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Basic Training

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We must get back to the basics of what we were called to do, for the preservation of our families and the church and the declaration of the Gospel Message!

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Suppose I come across someone who is from a remote third world country and who has never been exposed to, or had the PRIVILEGE of receiving any formal education. I couldn’t hand this person a book, or a magazine or any other written publication and say to them, “Here, read this.” And why is that? Because he/she has never been taught how to read, right?

Suppose that I take this same person who has absolutely NO knowledge and understanding of mathematics and I show them that the letter “A” equals the number 20. And although they don’t really understand why or what it truly means, I can get them to associate the symbol “A” with number 20.
From then on, I can tell that person, any time you see the letter “A”, I want you to put the number 20 in its place. They would be able to do so every time, but with absolutely NO knowledge or understanding of why they were doing it and what the purpose of it is. They only know that I have trained them to do so.
So then, if I tried to go one step further and tell them, now, I want you to simplify the equation with the “A” and the 20 in it solve for the letter “C”. And I tell them that A+B=C, and that B=10, would they be able to solve this basic algebraic equation ?
Why not? Simple.........I can’t get someone to do basic Algebra, until that person has been taught basic mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), right?
So, they would need to be taken back to the basics of math and grounded and rooted in them first and then I could advance them into Algebra, correct?
Just like taking them back to the basics of reading and and teaching them basic language skills first and then advancing their reading skills.
And even with my daughter who is doing Algebra 2 right now, when she comes and asks me questions about math that I have not seen for decades, I find myself, more times than not, going back to the basics and looking at examples and then going forward to what she is working on, so I can try to help her.
My point is, you have to be grounded in the basics, before you can move forward into the advanced arenas of life!
In the military, there is a specific training that all branches utilize for their new recruits, which is called, “BASIC TRAINING”.
Basic training is defined as, “the initial period of training for new personnel, involving intense physical activity and behavioral discipline.”
How many people here have undergone BASIC TRAINING camp in a branch of the military?
Was it intense?
Why does the government use BASIC TRAINING for the new recruits?
Simple, they want to make sure that when the situation arises, that each soldier is ready, physically, mentally and emotionally, for whatever may be demanded of them in a combat situation.
They want that soldier prepared as an active extension of that branch of the military. Equipped as a force to be reckoned with in battle.
It would be remiss and foolish to send an untrained civilian into a combat situation, right? What would happen when the gunfire started?
You would turn and see the person hightailing it to the nearest way out!
Once the soldier has received BASIC TRAINING, then they can be taught advanced military strategies and techniques, thus making them more adapt and dangerous to the enemy in wartime situations!
Just look at the NAVY SEALS and Seal team 6.
These are not men who just came out of basic training and became part of the seals.
These are elite men, who undergo MASSIVE amounts of training and conditioning to get that level and that title. (I know that it was hard on me when I went through it! I am of course, referring to the exertion that I felt just sitting and watching the documentary about the SEALS!)
But, the NAVY SEALS all have the same foundation as every other man and woman who serves in the military. THEY HAD TO HAVE...........BASIC TRAINING!
Again, the point is, without the basic, fundamental training, you cannot advance into the deeper and more demanding levels of something.
You must be grounded and rooted in the core principles of a discipline in order to advance in that discipline.
Yet, Israel is still thriving and growing in strength and recognition.
MENTION OF GLENN THOMPSON AND HIS ADVANCING TO THE FELLOW LEVEL. (This can only happen if Glenn can demonstrate that he is adept and highly proficient and grounded in knowledge of the basics of Physical Therapy.)
Their military is highly trained and not easily moved!

The reason that I am saying this to you this morning, about being grounded and rooted in the basics, (i.e. BASIC TRAINING), is that there is an attack upon all fronts of the church in America.

Again, the point is, without the basic, fundamental training
Our enemy, the devil, (a very real spiritual entity and a very real and present enemy of every believer in Jesus the Christ), has been systematically and methodically working to dismantle the church at multiple levels over the course of the past decades within this nation, but even more so, across the span of time, since the church was born almost 2,000 years ago.
The church was birthed by Jesus, to carry forth the commission of spreading the gospel message to all of the world. But Jesus didn’t just leave us hanging with this commission, He equipped us to do it. Jesus gave specific gifts to the church, according to His grace, for the edifying and growth of the church, as noted in ,
Ephesians 4:11–16 NLT
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
These gifts (referred to as the Five-Fold ministry), were given to the church to build up the church, to effectively equip God’s children to do His work, to develop and maintain unity within the body of Christ, to develop spiritual maturity of the believer for the increased understanding of the mysteries of the gospel, so that the church would become, in every way, like Christ.
The Five-Fold ministry gifts, along with the motivational spiritual gifts that come through Holy Spirit (as seen in ) are for the growth and strengthening of the church body.
When the church is operating as it was called to be, using these gifts for God’s glory, it remains healthy and growing more and more in the love of God.
And the end result is that kingdom is continually increasing, because God, by His grace, adds to the church,when it is operating under His guidelines!
I said that the devil has been working behind the scenes, to dismantle the church at different levels and in different ways, right? Well, what does that mean?
Well, if you go all the way back to the epistles and look at what was being addressed by the apostles and the disciples shortly after the church was born in Acts, that is, the issues of false teachings and false doctrines that men were bringing into the church body, and then go to the book of Revelation and read the 7 Letters that Jesus wrote to the church, you can begin to see what the devil was doing.
You see, Satan knew that he had lost the war, the moment that Jesus openly said from the cross, “IT IS FINISHED” and then He walked out of the tomb three days later and showed Himself to everyone as proof of who He was and what He had done.
The devil knew then and there, that Jesus the Son and God the Father had won the war and that he wasn’t on the winning side!
And knowing that he couldn’t STOP the gospel message from going forth, because there were now Holy Spirit filled believers who were spreading the message like wild fire, Satan, instead, went after the content and clarity of the message, so as to alter and weaken it. (You see, if you alter or change the Word of God, then it is no longer the Word of God and thus it becomes ineffective and powerless!)
Just like Satan knew that he couldn’t stop the great love of God for His creation,so he tried to eradicate the creation through the corruption of sin.
It’s the devil’s famous motto, “If at first you don’t succeed, LIE, LIE again!”
The devil sent messengers of legalism into the church, he sent messengers of false doctrine into the church, he sent gossipers and murmurers into the church. He produced a unholy wisdom in the heart and mind of men to where they created barriers (denominational walls) within the church, that produced segregation in the body.
The church as God created it, was singular in its origin. tells us, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
ONE, ONE, ONE! There was not one belief structure for this denomination and another belief structure for another denomination and so on and so forth. It was God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and the gospel message.
Please understand, I am not knocking other denominations, as there are many, many, mighty brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, within these denominations, who are diligently serving the Lord!
What I am saying, is that when the body of Christ refuses to unite as ONE BODY, in His name and for the common goal of fulfilling the great commission, because of man-made barriers, then, it is wrong and the devil has achieved his goal; DIVISION, DISUNITY and OFFENSES!
We are very blessed in Cumberland County, to have several great preachers, from various denominations, who have the same mind and heart, to unite the Body of Christ and work as ONE functioning unit. This is the way that the church should be..........ONE!

The Bible clearly says that Jesus, Himself, called and gave to the church the elect offices of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, preacher and teacher, for the equipping of the saints within the body and the building up of the church body. The Bible says that this grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. These offices of the Five-Fold ministry are His gifts, that He gives to those whom He elects and chooses.

Attending a certain university and attaining a certain degree from a seminary, does not qualify you to be the preacher of a church; this election comes from the Lord only.
And when it is no longer a matter of praying and asking God if this is the person that He has called and anointed and raised up to serve that particular part of the church body, but rather the determination is made by whether or not they have met “man’s” qualifications, that they have the proper paperwork to prove the election and calling on their life, then there is a slight hiccup in the system.
It should not be the election and determination of men first and the calling of God second.
I firmly believe in the advancement of higher education, as we should always desire to grow in knowledge and I have NO issues with the church allowing and assisting the preacher to obtain higher continued education during the time serving as their pastor.
If I ask someone to come here and preach or teach for me, I am not going to ask for their college transcripts to review their educational background, but rather, I am going to look at and listen to their Biblical and doctrinal teaching of the Word of God!
Now I am not saying that certain institutions are denying the call of God on others, but simply that they are taking the liberty to finalize and make the election of God official through their process. And that is fine if it God ordained, but what happens, if God sends someone to take the helm as the preacher of a church and that person, who God called, is not seminary trained?
The Bible says that we are to do things with decency and in order and most definitely, allowing someone to stand and preach and teach before the body of Christ is no light matter.
Do they turn them away, knowing that the person is
The adherence to the doctrinal truth of the Word of God by a preacher/ teacher, is a must have and there should never be ANY tolerance for a blatant deviation from the truth of the Word of God by the preacher and in their teaching. This is why James warns those who long to teach the word, to be warned that if they teach, they are going to be held to and judged with a greater strictness!
I say this only to emphasize the fact that it is God who calls and equips us through His Holy Spirit and by His word to teach, to preach, to evangelize to prophesy and to serve as an apostle for the church.
It is the anointing of God on a person’s life and His election and call upon them that equips them for ministry in the kingdom.
The devil loves to infiltrate and get the churches to believe that men serve in the process of choosing the elect of God and that we make that call. Much in the same way as some believe that the works of men are instrumental and mandatory in the salvation of another person.
However, salvation comes through faith and belief in Jesus Christ alone. Some people plant the seed, some water, but it is ALWAYS God who brings the increase!

I read a book two days ago, by Ken Ham, the gentleman who is responsible for the Ark Encounter that was built in Kentucky and who is also over the web site, Answers in Genesis. The basis of his this book was directly in line with what I am saying this morning, which is, we must get back to the foundational basics of who and what we are and what we were called to do.

In his book, Mr. Ham speaks about how the church and this nation have lost much of the foundational basics that were once instilled into people.
He uses the example of how, there was a time when someone like Billy Graham could speak before huge arena’s of people and teach only that we are sinners and we need to repent and turn to Jesus as Lord and Savior and this worked, as hundreds of thousands all over the world were making decisions to come to Christ as Lord of their lives!
The reason that this worked so well, is that you are talking about a time in this nation’s history and even in other Western cultures, where the Bible was taught openly, as part of a child’s upbringing and they read from the word in schools and prayed in the schools and the Bible was still being read and discussed within the home and as a family.
The point being, the Bible was being instilled into the upcoming generations and even if they had absolutely no relationship with Jesus, they still had a good foundational understanding of the basic concepts of the Bible.
So, when someone would mention that they were sinners and that they needed salvation through the son of God, it made sense to them, because the foundational teachings of the fall of mankind in the garden and effects of sin, and God’s love for His people, were already instilled into their minds.
They cold connect the dots and it made sense.
Now, to someone who knows nothing about the fall of mankind to sin and Garden account in Genesis, my walking up to them and telling them that they are a sinner and that they need Jesus as their savior, is going to be a hard pill to swallow at one time.
They are going to have lots of basic questions and invariably, I am going to need to take them back in the word to the foundational basics, from which the Bible was built and be able to teach them why they need a savior.
I am going to need to be able to explain the fall of mankind, I need to be able to share with them why through the first man Adam, sin entered into the world and of how through the second Adam (Jesus), salvation was brought into the world.
So, the way that you address one group, who have some Biblical knowledge, is not going to be the same way that you can address another group, who have never been taught the Word of God.
It is like great sermon that Peter taught on the day of Pentecost in and of how he told the people of their need for repentance of their sins.
These were Jewish people he was speaking to, who had been taught their whole lives of the Genesis account and about the need for forgiveness of their sins.
These were people who were very much used to the subject of atonement through the sacrifice of an animal and the application of blood for the covering of their sins. They had foundational, BASIC TRAINING in these areas and it all clicked with them, when Peter told them the gospel message.
Then, you turn to and you read of the Apostle Paul, in Athens and what happened with his sharing of the gospel message.
well, Paul, seeing all of the pagan idols in the area, began to preach Jesus and the resurrection and the need for a savior. He was probably teaching of the repentance of sins.
When the people heard Paul’s message, “Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”
The passage goes on to say, “And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.”
So, what does Paul do? He changes his direction and uses apologetics and validates the truth of the gospel message, by taking the people all the way back to the foundation of the word in the Genesis account, where we see Paul begin to introduce Jehovah, the one true God, who made everything in heaven and on earth.
He tells them of how God made, from one man, every nation of the world.
He goes on to show them of how their concept of God and who He is, was wrong and that the one true God has overlooked their ignorance of Him in the past, but He now calls for repentance of sins and that on one certain day there will a judgement on the world because of finished works of His Son, and that there will also be a resurrection of the dead for those who believe in Him.
And what is the end result? Some of them mocked, others enquired for more info, but some joined with him and believed and recieved salvation!
And this is valid statement for all of us today. Whenever you and I teach and declare the gospel message, there will always be mockery and times of opposition that we have to face. BUT, there will are also going to be those who will receive the message and allow Holy Spirit to work in their heart and come to the saving truth of the gospel message!
Here is the point that I am making and that Mr. Ham makes in his book; in a time and a world such as we live in with the modern Western culture, where intellectualism and evolution teachings and access to any type of false religion via the web permeate the hearts and minds of the generations that are being brought up in it, you cannot just assume that when you begin to share the gospel message, that you are talking with someone who has a foundational understanding of the Bible.
You may be like Peter and address the “Jews”, that is, those who have the foundational knowledge of God's word hidden in their hearts and can understand the need to repent of their sins and the works of the cross.
But, you may also be like Paul and come across the highly intellectual “Greeks” of out time, who know much of science and religion, but have ABSOLUTELY NO understanding of the Word of God and the need to repent.
In this case, you and I must be able to teach them the foundational truths of the Bible from the Genesis account and coming forward!
We must be able to perform BASIC TRAINING with them!
As tells us,
1 Peter 3:15 ESV
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Making a defense of your faith in Jesus and the gospel message, will require that you and I have the foundational knowledge of the word of God inside of us.
Remember, when you build a house, do you build the walls and the roof first?
No, you must build the foundation first and then add everything else to it.
You must be grounded and rooted in the Word of God, to be able to teach and defend it.
Colossians 2:6–8 ESV
6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Preachers and teachers of the Word of God, Sunday School teachers, parents and grandparents, friends and church families, need to make sure that we are equipping the saints with BASIC TRAINING. That is, that we are teaching all of the Word so as to equip the saints for effective ministry and the ability to defend the faith through Apologetics. (Apologetics is the branch of Christianity that deals with the defense and establishment of the Christian faith.)

When Stephen, the first martyr of the church, was asked to defend his claims of the Christ by the Jewish High Council, what did Stephen do? He performed BASIC TRAINING. That is, in , the Bible says that Stephen began to apologetically defend the faith by going all the way back to Abraham and coming forward so as to make his defense grounded and rooted and solid in the Word!
When the newly resurrected Jesus, encounters the men on the Emmaus road and they tell him of how they had hoped that this “Jesus” was the Messiah, but that He had been crucified, placed within a tomb and now His body was missing from the tomb and they were confused and upset about the truth, WHAT DID JESUS DO?
tells us that Jesus performed BASIC TRAINING and took them all the back through the writings of Moses and all of the prophets and explained the scriptures to them, so as to apologetically explain and defend who He was.
In other words, the living and breathing Word of God, Himself, used the written Word of God to defend who He was and what He had done!
We live in a society that is attuned to the intellect of this world and the natural/physical sciences that explain it. You can’t just walk up to everyone and say, “You are a sinner and need a savior”, because it will not make sense. And you can’t always get away with saying to everyone, “Jesus loves you and died for you”, because they will not understand what He died for them for.
If you go around and use the highly popular slogan, “WWJD”, you may have to actually be able back this up and defend and explain why Jesus did what He did first, before you can ask what would HE do!

Let me close with just a small example of what is out there and being taught within our nation and the mindset that we are dealing with, as the god of this world, the devil, has so blinded the eyes and hearts of many to the truth of the Word of God.

I came across an article from Time magazine yesterday while preparing this message, and the title of the article was, “How to Fix American Stupidity”.
The author of the article was a young man who was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction and who is also a professor of philosophy and the humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. So, in other words, a wordly educated and intellectual person. (Just like the Greek philosophers and teachers that Paul encountered!)
In this article, the author tells of how many people in this country denounce global warming, he mentions of how people stand opposed to the 14 century old religion of Islam just because a few terrorists made an attack on our country, that nearly a century after the Scopes Trial, there is still significant public resistance to the theory of evolution. He then mentions that he was concerned because American voters had elected a man so obviously unprepared and unfit to be president of the United States and so, because of things such as these, he was worried that Americans were exhibiting greater and greater stupidity.
And by saying “stupidity” he wanted to clarify and offer a more philosophical definition: Stupidity is a kind of intellectual stubbornness, he said. A stupid person has access to all the information necessary to make an appropriate judgment, to come up with a set of reasonable and justified beliefs and yet fails to do so.
Let me quote you real quick from pieces of this article, “A rational person only believes what the evidence warrants him in believing; he does not merely accept things on faith; and when the evidence falsifies his beliefs, he abandons them. It is irrational — stupid — to hold onto beliefs when they are plainly contradicted by the evidence. The problem is not that the people who don’t believe in climate change or who choose to not vaccinate their children or who deny evolution by natural selection are necessarily uninformed. Rather, it is that in the face of relevant information they have refused to adjust or abandon their beliefs accordingly. What is the solution to our creeping national stupidity?
And then he goes on to state that the teaching of philosophy and the like, to our children and youth is a good start to eradicating “stupidity” in this country.
Basically, if you can’t defend it and prove it, then you should abandon it. Faith is “stupidity”.
He and millions like him, say that science proves natural selection and evolution and that the Biblical creation did not happen.
Yet, scientists from Stanford university proved in 2016, that the simplest possible form of life — the first living cell — is not simple.
These scientists found and proved that the simplest possible living cell has 473 genes and 531,000 base pairs of DNA all in precise sequential order. Nothing simpler than this is life. Nothing simpler can survive under natural conditions. And this level of complexity cannot be the result of chance.
There is a GOD and the world desperately needs to find Him. But in order for us to be able to effectively dismantle the lies and deception of the enemy, we must return to BASIC TRAINING and learn and teach the Word of God from cover to cover!
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
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