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FEBRUARY 22 – Ichabod

FEBRUARY 22 – Ichabod

1Samuel 4:21  And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. 

God gives instructions that are complete. All we have to do is look for them. David in wanting to move the ark to Jerusalem did not ask the proper way to move it. Tragedy struck. In the days of Eli, his sons removed the ark from the place that had instructed to put it. Tragedy struck. The two sons died in battle. The ark was taken and when Eli heard the news, he fell backwards and broke his neck and died.

Exodus_25:22  And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. Notice here that God revealed plainly where He would meet the people. The door of the tabernacle is used in Exodus and Leviticus many times. The Cloud that God was in came to the door of the tabernacle and when the people saw it they worshiped.

When the Ark was taken into battle, the Glory of the Lord and his presence was no longer in the tabernacle. He no longer came to the door. We need the presence of the Lord when we worship. I cringe when ever I hear “The Lord showed up today.” That statement lends the idea that the Lord is not necessarily there every time we worship Him. That begs the question – are we worshiping him according to the way He wants us to.

I do not want to see the Glory of the Lord depart from His Churches. We need to seriously examine our doctrine, who we are worshiping, and how we are worshiping. Are we preaching all the doctrine or keying on one and subjugating others to minority positions? Are we worshiping God or our selves and telling God he has to accept that worship. Are we worshiping the way God tells us to worship.

If it is all about us, then there is nothing there for God.

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William Andrew Dillard

In Old Testament Law, a number of commandments were written that cause modern men to scratch their head. However, they make perfect sense when considering that those things were types and shadows of the will of God for His people in New Testament times. Consider with me one such instance.
Deuteronomy 22:10 commands, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” This is not an uncommon occurrence in third world countries presently. Does God pity the ox or the ass for enduring unequal yokefellows or is it said for our sakes. Perhaps a better understanding of it is revealed in specific New Testament passages such as 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:. . .” This is usually taught to mean that believers should not be married to unbelievers (which is a good thing) but doubtless greater applications are intended, as is clarified in 1 Cor. 7:12-13. The marriage yoke should not be broken if all else is compatible.
What is specifically meant is written in terms that need not be misunderstood. The context of the verse is written to the church of the Living God at Corinth, and is to be interpreted in church context. Believers in the faith once delivered to the saints are not to be yoked together with those who not only fail to believe said faith, but vehemently reject many of the tenants of it. In short, true New Testament churches should not be co-laborers with those of unlike faith, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness: or what communion does light have with darkness? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? ( 2 Cor. 6:14-16 paraphrased).
Baptist churches are NOT Protestant churches. They have never been associated with Rome, nor will they ever be. But they can go astray as did the small group of them that created the Roman Catholic church, preferring to be married to the Roman Empire than to be separated to the Lord Jesus Christ.
True churches stand or fall in relationship to their creator and founder by how they embrace or lay aside the tenants of the faith once delivered to the saints. One of the quickest ways to fall is to esteem that faith of little value or as a roadblock to progress with other unlike religious organizations in the community.
Returning to 2 Cor. 6, the conclusion is inescapable. God says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” May two walk together in disagreement? To disregard God’s Word for the fellowship of others who disregard it, is to fly in the face of the Creator! To submit to an unequal yoke is a NO –NO!

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Church 7

Church 7

We will do a little side slip here and do a little deeper study than the simple narratives I have been doing.

The First New Testament Churches

It is sad when we have to qualify Church by designating it New Testament. The Lord only knows one Church. That is the one He built to His specifications that no one, no person, no preacher has the right to change.

Every Church that follows what Jesus established is a true Church. Every “church” not built the way the New Testament says and with the pattern that Jesus gave is not a Church that Jesus built and therefore should be called a religious institution.

The fallacy of the ‘Universal Invisible Church’ theory has been demonstrated form the Scriptures. Along with this heretical teaching is another one just as heinous and misleading – ‘The Church’ began on the day of Pentecost along with the events in Acts 2.

There are 4 errors concerning the doctrine of the Church:

  1. The Holy Spirit indwelt each believer as a seal till the day of redemption.
  2. The Pentecost Birthday theory.
  3. The Holy Spirit Baptism theory.
  4. The Universal, Invisible Church theory.

The beginning of this heresy was the Catholic Church. They claimed that the church was ‘Universal and visible.’ This linked all physical churches into one link that was beholden to the Pope. When Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church house door, his desire was not to start another church but to correct some abuses. He did not want to touch what was taught about the church because he agreed in the Universal church theory. When he was excommunicated, he had to change a few doctrines to be a little different from the Catholic church. One he changed was the visible. His doctrine of the church became, ‘Universal invisible.’ This has entered so many so called churches so much that it has infiltrated Baptist ranks. Scofield propagated this teaching with his Scofield Reference Bible. Under Hebrews 12:23 he has given the following statement.

Church (true), Summary: The true church, composed of the whole number of regenerate persons from Pentecost to the first resurrection (I Cor. 15:52), united together and to Christ by the baptism with the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:12,13), is the body of Christ of which He is the Head (Eph. 1:22,23.)”

Here are the considerations of such a statement:

Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 – “I will build my Church.” The Pentecost beginning of the Church would rob Jesus of the opportunity to personally build His Church and make Him a liar. The Pentecost beginning would make the Holy Spirit the builder of the Church because Christ was already in heaven.

If the Church was started on the day of Pentecost, that would put the gospels in the dispensation of law, the old dispensation. This would put Matt. 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” into the dispensation of law. The sermon on the mount would then belong to the previous dispensation.

If the Church began on the day of Pentecost, it began with the apostles and not Christ. This would then be a man-made church. This would enable for man to de-emphasize the ordinances of the church and observe them in whatever manner they desire. There is no Great Commission that has been given to the church.

To be continued.

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Church 5

Church 5

Acts chapter 2 can give us great insights on the work of the Holy Spirit. What took place in the upper room has an explosion of thoughts about what took place. One area of mistaken thoughts is that this was when the Holy Spirit indwelt each individual believer and sealed then unto the day of redemption. Very simply a mistaken thought about the work of the Holy Spirit will throw everything else out of kilter. John 14:15-21 is the promise of the Comforter, not the indwelling seal unto redemption. He is called the Spirit of Truth. He is sent in the name of Jesus. We are given a list of things that the Holy Spirit will do in leading the Church. He will teach the Church. He will teach the Church all things and bring the ability to remember things. If your memory is working, you will remember reading that there were times after this that the apostles remembered things that they were told by Jesus would happen.

John 16:7 emphasizes the need of the Comforter. Why? Jesus is not personally with the Church to lead and teach. Let us carry on with the work of the Holy Spirit. Our polished speech, charisma, or exotic intelligence is not what draws people to Jesus. It is the Holy Spirit that reprove the world of sin and of righteousness’ and of judgment.

Acts 2:4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. I count about 15 different languages spoken on this day. This is not the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation. This is the empowering of the Church and the Church members. This is totally different from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Notice the question that was asked the apostles and Peter, what shall we do? The question was not what shall we do to be saved? Notice the answer, Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost. Notice this statement, he was sent to jail for stealing a car. Was he sent to jail so that he could steal that car? Or rather because he stole a car. Repent and be baptized for (because of ) remission of sins. After baptism and Church membership the gift of the Holy Spirit is given.

Oh yes, verse 41 says that about three thousand souls were added to them and this took place after baptism.

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Exodus 16:2; 17:3 – That term, murmuring, is such a negative word that sounds like bitter complaining. This is an ominous undercurrent that threatens. It threatens friendships, families, businesses and Churches. It brings problems, friction, and a lack of harmony. It can destroy, destabilize, and demolish families and Churches.


Often things murmured against are insignificant. Sometimes it is simply forgetting about previous circumstances that were abhorrent. Israel had quickly forgotten the slavery under which they had suffered. They forgot they had cried unto God for deliverance and relief. All they could remember was the food. They were experiencing discomfort but were headed to a land “flowing with milk and honey.” They did not want to experience discomfort and struggles for a while to receive something infinitely better. They were showing a lack of patience and faithlessness in God.


We have the same today. There are those that simply will not be happy. Some are always in the back ground murmuring about the preacher. His sermons are to long. His sermons are too shallow. His sermons cannot be understood. They murmur and complain about the song leader and the way he leads the songs. The piano player plays to loud or to soft. The same people are doing the same things. Nobody else gets a job to do. Let me drop a clue here. The same people are doing the same job and some have multiple responsibilities because no one else is responsible enough and faithful enough and on time enough and never at business meeting to take care of anything they might be given.There is always something to murmur about.


Murmuring weakens a Church. Murmuring does not please God. Murmuring is fractious because murmurers try to murmur to others to get them on their side. This causes a lack of unity in the Church. I Corinthians 11:16 Paul calls these people contentious (full of strife). I Corinthians 11:16 – “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” This murmuring and contention is “unbiblical.” James in James 1:8 says “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” So Paul says the Churches of God does not have contentious members and yet murmurers and complainers call themselves Christians. That cannot be.


If we would get our eyes on Jesus and the commission He has given us we would not be busy murmuring but would be busy witnessing, praising, and worshiping. If our focus was off others we could give all our attention to our Savior. We need to reflect on ourselves and realize where we fail and through prayer and study develop a closer relationship with the Lord. Let us strive to set aside the murmuring and immerse our selves in service.

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John 16:32 is a passage that was fulfilled shortly after this statement was made. Matt. 26:56 says that all the disciples forsook him, and fled. John 18 reveals to us a relationship that enabled John to follow Jesus closely as He was led away to Annas. It also reveals to us that Peter followed at a distance and even stood at the fire of the servants and officers and denied Jesus.

John 21 gives us a transition from a church with a visible present leader to one without a visible present leader. Peter said, “I go a fishing,” the others said, “We also go with thee.” A Church without a leader is a scattered willful Church. When Jesus appeared on the sea shore, he re-enforced leadership and direction by giving instruction. Acts 1:4 is that instruction to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father which Jesus had revealed to them in John 16. This is the promise of the Paraclete. This Holy Spirit had not yet descended upon the Church because Jesus had not ascended into heaven yet, but the time was close. Jesus said once again in verse 8, they will receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon them.

Acts 1:9 reveals the ascension of Lord to sit on the right hand of God.

It is time for a church business meeting. Acts 1:12-26 records a business meeting where Judas was replaced as an apostle by Matthias where all the Church members were gathered together and voted in this business meeting. Notice the requirements given to be an apostle. We have the baptism of John as a requirement and the person chosen had to be with them from the time Jesus was with them.

I had a woman ask me one time if I believed in the “five fold ministry.” I told her I didn’t know what the “five fold ministry” was. She mentioned an apostle as one of the “five fold ministry.” My reply, the requirement of an apostle according to Acts chapter one was; they had been baptized by John the Baptist and been with Jesus when He walked the earth. I would love to meet some one that old. That ended that conversation when she got very angry.

The Church is gathered in the upper room where 120 church members were gathered, they had a prayer meeting and then a business meeting. To be continued.

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We left with Jesus having all power and the church having been given their marching orders, the Great Commission. Now Jesus tells of his death twice, Matt. 16:21 and Matt. 20:17. Later, there was drama at a meal because Mary anointed Jesus. His statement, she did this for my burial. He is emphasizing that He is leaving His church, that is His physical form is leaving His Church.

What does this mean to His Church? He will no longer teach them in physical form. He will no longer lead them in physical form. He will no longer send them in physical form. His physical presence which motivated this church will no longer physically be the Power, the Position, or the Program of the church.

John 14 gives a promise to His Church. Verse 7 gives the expediency of Jesus leaving and going to the Father. His expediency will bring the Comforter, Paraclete, to be with the Church. If I may use Bro. W. Dewey Owen a quote from his book, “An introduction to Systematic Theology,” contained on page 140 second paragraph titled – V. Empowering By The Holy Spirit. ( I recommend this book.) I will do some paraphrasing. SOTERIOLOGY, the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ were necessary: without these there would be no means of salvation and no basis or authority for the church. PNEUMATOLOGY, the bodily ascension of Jesus back to the Father was necessary so that the omnipresent Holy Spirit could indwell each scriptural church, since the limitations of the flesh prevented Jesus, God incarnate, from doing this. Just as Jesus led the one church during His earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit – another manifestation of the same God – has led all scriptural churches from its Pentecostal outpouring forward. Christ is the head of each scriptural church today as Ephesians 5:23 clearly states. Yet not in physical form.

John 16 now gives what the Holy Spirit indwelling the Church, (not to be confused with indwelling and sealing of a person being born again) will accomplish. 1. Reprove the world of sin. 2. Reprove the world of righteousness. 3. Reprove the world because of Judgment. The Holy Spirit will be the Spirit of truth and will guide us into all truth. The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the Church.

We also have in John 16:32 the prophecy of the scattering of the Church.

Another day will bring more. Gentlemen if you disagree with anything, let it be know. If there is an area that needs to be refine through a better explanation, please make that known also.

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Church 2

Jesus has called the first members of His Church. He went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. Now you can find that in Matthew 4:23.

Jesus ministry began immediately proving who He was. He had yet much that needed to be done and quickly launched into a teaching ministry for the small band that was following Him. Matthew chapter 5-7 comprises the first lessons that He gave the Church.

His healing proved who He was, not only to the lost , but also to this little church that was following Him. Jesus asked these men: whom say ye that I am. Peter gave the proper recognition to his Savior – “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Then we receive that great and wonderful statement that is mis-understood by many. “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  This was Jesus statement that He, personally would build this Church upon the firm foundation of Himself. This is found in Matthew 16:16-18.

Let us examine the position of Jesus in relation to this Church He has called off the shores of Galilee. He called them out. He taught them. He led them. He sent them. He gave them power to do the work He wanted them to do. He was all things to this small Church gathered around Him.

Everything done was done by the Leader, the head, the power of the LORD. When He sent them two by two with nothing to care for them, in Mark chapter 6, He proved to them He had power and authority to care for His Church. The feeding of the five thousand was not only for the benefit of feeding the five thousand, no, it revealed the provision He would provide to the Church. This was leading to the majestic statement found in Matthew 28:18, “all power is given to me in heaven and in earth.”

The Church now sees the Christ, in His true position as the head of all things and especially to the Church. The Church could do nothing without the Power, the Position, and the Program of Jesus. Therefore the Lord, our Savior, gave that small band, the Church, the reason for them being called out. “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: an, lo, Ia am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

More to come.

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The Church 1

My intent is trace the Lord’s Church from the time of John the Baptist till I get done or get tired or get distracted from this purpose.

John the Baptist came to prepare a people for the Lord Jesus Christ. He won many disciples to Christ and baptized them on the authority he received from heaven. Mark 1:1-4 “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin.

Now we find in Matthew 4:18-22 – And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

I am not going to quibble over the church beginning here or on some Mountain. I am firm that the Church had its beginning before the day of Pentecost. More to come.

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William Andrew Dillard

Sometime back I drove past a sign that read: CHURCH OF THE BURNING HEART. I thought that was a little unusual for the name of a church. Upon further inquiry, I learned that it was like so many other religious clubs doting the landscape in these last days. It was what one would call independent, but more precisely non-denominational. That simply means it does not affiliate with any known and named group of churches both in affiliation and in doctrinal standing. Of course, there are enough non-denominational churches that now non-denominational would be a denomination but for the lack of affiliation among themselves or any cohesiveness to their doctrinal standing. It seems they just want to present themselves to the public as totally free, thus better, than any church that is known by its doctrinal standing. As a result what is commonly held among them is the doctrine of universal, invisible church which necessitates open communion. Furthermore, they have no qualms about baptismal source or mode, and most do not maintain a church membership role due to their universal thinking. But these things effectively negate personal responsibility, and personal accountability in the minds of natural men who have an inclination to worship God due to their being made in His image. The appeal succeeds in motivating men into further estrangement from their Creator in a form of godliness that denies the power thereof.
As more and more of these types of “churches” arise, one may wonder at the wonder of it all. Would the Holy Spirit lead men to a form of worship that is in rebellion to plain biblical teachings? Is it possible that God would accept a form of doctrine out of conformity to His Word? Has the blood-bathed battle of His churches throughout the last 2,000 years been in vain; their form of worship and division of the Word of truth wrong?
The apostle John has the answer in his first epistle: Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” 2:18-20. Compared to Holy Writ, a better name for the afore mentioned group might be THE CHURCH OF THE HEARTBURN, big time!
As sweet as they are, let it be recalled that Jesus did not make His people to be sugar, but salt! Moreover, the disastrous results of salt that loses its savor is graphically presented in plain terms! Matt. 5:13

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