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Jesus Wants His Body Back (Worth Another Read)

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Re: Did any of you ever belong to an evangelical, protestant or Catholic Church?
Reply #20 on: May 22, 2010, 11:40:38 PM       

Consider that most of the people in various Christian groups do have a genuine love for God.  The Father delights in that.  I seek to regard that reality with a mercying heart full of tender pity and loving kindness.   Yet, if there is a path that leads into the heart of God, a path that is blocked by the way we function when we meet, we would speak the truth in love.

Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
Hey reFORMer.  From reading your posts in the section you listed, my understanding is that you have a fundamental mistrust of the developments that emerged in the first few centuries, as well as having issues with many denominations such as the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican Churches.  Honestly, I do understand where that mistrust comes from because I have felt the same way.

The religious bureauchrazies you mention are the ritualists.  My posts were more aimed at the practices of those following the  reformation model for meetings; but, I did touch on the earliest beginnings.  You'll find a direct parallel between the beginning of Israel inheriting the land of promise and the Eclessia's beginnings.  Israel was led by the Holy Spirit Who chose to constitute from among them a Seer and the early Eclessia was led by gifts of the Spirit among them.  Early on that was replaced by  knowledgeable men who became authorities recreating the hierarchies of the Roman Empire similar to Israel demanding of Samuel the Seer:

"'[5]...appoint to us a king, to judge us, like all the nations.' [6] And the thing is evil in the eyes of Samuel, when they have said, `Give to us a king to judge us;' and Samuel prayeth unto Jehovah. [7] And Jehovah saith unto Samuel, `Hearken to the voice of the people, to all that they say unto thee, for thee they have not rejected, but Me they have rejected, from reigning over them. [8] According to all the works that they have done from the day of My bringing them up out of Egypt, even unto this day, when they forsake Me, and serve other gods -- so they are doing also to thee. [9] And now, hearken to their voice; only, surely thou dost certainly protest to them, and hast declared to them the custom of the king who doth reign over them.' [10] And Samuel speaketh all the words of Jehovah unto the people who are asking from him a king, [11] and saith, `This is the custom of the king who doth reign over you: Your sons he doth take, and hath appointed for himself among his chariots, and among his horsemen, and they have run before his chariots; [12] also to appoint for himself heads of thousands, and heads of fifties...'" (1 Sam 8:5-12, YLT)

In the midst of telling them how a king would take whatever was theirs, even their own selves, God points out how the carnal king rules:  by hierarchies.  The rule of God is an intimate union with Jesus as Spirit and no other intermediaries.

[18] "And ye have cried out in that day because of the king whom ye have chosen for yourselves, and Jehovah doth not answer you in that day.' [19] And the people refuse to hearken to the voice of Samuel, and say, `Nay, but a king is over us, [20] and we have been, even we, like all the nations; and our king hath judged us, and gone out before us, and fought our battles. (1 Sam 8:18-20, YLT)

This latter statement is what you use to justify the bureaucrazies that always persecute those who pursue the Spirit.

Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
Honestly, I do understand where that mistrust comes from because I have felt the same way.

I think you misunderstand both the source and the depth of my repulsion for Institutional Christianity.  It is not just a feeling.  Whether we will build the temple or be assimilated in Babylon is what is at stake.

Quote from:    on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
And although I have come to believe differently, I still do have many issues with the Churches I just mentioned, including the Catholic Church which I am in the process of becoming apart of.  However, those differences do not outweigh the things that I am in agreement with.  For starters, there is the issue of authority.  I know many will disagree with me but I have come to the point in my faith where I can no longer affirm Sola Scriptura.  The fact of the matter is, Sola Scriptura was developed by the Protestant Reformers in reaction to the abuses of the 16th Century Catholic Church, abuses which they had every right to feel indignation towards.

The practice of using Scripture as authority is from the beginning.  >From the men of God in Abraham's footsteps and ancient rabbis to the days the Christian's Oracles were written and the centuries that followed, again and again from the evidence of many manuscripts, Scripture is elevated above the reason and tradition of man and is cited as the authority of God.  What is called "The New Testament" abounds with the use of the Hebrew Scriptures as Divine authority attesting to the veracity the New Testament.  The Reformation call to return to "Sola Scriptura" as authoritative was not innovative.  Certainly, it was not the standard for the Roman Church which not only burned Scripture in the vernacular by the wheelbarrow full, they came to burn alive as proven heretics whoever possessed copies of The Word in their native tongues.  It is interesting that these vernacular versions were from the Byzantine or Western family of texts, from which we get the King James Version.  Many of the recent English Versions use Vaticanus, Alexandrinius, Siniaticus, which are the Roman Catholic texts.  The agreement of the vernacular versions, including English, is clear from the later (1599 AD) Nuremberg Polyglot presenting the four gospels in twelve languages.  This also reveals a disagreement with the Roman version.  The war against believers in the Word and whoever experienced the gifts of the Spirit was engaged by the setup in Rome very early.  "Sola Scripture" also was not an island to itself.  It was balanced with "Sola Gratis," and "Sola Fides, " by grace through faith alone.  As well, the reformers admitted they failed to accomplish the return of the ministry to the people of God, what they called, "The Priesthood of All Believers."

Today for people to say, "We believe the Bible" is in part a result of the reformers call to return to purity, but it has become a gimmick.  The problem is , unknown to those parroting those words, they are often unaware of what the Scripture does or does not say.  Without that there is no practical exercise of Scripture as authority.  Ninety-seven percent of those saying they are born again and attend Church regularly have never read the Bible through even once. In almost all of the churches attended the Scripture is not gone through systematically, from the first chapter of the first verse consecutively through to the last verse of the last chapter, the way God gave it to us.  If people demanded the Scripture be presented to them, rather than topics with a few verses thrown in, they could get it to happen.  It is to better for the positions of importance and the incomes of comfort of those with titles of honor from other men to keep the Word of God from the people.

Besides, Scripture alone has  never been the ultimate authority for the saints.  They serve a living and present God.  Jesus suffered and died to bring us into a direct and intimate relationship with God; and now, men are inserted between us and God, and we are expected to pay them for it?!  I don't care how gifted or knowledgeable the man on stage is, he's not body of Christ, and JESUS WANTS HIS BODY BACK!!!

To, "Have many issues," and, "Differences," as you under-state it, is the work of the Holy Spirit to save your life.  You need to take time to pay attention to these things.  Men have set up their own kingdoms and claimed it to be God's.  Many of their doctrines and practices are not of God, but exist for the unauthorized Priesthood that benefits from them.  Don't be another of their dupes.  Get free as fast as you can!

Quote from:    on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
Yet this does not erase the fact that for the first 1500 years of Christianity, the Church did not view Scripture as the sole source of authority.  This would be impossible to do for several reasons.

This is an unjust judgment based on inadequate historical knowledge.  Among other things, the Pope ordered out armies to kill those with Scripture and spiritual gifts, people like the Montanists and Albiginians.  You assume again that things were a certain way and that justifies thing being that way.

Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
First, is the fact that the exact definition of what Scripture is wasn't developed until centuries after Christ and the Apostles and was in fact developed by the very Church that so many today view as corrupt.

If you only read Roman or radical scholars you do yourself a dis-service.  As what Jeremiah wrote was immediately recognized to be Scripture by those of his day, the apostle Peter, who had a weakness for identifying with Jewish law and custom, that Peter calls the writings of Paul his contemporary Scripture:  "And be deeming the patience of our Lord salvation, according as our beloved brother Paul also writes to you, according to the wisdom given to him, as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which are some things hard to apprehend, which the unlearned and unstable are twisting, as the rest of the scriptures also, to their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15-16, Concordant Literal Translation)  What was already in use as Scripture was what was officially canonized by the officials of the developing Institutional replacement for the Church.

I have an excellent book (from Amazon) titled:  Khaboris Manuscript which is an ancient Syriac New Testament scribed in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke at home.   It comes from the first decade of the 200's.  The only difference from our present New Testament is it excludes Revelation, and four short Epistles, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude.

There's a Biblical proverb that says, "As the mouth tries food, so the ear tries words."  "My sheep hear my voice, and another they will not follow."  That is the way Jesus put it.  Being born of Truth, the people of God are not so stupid as the religious professionals in the Institutions portray us.  By what they do we are not supposed to know anything.  They certainly don't trust the Holy Spirit with us!  These are reasons why we cannot stay with them.

Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
Second, even if Scripture was the only source of authority, it wouldn't do most of the world any good due to the fact that the vast majority of the world was illiterate and even if that were not the case, books were very expensive to make and distribute before the advent of the printing press.  Most of the manuscripts we have today were apart of codices that belonged only to wealthy Christians and these codices don't all have the same works in them.  Some contain only the Gospels, some only have the Pauline Letters, and some contained all of that plus works that eventually came to be excluded from what we now have as the New Testament.

The Cambridge History of the Bible states that scriptures were so widely known worldwide that a deacon in the ancient church in Heraclea was "confident that even if all copies of the scriptures should disappear, Christians would be able to rewrite them from memory..."

"It is assumed by writers of the next hundred years that lay people can without difficulty get hold of Bibles for private study, if they will.  'Get books that will be medicine for the soul,' Chrysostom [A.D. 345-407] told his people.  'At least procure the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, the Gospels.'  More surprisingly perhaps, in the sixth century, Gaul Caesarius of Arles can press his flock to buy the Bible and read it at home in the dark hours of winter.  He does not appear to anticipate any lack of copies, or that they will be impossibly expensive for the farmer and tradesman" (vol.3, pp. 476-477)

"Concerning what we commonly call the New Testament, (though that really is what is written by the Spirit of God in our hearts and minds) . . . there is no compelling historical reason to reject it being finished written before 70 AD. and that vernacular versions were translated by the apostles themselves before the close of the 1st Century . . . Bibles were very available and in the languages of the people before Constantine.  This was a grassroots hand copied phenomena apart from the false authority by officials usurping the place of the Holy Spirit in the developing bureaucracy of what became Christendom which in turn took early to destroying the vernacular versions, burning them by the cartload, killing many who possessed them as well as those manifesting spiritual gifts.



Posts: 1388

Psalm 133

Re: Did any of you ever belong to an evangelical, protestant or Catholic Church?
Reply #21 on: May 22, 2010, 11:45:08 PM       

(part 2, of 2...)
Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
Thus, it would have been impossible for the Early Church to have only Scripture as authority.  Instead, they had Scripture, Tradition, and the Community of Faith represented by the Bishops.

If what you are calling "The Early Church" is post-Nicene it wouldn't be The Early Church.  In fact, what you are saying is only true as the bureaucrats took over from around 500 to 800 AD.  The church of the Bishops was the beginning apostasy, replacing the priesthood of all believers with an elite unwarranted priesthood just to believers.

Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
To say certain things should not be apart of our faith because they aren't found in Scripture doesn't hold up because Tradition, the developments that came about during those first few centuries, do testify to those practices.

So, again, because certain things exist they are right?!  The fact the majority of Christians are not Roman indicates the Roman claim is false.  Not only do I know I know God and find His demonstrations in my life to prove that He is with me; but, world wide, the majority of Christians meet in their homes, apart from Pastor or Priest and largely apart from tradition and ritual.  Because the Church is not even on the program in the Sunday Morning Protestant Ritual, nor is The Church part of the performance called The Mass; but, in freely functioning home-fellowships, where there is every member participation of the body of Christ, the Church is the program de facto proves the error and antichrist nature of Institutional Christianity.  Virtually no one in such "free-for-all" fellowships can be persuaded to return to work on Massa's Plantation.

Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
I do not argue or believe that the Early Church was perfect but it is far from the demonized characiture that has become prevalent in modern circles.  It is claimed that the Early Church eagerly hopped into bed with the pagan world yet the reality is that the Early Church willingly gave up their lives rather than give into the pagan world around them.

Again, what is the time period for your "Early Church?"  The art, the graffiti of the ante-Nicene (before Constantine) Church portrayed Jesus as a young man, like a "happy wanderer," often surrounded with people like sheep.  When Constantine came in the art changed.  Jesus began to be portrayed as a Caesar on a throne, with a severe countenance and lightning bolts around His crowned head.

Quote from:      on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
Some ideas may have indeed crept in but this is far cry from image of a Church that flung itself into the arms of the pagans.  It is also claimed that the Early Church willingly gave into a flood of heresies yet the reality is that Early Church fought tooth and nail to defend the Faith against the likes of the Gnostics, the Montanists, the Marcionites,the Valentinians, the Arians, etc.  I do not agree with every teaching from that period but again, what we see is a far cry from the group of apostates that supposedly abandoned the Truth after the last Apostle died.

Much of what the Reformers of the 1500's cried out against is still live and well in the Roman Church today.  Indulgences are still for sale.  The market for "relics," objects of veneration (worship,) paying to get a dead loved-one out of purgatory...it's all still happening.  Rather than knowledge and implementation of the Biblical facts on the feminine in God and the female in ministry, Mary as Mediatrix is promoted.  Unfortunately, the Protestants don't seem to recognize their "Pastor" is as much another mediator as any Priest, and in conflict with the only mediator, Christ Jesus.  A good point to remember in all our attempts to have a pure Church according to the apostolic pattern is that the Reformation came and went, but the Roman Church is still here.

What we have from when the last Apostle of the Lamb died for about ninety years is nothing.  In fact, of historical artifacts until the Diocletian persecution, there are only about 100,000 personal letters, 25,000 of which are labeled "Christian."  None of them mention any kind of authority or boss over them.  Never once.  They talked to each other as brothers.

Here you're saying what Israel of old said to Samuel, demanding a king:  "...our king hath judged us, and gone out before us, and fought our battles." (1 Sam 8:20)  This is carnal, or what Jesus called "Gentile" as distinguished from spiritual authority.  This is instead of God ruling over us though the gifts of the Spirit in our midst.

At Babel you find out how the Institution is built, with brick from molds and slime for mortar instead of living stones fitted into one another.  At Babel you find out what their motive is:  "Let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."  Yet, contrariwise, "Not by might, nor by troops, but by my Spirit says the LORD."  Babel is a lot of work!  There you find their motive is also to access the heavens and circumvent God's plan.  You also discover at Babel that God Himself creates a division you can never undo, a division and confusion showing mercy on us and the rest of creation.  This Babel, The Gate of Confusion," "God's Confusion," "The Confounding of God," is where "Babylon, Mother of Prostitutes" begins.

[1] And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. [2] And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. [3] And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. [4] And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. [5] And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. [6] And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. [7] Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. [8] So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. [9] Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Gen 11:1-9, KJV)

Quote from:      on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
The point I'm trying to make is that simply because something developed in the 2nd Century onwards does not mean that should be discarded.  The Early Church, despite it's flaws, is our forefathers in the faith.

There are sufficient and abundant reasons integral to many of these emerging doctrines and practices to demand our abandoning them.  Once we have met freely in a group without human headship that functions like a family, God having lead forth from us, nothing else will ever satisfy again.  Once you've seen, not God and just each other as individuals, but once you've seen "her," the Bride, God's girlfriend, you can never forget it.  It is too late to tell us we cannot fly.  These you call forefathers are certainly not "Our Father" and that settles it for me.

Quote from:      on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
And it is the traditions such as the Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental, and Anglican that have closest kept that spirit alive.

What spirit?  Did God get sick and die off somewhere when I wasn't looking?  I know what the "spirit" in both Roman and Protestant bureauchrazies has produced, both of old and in my own life.  They killed each other when they could.  They've gotten rid of me when they had the opportunity.

Imagine off in the distance a group of men up on a hillside.  They all have elaborate jewel encrusted robes and crowns on.  They are facing one whose crown is more than twice the size of everybody else's crown.  It looks like they're doin' "the Hokey Pokey."  "Turn to left, now turn to your right...Simon says sit.  Simon says stand.  Now, kneel."  Why does this NOT look like Jesus and the apostles?!

Quote from:     on May 19, 2010, 11:32:22 PM
Again, I don't agree with everything presented in any of those traditions yet as I now stand, the things that I do agree with far outweigh the latter.

This is your judgment?! If there are saints in Babylon you shouldn't come out of her as the Lord commands? you shouldn't return to build the temple, the house of God?  In the days of Israel and Judah's return from Babylon most were assimilated.  Only one out of seven of the priests returned.  Even then, most of them were only building their own houses.  This is where we are at now in the USA.  There has been some return from Babylon, but most are Pastor over independent churches.  They are each building their own house, not the house of God, the body of Christ, a temple for the Presence of the Lord to freely move within, where the Lord alone is King.


 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Excellent post.

One question I have as I contemplate this is how does the ecclesia function, with the posts of elders, overseers?  Which are given by Paul.  He obviously set up some structure, how does it work without becoming institutionalized?  what does that look like?

Do you realize the ekklesia includes that assembly of saints [divine council]
in heaven? :icon_king:

From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): - assembly, church.

saying, I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly[ekklesia] will I sing thy praises.

--Heb 2:12


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