Tag Archives: David Gibbs

Church Property Ownership: Another Lame Excuse for Contracting with Civil Government for Church Corporate Status

Jerald Finney
October 27, 2020

Is the church you are a member of being prepared for His coming?

Ephesians 5:25-27: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

2 Corinthians 11:1-3: “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

Ephesians 1:22-23: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

Colossians 1:18: “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

No church in the New Testament and no church for a long time thereafter owned property. Churches were built according to the doctrine of the church as explained by our Lord as he laid the foundation before his death, burial, and resurrection; and, after His resurrection, by the epistles of the Apostle Paul as inspired by the Holy Spirit. “Christian” attorneys (e.g., David Gibbs) and others will tell you flat out that today’s churches simply cannot do things God’s way. They explain, without Bible reasoning, that they cannot operate like that. Being “practical” trumps New Testament church doctrine and example. They state that churches must become worldly organizations with fleshly, temporal goals to one extent or another. According to them, churches must own, or seek to own, property on which to build meetinghouses. Of course, the more “successful” churches will also build gyms, restaurants, buildings for Bible institutes and colleges, and auditoriums for rock concerts, plays, bookstores, etc. To do so they believe that they must violate Bible principles and sacrifice the status of the local church as an entity under the authority of Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone. They become spiritual harlots and dishonor their Bridegroom.

A church who does not act legally is not a legal entity; she is a church under the authority of Christ and Christ alone. A church who acts legally is a legal entity. Legal entities are under the authority of civil government for many purposes. One way a church can act legally is to own property. A church may buy property in the name of the church, and become a legal entity, without incorporating. A legal entity, as opposed to a New Testament church, is an entity which can sue, be sued, contract, go into debt, buy and sell, be charged with crime, or act legally in other ways. Churches can also become legal entities by voluntarily submitting themselves to man’s law through incorporation, Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) or Section 508(c)(1)(A) status, charitable trust law, or unincorporated association law.

One reason churches give for incorporation is “to own property,” even though the church may buy property in the name of the church without incorporating. Either method of owning property is wrong, because either results in the church becoming, if it is not already, a legal entity. Church incorporation is the least desirable method of the two because it brings a lot of red tape which entwines the church in the many provisions of the law of incorporation. For example, see the California Corporations Code or the California Attorney General’s Guide for Charities. A religious corporation in California is classified as a charity.

The incorporation laws of the states vary, but they all give the state considerable control over the church and they all make the corporate church a legal entity. To understand the legal status and powers granted a religious corporation in California see, California Code, Corporations Code – CORP, TITLE 1. CORPORATIONS, DIVISION 2. NONPROFIT CORPORATION LAW, PART 4. NONPROFIT RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS, CHAPTER 1. Organization and Bylaws, ARTICLE 4. Powers, 9140. Section 9140 begins by stating, “Subject to any limitations contained in the articles or bylaws and to compliance with other provisions of this division and any other applicable laws, a corporation, in carrying out its activities, shall have all of the powers of a natural person, including, without limitation, the power to: ….” A corporation is a legal entity controlled according to the law of the state of incorporation.  As a legal entity, the corporate church has voluntarily given up much of its First Amendment protection. For more on church incorporation, see, e.g.,(1) What does church, inc. mean?, (2) Who Is the head of an incorporated church?, (3) What is an established church? 

Owners of real property, whether an individual or an unincorporated or incorporated church, usually get liability insurance on that property. Liability insurance covers the liability of, to the extent of the limits of the insurance policy, the legal owner, others who may have been assigned or volunteered to make sure the property is safe, and perhaps those members of the organization who knew of, but ignored, the dangerous condition. Liability insurance is an admission that the legal owner of the property is a legal entity in that it gives protection against being sued.

Almost all churches become owners (and possessors) of property; and, as legal owners of the property, they can be sued should someone be injured on that property. The little old lady who slips on the ice on the entrance can sue.

Our Lord, when meeting with His apostles and disciples as he laid the foundation of the church, met on property with them. As recorded in the New Testament, many times their meetings were outdoors. Christ owned and owns all things. However, He, for the time being, entrusts legal (earthly, temporal) ownership to the earthly owners. A church, an assembly of believers, must meet on property. The churches in the New Testament, and churches for a long time thereafter, never met in buildings they owned.

So how can a church honor both God and man in the matter of property ownership? The original churches met on property owned by the Lord Jesus Christ, the owner of all things, but legally owned by someone, not by the church. The church was not the legal owner or owner in any sense of the property they met on. Every piece of property they met on was legally owned by a person or persons who, whether they realized it or not, was entrusted by the real, true owner of the property – the Lord Jesus Christ –  to hold and manage the property for His benefit..

Churches in America can still obey God and His principles on the matter of assembling together. They can meet on property owned by others as long as they have the permission of the owner. They can meet on property owned or leased by a person: a church member or someone else. They can meet on public property. For example, a church in Austin Texas meets under a bridge. Or, they can meet on property held by a person in trust for the benefit of the true owner of the property, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many churches in America are now choosing to establish an irrevocable trust relationship with property whereby a trustee holds and administers the property in the trust estate for the benefit of the true owner of the property, the Lord Jesus Christ. This “common law” or “Bible” trust is a fiduciary relationship with real and/or personal property (personal property includes intangible property such as money and bank accounts) recognized but not created by man’s law. This relationship is established by an agreement between a trustor and trustee, is private, creates no contract with the state (the state is not a party), and is not subject to control by civil government and its courts. Trust documents, if any, are never required to be filed in man’s legal system through any of its courts or agencies. This type of trust is not a legal entity. The trust relationship can be established orally or in writing; a properly drafted writing is much better than an oral trust, especially if the trust estate is to hold real estate, vehicles, or other property which requires a written title. If not in writing, and if the facts show the intent to establish a relationship with property to be held by a trustee for the benefit of the true owner of the property then a trust relationship has been established. Also, should the trustee desire to open a trust bank account, written documents will probably be required by the bank.

It is not necessary to use the terms “trust (or steward, etc.),” “trustor (or grantor, steward, donor, etc.),” “trustee (or steward, etc.),” “trust estate,” or “beneficiary” for a trust relationship to come into existence if the essentials of the relationship are there.

The trustor creates the relationship and names a trustee who agrees to administer a trust estate funded by the trustor (and others, if any, who wish to contribute to the trust estate) solely for the benefit of another, the true owner of the trust estate, the beneficiary. The trustor merely establishes the trust relationship. Again, the trustee administers the trust estate solely for the benefit of the owner of the trust estate. Once assets are placed in the trust estate, those assets permanently belong to the beneficiary, not to the trustor  (in an irrevocable trust).

When this relationship is created, the church remains non-legal entity as long as she does not misstep and act legally in some way. For more on this see, The Church Bible Trust Relationship Explained and How a Church Can Nullify Her Effort To Remain under Christ Only.

What about the little old lady who slips on the ice at the door of the meeting house? A church which is a legal entity (incorporated, 501(c)(3) or 508(c)(1)(A), unincorporated association, charitable trust, etc.) can be sued. Any member of that church who can be held to have violated a duty to maintain safety on the property can be sued. This could go to the officers of the corporation, the janitor, the one who volunteered to remove the ice, etc. Thus, the corporation gets liability insurance. More importantly, should a church member desire to displease our Lord and apply to man’s law, state law, for corporate or other legal status, so that their liability is limited such that they will not be required to help that little old lady injured on the ice? Another consideration is that the members of the church own the corporation and ultimately pay the debts and liabilities of the corporation: they pay for the insurance and any obligation not covered by the insurance.

What about the church under Christ and Christ alone? Believers should take care of that little old lady who slips on the ice which a responsible party intentionally, recklessly, or negligently failed to remove or salt down; especially when the property is used for a meetinghouse open for attendance to the church members and others. If the church meets in someone’s house, the homeowner should, and probably does, have homeowner’s insurance. Should the church establish a common law trust and acquire property for a meetinghouse, the trustee, as legal owner of the property, should obtain liability insurance, in the name of the trust, him being the legal owner of the trust estate.

Property owners, especially believers, should be responsible for the safety of the property they legally own. This is common sense. This is Christian. This is Bible. The new Testament Church, not being a legal entity, cannot be sued, but those legally responsible can be sued. Nonetheless, those injured on the Lord’s property due to the failure of the legal owner of the property to make sure that the property is safe, are to be taken care of.

In conclusion, many believers in America, seeing the problems with church legal status, are leaving their legally established churches and forming house churches. Others, when the need for a larger facility arises or should a bank account be desired to secure God’s money, are establishing trust relationships with property as described above. Sadly, even though the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding state constitutional provisions guarantee that churches may choose to do things God’s way without persecution, the overwhelming majority of churches betray our Lord and become legal entities. One of their many excuses is that it is not practical to do things God’s way in the matter of property ownership. Not so. It is always practical, from God’s viewpoint, for believers and churches to honor their love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

For analysis of other false reasons for betraying our Lord see:

False Reasons of Christians and Lawyers for Church Corporate, 501(c)(3) Status or Legal Status of Any Kind

For more information on the common law (Bible) trust, see:

  1. The Church Bible Trust Relationship Explained and How a Church Can Nullify Her Efforts to Remain Under Christ Only
  2. 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) 
  3. What God Has Committed to Man’s Trust: “Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon”: Steward or Trustee?
  4. The Bible Trust Relationship, Essays and Other Resources


The Monumental “666-CLA” Sermon that was Attacked by Satan: “501c3 Series-Seducers for the State-Christian Law Firms 501(c)(3) or 508(c)(1)(A)”

Jerald Finney
© May 1, 2014

1On Wednesday night, April 30, 2014, Pastor Jason Cooley preached a monumental sermon dealing with the issue of the relationship of church and state and specifically with church corporate-501(c)(3) status and the seducers who have led churches to compromise their love for the Lord Jesus Christ by working hand in hand with, over, or under the state: “501c3 Series-Seducers for the State-Christians Law Firms and 501(c)(3).” Normally, all Pastor Jason’s sermons have, for a long time, been streamed live and then archived over Youtube (Skype before that, which sermons were not archived in video form). I have listened to almost all his live sermons on Skype and Youtube; not a one that I can remember was not successfully broadcast (then archived on Youtube) although there have been a few temporary problems. Youtube never recorded this sermon.


Pastor Jason was talking over the phone with me as he and another church member were driving to the April 30 church meeting. He was telling me about his upcoming sermon. I became excited as he told me about it because the Lord has called me, as a member of Old Paths Baptist Church,  to lead under the headship of Pastor Jason Cooley, the “Separation of Church and State Law Ministry” out of Old Paths Baptist Church. As he was talking, he excitedly stated, “The car in front of me has a license plate which says, ‘666-CLA.'” I was amazed. He told me he was going to take a picture of the license plate. That picture is at left. Pastor Jason had a witness riding with him in the car. When he got to the meeting place, the services were delayed 45 minutes (See Pastor Cooley’s description of what happened below). He finally began the Wednesday night meeting. After his preliminary remarks, and just as he said that he was going to begin the sermon, Youtube went blank. I called several times to see why the broadcast was interrupted. Attempts to get it going were futile, and it was not recorded by Youtube.

DavidGibbsThe good thing is that God provided a backup which has preserved the sermon for all to hear: an audio recorder from which the sermon was transferred to sermonaudio.com.

Satan is fighting hard to prevent the truths concerning the relationship between church and state and about his tactics and emissaries. I say to you Lucifer: “This time it backfired on you.” I also say to you, “You have already lost.” Believing students of the word of God know the story of mankind from beginning to end. They know that Christ, by force, will establish and rule his earthly kingdom. They know that you will be cast into the lake of fire. Halleluiah.

The following is a comment from a person who listened to the above sermon on sermonaudio.com.

5/1/14 9:13 AM
Louise Dreves from Bloomington, Minnesota
Seducers For the State – Christian Law Firms…
Jason Cooley
“ Excellent! ”
If anyone is on the fence on the 501C3 issue…this teaching will settle the issue once and for all. I pray all pastors will repent and renounce their 501C3 status and become biblical churches with Jesus Christ as Lord (not Ceasar). David Gibbs (Nahum 1:11)and the CLA are powerful tools of satan to silence the churches in this age of increasing wickedness and corruption. I praise God for Old Paths Baptist church and Pastor Cooley for speaking the truth no matter what.

Pastor Jason Cooley wrote this on Facebook:

Thu, May 1, 2014 at 10:37 AM
10:37 AM
Jason Cooley commented on a link that you’re tagged in.
Jason wrote: “The devil is what happened I had a spiritual war to get this thing out , want to know what I saw when I pulled up to the meeting house right before I was going to preach . This was right in front of me . CLA IS THE LETTERS FOR THE CHRISTIAN LAW ASSOCIATION. I WALKED INTO THE MEETING HOUSE . OUR ROOM WAS TAKEN , OUR EQUIPMENT TWOUDL NOT WORK PROPERLY ….AND THE SPIRITUALLY THE DEVIL WAS FIGHTING ME”
Reply to this email to comment on this link.
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Conclusion to “Supreme Court Religion Clause Jurisprudence”

Jerald Finney
Copyright © January 20, 2012

Click here to go to links to all Chapters in Section V.

Note. This is an edited version of Section V, Chapter 5 of God Betrayed.

Conclusion to “Supreme Court Religion Clause Jurisprudence”

America was once the greatest nation that has ever been. This was because America came closer by far than any nation to operating under God. America was so close, but yet so far, from God’s ideal.

The founding fathers incorporated some biblical principles into the body of the Constitution. For example, they recognized the depravity of man, and therefore provided for a balance of powers among executive, legislative, and judicial branches. However, they did not understand that the God-ordained goal of any nation is to glorify God. They did not, in the document, proclaim that the purpose of America was to be “the glory of God” and that America was to be a nation under God.

The founding fathers were also influenced by enlightenment principles and included some of those principles in the Constitution. According to enlightenment thought, the purpose of government is the happiness of man and that principle was incorporated into the Constitution. This can be discerned from a facial reading of the document and from a study of the history surrounding the adoption of the Constitution. Regardless of assertions that “happiness of man” is ultimately tied into a correct relationship with God, most Americans did not make that connection, and as a result set out to achieve material success and prosperity in order to obtain temporal happiness. A people of a nation had a government that catered to their happiness.

In spite of this and other fatal flaw in the Constitution, multitudes were converted to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ in revivals which occurred after the Constitution was ratified. As a result, the nation as a people proceeded under God to a large degree for many years even though the civil law under the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, was ever so slowly changing conceptions of marriage, family, church, state, and law itself.

However, as heresy invaded the churches, the population of America became less and less “Christian” and more secular. Later, apostasy overcame many of the churches, initially those of some of the main-line Protestant denominations and later even many or most Baptist churches. Without a solid Christian base, Americans and America, especially in the mid-twentieth century and thereafter, quickly began to adopt satanic principles. America, like all nations before the return of Christ, is doomed to judgment.

Most Christians who are active in the political system have no idea that they are proceeding without knowledge as they blindly follow the teachings and leadership of people like David Barton, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, attorneys such as David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association and others. Only a small handful have ever done any study of the relevant biblical principles, history, and law. The study of most is gleaned from leaders who don’t know, ignore, or censor those matters which conflict with their theology and or their “conservative” beliefs. The author knows this because he was among them for twenty years as he followed the leaders who avowed to return America to the status of “One nation under God.” This author read the ever repackaged false “Christian” revisionist literature. After fifteen years of such activity, he began to see that everything the Christian activist population was doing was resulting in nothing but increasing degeneration. At the same time, many “Christians” including many pastors, as did many “Christians” in Germany under Hitler, blindly confederate with civil government because of their false interpretation of Romans 13.

With the degeneration of the general public came the degeneration of the leaders they elected. President Abraham Lincoln set the example for Presidents who desire to operate outside Constitutional constraints. He became the example for presidential tyranny and eventually for the most tyrannical President this nation has ever known, Barack Obama. As of the time of this posting, America has seen some consequences, but has yet to see all the fruits, of the tyranny of Obama and prior presidents. The United States Senate, at present, is dominated by left-wing radicals. The House is said to be under the control of “conservatives”; but, in truth, a small minority are statesmen who will take a real “conservative” stand. Even “conservative” is not always biblical and therefore polluted. And, in truth, most Senators and Congressmen, like the President, are under the thumb of the elite.

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803) laid the groundwork for later Supreme court tyranny. After the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court gradually intruded more and more into the affairs of the states. Humanistic Supreme Court judges are nominated by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The reasoning of the Supreme Court was humanistic, even in the nineteenth century (although not as polluted as in the twentieth, and certainly as in the twenty-first). God was left out. In all the examples in this section, the Court only quoted Scripture once, in Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39 (1980) (See page 329 of God Betrayed which is reproduced on this website.), and there in a God-defying manner. In 1940, the First Amendment was incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1947, the Supreme Court extended the meaning of “separation of church and state” to also mean “separation of God and state.” Since that time, the Supreme Court has effectively removed almost all vestiges of the sovereign God from public affairs in America, although still upholding the original meaning of the First Amendment to keep the civil government out of the affairs of the church. The task was made much easier for the Court since the Constitution did not proclaim God, and specifically the Lord Jesus Christ, as Sovereign.

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ep. 1.19-21).

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Ph. 2.9).

As is shown in the Section VI of God Betrayed which is reproduced on this website, America, under the god of this world, knew how to tempt even true churches, many which proceeded without knowledge and others which were knowingly disobedient, to place themselves at least partially under another lover. The apostate churches could be expected to do this since they were not churches  anyway (they were assemblies, but not churches in the biblical sense). But it is vexing to see a Bible believing pastor lead a church into such an unbiblical union; and it is sad to see a good pastor who discovers the truth struggle with whether and/or how to fully please the Lord and separate the church he pastors from the state.

How can born again Christians, even Christian lawyers, be so deceived? Most think like Americans, not like Bible-believing Christians. They are American or humanistic in their thinking. The bases for the beliefs of Christian lawyers are American statute and case law, not the Bible. Instead of applying biblical principle, they apply the revised history, the humanistic principles, and the secular reasoning and philosophies they learned in public schools, universities, and law schools. Many believe that by compromising in the political and judicial systems and counseling secular politicians and leaders they will either influence a return to God by the civil government or delay the inevitable takeover of churches by the state. Some of them undoubtedly believe that the church is destined to work hand in hand with the state in preparing the earth for the return of the Lord. Yet, as is apparent to the knowledgeable believer, they have been a party to the march to destruction.  The civil government, through its laws and courts, has at an accelerating pace rejected the sovereign God. Many pastors have taught and advocated union of church and state because of an improper understanding of biblical principles concerning church, state, and separation of church and state. Well-meaning Bible believing pastors and churches who would insist that they love the Lord, in their rallies and meetings to restore God over America, and proceed without knowledge, thereby leading the way to destruction. Bible Colleges, seminaries, and “Christian” literature have also succumbed to humanistic principles and taught those principles to multitudes of born again students who have carried those principles into their various ministries. Most Christians are too consumed with the cares of this world to make any independent study of the issues.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Ti. 2.15).

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Pe. 1.4-10).

The sad fact is that most Christians are more American than they are Christian. America, not God, is the chosen sovereign and guide of most of America’s citizens, including most Christians and churches. Since America is ruled by the principles of the god of this world, the great majority of citizens, Christians, and churches are placing themselves, at least partially to one degree or another, under state control and rule and live according to American (Satanic) principles.

Some Christians can relate to Habakkuk to whom the holiness of God was more important than that Israel should be delivered. Habakkuk cried out to the Lord:

“O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth…. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?  And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?  They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.  Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.  Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations” (Hab. 1.2-4.13-17)?

But God assured Habakkuk that He was in control and that judgment would follow the iniquities of the people and the nation. God has given us His Word which explains that judgment follows a turning away from God and His principles.

God is already judging America, but “you ain’t seen nothing yet.” Family and marriage have to a large extent been redefined and destroyed by the application of humanist principles. Crime is rampant. People are “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” Many “have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (See 2 Ti. 3.2-5). So many “Christians” turn to the state, to false religion, to psychology, or to hedonism instead of to God for answers, for help. Many Americans now look up to the sports entertainment complex, sports commentators and stars for advice and direction on moral matters (Sadly, many of those commentators and stars have better advice than do many “pastors” and spiritual leaders.). In other words, America is, and has been for some time, morally bankrupt. When America completely turns against Israel, America, if she has not ceased to exist before then, will suffer God’s final judgment.

“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Re. 22.20).