A-men, and A-men!
Out of respect for the members on this thread, and out of my desire to participate in the 'Pilgrim Church' Book Club and Picnic, I have changed my User Name to one less coarse and, hopefully, more appropriate. Formerly TT, I take my new moniker from the Prodigal's confession: "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no longer worthy to be called thy son."
........ "For myself, I am as well as Christ's prisoner can be; for by Him I am master and king of all my crosses. I am above the prison, and the lash of men's tongues; Christ triumpheth in me. I have been casten down, and heavy with fears, and haunted with challenges. I was swimming in the depths, but Christ had His hand under my chin all the time, and took good heed that I should not lose breath; and now I have gotten my feet again, and there are love-feasts of joy, and spring-tides of consolation betwixt Christ and me. We agree well; I have court with Him; I am still welcome to His house. Oh, my short arms cannot fathom His love! I beseech you, I charge you, to help me to praise."......Samuel Rutherford; Letter CXLI ( a portion)
My gratitude to All who feed me here. Like manna in the wilderness, or water from a rock, are your expressions of faith, love, piety and encouragement to this poor, benighted soul of mine. May the Lord himself, like an eagle stirring up it's nest, enliven our study of His church, and provoke us to grow in our Adoration of Him, and our love for one another. May He be the sap in our branches.
1) I am in Chapter 2 @ pg. 32 of "The Pilgrim Church".
2) I have enjoyed the "Money Can't" video at least 10 times.
3) I love Psalm 51. What treasure may be mined there!
4) The story about IRB's Grandmother nearly brought me to tears.
5) If you pray for the backslidden, the stiff-necked, the hard-hearted or the double-minded, then, please, remember me.
I am your soul's well-wisher...NWD (formerly TT)
You have made my morning with such an entrance into this book club. I have seen more revival herein, along with amazing things being written in P.M.'s, than I have seen in the community in ages. Thanks
Instead of churches
being founded in the different towns and countries, independent of any
central organisation and having direct relations with the Lord, as in
Apostolic days, all were drawn into one of the great organizations which
had its centre in Rome or Constantinople or elsewhere. What is true on a
large scale applies also on a small, and the harmful workings of this sys-
tem are seen wherever, instead of sinners being led to Christ and given
the Scriptures as their guide, they are pressed into membership of some
foreign denomination or taught to look to some Mission for guidance
and supplies, the development of the gifts of the Holy Spirit among them
being hindered, and the spread of the Gospel among their countrymen
This section could still be written for today. The original character of the Church had been altered by man and aided by the enemy and the reformation did little to correct the problems. Every believer should have a "reforming" heart and spirit. What will a true reformation yield? It will simply bring one back to the way the the Lord "built His Church" and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. What is a reformer? One who refuses to drive down the many wide roads (detours) that lead to destruction.
We also see that the gifts of the Spirit (the entire Church has them - everyone), were hindered and much of this happened via the clergy/layman division of men. As soon as one believes he is just in the SH to attend, join, pay money and keep silent, he has been neutralized. But it is written that we are a kingdom of priests. I am not a layman and neither are you. Stir up the gifts within you.
"COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM OH MY PEOPLE"
P.S. Life is happening here!
It is very interesting to watch the different forums and the many views from around the world. I have watched many dog fights over the scriptures and the only results being people leaving and moving onward. But around this neck of the woods, we have our own private picnic table. A few items have been brought forth from ribs to lemonade. However there are more differences here than in many places. There is also Life. When we see such post from IRB, SWM, and even our new prodigal (NWD) who has returned from his journey, it shows forth the power of Truth, history, and revelation as given by the many through their testimony. A testimony given by one who has Christ within is light years ahead of arguing over the scriptures. We hope that those who are lurkers will come to the table and bring the food that is needed by the Church.
page 20 Chapter 2
"In the course of endless discussions, creeds were hammered out and dogmas enunciated in the hope that the truth would buy them be fixed and could then be handed down to succeeding generations. It is noticeable that in the Scriptures this method is not used. From them we see that the mere letter cannot convey the truth, which is spiritually apprehended, neither can it be handed from one to another, but each one must receive an appropriate it for himself and his inward dealings with God, and be established in it by confessing and maintaining it in the conflict of daily life".
Unless the Lord builds a house we labor in vain. - psalms 127: 1
Especially hard is it to try to open someone's eye's spiritually if that person is someone your love.
PS A special thanks to IRB, NWD, and NW VIEW with your recent post. I am enjoying this book club
And it's good to see more new friends posting. Thanks NW View, Stackaloha, SWM, NWD, Maryann, foggyroad, JJ, Rockerboxer, BoG, Mr. Fix, silver66, Spartacus Rex, Deacon Benjamin, and anyone that I inadvertently missed. Thanks to TF for providing this space that we're finding such a great way to make use of.
I am humbled and touched by the outpouring here. Let's grow this from here!
"God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people." from Acts 2:17
P 28 - "The decline of the churches in spirituality, their departure from the
New Testament pattern, and their consequent growing worldliness, sub-
jection to human systems, and toleration of sin, ... also led some seekers after holiness
and communion with God to withdraw themselves ... So they retired into desert
places and lived as hermits, in order that, freed from the distractions
and temptations of ordinary life, they might by contemplation attain to
that vision and knowledge of God ... an extreme simplicity of living and ascetic practices ...
In the fourth century the hermit Anthony in Egypt became celebrated
for his solitary life, and many, stirred to emulate his piety, established
themselves near to him, imitating his manner of living, and he was per-
suaded to lay down a rule of life for them. … About the beginning
of the sixth century, Benedict of Nursia, in Italy, gave a great impetus
to this movement, and his rule of life for the monastic bodies prevailed
beyond all others. He occupied the monks less exclusively with personal
austerities and turned their activities into the performance of religious
ceremonies and into the service of men, giving especial attention to agri-
culture. The monasteries of the Benedictine order were one of the princi-
pal means by which Christianity was spread among the Teutonic nations
during the seventh and eighth centuries. From Ireland also, by way of
the Isle of Iona and through Scotland, the Columban monasteries and
settlements prepared and sent out devoted missionaries into Northern
and Central Europe.
... A monastery, however, differed
widely from a church, in the New Testament sense of the word, so that
those souls that felt themselves impelled to flee from the worldly Roman
Church did not find in the monastery what a true church would have
provided. They were bound under the rules of an institution instead of
experiencing the free workings of the Holy Spirit.
The various monastic orders that arose followed one course of de-
velopment. Beginning with poverty and severest self-denial, they
became rich and powerful, relaxed their discipline and grew into self-
indulgence and worldliness. Then a reaction would induce some to be-
gin a new order, of absolute self-humiliation, which in its turn traced the
same cycle. ...
... The effort to save the churches from
disunion and heresy by means of the episcopal and clerical system not
only failed, but brought great evils in its train. The expectation that
the persecuted churches would gain by union with the State was dis-
appointed. Monasticism proved unable to provide a substitute for the
churches as a refuge from the world, becoming itself worldly. There re-
mained, however, through all these times one thing capable of bringing
about restoration. The presence of the Scriptures in the world supplied
the means which the Holy Spirit could use in the hearts of men with a
power able to overcome error and bring them back to Divine truth, and
there never ceased to be congregations, true churches, which adhered to
the Scriptures as the guide of faith and doctrine, and the pattern both
for individual conduct and for the order of the Church. These, though
hidden and despised, yet exercised an influence that did not fail to bear
Early Christian Monk preparing his contribution to the picnic
"For centuries prior to our modern era of refrigeration, beer was an essential source of vitamins, nutrients and calories. In the twelfth century it was monks who were the first to begin using hops to preserve beer on a massive scale. Hops allowed beer to remain safe to consume at near room temperature for up to 3 months, this preservative allowed for beer to be safely transported much greater distances than ever before.
Monasteries were the first to produce beer in large batches for mass consumption. For centuries beer has been an excellent source of liquid nourishment. But the ability to preserve and transport beer was an especially significant discovery because many towns in medieval Europe often didn’t have access to reliable sources of drinking water. Beer is boiled and thus sanitized in the brewing process, killing microbes and bacteria. Monks brewed their share, but gave away the excess to their communities. Contrary to popular misconceptions, Monks in Medieval Europe did not live in isolation from their communities. Many, especially of the Benedictine Order, dedicated their lives to improving the human condition for their communities through their labors. "
i am now 80 pages in and am riveted by it. It is brimming with ideas for me about God's ownership and my responsibility of stewardship,incredible the 2000 year old new ideals :-)
Silver66 Rage against the dying of the light
The Messianic-typical meaning of the Old Testament and
the historical progress of the New are pointed out, and this not only
for the sake of knowledge, but as showing that not some only, but all the
saints are called to complete sanctification.
Such teachings soon brought these circles into conflict with those of
the Roman Church, especially as represented by such a scheming, polit-
ical bishop as Hydatius. The clergy saw in the holy life of the ordinary
believer that which assailed their peculiar position. The power of “apos-
tolic succession" and of the priestly office was shaken by teaching which
insisted on holiness and constant renewal of life by the Holy Spirit and
communion with God. The distinction between clergy and laity was bro-
ken down by this, especially when the magical working of the sacraments
was exchanged for a living possession of salvation through faith. The
breach was irreparable because due to two distinct views of the Church.
It was not only a question of suppressing conventicles or of opposing
what threatened to become an order of monks apart from the Church,
but of a complete difference of principle. The policy of Hydatius was
to strengthen the power of the Metropolitan as representing the See of
Rome, with a view to carrying out the
Roman centralizing organization
which was as yet unpopular in Spain and incomplete and was opposed
by the lesser bishops. The circles with which Priscillian was associated
were in principle diametrically opposed to this; their occupation with
Scripture and acceptance of it as their guide in all things led them to de-
sire the Independence of each congregation, and this they were already
putting into practice.
We can see herein, that long ago, the saints saw the folly of the clergy and their believed positions in the SH's. This so-called magical working of the sacraments (transubstantiation) was used almost from the beginning to entrap the flock into believing the clergy had an inroad with God and the common man only had the clergy to work through for any hope of salvation. The flocks were preconditioned to believe that it did not matter if the clergy were more sinful than those outside the SH. It must be O.K. because they have the power given to them by God to change the elements to the Body/Blood of the Lord. So if God has given them this magical ability, who am I to oppose it? TRAPPED. If they would have thought about it at that time they could have said that a pair of glasses fell from heaven and now the priests have the ability to read the "true meanings" of the scriptures for the people and the only set fell in Rome. (That would have saved them the time of writing their own new gospels. Yes this did happen latter in America and it still is working for a SH). The systems love to make the flock believe that they have a special revelation that they and only they have been given by the Lord. These things entrap the sheep and without any discernment, the sheep will be penned up forever. Things will work well for them until the called out ones like Polycarp stand in the midst of the sheep and say, "thus saith the Lord". Those days are coming and are now.
Well there seems to be a surge of problems for those around the picnic table this week. I have talked to another picnic poster who, like me, has seen the attacks this week.
This of course brings up "daydreams" or old stories for me. Today, it is just a daydream:
The day finally arrived when I was forcibly removed from my home by the evil empire in their robes. I spent a few days in the dungeon and on one sunny morning was taken to a courtyard, filled with angry people, and was tied to a pole along with several other people that I had never seen before. I thought I recognized one woman on the other side of the brush pile.
I started to wonder if I had been placed in a time warp and traveled back to the time of Polycarp but then I saw the man next to me with a dead cell phone. Then it happened. The leader of this band of evil workers approached us and said "If you will deny Christ and return to the mother church, we will let you live and return to your families."
He said what is your answers before I light your fire? Well the man next to me on the left said" My name is IRB and I wandered this world for many years and I came to a place where I knew that Christ is the only way and I have received him. On my left was a man who said "My name is NWD and I have tried your methods in the past and have finally come to the Light as a prodigal and I will never return again to that pig pen."
I started to get excited to know that there were others to walk this roadway with me. Next I listened to two, MaryAnn and SWM. They both stated that their lives were hidden in Christ and not in some SH system. SWM said "light the fire". On the backside of the pile I heard Jer. Jr. and Foggyroad telling the men with the lighted sticks to repent of their sins and come to Christ while it is still day.
The last thing I remembered was someone in the pile saying "It is time to gather at that great banqueting table that is set before us in His Kingdom and these before us who do not come to Christ will not have any part of His Kingdom even if they claim to be servants of the Lord." The next scene was that big table, with ribs and lemonade. amen
In German, if that does you any good - https://www.wulfila.be/lib/sievers/1878/html/A002.html
The Lord's Prayer in Heliand
Father of us all, the sons of men
You are in the high heavenly kingdom
Blessed be Your name in every word
May Your mighty kingdom come
May Your will be done over all this world—
just the same on earth as it is up there
in the high heavenly kingdom.
Give us support, each day, good Chieftain,
Your holy help, and pardon, Protector of Heaven,
our many crimes, just as we do to other human beings
Do not let loathsome wights lead us off
to do their will, as we deserve,
but help us against all evil deeds.
I'm having a little trouble locating an English translation available online. There's a book but it's expensive, and I'm not sure I'm that interested. But if anyone is a search wizard and can find a .pdf in English, please post it.
The Pilgrim Church - p 31 - "A purer form of missionary work, however, than that which went out
from Rome, spread from Ireland, through Scotland to Northern and Cen-
They delayed baptism
until those professing faith had received a certain amount of instruction
and had given some proof of steadfastness. They avoided attacking the
religions of the people, counting it more profitable to preach the truth to
them than to expose their errors. They accepted the Holy Scriptures as
the source of faith and life and preached justification by faith.
not take part in politics or appeal to the State for aid. All this work, in its
origin and progress, though it had developed some features alien to New
Testament teaching and Apostolic example, was independent of Rome
and different in important respects from the Roman Catholic system."
“Despite an eagerness to exploit political divisions among the barbarians, Rome only slowly, and never fully, grasped the power of converting the barbarians. The apparently elaborate church organization in Roman Scythia during the fourth and fifth centuries may have been involved in some sort of missionary activity toward the barbarians, but if so it has escaped the literary sources. Cross cultural evangelism was not a priority for third, fourth and fifth century Christianity.”
"On the Continent the widespread and established mission work of
the Irish and Scottish missionaries was attacked by the Roman system
under the active leadership of the English Benedictine Boniface, whose
policy was to compel the British missionaries to submit, at least out-
wardly, to Rome, or be destroyed. He obtained State aid, under the di-
rection of Rome, for the enforcement of his design. Boniface was killed
by the Friesians in 755. The system he inaugurated gradually extin-
guished the earlier missions, but their influence strengthened many of the movements of reform which followed.
A Harmony of the four Gospels called “Heliand" (i.e., “the Saviour"),
written about 830 or earlier, an alliterative epic in the old Saxon lan-
guage, was doubtless written in the circles of the British mission on the
Continent. It contains the Gospel narrative in a form calculated to ap-
peal to the people for whom it was written, and is remarkable for being
free from any adoration of the Virgin or the saints, and from most of the
characteristic features of the Roman Church at that period.”
So, this chapter is leading to a TON of related information. If I stray too far from 'Christian Support' into historical study, please speak up. The early Barbarian conversions were mostly 'nicer' than I had understood. Later, the Viking conversions were not. But one of the things emphasized in The Pilgrim Church is that the true biblical Church has never (or was only briefly) been the force behind the 'historical image' of Christianity. So even the very brutal forced conversions of Vikings, I'm seeing in a slightly different light already. But we're not there yet. Related links on the early outreach:
Church history: Conversion of the ancient Germans and Slavs — 400-800 a.d [germanic]
Why, during the period from approximately 400 A.D. to 800 A.D., would the northern victor adopt the religion of the vanquished south? https://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/400.htm
https://www.christianhistoryproject.org/to-the-constantine-era/barbarian-rome/ Heavy gold rings emphasized thick necks and bulging biceps. Tacitus describes their fierce eyes of piercing blue, luxuriant mustaches and wild, flowing hair–yellow to flaming red. (They greased it with rancid, stinking butter and were known to dye it even redder.) They attacked in a disorderly but furious rush, like wild beasts or demons, shrieking battle cries and brandishing great iron-pointed spears.
However, the Romans did admire some Germanic traits, which they considered reminiscent of their own revered ancestors, the honorable and upright founders of the Roman republic. They were hardy, bold, courageous and independent, according to Tacitus, in tune with the forces of nature, devoted to their families and moral in sexual matters. They set great store by chastity, he writes, which would be in marked contrast to the profligate habits by then typical of decadent Roman society. Germani warriors were raiders but apparently not known as rapists. They married late, usually not until the early twenties, and may have been expected to remain chaste until then–possibly to safeguard their strength.
https://theburgundian.blogspot.com/2009/06/christian-conversion-of-burgundians.html That the majority of the Germanic tribes followed heretical Arianism was probably not an accident. As it had fallen out of favor within the empire, it had increased its influence among the Germanic people outside of the empire. In the case of the Visigoths under Theodosius, the barbarians preferred the decentralized, mostly locally governed Arian Christianity over the organized and centrally governed Catholic faith, which they believed would intrude upon their traditions and tend to weaken their social identity
https://www.christianchronicler.com/history1/barbarian_breakthrough.html Northern barbarians actually possessed a rich culture. By the fourth century they had a system of writing, a stable government and an effective legal system. The "blood tie" was basic to the society. The basic Germanic political unit was the comitatus, consisting of a chief and his warband. When a chief died the people elected the next chief from the royal family by vote. They selected the individual they considered most "throne worthy." The Germanic law code consisted of the wergeld, a table of payments based on the wronged party's position in society. Barbarians usually determined guilt or innocence in trial by ordeal. At the root, law resided in the "volk." No one could alter custom without community agreement. Furthermore, most barbarians were morally superior to the Romans. While they lacked social graces, the Germanic peoples displayed courage, hospitality and honesty. Barbarians and Romans were both cruel, but it shocked barbarians to discover that Romans used torture to extract criminal confessions.
I also ran across the term syncretism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncretism
“Religious syncretism exhibits blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions. This can occur for many reasons, and the latter scenario happens quite commonly in areas where multiple religious traditions exist in proximity and function actively in the culture, or when a culture is conquered, and the conquerors bring their religious beliefs with them, but do not succeed in entirely eradicating the old beliefs or, especially, practices. “
This is another very interesting topic related to Christmas, Easter, and other assorted traditions that were 'absorbed' from earlier traditions. It's very interesting stuff. This might not be the place for it, though, as it is sometimes used as 'ammo' by people attempting to discredit the faith. I'm not sure it needs to be viewed through that lens, so I think I'll follow that rabbit hole for a bit when I can.
Peter Whyte has long ago warned the Church about the S.H. systems. He is a good friend of people I know in RSA and his books are a blessing. Here is a portion of Chapter 2 of "Come out from among them oh my people". I passed about 100 copies of his book "Mystery Babylon" out in the NW about 25+ years ago and the SH's are still upset:
ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE
Without structure no organization can exist or function. Our churches
are all in some form or another relig
ious organizations, and have to have
structures to maintain their existen
ce, yet Jesus never started a religious
How then do we reconcile our con
cepts of church today with the
example and teaching of Jesus Christ and His apostles?
Since our King is the firstborn of
many brethren, the first Apostle, our
High Priest, our Shepherd and the onl
y Master and Teacher, why is His
example not followed today?
Jesus never called Himsel
f Reverend, dressed in special clothes to let
all know that He was a servant of God,
built a building in which to conduct
services, suggested that His disciples
tithed to Him or took up offerings at
He prepared for His ministry by wo
rking as a carpenter, supporting His
mother and younger brothers and sist
ers after Joseph had died. He never
studied under the Rabbis in Jerusalem
which was His era's equivalent of
seminary or Bible school. From the age
of twelve until He was about thirty
He lived and worked in a small
village and HAD FELLOWSHIP WITH
For eighteen years He was an indus
trious, upright member of His
"Increasing in wisdom and st
ature, and in favour with God
When He eventually began to teach:-
"The Jews marvelled, saying, ‘H
ow has this man become learned,
having never been educated?’"
It is not surprising that the Jews
marvelled, because here we have One
gone through their religious syst
em of instruction and yet He
had become their teacher.
It is obvious that God does not need to process His servants through the
religious systems of the world in or
der to produce an
Priest and King.
If we consult the Holy Spirit and follo
w the teachings of Jesus we will
discover that having intimate fellowship
with God is the best way to become
a disciple of the King and His Kingdom.
Unfortunately the world has penetrated
the church to such a degree that
we only feel secure when we bel
ong to some visible structure or
organization, and especially when ther
e is some clearly defined chain of
command. Before we can get delivered from
this deep rooted need to be part
of some religious structure, we must
understand the origins and purpose of
organizations and structures.
Since Jesus created all things, He cr
eated organizations and structures.
However He created them long before
He created man, and He designed
them for the heavenly hosts. Principa
lities, powers, rule
rs and authorities
were made in the heavenlies before we
humans existed. It was for them that
God created the "chain of command" system.
His angels were divided into three
groups, each ruled by an Archangel.
So great is the authority of these th
ree over their hosts, that when one of
them, Lucifer, rebelled and was cast out
of God's presence, all the angels
under his authority went with him. Th
ey came to the earth, and from the
invisible spirit realm they influence,
corrupt and endeavour
to destroy man
who is God's most cherished creation.
Men and women were crea
ted by God in His Image.
They are created to
God, with total freedom of choice, a
nd created to rule, not to be ruled
by Satan and evil spirits, or anything that lives and moves upon the earth.
"And God blessed them (the man and
the woman), and God said to
them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and
fill the earth, and SUBDUE IT
AND RULE over the fish of the sea
and over the birds of the sky
and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
When Adam and Eve fell they rejected the Kingdom of God, (God's
Government) and opened the way for
Satan to introduce his government,
which only operates by orga
nization and a pyramid type Structure, with
commands passed down from the top.
The first mention of a kingdom in
the Bible is that established by
Nimrod, who founded the city of Ba
bylon. (Gen. 10:8-10) This was the
beginning of the kingdoms of this
world, and very gradually Satan
introduced his Babylonian system of
government until the whole world
came under his systemized structures.
Right through the history of the Ol
d Testament we see God desiring a
people for Himself. A people who will voluntarily submit to His very
different type of government whic
h functions only out of a love
A flow of love that originat
es in God the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit, and flows back to God out of the spirit of a man who has
discovered the joy of serving and glorifying his creator.
Authoritarian type Structures, even
the most subtle we can design, are
like dictatorships, and have their origin in Satan's kingdom and are
opposed to the Kingdom of God.
How sad our heavenly Father must be
to see His children ensnared in
Babylon's system of government, and thei
r leaders using scripture verses to
promote their worldly concepts of authority and submission. Like big
business corporations they produce c
onstitutions and statements of belief
which all must obey and agree
upon to qualify as members.
Well meaning Christians, unwittingl
y living in Babylon, approach
others with questions like, "Which
church do you belong to?" or "Who do
you submit to?" Their concepts are so
worldly that when any member fails
to submit to their hierarchy or agree with their beliefs or practices, he or she
is rejected. Lost members, splits, di
visions and great h
eartaches are the
Confusion, Babylon reigns, and God's Kingdom is divided against itself.
When Jesus came with His Gospel
of the Kingdom of God, He came to
set the captives free from the Babyloni
an rule that had enveloped God's
people and permeated their religious system.
In her early years the church was
the family of God, a redeemed
community within every community, unstructured, without special
buildings, hymn books, head offices, c
onstitutions, hierarchies, church
boards, Missionary boards, building
funds, Popes, Archbishops, Priests,
Nuns, women's meetings, Sunday school
s, seminaries, Bible schools, para-
church organizations, and everything el
se associated today with "proper
Christianity". All these things appear
important to the natural minds of
men, but are totally irrelevant in
God's Kingdom. Jesus can build His
Church without them, and in fact they hinder Him.
In the early church everybody experienced
real church life
young people were sent away to learn about God and His Word in a
special school. Their school was the
community in which they lived -
family of God
- all the believers in their
town. The apostles came and
lived with them, and worked for their
living in the area for months or even
Apostles formed Christ in the
disciples by living with them,
demonstrating Him, and teaching them to
do all the things that Jesus had
commanded them. Then they departed, l
eaving the local church to find its
own way under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
They did not even have Bibles to
guide them. No Pastor was sent from
some Head Office to lead and guide th
e new church. Slowly, painstakingly,
over many years, lives were formed
, and within these communities, GOD
began to make prophets, evangelists, pa
stors and teachers. The Holy Spirit
decided matters. There were no "gra
duation ceremonies" producing raw
young "Ministers of the Gospel", w
ho had become "Reverends" by passing
The people, those ordinary people wh
ich the Scriptures call the church,
began to recognize the ministries func
tioning in their midst, and said, "God
has given us a pastor or prophet or
prophetess". These words are not titles
but simply describe functions of certa
in believers who onl
y Jesus can gift
The pastor or prophet or any other gift
of the risen Christ did not then
become "part of the clergy"
, but simply functioned as part of the body, no
better, no more important than the se
rving girl believer who washed the
THE WORD OF CHRIST WAS NOT FORGOTTEN
"...whoever wishes to become
great among you shall be your
servant, and whoever wishes to
be first among you shall be your
slave, just as the Son of Man did
not come to be served but to
All the believers in the town were
collectively known as the church. The
name of the town was only added to
identify those believers by locality, so
we have the church at Corinth or Ro
me or Jerusalem. Individually "they
were known as disciples, not church
members. The false concept that a
building in which we meet is called
a church was only introduced by Satan
after many years. The church could asse
mble together but they could not "go
to church", and would have been
astounded if anybody had asked which
church they belonged to.
It would only be after many years of
the experience of real church life
that the Holy Spirit would cause apostles,
prophets or evangelists to be sent
out from these local churches, and they
were anointed by God, not appointed
by men. They went without Bibles or
prepared sermons or notes, but the
Holy Spirit directed them and they
instead of lectures.
When they came to any town wher
e there were other believers they
were immediately received as part
of the church, becau
se there was no
difference except in the name of the lo
cality. They all loved and served one
another because that was the most ba
sic and most important command of the
King. There was no need or place fo
r human organization or structure
because relationships within a large fa
mily, united by one Spirit are all that
Problems arose when some of the Je
ws, who had been raised in the
Jewish religious system, tried to
introduce circumcision as a necessary
qualification for salvation.
(Acts 15) The greatest opposition to the Word of
God preached by Paul came from those in the religious systems of the time,
both Judaistic and pagan. An example
is the record in Acts 19 of the
happenings in Ephesus.
Large numbers of Scribes and Pharis
ees believed in Christ, but their
worldly concepts of religious structur
es followed with them, and so Satan
was able to introduce the spirit of
Babylon to the church. Structures,
organizations and the pyramid form of
control cannot func
tion without rules
and regulations. The traditions and laws
of the Jews we
re Satan's best
weapon to confuse and entrap the
un-renewed minds of many fledgling
The life in the Spirit that
is the normal Christian life is impossible if we
allow rules and laws and traditions of
religious structures to restrain and
contain us. Paul warned the Philippians:-
“Beware of the dogs, beware of the
evil workers, beware of the false
circumcision: for we are the true
circumcision WHO WORSHIP IN
THE SPIRIT OF GOD and glory
in Christ Jesus and put no
confidence in the flesh."
When Jesus spoke to the Samarita
n woman who had five husbands, He
declared plainly that man-made pla
ces of worship, including Solomon's
temple, were no longer re
quired by God. He announced
that God only wants
worship "in Spirit and in Truth", which can be anywhere that a person joined
to God's Spirit happens to be. There are
no "holy places" or special buildings
for people to meet with God in His plan for His Church.
"Jesus said to her, "Woman, belie
ve Me, an hour is coming when
neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall you worship, the
Father. You worship that which you do not know; we worship that
which we know, for salvation is
from the Jews. BUT AN HOUR IS
COMING AND NOW IS when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS
SHALL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN
SPIRIT AND TRUTH. For
such people the Father seeks to be
His worshippers. God is SPIRIT
and those who worship Him must worship IN SPIRIT AND
Our Church buildings, temples, sa
nctuaries and Holy Places have
assumed such dominance over our minds
, that we cannot imagine how to
meet without them. They
have become the centre of our Christian life and
subtly replaced our homes as the mo
st important meeting places. While we
can worship together in great numbers,
fellowship is only experienced on an
intimate basis and is impossible in a
large crowd. You cannot fellowship the
back of somebody's head.
When I use the word fellowship, I
use it in the New Testament sense
which has a deeper meaning than
our modem understanding, which is
generally limited to mean attending church.
The Christian Flag is a flag designed in the early 20th century to represent all of Christianity and Christendom, and has been most popular among Christian churches in North America, Africa and Latin America. The shade of red on the cross symbolizes the blood Jesus shed on Calvary. The blue represents the waters of baptism as well as the faithfulness of Jesus. The white represents Jesus' purity.
"I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One brotherhood, uniting all mankind, in service and love."
Any opinions on this? It seems well-intentioned and harmless. Maybe too 'graven image'-ey ? Just curious if many had it as part of their Church or had any opinion.
What is the value of the Christian flag? It is not a bad thing nor a symbol that will draw mankind. I taught long ago that a monkey could go to the SH on Sunday mornings, be baptized, pay his tithes, join the SH, never say anything bad about anyone and be seen as a quality member, the flag will not help! The flag is a symbol and the RCC like to put ashes on the foreheads of their flock once a year but these outward signs are from man and not in the scriptures.
Now there are signs and marks that will determine one's outcome:
And these marks are placed by Him who has called us out of darkness and into His Light.
I just read your post on “ the church”,
and to a great extent, I agree with it. I have always known that Jesus Christ was opposed to an “organized church”, and modern-day “religion”, particularly “going to church”, contradicts everything he taught.
I think the biggest single issue is “church hierarchy”, because Jesus clearly viewed all of us as equal, and any time you place one man in a position of authority over others, you have essentially killed God's law.
For this reason, I do not believe in “religion”, any more than I believe in “government”, they are everything wrong with our world today.
Your description of the “early church”, is exactly what was intended, and is what was stomped out by the Vatican and its Roman army.
What we are left with today is not spiritual at all.
It is dogma, rules and regulations, all of which must be followed, under penalty of eternal damnation.
Not to mention, once you get to “under penalty of law”, disobedience could be life-threatening.
This is why I have always believed that both religion and government is the work of the devil, (if there is such a thing). God did not create hierarchy, that is entirely the work of control freaks trying to rule their fellow man.
Regardless of the semantics involved, nothing about modern religion has anything to do with God's will.
The entire passage on Adam and Eve, is something I've always disagreed with, holding each and every human being accountable for some “sin” by an ancient ancestor, is sheer lunacy, and in fact quite immoral.
This also has nothing to do with God, and is a man-made fable.
I vehemently disagree with the belief that mankind is “inherently flawed”, when we all know that God created everything perfect, why would he make an exception for mankind?
If there was no religion, and there was no government, people would not suddenly feel the urge to annihilate each other. In fact, it's highly likely they would learn to get along.
It is only through religion and government that mankind is capable of nationalistic pride, and the false belief that one religion is any better than another.
All they cause is genocide.
As a simple rule of thumb, anything that unites us, and promotes the perception that we are in fact all one, is loosely translated, “God's will”.
Anything that divides us, or creates any kind of separation whatsoever, is not God's will, because, in the end, no one is better than anyone else.
God is love, pure and simple, he is not capable of wrath, that is something that human beings with no conscious contact with God whatsoever perpetrated on each other.
And I think we'll be seeing a lot of that in the present and our near future.
Christ really did show mankind how to live, what was real, and what was not.
Subverting his teachings to collect power by governments and religion have kept mankind entrapped and enslaved for thousands of years now.
I do hope we wake up soon.
It is good to see you visit over here in the land of Faith. I enjoyed your post and it gives me an inner picture of swimming in a pool. I see myself having the "breaststroke" from one end of the post to the other end of the pool. You know, yes I agree, then down , not quite, then yes I agree, then down, nope, then yes I agree ..... You know, hit and miss. I think we see the systems are far from the design of the Lord but the world is filled with those who will be in divided systems this Sunday morning. The Church ( the called out ones) must come to repentance for being involved in and supporting these divisions in violation of the scriptures but few will.
It takes two sides of this picture to swim correctly>>>>> coming back to the original pattern given to the Church and by Faith, receiving Christ within. Again, it is good to swim with you.
Well Paul had his problems with those who wanted to start their own divisions as if the Body, the Church, needed to be cut into many pieces. He made it clear that divisions are not allowed by the Lord.
Even today, millions of believers across the planet will read their bibles, will see 1 Cor., and will still join their divisions. One had better hope that the Paul's of the end times do not come into their SH on Sunday morning. He will stand against them as a witness of Christ and His Church. Hope that it is not at communion time wherein they share the "one loaf" as there is only one Body and they have broken that unity.
I have wanted to share an inner view of the problems facing the Church. Pull up a chair and let us reason this together. If one does not have "Christ within" then skip this posting.
My view has been that the enemy, from the time of Adam, has had a plan to alter everything that the Lord had planned for the Church. We have been discussing the divided S.H. systems that have been here from almost the beginning. Once they named the system and set up their own rules and regulations along with their priesthood, the enemy was well planted within their structure. He aided the system in destroying the lives of those who "came to the Light' and any revelation of the Truth. The reformation should have taken us into a better era but we just obtained thousands of harlot daughters and still in confusion. The Lord gave us a clue that we still do not see:
He said "I have much more to say to you, more than you now can bear". The messed up systems have kept us focused on doctrine, buildings, priests, pastors, money, building buildings, tapes, books, and thinking that all the other S.H.'s are cults. Oh the enemy loves those concepts and cooked them up himself.
We see in the letters to the seven churches in revelations that the Lord, talking to the Churches, keeps saying "he that overcomes". If we ask a Christian "are you a overcomer", what would they say? How do we become an overcomer? Is there more to this story via revelation. Is this part of what John 16:12 is about? Has the Spirit shown the true Church this great mystery? How important is this inner knowledge in the days of tribulation before us?
We have been robbed of Revelation and it is time to seek the Truth. amen
You are right; Jesus Christ came not to establish ‘a new religion’ but to abolish religion, which He did at Calvary.
“God is love, pure and simple, he is not capable of wrath, that is something that human beings with no conscious contact with God whatsoever perpetrated on each other.”.
Fix, respectfully my friend, you are soooooo, soooooo wrong, God is pure Love, yes, correct, and God is Good, if He is good He must by nature also be Just.
Just say for a minute one is guilty and convicted of a crime of raping and killing a young girl, and you go before the judge and plead guilty but yet you say to the judge…
Judge……… I know you’re a good man and loving so I am counting on that fact for leniency on my behalf…….
The judge would say…. Your right about one thing… I am a good man so I am going to see that you are punished to the full extent of the law for what you have done.
Before one tries to say that they have never done anything as heinous as raping and killing a young girl, I suggest one reads the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Matt 5-7.
There Jesus says that if you are angry with another you are guilty of murder in your heart, and if you look with lust on another you are guilty of Adultery in your heart….
The very thing that most people hope for on the Day of Judgment to spare them…… the Goodness of God…. Will be the very thing that condemns them.
Take heart all, Jesus suffering physically on the cross as terrible as that was not really all that went down, what I believe really killed Him was the full wrath of God due all mankind for sin that was poured out upon Him by the Lord Himself, the just penalty that was due us all and all mankind.
Jesus took it all, every drop, on our behalf, and then rose again the third day, to verify the statement,
‘It is finished’