Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Rapture-Rapture Timing

We do not know the day or hour of the rapture, however, what do we know about the days leading up to the rapture? The answer to this question once again identifies the rapture as a pretribulation event....

Let's take a look at Luke 21:34:

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. "

The bible tells us to be careful that our hearts are not weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life in the days leading up to the rapture. Let's think about this, if the rapture were mid-tribulation or post-tribulation, would the Lord use the kind of language He did in Luke 21:34? It's highly unlikely. At any point of the tribulation period there will be much more going on in the world to weigh our hearts down than dissipation, drunkenness, and the "normal" anxieties of life. Compare the "anxieties of life" mentioned in Luke 21:34 with the events unfolding at any point of the tribulation and you should see a stark contrast.

We are given this exact same picture in Matt 24:38

For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.

The Lord has painted clear pictures for us in both Luke 21:34 and Matt 24:38 that life on the earth leading up to the day of the rapture will be taking place as it always has. The words He uses to describe the days leading up to the rapture are absolutely NOT the same words used to describe the days and events taking place during the tribulation.

IF the rapture was to take place either at the midpoint or end of the tribulation we should see some kind of wording, some kind of language to indicate that the days leading up to the rapture are "tribulation days," not "ordinary days." I challenge any pre-wrath or post-trib advocate to argue how the words used in Luke 21:34 or Matt 24:38 give even the slightest hint that they are anything but "ordinary days" indicitive of a pretribulation earth.

If the pre-wrath position was correct would'nt we see some type of language used to describe days leading up to the rapture like this?:

Rev 6:8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. ??????

According to pre-wrath advocates, this ^^^^^ is indicitive of days leading up to the rapture. Now, contrast the events taking place in the days of Rev 6:8 with the events of the days taking place in the days of either Luke 21:34 or Matt 24:38. The contrast is breathtaking. They absolutely cannot be the same days since the events taking place are totally different.

The days leading up to a pre-wrath or post-trib rapture are filled with massive death, famine, plague unlike anything the earth has ever seen, whereas the days leading up to the pre-trib rapture are filled with "people eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage."

It does'nt get any more clear cut than this.

Be ready, time is short-Peace-brother D

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Rapture-Evaluating the Rapture Positions

We know that over and over again in the scriptures we are commanded to "watch." When these commands are given to us, they are not qualified commands like "begin to watch when this happens" or "begin to watch when that happens." We are just told to watch and be ready for the Lord's return.

Matthew 24:42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Matthew 24:43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

Matthew 25:13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Mark 13:35"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn

Luke 12:37It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

Luke 12:38It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.

Luke 21:36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

Matthew 24:44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Matthew 24:50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.

Luke 12:40You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Luke 12:46The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

The Bible says to watch because Jesus is coming at an hour when you (the believer) are not expecting. If He was not talking to believers then why would He say "He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers?"

Those who believe we will see a pretribulation rapture are watching for the Lord's return NOW, just as we are commanded to. IF, and I say "if" there was no pretrib rapture, would true believers walk away from the faith? No, we would keep watching just as commanded, then regretfully email the prewrath/mid trib folks and pray they were right and not the post-tribbers :-). If the pre-wrath group was wrong we'd stick it out till we lost our heads or ended up at the end of the tribulation. Regardless of when the Rapture happens, we the pretribbers WILL BE WATCHING!

The same cannot be said for the pre-wrath, post-trib crowd. They light up the world wide web flaming every pre-tribber in sight telling them how they cannot be right, and how basically there's no need to watch for the rapture until mid-tribulation or even AFTER the tribulation is over. Are they "watching" for the Lord's return RIGHT NOW and everyday as the Lord commanded? Nope. Is this disobedience? (I won't go there). IF the pretrib rapture IS the correct position, will people who ARE NOT WATCHING be allowed to meet Christ in the air? (I don't know, I guess they'll find out...)

If the pretrib rapture position is wrong, so what? We'll have plenty of time to watch prophesy unfold before us just as the bible lays it out. If the pretrib position is right, the pre-wrath/post-tribbers will have NO TIME to change their minds and jump on the bandwagon. Either way, I am waiting eagerly for The Lord's return RIGHT NOW just like He commanded us to. If it's tonight YEEEEEEHAWWWWW, if it's after the tribulation, then Lord grant us strength to live or die and well for You.

Peace~brother D

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Rapture-Part 4- A Serious Stumbling Block

A Serious Stumbling Block for the Pre-Wrath, Post-Trib crowd.

For all their work slicing and dicing the scriptures to try and make a mid or post trib rapture work, I have never read or heard a good argument yet against one of the most rock solid proofs of a pretribulation rapture. Luke 21:36.

What does Luke 21:36 say?

36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

First of all, it says "be always on the watch." This is the concept of imminency we hold, that Jesus can come back for us at any moment. The pre-wrath crowd and the post-trib crowd just can't understand this. When we are told to ALWAYS be on watch, that means RIGHT NOW. This sinks the pre-wrath and post-tribbers ship in and of itself. For both of those groups there's other stuff that needs to happen first, which means there's no reason to watch right now, except of course that our Lord commanded us to :-)

Next we are told to pray that we may escape all that is about to happen. Yep, the Lord told us specifically to pray for this escape. If someone has a problem with me having an escapist mentality, they need to consult the Lord on it, not me, I did'nt say it, HE DID.

The pre-wrath crowd tells us we have to go through the first 3.5 years of the tribulation. I guess they don't understand what the meaning of "ALL" is. Pray that you may be able to escape ALL that is about to happen. Last time I checked, ALL doesn't mean we escape PART of it, it means we escape ALL of it. What's so hard to understand about that?

Before I go any farther let me stop to defang the bible mutilators whose first and most beloved trick is to say "BUT WAIT..........WHAT DOES THE GREEK OR HEBREW SAY......"
Yea, they love this trick, since most people don't bother to look the Greek or Hebrew up on their own, the bible mutilation crowd likes to throw this at them. Basically they are trying to say they can do a better job at translating the bible than the original translators did, AND they don't want it to say exactly what it means at face value. Oh but they say "the greek and hebrew are much more expressive." Right, more expressive means they have more latitude to butcher the straghtforward meaning and torture the bible into saying what they want it to say....

Anyhow, I digress, let's look at the Greek word for "escape" above. I won't try to tell you what it means since you have eyes and can read if you've come this far :-)

Escape as used in Luke 21:36 above is the Greek word:
ekpheugo {ek-fyoo'-go}-1) to flee out of, flee away
a) to seek safety in flight
b) to escape

The last words I want to look at in Luke 21:36 are "all that is about to happen"

This clearly implies a future event or series of events that the Lord specifically tells us to pray we can escape from. Let's reason together, what future event is going to be SO BAD that He could be telling us to pray that we may escape it? What could He possibly be talking about?

Between Revelation 3:10, Luke 21:36 and Matt 24:36, a case is made so strongly for the pretrib rapture that regardless of what else the pre-wrath/post-trib crowd throws at it, the arguments fall apart. They either have to make many assumptions, and/or not bring these verses up at all in order to make their theories fit. That's not a sound way to examine the bible's wisdom.

Proverbs 25:2It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

The Lord has concealed many things in His word, but He has given us powerful clues AND His Holy Spirit to search them out. If something really bad is going to take place in the future for everyone on the face of this earth, and the Lord had an escape for us so we would "escape ALL that is about to happen" when would this escape NECESSARILY HAVE TO HAPPEN?


Watch and be ready, the bible says He's coming when we don't expect Him.

Matthew 24:44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Peace~brother D

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What Does it Take to Get Into Heaven?

It appears that it takes Faith AND Obedience.

The Faith part of this equation almost goes without saying, let's look at obedience.

Matthew 19:17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
Luke 11:28He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.
John 14:21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
John 14:23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
John 14:24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
John 15:10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
John 17:6[ Jesus Prays for His Disciples ] "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
Acts 5:29Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!
Acts 5:32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
Romans 2:13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
Galatians 5:7You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
Philippians 2:12[ Shining as Stars ] Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling
2 Thessalonians 1:8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Hebrews 5:9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
1 Peter 1:22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 4:17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?Context)
1 John 2:3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
1 John 2:5But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him
1 John 3:22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.1 John 3:21-23 (in Context) 1 John 3 (Whole Chapter)
1 John 3:24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
1 John 5:3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome
Revelation 3:3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Revelation 12:17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Revelation 14:12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

If it's not obvious by now that Faith AND Obedience is necessary to get into heaven, nothing will convince you.

Peace~brother D

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Rapture-Revelation 3:10 Pre-Trib Rapture Confirmation

A look at the greek words in John 17:15 proves conclusively that we will be taken out of the world during the "hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world"

First let's look at John 17:15—NASB:

I do not ask Thee to take them out of (ek) the
world but to keep (tereo) them from (ek) the evil

the Greek word (ek) is used in this sentence above "take them out of (ek) the world"

ek {ek} or ex {ex} out of, from, by, away from

Next, lets look at the word:

tereo {tay-reh'-o}1) to attend to carefully, take care of a) to guard b) metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is c) to observe d) to reserve: to undergo something

Now we're ready to look at Rev 3:10

Rev3:10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you(tereo) from (ek) the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth

When ek is combined with tereo it forms the meaning of “guarding one by taking them out of, or away from” the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

The word (ek) will set you free :-)

see for yourself and rejoice -Brother D

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sound the Alarm

Just how narrow is the gate that leads to life?

Matt 7

The Narrow and Wide Gates 13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The bible clearly states that only a few will find that narrow road that leads to life, but how few is a few? I mean, what if a few means 8% of the adults living on the earth today? 8%! I'm not claiming that number is THE number but it certainly is FEW relative to the whole of humanity living right now. What kind of life would you be living right now, what kind of faith and obedience would you be practicing if you knew that only 8% were going to make it into heaven? I don't think the Lord was joking when He said "a few". If you think that's alarmist, GOOD. If it creates fear in your then maybe "the fear of the Lord" is taking on a new meaning for you, that's GOOD.

Luke 12:5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

This is no joke people. Your shepherds have failed you or deliberately misled you. In the grave situation we find ourselves in today, where every way you turn there are wolves dressed in sheep's clothing, nothing, absolutely nothing will take the place of your personal devotion to the Lord.

You know, people spend 16 hour days working hard to have a nice car, be a top notch athlete, or a leader of industry. They strive, strive, strive to be the best in their field of endeavor, to be the creme de la creme, yet when it comes to devotion to the Lord, holiness, obedience and faith, it seems to be enough to just trust their hired hand pastor, priest etc to lead the way and drag them across the finsh line. Here's a newsflash, if your spiritual employee (pastor/priest) isn't going to make it himself, where does that leave you?

I challenge you to seek the Lord's face on this issue and ask Him to show you just how hard it really is to get into heaven....

Matthew 11:15He who has ears, let him hear.

Matthew 13:9He who has ears, let him hear."

Matthew 13:13This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

Matthew 13:15For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

Where are the watchmen standing on the walls and sounding the alarm that the enemy is not only at the gates, but inside the walls! Where is the alarm and outrage that the men you trusted to warn you have either fallen asleep on duty or worse yet BELONG TO THE ENEMY!

Mock at your own peril

Laugh at your own peril

Dismiss at your own peril

This world has enough of these men:

2 Timothy 4:3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Jeremiah 6:14They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.

The Lord has always wanted to be your shepherd, but when you reject Him, He'll give you want you want (pastor/priest). Nothing is new under the sun:

1 Samuel 8

1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead [a] us, such as all the other nations have."
6 But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."

Jesus isn't enough for people today, they want Jesus AND an idolatrous pastoral system so they can feed their flesh with what their eyes can see and what their ears can hear. A God with a still small voice just does'nt cut it for them.

A Still Small Voice
And he [the Lord] said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind and earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
-- I Kings 19: 11-12 (KJV)

Sound the Alarm

Monday, January 23, 2006

We Worship Him for a Reason

There are some pretty fantastic reasons to worship the Creator of the universe.

1 Corinthians 2
9However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

Psalm 16:11You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Wow, that sounds pretty good, but that's not all:

Revelation 3:21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Now this one is a real eye popper for me. To be given the right to sit on the throne with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is just a little too spectacular for me to wrap my mind around.

John 17:22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:

Romans 2:7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

Romans 2:10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Romans 8:17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 9:23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—

With all that's going on in this world I think it's important to remind ourselves of just how incredibly AWESOME it's going to be when we are united with our Lord once again. There is a flip side to all of this of course. There is a place so bad that it almost defies explanation, where many many people will end up it appears and we DO NOT want to go there. So we have the "pulling" force exerted by the wonderful promises made to us of heaven, and we have the "pushing" force exerted by the horrors of hell. All of this should help us to stay focused on the prize and work toward in with renewed conviction each and every day. Peace~brother D

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Straining Towards the Finish Line

Many of us believe that we are living in the last days. Not only are we living in the last days, I think we are in the last part of the last days when time is very, very short. Paul describes our Christian experience as a race when he says:

1 Corinthians 9
24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Visualizing our life as Christians like running a race has been helpful to me. Anyone who has run for distance knows that it takes mental focus to finish. It takes something deep down in the gut to press a body that wants to stop across the finish line. It takes endurance and the will to win in order to finish a long race. A person REALLY has to want it. These same things can be said of our Christianity. As we turn the last corner and we head toward the finish line, our committment to the Lord will be tested like never before. In order to finish this race, we will have to REALLY want it, we will have to be totally committed. Thinking along these lines has helped me to understand this better:

Matthew 25
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The bottom line for the foolish virgins was they were not prepared and they ran out of oil. In the same way a foolish runner does not prepare for the long race but instead shows up to start the race but cannot finish it, just like the foolish virgins showed up to meet the bridegroom but ran out of oil. We have to throw away all the feel good that the world's religious leaders have throw at the masses and get a serious reality check if we expect to make it into the kingdom of heaven. As I posted earlier, most people are not going to make it into heaven, a few will make it in. Matthew 7:13[ The Narrow and Wide Gates ] "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

If only a few will make it into heaven, what kind of lives should we be living? What kind of purity should the Lord see in our hearts? If a person views life from the perspective that only a few will be saved they will think radically different than someone who believes that most/many people will be saved. We've been fed the lie that we just have to trust this world's religious leaders to feed us and everything will be okay. Nothing could be farther from the truth and the time to wake up to the truth is not the moment you are standing before the Lord to answer for your life....

As we strain toward the finish line we have to run with the prize of winning and the penalty of losing in the forefront of our minds. We have to renew our committment, renew our minds, remove every snare that has impeded or stopped our progress toward the finish line. We live in trying days but when the Lord looks down on your heart and sees that you are REALLY committed, that you really want to do things His way but you need help, then He will help. Those that are not totally committed are like the foolish virgins, they showed up to meet the Lord but had no oil when it counted and ended up paying the ultimate price: the loss of their souls. It does'nt get any more serious than this, time is so short but there's still time to get things right, don't let the clock run out on you~brother Dave

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Sobering Message

Matthew 7

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

This appears to say in no uncertain terms that most people will not be saved. Only a FEW people will find their way through the narrow gate that leads to life. This is indeed a very sobering message that is in stark contrast to the message we hear from churchianity today. This is a very unpopular message, sure to clear the pews of the mega churches of today which is why I suppose it is not preached.

Luke 13

22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"
He said to them, 24"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'
26"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.'
27"But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'
28"There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."

Matthew 7:22-24 (New International Version)22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

You know, atheists, satanists, followers of buddah, muhammed etc will not be the ones making this statement to the Lord. This kind of statement will come from people who called themselves "christians" and the Lord is going to tell them plainly 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

It's high time for men to stop following other men and start following the good shepherd who can actually lead them through the narrow gate. Your pastor or priest will not be able to answer for you on the day you stand before the Lord and the Lord won't be interested in hearing excuses.

If the hour is as late as I think it is we have to get things right in our life IMMEDIATELY. Time is really that short.

We must ensure that we are in a place where we can make our way through that narrow gate. Only a few are going to make it, Lord, help us to get it right before it's too late...

The Rapture-part 2

There's a big difference between the persecution, trials, and worldly tribulation that we must suffer as christians while we are in this world and God's wrath. We were certainly told that we would endure the former, but where does the Lord say that His church was appointed to suffer under His wrath? Nowhere. The time of the tribulation will be a time of the outpouring of the Lord's wrath unlike anything that has ever been seen in history or will ever be seen again, and yet there are those people who argue that the church is appointed to suffer under this wrath. Did the Lord leave Lot to suffer in Sodom when fire rained down from heaven? No. Did the Lord leave Noah to suffer the punishment of the flood in the ancient world? No. Will the Lord leave his church to suffer under such things as the vials of judgement that will be poured out on this world during the tribulation period? Based on the Lord's precedent decisions, it appears that the answer is no.

Why did the Lord mention that the days when He was coming back would be like the days of Noah? The way I read the good news, we should look at what happened in Noah's time and expect the same. Noah was taken into the shelter of the Ark while the world died around him under God's wrath, does the Bible not say we should expect the same thing in our time?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

If You Are Really Courageous

Ask the Lord to allow you to see the way He sees. Ask Him to take the scales off of your eyes and see the world the way it really is instead of how we have always perceived it. I say that you should only ask for this if you really want to know the truth, because it will turn everything you think you knew upside down and you have to be ready for this. We have been lied to so much in today's day and age that the truth has really become revolutionary. The truth today is the exception and not the norm. If you really want to know the truth about this world we live in He'll give it to you. The Lord has opened my eyes gradually over time to see the layers and layers of deception that have been woven like a spider's web all around us to create what we think is reality and truth but is really all a lie. Just about everything we've been told is a lie. This world is controlled by that ancient enemy, the leviathan- the devil and this world is setup accordingly. For this reason the Lord has told us in the bible not to love this world or anything in the world. If you are brave, ask the Lord to open your eyes. I pray that you are brave. Cheers

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Christians and Politics

Why should subjects of the kingdom of God be getting involved in the kingdom affairs of this world ie-politics? The prince of this world is satan and the governments of this world belong to him. There are all these people claiming to be christians who say that they want to "take back" governments for God, but is that what God told them to do or what some man decided to do?

John 18:36Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

Our kingdom is not of this world. The people of this world will fight their own fights and politik their own politics, those are not issues for us. Our duty rather is to:

Matthew 6:33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

The people of this world chase after and are interested in things of this world, we as aliens and strangers here, should be seeking the advancement of our Father's kingdom which is not of this world.

Christians and the War on Terror

I am quite perplexed at the cry for blood that has been expressed by many many self proclaimed christians these days. These people support a supposed christian president aka george dubbya whose idea of righteousness is to wipe out whole countries in the name of a christian crusade not unlike the crusades initiated by the catholics from 1095 to 1270 AD. What ever happened to:

2 Corinthians 10
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.

How God's Creation Differs From Man's

God created the church, which is a living organism. Man also creates churches, which are organizations. God's creation is the living breathing body of Christ, man's creation is lifeless tradition bound institution. Man and Satan (both created beings) have the need to centralize everything to maintain control of their kingdoms because they are finite, imperfect, limited beings. The Lord on the other hand can and does operate perfectly in a decentralized environment since His Spirit is all knowing, all present, and all powerful. Take a look at the religious systems that dot our landscape like a plague of locusts and notice that every "church" is organized like any other business or fortune 500 company on the planet. Those "churches" are led organized and staffed exactly like the world. If something looks like the world, acts like the world and smells like the world, chances are, it is the world. Just because people have christian jargon flowing from their mouths does'nt mean they are anything exept jargon users. If Jesus walked into any of the multi million dollar "mega churches" we see lining the roads today and told the "senior pastor" aka CEO of that church to sell everything and give it all to the poor, Jesus might not make it quick enough out the door before they tried to throw him over a cliff just like the religious people of his day tried to do. Times change, human nature does not. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. In todays world these mega pastors are powerful men according to the world's way of reckoning things. I have a strong feeling they are in for a big suprise on the day they meet their maker face to face......"Lord, Lord did'nt we do all these things in your name?" .........."I never knew you"

These things bring me sorrow not joy, but as servants of the Most High we are called to speak the truth regardless of how unpopular the message is.

The Rapture

As I've looked at both sides of the issue of a pre-trib/post- trib rapture I have come to some conclusions based on what I see in the Word of God that have led me to believe that we will see a pretribulation rapture of the Church. What stands out first and foremost is the difference between two "days" in the Bible. There is an absolutely known day, the day of the second coming of Jesus. Revelation 12:6 indicates that the Jews will have to wait on the Lord 1,260 days, starting when the Antichrist stands in the Temple of God and declares himself to be God (2 Thes 2:4). This event will take place at the mid-point of the seven-year tribulation (Dan 9:27). This is an absolutely known day right? If we know when Jesus is coming back for his "second coming" then what is this "unknown day and hour" the Lord talks about in Matthew 25:13 and Luke 21:34 where He says:

13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.


"34"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

If the Lord has shown us clearly how to calculate to the day when He's coming back in Rev 12:6, then what is this "other day" that the Lord tells us to watch for and be ready for because it's coming unexpectedly? In my mind it's clear that this "unexpected day" is the day of the pretribulation rapture of the Church. With the evidence in the bible for two explicitly different days, I still cannot understand how people can lump them both together.

Some people call the pretrib rapture a "secret" rapture. The only "secret" about this rapture is that the timing of it is so secret that not even the angels or the Son of God knows the timing of it, only the Father knows the day (Matt 24:36). As for the event itself there will be nothing "secret" about it, millions of people disappearing off the face of the earth without explanation (apart from the Bible) will be the most dramatic thing this world has seen.

Additional clues to the timing of it come from Matt24:36

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

It says that the timing will be like the days of Noah in the respect that up until the day Noah entered the ark, life was taking place on the earth in a "business as usual" manner. The Word says:

Matt24:38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark

What this says to me is that life was carrying on as it always had, business as usual up until the day that Noah entered the ark. And what was the ark that Noah entered? Was'nt it a place of safety that the Lord brought Noah into in order to escape the judgement decreed for the rest of the World? In stark contrast to the business as usual snapshot we have of the world right before the pretrib rapture, the time of the tribulation (especially the last 3.5 years) will be anything but business as usual. It will be a time of suffering, chaos and turmoil unlike anything the World has ever seen. If the rapture was post trib, would the Lord talk about this day of the rapture in terms like this: Matt24:38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark, or, would He use the more graphic details that are more indicitive of the tribulation to describe to us what the days would be like leading up to the rapture?

On all accounts it appears that in the days leading up to this "unknown" day and hour, things on this earth are going on as they always have, in a business as usual manner....not as they will be during the tribulation.

Another post tribulation position seems to be that they insist on suffering through the tribulation and advocates of a pretribulation rapture cannot hope to "escape" the horrors of the tribulation. I think a position like this does not defy the pretrib advocates as much as it does the Lord himself. Luke 21:34 tells us to "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." The Lord clearly tells us to make every effort to ESCAPE all that is about to happen. In Rev 3:10 it also tells us

10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

In my eyes it does'nt get any clearer than this: There is an hour of trial that we are going to be "kept from" that is going to test those who live on the earth.

If the Lord tells us to pray that we may be able to escape all that is about to happen on this earth (referring to the terrible things that will happen in the days of the tribulation) and that we will be kept from these things, does'nt this mean we are out of here before the tribulation takes place? There's much more to be said on this topic but I'm typed out for now, Cheers all~brother Dave

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The tithe is no more applicable to the church today than animal sacrifice or any other part of the old testament, old covenant law.

The Bible tells us specifically who the tithe was for, and why they should receive it.

Numbers 18
20 The LORD said to Aaron, "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.
21 "I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting. 22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the Tent of Meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. 23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and bear the responsibility for offenses against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. 24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.' "

#1-The tithes were specifically for the Levites
#2-The reason for receiving those tithes was because 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.' The tithes in Israel were given as their inheritance

How many preachers today can claim that #1 They are Levites, and #2 They deserve the tithe because 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites?' and the tithes in Israel are their inheritance?

Someone emailed me recently and argued that tithing is a timeless principle just like the commands not to commit adultery or to murder. But.... is tithing really a timeless principle? Let's see:

I can find the command not to murder in both the old and new testament:

Exodus 20:13You shall not murder.
Matthew 19: 17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
18"Which ones?" the man inquired.
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,'[d] and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'[e]"

Okay, so don't murder is a timeless principle: agreed

I can find the command not to commit adultery in both the old and new testament:

Exodus 20:14"You shall not commit adultery.
Matthew 19: 17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." 18"Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,'[d] and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'[e]"

Okay, so don't commit adultery is a timeless principle: agreed

But I cannot find the command to tithe in both the old and new testament............

I find the word tithe all over the place in the old testament and NOWHERE in the new testament!! NOWHERE!!!

So, tithing is not a timeless principle. Based upon the very logic a tithing proponent tried to use to prove tithing was valid today, they actually proved it was not.

The New Testament does say:

1 Corinthians 9:14In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

The people who use the above scripture to justify recieving a "tithe" ignore everything written in the old testament that tells us specifically what the tithe was for. Paul had plenty of opportunity to tell us to pay a tithe to preachers of the gospel, BUT HE DID NOT.........

receiving a living from the gospel is NOT the same thing as paying the tithe.

Many if not most preachers demanding a tithe today probably are'nt even believers:

2 Corinthians 2:16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

These men are the hired hands Jesus talks about:
John 10:12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
John 10:13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

If you disagree, then please explain to me who the hired hands are?

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul speaks at length about how preachers of the gospel have a right to receive material assistance for preaching the gospel, and preachers jump all over this. I find it very curious however how I NEVER hear preached the parts of the scripture in the midst of the same part of the bible where Paul says "But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ."

Who do you hear preaching this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^?????? Nobody........

What does the above scripture say? It says in effect that the gospel of Christ CAN BE HINDERED BY TAKING THE MATERIAL HARVEST FROM THE SHEEP.

In the face of overwhelming greed and corruption in organizational churchianity today, preachers don't seem to mind hindering the gospel message, as long as they receive their material harvest-they have a right to it, I agree they do have a right to material gain (but NOT a "tithe"), but Paul would'nt touch the sheep's money for fear of hindering the gospel message.............

Matthew 7:21-23
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

I am not disputing that preachers of the gospel should receive their living from the gospel, the bible clearly says that they have a right to it. What I am disputing is this idea that the tithe should be paid. The bible does'nt get any clearer when it explains what the tithe was for, yet preachers still demand to receive it in error. They follow the traditions of men and ignore the clear teaching of the word of God.

Preachers can demand to receive material assistance based on 1 Cor 9:14, but not based on the tithe, unless the are an Israelite, and a levitical priest serving in a temple that no longer exists under a law that was completely fulfilled long ago in Christ.

The unfortunate flaw in the tithing system is its failure to consider the full ramifications of the cross. The Gospels tell us that when Jesus died on the cross, the Temple curtain before the Most Holy Place was torn in two "from top to bottom" (NIV). Hebrews 8 through 10 spells out the theological meaning of this remarkable event. At that moment, the sacrificial system was fulfilled. Jesus' death brought the old covenant to completion and initiated a new covenant, sealed in his holy blood. The religious institution, complete with its Temple, its priesthood, and its sacrifices, was replaced with the organic reality of Christ's body. With his subsequent resurrection and giving of the Holy Spirit, the process was complete.
Now Jesus is the only mediator. No Temple curtain, no institution, no priesthood, no pastor stands between God and man. Christ's body, the church, is now a nation of kings and priests (Rev. 1:6), "a royal priesthood" (1 Pet. 2:9, NIV). Nowhere in the New Testament can we find the idea that our churches are filled with "lay people" who are to financially support "the clergy" or "priesthood" or “pastors” and the buildings of mortar and stone we call "houses of God." As Stephen put it before the Sanhedrin, "the Most High does not live in houses made by men" (Acts 7:48, NIV).
While acknowledging this fundamental change between the covenants, some argue that the law of the tithe is not grounded in Mosaic Law but in a more enduring divine principle. The practice is traced back prior to Moses, all the way back to Abraham, who gave a tithe to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20; Heb. 7:1-10). This argument not only de-emphasizes the cross as the fulcrum of the new covenant; it also fails to note that Abraham gave his tithe to Melchizedek the priest (Gen. 14:8; Heb. 7:1). The tithe is part and parcel of this sacramental religious system, and as such has no place in the life of the new covenant. Nowhere does the New Testament teach that Christians are to tithe.

How can I "go to Church"?

When I "am" the church? The Bible says that the body of Christ is the church, and we are that body. In other words, we cannot "go to church" because we believers who are in Christ, we are the church. The church is not a building, nor is it a geographical location to be "attended". Wherever true believers are together, whether at a lunch table, or a movie theater, there the church is. Think about it, if I say that I "go" to church on Sunday, then that means I am "away" from the church for the rest of the week. This sinister idea has been perpetuated for generations now. We are the church, we don't go there. When we are with other true believers, the church is assembled. When we are alone, the church is dispersed, but we are the church whether we are alone or assembled. This is why the bible says do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together. This is a fundamental problem, and it is not trivial. There are many subtle, nefarious implications in the statement “I go to church”. To say this implies that a person is either “at church” or “away from church” either statement is incorrect, the bible says WE ARE THE CHURCH. This statement and similar statements like “which church do you attend” are an invisible iron shackle to make people feel that they are not part of the church unless they are “in attendance” -this is serious error. If churchianity can get people to believe that they are either "at" church, or "away" from church, then they can get the herded masses of human cattle to come back weekly to be "serviced" at the 9am, or 11 am , or noon etc sunday "service". If we are in Christ 24/7, then we are in his body 24/7 and we are therefore the church ALL THE TIME-24 hours a day/7 days a week. Some devious mind has perpetuated this subtle lie to shackle mankind to institutions where their pocketbooks can be fleeced with a “tithe”, their minds can be poisoned with false gospels while they are led to false christs by a religious system that causes idol worship of men, buildings, and religious systems. This is the work of the enemy.

“starting churches”? Everything and anything that man does has a definite beginning and a definite end. If a man “starts” a church, or “builds” a church, then that church will “end” because a man started/built it. Christ is eternal, therefore his body, which is the church is eternal, it has no beginning and no end. Will the true Christ’s church have an end? The answer is NO, so we must be talking about TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHURCH, and only one is THE church, man does'nt build Christ's church, He does…………..

While Jesus walked the face of this earth, he only had scathing words for one group of people-RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. That’s right, he said ‘you brood of vipers’ It should be no small wonder that today’s true believers should be just like Jesus. Do we really think that today’s society and religious systems are any better then they were when Jesus walked the earth? It’s the same now as it was then, only difference now is there are more numbers of ‘religious’ people

What need does a Christian have of books written by men to guide them in their Christian walk? None. It’s as if the bible was’nt good enough that believers need the bible AND the purpose driven life to really get their lives in order. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

Does a Christian need Jesus and the religious institutions of this world to live the life He wants us to live?? Call these institutions whatever you want, non-denominational, evangelical, whatever.

How many believers have to be together for the church to be ‘assembled’-TWO, ME PLUS YOU AND THE CHURCH IS ASSEMBLED. Can two or more believers not fellowship, encourage each other and do everything else that the Lord intended believers to do without having ‘belonging’ to some institution that looks acts and talks like the world?

The Church by any other name is not the church

Who gave anyone the authority to call a group of believers by any name other than the name that has already been given to the church? No man has been given authority to label any group of believers by any name, have they? Those true believers in the Jesus Christ of the bible are one body, one church. The moment any person names a group of people by any name, if they come up with a statement of faith etc, they have separated themselves from the one true body of Christ which is the church. Our ‘statement of faith’ is everything written in the bible, that's it. No man or woman has been given the biblical authority to call any group of believers anything but ‘the church’ or ‘the body of Christ’ because that’s what the bible says true believers are. Anyone calling themselves a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Mormon, Calvinist, church of God, faith tabernacle, abc bible church etc etc etc is part of something different apart from the one true church, THE CHURCH, which is the body of Christ.

Jesus Greater Than Moses 1Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God's house. 3Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

Building monuments and empires for the glorification of man (idolatry)- Who ever told any man to build a building for the church to assemble in? if a group of believers feels that they must have a building to meet in, fine, there is no instruction against this however, what happens the moment “bills” start rolling in to sustain this building? Now somebody needs money and lots of it. Money is not evil, but the pursuit of money is the root of all kinds of evil. What start happening, men pervert the gospel in all kinds of different ways to keep believers under guilt, under the law, and generally under pressure to give.

Church "services"

holding a "service", ie the 9am "service" the noon "service" “worship service” etc

Let's start with a definition of "service" from Dictionary.com on the web:

11 entries found for service.
tr.v. ser·viced, ser·vic·ing, ser·vic·es To make fit for use; adjust, repair, or maintain: service a car. To provide services to. To make interest payments on (a debt). To copulate with (a female animal). Used of a male animal, especially studs. adj. Of or relating to the armed forces of a country. Intended for use in supplying or serving: a service elevator; the service entrance. Offering repairs or maintenance: a service guarantee; a road service area. Offering services to the public in response to need or demand: a service industry. Idioms: at (someone's) service Ready to help or be of use. be of service To be ready to help or be useful. [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin servitium, slavery, from servus, slave.]
Do you see anything in the definition of "service" that should have anything to do with meeting together with our brothers and sisters in Jesus? Do we "service" Jesus like we take our car in for an oil change? Where did this idea of a "sunday service" or “worship service” come from? Now this makes perfect sense if the idea is for the people to show up to some building, and they get "serviced" by some guy standing up above them, pontificates unaccountably for an hour or so, fleeces them for their money, then sends them on their merry way for another week, until they need to be "serviced" again. See, instead of having an ongoing 24/7 relationship with Jesus, churchianity has the wonderful idea of a "services" for the herd to drive in, be "serviced" like a car at jiffy lube, then be sent on their way a little lighter in the wallet till next week without obtaining anything spiritually meaningful. Would anyone call a meeting with their human father a “service”? What a complete adulteration. Give that one some thought.



1 Timothy 6:5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

Acts 13
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
1In the church at Antioch there were prophets(prophetes) and teachers(didaskalos) (What? No pastors? Did the Holy Spirit make a mistake here?): Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Where are the pastors here? hmm-they are not there! Where are the pastors mentioned when Paul was describing what we should see in the church?

1 Corinthians 12

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
Where are the pastors here? hmm-they are not there….

The book of Timothy talks about those who should be over us in the Lord, and its interesting to note the structure of the beginning of the book of Timothy. It starts by warning us about false teachers, then it talks about worship, overseers and deacons (no pastors…) then it talks about spiritual deception. It’s no accident that the text about overseers and deacons is sandwiched by false teachers and spiritual deception in the book of Timothy. I see Paul giving instructions about “overseers and deacons”, but no pastors…….hmm.
Have todays “pastors” taken on their mantle based on God’s word, or man’s tradition?
Although I see no mention of pastors in the book of Timothy, I do see this:
3If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain
Jesus said that Christian leadership was upside down from worldly leadership, (leader is the servant) so why is it that every “church” I’ve seen looks organizationally EXACT like every other worldly institution made by man? Today’s pastors look talk and act an awful lot like the priests of the Babylon, the roman catholic church and like executives in the corporate world, but certainly not like Jesus. In fact, it’s interesting to inquire, where did Protestantism get its ideas of how and what “the church” acted like and looked like. (hint: all protestantism is the daughter of the roman church, Protestantism “came out of/was birthed by catholicism)
if we see no mention of 'pastors' anywhere in the bible except that one single reference in Ephesians, then why are all the 'churches' in the world around us full of ‘pastors' ?
Ephesians 4:11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

That’s it, that’s all it says.

If you tell me that another way to describe a pastor based on the Greek or Hebrew is shepherd or undershepherd then I will say this. Let’s picture a literal flock of sheep. We know there is only one shepherd of the flock, and the flock. There is one flock and one shepherd that’s it. Where would the “undersheperd” fit in? Perhaps they fit in this way: how about the dogs that the shepherds train to keep the sheep from straying away. The sheep are not focused on the dog unless they are wandering away then the dogs run over and guide them back in. Perhaps my reasoning isn’t correct, but even so, we know for a fact that the flock does not follow a pastor, they follow the shepherd period, end of story, that shepherd is Christ Jesus alone. The bible talks about overseers deacons and elders……….but what about pastors?

I’ve heard it said that ‘pastors’ are there to prepare the flock for works of service or good works. But who says so? What do the overseers and deacons and elders do according to the bible? (and please don’t quote what other men and their traditions have to say about this) The bible does’nt say that a ‘pastor’ does anything, so be careful when defining what a pastor does/is.

It seems that modern day churchianity has substituted ‘pastors’ for the place that elders deacons and overseers have in the church, but they have exceeded the boundaries of even this. Consider this:

1 Peter 5To Elders and Young Men 1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (so who are supposed to also be shepherds of God’s flock? Elder are, not Pastors, right?) According to the bible, what is a pastor? It does’nt say..does it?

In most of the so called “churches" I have seen, the 'pastor' was almost like a rock star, inaccessible except to the 'special' few who had backstage passes to access more than 3 minutes of his time.
7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.' 8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
I find it interesting that churchianity has taken the most enigmatic and least mentioned position in the church (pastor), mentioned one time in the bible and never mentioned when Paul or Timothy was describing what was in particular churches when they were alive, then taken it and blown it up into this perversion (the pastoral system)that we see being perpetrated today.
John 10
11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
Every pastor I’ve ever met has been a “hired hand”, they are getting “paid”…. they have been “hired” by the so called “churches” dotting our landscape…hired hands to a tee……………..
My guess is that whatever a pastor is….it isn’t what is in the world right now, and ……they don’t get paid, do we “pay” family for being a family member? No. We feed and clothe our family but family members are not salaried. It’s just sick.
Mark 7 7They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." 9And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
Acts 20:25"Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.[1] Be shepherds of the church of God,[2] which he bought with his own blood. 29I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. 32"Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

Here we see that Paul warned the church for 3 years day and night about the savage wolves that would come in and savage the flock as well as members of the very same group he was talking to who would rise up and distort the truth to draw away disciples to themselves................hmmmm sounds awfully familiar........... and what's this??? Paul worked for his own living and gave to the poor out of what he himself earned, not taking from the flock to do it so nothing would hinder the gospel message????? Where can we find this example today?
1 timothy 4:15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
2 Timothy 41In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

1 JOHN 2:26I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.

This Information on Disinformation is from the author of the cuttingedge website:

Disinformation Agent- I learned all about this type of agent when I served in U.S. Army Intelligence for nearly 4 years, working for 2 1/2 years at a Pentagon-level facility in Okinawa. This type of agent is placed in the field many years before he will be called to active service. During these preparatory years, this agent will be careful to not look like the enemy who sent him, nor portray any of those values. If his target is America, he will act the part of the normal American husband, father, and provider. He will be patriotic and attend the football. basketball, and baseball games in which his children are a part.
Once he has built up a reputation as a solid American citizen, he will be able to pass the most vigorous background check the FBI can conduct! This agent is carefully maneuvered into his target area over a period of years, passing through the most vigorous background check imaginable. Once in his targeted position, the Disinformation Agent will provide at least 90% good, solid information; a highly placed disinformation specialist will provide 98% good information.
He will provide wrong information only at the most critical moment -- in the midst of a battle when the outcome is in doubt. The wrong information he provides is designed to turn the course of the battle raging at that particular time. Some agents have worked for over 20 years just to get into position where they could carry out 20 minutes of disinformation.
If he is ever discovered, many people will refuse to believe that he is a turncoat, for they will point to the many years of his service, during which time he faithfully provided absolutely right information. Such doubters will never understand that this is THE definition of a Disinformation Agent.

This is how satan’s ministers have taken control of this entire Babylonian religious system in the world today.

Churchianity and the pastoral system:

The simple answer for why ‘churchianity’ and the this pastoral system we see is wrong is this: idolatry.

Men have setup a pastoral system that can in no way be justified by scripture. They have also setup an institutional system of religion that works hand in hand with the unscriptural pastoral system. These two things put together (the religious system plus the pastoral system) form an entity that is idolatrous. People who are a part of this system, may even love Jesus, but they also idolize their buildings, their denomination, their pastor, in short, they idolize their religion. This is a problem since the Lord tells us not to have any idols before him. For people who are part of this idol system of religion, Jesus is not enough. They need the Bible AND the purpose driven life. They want Jesus AND a religious system with buildings and men that they can see hear and touch to follow. Jesus alone is just not enough for them. It matters little that the people who make up the idol religious system don’t ‘intend’ to be idols, the fact is, they are. When you talk to a person and they tell you all about how wonderful their ‘pastor’ is and how great their denomination is, and how pretty their ‘church’ is etc etc, but they don’t talk a whole lot about Jesus, should’nt that make you wonder?……When Jesus went into the temple and overturned the money changers tables and said “my house is to be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of robbers” it was of course a very profound statement. What is the house of God?……we are. So we are to be houses of prayer. Would anyone deny that the house of God is not some building, but we are the temples of the holy spirit? When pastors and preachers tell a person that if they don’t ‘attend’ the building on Sundays and Wednesdays and listen to a ‘pastor’ speak every week that they won’t go to heaven, isn’t that idolatry? Let’s reason together here: Jesus said that belief in Him was the only way to get to heaven. Pastors of the idol religious system tell people that (in short) “ if you aren’t a part of our system you aren’t going to heaven” Wait a minute, I though Jesus was all I needed to get into heaven, but you are telling me I need this religious ‘package’ of yours to get into heaven, so are you saying that your system=Jesus for the purposes of me getting into heaven? Friend, if this isn’t idolatry I don’t know what is. There are those who try to justify the idolatrous religious system by saying, but how can you fellowship? How can you learn about God? how can you worship?

Who said they would build the church? (Jesus said he’d do it)

Can I fellowship with other believers without some building on the corner? (Yes)

Who said they would teach us? Jesus/Holy Spirit/Father did

Can I worship Jesus without a choir? Ummm, you can answer this one.

How many other believers does it take to fellowship? (…..2)

Do I need the current idolatrous religious system to love Jesus and be in good standing with Him? No

Here’s some more great reading from a different source, so now you’ve heard it from someone else too, cheers:


Is The One Pastor System Scriptural?
by Mark Frees
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- I shall add some personal observations along the way in this font color and style. ]

In the summer of 1990, while pastoring a denominational church in rural Mississippi, 1 felt led to teach a Bible study series on the New Testament pattern for the church and its leadership. We were not very far into this study before I began to seriously question the scripturalness of many of our church practices and traditions. Most troublesome was the question of whether or not my own position as the Pastor of a local church was a scriptural one.
I had always assumed that the one-Pastor system, being the pattern followed in the overwhelming majority of churches today, was founded upon Scripture. But as I began to earnestly study the Scriptures on the issue of church leadership, one disturbing question kept intruding itself- a question I present here for the sober consideration of the reader. Where in Scripture is there warrant for one man to be the spiritual leader and authority over the local church?
Never mind that this is the pattern unquestioningly followed throughout Christendom today. Where is it in Scripture? As I searched the length and breadth of the New Testament, it became obvious to me that such a pattern was nowhere to be found. Rather, I found that the primary role in shepherding the New Testament churches was exercised, not by a solitary Pastor, but by a plurality of men, described as "elders" or overseersAnd when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. (Acts 14:23)
From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.... He said unto them...Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:17-28)Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: (Phil. 1:1)
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)
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (James 5:14)
The quotation above from Acts 20 makes it clear that the "elders" and "overseers" are the same persons, and that it is they who are given responsibility to shepherd, or pastor the church of God. ("Shepherd" is the literal meaning of the word "pastor.") So while others besides elders may exercise a pastoral gift- Bible teachers, for instance, there is no hint in Scripture of anyone claiming to be "the Pastor" of a local church and assuming a position of oversight apart from and superior to the work of the elders. We read nothing of a "Senior Pastor," or "Presiding Elder." Such titles, in fact come perilously close to blasphemy, since Christ Himself is spoken of as "the Chief Shepherd" (1 Peter 5:4).
The apostle Peter confirms that the terms "elders" and "overseers" refer to the same persons, and that their work is that of pastoring the flock:The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (1 Peter 5:1-2)
So when we read in Ephesians 4:11, that God has given "some as pastors" (literally, "shepherds"), can we not assume that this refers primarily to these elders, or overseers, and not to a one-man office about which the rest of the New Testament is completely silent? Nor is all this mere wrangling over terminology.
The point to be fixed clearly in the mind from the above scriptures is that, in the New Testament, churches were never shepherded by one man, whatever his title or designation, but by a plurality of men. Further, the clear impression given by these scriptures is that elders were generally raised up by God from within the local church, not hired and imported from outside- and certainly not from the ranks of a professional "clergy".
This gives rise to another question.
Where in Scripture is there any such thing as a servant of the Lord contracting to receive a stated salary from a church? The New Testament clearly sets forth the principle that those who preach the gospel are entitled to "live from the gospel" (Matt. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 9:14; 1 Tim. 5:17-18), but there is never any indication that this involves a stated salary, but rather, free will gifts:
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.(Gal. 6:6)
Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. (Phil. 4:15-16)Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them. And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.(Titus 3:13-14)
The only case in Scripture of a "minister" receiving a fixed salary occurs in Judges 17- a situation filled with compromise and idolatry!
But did not Jesus say, "The laborer is worthy of his hire" (Luke 10:7)? True, but the briefest glance at the immediate context, where these laborers are instructed to carry neither purse nor scrip, and to "eat and drink such things as are set before you", shows that a fixed salary was the last thing our Lord had in view. Yes, the Lord's laborer is worthy of his hire, but who is it that "hires" him? In whose employ is he-- the church's or the Lord's? Surely the Lord's, but the system of a salaried pastorate implies otherwise. I cannot help but believe that the present-day "Pastor search" process, complete with resumes, salary negotiations, trial sermons, and the like, is a grievous offence to the Spirit of God. Again our urgent question must be: where is all this in Scripture?
Where also is the notion that the public ministry of the Word is to be confined to one man in a local church, and that it is contingent upon him being "ordained" by some human authority? On the contrary, we read
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. (1 Cor 14:29-31)
Regardless of one's view concerning the nature of the gift of prophecy and its validity for today, it is abundantly clear that the practice of one man monopolizing the public ministry of the Word was utterly foreign to the New Testament churches.
Sad consequences
So when confronted with the plain teaching of Scripture, I could not escape the conclusion that the oversight of the local church is to be exercised by mature brethren raised up by the Holy Spirit from within the church, and that public ministry of the Word is open to any brother who has been divinely gifted for it.
In contrast, most churches today entrust the spiritual leadership of the congregation, and the vast majority of the public ministry, to a solitary Pastor, who is chosen from among the professional "clergy," imported from outside the church and promised a fixed salary for his services. Can the reader, with his New Testament open before him, deny that this is a drastic departure from the scriptural pattern? Indeed it is, and it has had predictably severe consequences on the spiritual life of churches. The following are only some of the problems that are created or aggravated by this unscriptural one-Pastor system
The One-Pastor System of church life:
(1) Perpetuates the deplorable distinction between "clergy" and "laity." No more pernicious device of the devil has ever been deployed than this utterly unscriptural distinction. Pastors today grieve about being unable to involve the "laity." without ever considering that it is the very system of dividing Christians into two classes that is to blame.
The answer is not to "involve" the laity, but to abolish it! Away with the idea that Christian work is the province of a special few!
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- I must add here that our Lord hates this mongrel doctrine. Here is His comment on it:
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Jesus Christ HATES Nicolaitanism. Is must then be very serious. What is this Satanic invention?
NicolaitanNico LaityAbove the Laity
Nicolaitanism is the self-exalting of men within the Lord's Church to take authority of common men. This is precisely what the old Mother Whore Catholic Church did. Luther and Calvin perpetuated it. And, while the Puritans and Anabaptists resisted it to a large degree, intellectualism and modernism have prevailed to bring this disease back into the Fundamental church movement. It is assumed to be normal, yet Christ still HATES it. Do you? Or are you perpetuating it? ]
(2) Causes believers to neglect their own responsibility for witnessing to the lost, to neglect encouraging the brethren, in-depth Bible study, visiting the sick, etc., out of a conscious or subconscious assumption that these are "the Pastor's Jobs." Often the only one visibly working for Christ in the community is the Pastor, whose witness is impaired by the fact that he is perceived as paid to do so.
And, how rare is serious Bible study outside of the Pastor's study! There is a widespread delusion that only the "ordained" Pastor is qualified to mine the riches of God's Word, and that only he is responsible for using the Word to encourage the brethren and warn the lost. As a result, men who have been believers in Christ for thirty or forty years, and "by this time ought to be teachers," are still being spoon-fed themselves. (Heb. 5:12)
In our churches today this is not the unfortunate exception. It is the norm. Of all the damage wreaked by the unscriptural system of handing over the ministry of the church to a single professional (or in larger churches, a staff of professionals), this debilitating effect on the men of the congregation is perhaps the most tragic.
(3) Leaves little or no room for the exercise of spiritual gifts, other than the Pastor's, in the gatherings of the church.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- The modern tongues movement, with the chaos of "holy laughter" and other raucous behavior, is a demonstration of the "laity" of their lust to climb up into the spotlight. There would be far less interest in these vile manifestations if all the saints in the local church stood on level ground as God intended.]
(4) Leads to churches being built in the flesh, as programs, promotion, and the Pastor's personality must replace the spiritual gifts of the body.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- This includes Evangelists who are star attractions and have alleged power to build churches and "get souls saved." It also includes "keynote speakers" at conferences who are famous and have men's persons in admiration. I have sat in groups of pastors when conferences were planned, and much deliberation went into figuring how much it would cost to get various famous Amos speakers to "draw" the best attendance. ]
(5) Produces widespread discouragement among Pastors, who are trying earnestly to fill an unscriptural role.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- And the "laity" will not raise a hand to help the average pastor carry the load. If he fails, an election is called, and he is run off and condemned. The "laity" will actually talk of getting their money's worth out of a pastor. He is most often faulted for not visiting the homes of the heavy givers enough. Imagine how utterly silly this would be is a plurality of elders were the only leadership of the local church, AND if they were not hired and called from some far off seminary. ]
(6) Denies Pastors the fellowship in the ministry they so desperately need. Usually the difference in spiritual vision and ministry responsibility between the Pastor and the congregation is so wide that his only meaningful fellowship is with other Pastors, who are not fellow-laborers in the same field, but have their own fields to worry about.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- Many pastors have no personal friends in their congregation. This is because they fall into the Jackboot mentality and come to see their congregation as dumb sheep who need regular floggings. If have heard Fundamental Baptist pastors talk this way many times at Pastor's conferences.
I also note the disgraceful way in which deacons and men in local churches fawn over pastors when these Nicolaitan pastors are gathered in large conferences. The ladies serving the dinner will fall all over themselves and chatter as they serve in self-effacing ways, while men of the local church are patently held in low places by the vocabulary used. Indeed, some men, like Jack Hyles and many Fundamental Baptist leaders, will go to great ends to exalt pastors above the "laity." ]
(7) Tends to negate the presidency of the Holy Spirit in the church. Though the Pastor may earnestly seek the mind of the Spirit, his perception is clouded by his own personality, desires, etc. How much better, when formulating plans or making a decision, for the elders as a group, along with other spiritual men, to come before the Lord in prayer until the Holy Spirit speaks and brings them to a consensus, as in Acts 13:1-3.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- Virtually thousands of Fundamental Pastors do NOT trust the Holy Spirit to lead the other men around them in the local church. One pastor in Dayton, Ohio arrogantly told me his deacons were nothing but janitors and that he did not ever ask them their opinion. What blasphemy of the Holy Ghost! ]
(8) Since one man is given responsibility for the entire ministry of the church, and since no one man has all the gifts, Pastors are forced to spend much of their time doing ministry they are not supernaturally gifted to do, or else that ministry goes undone.
(9) Creates a situation where one person, the Pastor, can turn a doctrinally sound church into a heretical church overnight. Having multiple elders, while not providing absolute immunity from doctrinal error, is a powerful check against heretical teaching.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- Over the history of many local churches, the church will take violent swings back and forth on various doctrines. It is the experience of many pastors to teach expository Bible messages, feed the flock of God, and see them mature in many doctrines. Then, after this pastor leaves, some hireling is "called" by blasphemous "Democracy," and the man trashes everything the former pastor taught in short order. The former pastor is broken hearted and feels he wasted his whole tenure in that church. This was my experience in a local church I pastored in California. That church quickly went into the ditch and is not thoroughly ecumenized. This might not have been the case if I had understood the lesson being taught here. ]
(10) Leads to a paralyzing shortage of national Christian workers in many mission areas, because of the assumption that these workers must be professionally trained and imported from outside the church. Where is the confidence that the Lord has already supplied the body with the leadership gifts needed?
(11) Puts undue pressure on the Pastor's wife and children, as they are forced to live in a "fishbowl" environment as "the preacher's" family.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- This is why many pastors leave "the ministry" and go sell insurance. They grow weary of being examined in ways other saints are never examined. The "laity" feel justified in scrutinizing their pastor and his family because they were selected from afar and are expected to embody all the Christian virtues in abundance. The "money's worth" factor comes up again in this one. ]
These are but a sampling of the consequences that I believe can be laid squarely at the feet of unscriptural beliefs and practices concerning the ministry
Some Objections Answered
Objection 1: The proper role of a pastor is not to assume the entire ministry of the church, but to mobilize and equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Therefore, most of the problems you have listed are results, not of the single-Pastor system itself, but of the abuse of that system
Reply: Since the single-Pastor system is universally beset with these problems, the burden of proof lies on its defenders to prove that the system itself is not at fault, particularly since it is a system with no warrant in Scripture. The concept of a church led by a Pastor-equipper who mobilizes the saints to do the work of the ministry sounds attractive, but the experience of thousands of frustrated Pastors testifies that it simply does not work. There is simply too deeply ingrained a perception in the minds of the congregation that Christian work is for a special few.
The clergy-laity gap is the great demobilizer of the saints. Anyone trying to abolish that gap is doomed to failure while clinging to a system where one man, professionally trained and credentialed, is viewed as "the Minister." Incidentally, those who espouse the concept of the Pastor-equipper normally have a very limited notion of what the "work of the ministry" includes. For instance, even the Pastor who makes equipping the saints an emphasis of his ministry will normally call a fellow clergyman-- not someone from the congregation-- to fill the pulpit when he is away.
Objection 2: The approach you have suggested would produce incompetent church leadership at best, and doctrinal mayhem at worst.
Reply: This is a serious charge because it I implies that the Holy Spirit is incompetent in placing the proper leadership gifts within each church. Is it seminary or Bible college training that qualifies a man for leadership in the church, or is it the gifts of the Holy Spirit? We have often been guilty of giving lip service to the latter, while placing greater weight on the former.
Objection 3: The word "overseer" is singular in 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7 where the qualifications of the overseer are described. This suggests at least the possibility of "overseer" being a one-man work.
Reply: It is a most natural use of language to employ the singular when describing the qualifications of a position. For instance, I might say, "A United States Senator (or even, the United States Senator) must be a man of integrity. honor, etc." without in the least implying that there is only one United States Senator, or even one per state! To stress Paul's perfectly explicable use of the singular here, while ignoring the overwhelming evidence of the rest of the New Testament, would be a strange and twisted exegesis.
At any rate, a closer look at Titus 1:5-7 rules out the possibility that Paul was advocating a one-pastor system. How can the use of the singular "overseer" in verse 7 possibly imply that each local church is to have only one overseer, when two verses earlier Paul had introduced the subject by reminding Titus of his instructions to "appoint elders [plural] in every city"? To my mind, this is conclusive.
Objection 4: Were not the "Pastoral Epistles" addressed to single individuals?
Reply: This objection is based on the common misconception that Timothy and Titus were each "Pastors" of local churches. This is simply not true. To quote from the Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary:
"Though these letters do furnish worthwhile directions for pastors, the addressees were not Pastors in the usual present-day sense of that term. Rather, they were Paul's special envoys sent by him on specific missions and entrusted with concrete assignments according to the need of the hour."
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- And, when their tasks were finished, they chose elders, and either moved on to do it again, or they returned to Paul to receive other assignments. ]
Objection 5: What about the leadership role of James at Jerusalem (Acts 12:17). Epaphras at Colossae (Col. 4:12). And Epaphroditus at Philippi (Phil. 2:25)?
Reply: This objection, which I have heard used in defense of the one-Pastor system is a patent example of reading the Word of God through the distorting lens of tradition. James, the Lord's brother, was an apostle (Gal. 1:19). not a Pastor. Epaphras was an evangelist. The "fellow bond-servant" of Paul who brought the gospel to the Colossians (Col. 1:7). (Strange that if he were "Pastor" of the church at Colossae, he is never seen as present there, but always with Paul elsewhere!. (Col. 4:12; Philem. 23) Epaphroditus is simply described as one of Paul's fellow-workers who was sent by the Philippian church as a minister to his needs. All this is evidence for the one-Pastor system?
Objection 6: Do not the "angels" of the churches in Revelation 2-3 refer to Pastors (e.g. "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write...," etc.), and is there not one per church?
Reply: No person reading the New Testament, apart from preconceived notions, would ever imagine that the "angels" of Revelation 2-3 refer to Pastors. Although the Greek word "angelos" may be translated "messenger," in every other occurrence of the word in Revelation, and it occurs 76 times!, it unquestionably refers to literal angels. If it does mean "messenger" in Revelation 2-3, it still could hardly be stretched to mean "pastor."
In every case where the New Testament uses the phrase messenger of..." (e.g. "messenger of Satan," "messengers of John," etc.), it always describes by whom the messenger is sent, never to whom. In other words, "the messenger of the church in Ephesus" would not likely mean a messenger sent TO the church, but a messenger sent BY the church, perhaps as part of a delegation to minister to the apostle in his exile on Patmos and to receive instructions from him.
Objection 7: Perhaps the many New Testament references to multiple elders are due to the fact that, while each church had only one elder or overseer, each city had several different churches. For instance, when Paul writes to "the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons" (Phil. 1: 1), there may have been a number of congregations in Philippi, each with their own overseer, or Pastor.
Reply: This reasoning may seem to answer certain passages, but it utterly falls apart in view of others, such as Acts 14:23 ("So when they had appointed elders in every church...), James 5:14 ("Let him call for the elders of the church"), etc.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- I have heard this one, and it is the desperate claim of Nicolaitans who are in terror of falling from the seat of authority-- nothing else-- for it is 100% Mother Goose logic. Many a preacher boy will state this claim as if God had spoken it as absolute truth, but if you pin them down, they will quote their college or Bible Institute instructor, NOT the Bible. ]
Objection 8: Even if it can be proven that the New Testament churches had multiple elders, that would not necessarily be normative for the church today. After all, everyone agrees that believers in the Jerusalem church sold their goods and had all things in common, yet who suggests returning to that pattern today?
Reply: To say that the pattern of the New Testament church is not normative for us today is tantamount to saying that God has left us without any pattern at all. Distressing thought! Has God really left us at the mercy of human ingenuity in deciding how the ministry of His Church is to be ordered? Rather, let us say with the Psalmist, "I esteem right all Thy precepts concerning everything" (Ps. 119:128).
In regard to the selling of goods by believers in the Jerusalem church: (1) The passage in question, Acts 2:42-47, does not say that all those who believed sold all their possessions. This was not "Christian communism" as it is sometimes pictured. The use of the imperfect tense in verse 45 implies that from time to time, as necessary, they sold their goods to distribute to brethren in need. (2) I, for one, am not prepared to say that the example of these early Jerusalem saints is not the norm for believers today, particularly in light of the words of John's epistle:
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him. (1 John 3:17)
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- We can demonstrate the results of inventing our own methods of church government in the use of voting, church business meetings, and democracy. This mongrel method of decision making is from the feet of iron and clay. Democracy always ends in dictatorship, and it is used today, by Jackboot preachers, to manipulate the "laity" into postures which sustain the power of the Nicolaitan manipulator. To say "times have changed" is very correct, but they are not the times of the Holy Ghost-- they are the "Times of the Gentiles" of the image of Daniel which have poisoned the Lord's Church. ]
Objection 9: You cannot deny that God has through the years mightily blessed many Pastors and churches who have used the one-Pastor system, and continues to do so today.
Reply: No one would think of denying this. Yet the problems mentioned above cannot reasonably be denied either. And who would claim that the fruitfulness of the Church as a whole is anywhere near the divinely intended level? Besides, it is a mistake to think that because God graciously blesses someone operating under a certain set of beliefs or practices, that He thereby endorses those beliefs or practices.
God has, for instance, greatly used many preachers, teachers, and missionaries who have held to the teaching that Christians may lose their salvation. Yet few who are taught in the Scriptures would suggest that this view therefore has God's sanction, or that it is unimportant to uphold the scriptural teaching of Salvation. Praise God, He does not require us to be perfect in our interpretation of Scripture before He will use us. If so, who could hope to be used? But as we are given further light on the Scriptures, it is our duty and our Joy to conform our beliefs and practices as nearly as possible to the Word of God.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- A study of the life of Jehu is useful here. God said that Jehu's mind was like His mind, and God rewarded Jehu with the throne of Israel for four generations. But, God also saw to it that the canon included the comment that Jehu failed to kill the sodomites and destroy the golden calves. Does the zeal of Jehu negate the need to deal with the two faulted areas mentioned? NO, and that is why God noted it-- so that future generations would keep His holiness in final authority in the ways of men. ]
Objection 10: A multiple-elder system might well solve some problems, but at the same time it would create a whole new set of problems of its own.
Reply: This I willingly admit. When, however, you are operating under a scriptural pattern, the problems that arise are scriptural problems. That is, they are problems that have been anticipated in Scripture and for which guidance is provided in Scripture. Also, let us not forget that, quite apart from the question of what problems might be solved or created, we ought to follow the New Testament pattern simply because it is the New Testament pattern. We conform to the authority of Scripture as a matter of principle, not for pragmatic reasons. But when we do so, we invariably find God's way to be the best way.
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- There is within Fundamentalism a spirit to NOT rock the boat by calling for a more Bible centered church polity and structure. Friend, this is precisely the same reasoning used by the Pope as he calls his wayward priests to submit to the Old Mother Whore instead of applying what they find in their Bibles. I know a Catholic priest in India who has, along with his whole society, been excommunicated from the Catholic Church for calling that profane church back to its older heritage. Well, I will tell you something friend-- if you call the Fundamental churches back to an early Church Pauline church polity, you WILL become a pariah in your circle of pastoral Nicolaitan friends. That is about where I expect this article will land me. There is a price to be paid to be right with our Lord and His Word. ]
Objection 11: Surely you don't think all the problems you mentioned would vanish if our churches simply changed their pattern of leadership?
Reply: Unfortunately, no. Not overnight at least, particularly where the clergy-laity mentality has been firmly entrenched for decades. But even in such a case a return to the New Testament pattern, if wholeheartedly adopted by the local church, would certainly produce a dramatic effect. The manifold problems and unscriptural attitudes nurtured by the false clergy-laity distinction could at least begin to be resolved. In other situations, where a fresh start is possible (such as on the mission field, in new churches, or with new converts), these problems can be avoided altogether.
What shall we say then?
The one-man pastorate, far from having the sanction of Scripture, is essentially a "Protestantized" holdover from the Roman Catholic clerical system. For those of us who claim the Bible, rather than tradition, as our authority, it is time to fervently search the Scriptures to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:1l)
I would that every reader of this booklet might share the blessing I have found by "turning my feet to His testimonies" (Ps. 119:59) and choosing to meet in fellowship with those who gather in New Testament simplicity and order. I have written more about this in a small booklet entitled,
What I Have Found: My introduction to "brethren" assemblies.
A free copy may be obtained by writing to the publisher of this booklet.
Published by Spread the Word2721 Oberlin DriveYork, PA 17404
[ Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- Blessed Quietness Journal-- I must add a few observations here. I have seen the "Brethren" fellowships, and they DO have things they need to take care of, such as:
1. Brethren fellowships add some patented things which are not legally required in the New Testament.
a. These include the use of alcoholic wine in the Lord's Supper....
b. The insistence of the Lord's Supper every Sunday, whereas our Lord initiated the event at a once a year event called Passover. We are only told to do this "as oft as ye do it"....
c. The cursing of musical instruments during hymn singing, a law which is NOT anywhere in the Word of God....
d. The head covering, which is not very offensive, but it does not allow for the hair of the woman being her covering....
e. Some require foot washing as an ordinance equal to baptism and the Lord's Supper. This rule is NOT in the Word and in the Apostolic history of the New Testament church.
2. If sin comes into the assembly, especially in the youth, the leaders are often slow to deal with it since they don't want to make one another look bad.
3. The individual assemblies vary greatly from one to the other because there is no standard for anything other than one local church. This is not a serious problem as long as you understand that each assembly makes its own rules and standards. I know of one assembly in Chicago which insists that a speaker NOT carry a Bible into the pulpit so as not to offend the listeners, while on the other extreme, the vast majority of Brethren assemblies are King James Version only and very narrow and zealous for the Lord.
Having noted these weak areas in "Brethren" fellowships, I hasten to add that these people NEVER have the Jackboot problem of mean tempered pastors beating sheep and raging and ruling in the Lord's Church like Popelets. This makes their assemblies strong in leadership since they do not depend on only one man to figure out every detail of church life.
Of course, precious few Fundamental pastors will ever go near a Brethren assembly because they cannot take an offering and pocket it :-) But, I suggest that this kind of New Testament church structure is based in the Word of God and is ideal for the newly formed House Church. Indeed, anyone starting a church in the End of the Age of Grace should consider these things very thoughtfully.
Dear Steve:
After a brief review of this article I must add that men such as William Grady who writes the books "Final Authority" And "What Hath God Wrought!" would not be in agreement with the author below and your comments. These Jackboot Baptists include men such as Grady even if he cross dresses as a sheep when it's time to defend the King James Bible to be the word of God. He is not a defender of the faith which was once given among the saints. Grady, and others, are absolutely set on their pet "AUTHORITY" issue and don't understand authority at all. It would do well for these men who are obsessed with their own AUTHORITY to understand where the authority comes from. For those who don't understand what it is to be UNDER authority; it would do well to read these scriptures:
Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. 14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. [ Saved to serve! ]
Luke 7:1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
Notice that the centurion doesn't boast about his authority but is humble about being "under authority". Then our Lord Jesus gives witness of the centurion's faith and compares that faith to the lack thereof in Israel. There is much preaching here against the wicked Jackboot spirit of error...
In Christ
David, Pittsburgh
Except for one point only I agree with your article of church leadership, that it should be the elders and not one single paid person. [ My wife ] and I briefly went to a Gospel Hall (Plymouth Brethern Assembly) 29 and one-half years ago as I was convinced at that time the system of a paid clergyman was wrong. We did not leave the liberal Baptist church that we were attending at the time to join them because of their use of alcoholic wine. I agreed with almost everything else they believed, [ My wife ] didn't but would have been willing to change if it hadn't been for the use of alcoholic wine. Because of that we have always stayed in the one pastor church system which I have merely tolerated because there was no fellowship anywhere else. Unlike you though I believe the head covering refers to an external covering and not the long hair itself.
On the subject of Bible versions I believe as you do (100%) and I am very grieved that our pastor (of a Missionary Church - a denomination that came out of the Mennonite denomination) and my friend has replaced his KJV with a NKJV. Approximately two years ago I gave him Gail Riplinger's book "New Age Bible Versions" and I asked him if he agreed with what the book said. His reply was that it's all here and it's all documented; so I believed at that time we were of the same mind on almost everything but obviously he has changed or he was not telling me the whole story.
Anyway, I found it interesting that you came to the conclusions you did about local church government and I am happy to see what you have discovered in the Bible. praise God.
A fellow believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and looking for that blessed hope and his glorious appearing.
In Christ,
Bill ___________
Early in history, the church got off track and went the way of the world with clergy, buildings and all, but in the beginning it was not so. In the days of the Old Testament you needed leaders and superstars like David and Sampson, but not so in the New Testament period. We are all “kings and priests”. We all have equal access to God through our human spirit. We are like a vine, not a tree. Every born again believer is plugged into the vine. But to create a New Testament Hierarchal model is utter nonsense. We may as well just all become Roman Catholics again where the laity lost all touch with God (the vine) and had to go through a priest.

Today’s apostate church uses the world’s corporate or military model. The “church” of titles, ranks and job descriptions is from the world, not the Lord. The Bible speaks of gifts and functions – an apostle is one who is sent out to start churches. That’s what he does, not what he is. Others pastor, teach, oversee and prophesy. That is what they do, not offices they hold! This is a “functional” rather than a “positional” point of view. Man is not the head of the church, Jesus. There is only one head to the body and all instructions are issued from the head. They don’t flow down through the body. Every part of the body has a direct connection to the head. The world needs hierarchy and outward control.
Jesus said,

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. BUT IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU: but whoseoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant, even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28)

Jesus repeats this in Luke 22:25-27. The Gentile world operates on the basis of a chain-of-command. Authority is based on position and rank. Leaders measure their greatness by power, influence and prominence. In the kingdom of God, the greatest is least and the least the greatest. The ruler is the one who serves the most. God’s way is the absolute opposite of the world’s way. The New Testament way is where you have a people controlled by the indwelling Spirit. Satan and the world always need hierarchy! Not so in the body of Christ!

But what about religious authority? Aren’t we supposed to revere and respect religious leaders? Jesus said,

But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven, neither be ye called masters; for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:8-12)

In the Jewish and apostate Christian world, there are religious leaders with titles – Rabbi, Pastor, Bishop, Priest, Reverend, Father, etc, but it should not be so among us. We are merely brothers and sisters in Christ, each gifted and functioning in His body. There may be pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists and even apostles among us – but that is what they do, not what they are. A pastor is simply someone who pastors and cares for people. A teacher teaches. An apostle is sent out to start churches. Elders oversee. None of them “lord it over” the flock. We are all equals with different functions. We don’t need to have a committee to do a nationwide search for a pastor. We should look for the gifts in the saints among us. Each us has a gift and each should exercise it.

Offices or Functions?

The early church did not have a person who was the CEO of a 501c3 tax exempt organization, who directed the staff, preached on Sundays and conducted weddings, funerals and Eucharistic services, and psychological counseling . This is an extra-Biblical carry over from the Roman Catholic Church, and now, if the C. Peter Wagner’s have their way, we will have another hierarchy of apostles paralleling Rome. There is no such figurehead in the church! It is this very clergy/laity organization that has had such a crippling effect on the saints. For the saints themselves should be shepherding, overseeing and teaching, not some “professional” who has advanced post-graduate education in church growth, management, organization, creator of programs, exegesis of the Word, and chief cook and bottle washer! There is no such thing in the New Testament as an elder-driven, board-driven or pastor-led church! The church is simply brothers and sisters in Christ meeting together and ministering to one another.

I Corinthians 12:28 does not describe an organizational hierarchy when he says, “and God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.” He describes logical functions: the one who gives birth to the church (the apostle), the one who imparts vision (the prophet), the one who lays the Biblical foundation (the teacher) and so on. When describing characteristics of elders or deacons, he is talking about qualities of a person functioning in that capacity, not qualifications for an office. A brother or sister functions in a group because he has been dealt with and refined by the daily working of the Holy Spirit. Others recognize their gift, their experience and authority in certain matters. But these are gifts and functions – not offices held. Their legitimacy is recognized by others because of their “servanthood” and their fruit, not because they were elected or appointed to office. An apostle proves his gift by raising up churches. An evangelist proves his gift by his fruit (bringing people to the Lord), a teacher by his teaching and a pastor by caring for others. These are all functions rather than offices bestowed. You don’t have to study for years to learn to be something. You let the Lord so work in your life that you become a gift to the body.

We have gotten so far away from the true church, the simple body life, I doubt that we will ever find it without a good dose of tribulation! Only when we have been shaken free of our preconceptions, the world, our possessions and our preoccupations and realize that it is all coming down – only then will we get real and discover the treasure that lies within the least of the saints, and let it be set free! Only when our organizations, programs and professionals have been exposed for the sham they are, will the body be free to be the body Christ intended where every member functions according to the life worked into it by the Lord.

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of services, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
From whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 3:11-16)

My prayer is that, as you meditate on these verses, the Lord will show you His body and how it has absolutely nothing to do with the institution we call the “church”. God puts a variety of people in our midst. He works in their lives and through them to build up others. They don’t go to Bible School and Seminary. They go through the “school of hard knocks” as they grow and mature in the Lord. They function – not to build up an office and draw a big salary, but to raise others up so the whole body will be knit together and every individual part is working properly, allowing the love and life of the Lord to flow though the body causing it to grow and build up itself in love. These gifted men don’t hog the whole show, but they protect the younger ones and encourage them to be connected and grow to maturity themselves. They don’t dominate. They facilitate and encourage others to function.

I am so excited by passages such as this, but so inadequate to explain what they mean. Unless you have experienced it, it is like describing a good movie to a caveman. I actually experienced this “church life” in a wonderful way so I know it works. Those were days in which we abandoned everything for Christ and His body. It was so much more than just meetings. But today, there is so little commitment. A meeting doesn’t make a “church life” whether it is in a building or a home. We’ll get into this later. Meanwhile, Christians move from one program to another. That is why cell churches, mega churches, meta churches, apostles and prophets and all that sounds so appealing to Christians these days. We want something more and hope that the next fad will be ‘It’. We fall further and further away from God’s ultimate intention as expressed in Ephesians 3 – a corporate expression of Himself on the earth – an organism called the “church.”

I’ll have more to say on what we can do about this in a later chapter, but now we have to talk about one of the most abused and misused practices in Christianity today which is an outgrowth of the apostles and prophets movement – accountability!