Worship

They show up for your Worship service, What do you say to them?

Live your life among the pagans so that they marvel and ask “Who is your God?” Worship in your assemblies of the Body so that the unbeliever will declare God is with you. 1 Cor 14:24-25, If they don’t see the Love why bother?

The young lady and man in the painting are from the wall of a house uncovered in Pompeii. We can speculate that this couple or some like them would have been familiar to Priscilla and Aquila in the first century. The woman’s stylus and tablet are symbols that displayed her confidence in education and status. They are the up and comers, the beautiful people of the city. Clothed in purple and trimmed in gold. Today would she fit in? Could you see them in a 40 under 40 spread in your cities magazine? What would you show to them about your God that would motivate them to reject their gods? What can your God do that theirs can not? In all the world of religion only one event makes a difference. The Resurrection Of King Jesus the Anointed of God.

Couple from Pompeii, on the wall click link for history of the painting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_Terentius_Neo

Who are these young people? Let’s imagine they are your new acquaintances. They are coming to your worship; your home, church, workplace. The picture is from a mural buried in the 79 AD destruction of Mt. Vesuvius to the Roman city of Pompeii. The painting was obviously commissioned by what would be considered wealthy owners to adorn the walls of their villa/bakery. Maybe they were the owners. Maybe they were young during that era of Roman Empire. Exciting times! Nero had been in power, Titus, Caligula, Domitian, many wars and rumors of war. We will assume the husband is wealthy and a player in fashion with his gold trim toga. He is holding a sealed document, He must be educated, important in his world. The Roman lady is standing in the fore of the painting, dressed in purple with much gold, a valuable asset to her husband, a woman of education and power, perhaps a royal dressed in purple? Women in the Roman World had much privilege and could do many things a Hebrew woman could not by Torah, and the many added Hebrew laws. Click on the link to learn the history from archaeology.

Your new acquaintances are owners of a bakery you frequent. They are Romans, the influence of Greek culture is the fashion of the day. Here are some of the assumptions one might assume They are Pagans believing in many gods, much as the people of Mars Hill in Athens or liberals today. Like the pagans around them the free citizens of Rome enjoyed a somewhat upper middle to rich classes. The lower classes were for the most part ; uneducated except for their tasks or skill. Slaves were a very high percentage of the population, most were bond slaves dues to poverty as war slaves were used in the mines and criminals in the galleys of the roman navy. Spartacus is a true story! Crucifixion was a common punishment for slaves. Invented by the Persians some say as a more evil death than the single stake sat upon as was the custom, read Esther.

Love one another

As Rome conquered the known world they absorbed pagan religions as useful tools of the state. Later Rome would develop a city/state organization to rule all the gods, with one man via other men ruling all men so they can control kingdoms, empires. Every pagan religion was adapted to fit the lifestyle of the Roman, to meet the needs of the state/empire. The Jews were tolerated at times. If you did not follow the rules of worship of the emperor or whatever the favored god/temple was in that city, you were subject to shunning, fines, slavery, death. You could not buy or sell without the approval/seal of Rome. The pagan priests were officers of the state, by 450 ad this system of state run “Visible Church” “AKA vChurch” was the official state church, with none other allowed until new rulers got powerful enough to split off their own brands. Each calling the other heretic. These gods are no different than the pagan gods of the nations around God’s people all the time on earth via the power of the Satan, eater of dust. As we are dust in our flesh, that benefits us nothing when we try and save, preserve or embellish it. We are as these young people enjoying the smell of their bakery and the beautiful day. As pagans they will have vague beliefs depending on what is the latest pop religion or which temple has the best festivals/services/parties. The philosophers that influenced their daily lives as Greek/ Roman pagans are still being taught in our secular universities, colleges as words to live by. Many a good child of disciples of Christ are devastated when their educators tell them Christianity is all wrong, there is no truth. Many of our most educated citizens are the most in need of a real God. The money, power they control and influence keeps them so occupied with the things of the world, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, they have no time for God who wants adoration, constant communication, and dynamic love in the oneness of abiding in Christ the King.

What do you say to the couple? That stylus and sealed document would say they are educated, literate, and able to reason. What do they need from you if you walked into their bakery in the year 78 ad? What would you say today that would have been out of place in their day?

What can you offer them? The religious have will always have nicer temples, Grand services, super organized, state supported, their religions allow them to do anything they want in their lusts and excesses. Even warfare on their religious opponents, genocide on heathens, wars and more war. War, famine, pestilence, death is the fruit of these religions. The strife of divisions led to the bloody reworking a broken down philistine cart of the Reformation. The understanding the Greek/Romans have of the afterlife is vague and not reassuring, much like a Calvinist or Gnostics, never sure. They have little hope in the favor of their fickle gods. To the lost, pleasure and seeking same is the game of life, depends on luck and karma if you are superstitious at all. Having been exposed to God and even Jesus by Hollywierd, and the modern institutional machine of traditional “vChurch” the lens one sees Jesus by is often dark, cloudy and “Twisted by false religions” & confusion.

Imagine these two people come to your meetings, Will they be impressed with your parking? lobby services? Nursery or child care? The choreography of the service is predictable and follows the bulletin. The speaker is eloquent, professional and very educated in the scriptures, knows almost as much as google. Be sure to read Frank Viola’s books on what is wrong with our worship practices, models and methods. clicklink See reading list below.

Imagine that two married Jewish followers of Jesus, from Rome meet this couple what would they say to the couple? Would Priska speak to them the same message they gave Apollos? What would they say? What would you say different because of your traditions? Why would you change the message to one of confusion? The humble fellow workers of Paul, they worked with their hands, are mentioned in Acts 18 read about them here https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/acts/18.html

Where did Priscilla and Aquila go to “vChurch” ? = visible church on the corner. https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/1-corinthians/16-19.html

 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. (click on the words to find the Greek or more info)

The “Ekklesia” assembly met where they could and when they were able. Soon after the Jews heard Jesus is King and the temple is going to be mobile they kicked them out of synagogues and the temple.

What would the vChurch at Corinth look like? Corinth was a Roman Colony made up of retired soldiers and citizens of Greek and Roman cultures. What did they talk about in that first century? or the second? by the 4th we see dramatic changes to order of worship, the rise of a new preisthood, new buildings, priests officiating in rituals, prayers, rule making. The simple peasant, the women, join the least of these as humble “supplicant” and must follow the rules laid down by the vChurch of the state they are in. The “Laity” class is created by the elevation to higher office the priests in their pulpits “High and Lifted.” Even Martin Luther wanted to remove the class of lay people from the church with all being equal. see; https://www.christian-history.org/martin-luther.html thanks to P. Pavao!

What would give the pagans a reason to give up their pagan beliefs, renounce all, family, titles, names, their very life could forfeit for the simple gospel that God loves all His children? The volcano is rumbling, the couple sez “It always does that” “We will go to the temple to appease the gods” What can you tell them? Do young people today believe that the earth mother/nature controls the weather? Does Luck, chance, fate or do the laws God placed in the physical world for our health and comfort rule your walk/life?

Strange that the science and physics that govern our natural laws of the universe are hardly ever questioned and most often relied on by the very people that say there is no God.

The simple Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15 message involves no rules, rituals or need for special places, reverends, clergy, or temples, Read the words in any translation or the Greek the message is simple. God loves you so much He has bought you with a price beyond anything physical or on this earth. Free resources from

the Bible Project

It is very hard to sell Buicks while riding a bicycle. Your walk is your showcase for Christ. Do not wear His Name in vanity, or pride. Arrogance has a name and it is of the deceiver. 1 John 3:22-24 Know power of the Name! Don’t stay home without it!

The most humble people follow Jesus; https://www.christian-history.org/waldensians.html

The Jerusalem temple of Herod is long gone in a Roman wind of change and Jews are being expelled from Rome. What can you say to the baker and his wife? The Gospel is complete, no additional work or added sauce to make it better. Jesus finished God’s plan on the Cross. You might do more but who are you trying to please God or man? The world would wait 1400 years for the printing of the “Two Witnesses” and then the simple “Ploughboy”will have in his hands Tyndale’s’ copy of God’s Word. Why does any rational being think the world had to wait 1500 years for some theologian, reformer, king, or scholar to make sense of the very simple Gospel message? and they changed it so much, we are now divided 300+ ways. Acts 5:32 The Spirit is not the author of any confusion. We ask of God who grants wisdom and knowledge with great gifts He gives to all that ask, full measure, running over when we give our all to him. Look at the Corinthians, Ephesians and Colossians, read

In progress, more later…………………………..

If we can know what the history of a movement was we can see what they did, what they said and what happened. What was the first 125 yrs of the Church like? These are some of the writers that have presented some interesting facts. I would not agree with everything they propose but it is very interesting when you can verify when the first discussion of something like infant original sin is discussed, before St Augustine and Zwingli messed it up for children. Jesus sez they are innocent and we should be like them in faith and trusting Him. We are to be one.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/1-corinthians/15.html

What is the balance between the “Faith” and the “Baptism” of Eph 4:1-5, A study of Grace, an understanding of the Temple, Hint John measures the “Temple” in Revelations. That is the invisible Ekklesia . When we understand the Gospel message was final, “Once and for all delivered to the saints” We have no latter day message that contradicts or changes, alters the Gospel. Even angels can’t change it as they have tried. Men twist the message because it is too simple for controlling, anyone can be a temple of the Holy Spirit, The vessel has to be spotless and only one cleanser will work for my filthy rags. When my conscience is dirty, I want it scrubbed by God. When my heart is evil I want it replaced by the Great Physician. Like these poor Romans, we will stand before God, we will see Him High and lifted up. Our knee will bow and our heart will be laid bare before our creator. Did we believe as Abraham did? Hebrews reads; By faith Abraham, when he was calledobeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. https://www..com/nas/hebrews/11.html

 

Live your life among the pagans so that they marvel and ask “Who is your God?” Worship in your assemblies of the Body so that the unbeliever will declare God is with you. 1 Cor 14:24-25, If they don’t see the Love why bother?

Each has to walk in the Light they can see. Some are blinded by the traditions of family, many by the shadows of the great men they are following blocks the Light. We don’t need mediators (Clergy) or filters on God’s Word, spoken or written. We should walk side by side and allow the Holy Spirit to Abide, fill us with all knowledge and wisdom, as we need it and as we can handle the Truth. We must empty of self of ego, pride and arrogance of “rightness” The Holy Spirit can’t fill a full of self vessel. Yes, many are in darkness, because they refuse to obey their own beliefs. acts 5:32, they fail to be like those former pagans in Corinth, messy, divided, loud, disrespectful yet Paul called them Saints. Acts 18:8, 1 John 3:22-24 the rest is religion. Instead of pointing out errors could we explore things we can agree on for Harmony, balance and unity? We are supposed to be

Amen! We have observed many times a zealous group will start growing and soon a wolf, or wolves, shows up with his goats to “But” anyone who does different. With prayerful harmony and seeking God’s will from our “Wonderful Counselor” the local ekklesia has the Power, wisdom and knowledge to select humble men to shepherd the flock. Some from divided denominations who have regulated this awesome work to hired hands, clergy, reverends or boards, just don’t know any better. Without these key people in the humble positions plans will fail. Men in their wisdom and eloquence rob the cross of power. We see the imperative Paul displayed in his writing on the “Shepherds”, Elders, of the flock. Peter said this; “Shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness” ;1 Peter 5:2 NAS
The only way we will reach those outside is to show the love for one another that Jesus taught, this is best done by the family in the fellowship of the Body, By being the Ekklesia of God where you are. When they broke bread together “Their eyes were opened” John 13:35, The Holy Spirit does the work, we are the message. Acts 5:32, 1 John 3:22-24 the rest is religion. The most arrogant divided denomination we know of is very accurate on their bible interpretation, yet they fail at “Love 101” IMHO
https://www.christian-history.org/communion-quotes.html

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absencework out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.  Phil 2

Would you tell them the Truth of the Way and the Life?

Jesus sez “The flesh profits nothing” John 6:63

https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/1-peter/1.html

One of the first places we served in the early 70s , Jesus place is special to us. If you consider a donation we know that the followers at Jesus Place will use your gifts to the best use for the homeless and families they serve. http://jesusplace.info/current-needs/

https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/1-corinthians/16-19.html

 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. nasb

Tyndale Chapter Parallel

1 Corinthians 16:19 (TYN) The congregacions of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you moche in the Lorde and so doeth the congregacio that is in their housse.

Wycliffe Chapter Parallel

1 Corinthians 16:19 (WYC) All the churches of Asia greet you well. Aquila and Priscilla, with their home-church, greet you much in the Lord, at the which also I am harboured [Aquila and Priscilla greet you much in the Lord, at whom I am harboured, with their home-church].

Published by

Sonny

Warrior, scholar, teacher, preacher, minister, foot washer, bilge coolie, slave of Jesus and "Huckleberry" to Jean. Wondering what did I ever do to deserve loving you two?