Loving our neighbors, forgiving our enemies, washing the feet of our brothers and sisters. We are self supported ministry devoted to being followers of Jesus Christ. We share the simple Gospel of Jesus the King.
Some say this is the mark, a sign and a “must” have for true Christians. What did Jesus say? “Nothing will be impossible for you” Should we be able to do the same as the apostles, Jesus or the early disciples? The disciples could do many of the same as Jesus, but needed more faith, fasting, prayer and ?
Speaking in Tongues. My experiences….
I was living in Cuba and the locals could not understand my Spanish. I have so much accent of the South some can’t understand me when I speak English. The Cubans would say “Get them grits out of your mouth, gringo!” I have seen people speak in tongues, I have seen people in the/a spirit levitate. The problem is this was a Haitian Voodoo ceremony.
I have been baptized into Christ according to Act 2:38, Believing the scriptures 1 Peter 3:20-21, Eph 4:5, Gal 3:25-27, Col 2:12, Romans 6, and that we are saved by Grace, not by works of the flesh, anything we do. I am a Christian and will honor no other name that man-made doctrines might profess. Acts 5:32 The Holy Spirit as an abiding presence in the new mobile Temples is another post. If I missed the Holy Spirit by obeying Jesus to be immersed for the remission of my sins into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the precious Name of the King to receive this special gift of the Holy Spirit then I missed it. If it is a gift How Can I Demand a Gift? I feel tongues is a lesser gift, and if one has it they should or will show love and grace to us weaker members. We have met, and known those that did practice tongues in worship. Like all people some filled with the Holy Spirit were loving caring individuals that share their many gifts, “Talents” that God has blessed them, our bros and sis in the Kingdom. Others we happened to meet with, were stand off ish, they were secretive, divisive and arrogant. During our 40+ years we saw much division over this and other invented doctrines like “rapture” and left behind Hollywierd stuff.
Where are the other gifts? Heal the sick? Yes, I have been healed of cancer by the laying on of hands and anointing by the Elders. We would not ever place God in a box of our theology and tell the Holy Spirit what to do or not do. The name of Jesus is above all names. I have never experienced this speaking in tongues experience and reading 1 Corinthians 12 and all of the two letters+ I believe that there are more important gifts and those being a gift does not the giver our God, chose the one to be given the gift? and the Gift in his plans for us? How do you demand a gift? Or read directions in a book on “How to ” by some “reverend” or guru? We have served in many congregations as elder, teacher, and pastor/preacher always working with our hands so the body did not have to support us. In each case of someone exhibiting or teaching tongues in the gatherings, there was division and dissension. I am especially alarmed when someone hints that their pet gift, usually tongues is giving them a level of “holy” someone else has not experienced and until the person speaks in tongues or has a baptism of the Holy Spirit they are not quite a Christian or may not be “Saved”. This “special” causes envy, strife, and division of the flock. God is not the author of confusion. When I see the pure perfect law of liberty being exhibited in the fruit the tongue speakers bear, in the life of the Christian, I may seek this gift, along with healing, miracles and more. Why can’t we do these and greater things? We can when we have greater love. I was healed by the laying on of hands of the elders of cancer in 2015 and I would never restrict the Holy Spirit or try and place God in a box. I have always taught the Love we share was first of all things and God’s Grace is beyond our imagining in this world.
Where is the raising of the dead? The walking on water? I have walked on water but it was frozen therefore it was not by faith. I would rather spend time in prayer for my neighbors and be in the Spirit talking with God in my prayer place than seeking a gift of tongues. When you claim that those that can’t babble or speak in tongues are lost then I have a problem with your teaching. You can only say that with conjecture and by twisting scripture. If one does speak and it is in accordance with the New Testament then it is fine with me but everywhere I hear about it there is strife and division over names, titles, sabbaths, reverends, man made doctrines, rules, buildings and silly stuff that won’t make a difference in Heaven. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is for all who obey Jesus. Outward signs are Love for the lost, Love for your brothers and sisters, Love for your neighbors, forgiving your enemies and much Grace. Hebrews 12:15, Be the Church, not go to a church. Be Salt, shine the light, wash feet as you carry your cross. 1 John 3:23-24
Come to the Table, gather with family, friends, neighbors, Celebrate the resurrection, Break Bread, drink new wine! The restoration of the Ekklesia of God only needs a few neighbors, people of peace, near you to be like the servant “Phillip” making disciples of King Jesus, “Apollos” teaching as one mighty in the scriptures, or the “Priscilla and Aquila” couple making tents, teaching and sharing in their homes. And a “Table” to share a meal in communion with our Lord. “Breaking Bread House to House” covers all the rules and rituals with 1 John 3:23 in teaching “Sound Doctrine” Titus 2:1-10, Come to the table, leave the dead altars behind. the simple Gospel is best! saltlightministry.com
Many houses of straw will fall to never rise. The Temple built of Living Stones will stand. We are the Royal Priesthood of the New Covenant 1 Peter 2:9
Come to the Table, share the blessings of fellowship one with another, share the Bread of Life, give the Cup of Forgiveness to your brothers and sisters, be reconciled to your King, feast with Him in the new Covenant of the Kingdom. Go down in the river to pray, wash all your sins away. “Breaking the Bread, their eyes were opened.
Our humble worship is measured by our submission. The problem is the definition of many “Church” words has changed as we changed. Church is Ekklesia, a mobile dynamic form of community that was relational to the actual people we see every day, Like Heb 10 talks about. Pastor is Shepherd, a humble servant, not an elevated office or rank of clergy or hired hand. no reverends! Worship =Proskuneo “to kiss the hand, as a dog licks the master’s hand. Not “Dancing with the stars” entertainment or “the sage on the stage” with man’s wisdom and eloquence lest the Cross be of no power. 1 Cor 1:17 When men take over the Cross has NO power. No wonder so many young preachers burn out trying to power up the cross with hot air
The Holy Spirit leads into all truth. All knowledge and wisdom. All is in the mind of God. We have to become one with Him. Many try to get to God listening to all the voices shouting. The simple gospel is so simple. We have one law or rule or tenet or doctrine and we can’t agree with a plain statement from Jesus; repeated by John, Paul and Peter. Here is the mystery revealed, the secrets are here now 1 John 3:23, Gal 5:14, 1 Peter 1:22-23 the rest is religion
The crowd responded in Acts 2 many already believed, they were heartbroken,v38 Pete told them what to do. v39 to all, v41 , v42 continued in the apostle’s doctrine, which will include Paul’s later. Acts 5:31-32 Cheers! That is true what Paul said but the taken out of context, He did not want people bragging and divided, Paul said “Some are for Luther, Some are for Calvin, some are for Wesley” well he did not say those names but you get it if you read it. “Is Christ Divided? ” 1 Corinthians 3, We read Acts 18 prayerfully, Acts 18:8 “The Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized” 1 Cor 12:13, “For by one Spirit” Eph 4:1-6, Acts 1:4, Acts 2 The Promise of the Father” to all that – Acts 5:32 Cheers!
WE consider the “reform” a philistine cart that moved away from idol worship, corruption and worse, they just did not go far enough or went to far, mainly they added and took away from God’s plans for His people. History is very easy to verify. Most could care less how far away from the real presence of God they are to know.
Some group’s theology of the Holy Spirit confuses the sign with the Gift of Salvation It is a promise not a command, Acts 1: Acts 2. Acts 5:32 is not Faith alone. The sign was and is given to point out something, God’s favor! on all nations Jews, then half jews, then gentiles, . When mature we drop the child’s toys. The former pagans in Corinth understood. Even in their “messy ” congregation assemblies they were Saints, having heard, believed and obeyed the Word, Acts 18:8, Amen! Jesus is the Light! Walk the Ancient Path to the Light Walking side by side we cast no shadow on each other. Walking behind even great men we are in shadow and do not see the Light in fullness. We feel sadness for our friends caught up in following in the shadow of Luther, Zwingli, Wesley, Calvin or St Auggie in error. Sad they see some light and believe but the divided denominational world has blinded them to the simple gospel of love for one another. They have quenched the Holy Spirit from their worship by following the doctrines of men. Turning to the eloquence ,skills and wisdom of mere men they have made a mockery of Worship. IMHO Acts 5:32
Mixing of the covenants is the habit of choice for the divided denominational world. By proof texting anyone can prove anything if the rules about testaments(covenants) is ignored to meet your agenda; killing a native population because they are heathen, enslave a people for same reasons, run a “Church” like an old covenant temple, run a new church like an old temple to control a ignorant people like the reform did. Even David Koresh can be a messiah people believe in. If you twist scripture enough. Acts 5:32, the only defence a sheep has is humble shepherds to care for them, lay down their life for the sheep. a hired hand pastor won’t do that. Kids playing “church” calling out to “mom/dad” who of our bros & sis is being bad, while they are the “cookie thieves”, the messy ones. You can spot them, pointing to their mixed covenants in the translations they love, proof texting your demise in hell, gleefully laffing.. Wearing a shirt that reads; “Jesus loves you but He likes me better!”. John 8 Jesus reminds us to “Walk in the Light” 1 John 3:23-24 defines who we are to be, Not divided over something so unclear, so confusing no one is happy with the division in their heart, especially Jesus. This division stopped the only chance America had to “Restore the First Works” of Love for our neighbor and the stranger at the gate, Joy in knowing Jesus, Abiding, and the wonderful Peace of God in the midst of chaos. Walking in the shadow of even great men like Lipscomb, Campbell and Stone is still in some darkness and shadow until we “Walk in the Light” We miss Grace when we divide.
Many follow “Zwingli’s Error” and don’t even know who he was. The theology is so buried in seminary training that few understand how it all came about in the trainwreck of the reformation. At best a Philistine cart trying to carry the presence of God from a pagan temple. The reformers were so disgusted with the Romans they ran too far in the other direction. How do we find balance and harmony?
Calvin, Luther, later Wesley followed the error of Zwingli and this false doctrine theology has caused millions to miss being washed in the Blood. Know the history before the warring theologians took over the many divided denominations. When the divisive theology is so contradictory the teachers have to write volumes to justify all the proof texts, When the “Plowboy” of William Tyndale’s day- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tyndale
can not understand without special “knowledge”or latterday revelations that is wrong! The Holy Spirit reveals all Truth to those that empty themselves of self by death to the flesh. The Holy Spirit can’t fill a temple full of idols to self, or vain pride. The ego has to go in a clean sweep so the Wonderful Counselor can do His work. John 6 explains this in graphic detail. v 53 We must eat the Bread of Life and share the Flesh and Blood by consuming the body and blood or, Jesus also sez in v35 “never hungry and thirsty” as in John 4 when Jesus declares the Water of Life is free and that God is Spirit, Worship is everywhere for the followers, no holy location anymore. Jesus explains the Work of God! John 6:29, This is the “Flesh profits nothing” of v63, the ritual is not the point, the communion of believers as “One” body is the whole point. Later pagan priests adapted the simple “Love Feast’ of “Breaking Bread “with the family of followers into a ritual work, full of rules and time restraints among other glosses. The “anti Christ” denied the Cup to the sheep claiming superior sainthood and other honors not found in the Word. The simple Gospel was done before 100AD, not during the reformation or after Constantine or St Augustine of Hippo twisted doctrine around the Whore of Babylon’s finger. History can be verified. Know the truth.
Worship =Proskuneo “to kiss the hand, as a dog licks the master’s hand. Not “Dancing with the stars” entertainment or “the sage on the stage” with man’s wisdom and eloquence lest the Cross be of no power. 1 Cor 1:17 When men take over the Cross has NO power. No wonder so many young preachers burn out trying to power up the cross with hot air
Acts 5:32, Romans 6 Titus 3:4-5, Acts 1:4, Acts 2. Grace is a salvation gift. The “Thief” who was indisposed with dying, as was our Lord. The old covenant was in effect until “It is Finished”. The “Promise of the Father” was promised by Jesus in Luke and Acts 1:4, The disciple/apostles all spoke in Tongues a sign gift of the Holy Spirit during the delivery, Peter preached a Truth Gift in the use of the two Keys of the Kingdom, Calling on the Name of the Lord they obeyed, Confessing in Repentance, submitting in water immersion, nothing else was practiced until after 125 AD (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didache for what the early followers practiced in Ad 100-125) This is a historical document that shows the normative practice of some early followers of Jesus during the first part of the 2nd cent. In no way is this scripture or binding. It is a historical artifact and verifiable as such. The Corinthians heard the gospel, believed it and obeyed it Acts 18:8. Read God’s Word for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit for knowledge, ask the wonderful counselor. Read the Word without commentary, but much prayer. Test the Spirits!
Doing “Church”, as the divisions and mixed up messages trying to all say the same thing does not present a lovable Jesus no matter how nice the brochure or facility. Love the “Commands and Traditions” Many of the traditions are expedient for that season or purpose but Hey! they are tools like using Pete’s boat to teach from, no more holy altars beside our knees. Too many traditions block our sight to see Him! Too many “Commands” are blocked by traditions. See; https://youtu.be/Ro8T21FpJmk
We feel the relationship model is the design going forward that will make a difference one soul at a time. As we, Jean and I enjoy our communion with our Lord together one day at a time during this season of uncertainty in the world. We have perfect peace knowing He has promised us to be together as One. Amen Come Lord Jesus.
Acts 2, Peter gave the verification Acts 5:32, After the promise of the Holy Spirit is poured out, Only the arrogant will construct houses of straw to defend the right to be like the thief. The disciples of John’s immersion for repentance were all in the old covenant rules until the pouring out on Pentecost. Acts 17-18 is clear they were immersed into Christ. To refuse to obey a clear command of Jesus. or to meekly follow His example to obey all rightness. 1 Peter 3, Titus 3, Col 2, Romans 6, Acts 22:16 “Wash away your sins” We know the Grace of God saves us not anything we do as a follower changes that fact of Eph 2, yet the Faith of action described in Hebrews 11 shows that acts of faith are not works of the law. We could be saved by works of God’s law IF we could keep all the law perfectly. No one has done that. except for Jesus as the Messiah. A perfect Lamb of God, a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the World. We must have Grace! God’s great justice demands payment for sin, we can’t pay and God’s great love for us gives us the greatest gift ever given, everlasting life. Jesus becomes our “propitiation for sin”. We are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. We want to join Him in His death burial and resurrection to rise and walk in a new life of the Spirit. The sinner is on the other side of the law of God, Romans 3:23, The sinner has to submit to God in Faith, The idea that an unbelieving unrepentant person is baptized is not in the NT. The idea of a person refusing to be immersed and expecting for the forgiveness of sin is not found after the Cross. How does this faith come? By hearing the Gospel? How beautiful are the feet. Know how your divided denominations theology was developed before the rise of the Roman Empire’s religion. The “Faith only” have followed Calvin and Luther in Zwingli’s Error. It is history. The American institutional divided denominational “church” has had 200+ years to get right with God. Instead, the daughters of the whore of Babylon have argued and split over every new teaching the deceiver has twisted to meet their agendas of power and control since the Age of the Apostles. Millions have believed the “Hired hand” reverends, doctors, who should be our shepherds, yet failed to unite on the ancient Way, instead they make up new doctrines based on man’s wisdom and eloquence. Come be one Body, one Faith, one Baptism. Eph 4:1-6, Teach “Sound Doctrine” Titus 2: based on Acts of the apostles. Not some latterday theologian dancing to the devil’s tune. You do know the history of your faith back to the Apostles teaching, don’t you? History can be verified. Some just don’t know and some don’t care, in apathetic ignorance. Jesus sez” do the first works” Abraham Obeyed https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/passage/?q=heb+5:9;heb+11:8 Note that Hebrews use “All who obey Him”
These guys were rolling! they had God in a cart, music, dancing, and happy times. How does that work out? The fans love the religious action until the bad stuff happens and your faith in the little gods fails. 2 Samuel 6 a new Cart! King Josiah found the Word of God stored in the temple, lost to memory of the priests charged with the care. Jesus went around the synagogues casting out demons. Just because it is said to be a holy place does not mean God agrees. Men do not make “Holy places” God does.
When we read any news and we tend to use a global view of BBC, CNN, Fox and Drudge report. The others are interesting. How they all fit the news to their agenda. Much like we use the Word of God to fit our profile, tradition, or belief system. With out a common foundation to be One Faith* we are not in the Word but dragging our temple where we thought our god was, but he ain’t dealing like that! He is not a human or magical mythical Greek/Roman god. For some reason, only the Mind of God knows He loves His creation. Most Greek-Roman gods were oblivious to human needs or want that did not further their schemes. As Paul told the court of Athens, ” God loves you even if you don’t know His name” Acts 17 records the court of Aerogapahus as being the high court of Athens, evidence of history records this court with the power of a death sentence for teaching contrary views. Ref; Socrates, tried and sentenced * Eph 4:1-6
Grace is misunderstood by some because latter-day, after 120AD or so the theologians decided that the Word of Grace was too simple for their needs. During different eras and times, many empires have used choice tenets of local or foreign religions to control the people they wished to rule. The rulers of nations quickly discovered if they could control the religion they could control the people. History and many reliable verifiable sources now expose the raw truth of where we have been, how did we get so far away from the New Covenant message of Jesus as Messiah prophesied by Isiah to both the Jew and the Greek, The offer is to as many as he will call by His Gospel. That is everyone BTW, not just you or me. The Old Testament has many examples of how easy it is for the elect to be deceived into thinking they are Elect and nothing can happen to them even in open sinful rebellion as in the time of Josiah. We can be sure as Elijah was reassured there were those that never bowed a knee to Baal, but many do! God has compassion on them but must be Justified as our Mighty God is a jealous God. Here are three pieces of evidences of the use of the word “Again” (Gk Palin) to demonstrate that the elect can fall away. Luke 15:24; Romans 11:23; and Hebrews 6:6
Is our Wonderful Counselor leading us into all Truth, Wisdom, and Knowledge or into a bookstore for the latest message from God that somehow has been hidden forever until a guru, latter-day prophet or theologian reveals it for a fee. Or has listened to all the voices of people shouting “Over Here!” Jesus is here! Is there a fee? Is there secret knowledge? Is there a special set of verses that have to be “interpreted” or does a creed layout all the tenets of the upper councils. Is there a “Prophet” that claims apostle, superior, or reverend status by title and authority? Is there a “Sacred” temple, building, altar, Bible or physical object/thing that must be worshiped, prayed to, or respected because of? Is there an office or function outside the Acts and letters describing a servant other than elder, deacon,servant, teacher, shepherd/pastor/preacher, evangelist? If Jesus is our Chief Shepherd how many dirty feet does a common shepherd have to wash? We are a Royal Priesthood. How does one apply for a position in the Kingdom? Does the Holy Spirit lead into all Truth? Does the Holy Spirit give all power? Who is between you and these blessings. 1 Tim 2:5, When you cry “Abba, Father” who answers you? 1 Peter 1:22
Grace is “This is the meaning of faith in Ephesians 2.8: a faith that works. It involves a full surrender to Christ and this genuine faith will always be accompanied by the evidence of obedience, James 2.14-26. Abraham obeyed and believed in Hebrews 11. If a person claims to believe, but does not obey, Jesus sez don’t be a goat about it obey! Luke 6.46. Hey Church of ____________”Repent and do the first Works” sez, Jesus.
Grace means gift, Charis in Greek “We work from grace, not for salvation. Our obeying actions is the response to God’s work in us.”
As Jean and I traveled around these past 47 yrs as a couple serving God in the Way. We visited/served with many congregations, groups, ministries. We were overjoyed to discover followers of Jesus among the many fans of Jesus in many places. We always sought out the obedient ones that love without measure, walk in the Light, like good sheep, we don’t hang with goats. We believe that if we were in danger of fire our friends might warn us, our enemies will mock us, the pious self-righteous will walk the other way, ignoring us. Our brothers and sisters will reason with us and teach us until we are of “Like mind” saying the same things in Love. As Aquila and Priscilla taught Apollos the Way more clearly we do likewise. “and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”Acts 18:26
“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/ephesians/3.html
simple gospel was once for all delivered, “A plowboy could read it and understand what he read” was said of the New Testement that was printed in the 1400s. we did not have to wait for a reformation of anything pagan when we only need to restore the first works, the love one anothers, do sheep stuff, not goat stuff. Acts stuff, not the first book of opinions. https://saltlightministry.com/
We could swap these all day and not change a Calvinist mind until the Holy Spirit removes the blinders that show they are following St Augustine. We follow Jesus the Mighty God and Wonderful Counselor is all we need. The rest is religion. John 15:6; Romans 11:19-22; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 5:4; Hebrews 3:12; 6:4-8; 2 Peter 2:20-21.
We taught public school in a vocational technical high school the surrounding county school would ship students in to our building for the various technical arts. We had a log hallway at the Tech High School and busses would drive up at one end and each class of 20-30 kids would fill the halls to get on the bus. At the end of the hall was a fire alarm and the students would sometimes pull it. Firemen would come and replace the glass and fuss out the principal and complain to the superintendent of the extra work of responding so often. The fire chief wanted a criminal charge brought on the student culprit. It is breaking the law and a felony, It is serious. One year after the third event with the trucks and all. The students got a kick out of the fire trucks and all the fuss. Our high population of special needs students and troubled kids made the alarm a challenge until it was pulled one time too many. We took a differential axle that had burned out apart in class. The black grease in the burnedout remains was very sticky and shiny black. I smeared a teaspoon into the trough of the fire alarm. The firemen left the glass out and we were instructed to call and rearm ourselves, after all we were the Tech High. We had to report every alarm but now the students did not get a break and fire trucks. One day the alarm went off and there at the end of the hall was a special needs young mans trying to remove a black stain on his fingers, he managed to smear it all over the wall, his clothes and his other hand. When he saw me coming he laughed and held up his hands. He knew he was guilty and caught with no way of removing the evidence. That is me and you, no matter when the bell rings on our life we are sinners with stained flesh that may not approach God and must be pardoned as the guilty are by the full payment for our crimes.
We have used the last few years of this season of our life to rediscover the Truth of our new birth and the Way as we had wandered off the path in our search for the Ekklesia of God or as St Augustine wrote a “City of God” or as Jesus said “A city on a hill”
When my sins, my filthy rags of my rightness seem to me to be a little cleaner than the bloody rags of your rightness, I have failed to love you as Jesus does. God never approves sin or allows us to bring sin into the Throne room. His great Love is equal to His Justice. The shame is trying to approach a Holy God with sin in our heart. Repent and do the first works, Have a clear conscience. All lust is sin as is eating to excess, lies, slander, hate, Matt 22:29
Calvin is said to be the daddy of Once Saved Always Saved. Read the Word as taught here,
As most denominations followed the error of Zwingli as did Calvin, Luther and Wesley, we often find some that refuse baptism in water by immersion because of this teaching that began with St Augustine. If any would like to debate this as reported in ignorance as #3 we would be happy to. First reject your denominational teaching and commentators to read without blinders the 12 or so conversions in Acts. Can we reason together? or are we divided? Eph 4:1-6 One. Romans 1:5 Read all the verses like this one that mentions Obedience, not works! or baptism regeneration but the simple gospel of obeying our King. Acts 2:37-38, Acts 5:32 Know the history of your traditions, rules and rituals. Are they New Wine or old stale beer?
God is Spirit, we must worship in Spirit and Truth, the flesh is nothing John 6:63, Jesus the Messiah and the Father are one, The Holy Spirit is poured out by the Father Acts 1:4, Promised delivered Acts 2, to those that hear the Gospel and believe, confess Jesus as Lord! Rom 1:5 obey as sinners to be immersed for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins. Simple Gospel One God Eph 4:1-6, The reason you or me can’t explain the 3 in 0ne to make human wisdom match God’s wisdom, Logos
Our search led us far and wide into many camps and tribes. All claiming to be the people of God. Some were divided into camps of a tribe that favored fish, this tribe is big and takes up lots of space on the river keeping others from the bounty. The hungry clamor at the gate for fish to eat. The meat is important for life. The Thirsty are lined up and only see a dry land near the river where these camps are. The tribe’s leaders say that none but the little gods the big god has blessed can eat the fish not mere sinful humans. Some times the little people are told “go away we will select some more special people tomorrow” and the hungry leave very thirsty for the pure water of the river God promised them in His Word. Some camps of this tribe share fish scraps and some camps block access to the river of life as they squander the gifts the river gives. Some camps claim to have free water but upon looking at it in the light we see many dark things floating in their water. Some camps even say the river is dried up and the fish are gone. Some dig new canals to control the river and fail. Some tap underground sources for a look alike water that slowly deceives, divides, and kills the taste of the water. Some camps charge for looks at the water in the river and sell muddy cups in old containers of the water they say came out of the pure river of God. Many are content to sip this muddy liquid a long as it sez on the bottle it came from near the river. We trust our brands, our traditions and live by the rules we like. We want our bible to fit our theology and will change camps and tribes to find a comfort zone. This is what happened to those disciples that left when Jesus told them how hard the choices will be, how to give, how to forgive, how to live. “Count the Cost” Jesus sez. We want a flat tax on a free ride home and minimum effort for return on investments. We want our life without hassle and Jesus as King sounds like a deal! We hire a hand to tend us and feed us. We fort up and enjoy our selves in our self righteous worship of what we can do on our own power and grand ideas.
1 Peter 1:22-23King James Version
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Water of Life flow through your servants as you promised. Titus 3:5-7 reads, “…he saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he
poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”
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 tell 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.
Who are these young people? Let’s imagine they are your new acquaintances. They are coming to your worship. The picture is from a mural in the 79AD destruction of Mt. Vesuvius of 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 and many wars and rumors of war. We will assume your 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 law. Click on the image 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. 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 Navy. Spartacus is a true story! Crucifixion was a common punishment for slaves. As Rome conquered the known world they absorbed all 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 religion was adapted to fit the life style of the Roman, to meet the needs of the state/empire. If you did not follow the rules of worship of the emperor or what ever 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 priest 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 rulers got powerful enough to split off their own brands . 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 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 colleges as words to live by.
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? They 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. Is the fruit of these religions of the reform. The understanding the Greek/Romans have of the afterlife is vague and not reassuring. much like a Calvinist. They have little hope in the favor of their fickle gods.
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? 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
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?
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?
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 any thing physical or on this earth.
It is very hard to sell Buicks while riding a bicycle.
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 Ploughboy will have in his hands a 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
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.
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 faithAbraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a placewhich he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowingwhere 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
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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].