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The Indianapolis Tapes: Kip McKean

                      INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF CHRIST                   A/K/A



Indianapolis Church of Christ Kip McKean   3/17/94 

Transcribed by Carol Giambalvo 

Tape 1 of 2  Side 1 

Found our way off the plane.  You know how that is.  And it was just blow 

away to see 20-25 disciples right there, waiting for us.  No matter where you 

come from or who you are, when you see another bunch of brothers and sisters 

there, you get revived, refreshed, fired up.  I tell you something, it really 

meant so much to me, all the people who turned out this morning.  (amen) 

Thank you very much for the extremely warm reception this morning, tonight.  

It's great to be in the kingdom of God, amen?  (amen)  (applause) 

You know, being in the kingdom is being a part of the gospel, being a part of 

good news, amen?  As you well know, for the past several weeks, the focus has 

been on the nation of Norway with all the Olympics.  Well, the Lord got his 

attention even more on Norway right now because we had our first church 

service in Oslo on March 7th.  We sent over 7 disciples.  The leaders were 

trained in Los Angeles and with 7 disciples, they had 70 at their first church 

service.  Is that awesome?  The Lord is moving. 

Secondly, we got great news from Katmandu and Nepal.  Of course, you remember 

I shared a little bit about what was going on right there.  That's even been 

sent out for the brothers and sisters there in India.  And they just had their 

second baptism and this is only their 4th week in an extremely charged 

atmosphere.  They have already had newspaper articles against them.  As you 

well know, it's a very charged atmosphere with the Muslim element right there, 

as well as the Hindu element. But the brothers and sisters are preaching the 

word, amen?  (amen)  (applause) 

Also, we got incredible news.  Right now it's kind of amazing.  When the 

Lord's work needs to go into another nation, the Lord starts working in the 

hearts of the leaders in that nations and in the nations surrounding it.  And 

I don't know if you have read anything about what has been going on in the 

Middle East.  Of course, you well know we have had our challenges there.  

First in the work there in Cairo, Egypt, as well as the work in Amman, Jordan. 

 That's really challenging persecution- wise.  But we have been praying for 

the Lord to open up the right door so we can have an incredible work in the 

Middle East, particularly a work that can be our mother church there, our 

Antioch for the entire Middle East.  Well, one of the nations in the Middle 

East is Lebanon.  And in Lebanon, it is a unique nation because it is 50% 

Muslim and 50% Christian.  And it is the only Middle East nation like that.  

All the rest are very, very, very much Muslim.  And, therefore, Muslim 

dominated. And the laws are dominated that way.  Well this particular nation 

obviously, it is 50/50 and the government even has the laws where one has to 

be quote "a Christian" and the other has to be a Muslim.  It's an incredible, 

unique situation.  Well, Americans have not been allowed in there for 18 

years.  Is that incredible?  And even now, it still hasn't been lifted.  But, 

of course, in the work in Boston, we converted a young doctor, a cardiologist, 

Dr. Mo Bishara.  And not only does he happen to be American, but he is also 

Egyptian.  It's always good to have that second passport.  You know what I'm 


And, you know, Paul did that with his Roman passport and everything.  

(laughter)  And we have been really praying for the Lord to open up.  Well, 

here's what happened.  We tried to get a church established there and we 

couldn't because "the other denominations opposed us."  And they don't want 

any other "groups".  So, through relationships and through the special people 

who were converted in the church in Boston, we got to have relationships with 

some of the upper people in the government there.  To make a long story short, 

instead of getting a church, we simply got an agreement to be able to have, if 

you will, kind of an association, a fellowship, there.  The only thing we 

can't do is marry people.  But we can't do that in the other Middle East 

nations anyway.  And so this association will have, obviously, a benevolent 

element to it in reaching out and helping the poor, which is something that we 

want to do already, amen?  (amen) 

But they are going to allow us as the church to meet there and to "preach 

what we believe," amen? (amen)  Now here's the amazing thing about it.  It 

was really against all odds that we would be able to get the association.  But 

to make a long story short, we got the approval for the association.  Two days 

later, the legislature of Lebanon passed a rule, a law, not only banning 

future churches but even new associations, associated with churches.  So, 

within 2 days, just in the nick of time -- of course we know it was the Lord, 

amen?  (amen)  We now have an association in Beirut, Lebanon.  Is that 

awesome?  (applause)  

Of course, the Lord continues to do incredible things in Mexico City.  The 

church is only 6 years old there and they are having now 1500 at church.  

(amen)  And they have already sent out 3 other churches in Mexico.  And, of 

course, we're having special plans right now, one of the brothers that we 

baptized in L.A. about a year ago, Atilla Gondola, is from Mexico City.  And 

he will be leaving L.A. this June and be planting a church in Guatemala City 

in a few months and then he will be assuming the leadership of the Mexico City 

church as a national.  Is that flat awesome?  The Lord is really blessing in 


The church in Manila is going great.  It's going blow away.  They are having 

now almost 3000 every Sunday morning.  They are just 4 years old as a church.  

Is that incredible?  (amen)  

The church in Russia is going great.  It's great to hear about the work in 

Moscow.  Of course, Derek Wooten is related to Shawn Wooten.  He's the 

brother.  Shawn Wooten leads the church in Kiev. And Kiev, already this year, 

has grown 150 disciples.  Is that incredible?  (amen)  The first 10 weeks of 

1994, you feel a little challenged by that there?  (yes)  It's so incredible. 

 Any called the other day and he said, for our collective 6 churches, and of 

course, all that work started a little over 3 years ago with just a group of 

17 disciples, but that collective 6 churches is just one church in the Lord. 

(that's right)  Every Sunday morning now they are having 6,000 people at 

church.  Is that blow away or not?  (amen, applause)  And the Moscow church is 

the largest church of any kind in the entire Commonweal of Independent States. 

 Truly God is being glorified.  (amen)  And Christianity is being defined.  


The Lord is working in L.A., praise the Lord.  Already this year we have 

grown 349 disciples in the first 10 weeks and we're having close to 6,000 

every Sunday morning.  The Lord is just working in tremendous and fantastic 

ways there. 

Now, we're really looking forward to having all the Indianapolis church come 

visit with us in June. (amen)  And, if you don't know, we have invited the 

entire Indianapolis church to be with us June 11 and 12th.  On the 11th, which 

is Saturday, we have invited all the churches in California and in that far 

western US to come to LA and we're all going to be going to an amusement park 

there not very far.  And so there will probably be somewhere between 7,000-

10,000 disciples.  (wow)  Is that going to be hot?  You talk about having a 

lot of fun, we're going to have fun.  Then the next day, we're going to be 

meeting in the LA sports arena where Clippers play and everything.  They need 

a few prayers right at this moment.  Well, the Pacers do to, so don't let's 

get honkey about it. (oooooh) 

So it's really going to be incredible is number one, we're going to be 

sending off the Saigon, Vietnam mission team.  We're also going to be sending 

off   (  name inaudible  ) to Guatemala City to plant that church.  We are 

also going to be sending off prayerfully, and maybe praying about it, given 

the association's license, the Beirut team.  Is that going to be awesome in 

Lebanon?  (amen)  And, of course, the San Francisco church is going to be 

sending off a second time the Fresno team.  Now that's going to be flat 

awesome, amen?  (applause) 

So, God is moving in incredible, incredible ways in the kingdom of God. 

Now, getting on with what we're here about, I just first of all want to say, 

hey, I kept all the promises I made you two weeks ago: 

     1.   I'm back.  Amen?  (amen)      2.   We found the money to replace the 

mission fund that ordinarily the Indianapolis church would supply, which is 

$246,000.  That is going to be supplied by another church.  (amen) Isn't that 

incredible how the kingdom?  And we want you to use the money that you would 

have used for the missions fund, to save it, buy that airplane ticket and come 

on out and be with us in L.A. for that special weekend the 10th, 11th and 12th 

of June.  (amen)  To be able to really see what God is doing around the world 

in His movement, amen?  (amen) Secondly, along the financial lines, I don't 

know if you realize how much time and energy, but money, particularly the 

Chicago church has spent to fly everybody in and have everybody stay, get 

these meeting rooms.  I really first of all want to commend the Mantles for 

an incredible job that they have done, amen?  (applause) 

I told, last time after we finished the meeting, we were done at about 2:00 

a.m. and we were trying to find something to eat.  And that was a little 

difficult at that time.  But we all gathered in one of the brother's rooms and 

I'll never forget it.  John's son, Jeff, was there.  He had come from the 

church I think in Syracuse.  And he had come all the way to be with his dad.  

And I get all teary eyes thinking that some day Shawn and Erin are going to 

come, stay with me, you know.  Fight the Lord's battles.  I mean, that's 

really just great to think about how awesome it is to have your kids in the 

kingdom, amen?  (amen) 

And I appreciate so much the men who serve as elders and the awesome wives of 

the elders that we have.  The Brumleys have done an outstanding job in 

Chicago.  It's great so much having the relationship with the Brumley's 

through the years for the work there in San Diego and now here in Chicago.  

And that's what this thing is all about is relationships.  (amen)  And then, 

of course, the tremendous lead evangelist and his wife that you have there, 

the Drabots.  They're doing an awesome job, amen?  (applause)  But these 

people, they have gladly sacrificed their time, their energy and even the 

money of the church that has really begun to put a pressure on the Chicago 

church.  So we have been doing a lot of work in L.A.  We have also found about 

$150,000 to give to the Chicago church because that is what all this has cost. 

   And so we are going to be giving that money to the Chicago church to make 

sure the Lord's work is not hindered there.  (amen) 

And I want you to know here in Indianapolis how much other people are 

sacrificing for you.  But I appreciate the great Chicago church, amen?  (amen) 

And the last promise that I made was okay, we're going to send ten people 

from the L.A. church to Indianapolis.  And we have all ten people ready to go. 

 We have a Friday night devotional tomorrow night and those 10 people are 

going to be introduced to the L.A. church.  And these people are very, very 

special people.  I'll read their names just so you can pray about them.  

Terrance Williams, Sophia Simmons, James Williams, Maria(?) Olsen, Dan and 

Kristin Downs, Jill Underhill, Dan Moritz, Evelyn Seager and Joe Burnett.  Six 

of these men and women are Bible Talk Leaders.  The other four are not only 

BTL's, they are discipleship group leaders.  (amen)  And I can tell you, I 

went back and I talked to the L.A. church and said, "Hey, here's what is going 

on in Indianapolis.  We need to really get behind our brothers and sisters and 

send 10 BTL's there."  Everyone was really fired up.  Now to show you the kind 

of strength that is, ordinarily for the LA. church to send 10 BTL's anyplace, 

that is the kind of people we surround a mission team leader with to plant a 

new church in a new nation.  So you need to understand, whoa, that's the kind 

of sacrifice -- not that we have to make -- but we want to make because we 

want to make the Lord's work here in Indianapolis to be more awesome than it 

has ever been, amen?  (amen)  (applause) 

And on top of that, I heard that the announcement has already been made about 

the Weger's coming and leading the church here.  (applause)  Kind of 

interesting, one of their sons, Luke, and I have the same birthdate.  So we 

always keep up with each other and everything. 

But I want you to know how much of a sacrifice this has become.  They have 

five kids.  I have three. Now three outnumbers me and Elena.  That's a 

challenge.  Five is more than three.  As I see it, that's a greater challenge. 

 I appreciate these people's hearts.  (yes)  They've got a great work going in 

Chicago.  They only moved months ago from San Diego.  And when you've got 

kids, that's a challenge.  And, in the Lord I feel comfortable sharing a few 

things.  Many years ago, Judy used to suffer a little with stuttering and some 

of the children have a problem with that, particularly when they have to go to 

a new environment.  And so, for the sacrifice to say "Hey, we're going to be 

moving down to Indianapolis.  Well, oh, oh, we might have to go through this 

again."  That has not been an issue because we had to get the strongest 

evangelist we could find to be able to lead this great church.  (amen) 

And you say, "well, why do you do it?"  I want you to know what is being done 

in the kingdom for your sake.  You say, "well, I feel bad about it."  I don't 

want you to feel bad about it.  I do want you to be humbled by it.  Saying, 

"wow, I mean, you guys are sacrificing $450,000 from the missions contribution 

and $150,000 -- you are sacrificing 10 BTL's -- that's the kind of group you 

send to a new nation to start a new church.  The Chicago church is sacrificing 

the Weger's and they are personally willing to put on the line the welfare of 

their children?"  Yes.  And the Chicago church is also going to be sending 30 

other disciples.  (amen)  That's incredible, guys. 

I don't want you to feel down about it.  I want you to feel humble.  I want 

you to feel inspired. (amen)  Because, you see, it's not like we're giving 

away to another church.  We are one church, one kingdom, one brotherhood, 

amen?  (amen, applause) 

I talked to John and Dave today earlier.  You know what I think is going to 

be a good thing?  I'd like to suggest after you get things cranking here -- 

and they will be cranking -- (amen) is that I would like to suggest that you, 

the Indianapolis church, send 5 people to Chicago and 5 people to L.A.  You 

say, "well, why?  Do they have to be leaders?"  No.  I want you to send 5 

people there because I want you -- because you know how it is in the kingdom, 

everybody calls everybody and everything -- I want you to know the people 

there in LA.  Is it really as awesome as they say it is?  "Oh, yeah, brother, 

it's awesome, man.   They are hard line!"  "Well, is Ron Drabot really as 

great a preacher up there in Chicago?"  "Well, I haven't heard Ron, but Byron 

is sure awesome."  

Because I think we've got -- one of the things that has been injured here is 

the trust issue.  (amen, that's right)  And I totally trust the 10 disciples 

from LA that you're going to take care of them. (amen)  I know the Chicago 

brothers totally trust you're going to take care of the 30 from Chicago and 

particularly the Weger's now that you have been sensitized to their 

situation.  Amen?  (amen) 

On the other hand, I want you to have some of your friends out there in 

Chicago and LA after this instance to verify, "hey, it really is awesome."   A 

lot of rumors have been circulating.  A lot of things that have supposedly 

been said, seen and heard is garbage. 

But I just want to some of your Indianapolis -- some Hoosiers -- to be able 

to testify.  As I shared last time, I am a Hoosier.  I was born here in 

Indianapolis.  (amen, cheers)  But bottom line, I think that would be a 

gesture of good will.  We're not trying to get leaders or anything like this. 

 I just would like you to send 5 disciples to each place so they can testify, 

so they can burn up the fax lines, so they can burn up the phone lines saying, 

"hey, it really is awesome here in the kingdom of God." You've got great 

brothers and sisters in LA, you've got great brothers and sisters in Chicago. 

 Hey, we really are one in the Lord, amen, church?  (applause) 

Now, you say, "Okay, is that the lesson?"  No, that was just the 

introduction.  You haven't gotten the scriptures out yet and I believe in 

using the scripture.  (amen)  We're going to ask at this time Dr. Al Baird -- 

we know him as Al.  He's one of the original elders up in the Boston church.  

He's now an elder in the LA church.  He's also the World Sector Leader, 

formerly of the Middle East and now of the Media/Law Sector of our whole 

worldwide ministry.  Al is going to come at this time and share the letter 

that is going to be sent out to all 149 churches in the movement around the 

world about what has happened in Indianapolis.  And that will pave the way for 

me to come and share with you from the scriptures the parallels to what has 

happened here and what has happened in the Bible. Al Baird. 

Al Baird:      Hey, listen carefully.  

To:  All the disciples in the International Church of Christ around the world: 

From:     Kip McKean, Al Baird, Marty Fuqua, Ron Drabot and the elders of the 

Chicago Church of           Christ 

This announcement is to inform you of the actions of Ed Powers, evangelist of 

the Indianapolis Church of Christ, which have resulted in part of that 

congregation being led astray from God's movement. 

On Sunday night, February 27, 1994, Ed called a meeting of the Indianapolis 

Church in which he asked for and received the majority vote of confidence from 

the congregation in a move to separate itself from the International Churches 

of Christ.  This meeting followed his having convinced the staff of the 

congregation to support the move.  It is clear from subsequent conversations 

with several members that the congregation in general did not understand the 

implications of the vote.  

Ed called Marty Fuqua, World Sector Leader responsible for the Western United 

States, after the vote was taken to inform Marty of the action.  At no time 

previous to the vote did Ed let any of those over him in the Lord know of his 

intent nor of his discontent with the movement.  This is especially surprising 

in light of the fact that Ed attended a two day meeting of the U.S. West 

evangelists and ministry leaders in Los Angeles just two weeks before this 

action occurred. 

After Ed refused to allow Marty to speak to the Indianapolis church and even 

refused to meet with Marty, and because the staff fully supported Ed's action, 

both Ed and the staff were marked for the grievous sin of creating division in 

the Lord's church.  (Romans 16:17)  

We call on everyone to keep away from them except for those leaders who 

continue to call them to repentance.  We praise God that already 3 of the 

staff have repented and joined us.  (amen) 

A special meeting was held in Indianapolis on Thursday night, March 3rd (just 

two weeks ago) to announce the forming of the new Indianapolis International 

Church of Christ, to address the issues and to ask questions.  Friends and 

relatives who are disciples in other places were encouraged to go to 

Indianapolis for this session and to invite as many members of the 

Indianapolis church as they could.  The session was highly successful with 

about 250 attendees, 70 of them were out of town disciples (many of you), 

including Kip McKean, the World Sector Leaders Doug Arthur, Al Baird, Marty 

Fuqua and Bob Gemple, as well as the evangelist, elders and wives from the 

great Chicago church of Christ.  Ron Drabot disciples the work in the Midwest 

of which Indianapolis is a part as Titus did Crete (Titus 1:5).  John and 

Nancy Mantle are temporarily leading the new church.  Dave and Judy Weger will 

lead as soon as they can move there from Chicago. 

A growing number, 200 so far, of the former congregation have indicated they 

want to be a part.  We are confident that in spite of this sad event echoing 

Korah and his rebellion, God is triumphing and the church is being 

strengthened, even as Los Angeles is sending 10 Bible Talk Leaders and Chicago 

is sending 30 disciples. 

Pray for the new Indianapolis International Church of Christ and its 

leadership.  Pray that Ed and the staff will repent.  Upon the repentance, we 

will be willing and eager to welcome them back with open arms.  (amen)  Pray 

that the good hearted, but misled, members of the former congregation will see 

the truth and unite with us.  If you know people in Indianapolis or members 

of the Indianapolis Church of Christ, as Jude taught, let us snatch them from 

the fire.  Let us encourage them to come and visit and join us as the new 

Indianapolis International Church of Christ.  And to God be the glory. 

(amen, applause) 

Kip McKean:         Let's hold hands and offer a prayer before we get into 

the word of God.  Our Father in Heaven, we pray at this time that your Holy 

Spirit descend on this assembly.  Father, I pray that where there is 

blindness, where there is sentimentality, where there is hard heartedness, 

let the Holy Spirit intercede and they will see what the scriptures teach.  

Father, as the great leaders of the past have done, there comes a time when 

the people don't need to take a vote, when the people simply need to decide 

are they for God or are they for Belial?  Are they for God's leaders or for 

those that oppose them?  Father, tonight I pray that the line is clear -- as 

clear as it was and is in your word. Be near this time, Father, help me to 

say it as if Jesus himself were saying it.  Help me to be able to use the 

right scriptures to say it in exactly the right way so people can hear what 

you want to hear.. Father, truly you are our hope, our rock, our strength, 

our fortress.  Father, in you and you alone do we totally trust.  In the name 

of Jesus that we pray.  Amen.  (amen) 

Tonight is a call to decision.  I realize that some maybe here for the first 

time.  You may not be able to make your decision tonight.  And so I beg you to 

take down these scriptures and if you see that they are used inappropriately 

or not of the Lord, then you forget anything that I would say.  I am of no 

issue right here.  But if these scriptures truly parallel the situation that 

we have faced these last few weeks, then this isn't some man preaching, this 

is God speaking to us individually and collectively.  (that's right, come on) 

So tonight does not end the time of discussion.  For those that may be here 

for the first time and have questions, I am going to be hanging around the 

fellowship, Al's going to be hanging around the fellowship.  A lot of the 

leaders here in the Indianapolis church are going to be hanging around the 

fellowship.  We're going to stay like we did the other night as long as 

possible to answer your questions, one on one.  And it's not that we don't 

want to answer -- and I know you're going to say "I know you went over it in 

the sermon, but just run it by again."  Amen.  We'll try our very, very best 

to be patient, to try to understand what is behind your question, what is on 

your hearts.  On the other hand, tonight we have got to lay out from the 

scriptures what God teaches about what has been done. 

I want to start in 1 Cor. 10 with a scripture that I want you to see validate 

parallel, not just from the New Testament of the Bible, but from the Old 

Testament.  As I pointed out before, there are so many Church of Christ roots 

in some of the teachings that Ed Powers has given.  And he has proclaimed 

those to be new teachings, when, in fact, these are just old Church of Christ 

traditions.  One of the main things is in the old line church of Christ is 

"well, we're just folks in on the New Testament. We're just a New Testament 

church."  I don't believe that for a moment.  I believe that we are a Bible 

church.  (amen)  And there is a reason for some extent of why the NT is so 

small.  It's because all of the principles in the OT, all the stories, all the 

principles of God still hold.  Now there are some things, some covenants that 

have passed.  We understand that from the book of Hebrews.  But the essence of 

God has not changed.  (amen) 

When the new covenant began on the day of Pentecost -- not when Jesus began 

his ministry -- when the new covenant began on the day of Pentecost, it wasn't 

like God repented and became a Christian and changed his personality or 

character.  (no)  My Bible teaches me that God is the same yesterday, and 

today and forever and on that have I staked my life. 

Let's turn to  1 Cor. 10.  Notice how Paul starts to a disunified Corinthian 

church.  "For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers,  that 

our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the 

sea.  They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all 

ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink, for they 

drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." 

Christ was even in the OT, brothers and sisters. 

"Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were 

scattered over the desert." 

God is hard line. 

"Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on 

evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of the were, as it is 

written.  The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan 

revelry.  We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did-- and in 

one day twenty-three thousand of them died.  We should not test the Lord, as 

some of them did--and were killed by snakes.  And do not grumble, as some of 

them did, and were killed by the destroying angels.  These things happened to 

them as examples and were written down as a warning for us on whom the 

fulfillment of the ages had come.  So, if you think you are standing firm, be 

careful that you don't fall." 

Well, fall from what?  Well, he just reiterated it.  Idolatry can cause you 

to fall.  Sexual immorality will cause you to fall.  Testing the Lord will 

cause you to fall.  Grumbling will cause you to fall. (that's right)  Now, 

please understand what he said right there.  Did he rank any one of these 

things worse than the others?  (no)  See, my Bible teaches me "hey, in 20th 

century, even in God's church now, we have it clear in our minds immorality, 

prostitution, homosexuality, adultery, these things are evil.  And many of us 

participate in those things.  And we know the evil it brings.  "We've got deep 

convictions" (in mimicking voice).  What he's saying, "Hey, that was 

terrible, but so was idolatry and so was grumbling.  (that's right)  He's not 

ranking sexual -- he's saying, "listen, sexual immorality causes people to 

lose their salvation as much as grumbling cause them to lose their salvation." 

 Are you with me right here, church?  (amen) 

You say, "but aren't there a lot of people that have innocent hearts?"  Verse 

13:  "no temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  God is 

faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  When you 

are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 

I believe that there is no temptation that we have, including the horrendous, 

grievous thing that have happened in the Indianapolis church.  Yet, to some 

extent, at the beginnings of people that were naive, but there has been and 

will continue to be a way out provided by God.  (amen, that's right)  

I believe one of the first things we've got to understand is, number one, is 

that grumbling is as bad as immorality in the eyes of God.  (that's right)  We 

don't think grumbling is that bad a sin. 

Number two, in the Bible there is not a victim mentality.  (that's right)  He 

says, "there is no temptations come your way there isn't a way out on."  And 

what was said in the Indianapolis church over and over again is "how bad 

things are, oh woe is you, woe is me, here's our problem, here's what is going 

on."  And many things that the disciples actually thought were healed in 

their lives got reopened.  (amen)  And a victim mentality began to grow 

individually and collectively.  Now we must remember this.  God doesn't judge 

a church collectively, he judges people individually. 

Let's go to Exodus 16.  We have now validated that the things in the OT 

happened as an example for us in the NT.   We are living under the NT, amen?  

(amen)  But we are living with the same God as the OT.  He didn't change.  He 

didn't get baptized.  He's the same guy.  Amen. 

In Exodus 16 after they crossed the Red Sea, we read in verse 6 the principle 

that I believe is shocking to the modern day "American Christian."  "So Moses 

and Aaron said to all the Israelites, 'in the evening you will know that it 

was the Lord that brought you out of Egypt; and in the morning, you will see 

the glory of the Lord because he hears your grumblings against him; and who 

are we that you should grumble against us?'  And Moses also said, 'you will 

know that it was the Lord that gives you meat to eat in the evening and all 

the bread you want in the morning because he has heard your grumbling against 

him.  Who are we?  You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.'" 

We in America believe in the concept of democracy as being the highest form 

of government.  I think it is great that as disciples in the 20th century, we 

live in America.  I like the freedom of religion, amen?  (amen)  On the other 

hand, that has been kind of taken a step too far when we say, "well, a form of 

government in the kingdom of God must be a democracy."  In the kingdom of God, 

it is a kingdom.  (that's right)  There are no votes.  (that's right)  That's 

Church of Christ business meetings.  (bring it down brother!  come on)  We did 

away with those things a lonnnnnng time ago. (amen) 

Secondly, we don't elect a president where 46% of the people like him, 42% 

hate him and the other people can't decide.  But that is not how we have it in 

the Lord.  The Lord has his anointed leaders. Not the ones they voted for.  

You know, if there had been votes going for Moses at the beginning of the Red 

Sea, it wouldn't have been a strong showing.  See that's the difference in 

the kingdom of God is that very often the prophet, the leader of God's people 

has to stand up against the majority for the sake of what is right.  (that's 

right)  We know that principle collectively because we know that Jesus said 

straight and narrow is the road that goes to heaven.  But broad and wide is 

the road that leads to destruction.  (that's right)  We understand that the 

people of God were always going to be in the minority, but we have got to keep 

our convictions strong.  (amen, that's right) 

Right here is the principle that will shake the Americanized Christians.  To 

grumble against God's leaders is to grumble against God himself.  That's a 

very serious thing.  Are we saying that Moses was perfect?  No, Moses was not 

perfect.  Ask Aaron, his brother.  Ask Miriam, his sister.  There has been no 

perfect human being.  Jesus was in the flesh, but he was all God and all man, 

amen? (amen)  I believe Peter messed up a few times.  Three to be exact, 

right there at the crucial point. Paul had some low moments.  He gave a 

little back talk to the high priest.  Remember that in Acts 23?  He's still an 

apostle, though.  You know, apostles messed up.  That blows our mind.  We 

think apostles were perfect.  No, they weren't.  Matter of fact, one of them 

fell away -- Judas. 

We have the idea that somehow we put into it that if you are a leader, then 

you have got to be perfect.  No, they are going to be judged and they are 

going to be judged more severely.  But leaders are not chosen by the people 

like in a democracy.  Leaders are chosen by God.  (that's right)  Those of you 

in the audience that are leaders, I mean there should be a pit in your 

stomach going "oh, gee. You mean it wasn't the evangelist that picked me out 

to go in the ministry?"  No, it was the Lord. (that's right)  You are not an 

employee of the church, you are a servant of the living God.  (amen) 

And right here, guys, people start talking bad about the evangelist.  And 

people start talking bad about the leader of the movement.  You are not 

grumbling against Moses and Aaron.  You are not grumbling against Kip and 

Marty, Ron and Yvonia.  You are grumbling against the Lord.  (that's right) 

Now that's either in the scriptures or it is not.  (that's right)  The Lord.  

(preach it, Kip) 

Turn to Numbers 16.  Tonight is not going to be the usual 40 minutes Bible 

school lesson and then we go on home.  I got my notes right here, I've got my 

scriptures and we'll be done when I finish with the last one.  (come on, 

preach it)  (don't hold back)  (go, bro) 

See, I found out there is a late night spot to eat.  The Steak and Shake.  

I've already told Ron, "now, bro, we need to get several burgers from there 

and a few shakes for tonight and everything." 

Chapter 16 in the book of Numbers is a very serious chapter.  Let me read to 

you verses 1-3 to begin with.  "Korah, son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of 

Levi and certain Reubenites, Dathan and Abriram, sons of Eliab, and On, the 

son of Peleth, became insolent and rose up against Moses.  With them were 250 

Israelite men, well known community leaders who have appointed members of the 

counsel. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and they said, 'you 

have gone too far.'  The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the 

Lord is with them.  By them you set yourselves above the Lord's assembly."     


Right here, the Bible says there was insolence.  What is insolence?  When 

someone under the charge of the Lord's anointed rises up to challenge their 

authority.  That is insolence.  If you are parents, you understand that. 

Secondly, these were not just some jokers in the Israelite community.  These 

were leaders.  See, in order for there to be a group uprising, it has got to 

be led.  And a lot of people are going, "you mean the leaders can fall away?"  

Yes.  (that's right)  

Thirdly, the charge "you have gone too far, you are expecting too much", boy, 

doesn't that tickle the ears of the people?  (yes)  Yeah.  You're doing too 

much.  I'd like it easier. 

Fourthly, this is incredible.  A twisting of scripture.  "It's the whole 

community that is holy.  Moses, how come you have set yourself up to be the 

one over the Lord's people?  You are not the only holy one amongst us.  We are 

alllll holy."  (come on, brother)  Doesn't that sound spiritual?  (amen)  

Right here, when we read this, our 20th century American Christian, we go "I 

can't believe this happened. There was rebellion amongst the Israelites 

against Moses?" 

You know, we have got to get Polyanna thinking dealt with.  We are in the 

business of evangelizing the world.  (that's right)  And it is not going to be 

easy.  Our enemy is not flesh and blood, our enemy is Satan and he is going to 

come after us.  And the way he is going to come after us -- he knows 

persecution from the outside.  Let me tell you something, persecution only 

makes us grow stronger. (that's right)  What was the thing that defeated the 

Roman Empire?  It was not the outward enemy, it was the inward corruption and 

division.  (that's right)  What has immobilized Bill Clinton?  The inward 

division.  (that's right) 

Let me tell you something.  What has happened here, you go "I can't believe 

it happened."  It happened.  But it is not the first time it has happened.  

And if we really are God's people, this challenge will come to us again.  Now, 

in essence, this was the last time something like this happened because the 

Israelites dealt with it so firmly.  And you will find the Lord had a hand in 

it. (amen)  He was very persuasive toward the end of the chapter.  (laughter) 

So we've got to understand it has happened.  Some people go "oh, it's never 

happened to us, it never happened before, I can't believe it."  Would you shut 

up?  Get your Bible open.  It has happened before.  (that's right)  But it has 

got to be dealt with in a godly way.  (amen) 

Secondly, I got a letter today and I appreciate the letter.  But in the midst 

of the letter, from a six month old Christian that said something to this 

effect:  it is so very difficult for me to choose which side to go with.  I 

feel like Mom and Dad are getting a divorce and they are asking me do you want 

to live with Mom or with Dad?  See, this is how it has been presented.  Oh, 

there are problems on both sides.  The whole community is holy.  Oh, we've 

made some mistakes how we have gone about our things, but the leaders, they've 

made their mistakes.  Brothers and sisters, this is not a problem with Mom and 

Dad having a divorce.  We have but one Father, amen?  (amen)  And He is not 

going to curse his people as long as his people stay faithful to him.  

What is the issue here?  I went over last time the issues.  And the things 

where, quote 

Tape 1   Side 2 

but, in fact, he is leading you to another.  That's called deceiving.  

(that's right)  Let's just label it with Bible words.  (come on, Brother)  

Autonomy is unbiblical.  It is not a word found in the Bible. Turn to Titus 

1.  In verse 5, we find Paul writing to the young evangelist, Titus.  He 

said, "the reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what 

was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town as I directed you."  So, 

right here we find that one evangelist, Titus, is given a charge by Paul.  Now 

Titus is not an apostle or anything.  But he is given the charge to be over 

all the churches in Crete.  There was not an autonomous church in each 

separate town.  Matter of fact, the evangelist was to appoint elders in each 

one of the churches that were in each town.  The Bible clearly teaches in one 

church in one city, amen?  (amen)  It doesn't teach an autonomy. 

We find here that the evangelist was given the power and the charge to 

straighten things out.  Was he a member of that church?  No, but he was given 


Look a little bit later, we find in verse 15 "these, then, are the things 

which you should teach." Chapter 2.  "These, then are the things which you 

should teach.  Encourage and rebuke with all authority.  Do not let anyone 

despise you."  A little bit later, verse 9:  "But avoid foolish controversies 

and genealogies and arguments and discords about the law because they are 

unprofitable and useless.  Warn and divisive person once, then warn him a 

second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him.  You may be sure that 

such a man is warped and sinful, being self- condemned."  

Somebody has said, "well, why don't we have a debate?"  See, this has been 

the problem.  Ed did not bring to my attention or Marty's attention and, as 

the letter says, he was in LA just two weeks before all this happened.  

(that's right)  He had more than enough time.  Two days to talk to us.  Not a 

word. I mean, we were hugged, "oh, everything is going great (sarcastically), 

bro."  He had the opportunity. 

Secondly, it is clear right here -- at least in my Bible -- it says that the 

evangelist -- this was written to Titus -- don't get involved in foolish 

arguments or controversies.  What just blew away all the young disciples in 

the Indianapolis church?  Why are so many of the young people just so 

confused? They don't know all these church of Christ idiotic traditions.   

Because they have been baptized recently.  And so, in that sense, they have 

had all these things dropped on them and it has confused them.  (that's right) 

Ed himself said, "hey, listen, I have shielded you from the harshness of the 

movement."  No, what he has done is he has shielded the people of Indianapolis 

from the good of the movement.  (that's right) 

You know something, I had people hating me that never even met me.  (that's 

right)  Now,  ( ? ) figure.  How did that happen?  You know, a man -- Jesus 

listened.  You know someone by their heart.  And you know a person's heart.  

You hear him say "well, you can't know someone's heart." Oh, yeah, you can.  

(that's right)  Says you will know a good prophet from a bad prophet by 

looking at the fruit of their life.  Now how in the world did people in my 

home city who I had never met come to hate my guts?  Someone put it there.  

(that's right) 

Now someone is hating somebody, that's not of God.  (that's right)  So then 

we have got to be wise right here.  Keep your eyes open.  (that's right)  

(come on, Kip)  The Bible teaches right here that Titus had the charge over 

several churches.  He was to straighten things out, he was to deal with them 

with all authority and rebuke accordingly.  And he was not to get involved in 

controversies, not to get involved in a debate.  Debate would just continue to 

injure people's hearts and lives. That's why the Church of Christ whole 

movement dissipated.  They wanted to debate denominations.  Let's debate on 

baptism.  The issue is not baptism.  The issue is Jesus Christ and being 

discipled and evangelizing the world, amen?  Not that don't mean I don't 

believe in baptism, amen?  And I know the scriptures -- a debate won't help, 

people.  It will confuse them.  That's why Paul said don't get involved in a 

debate.  (that's right) 

As an evangelist, I have got to obey the word of God.  To get involved in a 

debate would be sinful, wrong and injurious.  In my flesh, I go, "oh, yeah, I 

would like to debate."  But that is that inside of me and you have it too.  

You guys know how it is.  "I want to show I'm right."  (laughter)  You want a 

debate, I'll show you, let's go for it.  But what does that do?  And what if 

the kids would hear?  I'm telling you, according to the Bible, I am not 

allowed to debate.  I'm not going to debate.  (amen)  I'll study the 

scriptures one on one with anybody. 

Autonomy is not in the Bible as a word.  (that's right)  You cannot not have 

an evangelist that has a charge over your charge, like Marty Fuqua, not come 

in your church.  (that's right)  And then say you are in the movement.  No, 

you left the movement.  (that's right)  But he said to us that we didn't leave 

the movement.  Listen, you have been deceived.  (that's right) 

Secondly, the issue of why was Ed and his staff marked?  Why didn't you go 

through Matthew 18: 15-17 where you have the four steps:  1 on 1, 2 or 3 on 1, 

the church on 1, and finally disfellowshipment?   You can only disfellowship 

somebody that is in fellowship.  If they don't want to meet with you, they are 

not in fellowship any more.   That's not the proper scripture.  The scripture 

of issue, then, becomes Romans 16.  Let's turn there.  I want you to make 

these scriptures down. Verse 17:  "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for 

those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to 

the teaching you have learned.  Get away from them for such people are not 

serving the Lord, Christ, but their own appetite by smoooooooth talk and 

flattery."  "Oh, we are the fastest growing church in the Midwest."  

(sarcastically)  I'll deal with that later.    " smooth talk and 

flattery,  they deceive the minds of naive people." 

I had no choice.  Matthew 18 was not an issue when he will not meet with us.  

When he will not allow us into the assembly.  He has removed his church from 

the fellowship of God's movement. He has become divisive.  He is putting 

obstacles in the faces of young disciples.  (that's right)  How has he done 

it?  By smooooooth talk and flattery. 

The marking, Matthew 18 is not the issue.  Romans 16 is.  Well, you say, 

"well you've gone too far by saying 'you're the leader of the movement.'"  Oh, 

no, I didn't say I was.  But I either am or I am not.  It's kind of 

interesting.  I was talking with Marty and Marty just reiterated the 

conversation with me the other day.  He said, "bro, be sure to tell the 

Indianapolis brothers and sisters this."  Ed says, well "I can't be a part of 

a system where there is a hierarchy and one guy is in charge."  Marty goes, 

"well, Ed, when you pull out of a movement, aren't you the one guy in charge 

of Indianapolis except you just have a smaller hierarchy?"  Ed, when you think 

about it, every group has a CEO.  Every group has a president.  Every group 

has a premier.  Somebody has got to lead.  (that's right)  Even down in a 

little tiny nuclear family has a hierarchy.  It's called Dad.  (come on)  

Now, I realize that's challenging from time to time.  But that's not what I'm 

going to talk about tonight.  But, are you with me here, church?  (yes)  See, 

it's the same -- "isn't the whole group holy? How come, Moses, you set 

yourself above everybody?"  The same charge going on here for centuries.  You 

have gone too far.  No we haven't, we're just following the Bible pattern.  

(that's right) 

The marking.  Well, who are you in fellowship with  now?  Who are your 

heroes, Ed?  And from talking, I have heard, that the church in Denver with 

Ron Gholsten is now a hero church.  Well, we had Mike Grott, (?) the 

evangelist of Denver do some checking on that church.  And that church in 3 

years has grown to 250-300 people.  That's it.  Attendance.  That's not the 

membership.  A lot of the people, about 1/3 of them, are fallaways from the 

Denver church.  Ron Gholsten was marked by the Boston Church several years ago 

for divisiveness.  (that's right)  Hey, now, hold it, if you are siding with 

someone that opposes the movement, where do you really stand?  "Oh, no, but 

we're in the movement, we're just not with the same structure."  You're not in 

the movement if you are siding with people who oppose it. 

Well, are the people in the Int'l Churches of Christ the only ones saved?  We 

are the only ones who teach what we teach.  But if someone in another group, 

in the Church of Christ or a Baptist group or whatever, picks up the Bible and 

they see the way of salvation, which is you have got to have faith in Jesus, 

Son of God, you got to repent of all the sins, you have got to come to 

conviction that Jesus died on the cross, you've got to turn Jesus Lord of your 

life, you gotta become a disciple of Jesus and then you gotta be water 

immersed, water baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and receive the gift 

of the Holy Spirit.  If they have done that, then they are a son or daughter 

of God.  (that's right) Because we don't take a vote in our churches.  

(that's right)  On the other hand, if they are in some isolated group like 

that, -- the last time I spoke to you, I told you about they want to be a 

part of a movement, then they have to be a part of a church that is moving.  

(that's right)  (good point)  If they are the only one that is taught that 

truth in that little fellowship, then if they are really good hearted, they 

are going to join with people that are true disciples.  (that's right)  So, 

I'm not going to be ordering the borders of Israel here.  That's for the Lord 

to do.  I am going to be hard line on what it takes to become a true disciple. 

 (that's right)  But I spent all the 80's trying to bring the remnant from 

these little churches.  (that's right)  

You say, "well, okay, but what happens if then they start opposing the 

movement?"   Oh, now you brought up a whole different issue.  Let's turn to 2 

Timothy 3.  You know, I'm in no rush tonight. It's only 6:00 in the evening.  

(come on, brother)  This is the actual sermon.  I'm done with my introduction 

and everything.  (amen) 

Paul writing to Timothy.  2 Tim.  3:10  "You, however, know all about my 

teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 

persecution, sufferings, what kind of things happen to me in Antioch, Iconium 

and Lystra and the persecutions I endured."    

I spent two hours sharing with you all the persecutions I endured in 

Philadelphia, Charleston, Boston, Manila, Cairo, L.A.  You know them, you have 

read about them in your cotton-pickin papers.  They are not exactly secrets.  

What I believe is not a secret.  What I preach is not a secret. And there are 

enough numbered in this auditorium who know me personally.   They know my way 

of life, they know my purpose, they know my wife and they know my 3 kids.  I 

realize many don't. But many do.  Now, look what he says, the middle of verse 

11:  "Yet, the Lord rescued me from them all."  I don't want your pity.  In 

fact,  "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be 

persecuted. But evil men and imposters...."  ones who profess to be 

brothers...  "...imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being 

deceived."   Now, you know, a while back I was going "how come these guys like 

Rick Bauer, Jerry Jones are so cotton-picking convincing?"  I said, "man, 

they could persuade these people."  And you know what finally hit me is they, 

themselves, were deceived. (that's right)  Therefore, if they took a lie 

detector test and they asked "is Kip McKean evil, is the movement evil?' and 

they put the lie detector test -- they would say "this guy is telling the 

truth." That's why they are so convincing.  Their minds have been deceived 

and they are about the work of deceiving.  (that's right, brother)  

Look, verse 14.  "But, as for you, continue in what you have learned and 

become convinced of because you know those from whom you have learned it.  And 

now from infancy, you have known the Holy scriptures which are able to make 

you wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All scripture is God 

breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in 

righteousness so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good 

work."  (amen)  "In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge 

the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this 

charge:  preach the word; be prepared in season, out of season; correct, 

rebuke and encourage with great patience and instruction.  For the time will 

come...." It has come to Indianapolis.    "...when men will not put up with 

sound doctrine.  Instead they will suit their own desires; they will gather 

around them  a great number of teachers..."   ...and staff... " say what 

their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the 

truth and turn aside to myths.  Why are you so surprised?  It's in the book.  

We need to understand that the issue that we will see in Numbers 16 as well as 

we see in the NT is this.  There were men who were "baptized right", guys like 

Demus and Judas.  They were baptized right -- that left the Lord and opposed 

God's work.  The issue -- and don't get it clouded up, you hear well "isn't 

our baptism right?  Aren't we brothers?" Baptism isn't the issue.  (that's 

right)  It's their hearts and their lives that is the issue.  If you oppose 

the Lord's servants, then you oppose the Lord.  And see, for American 

Christians, that's really hard because we want to vote.  That's not how it is 

in the kingdom.  It has never been like that.  It wasn't in the OT and it 

wasn't in the NT.  God picks the leaders and you gotta get behind them, amen? 

(amen)  That's the teaching of the word. 

So, people ask me "what about these people that are deceived?"  Well, we'll 

talk about that at the end of the lesson.  We've got to help them get 

undeceived.  (right)  On the other hand, there comes a time when you pass into 

a state of lostness because you have allowed yourself to be deceived.  "But 

that's unfair."  No, the Bible says that there is a way out, that no one faces 

a temptation they couldn't have gotten out of.  (that's right)  There is a 

point in time they could have turned back. 

You know, I have heard again through a couple people -- these are disciples 

in the Indianapolis church -- that "Kip has gone too far.  The movement has 

gone too far."  That's the charge.  You kind of get the gist there?  "What do 

you mean you have got to date only Christians?"  Let's turn to Nehemiah 13.  

You are going to meet a man right here that I honestly haven't worked up to 

be as hard line as yet.  Neh. 13:23.  "Moreover in those days, I saw a man of 

Judah...."  Those are God's people.  "...who had married women from Ashdod, 

Ammon and Moab."  Those are not God's people. They are not people of faith.  

The people of faith in the OT were the Jews.  The not people of faith were the 

Gentiles.  That was what is so amazing about the NT, is that Jews and 

Gentiles could both become sons and daughters of God, is that flat awesome and 

everything?  But right here in the OT, these people are not of faith, but they 

intermarry.  "Half their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language 

of one of the other peoples and did not know how to speak the language of 

Judah." I mean, they said the children of these half marriages, the kids 

didn't even know about God.  They didn't even speak the language of Judah.  "I 

rebuke them and call curses down on them.  I beat some of the men and pulled 

out their hair.  I made them take an oath in God's name and said 'you are not 

to give your daughters to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in 

marriage for your sons or for yourselves.   Was it not because of marriages 

like these, Solomon, King of Israel, sinned.  Among the many nations, there 

was no king like him.  He was loved by God.  And God made him king over 

Israel.  But even he was led into sin by foreign women.  Must we now hear 

that you, too,  are doing all this terrible wickedness and are being 

unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women?" 

Dating is an American culture thing.  It is not in the Bible.  You know, it 

is just as biblical over in India and we have to have some marriage like that, 

you know -- in India they have a tradition where the mom and dad kind of pick 

out great kid, you know, great boy.  The mom and dad pick out a great daughter 

for their boy and they say, "well,  here's so and so and here's so and so and 

they are getting married Friday."  (laughter)  That blows Americans' minds.  

We have no concept.  That cannot be, they didn't date long enough.  (laughter) 

 Well, you're going to have to go ask Isaac and Rebecca about that, then.  I 

mean, she gets off the camel, they get married and they go in the tent and 

they take it from there.  (laughter)  See, you'd be surprised how culturally 

inundated you are.  (yes)  And because of that, you don't understand the 

culture that God's people even came from.  (that's right) The principle of 

God's word is simply this:  in opposite sex relationships, you are always 

commanded by God to be "yoked with believers."  (that's right)  This business 

-- I don't even understand why you would want to date a nonchristian.  (that's 

right)  What would attract you to a nonchristian?  Their beautiful face, their 

beautiful body?  His awesome muscles?  I mean, let's just think about it.  Why 

are we married?  What is  most important?  It's got to be someone's 

spirituality. The person you marry is going to determine where you spend 

eternity.  (that's right)  What's wrong with you?  (come on)  Why do we even 

get sucked in?  "Well, I think we should have the freedom to date who we 

want."  It's not a matter of freedom.  (that's right)  It's not legal -- it's 

the flat word of God.  How easy we are deceived. 

Sixthly, it was stated to you that the Indianapolis church was the fastest 

growing church in the Midwest.  (tell the truth, brother, come on)  I read to 

you the stats that Ed Powers himself had turned in.  And essentially they 

started with 950 in attendance in Jan, 1993 -- never went over 1000 average 

for 1993 -- and ended at 950 attendance in 1993, December.  That's the 

fastest growing church?  I think not. 

But sadder, I didn't go into a lot of detail.  I didn't feel you could handle 

it.  What is sadder is this: Ed also reported to have 750 members.  He also 

reported to have 250 children.  Now let's see if we can get our additions 

going here.  750 -- let's be minimal here -- 750 plus 200 = what?  950.  Are 

you saying you had no visitors at church?  Now what you have is at least 100-

200 fringe people on your membership list that don't even come to your church. 

 They are the fallaways or the people that never really were bonded into the 

body.  (that's right)  I'm not hung up on statistics.  Please don't get me 

wrong.  Each of those people -- those statistics represent a face, a person, 

a life, a soul -- and my counsel to -- and Al can testify even last week to 

the young leaders in the LA church, I say when you are doing a Bible Talk 

Leaders meeting, don't deal with numbers, deal with names.  If you are mature 

in the faith, you can handle the numbers because numbers in and of themselves 

(   ?   ) a spiritual jolt. And you engineers understand what I mean by that. 

 I love engineers.  Anyway.  But they can be kind sterile and they can cause 

you to be unspiritual.  That's why I challenge, I specifically teach and have 

taught that BTL's, don't use numbers, use names because then it's, "did you 

get with Sally, did you get with Sue, did you get with Jane, did you get with 

Rod, did you get with Dave."  You know. Then they go, "oh I got to crank the 

studies, I've got to get them in the water, I've got to get him to be a 

brother."  Amen?  (amen)  But see, the twisting -- here it comes.  You not 

only didn't have a nongrowing church, you had a church that was going negative 

in growth.  And if your church was so strong, how come even in the world's 

eyes, you have divided?  If he had produced this super strong awesome church 

(sarcastically), how come it's   (inaudible).  The faith of so many people. 

You've got some people who have stayed in the church, some people that are 

here and you have a lot of people that said, "listen, this is why bad 

denominationalism....I'm out of here."  I hurt for those people.  (that's 


Now, if you had such a strong, growing, spiritual church, how do you explain 

those kind of fruits? Jesus says you will know a prophet by its fruit.  

(that's right)  Was the Indianapolis church the fastest growing church in the 

Midwest?  No.  You were deceived.  The idea, you were flattered, saying "well, 

we are growing, we are awesome, we are so liberal here, cotton picking, we're 

not bogged down with this legalism and all this stuff they are telling us to 

do."  Smooth talking flattery. 

Not only were you not the fastest growing, you were not even growing, period. 

 If you are going to be a part of the Indianapolis Int'l Church of Christ, the 

purpose of this church is to seek and save the lost (amen) and, secondly, to 

join hand in hand and arm in arm with all of your sister churches and to 

evangelize the world in this generation, amen?  (amen, applause) 

Let's get back to the book of Numbers right here.  Remember what we read in 

the verses.  We've got Korah and some other leaders who have become insolent, 

amen?  (amen)  They rise up against Moses.  They come as a group against Moses 

and they say, "you've flat gone too far.  The whole community is holy, Moses, 

and you set yourself as the hierarchy guy."  Verse 4:  "when Moses heard it, 

he fell face down."  He prays.  Do you realize that already in all the 

churches around the world they have heard what has happened to Indianapolis?  

(yep)  Do you realize the number of prayers that have been prayed for you 

guys?  The number of angels that have been coming to this city? (come on, 

Kip)  Moses didn't fly off the handle.  You know, it blew my mind -- just to 

show you how distorted a picture you've got to be -- I had some people come up 

and say "Bro, you were so nice when you came and you were so forgiving."  

Well, what's a Christian supposed to be?  I didn't feel like I did anything 

great.  I came.  I spoke like I thought.  Tried to preach the word as best I 

could.  Forgave those who had hurt me.  And, amen, let's get on with the 

Lord's work.  And it's amazing, people were blown away.  You shouldn't have 

been.  I've been praying for the Ind. church every day.  My kids pray for you 

guys.  (amen)  

"Then he said to Korah and all his followers, 'in the morning, the Lord will 

show who belongs to him and who is holy, and will have that person come near 

him.  The man he chooses, he will cause to come near him.  You, Korah, and all 

your followers are to do this:  take the censors and tomorrow put fire and 

incense in the before the Lord.  For the man the Lord chooses shall be the 

one who is holy.  You Levites are the ones who have gone too far." 

Paul says in 1 Cor. verse 11, he says, you know, "there are divisions amongst 

you.  This has to be so to show which ones of you have God's approval."  

Notice right here, Moses was not a wimpy guy: "oh well, let's just make 

peace, let's get unified."  Moses was not a guy to say, "Hey, let's have unity 

at any price."  (that's right)  He's going, "Korah, I've gone too far?  No.  

Let's see who the one who is really holy before the Lord.  You are the ones 

who have gone too far." 

Verse 8:  Moses also said to Korah: 'Now listen, you Levites, isn't it enough 

for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the 

Israelite community and brought you near to himself to do the work of the 

Lord's tabernacle and to stand before the community and to minister to them? " 

Don't you see how awesome you have had it?  "He has brought you and all your 

fellow Levites near him but now you are trying to get the priesthood, too.  It 

is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together.  Who 

is Aaron that you should grumble against him?'  Then Moses summoned Dathan and 

Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, 'we will not come.'"  Boy, that kind 

of reminds me of a statement a couple weeks ago.  We aren't going to meet 

with you. "'Isn't it enough that you have brought us up out of the land 

flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert and now you want to lord 

it over us?'"  

Two issues: twisting of the past.   (  ?      ) a people.  It is true that 

under Moses' leadership, the people went through hard times.  I mean, I don't 

know about you, when you've got the cotton picking greatest army in the 

history of the world coming after you, that's hard times.  Then you've got the 

Red Sea in front of you and you know it's over your waist deep all the way 

up, particularly in the middle out there and everything.  (laughter)  You know 

it's tough.  Then you get to the other side and the Lord smashes the army but 

there's nothing to drink and nothing to eat and you didn't bring anything with 

you to eat, that's a bummer.  And then you didn't really bring any clothes.  

You've got to wander in the desert.  That could be challenging.  (yes)  God 

never says, "follow me and you'll have an easy life."  That's what we want.  

"I'm going to follow the Lord and life will be easy, I'll be rich."  No.  He 

says, "Listen, you follow me and you'll give up everything.  Matter of fact, 

buddy, you're going to have to take up the cross daily if you're going to make 

it to heaven." 

Where have we got this idea that life is going to be easy as a disciple?  

What's Dathan and Korah do? Say, "Listen, I can't believe it, Moses.  You 

took us away from a land of milk and honey there in Egypt."  Hold it, hold it, 

hold it.  No, no, no, no, no.  Egypt was the place of slavery.  Remember the 

Hebrews getting beat?  People here go, "oh, can't believe it.  That 

reconstruction was horrendous. You should have seen the things they said to 

me."  Let's talk about what you had before the reconstruction.  (yes)  It was 

not a true church of the Bible.  You could not find a true church in 

Indianapolis.  My Bible teaches me that true Christian are disciples.  True 

churches are filled with only disciples, amen?  (amen)  That just didn't exist 

anywhere.  It was a big  (  ?  ) to be in.  That reconstruction produced a 

true church in Indianapolis.  (yes) 

Now, was everything done perfectly between the leaders and the followers and 

all that?  I'm not even going to attempt to address that.  That's like saying 

like in marriage -- marriage is of God, right? And you think it is a good 

thing, right?  (right)  I met one couple.   They have been married five days.  

There they are, right here.  They came here tonight on their honeymoon, amen? 

 (amen)  Let's go to Indianapolis on our honeymoon!  (laughter)  I'm sure they 

will be talking about that 20 years from now, you know.  But, you know, as 

sweet as this couple is, and as much as they love each other.  And I trust you 

haven't had a fight yet?  (laughter)  I'm not a prophet, but I suspect that 

some time in the next 20 years they are going to have a fight.  When they have 

a fight, let's just get rid of marriage.  It must be wrong because they had a 

fight.  No.  You jumped to a conclusion right there. The issue is you don't 

get rid of the marriage.  Marriage is a perfect institution.  (that's right)  

It's the people that are in it that are imperfect.  (that's right) 

Discipling is a perfect institution made by God.  (that's right, amen)  But 

the people who are in it are not perfect.  They are called sinners.  And they 

are going to do what they do best.  Sin.  (laughter) 

Now, honestly, I just feel like we've got to get rid of this Polyanna 

feeling, "well, if they are a leader, they are discipling, they've got to be 

perfect."  That's not going to happen.  Those who have been married -- I have 

been married 17 years.  I've got an awesome wife.  I think she is awesome 

because she is still with me.  (laughter)  But we have had our battles through 

the years.  I know I'm prideful. I get a little heavy handed and sometimes, 

you know, I have a strong opinion.  (laughter)  It has been known to happen.  

But I love Elena with all my heart.  But I kind of kid her, everybody thinks 

she is so quiet and gentle and meek and mild.  Oy.  (laughter)  She's not 

Latin for nothing, you know. It can get a little bit fiery.  But I like that, 

I like that.  You know, she stands up to me and that's good. 

The point is this:  we are not going to throw out the perfect institution 

simply because sinners are in it.  Discipling is God's plan.  It's not a 

choice.  You don't get to vote on it.  You can't go half way with it anymore 

you can go half way in marriage.  "Well, honey, I'll stick with you three 

nights of the week, and the other three, I don't know."  That's how it goes.  

You can't think that way.  (that's right) 

You see, right here in the Bible, he distorts the past.  Ed has distorted the 

past.  That reconstruction was of God.  Building a church that was only filled 

with disciples -- what a marvel.  What a vision. What a dream become reality. 

 That is flat phenomenal, church.  But it's almost like "that's when the 

horrors began to occur.  It was milk and honey before that when we were in 

the mainline church." Oh, gee, scary.  The twisting of the past.  

Notice they don't want to meet.  Verse 14:  "moreover you have not brought us 

into a land flowing of milk and honey, or given us an inheritance of fields 

and vineyards.  Would you gorge out the eyes of these men?  We will not come!" 


"You're going to be too hard with us.  If we come and meet with you, you're 

going to do something mean to us."  You see some parallels there, guys? 

Verse 15:  "then Moses became very angry (shouting) and said to the Lord, 'do 

not accept their offering.  I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, 

nor have I wronged any of them.'" 

You know, I read this thing and I go, you know, I feel a lot better about the 

decision I made not to take the missions offering from you.  In other words, 

you just get to the point you go home.  I don't want you to even have any 

sense of having done something for me.  I want you to see how little you have 

done.  Not in a put down sense, but God and his kingdom will advance whether 

you are in it or not.  (that's right) 

You say, "how come?"  Cuz God is leading it.  (that's right)  And he says, "I 

don't want your sacrifice.  I want to show you, you are not needed.  I want 

you, because I love you and sent Jesus to die for you, I want you because you 

represent one more work to save lost souls.  But I don't need you."  See, a 

lot of us got this feeling, well the Lord needs me.  Well, he needs us in a 

sense that he uses disciples to make disciples, but he's not going "Oh, I hope 

Mary Jane makes it or the whole movement goes down the drain."  Boy, have we 

got some things backwards there, guys.  I want you to notice that there comes 

a time when the leaders seem to get angry.  Angry.  Anger is not a sin in and 

of itself.  You can go over the edge in your anger.  And we're going to see 

the heart of Moses coming out.  It's kind of cool. 

Verse 16:  "Moses said to Korah, 'you and all your followers are to appear 

before the Lord tomorrow. You and they and Aaron.  Each man take a censer and 

put incense on it, and two hundred and fifty censes in all and present it 

before the Lord.  You and Aaron are to present your censes also.'  So each man 

took his censer, put fire and incense in it, and so did Moses and Aaron at 

the meeting.  When Korah had gathered all his followers and positioned them at 

the entrance of the meeting, the glory of the Lord appeared to the entire 

assembly.  The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'separate yourselves from this 

assembly so I can put an end to them at once.'" 

God said there is going to be a line drawn. 

"But Moses and Aaron fell face down and cried out, 'Oh God, God of the 

spirits of all mankind, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only 

one man sins?'  And the Lord said to Moses, 'save the assembly.  Move away 

from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.'" 

They were flat marked.  That was pretty obvious right there.  The whole staff. 

"Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram and the elders of Israel followed 

him.  He warned the assembly, 'move back from the tents of these wicked men.  

Do not touch anything belonging to them or you will be swept away because of 

all their sins.'  So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and 

Abiram.  Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, 

children and little ones at the entrance to their tents." 

This is a horror.  The next few is tough. 

"Then Moses said, 'this is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do 

these things and it was not my idea.  If these men die a natural death, they 

experience only what usually happens to men, the Lord has not sent me.  But if 

the Lord brings about something totally new and the earth opens its mouth and 

swallows them with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive 

into the ground, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with 

contempt.'  As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them 

split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them with their 

households and all of Korah's men and all their possessions.  They went down 

alive into the grave with everything they owned.  The earth closed over them 

and they perished and were gone from the community." 

We're talking about little kids here.  See what happens when you dessert the 

Lord and mess up your kids.  

"At their cries..."  Can you imagine as the earth crushes them?  "At their 

cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, 'the earth is going to 

swallow us too.'"  Could have.  "And the fire came out from the Lord and 

consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.  

These are the followers that went after these people.  You say, "well, 

weren't they just kind of sucked in?"  Yes, they were.  That's the point.  

They were sucked on in and they became guilty because of Korah's sin.  See, 

Korah opposed the Lord's anointed.  In essence, he wasn't opposing Moses, he 

was opposing the Lord, God.  When these people were taken in by the deception 

and the smooth talk and the flattery, they, too, became guilty of the sin of 

divisiveness and grumbling. 

Look at this.  "The Lord said to Moses, 'say to Eleazar, the son of Aaron the 

priest, to take the censers out of the smoldering remains and scatter the 

coals some distance away for the censers are holy.  As for the censers of the 

men who sinned at the cost of their lives, hammer them into sheets to overlay 

the altar, for they were presented before the Lord and become holy.  Let this 

be a sign to the Israelites.  So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers of 

those who had been burned up and he had them hammered out to overlay the 

altar, as the Lord directed him through Moses.  This was to remind the 

Israelites that no one except the sons of Aaron should come to burn incense 

before the Lord; for he would become like Korah and his followers.  The next 

day the Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron, 'You killed the 

Lord's people,' they said." 

Aaah.  This is where we stand tonight.  See, the Lord literally, physically 

killed those who opposed Moses.  No, who opposed him.  And now these people 

that stood at a distance were kind of on the fence, going 'I can't believe 

what they have done.  They are so hard line.  They have drawn the line.' See, 

they let sentimentality creep on in there.  (that's right)  And now they 

become embittered.  And they fall into the sin because they are sentimental.  

Their loyalty is stronger to a man than to God. 

I believe in being loyal.  I mean, in the kingdom, you've got to be loyal, 

amen?  (amen)  And a lot of us have learned how to do that because we have 

learned how to trust people finally.  Feels good to trust people, doesn't it?  

(yes)  On the other hand, our loyalty cannot be superseded.  (that's right) 

Our number one loyalty is to Jesus Christ and his word.  (amen) 

Hey, the guy who studied the Bible with me, he fell away.  Preacher that 

baptized me, he's not in the movement.  Amen?  I feel terrible.  They have 

made their decisions.  (that's right)  I am a loyal guy. I am the son of a 

naval admiral.  You are taught to be loyal.  That's just part of it.  I am 

glad I was taught that way.  But also understand that my number one loyalty is 

to Jesus and his words.  And you can't get sentimental toward the punishment 

of God that's being dealt out Moses right here.  I can see some of you get 

sentimental.  "Well, you're being so hard on Ed.  So hard on the staff.  So 

hard on those people."  Well, no.  This is what God teaches.  (that's right) 

See it's really going to be tough for some of you if you've got friends.  

Some of you got family "on the other side." 

Tape 2 Side 1 

"And the Lord said to Moses, 'get away from the assembly that I may consume 

them instantly.'  And Moses fell face down.  And Moses said to Aaron, 'take 

you censer, put incense in it along with fire from the altar and hurry to the 

assembly to make atonement for them.  Wrath has come out from the Lord, the 

plague has started.'  So Aaron did what Moses said and ran into the midst of 

the assembly, for the plague had already started among the people.  Aaron 

offered the incense for the atonement of them.  He stood between the living 

and the dead and the plague stopped.  But 14,700 people died in the plague in 

addition to those who had died because of Korah.  And Aaron returned to Moses 

and at the doorway of the meeting, for the plague had been stopped." 

Shocking.  That many souls were lost, not with the initial grumbling of  

Korah, but with the backlash of sentimentality.  Because they abhorred how 

hard line God is.  We have got to be careful of our American Christianity 

right here.  It is a very interesting thing how sometimes -- it amazes me -- 

how been a good Hoosier, I'm a Notre Dame fan.  And a lot of people go "how 

in the world can  you be for Notre Dame?  They are  favored in every game."  

We're talking football now.  And I go, "it's the American thing to be for the 

underdog."  Well, let's think about this for a little.  God is not exactly the 

underdog type.  My Bible teaches me he always wins.  (that's right)  We've 

got to be careful of this American cultural thing.  God is hard line and he 

will always win and he will always get his way.  Be careful we don't allow 

sentimentality for the discipline of God to stand in the way of your clear 

thinking and keep your heart strong and hard line about what the Bible 

teaches, amen? 

What is the need of the hour?  Well, this is very interesting to me.  Turn to 

Matthew 18:1.  "At that time, disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'who is 

greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'  He called a little child and had him 

stand amongst them and said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and 

become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child, is the greatest in the 

kingdom of heaven."  You know, kids are really cool.  And when they are small, 

I mean, you can toss them up in the air, five feet.  They don't know that you 

fumbled the football five out of ten times.  (laughter)  Here's a little kid, 

just toss them up in the air and not think about it.  If that were translated 

into adultness (inaudible)   So if you had this giant take you and toss you 

fifteen feet in the air --( laughter.  Inaudible) us as adults.  

That kind of trust. 

But to Jesus, this is the kind of trust you have got to have of a little kid. 

 You know, my greatest worry has not been the point of false doctrines.  It 

has been the destruction of trust.  Your trust in God.  Your trust in God's 

movement.  Your trust in all the other churches.  Your trust in discipling. 

Your trust in people.  I'm not saying people are perfect.  And I tried to 

explain that to you.  ....against the trust in discipling, like marriage, 

because discipling was made by God and everything that God makes is perfect, 

amen?  (amen) 

But we are sinners in that perfect institution.  There are going to be some 

problems.  When the discipler sins, he needs forgiveness.  When one of the 

disciples sin, they need forgiveness.  You have to have the heart of a little 

child.  You have to trust.  

Look what he says next.  Verse 5:  "And whoever welcomes a little child in my 

name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe 

in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around 

his next and be drowned in the depths of the sea.  Woe to the world because of 

the things that cause people to sin.  Such things must come, but woe to the 

man to whom they come." 

I will never forget two weeks ago walking into that assembly and being 

treated the way I was treated. (that's right)  I have no bitterness, no bad 

attitudes.  I was shocked that brothers and sisters were hating someone they 

didn't even know.  It's such a horrendous bad attitude.  I've never been 

treated that bad by nonchristians.  And I thought about this passage.  Woe to 

the one that causes the little ones, the naive ones, the ones that trusteth so 

much, the ones that found the kingdom perfect, the ones that thought it was 

awesome evangelizing the world -- woe to the ones that have destroyed this 

innocence of Christianity.  And you know what I am talking about here.  We've 

got disciples that were baptized 3 weeks ago, 3 months ago, a year and a half 

ago and they thought the kingdom was awesome.  (that's right)  And now they're 

not going anywhere.  And they are not going to go any place.  They can't see a 

difference between what happened and the denominations they left.  That's sad. 

Now what's the issue?  Let's go on.  Chapter 18:21  "Then Peter came to Jesus 

and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins 

against me?  Seven times?'  Jesus said, 'I tell you, not seven times but 

seventy-seven times.'" 

Now this is a hard teaching.  Now I've got 2 sons and they sometimes go at it 

a little bit.  And they are always telling me that they learned the secret 

that whoever gets there first usually has a better chance of winning the 

argument, winning the day, you know.  And they're always downing the other 

one.  And it is sad for me as a dad to see this kind of disagreements.  At 

the end sometimes I'll have to act as a human dad and say, "whoa, that's 

right, Eric, that's bad."  Obviously I was puzzled.  But I always know what to 

do.  Forgive.  And you can tell if there is really forgiveness.  I say, okay, 

"hug each other."  (laughter)  Oh, there are still mega bad attitudes right 

here.  I said, "now hug each other."  "Okay, dad.  Hey, man, I'm sorry."  "I'm 

sorry, too. Let's go play Nintendo."  (laughter)  You can tell when 

forgiveness has taken place.  There is a sense of unloading, lifting, I mean 

the hugs are real, they are genuine, they are free, they are ready.  You love 

it, you feel it. 

What does Jesus teach about forgiveness?  I see this as the need of the hour. 

 Verse 23  "Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to 

settle accounts with his servants.  As he began to settle them, the man who 

owed him 10,000 pounds was brought to him.  Since he was unable to pay, the 

master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had were 

sold to pay the debt.  The servant fell on his knees before him, 'be patient 

with me,' he begged.  'I will pay back everything.'  So his master took pit on 

him, cancelled the debt and let him go.  When the servant went out, he found 

one of his fellow servants who owed him 100 denarii.  He grabbed him, began to 

choke  him, 'pay back what you owe me.'  The fellow servant fell to his knees 

and begged him. 'Be patient with me, I will pay you back.'  But he refused 

and instead he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay 

the debt.  When the other servants saw what happened, they were greatly 

distressed."  See, that's what happens when there's no forgiveness.  Makes 

all the other servants....  "and went out and told their master everything 

that happened.  Then the master called the servant in.  'You wicked servant,' 

he said.  'I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  

Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'  

In his anger, his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured until 

he could pay back all that he owed." 

This is how our heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive 

your brother from your heart.  (amen) 

Right here it sums up all that Christianity is about.  Forgive as the Lord 

has forgiven you.  You know, the think the people in Indianapolis  --

(inaudible, he backed away from microphone)  power, money.  Was Ed able to 

strike the nerve inside of you that conjured up all of the bitterness and all 

the hurts that had you to the point of opposing God's leadership.  You 

thought, "well, we just want to raise some objections right here."  But the 

objections were opposing God.  (that's right)  How in the world--see, 

forgiveness can be undone.  I don't believe that once you are forgiven that 

it is always forgotten.  I think that's the perfect state that you get to.  

God says he will remember your sins no more.  So that must be the perfect 

place.  That's a good thing, you know, when you go up to heaven and introduce 

yourself and you say, "Lord, I really felt bad about that immorality and the 

other stuff before I was a Christian."  "I just don't remember."  "Let's not 

talk about it."  (laughter)  I'm kind of happy that's the way the Lord is.  

(amen)  He's the kind of guy... 

But, let's face it, some of us have pretty good memories.  (inaudible) 

Paul through the Holy Spirit as being totally the antithesis of love.  And 

what some of you have done is you have flat gotten your list back out.  "you 

did this, you did this, that's them, they did this and that."  You were so 

(?), or as Corey would say, bamboozled.  Often, under the guise of teaching 

love and freedom is the (?). The .... of love....That's not the gospel.  The 

gospel is forgiveness.  And the bitterness, then, gets to the point of 

opposing the Lord's leaders and opposing the Lord himself.  

What is the need of the hour?  You have got to recognize the level of 

destruction that has been wrought in your life.  (amen)  You know, when Ed and 

the staff say things like "this is my church, this is my people, this is my 

campus ministry," I'm going "no, it's God's church, it's God's people and it's 

God's campus ministry."  (yes! applause)  You don't own them.  

Now, we have got to understand right here that you have been sucked into a 

level of bitterness and rage.  I couldn't go through your life and go, "okay, 

here's what the disciple did wrong and here's what Dave did wrong and here's 

what..."  You know something?  I honestly believe that after I get with Al and 

Gloria when Elena and I have a marriage bump, I go, "yeah, I think when I 

yelled at her, that was -- I think that's what really hurt.  That's why I 

messed up.  I should have probably listened." You know, most of the time life 

isn't very complicated.  It only gets complicated when you have a bad heart.  

That's when you get confused and, you see, the author of confusion is Satan.  

If you are in a confused state right now, then you know Satan has got your 

heart.  (that's right) 

Now, honestly, I look back and I actually probably go back to everything that 

Elena and I have had bumps about and I go "I blew it here and I blew it 

there."  I can really do Elena's real clearly. (laughter)  But, see, the 

other thing, when  there is no bitterness in my heart, when there is no 

attitude in my heart, I can do mine real clearly.  

I really believe that most of the bitterness in most of you guys hearts, most 

of the hurts, I think you take a step back, you go "yeah, they did wrong, but 

I've done wrong before.  I've done wrong before I was a Christian, wrong after 

I'm a Christian.  The Lord wants to forgive me.  Tell you what, I'll just call 

it a wash.  I'll forgive everybody too."  Amen?  (laughter)  You know, that's 

got to be the heart here, guys.  I don't want to get into all your lives and 

all your oooky gooky things.  I can even almost figure them all out.  All that 

I would ask you is to the extent that God will have  (  ?  ) on your soul, to 

the extent that God has forgiven you of your jealousies and your selfishness, 

your convictions and your actions, your sinful desires before you were a 

Christian -- and that's pretty cool, but more awesomely, after you were a 

Christian.  We're talking the after baptism here.  The Lord has ......   I'll 

tell you something, maybe you have been hurt bad by some of the people.  But 

to ....but the sins of commission and omission against God.  I have sinned 

against God.  I'll tell you something, you would be doing well to strike a 

bargain with the Lord right now.  Lord, let me stay forgiven and I forgive 

everybody of everything wrong ever done to me.  (amen!)  Go, "oh well, they 

are a sinner, I'm a sinner.  Amen.  We're saved."  (come on, applause) 

Turn to the book of Jude.  You know, what's amazing to me is when you go 

further and further into God's movement how the scriptures come alive.  

(that's right)   This is written -- it's amazing -- this is one of the half 

brothers of Jesus.  Is that cool?  This is one of the guys that didn't 

believe that Jesus was the son of God when he was growing up.  This is written 

by a guy who used to persecute Jesus. And here he is taking a stand for his 

big half brother.  I like that. 

Verse 3:  "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write you about the 

salvation that we share." See, that's what bonds us together, amen, church?  

"I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for 

all entrusted to the saints."  Hey, we've got the truth about salvation.  

Let's sound that trumpet.  Let's keep teaching the word, amen?  (amen)  "For 

certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly 

slipped in among you.  They are godless men, who change the grace of our God 

into a license...."    Freedom!  (come on, brother)   "...for immorality and 

deny Jesus Christ, our only Sovereign and Lord.  Though you already know all 

this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt..." 

 See, even Jude went back to the story in the  OT right there.  It's a good 

story.   "...but later destroyed those who did not believe."   It wasn't that 

they didn't believe that God was God.  They didn't obey.  See, in the OT and 

NT to believe is to obey.  (that's right)  Not intellectual.  See, even the 

demons in Hell intellectually believe that God exists.  

"And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned 

their own home--these he kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for 

judgment on the great day.  In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the 

surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion."  

Here he's saying that grumbling is that bad.  "They serve as examples of 

those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.  In the very same way, these 

dreamers pollute their own body and reject authority and slander celestial 

beings.  But Michael, the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and 

argued about the body of Moses, did not dare bring slanderous accusation 

against him, but said 'The Lord will rebuke you!'  Yet these men speak 

abusively against whatever they do not understand...."  That's what some of 

you were doing, too.  You don't understand the missions contribution, but you 

were speaking against it.  We explained it to you.  And we're always happy to 

explain things.  But you didn't understand it and you were speaking against 

it because you rejected authority. 

"And what things they do not understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals-

-these are the very things that destroy them.  Woe to them!  They have taken 

the way of Cain, they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have 

been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.  These men are blemished at your love 

feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm..."   Ed Powers ate with 

us two weeks before in LA.  Not the slightest thing was mentioned.  One of the 

saddest things, I got back -- actually I think it was before I came the first 

time, I got a fax in the mail -- maybe Al did too -- from a group of fallen 

away disciples over in London -- a headline page "Indianapolis church votes to 

leave Boston Movement."  Something like 648 to 6, one abstaining vote or 

something like that.  So they passed this all around.  "Look what happened in 

Indianapolis.  It's fallen apart."  I heard of some people calling Ed about 

their bad actions.  Well, naturally so.  Bad attitudes stick together, haven't 

you ever found that?  That shouldn't surprise you. 

"These men are blemishes among you, shepherds who feed themselves.  They are 

clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees..."  They are 

dying!   "...without fruit and uprooted-- twice dead."  They are not in 

growing churches though they may tell you so.  "They are wild waves of the 

sea, foaming up their shame; wandering starts, for whom blackest darkness has 

been reserved forever.  Enoch, the 7th from Adam, prophesied about these men.  

'See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to 

judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they 

have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have 

spoken against him'  These men are grumblers and fault-finders."    I believe 

that was the address given to you 2-1/2 weeks ago.  The fault of the movement. 


You know something amazes me about marriage.  You know when  you're doing 

awesome with your wife, she's awesome.  But you know, if you stop and think 

does she have any faults, man you can rip them off.  Now, isn't that true?  

(yes)  Now five days, you can't do that.  (laughter)  It will take at least a 

couple weeks.  Don't even worry about it, you know.  And after that you get 

your discipling and everything.  Praise God for discipling, amen, church?  

(amen)  But you know, it's a mind thing. See, we're imperfect.  Our leaders 

are imperfect.  Our churches aren't perfect.  Why?  Because we are in them.  

(that's right)  You have a mind set this is of God and we're trying the best 

we can and we forgive as we go along, or we become fault-finders.  You did 

that.  I don't like the way she did that.  You know, if I was here, I wouldn't 

have taught that way.  I think we could have done a lot better push than just 

this one business.  Or, you know, the legalism.  On and on it goes.  It's a 

mindset.  Grumbling and fault-finding are in the same home and it gets ugly.  

"...they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and 

flatter others for their own advantage."    

We are the fastest growing church in the Midwest.  Thank you, Ed. 

"But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ 

foretold.  They said to you, 'in the last times there will be scoffers who 

will follow their own ungodly desires.  These are the men who divide you, who 

follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.   But you, dear 

friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy 

Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord 

Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt..." 

That's to be expected.  We have people over in the other church right now 

that have a lot of doubt. Be merciful. 

"Snatch others from the fire and save them." 

This is real important.  The Bible teaches that it's worse for a person who 

knew the truth and fall away than people who never knew the truth.  You say, 

what's that totally mean?  I don't really know what it totally means.  I just 

know this.  I don't want to fall away and I don't want other people to fall 

away because I know it's going to be real bad. 

My heart?  Snatch them.  Snatch them from the fire. Let's save them.  See, 

the issue of salvation is on the line right here.  Do you see it?  It's not a 

matter of two camps that have a little different structure, little bit 

different opinions, a divorce.  We're talking about people who oppose God. 

We're not talking if their attitudes are correct, we're talking about people 

who oppose God's servants, and, thus, oppose God.  They grumble against God's 

servants, thus they grumble against the Lord.   This is very serious. 

 "Be merciful to those who doubt, snatch others from the fire and save them; 

to others show mercy, mixed with fear." 

You got to lay it out right here.  (inaudible)  Bye.  Corrupted, flesh. 

Where do we go from here?  

#1   Tonight I know some of you signed cards in the past.  Tonight you have 

the opportunity to sign cards, to sign up, to support this work with your 

tithe, with your offering, with your presence, with your love, with your 

heart, with your lives, with your family.  You are going to have that chance 

tonight.  (yes)  You need to repent.  Say, "well there's some people who did 

some wrong things to me."  Well, that's my second point. 

#2   You need to forgive.  See, that will clean the whole thing up.  Just 

repent and forgive.  That's all there is to it.  It's really not a complicated 

issue here, guys.  A lot of people said, well, -- and I have heard this-- I 

think, in a way we've got to figure out what we're doing here.  "I am so glad 

we are starting the new Indianapolis church."  (amen)  But we are not.  We 

started the new Indianapolis church at the reconstruction.  It became a church 

of disciples.  (inaudible--away from microphone) "well, why don't we call 

it...."  It's not an issue of scripture, the issue is legal structures  in 

America. Ed and his ( ? ) essentially are....they have the name Indianapolis 

Church of Christ.  We're not starting a new church.  We .....(inaudible)   

(that's right)  We're saying everybody that wants to be a disciple, wants to 

be totally sold out,  that wants to have .... so they can join arm in arm 

with their brothers and sisters over in Russia, India, San Francisco, all the 

other nations to evangelize the world in one generation.  Hey, you are in 

God's church filled with only disciples, amen?  (amen)  That's what is 

happening right here. 

What do you got to do?  You've got to repent and forgive.  

Here's the approach we are going to use.  I talked this over with John and 

Dave and Ron and the other leaders.  

Sunday morning we're going to get back about the Lord's business.  (amen)  

We're going to seek and save the lost, amen, church?  (amen)  So here it is 

Thursday night.  It's time to crank for Sunday, amen?  Let's get our friends 

there.  It'll be a great, great, great message, a stirring, heart-filled 

message about becoming a Christian and being tied to the Lord, amen?  (amen) 

Wednesday night will be our mid-week service.  We're shifting from Thursday 

to Wednesday now. We're going to shift to Wed. nights and at this service 

will be a lot of teaching by mature evangelists. I know there was a little 

bit of rumor about Nick Young had left the movement, Russ had left the 

movement, ....(inaudible)  I said the other thing, when......... so Russ will 

be coming on out to cheer you guys on and everything. 

But, bottom line, Wed. night is going to be for the disciples to have some 

tough, stiff lessons so you get your convictions back.  And this is the big 

thing I'm worried about, your trust. 

Then, because we have new leadership, we don't really know you as well as we 

should, we're going to get to know each other, we're going to be best friends. 

 We're not going to have Bible Talks for a while.  What we're going to do is 

get bigger groups called discipleship groups--you're used to that-- family 

groups, same thing.  And those are going to meet say Mon. or Tues. night as 

Bible Talks would ordinarily meet.  And the primary purpose for these in the 

next month--they will be used as time to study (inaudible) help 

you....and for extra prayer.  You have got to get back to prayer here in 

Indianapolis.  (amen)  That will be a great group, see, to bring in someone 

we have to snatch from the fire, because then they can see the love that we 

have one for each other. 

I don't want to have any bad attitudes toward the other group.  You can get a 

bad attitude toward bad attitudes.  You gotta love them.  You gotta be hard 

line.  You know, snatch them from the fire, amen?  (amen)  So that's going to 

be our program.  So, Sunday is going to be evangelism, amen? Wed. we're going 

to meet as a church, but that's going to be for the kingdom disciples.  Mon. 

or Tues., depending on when your discipleship group meets, then that's going 

to be for Bible Study and specifically prayer.  That's going to be cool.  

Then by April 1st or so, the BTL's from LA will be here.  Other leaders from 

Chicago will be here and we'll be able to go on, use the BTL's and we will 

crank, amen?  (amen) 

Now, I really want to encourage you when the other people from LA come and 

Chicago people come, take care of them.  Put them up in your home.  Take care 

of them, really bond with them. Trust them.  All they are is just brothers 

and sisters, you know.  And they are literally coming for only one purpose:  

to help you evangelize Indianapolis and Indiana for the Lord, amen?  (amen) 

That's the only reason they are coming.  They are not coming because they 

like IU or Perdue.  So things are happening on the basketball team there, 

amen?  (amen)  They are coming because of the Lord.  And you need to welcome 

them in the Lord. 

Lastly, need to obey the marking.  You are to have no contact with Ed Powers 

or staff or anybody that has decided to be at that other church in opposition 

to this church.  If you disobey the marking, then we will be forced to warn 

you if your are in our fellowship.  If you leave, then you will be marked.  

You are divisive.  I am very serious.  It is an issue of salvation. 

As we said in the letter that will be read in all 149 of our churches, our 

heart is for Ed to repent.  If he would repent, we would welcome him on back.  

Naturally.  I mean, so he sinned.   We have all sinned.  It is a grievous sin, 

I'm not trying to minimize it.  I'm just saying who are we to hold anything 

for anyone.  But they've got to repent.  (right)  And we've got to be hard 

line.  Amen? (amen) 

I realize there are some husband/wife situations that are tough.  Some here 

and some there.  You that are disciples here, I want you to live the most 

stellar life.  I want you to be loving and giving and I want you to blow them 

away by your love.  Don't beat on them the truth.  "You've got to come to the 

truth."  You just live a life where you are not in the fellowship of 

bitterness, but in a fellowship of love.  (amen)  You just brag about the 

Lord.  You just brag about the Lord's church.  You will get them over here.  

They will come to faith, amen?  (amen) 

I realize there are some parents don't have their children, children don't 

have their parents.  That's extra tough.  This is where you heart's going to 

be tested.  Are you going to stand for the Lord?  I know I took that stand 

when I was first baptized.  It's tough.  But God didn't make it easier because 

I was 17, it just had to be done.  Amen?  (amen) 

So, you gotta obey the marking.  Anybody saying those people are lost, I 

believe Ed Powers and those that stand with him are the lost....(inaudible) 

since they left the church.  (that's right)  Well, if they come back.....the 

issue isn't baptism, the issue is what they stand for, what they live for, 

what they teach and what they believe and what they propagate.  They have set 


Tape 2 Side 2 opposition against the Lord's anointed.  First they grumbled against 

the Lord  himself.  That's the issue.  When you fall into that state, as in 

Numbers, as in 1 Cor. 10, you fall from the state of grace. 

How about the people who are undecided?  Well, they have not fallen out of 

grace yet.  Those are the ones we have got to snatch.  (that's right)  And I 

beg you, don't get a bad attitude toward bad attitudes.  And, secondly, don't 

get self-righteous.  "We got the truth."  That's not going to do any good.  

Just say, "you know something?  I've learned a lot.  I learned I've got to be 

humble.  I learned I've got to love.  I learned I've got to forgive and also --

 here's some doctrines I think we got to talk about and hammer off..."  No, 

don't get self-righteous.  You are not better than them.  Just that the grace 

of God covers you, amen?  (amen)  But let's be understanding.  This is an 

issue of salvation. There is not two churches of God in this town.  There is 

but one and there will always be but one. Amen?  (amen) 

You know, it's kind of interesting.  In a couple of months, matter of fact, 

May 31st, I turn 40 years old.  A lot of people get worried about that.  I'm 

not.  The other day I went to pick up my kids at tennis--they're in a tennis 

academy--and I went with Scott Green just 2 days ago.  And I said, "Hey, I 

want to pay for these things."  And she says "Oh, are you the university 

kids?"  Scott and I look and I go, "No, no, no, I'm the father of the 3 kids." 

 She goes, "oh, oh."  I go, "that's okay.  It's a mistake anybody could make." 

 (laughter)  It's okay.  I understand mistakes like that.  (laughter) 

You know, out in Los Angeles, they're real big on the movies and the theater. 

 And a couple months ago, Elena loves to particularly go see musicals.  Wanted 

to go see this musical, this new musical called "Sunset Blvd."  I didn't know 

really what it was about.  And Sunset Blvd. is a very famous street in L.A.  

It's where all the clubs are at, all the happenings.  Supposedly in the olden 

days and even now it's called the strip, Sunset Strip.  And I didn't 

understand it until I got to it and what "Sunset Blvd." is about is ... (away 

from microphone) ... they talk about all the actors on Sunset Blvd. fame.  But 

Sunset Blvd. means the sunset of their lives and how their glory days.  I 

tell you something, I mean, the audience laughed at the jokes here and there 

but by the end of that musical, you looked at a bunch of people that were 

down.  Because they understood the point of the musical-- how sad it is when 

people's glory is hung up on their past and they have nothing to look forward 

to. 40 years old--doesn't bother me.  See, I get to play in the master 

basketball league.  (laughter) 

See, in L.A., see, we have two basketball leagues.  And we have 10 regions 

and so we've got the masters league, which you gotta be 35 years or older to 

be in the masters league.  And then we have the young men's league, the boys 

league, we call the open for the younger guys.  Guys like Corey. Thomas Rooks 

couldn't be in masters.  I mean, he's too young.  He's a boy.  (boooo)  See, 

I get to be in the masters league.  Made the all star team.  (ooooh, laughter) 

40 years old, you know, right before I turn 40, my daughter turns 13.  Scary 

thought.  (laughter)  She had taken some pictures recently for her Miss Pre-

Teen California contest that she's entering.  I look at those pictures and she 

had gotten all fixed up, you know.  (laughter)  I look at those things and I 

said, "that's my daughter?"  I mean the curves are coming.  I go, "Oh, boy.  

I'm going to have to beat back the brothers now.  Here's this....this is going 

to be rough." 

But you know something, it's so awesome.  And the title of the sermon was 

"The Dream is Still Alive."  Of course, Martin Luther King gave the speech "I 

have a dream."  So, I'm riding back and I got Shawn in the car and Eric in the 

car and another young boy named Andrea, who is the son of Marvin and Lillian 

Jones, and they happen to be a black couple.  And prayerfully, Marvin will be 

our first black elder in the L.A. church.  (yea!)  So I'm just kind of taking 

Andrea in the .... a little bit and Andrea is 11 and Shawn is 11, going on to 

be 12 and Eric is 9, and I'm going, "well, guys, what do you think about 

Corey's sermon?"   "Oh, it's great."  Shawn goes, "well, dad, what would you 

grade it?" I said, "no, no, no, no.  You grade it."  "Oh, it was an A."  

"Andrea, what did you think?"  "Oh,  an A."  "Eric?"  "A-.  I don't know, it 

was missing a little bit, you know."  (laughter) 

"I appreciate your honesty, son.  Well, let me ask you this, what did you get 

out of it?" 

"Well, you've gotta have a dream, dad."  "I know that, I'm asking you guys 

what you got out of it in there?  I'm asking you.  What's your dreams?" 

Eric goes, "well, you know what my dream is."  He had just done this report 

on Martin Luther King and had to dress up as M.L.King, a little moustache and 

everything.  He had to pretend to be M.L.King and speak about his life for 12 

minutes.  He says, "well, you know me, dad.  I made the decision I'm going to 

be a preacher like M. L. King and you." 

And I go, "well, I appreciate that, son.  (laughter)  How about you, Andrea?" 

Andrea's parents were raised in a black church of Christ--only you church of 

Christers fully understand that.  He says, "well, my dream is to be a full 

time paid preacher."  (laughter)  "That's good, Andrea.  Good.  Full time 

paid, huh?  Well, Shawn, how about you?" 

"Well, I have a dream."  I said, "what is it, son?"  "I want to be the World 

Sector Leader that leads the World Sector Leaders."  (laughter)  "Well now, 

son, the Lord's got to choose you for that sort of thing and, you know, it 

would be a little bit unlikely someone as young--I think it'd be a good 

ambition just to be a leader in the kingdom."  He said, "okay, I'll be that." 

 You know, it was cool. Here's 3 little guys, 2 of them my sons, their best 

buddy being Andrea and he's black.  Shawn and Eric are half white and half 

Latin.  And they are best buddies, chumming together,  critiquing Corey's 

sermon.  (laughter)  But they got a dream.  All 3 of them are real good 

little athletes.  Report cards coming out last time, all three kids got 

straight A's in my family.  It's their dreams, it's their aspirations.  Shawn, 

Eric, Andrea they want to be preachers.  Now, not everybody can be a 

preacher. That's a gift the Lord gives you and you may not have it.  But 

you're a great dreamer.  40 years old. Sunset Blvd.  I'm not worried about 

it.  I'm in the masters.  (laughter)  All star team. 

Bruce Williams is the coach because he's the coach of Orange County and I'm 

on the Orange County team.  I said, "you know, Bruce, you know who got you to 

be coach?  (laughter)  Kind of like starting, you know."  (laughter)  See, 40 

doesn't worry me.  Because as a Christian there is no Sunset Blvd.  (that's 

right)  See, I'm naive to believe that the greatest thing is not putting a 

basketball through a basketball hoop.  The greatest things are not straight 

A's.  The greatest thing is not becoming president of IBM.  The greatest thing 

is not even finding the man or the girl of your dreams.  The greatest thing is 

knowing God.  (amen)  The purpose of my life is not achievement of worldly 

things or fame or title.  The purpose of my life is to have other people to 

know my father in heaven.  This is my life, and if I live it, this will make 

my life happy.  Sunset Blvd.?  Here's what I honestly believe.  I believe that 

when the true Christians, the disciple, dies he goes to heaven. (amen)  And 

that is the land of milk and honey.  Down here, life is hard.  And then you 


As Hebrews 12 talks about, be careful that you do not allow anyone to miss 

the grace of God because of bitterness produced from hardship.  Hardship there 

was for the Israelites.  That was the test.  Many of them failed.  They got 

bitter instead of better.  This whole Indianapolis thing, I was a little bit 

amused, but not in a bad way.  I came up and I saw one of the brothers and I 

said, "are you from Indianapolis?"  He goes, "oh no, no.  I'm from Chicago."  


You know, this thing in Indianapolis is going to be a chapter in our history. 

 (inaudible)...that's what the story is about.  The story is about those who 

made it.   It seems like it's about other people on the surface, but it's not 

really about them.  It's about those who remained faithful.  It's about Moses 

and Aaron.....  Indianapolis is a great.....  I can't change it.  I was born 

there.  I've got to be proud. Indiana is a great state.  It's awesome to be 

here.  But the hour requires repentance and forgiveness. But the hour 

requires decision, without sentimentality.  You should be proud that you're 

in the Indianapolis Int'l church.  (amen)  But out in Chicago, he's in the 

Indianapolis church, too.  You're in the Lord's church.  (amen)  No one is 

going to be afraid to identify with you.  I'm proud to be here in 

Indianapolis.  (amen)  And those around us are proud of you. 

But now is the time to be faithful.  Because I honestly believe like a child, 

when I die, I go to heaven. Just like a .... and that's the test.  Am I going 

to get bitter?  Or better?  See, I'm almost 40.  I'm getting better.  I'm in 

the masters.  (laughter)  Hopefully a starter.  (laughter)  My daughter is 

about to become a teenager.  And I know she'll also become a disciple.  (amen) 

 My sons, ah, they'll be preachers.  They'll be good ones.  I'm proud of them. 

 It's great to turn 40.  How many years the Lord gives me, that's how many 

years I'll work for him.  And then, the land of milk and honey.  God bless 

you.  (amen) 

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