Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

“Winners & Losers”

Posted: September 10, 2013 in Christian Life, Money, Success

It’s been called “the root of all evil” but it’s not. But the love of it is (1 Timothy 6:10). Of course, we’re talking about money. Jesus often talked about it but He wasn’t a fundraiser. He dealt with money matters because money matters. For some of us, though, it matters too much.

Successful. It has been reported that in 1928 a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. The following were present: The president of the largest utility company, the greatest wheat speculator, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, a member of the President’s Cabinet, the greatest “bear” on Wall Street, the president of the Bank of International Settlements, the head of the world’s greatest monopoly. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples.

Failures. Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to these men. The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison. The member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide. The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide. The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide. All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live. They were out of balance. “For what will if profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul [in hell]” (Mark 8:36).

Quotes. “I’d trade all the money and things I have for a little tranquility and a secure hope that I know what is going to happen to me after I die.” “I’d trade all the success I’ve achieved for an hour of pure love, an hour without pain, or an hour of knowing that I have done what God created me to do.” “As human beings, imperfect by nature, we place little value on things that we do not pay for. We value homes, automobiles, boats, and television sets, and at the same time, place little or no value on the things in life that are free- our bodies, minds, families, friends, good health, love, and the natural laws of the universe.” – Glen Bland

Two Dimes. “Money often comes between men and God. Someone has said that you can take two small ten-cent pieces, just two dimes, and shut out the view of a panoramic landscape. Go to the mountains and just hold two coins closely in front of your eyes. The mountains are still there, but you cannot see them at all because there is a dime shutting off the vision in each eye. It doesn’t take large quantities of money to come between us and God. Money, in the wrong position, will effectively obscure our view.” Cedric Gowler

So What? Christians can use money, which is part of the present world system, but we must not abuse it or love it (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17). How we handle money reveals much about the depth of our dedication to Christ. You can’t buy your way into heaven. This “ticket” was purchased for you by the Lord Jesus Christ when He died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). All you need to do is reach out and receive His gift of eternal life by faith (John 1:12; 3:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9). If you’ve never done this, why not now?

Help. We invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 with your questions and/or comments.   If these articles help you, please tell others about them so we can help your friends too.  Click on “Follow” to receive them as they come out.

We are beginning a new series of studies for 13 weeks starting on Wednesday evening, September 4th, 2013.  (If you’re interested, ask for more details and the times of the meetings.)  We will be using the book entitled “Success God’s Way” by Dr. Charles Stanley.  We will use it as a spring board to think about what God wants us to do to be successful in His eyes, not in our own eyes, or in the eyes of the world (Proverbs 14:12).  We will use our Bibles to validate what we read in this book much like the Berean believers did in Paul’s day (Acts 17:11).  We will provide you with other material to help you grow spiritually in grace (2 Peter 3:18).

We will ask and try to answer these questions Biblically: “Is it right for me to want to be successful?  Can I live a godly life and still be successful?  Is God even interested in my being successful?”

While the world tends to define success in terms of fame and fortune, power and pleasure, Dr. Stanley believes that God sums up success in terms of relationship, character, and obedience.

We will consider these crucial issues:  The apparent conflicts between success and godly living.  The most powerful key to living a successful life.  The relationship between success and money.  The importance of attitude in achieving success.  The role of time management in achieving success.  The way to overcome the most common road blocks to success.

Genuine success-from God’s point of view-is rooted in what God calls us to be…in what God sets as the goals for our lives.  He says, “We must recognize that as believers, we are the sons and daughters of the living God.  Success from God’s viewpoint does not begin and end with what we do in our lives.  It begins and ends with who we are as His children.”

These sessions are designed for and limited to Christians (not the unsaved – 1 Corinthians 2:14) who are teachable (2 Timothy 2:2, 15) and willing to be transformed (Romans 12:1, 2), who will commit themselves to attend each week for 13 weeks (unless providentially hindered), read a chapter in the book each week, and share their insights with others when we assemble together so we can stimulate each other to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24, 25).  We will ask each person to attempt to put into practice (with God’s help – Philippians 4:13) what he/she learns from these studies by being doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22).

If this is of interest to you or someone you know, call Pastor Pietsch at 805-238-3549.  We need to know ASAP if you would like to attend these sessions so we can order the books.

If all the money in the world was distributed evenly with all the people, within a few years most of the money would be back in the hands of a few people.  Do you believe it or not?  Money isn’t evil; the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

As long as we live in this sin cursed world, people will have problems that stem from money.  This is true for the rich and the poor.

Realizing that this problem was not limited to unbelievers, James, the Lord’s half brother, wrote a letter for the benefit of the new Christians who had been Jews.  They had placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the God-man who died for their sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day.

Jesus said, “…the poor you have with you always” (John 12:8).  This condition may have been brought on by some uncontrollable circumstances: famines, earthquakes, floods, theft, death, poor health, inability to work, etc.  Poverty can also come when a person who is able to work won’t work.  Such individuals should be allowed to go hungry (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15).  They need to takes some lessons from the ant (Proverbs 6:6).

It might seem strange, but Christians are told to give thanks in all situations (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (Ephesians 5:20), and for all men (1 Timothy 2:1).  A thankful heart and a willingness to trust God to open up doors for us should be the first thing a believer does when he/she needs an income.  Too many people rely on the government rather than on God (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Capitalism.  It isn’t the best form of government but God isn’t opposed to it (Ephesians 4:28).  But it and other forms of government can and have been abused by sinful men.  Christians may use the present world system in a way that honors God but we are not to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31).  We are not to love it or the things of this world that are passing away (1 John 2:15-17).  Are you doing this?  Do you think of yourself as an owner or a steward (manager) of someone else’s money (1 Peter 4:10)?

The lowly Christian, who may never be rich by the world’s standards, should consider the spiritual blessings that God has given to all of His children (Ephesians 1:3ff).  The “Fruit of the Spirit” (love, joy, peace, etc. Galatians 5:22, 23) can’t be purchased with money.

Wealthy Christians face some challenges too.  Their money can disappear faster than they made it.  The ancient patriarch Job had his possessions, his children, and his health wiped out by Satan in a very short time.  Rather than cursing God and dying as his wife suggested, he said,  “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).  He didn’t realize that it was actually the devil who was responsible for his calamity, not God.  How would respond if you had everything you owned suddenly taken from you?

Wealth can be acquired by legitimate or illegitimate means.  King Solomon was greatly concerned about one who would inherit his wealth (Ecclesiastes 2:17-19).  Sadly, his son Rehoboam didn’t listen to or follow his father’s advice that can be found the Proverbs.  Riches can cause a person to trust in things rather than in the Lord (1 Timothy 6:17).  It causes some people to think more highly of themselves than they should (Romans 12:3).

Honestly they should think of themselves perhaps as a flower that will soon wither and die (James 1:10, 11) or like a vapor that soon vanishes away (James 4:14).

In whom or in what are you trusting for your eternal deliverance from hell to heaven?  If it’s not in the true and living God, you’re going to be separated from God forever in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15).  Why not acknowledge that you are a sinner like all the rest of us (Romans 3:10, 23), and admit that you can’t save yourself by your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Then transfer your trust over to the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 24:34-43).

Upon believing in Him you will be immediately transferred out the Satan’s domain into God’s family (Colossians 1:13).  Assurance of salvation can also be yours to enjoy (1 John 5:13; John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30).

If you need additional spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at


            Motivated by the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10), many men and women have misused the oratorical and leadership skills they have been given to exploit the unsuspecting (2 Timothy 3:1-7).  The prophet Balaam is a classic example of a “Prophet for Hire” (Numbers 22-31).  His name is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments over 60 times.  His bad counsel led to the deaths of 24,000 Jews (Numbers 25:9).  Stricter judgment awaits those who teach heresies and false doctrine (James 3:1).  The greatest joy comes from seeing those whom we have led to Christ for salvation walking in truth (3 John 4).

            Used.  The devil is using many false teachers to lead gullible people to hell.  They are lulled to sleep and are unaware of the dangers that face them in the future (1 John 5:19).  True Christians must be on guard (1 Peter 5:8) so they don’t stumble and fall (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13) and end up with a lot of ashes on their face.  How can this be done?

            Remember.  Prone as we are to forget so many things, the Scriptures constantly exhort us to remember Biblical truths.  This will enable us to stay standing after we encounter our spiritual adversaries (Ephesians 6:11).

            Apostles.  During the early days of the church God gave some spiritual gifts to a few Christians that are not being given to believers today.  Among them are apostles, prophets, tongues, and others.  (For more information about temporary and extant gifts, go to and then to “Bible Basics.”) 

           Steward.  The Apostle Paul referred to himself as the steward (household manager) of this dispensation of grace (Ephesians 3:1-12).  He was the primary person to receive new revelation (information) from God for the New Testament believers. Peter and John, along with the half brothers of Jesus – James and Jude – also penned supplemental “Grace Truth” for us. 

            Growth.  Spiritual growth can take place in the lives of believers who apply this information to their lives (James 1:22; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).  As a general rule, “Grace Truth” can be found between John 13 and Revelation 3.  All Scripture is for Christians, but not all of it is addressed to us (2 Timothy 2:15).  Don’t try to grow spiritually if you’re living by the wrong “House Rules.”  See our “Dispensational Chart” for more information. 

            Counterfeits.  God’s Word is the truth (John 17:17).  Satan twists it just enough so that others won’t be able to detect it unless they are careful students of the Bible (2 Peter 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:15).  It looks like the real thing.  He has a false gospel that mixes good works with faith and false apostles and teachers to promote it (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).  Don’t get caught up in a heresy.    

            Scoffers.   The Apostles Peter and Paul and others warned us about them before they came on the scene (2 Peter 3:3; Acts 20:20-31).  Some of them claimed to be believers without actually being true Christians (1 John 2:19). They employ Satan’s craftiness and deceitful methods (Ephesians 6:11) and use his devices to work on people’s minds (2 Corinthians 2:11).  They mix and integrate the philosophy of this present, diabolical, world system (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17) with the Scriptures and mislead many unsuspecting people (Colossians 2:8). We have all we need for life and godliness in the Word of God (2 Peter 1:3).  Don’t ignore it!

           Trapped?  Do you feel like you are ensnared by the devil (2 Timothy 2:26)?  Would you like to be released?  Do you have any known sins that haven’t been confessed to God (Proverbs 28:13)?  If you do, confess them to Him and then claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9)?  If you have sinned against another person, confess that to him/her too (James 5:16).  Unlike God, you may also need to ask them not to hold a grudge against you any longer.  See what God does (Ezekiel 33:16).  He doesn’t/can’t forget anything.  He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24).

          Bitterness.  Do you have a root of bitterness (Hebrews 12:15) or an unforgivng spirit that needs to be removed from your life?  When you realize the huge debt that God has forgiven you, you should not have any problem forgiving others (Ephesians 4:32).  If you refuse to forgive others you will continue to be tormented by the tormentors (Matthew 18:34) and could commit the sin unto a premature, physical death (1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 John 5:16). 

            Flatterers.  To gain an advantage over others, many false teachers tell people what the people want to hear rather than what God wants them to be told (2 Timothy 4:1-4). It is required of God’s stewards that they be faithful to God and His Word (1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Timothy 4:6).  Beware of those who flatter you (Proverbs 28:23; 29:5).

          Help?  If you need spiritual help, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at or listen to our messages at  If these articles help you, please tell others and sign up to receive them as they come out.  Click on “Follow.”

“It was a morning like any other in the ancient Roman city.  Men and women went about their business as usual, working hard in the bright sun light and resting in the cool shade of the mountain.  Children romped just as they did yesterday and the day before that, and many worshipped their idols in pagan temples, eating, drinking, and being merry, living life to the hilt in their normal reckless way.  Yet in a few precious hours, they would all be dead-the fury of Mount Vesuvius would erupt to encase Pompei in a tomb of lava for centuries to come.” – C. Swindoll

     Earth Shaking.  About forty years earlier some other earth shaking events took place that changed the course of human history.  Before Jesus Christ was taken down from the cross, a Roman centurion witnessed the earth quaking when Jesus died, even though he didn’t know that Jesus had just died to pay the penalty for his sins and the sins of the whole world (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; 1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10).  Fear gripped the people and he said, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). 

     Three Days Later. Another greater earthquake took place when an angel came down from heaven and opened the door of the tomb where Jesus’ body had been placed. The angel’s countenance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.  The elite guards shook with fear and they became like dead men (Matthew 28:2-4).

     Open Door.  An angel had come down to roll away the huge stone door (perhaps about 4,000 pounds) to let people into the tomb to see that Jesus’ body was no longer there.  It wasn’t opened to let Him out.  His resurrected, glorified body could and still can pass through objects that would stop our present bodies (John 20:19).  The current body that He has in heaven, at God the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:19-23), has the ability to travel, not at the speed of light, but at the speed of thought (John 20:17-20; Hebrews 9:24).  He can eat the real food we eat but He doesn’t have to eat it to stay alive (Luke 22:16, 30; 24:33-43).  The resurrected bodies of Christians will be like Christ’s glorified humanity, not His deity (1 John 3:2).  We will keep on learning things in eternity (Ephesians 2:7).  Contrary to what some religious cults teach, Christians will not become gods to repopulate other worlds in eternity future (Matthew 22:30).

     Fear Not!  Not long after the earthquake that took place on Sunday morning, some women came to the tomb where their beloved Master had been laid to rest by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, “The [Chief] Teacher” of the Mosaic law and a member of the Sanhedrin (Matthew 27:57; John 3:1-10; 7:50; 19:38-40).  But to their amazement, the door of the tomb was opened and the guards were nowhere to be found.  According to Matthew’s account, the guards were bribed with a lot of money and were told to say, “His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.”  This saying is commonly reported among the Jews even to our day (Matthew 28:13).  But wait!  Sleeping on the job carried with it the death penalty (Acts 12:19).  But money talks; It did then and it does today. It’s the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

     Instructions.  The angel instructed these women not to be afraid but to go to Jesus’ disciples to inform them that He had risen from the dead.  Had the story of Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead been a fraud, the writers wouldn’t have said that women were the first ones to witness His bodily resurrection.  Normally, in those days, the testimony of a woman wasn’t as strong as the testimony of a man.  That is why the accounts of His bodily resurrection are even more believable.  Contrary to what another cult teaches, Jesus did rise again bodily from the dead and those who deny that He will return to earth with a real body are deceivers and Antichrists (2 John 1:7; John 14:3; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 19:16).

     Predicted.  The Old Testament prophets had predicted that Jesus would die for the sins of mankind (Psalm 22:1; Isaiah 53; John 1:29).  After He changed His initial mission (i. e. offering Himself as the rightful King of the Jews), He told His disciples that He was going to go to the cross to die and then be raised from the dead on the third day (Matthew 16:21; 17:23; Luke 9:22).

  Jonah.  Yes, Jesus believed the story of Jonah who was swallowed by a great fish and then vomited out on dry land after three days (Jonah 2). In fact, He used Jonah as an illustration to point out to the skeptical Jews, who demand signs (1 Corinthians 1:22), just how long He would be dead and buried in the tomb (Matthew 12:39).  Jesus’ enemies, not His own disciples (Matthew 16:21-23), believed Him when He said this.  That is why they had His tomb secured (Matthew 27:63-66).  The Apostle John recorded in his gospel several sign miracles to prove that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God so that those who believe on Him may be saved and receive eternal life (John 20:30, 31). 

     Death.  When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they died two kinds of death: spiritual and physical (Genesis 2:17).  Death is separation, not annihilation.  Spiritual death took place when they were separated from fellowship with God and had their garments of light stripped from them (Genesis 3:7-11; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:49).  Physical death occurred when Adam was 930 years old (Genesis 5:5).  Yes, they did live much longer before the universal flood that took place in Noah’s day (Genesis 6-8).  That was before the continental shift took place in Peleg’s day when the mountains rose up as they are today (Genesis 10:25).  Physical death involves the separation of the spirit (that belongs to the mind – Ephesians 4:23) and the soul (emotions –  Matthew 11:29; John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:9) from the body (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).  Nowhere is Scripture is annihilation or reincarnation taught.

  Christ’s Resurrection.  The testimonies of over 500 eye witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) and the transformations that took place in people’s lives like Peter (Acts 2), Paul (Acts 9), and Thomas (John 20), and many more people are overwhelming to those who are willing to be honest with the normal rules of investigation and evidence. 

     Rebels.  But those who want to go on living their lives in rebellion toward God, and who don’t want to be held accountable to Him, will choose to disbelieve the undeniable evidence.  They know that if they believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection, then they might be raised from the dead themselves and have to stand before Him as their Judge.

  Judge.  God the Father gave God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) the responsibility to judge every human being and all spirit beings (cherubs, seraphs, and angels) some day (John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; Acts 17:31).  He will act as the righteous Judge who can’t be bribed (2 Timothy 4:8).  He is omniscient (all knowing).  He even knows all about our motives (John 2:24, 25; 1 Corinthians 4:5).  Those who don’t have Christ’s righteousness credited to their account (John 16:8-11; Romans 4:22-24) will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).  Neither you nor anyone else will escape judgment day (Hebrews 9:27).

  Our Resurrection.  Christ’s bodily resurrection guarantees other resurrections.  In fact, there are four more (1 Corinthians 15:22- 24, 51, 52; Revelation 11:7).  Do you know when they will take place and in which one you will participate?  Why it is necessary for your works on earth to be evaluated (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 10:15; 11:22)?

  Decision.  While you breathe God’s air here on earth, you have a choice to make.  You can reject Him as your personal Savior.  Most people do this.  But others see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior.  The Lord Jesus Christ died for all our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day never to die again.  (He wasn’t simply resuscitated back to the kind of life He had on this earth.  Resuscitations have happened in the past and even do in the present.)  Only a living Savior can help us.  If you haven’t already done so before, will you, right now, place your faith in Him exclusively?  We’re not saved by faith plus our good works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  When you do this, God will give you assurance of salvation (John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 5:13). 

  Help!  Don’t let the devil remove these thoughts from your mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?  For questions or comments, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at

Portions adapted from C. Swindoll, “Jesus Our Lord” p. 30ff

I’d Rather Have…”

Posted: February 12, 2013 in Christian Life, Money, Salvation

Perhaps you recall the TV commercial where the guy smacks himself on the head and says, “I could have had a ____________.” Remember that one?  While some drinks and indulgences may bring momentary satisfaction, there are other things that can bring long lasting joy and meaning to life. What would make you happy in life?

Riches.  Would you like to have a huge bank account so you could quit your job? Maybe you’d like some silver and gold in your portfolio. Would having a beautiful, big house on a lake with a lot of trees and shrubs around you make you happy? Perhaps you’ve wondered what it would be like to be loved and admired by thousands of fans and have the applause of men? Do you covet what others have? Do you envy the rich and famous and desire to take from them what they have?

Theft. You instinctively know that it is wrong for you to steal what someone else has, but you may not have a problem with the government’s taking from “the rich” and giving some of that to you. But isn’t that also stealing? Do you know which commandment forbids this (Exodus 20:15)? Do you know that the Bible doesn’t forbid capitalism (Ephesians 4:27, 28)? Do you know which spiritual enemy tempts us to steal – the world system, the sin nature, or the devil?  What does God’s Word say about those who can work but who won’t work (2 Thessalonians 3:10)?

Socialism. While any form of government is better than anarchy, socialism and communism can’t/won’t work well since man has a sin nature and an evil heart (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10). If you say that you don’t have a sin nature that is lawless and defiant toward God, you’re just deceiving yourself, not others (1 John 1:8). This nature perverts good things and makes them ugly (Galatians 5:19-21). Do you know how to live victoriously over these and other temptations? Consider these verses from the Bible: Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16; 2 Timothy 2:22. Do you know how to secure a new nature from God (John 3:3; 2 Peter 1:4)? 

Siren’s Song. The Sirens in Greek mythology were beautiful but very dangerous creatures. Fame, fortune, power, and pleasure are very alluring to most of us. They also can lead to death unless we use rather than abuse these “things” (Proverbs 14:12; 1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17).

Christian’s Song. One song writer expressed it this way: “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; / I’d rather be His than have riches untold; / I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands; / I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand / Than to be the king of a vast domain / And be held in sin’s dread sway; / I’d rather have Jesus than anything / This world affords today.” – R. F. Miller

True Desire.  These sentiments express my desire too. Here is why: He knows all about me but He still loves me (Psalm 139; John 13:34, 35). He laid down His life for me (John 10:15), intercedes for me (Hebrews 7:25), made me – but isn’t finished with me (Romans 8:23-30), knows all about my future (Isaiah 46:10), gives me strength to do His will (Philippians 3:10; 4:13), forgives my sins (1 John 1:9), meets all my needs (Philippians 4:19), and has promised never to leave or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).

Meditate. If you’re also a true child of God, take time to meditate on these things (1 Timothy 4:15). Think on things above and about all your spiritual blessings (Colossians 3:1, 2; Ephesians 1:3ff). Then, if these realities make a difference in your life, display the “Fruit of the Spirit” (love, joy, peace etc) to others so they can learn something about our great God (Galatians 5:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Unbeliever.  If you haven’t placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, believe on Him today (Acts 16:31)! Your good works can’t/won’t save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Believe that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

Help.  If you need spiritual help, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages and other helpful information to help believers grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18).

With other believers it is our aim to be “A church were folks in the lurch are encouraged, then healed from above, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the truth is modeled in love.” – C. R. Swindoll.  We sing many of the time honored songs of the faith, do our best to proclaim the Word of God faithfully and clearly, and love people genuinely.

If this or any of our other articles or messages on the Internet help you, please help us get the Word out to others in need.  A “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits those who lead others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).

  Startling claims are coming out of the “Charismatic Movement” today and are being spread by word of mouth, television, and the printed page.  Some folks are reporting that spinal injuries are being corrected, cancerous tissues are disappearing, puppies are being raised from the dead, and gas tanks are supernaturally filled in response to faith.  Some folks claim that their debts have been cancelled and their money has multiplied because they planted their “seed” offering.  Some people claim that they have gone to heaven and came back.  This all sounds exciting doesn’t it?  But how much is credible and verifiable?    

  James Dyet writes, “The charismatic emphasis on speaking in tongues as evidence of Spirit baptism has confused many believers.”  So what do the Scriptures teach concerning the gifts of tongues and prophecy?  The Apostle Paul addressed this subject in 1 Corinthians 12-14.  He didn’t want them or us to be confused about these gifts or how they were to be used.  Their disorderly conduct was causing confusion to the uninformed and unbelieving visitors and the Lord’s name was being disgraced by their disorderly conduct in the meetings just as it is happening in some “churches” today.

  Tongues.  This inferior spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:28; 14:1, 2) served as a sign (miracle) primarily for unbelieving Jews that God’s judgment would come on them for their unbelief and disobedience to Him and His commandments (Isaiah 28:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 14:21, 22).  The tongues used on the Day of Pentecost were distinct, understandable languages, not gibberish or ecstatic speech (Acts 2:8-11).  It was/is God’s desire that the Gentiles (non-Jews) be offered the same salvation that the Jews were offered in the Old Testament times. This happened and was evidenced by the Samaritans (half-Jews) and Gentiles coming to faith in Christ and speaking in tongues as they did on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 10:44-48; 11:15).

  Prophecy.  In addition to being able to predict the future, this Christian received New Testament “grace teachings” from God to be shared with the Jewish and Gentile believers who made up the spiritual “Body of Christ” (Ephesians 2:14-3:12; Galatians 3:28).  The Mosaic Law was not their rule for living any more (Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:1).  This new information was delivered in the language of those in the local church rather than in a foreign language as tongues was.  The gift of prophecy was more beneficial to the visitors who happened to attend the meetings (1 Corinthians 14:23).  They could understand what was being said and some of them came under conviction and realized that God was indeed among the Christians.

  Regulations.  Speaking in tongues was to be limited to two or three men per assembly meeting.  Only one could speak at a time.  An interpreter had to be present to interpret what was said in a foreign language.  Women weren’t permitted to speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:27-29, 34, 35).  Likewise, those who prophesied had to be limited to two or three men per assembly meeting.  When another prophet received newer revelation (information) the first prophet was to give place to him.  The spirits of the prophets were to be subject to the prophets (1 Corinthians 14:29-32).  They were to be under the control of God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14; Ephesians 5:18).

  Phenomena.  Some people who “speak in tongues” will tell you that they learned how to do this from other people who supposedly speak in tongues.  But the early Christians had it come on them without their being taught by some other human being.  They supernaturally spoke in distinct, identifiable languages (Acts 2:1-11).  Some Bible scholars believe that some of the present day experiences are psychological experiences and operate by motor automatism.  This happens when there is a radical inward detachment from one’s conscious surroundings.  Still others believe that demons can/do cause people to speak in ecstatic languages (gibberish) and that such cases are found among other religions and cults as well.  Could the devil use these ecstatic languages that some call “speaking in tongues” as the common denominator to unite very different religions into the one world church (Revelation 17, 18)? 

  Test.  If you think that you might have the gift of speaking in tongues, try this.  Record what you say in tongues and then submit it to three or four people who have the gift of the interpretation of tongues and see if they all come up with the same interpretation.  If you think that you have the gift of prophecy, is what you say you’re receiving from God additional, authoritative teaching that should be included in the Bible?  What does God say about those who add to or subtract from His Word (Revelation 22:18, 19)?  Are the 66 books of the Bible sufficient for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3, 4) or do we need additional information?  What did the Apostles Paul and Peter say would happen in the last days of the church (1 Timothy 4:1ff; 2 Timothy 3:1ff; 2 Peter 2:1ff)?  How are Christians being cheated today by false teachers (Colossians 2:8)?

  Why?  Perhaps the tongues movement has exploded in part because so many churches are cold and lifeless (Revelation 2, 3).  Some don’t really believe the Bible is the Word of God that needs to be interpreted literally (normally).  Experience and shallow feelings have replaced the authoritative, sound teaching of the Word of God.  Many people want to be entertained and have the preacher tickle their ears and tell them what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:1-4).  Hypocrisy reigns in the lives of many who call themselves Christians but who don’t really have eternal life (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:2).  They have a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5).

  Profitable.  “All Scripture is [God breathed], and is profitable for doctrine [teaching], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The early church gave attention to Bible doctrine (teaching), fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42).  What do you know about the seven distinct “Dispensations” (rules for living) in the Bible?  (Refer to our “Dispensational Chart” to see where you fit into the picture in God’s timeline of history.)  Are we very close to the end of this era?  Do you know what happens next?

  Disagreement.  We know that not all Christians agree on this subject.  But we would ask you to be like the Bereans and examine the Word of God for yourself (Acts 17:11).  We also would invite you to examine our beliefs on this subject by going to our web site: and read our web logs (Blogs).  Also go to our “Bible Basics” section for more information.  If you’re not sure of your eternal destiny, read “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation.”  We have it in 24 languages.

  Gift.  Each true Christian has received a spiritual gift that God wants him/her to use with love for the good of others (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 13).  If, after reading the information mentioned above, you’d like additional help, call us at 805-238-3549.

  Kelsey Pietsch (Peach) pastors the Grace Baptist Church, 535 Creston Road in Paso Robles.

  Who wouldn’t be attracted to such an offer?  After all, most of us have health challenges. Perhaps we are not as rich as we’d like to be, and we all have our share of sorrows in life.  Could this be the reason why so many people flock to the “Health, Wealth, And Happiness Preachers” who are so popular today?  They promise a lot but deliver very little.  They tell people what they want to hear and tickle their ears just as the Scriptures predicted they would.  Some of them are getting very rich as they exploit hurting people (1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Timothy 4:3-5). 

  King Jesus.  After Jesus healed the sick and fed a huge crowd, the Jews wanted to make Him their King (John 6:15).  But strangely, Jesus refused their offer and departed from them to a mountain by Himself.  Yes, He came to offer Himself as the rightful King of the Jews, but His becoming their King would be determined, not by the popular vote of the people, but by the predetermined “Decree” and God the Father’s timing (Psalm 2:7; Ephesians 1:11). 

  Timing.  We believe that this will happen when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth after the “Seven Years Of  Tribulation” (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7). This momentous event may be much closer than most people realize (Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16ff).  There are plenty of indicators that seem to be pointing in this direction.  Where will you be when it happens?  Do you know the order of things to come?  If not, ask for our FREE “Dispensational Chart.”  Read our (Blogs) on our web site that deal with Bible prophecy.  You can also go to our “Bible Basics” section for concise information.

  Sickness.  Believe it or not, sometimes sickness comes even to righteous people because of Satanic affliction.  It happened to Job (Job 1:6-2:10).  Strangely, this resulted in God’s glory when Job maintained his loyalty to God.  The Apostle Paul had to endure a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).  Timothy, his missionary companion, had a constitutional weakness that was corrected by his drinking wine (1 Timothy 5:23), not by Paul’s healing him miraculously.  (Don’t use this verse as an excuse to get drunk. –Ephesians 5:18)  The Apostle Paul, who performed unusual miracles (Acts 19:11), didn’t use this power to heal his friends Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27) or Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20).  Do you know why he didn’t heal them? 

  Suffering.  Unlike these men, many Christians today suffer physically, emotionally, and mentally because of their disobedience to God their Father who chastens and scourges them because He loves them (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:5-11).  Are you being afflicted by the “torturers” at this time (Matthew 18:34)?  Do you know what you’re supposed to do when this happens (2 Timothy 2:24-26; James 5:13-16; 1 John 1:9)?

  Poverty.  Sometimes this is the result of poor planning or laziness.  Consider the ant (Proverbs 6:6-11).  Rather than trusting God to get a job and do it well so they can earn a living (Proverbs 3:5, 6), many people rely on themselves (James 4:13-17; Deuteronomy 8:17, 18) or on government officials to rob from the producers to give to the lazy.  The Bible has something to say about this (2 Thessalonians 3:10).  This, if practiced, would relieve a great tax burden.  

  Ineptocracy.  Have you heard of it?  It has been defined as “a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.”

  Government.  Capitalism, which the Scriptures allow, has been abused by dishonest men (Ephesians 4:28; James 4:1-4; 5:1-6).  The “Red Letter Christians” pick and choose what they want from the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) and then try to force socialism and communism on others.  When the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth to rule as the King of Kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16),  the sin nature of man (1 John 1:8; Jeremiah 17:9) will be curbed because all his needs will be met (Isaiah 35:1ff; Ezekiel 36:26), the devil will be bound for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7), and the diabolical world system will have been abolished (Daniel 2:44, 45; 1 John 2:15-17).  Finally, there will be peace on earth (Isaiah 2:4; 9:6, 7).

  Rules.  If you’re a Christian, by which set of rules are you living: the Mosaic Law, Grace, or Kingdom rules?  Yes, they are noticeably different.  You won’t mature spiritually, or live victoriously over your three spiritual enemies, and be rewarded fully by the Lord unless you live according to “Grace Principles” (Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Galatians 5:1; 2 Peter 3:18).  While everything in the Bible is “for” Christians, not all of it is addressed “to” them.  Don’t try to claim the promises that were given exclusively to the Jews.

  Sadness.  Everlasting suffering and sadness await those who aren’t fit for heaven.  Without Christ’s righteousness imputed to your account, you can’t enter heaven (John 16:10; Romans 4:5).  But when you place your faith in Him alone as your personal Savior, by believing that He died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead, you will be saved from an everlasting hell and enter heaven (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; John 14:3).  Have you done this yet?  Do you have assurance of salvation?  Why should God let you into His heaven?  Do you think that there is anything you could do for fail to do as a Christian that would cause you to lose your salvation?

  Joy.  Everlasting joy awaits those who enter heaven (Psalm16:11; Revelation 21:4).  But in the meantime, Christians can/should experience and display God’s love, joy, and peace as they find their delight in the Lord (Philippians 4:4; Galatians 5:22, 23).  Joyful Christians are good advertising for God.  Are you displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” so others can see Christ living through you (Galatians 2:20)? 

  Help.  Would you like more information?  Are you teachable and willing to change if you can be shown truth from God’s Word (Romans 12:1, 2; John 17:17)?  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at

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  Sometimes we become proud and forget that every good and perfect gift we call “our own” or “mine” came to us as a gift from God (1 Corinthians 4:7; James 1:17). Those who act in a proud manner can/will be brought down and humbled before God (Daniel 4:37). In the plan and purpose of God, each of us has been given different amounts of time, talents, and treasures.
But, rather than thinking of ourselves as owners, when we think of ourselves as managers (stewards) of these resources, we are better suited to utilize them for the glory of God and the good of others. Let’s consider our –

Our Time On Earth.  Believe it or not, we have potential years and actual years (Isaiah 38:5). By our avoiding the “land mines” along life’s path we will have the potential to live longer. But if we take foolish risks (Romans 14:23) or commit “the sin unto death” (1 John 5:16), we could shorten our days and fail to fulfill our purpose for being here on earth (1 Corinthians 10:31). Do you know why you’re here and what you’re supposed to be doing? Do you know where you’re going when you die? If not, ask.
The Quality Of Our Days.  Our attitude in life and our response to the people we meet and the circumstances we encounter will have a large part in our joy or misery in life. God wants Christians to be joyful people (Philippians 4:4) who also exhibit the other parts of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). God produces it; we should display it at the right time and towards the right people.
Who Is Sovereign?  God ultimately controls everything including the number of days we spend here on earth (Job 1:21; Daniel 5:26; James 4:14). After He died for our sins and rose again bodily from the dead, Jesus took the keys of death from the devil (Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:18). Today He determines when to turn the key and call believers home (1 Thessalonians 4:14). For true Christians, to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8-10). Are you afraid of death or to meet Jesus? If so, why? Are you using your time wisely (Ephesians 5:16)? Are you doing what you want to do or what He wants you to do?
What About Those Talents?  In the Scriptures the word “talents” refers to money. But we usually think of it in reference to skills or abilities. When we’re saved, each Christian is given a special ability (spiritual gift) that we are to develop and use to serve God and others within the “Body of Christ” which is the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 1 Peter 4:10). Do you know which gift was given primarily for the benefit of unbelievers? The Apostle Paul didn’t want the Corinthians believers to be ignorant concerning these gifts from God (1 Corinthians 12:1). Do you know what your spiritual gift is (1 Peter 4:10)? Do you know which gifts were temporary and which ones are still being given out today (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)?
Our Sacrifices.  Don’t confuse “spiritual gifts” with our non-bloody, “spiritual sacrifices” that we, as New Testament priests, are to offer to God regularly. Read these passages for yourself to discover whether you are pleasing or grieving God (Romans 12:1, 2; Hebrews 13:15, 16; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6).
Our Treasures.  Money is not evil in itself. But the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil and can cause much sorrow (1 Timothy 6:10). Having it can cause people to acquire an exalted opinion of themselves and this will lead to a fall (Romans 12:3; Proverbs 16:18). Are you pursuing passionately fame, fortune, power, or pleasure? Watch out! You could end up in disaster. Consider King Solomon who had it all. Toward the end of his wasted life he bewailed, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Will that be your sentiment when you’re about to die? Make things right with God and others before you die.
Night Is Coming.  Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). Likewise, we need to get involved in the God given opportunities that come our way (Ephesians 5:16). Don’t chase after the things that this diabolical world system has to offer (1 John 2:15-17). God has work for each Christian to do (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10). Are you doing it cheerfully as to the Lord? God knows our motives (1 Corinthians 4:5). Will your works done here on earth be rewarded or burned up on “Judgement Day” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)?
Added Insights.  If you’re interested in learning more about “Spiritual Gifts” go to and then to the “Bible Basics” section.
Need Help?  These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sunday mornings. For more information, call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site and read our “Blogs.” We discuss a variety of topics.
Thought For The Day.  “The dentist is one guy who’s always ready to get back to the old grind.”

 Several years ago, a group of California businessmen were discussing the statement, “Money can buy anything.”  In the enthusiasm of the moment, one of the wealthy men stood to his feet and offered $4,000 to anyone who could name four desirable things money could not buy.  Smiling skeptically, he sat down.

  One of the other men seated at the table took out pen and paper, jotted down four short lines and passed them on to the man who had made the offer.  He glanced at them with disinterest, then gave the note a more studied look.  As he thought for a moment, he realized he had been outsmarted, took out his checkbook and in defeat wrote out a check for $4,000.

  On the paper were listed: 1. A baby’s smile, 2. Youth, after it is gone, 3. The love of a good woman, 4. Entrance into heaven.

  Money is helpful in many ways, and generous giving can be an expression of our love for Christ.  But it will ruin those who allow it to become their god.

  It is true no amount of money will open the door to heaven.  Yet money can be wisely used, and is needed, to take the message of Christ’s saving grace to everyone.  – Paul Twist

  Money.  It’s part of this present world system.  It is not evil in and of itself.  But “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).  Christians are advised to use it but not to abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31).

  Investments.  To the Jews of His day, who were anticipating entering the kingdom of the heavens, Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” (Matthew 6:19, 20).

  Scammed.  I feel badly for people who have been “conned” out of their money by religious hucksters who mislead people into believing that you “give to get” rather than the idea that you “give because you have been blessed.”  The Jews in Old Testament times were required to give their tithes (23%) and offerings to get material blessings in return (Malachi 3:8-10), but Christians can/should give cheerfully because they have been blessed (2 Corinthians 8:7). There is a big difference.

  Time, Talents, Treasures.  We all have these things now.  But what are we doing with them?  Are we selfishly using them to promote ourselves or to glorify God (i.e. make Him known) and assist others in life (1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 4:28)?

  Tested.  One day the believer’s works will be tested by fire.  Those that have the quality of gold, silver, and precious stones will endure the test but those worthless works that are like wood, hay, and straw will be burned up (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).  What kind are your works?

  Destiny.  Where will you spend eternity?  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins and rose again and you will be saved and spend eternity with God in heaven (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:38).  Otherwise you will spend eternity with the devil and his angels in hell (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46).  Jesus said, “I am the [only] way, the [absolute] truth, and the [one who gives eternal] life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  That is a bold statement, but true.  The Apostle Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). 

  Unique.  Jesus Christ of the Scriptures is unique.  He was/is the God-man who was born of the virgin, Mary.  He lived a sinless life so He could die as a Substitute for our sins and rise again bodily from the dead.  His miracles validated His words and claims.

  Free.  The Good News (Gospel) concerning Jesus Christ and His offer of salvation is to be distributed freely to all people (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).  But getting the message to people takes money and missionaries.  If you’re a true Christian, consider what God would have you do.  Don’t support those who teach another gospel and another Christ (2 Corinthians 11:4).

  Question.  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul” ( Mark 8:36)?

  Confused?  If you are confused about some things in the Bible, we invite your questions.  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site where we have helpful information for believers and non-believers.