All posts by Jerald Finney

Jerald Finney has been the lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center ("BLC") since May, 2005. The BLC helps churches who desire to organize according to New Testament principles. Finney practices law in Austin, Texas, and can be reached at 512-385-0761 (home); 512-785-8445 (cell); all of which are on the website the Lord has led him to create. Over the last few years he has lectured and preached on the issues concerning government, church, and separation of church and state. God called Finney, a Christian and fundamental Baptist since his salvation, to enter the University of Texas School of Law in 1990 at the age of 43 to stand in the gap concerning legal issues facing Christians. Since being saved, he has been a faithful and active member of a local fundamental, Bible-believing Baptist church. He received his JD degree in 1993 and has followed the Lord in the practice of law since that time. Finney received his law license in November 1993 and began practicing law in January, 1994. All along he was seeking the Lord’s direction. The Lord initially led Finney to practice criminal law. He knew that not many, if any, of the Christian law firms dealt with or specialized in criminal law, and that some Christians were being charged with crimes for their Christian behavior and for taking a stand for God’s principles. The Lord confirmed Finney's choice. Very soon after he started practicing, he helped an Eastern Orthodox priest with a criminal charge. He was charged under a criminal statute for trying to expose the promotion of sodomy and other sins within a Catholic Church. God gave the victory in that case. Then Steve, a Christian who counseled outside abortion clinics, called Finney. He was charged with a crime under the Austin, Texas Sign Ordinance for his activities outside an abortion clinic. Being a new lawyer, Finney called the Rutherford Institute. They asked him to send them a summary of the facts and a copy of the Sign Ordinance. Then they told him that the case could not be won and that they would not help. Steve lost at trial, but God gave the victory on appeal. The Austin Police Department immediately cited Steve for violation of the state sign ordinance. The Lord gave the victory at trial. Finney's first felony trial came about a year and six months after he started practicing law. A single Christian mother was charged with third degree felony injury to a child for spanking her six year old son. She left some prominent stripes across his rear end and also a stripe across his face when he turned suddenly during the spanking. The Lord gave the victory at trial. At the same time, Finney was also representing another Christian married lady who was charged with the same crime for spanking her little girl with a switch. On the date the trial in that case was to begin, the prosecutor, with prompting by the judge, lowered the offer to deferred adjudication probation of short duration on a misdemeanor charge with very few conditions on the probation. In a deferred adjudication in Texas, there is never a judgment of guilt if the probationer successfully completes the term of the probation, (and, with successful completion of the probation, the probationer can now file a Motion for Nondisclosure which, if granted, requires the file to be sealed so that the general public has no access to it). The mother decided to take the offer. The Lord has also allowed Finney to help Christian parents in numerous situations involving Child Protective Services (“CPS”) infringement into parental rights. God has given the victory in all those situations. The Lord has also used Finney to intervene in numerous situations where government officials or private companies tried to deny certain Christians their rights to do door-to-door evangelization, preach on the street, hand out gospel literature in the public forum, and pass out gospel tracts and communicate the gospel at their place of employment. Finney has also fought other legal spiritual battles including a criminal case in San Antonio. A peaceful pro-life advocate was arrested and charged with criminal trespass for handing pro-life literature giving information about the development of the unborn baby, places to go for help, and other information to women entering an abortion clinic. All the above-mentioned cases as well as others not mentioned were handled free of charge (except the last spanking case for which Finney received $750). In 2005 Finney became lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center. Since his early Christian life, he has considered the issue of separation of church and state as taught in the Bible to be one of the primary issues facing New Testament churches today. He believes, based upon what the Bible teaches, that operating as a corporation (sole or aggregate), unincorporated association, or any other type of legal entity and/or getting a tax exempt status from the federal government at the very least puts the church under the headship of both the Lord and the state, and may even take the church from under the headship of Christ and put the church under the headship of the state. He believes that taking scriptures out of context and applying human reasoning contrary to biblical teaching (such as “Obey every ordinance of man,” or “We should be good stewards and incorporation is good stewardship”) in order to justify unbiblical marriage with the state causes our Lord much grief. Once he took on the position as counsel for the BLC, it was necessary to do an in-depth study of the issue of separation of church and state. He began with the Bible. He initially read through the Bible at least five times (and many more times since then) primarily seeking the answer to the question, “Does the Bible have anything to say about this issue?” He was amazed at what He learned. The Bible gives God’s principles concerning separation of church and state, the purpose of a church, the purpose of the civil government, the headship of church, the headship of civil government, the principles by which each is to be guided, and much more concerning these two God ordained institutions. He continued to read the Bible daily seeking insights into these and other issues. He also began to read other books. he had already read starting shortly after being saved, books and other information by Christian authors. For example, he had read, among other works, A Christian Manifesto[1], The Light and the Glory,[2] From Sea to Shining Sea,[3] The Myth of Separation and some other works by David Barton, [4]Rewriting America’s History,[5] and America’s God and Country.[6] These resources inspired, influenced and guided him and millions of other Christians, gave them philosophical and historical underpinning, and led them into battlefields such as politics, law, and education armed with what they learned from those resources. Sometime in 2006 he began to realize that some of the books by Christian authors which he had come to depend upon were misleading, at the very least. Other books revealed to him that some of the above mentioned books had misinformed and misled sincere Christians by revising and/or misrepresenting the true history of separation of church and state in America. In 2006, he read One Nation Under Law[7] which cites a wealth of resources for one seeking to understand the history of separation of church and state in the United States and of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[8] Reading One Nation Under Law, some of the books it cited, and some other books was a launching pad into the universe of historical information which he never dreamed existed. He had expected to be misled in the secular law school he attended. He was amazed that he had been misled by Christian brothers. I asked myself, “How could Peter Marshall and others have missed this vital information?” At an Unregistered Baptist Fellowship conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, James R. Beller, a Baptist historian, gave a PowerPoint presentation which gave him the answer to this question. Finney bought two of Beller's books and read them. Those books filled in the details not mentioned in Pastor Beller’s concise PowerPoint presentation. Since that time, God has led Finney into an in depth study of the issues of government, church, and separation of church and state. God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application and the other books he has written and listed on this website were written as a result of those studies. God Betrayed is not a rehash of the same information that has been circulated in the Fundamental Baptist and Christian community through sermons, books, seminars, etc. since at least 1982, the year Finney was saved. God Betrayed and Finney's other books reveal facts and information that must be understood in order for a pastor and other Christians to begin to successfully (in God's eyes) fight the spiritual warfare we are engaged in according to knowledge. Finney believes that the lack of attention to the biblical doctrines concerning government, church (which is likened to the wife and bride of Christ), and separation of church and state, has had dire consequences for individuals, families, churches, and America. Unless pastors educate themselves on these doctrines and their application in America, the rapid downhill slide will continue at an accelerating pace. [1] Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981). [2] Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory, (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1977). [3] Peter Marshall and David Manuel, From Sea to Shining Sea (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1986). [4] David Barton, The Myth of Separation, What is the Correct relationship between Church and State? (Aledo, Texas: Wallbuilder Press, 1992). [5] Catherine Millard, Rewriting America’s History (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Horizon House Publishers, 1991). [6] William J. Federer, America’s God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations (Coppell, Texas: FAME Publishing, Inc., 1994). [7] Mark Douglas McGarvie, One Nation Under Law: America’s Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State (DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 2005). [8] The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The religion clause, properly interpreted, as is shown in God Betrayed, is a correct application of the biblical principle of separation of church and state.

The Church May, and God Will, Hold the Trustee to Account

Jerald Finney
October 7, 2019

What if the trustee of the “Bible” trust, called by some a “common law” trust, misuses the property in the trust estate for his own benefit and not for the benefit of the Lord Jesus Christ? Should that happen, 1 Corinthians 5-6 lays out the way the church is to judge the matter.

More importantly, the trustee of God’s property will be rewarded or judged by God depending upon how he administers the estate. The day of reckoning will come. See the chapters copied and pasted below.

The tithes, offerings, and gifts of a member of a corporate and/or 501(c)(3) or 508 church go into an account with belongs to the corporation or church. Those free will offerings of a member of a church which establishes a trust relationship with money and property belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ and administered by a trustee for His benefit goes into an account belonging to Jesus Christ. In the latter, the giving church member has no claim to ownership of that which he has given to the trust estate. He can give or not as he desires, but once he gives to the Lord, he no longer has any claim to the gift. The gift goes into a trust estate which belongs to the Lord only. The trustee has s duty under God to use the trust estate for the benefit of the owner, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Another important consideration is that a church and a pastor who understand and apply Bible church doctrine in the organization of a church are far less likely to behave wrongly in their dealings with the things of God. The pastors and believers in corporate, 501(c)(3) or 508 churches are much more likely to abuse their positions in the church, to steal, to forge, to embezzle from the organization for which they are responsible. A diligent online study confirms this.

As to the first consideration above, see The Judgment Seat of Christ, [Left click to go to the complete PDR. Chapters 4 and 8 are copied and pasted below.] by D.M. Paton, an old time Baptist preacher. Dr. Greg Dixon sent me the PDF to this book.


We now arrive at the burning heart of this entire revelation as it concerns the Church—THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. “Wherefore we labour,”—the word means to love and seek for honour (Lange) in what Bengel calls the sole legitimate ambition in the world— “that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. For”—as the fountain of motive in all holy ambition—“we must“—as a necessity inherent in Diving justice; for the vindication of God’s holiness, and for the satisfaction of our own highest and holiest instincts—“all”—all apostles, all prophets, all martyrs—“appear”—to our own consciences, to all the world, and above all to the Judge; a complete manifestation of all that has transpired within us, or in the external life (Lange)—“before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that every one may receive”—the technical word for receiving wages (Dean Alford)—“the things done in his body”—therefore thoughts and words as well as deeds, since the brain and the tongue are thus also involved—“according to that [plural] he hath done”—works exactly regulating reward: not according to the things that Christ did in His body; nor according to things done out of the body after death—“whether it [the award] be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). In the words of Lange—Paul’s tireless aim to please Christ “can only be fulfilled by his being found approved at that tribunal where he and his fellow believers are shortly to appear; for every action of God’s children during their bodily life must there be judged according to the law of strict righteousness, and each believer must be rewarded according to his good or evil conduct.”

For the sweep of the decree as quoted from Isaiah is absolutely universal— “. . . every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then,” –since it is universal and the Church is, therefore, not exempt— “every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12). Nor could it be otherwise. In view of the chaos of conflicting creed and conduct—the bitter controversies, the personal quarrels, the excommunications and anathemas—all denial of a judgment seat is inherently incredible and impossible: there must be a judgment seat; and there is. Molinos, the Quietist, when condemned as a heretic and led away to his prison cell— “We shall meet again,” said the old man to his judges, ‘in the judgment day; and then it will appear on which side, on yours or mine, is truth.” Furthermore, it rests upon the oath of God. “The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:” (Isaiah 14:24). The decree establishing it as irrevocable as the life of God— “That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isaiah 45:23). So then, says the Apostle, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:10), let us forbear to judge, for we shall be judged, and, therefore, the bedrock of all our action is to be the approval of our Divine Judge. “We labour” (A.V.)— “we strive” (Alford)— “we are eager” (Stanley)— “we make it our aim” (R.V.)— “we are ambitious (R. V., margin) to be well-pleasing unto Him. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

The tribunal [The portable tribunal carried about with him by a Roman magistrate.], before which disciples appear, is peculiar. (1) It is a Bema, not a Thronos; a judgment seat for the investigation of disciples, not a throne for the arraignment of rebels: for the Judge (2 Timothy 4:8) is “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.” (Matthew 18:23). It is the first of our Lord’s three judgments (Romans 14:12; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 20:12) on His return; “For the time is come that judgment must beat the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).

  • Churches are judged now (Revelation 2:5). The Church is never judged corporately—as the Body or Bride—either here or hereafter; but disciples, apart from their collective standing, in their individual responsibility as servants, must render account. So the Church, as an entity, is never named in the Apocalypse, except once (Revelation 22:17), where the reference is to the present Age; nor do the children of God appear as aught but ‘servants” throughout that book of judgment, except once (Revelation 21:7), when the Millennial Age has passed into the Eternal. The fact that the judgment of the wicked is by itself, separated by a thousand years (Revelation 20:17), reveals that in 2 Corinthians 5:10, “it is genuine Christians of whom Paul is speaking; all whose shortcomings and failures will one day be exposed, and who therefore make it their aim to avoid such defects” (International Critical Commentary). Individual judgment is not possible for believers as such, for in justification no believer differs from any other; but individual judgment as servants yields a variety of adjudication as infinite as the service and the sanctification.

(2) Thus those examined are Christians only. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” (1 Corinthians 1:2). It is a final investigation of the whole Church of God. No Book of Life is produced, for it is no judgment of the lost: “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” (Psalm 1:5).

(3) Nor is it a judgment for life. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1). The believer was crucified with Christ, and on Calvary exhausted the penalties of Hell: on that ground he can be judged no more.

(4) The process is individual: “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12). “We”—it is Christian; “must”—it is inevitable; “all”—it is universal; “made manifest”—it is public; “judgment seat”—it is judicial; “stand”—it is in resurrection; “each”—it is individual; “give account”—it is responsibility; “to God”—it is Divine.

The procedure is revealed as exclusively judicial; “that every one may receive the things done in his body” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Not, that each may receive something from God, but “that every one may receive the things [he himself has] done”: it is not a general granting of glory, irrespective of service; but an exercise of the Divine Law— “as he hath done, so shall it be done to him.” (Leviticus 24:19). “Be not deceived”—is a word to disciples— “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). Paul puts it with exquisite clearness, and twofold emphasis. “Whatsoever good thing”—for a judge approves— “any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” (Ephesians 6:8). On the other hand— “Ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong”—for a judge censures— “shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” (Colossians 3:24b-25).

Our works and conduct are put in as the evidence: “the things done in his body” (2 Corinthians 5:10). We must all “appear in our true light” (Alford): as the fossil imprint of a bird’s claw, made ages earlier by a momentary alighting when the stone was soft, now records that act in solid rock, so our actions are the unerring imprint of our characters; the things done reveal what the body was. Like a palimpsest, when the heat of fire (1 Corinthians 3:13) passes over it, so our life silently steals forth in lines every one of which we ourselves wrote: so that what our eyes looked on, what our ears listened to; what our hearts loved, what our minds believed, what our lips said, what our hands wrought, where our feet walked—these are the unimpeachable evidences of the Judgment Seat. Secrets (1 Corinthians 4:5), motives (Matthew 6:1), soul-attitudes (Luke 6:36-38), and just Church decisions (Matthew 18:18), also sway the adjudication.

  • Even the lovely modifications of our Lord’s attitude foretold in such passages as Matthew 5:7— “blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy”—and Luke 6:37— “condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned”—are still fundamentally judicial—that is, the recoil of a disciple’s conduct upon himself. But no lovelier revelation could be conceived of how we may deal with our forgotten “For in MANY things we offend ALL.” (James 3:2): but “if ye forgive men their trespasses, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER WILL ALSO FORGIVE YOU.” (Matthew 6:14). “For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38).

The evidence wholly decides the award: “whether it [the award] be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). The Greek points to the award: “that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it”—i.e., what he receives— “be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Reward (as distinct from salvation, which is through faith, against deserts) is strictly defined by works. So somewhere there exists a draft by the hand of God of what our life might have been, and still can be: some have lived wonderfully near God’s thought for them: let us find and follow that Divine original.

So Paul says: “But with me”—as an example and model to all Christians— “it is a very small thing”—it is a matter of the least importance— “that I should be judged of you”—the Church of Christ. (1 Corinthians 4:3). When “all they which are in Asia be turned away” from Paul (2 Timothy 1:15), there must have been personal attacks, solemn denunciations, ecclesiastical censures, even excommunication of the Apostle: in wide areas of the Church his name had become a bye-word: even Paul. When his priestly executioners brought Savonarola to the stake, they cried— “We excommunicate you from the Church militant here upon earth!” “But not from the Church triumphant in heaven!” answered the lonely hero. Men may not judge me, the Apostle says; but then neither do I judge myself; it is not because I am infallible that I rate human judgment so lightly, but because neither they nor I are competent to judge. “Yea, I judge not mine own self” (1 Corinthians 4:3)—I cannot pass even on myself, the final judgment— “For I know NOTHING by myself;”—I am conscious of no sin— “yet am I not hereby [for all that] justified”—found blameless, irreproachable, a perfect steward. (1 Corinthians 4:4). So Paul now administers the great heart-tonic: he takes our wrist, like a master-surgeon, and with his hypodermic syringe inserts beneath the skin perhaps as powerful a heart-strychnine as I, for one, have ever known. “HE THAT JUDGETH ME IS THE LORD.” (1 Corinthians 4:4). A believer’s friends may overpraise him, and his critics over blame; the world will totally misunderstand him in any case; his own conscience may flatter: the LORD only can appraise us exactly, and judge to a nicety. “Therefore judge nothing”—pass no final sentence— “before the time”—our judgment must come; but its time, its season, is not yet: “until the Lord come”—to judge. (1 Corinthians 4:5). If even my own conscience, knowing my motives and inner life, must be set aside as a judge, of how much less value is the praise or blame of men, whose judgment is purely external; and if an enlightened conscience ruled by Scripture does not condemn, the sharp criticisms of men need not unduly depress. Early in the Great War a young man sat at a table in a London restaurant. Two young ladies, seated at another table, watched him for a few minutes, whispering together; and then, approaching him, offered him a little box. He opened it, and in it lay –a white feather. “How strange,” he remarked, “that I should receive two such gifts in one day: this morning I received the Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace.” If we are clear in the forum of conscience, we may have good hope that we shall be clear at the bar of God. “Beloved, if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” (1 John 3:21). “Let them say what they will,” said a good man now gone to his rest; “they cannot hurt me; I live too near the Great White Throne for that.


It is in the nature of a trust that a day must come for a report of the trust to be put in; and so, after a prolonged period during which His servants trade with the talents he had entrusted to them, Jesus says that “the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them” (Matthew 25:19). The parable covers the entire period from the Nobleman’s departure to his return—that is, from our Lord’s Ascension to the Second Advent; and so embraces all who have conducted His business on earth for nearly two thousand years: it covers the period, and the only period, in which the Church of Christ exists, and so is a comprehensive history of the work and judgment of the Church. The goods entrusted are small, but the returns possible on the outlay are enormous. To the very highest servant, who turns one pound into ten, our Lord says, “Well, thou good servant because thou hast been faithful in a very little” (Luke 19:17); obscure, nameless, often landless, sometimes homeless, even friendless, without rank or power, nevertheless we hold in our hands a trust which, rightly used, can change into incalculable wealth and power in the day of Messiah’s Kingdom.

Now our Lord casts the main emphasis on the third servant—seven verses are devoted to the servant who was a failure, and only three each to the successful servants: therefore, on this servant’s identity depends Christ’s main teaching in the parable; and unless we understand that he may be ourselves, ours will be a concealed peril, like a man-trap hidden under forest leaves. For every truth, appropriated, falls on the soul like an electric shock; whereas it is obvious that the believer who denies the application of the passage to himself, while he may be committing every offence of which the third servant can be guilty, so encases himself in a coat of steel that God’s sword falls on him blunted and harmless. It is of vital import to know the spiritual standing of the third servant.

Now this servant is proved a child of God by the following facts.

  1. Equally with the other servants he is entrusted with our Lord’s goods on His ascension; but Christ has never entrusted and never does entrust, His work on earth to the unsaved: therefore this is a saved soul equally with the rest. Jesus calls them all ‘His own servants’ (Luke 19:13); literally, “slaves,” bought with their Master’s money, and owned by Him. About to take a journey, the Nobleman is obliged to hand over this property of his, which he is unable to manage personally as before, to other faithful hands during the time of his absence. He therefore calls, not strange labourers, but his own servants, belonging to him as his servants; and as their master, since he may expect that they will regard his interest as their own, entrusts to them and their hands the property he leaves behind” (Goebel). The servants differ greatly in capacity—in the extremes, as five to one; but they differ not at all in the possession of a common trust.
  2. The three servants are judged together, at one spot and at one time; but the wicked dead are not judged until the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:5, 12), a thousand years after the judgment of the redeemed. So also the slothful servant is judged last of the three, as last risen and last rapt; for he is “that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will” (Luke 12:47). As judged together, all three servants are the redeemed, judged in the one and only judgment in which the Church, and the Church alone, appears (2 Corinthians 5:10); and as this judgment is in the Parousia, the only access to which is by rapture, all the unsaved are of necessity physically excluded. None can reach the Judgment Seat except the saved. At a meeting in Toronto a Christian lady came up to the speaker and said— “You alarm me! I thought I was not coming into any kind of judgment. How then am I to know that I am saved?” “Madam,” he said, “the answer is very simple. The moment you stand before the Judgment Seat you will know you are saved, for none but the saved will ever stand there.” The lost from among the dead are not judged until the great White Throne appears, a thousand years later.
  3. All three are judged, like the Seven Churches, solely on the ground of their works: their faith in, and love for, the absent King are implied and assumed: their standing is never challenged. If the third servant were an unsaved soul, his works could in no way, and on no ground, be accepted: between the two Advents, it is the redeemed alone who are judged according to their works; for only those who have received from Christ can work for Every servant of God has a personal service for Christ in the world, a sacred trust to fulfil; it is that mission, that trust, which constitutes him a ‘servant’—the title by which the Apostles most loved to describe themselves (Romans 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; James1:1; Jude 1): the salvation a believer receives is the sole ground on which he can trade at all, and it is the Church alone which is the market where God’s trade is forever going on. “It is evident that the design is not to describe a man entirely fallen from faith, an apostate; but one who, although he has not dissolved his connexion as a servant, or squandered his talent, yet has not used it to his Lord’s advantage, one who has not done his duty” (Olshausen).
  4. Overwhelming is the final proof. In the twin parable of the Pounds, the unsaved are placed in careful contrast with the saved, as Citizens and as Servants, the only two classes in the world, sharply sundering mankind: the Servants our Lord entrusts with His all on earth, the Citizens send the message after the ascended Christ— “We will not have this Man to reign over us;” a message which, as Archbishop Trench says, will have its full and final fulfilment in the great apostasy of the last days. All three Servants have accepted Jesus as Lord, and have entered vitally into the service of God; “His own Servants, e., who have become His in faith, in contradistinction to the Citizens who would not” (Steir), and who are slain without mercy before His face (Luke 19:27). “Whilst the one Servant represents an inactive member of the body of Christ, the Church, who failed to perform his duty, these Citizens are open rebels, and hence their Lord orders them to be killed: it is evident that this penal proceeding is essentially distinguished from the reproof administered to the one Servant” (Olshausen).

Now therefore we see the danger to us all which our Lord flashes out like a red light upon the line—a danger which, remarkably enough, is greatest to the lowliest disciple. What is the peril? Undervaluing what God has given us. Christ gives to each servant what He sees he can wisely use; as much as he can handle and profit by; no servant can say, Lord, Thou gavest me nothing: no servant is expected by Christ to produce results greater than his abilities or his opportunities; the poorest, the most unlettered, the most obscure have the ‘very little’ which yet can coin enormous future wealth. “A talent is entrusted also to the idle servant ‘according to his own ability’: he is therefore just as able, and for this reason just as bound, to work spontaneously with his gifts, as all other servants with theirs” (Goebel). But he so undervalues his opportunity as to bury it in the earth—in earthliness; his carnality is his shame because he is a child of God, and as such betrays his trust: “the circumstance rendering him guilty is, that he to whom the money belonged was no stranger to him, but his master to whom he was bound as a servant” (Goebel). For it is not the possession of the talents that determines our reward, but solely our use of them: it is the second five and the second two, not the first five and the first two, on which reward alone is given. So Jesus describes the third servant as the exact opposite of the first two: instead of “good” and “faithful,” He says he is “wicked” and “slothful”: not “good” in the general sense, but a good servant: and so not bad (or wicked) in a general sense but a bad servant: the goodness of the one consisted in his faithfulness, the badness of the other in his sloth. “This distinctive name comprehends all his guilt, Thou slothful servant” (Steir); unprofitable (Matthew 25:30), but not unregenerate, or apostate; he did not misemploy, nor embezzle, nor squander, but simply hid his money. So what exactly does our Lord charge him with? Unbelief, unregeneration, rebellion, apostasy, adultery, theft, murder? Nay: it is simply a servant of God who has made nothing of his life; all he has done wrong is merely to withhold his powers from serving God; he hoarded, when he ought to have expended; he had no sacred sense of responsibility. “The parable is not for gross sinners: the warning is for those who, being equipped of God for a sphere of activity in His kingdom, hide their talent” (Trench). He says, As I cannot be so holy as God requires, I give up the attempt to satisfy such strictness: I object profoundly to the doctrine of reward according to works, and deny all responsibility in a servant of Christ beyond his responsibility to maintain the gift of grace with which he was entrusted at his conversion. But his answer (as his Lord says) implies that he knew the truth. The Judge answers—Your very consciousness of the severity of the principle ought to have made you more careful, not less, to meet its requirements. “Thereby must the evil servant bear testimony with his own mouth to the innermost truth, and the most perfect right, according to which the Lord requires fruit from what He sows or gives—that God demands fruits and works” (Steir). For the believer to have at his judgment only what he had at his conversion will be his condemnation. As his life had been negative, so is his punishment: he is cast into the darkness outside the brilliantly lit festal hall:

  • Since the Parousia is a place of thick darkness (Psalm 18:9), indwelt by the Shekinah Glory (Matthew 16:27), to be cast forth from the inner ring of light on the threshold of the Kingdom is to be expelled into the external dark of the Pavilion of Cloud (Psalm 18:11).

“Nothing is said here of any further punishment of the servant; enough that he has no part in the kingdom of the Lord” (Goebel). Over lost opportunities, wasted graces, slighted privileges, a sold birthright, there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

  • “If the servant is not a believer, but a mere professor, then we have in the parable nothing to represent the Christian who fails in faithfulness” (C. G. Trumbull).

Both the faithful servants are remarkable examples of “boldness in the day of judgment” (1 John 4:17): both come joyfully forward, for they have facts in their hands—the talents doubled; and both are invited at once into the joy of their Lord—our Lord’s joy in His Kingdom, for which He endured the cross, despising the shame, “the authority God will confer on Him on His second coming from heaven in kingly power and glory to establish the Messianic Kingdom” (Goebel).

  • It must be the Millennial Kingdom, for our Lord’s everlasting Kingdom as the Son of God—as distinct from the kingdom the Nobleman goes away to obtain (Luke 19:12)—is inherently His, without beginning or end, never conferred: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is FOR EVER AND EVER” (Hebrews 1:8).

So also would the third servant had he been found faithful. “He has no share in the kingdom of his lord, and therefore he who is like him will have no share in the Kingdom of Christ” (Goebel). Both faithful servants had exercised all their faculties and powers in the interests of their Master; the long delay in His return had not made them slothful or negligent, but, on the contrary, had afforded them longer time for greater gains; and what they had gained in the Church, they reap in the Kingdom. The “well done” is conferred for no reason but one—because they have done well. “The period is not given them for idle waiting. It is of the most critical importance for themselves, because it is appointed them as a test-time, on the use of which their own participation in the Kingdom of Christ and their position in it will depend” (Goebel). For the way to advance our own interests is to advance our Lord’s: each gained cent-per-cent for their Lord, and for each pound (Luke 19:17) the reward is a city: the more devoted the life, the more blazing the glory. No servant had more than one pound: No servant was without one pound: every servant had an equal opportunity of making ten pounds: yet ONLY ONE (so far as we know) did so. “It is an experiment of the future King, in the course of which His servants first prove their fidelity in a little sum of money, and then for their reward take part in managing His Kingdom” (Goebel). For while the ten cities and the five cities are figurative, because every phrase in a parable is ipso facto figurative, nevertheless our Lord reveals that the “many things” over which He puts the faithful servant will be no less than royalty. “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give POWER OVER THE NATIONS: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:26-27). Then follows the judgment on the wicked among Israel and the Gentiles. “When the King has thus distributed praise and blame, rewards and penalties, to those who stand in the more immediate relations of servants to Him, to those of His own household, He proceeds to execute vengeance on His enemies, on all who had openly cast off allegiance to Him, and denied that they belonged to His House at all” (Trench).

So “the Coming One remains the Lord of all these servants, of the unfaithful as well as the faithful; and in the case of the latter will show Himself as Lord in the reckoning” (Steir). For as profound the punishment of sloth, so magnificent is the reward of fidelity; it cuts both ways: in exact proportion as we accept the promised enormous premium on fidelity, so we are compelled to acknowledge the gravity of the consequences of unfaithfulness. “In the times between the departure of their Lord and His second coming His disciples are to work with what He committed to them on His departure for Him and His cause with faithful diligence, because the [The Judgment Seat] most glorious reward awaits such fidelity at the hour of Christ’s return, while the heaviest punishment threatens the selfish indolence that would decline active employment of what it has received” (Goebel).

Thus we confront our crisis. Officers are required for the administration of a kingdom: so God has deliberately interposed a prolonged period between the two advents, that our Lord might be enabled to so test His servants, in His absence, as to discover which are fitted for positions of responsibility and trust at His return. The Nobleman, before He departed, laid plans for the selection of officers to aid Him in the administration of the Kingdom; He devised a plan for bringing to light who those officers are on His return; this plan is in operation at the present moment, purposely so contrived as to reveal individual capacity for office, and personal fitness for trust; and—most impressive of all—the Long Journey is now nearly over, and at any moment the investigation may begin. “Make haste about cultivating a Christlike character. The harvest is great; the toil is heavy; the sun is drawing to the west; the reckoning is at hand. There is no time to lose; set about it as you have never done before, and say, ‘This one thing I do’” (A. Maclaren).

Another Victory for a Church under Christ!

Jerald Finney, BBA, JD
Born Again Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ
Licensed Attorney-University of Texas Law School Graduate

This article is also published at: The Trumpet Newspaper, October – December 2019. Click links in article below and in the Trumpet Article when viewed online to go to the links.

Any church who remains under Christ alone has already been victorious in the eyes of Lord, no matter what any earthly power does to it. We praise the Lord for eternal spiritual victory! We also praise the Lord for victory for an eternal church under Christ in this temporal battleground.

Praise the Lord for such a victory for the Lord’s churches (as opposed to churches which combine with to the state and federal government through incorporation (sole and aggregate), unincorporated association status, Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) or § 508 status, legal status by holding bank accounts or insurance in the name of the church, running incorporated and/or 501(c)(3) or 508 ministries, etc.) in Minnesota!

The local property tax board denied the property tax exemption on the property owned by the Lord Jesus Christ and held in trust by the Pastor/Trustee who had a fiduciary duty to manage the Trust Estate which included the meetinghouse and the land it was on for the benefit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true owner of the property. Other property in the Trust Estate includes a bank account, liability insurance, and personal property.

The victory was won after the Trustee of the Trust established by the church filed a petition in Minnesota District Court after the local property tax board in Minnesota denied the property tax exemption on the property. The local board took the position that the church had to “establish” to qualify for the property tax exemption. A church becomes established when it, for example, is granted corporate and/or 501(c)(3) status after application to the state government (incorporation) and/or the federal government ((501(c)(3) status). No church in America is required by man’s law to establish. The state and federal governments invite churches to seek and obtain such status and churches eagerly, against New Testament principle, accept the invitation.[i]

In America, property tax boards in many states have granted property tax exemption on property held in trust for the Lord and used exclusively for church purposes. Sometimes the local tax board balks but relents after reasoning with them. In Indiana, a state which has an agency hearing process (followed by appeal to court if necessary), numerous such properties have been almost routinely been granted the exemption. However, a Trustee in Indiana successfully contested a denial of the property tax exemption through the agency process. See [ii] for a link the complete story in that case.

In Minnesota, there is no agency hearing when a local property tax board denies the exemption. The contest has to be filed in district court which then transfers the case to tax court. Before filing a petition in district court, the Trustee in Minnesota, with Jerald Finney’s[iii] help, talked with the county attorney and provided memorandums explaining why the exemption should be honored. The county attorney and assessor maintained their position that the church had to establish under Minnesota non-profit corporation law and also obtain 501(c)(3) status.

After the case was finally called by the court, motions were filed, and a hearing was held the case was settled in favor of the tax exemption for the Lord’s property. The tax exemption was granted!

The Pastor/Trustee and all the members of the church are to be applauded. They took the position that they were going to continue as church under Christ and Him alone no matter the outcome of the case.

This article is also published at: The Trumpet Newspaper, October – December 2019.

Note. For a link to the written argument filed in court, without identifiers, see [iv] below.

Note. Property tax exemption on property used exclusively by churches is honored by all 50 states. Unlike 501(c)(3) or 508 federal tax exemption, the property tax exemption comes with no strings attached and is to be given all such properties. The property tax exemption actually strengthens the First Amendment religious freedom unlike 501(c)(3) or 508 federal tax exemption which destroy such freedom. The legal Response filed in Minnesota Court explains more about this. See [iv] below.

Note. By establishing the trust relationship, the church—like many churches that the Churches Under Christ and the Biblical Law Center ministries have helped with the matter of church organization under Christ and Christ alone since the 1980’s—continued under the authority of Christ and Christ alone. In other words, the church remained a spiritual entity under Him and not an earthly organization under the state and/or the federal government.


[i] What is an established church?; Who Is the head of an incorporated church?; Separation of Church and State: God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? Does God Care if our Church is Incorporated?;  The church incorporation-501(c)(3) control scheme; Federal government control of churches through 501(c)(3) tax exemption; Short Answers to Some Important Questions.

[ii] The Indiana Board of Tax Review Determines that Property Held in Trust for the Lord Jesus Christ Must Be Granted Property Tax Exemption (012319).

[iii] Finney Moved to Minnesota in March 2016. After completing a grueling reciprocity process, he was licensed to practice law in Minnesota in February, 2017. However, when the Lord called him to move back to Texas in May, 2019 the Minnesota Tax Court had not gotten to the case. The MTC has around 6,000 new property tax cases on its docket each year. Trustee filed the petition in 2016, but the Court did not call the case until after Finney moved back to Texas. At that point, Finney worked with and advised a Minnesota law firm who took over the case. He also drafted the substance of the written motion for the plaintiff/trustee which was used by the firm.


Question and Answer: “Do you have a template for a ‘common law’ or ‘Bible’ trust…?”

E-mail Inquiry:

On Sunday, September 15, 2019, 07:40:37 PM PDT,  ________________ wrote:

Do you have a template for a “common law” or “Bible” trust that includes the necessary elements of a valid trust including the trustor, trustee, beneficiary, and trust estate?

___________________, Texas
[Phone Number was here]
{E-mail address was here]

My Reply:

Jerald Finney To:,Jerald Finney Sep 2019 at 4:01 PM

Dear Mr. ________________,

Would a person with valuable assets and with intent of minimizing losses to income taxes, estate taxes, etc. e-mail an attorney and ask him to send him a “trust” template with the intent of forming a trust? Of course not. In order to properly implement a plan or intention one must not only understand the particular facts involved, but also the controlling principles.

Would an attorney who received such a request send the template? Of course not. To be clear, a law firm charges for its services. This ministry does not. A secular law firm, for monetary remuneration (as well as so-called “Christian” law firms which help churches organize as temporal earthly entities (e.g., 501(c)(3) corporations under both the state government of incorporation and the federal government), deal in secular matters. This ministry does not. This ministry, without charge, helps local churches organize as eternal heavenly entities under Christ and Christ alone.

I do not send out “templates” or forms. To do so would be doing a grave disservice not only the Lord Jesus Christ, but also those to whom I sent a template. One must understand relevant Bible principles such as the New Testament doctrine of the church, the Bible doctrine of government, the Bible doctrine of separation of church and state, the concepts and facts in the articles linked to below, the history and meaning of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the history and meaning of the corresponding state constitutional provisions, etc.; and, in the factual situation of some churches, federal religious tax exemption law, state non-profit corporation law and more before he attempts to utilize templates or forms. For a church or an individual to attempt to help churches remain true to our Lord by establishing a trust relationship with property, he must do his homework and understand what he is doing. Either that, or he must get the help of someone who has done the years of study necessary to understand what he is doing.

These matters are not secret, but they are precious as related to the local New Testament churches which Christ loved and gave Himself for. He tells his people to proceed with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. See, for more on this:

I offer you the following resources to help get you started in your studies should you wish to gain the wisdom needed pursue your goal. The King James Bible states the principles for the Bible (common law) trust. The following resources will be very helpful:

For His Glory,
Jerald Finney

801 Elgin St.
Amarillo, TX 79118
Phone : (512) 785-8445

Answer to the question: Can a church corporation be changed to a trust?

Question received:

From: _____________________________ Date: Sun, Sep 8, 2019 at 9:22 PM Subject: Weblog title Subject: Trust

Message Body:
Can a church corporation be changed to a trust?

My Reply:

Jerald Finney To:_________________ Sep 10 at 2:09 PM

Dear _______________,

No, a church corporation cannot be changed to a trust. A church corporation can be dissolved. A trust relationship can be established by a church.

A corporation is created by man’s law at the request of a church to the secretary of state in the state the church applies for incorporation.

The common law trust relationship has come down through time immemorial and was not the creation of man’s law. A church who establishes such a relationship actually organizes the church according to Bible principle. I explain more about this relationship in the following articles:

The Church Bible Trust Relationship Explained and How a Church Can Nulli…

Jerald Finney Copyright © January 11, 2019 More and more churches are seeking to exercise their Bible freedom an…

For a good overall study of church incorporation, church 501(c)(3) and 508 status, see

Separation of Church and State: God’s Churches – Spiritual or Legal Entities?

Feel free to give me a call should you wish to discuss your particular situation.

God bless you and yours.

For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney

Church Members are approaching their pastors about church corporate 501c3 status, some are leaving churches who refuse to repent of that status, and some are seeking to communicate with their pastors about the matter!


Note. Many believers who have contacted me have left churches because the churches and pastors refuse to consider the issue of legal status for churches. Some have moved hundreds of miles in order to join churches who are under Christ and Christ alone. As God’s Word makes clear, there will always be a remnant of churches and believers who remain true to our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is just a small sampling. I have been contacted by many who have changed churches over the last few years.

Part I of this post gives the recent e-mails exchanged between such a church member.

Part II recounts a recent call from a church member who has already left such a church.

Part III chronicles the discussions with a Michigan couple who have an appointment with their pastor. There, they will be talking to him about church corporate 501(c)(3) status.

Part IV Christian frustrated and left church because pastor and church would not discuss or consider the truth about church corporate 501(c)(3) status

Part V Letter drafted and sent by two church members to their pastors. The letter was to inform their pastors of the evil of corporate 501(c)(3) or 508 status.

Part I

His initial question about 501c3:

On Sunday, September 1, 2019, 05:21:56 AM PDT, ______________ <> wrote:

We have a church that was under 501c3, but due to some issues that church folded, it was started up again under new Pastors, New board and new name. Does the new church fall under 501c3 because the Pastors etc used to be a part of the old church, or does the new name have to file for 501c3? The new church does not automatically get 501c3 status because they changed names and use the same building do they? How do I find out if this new church is 501c3?

Thank you

My reply to his initial question:

On September 5, 2019, at 9:23 PM, Jerald Finney <> wrote:

Dear _______________,

I help churches under Christ (churches that are not legal entities) or churches not under Christ and Christ alone who want to be under Christ (churches that are legal entities such as corporations, 501c3 or 508 religious organizations, etc. and want to get out from under government authority). Does your church fit into one of those categories? If so, I can help without any charges. If not, I cannot help.

It appears the church may be a legal entity since it has a board. New Testament churches under Christ do not have “boards,” generally speaking.

Jerald Finney

His follow-up e-mail:

On Friday, September 6, 2019, 08:43:57 AM EDT, ______________ <> wrote:

Thank you for the response, I am going to ask one of the Pastors today, if they are 501c3, if they are i am going to minister to him about 501c3. If he tells me he is not interested in changing them that will end our emails! If he does want to change I will inform you of that, and tell him who he can contact. If he wants to stay 501c3 then that ends our going to that church! I appreciate you and what you are doing! God Bless you all, Praise His Mighty Name


My reply:

Jerald Finney ; Sep 6 at 2:56 PM

Amen. It is not just 501c3 (and 508) that is of concern. If the church is incorporated, it may as well be 501c3. I do not have time to explain that in an e-mail. Keep up the good work! Below is a link that gives a little information on incorporation and also a link with links to various other relevant matters:


Short course: important questions answered

Short course: important questions answered

The New Testament of Jesus Christ: His Executor Named and Empowered1. What is a Spiritual entity?2. What is a le…

For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney

His last e-mail as of 9/6/19:

______________ <> To:Jerald Finney Sep 6 at 4:12 PM

Thank you sir, it is a pleasure talking to you, I am happy that someone like you is out there fighting with us to change this country and our churches! You take care and stay safe! God Bless you!

Part II

I received a call from a man in South Carolina on September 10, 2019 who had left a church and joined another church. He left the church because he tried to talk with the pastor who refused to discuss the matter of church 501(c)(3) status. He also stated that the church had quit preaching important Bible issues such as hell, salvation, etc. The church had become a sort of social club meant to keep the members happy so that they would continue to give.

He and I discussed church incorporation, 501(c)(3) and other matters. I e-mailed him links to materials concerning the trust relationship, incorporation, 501(c)(3) and other matters.

Part III

On September 14, 2019 I talked with a Michigan couple who want to join a non-501(c)(3) non-incorporated church. They have searched for a non-incorporated non-501(c)(3) church near where thy live and they have found none. They are in their 60s and their daughter and grandchildren attend the church.

They like the pastor and want to approach him about getting out of 501(c)(3) status. We talked 2 1/2 hours +.

We discussed many related matters. As to how to approach their pastor, I suggested that they ask him to explain the principles from the Bible which he believes support 501(c)(3) and incorporation of churches. They will be discussing this with him at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday September 16. They said they will let me know what happens.

They said that they have talked to their daughter about this and she relied on Romans 13. I explained that pastors, some of whom know better, simply tell their members that Romans 13 requires them to obey every ordinance of man. Of course, the highest law of the land (both state and federal) guarantee the right of churches to organize according to their religious beliefs–to incorporate or not to incorporate, to get 501(c)(3) status or not. See Render Unto God the Things that Are His/A Sytematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses. I explained some of the false reasons given for church corporate 501(c)(3) status. See, Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities.

Part IV

Click here to go to “Christian frustrated and left church because pastor and church would not discuss or consider the truth about church corporate 501(c)(3) status.” (010819)

Part V

Letter drafted and sent by two church members to their pastors. The letter was to inform their pastors of the evil of corporate 501(c)(3) or 508 status.


I Cannot Lose My Faith

Jerald Finney, August 20, 2019

According to the latest news, many “Christians” are renouncing or leaving their faith. See, e.g.,

Should a “Christian” renounce his faith, he never had the faith of the son of God. God never saved him. He never repented toward God and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ to save him.

I cannot lose my faith because Christ saved me, regenerated me, sanctified me, washed me, made a new creature of me, adopted me into the family of God, lives in me, will never forsake me, gave me eternal life starting the day of my salvation, made me to walk in heavenly places…. Without repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, no one can be saved. As to losing my life in Christ:

Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

John 3:3-8: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:16-21: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

Romans 8:14-17: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

He saved me and He will keep me, according to His Word which He will not break.

To learn how to be saved, according to the Word of God, see God’s Plan of Salvation.

Note. That a believer cannot lose his salvation does not mean that he will not be judged: “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).  Every believer will be rewarded according to his good or evil conduct. For the sweep of the decree as quoted from Isaiah is absolutely universal:  “. . . every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then, since it is universal and believers are, therefore, not exempt: “every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12). “But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10).

Answers to inquiry from a pastor in Denmark about setting up a “free and unincorporated church”


Dear Fellow Pastors,

I was wondering if it is possible to talk to you guys about setting up a free and unincorporated church here Denmark where i reside, i have understood most of it by now and understands that i am not supposed to do a IRS filing through the SS4 application or for the church to have a EIN number, instead i would like it to be trust, where Jesus Christ is the creator and i am the trustee and the members are the beneficiaries, is it possible to call you guys or vice versa, since i am in the process of establishing this and doing research about it, the church must also be capable of ordainations and baptismal ceremonies and issuing out baptismal certificates, maybe there is a church already in the states doing this where our church here could become a chapter of,

Most sincerely


Dear Bro. _________________,

We help churches in America who want to establish a trust – the church is trustor, the Lord Jesus Christ is beneficiary (true, equitable, owner of the trust estate), and the pastor is the trustee of the trust estate. See

The Church Bible Trust Relationship Explained and How a Church Can Nullify Her Efforts to Remain Under Christ Only for more basics on this.

Other articles which explain this are: (1) How a Church Can Organize to Remain a New Testament Church (Holding Property In Trust For God Is A Scriptural Principle Recognized by American Law) (050616); (2) What God Has Committed to Man’s Trust: “Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon”: Steward or Trustee? (110817).

For links to other resources which explain this type of trust relationship, go to The Bible Trust Relationship: Links to Essays and Other Resources.  

Your statement concerning IRS filing through form SS4 needs further explanation for your understanding. I do not know what relevance your concerns have for a church in Denmark. Does Denmark have an IRS, a form SS4, and 501c3 status?

A church in America should not get 501c3 status (puts a church under IRS rules and red tape), become incorporated (organizes a church according to state non-profit corporation law with all the attendant rules and red tape), etc. If a church has requested and received 501c3 status, she has already compromised her position as a New Testament church and getting an EIN does no further damage to her position under Christ since she has already profaned herself.

We have helped many churches in America organize according to New Testament principles by establishing a trust relationship with property (which includes money and bank accounts). These churches are not legal entities partially or totally under the state of incorporation and the federal government through 501c3 or 508 status. They are not corporations, unincorporated associations, tax exempt organization or other types of legal entities. These churches do not hold property, bank accounts, insurance, etc. They do not contract, have secular offices, government rules and red tape, etc. Any bank accounts are held by the trustee in the name of the trust, liability insurance is in the name of the trust, leases of property for church meetings are in the name of the trust, etc. Nothing is held by or in the name of the church.

I regret that I am not acquainted with the church/state affairs in Denmark. I know what the Bible teaches churches, no matter what nation they are in, concerning church organization. No matter the nation, for a church to be pleasing to our Lord, that church should be under Him alone. From your e-mail, I believe that is what you believe also.

If you wish to discuss this more, call me at 512-785-8445.

God bless.

Your humble servant,
Brother Jerald Finney