Tag Archives: church

A CHURCH THAT DOES NOT EXIST


William Andrew Dillard

The title is paradoxical. To say that there is a church is to say that it exists, but to say there is a church that does not exist is a contradiction of thoughts. Yet, I have read about such a church, and I am sure you have, too. In newspapers and magazines, it will not be unusual to read of “the Baptist church.” This reflects a thought pattern of the church being universal. Of course, expressions of “the Catholic church,” the Methodist church,” etc. are more nearly correct since Catholic and Protestant churches consider themselves to be universal. Catholic theology points to a universal, visible church while Protestants point to a universal invisible church.
So, to which of these lines of theological thought do Baptist churches generally subscribe? Neither! It is the Bible presentation that the true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ are both visible and local. Each church is totally independent under the headship of Christ Jesus. There is no ecclesiastical (preacher) authority. There is no hierarchy. There is no little church/ big church difference in the eyes of the Lord. All are local assemblies, answerable only to God, with the full weight and responsibility of carrying out the commands of Christ as though they were the only congregation on earth. The only headquarters of the Lord’s churches is in heaven. His churches have equal authority to win disciples, baptize them, teach them, and administer the ordinances according to the Word. A church simply cannot get any more independent than to have the independence God gave to it to represent Him on earth. But, a church can get a lot less independent by subscribing to false doctrines, practices, and acquiescing to the designs and schemes of men. The purpose of such is usually for the sake of “business advantage” and/or to capture congregational power to enhance economic, political, and strained theological activity that God never commanded or intended.
There is no such thing as a biblically recognized, universal church on earth whether visible or invisible! Jesus set in motion a local congregation and empowered it to do likewise in carrying out the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. I understand “Johnson Street Baptist Church” or a church by some other name that distinguishes it as a local assembly in a specific location or in a specified dedication of service. I do not understand nor will I accept the terminology of “The Baptist Church.” It is a church that simply does not exist.

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HOW DO PEOPLE START ATTENDING CHURCH?


 

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A friend Invited Me – 86%
Organized Visitation – 6%
Invited by the Pastor – 6%
Advertising – 2%

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The Lord’s Church


A Bible-reading church is an informed church.

An informed church is an interested church.

An interested church is an acting church.

An acting church is a serving church.

A serving church is the Lord’s church.

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FLAVORED COFFEE, LITE SALT, AND THE LORD’S CHURCHES


JIM HARRIS·FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2019·

My wife tried an experiment year ago and brought home some coffee she had bought in one of those coffee shops. It was a “flavored” coffee (though, flavored with what, I don’t know). There was only one problem: It had so much “flavoring” in it, it did not taste like coffee. Now, I know how real coffee is supposed to taste (most preachers do), and I want my coffee to taste like coffee. This stuff had lost its distinctive “coffee” taste by being mixed with so many other ingredients.

This incident reminded me of what Jesus said to His church in the Sermon on the Mount. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Salt has a distinctive flavor, and all of the “lite” salts and salt substitutes in the world cannot match it. Can you imagine someone tampering with the flavor of salt, adding “extra” ingredients, in order to make it taste better? All they would do is cause it to taste like something other than salt.

I believe something similar is happening to the Lord’s churches and to the truths they are to preach. Men are trying to change the flavor. “Let’s not make church seem like church, and let’s try to sweeten those doctrines which taste so bitter to the lost and religious world” seems to be the attitude of the day. In other words, “Let’s try to change the taste of the salt.” Also, many churches have become so mixed with other ingredients that they have lost their distinctive flavor. (Sadly, it seems that some do not want the distinction that standing firmly for the truth will give them.)

By the way, I poured the “flavored” coffee out and made some coffee that tasted like the real thing. Jesus said of the salt that has lost its distinctiveness, “It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” And, I believe the Lord has done and will do the same with churches that refuse to stand for Him and the truth of His Word. May God bless us and grant us grace so that WE do not “lose our flavor.”

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PROPHESIED DAYS ARE HERE


(Understanding our day)

William Andrew Dillard

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matt. 24:11-12

The words of the above scripture were spoken by Jesus as He foretold conditions approaching the close of the present age. At that point in time, the church was being cared for by the personal presence of the Son of God. It was totally Jewish as it would be until sometime post-Pentecost. Notice the key words in Greek New Testament writing, their import, meaning, and fulfillment in the present day.

“False Prophets” is “Pseudoprophetes” “False or lying prophets.”
“Deceive” is “Planao” “deceit, fraud, lead one cunningly away from truth.”
“Iniquity” is “Anomia” “Not observant of rule or law; esp. that of God; anarchy.”
“Abound” is “Plethuno” “Multiplied; multitudinous.”
“Love” is “Agape” “Genuine love as for God and His work.”
“Wax cold” is “Psucho” “to cool by blowing (process of evaporation)”

Let us rephrase this precious verse with the definitions above: “Lying prophets shall rise up to cunningly deceive and lead nominal Christians away from truth. Due to the lack of their observing the teachings of God’s Word, spiritual anarchy will be multitudinous and the sweet, pure love for God and His work shall evaporate.”
For the first 1500 years of the Lord’s church, there was persecution from state religion. It never succeeded in eliminating it. So the devil changed tactics beginning with the Protestant Reformation. Now, the church would be counterfeited again, and again, and again practically without end. As those multi-viewed organizations permeated society, all claiming to be the Lord’s church, and engaging in evil and iniquitous practices, there would ultimately come the discouragement, and falling away by those who would rather listen to man than to search out answers from the Creator Himself.
Certainly, the conditions described by Jesus, and those evidenced by present day status appear to coincide. Who, then will stand in this evil day, and in that near day of our King’s appearance Whose question was: when the son of man comes will He find faith on the earth? Those who stand will be those who have sought the true answers; who are not content to hinge their eternal destiny with that of other religious sinners who may be as wrong as wrong can be. Certainly, the world is full of them, and they shall not stand when the Son of Man appears, but will cry for the rock and mountains to fall on them; to hide them from the face of Him Who comes.
To whom are you listening today? Is it the proverbial Dr. Whizbang, or the Word of God? Has your love of God and His Word waxed cold (evaporated)? It is time for each one to get into the Word. Let Dr. Whizbang answer to God for himself, which he most surely will, but he will not, cannot answer for you! You and you alone will do that!

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Feds Raid, Take Possession, and Bulldoze Large Church to the Ground!


Posted: 12 Feb 2019 09:17 AM PST

Dr. Dixon taken out of church during raid

Posted by Don Boys on February 8, 2019

Helicopters whirled overhead, snipers were poised on the roof of the K Mart across the street and on the church roof, and the street was full of people and Indianapolis City Police cars. Wow, surely terrorists had taken over the church and the good guys came to rescue innocent Christians. No, afraid not. The terrorists were all in uniform charged with taking control of a Baptist Church. Inside, about 30 people had spent the night as they had for 92 days but many others had gone to work so only 8 people along with pastors and associates praying at the altar were taken out of the church by police officials.

For the first time in American History, the Federal Government, under color of law, put a large Baptist Church out of the Gospel business. Well, at least they tried.

It was February 13, 2001 when 85 federal officials (FBI, ATF, etc.) supported by Indianapolis Police Officers (doing crowd and traffic control) raided the Indianapolis Baptist Temple (IBT), known as the 11th largest church in America, according to Christian Life Magazine. Dr. Greg J. Dixon was the long time pastor but his son Greg A. Dixon was now the church leader. The church was being raided not for unpaid taxes as almost everyone declared, but for permitting their school teachers (my daughter was one), administrators, etc., to pay their own FICA taxes. Thousands of American churches have always followed that practice.

It is interesting that the Marion County Sheriff’s Department under Jack Cottey refused to participate in the raid. Jack was a principled man who had also served in the Indiana House of Representatives where I had served.

The Indianapolis church leaders refused to handle the withholding since the government cannot force a church to be a tax collector: the lowest, most hated position in New Testament times. However, no one refused to pay taxes and no taxes were owed. It was simply the Federal Government, then run by newly installed President George W. Bush, letting everyone know that churches must kowtow to Washington or they would be put out of the Gospel business. Federal Marshall Frank Anderson was in charge of the illegal raid and was elected Marion County Sheriff in 2003, serving until 2011. Of course, the Feds had declared the church’s action to be illegal; consequently, the raid was “legal.”

We were seeing the assertion and application of might at the expense of what is right. The IBT discovered that Voltaire was right when he said that it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. The church was right; the feds were wrong.

Some local media people were in the church having spent many nights sleeping on the floor and church pews along with pastors from across America. Some of the media had characterized the church people, especially the pastors, as being “patriots” (gasp!), “militia” etc. Some even spoke of guns even though the pastors had made it clear that no guns would be permitted. and no violence would take place. But you can’t be too careful; these are Baptists—you know like John (the Baptist) or Jerry (Falwell) or Billy (Graham)—so an overwhelming force was ordered along with the snipers on the rooftops.

You can’t be too careful you know. Some of those Baptists might even thump their Bibles (KJV, of course) and that could be dangerous especially if the thumping were caught on television.
The raid was ordered by former two-term Missouri Governor and U.S. Senator and active Christian layman in the Assemblies of God and the now U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. John also wrote, “Let the Eagle Soar” and sang it after his speech at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2002—where both my son and grandson earned their doctorates. The song was satirically featured in Michael Moore’s movie Fahrenheit 9/11. While the lyrics are mediocre, and John’s voice is tolerable, I recommend that John not surrender his license to practice law.

The Christian school building, home to hundreds of students and the 2,000-seat auditorium on 20 acres of prime property, were padlocked and later bulldozed to the ground to make room for a new Charter School. Hundreds of Christian students and thousands of church members were now homeless—thanks to GOP President George W. Bush.

This case had been simmering for seventeen years when pastor Dr. Greg J. Dixon and his son and co-pastor refused to withhold FICA taxes on the church school staff. At the time of the raid, the younger Dixon was pastor and served as pastor until December of 2015 when Matt Roller was called to that position.

Ashcroft wrote a book after he was out of office and dedicated seven pages to the Indianapolis Baptist Temple tragedy. He alleged that the church was guilty of “tax evasion” but that is not true. He admitted in his book that the church employees paid their own taxes from funds “received from the church.” Ashcroft also alleged that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the church; however, that is another mistake: the Court refused to hear the case.

During the raid, Pastor Greg A. Dixon asked one of the marshals if he was not a member of a local Southside, Bible-preaching church that was not taking FICA out of the church staff’s salary—what the Indianapolis Baptist Temple was charged with. He refused to answer.

About that time, another marshal asked Dr. Dixon for the keys to his car that he promised to move to the K Mart lot so it would not be impounded. Dr. Dixon appreciated his kindness. The AP carried a story revealing that the church parsonage that had been the pastor’s home for 32 years had been taken by the feds. After the eviction, the media quoted Mrs. Dixon as saying, “Wait until you see me in my new home.”

All the principal people involved with the church were highly committed and principled people—not the rebels and anti-government trouble makers as presented by most of the media. Paul Harvey led his national broadcast with a fair and positive report of the raid and most of the other national media dealt with it with their normal critical spin. Congressman Ron Paul wrote a wonderful defense of IBT in his Congressional Bulletin.

About sixty of those who served in the church ministry were audited by the IRS, and it was concluded that they had no tax liability of any substantial degree and all had paid their own tax liability including both shares of the Social Security Tax. This of course means that the valuable property, built and financed over many years by dedicated Christians, was seized to satisfy a bogus tax bill that had already been paid.

Why would our government be so vicious and unethical and illegal? Because government is in the control business and true churches refuse to permit secular control since every theologian is aware of the lordship of Christ over everything. Federal prosecutor Douglas Snoeyenbos was quoted as saying that the “higher ups in the U.S. Justice Department are out to totally destroy the pastor and the Indianapolis Baptist Temple.” He also expressed personal dislike for Dr. Dixon even though he had never met him according to the church attorney. Well, I’ve never met Snoeyenbos and I don’t like him or his name, but then he can’t help that.

The church has a memo from the Treasury Department in the mid-eighties (date illegible) signed by an IRS agent declaring that the pastor of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple “spoke out against the IRS and other government agencies in general” which shows the feds have no respect for freedom of speech, religion, etc. It is perfectly legal and ethical to speak out against various agencies. After all, one can abhor an administration or agencies without hating his nation.

I often spoke out on television and wrote about government intrusion in personal lives and into church matters. I even testified at a congressional hearing in Washington dealing with the IRS attempted takeover of Christian schools. I then published it in my first book, Liberalism: A Rope of Sand! I also wrote a scalding letter to the FBI about their treatment of Dr. Dixon regarding another incident. I wonder if the feds have a file on me. Or you.

U.S. Attorney Robert Metzler admitted in federal court in Indianapolis on August 23, 2001, that the Indianapolis Baptist Temple owes no taxes if they would only file for an exemption, which shows that this was not a tax issue—but who will control the Lord’s assembly, God or the IRS. He said the same thing in oral argument at the Seventh Circuit on May 11, 2000. U.S. Attorney Metzler said twice before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal on that same day that “an uncontrolled church is untenable” in America today. But then, thousands of churches in America conduct their affairs just like the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. Will the government begin closing those churches? Are the churches left alone because they are so docile?

Frankly, I am not concerned with an uncontrolled church but I am very concerned about an uncontrolled government. George Washington said, “Government is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Our founding fathers knew what current officials refuse to recognize about federal government: A government out of control is like a forest fire that destroys everything in its path.

So, our government planned a dangerous raid on God’s church against innocent people because the pastors had spoken against pornography, the IRS, and leftists in general and had done so for decades. Moreover, few local pastors, even Baptists, stood with the church much to their shame. Many of those pastors were and still are my friends but they showed cowardice rather than courage at that time.

Hundreds of students in their Christian school and thousands of church members had their rights attacked by their own government officials who had sworn to protect those rights. The large, expensive buildings were bulldozed to the ground. Students were no longer taught by committed teachers and hymns of praise no longer echoed along East Street. Alas, the enemy had won!

But that was the prelude. The story continues. Like the Phoenix (the pagan Greek myth), IBT rose from the ashes. The Indianapolis Baptist Temple is even stronger than before and has multiplied its ministries many times. After the raid, the church immediately moved services to a large new public high school auditorium about five minutes from the original church and school buildings.

The wounded church rented similar buildings for five and one half years. Finally, Pastor Greg A. Dixon led the church to lease a large sports building near Interstate 65, only five minutes from the interchange. The church renovated the complex and continued their work of world evangelism.

After serving as pastor until 2015, Pastor Dixon resigned to be followed by a member of the church, Matt Roller. The IBT is alive and well and the disgraced government officials responsible for the illegal raid are (mostly) now has-beens with a badly soiled record. Others have died.

Many will declare that the officials were only doing their job, a defense that is a non-defense. Principled people will never do wrong even if it costs them everything. Bush was wrong to permit the raid. John Ashcroft was wrong to authorize it and should have told Bush that he respectfully should not carry out the church raid. U.S. Marshal Frank Anderson should have informed Washington officials that he would not participate in taking a church away from its members. The 84 other federal agents should have refused to be involved. And the Indianapolis Police Department should have refused federal orders including individual officers. There is nothing wrong in resisting an authority to obey a higher authority. It’s better to be hated for being right than to be honored for being wrong.

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CHURCH KINGDOM-BUILDING 


CHURCH KINGDOM-BUILDING 

William Andrew Dillard
MAY MISS THE KINGDOM BUILT
Parson to Person

Long, long ago, God forged a mighty nation of Hebrew people enslaved in Egypt. He delivered them, blessed them, and brought them to the Promised Land. Extraordinary victories, great miracles, and provisions attributable only to God’s blessings were embedded into their minds and hearts, but Judges tells the repetitious story of the propensity of men to follow the flesh instead of God. “A new generation arose that knew not God.” Sadly, men have not changed!
Fast forward! Out of the deadly fires of persecution in the Inquisition, God delivered His people by opening up the Western Hemisphere in general and America in particular for their unparalleled freedom and growth. Through famine, wars, and civil turmoil, God blessed His churches in this new land. It was then that the god of this world laid plans to inundate the nation with material things far removed from the support of its Gross National Product by printing baseless script to direct faith to Caesar. Misled churches hailed this as blessings from above.
Simply put, it is easier, and highly tempting, to follow the dictates of the flesh. Soon, churches, which flourished briefly in inflated abundance, found unwittingly that materialism had substituted God. Youth then failed to follow the faith of their fathers. Pulpits became filled with stand-up comedians and CEO’s of social clubs. Services were scaled down. Revivals ceased. God was removed from public prayers and schools. Innocent lives were butchered on demand by the millions. Churches became even more moderate, bowing to a social agenda in an ever-losing battle for the attention of the masses. 
At last, some have awakened to ask why the rolls are full, but the pews are empty? It is the continuing last state of churches whose members are detached from the spirit and mission of the church. Oh, but those roll members are indeed attached. They are attached to their detachment, and few are open to change. Churches previously offering men spiritual salvation and truth, sank in their deluded dream of individual kingdom-building, and panic of material debts. So gravitating to social programs to compete, they ultimately found themselves inadequate to compete materially in a God forsaken religious world, or able to deal properly and spiritually with a people who are minus an ear for spiritual things, not unlike the society of Lot’s day. Church-house padlocks are now becoming common. What a crazy course of history! What foolish decisions by spiritual institutions! Caring ministers and churches now cry and preach to a people firmly attached. . . to spiritual detachment! Evermore then is the cry heard: “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.”

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Bias VS. Boastful


Parson to Person

W.A. Dillard

The question arises from time to time, but recently more often: is there bias in Baptist churches and literature against baptism? The question does not mean to indicate that Baptists are openly critical of or disdainful of baptism, rather they purposefully push it into the background or omit discussing it to avoid conflicting discussions with others not of our stripe.  Think a minute!
One evidence is a lack of underscoring its significance from pulpits.  Ministers may feel intimidated by former waves of heresy surrounding the ordinance resulting in ministers being labeled in unfavorable ways.  That may not be the case also, but whatever it is, there is a widespread toning down of its meaning, importance, and beauty.
Another evidence shows up in literature.  The spiritual new birth is heavily emphasized, which is good, but to indicate that one has all that is important, or that there is full leadership accessibility of the Holy Spirit in rebellion or neglect of divine instructions regarding proper baptism and subsequent fellowship in a true New Testament church is to negate the very thrust of the New Testament itself.  Whom do we fear, God or man?  Whom do we seek to not offend by this subject, God or man?
When Baptists are biased against the joyful presentation of baptism are they ashamed of it, or do they think to win others by cunning deception in matters of truth?
Baptism has long served as the door to church membership predicated on the new birth.  If  Baptists are not seeking to win folks to proper New Testament church membership, they are not ministering the New Testament purpose.  The new birth is as old as Adam’s sin in Eden, and while the New Covenant is predicated upon it, so was the Old Covenant as well.  To fail in these matters is to fall into the practice of abandoning new believers to the clutches of heretical religious organizations as so many modern “evangelists” do.
It is important to emphasize the will of God for every new believer of the gospel.  Pentecost is fundamentally important.  There is an office work of the Holy Spirit to and in the Lord’s church whose benefit the unbaptized, unchurched miss.  If the ordinance were not absolutely important, it would not be the consistent teaching of the New Covenant.  Let such scripture verses as Luke 7:30,  Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:38,  and Romans 6:1-5 be revisited, and indelibly impressed in hearts and minds.
On the other hand to be boastful tends to create carnal elitism.  There is a thin line but a definite line between a sense of thankfulness for one’s understanding and blessings, and a sense of arrogance or superiority that one may have over another.
Then let us witness of full truth in love for the Lord and His purpose, but be quick to attribute all of these things to the goodness of God which all may have who will believe and follow Him.

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6 Reasons You’ll Regret Why You Left the Lord’s Church


ABApologetics.org

W.A. Dillard

My article for ABApologetics this week is written by Pastor Johnny Williams. It is so true and so highly practical. Consider what he is saying here.

6 Reasons You’ll Regret Why You Left the Lord’s Church
by Pastor Johnny Williams

Both joining a church and leaving a church are serious business — business for which those involved will give an account before God. Here are six illegitimate reasons for leaving a scriptural New Testament church I have heard over the years.

1. Because our children want to go to another church (quite often that ‘other church’ is an unscriptural one with lots of ‘glitter’ but no ‘gold’). – The most spiritually immature (presumably) members of the family should not single-handedly make the most important decision facing afamily and their eternal destiny.

2. Because there aren’t many people here my age. – The church is not a social club, but the gathering of sinners saved by grace. The world should be at odds to explain the church. It should wonder, “What is it
that brings together such a diverse collection of people in such a tight bond of love?”
3. Because I don’t like the music. – The ‘contemporary vs. traditional type of music’ question is usually wrongheaded, in my opinion. Of greater importance is the question: What is the content of the songs being sung? Is the church singing good theology or merely good feel-ology?

4. Because the pastor’s sermons are too long. – Preaching is the central act of Christian worship and should receive the lion’s share of the time. Many churches are a mile wide but only an inch deep due to the teachings they’ve accepted as biblical truth!

5. Because they don’t have a good youth/children’s program here. Parents are the spiritual caretakers for the children. The church should merely reinforce the biblical truths taught in the home. No church pro-
gram will adequately shepherd our children; that is the calling of parents, particularly fathers.

6. Because the worship/preaching is boring. – The aim of worship is God’s glory, not our amusement. The Lord’s church is not to entertain the crowds but to train the saints to best honor Christ — period! 

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Sell Me This Power


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
SELL ME THIS POWER

William Andrew Dillard

In biblical Christianity there is power! Saints sing of it often in such hymns as “There Is Power In The Blood.” Repentant lost people rejoice in it at the altar of their heart. Saints who are wise reject the time consuming offerings of the world in order to know Him and the POWER of His resurrection as did St. Paul as he told the Philippians.
Jesus said that all power is consolidated in Him as He commissioned the church in Matthew 28:18-20. Just before ascending, He told His church that they would receive power after that the Holy Ghost was come upon them. According to Acts 2, they certainly did. But it was not a temporary power. It was an age long power to be resident in New Testament churches; power sufficient to bring them through the age with the proper testimony of God, and His love for the world.
But power is one of the objects of the sinful, greedy world which sees material advancement as the purpose of life. Thus the very existence of understood power draws men either to God and Salvation or to Satan and the ladder of materialism and creature comforts.
Such was the case of one Simon the sorcerer as noted in Acts 8. It is interesting to note that Simon was a long time practitioner of sorcery. Doubtless, he accumulated a considerable amount of wealth with it. However, the introduction of Bible Christianity in Samaria was mightily blessed of God so that many were saved and baptized. Make of this what you will, the Bible declares that Simon also was saved and baptized. Simon then continued with Philip, drawn by the miracles which he did.
Some days later Peter and John were dispatched from Jerusalem to Samaria who prayed for them, and laid hands upon them, and they received the Holy Spirit that had come upon the church in Acts 2. Simon was impressed, so impressed that he offered the apostles money to have their power conferred upon him. Peter minced no words rejecting the request, and directing him to repent of such wickedness, 8:22-24.
Unarguably, the apostolic years were filled with extraordinary displays of holy power as credentials of holy men in the absence of the New Testament. But with its completion, focus is shifted more precisely upon the church of the Living God. It is the pillar and ground of the truth under the constriction of the Holy Spirit and the eternal Word. In these things there is staying, aggressive, authoritative, energetic power from heaven. Surely, the world remains filled with satanic inspired charlatans, who emulate Simon saying, sell me this power that I may accumulate wealth through deception. But, as it was then, so it is now. The gifts and calling of God may be only enjoyed God’s way. They are not for sale.

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