Essentials of Church Life:
Only Nine Essentials

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

1. Worship-- Obey the Word-- Exalt God

I have had a reader write and try to prove to me that the Lord's Church is not told anywhere to worship God. This is the sort of mindless drivel which comes of hyperdispensationalism (throwing away the Old Testament), and possibly some guru Jerkenhalter preacher who does not want to take the time to worship God in the assembly.

Thus, I gather it is essential to prove here that the Church must exalt and worship God as their first duty. Here is my conviction on this doctrine:

Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

This will be fulfilled during the Kingdom reign of Christ, but it is also happening right now as the Gospel is preached worldwide.

Psalm 99:9 Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.

Psalm 96:8 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

The average Fundamental Baptist thinks that the way to worship best is to bring an offering. Worship is far more than taking an offering to pay the preacher's salary. Ugh!

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

This is that hour, and will continue through the Kingdom of Messiah.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

This rules out ritual and "Order of Worship No. 6" in the back of the Reformed Hymnal.

Luke 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to JerBliplem with great joy:

This is how the Church Age started. This is how any local church should start.

Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

Christian worship is heresy to religious people, so do not follow the rituals of denominations in worship.

1 Corinthians 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

New believers should start worshipping at once. Worship is not something you learn in a seminar, it is your heart calling out exalting God in your way. This can be done with the saints gathered, but bepiano coverse of vain repetition and ritual. Bepiano coverse of hyping worship out of obligation. Note how this works in the Gospels:

John 9:36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?
37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

The church is the "we" here. This fulfills the promise to the woman at the well in Samaria.

Colossians 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

Bepiano coverse of "will worship" which is the flesh exalting itself, or exalting other men.

Acts 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

Bepiano coverse of exalting the teacher, witnesser, or preacher-- This is Jackboot religion at its worst.

Acts 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

Acts 18:7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Start a church with people who worship God, and it will be a powerful church.

blips 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

Even in death we are encouraged to worship to the end.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thoBlipnd years.

Worship is a choice, and refusing to worship God and Christ is also a choice. Bepiano coverse of a worshippless Christianity.

Psalm 118:28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

2. Holy and Grave-- This is not a goon show-- It is the Body of Christ

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
Verse 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

Titus 2:2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

Most Jackboot Baptist and Pentecostal preachers play the fool every Sunday morning. They crack jokes all along the way, and may waste up to twenty minutes before the sermon "loosening up" the people. Some call it "comic relief" which says something about what went before. Look here:

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

We see here that the foolish jester is right in the same list with the adulterer.

3. Singing-- Old hymns of the faith and sing the Word of God

The Theme Hymn of this ministry: Arise, My Soul, Arise

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

CCM is not spiritual, at least not the Spirit of God-- maybe the spirit of Beelzebub though. There is nothing in the above verses to justify this Jesus dooo-waa nonsense singing in many churches today. One lady I know, a Methodist (!), mockingly calls it "Jesus of Nashville." Start out singing old time hymns of the faith, full of zeal and doctrine, and this will give your services power. Furhtermore; God will enjoy your services too. Does that sound silly? Well, look here:

Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of blip.

So, how can we praise Him too much-- He is at home in our praises.

I have had kids as young as six years old whose favorite hymn was "Be Thou Exalted" or "Arise, My soul Arise." Avoid the pointless contemporary choruses. Sing only a few chorus, and then ONLY older ones which have passed strict standards on doctrine. Even some old ones, like "Do Lord," are trivial and stupid. NEVER sing, "We are one in the spirit" unless you want devils to enter your service.

Sing a long time, and encourage the saints to sing with great zeal. Sing ALL the verses of all hymns. Be cautious and invite the folks to watch for a line that is off a bit on doctrine. We love "The Old Rugged Cross," but we don't like the line, "So, I'll cling to the old rugged cross." We don't cling to crosses-- that is for Catholics. So, we didn't dump the hymn. George Bennard was a Bible believer, but his one bad word choice there MUST be submitted to the final authority, which is the Word of God. So, we sing, "I will SING of the old rugged cross." Problem solved, and the saints now know that the hymn book is not inspired. All things must be examined by the Word.

We have given you hymn book resources in the section:

4. Prayer-- For all saints, for Caesar, and for zeal

This is the easiest and first thing to go in a church which becomes self-centered. Worship is next.

If you call a prayer meeting, PRAY. I am sick of all the Jackboots who call Wednesday evening meeting "Prayer Meeting," and then they end up using all the praying folks in AWANA or some other program. Many churches have Bible study instead of pray, and this sounds spiritual, but it makes for a prayerless church nonetheless.

There are several things about prayer which can become troubling in a House Church:

1. Long winded prayer. Jesus discouraged this:

Mark 12:38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Bepiano coverse of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,
39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:
40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Some of the men who are known for long prayers are probably not even born again. They don't pray like they are talking to their Father-- they pray to get attention. They also pray in King James English often, and this puts off the new believer who doesn't know KJV English. This needs to be stopped one way or other by privately talking to the man.

2. Ladies praying:

When a man in the assembly is new in the Lord and cannot pray out loud for the group, it is wrong to allow women to lead openly in prayer. They will make the man feel very small. If you want a House Church which is politicly correct, go ahead, but don't call me to bail you out of the mess you make.

3. Prayer requests out of control:

An old and wicked problem in many churches is to take verbal prayer requests, and then have prayer right afterpiano coversd. Very often, some brat lady with a nasty spirit, will give all manner of private gossip in the form of "we need to pray for so and so." You will blow your assembly all to pieces if you allow this to happen. Ask for prayer requests in writing if there is any chance of this sort of thing.

4. Make sure prayer is reverent:

I have heard a number of people pray who were trying to cure everyone present of too much reverence and respect for God. They prayed like hippies just getting on a high of crack. All sorts of silly imagery and weird vocabulary is used. Just stop this as soon as it starts.

5. Prayer as preaching and tongues:

Some people sent in by Satan will pray for some prayer request during a prayer meeting, and they will interject bad doctrine as they go along. This may be the only way in which they are promoting their heresy, but it will have a powerful effect on the assembly as people become frightened of prayer time if they are present. The other trick is for a visiting Pentecostal to interject a "shandilyamai shundai and a hoopai in a moon pie" into the flow of their prayer. If you stop them, they will look all hurt and make you look like a jerk.

If someone comes into your fellowship who disagrees on some doctrine, but they don't promote it and speak only to a leader of it in rational discussion, well, you may want to leave them alone. But, when someone plays tricks with your prayer time, or in any other way, run them off-- no mercy!

It is a disease of the Laodicean church that prayer is talked about, organized, and promoted. but no one prays. Take every opportunity to resort to prayer in your gatherings and services.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

5. Giving-- The collection-- On the First Day without duress

One Jerkenhalter Pastor tallied up the giving every year of all the regular people. This last year, he found one family had not given nearly as much as a tithe. This preacher had a pretty good idea how much the man of the family made at his job. So, when the preacher sent a record of their giving, he added a note that they had not given like they should have. As it turned out, the family had switched over to giving cash so they would give totally secretly, as Christ instructed. The family was hurt very badly, and the preacher still has not confessed the sin of judging them falsely. This is Jackboot religion at its worst.

Here is the key passage on giving in the New Testament:

1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galitia, even so do ye.
2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Faith Promise giving is unbiblical. Everyone should give according to the ONGOING blessing, week by week. There must be NO compulsion or shame. No commitments should be laid on which are pushing the saints and putting them in bondage. Give to missionaries AFTER you know you have it.

Now, here is the biggest heresy there is to a Jackboot Fundamental Baptist preacher. Watch it now, some of you are going to need CPR after reading the next sentence. Are you ready? Sitting down please. Here goes:


What if God wanted to give you a large sum of money to pass on to the needs of His work? If you were only tithing, He would have to give you millions in order to get enough out of your measly ten percent. So, teach the saints to give according to the text above and then shut up. Don't be teaching on giving all the time, and don't ever shame people about how much they are giving. You are NOT the Holy Spirit. It is none of your business. Just teach giving about twice a year and let the Holy Ghost do the rest.

6. Study, Read, and Teach ONLY the Word of God--

Book Studies-- About 80% - Topical Studies-- Maximum 20%

The average Fundamental Baptist, Bible, or Pentecostal local church has a pastor who will not study for his sermons. He makes a show of study, but he really is too lazy to really work at it. Some actually don't know how, so they should have some consideration, but only if they ask for help.

These preachers rehash sermons they have on cassette or from notes they took in Bible College. They have only about 5 topics they preach on, though they are clever enough to find new proof texts from time to time.

YOU will NOT do this friend. You will study, for you are under orders to do so as a leader:

2 Timothy 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness

Read lots of Bible in your assembly:

1 Thessalonians 5:27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

NO Bible teaching from videos and cassette sermons

Again, YOU do it. Your must humble effort is what God wants, and the Holy Spirit is on record as committed by our Lord to help you. Ask, and you shall receive.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

God has no secrets He is willing to keep from you if the Flock of God needs them.

Study! Teach! Live it!

Acts 20:28 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.

Let me illustrate the worst error many people make in starting a House Church. Here is a parable:

A man and his wife were just married, and they began to eat out on special occasions. They decided they would only eat in the best restaurants and eat only the best steaks and good food.

This went on for several years until they had a couple of children come along. At that point, the husband and his wife began to pick cheaper restaurants. They still tried to eat well, but with the kids along, they had to be more price conscious.

Well, the years past, and it got to be hard to find the time to sit in a restaurant for long evenings and wait for the food and get home with the kids in time for bed. So, the whole family got to where they usually went to McDonald's to eat. The food was predictable. What little selection there was tasted OK, and it was delivered fast and hot, and if they ate quickly, they could still get home and have some evening left.

One day one of the kids asked Mom and Dad, "What is it like in one of these fancy restaurants?" Well, Mom and Dad looked at each other, and they really got to feeling bad. Their kids had never eater a good steak, and they had never had Baklava or Cappuccino. So, the couple told the kids, "Tomorrow night we are taking you to a five start restaurant."

WOW! The kids all got dressed up, and they didn't eat all day so they could enjoy the food. When they did eat at the restaurant that evening, they were in awe all the way through the meal. Croutons on the salad, the waiter ground the pepper onto their salad, the baklava was like something made in heaven, and the steak was unreal. One of the kids said, "Mom, can we eat here more often?"

Mom and Dad got to talking, and they came to the conclusion that if they stopped eating out altogether, they could eat at home and make their own special meals. This is exactly what they did. Mom and the whole family started learning how to cook those special dishes themselves, and they had a special meal once a week which was a real treat.

Well, as time passed, the bother of getting all those dishes made seemed like a lot of distraction, and the special meals got simpler and simpler. Finally, one evening, they were all in a hurry on account of how all of them were totally distracted by the cares of life, and they all came to the conclusion that the best thing would be to make:

Cheeseburgers, Chocolate shakes, and fries.


Now, are YOU going to go home to your House Church, dig into the Word and lay out a feast at first, only to settle later for simpler and simpler spiritual food? You need to covenant with the Lord today that you will give this the top place in you life-- study to show thyself approved unto God.

7. Unity or One Mind

Living with one another and other local churches

This is not the unity of ecumenism or cross organization piano coversm fuzzies. This is the one mind the Apostle Paul called for in the local church family.

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one topiano coversd another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

This one mind allows NO room for democracy. American and Western churches stumble over this because of the legacy we have received from Greece and the rule of man. Voting and the "church business meeting" do more to destroy Christian fellowship than any other thing as far as I am concerned. Do not proceed when there is clear division in the leaders of the assembly.

To live above with those we love,
Oh, that will be glory.
To live below with those we know,
Well, that's another story.


Visit the sick and shut-ins

Eating together from house to house,
                    and all things in common

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thoBlipnd souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

It would be wrong to legislate the above early church conditions, but it would be equally wrong to try to dump this passage under the pretext that this was only for the transitional blipish Church. It is very obvious that these responses to the Holy Ghost were based in the same zeal one for another that should be in us today. Let me illustrate how this same spirit was at work in the Gentile Church of Paul's day:

Romans 15:25 But now I go unto JerBliplem to minister unto the saints.
26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at JerBliplem.
27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.

So, the care of one saint for another, or one church for another, is rooted in a heritage going far back in the Lord's Church. In this text we see that race and culture did not stop the compassion of the saints from giving. Nothing would startle the ungodly like a House Church of Anglos sending a gift or help to some Hispanic or piano church, and visa versa. piano churches need to give and not only receive. Some things need to be learned yet in this old wicked world, and we should start at the church house.

We need to cultivate a sensitive spirit for the needs of the saints at the person to person level. Too much giving goes as a lump of money to some monster need far away. How about next door? It is also not enough to throw money over the horizon at various needs as the liberal churches do. We should be always eager to help with the little troubles of life.

Baby sitting for a sick mother, helping a family move, sending a financially strapped newly married couple somewhere special, and a thoBlipnd other small things come and go. Each one offers a blessing to the saint who solves the problem. The Lord's Church should be famous for this zeal.

8. Soul Winning--

Six days-- Work and Witness in the world

blip did not invite Philistines into the temple for Sabbath services. That was NOT what was happening on the Sabbath in the temple. You have NO business making Sunday the day of evangelism at the House Church. The fact that your former Jackboot pastor did evangelism from the church house pulpit does NOT mean that he was doing right.

When the early church came together on the First Day of the week, it was for edification and worship. There is almost nothing about evangelism in the gathers. Soul winning was done up on Mars hill and along the way during the week.

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

While these people were overdoing it, the situation is revealing in that they were NOT doing any soul winning. They were told by Paul to back off on the intensity of activity so that the saints could be edified. No one is edified in the long run if the Gospel is preached all the time to saved people. This sound blasphemous to anyone cultured in a Jackboot church, so let me show you that I am right in this:

blips 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith topiano coversd God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.

In your House Church, MOVE ON from the Gospel and repentance and salvation to teaching the books of the Bible and learn all the doctrines. Teach the people to do soul winning six days a week between Sundays.

On the First Day-- Rest and Worship as a Body

Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

In our Western cultures we are now used to working five days on the job, and then we have Saturday off and Sunday also. Preachers often ignore the need of the saints to rest. The Jackboot preacher gives his people virtually no time to rest.

Many men today are victims of a new approach to hiring in commercial and industrial areas. In the 1980s many companies found that if they asked their workers to work overtime and on Saturday the company would actually be ahead since the overtime paid was less than the benefits for hiring new workers.

I had a man in Michigan who worked like this all week. His company had a lot of Vietnamese and Polish workers fresh over from their blips, and these people had never made good money in their life. They would take all the overtime they could get-- they would have camped at the company if they could have. The company used this greed for wages and asked them to work lots of overtime and on Saturday. When the brother from out church politely tried to back out of the overtime, the company politely let him know he could lose his job if he didn't cooperate.

When that brother came up the steps to the church house Sunday, I would just thank God he was even there. He would often drift off to sleep during the sermon, and his wife would start to wake him up. I told her to let the poor guy sleep. What better place to get a nap than with the saints away from the world and the tensions of life. When they didn't show up on Sunday evening, I knew the brother was probably just sitting in his big chair sleeping or out deer hunting.

Was it my job to thrash him into attending all the meeting at the church house? No! It was none of my business. A lot of these Jackboot preachers have never been in the work place for any period of time, and they don't have any idea what life can be like. I have, and I know that the saints need their rest.

Furthermore; when the church works a faithful husband or wife until they cannot find time to enjoy the marriage chamber, the church or Jackboot preacher are helping to destroy their home and marriage. These kinds of churches and preachers should be abandoned. They are wicked.

Please so not duplicate this in your House Church. Keep the schedule helpful to the saints and the real world. Avoid overmuch activity on Sunday. Let you friends have a rest.

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

God didn't get tired. No, He simply was doing a thing which is LIKE God. Rest came before the curse, and no one was tired. Rest is a matter of obedience. If you cannot rest on Sunday, you must rest on another day, or God will see to it that you suffer for it. If you have Saturday off, and you rest then, that does not mean everyone else can do as you do. YOU are not the model for everything in your House Church.


Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

If Solomon wanted to win souls, there is more to it that Church Age activity. I am tired of the sorry tricks of Jack Hyles and door to door evangelism. Every soul comes a different way, but I am convinced that about 75% of people who walk the aisles of Fundamental Baptist and Pentecostal churches are not being saved.

I want you to read some old fashioned testimonies of people who got saved. The interesting aspect of these stories is that each one went on to be a real piano coversrior for the Lord. These are mostly testimonies of old time Methodists and Holiness people, but I hope you will not get bogged down in the rather Arminian aspect here. Just read and see how each one came a different way, and the "soul winner" was different in method and personality each time. 2000 by the Wesley Center for Applied

Forget the plans and tricks of Hyles and the other clever ones. Teach your people to just talk about Jesus all the time, let their moderation be known, lift up Jesus, hand out tracts, street preach, or whatever they would like to do to glorify God in spreading the Gospel.

But, most of all, teach your people to make friends for the Gospel's sake. Teach them that these people should be long term friends. Some souls come very slowly. I am really MAD at these hit and run evangelism methods.

I have a friend, a Catholic priest, whom I am after for Christ. He is getting more and more frustrated with the Roman Whore, and we talk about the troubles in the Vatican and the Catholic system. I am not pushing him much. I listen, talk about Jesus, he talks about the Bible and what he likes to talk about, we drink coffee, and on and on it goes. One day, in the sovereign will of God, something will come up in his life which pushes him to the limit in some way. I want to be there then, for I will not have to push and shove and play little Hyles word games with this man-- He will come running to Jesus Christ.

Do you want a guide book to souls winning? You have it-- the Four Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. All kinds of methods are in it. Then, find books of testimonies of salvation which are copyrighted before about 1950, and read them.

9. Baptism and the Lord's Supper-- Be sure it is not a ritual

There is a notion out there in the Grace Movement that baptism is blipish and not for the Lord's Church. That is blatant heresy. Another notion is now catching on which says that the Lord's Supper is observed as an attitude of worship rather than as a literal observance. This is another heresy.

You must understand that the two ordinances of the Lord's Church have been major targets by Satan for mutilation. The Catholics have added ordinances, piano coversped the Lord's Supper, and the Brethren and some others have added foot washing, which is not an ordinance, though it won't hurt you I suppose.

Satan loves these heresies, for they help saints to disobey the Lord Jesus Himself. Study the two ordinances of the Lord's Church and observe them.

As to baptism, try not to borrow a church baptistery since this makes a thing of open testimony a private secluded thing. Jesus went down to the river Jordan and was baptized in the open. You should seek out places in lakes and rivers for baptisms.

The Lord's Supper was the opposite. Jesus made sure to do this in a very private gathering of the committed. He also dismissed Judas. You should have the Lord's Supper at a time not common to your schedule so that only the committed are present. The unsaved must NOT be there. It is not enough to piously piano coversn them not to eat or drink. Make sure they simply are not there.

In the churches I have pastored, the Lord's Supper was only on Sunday evening, and the elements were kept out of sight. If a sinner happened to visit, I never did the Lord's Supper-- I postponed it until another Sunday.

Also, avoid scheduling the Lord's Supper, like "the second Sunday of every quarter" etc. This tempts certain people to treat the Lord's Supper like the Catholic Mass, and they will plan to be there, though they are unfaithful on other occasions. Break up this notion by not announcing when it will be. Just don't neglect it entirely.

When you do the Lord's supper, have godly men lead, read different Scripture passages each time, don't get in a rut, and use the whole meeting time only for the Lord's Supper. Don't tack it on the end of a meeting in ten minutes flat. This is blasphemous. Avoid ritual, but DO demand reverence. The Lord's Supper should not have trendy clever innovations. It should be a time of reflection and worship.

Do NOT demand some class on membership. Anyone who is born again and knows it, and who has any kind of testimony with your assembly, is to be invited to the Lord's Supper. Don't hold any children back from this if they have made a clear profession of faith in Christ. I like to have the kids sit right in front of me, and I ask them questions, like, "Will eating this piece of bread get me saved?" and, "Can anyone turn this grape juice into Jesus' Blood?" and, "Why did Jesus have to shed His blood on the cross?" Do this every time, and the kids will one day KNOW what they believe about the Lord's Supper.

By the way, don't go buy a bunch of these wee plastic cups and one of those ecclesiastical tray sets. Those things reek of liturgy. Use some sort of small cups from K-Mart. Have an old timer with a wood shop make a wooden tray that is your own church's furniture and simple. Also, none of those Catholic wafers please, but do use unleavened bread like rye crackers so the picture of Christ without sin (leaven) is not lost.

At baptisms, do lots of singing, have each person give a testimony, and have a picnic afterpiano coversds if possible. This is a great day or zeal when the saints should be shouting. Make it as public as possible. We know the believer is not saved in the water, but all around the world baptism is the day of departure out of the world and into Christ. The heathen have always seen it this way, so make the best of it.

Again, don't try to tack baptism onto the end of some other meeting you think is more important. Do it when you can make the baptism the main event. Also, try to have the one who lead each person baptize that person. There is NO biblical instruction on this, and Jesus and Paul both avoided doing all the baptizing. You don't need some archbishop's hands on people to get the full blessing. That is stupid stuff friend. I especially want fathers to baptize their own children so that their children see Dad as the chief discipler, not me. If Dad is not saved, how about Mom or Grandpa or the one who lead them to Christ?

Where I have pastored, I have left behind me a bunch of kids who were in awe of the fact that their Grandpa or their Mom were good enough Christians to baptize them. There is a bond there that is priceless.

Now, if the saint is Chris Jaramillo and he repairs box cars on the Santa Fe railroad for a living, you better have as big a brother in the Lord as possible down in the water handling him-- especially since brother Chris came out of the water like an Apollo piano catalog shouting and raising the roof. I had Tom Yates in there to help me in case I lost Chris, and we mainly just had to get him under and then jump out of the way. What a day that was-- Chris forgot to dry off and went dripping all over the church house shaking everyone's hand and praising God. Chris had just made the final break with the Roman Whore, and he was in the heavenlies. We invited Chris's Catholic parents and family to sit on the front row and made a big fuss over them as our guests for Chris's sake. They were deeply moved and enjoyed the whole event. Baptisms should be the highlight of the year every time.