Archive for July, 2015


A Covenant Relationship

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

covenant

© 2015 Stan Hallett

I wanted to write this in an attempt to give some Christians a better understanding of our covenant relationship with the Lord. It is my hope and desire that this will help to fend off some false teaching and poor understanding of our relationship with God.

From the beginning God has had covenant relationship with man.  These are covenants that man has continuously broken, not God.

A covenant must have a benefit, typically a token or sign of the covenant, and a penalty for breaking the covenant. For example the marriage between and man and a woman is the perfect example of a covenant relationship.  The benefits are love, intimacy, offspring, etc.. The token or sign of the covent would be the vows, and also the wedding ring. The penalty for breaking the convent would be divorce. The covenant of marriage and the relationship between a man and his bride are given to us as an example and a type of our covenant relationship with the Lord.

The first covenant with God was in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve broke that covenant and God made a new covenant with Adam and Eve and their offspring. We no longer have any part of that covenant in the garden, nor is it available, it is past. This has been true of every covenant.

The second covenant (Adam’s offspring), the third covenant (Noah), the fourth covenant (Abraham), etc. The fifth covenant was entered into via Moses and the law.  But man could not keep the law either. Now we no longer have any part of the covenant of the law, nor is it available. It also is past and a dead covenant.

So God entered into yet another (6th) covenant with man. He has paid for our sins once and for all, and has redeemed us to Himself. To enter into this covenant we need obey the Gospel. Then the promise of this covenant is that He fills us with His Spirit, and dwells within us. If we remain in this covenant relationship with God, He promises that we will rise up to meet Him and then be with Him for eternity. We are no longer under the covenant of law or any part of it, just as we are no longer in any other covenant. We are dead to sin and the law (Romans 7:6).

It is wonderful to have the written law and the old testament to read of the history, and the types and shadows, as well as the wisdom, and the poetry, but we are not under the covenant of the law. So for those that take select portions that they like and often misunderstand the intent . . . quit it!

If we make a person conform to our ideals, rules, standards, or convictions by legalism or cajoling, but it is not within their heart to do the thing, have we accomplished anything?

What this tends to do is to create three groups of people:

1.) Run off those that will not conform to your standards , laws, or rules, that may have otherwise been saved.

2.) Create a group that put on a “Church face” when they are at Church, and live like to world when they are not.

3.) Create a minority that will conform because they love the Lord and have accepted, at least for a season that this is what they should do.  Even some in this latter group eventually learn that it was legalism, and a yolk of bondage that was forced on them.

1st Covenant – Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden
2nd Covenant – Adam’s Offspring
3rd Covenant – Noah, The Ark, The Flood & A New Beginning
4th Covenant – Abraham’s Promise
5th Covenant – Moses & The Law
6th Covenant – Jesus, The  New Testament & Covenant
7th Covenant – The Millennial Reign

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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The Pastor’s Got Warts!

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

perfect pastor

©2015 Stan Hallett

Before I begin I must insert a disclaimer. I use some terms in this article that may have broader definition in the minds of those within the realm of what is called “Orthodox Christianity”.  When I use the term “Christian” I am not referring to the broad definition that is generally accepted. The term Christian generally means followers of Christ.  A better definition would be that a Christian is one that 1.) Has a correct understanding of who Jesus was and is. 2.) Is obedient to the His Word. 3.) Has obeyed the Gospel, and 4.) Continues in the faith.

Many that proclaim to be Christians do not know who Jesus was and is, are not obedient to the Word of God, and have not obeyed the Gospel.  In fact many, if not most that claim to be Christians do not know what the Gospel is, nor have they obeyed it.

People have interesting concepts of what they feel the Church is, and how they relate to their local assembly. I suppose a lot of it has to do with our culture.

In the beginning there was only one assembly in a population area that was reachable by walking to on the meeting day.  Christians generally became knit into their local assembly.  They couldn’t go Church shopping and bouncing around like so many Christians do today.

It is important that you become knit into the Church, your local assembly of One God Christians who believe, preach and teach the same doctrine that the Apostles taught in the book of Acts.

As time goes by and you begin to get knit into your local assembly you will begin to find that people are not perfect, even true Christians.  We all have flesh, all have ups an downs, good days and bad. This is where your walk with the Lord may be tested.

I often have said that it is impossible to offend a person that is full of the Holy Ghost, and I can prove it. If you have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, then think back to the day that you were were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues.  Were you upset with anyone?  Did you hate anyone?  No way!  You loved everybody!  You were full of the Holy Ghost!

I have observed with many assemblies that the pastor often treats his home as a sanctuary, a place where he can relax and not be concerned about every word he says, and every thing that he does. He has learned from experience that one wrong statement or act can offend people and cause them to leave and go somewhere else. This is wrong.

Yes, those in leadership positions need to be examples to the flock. However, we need to also understand that these men are also human, are imperfect, can make mistakes, and do and/or say the wrong things on a occasion.  We as saints need to forgive others as we desire to be forgiven.

No pastor, missionary, evangelist, deacon, elder, or saint of God is perfect and always does and says the right thing 100% of the time.  Any pastor will tell you that there have been times when they spoke when they which they could have pulled those words back into their mouth.  Are any of us any different?

I do my best to always give grace and not be offended.  That does not mean that I do not recognize an offense. Here is an opportunity for you to rather than be offended and take negative action, but rather to go to that Sister of Brother and take positive action. Does not Jesus say; “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother” (Matthew 18:15)?

As you become knit into a body you should be growing spiritually.  As you draw closer to people, including those in leadership, and if you are walking closely with the Lord, you will find more and more opportunities to minister to all saints, including those that minister.

Stop bouncing around assembly to assembly, and stop Church shopping!  If the basic and fundamental doctrine is right, then get knit it and serve right where you are at!  The more issues and the more problems there are, the more opportunity to serve. Isn’t that what you asked the Lord for?  A place where you can be used?

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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We’re Purple Pants People!

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

©2015 Stan Hallett

Jesus said “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. We are no longer under the covenant of the law, no more than we are under the covenant Adam had in the Garden, or the covenant that Adam’s offspring had, or the covenant that Noah’s offspring had, or even the covenant that Abraham and his offspring had (there were six covenants in all).

Those of us that have obeyed the gospel (Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), have repented, have been baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of sins, and have been filled the the Holy Ghost, are in the New Covenant.

Many of us that are led by the Spirit of God may be led in one direction or another in many areas. It may be in our speech and how we communicate with others. It may be in the ways that we conduct ourselves and our actions. It may be the in the way that we dress, or in other ways. It is birthed in us by being sensitive to the Spirit of God.

As we walk with the Lord He will bring about changes in us as we become more like Him. As parents we should also teach our children how to conduct themselves. Likewise it is also good that we are an example to others. However that is where it should stop.

To impose our convictions on others as some sort of rule, requirement, or law, is to place a yoke of bondage on them. The truth be told if they do not do a thing that we believe is right, and we cause them to do it by constraint or cajoling, have we fixed anything?

If for example someone that begins attending services smokes, or dresses somewhat immodestly, and we impose our rules upon them, have we brought them into a closer relationship with God? No we have not. The problem is not the smoking or the immodest dress, the problem is the heart.

If they have yet to repent, be baptized in Jesus’ Name, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, will any rules that we impose help them? No, in fact often times the rules and legalism only serve to drive many away from the Church, and from God.

If for example the Holy Spirit led you to wear purple pants, it would naturally follow that all that were led of the Spirit would wear purple pants. But if a newcomer came for a few services wearing blue jeans, should you take him aside at some point and explain that we’re purple pants people?

It sounds humorous I know, but some of us do just that! If the person’s heart was in the right place they may conform to your rule, but have you brought them into a closer walk with God? They may be wearing the right color pants but they’re still going to hell if they do not obey the gospel and walk with the Lord.

We have a lot of people that come to church services that have the right look, use the right lingo, and act the right way, but if it’s just an act to be accepted by a legalistic Church what will become of them? We have too many that go along to get along, but in reality their homes and their lives are not right.

God said that man looks at the outward appearance but God sees the heart. We better start seeing people as God sees them if we are going to win souls. Are we soul winners or fashion police?

I’m not talking about losing our personal standards. I’m talking about saving souls. Our assemblies should be Spiritual hospitals for the Spiritually sick that need to be healed. I have no problem seeing people attending our services with green hair, tattoos, and pierced eyebrows. Once they are converted they probably won’t stay that way!

Far too many of our assemblies look like a club for members only. All the women have extremely long hair, all wearing dresses and skirts, and no make-up. This stands out like a neon sign to many visitors (especially women) to the point that they feel out of place and uncomfortable. It says that; “we are not going to accept you until you conform and look like us”.  That is a heavy yoke for many, and it serves to push people away.

Do I think that women should wear skirts or dresses?  Yes, if they are modest, and not too short or too tight, but not for the reason you may think. I believe that dresses properly fitting are more modest than slacks. Slacks, or pants typically fit more closely to the women’s shape therefor are less modest in most cases.

The scripture that many use to justify outlawing pants-like clothing for women (Deuteronomy 22:5) is NOT applicable to this.  First, it was under the law.  If we are going to be under the law then we need to be under the whole law and not just the parts that some like.  We are under grace!

Secondly, Deuteronomy 22:5 has to do with a women dressing up to appear as a man or a man dressing up to appear as a woman. It does not have to do with the cut of the cloth that covers us.  If that was the case then all were in sin when the scripture was written, because all wore very similar clothing and no one wore pants.  The only difference was that a woman’s was slightly longer, and therefore more modest, may have been more colorful, more ornamented or been of a finer material. No one wore pants, purple or otherwise.

What I have seen in many assemblies is that the pastor will set so called “holiness standards” for his assembly, and preach it from the pulpit.  This is a yoke of bondage that does much more harm than good. Over time the ones that conform will remain, and the others will leave.

What happens is you have an assembly where everyone looks the same making newcomers uncomfortable because they don’t fit in. Many will see it as weird (because it is) and leave. Because this is taught as a requirement many in that assembly will look down on anyone that does not look like them, and judge them as unsaved, or rebellious.

I have seen assemblies that are close in proximity who preach the same gospel message, yet the one with these “holiness standards” will not accept the other as brethren because of these standards that they adhere to as requirements, and the other assembly gives liberty and does not.

The word will be spread: “You know, the pastor’s wife over at that assembly cuts her hair” or, “I’ve seen some of their women wear pants”, “They don’t have any holiness standards over there”.

This teaching comes from ignorance of what God’s Word really teaches concerning these matters.  I touch on some of them on this site, like Hair for example.

These so-called “holiness standards” cause great harm. Should we be covered and modest in our dress? Yes, of course we should. But we need to give grace, love people right where they are at.  We should set an example, but that is where it should stop.

Jesus said; “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. He said that we “must be born of the water and of the Spirit to see the kingdom of God”. He did not say that all that do not conform to a pastors dress code will be lost.

Can you imagine being lost over the cut of the cloth of your clothing or the length of your hair? Perhaps you just got saved, and Jesus came but you were lost because you did not realize that you should not be wearing that pearl necklace or that lipstick you put on that morning!

The Church should be a hospital for the spiritually sick and wounded! I have often said that I don’t mind seeing people with things like pierced eyebrows and green hair in service. It means that perhaps God’s drawing them.  It means they are hearing the Word of God!  If they obey the gospel and begin to walk with the Lord, their appearance will change as their heart is changed.  It does not work the other way around.

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.

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