Published by Andy Neckar
P.O. Box J Hico, TX 76457
Vol. 4, Number 9, Sept. 1998

Editor-Andy Neckar
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Inside This Newsletter

1. Comments on Acts Chapter 20
2. Deputation-Biblical or Traditional?
3. My Writings Clarified Some.
4. NEWS WATCH
5. CNV NOTES

 

Comments on Acts Chapter 20, Verses 17-31 and other "points of interest".
By Andy Neckar

In this chapter and these verses, the apostle Paul is on his way in haste to Jerusalem. Stopping off at Miletus, he sends for the elders (plural-more than one elder) of the church (singular-one church ) at Ephesus (v, 17)

When "they" had come he said unto "them" (plural- v, 18) In verse 28 he says that these elders are overseers of the local church at Ephesus.

The Greek word for overseers is episkopos, according to the Strong's Greek/Hebrew Dictionary. The Strong's Definition for this word is "A Christian officer in charge of a (or the) church". This word is also translated bishop in the KJV.

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; (1Tim 3:1-2)

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; Titus 1:7)

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: (Phil 1:1)

As far as we know there was only "one" church at Philippi at the time the Epistle to the Philippians was written, but you should notice there were a plurality of bishops-overseers in this church. These are bishops/overseers (plural-more than one) that have the "rule" over the local church. (1Thess 5:12; Heb 13:7; 17; 24)

By the way- in Phil 4:18, Paul says all his needs are fulfilled. He has abundance in the gifts given to him by the Philippian church. I wonder how this came about when we never read of him visiting this church on deputation? Could he have actually "trusted" in the Lord for his well-being? Hey, "New Testament" churches--LISTEN UP.

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears". Acts 20:28-31

Now this makes me very sad. I'll tell you why. In the "majority", I say MAJORITY of churches now a day the flocks of sheep are being starved to a dead spiritual uselessness. The food they do receive in most churches is diet food. These Christians receive the minimum amount of spiritual nourishment necessary for spiritual existence, but not enough to grow in the faith and mature.

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil". Heb 5:12-14

Many Christians are on a diet of pabulum. Now this can be expected of "new" Christians, the babes in Christ, but what about the "older" Christians? New babes are cute, but 30-60 year old babes in the Lord? They don't appeal to me any more than they did to the apostle Paul.

The reason for their stunted growth is two fold. It is because these Christians refuse to consume the meat of the Word by studying to show themselves approved unto God. (2 Tim 2:15) These Christians leave it "all" up to the preacher to do the studying and they propose to learn from him. They will sit and listen for thirty minutes on Sunday and in many cases hear the pastors' opinionated commentary on a verse or two.

How do I know this? Because Paul warned about this and I have observed this. And folks, if you too have noticed this you will agree that it is no great sight to see a pabulumed breath, dirty-stinky-diapered babe "as old as Moses" in the Lord.

Another reason for this sad sight is that the churches long ago went to the "one man rule". Churches of today "hire" a pastor if he can preach. They could care less if he has the gift of overseer. Besides--the Holy Spirit of God does not give the gift of preaching or teaching only to "pastors". Many of today's pastors purposely keep the believers from strong meat in order to hinder them in their discernment of true and false. Only a foolish wolf would blow his cover.

I know pastors that bend, twist and take scripture out of context to prove their fabrications. These fabrications "always" benefit the pastor and draws disciples after him.

While I am on the subject of pastor, let me say that many dedicated pastors are hindered from exercising the gift of overseer they may possess by "deacon boards". Either way folks, there are unscriptural systems in the church, and I feel I must point them out.

Yeah folks, I warn of the churches that draw away disciples after "themselves" and not to "Christ". These wolves "enter in" and some arise "among" the church. These liberal churches, and sad to say, even some of the churches that are considered sound among fundamentalists, draw disciples after themselves or their church name. i.e. "Baptist Landmarkism" and "Tithes and Offerings" as an example.

You see, folks, in today's churches that hold to "pastoral authority" (one-man rule) there are no checks and balances. Only with a "plurality" of "overseers" can the preeminence of "one man" be thwarted. (3 John 1:9)

The church today desires to operate like the secular government, but even the government has a system of checks and balances. There are three branches of Government. Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. These are the "checks and balances" put in place by the founders of this government. When one of the three goes awry, the other two hold it accountable. The wayward branch must answer to the other two branches. Simple enough?

Some will contend that the church "deacons" hold the preacher in check. After all, they are the ones actually in charge. Do they not "hire" the pastor? They call this practice "calling" a pastor, but when a regular salary is guaranteed in advance, the truth must call it what it is, "hiring". And if the truth be known, deacons have no scriptural authority to call/hire a pastor. (Acts 6: 2-5) So, if a pastor is "called" by the "deacon board" chances are he does not have the gift of bishop/overseer as the "calling" is not scriptural and therefore not of God. An unscriptural called pastor, or deacon run church, lacking the spiritual gifts of such offices cannot feed the local flock in that church the meat of the principles of the oracles of God (Heb 5:12)

Some "babes in Christ" who do take some time to study God's Word at home may by chance happen to gnaw on a piece of spiritual meat. These babes, not understanding and not praying to the Holy Spirit for discernment, run to the deacon ordained pastor for spiritual guidance, and in many cases it results in the blind leading the blind. How can it be otherwise, when man dispenses an office to a man the Holy Spirit has not gifted.

All this is the cause of so many "professing" Christians in the church today. The children of God fellowship with these children of the devil because their growth in Christ has been hindered by lack of knowledge. They have no teachers and do not study to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Their spiritual sustenance is a steady diet of Pabulum Lite. They lack a hearty diet and exercise to aid in the development of spiritual discernment of good and evil. These Christians will probable be saved as by fire. (1 Cor 3:15)

Yeah, folks, side by side in the pew they sit. God's children and the children of the devil unequally yoked together. God's children are the ones "unequally" yoked. WHY? WHAT HAPPENED? The "church" has reformed itself to cater to the children of the devil. (unchurched) There is a religious reformation going on folks. A great revival is taking place led by those that came in unawares or arose from among God's people. The churches are reviving the secular members, and trying to reform the Christians, unto worldliness.
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Deputation-Biblical or Traditional?
Do modern day missionaries walk by faith or by sight?
By Andy Neckar

Since the early Christians turned the world upside down without having gone to Bible colleges or seminaries, we would wonder if the church has not strayed from its original pattern of building up believers in the local church to do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-1 6). Missionaries were commended to the work from a local church, sent forth without formal education and without doing deputation (the practice of fund raising in order to be sent out). They were free to follow the Lord's leading rather than being directed by a mission board - there were no mission boards -- and the work thrived as the Spirit of God sent forth those He prepared and called to serve Him.(An excerpt from "The New Testament Church", by elders of "Ross Bible Chapel" PO Box 563, Ross, Ohio 45061)

Gifts of support come to the worker from the home assemble and other assemblies that are burdened for the work the servant (missionary) is doing. If the work is God's will, all of the missionary's needs will be met. God will see to this.

Acts 13:1-4 "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus".

Hey look-it doesn't say, "separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them, and when they had received this calling went immediately on a lengthy deputation. NO, they departed unto their missionary destination.

Modern missionaries place their trust in money and not in the Lord. If the Lord calls them to go and preach the gospel, wherever it may be, (next door even) they say: "Now hold on Lord, I can't get in a hurry now. I must raise the necessary funds to support my family and me in a reasonable comfortable manner before I can obey you." They say: "I know you say in your Word that you are sufficient for all my needs, but it is customary to trust in the world for financial needs now-a-days, and I certainly go along with that. A pledged "guaranteed" salary provides much better confidence than faith in a variable sustenance".

So they often go on "deputation" to obtain a motor home so they can go on deputation. These "moochionaries" then go on a lengthy solicitation for adequate support so they can go on the "missionary trip" for a year or less in many cases, at which time they come back to the home country for another lengthy deputation.

Where is God in all this? His Word will not return to Him void, )Isaiah 55:11) regardless if the mission is scriptural or not. God's will, will be done--in spite of us. It's pretty sad to hear of missionaries who cannot respond to the Spirit, for waiting on the flesh for sufficiency. I can say only one-thing folks. If God calls, He will provide. We, as Christians, should walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7) AMEN?
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My Writings Clarified Some.
Below is an excerpt from a letter I received from a pastor in response to a news article I recently sent to subscribers. It was a nice letter, but I hope & pray that you folks do not think I am out to malign anyone. I just try and preach God's Truth.

Dear Brother Andrew;

Just a note of thanks for the excellent issue that I just received. Though I have taken exception to some of your posts in the past, especially when you seem to malign pastors in general, I still appreciate the information that you make available to us....

...Anyway, thanks again, and may God continue to bless your important ministry!

Your fellow servant;

Pastor P.J. (He signed his full name)
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My Response

Hello P. J.

First of all I want to thank you for writing. Next I wish to clarify my writings some. I do not wish or intend to malign pastors or ANY child of God. I also speak of "professing" Christians in the churches. This is not to say that it applies to ALL people in the churches any more than my accusations directed towards erring or "downright deceiving" pastors apply to ALL of them.

The leadership (pastors) of the established "local" churches are fast falling away from the TRUTH. Many otherwise "sound" churches no longer preach the "whole" council of God so as not to offend the unchurched. Yet some do. I must say, if the shoe doesn't fit don't wear it, it wasn't made for you.

When Jesus said the day would not come except there be a falling away first, does not apply to ALL of us. Some of us will hold out to the end you know.

If you read my two newsletters on tithing you will see that I have spoken without twisting ONE Scripture. My references to David Cloud in the first tithing newsletter clearly shows the Scripture twisting he employs to get his point across. I lose respect for a man like that. I will speak out against Scripture twisting pastors or anyone else.

You know there is a difference in "error", and "clear deliberate Scripture twisting". This falls into the category of "false teaching". I EXPOSE FALSE TEACHERS.

My ex pastor could have disagreed with me on the tithing issue without resorting to the hateful, bitter accusations he hurled at me. He clearly showed that he couldn't prove some of what he teaches, and resorted to an attack on my character. I don't believe a "God called" man can do this. This man maligned his own self. He brought reproach to his "profession".

Well--enough of this for now. I say again, thanks for writing and may our God and Savior bless you in your work for him.

In Christ-Andy
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NEWS WATCH

CAN A CATHOLIC WIN PEOPLE TO JESUS?
Detroit lawyer and entrepreneur Mike Timmis is the new chair of Prison Fellowship International, the world's largest volunteer criminal-justice ministry. Timmis, a 58-year-old Roman Catholic, cofounded the Talon Corporation, a holding company. He will coordinate Prison Fellowship activities in 83 countries. He replaces founder Charles Colson, 66, who remains on the Prison Fellowship International board and will still be chair of the U.S.-based Prison Fellowship Ministries. "I have never met a man with a greater passion to win people to Jesus," Colson says of Timmis. (Christianity Today 7/13/98)

[Editor] OK-see what I mean, you Chuck Colson fans? Does Colson wish to obey the God he claims to worship? That is-the God of the Bible-the Father of our Savior Jesus Christ.

If you have ANY discernment, you know that Catholicism is NOT Christianity. If you don't know this, write me and I will explain to you FROM THE BIBLE why this is true.

Most of you know that I use the King James Version of the Bible, but it doesn't matter WHICH BIBLE you use. They ALL will show you that Catholicism is not Christianity. The "New American Bible" (a Roman Catholic Bible) showed me. This Catholic Bible pulled me right out of the Roman Church. PRAISE GOD. I said all that in order to say this: How can a Roman Catholic lead others to Jesus? They, themselves have a need to find the REAL Jesus. Why? THE JESUS OF THE ROMAN CHURCH IS NOT THE JESUS OF THE BIBLE.

Would Charles Colson recruit Hitler to help relocate the Jews to the Promised Land? Makes about as much sense. THINK ABOUT IT..

P.S. Mike Timmis is also on the Promise Keepers board of directors.
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Factoring the Factor
MIAMI, Fla. -- Miami's Catholic-owned Mercy Hospital called off a proposed merger with Baptist Health Systems of South Florida because of disagreement over abortion policies. Mercy Hospital does not perform abortions, but one of the four Baptist hospitals does. Sister Elizabeth Anne Worley, chairwoman of Mercy's trustees, said abortion was" the only sticking point" in the merger. (IBNS 7/31/98)

[Editor] Isn't it strange that a hospital operated by a FALSE RELIGION will hold more morals than a CHRISTIAN run hospital will hold?

Isn't it strange that DOCTRINE is not the dividing factor in this case, but MORALS are? Sometimes I have to remind myself, "what is this world coming to".
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Anglicans from developing nations understand the Scriptures differently than those from Western countries, they said. "When you talk about sin in certain places, it has ceased to exist," Bishop Alexis Bilindabagado of Rawanda said. "When you talk about repentance in certain places, it has ceased to exist." Flare-ups over homosexuality and euthanasia at the 1998 Lambeth Conference stemmed from fundamental differences in the understanding of the Bible, he said. The once every 10-year gathering of Anglican bishops concluded on Aug. 8. In the end, the church voted not to ordain practicing homosexuals or bless same-sex unions. The majority of bishops also voted against euthanasia, except in cases where nourishment is withheld from someone in a persistent vegetative state, Reuters said. More than 700 bishops from 22 national churches attended the conference. Most members of the Anglican Communion are from African churches and about 25 million Anglicans are in Nigeria and Uganda. The Church of England, the communion's founding body, has only 2 million members.

[Editor] I realize that the Anglican Church is not a strictly New Testament church, but it sure does my heart good to hear of these African Bishops who contend for God's Word. AMEN?
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Benny Hinn
With simply the promise of miracle healings, televangelist Benny Hinn continues to pack stadiums around the world. Hinn's international ministry could bring in nearly $100 million this year. But detractors say his "miracles" are pure theater and lack proof. "I had dinner with Hinn one time and asked him to send his best documentation for healing," says Hank Hanegraaff, author of Christianity in Crisis. "He sent three, and we had them checked by our research and they were all bogus." Hanegraaff said Hinn sent x-rays of a cancerous tumor that was gone. "But upon further investigation we found it had been surgically removed, rather than miraculously healed" (Christian News, 7/6/98). (What in the World-Volume 23-Number 3)

[Editor] Makes one wonder just how many REAL Christians are there. God's Word says the elect would not be deceived. (Matt 24:24)
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Charismatic speaker Bob Mumford wrote an article on "Breaking Free from the Denominational Trap," published in Charisma (7/98). A picture with the article shows people coming out of a multitude of buildings, including a Jewish synagogue, a Roman Catholic cathedral, an Orthodox cathedral, and numerous other buildings. Mumford says the Father "wants us to be reconciled . . . as Jews and Gentiles, as Roman Catholics and Protestants." (What in the World-Volume 23-Number 3)

[Editor] God's Word does NOT say to be reconciled with un-believers. God's Word says just the opposite. (2 Cor 6:14-17)
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Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham's son and designated heir, held his first joint U.S. crusade with his father in Albuquerque, New Mexico, last May. The Associated Press describes Franklin's new style: "This isn't Billy Graham. The preacher is more likely to be dressed in jeans and cowboy boots and the choir sounds more like ZZ Top, the hard-rocking trio from Texas. . . . It's a message delivered with a little more glitter and a little less of the fire-and-brimstone that has made his father famous around the world. High-energy music and short sermons are more Franklin's style." Franklin Graham said about the crusade, "We're not having a church meeting here. I want to put on a show that people will enjoy" (What in the World-Volume 23-# 3)

[Editor] Do you think that people will enjoy hearing the REAL gospel of Christ? HUH? Do you? You think people will enjoy hearing that they are lost sinners doomed to an everlasting hell, and there is NOTHING they can PERSONALLY do about it, except to believe the gospel in faith?

If Franklin Graham puts on a show that people will ENJOY, exactly what does he preach? Something is missing folks. Sure-probable some of you have heard him. You say, no, nothing is missing. I say, there HAS to be. He's missing something and possible so are you.
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"It is no longer socially unacceptable for churches to be sued," warned a lawyer at a panel discussion on church -state issues at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Lawsuits involving sexual misconduct, personal injury, employment discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination have accelerated in recent decades (Baptists Today, 4/23/98). (What in the World-Volume 23-Number 3)

[Editor] This should be of no great news. THE CHURCH IS SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE TO THE WORLD.
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CNV NOTES

Well Folks, the Lord is blessing this little ministry. Opportunities to aid in discernment are increasing. Free literature is going out to prisons (3), an air base in Turkey, and to mission work in Asia. Contributions to this ministry, which last year was almost nil, has increased allowing this ministry to seize the opportunities the Lord provides.

The response to the three new books offered is great in sales and comments. I ask that you please consider them.. Talk about discernment? These books are full of it. They are not politically or traditionally correct mind you, but they speak Biblical Truth.

I have started a Wednesday evening Bible study in my home here in Hico centered around the Lord's Supper. Just my family so far, (8) but I am about to write letters and "hit the pavement" in recruitment.

I receive so many letters of encouragement. It is a fantastic blessing in how they never stop coming. Many of these make me cry and greatly increase my burden to get the truth out. God's Word is Truth.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and encouragement. You too are in my prayers.

See you next month if Jesus tarries.

We Must Earnestly Contend For The Faith-Jude 1:3

[The Christian News & Views is a free monthly publication of Messengers of Christ Ministries. PO Box J, Hico, Texas 76457, a nonprofit (501-(C)-3) organization registered in the State of Texas. [Articles by the editor are not copyrighted and may be used to the glory of God.] Please indicate the source.]