IRB, I take great comfort in the fact that I will see relatives and loved ones who have died but were Believers. For example, my grandfather, who loved Jesus and was a fine Christian man but as a kid I didn't appreciate that enough about him. This world is truly not our home and we are but a short time here compared to eternity when the Church will be together. I look forward to that day, and sometimes think about the questions I want to ask Paul, or Esther, or even George Washington! :)
Mr. Fix, I took a look at that link and all I can say is I have seen other writings such as those that take Scripture out of context or don't fully explain the intent of why God would say what He did. Maybe it would be more helpful to you if you set that aside and read The Pilgrim Church?
We see the edict of Milan referred to on page 16. Constantine has done loads of damage to the existing true Church as we will see as we travel through as pilgrims:
Only a few months earlier Constantine had become the first Roman emperor to throw in his lot with the Christians. Although the Milan summit decreed only strict parity for Christians alongside other religionists, hindsight reads between the lines and discerns the hint of things to come. Before the end of the fourth century, orthodox Christianity had become the sole official religion of the Roman Empire.
For Christianity, the changes were momentous. To this day state churches perpetuate the alignment between Christianity and the Empire worked out in the fourth century. Meanwhile, Christians in independent, “free” churches have long regarded the Constantinian revolution as little short of the fall of Christianity, almost as calamitous as the fall of Adam and Eve.
One thing is clear: The unqualified toleration for all decreed at Milan did not last long, nor has it often prevailed in later centuries. The rescript’s noble sentiments surely warrant our attention today for that reason alone.
I noticed that an "advertisement" popped up when I copied this article. That just shows how difficult it is for net surfers to stay away from the religious systems of the world and seek Him and Him only. What brand of Rome or its daughters will be found and at what cost? As the ad says, "explore your faith" and obtain a bachelor of science degree but that paper will not save one soul.
I found this article this morning it really shows how messed up the world has become. They have departed from the Faith long ago that was first delivered to them:
I'm getting ready for Chapter 2, but off to work for me.
I hope we can use the full week per chapter without anyone getting bored. I find I can read it several times and get more out of it.
p 6 - “These spec-
ulations and philosophies formed the basis of many heresies which from
the earliest times invaded the Church, and are already combated in the
later New Testament writings, especially in those of Paul and John. The
means adopted to counter these attacks and to preserve unity of doctrine
affected the Church even more than the heresies themselves, for it was
largely due to them that the episcopal power and control grew up along
with the clerical system which began so soon and so seriously to modify
the character of the churches.“
Outward manifestations of power brought harm to the Church. By enemies, yes. But also by those who would 'rise in defense' of the Church by consolidating 'power'. This gets to some meaty issues about staying true vs. just staying in existence. And taps into ideas of 'power' and what that really means. I look forward to the book developing the theme.
I have something that hit me on a more visceral level and made me think more of the early Church and what they did for us. I don't know whether to share it or stick to a nice walk in the sunshine. It's no 'prosperity preaching' for sure.
When the Church came into contact with
the Roman Empire, a conflict ensued in which all the resources of
that mighty power were exhausted in a vain endeavour to vanquish those
who never resisted or retaliated, but bore all for love of the Lord in whose
footsteps they were following. However much the churches were divided
in view and practice, they were united in suffering and victory. Although
the Christians were admittedly good subjects, their faith forbade their
offering incense or giving divine honours to the Emperor or to the idols.
Thus they were looked upon as being disloyal to the Empire, and, as idol
worship entered into the daily life of the people, into it’s religion and
business and amusements, the Christians were hated for their separation
from the world around them. Severe measures were directed against
them, at first spasmodic and local, but by the end of the first century it
had been made illegal to be a Christian; persecution became systematic,
and extended over the whole Empire. There were considerable intervals
of respite, but with each recurrence the attack became more violent; all
the possessions of the confessors of Christ were confiscated, they were
imprisoned, and not only were they put to death in countless numbers,
but every imaginable torture was added to their punishment. Informers
were rewarded; those who sheltered the believers shared their fate; and
every portion of the Scriptures that could be found was destroyed. By the
beginning of the fourth century this extraordinary warfare, between the
mighty world-empire of Rome and these unresisting churches that were
yet invincible because “they loved not their lives unto the death", seemed
as though it could only end in the complete extinction of the Church.
I often ponder about the early Church and how different it is today. I received a PM and they noted that true Christianity is a bit bloody. Have we ever considered that part of our long ago families may have paid the full price before us? Look at the numbers that were fed to the lions and the many who were burned alive.
Todays mega steeple houses have their own view of the past, present, and their future. So in my daydreams, I see the many rewriting the scriptures to look like the following: " Well Jesus sat with a multitude to teach them one day about the end of days. He said that in about 1900 years, he would give several ordained,right right reverend's and steeple house ones who lord it over their flocks, a revelation that everyone in their building will become wealthy, prosperous and live in a mansion. He then explained that for the next few hundred years from now that the people will not understand that and He just wanted them to be happy and rule over every one on the planet. But as these new preachers come along, they will be wiser than the early Church. He would also raise up some new steeple house systems with their own new books that will supersede the old, outdated prophets of the Church. These men in the 21st century will guide you on how to "receive your anointing" by just raising up your hands into the air. Many will be saved by going to these t.v. preachers and falling on the floor. They will see that falling under the "power" is how to get saved. (I had better stop before I really jump on this one).
P.S. :That is a false Christ talking, and all should be able to discern it for what it is. So why are the mega steeple houses full to the brim?
Should be able to discern? That's asking a lot. Not because Jesus asks much (quite the contrary). But because we offer the young a world where few discern even real food (discussed here), and few discern real love ('discussed', or displayed, on plenty websites, media, etc.). And it is entirely possible at this stage to live one's entire life without receiving a message about Jesus or Christianity that isn't cynical and mocking. Without food, without love, we ask them to discern something that they are awash in negative messages about? That's really stacking the deck against them. Culture matters.
But I think the book we are reading might end up showing me, in some way, that this is nothing new. I complain of a modern culture hostile to Christianity, but I suppose that as the Romans could attest "sic semper erat" ... it has always been thus.
p 8 - "Origen, one of the greatest teachers, as well as one of the most
spiritually-minded of the fathers, bore a clear testimony to the spiritual
character of the Church. Born (185) in Alexandria, of Christian parents,
he was one of those who, in early childhood, experience the workings
of the Holy Spirit. His happy relations with his wise and godly father,
Leonidas, his first teacher in the Scriptures, were strikingly shown when,
on the imprisonment of his father because of the faith, Origen, then sev-
enteen years old, tried to join him in prison, and was only hindered from
doing so by a stratagem of his mother, who hid his clothes. He wrote
to his father in prison, encouraging him to constancy. When Leonidas
was put to death and his property confiscated, the young Origen was left
the chief support of his mother and six younger brothers."
What a great Idea IRB, I have been following all the Book Club comments, I have been reading the book as well.
What a great Book.
Blessings and Thanks to All.
Good comments, Sisters and Brothers.
Thanks for the "money won't" video, I like that one. Yes we have a picnic going on here on this site and IRB was the organizer. So far, we have ribs and lemonade at the table. What will others bring? The early Church always prepared a meal for when they came together. That has mostly been lost over the many years. We meet in homes in the area and always start with a sit down meal. We have been meeting for about 25 years and it is wonderful fellowship.
We see again in chapter 1 "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them". What a wonderful event. It will be great if some day, IRB hosts that picnic and all bring their gifts to the table. This is how the Church is to function after the first Pentecost: "How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying". 1Cor: 14:26
Now that is a N.T. Church (people) area of instruction and is for us. The many steeple houses do not like these scriptures and are sure it is not for today. Well, we are still in the Church age. The problem really comes forth if a person walks into the system on Sunday morning and says "I have been given a word for the congregation!" He will be quickly taken out and interviewed by the clergy and then told to keep silent. If Peter, James and John along with Paul, went to the systems today, they would be thrown out like George Fox.
Well, I am looking ahead to see what arrives on our picnic table as IRB leads us onward through "The Pilgrim Church".
P.S:Foggyroad, it would help greatly if you could travel America to all the prosperity gospel systems and sing "Money won't" for their morning music. Let us know how it works out!
I am certainly enjoying reading all the posts. Each of you have an interesting comment.
(I am at the table but I afraid I haven't brought much ....yet)
Foggyroad, thank you for "money won't" video.
IRB, I can feel those words in the song, "Dark and Stormy is the desert". Many are living those words/life without God. I don't know how they do it.
Also, Did I miss something or are you keeping this secret?
"I have something that hit me on a more visceral level and made me think more of the early Church and what they did for us. I don't know whether to share it or stick to a nice walk in the sunshine. It's no 'prosperity preaching' for sure".
I am still reading chapter 1
Thank you for sharing
We have until Saturday night .
But, so that I don't forget that there is more important reading that I should also be doing, I put together every reference to the Bible made in the first 5 pages of The Pilgrim Church. I'll put the rest together later. There's a storm brewing up outside and I don't want to miss it . Whether they are into the book or not, maybe some people just want to consider these. And maybe comment on them? Please do.
John 3:16 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.
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
1 Corinthians 12 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Revelation 2:3 I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.
Acts 15:36 Some time later Paul spoke to Barnabas. “Let’s go back to all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord,” he said. “Let’s visit the believers and see how they are doing.”
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
1 Thessalonians 1:8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.
Psalm 74:4 Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.
Psalm 74:8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
Acts 15. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."
Luke 4. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,
Acts 13. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”
John 19.20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.
Gal. 2. 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
Clap on the 2 and 4 and you too will be alright!
to my mp3 player. Keep the music coming.
By the way, here's a good site to convert youtube videos to mp3 files. https://www.youtube-mp3.org/
I've mentioned my Grandmother being my only family link to active (as opposed to 'census-type') Christianity. Later in her life, after I was an adult, she had a community Church that was important to her. But when I was younger, she didn't. But she was always a believer and when I'd visit, I woke up to the smell of sausage gravy cooking, and the sounds of either her country and bluegrass gospel music (you can see why it grabs my attention) or something else. That something else was like this:
Greasy Jimmy. I didn't get the appeal. He sure didn't give me the same vibe I got from watching The Ten Commandments movie with her when I was even younger. But, she seemed to need something, being so far removed from her little country Church where her family had gone. I got used to the sounds of him. And one morning when I woke up I didn't smell any sausage gravy, or even her coffee. But I heard ol' Jimmy as I came down the steps, so I knew she must be there. And she was. Watching this:
She was broken down like I'd never seen an adult before then, least of all her steady self. She didn't want me to talk to her right then. And I think that me having been the person who was right there at that time, made faith an awkward subject between us. If it might have been something she sat me down to talk about, it wouldn't be after that. I learned to spot a charlatan and a fraud, sure, so that's good. But it had become almost the 'background noise' of religion to me, and that wasn't good.
If faith was easy nobody would be believing.
Truth can be spoken from the mouth of the dirtiest soul.
Grandma was and is O.K. and she loved you and the Lord. Jimmy is just one in a long series of "clergy" that were exposed in their sin. We could talk about the Bakers or T.B.N. and their buddies but it has zero value. Have we as the Church learned anything or any lessons? The sheep come to these meetings, giving their time and funds in the hope that the preacher is "anointed" and the preacher tells them that he is. The people are following the "signs' instead of the signs following those who believe.>"And these signs will follow those who believe:" Mark 16:17
The charlatans are "birds of a feather that flock together" and have the places of honor at the head of the steeple houses and the airwaves. These are whitewashed tombs filled with dead men's bones."Woe to you , scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness". Matthew 23:27.
There are so many aspects of the mess that one could write a book but many already have. We could discuss the billions of dollars taken from the sheep, thinking it was giving to the Lord but really lining the pockets of deceivers. We could talk about the sheep thinking that they were only laymen and the anointing was in the deceiver. We could talk about the funds that could have been placed into Kingdom work and what that work is about. We could talk about the sin in the camp, in the sheep, the total lack of true repentance from all. We could view the false "signs and wonders, the word of knowledge, the dreams and visions, the hearing of the Lord's voice, and the fortune tellers with ratted hair." I was there with many to be a witness against them and have called many to accountability but as the old one die off, a new crop of wealth seekers pop up like weeds.
The only thing that will stop the majority is to cut off their funds. THEY WANT YOUR MONEY! If the sheep ever receive true revelation and see that they are a "Kingdom of Priests" unto God, seeing that the people are the Church and that there is no clergy/layman division, the mess will fall in a heap.
When we read Rev. 18:4 it is not talking about coming out of a tavern nor sin city. It is talking about God's people, the sheep of His flock: Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues". Well, we have listed only a few of the plagues given to the sheep and now it is time to repent and "come out".
My hope for this thread on our Pilgrim walk is that the Spirit of the Lord will work with all and show how we have been overcome rather than being overcomers. amen
"but it has zero value".
it's a number and worthy of praise
Christ is zero and infinity.
I have been checking the thread and I enjoy all of the posts though. I see some people already posted/commented on some of the parts that have struck me too, although I haven't read the whole chapter yet heh. sorry but as soon as I began reading there were lots of worthy side journeys about the people and movements of the era. This book looks to be very interesting in that way, among others.
Here is something that really rang true for me (page 3):
Although each church was independent of any organization
or association of churches, yet intimate connection with other churches
was maintained, a connection continually refreshed by frequent visits
of brethren ministering the Word (Acts 15. 36). The meetings being
held in private houses, or in any rooms that could be obtained, or in the
open air, no special buildings were required. This drawing of all the
members into the service, this mobility and unorganised unity, permitting
variety which only emphasised the bond of a common life in Christ
and indwelling of the same Holy Spirit, fitted the churches to survive
persecution and to carry out their commission of bringing to the whole
world the message of salvation.
So, this is how I would picture a more perfect form of church and brethren. No need for 501c3 lol or an extravagant steeplehouse (hat tip NW View)
I will claim this too (page 4):
“where two or three are gathered
together in My name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18. 20)
seeing how we are connected through the interwebs I think this qualifies!
I thought someone posted this but now I can't find it, it ties in with what NW View referred to as "Judaizing" I think? I do try to follow the 10 commandments, but I realize that doing so isn't how I'm redeemed. on page 5
Jewish religion affected the Church, not only in the form of physical
attack, but also, and more permanently, by bringing Christians under the
Law, and we hear Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians crying out against
such retrogression: “a man is not justified by the works of the law, but
by the faith of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 2. 16). From the book of the Acts and
the Epistle to the Galatians it is seen that the first serious danger that
threatened the Christian Church was that of being confined within the
limits of a Jewish sect and so losing its power and liberty to bring the
knowledge of God’s salvation in Christ to the whole world.
On page 11 we see the first mention of "end of days" type of thinking:
ordered by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (177) quickened the expectation
of the Lord’s coming and the spiritual aspirations of the believers.
waaaaaayyyy back in 177... We are definitely closer now, that's for sure.
I think this first chapter is fascinating, I'm not sure why I haven't studied the history of the church more. I suppose it's partly because it was simply easier not to...oops. I see a few similarities from this era that apply to other periods of history that happen later, heck, even now.
I want to thank all of those who have posted here. I'll post again soon.
Well that is a wonderful summation of many concepts from the posts. I would add one thing. Though we are not under the law, even the ten commandments, it does not mean we are rebellious sinners either. This era of the Church is not one of laws written on stone but upon the hearts of mankind as he has received "Christ within". The days of sitting with the nuns and studying the catechism of the RCC was over for me long ago. I had these laws of God and law of the steeple house , written in stone, which were sending me to hell every week until I could hurry to confession. Then a new week of sin ever before me and the nuns in black robes reminding me that few would ever arrive in heaven without spending some time in the flames of purgatory.
It is difficult for former RCCers to shake the bondage of these O.T., Jewish laws and it has robbed the joy and peace of the majority (all). Oh the day, that moment that I looked upward and said "Lord Jesus, I do not know what you do to mankind to receive you, but whatever it is, please do it to me right now". BOOM, like a might wind, Christ within forever, the fear gone, the gates of hell closed to me, the Kingdom of God opens wide and my life is changed forever. This is the key to all religion and eternal life: "Jesus Christ in you, the hope of glory".