A SCRIPTURAL EXAMINATION OF

THE DOCTRINE OF SUBMISSION

 

(“THE KEY TO PEACE AND HAPPINESS”)

By Greg Estep

 

(Reviewed by Ed Burch and George Anderson Jr.)

            This is a Scriptural examination of a 4 tape (Audio) series called the “Doctrine of Submission”, promoted and taught by Greg Estep, former pastor of Charity Baptist Church and the President Emeritus of Charity Baptist Bible Institute and Seminary.

 

All CAPITALS, Underlines, Boldface, etc. are ours for emphasis

 

Standard Type Face = Introduction to topics                      

 

Italics = Quotes by Greg Estep from Tapes

 

Standard Type Face (Blue) = Comments by Reviewers

 

Standard Type Face (Red) = All Scripture Quotes (A.V. – KJB)

 

TAPE ONE – SIDE 1

 

At the beginning of Tape #1 Greg Estep states the doctrine of Submission is: “the most important doctrine in the Bible.” The wordsubmissioncannot be found in the Bible! How can this be the “most important doctrine” in the Bible when you can not find a single occurrence of the word in the entire Bible?

         

          Mr. Estep then recommends two books that are the basis of his doctrine. 1: “The Tale of Three Kings” and 2: “Spiritual Authority”. Estep goes on to say that this is: “The most important doctrine in the Christian life”. As (A.V.) King James Bible believing Christians we believe that a Christian’s Doctrine must be based on the Bible and on the Bible alone. Again and for the record: the word “submissioncannot be found in the entire Bible!

 

Shortly thereafter Mr. Estep makes a statement about belief: “We must take Him and use Him before He affects salvation in your life.”  ( ? ) Just exactly what does he mean? Where is the above teaching or doctrine in the Bible? Can Estep supply Chapter & Verse to support his statement?   * JOHN 1:12, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13, Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

            Estep also claims that: “almost all Christians fit into one of 3 categories”, which he believes matches King Saul, King David or Absalom. (He offers no Scripture to support his claim!) In talking about King Saul he states that Saul was called - called but not perfectly obedient.” Who, besides the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Bible ever was “perfectly obedient???

 

In stating that: Saul was called - called but not perfectly obedient.” Mr. Estep also talks about “the ministry of Saul”. However A search of the Scriptures reveals that though Saul was chosen to be King over Israel, contrary to God’s will for his people (Hebrews - Jews), King Saul was never called or chosen in the same sense that God calls or chooses elders-pastors-bishops today. And in regards to the ministry of Saul” - there is certainly no resemblance between Saul’s reign over Israel and the ministry of Christian elders or pastors. The word ministry is never used in the Bible in connection with reigning over God’s people. Neither is the word ministry ever used in connection with King Saul. There is no such thing as the ministry of Saul”! Christian bishops-pastors-elders are called to “serve” and to “minister”, just as our Lord did in his first coming. We will rule when He returns.

 

Estep claims with absolute certainty: “Authority is the absolute issue in this life. God has placed in our lives authorities . . .  He has given these authorities certain powers . . . God blesses or curses an individual in respect to those authorities.”  (He uses the Biblical example of Laban and Jacob and then misquotes the verse). He then goes on to say that: “If you’re not in subjection to these authorities you will fail.” He also makes a sweeping judgment that every pastor who stops, fails, falters, etc. does so because he is not in subjection.

 

In order to justify his three “classifications” of Christians matching Saul, David and Absalom, Estep claims that: “there’s a difference in rebelling against the law of God like David, and rebelling against the authority of God like Saul.” [Say What?] PROVERBS 13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.  He continues: “There is a difference – Saul overthrew the authority of God, David never did.” Estepp fails to provide Scripture to support his thesis.

 

He continues: “The Pharisees were guilty of overthrowing the authority of God! They had taken over!! (Bangs podium) And there was NO Forgiveness!”  Once again he never gives any Scripture to demonstrate the difference in rebelling against God’s Law and God’s Authority. The claim that there was “no forgiveness” is repudiated by: LUKE 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

 

After listening to a few more statements we conclude that Estep truly believes that if a Christian quits or fails it’s always because he’s not in subjection to the “authorities that God has placed over him.” He then goes on to quote Romans 13 and proceeds to comment: “Every man who fails to submit himself to the authority of God within himself, the inherent authority, the authority of his pastor, or the secular authorities he begins to allow cracks and divisions and flaws to enter in to his personal life. Romans 13 requires 100% subjection to all higher powers.  What are we to conclude from this teaching? Christians always must be in unconditional obedience to all authority without exception. What about the example of the Disciples and Apostles? Did they always obey the higher authorities? Did they always obey each other? Did they ever require blind obedience of the brethren as Estep does? Also, Romans 13 clearly deals only with secular authority. There is no mention of the husband and wife relationship and neither is there any connection or even hint of a pastor’s relationship to the church. Having listened to the first tape for about 30 minutes, the listener is struck by Mr. Estep’s failed attempt to emulate Brother Peter Ruckman’s style of preaching and teaching, but without the humor, warmth, or empathy. Mr. Estep goes on: “The authority of this pulpit was given by God! What are you to be in subjection to? The man or the power?” (Estep is starting to build the case for a pope in every pulpit! By the end of this 4 tape series it will become abundantly clear that Greg Estep is obsessed with power! However he obviously has missed Christ’s teaching and example; and Peter, John, Paul and the other Disciples and Apostles and Elders teachings and examples: In this age we are to serve and to minister. NOT RULE! ) [Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:25-30; 1 Corinthians 3:1-7; 1 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 John 2:26-27; 3 John 1:9-11; James 3:1; 1 Peter 2:16; 1 Peter 4:8-11]

 

Estep recounts the events after Paul’s conversion according to his own Paraphrase:Going down to an insignificant saint like Ananias and subjecting himself to the authority of that man. Who was Ananias? He was a peon man, a nobody! And Paul had been a somebody! He just had a somebody experience on the road to Damascus! And God said: [Which Bible? What Book - Chapter and Verse?] “You go down there and you find that little saint Ananias and you let him baptize you. [GOD SAID NO SUCH THING!!!]  

 

Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. 10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

 

Why does Estep change the Scriptures? Why does he add to and subtract from the Holy Words of God? Is he so intent on proving his point that he disregards the very basic commandments that God has given to us concerning His Words? (Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5; Revelation 22:18-19)? And why does Estep put down (belittle) Ananias? Does Estep’s private interpretation of Paul’s experiences after his conversion reveal to us a serious (fatal) flaw in Estep’s character? The desire to be “a somebody”?

 

Estep then gives us his private interpretation of these events: “Paul subjected himself to the authority of Ananias”.  Estep then yells: “Authority! Authority! Authority”! He then compares the authority of a husband over his wife and the relationship between a man and his wife and his children with the authority of a pastor and the secular authorities and tries to make them all the same! Why does Estep twist and wrest the Scriptures with no fear of God?

 

Estep goes on to state: “Resist the man your resisting the power”! Estep is laying the foundation for his claim that a pastor has the same authority over believers (the brethren) as a husband has over his wife or a father has over his children. Shades of Roman Catholicism!

 

He then goes on and compares a wife’s rebellion to her husband as rebellion against God and then jumps to: “Men when you are rebelling against your pastor, your not rebelling against your pastor, your rebelling against God! If God put him in there you let Him take him out!”  Estep then talks about “God’s anointed and Mafia Christians – God’s hit man.” God’s anointed, God’s hit man, Mafia Christians, what in the world is he talking about?

 

Estep states: “You can bring your body under the wrath of God”.  However the Scriptures say something else: 1 THESSALONIANS 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. He continues . . .  If you tell me that you fear God and are not in subjection to your pastor you’re a liar! We should be worried about God and the authorities that God has placed over us”. We will concern ourselves with obeying God and following His Word and let God deal with the Diotrephes’ in the churches! 3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  

 

END OF SIDE 1 – TAPE ONE
TAPE ONE - SIDE 2

 

The tape begins in the middle of a dissertation [Part of lesson is missing] – Estep is saying: “That is worship; you see that’s total subjection, putting yourself under the authority of another. . . . The Bible says worship Him in the beauty of Holiness. Now I don’t believe that means in the beauty of His Holiness, because it doesn’t say that. I believe the only way you can worship Him is in your holiness.”

1 Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Psalms 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they

went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. (“Praise the beauty of holiness” - Who’s Holiness? It’s certainly

not ours!)

 

Estep then misquotes 1Peter 1:16: He said be ye holy as I am holy. The Bible actually says: 1 PETER 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We could never be Holy as God is Holy. We may strive to be Holy for He is Holy. However, whatever Holiness we have comes from God. There’s a huge difference between the Holy Bible and Mr. Estep’s Private Version!

 

Estep continues after misquoting 1 Peter 1:16: “He said be ye holy as I am holy. That is submitted to His Power! (YELLS!) God is submitted to His power, isn’t He? Are you submitted to His power? He said and you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. Are you submitted to the Holy Ghost in you? That’s what worship is - submitted to the power. Not like Saul, partially up to a point, but like David – Totally!”

 

Be ye Holy” - Holiness is a state of being, not doing!!! Estep’s private interpretation of Holiness couldn’t be any further from the truth than if he purposely tried to pervert the Holy Words of God. How Estep can determine that David was totally submitted to the power while Saul was only partially submitted is an amazing feat of discernment, however without any Scriptural foundation.

 

Estep then makes several statements: Paul may have reached that mark, but he never knew it. If you ever do get sanctified you’ll never know it. That’s the mystery of sanctification. Holiness and sanctification is total subjection to whatever authority is placed over you. Holiness and Sanctification are not the sameHoliness is a state of Being. Sanctification is the act of making Holy or the act of consecrating or being set apart. Total subjection”? Does Estep teach unconditional obedience to a pastor or secular authorities?

 

Estep goes on: Let me show you that this is a viable - this is a true doctrine.” He then cites 1 Timothy 6:1-2 (1 TIMOTHY 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.) He then jumps from the middle of verse 2 to a ‘private interpretation’.

 

Estep states: Did you ever despise the preacher because he has more authority than you? Wives, did you ever just kind of despise your husband because God gave him that authority and didn’t give it to you? . . . God’s just checking oil! [What kind of a relationship is he describing? What’s the point?]

1 TIMOTHY 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

 

Estep stops at verse 4 at the word proud and says: “Only by pride cometh contention. When you are contentious with any authority – God’s authority, Bible authority, pastoral authority, home authority, personal authority – Pride, its pride. He then comments on doting and goes on to say: If you question what a pastor says or teaches you’re proud and know nothing. Doting, just critical, I don’t know about that, I’m subjective, I thought this thing through – that’s your problem.” According to Estep we are to never question what a pastor says or teaches. ACTS 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. What about the duty and obligation of a so-called Bible believing pastor to always speak and teach sound doctrine?  TITUS 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:     

 

Estep continues: Look, look, look, look. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, somebody is over you and somebody is under you. Don’t get all bent out because you know, because your not the big cheese. I mean uh what, you’ve got enough authority. You probably have enough to give account for. If you go one step up the ladder . . . . . People rebel against authority. But you just remember that God has placed somebody in that authority and God has given that authority, and you’re to be in subjection to that authority and you just thank God you don’t have the responsibility that that authority has. Estep is claiming that in the church we have two classes of Christians – the “clergy” and the “laity” and the “laity” is to be in unconditional submission to the “clergy”. Yet according to Revelation Chapter 2 Verses 6 and 15, God hates the deeds and the doctrine of the Nicolaitines. Check out “The Greek” on that one! REVELATION 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. REVELATION 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

 

Estep states: “When Jesus Christ gave the example of submission and when He washed the Apostles feet, He told them - He said: Happy are you if you know these things and do them! (He then yells)DO WHAT? Be absolutely, totally in subjection! (Continues yelling) There He put Himself in subjection to the ones who were in subjection to Him!” (Yells throughout discourse) JOHN 13: 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. The above citation of the Scriptures discloses a totally different picture than Estep’s ‘private interpretation’ of the verses. The Lord Jesus Christ NEVER put Himself in subjection” to his disciples-apostles. He gave them an example to follow. He didn’t say anything about being in subjection to anyone. He told them to do what He did – wash each other’s feet! Estep’s misquote and statement, “Happy are you if you know these things and do them! DO WHAT? Be absolutely, totally in subjection, is as far from the truth as the East is from the West! We are not to be in absolute total subjection to a pastor, a pastor is supposed to wash our feet according to these verses!

 

Estep continues: “A pastor, yes, he has authority over the church, but he’s also to be in subjection to the church. [Who then has the FINAL Authority - Which is it?] Estep continues yelling: “Some of you are miserable in this life, you’re enduring your Christianity, and I’m telling you why – you are not in line with the authorities that are over you and you can not be happy going against the Holy Ghost of God. (Estep is now screaming) The Holy Ghost of God is leading you to subject, subject, subject, subject, SUBJECT! And when you don’t subject you actually grieve the Spirit. You quench the Spirit. You (?????) the Spirit. (Estep is not content with replacing the Lord Jesus Christ in the church, he now is trying to claim the Holy Spirit’s place in the church also!), you can not be happy going against the Holy Ghost of God when you don’t subject, you actually grieve the Spirit. You quench the Spirit. You (?????) the Spirit.”  Estep started the dissertation loud, and then gradually increased the volume until he was screaming, and at the end (in about 2 seconds flat) returned to a normal volume.

 

Estep continues: “Let me give you the reasons for Biblical submission. This is an Old Testament Principle that is equally as valid in the New Testament. Principals are always Principals. (However, much of Old Testament doctrine is not applicable to Christians.) This is the principal: You submit just to stay alive. I mean listen, one of the base motives is self-preservation okay? If you want to self-preserve you have to learn to obey the authorities that God places over you. (If the saints in the Great Tribulation follow Estep’s advice they are in a heap of trouble!) What is the promise, oh, wha, a, wha, don’t we get, oh we make all our children memorize Ephesians 6:1-2? Oh, children obey your parents for this is right, for this is the first commandment with promise. Again Estep misquotes the verse! Almost every time Estep tries to quote a verse from memory he misquotes it!

 

Estep continues: “Yes it is true that if a child obeys, God gives him life. If a child obeys who? The authorities that’s over him. Do you think, do you think that God doesn’t apply that same principle to the child of God and to the authorities that are over him? No we don’t! A child is commanded to obey its parents! – Not The authorities that’s over him”. As children of God we are to obey our Parent God the Father. No pastor, no elder, no bishop, no man in a leadership position in the church is our Parent! Our relationship to a pastor-elder-bishop is not as a child to a father, for we are all brethren! Estep is mixing (confusing) “Types” and “Examples” in order to justify his false teachings. We are not told to think something is true because it sounds plausible. We are told to study, compare, and rightly divide line upon line and precept upon precept. We are not to ASSUME anything!

 

Estep continues in the same vein: “You want to live long on this earth? Look at Romans 8:13 (Estep fails to quote: Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.) Did you ever wonder why will you say . . . well I just didn’t realize that all these principles were working? Oh yes, sure are, sure are. (The verse has nothing to do with Estep’s point, whatever it might be.) Did you ever, did you ever consider why a child dies? Very simple – “children obey your parents in the Lord for this is the first commandment with promise”. You go back to Genesis, oh Exodus Chapter 20 that you may live long on earth. You say I just don’t understand, this boy, this young boy gets killed in an automobile accident. This boy gets murdered, and all this kind of stuff happens? Children obey your parents. It is a principle of life. God establishes the principle – the unsaved and the saved are under the principles of the Law. You don’t do away with the Law when you get saved.” What are we to conclude from these comments? All children who die – die because they are disobedient to their parents? If the point weren’t so ridiculous it would be funny.

 

Mr. Estep continues: “Do you want to know why Pete Maravich died at the age of 40? I’ll tell you why . . . . he walked in the flesh! He then states: that’s more proof that he was a Christian!” Are we to believe that everyone who dies young is a Christian, a Christian who is “not in subjection”? The Lord told us not to judge by ‘appearance’, and yet Estep doesn’t hesitate to hastily judge why people die without knowing the circumstances involved.

 

After two false starts Mr. Estep goes on to say: Do you mean that God will kill me for disobeying my pastor? Did you ever read the story of Dathan and Abiram? . . . . Miriam? HEY! (Yells) 1st Kings. Young preacher . . . Hey Christian. . . . You get in the ministry, God ain’t gonna give you a chance to make many mistakes. You got too much authority, you got too much responsibility. You better start submitting to the authority, and remember the responsibility you have because God ain’t going to fool with you long!” (Yells throughout discourse – but gives no Scripture to support his contention.)

 

He then says something (Can’t discern on tape) about: getting by with 1 or 2 but Don Green told me “4 big mistakes then PHTT!” Estep refers to some of his “authorities”: Don Green. What happened to our Final Authority – the King James Bible? Who is Don Green? And why do we care what he thinks or what his opinion is on anything?

 

Estep continues: “I believe Lot went home early. I believe that Demas went home early. I mean you don’t hear any more about him do you?” Does Estep produce one Scripture to support his “belief”? If we use Estep’s logic: Apollos, Barnabas, and most of the remaining original Disciples must have gone home early – after all “you don’t hear any more about (them) do you”? What we have here is pure, unadulterated conjecture! Is this what is passed off as “Bible Teaching” in this age? No wonder the lost dismiss us Bible Believers as Crack Pots! It boggles the mind to think that real honest to goodness Bible Believers would swallow this kind of teaching and worse yet – actually follow this man!

 

Analogy: Mothers to children; husbands to wives and children; pastors to their flock. “How can you ask those people to subject themselves to you, when you won’t subject yourselves to the authority put over you? Oh Yah, you can make them do it, but down in their heart they’re saying: one of these days I’m getting out of this place. And a lot of husbands do that. Oh they want their wives in subjection, but not to the preacher, not to the Book, not to the secular authority. How about that?”  He then jokes and comments about C.L.A. (We have no information regarding C.L.A.) 

 

END OF SIDE 2 - TAPE ONE

 

TAPE TWO - SIDE 1

 

As Estep continues on the second tape of his 4 tape series it becomes clear that when it comes to Government, Church, Family, and Individuals he only emphasizes what he sees as “similarities” and ignores the clear distinctions set forth in the Holy Bible. In other words he blurs the issue and then comes forth with his own private interpretation and his own solution to whatever problems he sees.

 

Early on in the second tape Estep states: “Holiness is a work of worship.” Of course he supplies no Scripture to prove his point, because there are none. The idea that we can work to obtain Holiness is in total contradiction to everything taught in the Bible about the subject.

 

He then goes on to espouse a pacifist viewpoint. And then makes the statement: “The basic unit of a country is the individual.” (We believe that the basic unit of a country is the family!) Estep continues: “A church had a great ministry, and on the radio, reaching people, and bus ministries. All of a sudden . . . pssew! Crash! And there is really a lack of submission” . . .  From this description, are we to conclude: that all church failures are due to a lack of submission?

 

Mr. Estep continues: (Stutters and stammers) “A man said: (Is this another “authority”.) Before a man can subject himself to God’s delegated authority, like the secular rulers, political rulers, and God does establish these powers. We read in Romans Chapter 13 . . . the powers that be are ordained of God. He said: (Who said?) Before a man can subject himself to God’s delegated authority, such as the secular ruler, or a pastor, (1 Timothy 6:3-5) or the husband of a home, or in the case of the mother where the children subjecting themselves to her authority. That person must first meet God’s inherent authority that’s within.” When we read Romans Chapter 13 we find that there isn’t one reference to any authority other than the secular! Notice Estep’s progression of Authorities: Secular 1st; and then Pastors; and then husbands and then wives. According to Mr. Estep, God has placed a pastor over a husband’s wife! Again – No Scripture to support his point. Also Estep uses another word that is not in the Bible to support his theories . . . The word “inherent” can not be found in the Bible just as the word “submission” can not be found in the Bible.

 

Estep continues on: “Just like what brother Browning (Another “Authority”!) was talking about: (Stutters and stammers again) If you, if you, if you’ll look!” He then goes on to trivialize our Salvation in order to make his point about the importance of submission . . . that is the preeminence of the doctrine of submission. “You’re saved. I mean you’re sealed. Thank God you’re going to heaven. Hallelujah for that . . . but, that doesn’t guarantee success in this life.” The word success is used only once in the Bible – Joshua 1:8. Why the emphasis on words that can’t be found in the Bible? Or used only once? He then goes on to attack Lot at this point acknowledging, but contradicting the Scripture testimony about Lot’s character. 2 Peter 2:7. Estep then goes on and makes some assumptions about why a Christian has problems in his life . . . i.e. marriage, etc. “These are just circumstances” (Christians are governed by chance?) He then refers to another (3rd) “authority”: Brother Rogers. (All of the “authorities” quoted are men – all ‘pastors’? Do the mere opinions of men carry the same weight as the Scriptures?

 

He then begins to ramble and wander all over the map: not finishing sentences or thoughts. Not completing his ideas or presentation. “There’s a difference between chastening in love and chastening in anger. And a child knows the difference. When you chasten that child in anger, you haven’t done him a bit of good . . .  But you haven’t helped him. You have to understand that the problem is just you. The problem is me. The problem doesn’t reside in anybody else. Where you start is where you end.” Is this Scriptural teaching or psychobabble? He then quotes another man – William Penn (Another “authority”)

 

Estep quotes the Apostle Paul - “Do you know what he told the slaves? Obey your masters!” Paul was talking to servants not slaves! Are we to conclude that all Christians are “slaves”? And if we are “slaves” who are our masterspastors?

 

Estep goes on: “The first thing that a Christian has to come to grips with is self rule. . . . . It doesn’t matter to brother Browning (Another “Authority”) or any of these men what you call it. You can call it anything you want it doesn’t matter what you name the baby, have the baby, and enjoy the baby. (What baby?) Call him Malahas Shalabas!” What in the world is he talking about?

 

            Estep sites James Chapter 4 and then goes into another ramble: . . . . “And you forgive me, for some, for some reason today there is just ah, there’s just not the liberty here today that there was yesterday. I don’t all that all the time, but I’ll do the best I can. OK? You all just pray for me. Yesterday there was just great liberty. Today is just not that way.” We wonder whether some of the people attending the “seminar” were getting uncomfortable with the false doctrine and heresy that was being put forth by Estep. In quoting James 4:7 Estepp makes the claim that submitting to God is the same as resisting the Devil.

 

            He then sites Matthew 4:1 and states: “The Scripture knew the Scripture. He said you are clean through the Word which I have preached unto ya. You sit and let men preach to ya. You sit and let men teach to ya.” And again he rambles on.

 

            Estep then sites 1 Pet. 5:8 (He shouts and screams and rambles on and on.) “But to check you out, if you’ve been a rebel and if you’ve been a problem to God, I guarantee you God will put you where you won’t want to go. He’ll put you under somebody you don’t like, just to see if you’ll obey.” He doesn’t site one single Scripture to support his “hypothesis”! As he continues on he stammers, stumbles, and switches mid-sentence.

 

            Mr. Estep then uses a personal fable that is patterned after the example of God’s conversation with Satan in the Book of Job without any references or substance. Estep imagines that: Satan taunts God into putting an obnoxious, overbearing and dominating pastor over a believer in order to “test” the believer’s loyalty and submission to God. He stutters again and then proceeds to put words into God’s mouth as he puts forth the proposition that God uses His elders and pastors as chastening rods! He uses 1 Peter 5:6 without citing the reference and skipping the previous verse which puts the verse in context. In quoting the verse Estep begins with Submit yourselves and then changes to the correct reading of the verse “Humble yourselves”. Is Mr. Estep hung up on submission?

 

Estep refers to his earthly dad’s mighty hand – the inference being that God is much like his dad: Can you submit to that? Can you submit to God really working you over?  (He wanders, skips, stutters, and shouts!) Do you know why some of your wives have a hard time submitting themselves to you personally? Because they know you’re not walking in the Holy Spirit! (He then stammers, stumbles and then . . . backpedals!) I, I’m, I’m not giving them an excuse to rebel, I’m just saying it’s hard for them.” What about the example of the obnoxious pastor? What’s good for the Goose is good for the Gander!

 

            Estep continues: “I really appreciate what Jesus Christ did for me brother. When He went to Calvary He died. He was death. He became death. And a few hours later some men carried death into the grave. And three days later life walked out.” He then proceeds to yell and scream and judges by appearance. Estep then states: “I don’t want anything to do with a preacher that makes mistakes and is not willing to publicly admit it.” He then goes on and judges by appearance again.

 

            Estep sites some Scriptures: Philippians. 2:5-7; 1 Peter 1:1; and 2 Peter 1:1 (And proceeds to privately interpret them.) He then cites 2 Corinthians 11:5 (Misquoting the verse) and 1 Timothy 1:15 and again gives a private interpretation of the verses. 

  

            END OF SIDE 1 - TAPE TWO

 

            TAPE 2 - SIDE TWO

 

Soon after beginning Tape 2 side 2 Estep states: “God said be submissive. (Where did God ever say that? The word “submissive” is not in the entire Bible! God Said NO SUCH THING!!!) Just submit by faith.” He then sites 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 and gives his private interpretation on giving and then goes on to blur the lines between a husband and his wife and running the church. A continuity break occurs on the tape and it appears that it is a different time and possibly a different lesson.

 

            Estep makes some obscure comments without much meaning and states that he is “going to finish up on self rule” and sites Proverbs 16:32; Proverbs 25:28; and 1 Corinthians14:29. Somebody is seeing that it’s done the way that God wants it done. (He then sites Elijah’s example and gives us some more of his subjective reasoning.) I told you the other day: If you’re led of the Holy Spirit, your family’s led of the Holy Spirit. But if you’re still walking in the flesh, your family’s walking in the flesh, because you’re leading them by the flesh. THEY WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU! (Emphasis is ours) I guess to some degree.” Guess? This is Bible teaching?

 

            Mr. Estep then states: “If you can’t run the family you’ll never run the church. And if you can’t run yourself you’ll never run the family.” 1 TIMOTHY 3:5 For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? A pastor doesn’t “run” the church. He is to “take care” of it. When will Mr. Estep get it right?

 

            Estep then goes on to comment on parent and child and husband and wife relationships and makes the following assertions: “Children that are disobedient to their parents are disobedient to God. (True)  Their problem is with God. Wives that are disobedient to their husbands just haven’t submitted to God. (Partially true) Husbands that, husbands that are not – Hey! (Claps twice) Husbands that are not in subjection to the pastor that God’s given them, can you imagine a man, can you imagine a man trying to get his family to follow him when he’s all the time griping about the preacher?” Is Mr. Estep trying to say that if a man doesn’t follow his pastor he is being disobedient to God? And is he trying to justify rebellion by children to their parents, or rebellion on the part of a wife towards her husband because the husband isn’t following the pastor? Again Estep blurs the lines and confuses the clear distinction between family relationships and the relationship to a pastor. A pastor is neither a father nor a husband to the brethren! We have noticed that on different occasions Mr. Estep raises his voice, yells, and claps his hands in order to make a point. Is this play-acting or is it a gimmick because the point being made is often heresy? We also note that Estep often stutters and or stumbles over his words when he begins to teach a false doctrine. Is there some spiritual significance?

 

Estep continues in the same vein: “Oh come on man, that doesn’t, that doesn’t line up! That doesn’t line up! Your kid says: why should I obey him, he isn’t obeying Him!” When would a kid” think this way? A wife might think that way, but a ‘kid”? ‘Kids’ just don’t think like adults. And for that we should be thankful!    1 CORINTHIANS 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Mr. Estep goes on: “I mean the private says why should I obey the sergeant, the sergeant doesn’t do what the lieutenant says. Ain’t (Stutters) that, ain’t (Stutters) that the way it goes. I’m trying to show you how to, (Stutters) how to, have folks follow you and enjoy it.  Does Estep know what he is talking about? Has he ever been in the Service? Anyone having served in the Armed Forces of the United States will laugh at this analogy. There isn’t anyway that this comparison is related to real life.

 

Mr. Estep goes on to site 1 Corinthians Chapter 11 and then states: “But first of all everybody is in a position of authority to some degree.” He then proceeds to give his (Private) interpretation of Abraham and Sarah lying to Abimelech in the Old Testament: (Estep then proceeds to put words into Sarah’s mouth – not found in any Bible!) “She never had to say anything. She, She submitted to delegated authority. But she called out to absolute authority! (He Screams) And she said “deliver me”. She did? Chapter and Verse?

 

Estep continues on: “If your pastor goes in the wrong direction then don’t, (Stutters) then don’t, jump on him. Just go to the Lord and say: Now Lord you led me to this church, and you, and I’m going to follow that man, and if that rascal takes us down to the Red Sea and we all drown I’m going to walk right behind him!”  Laughter and amen’s from the attendees followed this outrageous statement. Once more we have doctrine being taught without any Scripture to support it, or the twisting and wresting of Scripture to make a false teaching “fit”.

 

            There follows a question from someone in the audience which is not clear on the tape. Estep then proceeds to answer the question: “You’re not to by-pass the delegated authority just because you think you have the right. Now I realize that there are exceptions to the, the, (Stutters) the rule. But you better, boy, except, do you really feel like you’re an exception? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that I, I’m big enough on the scale yet to ever feel like I would be an exception to the rule. Do you understand what I’m saying?” No, we don’t understand! What “rule” is Mr. Estep referring to? Where do we find the “rule” in the Bible? And since when are we Christians supposed to determine our actions by “feelings”? Estep stutters once more and continues: “I, every time you and I disobey God we always think that we are the exception.  (Not true all the time!) There are very, very few exceptions in the Bible to the rule.” Again, what rule? Or who’s rule?

 

            About here the Tape is confusing – Is this a different time or lesson? Estep makes a misapplication of a Pharisee and then enquires of another “Authority”: “My, my, my, (Stutters) point is this. Bro, bro, bro, (Stutters) Brother Browning: Am I right? Wasn’t Pentecost the only feast where leaven was in the, in that particular feast? All the rest of the feasts were unleavened bread, whatever kind of bread they had? – Yeah. Pentecost was the only one where leaven was allowed. Isn’t that interesting? And yet Pentecost is when the Church started. Pentecost back there pictures the church, the church age. There is leaven in the Church!”  1 CORINTHIANS 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7  Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Is Estep making an excuse for allowing leaven in the Church and in Bible teaching? According to the Bible we are to beware of leaven! – Not excuse it!

 

            Estep continues: “Hey husband, why do you expect your wife to be perfect? She’s a picture of the Church. But who is a picture of Christ? (Laughter erupts from the audience) That’s what it says, isn’t it brother? I like what brother Browning (Estep’s extra-Scriptural Authority) says: (Stutters) I, I, I, All of these commentaries, I don’t know about them, but that’s just real plain isn’t it?  (Laughter) Do you know what? I might be a traitor to manhood today, (Laughter – Is this Bible teaching or Psycho-babble?) but I won’t be a traitor to God. It’s the truth isn’t it? It’s what it says, isn’t it? Do you know eh?”

 

            Mr. Estep goes on in the same vein: “Do you know how to perfect your wife? You just be what you’re supposed to be. See, again, we’re trying to get everybody to do what they’re supposed to do, when we ain’t even started. (Aren’t elders supposed to preach the Word and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting and convincing?) We’re trying to get people to lead (Opps!) in our, follow us, in our churches, when we haven’t even, (Stutters) we can’t, we, we, don’t even control our family, because we don’t even control our personal life.” (We observe that whenever Estep starts to teach false doctrine or heresy he begins to stutter. Is this some sort of spiritual manifestation?)

 

            Estep continues on: “We are not like Christ! We, well again I go back to what was, is the greatest to us what’s the greatest attribute of Christ – Grace! (Begins to shout) We are in the age of Grace! (Building up volume) Are you gracious to your wife! (Screams) Do you give her things she doesn’t deserve?” Estep then goes on to joke about a fellow in “my church” giving flowers to his wife – Laughter follows remark. Is the giving of things grace? We understood that the moral attributes of God are - God is: Holy, Truth, Just, Mercy, and Love. Also God’s Physical attributes are – God is: Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent.

 

            Estep continues his remarks: “Hey, do you realize, look, do you realize the nature of God as is compared with the nature of us? How, how absolute opposite and contrary those 2 natures are? And yet He came down and took upon that nature and died for us, that we might have a nature like Him.” The Lord didn’t take on our nature” He took upon Himself the “form of a servant” and was made in “the likeness of men”. PHILLIPIANS 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: How is it that Mr. Estep can not teach the Bible straight? Our Lord never took upon Himself our nature (Our Sinful Nature), He was born of incorruptible seed! He never was contaminated with our nature!

 

            Mr. Estep gives men some “advice”: “OK, I realize men, why the world would a woman want a bunch of, you know, just a bunch of things that are going to die within 2 days. It doesn’t, it doesn’t make a bit of sense to me, it doesn’t make, but if that’s what she needs, are you gracious? Can you submit yourself to her enough to do something for that she needs? “When the righteous bear rule the people what – Rejoice.” (Another misquote! The correct quote follows: PROVERBS 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Why not quote it correctly?) “Oh when you do something like that (Jokes – Laughter) she just, she just might turn to you and say: is there anything I can do for you?”  (Loud amen’s follow this poor attempt at humor. Are Bible believing men supposed to bribe their wives in order to get them to do something for them? This is not Bible teaching – It’s Pop-Psychology!) “I like what Brother Buddy Blunkall says: (Another Extra-Biblical Authority?) I, I don’t ever want to get in that position where there’s no sugar. Amen? Amen! Amen!” What have these comments got to do with the Bible?

 

            Estep continues: “Am I talking where you live?  Alright, by love’s emotion was, was there anything deserving about us that Christ should love us? Why do you expect your wife then to do something deserving before you love her?” (Because - God requires her to do it! (1 PETER 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.) Is Estep suggesting that if a wife doesn’t think her husband loves her enough that she can be in rebellion? Can she justify her disobedience by claiming that her husband doesn’t love her? This is exactly what many Christian women in the United States are doing today and justifying even divorce because they perceive that their husbands either don’t love them enough or are not following the Lord as their wives believe they should.) “And what is the fruit of, what is the result of love? ‘For God so loved, He gave’, He did what? He didn’t take a thing did He? In fact He doesn’t want your works does He? Your works are abominable. We’re His workmanship created in Christ Jesus. Well that puts a different perspective on the family doesn’t it?” (Amen’s, etc.) Ah, I want to help, I really do.” What does this particular Salvation verse have to do with the husband – wife relationship? Mr. Estep “just wants to help”? Taking Scriptures out of context and twisting them, doesn’t help! Teaching doctrines contrary to the Scriptures can only harm Christians!

           

            At this point on the tape the “lesson” gets confusing. We are not sure if a part of the lesson may not have been recorded, however Estep continues: “By permission. For protection. By loves emotion. Oh, by future consideration.” (Estep refers to 1 Timothy Chapter 3 and proceeds to wander all around for a while before finally quoting a verse. He then goes on to recommend yet another “Authority”, a pamphlet titled “Under Loving Command”.)  “We have to be faithful in that which is least.” Is Mr. Estep still talking about the Family? If he is, is the Family “that which is least”? Just what is this man trying to teach?

 

            Estep then states: “And then verses 4 and 5, two whole verses on the man’s home. And he only actually spends 6 or 7 verses on the entire qualifications of a pastor and very little of it depends on you personally.” (1 TIMOTHY 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.) Is Mr. Estep really serious? In referring to the qualifications for a pastor-elder-bishop) very little depends on you personally”? Nearly all of the qualifications depend on the character of the man desiring the office! God is not concerned about what school or church you attended. He is concerned about your character! He wants men who are not novices and who are “apt to teach”, however the rest of the requirements have to do with character. Mr. Estep’s remarks are totally contrary to the clear teaching of the Scriptures. God has some strict requirements for those men who desire the office of a bishop (pastor-elder). If these requirements were followed today there would be a whole lot less men in the ministry. Estep flippantly dismisses most of these requirements and gives us his private interpretation instead!

 

            Estep continues on with his ‘private interpretation’: “What, you know; you know how God really tells, how He really reads your personal life? He just looks at the, your family. (On what basis or by what authority does Mr. Estep presume to know how God judges these matters when he doesn’t offer one Scripture to support his contention?) He knows the condition you’re in: ‘When the righteous bear rule the people rejoice’.” PROVERBS 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Why is it that Estep can’t quote this verse correctly? Could it possibly be that he is obsessed with ruling? Or is Mr. Estep following in the footsteps of some past “leaders” of God’s people? JEREMIAH 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

 

            Estep then alludes to the Lord Jesus Christ always doing what’s best for us: “Do you know why sir, it’d be so much easier for this lady to submit to your authority if she knew 100% that what you did was for her good? For her good, oh it’s easy to submit to authority like that.” At this juncture Mr. Estep has set up an impossible principle or requirement and in doing so he paves the way for disobedience on the part of Christian wives whenever they perceive their husbands are not caring for them 100% of the time. Again, what man is there who loves his wife 100% of the time? What man is there who loves or follows the Lord 100% of the time? There are none! A wife’s obedience is not conditional on her husband loving her and caring for her 100% of the time. 1 PETER 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

 

            Estep concludes tape 2 side 2 with these remarks: “Do, I mean is it true in your home that all things work together for your wife’s good? Your children’s’ good? Is it that the way you’re working in your home? But the husband’s as Christ. He’s working everything for our good. Amen? Do you know why he does all that? So we’ll love Him.” Are we Christians God? Wives cannot demand or expect 100% obedience on the part of their Christian husbands. 1 John 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. To expect or demand 100% obedience from Christians in all things is not only unreasonable, it is also unscriptural. We seriously question whether Mr. Estep is “apt to teach” in accordance with the requirements that God has set out in the Scriptures concerning the qualifications of a bishop (pastor, elder). After listening to and critiquing 2 sides of 2 tapes in the 4 tape series we have sited more error; misapplication of Scripture; false doctrine; and heresy than we have ever encountered in the so-called evangelical or fundamentalist circles that we are familiar with, or have been a part of. How this man has been able to influence so many so-called Bible believers mystifies us and can only be attributed to how perverse human nature (even in born again people) truly is.

 

END OF SIDE 2 – TAPE 2

 

TAPE THREE - SIDE 1

 

            Mr. Estep continues to “expound” on 1 Timothy Chapter 3. He talks about disciplining children and refers to 6 passages in Proverbs and then jokes about punishing children and the audience laughs. He then proceeds to give psychological advice, Don’t strike your child in anger”, and then misquotes Psalms 6:1: (Psalms 6:1 To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.) whereupon he makes another miss-application of Scripture. (Jeremiah 10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.) Estep continues with his modern psychological advice and proceeds to justify a child’s rebellion if the parent disciplines the child in anger. He then recommends “explaining” to the child why he is being disciplined. He then states: “Christians are so dumb.” Mr. Estep’s hodgepodge of advice is simply psycho-babble wrapped up in a Scriptural context. Need we say more?  

 

            Estep then states: “God gave you a woman as a helpmeet. She meets your needs. A man doesn’t have tenderness. (Scripture – Verses?) So God gave a woman so the child would have both righteousness and graciousness.” Where are the Scriptures to support Mr. Estep’s personal opinions? Are we to believe that only women have tenderness? (Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.) Is this commandment meant only for women? Or is this just some more psycho-babble?

 

            Estep continues: (He proceeds to put a “prayer” in the mouth of a woman [Wife] in regards to her husband’s unwillingness to discipline a child.) “And if I was that woman on the way out God you take that brat out and whip him. I’ll bet she’d get that prayer answered!” What kind of Christianity calls for husbands and wives to have this kind of snotty attitude between them? Where in Scriptures does God call for us to behave in the manner that Mr. Estep proscribes?

 

            This seems to conclude a public portion of Estep’s teaching on his “doctrine of submission”. Estep continues, for a short time, in his office: “We’ll take up a study of submission in the spiritual assembly of believers, that of the church and the church organization and church positions.” He sites: (1 Thesselonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;) “Now there was always a leading elder or a, or a ruling elder, but there were more than one elder in all of those churches.” Can Mr. Estep produce one Scripture to support the claim: “there was always a leading elder or a ruling elder”?  Can Estep name who the ruling elder was in Jerusalem?  Can he name the leading elder at Antioch? How about naming the ruling elder at Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Philippi, Ephesus, Colossi, Crete, or Thessalonica? Can he name just one somewhere? He couldn’t name one if his life depended on it! Then why make a claim that can not be proven?

 

            Estep then goes on and talks about the pastor making decisions with “elders” and likens it to a husband making decisions in the family. “In our church, ah, I have, I, I, I, (Again, Estep stutters) I’m an ordained pastor. Ah, I have 2 or 3 or 4 other men who are ordained and they’re elders in our church and they help me make decisions and they advise me but the responsibility, like in the family – even though a man talks with his wife, and man I’ll tell you what ……. A woman is the most practical thing on the face of this earth. And the problem with you and I (men) is that we tend towards the weird and the bizarre. But a woman, a woman, a woman, knows where it’s at!!! Estep begins to tell us about how his church hierarchy is set up and then he suddenly veers off into a psychological opinion about women. The question is: what does any of this have to do with true Church Doctrine? Where is the teaching about Churches in the Book of Acts or the New Testament Churches established by the Apostle Paul – all of which are to be our Biblical examples?

 

            Mr. Estep sites: Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. “A spiritual leader is to oversee. As a man oversees his home and guides his home in spiritual (Stutters again) principals and doctrines of this Bible, so a man, and or a group of men oversee the work of the church.” (Estep again makes the miss-application between a man overseeing his home and a pastor, who is supposed to take care of the church. God never appointed men (bishops, pastors, elders) to replace our Heavenly Father! Again, which is it - A man or a group of men? Estepp proceeds to give us his personal “theory” on the number of pastors to the number of laity!)

 

            Estep continues: “I personally believe one man can pastor 300 to 500 people. (Where is the Scripture to support this personal belief?) When you get over that it just gets almost out of hand. (He stutters again) And even that’s kind of hard to handle. It just depends on how well organized the man is, or how close to God, or how much help he has.” (Is Mr. Estep herding cattle or taking care of the church?)

 

            Estep sites 1 Thessalonians 5:12 (1 Thessolonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;) He quotes the verse with a very heavy emphasis on over youand then proceeds with: Just like a father is to nurture and admonish (Bangs the pulpit) a child, a spiritual ruler or a spiritual overseer in the church is to admonish (Bangs the pulpit again) the brethren.” (Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.) Who is supposed to discipline the brethren? We have had ‘fathers of our flesh’ and we have ‘the Father of spirits’, who is our Heavenly Father. Just what kind of “father” is Mr. Estep pretending to be? Just who’s authority is he trying to usurp?

 

            Estep continues: “Now when a pastor gets on you, do you act just like your kid does, when you get on that kid?” (Is Estep assuming that all of the brethren’s children are uncontrollable brats?) “Don’t you wish your children would accept your admonishing? Ah, your pastor feels the same way.” (He does? He shouldn’t; because HE IS NOT OUR FATHER!!! Mr. Estep can’t get his similes straight!) “Now on the other hand, pastors are you admonishing your children? Are you afraid that they’re going to go to somebody else’s church if you admonish them?” (Whose children? Somebody else’s church? Whose church is it? We didn’t know that the church belongs to the pastor, we have always believed that the church is God’s institution and belongs to Him!)

 

            Estep continues in the same vein: Are you afraid that ah, some of the men of the church are going to get together and fire you if you admonish them? Are you slack in your admonishing? I mean if there’s a problem in your church, what ah, (he stutters) you know what sometimes preachers the only thing they’ll do is they’ll go to God and say: God here’s a problem, oh God, You gotta work this- Hey! GOD’S NOT THE PASTOR OF THAT CHURCH! He’s put YOU down there so YOU could take care of it!” Mr. Estep is usurping God’s rightful authority and place in the church! 1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. We are not to elevate any man to a position where he displaces God in the church. A pastor (bishop, elder) is supposed to minister to the brethren and be a servant, NOT A KING!

 

            Estep can’t get the job of a pastor-elder-bishop straight and so he ends up usurping God’s authority in the church and then neglects to perform the genuine tasks that God has assigned to pastors-elders-bishops. Peter clearly lays out just exactly what those tasks are: 1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being  ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Let’s keep things straight: Its God’s flock and its God’s heritage. Pastors-elders-bishops are to serve Him and minister unto His church. They are to be servants not masters!

 

            Again Peter states what he and the other pastors-elders-bishops did in his day: Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. Does Mr. Estep think that he can improve on Peters’ instructions?  The Apostle Paul weighs in on this topic and enforces Peters’ testimony: Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

            These are just some of the Scriptures dealing with this subject. However, the Scriptures clearly teach what the duties and responsibilities of a pastor-elder-bishop are, and how much authority he is supposed to wield. James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 

            Estep continues: “Now go to Him and find out what to do. (How does one do this?) And go to Him and do it in the power; when Paul dealt …… The people of the church who are truly yielded to God ought to be thankful they’ve got a man who would admonish them. A child ought to be thankful that they have a parent who would admonish them. The Bible says a child left to himself ……….” [Dead air] “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child - but the what? -The rod of correction …… alright preacher, God has given you a two edged sword (Does Estep really believe that all the brethren are like foolish children? Is he recommending using a sword’ to correct them? Estep switches back and forth between the parent-child relationship and the pastor’s relationship to the brethren in his church. Again, we are all brethren. No man (pastor) is to replace our Father in HIS church!) A shepherd’s, (stutters) a shepherd’s, uh, he had a rod and a staff – ‘thy rod and thy staff’. They what? Did you, (stumbles) do you know what a rod and a staff was for? [Dead air] that’s a, that should be a comfort to you. When you’re preacher eats your lunch and gets on your case and comes to you and tries to help you, to straighten out a problem in your life, he’s not you enemy, he’s your friend. Is this a ‘preachers’ job? Is this what the Bible described as a ‘preachers’ job?

 

            Estep proceeds with his discussion about churches for a while and then quotes 1 Timothy 3:1-2: (Stops in the middle of verse 2) “Now here again the word is the word for an overseer. I, I don’t know all the Greek words and I really don’t, I ,I, just don’t have the memory for much of that, but the word for overseer over in Acts 20:28 and the word bishop here one of them is episcopes and one of them is presbyteries or some, that’s where they got the names for those denominations. And they basically talk; it basically means an overseer or somebody that’s in charge.” (Quotes 1 Timothy 3:2-3, but what’s the point? Why run to “The Greek”? Why the emphasis on somebody that’s in charge?)

 

            Estep continues: “Now there are people that are gonna say well we’re not going to have a pastor until we can find someone who meets all of these qualifications. Well let me remind you of something: Paul said after being saved for 30-35 years ‘not as though I had already attained’. ‘I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are before, I press toward the mark’ . . . . (The following underlined verses are Mr. Estep’s quotes, which we have tried here to put in context.) Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) What do Paul’s remarks here have to do with the qualifications for a bishop-elder-pastor? Remember: A verse taken out of context is a pretext!.

 

            Estep continues to comment on a bishop’s-pastor’s-elder’s qualifications: Those are ideal qualifications, those are qualifications that a man should certainly be striving for and in general should be uh, characteristic of. But you’re not going to find a man today that’s going to meet every one of  those qualifications exactly.”  Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 1Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (The requirements for a bishop (pastor-elder) are crystal clear and without ambiguity. God makes a declarative statement: “a bishop MUST”!  He did not say “a bishop SHOULD!” Does God mean what He says, and does He say what He means, or can Mr. Estep change the Word of God whenever it pleases him or if it runs contrary to his personal beliefs? Estep is lowering God’s standard for qualifying for the office of a bishop-pastor-elder! He rationalizes that since there aren’t that many men who qualify today, then God must not have meant what He said. Did it ever occur to Mr. Estep that perhaps many of the men in the ministry today aren’t fit to fill the office, and shouldn’t be there? Does God need to change His standards because we don’t measure up?)

 

            Estep continues on the same subject: “You just have to let God take care of that. If God says to you: ‘you go there’ – you go there.” (How does God speak to us today? How do we know when He is speaking to us? Does Estep have a special channel to God that he audibly hears His instructions? How is that?) You may find that in one or two or three of these qualifications he may need some work.” (Estep instructs his hearers to ignore the Word of God and the specific requirements He has laid out for a bishop-pastor-elder! “Why don’t you pray for him.(Mumbles and stammers) that be a blessing to him. And uh, I’m not gonna, (stammers) I’m not gonna argue with you about, uh, all what you think. The best thing to do is just get a hold of God in your life and find out what God thinks. If God thinks the man is good enough to be a pastor that ought to be good enough for you.” (Just how does a Christian “get a hold of God in your life” to “find out what God thinks? Again, how are we to know what God thinks about a man? Why is Estep talking about how wethink” or what Godthinks”? Bible believers should be concerned about what God SAYS in His Book!) “If God’s established him, ordained him, you know a lot of people are worried about (Stammers and stutters) sometimes they’ll look at little peripheral things and they won’t see that people are getting saved; they won’t see that families are getting right; they won’t see missionaries getting supported. They see all of these little kinky things. I worry about people who won’t see the real things that are going on and they’re always cognizant of these little bitty things out here on the edge.” Estep then uses an example of Christ and the Pharisees. However, he is missing the point: How do we know, outside of the Word of God, whether a man is called or ordained of God? The Holy Bible is absolutely clear on this subject. A man MUST meet certain basic requirements found in Timothy and Titus. If he doesn’t ‘measure up’, he shouldn’t be in the ministry! Notice how Estep trivializes God’s commandments concerning bishop-pastor-elder requirements by referring to them as little peripheral things; little kinky things; or little bitty things”!  God set forth these requirements and said that any man desiring the office of a bishop (pastor-elder) MUST meet God’s demands, NOT -  SHOULD!

 

            Estep makes several statements bolstering his argument by citing the laity criticizing a pastor’s tie not being straight or his manner of dress etc. and then quotes: “he that soweth discord among the brethren, the Bible says that God hates that. Just, you know if you have that kind of critical attitude God’s just liable to give you a preacher like Jim White (Laughter from audience) just to check you out.” (What does a pastor’s manner of dress have to do with God’s requirements for that office? God said a man MUST meet certain basic minimum requirements in order to qualify for the office of bishop-pastor-elder, and the man’s manner of dress has nothing to do with it at all! Again Mr. Estep has trivialized God’s commandment by introducing little bitty things that have no bearing on the subject!) Estep then cites Jeremiah 17:9-10: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” He then makes the application that if you are critical of a pastor’s dress code, God will give you a sloppy pastor! Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.  Again, by citing little peripheral things, Estep has sidestepped the main issue!

           

            Estep continues on: “You know a young preacher came to me the other day and said: ‘well preacher what about’, what about, you know, we’re talking about the submission to the husband, and he asks me: ‘what about a case where the man makes his wife do all these bad wicked things you know, and she’s saved.’ And he said: ‘what’s she to do? How, how, how am I to,’ and I said well what did Sarah do? And he said: ‘yeah, but’, I said: did you ever stop to think why God is putting her in that situation? (Does God PUT people in these situations?) Did you ever stop to think why God allowed that to happen? I mean God does know she’s saved doesn’t He? And God does say ‘He’ll not tempt you above’ what? (Estep never answered the young preacher’s question!) Sometimes we get to taking God’s place.” Amen! The entire “Doctrine of Submission” is designed to replace the Lord Jesus Christ in the church and to put in His place a man (bishop-pastor-elder)!

 

            Estep states: “Sometimes people say to me, you need, you know if a person’s lost they’ll, they’ll bring it up in prayer meeting, you need to pray for so and so, they’ve got a heart problem. I, I really don’t want to pray for them. I really don’t want to pray for them Why do they have a heart problem? Why are they in the hospital? Maybe what we need to pray for is that the heart problem will get bad, worse, and worse, until they get saved.” (Does Estep’s attitude reflect the Biblical approach? [1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.] Or is this just another one of his personal opinions?

 

END OF SIDE 1 - TAPE THREE

 

TAPE THREE - SIDE 2

 

            Estep continues: “Then some of us, some of us will say about some old Christian we ain’t never seen in church, they’ll say: Oh pray for ole Mrs. So and So, she’s got cancer. Why has she got cancer? Now if they’re a godly saint living for God, walking with God, O.K. (James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.) Even then the infirmities that Paul had God gave him, as a spiritual man. You gotta be careful how you pray. I mean God knows a whole lot more than what you and I know.” 1 Samuel 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: 24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. The prophet Samuel states that it would be a SIN for him not to pray for God’s people (Israel) even though they were very sinful! The callousness and lack of charity and empathy displayed in the foregoing remarks reveals a very different kind of Christianity than that portrayed in the Bible.) I don’t know where I was when I got off on all that”. Mr. Estep may not have known where he got off on all that - but we know. He was CHANGING the qualifications for a bishop-pastor-elder in 1 Timothy 3:1-3 from MUST to SHOULD or MAYBE!

 

            Estep returns to where he left off in 1 Timothy 3:2: “the husband of one wife.” (Estep proceeds to skip the rest of verse 2 and all of verse 3 and starts again at verse 4. 1 Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (While reading verse 5 he ADDSown” before children.) “Notice the word rule there? One that ruleth well his own house. Cause a man is to RULE the church.” Mr. Estep boldly contradicts the Scriptures that he just quoted! A man is not supposed to RULE the church; he is supposed to take care of the church of God”.

 

          Estep continues: “People in America tend to run to opposites. If, if, if, if the Charismatic church has gotten excited, we who don’t want to be charismatic, we run to the opposite end of the spectrum. We’re gonna be dignified because we don’t want to be branded as charismatic. And some, some churches have taken the pastoral position and some men have made a dictator out of that position. So we have said no we’re not going to be a dictator. Then you’ll get, then you won’t, I’m not saying to be a dictator, but you have to rule the church. A pastor is to rule the church. (The Holy Scriptures say otherwise: A bishop-pastor-elder is to: take care of the church of God”. What’s with this obsession to RULE?)

 

          Estep continues with his comments: “Look! Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body of Jesus Christ. Right! Whether you call it a church, I don’t care what you call it. The Bible calls it a church in Ephesians 1:22. (Estepp fails to quote the verse - Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.) You can call it the church in prospect, you can call it the church in promise, prophecy, I don’t care! It doesn’t matter! Just get in it! OK? That’s all that really counts. But He is the Head of the Body; HE IS NOT THE HEAD OF THE LOCAL CHURCH”!!!  (Not only is Mr. Estep’s crass attitude totally un-Biblical, he has now veered off into one of the most blasphemous, heinous, and pernicious heresies that SATAN has ever created! (EphESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.) Just as a wife has only one head, her husband, so is it with His Church. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the ONLY HEAD of His Church! To teach otherwise is heresy! There are not two churches. There are not two bodies. There is no difference between the church and his body. No matter how hard Estep tries, there is no difference between the local church and the church, regardless of the different names Mr. Estep uses to try to describe it.

 

          Estep continues with his explanation: “I’m a tell you why. I’ll tell you why right now. Who’s the head of the family? Is Jesus Christ the head of the family in Ephesians 5? (Loud) No! Who is? – (SHOUTS) the Husband! Now Jesus Christ is to be the head of that man, but that man on this earth is the head of that family. (The following verses in Ephesians Chapter 5 will clear up this matter: Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. In the foregoing 12 verses the word “family does not appear once. The Scriptures are crystal clear: The husband is the head of the wife. Just as Jesus Christ is the Head of the church.   1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Why has Mr. Estep CHANGED the Holy Word of God and Substituted the word family for wife? Who in the Bible is a master at CHANGING God’s Holy Word and substituting his own words for God’s Word’s? We reiterate, whether in Ephesians 5:22-33 or 1 Corinthians11:3 the word ‘family’ does not appear and to substitute that word for wife is blasphemous! The fact that the church is a “great mystery” doesn’t excuse Mr. Estep from teaching false doctrine and heresy. Colossians 1:18 should settle the matter for Bible believers. Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

 

          Estep continues: “Jesus Christ to His (hesitates) body. (stutters) that body is said to be his future bride. Is that not right?  (No It Is Not Right! Estep has added the word “future” to the bride.) I’ve espoused you to one husband – 2 Corinthians Chapter 11. I’m not a brider OK? You know (stutters) I believe I’m in the bride, or I’m going to be in the bride. (Which is it?) It doesn’t matter to me. (Bad attitude again) I know I’m going to be there. You understand? You’ve got to qualify everything. You got, you got grrrr. And then it get’s back there to the dinner table grrrr.” (Estep’s tries some childish humor, which is really a subterfuge, to create a diversion from the heresy being taught here. What kind of Bible teaching is this? Can this man ever rightly divide the word of truth?)            

 

          Estep continues: Some of you got a heart like the bottom side of a rock. ‘When a man’s ways please the Lord, even his enemies – he’s even at peace with his enemies’. (He misquotes Scripture again) (Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.) The Bible says: ‘they that love thy law nothing shall offend them’. (Psalms 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.) Some of you got a problem with the Book! (“Someone” sure does!) Your problem isn’t with me or brother Jones or brother Jack, your problem is with that Book and the Holy Spirit of God that’s inside you and you need to get that problem worked out. (Once more he runs to “authorities” outside of the Holy Bible in order to bolster his false teachings.) We didn’t ask you to come here and agree with everything we teach. I don’t agree with everything that everybody else teaches. But we agree on what, what the major things are. You’re never going to agree with everybody. Amen?”  Is Estep’s conscience getting to him? He talks about the major things. Is he referring to the “fundamentals”? Are we to be Fundamentalists or Bible Believers? 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.  The Bible presents quite a different picture than Mr. Estep does.

 

          Mr. Estep quotes part of 1 Timothy 3:4: ‘One that ruleth well his own house.’ “Jesus Christ is the Head of the body, the man is the head of his home, (WIFE!) Well the, I contend even though that Bible doesn’t use the exact terminology - that the pastor is the head of the local body!  (Let’s get this straight – “Even though that Bible doesn’t use the exact terminology, we are to follow a doctrine that Mr. Estep claims is: “the most important doctrine in the Bible”? Even though we can’t find the words in the Bible to support this “most important doctrine,” we are to believe that this is a true Bible Doctrine? Is Mr. Estep serious? How does a real Bible believer swallow this tripe? Mr. Estep can contend anything he wants to. On the other hand we can dismiss his teaching as false and heretical - based on his personal opinion and not on Scripture.)

 

          Estep continues: If the local body is a type and picture of the, of the spiritual body of Jesus Christ, the spiritual church. This is the local church that manifests that to the earth; like water baptism manifests the spiritual baptism; like our communion supper manifests or pictures our future supper with Jesus Christ and His past death. IT’S A TYPE!”  (Estep is feebly trying to explain a great mystery [the church] and in the course of his discourse has only wandered further into heresy! If the local body is a type and picture of the spiritual body of Jesus Christ,” Paul never once used the term “spiritual body” to describe the church. The only place in the entire Bible that mentions a ‘spiritual body’ is: 1 Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And the ‘spiritual body’ that is being spoken of is the resurrected body of a believer not the church! Again, Paul never used the terms “spiritual church” or “local church” to describe the church. And again, the church is not a type or picture of the “spiritual” body of Jesus Christ; it is the body of Jesus Christ! A man gets into a heap of trouble when he messes with The Book! Let’s review the facts: The terms “local body”, “local church”, and “spiritual church” can’t be found in the entire Bible. The term “spiritual body” doesn’t describe the church. And the “local body-church” is not a type or picture! Did Mr. Estep get anything right? Is Mr. Estep guilty of adding {the words: local and spiritual} to the Word of God in order to prove a false doctrine i.e. heresy?)

 

          Estep continues with his comments: “I mean (Stutters) what, what, what could the world see of the church other than this body that gets together? We are the church. But we’re not all the church. There is a spiritual body (Wrong application!) that encompasses every believer and over THAT CHURCH we have one Pastor, one Bishop.” (What church is he talking about? Does God have two churches – one earthly and the other heavenly?)

 

          “We have the bishop of the church, the apostle of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Head of the church. BUT, (“Butnegates all that came before!) for manifestations sake and for – since we deal with the physical realm and physical problems, and physical life; God makes a man the physical head and spiritual leader of the home (Wife! - wrong application!) and God makes a pastor the spirit – Look! He says that He’s the Chief Shepherd. That means, that tells me that a man who is an elder in 1 Peter Chapter 5 is an under-shepherd (No such term in the entire Bible! Estep’s adding again.) I’m not the Chief Shepherd. He’s the Chief Shepherd. BUT, I AM THE CHIEF SHEPHERD HERE!”  (Is there any need for us to comment on this blasphemy? Mr. Estep is the Chief under-shepherd? Can you think of a better example of “double-speak”?)

 

          Mr. Estep continues: “In a local church where God has given ME the AUTHORITY OVER THOSE PEOPLE, TO RULE THOSE PEOPLE, NOBODY ELSE!  (“Those People” are the brethren! Who does this man think he is?) A man, (Stumbles) a man is not a, no one else is to rule in your family but you. God has delegated that authority to you. (Loud) Nobody else is to rule! (Yells) How many heads are there in your family? (Shouting) How many heads are there on your body? How many heads should there be in this LOCAL body? (Screams) How many heads are there in the spiritual body of Jesus Christ?” There’s always one! Always one! (Do you see how it’s done? First you ADD two words [Local and Spiritual] to God’s Word. Then you use those two ADDED words to divide the church in two. And then you allow the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Head of the spiritual body while you take control of the local body! All the while you yell, shout, and scream to give your heresy emotional emphasis! The words clever, subterfuge, subversion, and seduction come to mind when we review the methodology used to subvert the brethren.)

 

            Estep goes on: (Still screaming)You’ve got one Bible, one salvation, one plan of salvation, one Spirit, One Lord, One baptism, one faith, one hope, one calling. Why in God’s Name would you have two authorities then in a local church? (Good question! The answer is there is to be only One Head of the church, local or otherwise, and there is only One Head of the body, spiritual, or otherwise!) It will not work! As, as soon as you have two authorities you have a split. (Which results in some following the true Head and others following a man!) It may not manifest itself for 4 or 5 years, (It may take that long or longer for the brethren to figure out they have been duped!) but it’s coming – unless one of the authorities backs down and usually that’s what happens to a pastor. He is pressured down and pressured down by committees or by congregational authority. (The congregation has that authority and they exercised it in Acts Chapters 6, and 15. [30 second gap in tape.] Still screaming.) Why would you allow anybody in your church to overthrow the authority of your pastor? You say: ‘well my pastor just isn’t leading right’. Then find you a pastor that you can follow! (Chapter and Verse?) Get on your knees and say: ‘God is this where you want me?’ And if God says yes, you follow him wherever he goes!” (How can we know when God says yes? Whatever happened to following the Lord Jesus Christ; according to His Holy Word, and guided by the Holy Spirit? Does the “pastorreplace everything and everybody God has set in place for us to follow?) 

 

          Estep continues with his theme: (Still screaming) “When Moses got to the Red Sea it sure didn’t look like anybody was doing right. When Gideon said we’re gonna  fight this crowd with 300 people and no gun, no rifles, no knives, no spears – 300 people – we got rid of 30,000, we’re down to 300 – Gideon looks like a fool! (What’s the point?) And there’s times that your pastor is gonna look like a fool – Honey!  (HONEY?) But you’re still supposed to follow him! (Stops screaming) If God wants you there and that’s where God wants you, you stay; you just wait for the salvation of the Lord.” (So that He can save you from your pastor?)

 

          Estep continues: “God is trying to get your attention. God is trying to show you something about  (YELLS) Listen! The whole authority up at, the whole issue up in Heaven is: Who are you going to listen to? Who are you going to follow?” (God and His Word, or a man and his opinions?)

 

          Estep continues on: “There is only two things you can follow: ‘Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh’. God is checking you all out. Are you going to walk in the spirit? If the Spirit has anointed that man to be the pastor of that church, you just shut up, like you keep telling your wife – shut up and let me lead!” (Not all of us treat our wives like Mr. Estep must treat his. Is this how Bible believing Christians are supposed to treat each other? Not according to the Scriptures! 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: What a difference the Scriptures make!)

 

          Estep continues: You just shut up and let him lead!” (The attendees in the audience are shouting amen’s in agreement! However, Mr. Estep is making the wrong application once again. He keeps comparing the pastor’s relationship to the church with a husband’s relationship with his wife. Sorry! It won’t fit, no matter how much twisting and wresting Mr. Estep tries.) Amen! Turn to John, I only got five more minutes. If there’s one, it isn’t so much the people that have overthrown the church; too many times the pastor has allowed it to happen. If a pastor just takes the authority and the power that God’s given him, and exercise it, God will work that out.” (The following Scriptures indicate just the opposite will happen: Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (You would think that Mr. Estep and his followers would fear God after reading these verses!) “God will get rid of – LOOK! In John Chapter 10, it’s 25, 26, 27. Doesn’t it say ‘I know my sheep’, I can’t remember, I’ve got so many things going through my mind.” A member of the audience reads the Scripture for him: John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:) “Who’s that talking? That’s a shepherd talking.” (WRONG! That’s the one and only Chief Shepherd talking!) Now he knows all of the sheep, amen? And spiritually all of the sheep follow Him. (Estep is Adding the word spiritually to the Word of God again! He just heard the verse read out loud and its right in front of our eyes! It says: they follow me! The word spiritually is not in the verse!) “I realize that there’s – well you say that sheep there isn’t following Him. Spiritually that sheep is following, but that sheep is walking in the flesh so the flesh is not following Him. When you look at a Christian, when a Christian sins, you’re not looking at a Christian that’s sinning; you’re looking at flesh that’s running the Christian. (Is this Humanism or is Estep just confused?) The Christian is really, truthfully the spiritual part of that man; who’s inside there saying: No, no, no, no, don’t take me. No, no, no, don’t take me, no. (Audience laughs and amen’s and then Estep yells) Right? He said ‘my sheep hear my voice’. Preacher have you got people in your church that don’t hear your voice? (Quiet spell) They ain’t sheep!(How did Estep get from the sheep following the Chief Shepherd and hearing His voice, to the sheep not hearing the voice of a hireling? And why is it that if the sheep don’t hear the voice of the hireling that “they ain’t sheep”? Once again, we have someone trying to take Jesus Christ’s rightful place in the church!)  2 Timothy 2:16-21.

 

          Estep continues with his exposition: “There are two other kinds of things that can get involved in the church. Matthew 25 goats (a reference to nationsnot people in the church.) are contrasted with sheep and Matthew 7 wolves (a reference to false prophetsnot people in the church!) in sheep’s clothing. A sheep hears your voice and will follow.” (Note the change from God’s Holy Word: John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: The Lord Jesus Christ said: my sheep hear my voice – not a sheep hears your voice”!  They are His sheep not a pastor’s sheep! Again, the Lord said: and they follow me!. not A sheep hears your voice and will follow.  Here we have a classic case of perverting the Words of God. Mr. Estep changes the words and then adds to them and then subtracts from them! Once: Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Twice: Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Three times and your out: Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Mr. Estep is playing with fire and yet he shows no fear of God when it comes to changing His words.)

 

          Estep continues with his point: “When you have somebody, I’m not talking about just one instance, I‘m talking about over a period of time, where they manifest themselves, they will not listen to you. You have somebody there who doesn’t have the qualifi; (Opps! Estep almost let the cat out of the bag. He’s judging who’s fit to be a sheep!) He doesn’t have the qualities of a sheep. Can you pastor anything but a sheep? (Is there a pastor that is anything but a sheep himself?) That Bible is a sheep manual for a shepherd!” (Does Estep give us one verse to support his contention - Of course not!) I don’t know anything about wolves. I don’t know what to feed them. God doesn’t give me wolf food. God doesn’t give me goat food. All God gives me to minister is sheep food – right?” (Audience laughs.)

 

          Estep is winding up his dissertation: “So if I’ve got those people in there, what are they really do after a time? They’re gonna be disgruntled, they’re gonna get bitter, they’re gonna (Stutters) be, be, be, become, beginning to defile others, and turning others against me. They will begin to devour the sheep. What should I do then? If I recognize somebody’s not a sheep, what should I do? I sure (unclear) man, before they get to the sheep. If I let them stay there I’m destroying my own flock!” (Whose flock is it - Estep’s or The Lord Jesus Christ’s?) “You just have to do that. There’s Biblical precedent, I’ll tell you what, tomorrow we’ll through the, we’ll go through the, the, commands to a pastor, to a leader, on Biblical discipline and how to handle it in your church. 

 

END OF SIDE 2 - TAPE THREE

 

TAPE FOUR - SIDE 1

 

          Tape Four starts with Mr. Estep talking about the Bible account of Barnabas and Paul being called, separated, and sent out, which can be found in Acts 13: 1-7.  He makes the statement: “The church and the Holy Spirit are one. When you get saved you get baptized in the Holy Spirit, every Christian got that.” (Where in the Holy Bible does it teach: “The church and the Holy Spirit are one.”? Why make these outlandish statements that can’t be backed up by Scripture?             1 Corinthians 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. When an individual gets saved they are baptized by the Spirit into the Lord Jesus Christ! Why can’t Mr. Estep get it right – just once?

 

          Estep continues: “And the very first convert  (Pure conjecture) Paul ever had is in the next six or seven verses by the name of Sergius Paulus. And then God said: ‘Paul I believe I’ve seen a change in you.’ He said: ‘I believe I’ve seen it so much, I’m going to change your name.’ And He takes his Jewish name away from him, that old Jewish name, like Jacob, and gives him a gentile name. To ever remind him of what God’s will had called him to do.” Acts 13:1  Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. 6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. We have supplied the verses in order to demonstrate the radical difference between Mr. Estep’s account of what happened and what the Scriptures declare. Mr. Estep has changed the Word of God; he has added to the Word of God; and he has put words into God’s mouth – which God never spoke! Does any of this matter? Is it enough just to proclaim that you’re a King James Bible believer? Or is it necessary for us to faithfully hold to sound Biblical teaching? Must we always rightfully divide the Word of truth? (2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.) Let us carefully examine Mr. Estep’s statements: 1. “And the very first convert Paul ever had”. Although this may be Saul’s first convert, are we to believe that for some 3 plus years since Saul’s conversion, that he never led a soul to the Lord? It’s possible, but highly unlikely. 2. And then God said: ‘Paul I believe I’ve seen a change in you.’ He said: ‘I believe I’ve seen it so much, I’m going to change your name.’ God said no such thing! We have no idea how or when or under what circumstances Saul started to use the name Paul, or when others began to call him Paul. The Bible record demonstrates this by simply declaring in Acts 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) Why change the account? Why add to the record? Why can’t Mr. Estep just let it stand just the way it is in the Holy Bible?

 

          Mr. Estep continues his dissertation: And He takes his Jewish name away from him, that old Jewish name, like Jacob, and gives him a gentile name. To ever remind him of what God’s will had called him to do. And from that point on that man is submissive to his call. I realize every once in a while that burden for the Jews slips out, and he gets out of the will of God when it does!” (At this point there are several amen’s from the audience.) Let’s get this straight: the Apostle Paul’s burden for his people, the Jews, was out of the will of God? What sayeth the Scriptures: Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: The he of that verse is Saul of Tarsus, who is also called Paul. This man was chosen of God to bear His name not only before the Gentiles, but also before “the children of Israel”. Paul’s ministry was not limited to only the Gentiles, and to teach that it was is wrong. Paul’s burden for his people was heartfelt and legitimate and he was certainly not “out of the will of God” for having it! Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Are we to believe that Paul’s sincere burden for Israel was wrong? Could Mr. Estep possibly be wrong instead of Paul?

 

          Estep continues: “Yes sir, ‘I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. You try to bypass the local church, the manifestation of the Body of Jesus Christ on this earth, and you’ll by pass God!” (Is Estep equating the ‘local’ church with Almighty God? Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Since modern day Totalitarian Pastors (Diotrephes’ descendants) are forcing believers out of the church in this age of apostasy, the Lord Jesus Christ is outside the door of the church seeking those individuals who will hear and receive Him!) 3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  

 

          Estep goes on and talks about the importance of the church and how God only works through and blesses the local church. He states: “You know what God’s building? He’s building a church. He ain’t building nothing else……… That is the main purpose of the Holy Spirit in this Dispensation; if you want to get in on what God’s doing you better get in the business of building a church. When you build a church you can build Christian families, you can build Christian character, you can build anything God wants you to build but without the church you will build nothing. ……… But you build it on the basis of the local church with a man of God, everything under the authority of that pulpit, that head of the local church and God will bless it. “That’s a real study isn’t it?  (Estep goes from the truth about God building a church and then changes that truth by adding the word local to church and then making the “man of God” the builder, the authority, and the head of that church!) “I’ll tell you, it blessed my heart, helped me out, helped me out.” (It messed him up!) I used to think that you know you could just go out and do anything, anytime you feel like doing it. God just doesn’t work that way. He keeps you and I humble by keeping us under people.” What sayeth the Scripture? Can Mr. Estep provide us with some verses to support his doctrine? Will he? Of course not! According to the Scriptures we are to humble ourselves under God not a mere sinner, no matter what title or position he may claim!   1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.                                      

 

          Estep continues: “Yes sir, we don’t have any direct line (Estep quickly catches himself before he lets the cat out of the bag and then misdirects his hearers by subtly changing the emphasis before re-introducing his personal concept.) – You know some of us are charismatic and don’t know it. You know we think, we get on the charismatic’s for having visions. But we don’t do what the pastor tells us, you know we have our own authority! (Yes we do! It’s called the King James Bible!) We’ve got a direct telephone line, you know, to God! (Estep is mocking and ridiculing those of us Bible believers, who would dare dispute his doctrine. He is deriding the Word of God with scorn and contempt!)                                                                                                                                                  

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.                                                                                                  

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.                                               Ephesians 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. (We, born again Bible believers, don’t need a pastor (or priest) to tell us what to do; we have the Holy Bible and the Holy Spirit for our Guide. We don’t need a pastor (or priest) to gain access to our God, we have the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is more than sufficient. Just for Mr. Estep’s edification: We actually do have a “direct telephone line to God” and we don’t need him or his fellow travelers in order to have access or communicate or have fellowship with our Lord!)

 

          Estep continues – still scoffing: “You know He’s telling us everyday that your preacher is doing wrong even if he isn’t.” (?) Mr. Estep gets serious again: “God would never by-pass your preacher! What would you do what would you think of God if He came to your wife and told your wife to disobey you? (What is Mr. Estep’s point?) What would you think of the duplicity, the duplicity of that? Well do you think that God is going to tell a Christian to by-pass the authority of his own pastor?” (Why is Estep asking us what we think? It doesn’t matter what we think! What does God have to say – that’s what counts!) “No sir! I’ll tell you what God will do if there’s something wrong with the pastor, God will yank him out and put another one in. Just give Him time to do it” (Notice: Mr. Estep doesn’t refer us to our authority – the King James Bible – He assumes the position of final authority and tells us what he thinks! I’ll tell you what God will do”. Well, we don’t really care about his opinion. We want to know: what saith the Scriptures!) 1 Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?   4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (According to the Holy Bible if an elder-pastor-bishop sins we are to set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church” and if two or more witnesses corroborate his sin he (the elder-pastor-bishop) is to be rebuked before all, that others [other elders-pastors-bishops] also may fear”. What could be more clear? What could possibly be more fair? Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God. The Holy Bible has a way of clearing up damnable heresies!

 

          Estep still commenting on pastoral privilege: “How did David – Why don’t you study the life of David in handling Saul? Why don’t you study the life of David in handling Absalom? Amen?” Mr. Estep is hearkening back to the first “authority[non-Biblical] that he cited in support of his “Doctrine of Submission”, the booklet: ‘The Tale of Three Kings. Estep wholeheartedly accepted the premise of the author of that booklet, that we Christians are like those kings and should conduct church policy according to David’s actions during that time. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Apostle Paul wrote the definitive guidelines, in his Epistles to the churches under the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit, on a Christian’s conduct and church policy. Pastors are not kings! And we shouldn’t be treating them as kings. We have only one King – the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

          Estep continues: “You better (stutters) you just. You just better be careful about delegated authorities. You say that authority is misusing - you let God take care of it. ‘The powers that be are ordained of God’. Since Estep hasn’t cited the verse in it’s entirety we will: Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Notice that at the beginning of the verse Paul says: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.” That means pastors too! In the context Paul is speaking about secular powers [government]. There isn’t a single reference to pastoral authority in all of Romans Chapter Thirteen. Remember: “A text without a context is a pre-text”! Why would a born again Christian use the subterfuge of a pre-text unless he wants to engage in some ‘private interpretation’? 2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

 

          Estep continues his dissertation: “You young boys out there at that home. You just better watch out what you say about the authority that brother Sam has out there. God put that man as the head of that home. You mess with him you’re messing with God! Ladies you mess with your husband you’re messing with God! Christian you mess with your pastor you’re messing with God!” (Mr. Estep is mixing up his similes again – equating a pastor’s authority as being the same as a father or a husband. He is also equating mere sinners with Almighty God again! Messing with people, even “delegated authorities”, is not the same as “messing with God”! Estep thinks too highly of people and has too little fear of God.) God will, listen! God backed Moses up to the nth degree. It didn’t matter whether Moses was right or wrong.” (Where is the Scripture to support his claim?) Genesis 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?)  Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. “It didn’t matter whether Paul was right or wrong. God backed him up. You want me to show you something else? I’m, boy, I’m enjoying myself. (Amen’s) Turn to Acts Chapter 21. If you ever get this down you’ll have the greatest (stutters) uh, understanding of where you are and where the authorities are and you’ll get under the right authority and then GOD (Screams and bangs the pulpit!) will begin to bless your life like he blessed Paul’s life.” (Loud Amen’s) Estep continuing: “Acts Chapter 21 – This is the, this is the place where Paul disobeys the Holy Spirit at least 3 times about going back to Jerusalem.” Since Estep only quotes a portion of the Scriptures, we will supply the incident in its entirety: Acts 21:1 And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the day following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 2 And finding a ship sailing over unto Phenicia, we went aboard, and set forth. 3 Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade her burden. 4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed. 6 And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again. 7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. 8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him. 9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. 10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done. Estep claimed that: Paul disobeys the Holy Spirit at least 3 times about going back to Jerusalem.” And yet an examination of the Scripture clearly indicates that Paul was told only once not to go [Verse 4]. Agabus doesn’t tell him not to go – he foretells what is going to happen to him if he does go. Paul’s friends, those who traveled with him and those of that place, didn’t command him through the Spirit,” not to go they: besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. (BESOUGHT’, besaut’. pp. of beseech. Entreated; implored; sought by entreaty.) They asked him or pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. We conclude from the above that Estep not only can’t rightly divide the word of truth – he can’t even count!   

 

          Mr. Estep continues: “Now the reason God doesn’t literally do away with Paul is that his heart’s right, he’s not going to do something immoral, he is going back to try to win his people. But he’s still out of the will of God.” (Does Mr. Estep seriously believe that being ‘out of the will of God’ is a capital offense for Christians? Is he familiar with God’s mercy? Does he know anything about God’s love towards us and His longsuffering? God doesn’t ‘do away’ with [kill] His disobedient children.) Hebrews 12:4  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. He chastens us; He rebukes us; and He scourges us. Mr. Estep should take heed to the Lord Jesus Christ’s words spoken to His disciples James and John when they spoke out of turn and wanted God to send down fire from heaven and consume [kill] the Samaritan unbelievers: Luke 9:55 Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. If the Lord wouldn’t kill the Samaritans and rebuked his disciples for wanting them dead, what makes Mr. Estep think that God just automatically kills His children when they are disobedient? The question arises: What manner of spirit is Mr. Estep?) “He wasn’t supposed to do it. He’s told three times (not true!) not to do it. But anyway he does, and even his own entourage, his own disciples – verse 12 ‘and when we heard these things’, Agabus told him ‘don’t go back’ (not true!) ‘When we heard these things both we and they of that place besought him not to go up to Jerusalem’. Now look at that. Here are the men that are following Paul. They’re under Paul’s leadership. He’s their, he’s their leader, he’s their apostle – and ‘Paul answered, what mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 ‘And when’ we heard (words not in the Bible) ‘he would not be persuaded’, we took a vote and got us a new apostle. What does it say? ‘We ceased’, and said what?, we just turned it over to God. We just let God handle the delegated authorities. (Instead of finishing the verse [14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.] Estep boldly inserts his private interpretation and again adds to the word of God.) And when they got to Rome it was Paul in chains not them.” Estep again misses the point that Agabus did not forbid him to go to Jerusalem and his companions besought him not to go and tried to persuade him not to go, but they did not, under the auspices of the Holy Spirit, command him not to go up to Jerusalem. The people who traveled with Paul were not his puppets and he was not their “leader” or their “apostle”. They were his companions. [Acts 19:29] They were his friends. [Acts 27:3] They were his brethren! [Acts 20:32] Paul never endorsed the clergy – laity setup, and he never made much of himself or lorded it over the brethren.

 

          There is another pause in the tape and then Estep proceeds: “Yes, it’s the do order. The reason God has left you here Christian, is to win people to Jesus Christ, to be after sinners, but (Notice the downgrading of the importance of soul winning and the emphasis on Estep’s favorite issue – “pastoral authority” or following a man instead of God and His Word! Watch out for butsthey almost always negate what preceded them. ) there’s an issue in Heaven over who will you follow? In the case of Job, the Devil was saying – he won’t follow You under these conditions and under these circumstances. That’s the issue in your life. If God puts a man over you - (Notice how Estep cleverly switches from Job following God to Christians following a man, as if they are the same. Estep then stutters and stumbles on) did you ever ask yourself why did God put you under somebody you don’t like? (Amen’s) Do you think it would be possible that the Devil might have said to Him: if You put him under that man he won’t obey You?” (Once again Estep is appealing to base Humanistic reasoning by asking people to:ask yourself”, and “Do you think it would be possible”, and “the Devil might have said” - instead of pointing them to the Scriptures to find out what God thinks and what God says!) And the Lord said: ‘I think he’s my friend. I think he’ll do what I ask him to do’. (Estep is putting words in God’s mouth [again] in order to reinforce his false doctrine! Where in Scripture do we have God saying I think? Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? ) Doesn’t the Lord know the end from the beginning? (If Estep truly believes what he just said why does he allude to God thinking that someone will do something? or God thinking that someone is His friend? God doesn’t think He knows what a person will do He knows what they are going to do. Our God doesn’t think that a person is His friend He knows whether they are His friend or not! He is Omniscient after all!) Doesn’t He know what He’s doing? Don’t, doesn’t your child, when your training your child up know that some of the situations you put that child into is to teach that child some things, even though they might not like that situation?” 

 

          Estep continues: “We send a child off to school; it doesn’t matter whether the child likes the teacher or not does it? Huh? (The audience affirms with: ‘Amen, that’s right’) Well I’m gonna find me a new church. And you’re child says: well find me a new school daddy, cause I don’t like my teacher anymore than you don’t like the pastor.” (Loud Amen’s throughout discourse.) (Huh? What does sending a Christian’s child off to a Godless government school have to do with God, the church, a pastor, or the anything else that is good and wholesome according to the Holy Scriptures? The child may not like the teacher because she/he teaches against: creation, marriage, parental authority, purity, chastity, holiness and the truth. The child may not like the teacher because she/he is fully supporting: sodomites, abortion, pre-marital sex, feminism, displacing parental authority, evolution, socialism, existentialism, agnosticism, atheism, materialism, pagan observances, uniformity, and Humanism [the official religion of the government schools]. Could it be that the child may have more sense than his parents?) “You destroy you’re ability to lead when you won’t follow the delegated authorities in your life.” If you follow Mr. Estep’s advice you will destroy your testimony, offend both the lost and your Christian brethren, and probably lose your children to the corrupting influence of the government “school”.

 

          Estep compares modern day pastors to Moses: “A whole generation of Jews died in the wilderness with no victories, no progress, no spoils, and no reward because when the spies went into the land and came back they wouldn’t follow the man of God.” Numbers 14:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. 8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. 10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. 11  And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them. Numbers 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: 24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. Deuteronomy 1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: 27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. 29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 30 The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; 31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place. 32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, 33 Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day. 34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying, 35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, 36 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he hath trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the LORD. What shall we say? The above three citations of Scripture should settle the matter for real Bible believers. Estep claimed: “A whole generation of Jews died in the wilderness with no victories, no progress, no spoils, and no reward because when the spies went into the land and came back they wouldn’t follow the man of God.”  The testimony of Scripture says otherwise. A whole generation of Jews was not allowed into the Promised Land because they refused to believe God; rebelled against the Lord and His commandments; and would not follow Himnot ‘the man of God’! When will the twisting and wresting and taking things out of context end?

 

          Estep continues: “Eventually Joshua and Caleb went in, and every one of those rascals died in the wilderness. And until you subject yourself to every authority that God places over you, you’re in the wilderness and you’re never gonna get out, and you’re just gonna be going around in circles. (Amen’s) That’s the wilderness journey for a Christian. (Amen’s) No rewards. No spoils. And no victory. No victory. (Yells) No victory!Estep puts forth a very clever simile – i.e. “the wilderness journey for a Christian”. However, it is a distortion of the Holy Scriptures that has no basis in the truth!

 

          Estep proceeds with his personal testimony: “Turn to 1 Corinthians Chapter 12. I am really trying to help you. I know exactly where you are. I have set where you set. 1 Corinthians 12, I have taken matters into my own hands and, and hurt myself and my family too often. And it’s taken a lot of lumps and a lot of bumps to finally get my attention, (Stutters) as, as, as far as this thing of submission goes and that God places us in subjection to men – to test us and to prove us”. (Does Mr. Estep produce a single Scripture to support his hypothesis? Of course not! Most of the testing and proving in the Scriptures is about choosing between good and evil; or about following either God or men; or about following either the Scriptures or men. Most of the time that God tests us or proves us is by the use of evil men tempting us or drawing us away from God or His Word. However, we can be sure that God doesn’t use pastors, elders, or bishops to test us or to prove us. Pastors-elders-bishops are here to edify the body of Christ, not prove it!) “The trial of your faith, folks what is faith but doing what God says”. (Not according to the Scriptures! Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Once again Estep is wrong, wrong, wrong! When will he ever get it right?)

 

          Estep continues: “And listen folks, if God did it, if God told you to do what you like He would be yielding to your flesh. The very fact that He always leads you in the direction that’s away from what you like is proof positive He wants nothing to do with your flesh. ‘The flesh is enmity with God. It’s not subject to the law of God.’  (Estep misquotes the Scriptures again. Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. It’s the carnal mind, which controls the flesh, which is at enmity with God!)

 

          Estep proceeds with his dissertation: “Don’t expect God to put you in situations that you physically like. Now I’m not saying that God will not supply the need of the flesh, obviously He will or we’d die. I realize that, but you’re to be careful about judging; Paul said ‘we have put no confidence in the flesh’. Misquote again! Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.  A fairly long blank space occurs on the tape at this point.

 

          Estep is commenting on something that must have been said during the blank space: “If it works with you – fine, thank God for it and don’t write a book. (Laughter and loud amen’s) It may not work for anybody else, and you may get somebody else out of the will of God trying to get them to do that.” Estep then goes on to talk about the mission program that his church uses and points out that he tried 3 or 4 others that didn’t work before adopting the one he uses. He then comments: “Boy the first ten years of your ministry you just find out what doesn’t work. (Laughter and loud amen’s) Isn’t that right brother Allen? (Another authority?) That’s about what you find out the first ten years is what doesn’t work. And about the time you find out what does work you’re too old to implement it. (Laughter) That’s good for you because then you’ll let God do it. See the first ten years man, you’re just so full of energy and zeal, man you’re just implementing everything, and (makes a crashing sound) everything is caving in, and people are leaving, and you’re depressed, and you’re saying: what’s going on here? And God’s just trying to teach you, just trying to teach you.

 

          Estep continues: “Oh my, I’m gonna finish up with what I told you I would do yesterday. Turn to 1 Corinthians 5- this business of discipline. As there is discipline in the home, there absolutely has to be and must be discipline in the church. This is what’s neglected in America. If a man is a good giver, the chances are he, he can get away with about anything in the average local church; or if he’s a deacon, or if he’s important, or if he’s been there before the pastor’s there. Let me encourage you to do this young men, if you haven’t already done it. If you’re not a pastor and God’s called you to pastor I would encourage you to really pray about starting your own church. All you’ll be doing in taking one 99% of the time is inherit some problems you don’t know are there and you don’t know how to handle.” (Loud amen’s and laughter from audience and Estep) Estep comments: “The voice of experience is sufficient. I have done both. I have taken a church and I have started one. And I have taught my men to start them. Brother Richards started one out in Montana. Brother, brother, uh, uh, brother Caldwell – he’s not out of my church, but brother Caldwell started one down there. (Why does a pastor-elder-bishop make the claim: my men and my church? It’s God’s church and those men are His servants!) It is, it is different, because you start small you know and you don’t have anybody, but you have the advantage that you were there before anybody else. And you write your own Constitution.” Why is it necessary for a pastor-elder-bishop to write his own Constitution before any other Christians are present?  Why do we Christians need a Constitution? We have the Holy Bible – which is supposed to be our only Constitution; our final authority in all matters of faith and doctrine. Why must we go to Caesar [with his constitution] for his permission to exist and place ourselves under Caesar’s control? 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. “And nobody can say, you know, that they’ve been a charter member longer than you. And you just, you just have it so much better really.” What manner of Christianity is this? Are we so petty and concerned about controlling the brethren and are we so divided that we can’t work together? Must the pastor decide all issues for us ahead of time in order to avoid discussion, disputes, and possible dissension? How about checking out the Book of Acts Chapters 6 and 15 and see how the apostles, elders and the brethren handled matters.

 

          Estep continues: “Our church is ten years old. We just uh, uh, ordained our first deacon. Amen? De-can, some call him de-con. (Loud laughter) - Why are the Christians who are attending this meeting laughing? What’s so funny? Are they demeaning another Christian because he’s a deacon?  Uh, one deacon, and I waited for 2 years. He’s worked for us for two years. He’s on a salary. He does nothing but the physical labor around our church, and the buildings, and the grounds. That’s all he does. He doesn’t teach anything, he has no spiritual duties other than his own Christian life – He is a deacon. He does all the physical things just like Acts Chapter 6 says he’s to do. To limit a deacon’s job to just “physical” labor only – with no spiritual duties is not Biblical. Estep’s personal concept of a deacon is typical of the manner in which he continually takes things out of context in the Holy Scriptures. Acts 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. Mr. Estep privately interprets the above verses to mean: that a deacon is limited to physical labor only. And yet only two verses down from Acts 6:6 we have: Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Real Bible believers are very familiar with the story of how Stephen (a mere deacon) preached a fiery sermon condemning the religious leaders in Jerusalem and was killed (martyred) for his faith. How about another deacon: Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Just one more example: Acts 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. We have cited the entire story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch to point out how absurd Mr. Estep’s private interpretation of a deacon’s job being limited to only physical labor. Both Stephen and Philip were well versed in the Scriptures and were led of the Holy Spirit and they preached and testified and even performed miracles through the Spirit. Quite different from being just glorified dish washers, waiters, chauffeurs, and gofers!   “And he does everything I tell him to do. When he’s driving my car, I say slowdown he slows down. I say speed up he speeds up. He does everything I tell him to do. I wouldn’t have a deacon that did any thing less than that. Amen?” (And so we now have the deacon serving the pastor instead of the Lord and the congregation!)

 

          Estep states: Okay. You say well boy you sound like you’re a dictator. Yes sir, I just about am, but you’ve got to realize that I’m also – (Jumps) the head of every man is Christ. (Stutters) I’m not, I’m not without authority. I have authority over men. Not only that, just to help you out, I’m a member of Shady Acres Baptist Church. Jack Woods is my pastor. I joined that church one night in camp meeting down there because I realized here I was trying to tell people they need to have some authority and I had none over me. So I joined Shady Acres Baptist Church cause he’s my pastor. When I need counseling, when I need help, I have a man to go to.” (Notice how Estep admits to being a Dictator and then quickly jumps away from the admission - partially quotes a Scripture - and then returns to justify his heretical position. Does any one in the meeting truly understand what this man is claiming? How can any true Bible believer ever support this kind of false teaching? In justifying his claim, Estep states that Jack Woods is his pastor [Read - final authority]. The question arises: Who is Jack Woods’ pastor, i.e. final authority? Some where’s down the line, according to Estep’s teaching, there will have to be a man who will be the final authority! Could that possibly be the Pope? Estep’s church is in Ohio; Jack Woods’ church was in Texas. How could Jack Woods properly supervise [control] Greg Estep, since the two churches are so far apart?) Estep continues: “Man I, I’m not going to be (Jumps) there isn’t anybody down here smart enough to figure this stuff out all by yourself. (Amen’s) (this stuff Is that what we are to call doctrine these days?) You say: Oh well, I’ve got the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Help yourself man. Help yourself. (Under these circumstances - sarcasm has no place, in consideration of what is being taught here.) You’ll find God gives you men to help you. He don’t talk to you directly.” (Once again, for the umpteenth time, Estep fails to supply one Scripture for his false teachings. 1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. You’ll find” Where are we to find? How is it that the Holy Scriptures’ continually contradict Mr. Estep’s claims, assumptions, and teachings? Who are we to follow – a mere sinner or the Holy Bible? For real genuine Bible believers it’s no contest! According to the Scriptures we don’t need men to teach us since we have the Holy Spirit, who can do the job quite well, thank you. And although we can’t audibly hear God speaking to us, we have the Holy Scriptures through which we hear God’s words which come directly from His mouth. Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. “He don’t talk to you directly.” Sorry Greg, our God talks to us directly. And He does it through His Holy Scriptures. And He’s given us the Holy Spirit so that we won’t be seduced by men like you.) You’ll wind up like Oral Roberts with a prayer tire if you, if that ever happened with you.” (Audience is laughing) This whole discourse is not humorous – it’s blasphemous!

 

          Estep picks up where he left off: “1 Corinthians Chapter 5 – Here is a discipline, here is a problem in the local church. There is a problem here, this man has committed a moral sin and it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about immorality or heresy. In both cases, there’s two cases in the Pauline Epistles: one here with a man who’s immorally wrong and some other men, Hymenaeus and Alexander, who were doctrinally wrong and Paul did both to this, ended up doing both to the same, turned them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh “So, regardless of whether it’s a practical problem or a doctrinal problem, you handle them basically the same. Okay? You got that? ” What Estep is trying to say is that Paul treated moral sin and heresy the same. However there is one very distinct difference in the way that Paul handled these two sins. In the case of the moral sin he didn’t identify the guilty party by name, whereas in the case of heresy he readily identifies the guilty parties by name, Hymenaeus and Alexander. We believe it would behoove us to follow Paul’s example and not gossip about a brother’s or a sister’s personal sins, yet on the other hand we should not hesitate to identify, by name, heretics wherever they are and whomsoever they may be.

 

          Estep continues: “Alright. The priority of, of discipline, verse 2, he said, well he talks about the fornication in verse 1, the problem. Then he said: ‘ye are puffed up and have not rather mourned that he that hath done this deed must be taken, might be taken away from you’. 1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. (Why not quote some verses instead of talking about them or quoting only parts of them? And why not read the verses if he can’t quote them accurately?) “Number 1: The priority of discipline. God is gonna go no further with you or your church until you take care of the problem. (Scripture?) He said they were, they, they were rather than mourning, they were puffed up. I mean evidently some things had happened and some things good were going on and they were just emphasizing the positive and just neglecting the negative They weren’t going to take care, they weren’t, they weren’t gonna, you know all we’re gonna talk about the good that’s happened But there was this problem there. And Paul said the priority here is not, not what the good things that are going on – thank God for those, but he said you need to take care of this problem.” Where does Mr. Estep get his ideas? In the entire fifth chapter of 1 Corinthians there isn’t one mention of good things or positive things going on. Estep has evidently conjured up on his own, without Scriptural support, a scenario quite different than the Scriptural record. Why were these brethren “puffed up” [proud]? They certainly wouldn’t have been proud of the fornication that was going on. Were they “puffed up” [proud] of their tolerance of this sinner and his sin?)

 

          Estep refers to an Old Testament example to bolster his position: “Alright. Wasn’t it good that God took Israel across the Red Sea? (Across?) Wasn’t it good that God led them eventually across the Jordan River into the Promised Land? Sure it was a great thing. God took them up to Jericho and they defeated Jericho with the power of God, what a wonderful thing. And then a man sinned. (Why not site the Scripture? Joshua 7:1-26.) One man in the congregation sinned. And then what happened? Buddy it comes to a stand still right there. Achan, you go no further until you take care of that problem. The priority is not to overlook it; or try to by pass it; or try to get around it. God won’t let you do it.” Jumping to the Old Testament to establish a New Testament doctrine is quite common amongst the cults. However, Bible believing Christians know that New Testament church doctrine should come primarily from the Pauline Epistles – which are addressed specifically to churches. The idea that if there’s sin in the church that God brings the church to a stand still right there” or “God won’t let you do it” is contrary to all of church history. Mr. Estep is either ignorant of church history or he is too blind to see that: every church that has ever been established since the end of the apostolic age up to the late 1800’s has eventually Apostatized! God has not prevented one of them from departing from the faith! The brethren must always be on guard against leaven. For: Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? It is the responsibility of the whole church, not just the pastor, to constantly be on guard against false teaching, false doctrine and heresy. If we fail to keep our guard up we will go into Apostasy. During nearly 2000 years of church history there have been no exceptions!  

 

          Estep continues on: “When you have a problem in your church and it’s beginning to affect other people like it was this, this, he said that the gentiles are talking about this thing. It’s commonly reported that there’s fornica – When it gets to the point where it’s out in the open, you must deal with it. I’ll tell you what preacher; if you got any sense you’ll deal with it before it ever gets out in the open. (Just exactly how is this to be done? How can a pastor-elder-bishop prevent these kinds of sins occurring in a church?) “They had waited far too long to handle the problem. Amen? Alright, the power of discipline -Chapter 5 verse 4: 1 CORINTHIANS 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ (Jumps)You have the power, the authority, the right to do it! (Slams podium) People are (garbled word) say:  well we don’t want to do the wrong thing. Ssshhhhh (Bangs podium again) Shut up and do what God’s given you the power to do. If this man is, has done a wrong thing and people are talking about it – You need to handle it. You need to take care of it. (At this point Estep veers off into his own personal discourse on how to discipline children – the context being that a pastor-elder-bishop has the power and authority to discipline wayward brethren in the church just like a father has the power and authority to discipline his children. Since we have commented on this many times before we will just say: Estep is using the wrong simile again and is failing to rightly divide the word of truth. Disciplining a sinning brother or sister in Christ is the job of the whole church not just the pastor-elder-bishop! ) If your child, if your child disobeys you, you just don’t that is the, that’s the curse of Christianity. A kid’s gotta do it 15 times before momma and daddy finally whips that kid. I’ll tell you what you’ve done. You’ve taught that kid he can do it 14 times before he’s gonna get a whipping.     

 

          Estep continues with his advice: “You just go right ahead. You train your child to do wrong – I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna train him that he can get away with it 3 times, before I finally blow up and nail him. (Yells) Amen? (Amen’s follow) I mean if he knows it’s wrong, and you’ve explained to him fully and he fully understands that it’s wrong, then he deserves to be punished after the first disobedience.” (Estep is veering off of the subject of church discipline and goes into a personal dissertation on his version of child discipline. What does this have to do with church discipline?) “And when you try to circumvent or by pass it I guarantee you God will not let you. I’ll tell you what God will do – God will stir that kid up and he’ll just keep right on doing it.” (Instead of I’ll tell you what God will do why doesn’t Estep tell us what God has to say on the matter? We aren’t interested in Greg Estep’s opinions – we want to know what saith the Scriptures? Is Mr. Estep really serious about God stirring a kid up to be rebellious to his parents? Does our God cause people to sin? Does he stir people up to go against His Word? Does He cause people to be disobedient?) And the, and the Devil’s up there saying: ‘He’s disobeying You. And the Lord says: ‘Shut up now, sooner or later this guy is going to get back in the will of God here.’ (Once again we are treated to some more fables about imaginary conversations between the Lord and Satan) “What a, what a travesty of authority. Children are disobedient to parents, that’s the prophecy of the last days and it’s a curse of Christianity. And it’s the curse of the pulpit that it happens in pastor’s families. I’m not saying a pastor’s perfect. (Excusing a pastor’s conduct again.) A lot of times when the preacher is up preaching, unfortunately with a, with a pastor, he’s in the pulpit when his kids’ disobeying in the pew and it’s momma that has to take care of it sometime and she’s not really the one that’s supposed to take care of it.” (Why not? Is the disciplining of children the sole duty and responsibility of a father? Scripture?) “That doesn’t give you an excuse. It doesn’t bother me a bit in my services to have my men take their kids out the back door and whip their bottoms and bring them back in. (Amen’s) I rejoice in it. ‘folly is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him’. (Another misquote - Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.) I just think to myself – that kid’s a little wiser. (Laughter & Amen’s) He’s a little wiser. It’s good. It ought to be done in love; it ought to be done in truth; it ought to be done in righteousness. Before, before you train the kid to do it 3 times before you’ll do anything about it, you train him to do wrong and then by the, by the, it, it, and then, and then you don’t you don’t get to the point where you’re so angry and so mad that you brutalize the kid.”

 

          Estep proceeds: “The power of discipline; you have the power - do it! (Yells) if somebody in your church is ah, gossiping; if somebody in your church is fornicating; if somebody in your church is drinking; you take, you handle it! (Yells) You go to them! (Continues Yelling) You have the power – Do it!” [Screaming] – (According to 1 Corinthians Chapter 5, Verse 4 - discipline is to be administered by the whole churchnot just the pastor-elder-bishop.) “People just hope and pray that it will go away. And usually by the time they get around to handling it, they no longer have to handle just one person, they have to handle a group of people” (While Estep is trying to make his point, someone out in the audience is talking loud enough to be heard by all and Estep claps his hands twice to get the perpetrator to be quite!) “who have been caught up in this man’s sin. (Scripture?) What does sin do to a man? Sin blinds a man. And the works of the flesh are heresy. Uh, uh, uh the Bible said about a heretic – he’s subverted in he’s, in that he sinneth.” (Another misquote!) Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. Heresy’s not the problem with a man when you deal with heresy.” (What? Is Estep serious? After misquoting the verse [after only giving a partial quote] that deals with a heretic Estep goes on to misinterpret the passage! ) “Its sin that caused the blindness that brought about the heresy. You don’t - Forget about the heresy, that’s just a little limb on the tree, you need to get to the root.” (What is this - Psychobabble or just a little heresy itself? Over the course of these four tapes we have heard Mr. Estep encouraging his listeners to ignore a pastor-elder-bishop’s Scriptural requirements [pages 13, 18-19 this document]; Estep has also advised his listeners to ignore the Scriptural warning about a little leaven [page 11 this document]; and now Mr. Estep is instructing his listeners to “forget about the heresy”. No thanks – Let’s see what the Scriptures have to say shall we? In addition to Titus 3:10-11 [cited above], we have the following Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. Are we to: Forget about the heresy? As instructed by Mr. Estep? Not according the Holy Scriptures! We are supposed to reject all heretics after the first and second admonition; we are to treat heresy the same as all of the rest of the heinous sins listed in Galatians Chapter 5 – Can you imagine Mr. Estep saying: ‘Forget about murder? Or how about: ‘Forget about adultery, fornication, idolatry, witch-craft, etc. - Peter warned: “that there shall be false teachers among you” – Beware!

 

          Estep continues: “And the root is some sin of disobedience. (Could Mr. Estep Be more specific? How about supplying some Scripture to support his personal opinion?) Somewhere in there he’s disobedient to God; disobedient to his pastor; or the woman is disobedient to her husband. Get to the root! (Screams) Don’t fool with the branches! (Still Screaming – Amen’s) And don’t let it, don’t let it spoil other people. Don’t wait until its spread all throughout your church and the, you gotta draw the whole church in on it to get the thing straightened out. Cause it will be a rough ride for a while if you have to it that way.” Which is exactly the way that Paul instructed the Corinthian church to deal with the fornicating sinner –when ye are gathered together,’ the entire church is supposed to deal with the problem not just the “leader” [pastor, elder, bishop]. Why does Mr. Estep continually instruct his hearers to do just the opposite of what the Scriptures tell us to do?)

 

          Estep continues with his point: “It’s better, you just, you just, I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what God will do for you.” (We want to know what God has to say [In the Scriptures] about what He’ll do, not what Mr. Estep thinks God will do!) “If you promise God that you’ll handle problems when they come up, in a Biblical manner,” (Here we have the classic case of Fundamentalism – Instead handling problems according to the Scriptures we have: “handle problems …… in a Biblical manner- Whatever that means. In a “Biblical manner” can mean almost anything. All cults believe that they are doing things in a “Biblical manner”. They just aren’t obeying God and doing things according to the Scriptures.) God will then begin to expose the problems early. If you tell God: God I want this church to be, to be your bri (Ooppps! Mr. Estep almost let the cat out of the bag again! He almost called the “Localchurch the Bride of Christ! If Estep confessed to that, he no longer could claim to be the head of the “Localchurch, since he has already graciously allowed the Lord Jesus Christ the Headship of the “spiritual” body and the Bride of Christ.) a picture of your bride – clean, without spot, without wrinkle. If you’ll show me where the wrinkles are and you’ll show me where the spots are I’ll remove them.” (The foregoing demonstrates that Estep is trying to establish a religious system that has a Dictator [pastor-elder-bishop] at its head and a benevolent form of Fascism for its foundation. This perverted form of Christianity teaches that the “preacher” should seek out and prevent sin in the church before it even occurs. And after the sin and sinner are identified, the “preacher” has the power and authority from God to root out and remove all of the spots and wrinkles in the church. Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. The church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. He cleans it by “the washing of water by the word”. He is the One who is going to present it to Himself! Mr. Estep’s false teaching seeks to displace the Written Word, the Holy Ghost, and the Lord Jesus Christ in the church with a mere sinnera man [pastor-elder-bishop]!

 

          Estep continues: “I’ll believe God - (Jumps) Listen! When a woman, when a woman committed adultery in the Old Testament how did God reveal it? There was a test; the spirit of jealousy would come upon that man and that man would take that woman down to the priest, wouldn’t he? Amen. Well that’s, (stutters) it, you, that spirit will come upon you. He’ll let you know about things.(Estep is now claiming that the spirit of jealousy that came upon a suspicious husband in the Old Testament comes upon pastors, and that self same spirit will “let you know things”. Oral Roberts couldn’t do it any better! The very idea that pastors are going to get some special revelation from the spirit of jealousy concerning people sinning in the church is patently absurd! What kind of “things” will be revealed to the pastor? The simile is wrong. The application is wrong. This teaching is false and can only lead to all sorts of abuses of the brethren in the church. Estep then quickly jumps from the topic again!) “Did you know what my little boy used to say to me? How’d you know I was doing that daddy? (Laughter) He just could never get away with anything.” (Estep is trying, once again, to compare the pastor to a father and the brethren [read laity] to ignorant children! What has this to do with the ‘spirit of jealousy’? That had to do with a husband – not a father! Estep can’t keep his similes straight!) “God was always exposing him. Why? Because God knew that I’d whip the tar out of him and, and, correct him and get him to do right. (Does Bible correction always mean beating your child?) But if I wasn’t prone to do that – you have the power to do it, do it. You have the right to do it, do it.” From Estep’s anecdote are we to believe that a pastor-elder-bishop has the power and authority to beat the brethren, as a father might beat his son? The simile doesn’t work. The entire premise is perverse and without Scriptural support!

 

          Estep returns 1 Corinthians 5: “The purpose – Verse 5: ‘to deliver such a one to Satan to, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.’ (Why not read the verse in context?) There is, there is help here for the person who has committed the sin. Over in 1Timothy 5, which we’ll get to in just a second it says: ‘them that sin rebuke before all that others may learn’. (Again, Estep misquotes the Scriptures! 1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. We provide the verse in context to demonstrate, once again, how Mr. Estep continually misquotes Scripture and then takes it out of context in order to support his false teachings. It’s not ‘them that sin rebuke before all that others may learn’. Wrong word! Its: Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. The word is fear notlearn’! A word of caution – A text without a context is a pretext! In the context the ‘them’ is in reference to elders, not the brethren in general. The contextual teaching would be: Don’t receive accusations against elders [pastors-bishops] unless there are at least 2 or 3 witnesses to support an accusation. If the accusation is proven to be true, the elder-pastor-bishop is to be rebuked before all [the church] in order that other [pastors-elders-bishops] also may fear! Paul then charges that: Verse 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. It is clear that in observing these things the church shouldn’t think too highly of the sinning elder-pastor-bishop and cut him some slack because of his position in the church. There are to be no favorites; no preferences; no politicking on behalf of “the man of God”, “the Lord’s anointed”, or “God’s authority in the church.” Pastors-elders-bishops who sin are to be rebuked. They are not immune from being punished. They are not above the rest of their brethren. They are just men after all.  Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Ah, what a vast difference between the demeanor of the truly great men of God that: “turned the world upside down”, and the apostates of today who are turning the churches upside down; causing Christians to stumble; and destroying the faith of the brethren!

 

          Estep proceeds with his dissertation: “Some discipline will help the Individual, some discipline will help somebody else, but all discipline will help somebody. (Scripture?) Sometime it won’t help the person your disciplining. Now look here in 1 Corinthians chapter 5. Get this, get this, get this – verse 7: ‘Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump. That’s the purpose – it’s for, it’s for you to be clean. Whether he ever gets right or not, you want the assembly, the people, the congregation to be clean. He said purge out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. (Starts to yell.) Look! Look preacher, if God didn’t stop at sacrificing his own precious Son for your good, why would you stop at sacrificing a fornicator for the church’s good?”  (Just exactly how is a pastor-elder-bishop to go about “sacrificing” one of the brethren? Church discipline must be carried out by the entire church not just the pastor-elder-bishop. 1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: In this Epistle, as in almost all of Paul’s Epistles, the Apostle Paul is speaking to the church (the whole congregation) not just to the pastor-elder-bishop. [I & II Timothy and Titus are Paul’s Pastoral Epistles – addressed to individual servants of God.]. The Scriptures clearly state: 1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; and again: 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, How is it that Mr. Estep holds the office of a pastor-elder-bishop, and yet is incapable of rightly dividing the word of truth? How can one of God’s “anointed” be so blind that he can not discern or understand the simplest Scriptural principles? – Who is speaking and who is he speaking to?) Estep goes on: (Still yelling.) “Because he tithes? What is your Motive, the love of Money? And your church is rooted in evil. Let the, listen, let the church go broke. You’d be better off with the church going broke and bringing glory to God and being clean, than to have money and be rooted in evil.”

 

          Estep continues: (Still yelling.) “Some people just say – I just, I just don’t know how to go to them. It doesn’t matter wha, wha, you can go to them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and His power. ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’. (Taken in context – this quote has nothing to do with throwing the brethren out of the church. 3 John: 9-11) If he’s told you to do it and given you the power to do it, you can do it. It’s like people telling you, you can’t (Jumps) I just don’t, I just can’t witness. Oh don’t tell me that, You can do what God gives you the power to do, and if God’s given you the authority in your home or the authority in your church, you have the power of discipline. That’s a Big IF! What if God hasn’t given the pastor-elder-bishop that kind of power and authority? What if the pastor-elder-bishop is usurping that power? What if they are trying to displace The Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God’s Holy Word in the church? Then what?)  Estep continues on: (Still yelling.) “You can do it. Now I realize somebody else in your church can’t do it. God hasn’t invested the authority or power in them.” Let’s check out the verses: 1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. How is it that Mr. Estep, who at the time of this lesson was both a pastor and the head of a Bible Institute and Seminary, was ignorant of the use of the pronouns ye, you [plural] and thee, thou, thy, thine [singular] in the King James Bible? The King James Bible translators never used the word ye in the singular case. Every time the word ye show’s up in the King James Bible, it is always used to denote a plural pronoun. YE, pronoun. The nominative plural of the second person, of which thou is the singular. But the two words have no radical connection. Ye is now used only in the sacred and solemn style. In common discourse and writing, you is exclusively used. But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified. 1 Corinthians 6.  YOU, pronoun Yu. You has been considered as in the plural only, and is so treated in the Saxon grammar. But from the Belgic dialect, it appears to be in the singular as well as the plural, and our universal popular usage, in applying it to a single person with a verb in the singular number, is correct. Yourself is in the singular number. 1. The pronoun of the second person, in the nominative or objective case. In familiar language, it is applied to an individual, as thou is in the solemn style. In the plural, it is used in the solemn style in the objective case. He that despiseth you, despiseth me. Luke 10. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.  In the entire 5th Chapter of the Book of 1 Corinthians, the word ye [plural] is used seven times; and the words you, your, yourselves [plural] are used six times. There isn’t a thee, thou, thy, thine [singular] in any of the thirteen Verses! In other words – The instructions given here by the apostle Paul cannot possibly be to an individual pastor-elder-bishop. The instructions must be to the whole church!  Just a little knowledge about The Old English” in a King James Bible can clear up any misconceptions held by a false teacher who is trying to convince the brethren that he knows what he is talking about!

 

          The fact is that 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 is addressed to the whole congregation i.e. the entire church. And the whole church, “when ye are gathered together, was to be involved in disciplining a sinning brother (or sister) not just a (pastor-elder-bishop). The only way someone can support this unscriptural perversion is if they have a personal agenda to fulfill and are unconcerned about “rightly dividing the word of truth”, that is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Estep finishes up his point: Just like somebody’s not to discipline your children for you, that’s your power. That’s your authority.” No it’s not: Just like, it’s not the same! For the umpteenth time – A (pastor-elder-bishop) is not our father! He’s just another sheep! He’s not supposed to replace God Almighty in His church!

 

          Estep Continues: (Still Yelling) “It’s important. It’s for the whole group and it will sometimes help the individual that you are disciplining. It’s for the whole group’s benefit! So it must be right? Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.. Christians don’t need ‘benefactors’ and it is certain that (pastors-elders-bishops) are not to aspire to those positions. Estep finishes up: (Softer) “Eventually this man, this man gets right in 2 Corinthians. (Yelling again) But that really wasn’t the issue; whether he got right or not. The issue was that you might be a new lump and that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. That he won’t lose all his rewards and get all fouled up. Not talk, not talking about security. The guy isn’t lost, ain’t talking about that. You always interpret the difficult with the easy. (Scripture?) And the easy is whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. He’s saved. It ain’t talking’ about salvation; amen?”

 

          Estep proceeds: “The punishments, the punishments – Matthew 18. These are the orders of the punishments. Hi brother Jones (Laughter). Yeah, amen brother (More laughter – Estep joins in). Matthew Chapter 18. I’m glad you said that brother Danny, not me. I live too close to him. (Laughter). There is a orderly fashion of Biblical discipline that God has given us. In Matthew 18 – some of you say well, uh, uh this is before the church begins. Yes, but its not before the local church begins. There are local churches clear back in the Old Testament.” The words: local church, church or churches don’t show up once in the entire Old Testament! Israel is referred to ‘the church’ just once in the entire New Testament; when Steven, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, refers to Israel as “the church in the wilderness”. The fact is there weren’t local churches (plural) clear back in the Old Testament”. Mr. Estep is trying to prop up his heresy of dividing God’s church, which He purchased with His Own Blood, into two churches, one local (physically on earth – with a man as its head) and the other spiritual (residing in Heaven –  with the Lord Jesus Christ as its Head). So if he can produce local churches (plural) in the Old Testament he believes that will bolster his false doctrine i.e. God has more than one church! But what saith the Scripture? Paul wrote in reference to this: 1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Just how are we to rightly divide the Word of God here according to the Scriptural principals laid down in the Holy Bible? Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Steven says that Israel was the church in the wilderness. Paul writes that these things were our examples; and that all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition. It should be clear to any real Bible believer that God’s New Testament church has a lot in common with the nation of Israel in the wilderness. Just as the Nation of Israel was called out of Egypt (a type of the world), God’s church is called out of the world. Just as Israel was tempted and tried in the wilderness to prove them, God’s church has been tempted and tried to prove it. Just as the Jews suffered in the wilderness from the elements and enemies without and within the camp, most Christians have suffered from the same. If we born again believers were wise we would pay special attention to what happened to them and learn from their sins; their lack of faith, and their failures. Estep is wrong once again when he claims: “There are local churches clear back in the Old Testament”. Only once in the entire history of the nation of Israel was it possible for it to be called, or referred to as, ‘the church’; and that was  when God called them out of Egypt and they were all gathered together in one place.

 

          Estep continues: “Talks about Israel being the church in the wilderness. Any congregation of people gathered together for God’s purpose is a church; whether it’s in the Old Testament or the New Testament. It’s an assembly, assembling together. It may not be the body of Jesus Christ - the spiritual, baptized, sealed body – I understand all that. But we’re talking about the problems of a local independent bunch of physical folks. We ain’t got any problems spiritually. We’re all seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We’re talking about the physical problems that come to a physical church and how to handle them.”  (Mr. Estep’s definition of a church couldn’t possibly hold up to a Scriptural examination. Estep is still desperately trying to split God’s church up into the spiritual body and the physical body. Christ died for only one body. Only one church was purchased with God’s Blood, not two! The church has only One Head – The Lord Jesus Christ! All others are thieves, robbers, benefactors, or imposters! Estep claims that “we ain’t got any problems spiritually”. The fact is that at the present time the body of Christ, the church, has big spiritual problems – It’s lukewarm. It’s neither hot nor cold. It thinks that it’s rich and has need of nothing. It doesn’t know that it is wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked and in danger of being spued out of the mouth of God!  Revelation 3:14-22. Why would any pastor-elder-bishop say such a thing? God’s is disgusted with His people today and it’s because they are spiritually bankrupt and “think” they are holy. Proverbs 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

 

          Estep goes on: “Verse 15 – ‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:” (another incomplete quote.) When, when somebody comes to me and says: ‘preacher I’m having a problem with so and so’, that’s not my problem to work out. At this point I say: OK, have you gone to the person? ‘Oh no, no I haven’t gone’. Go to them right now, go to them right now and sit down and explain the problem. ‘Well preacher, I just couldn’t do that.’ You do that or you get out.” Why are the brethren going to the “preacher” when they are offended instead of going to the offender? An elder’s-pastor’s-bishop’s job is to teach the Scriptures so that the brethren can know how to deal with their own problems – not run to the “preacher” every time a problem crops up. Notice how Mr. Estep doesn’t point the offended party to the Scriptures. He just gives him some “sound advice” – in a “Biblical manner” of course. And again, why is he addressed by the title “preacher”, why not just brother like the brethren in the New Testament referred to one another?

 

END OF SIDE 1 – TAPE FOUR

 

TAPE FOUR - SIDE 2

The beginning of the tape is blank – a part of the lesson is missing. Estep continues: “Number one: personal confrontation – individually, and then with a group; if that doesn’t work then open rebuke. Verse six-, verse 17: ‘If he (shall) neglect to hear them – tell it unto the church.’ (misquote) That’s exactly the same thing Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:20: ‘Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others (also) may fear.’ (Another misquote and another verse taken out of context and misapplied.     1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. In the context the reference is specifically to an elder who is sinning. They are to be rebuked before the entire church in order that other (elders) also may fear. They (elders) are not to be given preference or special treatment. Telling the church about a stubborn and unrepentant brother is different than rebuking an elder for sinning.

Estep proceeds: (Yelling) “At this point you’re no longer concerned about whether he gets right or not. From now on you’re concerned about everybody else, (amen’s) Amen? The first, the first consideration is the individual, but if the individual doesn’t respond – (Screaming) Scratch him! For even Christ our Sacrifice, our, our Saviour, our Substitute, our Passover is sacrificed. Sacrifice him! Sacrifice him! It, you say well it’s a relative – Sacrifice him!If Christians (so-called Bible believers) cannot see that the foregoing statement is a blatant perversion and a heinous misapplication of the Word of God, then we can’t help them. We are not called of God to sacrifice the brethren! Our calling - our ministry is the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Estep continues: (Voice ranging between loud yelling and screaming) Did I ask my mother and father to leave my church brother Rick? My father disobeyed my authority in our church and I went to my dad, the hardest thing I ever had to do, and I said: Dad you have got to leave. Only I said: either you are going to pastor this church or I am. And right now I believe God put me here – it was the hardest thing I ever had to do brother Steve – but I did it!  You say: how could you do that? I had the power to do it! [Amen’s]  (Estep makes this statement as if he if he were proud of what he did; as if he were boasting about it!) He said: “I can do all things through Christ.” (The foregoing application of Scripture is taken out of context – Philippians  4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.( In the context Paul was speaking about no matter what state he was in he could do all things through Christ, because it was the Lord Who gave him the strength to carry out his ministry. And that ministry did not consist of throwing the brethren out of the church! God gave Paul the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18 – not division! And we are supposed to have that same ministry today.)  Estep proceeds: “and everybody knows to my church – that’s my uncle sitting right there. That’s my uncle’s boy. If he did wrong in my church I went to him. If my uncle did wrong in my church I went to them. (Amen’s) Why? Because my, my priority is, is, is to do what God has called me to do. I am to forsake father and mother; sister and brother; and follow Him. (Amen’s) And if you can’t do that, your life is going to be a wilderness experience from here to heaven.” (Amen’s) Estep’s continual reference to Christ’s church as being “my church clearly demonstrates to us that Estep has coveted Christ’s rightful place in His church and he has sought to replace Him as the church’s one true head. Estep’s priority (including all other faithful pastors-elders-bishops) should always be, to follow the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures - not according to his personal opinions or the dictates of his own mind.

Estep continues on: “I just recognize I can’t pastor everybody, when some folks will not follow me. It is better for them to find somebody else to follow, before they try to get a following.” [Amen’s] (The Lord said: John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: Why is Estep concerned about a personal following? God’s sheep are to follow Him! They are not to follow a man! And no pastor-elder-bishop has any business trying to get God’s sheep to follow them instead of the Lord! Why would Estep recommend that if a sheep can’t follow him (Gregg Estep) then they should: “find somebody else to follow? All faithful pastors-elders-bishops should be directing the sheep to follow the One True Shepherd not themselves or others!) Estep continues: “They’ll do it every time. I have a young man in my church; I just sent him a letter 3 or 4 weeks ago. I, I tried to get a personal, personal uh visit with him, he wouldn’t. He lied to me, wouldn’t, wouldn’t let me come to his house and visit him. He hardly ever showed up in church. I finally wrote him a letter – I said: Dear brother, I said, I’m not mad at you, don’t have anything against you personally, but I think you need to find a new church. You won’t let me pastor you. You need to find somebody who will. I’m not doing you any good. You’ve been here 3 or 4 years; you haven’t changed one inch in 3 or 4 years. Go somewhere else where you can follow somebody.” [Amen’s] (Where is the Scripture in all this? Why didn’t Mr. Estep use the Scriptures to point out the young man’s errors, (for correction) instead of kicking him out and feeding him to the wolves? How can a faithful preacher recommend: follow somebody? Anybody? How about a Jehovah’s Witness? Or a Mormon? Or a Charismatic? Or how about the Pope? Estep’s personal advice is neither Scriptural nor is it sound. “I, I, I am interested in my sheep following me. And doing ah, ah, ah God, what God gives me is to help them. (Whose sheep are they? See previous comments.)

Estep continues: “Last of all or next of all, you withdraw fellowship. I, I’m out of time so I gotta just give you the verses – Romans 16:17. The last chapter of Romans and its strange how God sticks these things in obscure places; sometimes I wonder why He does that. ‘I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions’ (Another incomplete quote! Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Does Mr. Estep avoid quoting whole verses because he might be guilty of some of the things written in them that he fails to quote?) Do you have somebody who’s causing division in your church? You’re to mark them. You’re to mark them and you’re to avoid them. That’s what the verse says, in the Pauline Epistles, you know, between Acts and Hebrews, dispensationally rightly divided. (Quoted only partially! No context = a pretext!) It also says in 1 Corinthians Chapter 5 , Verse 11, the passage that we’re talking about here: ‘I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man be a brother, that is called a brother, be a fornicator, covetous,’ Ooh my – is he tithing?  (Another misquote and incomplete quote!) Listen! If I as the pastor have admonished a man to tithe, and for 5 or 10 years after he’s been in my church, he still isn’t tithing, is he my sheep? (We hope not! We hope that he is the Lord’s sheep) I just, I’ve got tithing records out in my car right now. I’m getting ready to look over what the folks brought in. If I find somebody in there, in there that just quit obeying, I’m going to go to them and find out why! ‘If a brother be overtaken in a fault’ (Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. Another verse misquoted, incomplete, and taken out of context! In the Scriptural context the verse has nothing to do with tithing; failing to tithe; or having a pastor-elder-bishop admonish someone for not tithing! The verse is talking about Christian charity, love of the brethren, reconciliation, and restoration. It has nothing to do with money! The lengths that Mr. Estep will go to establish his false doctrine knows no bounds. But though his ‘good words and fair speeches’ may ‘deceive the hearts of the simple’ they aren’t good enough to convince real Bible believers!)     

Estep continues: “You Know what I’ll - (jumps) you say preacher – hey, hey, hey, hey. If that guy isn’t tithing now, you know what he’ll be doing in 2 years? He’ll be opposing me actively! Amen. Amen. Amen! (Agreement from the audience follows) Sure! (Does Mr. Estep provide any Scripture to support his personal opinion? - of course not!) Amen brother Danny. (Another authority) And if ain’t in the church, man I don’t, uh, who needs trouble? We got enough. I mean man the world, the flesh, and the Devil will give us a hard enough time outside of the congregation. Let’s keep this thing in here sweet and sanctified and right. Keep it cleaned out man. Keep peace in the place. ‘the work of righteousness shall be peace’. (Another incomplete quote - Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. Why not quote whole verses? What price do we pay for this so-called “peace”? Are we to give up our Christian liberty in Christ and come under bondage to a mere man in order establish this “peace”? Why trade in your Mercedes for a skate board?) You gotta do right before there is any peace. ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and (Screams) then all these things shall be added unto you’.” (Another misquote)   

Estep proceeds with his discourse: “I have never – Well let me go on, 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – These are strong, strong admonitions, and they’re clear. There is no, no difficulty in understanding them. The problem is implementing them. 2 Thessalonians Chapter 3: ‘Now we command you,’ verse 6, ‘brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the traditions (Singular not plural!) which he received of us.’ Now let me stop and say this: some of you are already thinking there’s some folks back home that you may need to do something about. Don’t you rush back there and you know – hold up and hold on. OK? Relax, don’t get the axe out. OK?”  What kind of Biblical Christianity is this? Where an individual Christian brother is in the position to judge whether another Christian brother or sister is fit to remain in the church? It certainly isn’t the kind of Biblical Christianity Paul established!

Estep Proceeds: “Like I told you, you go back slow and you go back easy. And you, and you pray about it and, and you just say OK Lord, I’m gonna let the peace of God rule. If there’s a problem, you know it won’t take long, that guy will probably come up to you and say: We just don’t think this is right now, and immediately you say: OK Lord I get the message.” (What message? What’s going on here? Does this specially empowered pastor-elder-bishop go back to his church and start spouting this fascistic drivel and when the brethren object on Scriptural grounds does he get a special extra-Scriptural revelation from the Lord? Shades of Pentecostalism!) “Say: Let’s you and I step down in my office and have a talk. Don’t! Let me give you a hint, don’t go to their home and talk to them. [Loud amen’s] Cause you see he’s master of his home. You, you take him into that office, where you’re the master!” (More amen’s) [Mr. Estep is operating in the realm of humanistic psychology. He is teaching these people to be subtle and patient in subverting the clear teachings of the Scripture. He has also adopted the world’s (and Satan’s) methodology in dealing with people: FearIntimidationCoercionForce. “You take him to that home boy and you’re outnumbered; wife and kids, their against ya. (Someone in the audience makes a unintelligible comment to which Estep replies :) Yes sir. (Laughter) Amen. He’s been there. (Loud laughter) Ha, ha, ha, ha, amen.”

 Estep continues: “Those are the, those are the, those are the three that a church actively exercises to deal with problems. (What three?) And you obviously are thinking about the last one. ‘ they turned them over for the destruction of the flesh’. (Another misquote! Search the Bible with a Concordance and you cannot find a verse to match Estep’s quote! 1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.) I have personally never had to do that. I know of a preacher that did. He had a man in his church, who was a member, who was drinking; would not quit. They had done all of these things. They’d gone to him. He would still come to the services. They had, they’d even asked him to leave and he was still causing trouble – calling, calling members and it went on and on. They had done everything, everything, everything, everything they could do. Finally the preacher got his men together – they prayed and asked God, under these circumstances, if He would remove this man and in two weeks he was dead. That’s the only instance of that that I know of that’s ever went like that. That is definitely, definitely the exception. I mean that, that’s way down the road; after you’ve tried everything else brethren.” (Where & when did this take place?)

Estep jumps: “I, I didn’t give you, I didn’t give you this, this submitting to the secular authority. I didn’t get around to it. I, Watchman Nee (Another authority!) said a great thing. You obviously are all thinking about Daniel, who disobeyed Nebuchadnezzar; your thinking about the three Hebrew children who disobeyed, (Why is Estep anticipating contrary testimony and trying to intercept it before it is even brought up?) but you know what those 3 Hebrew children did? Daniel was in submission to the secular authorities. He was in submission, but on the issue of prayer he disobeyed. But he was still in submission. (?) When they came to get him, he said: “I’ll go with you’. (He said no such thing!) When they said: ‘into the Lion’s den?’ He walked into the Lion’s Den.” Daniel 6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. (Daniel did not walk into the Lion’s den he was thrown (cast) into it! He had no choice! Once again we have Mr. Estep adding to the Word of God with impunity; and putting words into God’s mouth without any fear. Read the whole account, in the context, in the Book of Daniel Chapter 6. Don’t just accept what a preacher says – check him out!) “See, he was in submission in general, but on that one specific issue, because it was a direct command of God, he disobeyed. That’s the only time, it’s the only exception. We want to make the exceptions the rule for us. Other than that – the powers that be are ordained of God and if you resist the power, you resist God. Thank you.” (Amen’s) Either Daniel was in total submission or he wasn’t, there is no grey area in this matter. Estep’s mental processes have been clouded by Humanistic reasoning and Psychology! Moses resisted “the powers that be”, as did most of the prophets. Daniel resisted “the powers that be”, as did the three Hebrew children. Joseph and Mary resisted “the powers that be”, as did the wise men.  The Lord resisted “the powers that be”, as did His disciples. Read your Bible – God’s people have always been in conflict with “the powers that be”. And the Bible is real clear as to who we should obey when this conflict arises: Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The admonition is perfectly clear. If “the powers that be” command or require Christians to obey them rather than God we are to obey God. (Which means that individual Christians will have to know their Bibles well enough to know “what God hath said”, so they can act on their own without the “spiritual guidance” of religious dictators.)

This concluded the public portion of Mr. Estep’s teaching on “The Doctrine of Submission”. The remainder of the lesson was tape recorded in a room (Office?) with Mr. Estep by himself without an audience. The last part of his “study” was on Secular Rule. Estep refers to “Spiritual Rule” vs. “Selfish Ruin”, and lays out his outline for the entire lesson:  #1: Personal Rule or Personal Reign. #2: Sanctified Family Reign or Rule. #3: Spiritual Rule in the church, in the assembly. #4: Secular Rule. In reference to the study on Secular Rule Estep refers to several Scriptures (most of which he fails to quote) in support of his doctrine.

Estep refers to Romans 13: 1-6 (Fails to quote verses) and then goes into a dissertation on someone who produced a paper claiming that Romans 13:1-6 was not referring to secular powers, but spiritual powers i.e. church authorities. Estep disagrees with that interpretation and says: “These are not spiritual interpretations, but literal interpretations. Therefore it’s talking about secular rule and the power of government to take life and to punish for breaking the laws of the nation. And those were given to the governments back in Genesis Chapter 9 when government really came, came into being. For government has no power unless it has the power to punish. It can make no laws unless it has the power to enforce those laws. Therefore the power to punish is the power of government. Without that power there is no government. We’re to be subject to these.” (Are we to be subject to all laws, without exception? There are literally thousands of laws in the United States. There are county, city, state and federal laws. There are so many that it is impossible to know them all! Are we to be in subjection to every single one of them? Of course not! We are not obligated to obey any law that runs contrary to the clear teachings of the Holy Scriptures - Like the compulsory school attendance laws. To whom do children belong: the Parents or Caesar? Whose children are they? To whom did God give them? The issue of authority is far more complex than Mr. Estep makes it out to be.)

Estep continues: “In Jeremiah 25 Verses 5-8 (Fails to quote verses) you see that God gave secular authority and power to a gentile pagan king and He demands that His people, Israel, would obey that king. And that if anybody didn’t, His, God’s wrath would fall on that man.” (Do we then make this specific occurrence in the Old Testament, directed towards a fallen nation corrupted by sin, and apply it to the New Testament Christian?)

 Estep goes on: “You’ll find in the Book of Acts Chapter 12 (Fails to quote verses) when Herod takes the life of James Zebedee, the Apostle John’s brother, there’s absolutely no rebuttal or rebuke from the church towards that action. Now I’m not saying they agreed with it, they certainly wouldn’t of. But they didn’t call the C.L.A. and they didn’t do a bunch of other things that you see going on today. (What kind of things?) They submitted to it. (Because they had no choice!) I realize they prayed and got Peter out, but there was no further action on the death of James in Acts 12. (What more could they have done? It wasn’t that much longer that God smote Herod and “he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost”.)

Estep continues: “Good and strong words are given to us in Ecclesiastes Chapter 8 Verse 2. The wise man says: ‘I council thee’. Of course he starts out in verse one by asking who is a wise man, and a wise man is one who listens to wise words. (Then why doesn’t Estep quote more of the wise words? Like Verse one.) And he says in verse 2: ‘I council thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God’. What God has taught is true and the king is fulfilling or bringing to pass, or backing up or promoting also we are to obey 100%. ‘Be not hasty to go out against, out of his sight and no an evil thing; stand not in an evil thing, for he doeth whatsoever please him’. (Estep fails to identify verse 3 and then he attempts to quote the whole Verse for a change and botches up the quotation. Ecclesiastes 8:3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. ‘Where the word of a king is, there is power’. Why? Because he has power to punish, Genesis 9. (He quotes Verse 4 - without identifying it, and again fails to quote the whole verse. Why not quote verses? Why not quote whole verses instead of only portions of a verse?)) ‘Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing’. (He fails to identify Verse 5) Shall feel – You know like with the flesh; with a sword; or a whip; or chains. The fellow who tried to do away with secular powers in Romans 13 is a man who’s headed to do something. He’s heading in the path to do something wrong in relation to the secular authorities, and is seeking to justify that position before he gets there. That’s what you call wresting the Scriptures to your own destruction.” (Look who’s talking!)  ‘and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment’. There’s a time to do things and proper judgment.”

Estep continues: “There were some men in the Bible who did defy the king’s commandments. As I spoke to you earlier on this tape, even though they defied the King’s commandment they were submissive to the punishment that was brought about on them or brought to them because of that disobedience.” (As if they had a choice! And what happened to “we are to obey 100%”?) In the case of Daniel – he submitted to the punishment and the authority of the king, even though he would not obey in the technical or specific thing of prayer.” (In the real world of a true Bible believer the previous statement would be labeled: ‘splitting hairs’!)

Estep continues: “The three Hebrew children, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, in Daniel Chapter 3 (Fails to quote verses) would not bow; but then again they didn’t run, ah, in, after a fashion away from their punishment.” (Then the question arises: Are we to obey 100% like Mr. Estep claims or if a law goes contrary to the Scriptures are we to disobey and submit to the punishment? Estep can’t have it both ways – although he sure tries to.)

 Estep proceeds: “And in Acts Chapter 5, (Fails to quote verses) when the apostles had been corralled by the Romans and priests for preaching, ah, they stated their case, and, but then again they submitted to the punishment.” Estep’s failure to quote the Scriptures that he sites demonstrates his attitude towards the Scriptures – that is: a willingness to use the Scriptures to further his personal agenda, but a lack of sincere respect for the Scriptures in that he won’t actually take the time to quote them. If you love the Scriptures and if you truly believe that they are: Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Why won’t you quote them?

Estep continues: “O.K. So there is a way in which you can be fully submissive to your country and yet in a specific individual thing, that you’re sure God has led you in a specific way, then that’s something else. (It certainly is! Shades of Balaam! How about this: There is a way that you can be fully faithful to your wife and yet in a specific individual instance, that you’re sure God has led you in a specific way, then it’s O.K. to sleep with some one else! Estep’s ‘advice’ is pure psychobabble (drivel) and has no place in the heart of a true Bible believer! Why doesn’t he quote some Scriptures to support his contention? Why not point the brethren to God’s words instead of his humanistic reasoning?) Otherwise you’d better do what the authorities say.”

Estep proceeds: “And you might also notice in Titus ah, Chapter 3 Verse 1 Paul said: ‘Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates,’ (We quote the verse: TITUS 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,) Well now you’ll have a hard time finding that position in the local church. Although some want to teach that all the admonitions in here are to church authorities or to spiritual authorities, not necessarily secular authorities. No, he’s talking about secular authorities; to be ready to every good work. Speak evil of no man. (Fails to identify the Scriptures he has just partially quoted.) Ah, we really have no right to speak evil of a man like Jesse Jackson. You may speak evil of his beliefs, and, which are contrary to the Word of God. You see that’s a different story. We’re not interested in the man per say. He’s a soul, a sinner, like any other man, and he needs to be saved. Now what he believes, I’m allowed to judge according to the Word of God. And ah, oppose, from the position of the Word of God. . Here we have Estep splitting hairs again – According to the Scriptures we are to speak evil of no man: Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. Mr. Estep thinks that if you criticize a man you’re speaking evil of him. The Lord criticized the Pharisees often; John the Baptist was quite free with his criticism of both the Pharisees and the king; the apostles Paul and John criticized men by name. Estep is wrong when he says: You may speak evil of his beliefs,” Mr. Estep missed the point, which was - we are not to speak evilever! But we are free to criticize both the man and his beliefs (doctrine); we are not limited to criticizing only his doctrine. Do we detect a smattering of politically correct (PC - psychobabble) reasoning here?

Estep continues: “First Peter 2:13 continues the instruction to the believer about obeying authorities or governors, 2:13: ‘submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors,’ two positions you won’t find in the local church, ‘as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers,’ just like you read in Romans 13, ‘and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men’: - Such as the man who wrote the article stating that Romans 13 was church authorities. Ignorance, he’s  so ignorant he probably has papers.” 1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: (Just a moment ago Estep instructed his hearers to not criticize a man. We are to criticize only his beliefs. And yet in the next breath we have Mr. Estep criticizing the author of a foolish article. Go figure!)    

Estep continues: “So the Bible teaches us clearly that ah, God wishes us to obey authorities in almost every case. (What happened to Estep’s earlier statement: “we are to obey 100%”? When is 100% equal to “in almost every case”? You get into trouble when you mix psychobabble with Bible doctrine!) And when people run to Daniel or the Hebrew children or Acts 5, usually they’re just trying to justify getting out of something they personally don’t want to do. These are the exceptions, that’s not the rule.” If there is an allowance for exceptions then you can’t call for or teach 100% obedience. Contrary to what Mr. Estep thinks or believes they are not the same!

Estep comments: “If you want some studies in obedience to the secular authorities ah, notice that Paul submits to secular authority in acts Chapter 16. He’s put into jail there and God blesses him for doing it and works salvation. You know it’s interesting to note that Paul lived and worked and preached under the most pagan ah, wicked system, probably or one of, one of the most wicked systems ever on the face of this earth; the Roman Imperial system which persecuted the church at least 10 great times in the first three centuries and yet try to find one word of attack upon that system in any of the Pauline Epistles. Isn’t it strange? Isn’t that strange?” (Since the apostle Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, he often used Roman law to protect himself and those who traveled with him. He also used Roman law to advance his and the Lord’s cause. He emphasized striving ‘lawfully’, and if Christians today use the laws of the country they reside in to protect themselves or further their cause or the Lord’s, they are following Paul’s example.)

Estep continues: “Well anyway we’ll go on. Notice in 1 Samuel Chapter 8 (Fails to quote verses) that God gives a nation the rulers that it deserves, and that it truly wants. That’s a principle that you must not forget in dealing with civil authorities. You might ask yourself the question: Why do I have a governor who is a socialist or a sodomite or some wicked thing like that? You know all of God’s works are done in righteousness. (Estep misquotes Psalm 33:4 - Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.)  And He’s the One that set these men up. Are we to say God is wrong? He gives people exactly what they want. Jeremiah 17: 9 & 10. (Fails to quote verses) Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.  And that’s illustrated in the fact that Ahab was given a lie rather than the truth in 1 Kings 22 (Fails to quote verses) because he didn’t want the truth. Americans, by and large, don’t want the truth, they don’t want what’s in the Word of God, so God gives them Evolution to believe. And He gives them hypocritical lying leaders. And that’s an important study.”

Estep continues on: “In the Old Testament, notice and study carefully, the life of David in relation to Saul. And here I would encourage you to read a book that I’ve mentioned on the tape earlier: ‘A Tale of Three Kings’ by Gene Edwards. (Another authority!) You can write to charity Baptist Church, 1506 North Fairfield road, Dayton, Ohio 45432 and ask for that book and we will tell you how to obtain it. We do normally have it in our church Bookstore. David flees rather than fights in 1 Samuel 18: 7-14, (Fails to quote verses) and this is after 3 or 4 attempts to kill him. He still doesn’t retaliate and when he does have an opportunity to do Saul in, when it looks like God has already anointed him to be king; he’s going to be king; Saul has done him wrong; Saul has never done him right; Saul has lied, played the fool; and yet David does not take advantage of either at, either opportunity – 1 Samuel 24:1-12 and 1 Samuel 26:8-11. (Fails to quote any of the verses. What is Estep trying to prove? How can we apply this to modern day Christians?)

Estep continues: “Notice in the Book of Daniel, (Fails to quote verses) in studying Daniel’s life, before he ever rejects the ah, king’s commandment on prayer, notice that he submits to the king’s desire ah, concerning his food and merely makes a request that he not have to eat the king’s, from the king’s table, but ah, would not defile himself.” Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego. 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. (We do not believe that Daniel waited 3 years before he made this request not to defile himself. Had he and the Hebrew children eaten of the king’s meat and drank his wine they would have already defiled themselves!).He does not protest, he does not ah, get a lawyer or anything like that. He simply submits, but asks – Daniel 1 verses 5 to 8. What choice did he have?

Estep continues: Notice the overthrow of authority in the case of Uzziah in 2 Chronicles Chapter 26. (Fails to quote verses) Ah, the priests call him down and let him know he has usurped his authority, but let God do the overthrowing. Now there’s some examples of abstinence and I’ve already talked about these a little bit to you. In the case of Daniel, the children of Israel; Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego in the Book of Daniel. And also Peter and the apostles in Acts 5:29 (Fails to quote verses) where they say we ought to obey God rather than men. These are the isolated incidents, not the rule. (What rule? Why not quote the rule.) And they submit in all other areas. Ah, you might notice what Peter says in 2 Peter 2 about false teachers and false prophets who have pernicious ways and so forth, and through covetousness and feigned words make merchandise of you and I. (Another incomplete and misquote!)   2 Peter 2:2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. Estep has demonstrated his disdain for the Scriptures over and over again by continually failing to quote them at all; or mis-quoting them; or using incomplete quotes. We are supposed to speak, preach, and teach the word – How can you teach the word if you won’t quote It?

Estep proceeds: “Oh they pretend they know God, and love God and are Godly. But ah, it, the Spirit, the power of God, they’re, they’re Godly but they ah, rather they deny the power of God. You know what power is? That’s authority – and God gives power to the king; to the head of the home; to the head of the church; to you personally in the person of the Holy Spirit, to control your spirit. See, having a form of Godliness, but denying the power, that’s revolutionary.” As we surmised at the beginning of this commentary; (page 2) Mr. Estep has proven over the course of these 4 audio tapes that he is obsessed with power! Notice when he says that God gives power to the various people that he refers to “the head of the church”. Estep is not referring to the Lord Jesus Christ as being that head (for our Lord has that power within Himself – God didn’t give it to Him.) No, Mr. Estep is referring to himself and all the other pastors who have usurped Christ’s rightful place in His church.

Estep continues: “Anybody that overthrows the pastoral authority; headship of a home; ah, or the authority of the King is a, is absolutely, diametrically opposed to the word of God. (Notice the change in the order of authority: Pastoral authority moves to the head of the line! Need we say more?) And he goes on to say here in verse 10, 2 Peter 2:10, or Verse 9: ‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations;’ He’ll take care of you if you get into a bad situation with the government. God knows how to deliver you. He delivered Paul in Acts 16.Ah if Paul would have been the typical ah Sullivan or whatever’s going on today, ah he’d a had him ah, t, ah, a, ah passel full of lawyers and he would of ah cried ah, you know, all kinds of ah, government encroachment and so forth and so on. And he would have been bailed out, and he would have never been in jail long enough to win the jailer. Is Estep suggesting total passivity when it comes to dealing with an intrusive government? What did Paul do? Paul used his rights as a Roman citizen at various times. Are we to ignore the rights that we have as citizens of the United States?

Estep continues: “‘The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh, in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled,’ that’s the problem. Their will has never been subjected to the Spirit. (Scripture?) Its subject, its subjection is to self. Selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities’.”

Estep proceeds: “There is a case of resisting the authority of government in 2 Kings Chapter 11 Verses 1-14. (Fails to quote verses) where the ungodly Queen Athaliah is ah, wha, trys to murder the king’s seed. One of the babies is ferreted away, and in God’s time, and God’s way, the woman is dealt with and is eventually murdered and overthrown.” Is Estep suggesting that if we have the opportunity, under our form of government, to right a wrong or correct an injustice that we are to ignore those opportunities and just let God take care of it? Back in the Old Testament, most of the time people were powerless under the authoritarian rule of a king or queen. If those rulers abused their power the people had no choice. It is very dangerous to use the Old Testament to establish a New Testament doctrine.

Estep completes the teaching on his “doctrine of submission”: “And that finishes the study of Spiritual rule or Selfish Ruin. And there’s a number of ways that a person can mess themselves up in that area. You need to learn to be in subjection to those authorities; and recognize where their authorities ah, are in relation to you. What are the boundaries of those authorities? And I pray that this study’s been a blessing to you. You may write to us and obtain other studies that will help you to grow as a Christian, and to be a blessing to your family, and to your church, and to your country, and most of all to yourself and to your God.”

“This is pastor Estep thanking you for listening, and praying that the studies have done for you what they’ve done for my church, people of my church and others around the country and myself also. God bless you in your Christian walk; that you may walk in the spirit in obedience; in loving obedience; in Christ’s name amen.” The question arises: In obedience to whom? - The pastor or the Lord Jesus Christ? – The traditions of men or the Holy Scriptures?

END OF TAPE FOUR - SIDE TWO - END OF LESSONS