NEW CONVERT PACKETS
By: Clifford Clark
NOTE: This packet is given the night they are baptized or receive the Holy Ghost.
New Convert Packet I
I Peter 2:2
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.”
Dear New Convert:
Welcome to the family of God that is called by the Name of Jesus, it is our family name when we were baptized in his Name and baptized by His Spirit.
As your Pastor I want to say how thrilled I am that you have received the Holy Ghost and have been baptized in Jesus Name.
You have just entered into the most wonderful experience for your life this side of heaven.
You will have many questions about this new way of life and it is very important you receive an answer to every question you have.
You will find out as time goes on that the biblical relationship you develop, with myself as your Pastor as taught in the Word of God is very important. Feel free to talk to me anytime about any questions you have. Also there are leaders in the church that can help you. If you have a question and are unable to contact me, please feel free to ask a leader in the church to help you.
Unusual as it may sound to you at this time of great joy you feel, some new converts do not keep living for the Lord. It is our prayer and desire to help you at whatever cost it takes to continue in this experience.
Talking to you from my heart as your Pastor and thinking about others who have not continued to live for the Lord. The most important thing for you to do is get the Word of God in your heart and mind.
The New Converts Class comes in two phases at this time you will go through Phase Number I and later on Phase Number II.
Strange as it may seem the devil will play upon your mind and try to make you doubt you ever received the Holy Ghost. He will bring many questions into your mind about the Word of God. Questions must be answered! Being a baby in the Lord the Word of God is just as important to you as milk is a natural baby.
(The following material was given in the first packet, neatly typed on quality paper.)
Love is preeminent above all other graces and gifts Matt. 22:36-40, I Cor. 13. It is our badge of discipleship John 13:34-35. It is our motivating force. II Cor. 5:14, Gal. 5:6. We love all men–saints and sinners, relatives and strangers, friends and enemies; but we hate the evil deeds those we love may do. This love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Rom. 5:5, and causes us to make every effort to win the lost by testimony, support of missionaries, sacrificial offerings, personal work, in fact, by any and all means at our disposal to get the message out to the lost and dying.
We would rather suffer ourselves than to do anything to break the unity of the Spirit. The harmony of the Body of Christ must always be placed above one’s own desire. By God’s grace we also emulate and follow Christ so that all other graces taught in God’s Word may be manifest in our lives: joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, virtue, wisdom, godliness, brotherly kindness, courtesy, pity, charity, friendliness, sympathy, good temper, generosity, humility, unselfishness, guilelessness, and sincerity.
Full and complete Scriptural doctrine is taught at The United Pentecostal Church of Madera.
“O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” Thus cried the Psalmist in Psalms 96:8-9. We sing with all our hearts (Psa. 98:4), clap our hands (Psa. 47:1), pray together (Acts 4:24), and testify (Luke 12:8), we believe in the gifts of the Spirit operating the Church in accordance with I Cor. 14. Let all things be done to edify, and for unity.
Testimonies should not be long and drawn out, but short, spiritual, bright, enthusiastic, and full of praise to God. Make sure it glorifies Christ and there is no self-praise or complaining in it. True saints love to worship God and not allow one moment of the service to be wasted.
No Bible Christian ever stays away from service unless it is impossible to come. Heb. 10:25. We do not stay home when we have company, but invite them to come with us, thus putting God first, confessing and honoring Him. Neither cold nor rain, nor heat should keep a member away, for he realizes that the measure of how much he loves God is just how he will sacrifice for the service of God. Sickness, unless severe, does not keep one away, for at the service God’s power moves and the sick are healed. When one is tired and weary the church service refreshes him. Thus God is honored, and His blessings flow.
Every member should maintain private devotions which prayer and Bible reading daily. This is a habit that must be faithfully followed to live a victorious life. And when the husband and wife is united in the faith, a family alter is instituted where daily prayer and devotion is offered in worship. The children are included and taught reverence and love for God. This reflected by their quiet and obedient conduct in church, where parents must see to it that their children do not disturb the service. Children are brought up in fear and admonition of the Lord. Eph. 6:1-4. When worship is instituted in the home, how blessed the Church worship is!
Every member of the United Pentecostal Church practices the Scriptural teaching of holiness, for “without Holiness no man shall see the Lord.” Heb, 12:14. Holiness means the complete separation from all sin. Therefore, for the sake of sinners, weak Christians, yea, and our own souls, each member of the United Pentecostal Church of Madera must be an example, a pattern of good works in abstaining from questionable and worldly sports and amusements, tobacco in any form, unclean conversations of any kind, or any intoxicating drink. Read I Tim. 4:2, II Cor. 7:1, I Thess. 5:22, Rom. 14:21, and Matt. 5:16.
We do not look at television, nor do we have it in our homes. We dress modestly, I Tim. 2:9-10, women wearing full length stockings, loose fitting dresses that fully cover the knees at all times, and sleeves at least to the elbows. Modest apparel is always worn whenever outside the house, for we conduct ourselves everywhere as becometh Christians. Women’s hair should never be cut. I Cor. 11:1-16. Short hair on a woman is a sign of rebellion and must be let to grow. Permanents are Satan’s trap to keep the hair short, for it kills hair. Hair should be put up on the head and pinned neatly, not allowed to merely hang. Paint is never put on the face or finger nails, nor the hair dyed, for that is the dress of Jezebel. We do not wear jewelry or costly adorning of gold, silver, or pearls, I Peter 3:1-4, I Tim. 2:10. Men’s hair should be kept trimmed, with no long sideburns, or mustaches. Articles of costly array which are adornments are not worn by Bible Christians.
SCRIPTURAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT
Scriptural Church Government is not a monarchy nor a democracy, but a theocracy; that is, the rule of God himself through the Bishops (pastors) and elders that have been divinely called, qualified and set in the Church by God Himself. Acts 20:28. A Monarchy is the rule of an earthly King. A Democracy is the rule of the people. Neither of these methods is Scriptural for the Church; they both bring chaos and disorder. But God rules in His kingdom, the Church, through the overseers or pastors He has set in the Church to rule. It is unscriptural to vote in any spiritual matter, only legal, material matters.
The Shepherd or Pastor guides and leads the flock, and members of the United Pentecostal Church of Madera respect and obey their pastor and submit to his judgement and authority, for they know that is God’s way. Heb. 13:7 & 17. Disciples are disciplined ones, and it devolves on the pastor to train members, to reprove, to rebuke, exhort, to warn, to discipline, and, when necessary, to expel the unruly and rebellious. Titus 3:10-11. Bible Christians expect their Pastor to deal with sin wherever it is found and they submit and obey when he deals with them. He is in charge of all departments of the Church, and he is to prayerfully appoint officers, who, together with every member supports and works faithfully with the pastor. All who have a place of responsibility in the Church must be outstanding for their faithfulness. I Cor. 4:2.
Feel free to consult with your pastor on any matter that perplexes you.
The Bible plainly teaches tithes and offerings as God’s means by which His work is supported and carried on. Mal, 3:8-11, Luke 11:42, I Cor. 16:2. Every member of The United Pentecostal Church of Madera is a tithing member and must continue to be so to keep membership, for without tithing a man robs God and God’s blessing leaves. Luke 16:10 & 11. God blesses materially the one who tithes. Prov. 3:9. Mal, 3:10 & 11. Some have wondered why things have went wrong and they did not prosper. It was because they had gotten behind in their tithing. Tithing makes you a partner in God’s business, and God a partner in your business.
Tithes are the tenth of all the increase (wages, profits, gifts, etc.). Since they are holy unto the Lord (Lev. 27:30 & 31), He has directed where they belong, and has given them to the ministry. Num. 18:20 & 21. The needs of the minister or pastor of the Church are met first and the surplus channeled into God’s work. (I Cor. 9:7-14). Tithes are to be brought regularly each Sunday morning (I Cor. 16:2), or as often as you receive remuneration. They are to be the first fruits (II Chron. 31:5); that is, the first tenth of all money received is the Lord’s and is to be taken out for the Lord before any of the rest is used. Then God will bless the remaining nine-tenths, and it will go farther than the entire ten tenths without God’s blessing on it.
Since the scriptures teach systematic, regular, faithful tithing, we have adopted a system at the United Pentecostal Church of Madera that we may not be “slothful in (God’s) business.” Rom. 12:11. Each Sunday morning the members and Christians of The United Pentecostal Church of Madera bring their tithes in the envelopes provided with the name and amount written on them. No member is ashamed for his pastor to know he tithes and the amount, for if he is not submitting to God, and his authority in the church and is not worthy of being a member. Bible Christians are happy to use this system, for it is God’s way. In Acts 4:35 we read that they brought their gifts of money and “laid them down at the Apostles’ feet.”
So you see the method of bringing to the ministry that which is given was used in the early Church when they not only tithed the first fruits of their increase, but in addition actually sold their possessions and gave all they had. By this means the pastor is enabled to use His God-give authority to know and deal with those who are not faithful, even as Peter was able to do in Acts 5. Anything that robs the pastor of this authority robs the Church of God’s blessing and Power.
At other services, offerings are received to defray Church expenses. It is well to use the envelopes, properly marked, at all offerings too, for quarterly receipts are issued to each one of all amounts they have given. Every member makes sure he is faithful and regular in his offerings as well as in his tithes, for God is also robbed when offerings are withheld. Mal. 3:8. If, for some reason you should be absent, be sure to send in your tithes and offerings. Tithes and offerings may be given at any service by properly marking the envelope.
The United States Government permits us to deduct from our income tax contributions to churches up to the amount of 30% of our income. Therefore every Christian should tithe, and give generously over and above the tithe. The total of the amounts shown on the receipts you receive is the amount you may deduct from your income tax.
If a man fails to tithe and give liberally to God’s Church, he will still be paying tithes and offerings, but he will be paying them in his income tax to the government. In addition he will face God’s judgement for not supporting God’s work.
Thus contributions up to 30% of your income may be given to the church, and your income tax to the government will be proportionately lessened. Let us all be faithful in liberal, cheerful giving, and you will prosper, and so will God’s church.
(Also in this first packet Bro. Clark placed the following tracts:
Why We Baptize In Jesus Name (PPH)
Wheel Of Prophecy (PPH)
Water Baptism – Biblical & Historical Proof (PPH)
Q & A On The Godhead (PPH)
Why So Many Churches? (Order from Pastor Irvin Baxter, Richman, IN)
The Way Of Victory by David Gray (Order from Revival Tabernacle, San Diego, CA)
(The following material was given after they complete level 1 of New Converts Course.)
New Converts Packet II
“For when the time ye ought to be teacher, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not strong meat.
For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are full of age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Dear New Convert:
As your Pastor I am deeply thankful for your growth in the Lord. I trust that many of your questions have been answered concerning this great experience and the beautiful doctrine of the Bible.
Phase I dealt with you as a new born babe and now as you grow in God your spiritual appetite will start desiring the meat of God’s Word.
There are several very important things that I must mention at this time.
1.) You will begin to experience what a spiritual test is. This is where you do not feel the presence of the Holy Ghost as usual. God allows this to happen to make you strong. He wants to develop our faith in Him so we do not have to always feel He is there, even though He is all the time. He wants us to believe in Him so much that we will live for Him because of what He has done.
2.) As a child experiences growing pains so you will feel the same discomfort at times in the spirit. You now need to realize that you are no longer a babe and you are growing into adulthood. Spiritual meat will become your diet. Meat must be digested and spiritually you must be mature and realize as an adult you must receive the Word. Some things will be bitter tasting but good for you spiritually. These things will become sweet to you later and satisfy.
3.) Questions though they be many must be answered and God blesses you as you enter into this stage.
15 REASONS WHY TELEVISION IS WRONG
Eccl. 7:29, “Lo this have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.”
1. Because Spirit-filled ministers have voiced their opinion against it. Read Ezekiel 33:4.
2. It is detrimental to spirituality. Statistics show that theater business has fallen off since T.V. became popular. This has caused some theater owners to quit business and go into the T.V. business. Obviously these facts indicate that T.V. has to a large extent taken the place of the theater by moving into the front parlor of many homes. Too many have used the feeble excuse that it is less expensive and a means of keeping our children at home. I believe the family altar is the answer. Read Col. 3:1 & 2.
3. It is a proven fact that some persons who purchased a T.V. set while they were in an unregenerated state, after conversion were convicted of its evil influence and disposed of same. A minister’s unsaved son, who was in possession of a T.V. set, told his father that he was convicted that in order to become a genuine Christian he would have to dispose of T.V. from his life, Read II Cor. 5:17.
4. The fact remains that 80 per cent of that which comes through the eye gate is remembered, while only 20 per cent of what is heard. T.V. presents a much greater opportunity for the beer, wine, whiskey, and tobacco business and the display of improperly dressed women. This is all sanctioned in many homes, and not only sanctioned, but has also become a commodity in many homes, Read II Sam, 11:2-4.
5. The best of God’s people are opposed to T.V. One who wishes to do right cannot afford to become a stumbling block nor lose the confidence of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Read Prov. 22:28,
6. The beer, whiskey, wine, and tobacco advertisements, improperly dressed dancers, Hollywood divorce evil, murder pictures and lustful love scenes are a long way from gracing a Christian home. Read. Phil. 4:8.
7. There was a day when a growing boy was not permitted to see a burlesque performance, but now Junior gets it served with breakfast, dinner and supper on T.V. Read Prov. 22:6.
8. Television will warp and twist the mind of our youth. When there are so many crime and murder programs shown on T.V., I am inclined to believe the story of the little boy when informed that Grandpa passed away in the night, asked, “Who shot him?”.
9. Crime programs such as pictured on television screens won’t make better boys and girls, but thieves, murderers, gangsters, prostitutes, and bowery bums. Read Luke 17:1 & 2.
10. Television caters to the evil mind. One old person in Pennsylvania said he had been hanging around stage shows for over fifty years without seeing as much female anatomy as he had observed on T.V. shows. Read Romans 6:21.
11. I have three children whom I want to see make it through to heaven. I refuse to throw dangers in their way. They believe as I do that T.V. is wrong. I feel sure they have confidence in my life. I will never betray the confidence they have in me. I would rather lift up the Bible standard, keep their confidence, and pray for them now with a clear conscience than to let down the Bible standard and weep later because I failed them. Read II Tim. 3:15, II Tim. 4.
12. I am told that a T.V. set costs from $300.00 to $500.00. This is a lot of money to spend foolishly while souls are dying and going to hell, all because they have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. They could be saved if this money were used to send missionaries to them. Read Isaiah 55:2.
13. I Cor. 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” God does not get glory out of lust pictures, prize fights, nude dancers, wrestling bouts, liquor or tobacco advertisements, crime promotion, Hollywood divorce evil, etc.
14. Time is valuable; we have none to waste. Statistics prove that children who have access to television spend an average of 30 hrs. a week before a television screen. Parents, read Eph, 5:15 & 16.
15. It robs any individual of his spiritual strength. I am convinced no one (without exception) can lock upon T.V. for long and be deeply spiritual or carry a burden for lost souls. Anyone who believes the Bible from cover to cover cannot approve of T.V. Read I Cor. 9:27; I Cor. 10:12.
CRIME’s SCHOOL MASTER
A recent study of television programs revealed that southern Californians have plenty of blood-and-thuder drifting into their living rooms from Los Angeles stations. In just one week, they could have viewed on the television ninety-one murders; seven stage holdups; three kidnappings; 10 thieves; four burglaries; two cases of arson; two jail breaks; one explosion which killed a score of people; two suicides and one case of blackmail.
Sports have been the excitement of man for ages. The desire to excel, to be the best, the champion, has been the attraction of every young person. How much of the sports world can we engage in without coming under the spirit of the sport? There is a spirit behind each sport that makes it a religious worship when carried to the highest potential. Lucifer’s desire to excel, to be above all, the star, champion, chief, and like God, receive worship, made him a devil. Notice the dedication of the sports fan and athlete. The greatest honors and rewards are given to the best in the sports world. The god of this world seeks such to worship him. He must have the major leagues and the minor leagues, and the school leagues to all prepare to give him worship, honor, and praise. Let us look into the past and see how some of their events gained such attention and how worship was a part of the sport.
THE RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF PAGAN SPORT AND ATHLETICS
The Roman conflicts in amphitheater and circus, like the earlier Greek sports, were intimately connected with faith in the heathen Greek gods. The gymnastic games of the Greeks, as well as the later brutal and degenerate contests of the Romans, were instituted in the name and to the honor of the pagan godheads.
I. Gymnastics as part of heathen worship in Greek and Roman life.
The Olympian games were in honor of Zeus (Jupiter), the Isthmian games near Corinth in honor of the sea god Poseidon, and the Pythian games in honor of the sun god Apollo.
The crowns of the victors corresponded. From the olive, sacred to Zeus, was taken the olive spray which crowned the victor at Olympia. From the laurel, sacred to Apollo, came the crown at Delphi. The victor at the Isthmian games was adorned with a wreath of spruce, the tree sacred to Poseidon.
Religious processions were connected with the contests at Olympia. Sacrifices were offered by the representatives of the State and by individual victors. The whole district of Elis around Olympia was sacred, to Zeus. In grove and temple were only objects that belonged to the gods.
The central object in Olympia was the great altar to Zeus. It was erected on a big stone base. It was formed out of the burnt leg-bones of the beasts offered, mixed with water from the river Alpheios and dried. Here sacrifices to Zeus were offered daily. South-west from the altar rose the Olympieum, the celebrated temple of Olympian Zeus, built about 450 B.C. In its inner court stood the colossal statue of Zeus enthroned, the work of Phidias, the greatest Greek sculptor.
By the Romans also the chief games were held in honor of particular gods, especially of Jupiter, Apollo, Juno, Minerva, Diana, Pluto, and Proserpine, as well as in honor of Flora, the goddess of Spring, and to the Syrian Magna Mater (Great Mother), whose symbol, a stone fallen from heaven (a meteor), was brought in 205 B.C. to Rome and very quickly obtained high honor.
Some days before taking part in the games and contests men prepared themselves by prayers, sacrifices, and adorning the altars.
II. Religious processions before the beginning of the Roman athletic combats.
There was often a parade before the games. At the Circensian games in Rome, with the sound of tubes (Lat. Tuba, trumpet) and flutes, it went from the Capitol, across the Forum, through the middle of the city to the Circus Maximus. The senior Magistrate led the procession, followed by the statues of the gods on magnificent chariots. Smaller statues of gods were carried on the shoulder. Then came the appointed fighters, horses, chariots, both two and four horse, the priests, victims for sacrifice, dancers, flute players and harpists. At the Circue Maximus a sacrifice was offered. Then the actual games began, especially racing, boxing, wrestling, and horse and chariot races. Everything was associated with heathen religious dedication. Even at the close of the Republic, when religion fell more and more into decay, its outward form was maintained at these games, which were celebrated with ever-increasing splendor and glory.
III. Introduction of Hellenistic Games at Jerusalem.
Because the Greco-Roman world combined athletics with religion, the conquerors sought, especially from the second century before Christ to employ them to break the religious strength of Judaism by the forcible introduction of such games in Palestine. Especially since the time of Antiochus Epichanes (175-164 B.C.) there had been a party among the Jews who wished to obliterate the sharp frontier between them and the heathen. The high priest Jason, in particular, worked in this direction, not without result. There were priests who forsook the alter, neglected the sacrifices, and fastened to the arena to watch the games (II Macc. 4:9ff). This aroused the greatest horror in the Jews who were true to Jehovah. There was much strife and controversy concerning these games in Jerusalem, but in spite of all this they advanced considerably, especially under the influence of king Herod. He favored them, for they belonged to Hellenism. He caused splendid amphitheaters and hippodromes to be built in Caesarea and Jericho, as Josephus narrates. He ordered that every four years a great sport festival should take place with special magnificence in honor of the emperor Augustus. Through all this quite naturally the knowledge of these Greek and Roman games spread among the Jews.
IV. The New Testament writers and their detailed knowledge of Greek and Roman sport life and games.
In the New Testament it is especially the writings of Paul, John, and the writer of Hebrews, that contain essential allusions and comparisons to the Greek games. On one occasion Paul employs even an expressly technical sporting term hypopiazo, “I hit under the eye with the fist”, I smite my opponent (I Cor. 9:27).
But the early Christians did not obtain their knowledge of heathen sporting customs by visiting these institutions, or by personal participation in the games, after their conversion to Christ. For Paul even before his conversion a visit to these festivals was completely excluded. For every orthodox Jew, to which company Paul as an earnest Pharisee belonged, such participation was forbidden in advance. And John belonged, to the “remnant” of Israel that waited for the Messiah, for whom also these heathen games must have been an abomination.
The ground for this lay in the religious character of these institutions. The contests were indeed one with heathen religion. During the festival the combatants were regarded as darlings of the gods. Even Philo of Alexandria, the celebrated contemporary of Christ and the apostles, who so much sought to combine Greek thought and faith in Jehovah, mentions that only once in his life did he attend the games.
Therefore the New Testament writers did not gain their knowledge of these customs directly but indirectly, not by personal observation but by general hearing about them, not through participation but through the widespread knowledge and daily talk of their contemporaries. Nevertheless it is evident that scarcely a single essential feature of the whole course of the games has escaped their notice and not been employed in the New Testament figurative speech, especially with Paul. Here again is seen how the writers of the New Testament endeavored to present their message to their hearers and readers in the most understandable form.
This is Webster’s definition of the word “competitive”: a contest, or match, official participation in organized sport, the act of competing, rivalry. Competition denotes a striving for the same object, position, prize, etc., usually in accordance with certain fixed rules; rivalry implies keen competition between opponents more or less evenly matched, and, unqualified, it often suggests unfriendliness or even hostility; emulation implies endeavor to equal or surpass in achievement, character, etc., another, usually one greatly admired.
As you can see you can press the sport to great lengths that will produce any and all of these definitions. We are told to provoke one another to good works, to enjoy a game that has no rewards of making you a star, but includes all the enjoyment, leaves all players as friends and Christians. Our youth camp games are fun and enjoyable as a physical recreation, not a competing sport.
The dangers of our churches and schools organizing competitive sports are many. Problems arising from these games carry over to the church and family. The importance of the game and the spirit involved encourages a worldly spirit to come into your heart.
The churches and schools who are trying these competitive sports are suffering from the after-effects of the game. Most dangerous of all is that it carries the spirit of the game into a form of worship, How can you keep the spirit out of a sport that has so much of the world as its leader and guide. A sport fan is better termed a fanatic.
Somewhere we must define that is forbidden as a competitive sport. Is it wrong in public school but all right in church schools? Why must the church copy so closely to the world system of sports? Can you be competitive and not have the spirit of the sport? Many athletes pray before the event for God’s blessing on them. Does this act of prayer sanctify the player? Oral Roberts teams play national teams, yet he is supposed to be a church school. How far away from his type of operation are we if we compete in sports? We must pray and come to a Bible answer before we travel down that road.
The early churches of America started our educational system with church schools. But look at them today. Where do we draw the line?
(Bro Clark then placed the following tracts in the number 2 packet:)
Did Jesus Wear Long Hair? (Order Faith Publishing House)
Scriptures Decree Modesty In Dress (Order Faith Publishing House,
902 W. Mansur, Guthrie, OK 73044)
For Ladies Only (Pentecostal Publishing House)
What About Rings? (Order from Pastor Daniel Mena, (403) 273-6052
Under Loving Command
What Is T.V. Doing To Our Youth?
T.V. – Is It Wrong?
(The above material was published by the United Pentecostal Church in Madera, CA., Bro. Clifford Clark, Pastor)
Apostolic Information Service