Welcome: A Love Story

1 Timothy 6.20

1 Timothy 6.20

Jerald Finney
Copyright © March 6, 2015

Welcome to “A Bible Trust.” This is an “Old Paths Baptist Church Separation of Church and State Law Ministry” website. This website is being started on March 5, 2015. As it is developed, the website will explain how a church can organize so as to keep herself completely out from under civil government control. That will be the one theme of this website.

This website is the result of the desire to Glorify God by teaching a church how she can show her love for her creator by honoring Bible precept concerning church organization. A church who loves the Lord will want to do so (see below). Love cannot be pure absent trust. Believers and churches should trust God. God also has trusted us with all that He has given us, both spiritual and material.

The interested believer may wish to follow as “A Bible Trust” website develops. By so doing, he will be able to study the Bible principles, legal considerations, and history he needs to understand in establishing a church which is under God only, and not under civil government in any way. (See About ABIBLETRUST.COM for more on this.)

Separation of Church and State Law” website of this ministry has been online since September of 2009 and now contains a wealth of information. It not only provides resources which are free (some books can also be ordered, if desired), but which also cover both the principles and the application of those principles by a New Testament church. Pages and articles on that site cover, for example, actual preaching by the pastor of that church; street preaching ministry of that church; the history of religious freedom in America; the doctrines of church, state, and separation of church and state,; church incorporation and 501(c)(3) status; etc.

The Love Relationship between Christ and His Churches

I am waiting for you, by beloved.

I am waiting for you, my beloved.

See The Love between Christ and His Churches as Depicted in Song of Solomon for an understanding of how deeply Christ values that relationship.

This website is the product of a love story; a love story between the author, Jerald Finney, and the Lord Jesus Christ; a love story between Christ and his local churches and between Christ and the universal church which will be established at the marriage supper of the Lamb. I, Jerald Finney, was a hopeless lost sinner until Christ saved me from my sin. When he did that, he freed me from the condemnation of sin and the fate of eternal death in the lake of fire. He made a new creature of me. I was so thankful for what he did, I said to him in my heart,

“Even now should I die and go to hell, I would be getting exactly what I deserve. But thank you Lord that because you paid the price for my sin, I have been spared the fate which I deserve. Because of that, I will serve you forever. I will love you forever, dear Lord.”

2Of course, I still commit sins, but not nearly as many; and I do not wallow in sin because the Holy Spirit which lives within me convicts me of sin. When I sin, I confess, get back up, and go forward for Christ. You see, I am a new creature in Christ Jesus.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:11-14).

I want the church I am a member of to strive to be espoused to one husband, to strive to present herself as a chaste virgin to Christ. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,” that our minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

The Bible teaches that no matter what one says, one does not love the Lord if he does not value and preserve the purity of the relationship between Christ and his church.

2After all, the church is called the bride and wife of the Lamb. “Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled” (John 3:28-29; see also, 1 Corinthians 11.1-4 which speaks of the church as a virgin espoused to one husband and Ephesians 5.23-33 where Paul, under inspiration of God, likens the relationship of Christ and His Church to that of Husband and wife.).

Loving God is preeminent for a believer and for a church. One does not love God by just asserting that he loves God. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14.15). The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22.37; Mark 12.30; Luke 10.27).

Love is action. This love between Christ and his church is seen in the Song of Solomon:

  • The Song of Solomon, “[p]rimarily, is the expression of pure marital love as ordained of God in creation, and the vindication of that love as against both asceticism and lust—the two profanations of the holiness of marriage. The secondary and larger interpretation is of Christ, the Son and His heavenly bride, the Church” (2 Cor. 11.1-4, ).
  • “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would be utterly contemned” (Song of Solomon 8.7). “Contemned” means “despised, scorned, slighted, neglected, or rejected with disdain.”[i] God despises, scorns, slights, neglects, or rejects with disdain all that a church does, whatever professions of love she makes, if those acts and/or professions are without love. A church who does not honor Christ as a wife is to honor her husband, her bridegroom, by remaining pure and chaste, does not display love for the Lord. Thus, loving ones neighbor by witnessing to him, sending missionaries to him, helping him materially or any other way in obedience to the second commandment—“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”—is vanity in God’s eyes if one ignores the greatest commandment.

1Co.13.1-3This fact is also articulated in the New Testament. The Lord Jesus is jealous over his church.  If we do not love the Lord Jesus, he despises all the “Christian” work we do and the money we put in the offering plate:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (I Corinthians 13.1-3).

“In a theological sense, [‘charity’] “includes supreme love to God and a universal good will to men. 1 Cor. xiii. Col. iii. 1 Tim. i.”[ii]  Love is an act of the will. A church refutes its proclamations of love for the Lord when it wholly or partially takes the church from under the headship of her husband, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love “[r]ejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth” (I Corinthians 13.6). Iniquity means “Injustice, unrighteousness, … [w]ant of rectitude [rightness in principle or practice], … a sin or crime; wickedness….”[iii] Bible truth makes clear that the love of Christ for his church is immense, that he wants to be the only head and companion of the church who is likened to his wife and bride, and that for a church to even partially put herself under or associate with another entity is a great wickedness and repudiates all professions of love for the Lord. As is shown in Separaton of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?, the church who incorporates and secures a 501(c)(3) tax exemption puts herself partially under another head, commits a wicked sinful act in violation of biblical principle, and rejoices in iniquity.

The Lord Jesus gave a warning to the church at Ephesus:

Re.2.4-5“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2.2-5).

As Dr. J. Vernon McGee teaches us, this warning was for every church who has lost her love for the Lord Jesus:

“It was a warning of danger of getting away from a personal and loving relationship with Jesus Christ. The real test of any believer, especially those who are attempting to serve Him, is not your little method or mode or system, or your dedication, or any of the things that are so often emphasized today. The one question is: Do you love Him? Do you love the Lord Jesus? When you love Him, you will be in a right relationship with Him, but when you begin to depart from the person of Christ, it will finally lead to lukewarmness. The apostate church was guilty of lukewarmness. It may not seem to be too bad, but it is the worst condition that anyone can be in. A great preacher in upper New York state said: ‘Twenty lukewarm Christians hurt the cause of Christ more than one blatant atheist.’ A lukewarm church is a disgrace to Christ.”[iv]

As the Lord Jesus Christ is jealous over his churches, so should pastors and church members be jealous, with a godly jealousy, over the church they belong to, just as Paul was:

2 Corinthians 11:2-3  2 Corinthians 11:2-3 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:2-3 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (II Corinthians 11.2-4; Luke 18.8; II Timothy 3.1-8).

The church who really loves her husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, will seek to maintain her purity, to be subject to her husband in all things. All the professions of love, all the good deeds, the hymns sung, and the messages preached by a church who does not totally submit herself in all things to her husband, are contemned by the Lord.

A church who takes a 501(c)(3) tax exemption, an incorporation, a license, or any type permit from the state, or puts herself under the state in any way, becomes an earthly legal entity subject to the jurisdiction of an earthly power, the civil government. Such a “church” is in fact a two headed monster. Such a “church,” in spite of any professions of love for the Lord, according to her acts shows that she does not love the Lord Jesus Christ. Should you question this, study the Bible principles of government, church, and separation of church and state. Then study the law to see exactly how incorporation (includes corporation sole) or any kind of legal status and Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) status for a church violate God’s principles. One can go to the Separation of Church and State Law website for in depth studies of these matters.

Endnotes

[i] AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828), definition of “CONTEMNED.”

[ii] AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828), definition of “CHARITY.”

[iii] AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, NOAH WEBSTER (1828), definitions of “INIQUITY” and “RECTITUDE.”

[iv] J. Vernon McGee, Revelation, Volume I (Pasadena, California: Thru the Bible Books, 1982), pp. 121-122.

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