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  1. Hello and God bless, Remember many saints did not have the scriptures yet they had saving faith we see examples of this in sections like Hebrews 11. Where we read of Abel, Abraham, Noah, Enoch Sara, etc not having scripture yet. We also read in Romans 2:14,15 that the gentiles did not have scripture yet and God was able to work in them and see the secrets of their hearts and one day to judge them according to the secrets of men, by Jesus Christ. The true Light still lighteth every man that cometh into the world John 1:9 KJV. All scripture is given by the Spirit. If a man did not have the Spirit first , the primary rule then he could write no scripture. The anointing teaches us of all things. Yes, if we speak and do anything it will not contradict the revelation of scripture already given and we can use scripture for doctrine, repoof, correction and instruction in righteousness. But God first works in us to make us perfect unto every good work. He will also guide us into the body ministry and the multitude of counsel, and into the holy scriptures.
  2. Part 3 continued from part 2... Objections: Some will object and say, that Paul is saying that only scripture is able to make us perfect unto every good work and they will quote 2 Timothy 3:16, where it says that the Holy scriptures are able to make us perfect unto all good works. They will stress that there is nothing else. Answer: I agree that holy scripture is able to work in those that BELIEVE. But even in the letter to Timothy we read that this is effectual only in those that have faith . Without faith it is impossible to please God. And Christ dwells in the heart by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen and Christ in you is the hope of glory (Hebrews 11, Colossians 1) We also read that the primary rule is that God works in us to will and to do and to make us perfect unto every good work, working in us through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20,21 Phi. 2:13 KJV) So, while scripture (the word of God that is written down when given to men by the Spirit) bears witness with the seed or word sown in the heart ie. Christ the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, then we see that scripture alone does not make a person perfect unless they are in faith. The word only works in those that believe. Otherwise all the pharisees would have been made perfect by simply reading the scriptures and trying in their best human effort to walk in them and understand them. But they did not do this and they did not hear Jesus voice in their hearts or have His word abiding in them. Jesus also said they did not know the scriptures nor the power of God and they were inwardly ravening from the Spirit though they outwardly appeared righteous to men. They thought they had eternal life in the scriptures, but they did not. Objection 2 Some will say, that to put the Spirit of God as the first rule we open up to all sorts of heretics who will say that they hear from God and even though what they say is contrary to scripture. Answer: No, we can hear what any man says as he claims to be led, but all must be judged. It is judged by the Spirit in our hearts that bears witness, and the body of Christ as a whole who can judge all things that are said (1 Cor 14:29, 1 John 4:1, 1 Cor 5:12, 1 Thess 5:21 KJV)and by the scriptures as well, that will never contradict a person who is truly led by the Spirit. If they do claim spiritual revelation and leadings all must be judged. If a man is found to be a heretic, reject after the first and second admonition (Titus 3:10 KJV). And yes, all three aspects of the rule are needed. God leading in the anointing which teaches us all things, the body of Christ and the holy scriptures. Objection 3: But if you claim an immediate leading of the Spirit and God working in you, you would have to add any words and leading of men today to the scriptures. Answer: No, this is not the case. Many things were said by Jesus that are not written down and many had prophecies that are not written down and other words from God and leading's in their life. If we are led by the Spirit we are the sons of God, if not we are in darkness. If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit. We do not add to scripture . God only chose certain men to write scripture and certain words to put in scripture. But God has spoke though all believers and works in all believers.. Even the closed canon we believe by faith. Objection 4: But the church has taught for a long time “sola scriptura” and how can you say they are wrong. Answer: The very scriptures I quoted in this discussion say they are wrong. If a person does not have the Spirit of Christ he is none of His and he can know nothing. The churches through history have had many errors and issues to deal with, this is nothing new. We could go over the many issues in the reformation times, or even in the times of the early church we see many issues as well. The scriptures were given by the Spirit of God and only known by the Spirit. How can we say otherwise. Can any man claim to know the things of God in the scriptures unless he is in the spirit? Unless he has God reveal them to him.? The sad thing is that many do not seek God's leading in this or to hear His voice and so they go about in carnal apprehension and human reasoning thinking to know the things of God. This is part of the problem. They can be distant from God and inwardly ravening even though outwardly appearing righteous unto men (Matthew 7:15 KJV). It doesn’t mean that all who are believers will always understand certain things easily. But to be led by the Spirit and have the anointing teach us all things is safer than man’s human reasoning and endless human wisdom in trying to know the things of God. A summary The scriptures testify of Jesus and are given by the Spirit, but they are not Jesus himself. Just by reading the scriptures doesn’t mean a person hears God’s word or have the Spirit revealing spiritual things to them. The Pharisees thought they were right with God and they thought they had eternal life in the scriptures but they didn’t (John 5:39 KJV). Jesus said they did not know the scriptures or the power of God . They did not even know the Lord in front of them, the Word made flesh. They also did not have his word abiding in them (John 5:38 KJV). Men all through history have often missed the spiritual understanding of things. This is obvious in many of the things they say and do and in their understanding the doctrine. They often cling to the natural and human reasoning. But, If just reading scriptures with the natural mind made someone hear God’s word and be a minister then all the Pharisees would have heard and known God’s word by their reading scripture alone. But instead we read John 8 :43,47 KJV “ Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.. He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” This was spoken to those who had scriptures and read them and who had even heard His voice audibly, but did not hear His word... Obviously by their simply by reading scripture did not mean they heard Gods word . I welcome any discussion on this and comments. God bless
  3. Part 2 continued... THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS In scripture we SEE different ways that God makes believers perfect. 1. God works in them to make them perfect “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”Hebrews 13:20, 21 JV) This is the first primary rule of faith and practice to have God in us and working in us and this is where we have the anointing that teaches us all things (1 John 2:27) and Jesus Christ in us ( 2 Cor 13:5 KJV). Without this rule of God in us we cannot know anything. “15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you...”(Colossians 3:15, 16 KJV) The word “rule” here means "to govern" And who cannot say this is the primary rule in our heart in the spirit.? 2. The body of Christ and ministry for the perfecting of the saints. I showed above, it is God working by the first rule in all believers, then by this rule the body can function and work and Christ effectually worketh in all “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: ...15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”(Ephesians 4:11-16) Notice, that Christ works effectually in every part of the body. This is the first rule of God working in individuals and then the body God works by his spirit in the body of Christ also and this is how he edifies the body and perfects the saints 3. The scriptures are able to make us perfect unto every good work THROUGH FAITH which is in Christ Jesus. “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”( 2 Timothy 3:16 KJV) So in these three ways we see the MORE complete UNDERSTANDING OF THE RULE. - The primary rule of God is by His Spirit working in us to make us perfect. - The work of God in the body of believers and the gifts in ministry to each other to perfect the saints - The Holy scriptures which are able to make us perfect through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All these work together to make us perfect. But nothing can happen unless we are in the primary rule of the Spirit and life. The scriptures don’t of themselves lead us into an action unless we are in faith in Christ. The anointing teaches us of all things and believers are to be led by the Spirit, then the scriptures will work in us, for the word of God works in those who believe (1 Thess 2:13 KJV). For example, the scriptures teach the various qualifications of an overseer (Bishop) in 1 Timothy 3. But many believers can see such a list and say they meet them. The list itself does not tell you or make you an overseer. Yet, we can know those who are called of God to such a function by examining the sc ripture list there and other places. This is done as we also see them manifest the gifts and call of God. They also hold fast the faithful word and “have the rule” in this respect and have spoken the word of God. But the scripture in 1 Timothy doesn't itself make them an overseer or "bishop". We read in scripture that the Holy Ghost made them overseers (Acts 20:28 KJV) This is as believers follow the primary rule of God’s Spirit calling, giving life, empowering, witnessing to our spirit, directing, leading and teaching us all things So we see that God makes us perfect directly in our hearts, He works in the entire body to perfect the saints and he uses scripture to make us perfect unto every good work. All these work together as the rule of faith and practice. But each in the proper place. But if some say “sola scriptura” with no clarification, this can led many to deny God’s immediate work and revelation to the heart and the leading of the Spirit in all things. Some may go as far as to say God does not speak in any believer today and we can only know God by the scriptures. Some may think they can know the things of God by simply studying scripture and Greek and Hebrew and human reasoning alone. While it is important to study (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV) this kind of study is to follow the leading of the Spirit and anointing (1 John 2:27, John 16:13 KJV) and what things are freely given to us of God (1 Cor 2:10,12 KJV). Studying Greek and Hebrews will tell you the meaning of words (and that is good) but it will not tell you the real spiritual meaning of what Jesus is saying. No man knows this but by the Spirit as we read (2 Cor. 2:13,14 KJV). For example, Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”(John 12:24) A person can study the meaning in Greek of each word and still not know what Jesus is talking about. They may say “well, the word “Verily” in Greek means “firm, trustworthy, etc” or the word “corn” means, “kernal or seed”, or the word, “ground” meaning “earth, land, the solid part of whole terrene globe”. But to know this does not tell you what spiritual truth Jesus is speaking. If we do not see the spiritual we may think Jesus is simply giving advice about farming etc. I like when Jesus said this and I think it is very applicable today as well, "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”(Luke 10:21 KJV) If a person could simply study Greek and Hebrews and read the bible and think he is fit for ministry, then any unbeliever could do as much and simply take other men’s words from commentaries or his own speculations and reasonings and piece together a few text and comments and be a minister in an assembly. But this is not the way Christians are to walk, nor the rule of faith and practice. We see some today who are very similar to the pharisees who seem to deny Gods immediate voice and His Spirit in the heart leading and giving gifts and revelation. From such men we may get many false doctrines and error. In fact, all false doctrine has come out of the men who do not listen to the Spirit and who have not been given things from God and who have been misled by the fleshly mind, doctrines of devils or traditions and commandments of men. Yes, all spiritual leading and every aspect of our walk must be tried and examined and yes we must appeal to all three aspects of the rule. To God directly, to the body of Christ and the holy scriptures. The witness of all three must be in harmony. But, we do not eliminate God’s Spirit directly and immediately working in us, or the body of Christ and cling to scripture alone. The word “alone” or “sola” is what troubles me, because the pharisees had scripture alone yet were without Jesus. It is true they added to scripture many of their own traditions and commandments as many do today as well. But they did not have Jesus word in their hearts. He was not in them and they were not in him for the most part. But, if we rightly use scripture and the way it is to be understood and applied then it is very profitable and needful. And remember that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, but holy men of God spoke) as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. So, to understand the spiritual things they wrote all must be in the Spirit and led by the Spirit. Also all OT saints still had faith and many had no scripture yet. We read this in Hebrews 11 and other places. Continued in part 3...
  4. The Rule of faith and practice is not scripture alone PART 1 (Continued in part 2) A correction to the “sola scriptura” teaching, which says “scripture ALONE”. Now, at first glance some may think that I am teaching that scripture is not a rule of faith and practice. I am not quite saying this, I am saying that scripture is not the first primary rule of faith and practice, even though I would say it is the secondary rule. The primary rule of faith and practice is to live and walk and move in the power of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25 Rom. 8:2,5,6,9-16 KJV), in Christ in the new creation (Gal. 6:15,16 KJV) where God dwells in all believers (1 Cor. 3:16, 1 John 4:15 KJV) and where he works in us to will and to do and to make us perfect unto every good work, working in us that which is well pleasing through Jesus Christ (Heb. 13:20,21 Phil 2:13 KJV). It is the anointing that teaches us all things, (1 John 2:27 KJV) and if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his (Romans 8:9) and if he does not have the Spirit he cannot know the things of God or the scriptures (1 Cor 2 KJV) . The scriptures were given by the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16) and no man can even know the scriptures unless they are in the first rule which is to be in the Spirit (Romans 8:9 KJV). If any man have not the Spirit of Christ they are none of his (Romans 8:9 KJV). The Holy Spirit is the one who guides us into all truth (John 16:13 KJV). It is the grace of our Lord that is with our spirit (Philemon 1:25 KJV). No man can even know the Son of God except the Father reveals him. This inner witness in our spirit is vital to knowing God and living in the spirit. “no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”(John 10:22 KJV) So, for a man to say “I know who the Son of God is” by scripture "alone" without a spiritual revelation is not accurate. Yes, scripture testifies of the Son of God and Jesus work for salvation and the gospel is according to the scriptures and many prophecies and much more. However, the scriptures were given by the Spirit to the men who testified and who were led to write them. But to know who Jesus is as the Son of God is a revelation of the Father and to know the Father is a revelation of the Son. It is not the scriptures that give an inner witness of themselves, but it is the Spirit that bears witness. The scriptures are able to help us as we have faith in Christ Jesus. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”(Romans 8:16 KJV) Christianity is new life the Spirit of Christ (2 Cor. 3:6, Gal 615,16, John 15.:1-6,2 Cor 13:5 KJV) And true worship is to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23 KJV). Unless Jesus is in us and we in him we can do nothing, as Jesus said, “4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”(John 15:4,5 KJV) As highly as I regard the holy scriptures and see them as the secondary rule. I cannot say that they are “alone” the only rule for believers. However, if a man is in Christ he will be led by the Spirit into all truth and this would include the scriptures of truth and the true believer who now is in the Spirit and the faith which is in Christ Jesus can understand the scriptures. We even see this in a favorite verse many quote to teach “sola scriptura” “5 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”(2 Timothy 3:15,16 KJV) Here we see that it is by faith in Christ Jesus that any can understand the scriptures. Again the first primary rule is the spirit and to live in faith in Christ. Paul said “11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”(1 Cor 2:11-14 KJV) Yet today many think they can know the things of God without His immediate revelation and Spirit leading them to all truth. Or even if they acknowledge the Holy Spirit guiding them, they still say “sola” scriptura” or scripture alone. I wonder how a person thinks they can know anything of the Spirit unless they are born again and live and move in the spirit. Jesus said , “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”(John 3:3 KJV) The pharisees had scripture and studied it and could quote many things yet they did not know Jesus in front of them and they did not come to him to have life. They could not see spiritual things. But they could read scripture and study languages and try to understand with their natural carnal mind. They thought (like some today seem to imply,) that they had eternal life in the scriptures but Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. “(John 5:39 KJV) Jesus also said they did not know the scriptures or the power of God (Matt. 22:29 KJV) even though they might have thought they did. They also did not have His word abiding in them “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.”(John 5:38 KJV) The seed is the word of God sown in the hearts of all (Luke 8 Gal.3:16,29 1 John 3:9) and is near all (Acts 17 Romans 10: Hebrews 4:12,13 KJV), though not in them or in union with them until they receive him at salvation, this is a great attainment where they will be born again, born from above by the Spirit of God (John 6:63, 1 Peter 1:23, James 1:18 KJV). This inward life is the first rule of Christianity and by which we understand the scriptures. The anointing teaches us all things, and yes all things would include the secondary witness or rule of the scriptures as we are taught by the Spirit. “ But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”(1 John 2:27 KJV) Jesus one time opened the believers hearts to understand the scriptures. This is still the way men understand scripture “ And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself....32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”(Luke 24:27,32 KJV) Many today try to take out the spiritual aspects of Christianity and reduce it to a intellectual attainment or carnal reasoning with the wisdom of men and excellency of speech. Paul as led by the Spirit rebuked such thinking “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God....4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God... we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery,...But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”(1 Cor 2:1,4-6, 11-14 KJV) The Primary Rule To clarify what this first rule is, here are some scriptures. “15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”(Galatians 6:15,16 KJV) The word “rule” means - “sphere, standard, rod, boundary.” To live in Christ as a new creation is to live in spiritual life with Jesus Christ in you and the spirit of God leading you and teaching you all things. This is the primary rule, as Paul said. We are to walk according to this rule. And except a man be born again he cannot see spiritually anything of the kingdom. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14 KJV) “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”(John 16:13 KJV) But some seem to say regardless of this, “We can know all about the things of God by our study of Greek and Hebrew and with our human wisdom in reading other commentaries and with all our human intellect and books." The issue they deal with, is that God said they cannot know the things of God unless they are spiritual ( 1 Cor 2 etc) . So again how do they think to understand spiritual scripture if they are not being led by the Spirit of God which is the first primary rule. If they can admit this then they should not use the expression “sola scriptura” or scripture ALONE. Jesus also showed a difference of the Old Testament worship and the worship God seeks after. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”(John 4:23,24 KJV). PART 1 (Contnued in part 2 and 3)
  5. Here is a tract I made to hand out about this topic file:///Users/downey/Desktop/God's%20Order%20tract%20for%20print.pdf
  6. Hello and God bless. No I have been working at planting churches in homes for about 30 years. It has been a wonderful journy. Difficult at times.But wonderful. God bless
  7. Hello and God bless, Hope to get into many wonderful discussions in the truth. How do i post in the regular forum and respond to post?
  8. Just wondering how I post a response to other topics in different threads? and how long does it take to do so thanks
  9. The Pastor King The Exalted Pastor Over All As shocking as this may seem, there is not one verse in the New Testament that speaks of a man over all the church called, “The Pastor”, who does most of the ministry, gets a regular salary and who acts as the head of the church. Rather, in the New Testament, we see the whole church ministering to one another in Christ who works effectually in all believers (Eph 4:11-16 , 1 Cor 14:26-38, 1 Peter 4:10,11) and we read of elders (plural) in every church (singular) who watch over and feed others spiritually (Acts 14:23, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1,2). They are not to Lord over others and control them in a supreme authority but are to be examples. Paul said to the church, “Not that we have dominion over your faith but are helpers ..” (2 Cor. 1:24). The word “dominion”, here means “to rule: have dominion over, lord, be lord of...(from 2962),...supreme in authority, ie (as a noun) controller. By implication, Master (as in official title..)...” (Strongs Concordance. # 2961). Jesus also warned of such a false dominion and authority over others (Matthew 20:25-27), and said “it shall not be so among you”. Yet in many gatherings today, this person called “The Pastor”, is exalted above all others as he stands on top a large platform behind a “pulpit”. He is the one who dominates and has preeminence over all others and does most of the speaking week after week. He generally rules in a large castle-like structure unbiblically called “the church” with lower ranked servants under him. Sometimes he has a sign outside with his name on it. Many flattering titles are given to him such as, “Reverend”, “Master of Divinity”, or “President”, and he uses expressions such as “My church” or “My people”. Scripture warns against one man in and exalted role having the preeminance over all in the church (3 John 9,10, 2 Cor 11:12,13,20, Acts 20:29-31, Col 2:8, Job 32:31,32) and Jesus said “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matt. 23:8,10). Almost all of the activities in the assembly today are controlled by the Pastor and no one is permitted to speak or minister unless he allows it. There is rarely opportunity for anyone else to minister as Christ leads, for they are not on the man made programs in man’s order. Many are unaware of their freedoms in the body of Christ and even if they were, they would be afraid to speak as God leads them, fearing the disapproval and rebuke of the pastor. Many dangerously look to this one man alone for all their spiritual guidance in the assembly, rather than wait on God and to be led by the Spirit in mutual edification of one another in God’s order. The Modern Pastoral Role is Unbiblical The position that the modern Pastor holds today is unbiblical. It fights against the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5,9, Rev. 1:6, Rom. 12:1), the mutual edification of one another in the body of Christ as He leads, (1 Cor. 14:26-38, 1 Cor 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10, 11, Col. 3:15,16, Eph. 4:16) and it hinders Gods direct leading and working in all believers in the church (Heb. 13:20,21, 1 John 2:27, Eph 4:16,21, Col 3:15,16). The role of the modern Pastor over all often quenches the spirt in the rest of the body and hinders the very function and growth of the church. This modern role of “The Pastor” today, sets him up to reign as a king (or Lord) over the body of Christ and exalts him (2 Cor. 11:12,20, Rom 12:3-5). His position as head of the church can usurp the headship of Christ in the meetings (Col 2:8, 19) and bind up the saints in the traditions and commandments of men that turn from the truth and fight against the commandments of the Lord (1 Cor 14:26-38, Col 2:8,19, Titus 1:14). Paul warned us of such serious things and said, “Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ” (Col. 2:8). The word ”spoil” implies, leading believers away and robbing them of their goods. The one modern pastor tradition does this in part and makes the word of God of no effect by this role (Mark 7:13). These controlling men don’t allow believers to edify one another in the gatherings as they are commanded to do in scripture and hinder them from being good stewards of their gifts from God (1 Cor 14:26,30,37, 38 1 Peter 4:10,11). But If any man reject God’s commands to do so they are ignorant and should not be listened to and withdrawn from (1 Cor 14:26,30,37, 2 Thess. 3:6). If anyone examines scripture closely they will see that this modern Pope-like figure called the “The Pastor “ today does not come from scripture but rather comes out of the worldly traditions of men, mixed with an OT priesthood and pagan traditions. It stems from the (so called) “church fathers”, such as; Ignatius of Antioch, Cyprian and others, from Constantine, a false Roman Catholic hierarchy and from reformers who retained many of the Catholic priest roles and misunderstanding of Christ headship in the body ministry. Many Gifts Not Just a Pastor Gift We read in scripture that God ”...gave gifts unto men...he gave some, apostles; and some, and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”, (Ephesians 4:8,11,12) Notice that the word, “pastors” is in the plural form. We do not find the singular one man pastor over all in the New Testament. All of these gifts are needed in the body of Christ and not just pastors. But somehow through the traditions of man, this one “pastor” gift come to dominate over all the other gifts. Though there are blessed pastor giftings in the body of Christ, (just as there are apostles, prophets, evangelist and teachers), the modern role of the exalted “Pastor” over all does not exist biblically and is a dangerous distortion spiritually to the church. Many of those in this unbiblical role may be true believers and loving men with sincerity and have many good qualities, Others may be seeking their own glory and reputation. But either way they are still in error in this exalted role and they still hinder the body from functioning in Christ. Despite the confusion of many religious forms today and the multitude of believers who gather in them, with the exalted Pastor over all, their various spiritual moments, evangelistic aspects and some good ministration seen in many of these gatherings, there is still a great problem in the churches and it must be corrected and set in God’s order. We see in many assemblies today a weak, dysfunctional body that plays church and cannot follow the leading of the Spirit in the assembly as good stewards in mutual edification. Instead they are forced to look at the back of each others heads and are drawn after the exalted man on the the platform. Is Jesus Christ outside of many gatherings today knocking and wanting to come into them and to “sup” with them (Revelation 3:16-20) and to participate with them, or is He ready to spew some out of his mouth, while they think all is well and they are rich and increased with goods and need nothing. The reality is, that if this modern role of the Pastor today was taken away from most assemblies they could not function and would most likely be in a fearful panic and possibly collapse. But if you take away the modern one man Pastor role over all from a true biblical church gathering, they would still be able to use their gifts and edify one another and minister as God intended in His order. God’s Order and Man’s Order God’s order in the body of Christ is His spiritual working in every part as he leads and empowers believers in all things. Though hidden from the eyes of natural men, it is there nevertheless. This order begins in the spirit and the patient waiting on God as He leads into all gifts, ministry and fruits of the Spirit and sets the order in the gatherings, (Titus 1:5, Col. 2:5, Psalm 37:23, Eph. 4:15,16, 1 Tim 3:15, 1 Cor. 14:26-37, 1 Cor. 11:34, Heb 13:20,21, 1 John 2:27). No person can know this order unless they are in Christ, and walk in the spirit. But sadly, even many christians today are drawn away from God’s order and rule in their hearts into a religious form of man’s order and the dominion of exalted leaders. Man’s order does not begin in the spirit, it begins in man’s carnal mind and human wisdom, and by what they know naturally ( 1 Cor 2, Jude 1:10) and is regulated by the modern pastor role, programs and traditions of men in the rudiments of the world. Jesus said, “I will build my church” and he is fully able to do this by his power and might, which he has been doing all along. God’s order is very different than mans order and traditions in the church. “Give us a King” There is a story in the bible where God’s people said, “Give us a King, to judge us” (1 Samuel 8:6). God allowed it, but told Samuel, “they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them” (1 Samuel 8:7). God also told Samuel to warn them that the king would bring them into bondage, take their goods and use them for his glory (1 Samuel 8:11-19). Saul also had some of the Levites killed (1 Sam. 22:17,18). The Levites being a type of the priesthood of all believers. Similarly, as Saul had them killed and they could no longer minister, so the modern one man Pastor Lord also quenches the spirit in the body and hinders or cuts off the priesthood of all believers where they can no longer minister freely. Today, similar to the story of Saul, you can almost hear the people cry, “Give us a Pastor, like all the other churches”, especially when they are looking for a new one. But by doing so, they may be rejecting God from reigning over them in the gatherings. Body Ministry to One Another The bible teaches that Christ is to lead in every part of the body as the head of the church, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). This is how Jesus Christ builds (or edifies) His church. Notice, that through Christ headship the whole body can edify one another, and not just rely on one man the Pastor. This should be allowed to happen every time the saints gather together in Christ and wait on the Lord. When the church comes together all can have something revealed to them and share it (1 Cor.14:30). They can also have a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation and interpretation, (1 Cor.14:26); comfort and edify one another (1 Thess. 5:11); use all their gifts as they wait on God (Rom. 12:1-10); have a spiritual manifestation to profit all (1 Cor 12:7-); admonish one another (Rom. 15:14); teach one another (Col. 3:16); exhort one another, (Heb. 3:13); warn unruly (1Thess. 5:14); confess their faults one to one another (James 5:16); anoint the sick (James 5:14); prophesy to one another (1 Cor. 14:31); discipline erring brethren (1 Cor5:3-5, 6:1-6); pray for one another (James 5:14-); lead in prayer and song (1 Cor. 14:15); have a psalm, hymn or spiritual song (Col. 3:16); any man can speak or minister as God leads (1 Peter 4:10,11). We must follow after Christ who will lead us in this way, and not follow after man-made programs and dead rituals and the exalted Pastor role that quench the Spirit.
  10. God's order in the Church God’s order in the body of Christ is His spiritual working in every part as he leads and empowers believers in all things. Though hidden from the eyes of natural men, it is there nevertheless. This order begins in the spirit and the patient waiting on God as He leads into all gifts, ministry, fruits of the Spirit and sets the order. No person can know this order unless they are in Christ, and walk in the spirit. But sadly, many Christians today are drawn away from God’s order and rule in their hearts into a religious form of man’s order and exalted leaders. Man’s order does not begin in the spirit, it begins in man’s natural mind and human wisdom, and is regulated by programs and traditions of men in the rudiments of the world that can make the word of God of no effect. Jesus said, “I will build my church” and he is fully able to do this by his power and might, which he has been doing all along. But If you ask many believers today, “how is a church built?” They may say something like, “well, first you save up money for years with a gathering, or one that meets in a school or community center and then you buy a piece of land or go into debt, hire a construction crew and you pay them to build the church building. Then you put some pews in it, build an altar and pulpit, have a Pastor over all and make a name for it, put a sign up on the lawn, register with the government and there you go, the church is ready. Then the whole assembly comes in and sit in rows facing the back of each others heads as they look forward to the exalted man on the podium, or “altar”, who gives a message to the church every week. But this is not how Jesus Christ builds his church, nor has he ever built His church this way. Christ builds his church from the inside out and this work starts from within all believers. The “church” is the body of Christ (Eph.1:22, 23) and a living organism. It is a spiritual house made up of living stones (1 Peter 2:5), which is built up in the revelation of Jesus Christ. This is the starting point of Jesus building. It is not a man made religious building or a corporation with bosses and employees. Jesus Christ is the head of the church, which is his body, he is not the head of institutions and man made forms. The Lord Builds the House In God’s order, all believers must “...grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.“ (Ephesians 4:15,16). This edifying (or building up) of one another in love is how Christ builds His Church from the inside out. In God’s order He arranges all things after His mighty working in the saints (Heb. 13:20, 21) as believers labourer together with him (1 Cor. 3:9). This order begins in the peace of God and by His rule (or governing) in the spirit (Col.3:15,16) as we wait on the Lord for ministry in the body one to another (Rom. 12:3-8). Only then can we grow up into him (Eph. 4:15). Despite the multitudes of believers who gather in these religious forms, with their various spiritual moments, the evangelistic aspects and some other good ministration seen in many of them, there is a great problem in the churches today and it must be addressed. It is still true today that, “Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1). Many christians who gather today may seem to be rich and increased with goods and think they have need of nothing, but many are unaware that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17). Jesus said these serious words to the Church of Laodicea, but he also said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him and he with me” (Rev. 3:20). Jesus wants to dwell in the hearts of all those who will open to him and to “sup” with them, and to participate with them in the assembly as they gather. Without this participation of the Lord among the church they are in danger. Jesus said to the Laodicean church, “I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16). Similarly, all should consider this question, “is Jesus Christ standing outside knocking or is he in the midst being able to effectually work in believers as they assemble?” For Christians to be able to function fully as the body of Christ, they need to withdraw from man’s order (2 Thess. 3:6, Rom. 16:17, Eph. 5:11) and walk in God’s order, even though this will be very hard for some. The commands of the Lord in this order were spoken of by Paul to the Corinthians when he said “...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...Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted... If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 14:26, 29-31, 37). Peter also spoke of this order and said, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10,11). If anyone neglects or hinders the ministration of the gifts from God to one another they will not be good stewards of the grace of God and they quench the spirit. This one aspect alone is so different than most assemblies today, where all the body is stifled and silenced by the one man pastor ministry and the commands of men, with their programed order, where all are bound up and unable to freely edify one another. Instead they are drawn to the exalted man who does most of the ministry. This is wrong and needs to change. Scripture speaks of a plurality of “elders in every church” (Acts 14:23, James 5:14 1 Peter 5:1-3). Never do we read of one man in the New Testament called “The Pastor” over all doing most of the ministry and getting a regular salary. Furthermore, we read of the church gathering in homes and having a meal together as they wait on the Lord and ministered to one another, in prayer and fellowship. The institutional church structures today with their programs and clergy, have hindered many of these functions in the church. In fact, when examining man’s order as opposed to God’s order we see that almost everything that is done today, from walking into a large building with a denominational name, called a “church”, and everything that is on man’s programed order, from the Pastor’s role over all that often quenches the spirit in others, to their “services” that do not allow the body to minister freely, with the pastors sermon, the pulpit, worship leaders, women leaders, false authority, collections, constitutional laws of man, ushers, theater type environment, salaried ministers, tithing, tax exemption rules, altars, rituals, exalted priest, the silent body ministry, show time religion, no consensus decisions and many more, are all based on the traditions of men and not after Christ. A Wise Master Builder God’s order was revealed to apostolic workers and also handed down to believers in scripture. Paul said that God made him a wise master builder (1 Cor. 3:10), to lay the foundation and to show God’s order for the churches. We see men like Timothy and Titus bringing others to remembrance of Paul’s ways in Christ (1 Cor. 4:17) and the order he handed down was for every church everywhere (1 Cor. 4:17, 1 Cor 14:33). God’s Order in Scripture “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:” (Titus 1:5). Here we see that Paul had a definite “order” for them to be in. The order Paul speaks of here was given by the command and leading of the Spirit and it was not by man’s order and wisdom, with programs and philosophies based upon traditions of men. Paul often warned christians against following man’s traditions and order and to beware of anything that was not after Christ (Col. 2:8). In writing to the Colossians Paul also said, “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.” (Col. 2:5). This “order” among the Colossian believers was a spiritual order and Paul was able to behold it in the spirit. This is God’s order, not man’s order and to walk in this order a person must be in faith and the leading of the Spirit. No man can make this happen in their lives or in the assembly, although many try to. Paul wrote of how believers “ought” to behave in the church and said, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15). All believers should keep this order, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (2 Thess. 2:15). Paul taught the same things “everywhere” and in “every church”. (1 Cor. 4:17). So are any churches today exempt? Why would any christian want to do anything different? “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD...” (Psalm 37:23) This has always been God’s way. True spiritual authority flows from Christ to the body as we all live and speak the word of God. Authority is not a static position (Matt. 20:25-27), but only as we abide in Christ and are directed by Him ( John 15:5).
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