Praise the Lord! ( Early 2,000, excerpt from
a letter to a friend. )
Came home from CA, drove to Cottonwood with Tae Son to see my dad for a couple of days. He's 82. Stopped off in Phoenix to see an old friend and my brother Walter who is 49. Stayed home new years eve and talked about the bible with my wife while waiting for the new year. We did have a glass of wine.
What about saints and alcoholic beverages?
After turning to the Lord, except for a few communion services, I didn't drink any alcoholic beverages for at least 18 years. I almost never drank before coming to the Lord. And now that I'm not bound by organizational ordinances I still rarely drink alcoholic beverages. Sometimes my wife and I may have a little dinner wine in the evening. And once in a while, if someone offers me a glass of wine or a beer at their home or at a dinner that I've been invited to, I may take them up on it. It's simply no big deal. So many saints think that nobody can handle a drink. That if you have one drink you will turn into an alcoholic. I remember attending one of Bro. Wilson's services shortly before going to California, in which he made a big issue about not defiling the temple of God with one drop of alcohol. He shouted at the top of his voice," I will never defile the temple of God by drinking an alcoholic beverage, no, not one drop." I thought to myself, he's right, he could drink a whole bottle of wine and it would not defile the temple of God, because Jesus said, it's not what goes into the belly that defiles a man but what comes out of his heart. Mr 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. Mr 7:18 And he saith unto them," Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him?" So saints think that they are extra Holy because they don't drink wine. They must be more holy than Jesus, because he did. Obviously excess is the key word. Saints don't have to get drunk because that's not why they drink. I've got Jesus so I don't have to get drunk. And because I have Jesus, I can have a glass of wine. What offends me the most is when pastors wont use wine for communion. Jesus and the early church clearly used wine to represent the blood of Jesus and so do I. I've heard pastors say that if someone was an alcoholic and you gave him wine for communion, it would make him backslide. Well, my good brother Jerry Sanchez says he was an alcoholic before coming to the Lord, and brother Sanchez has told me many times that if he ever took another drink, he would be back on the bottle. What's interesting is that during the two and a half years that I pastored him, I must have given him wine for communion on at least six occasions. But, to my knowledge, he has never started drinking again. I think the main point is that I gave him the drink, and I did it in service to the Lord. He didn't give himself the drink in service to the flesh. My wife drank heavily before coming to the Lord and she likewise has no problem with alcohol now that she is living for God. The New Testament simply states, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess" Why should we add to or take away from that? Just don't get drunk.
The next issue is hair. There is absolutely no grounds for insisting that men be clean shaven. This is conforming to the world, or faddish. A hundred years ago every respectable man had a beard and/or mustache. It is because of modern warfare that men have been required to be clean shaven. You can't get a clean seal on you protective (gas) mask if you have a beard. Being clean shaven is big business. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on shaving cream, razors, after shave lotion etc. It's a real waste of saints money and it unnecessarily pollutes the environment. It makes men look like sissies. It probably promotes homosexuality(Ok, maybe I'm exagerating) and many of the Apostolic pioneers, even of this century, had beards and mustaches. Again, today's saints are more Holy than Jesus, because he definitely had a beard. Don't add to or take away from the word of God. Women should wear a veil in public service if they are required to lead prayer, or testimony, or teach, etc. That is what Paul wrote to the Corinthians. The whole issue began over people (probably Jews) teaching the church that the men should be wearing prayer caps out of respect for the Lord. Paul said "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head." Many religious groups have the custom of male ministers wearing prayer caps, bonnets, phylacteries, etc. The Jews were required to do it under the law, and the catholic cardinals and popes do it today. Paul concluded the matter by saying "But if any man (not woman) seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God." While discussing the issue of men wearing prayer caps, Paul also addresses the issue as it concerns women. He says that a woman should wear a veil and that if she didn't, that would be the same as if she were shorn or shaven. Paul uses the analogy of long hair on a man and the baldness of a woman to get his point across. Paul says that nature (not God) teaches us that if a man has long hair it is a shame. And if a woman has long hair it is her glory, for her hair was given her for a covering. Paul is referring to worldly understanding here. He is hoping that the church will understand that a man wearing a prayer cap in church is the same as a man in the world having long hair like a woman. He is also stating that just as it would be a shame for a woman in the world to be bald, it's just the same spiritually speaking, if she prays or prophesies in the church with her head unveiled. The UPC doesn't understand that a woman's hair is her natural covering, not her spiritual covering. And any fool should understand that shorn means to shave with shears. The UPC says shorn means to cut any piece of even one hair on a woman's head. Give me a break! Shorn and shaven both mean to cut all of the hair off. One by means of shears and the other by means of a razor.
I think women should wear their hair long. I have never requested that a woman in one of my services lead prayer or testimonies, but if I did, I would probably ask them to wear a veil. But God did not intend for them to be New Testament Nazarites. By the way, Paul used nature as an example because there is no biblical law that states that it's wrong for a woman to be shorn or shaven. As a matter of fact, a woman could take a vow to be a Nazarite, and when her vow was over, she was to shave her head at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and take the hair of the head of her separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. Yes, the woman Nazarite was required by the law to shave her head and burn her hair. This was most holy unto the Lord. Not a shame nor a sin. I also think that men should wear their hair relatively short. But it is probably not as big a deal as we make of it. Also, there is only one place in the entire Bible referring to women having their head covered when praying or prophesying. I adhere to the Bible principle that states "let everything be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses." Because of this we have no business placing this unnecessary burden on our sisters in the Lord. What a shame. They are not one bit holier for not cutting their hair. Don't add to the word of God.
The Paying of Tithes. This is a big one. The paying of tithes, which I did faithfully for about 18 years, is not New Testament doctrine. Nowhere in the new testament does Paul, or Peter, or James or John say, remember to pay your tithes. Give, yes! Pay a certain percentage according to the church, NO! In Matthew 28:20, Jesus commanded his apostles saying, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" This is a much greater verse than most people realize. We are not bound by any commandment of the Old Testament. We are only bound by what Jesus commanded his Apostles. God told Moses "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Paul restates it in the new testament. "Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." This is also in answer to your question about your parents. Jesus said "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death, But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." My wife sends money to Korea to take care of her parents with my full consent. No, we don't have extra money, but they are much worse off than us, and they do not have many years to live. It's the least we can do. Lord willing, my wife has been working at a Korean restaurant this past year to raise enough money for her parents to come over here, at least for 6 months. Pray that all will go well. The O.T. commands that, Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet. All these things are reaffirmed in the new testament writings of Paul, Peter, James and John. But that is why we keep them. Not because they are in the O.T. The new testament never tells us to "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." This is a commandment to the Jews. In like manner, the paying of tithes is to the Jews, not to the N.T. Church. Paul does write, " He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." And again, "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void." Paul, who new the law better than any of us, could have easily quoted from Malachi to establish the support of the ministry by the paying of tithes, but he didn't. He quoted from Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. He never taught the paying of tithes, or paying offerings out of necessity, or to give according to what a man didn't have to give. But we have faithless ministers who demand that we pay tithes, and that we must give to some cause because it's necessary, and that we should give on faith, whether we have the money or not. Not only that, what we give must be recorded by the church, which means we just lost our blessing because what we gave was not given in secret. The treasurer and or the pastor know what we gave. It's nobodies business but the Lord's. When witnessing to a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor in Yuma, AZ, back in 1979, I did some serious studying about our responsibility to the Law of Moses, as N.T. saints. I prayed and fasted and God gave me the answer. It is answered in the following four verses. 1. Ga 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. Romans, 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3. Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. And last, which I quoted earlier, 4. Mt 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Paul says that the law itself states that if a man is dead, he is free from the jurisdiction of the law. Paul also states that we are free from the condemnation of the law if we be dead "in Christ." Then he states that we are dead, free from all jurisdiction and condemnation of the law, and that our life is hid with Christ in God. Many saints don't realize that we are in God the Father. 1Jo 5:20, And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true (the Father, my insert), and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. If you're in the Son, your in the Father. The preaching of tithes, and demanding offerings, comes from greed and fear. Not love and faith. Why should we add to the Word of God? Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Let's see. We have covered 1. Wine, 2. Beards,
3. Hair and coverings, both on men's and women's heads, 4. Tihtes,
5. I don't think we should try to legislate salvation. If people have a VCR, or TV, that doesn't mean they are going to hell. I have to view and show videos for my music classes. I also use them in learning new things, and also for entertainment from time to time. They certainly aren't any worse than a lot of books that I have seen UPC pastors reading. I never read books for entertainment. Only factual books for my work and the Bible. The Bible is my number one reader.
6. I do believe that men should not wear dresses and that women should not wear pants. Women who wear pants fit into one or more of the following categories. They are too shabby looking, too sexy in appearance, or too manish. I do believe that pants falls into the category of men's apparel and Deuteronomy 22:5 states, The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. I believe the statement "abomination unto the LORD thy God" transcends any dispensation. Wearing long sleeve shirts and suits and ties is just a bunch of man made stuff. Jesus didn't wear these things so why should we insists that our saints conform to these worldly standard of holiness? UPC saints who follow all of the UPC standards get a false sense of holiness and also become very phariseical. They omit the weightier things of love and mercy. They tend to become very judgmental. If Jesus came to some of the UPC churches today, he would not be allowed to preach or teach because he doesn't follow their man made doctrines. The N.T. church of today has become very much like the Old T. church of the time of Jesus. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. The PA of W has become very worldly, the UPC very phariseical, the Spanish Apostolic Assembly is also very organizational with their own traditions. I definitly look forward to the Lord coming soon. The sooner the better. I'm reminded of his admonition, Luke 18:8 ... when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? He's not just talking about any faith, but the One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism kind of Faith. My Faith is in the Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ as spelled out by his Apostles. Amen. Anyway, this should give you an idea of where I stand on differences between me and the UPC(United Pentecostal Church). BTW, as you must know, I love digging into the scriptures and discussing the things of God. Feel free to ask me anything about the Bible or if you have any comments or ideas you would like to share, I would love to hear them.
In the Love of Jesus,