Jesus was above the Jewish norm of the day in the treatment of women. Looking at the big picture, In the Gospels I see that Jesus was very respectful of women, treating them as equals as much as the social setting allowed. Using them as reliable witnesses, perfect choices as mothers for God’s plans, and faithful disciples.
In an Elders meeting of a small Restoration Movement congregation we were serving back in the 80s an elder asked for some of our members if our teenagers, young women and men, could serve the communion and help with some of the worship meetings. Of course, several elders protested that that was not right. “We never done that” and so forth! Of Course, Elders should question and investigate every thing the congregation does as a Body of Christ. However, Carried to extreme, this can result in nit picking and bickering over stuff that the deacons should be doing. This is why you involve the Holy Spirit in selection of elders and deacons. Jesus should be the only High Priest at your meetings anyway. With out the Holy Spirit leading all decisions of the elders and deacons about the “Club” they control may make it a great benevolent organization but it is not the Ekklesia made up of the followers of Jesus unless He is allowed to direct and obeyed. The Ekklesia may be found in those organizations but they are not representing His Body, Ephesians 4: . Followers are the Church of God that has no man made temple or building for a home, but is found in many homes of many people that love one another because of Jesus. I asked the people gathered at our meeting this question for the elders. “What kind of former sinners do you want to serve the Body? The teenagers are just as we are, forgiven sinners.” ” We (that board of elders and deacons) decided then that a follower (Gal 3:26-28) of Jesus could be a servant at any position the Holy Spirit qualified them for as long as they were obedient to the elder’s( always plural number of men in NT) decisions for the congregation.( we don’t see the rise of the Bishop and division of Clergy until 3rd Century corruption, Cardinals and other offices are much later) In other words all the teachers, every one of the preachers are under the supervision of the shepherds of the flock. When you have one man as the pastor of a congregation, if he is in control, He must be driving the flock or if the sheep are in control, the flock is driving him. He will be surrounded by people that support him for what they get. If the needs are not met, people will go where they are met. Do the people need entertainment, milk and have itching ears? Do they need the living Word and seek Jesus? If the preacher is a humble man and wants to please God he will lead his flock to springs of pure water of life and protect them from the doctrines of men and pagan religions. If Paul can entrust the letter to the Roman Ekklesia to a woman serving as a deaconess of the Ekklesia, I can trust my Sister in Christ to serve our local congregation in the gifts she is given. Can she serve as an Elder? Not according to what I read. Can she teach or preach? Yes, if the elders approve as with any teacher or preacher. IMHO this is what I teach quoting only New Testament. I could cite early first century writers on this. We only see women dishonored in the later centuries after the male dominated societies took control of the state churches. All of the first century in the church despite persecution, was looking up for the status of women over where the Jews and pagans had placed them, state/political based religion tended to suppress that effort because of the desire to control. Example would be requiring extreme dress rules, attendance, contraception rules or forbidding to marry. Just because the Corinthian Church had problems with the Roman/Greek culture does not mean we have a permit to act like the world in anything we do. Nor should we take up the many specific problems of the Church of Corinth as if we are them in any way except in Jesus Christ. Read Corinthians with prayer that you can see it as a gentile former pagan would hear it read during the next Lord’s day meeting where you might consider your “church”. Pray and read the whole two letters. What would the downtown Corinthian congregation think about our lifestyle, our worship? Our acceptance of the morality of our culture? Answer these questions??????
Does your group/church/congregation/AKA “Church” serve the community by meeting the daily needs of the local neighbors?
Does your Church serve the needs of the widows and orphans? I will include orphans that are in the womb and out. I will include any person that is orphaned by life, alone and lost nearby, your neighbor, my neighbor. Expecting one “Shepherd” to see after the whole flock is ridiculous, God provides a structure of elders and deacons, teachers, evangelists, and care givers. What is your gift and how does your group use you and your gifts in His service?
Jesus used the sheep and the goats in His teaching. I have owned both and have great respect for what Jesus taught. Sheep are on the good side of God, goats, not so much. Seem they are always scapegoats and turned out into the wilderness because of sin. I don’t want to be a goat. Own sheep for a few years. If any survive your treatment you might consider being a servant in the court of the King. You will understand the metaphor clearly. What are the sheep and goats divided over?
Does your group grow and disciple? Pray to the Lord of the Harvest.
Now is the time to come out of divided denominated daughters of the whore of Babylon and see Jesus in the eye of your neighbor. Form community with your friends, neighbors and serve God by obeying one law Gal 5:14 all the rest is religion. Follow Jesus, love your neighbor. meet with your neighbors and pray for each other. Read God’s Word, avoid the many voices of the world. Drink the Living Water from the Spring, the Rock of Ages, don’t drink out of the Nile or the Jordan. Follow God’s Word as did Na-man the Syrian in simple non theological Gospel obedience. Reject rules and rituals of bondage.
My neighbor is the closest person to me. Is that including wifi? I am studying how social media affects this and praying for guidance that God’s promise of His Word will not be carried, prayed, cursed in vain. I hear so many voices, so many gurus and PhDs, right and left reverends abound. “Savage wolves” attack the very flock Jesus has blessed them with. The latest fashion in Babylon will be worse than millstone necklaces if God’s wrath is not paid. Is the voice we should hear drowned out? Example, a pastor preaches the apostles drove Hondas, because it is in the Bible. Right? Well it does say they were in one accord, but! No! but because someone with a wonderful web site and slick production sez it on youbob it must be true. I use John 21 as an excuse to go fishing, and I do hope to meet Jesus on the beach to share breakfast and talk about those fishing tips He gave the disciples. Is that “Church”? I do not want to miss it for the world! If Jesus, as the Wonderful Counselor, is not the High Priest of your priesthood of obedient disciple believers who is? Where will your wisdom come from? The Ark? The Temple? Where is your light O Israel? “Walk in the Light” Where is our bread? “Bread of Life” Where is our God’s Temple? Where did that ritual/rule come from? Which covenant? Does it follow flesh? or Grace? Jesus said the Holy Spirit will teach us. How does that work ? Does He speak thru His Word? John 14, Peter sez we are a royal priesthood a holy nation. We are to be one in Christ. Ephesians 4, Col 2, Gal 3, Acts 2, If we are divided and bitter we fail to love our brothers and sisters. If we consider our rules and practices the “Way” it better be the only “Way”. The danger is that teachers have the burden of being right with God. As a former builder of race cars and vehicles I know precision. How precise was God’s instruction to Noah? Moses? I am fed up with denominational bravo sierra that divides and shuns difference in opinion. Essentials are simple, Paul sums it up in Galatians 5. One law to rule them all. I am going to start a study on James. I want to know how a common Jew that was convinced his brother was crazy can come to the realization of the resurrection and pay for the Faith he has in his own half brother with his life as recorded by Josephus. If any one deserves the medal for courage under fire, James was ordered stoned by the same priests of the temple that did away with their King as he knew as his brother by Mary. Question? Why did Jesus hand over Mary’s care to John and not his half brother James or Jude? Jude, another brother by the same mother who followed his crazy brother to martyrdom we are told in later writings that may be legend. The cult of Mary does not start appearing in writing until much later in the middles ages. Google the facts! James was painted the wrong colors by Luther and later Calvin. James deserves better than that. Luther never understood James and that is a shame for Luther’s theology became so popular the German people could claim to be Christian and kill Jews. I read Luther’s bio on audible and a bio on Paul by N.T. Wright, who writes a very interesting book on Jesus as the Messiah. N.T. is an Anglican Church of England elder, I consider him a good scholar if disobedient brother. I have really enjoyed reading https://www.amazon.com/Will-Theologians-Please-Sit-Down on kindle. Verify all the Spirits voices! A study of James will remove the bias that Paul and Peter seem to have. This has led many astray in understanding of Grace, obedience and into mixed up covenants. How could James not know who Jesus was, is and is to be? James may or may not have written Hebrews but as the shepherd of the ekklesia of Jerusalem he was well aware of the challenges of the early congregations that once were enemies are now to be One with Jesus as He is with the Father. We are to be one. If we believe in Jesus we must love him and love God, forsaking all others. We must do the next part of the command of Jesus as one law for if we love God we will love and honor His creation. We are so divided over theology and stuff that won’t matter on judgment day. How can we have unity without compromise? Our “Church” Ekllesia, congregation, worship group, prayer groups either honor Jesus Christ as Lord or not. more…….later.
The Word is not the book we now call the “Bible”. The Word or Logos is explained by Paul better than most in several of his letters. Here are some examples. click to see resources cited.
Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight– 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
The lady in the gift shop had asked me what church do you go to ? In our conversation that began somewhere but ended up on God. I was wearing a t-shirt that said ” Jesus is my Savior not Religion”. The lady persisted and after we talked she invited us to her “Church”. We had told her we are followers of Jesus and followed no man made doctrine, creed or religion or divided denominated daughter of the church of Babylon. She had then said something like “We are all followers of Jesus” and she was very correct. We who place our faith in Jesus Christ of the prophecy of Isaiah 9 are all His children. The Jesus of Grace and Truth who said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” is the Savior of all who are redeemed by the blood of God’s only Lamb. He is for us the Word became flesh and the Word was/is God. When you see the message of Jesus for all mankind as this amazing love that Paul writes commentary on in his letters to the ekklesias,the trappings of rules and ritual fall away in His presence . When we humans decide to divide up and denominate around men, albeit good men we fall into the trap of the Corinthian Ekklesia following after Apollos, Paul or Peter. Who is the high priest of our congregation? Who are the priests? What are the offices or special appointments to be selected by scripture in the verified letters of Paul and Peter, James, John, Jude, the Apostles by Word of the Spirit of Christ? We crucify Jesus afresh just as David used the throne to do evil, took the one lamb from Uriah and sinned. Like King David are those that allow the easy money, the power of control over others to capture their heart in obedience to Satan. These are the grievous wolves of warning to the elders of the early Ekklesia Is this word familiar to you? Click here for the Greek and 111 times it is used in the New Testament of your translation,
The word was used to define a location after Luther translated the German word to mean a location. Early communities of faith always built or used a structure to serve the needs of the people. These structures were used as community schools, storehouses, hideouts and more. Never the grand buildings we see now. (early records around 250AD on) Never did the early followers think that Ekklesia was a place to go. No where is evidence of the excessive spending, the widespread use of pagan temples and pagan priesthood until after 300AD. Constantine flipped the pagan world upside down and incorporated many practices in his new model of religion. The history of how he propagandized what influence he had, during that time is well documented and an easy google search . If you are an agnostic or atheist because of this historical fact, please reconsider, Jesus lives! Use the word “Church” how you like but know what you are saying. Here is a technical description of the translated word Kirk, Kirche, church and how it got in the bible as Church instead of the word Ekklesia which means something totally different. http://www.aggressivechristianity.net/articles/ecclesia.htm
Find out for yourself what the early followers said and did in the everyday life of the first century.
The wine skins have burst. The Ekklesia of Jesus is not a new covenant made up of old parts. Nor is the New Covenant a list of rules, rituals and regulations requiring lawyers and scribes or high Priests in costumes or temples with holy shrines to whois and whatfor? The Ekklesia of Jesus begins with 2 or more. The Ekklesia never ends with just 2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will never inhabit a temple made with hands or bless the idol worship of the “building” or useless things over the maker. Everything physical is a tool to be used or discarded for the Glory of God and our Lord Jesus who proved His word with the resurrection from the dead after a full course Roman Crucifixion.
The teaching of the wine skin is that the new agreement is final until God makes a new one. Humans broke the promise/covenant every time. God did not break His side of any agreement. Broken covenants are never reused. We are in the new agreement/covenant. To go back and drag something that did not work to save us or give us Grace is to insult Jesus as saying His sacrifice was not enough to satisfy the wrath of God’s justice. No gentile was required to read, understand or know about the Torah or Moses. Read with earnest prayer 2 Corinthians 3 and welcome Jesus the Author and finisher of your Faith https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/2-corinthians/3.html
The Hebrew Passover lasted 7-8 days and involved feasts and meals with family, relatives and friends. Our “Love Feasts” should be as joyful and festive in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus in the New Covenant. Abba Father!
Love to hear about your Ekklesia wherever it is. In a traditional model or not, wherever you are gathered in His Name.
Check out Francis Chan explaining the end times on youtube
I sometimes pray my real mom has found peace for her soul. I never met the woman that birthed me and loved me enough to know that she could not care for a baby as she was not much past dolls. What ever the reason she choose life for me. For that I am forever grateful. The preacher and his wife at East Point Christian Church near Atlanta was where he was preaching when the new baby was found to be with out parents. Aunt Katherine was older than the age of caring for a newborn with cancer and other health issues the couple decided to find someone else with too much love not to share. I am thankful for my moms. The one that raised my sons and those that held me when I cried.
When Jesus washed the disciples feet as they were arguing who should set where based on rank and Satan filled Judas with bitterness, we see in action what Jesus will, does and has done many times with His bitter tears. Jesus will pick up our muddy, filthy feet and wash the world’s dirt from our life. (Hebrews sez Jesus’ blood sacrifice paid it all) Sometimes He uses the rod of discipline on me, sometimes it is His staff pulling me back from the danger I just do not see because of the bright lights and glitter of the golden idols the world has for me.
I found these 10 quotes on a clickbait site. I quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer and add a thought of my own numbered and bold before Dietrich’s. The more I study the writings of God I find gentle souls that looked outside the box. Especially today when many realize that the lukewarm worship of entertainment and the sage on a stage is not fellowship with Jesus we see in the Gospels or the Ekklesia in Acts or the letters. I hear many voices saying similar things. Numbers say the mainstream model is broken in many places and for far too many sheep that are wandering. I pray for unity. Unity will take the Holy Spirit to melt prideful hearts and gently break soft ones.
1. Mutual respect for another means I love you too much to sin against you or God in your presence or to allow you to continue in sin against others or God. Not about judging, but about saving.
“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”
2. Jesus was/is a friend of sinners, lived with the poor and least of these. Who is going to serve the “least of these”, dones, nones, ?
“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. ‘The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people.”
3. Being forgiven is a gift, not a title of rank. We are servants of Jesus, yet a royal priesthood of the least of these of equal rank. That is what “Wash feet” means.
“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”
4. We can build a church of sticks and bricks, or as Jesus did with living stones on the foundation of the Rock of Ages.
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
5. Prayer in the name of Jesus separates the Ekklesia from the “religions of the world”. Our redeemer lives!
“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.”
6. Be prepared to be used, if one time like Ananias with Saul or thousands like Phillip.
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.”
“There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.”
8. Who are you compassionate about? Wash the feet of your brothers and sisters. Be kind to neighbors. There is a difference.
“The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ.”
9. God is in the details, watching.
“Who can really be faithful in great things if he has not learned to be faithful in the things of daily life?”
10. Thankful, and able to be thankful of others.
“If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”
What happened to tooth for tooth? In the Mayflower book the invaders (Pilgrims, Puritans, French, Spain, Dutch, English and a few others) are using the old testament to justify killing and enslaving the natives. Many christian nations, groups, used selected Old Covenant rules, rituals, and practices to justify slavery, rape, wars, genocide and more. During the 60s-70s we were eyewitness to the hatred that can come from “Church people” towards people of another race or culture. We saw congregations split over the race issue when we invited all the children of the neighborhood to our summer school on a Church bus. Many people showed that evil is alive and well in the pews. We see cults today building temples and claiming high ranks in priesthoods drawn from the old covenants, The old covenants had many details , many explanations for everyday issues, like what to do if someone is injured in a fight. Or what town to run to if you accidentally killed another person, or how to plant and farm your land. How to destroy a town and all its inhabitants. Rules for land ownership and dietary rules. We pick and choose which rules fit our agenda. We need cash? break out the OT support of the priests, the temple & associated festivals, and the feeding of the poor. Tithing was 23% or more, giving was mandatory to every male head of household to present before the Lord and not have empty hands. Next time you do the tithe give it before the Lord. (where is He? Hint, he might be that bum you passed on the street or the child that is hungry, or mother that has no food for her children) Give the way Jesus taught. If you want to do that via a local ministry, shelter or homeless person, Give from the heart freely with out compulsion to the the less fortunate. Let the fans support the entertainment on game day. The Jewish male had a outward, if hidden sign of the covenant of Abraham. Female circumcision was never practiced by the nation of Israel, that is a pagan practice. Circumcision was a cutting off, showing mastery over the flesh. In the Ekklesia we have no distinction or seperation of male and female. All are now Abraham’s children in Christ. All serve as parts of the Ekklesia on equal terms as servants of the High Priest. Women teach and are evangelists, prophets as much as men all under the oversight leadership of the elders selected by the ekklesia
Paul also said “Not with hands” Col 2:11-12, We put on Christ, what else do we need? Rules, rituals, temples, altars, reverends, titles, money, power, control? When we must, have to, make a rule or set up a ritual that we are required to follow that has the origin in the old covenants not repeated but fulfilled in the new final covenant we are saying Jesus is not enough, I must do this _________(fill in what they say you must do)
If Jesus is not the Alpha and the Omega of all creation then we are a people most sad. Jesus is my all in all. I need nothing more. What does Paul suggest for the Ekklesia to do? Corinthian letters are examples of direction from the apostle to the Church/Ekklesia/Body, not the building.
How many “One Anothers” did Jesus say as commands? “One another” is two words in English, but it’s only one word in Greek: ἀλλήλων (ah-LAY-loan). It’s used 100 times in 94 New Testament verses. 47 of those verses give instructions to the church, and 60% of those instructions come from Paul. See the “One Anothers” in the Word https://overviewbible.com/one-another-infographic/ If I take action on these?
What if you were born into a tribe that had no connection with the world? What if you were introduced to Jesus by the Gospel of John? What if you heard Peter speak live, like Acts 2? What if the copy of the original author’s letters was translated into the language you use today? No additional writing, comments, commentary notes of explanations devised by councils, doctors or reverends are known by you at this time. You and I have Pauls’ letters with his commentary, plus all the disciples, ones that knew Jesus in the flesh and walked with him like his brother James, in the letters they wrote to the Ekklesia to confirm the commands of Jesus to His followers.
We have wonderful tools of technology to use today to discover what the early followers of the Way did in daily life. By studying the history of the world at the time of the Apostles we find that people died young from many childhood diseases, people dealt with many things we Americans, unless we visit a third world will not see because of our healthcare and standard of living is so much better than what was available even 100 years ago. Imagine a world where food is your main concern. No promise of healthcare, freedom, safety or your next meal. If you followed Jesus you would be an outlaw or worse until the rise of the anti-Christ and the social-political mother church in 300-400 ce.
The Roman world functioned because of conquest, slaves, and wars on weaker tribes. The moral law was summed up in the “Gold Rule, He who has the Gold rules! ” The Jewish Nation at that time was in turmoil, God had left town over disgust of the religious leader’s neglect of the widow and orphans. The desecration of the Temple was least of the sins of the leaders and rulers. Jewish warriors became terrorist to the Roman occupation army after throwing off the Syrian/Greek invaders in the time of the “Hammer”. The system in place when Jesus became flesh to be the new King was political/religious and very corrupt. The Roman leadership was despicable during this period.
The country of Israel was in rebellion to Roman rule, the Jewish kings were puppets. The religious rulers were desperate to hold onto power and control of the people via the Temple. God had left the sanctuary way back, some say before Babylon captivity when the temple of Solomon was destroyed by the invaders. God had moved out way back when the covenant was broken by the Jews. Now the only hope for anyone is the Messiah, Jesus the Christ!
Where was the Church? The Ekklesia that Jesus built? Where is it? We can read the writing of the early followers before the age of the Apostles was done and the second-hand information begins. Many of these common people wrote of the “Ekklesia” and the heresies that began to creep into the gatherings. Just as today, men seek power, control to gain wealth, and rule over others. The Anti-Christ is diametrically opposed to everything our Savior is. Jesus never used the word “church” as in building or denomination. Jesus used buildings and shelter as often as hillsides and boats. His “Church” is where he is loved and obeyed. I would love to go for a boat ride or fishing with Jesus, have breakfast of the beach and enjoy the day. If that is not Church then what is missing? No traditions, please. I can invent my own BS cult or religion as good as any fool can.
What if somewhere in the history we got the ekklesia wrong? What if the mission was simple? The commands, few, easy to follow? The orders direct from Jesus with no other mediator, lawyer, doctor, reverend, father or angel/demon that has the authority to change the smallest letter of His everlasting Word. What if every move of the Apostles, every word preached by the elders and deacons, every word that was spoken and recorded by the early Church is filtered and refined by the Fire of Jesus’ Word. What if the “One another’s” of Jesus’ teaching is followed with the best of your ability? What else is required? Morning formation? Rules and rituals, temples, altars, tithes, Control? Power? Might as well join a country club as belonging to a religion. You will have more fun on weekends. What you have to ask is; The Gospel is solid our Faith is “Once and for all delivered unto the Saints” I believe this statement? yes or no
When one loves Jesus with a passion from the heart that is so intense the obedience is unquestioned for it is complete in Jesus and the disciple. We become one with the Father, our worship is Spirit. How can our heart be bound by space-time or death if Christ is our focus?
Paul wrote this to the followers that were being told they must follow some of the old covenant rules and rituals in the Churches of Galatia. Paul said the same things in the letter circulated in the Churches of Phrygia
Col 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised byChrist, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
If one reads the two letters and has prayerful focus on where Paul shows disdain and worthless value for the works of the Law, Jewish customs and even Abraham’s covenant! One comes away with these questions.
If we keep the “Royal Law” do we need more or any other? To do so seems to me to be telling Jesus we don’t need Him or His Grace. If I must show up on a special “holy” time to meet God, cough up some cash, sign the guest list or be a member and watch the show. If I must keep a sabbath, tithe or some rule/ritual then I am a lawbreaker of the worst sort because I can’t keep up the act without hypocrisy and deceit to my conscience.
Christmas is a problem for followers of Jesus because it is a manmade holiday. We know that the early church started to take over some pagan holidays and move the pagans out or assimilate them into the new order of social-political- religious world of the late first century after the fall of Jerusalem in AD70. We followers don’t want to show disrespect but the world has taken over all these holidays. Nowhere does the Gospel record state any date or exactly what transpired. We know the “Magi” men who visited were almost two years after the event, but the “3 Wise Men” look good in our plays, displays, and cards we send. The Virgin birth is a Holy event and our good intentions during the season may fall short of adoration the brave Mary deserves, but we try to show our love for the Savior and give generously every day. We as followers are not commanded to celebrate the holidays. We have liberty in Christ to enjoy each other and practice our “One Anothers” We do enjoy the days off, the family(?), and the gift-giving, feasting and fellowship of good friends, neighbors and family all around the Christmas table, fire, turkey dinner, misiletoe& holly (yes I know it is of pagan origin) and decorated tree. What we do for our savior is each day is lived for Jesus, not just special days or festivals. We are called to be followers, not fans that just show up for game days so God can count noses and nickels on special days we argue over. We are called to give every day to those that need what we have, “The least of These” not each other that are fed and happy off of the produce of God’s bounty. Is there a lonely widow/er in your community? Is your neighbor disabled? Any hungry?
Celebrate the “Good News’ of the Gospel with them during this season.
Matt 25:31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.
32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Do you believe the statement Jesus makes? He claims to be the only way to God, the One God of Israel, The Ancient of Ages, The Alpha and the Omega. The Word of God. Does anyone find salvation in any other?
We need more conversations on where we want our Church to be in the next few years and beyond. I don’t see the answer to our problems as yet but we must have new bottles for new wine. We can allow the world to see us so divided and so scattered in our divided camps and ask them to join us??? That is absurd! Quit doing that! Get out of your comfort zone and meet your neighbors, care for them, pray with them and for them. Feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the homeless, check on and care for widows and widowers in your community. Be the Salt that savors your neighbors life, shine the Light to the lost, wash feet of your brothers and sisters.
Take a leap of Faith and learn what God’s Word says for yourself. Find someone to read and study with. Learn God’s word from God. The tools we have online today are handy, fast and reflect in some cases the latest discoveries in history and science.
Click on the highlights and read what the Word says about the Water of Life! The link will take you to one of the many bible study sites for an in-depth look at the different translations and all kinds of study aids. Before you get lost in the weeds and rabbit holes on the net, take time to read God’s Word and speak to Him directly for wisdom
Read the Word in Greek of the original writings by using Strong’s Concordance
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Are you thirsty? Or full of the water found in the world? The original books or letters of the Church were written on fragile products that were around when Paul was a pup. None of the very first originals are extant or laying around somewhere like last weeks best seller. Most of what we have is dated after 150 AD for scraps and pieces of the pages that were laboriously hand copied by people in monasteries, public houses(library) or church buildings. After 70 AD the second temple is destroyed by Rome and
The Babylonians destroyed the temple Solomon built and may have taken the Ark or not depending on who you ask. That was where God met man in the form of the high priest. As a follower of the Way of Jesus, we are the dwelling place of the El Shekinah and God speaks through His Spirit to our spirit. After the destruction of the first temple and the second temple being crushed and destroyed along with the city of Jerusalem by the Romans,
there was no Jewish temple in Jerusalem and we won’t see the return of the Temple that God dwells until we see the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven. We are the Temple and the presence of God is within us. Learn the lesson of the “Woman at the Well”, “God is Spirit we must worship Him in Spirit and Truth” Jesus spoke to this outcast, a racially divided woman the powerful truths of God. He is Spirit! He is outside of our physical boxes where we try and place the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Wonderful Counselor. The discovery of the dead sea scrolls verified the accuracy of the Old Testament or what the devout Hebrew calls the Torah and Prophets. The books were gathered in several stages to come down to us as our many translations and copies. The most recognized translation is in Old English of Shakespeare and contains some prejudice towards the Roman and leans toward the protestant church somewhat. All that has led to a lot of division. The King James Version is one of the worst translations and yet will be OK to use if you know what to watch for. I love the language of the KJV and love to read it out loud. The words are Old English and carry some peculiar meanings in some passages. The original books or letters of the Church were written on fragile products that were around when Paul was a pup. None of the very first originals are extant or laying around somewhere like last weeks best seller. Most of what we have is dated after 150 AD for scraps and pieces of the pages that were laboriously hand copied by people in monasteries, public houses(library) or church buildings. After 70 AD the second temple is destroyed by Rome there was no Jewish temple in Jerusalem and we won’t see the return of the Temple that God dwells until we see the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven. We are the Temple and the presence of God is within us. Learn the lesson of the “Woman at the Well”, “God is Spirit we must worship Him in Spirit and Truth” Jesus spoke to this outcast, a racially divided woman the powerful truths of God. He is Spirit! He is outside of our physical boxes where we try and place the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Wonderful Counselor. The discovery of the dead sea scrolls verified the accuracy of the Old Testament or what the devout Hebrew calls the Torah and Prophets. The books were gathered in several stages to come down to us as our many translations and copies. The most recognized translation is in Old English of Shakespeare and contains some prejudice towards the Roman and leans toward the protestant church somewhat. All that has led to a lot of division. The King James Version is one of the worst translations and yet will be OK to use if you know what to watch for. I love the language of the KJV and love to read it out loud. The words are Old English and carry some peculiar meanings in some passages. Check out Hebrews 6:7 for an example. Would a person reading God’s Word in “Middle English” or “Early Modern English” be considered speaking in tounges if the Holy Spirit is leading them to read? We can use online tools to find the Greek meaning of the words of the bible. We can form our own opinion and come to our own understanding of the Truths of the New Covenant. Link here.
is one of the oldest manuscripts of the early Church. Written somewhere between 100-150 AD or earlier or much later depending on who you ask. This document could predate some of the New Testament writing. The document outlines the doctrine of the early church. In no way do I see the document as more than a man’ ideas copied from God’s Word with a man doing the editing. Does the document add to or take away something for or from the Gospel? Do you know where all the rituals, rules and regulations came from in your Church history? How much of today’s divided Christianity can say when this (fill in your practice) practice or tradition started? Does the practice reflect what we see in the first-century church of Acts? Or a later addition that may or may not be inspired or blessed? Example: An old covenant tradition, a rule of the Torah or prophets example is used in our worship of Jesus as God enthroned in His Kingdom. Where is the follower of Christ to find our altar? our High Priest, our Reverend, our Father, our Saints? If I understand Galatians, especially 3:26-27 our women are not servants beneath men but equal with the men, If there is a rank or level of Holy that one and all can not achieve without prejudice or malice then that is not holy and is of Satan. The offices of elder and deacon are either in a proper place within the body or it is not. Is the humble servant missing from your meeting? Does your church follow the “church” traditions of the middle ages or the early Church of Acts?
Why do we mix covenants that say things we don’t need to say, do things we don’t need to do, require things we can’t do, or do things we should not? Where do we find a need to pray to another mediator to cry “Abba” to our God? Is God not powerful enough that He needs anything? Has He not told us what He likes, and does not like? “Obedience is better than sacrifice” 1 Sam 15.
As Paul states,” Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the LORD ’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back? For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Romans 11:33 NLT
I love the language of the King Jimmie version because I read Shakespeare when I was a child, I know most of the goofs and missing/added words by various powers since the ink dried on the Apostle John’s pen. “Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him*, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? This is the disciple which testifieth of these things and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:24-25
The story of the two bad guys, called thieves, maybe criminals or just poor homeless people trying to survive in a hard world. The gospels record the story of two theives are crucified and died with Jesus Christ during the same execution day. The trio hangs from the nails, ropes, and wood the Romans used to affix humans to wooden crosses, trees, scaffolds and anything handy in time of war. Two have been tried and convicted by Roman law to die by the cruel mode of ending human life in an especially painful, degrading manner of crucifixion. The place of execution and Judea saw 30K+ according to Josephus, a Roman historian of the era. The trials of Jesus before the execution were jokes. Neither Pilate or the Jewish puppet ruler said Jesus was guilty of a crime against the state or people. The Jews wanted Jesus dead because of the blasphemy of claiming to be the “I AM” When the Jews heard that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah/Almighty God of Isaiah https://www.biblehub.com/isaiah/9-6.htm they plotted the death and fulfilled every prophecy concerning the sacrifice on the Cross of the lamb of God.
Jesus, of course, has all power from the Father and way back then on the cross had the power to forgive the sins (and raise the dead) of this poor man on a Roman cross alongside Him on that day of infamy when the Jews gave up their King for Rome.
Was the other thief saved? He saw Jesus (or he was blind). Did he believe? We don’t know. I would never place God in a box and tell him what he can or not do? An exception of God’s grace and great mercy does nothing for your own belief or actions. James wrote of faith, deeds, actions or “works”
What are your deeds? belief? Do you “Do the Work of God” plus show up for nose and nickel count at set time and place. Jesus said to obey his commands, no he was not teaching the big ten. Jesus, healed, cared for, fed the hungering, freed the captives of sin. Follow Jesus. Love your neighbors, forgive your enemies
We believe the Bible to be inspired, the only reliable, authoritative Word of God. Is it a statement of many creeds, what does that mean? We believe that the original author’s writings as written and the word of God as delivered to the Apostles. We as Paul advises reject any and all latter day, all after 125AD or any so-called revelations, creeds, councils, edicts or any man-made doctrines in conflict with the Word. All traditions, rituals, rules, laws and /or new revelations by angels or Man in conflict or division from the original follow Jesus and Love God commands is Anathema. Home Church Locations online. This includes any judgment, rule in place, banishment, shunning or umbrage taken by any follower for another over music or sounds is anti-Christ and anti-love. Here is an example of “House Church” in San Francisco.
• We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
• We believe in the deity and humanity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His present rule as Head of the Church.
• We believe in the salvation through God’s grace of all who repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone.
• We believe in the indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit, by which the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
• We believe in the future personal return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of both the repentant and unrepentant who will be judged by Jesus with justice and mercy; for those who are repentant unto the resurrection of eternal life and those who are unrepentant unto eternal condemnation.
• We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ with equality across racial, gender and class differences.s as much as possible
We must repent, Jesus said so many times. Peter said “Repent and be converted” We can’t repent if we are unable to do so because of pride.. Repentance in the New Testament was a restoration, a recompense of a wrong, example of the tax collector, Jesus gave several commands, parables to explain repentance. Paul gives us the commentary via the Holy Spirit in 2 Corinthians 5 “Ministry of Reconciliation” Do you feel our God will trick or place “Catch 22” situations as traps for us?
So many divided denominations and daughters of the whore of Babylon teach an infant baptism gives life long salvation. Even the cart and horse story makes more sense. Jesus alone saves us by faith in His work,
Many are sincere people, some are considered Saints by their church or denomination. Many like to have titles and wear ranks we do not find in the new agreement where Jesus washes sinful men’s dirty feet to teach humility to his closest followers who were arguing non-essentials. Satan uses our friends, our leaders, our families to divide us. We must realize that tradition must be analyzed and measured against the actual truth. Or our truth is in the hands of people who believe there is no truth. Heretics bend the truth or I should say hide the lie with just enough truth just enough so the lie does not smell so bad. As Jesus called the “Whitewashed walls” of his day. We have them today. Article on the early church and baptism
OK, St Augustine of Hippo wrote of sins of the flesh, his lust for women and his obsession with sex. This lust transferred over to a label on the sexual act as sinful. Calling what God gave as a blessing in marriage between one man and one woman as a sin. This error of understanding has caused much sadness in many hearts of good people . Religious sexual suppression is another story. If religious leaders can label the very act of conception as sinful then the result of that can be labeled sinful and so it goes. Soon we can abort the unwanted flesh or just label it dirty. This is taking the good that God gives us and calling it evil. That is wrong on so many levels. Auggie also took infant depravity to a new level of evil. Using his reasoning based on his ideas of lust of the flesh, then babies are evil, sinful and damned to hell with out the “Sacrament” of baptism (immersion, water, Spirit) That it was unsafe to dunk babies, death bed confessors and some obscure cases AKA the thief on the cross. The councils later agreed to allow sprinkling or pouring (see Didache), but how was this and why did it become policy/doctrine? Some also said that the act was not important. The baby as sinful is miss read of Romans 5 by Auggie. St Auggie read the letter in Latin and mistranslated at that. What ever Adm did the sex act was not sinful, his and Eve’s disobedience was the sin, rebellion in the heart is sin, not eating an apple (having sex in marriage of man and women) The couple were following God’s plan before the choice they made to sin by disobeying. Even if the story is Allegory of the real story. God’s Truth is evident. He loves his children, babies and full grown and He, the Mighty God, Lord of Lords is not willing that any perish.
Is it a work? We are told that baptism is a work and that it can’t save us. we are saved by grace. OK agreed that we are saved by grace and that the action of immersion is something done to us by another and God. Without our personal faith in Jesus and His work on the cross you will be wet and unchanged otherwise. The action is an act of obedience that the convinced believer who confesses Jesus as Lord and repents of their sins follows up with as the first in many steps of obedience that the disciple will soon take on the Way of a lifetime of following Jesus.
The short version of our history , we trace back to the revivals and new era of a cry for restoration of the primitive Ekklesia of the Lord during the early 1800s, the Restoration movement was formed and within 100 years had divided in to 3 visiable camps, each claiming to be the true “Church” aka Ekklesia in the Greek meaning citizens called out or gathering, or as Bill Tyndale printed new testements with the word “Congregation” and the Roamn Church killed him and others for that translation later fixed in the KJV when the Church of England used the German word for Ekklesia as Church as a location. Jesus meant for His Church aka Ekklesia to be made up of living stones on the Rock of ages not any man or woman , no matter how “rightous” or pompous they may seem are just humans. When I consider my sins to be a less smelly pile than yours I fail to see you and love you as Jesus does. When I think another is less dispiciable to God on their own than you or I then I am a fool.
Back to the history now that we define Church as it was meant to be, not some place to go. Look at the old covenants in the Hebrew History we call the old Testement, of course it is in the bibile is the attitude of some that will swear on it , curse from it and commit every sin under heaven in it’s holy to them’s rule. Them that has the gold rules! Look at history of the Church, it is a battle described in Revelation, of good vs evil for our souls
God revealed himself to the tribes of isreal, hundreds of years after the death of Moses, the five scrools of the law are written. The history of the Jews and their ideas of God, prophets and Kings, The relation ship with the people was via the temple and the priesthood. Do your reasearch the jews wanted the temple, the king. They wanted to be like the foriegen nations around them they were commanded to take out. God wants a personal relation ship with you, how you interpet that is your business with Him. You may find him in a temple or a rock concert. You may find him through the words you hear or read or see. The Lord’s Holy Spirit is like the wind Jesus said, “You must be born of the water and the Spirit”
I love to go back and see the old restoration writings of the 1800s when they were debating, preaching from farm community to wilderness, before the slavery issuse and after they remained true to the Word as they translated it out of the Greek that was written down somewhere between 1st centuray to ? I enjoy reading where this truth of God and our relationship is fundamental. God loves you and me with equal intensity. Our sins are not a problem for God. Jesus has taken care of all of them forever one time, one sacrifice, done deal God’s great love paid our impossible debt with the presious blood of the lamb of God. And He lives in the temple you prepare for Him or He does not. What was the covenant with Solomon and the first temple? The priest of God cleaned it up and made it special, devoted to God. In Revelation a measurement of the temple is done using a measurement God gives an angel. The Church is being measured, no structure on earth, no other name known to men will work.