What You Need to Know Before Joining Our Church (Part 3)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, September 23, 2018.
7. Church structure and government A. Our church is not a 501c3 corporation. i. The NT church belongs to Jesus Christ who created it (Mat 16:18). ii. State corporations belong to the government that created them. iii. We must only render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's (Mat 22:21). iv. Jesus Christ is the only head of the church (Col 1:18). v. See video on why Churches Should Not Be 501c3 Corporations of the State. B. Denominations and associations i. There are no denominations or associations of churches in the Bible. ii. There are only individual local churches in the Bible. iii. Each local congregation is "the church" (1Co 6:4; 1Ti 3:5), not part of the church. iv. Each local congregation is "the whole church" (Rom 16:23; 1Co 14:23), not part of the whole church. v. Each local congregation is "the body of Christ" (1Co 12:27), not part of the body of Christ. vi. Our church is not part of any denomination or association. vii. See sermons on Church Autonomy and Independence. C. One-pastor church government i. The church is to be overseen and ruled by one pastor who executes the law of God (Tit 1:5; Heb 13:7,17). ii. If a church is large enough to have multiple elders (pastors), there will still be one presiding/responsible pastor that has the rule (Act 15:13-21). iii. Smaller churches do not need multiple elders. iv. See sermons on One Pastor and Church Government. D. Deacons i. There is only one scriptural duty for a deacon which is taking food to widows (Act 6:1-6). ii. Deacons were ordained for that business alone (Act 6:3). iii. There is no other duty given to deacons in the Bible. iv. Therefore, if a church doesn't have a sufficient number of widows that need food taken to them, the church doesn't need any deacons. v. Nowhere in scripture are deacons given the rule or authority of the church. vi. Nowhere in scripture are deacons given a teaching office. vii. For non-pastoral tasks that need to be taken care in the church, those that have the gift of helping can assist the pastor (1Co 12:28; 1Co 16:15-16). viii. See video called What are Deacons For, and Should Your Church Have Any?. 8. Expiration of the Sign Gifts A. The sign gifts such as prophecy, speaking in tongues, special knowledge, healing, raising the dead, casting out devils, etc. were given to the NT church for a period of 40 years beginning with the first miracle Jesus did in 30AD and ending in approximately 70AD (Mic 7:15 c/w Joh 2:11; 1Co 13:8-10). B. The sign gifts were given to convince the unbelieving Jews who required a sign (Joh 4:48; 1Co 1:22) and to confirm the word of God spoken by the apostles (Mar 16:20; Heb 2:3-4). C. Once the New Testament was written and the unbelieving Jews were either killed or carried captive into all nations in 70AD, the purpose for the sign gifts ceased and so did the gifts themselves. D. Modern sign gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy, and miraculous healing are lying signs and wonders done by the power of Satan (2Th 2:9; Rev 16:14). E. See sermons on The Sign Gifts. 9. Israel A. God was done with the nation of Israel after 70AD (Mat 21:43-44; Mat 23:34-39; Luk 21:24). B. The Israel of God are God's elect who are in Christ, both Jew and Gentile (Gal 6:15-16; Gal 3:7; Gal 3:29; Rom 2:28-29; Php 3:3). C. There is no prophecy of Israel returning to the land of Palestine after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity. D. God does not have a special plan for the Jews. E. The unbelieving Jews in the modern nation of Israel are antichrists (1Jo 2:22-23). F. They hate Jesus Christ and God the Father (Joh 15:23-25). G. We should not be supporting them in any way (2Ch 19:2). H. See sermons on Israel: Israel.