrogant and ruling with an iron fist? No he was not. That’s a false accusation. That’s the gainsaying of Korah that equates a strong leader with a tyrant. People will do the same thing in a family. In a family, guess what we need? A strong leader. A dad who’s firmly in charge. Not 2 people in charge but 1 person who’s in charge, a man of the house. Little Corey and Johnny and Susie “You take too much upon you dad.” They don’t want dad to be … you need that 1 man to be in charge and to be a boss. That 1 leader doesn’t have to be a tyrant or a jerk but he’s the boss.
A lot of people in this world will equate that with being a tyrant. You are lifted up and you … because you say that the wife should obey their husband like the Bible says or because you say that children must obey their parents like the Bible says. They’ll accuse you of being dictatorial or tyrannical when in reality you’re just following in God’s model. Same thing in the church. There is an elder. There is a ruler. Yeah, could a huge church running many thousands like the early church in Jerusalem have multiple elders? Sure. Does a church have to have multiple elders just to make sure that there’s not 1 guy in charge? Well that sounds like the gainsaying of Korah.
Look if you would at Titus 1:5 “For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any is blameless, the husband of 1 wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot, or unruly. For a (notice bishop and elder are used interchangeably in verse 5 and 7) bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word.” That sounds a good name for a church. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Just like the gainsaying of Korah.
Look at verse 13 “This witness is true: wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” The gainsayers often need to be rebuked sharply. The Bible teaches in verse 13. Go to 1st Timothy chapter number 5. While you’re turning there I’ll read for you this. Acts 14:23 when they ordained an elders in every church and then prayed with fasting they commanded them to the Lord on whom they believed. There have to be an elder or elders in every church. We do need leadership. There could be multiple leaders but oftentimes there’s 1 leader. That’s the way it works. There’s nothing wrong with having 1 leader.
Look at 1st Timothy 5:17. “Let the elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” Let me ask you this. Is it the elder’s job to be in charge or is he just like everybody else in the church? They’re all holly and don’t lift yourself up by the … No, what does the Bible say? Let the elders that rule well. I want to talk about briefly at the end of my sermon now what it means for the pastor to rule. Do you think that it’s just an unlimited rule? He is just the boss of every area of our lives? Of course not. That you being a cult if that were the case.
If you had a pastor that just demands your unquestioning obedience in all areas of life, okay his name is Brigham Young. You’re following Joseph Smith. You’re following David Koresh or whatever. It’s a cult and there are cult like followings. This is what people who say “We got to have multiple elders.” They’ll try to point to people like that and compare you to them. You can always find a bad example. People who are against spanking, they’ll find some person who beat their kid with an inch of its life. See this is what spanking does. You can find a bad example of anything folks.
Are there some pastors who take their authority too far? Of course there are. Are there elders who rule in areas that they shouldn’t be ruling? Of course. Does that mean that elders should just have no rule? No authority? They say, “There’s doctrine of pastoral authorities.” No, there is a doctrine of pastoral authority. It’s called … forget authority, it’s ruling. Look what the Bible says. Go to Hebrews 13. On 1st Timothy 5:17 it says, “Let the elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” Hebrews 13:7 “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of the conversation.”
I think the key in this verse is to see that the one who has to rule over you is the one who spoken unto you the word of God not just somebody who speak into you their own opinion. He’s saying, “obey that have rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God.” When you look at life, life has different spheres within it. For example we have the family and we have nations and we have churches. These are all institutions ordained by God. God ordained nations. God ordained churches. God ordained families. These institutions exist because of God’s will and God has proclaimed that these institutions should exist.
Within these institutions, there are leaders that God has given certain authority and a certain scope of rule. For example, in the home the husband, the father he is the king of that castle. He is the head of the home. Does the government have the right to come in and tell him how to rule his family? No. Does the government have the right to come into our church and tell us how to rule our church? No. Does the church have the right to go into your family and tell you how to do your home and come in and start ruling over your house? No. leaders need to stay within their scope. You don’t want the church to run the government either because the government is the government and the church is the church. The family is the family.
You don’t want the church running the government. Ideally you would want godly people running the government. Keep dreaming. Dream on pal. Ideally we want godly Christian but you don’t want the church running the government. You don’t want the family running the church. You don’t want the church running the family. These are just separate institutions. God say Christ the head of the church but he said the husband is the head of the wife. The father is the head of the home. The pastor is the ruler of the congregation. He is the shepherd. Pastor means shepherd. He is the shepherd and he is underneath of the great shepherd. There’s a change of command.
Who is the great shepherd? Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 13 we see that. Let me turn there myself. In Hebrews 13 it says in verse number 20. “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” Jesus Christ is the great shepherd and we as elders the Bible says are like an under shepherd. It says when the chief shepherd shall appear we will receive a crown of glory that faded not away. We as his shepherds, pastors.
The Bible uses 3 words to describe the office of a bishop, pastor or elder. Those are the 3 words bishop, pastor and elder. People have often criticized the King James Bible for using the word elder and they’ve criticized it for using the word bishop. The modern verses will change some of these things and I’ve heard a lot of people say that that’s a bad translation. In reality I’ve actually read the New Testament in Greek, and guess what? There are 3 words in Greek that describe it and it’s the same 3 words that we have in English. There’s 1 word corresponding to each of them. Its 3 different words and they mean the exact same things.
This is the thing. Preachers always want to go back to the Greek. It says the same thing as the English. What’s the point? It’s the same thing. People were trying to say that King James is translated wrong. Guess what? You read it, it’s the same thing. It’s in different words. The word that the King James uses elder is the same word where the Bible talks about 1 person being older than another in Greek same thing. Elder that’s what it means. That’s what it says.
Why did God use 3 different words? Elder, bishop, pastor because its 3 different aspects of the ministry. Bishop is the overseer aspect of the ministry. Elder has to do with the maturity level, the spiritual maturity not a novice and then pastor has to do with the shepherd or feeding the flock. Caring for the flock. Feeding them with the word of God like Jesus told Peter. Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep.
We see that the King James Bible rightly uses 3 different words to describe the man at the helm in the local church on this earth obviously under Jesus Christ authority he is the pastor because he feeds the flock. He is the bishop because he is a ruler oversees the church and he is the elder because he is someone who has a higher level of spiritual maturity not because he’s a better person but just because he has served the Lord long and gained the experience and has that level of knowledge and maturity that would make him an elder. See how these 3 words are important all 3 of them? They all have significance and meaning.
The Bible says in verse 17 “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.” Go to Mark 10. This is the last place to turn. Mark 10 and let’s understand what are the limitations of the authority that a pastor has. What is that realm? What is his scope of authority? First of all the Bible said if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? That tells me that the authority of a man is his house. The authority of the pastor is the church. The authority of a king or a governor or a judge is the nation. These are the place.
Romans 13 is real clear about what the purpose and scope of earthly government is. Does earthly government have the right or mandate from God to rule every area of our lives? Absolutely not. Does the government have a right to tell me what food to eat? What beverages to drink? What to do inside my own home or inside my own bedroom or inside my own closet? I can do whatever I want in the 4 walls of my home and it’s none of the government’s business. They want to bring their cameras in and they want to bring their listening devices in and snoop on me and want to know what goes on in the bedroom between me and my wife. They want to know how I raise my kids and what I’m teaching them.
Our government is out of control. They want to tell you what to eat. They want to tell you what to drink. Isn’t it funny? I’m against drinking alcohol but it’s none of the government’s business. I think it’s a very unwise thing to ride your motorcycle without a helmet but I don’t think that’s the government’s job to tell you that. I think if you’re smart, you’ll wear a helmet. I’ve ridden a lot of motorcycles. I always wear a helmet because it’s dangerous. If you want to go out and pop a wheelie with no helmet, that’s not what God’s … God did not set up government to protect you from yourself.
That’s why the crimes in the Bible were crimes that hurt others. They hurt society. It wasn’t just you’re hurting yourself. You know why the homos are put to death back in Leviticus day? Because they prey on others. Because they’re child molesters. Because they’re abusers and predators that’s why but I digress. What I’m saying is that the scope of government according to Romans 13 is crystal clear. He said it’s for the punishment of evil doers. Those who harm others. The punishment of evil there is not to provide you healthcare, to provide you food to eat, to provide you housing, to deal with public emergencies. No, it’s to punish evil doers. That’s it. That is the only authority that government is legitimately supposed to have from God that’s all punishing evil doers.
Otherwise if we didn’t have government and we just had anarchy, then people could just rob and hurt people and kill people and there’d be no repercussions. There’d be no recourse. That’s what government is there for to avenge the evil doer. That’s the scope of government. What is the scope of my authority as a man? My own wife and my own children. I don’t have the right to tell your wife what to do. While I’m a man, she’s a woman. No, not my woman. I’m going to tell my woman what to do. I’m not going to tell someone else’s woman what to do. I’m going to discipline and teach my own children. I’m not going to discipline your children. I don’t have authority over your children. I have authority over my wife and my children. You have that same authority.
Do you see how everything needs to be in its proper place? The pastor’s authority is over the church not over the people within the church to rule their personal lives. Do you understand what I’m saying? The pastor rules the assembly. He rules the congregation. What does that mean? That means that as the pastor, I have the authority to decide what kind of music we’re going to have, what kind of preaching we’re going to have, what Bible we’re going to read, what our ministry is going to consist of soul winning and we’re going to do King James Bible only. We’re going to sing only the old hymns. If there’s somebody who wants to come preach here and I say, “No, I don’t approve him. I think he’s a false teacher.”
I’m the one who decides. This is not an open mic. [inaudible 01:01:42] mic but you know. I don’t need a microphone. My chest is my microphone. I’m saying I have the right to decide who preaches behind this pulpit because I run this congregation. I run this assembly and I’m going to keep out your liberal, water downed pansy, sissified girly man music too by the way. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. I don’t believe it’s biblical. I don’t believe it’s godly. I believe it’s sensual and worldly and devilish. I run the church. I don’t run your personal life.
Are there pastors who overstep that boundary? Oh yeah and they want to tell you how to make all your personal decisions. Nothing wrong with asking me for advice but nothing wrong with asking anyone in the church for advice. You ask your dad for advice. Ask anybody for advice. The point is my job is not to rule you personally, not to monitor you outside of church and see what you’re up to. Obviously people who are commonly reported to be drunkards and fornicators must be cast out but it’s not my job to come to your house and tell you how to do things and how to run your business and rule over your personal life. That would be overstepping my bounds.
I do lead the congregation. It is not up for grabs what Bible we’re going to use. The music is not up for grabs. The pulpit is not up for grabs. If somebody preaches behind this pulpit, it’s because I approve it. “You’re a dictator.” Hey, somebody has got to be the watchdog. There are a lot of churches today that are great churches and great pastors with a lot of idiots getting behind the pulpit. Have you ever been to a great church and some idiot guest preacher came in and preached lies? Who’s been there? Some guy comes in … The church is a good church but then some guest preacher comes in and preaches a bunch of [inaudible 01:03:38]. The pastor should be held accountable for that.
Did you hear me? With authority comes responsibility. Do I have authority? Yeah but that makes me responsible. That means if some guest preacher gets up and preaches something foolish or false you know what come talk to me about it and I will be responsible for it. I will answer for it. The buck stops here because that’s my job to guide the congregation. The congregation meets how often at our church? Three times a week. That’s when I’m in charge those 3 times. That’s when I am the main authority. I’m not just this guy who’s just your authority figure watching over you throughout the week dictating what you eat and drink. Dictating your lifestyle. I’m not even going to tell you who to marry and who not to marry.
The thing is I’ll tell you that if you marry an unbeliever you’re not right with God. I’ll tell you that sin. I’m not going to try to run your life. I will say this I am a ruler in this church. I am a pastor that is a boss. I’m not just up here just “Guys is everybody with me?” I don’t care whether you like it. I am here to lead and to rule because I know what’s best for this church because I read the Bible. I studied. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been around the block. I’m not a novice and I’m leading this church in the right direction. Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord the soul winning we’re doing is right. The Bible that’s being preached is right. The songs that we sing are right.
I don’t want to take too much on me but I don’t want to take too little on me either. We need to be careful of the gainsaying of Korah. Yes pastors can go overboard on authority. I don’t think anybody would accuse me personally of being one of them because I’m actually a pretty hands off guy. If I see something that’s not right and our soul winning or in our music or in our preaching, I’m going to put the smack down. That’s my job. Somebody has got to.
In churches where nobody puts the smack down then the devil just comes in and just does whatever he wants because there’s no ruler. There’s no boss. When the cat is away, the mice will play. This cat is here to make sure that the devil does not destroy this church. It’s good to have a leader that wants to do that and that’s why the elder has to be vigilant. That means he’s watching for the enemy that wants to creep in all the time and change the church, destroy the church, corrupt the church.
Look at Mark 10:42. It says, “But Jesus called them, and saith to them, Ye know that they who are accounted to rule over the Gentiles, exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so it shall not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whoever of you will be the chief, shall be servant of all. For even the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
He says let rules among the Gentiles they abuse their followers. Rulers among the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and exercise great authority upon them. Even in 1st Peter 5 it says that we as elders or pastors should not be lords over God’s heritage but being in samples of like the Lord is the one who owns you. The Lord is your master. I’m not your master. I’m not your rabbi. I am not your Lord. I am not … but I am ruling but I’m to like the Gentile ruler that exercises lordship. I’m an example to the flock or at least I should be. That’s what the Bible is teaching.
We as Christians should understand that a pastor is a ruler. Jesus Christ is a ruler but wasn’t he also the servant? What the Bible is teaching is that the ruler of the local church should be a minister, should be a servant. He should be a person that does not serve himself and use you but rather a person who wants to serve you and uses his position of being the ruler to make your life better, to help you succeed, to teach you the Bible, to love you and care for you and help you grow in grace in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ not to just build himself up and build up his bank account and just become this wealthy multimillionaire guy with fame and fortune or whatever. Just exalt himself.
No, it’s about helping you. It’s about serving you. Does that mean that Jesus was not the boss because he washed the [saint’s 01:08:50] feet? Does that mean “Jesus is not really in charge. He’s not really the ruler because he washed the disciple’s feet.”? No, what the Bible teaches is yes be a ruler. Yes be the boss but serve. Isn’t that same way we’re being a husband? When you’re the husband you’re paying the bills. You’re serving. You’re providing. You’re teaching. You’re loving. You’re nourishing and cherishing your wife. Does that mean you’re not in charge though? No.
The Bible teaches that yes the pastor does have a position of ruling but he doesn’t abuse that and try to exercise lordship and authority over your personal life or to overstep his bounds in that way or to serve himself rather he should be a pastor. That’s why pastors are often called what? Ministers. Being a pastor is called being in the ministry. Why? It’s a position of being a servant and doing things to help people.
Let’s bow our heads in a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much you’re your word and we thank you for our church. Lord help us to understand the principles of your word. We looked at a lot of scriptures tonight. Help them all to sink in and for everybody to understand them. I pray the people would go home and study their Bibles further and understand the subject. It’s an important subject.
Pastors today are being attacked. Pastors are being falsely accused. People are saying that it’s not even scriptural to have a pastor and that a church with a pastor is not right with God and we need a board of elders. Lord, help us to just study your word and follow your model. Lord, pastors that are abusive I pray that they would stop but Lord help every pastor to be a ruler not to be a namby-pamby who just lets anything go but help them also to serve and be a minister. Help me to be a pastor that I need to be Lord. I know that I’m not a perfect pastor Lord. I pray you help me to do a better job and to be the best pastor that I can be. In Jesus name we pray, amen.