Oaxaca Mission Trip
Our 4th annual mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico was a success! I was so excited to bring 28 men, women and teens on this journey to show them this amazing place and give them the opportunity to serve in a different context. Over a three day period, our team ministered to hundreds in Vacation Bible Schools in the city. This was a particularly exciting trip because a medical/dentistry team went with us this year! Everyone they served was so appreciative of having necessary teeth pulled and their teeth cleaned. They were so thankful – hugging and kissing the doctors for their ministry, their love to them and that a doctor would simply just listen to them. The best part, several were saved and trusted Jesus as their Savior! Praise God! A new church plant will he started this year in the same town all of this took place in. It’s amazing the things God does and what He brings together for His glory. Advance Newsletter-August 2018
Should Churches be taxexempt? (Yes, and here’s
why) – My Answer!
By: Dr. Greg J. Dixon
This was the headline of an article that was displayed in a prominent place in the Baptist Bible Tribune, the official organ of the Baptist Bible Fellowship, International for April 2012 by Erik Stanley, Senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund – now The Alliance Defending Freedom.
Up front, l want all to know that I have no axe to grind with Mr. Stanley or the ADL or any other group mentioned in this article. I love the ADL and thank God for every victory that they have won and pray that they win many, many more. Allen Sears who founded the ADL has been a dear friend of mine and I enjoyed the lovely time we spent having breakfasts together and discussing the religious freedom issues every time I went to Phoenix to visit my daughter and her family.
As for the BBFI, I was there in 1950 when a few of the greatest and most godly men who ever lived on this earth; men like Dr.
G.B. Vick. John Rawlings, Noel Smith and Mr. Missions – Fred Donnelson began classes in High St. Baptist Church, Springfield, MO, Dr. W.E. Dowell, pastor to start Baptist Bible College, that in the next forty years became the launching pad for the greatest church building and missionary movement of modern history. To this fellowship I owe my education.
In 1969 when I faced the jaws of death they stood by me all over the world in prayer. My goal was to come back from my hospital room in Mayo Clinic and attend the National Fellowship Meeting in Detroit, MI which, by God’s grace I did.
I thank God for Dr. Rice and the Sword of the Lord and its influence on my life. What a blessing to sit next to that great man on many national platforms and watch him write out his notes before getting up to preach his sermon. Thank God for the good work of Dr. Shelton Smith who is continuing the legacy of the paper, I can’t wait to get it when it comes every two weeks.
The founders of the Fellowship excelled in evangelism and church growth but they were weak in Baptist history. But the Holy Spirit had not raised the tax-exemption issue yet. Our generation has been constantly warned of its dangers for nearly forty years. I have personally stood before the Directors of the Fellowship three times and the entire fellowship once to warn them. I have written numerous articles.
For a fellowship that has been in the leadership of the independent Baptist church movement for almost seventy years this is one of the saddest articles that I’ve ever read.
However its conclusions are the same that can be said for the Heartland Fellowship, the Southland Baptists, the Sword of the Lord Baptists, or any other so-called Independent Baptists that group around a fellowship or College such as Hyles Anderson, Bob Jones, Pensacola, Trinity in Jacksonville, or any number of small Independent Baptist Colleges spread across the land that claim to teach the doctrine of the Lordship of Christ over His divine assembly. Tragically they all seem to be reading off the same play book when it comes to this subject. David Gibbs, Jr. and III of CLA, Att. Terry Hamilton, Att. Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel and all other law firms that deal in Constitutional Law takes the same basic position, with the exception of Att. Gerald Finney and the Biblical Law Center.
Maybe we should remember what our Lord warned us about on this subject. He said, “Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
Mr. Stanley’s defense of church tax- exemption boils down to three basic arguments that apparently the ADL argues before the courts. But before we mention them, we are going to suggest two amazing things which we will come back to at the end of this article. First Mr. Stanley never defines his terms which is the most basic essential in any debate. He doesn’t define a “church”, neither does he define “tax- exemption.” Then Mr. Stanley does not quote one scripture. The BBFI was founded on the principle of, “Thus saith the Lord.” And yet here is a man who says “follow me” and doesn’t give one biblical reason why we should.
Mr. Stanley’s three Arguments for tax- exemption:
- The Social Benefit – “There is a “social benefit” theory that is often overlooked is what I have termed the “intangible benefit” theory of tax exemption. This recognizes the fact that churches provide great benefits to society by their good works. Churches minister to the poor and needy in the community, provide numerous social services for the downtrodden among us, and reach out to the “least of these” in thousands of different ways.
The social benefits justifies tax exemption for churches as a kind of bargain – churches provide needed services, so they are entitled to tax-exemption. Where in the scriptures does it say that the New Testament church (NTc) is to receive an “entitlement” from the world for their “good works?” In fact, Paul said to the contrary, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12).
Where do we have a command from our Lord or Paul that the (NTc) is to feed, clothe or house the poor of this world as an on-going ministry? Even the first church under the most dire poverty were feeding the widows of the church only. In 2 Tim. 5 Paul instructed Timothy that no widow under sixty was to be nourished by the church, nor if she had not washed the feet of the saints, faithful to her husband, raisinggood children, helping those in trouble, showing hospitality, and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” As the old saying goes, “we’ve come a long way baby.”
But apparently Mr. Stanley is not aware that the world is not happy about the good works of the church. We found out when we started our Church school that the public sector opposed us because they lost thousands of dollars for every student we took from their schools. The same is true of every ministry whether Christian adoption agencies, or homeless ministries or ministries to feed the poor, or for pregnant girls, or whatever, unless totally controlled by the state, they will not allow you to exist.
There is a high price for their so-called exemption. Mr. Stanley declares that tax- exemption is the benefit that the government gives to the church for providing a service to the community. The scripture says that it is our God that “loadeth us with benefits.” He also says that it is an entitlement to the church. The church is not entitled to anything from this world. The Lord Jesus said that when He comes that He will bring His reward with Him. In fact to those that expect their reward here, he said, “You have your reward.”
We need to remember that no believer, church or ministry in 2,000 years has gone about doing good as the Lord Jesus and they hung Him on a cross. They don’t care about our good works if we preach a rugged cross rather than a smooth cross, repentance rather than penance, and the gospel rather than the social gospel. But they have involved the lay folks in the scheme through the tax- deductible gift. The more they give the less they give to the wicked government.
That’s what I preached for many years, until I went to Nebraska and saw Everett Sileven dragged from his pulpit cold January day and put in the Plattsmouth Jail. And all of sudden God opened my eyes. If the saints are saving so of God’s money maybe they ought to give some of it back. I wonder what the early church will think of us at the Judgment Seat of Christ, “Because for His name’s sake they went forth taking nothing from the gentile.”
- Attorney Stanley’s second argument is a constitutional reason. He says. “Our history is one of an unbroken practice of exempting churches from taxation. Churches were exempt from the very first time the tax code was passed at the federal level, and have remained exempted every iteration of the
tax code ever since. Every state in America also exempts churches from property taxes. When the US Supreme Court decided the case regarding the property tax exemption of churches called Walsh versus tax commission stated that providing a tax exemption for churches was a less intrusive option under the Constitution that requiring churches to pay taxes.
This statement is patently false. He does say truly tax-exemption of churches began with the beginning of federal taxation, but it is not true that has been such a practice since the beginning of our history. In fact to the contrary, up until approximately 1900 churches in America were non- taxable, not tax-exempt. There is a vast difference. President Madison set the precedent in the beginning on the incorporation issue.
The legal identity of churches is the real issue at hand. Just as marriage in America originally was a woman’s coveture (she was hidden from the law by her husband), so the Constitution allowed the church to be married to Christ (it’s Coveture) and to be hidden from the law (it had no legal identity). It could not sue or be sued. But once churches desired to be incorporated, then to apply for tax-exemption rather than be non-taxable, they came out from their Coveture and the Big Bad Wolf of Government could see them and devour them. Following is an excerpt from chapter four of my book The Trail of Blood Revisited (Pg. 35).
Federal Tax Laws for N.T. Churches are aClearViolationoftheU.S. ConstitutionFirstAmendment– “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment ofreligion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” James Madison, the fourth President of the
U.S. (1751-1836) understood this principle well. He is called the “Father of the U.S. Constitution” and also a co-drafter of the Bill of Rights. He served two terms from 1809-1817.
He was a tireless supporter of religious liberty; his views and efforts made him an early friend to the persecuted Baptists. His autobiography – dictated in the third person
– states: “…he spared no exertion to save them [Baptists] from imprisonment and to promote their release from it…” Indeed, in 1774, after hearing that some Baptist preachers had been jailed for preaching without a license, he wrote: “That diabolical Hell conceived principle of persecution rages among some and to their eternal infamy the Clergy can furnish their quota of imps for such business…This vexes me the most of any thing whatever.”
(Letter to William Bradford, January 24, 1774) Later, after becoming President, Madison vetoed a bill which would have granted public land to a Baptist church in Mississippi. Other Baptists wrote to Madison to thank him for taking this stand! In a letter responding to those Baptists (dated June 3, 1811), Madison wrote the following words:
Among the various religious Societies in our Country, none have been more vigilant or constant in maintaining that distinction, than the Society of which you make a part, and it is an honorable proof of your sincerity and integrity, that you are as ready to do so, in a case favoring the interest of your brethren, as in other cases. On February 21, 1811, President Madison wrote to the House of Representatives the following words:
Having examined and considered the bill entitled ‘An act incorporating the Protestant Episcopal Church in the town of Alexandria, in the District of Columbia,’ I now return the bill to the House of Representatives…” He went on to explain that the law would be superfluous because of the First Amendment. (The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series, 3:323- 324).,
When the income tax and corporate tax was finally deemed constitutional the church denominations were corporations. Congress passed the non-profit laws, exempting them and other non-profit ministries and organizations out but they had to file for the exemption, recognizing Government as Lord over them. Stanley admits this with the following statement, “As the Supreme Court has said in a very early case, ‘The power to tax involves the power to control.”
But why can’t people understand that the power to give the exemption is the power to control also. All government has to do is to say, “we don’t exempt.” And as time goes on keep raising the ante. Now for churches to get State tax-exemption they have to have a determination letter from the IRS, in other words they have to be approved by the IRS. This is where the LGBTQ thing is really going to hit the churches in the future. And it has already started.
Websters Dictionary 1828 – When a church becomes incorporated or tax- exempt they give up their first Amendment Guarantees. Exemption means: EXEMP’TION, noun the act of exempting; the state of being exempt.
- Freedom from any service, charge, burden, tax, evil or requisition, to which others are subject; immunity; privilege.
See the difference: When a church becomes tax-exempt it is saying we want to be just like all the other churches, the Wicca’s, the Catholics, the Mormons, the JWS. These are not New Testament churches. They want to be legal entities. They want to be tax-exempt. True N.T. churches do not want to be government entities, they want to be married to Christ alone. They want to be under His Coveture. Tragically these attorneys are not telling the pastors that the First Amendment says clearly, “Congress shall make no law”, nor is it to prohibit religion in any matter unless a common law crime is being committed.
But to be tax-exempt Congress has to pass a law which violates the first Amendment. When our nation ratified the Constitution they in reality dissolved the State Church and established a secular state but gave freedom to all religions. When a church becomes tax-exempt rather than non- taxable they have joined their church. The church is now obligated to espouse federal public policy, not the “whole counsel of God.” They should not call themselves “Independent Baptists.”
The BBFI and other Independent fellowships have totally violated their doctrinal position on the Lordship of Christ over the church. They all say they believe in the local church. They teach “Christ is head of the church” (Ep 5:23) but deny it in practice.
They preach from the booklet, The Trail of Blood and sell it in their book stores but deny it in their practice. On this subject Dr.
J.M. Carroll wrote: The Eleventh ear mark of the N.T. church: Its Independence- separation of Church and State. (Mt (22:21.) It is also a complete denial of what they teach on the doctrine of the church in their classes on the church at BBC and every Baptist College and Southern Baptist College and Seminary on earth.
BBFI follows the New Hampshire Confession of Faith and it has a very clear statement on the separation of Church and state which says basically the same thing. It is also a denial of what Mike Randall, a past President of BBC wrote in his book titled Our Baptist Distinctives.
He dedicated an entire chapter to the subject. On page twenty he introduces the subject by writing: “A distinctive of Baptists that has distinguished them from Catholics and Protestants for centuries is the principle of separation of church and state…By separation of church and state is meant that the state is not to…interfere with the affairs of the church and the church is not to…interfere in the affairs of the state.”
And this brings us to our last point. Att. Stanley makes no distinction between a
- church and Jim Jones Kool Aid drinking monstrosity. This IRS, tax- exempt, tip toe around the tulips, secular church, which in reality is patterned after the Chinese “Three Self Movement.” These are Government recognized, financed, and protected churches. But the church must espouse federal public policy.
What will we have to say when we not only have to give an account to our precious Lord, but have to meet men like Isaac Backus, John Leland, Weatherford and those other Baptist preachers of New England and Virginia who were beaten and jailed for preaching the gospel.
Without their suffering we would not have the First Amendment and yet we have given it up without a whimper. Surely the warning that John gave to the church at Ephesus is applicable to our Independent Baptist churches today.
Rev 2:2-4 2. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Ford v. Kavanaugh – our take
Our position on these hearings are very simple. The state of Maryland has no statute of limitations on sexual assault crimes. Christine Blazey Ford could have filed charges against Brett Kavanaugh at any time over the past 36 years and still could. But why won’t she? The answer is obvious. There isn’t enough evidence for the state of Maryland to render an indictment, let alone, even to begin an investigation. Case closed.
SATAN’S MASTER PLAN TO DESTROY THE LORD’S TRUE CHURCH:
THE TRAP, SIN AND HOAX OF TAX EXEMPTION
This article is from Chapter three of the book, “The Trail of Blood Revisited” by Dr. Greg J. Dixon How is Satan accomplishing this plan to destroy the Lord’s church? By destroying the Biblical definition of the New Testament Church.
Just as Israel was God’s instrument for the production, preservation, and propagation of His truth in the Old Testament Dispensation, God has chosen His divine church (assembly) to be the instrument for the same purpose in the New Testament.
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. (Romans 3:1, 2) Oracles literally mean “the utterances of God.” Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. (Romans 9:4). But Paul the Apostle said concerning the Church, But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Timothy 3:15) This alone should be evident as to why Satan desires to destroy the Lord’s church (assembly). Because to destroy the Lord’s church is to destroy the only true depository and dispenser of truth in the New Testament era. The Lord Jesus gave the great commission to His church just before He ascended into glory. Individuals carry out the great commission, but it is the church as a corporate body, the body of Christ, which was given this command of world evangelism. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20) Satan has a greater respect for the power and purpose of the church than do most believers. If he can destroy the church, or at least its effectiveness, then he has thwarted God’s program for world evangelism.
The Origin and Meaning of the Lord’s Church
The Lord Jesus Christ established the church upon Himself as recorded in these words. And I say unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18); And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church. (Ephesians 1:22) Every known Baptist confession of faith teaches this principle in their doctrinal statement regarding the church. The following definition is from the Articles of Faith of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International.
The New Testament Church Defined Matthew 28:16-20
“We believe that a Baptist church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith fellowship of the Gospel. Said church being understood to be the citadel and propagator of the divine and eternal grace, observing the ordinances of Christ; GOVERNED BY HIS LAWS; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders whose qualifications, and claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the great commission:…” Please note the words, “Governed by His laws.” Mike Randall, President of the Fellowship’s flagship college, Baptist Bible College, and one of the harshest critics of the unregistered church movement, has this to say on this most import subject in his book entitled Our Baptist Distinctives, in Chapter 3 – “The Separation of Church and State”. A distinctive of Baptists that has distinguished them from Catholics and Protestants for centuries is the principle of separation of Church and state…Because Baptists believe that the final authority for faith and practice is the Bible…Baptists hold that the church of Jesus Christ is local, visible, autonomous, self-governing…” Randall then quotes Dr. Noel Smith (deceased), founding editor of the Tribune, the main publication of the BBFI, and professor of theology for many years at the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, on this subject as follows:“…Baptists believe in autonomous churches. They believe that the local church is a complete unit. They believe that Christ is the Head, and the only Head, of the local church. They can’t find in the Bible where the local church has any authority to transfer its autonomy, and all the obligations and privileges that equate with it, to any centralized authority.” And then Randall repeats, “Therefore, Baptists have and must reject the concept of a church state or a state church.” If these precepts are true, then why has every church in the BBFI submitted themselves to incorporation or other legal status created by the state, and have committed themselves to be obedient to those laws governing such entities? And yet, the preachers stand in their pulpits and trumpet such passages as pertaining to the Lord’s church, And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. (Ephesians 2:20). Not only that, the BBFI is organized as a non-profit organization under the Laws of the State of Missouri and recognized as taxexempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to maintain this status they must report annually to the IRS as to what churches are listed and deleted from the Fellowship directory. In other words, the leadership of the BBFI are IRS informers. Obviously, this is a total contradiction to their articles of faith, Randall’s statement and the stated position of Dr. Smith, who though deceased for many years, they are trying to use for their purpose. Does this not violate the warning of our Lord? He said, No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
The American Definition of the Church Agrees With the Bible
Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th Edition – CHURCH – “In the most general sense, the religious society of Jesus Christ, to receive, preserve and propagate His doctrines and ordinances.” Please note that it is the “Society of Jesus Christ.” By definition, this is the meaning when our founding documents mention the word religion, such as in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Multi-culturalism was totally unknown to the founding documents of our country.
However, all religions were invited to propagate their faith without fear of governmental reprisals for heresy.
Teen weighs impact of joining school gay-straight alliance
This article appeared in the Florida Today Newspaper in August, 2017.
Dear Abby • I’m 14, starting my freshman year in high school and, of course, will be joining lots of clubs to prepare for college.
My best friend is gay, and when I asked her if she wanted to join any clubs together, she suggested the Gay-Straight Alliance club. As a saved Christian, I am unsure how to answer. I believe Christians should treat homosexuals with kindness and respect. I believe also in same-sex marriage because of the legal protection it gives a couple. I respect my friend’s decision, and I’m happy she’s happy with her life. My family doesn’t know how to respond either, though they have similar beliefs. I am afraid if my church found out, they would dislike me for joining, as well as question where I really stand as a Christian. Can you help? — CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE IN KENTUCKY
Dear Caught • I, too, believe that Christians (and people of all faiths) should treat each other with kindness and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation. But somewhere you got the impression that sexual orientation is a choice. It isn’t. Your friend’s orientation was determined before she was born, just as yours was. Wanting to support your friend by joining a Gay-Straight Alliance is a commendable thing to do, and it follows the Golden Rule.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.
Publishers note: Obviously, Dear Abby, under her pen name, Jeanne Phillips, sees herself as one to indoctrinate her readers to her own moral or amoral standards than a simple advice columnist. Unfortunately, she is basing her theories on the subject of homosexuality on the pseudo-scientific theories that she has learned from the American Psychiatric and American Medical Associations rather than other scientists that have far greater credentials than those that these groups have depended on. And as for this individual who declares themselves as a “saved Christian”, as if there were any other kind, they should take the advice of David rather than Abby when he said to walk not in the “counsel of the ungodly” (Ps. 1:1 (a). And Abby and her inquirer should also seek the inspired advice of Paul the Apostle who instructed Timothy with these words, O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (1 Tim. 6:20,21).
Whoever this, “saved Christian” is, should also consider the scripture that says, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2 Cor. 6:14-15).
But the greatest sin lies with the spiritual leadership of this fourteen-year old, be it parents or Pastor or both. Surely this is what the Lord Jesus meant when He said, “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”
This individual who doesn’t say whether male or female says that they believe in marriage because of the, “legal protection it gives a couple.” How sad, Christian believers need to make decisions based on the Word of God, not on the protection of Caesar’s laws. Any arguments that we try to give to sodomites to get them to change their lifestyle will be like, spitting in the ocean, when it comes to putting out the fire as they burn in their lust toward each other (Rom. 1:27). The only one who can put that fire out is the Holy Spirit through the firey preaching of the gospel of Christ who has the power of God to quench the fire of lust that burns in the flesh that will put out the flames of a burning hell for those that commit this wicked, vile sin and every other sin that is rebellion against the law Word of God.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The New Testament Church according
to Matthew 28:16-20
It is visible – “…eleven
disciples…”- (v-16) They could
be seen. (Not invisible)
It is local – “…into a mountain
where Jesus had appointed
them.” (v-16) They could be
found. (Not universal)
Its Purpose – (v-17) “…they
worshipped Him.” The N.T.
church is the only institution on
earth that is established for the
specific purpose of worshipping
the Lord Jesus Christ. (Not
Its authority – “…all power is
given unto me in heaven and in
earth.” (v-18) He said, “As the
father hath sent me, even so send
Its commission – “Go ye
therefore and teach all nations.”
Its perpetuity – “…baptizing
them in the name of the Father,
Son and Holy Ghost.” (v-19) It
is the only institution authorized
Its teaching – “Teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I
have commanded you.” (v-20)
It is the, “…pillar and ground of
the truth.” (I Tim. 3:15)
Its promise – “…and, lo, I am
with you alway, even unto the
end of the world.” (v-20)
There are Only Three Possible Positions on the Doctrine of the Church:
The Catholic Position-Universal Visible Church, The Protestant Position-Universal Invisible Church and The Biblical (Baptist) Position-Local Visible churches [assemblies]
In the Supreme Court of the United States U.S. v Indianapolis Baptist Temple (Pastor Gregory A. Dixon, Trustee) On Petition For Writ of Certiorari To The United States Court of Appeals For The Seventh Circuit PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI
REASONS FOR GRANTING THE WRIT:
The Seventh Circuit’s opinion has decided an important question of federal law involving First Amendment protections of the Church, its polity, faith and practices from governmental regulation, interference and controls that has not been, but should be, settled by this Court. This case is not a tax case. This case presents a religious liberty issue that goes back to the foundational purpose for which the Religious Liberty Clauses of the First Amendment were established. This issue goes to the very essence of the Religious Liberty Clauses. It involves the right of the New Testament Church to exist in America. In this case the church declared this truth about the three models of church government in our Writ of Certiorari before the Supreme Court of the United States with the following argument. At the risk of over-simplification, but only for the purposes of brevity as required by the rules, three primary models for Christian Churches exist in the world today. Each model arose at different times in history, and each has its own polity, faith and practices. The first model originated in the First Century, A.D., as recorded in the scriptures of the Holy Bible. The Church polity is that of a “New Testament Church.” The historic Baptist Churches adhere to this model. The second model originated in Rome in A.D. 325 and was founded by the Emperor Constantine when he formed a league with some of the New Testament Churches of that time and declared the Christian religion to be the religion of Rome. The Church polity of the Constantine Church was based upon the “universal, visible Church.” This model became the model for the Roman Catholic Church in A.D. 610 when the Roman Emperor Phocus ordained Boniface as the first Pope and invested him with supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The third model had its origin at the Diet of Spires in A.D. 1529 with the origin of the Protestant Church and its many denominations. The Church polity of the Protestant Church is the “universal, invisible Church,” which makes a distinction between the “legal nature” of a visible Church and the “religious nature” of the spiritual church. The central tenet of the Baptist Churches adhering to the “local, visible Church” model is the absolute sovereignty of the church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ as the head of the Church. The doctrine of the Church requires the complete separation of the Church from the state. This doctrine of separation conflicts with the doctrine of both the Catholic Church and the many denominations of protestant churches which became established state churches. The doctrine of the universal church models is not offended by church-state associations, and the protestant churches became state established churches (i.e. Lutheran-Germany; PresbyterianScotland; Church of England-England). Throughout Church history, the state established churches warred against the New Testament Churches who resisted their authority over the local, New Testament Churches, and persecuted them. The First Amendment purposed to end the persecution of the local New Testament Churches, called “Baptist Churches,” and prevent the state from establishing a state Church in the United States. The decision of the Seventh Circuit puts the New Testament Churches back to the place they were in before the First Amendment was adopted. Today, IBT is being punished for adhering to the faith and practices of the New Testament Church as a “local, visible body of Christ” by the loss of the Church properties and criminal and civil sanctions. Further, the decision establishes the “universal Church” model whose doctrine is not offended by state-church alliances as a state church in the United States to the exclusion of the practice of the faith and practice of those Churches adhering to the New Testament “local, visible body of Christ” model. This Court has reviewed the effect of government regulations, tax laws, etc. on the religious beliefs of: Individuals, Christian Churches and Christian Ministries modeled upon the “universal, invisible Church” model as tax-exempt religious institutions: See, Bob Jones University v. United States, Non-Christian faiths organized as tax-exempt religious institutions: See, Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah, where the court upheld the sacrifice of chickens as a religious animal sacrifice protected by the First Amendment for the Santeria religion which is organized as a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation. But this Court has never considered the effect of government regulations on the faith and practices of the New Testament Church which is a special assembly of saved, baptized people existing as the body of Christ on earth as the Lord’s “ecclesia” (Matthew 16:18).All the facts in these cases can be distinguished from the facts present in IBT. The Seventh Circuit refused to distinguish these facts from the facts of IBT and relied upon Smith. The Seventh Circuit said, “Significantly, however, neutral laws of general application that burden religious practices do not run afoul of the Free Exercise Clause.” Although the tax laws appear to be neutral on their face, it cannot be argued that the tax laws are “neutral in P a g e | 6 their effect” when applied to the doctrine, faith and practices of the New Testament Church. This is an issue that was not present in Smith that this Court has not yet ruled upon. Only this Court can settle this issue, the issue of God as the sovereign head of His Church. Can the government tax God? Can the government regulate God? If the decision of the Seventh Circuit stands, the answer is yes, and the decisions of this Court and the Seventh Circuit have rendered the protections of the Religious Liberty Clauses of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution for the New Testament Churches of non-effect. On January 16, 2001 all nine Justices of the Supreme Court met and voted to refuse cert, that is to reject hearing the case against the Baptist Temple, therefore allowing the Seventh Circuit decision, establishing an IRS approved church to stand, therefore outlawing the New Testament Church in America, at least in the Seventh Circuit. Hopefully if a New Testament Church in another circuit is attacked they can prevail on this argument. An eye witness told Dr. David Wolfe’s assistant in Rochester N.Y. that Chief Justice Rehnquist said, “I’m sick and tired of hearing about that D…n church.” The only thing we will say is, Mr. Rehnquist is dead and Christ’s church known as the Indianapolis Baptist Temple is still alive.
What the New Testament Church (assembly) is Not
Most preachers can tell you by rote the definition of the New Testament church, but the problem is, they don’t know what the Lord’s church is not. Please be assured that it is not that definition that the Internal Revenue Service states in Publication 1828. It is not a legal entity (an organization as defined by the courts and the Internal Revenue Service), such as:
- A Non-Profit Corporation
- An Un-incorporated Association
- A Corporation Sole
- A Charitable Trust
The Devil’s Church Biblically and historically has always been a State Approved and Recognized church (a legal entity or organization) The Lord’s church (assembly) is and will always be a divine organism – the body of Christ – Corpus Christi – Heaven’s Corporation. We must always remember that Christ’s true church cannot be incorporated or operate as any other type of legal entity, because it would in reality be impossible to incorporate the Lord’s body. It is only the name that is incorporated. Also the Lord’s church or assembly is only that Biblical body when they are assembled. But when a church incorporates or operates as any other type of legal entity, that legal entity continues to exist even when the body is not assembled. When a church incorporates, the church still exists, but they have simply taken another lover which is the state instead of Christ. To become unentangled from the state is to leave that lover and go back to Christ. The church at Ephesus had left their first love (Revelation 2:4). Each of the seven churches in the Apocalypse had sinned, except for Smyrna, and until their candlestick was removed, they were still considered the Lord’s churches. That’s why He continued to warn them to repent while there was space to repent. (Revelation 2:21).
Note: The Bible that the State Church Must Use: Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations Internal Revenue Service Tax Exempt and Government Entities Department of the Treasury Publication 1828 (Rev. 7-2002 Catalog No., 121096G www.irs.gov
IRS State Church Defined Pub. 1828; pg. 1
Churches and religious organizations may be legally organized …under state law, including as un-incorporated associations, non-profit corporations, and corporations sole and charitable trusts. IRC: Section 501(c)(3) describes charitable organizations, including churches and religious organizations, which qualify for exemption from federal income tax and generally are eligible to receive tax deductible contributions.
CHURCH – Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches. These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions.
They include: A distinct legal existence; A recognized creed and form of worship; A definite and distinct ecclesiastical government; A formal code of doctrine and discipline; A distinct religious history; ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study, literature of its own; established places of worship; regular congregations; regular religious services; Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young; schools for the preparation of its ministers.
This list is repeated in the glossary of publication 1828 on pg. 24 with the following additions:
The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for Federal tax purposes
The IRS makes no attempt to evaluate the content of whatever doctrine a particular organization claims is religious, provided the particular beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held by those professing them and the practices and rites associated with the organization’s belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to CLEARLY DEFINED PUBLIC POLICY. [Emphasis added]
These were announced for the first time by IRS Director Jerome Kurtz on January 9, 1978 in the state of N.Y. and repeated in the Draft of Publication 1828 July 26, 1994. Number 6 is omitted in the final product, which says, “A membership not associated with any other church or denomination.”
Why is this omitted? Remember that by their own admission, the IRS rules and regulations are evolving. The new Form 1023 gives a clue as to why this statement was left off of the final list of guidelines for churches. Point number 3 of the new Form 1023 (September 1998), which is the application for tax exempt status for churches, asks this question: “Does the organization have a written creed or statement of faith?….Yes___No___.”
Be assured that the question now will be a requirement in the future. In other words, to qualify and maintain tax exempt status, a church must be ecumenical; this means there will no longer be exclusive church membership and the ordinances will be open to all adherents, as it is now among most Protestants and even some Catholics.
Now let us examine the IRS state approved church in comparison to Carroll’s list of eleven earmarks of the N.T. church listed in The Trail of Blood.
“MARKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH”
- Its Head and Founder – Christ. He is the lawgiver, the church is only the executive (Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1:18.);
- Its only rule of faith and practice – THE BIBLE (II Timothy 3:15-17.);
- Its name – “CHURCH,” “CHURCHES.” (Matthew 16:18; Revelation 22:16.);
- Its polity – CONGREGATIONAL – (nonhierarchical) all members equal. (Matthew 29:24-28; Matthew 23:5-12.);
- Its members – only saved people. (Ephesians 2:21; I Pet. 2:5.);
- Its ordinances – BELIEVERS’ BAPTISM, FOLLOWED BY THE LORD’S SUPPER. (Matthew 28:19-20.)
- Its officers – PASTORS AND DEACONS (I Timothy 3:1-16.);
- Its work – getting folks saved, baptizing them (with a baptism that meets all the requirements of God’s Word), teaching them (“to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”). (Matthew 28:16- 20.);
- Its financial plan – “Even so (TITHES AND OFFERINGS) the Lord ordained that they which peach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (I Corinthians 9:14.);
- Its weapons of warfare – spiritual
- , not carnal. (II Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:10-20.);
- Its independence – separation of Church and State. (Matthew 22:21.)
The Christian Law Association Agrees with the IRS From My Briefcase – Attorney David C. Gibbs, Jr. – April, 1998 “Will Churches Remain Tax Exempt in America?
Following is the official position of the Christian Law Association. This is a great tragedy because this organization started out as a champion of the Fundamentalist Baptist Churches in the land, and now have totally capitulated to the enemies of Christ.
David Gibbs, Jr. stood in the pulpit of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple around 1984 and said, “We must not give them even so much as a half a loaf.” But now as you can see, he has delivered the whole loaf, which symbolically stands for the churches of America, over to the Internal Revenue Service lock, stock and barrel.
“Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) provides for the tax exemption of certain organizations, including churches and schools, if they meet seven (7) criteria. These criteria are easy for the church to meet, if the church knows and understands them
- THE ORGANIZATION MUST BE A FORMAL ORGANIZATION
This means the church must be organized as a trust, an unincorporated association, or a corporation;…” You will notice that he says that it is “easy” for the church to meet these “criteria.” Why would the Lord’s church want anything from the IRS which, no doubt, is one of the most wicked and ruthless agencies of government that has ever existed in the history of mankind?
Can the human mind think of anything more evil than the Lord’s church entering into league with these cutthroats in order to receive benefits?
Is there no embarrassment, no blush, no thought of receiving provisions (taxes) from the public trough to finance the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? This socialistic program is nothing other than a violation of the eighth commandment, Thou shalt not steal.
- THE ORGANIZATION MUST BE ORGANIZED EXCLUSIVELY FOR EXEMPT PURPOSES.
- THE ORGANIZATION MUST BE OPERATED EXCLUSIVELY FOR EXEMPT PURPOSES.
- NONE OF THE ORGANIZATION’S NET EARNINGS MAY INURE TO THE BENEFIT OF ANY PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL.
This means that no one connected to the organization may take advantage of their position for financial gain. A church cannot even loan money to their pastor. This also means that the IRS will set the salaries of the pastors of America.
- THE ORGANIZATION MAY NOT INFLUENCE LEGISLATION.
- THE ORGANIZATION MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS.
- THE ORGANIZATION MUST NOT ENGAGE IN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OR ACTIVITY CONTRARY TO PUBLIC POLICY.
We trust that the reader will see that Attorney David Gibbs, Jr. is not referring to a New Testament Church – which is a divine organism, the Lord’s divine assembly – but rather he is referring to a man-made organization created by the Internal Revenue Service- an artificial person or legal entity, to perform a state function as dictated to by the IRS.
History Repeats Itself
It took the early church 300 years to finally accept the proposal of marriage to Constantine but less than 200 years for the American church to accept the shoddy proposal of betrothal by the IRS.
At least the early believers could give the excuse of severe persecution but the American variety of Christianity wasn’t threatened with any kind of hardship, they simply gave up their liberty for, “filthy lucre.”
The following account, in the history of Roman Catholicism, from A Distant Mirror – A Calamitous 14 th Century by Barbara Tuchman clearly revealed what happened then and now again. These words are found on pg 6.
After his conversion to Christianity by St. Remi, King Clovis gave the territory of Coucy to the new bishopric of Reims, grounding the church in the things of Caesar, as the Emperor Constantine had traditionally grounded the Church of Rome.
By Constantine’s gift, Christianity was both officially established and fatally compromised.
As William Langland wrote: When the kindness of Constantine gave Holy Church endowments. In lands and leases, lordships and servants, the Romans heard an angel cry on high above them, “This day dos ecclesiae has drunk venom and all who have Peter’s power are poisoned forever.”
It is also said that a Pope told St. Thomas Aquinas, “No longer does the church have to say, as Peter, ‘Gold and silver have I none.’” Thomas replied, “Right, Sire, and neither can it say, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.’” (CF 2 Kings Chapter 5 & Acts. 3:1-11).
God only has one Plan of Salvation
Introduction: From the very moment that Adam and Eve were driven from the garden God made plain His redemption plan for mankind by slaying an innocent animal (sin offering), in which blood was shed and covered their nakedness (sin) with the skin (righteousness) of Christ. By accepting the free gift of grace they were justified, made innocent before God’s holy court of Divine Justice.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin
This was the Gospel the Prophets Preached in the O.T.
Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself
Abraham saw Jesus
Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
Joh 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Joh 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
Abraham was Justified by Faith
Rom 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
David knew all about Him
Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Act 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Ps 22,22,23.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Conclusion: God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
The issue is Authority
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four- footed beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was
Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
The issue is authority-Every person has the responsibility to pass the faith of the true God on to the next generation. But even then God’s mercy and grace through many means, gives enough truth that if anyone sincerely seeks the truth, God will reach them with the truth.
Battle of Gog/Magog on the Horizon?
By Britt Gillette/EndtimesBibleProphesy July 24, 2018
Recently, I was listening to a nationally syndicated radio program, and the host made an astonishing observation. She described a recent trip she took to Israel. She talked about looking over the border into Syria. Then she dropped a line that grabbed my attention. She said, “When you look over the border today, you’re not looking at Syria anymore. You’re looking at Russia, Iran, and Turkey.”
This wasn’t a religious broadcast. It was a secular, political talk show. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the host realized the true significance of her observation. I don’t think she spoke from a perspective of Bible prophecy, and it made her statement even more powerful. Because any objective observer has to agree with her.
The nation of Syria no longer exists. It may exist in name, but that’s it. What used to be Syria has been carved up and divided by any number of groups. And the three biggest are Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Why is this so significant? It’s significant because it sets the stage for an event the Bible prophesied over 2,000 years ago.
The Gog of Magog War
Twenty-six centuries ago, Ezekiel described a last day’s alliance that will invade Israel from the north. The Bible says a man named Gog will lead this massive invasion force (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Here are the nations who will join Gog, followed by their modern day names:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran Cush = Sudan Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth- togarmah = Turkey
Notice anything? That’s right. Of all those nations, the three most powerful – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. They have military forces camped on
Israel’s border. And not just any border – Israel’s northern border. Remember, Ezekiel said the Gog of Magog invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). So now we have three of the nations in Gog’s invading force perched on Israel’s northern border. Mere coincidence? I don’t think so.
The Bible foretold this exact scenario in Ezekiel 38-39. Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world, have the three formed an alliance. At least that is, until now…
In the past two decades, Russia and Iran have become close allies. In 1995, the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy signed an agreement with Iran to finish the Bushehr nuclear power plant. This work had stopped following the 1979 Islamic revolution. Since then, the two nations continue to strengthen their economic and military ties.
Russia is one of the few world powers that consistently defended the existence of Iran’s nuclear program. Today, both nations freely work together to prop up Bashar Assad’s regime and suppress any opposing factions in Syria.
They’ve coordinated military operations in Syria and carved the nation into spheres of influence. Despite thousands of years of recorded history in which there’s no record of such Russian-Iranian cooperation, today we see it.
And what about Turkey? For years, those who study bible prophecy have wondered how Turkey fits into this alliance. After all, Turkey is a longtime ally of Israel. As a founding member of NATO, the idea of Turkey joining a Russian invasion of Israel has been hard for many to imagine.
After all, NATO exists to combat Russian aggression. As recently as 2014, I noted in my book Signs of the Second Coming:
“Turkey is another interesting member of this military alliance. Since the restoration of Israel in 1948, those who understand bible prophecy have struggled to figure out how Turkey fits in. Why? Because in 1949, Turkey became the first Muslim majority country to officially recognize the state of Israel.
Turkey and Israel have a long history of diplomatic, economic, and military cooperation. Turkey is also a member of NATO. And what is the purpose of NATO? Its purpose is to defend member nations against Russian aggression. So why would Turkey join a Russian alliance to invade another country?
While it hasn’t made sense in recent years, that idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched today. In May 2010, Turkey and Russia signed a series of agreements enhancing their energy ties, including an agreement to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.
And in recent years, Turkey’s domestic politics – historically secular in nature – have been heavily influenced by Islam. And that gives Turkey more than enough motive to join the Gog of Magog Alliance.”
And here we are. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consolidated power in Turkey. Ataturk’s Turkish Republic is dead. Its secular government is gone. In its place, Erdogan is building an Islamic Republic aligned against Israel.
The relationship between Vladimir Putin and Erdogan is strong and growing. All that’s left to take place is a clear break between Turkey and NATO, permanently moving Turkey into Russia’s sphere of influence.
What It All Means
So what does all this mean? It means the stage is now set for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39. And it means more events will begin to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect this alliance to get closer.
Expect Israel to become isolated. And expect more nations to join Russia, Iran, and Turkey. As these events take place, it means the world draws closer and closer to witnessing the Gog of Magog war.
This means Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9).
No other nation will come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. This means He’ll put His full power on display for the people of this world when He supernaturally destroys Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23).
Most of all, it means we’re in the last days (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:25-29), the Second Coming is near, and the rapture of the church is even closer!
Today marks the 68th anniversary of our church and although we won’t have a big “to-do” until our 70th, I thought I would give you my thoughts about what IBT means to me.
As most of you know, I have grown up in this church. My parents became members a year or so before I was born and I have been here ever since.
Although I don’t have any personal knowledge of the first 23 years of our church’s existence, I have been around for the last 45 years and I can absolutely (and obviously) say that IBT has had a major impact on my life!
I have been thinking about the impact this week and was reminded of some major milestones in my life that were centered around the church. It was at IBT that I…
- learned about God’s love in Sunday School
- received Christ as my Savior at age 15
- was educated in our Christian school
- was taught great doctrine and discipled by godly men
- was taught to take a stand for what is godly and just
- met Bekah and married her
- developed life- long friendships
- was called into Christian ministry
- have seen our kids ask Jesus to be their Savior, get baptized and grow in their faith
And those are just a few of the major highlights…the full list is much longer!
After writing that list, I am reminded that God, the people that make up IBT, and all my experiences at the church are a gift in which I am extremely thankful for!
I think of what James said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” – James 1:17-18 But enough about me and my story; what about your story?
How has God impacted you through the ministry of IBT? As you reflect on this, I am going to ask you to take the time over the next week to do a couple of things…
First, would you take time this weekend to thank God for the people that have influenced you in positive ways, and for those that are still living, would you call, text, or message them to thank them for their influence in your life?
Whether it’s a nursery worker, a Sunday School teacher, a mentor, a youth leader, maintenance person, worship team member, senior saint, Dr. and Mrs. Dixon, Pastor Greg and Mrs. Dixon, or any other pastor and their wife, just let them know that you are grateful for them.
Second, would you write us and let us know what IBT has meant to you? You don’t have to get too personal, just a general statement of how God has used the people and ministry of IBT to impact your life.
You can send an email, write on the IBT Family FB page, or write a note on our connection cards on Sunday morning.
Of course, it is God that is to be praised for the great things that have happened at IBT over the last 68 years. I pray that He will continue to use us to impact the world with the gospel of Christ for many more years to come!
Let me leave you with this passage…
“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you in Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
Pet Clones: On the Threshold Of Cloning Humans?
God created man in His image. Are we on the verge of man making man in his own image? The latest issue of Vanity Fair has an article on what may be the ultimate form of conspicuous consumption: cloning your dead pets, specifically dogs.
Most Americans were unaware such a thing was possible, never mind commonplace, until Barbra Streisand mentioned it in passing during an interview with Variety magazine that her two current dogs were clones of her dog Samantha, who died last year. As Streisand later explained in the New York Times, “every time I look at [the faces of Samantha’s clones], I think of my Samantha . . . and smile.”
Streisand isn’t the only person who has cloned her dead pet. When the Vanity Fair article calls dog cloning “very big” and “very controversial,” it’s correct on both counts. Take, for instance, the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, South Korea. In the last ten years, Sooam has produced more than 1,000 clones of deceased dogs.
As you may have guessed, dog cloning is very expensive. The cost runs from about
$50,000 to $100,000 per birth and the clientele mostly reflects it: superstar divas, “Middle Eastern royalty,” and the “billionaire founder of Phoenix University,” to name but a few.
Sooam’s founder is Hwang Woo-Suk. In 2004, he claimed to have successfully cloned a human embryo. His claim was later shown to be a “spectacular hoax,” and he was sentenced to two years prison. He escaped actually serving time because the judge ruled that he “has truly repented for his crime.” Perhaps he had.
What’s clear is that Hwang hasn’t lost any enthusiasm for cloning. While he insists that “Here in Sooam we are steadfastly against human cloning,” he insists that “Animal-cloning ethics and human-cloning ethics have completely different values.” He adds that “animal cloning can bring us benefits and help us contribute socially.”
Many ethicists disagree. They cite the “pain and suffering” involved in producing a single canine clone, such as potentially dangerous hormone treatments and genetic abnormalities. This exceeds the suffering in natural reproduction.
Then there’s the elephant in the room: human cloning. Earlier this year, scientists in China announced that they had “created two cloned monkeys,” using the same technique used to create “Dolly the sheep,” two decades ago. The head researcher at Sooam told Vanity Fair that “These monkeys are very close to us genetically . .
. which means you should be able to clone a human.”
The head of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children’s Hospital told the Times, “We are closer to humans than we’ve ever been before . . . That raises questions of where we would want to go.” Assuming the technical obstacles can be overcome, the answer should be obvious: If people are willing to pay $50-100 thousand dollars to assuage their pain over losing a pet, imagine what they would be willing to pay when we’re talking about family members and loved ones.
As Vanity Fair put it, “If distraught parents think a clone would resemble 85 percent of their child’s appearance and personality . . . it’s only a matter of time until pressure will inexorably mount to give it a shot. If there’s enough demand, the market will do its best to respond.”
And that’s the “best-case scenario.” The worst-case scenario is something akin to Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel “Never Let Me Go,” where clones are created to provide their “owners” with spare body parts. If this sounds like science fiction to you, so did cloning your pets until recently.
Originally published at Breakpoint.org – reposted with permission.
(Publisher’s comments: Events such as we read in this article on TOL today convinces us that the coming of our Lord surely draweth nigh. If the Lord doesn’t return soon, man will totally destroy himself. He now has the ability to create this Frankenstein monster (cloning) let alone enough explosives in the neutron bomb to blow up the planet many times over.
No doubt this is what the scripture means when it says before the flood, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart Gen. 6:5,6)
EMP Commission Warning
Prophecy News Watch May 18, 2018
The federal EMP commission report warns that even the smallest EMP attack on our grid system would down it for about a year, if not longer. A year-long blackout would certainly be coupled with a massive death toll that would devastate entire populations.
The so-called EMP Commission report said that this threat is very real, jeopardizes “modern civilization,” and would set back living conditions to those last seen in the 1800s.
As a result of the chaos, millions would likely die, according to the report titled “Assessing the Threat from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP),” from the recently re-established Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.
“The United States — and modern civilization more generally — faces a present and continuing existential threat from naturally occurring and man-made electromagnetic pulse assault and related attacks on military and critical national infrastructures.
A nationwide blackout of the electric power grid and grid-dependent critical infrastructures — communications, transportation, sanitation, food and water supply — could plausibly last a year or longer.
Many of the systems designed to provide renewable, stand-alone power in case of an emergency, such as generators, uninterruptible power supplies, and renewable energy grid components, are also vulnerable to EMP attack,” said the 27- page report.
“A long-term outage owing to EMP could disable most critical supply chains, leaving the U.S. population living in conditions similar to centuries past, prior to the advent of electric power,” said the July 2017 report provided Secrets.
“In the 1800s, the U.S. population was less than 60 million, and those people had many skills and assets necessary for survival without today’s infrastructure. An extended blackout today could result in the death of a large fraction of the American people through the effects of societal collapse, disease, and starvation,” added the executive summary.
Three reports on the issue of an EMP attack have been declassified by the Pentagon and seven more are awaiting clearance.
Among those declassified documents, was a report from Peter Vincent Pry, who served on a prior EMP Commission and is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, spelling out the human toll of an EMP attack on the electric grid. He also advises the current commission.
In “Life Without Electricity,” he said the results would be horrific for most, as the vast majority of Americans have virtually no survival skills. He believes the whole year would look something like this:
Social Disorder: Looting requires a dusk to dawn curfew for those not wanting to risk their lives. People become refugees as they flee powerless homes. The workforce becomes differently employed at scavenging for the basics, including water, food, and shelter.
Communications: No TV, radio, or phone service.
Transportation: Gas pumps will be inoperable. Failure of signal lights and street lights would impede traffic and all traffic would cease after dark, but not many would even have a functioning vehicle anyway. No mass transit metro service and all airlines will be stopped.
Water and Food: There will be no running water. Stoves and refrigerators will be inoperable. People will have to melt snow, boil water, and cook over open fires. Local food supplies will be exhausted. Most stores will close due to the blackout.
Energy: Oil and natural gas flows will stop.
Emergency Medical: Hospitals will have to operate in the dark. Patients on dialysis and other life support will be threatened. Medications administered and babies will be born by flashlight.
Death and Injury: Casualties from exposure, carbon dioxide poisoning, and house fires increase.
All of these should be kept in mind when prepping for worst case scenarios.
Originally published at SHTF plan.com – reposted with permission.
THE TRUMPET VOL. XXVII Issue 115 October – December 2018 AD
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