Peter, James and Paul walk into “Church” today……

https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/ekklesia.html

When we say “Church” and the talking head on the news sez “Church” and the person in traffic at 10 am rushing to “Church”, What do they mean when they say “Church”? What did Jesus say? What does Ekklesia mean today? Many people have been martyred for translating, printing and distributing bibles. The sick puppies that try to control the people by hiding the Truth are among us.

The state political religion hated Wycliff so much they dug up his bones and burnt them. He had translated and handed the bible to the people. It is history. The state political churches helped the state control the people. The church recorded the people’s birth, required infant baptism and records of marriage and death as civic duty required for taxes, service in the state fields, army or navy. In some countries at various times you had to have the certificate of birth/baptism for to buy or sell. Is that the mark of Revelation?

Who changed the meaning of “Church”? Did it matter? During the time of King James the new printing press was printing books as fast as type could be set. Scholars like Tyndale had defied the state and political Church, the King of England and printed bibles for the common man. For over 1200+ years the state political “Church” had kept the bible in the hands of the educated clergy. Very few could read. The uneducated were gradually learning to read and the press was cranking out books, new books every day. Think Shakespeare for how they wrote and talked. I love the language of the time but it is hard to understand at times. The Greek idioms and expressions like Shakespeare’s are unfamiliar to those who have not studied them. Most leave bible theology to a reverend with letters after the name. Or a Doctor of Religion like the “Church” father St. Augustine. Auggie was a pagan, he never learned Greek, using Latin versions of books to learn his texts. He took a wrong turn or purposely misled people in the doctrine of original sin. All because of pressure from the state political organization to have more control with the “Church” You can read all about it it is history. Luther fell right into the trap and could never reconcile two scriptures. The “Heretics” opposed the state church (Hus, Waldo, Mennonites, Jews) and were slain by the thousands during this persecution where the church wielded power of the “Beast” and the Dragon that looks like a lamb but speaks with the voice of a dragon. Here is the doctrine refuted by scripture and not ideas of men. Your wit’s end is a place to start listening to God’s wisdom.

He ran a stop sign the “church” had placed in the road to God. The penalty was death for being a heretic.

Here is the text of the Tyndale translation of 1525 for Matthew 16:18 (TYN) I saye also vnto the yt thou arte Peter: and apon this rocke I wyll bylde my congregacion. And the gates of hell shall not prevayle ageynst it.

Ekklesia was the Greek word he translated. Look it up! The word was never used to name a geographic location. This is why some say on road signs “The Church of Christ meets here”

King James translation of 1611 uses Tyndale’s work, but bowed to the “church” and did what they asked to keep the state controlled “Church” in power. They even added some margin notes and deleted a few lines to suit their theology. If you are going to use the KJV please learn the idiosyncrasies of the translation that was born in religious warfare and empire building. The History is fascinating how empires rose and fell as God moved in the least of these to accomplish his will. This online bible translation tool is easy to use to compare your favorite translation.

The Tyndale Gospel of John 1525, later used in development of KJV of 1611. Few could read and write during this time.

A translation to the common language of the people was needed. Theologians and kings all wanted their doctrine to be followed to give them power and control. The original writings and words were copied and fixed to suit the current power struggle as all fought to have their way in the control and cash flow from having spiritual influence over the population. Our earliest copies of the early writings of the original authors is around 200 AD. Some verses are in the letters of early writers, some are mere scraps like ancient post it notes. Some copies are found by accident. Many scribes or copiers, kings and theologians of every stripe wanted their doctrine, pet verses to read the way they believed. When Tyndale, who said of the Pope of Rome, “If God spare my life, ere many yeares I wyl cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.”[43]” and Wycliff would not change the Greek to read like the King or the Pope wanted they were persecuted to death. Luther changed the word Ekklesia to a German word meaning a location. Look it up! the history of the word church The German state used his writing to persecute followers of Jesus that disagreed with Luther’s doctrine down thru the years to the nationalism that took over in the 1930s. The reformers bickered among themselves and fought the state church power. Nations were converted to the state religion and groups fought for independence to worship as God spoke to them. Despite any possible or perceived errors or additions or deletions to God’s original words by men and devils, The message of Jesus is clear, we are to care for one another, Love God, Love our neighbor, Forgive our enemies and wash the feet of our brothers and sisters. If we had only the one command to obey what would our “Church” look like? Galatians 5:14

Would it have? Signs that say “We love the Homeless” or a warm bowl of soup and a sandwich to be warmed and filled?

Would the body have many feet, hands and eyes, ears and few tongues? Would the ‘Church’ be known for it’s prayers and alms for the poor or it’s grand buildings, famous speakers and entertainment for the fans?

Would it have a group of people focused on “One Anothers” that Jesus commanded?

Are you keeping up an aquarium or fishing for lost?

The church we think of as American had humble beginnings. When people move to a new location they brought the religion and trappings, rules and rituals from what they had to what they wanted. Depending on the demographic make up they built a tavern/inn/ town/meeting house or fort or combination. Sometimes a meeting house in peaceful times would be a school and the people would meet for worship. These meetings were soon on set times and places because we are a busy people. The model we have today in mainline divided denominated religion is a “Church” we go to. We developed traditions, we repeat some mistakes and teach others the mistake. We trust people, we listen to too many gurus, we keep records and our ancestors did some amazing things with the “Church” as they sought to serve God and please men. Even in times of persecution, God has a few, a remnant that serve him even in the Praetorian Guard of Caesar. An old American Indian Chief was approached by missionaries from several divided denominations. The Chief was not impressed. Each told him the way to God. He knew the Great Spirit loved his people. He did not understand why the missionaries could not agree. The story of Hatuey

It is sad that without unity our message is lost to the intelligent. We are lost when we are divided. We must find balance to have unity. We supported an orphanage years ago in a third world country. The shepherd of the people there said they will worship in the “Church” on Sunday, practice VooDoo and Santeri worship on Friday and Sat. “The people got up to dance” while Moses was on the mountain.

My Brother Colin of England has these ideals to share
https://sway.office.com/oLdENsnaSVFzDtBf?fbclid=IwAR3kpsskchBURVfYAZmmcyxqMGdEyvapzEyRukON1weAKukYHTuSVwj7b9Uhtt

The early Ekklesia was blessed to have people that walked with the apostles. Many wrote of the things they did and said. As time went by many people made changes based on being in favor for one person’s view and against the other. The cry of Heretic was heard in every nation ruled by the Roman Empire. The forced religion of the state churches used the power of gold and the sword of kings to rule. Each political/social/religious group has an agenda to push. Of course Satan knows if he can keep you from the pure word, the Holy Spirit, the precious blood of the Lamb and keep you confused with all the voices shouting today he has won his battle over your soul. He does not offer fiddles of gold if he can buy you cheap. I study this collection of the early church writers and I rejected most of the writing near the time of the establishment of the social/political/ corporate church that I consider to be the Lamb that speaks with the voice of the Dragon, The “Whore of Babylon” . The reference material I used for this study is listed as best as I recall here.

The authors I listened to and questioned in most cases were all biased in the view each have because of traditions and their personal situations. Of course pastors, preachers (Shepherd and Elder should be the title of the person leading the flock) and such that maintain a week to week ministry centralized around everything from a one room rented storefront to a country church, grand buildings on a campus with a staff of many have the support of the ministry at heart. and this is where many err. In trying to maintain the structure of a “Fan focused” one day a week event the staff become focused on the essentials for the production of more fans to support the effort of maintaining the momentum. The leadership has to provide programs and events to draw more and more participants and fans on gameday. The 20% or so that actually do the work become burned out and the staff moves around to find “nails for their hammers” instead of getting back to the practices of the first Ekklesia the groups try different ways and different gospels to the chagrin of Satan. All we need is Jesus with a simple message of right and wrong, here is the double cure for sin and Galatians 5:14 one law to obey that covers everything God wants for His children. Is the Gospel just too simple for all the theologians and “Pastors’ to understand that are caught up in the system? I recently spoke with a reverend from a denominational group that has issues with membership. I talked about the Word and shared chapters and verses that showed God’s plan for salvation and day to day life of the follower. He responded that that was my interpretation and he must go by the ruling of a council on the issues we spoke of. He admitted that God’s word said what it said. He admitted that man’s doctrine is taught by his “Church”, but that is tradition and it has stood the test of time! Right! Many good people, followers of Jesus are lost in the divided denominational churches all claiming to be the “Way” Some of these divisions can not claim to be the original church and must admit they are a latter day gospel or message, some are outright cults profaning the Name of Jesus by saying He is not God, not the Messiah or worse. Some are just divided, following mixed covenants to give some people power, money and control. The reasons are hidden in history from most members because they like most Americans don’t know (ignorant) and don’t care (apathetic). Click for Tree diagram of the denominations (there are many of these, find one you like) Do you know where your roots are? Men add branches. God cuts at the base and chops the disobedient, unfruitful branches off. And grafts in the believing obedient people of all nations for one body of Christ. Jesus is the Root of David, more “Root” verses. Israel is not the Root, Jesus is, The nation of Israel is cut off, gentiles grafted in to the Root.

Francis Chan speaks to me as a person of passion and fire for God in his heart. He is being attacked by those that don’t like him but look at the reason? Chan threatens the existence of mainstream “church” Read “Letters to the Church” before you cast a stone. Most “Churches” teach what is popular and what promotes and sustains the “Church” This leaves out a lot of repentance, sin and Truth about the one way to God. Grace and obedience are different and the same result. That the “Tithe” is a good place to start as it was 23% of your farm production and was spent on the poor, festival/festivities and the up keep of the temple/priests that was renovated by the Romans in 70 AD. Jesus knew the “temple” would be destroyed and His Temple would stand forever. Now where the temple might have been is no trace but some foundation stones and disputed locations, kinda like Moses’ body or the “Ark of Covenant”, we don’t need it! 1 Corinthians 3: 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”

Francis Chan speaks to me as a person of passion and fire for God in his heart. He is being attacked by those that don’t like him but look at the reason? Chan threatens the existence of mainstream “church” Read “Letters to the Church” before you cast a stone. Most “Churches” teach what is popular and what promotes and sustains the “Church” This leaves out a lot of repentance, sin and Truth about the one way to God. Grace and obedience are different and the same result. That the “Tithe” is a good place to start as it was 23% of your farm production and was spent on the poor, festival/festivities and the up keep of the temple/priests that was renovated by the Romans in 70 AD. Jesus knew the “temple” would be destroyed and His Temple would stand forever. the temple might have been is no trace but some foundation stones and disputed locations, kinda like Moses’ body or the “Ark of Covenant”, we don’t need it! Paul in Corinthians is clear, the Temple is your body. The Temple of God, dwelling of God is the individuals that a called “Living Stones” building on the foundation of the Chief Cornerstone, The Rock of Ages. Some will build on sand and use straw to build their “Church” We will pray you build on the Rock of offense

Look around the temple mount for an Islamic mosque or “Holy” shrine erected by over zealous “Christians” through the centuries. Many dot the country with relics and artifacts galore. I would hate to know my healing or my salvation relied on physical objects or rituals from old covenants. Romans 12

Imagine this: Your significant other whom you love dearly tells you they need your help and undivided attention then they proceed to tell you all about the latest heart throb/entertainer on the media of the day. Finally they admit by demonstration they have asked the other person for help with their problems. How do you feel about the loyalty your lover shows?

Imagine this: You tell your significant other whom you love dearly that you can’t see them anymore unless they come to your new home. Your significant other sez ” That home you want me to live in is the one we trashed and lost to the Bank way back in the day” Some one has duped you into taking it back with a new coat of paint and a few new rooms. You need to talk to the home builder about cleaning out for a new person to dwell with you. The local home builder has a new foundation and a new building style based on one rule in the code book. and it is all paid for. Why would you ever want to move back to the place you could not keep up? Jesus said, Abide!

You are deep in the jungle, your map, compass and guide are gone in a flash of an accident. You can call one person for help. Your best course is to: Ask them to read a book about the jungle and tell you what they think best to do. Ask them to send you a few things that helped them with the thought of the jungle. Whoever you talk to has not been through this jungle of life and death. Only one person in all of history has ever claimed to have survived a full court Roman execution. Did Jesus? If he did I will honor Him as Savior. He is the winner. I will place all my life on His table. He may pour me out like a drink offering or serve me up as He wills. If He does not live and never arose I am still a happy fool for God. I do not mind being the court jester for the King. No other God claims to have a risen Savior. I will place all my foolish hope for the only person that has ever claimed to have made it out of the jungle of death alive. The Resurrection of Jesus is the hinge of history. I want to know everything about my guide and how to get out of this jungle alive. You can say you do not like him, you do not understand him, you do not know him. You don’t have to like Him, you must love Him. You don’t have to understand, He will teach you. You can know Him through His Word and Spirit. Don’t worry he won’t bother you if that is your choice. If you don’t want to follow him He won’t make you. He is not lost. We are in the jungle of life and death. We will all leave our mortal remains here in the dirt. Do we try and follow the light He shines, Follow the moral compass He uses, we can never be good enough to survive the jungle without Him. We have no power over the jungle. We don’t need our map to safety or our moral compass, they are rotten and worthless as rags. They won’t find us safe passage, only snakes, dragons and tigers of sin. Your choice. Maybe you had a trusted guide and they abused and hurt you as people do. The facade store front of all of man’s religion is filled with signs of love, peace, joy. However the backroom storehouse has little to offer. Here is a box of social mores, here a roll of aspirations, a torn open case on a pallet sits in the middle of the floor. I read the label on the torn and worn packages, it reads, “Rules, rituals, plus traditions that are now rules, and stuff we think God likes.” and a small can of hope. Next month will have a bake sale to help the building fund sez the bulletin that is our next to FB communication device. We must do better with our talents.

Many have tried to follow the Master by trying to form a box to place him in. A place we are comfortable with. Our God is Holy and He requires a Holy place to have His Habitat, His throne is the heavens, the earth is a footstool for our creator. No other gods compare or deserve our interest or concern. If we give “mother nature” the “Mother god of the pagan nations, Astoreth, or Diana of the Ephesians credit for God’s cosmos or even the weather what is a response from a jealous God? If we blame luck or curse our fate as we search the “lucky” stars, how does God feel when we carry his name in our vanity and pride?

Author reviews:

Tom Wright is a gifted teacher and his bible knowledge is good if not profound but he always goes more for Paul, in fact his book on Paul is how I discovered this Anglican priest, a reverend bishop of the Church of England. Bio of Paul by NT

Dr. Bart Erhman, has written many books and taught many students about his view of Jesus from a historical perspective. Here is Dr Bart’s author page/blog. He is pretty clear on the facts of the New Testament, Early Church, and Jesus Christ from his opinion of the historical record. I find the facts are just that, if verifiable and accurate facts are used. I will understand the historic facts don’t prove everything we followers accept as God’s Word. I would not share Dr Ehrmans’ opinions with new believers unless the person is very open minded and strong in their personal faith. Because of this I am firm in my faith that Jesus arose.

Dr. Bart Ehrman, has written many books and taught many students about his view of Jesus from a historical perspective. Dr Bart has an author page/blog. He is pretty clear on the facts of the New Testament, Early Church, and Jesus Christ from his opinion of the historical record. I find the facts are just that if verifiable and accurate facts are used. The facts are in history. I appreciate the history lesson. Most denominated, divided “Christians” have no clue of their roots or where the rules, clergy, rituals, and doctrine they follow came from. I will understand the historical facts don’t prove everything we followers accept as God’s Word. If we have a physical object to prove the “Empty tomb” or a real piece of the cross, Would our faith be stronger or not faith at all since it is based on feelings about things? Example: If we found the “Ark of Covenant” I believe peole would worship it and claim miracles. God wants our love and obedience is what I get from the overall message of the NT. The opinions of Dr Erhman are sprinkled like road apples on a nice walking trail in all of his books. I would not share Dr Ehrmans’ opinions with new believers unless the person is very strong in their personal faith and is willing to deeply study the NT with the open mind. It is evident Bart(he sez so) has no faith in Jesus as a savior. Dr Bart explains “Religion” does not mean the same thing it did when James wrote “Pure Religion” Today religion means your personal faith you have or you follow, or you have a membership in like a club. A church/clergy/reverend tells you you are saved and now have the Holy Spirit because you did: ? When James wrote Pure Worship is this We must know the facts! The lies of the social/political/state run religions down thru history are the voice of a dragon that lives like a sheep. The divided denominated religious world needs the facts of the New Testament revealed by a gifted scholar-like Bart. As a follower of Jesus, reading this is revealing like reading your families criminal history. I am firm in my faith that Jesus arose. Bart has only conjecture and his ideas on what happened to Jesus. I am firm in my belief in God. I know that the message of the Messiah is Love, Galatians 5:14, all the rest is religion and is “skybalon” sez Paul the Apostle. I will read some Francis Chan, David Bercot, N.T.Wright, and other progressive Followers of Jesus. No more need to hear Dr Bart. “When someone shows you who they are, Believe them” M. Angelou. The narration was terrible fast!

The Fool sez there is no God.

We left the building where the fans gather a few minutes a week to count nickels and noses. We were never called to be entertained or served. We left to do the Acts stuff of following Jesus in this season when the divided denominated popular “church” has become lost in the voices shouting “We are the one he loves” while Satan laughs at our lack of unity and silly divisions. If your congregation is meeting the needs of the “Least of these” of your community and “Doing the Acts stuff” may God bless every effort. Use the gifts of our great God given to you where you stand. Listen to His voice. Follow Jesus not religion. How do you use your gifts?

What does God want? Francis Chan on youtube, last five mins are a warning to the American Church

If I could prove Jesus arose by sharing a picture, statue, stained glass window or middle ages tapestry, relic or Renaissance painting or having a parchment first edition of Mark or Moses dripping ink from his pen. None of that is of faith or Grace, if worshiped. None of that would replace the fact that there can be none other name among humans that offers so much for so little effort in such a loving wonderful way of Grace. When we must have a miracle, a vision, a physical metric we can touch to have faith then our faith and salvation will be based on things, objects, books, bibles, churches, humans, clergy, rituals, rules, denominations, man made titles, names and places declared to be “Holy” by men. Jesus is the High Priest of the “Church”, His Bride, His Body, King of His Kingdom. To place any image, idol, person, place, event or thing before Him or require others to obey is to follow the Pharisees or pagans in error.

When I first came to God after being a lost child and prodigal son I was weak and focused on my past sinful life. I did not trust God to forgive everything and I could not figure any way I could pay or restore even parts of the mistakes and sins I had committed. I tried the self work of trying to fix myself. I now know that there is nothing I can do to fix my past. Only God can bless my “ministry of reconciliation” I must be prepared to reconcile, restore and forgive as much as possible. Only my pride, greed, and ego can prevent me from forgiving and loving as Jesus does. I must kill these emotions, feelings, thoughts and bury them as part of the old man of sin. Romans 6

Rightly divide to me means that I take an overall view of the scripture, know the Greek words the author used if possible, know the setting of the writing, understand the history, culture, and people as much as possible. Then remove as much as possible the prejudice I may have because of my tradition, other voices or personal bias to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to my spirit with God’s word before me. I might meet Jesus on the beach with my friends and have breakfast. Is that “Ekklesia”?

If I read only what Paul says I might become dogmatic and misunderstand Peter and James. If I listen to theologians I won’t see all the Grace Paul writes of and how James places our “works” in proper perspective for daily life. I find it hard to read the letters of Peter and find a more humble servant to wash my feet. If I only listen to James I might miss Grace. If I only read Paul without James and Peter I might not understand obedience to the perfect law of liberty and wind up doing “works of the law” and trying to meet requirements I do not need. The mixed covenant model is broken. Know where one ends and the other begins. We take useful buildings that could support many homeless and shelter many hurting people. We make them into temples our God does not need in the new covenant. We set up a priesthood with ranks and titles we have no authority for, to collect tithes we have no right to, to support what we think God wants. What did James say true worship is? Most of the today teaching on Romans copies St Augustine who set doctrine for RC and Luther later on. Many people interpret Romans thru the lens of St Augustine. Augustine was Latin and pagan before he wrote for the “Church”. I do not give much weight to any man’s doctrine that was developed after 125-150 ad. If one sees Romans thru the eyes of the Gospel writers, balance comes about and one does not use the Roman letter as an excuse not to obey or exclude other truths.

Word study Pedagogue, Tutor in the Greek/Roman culture and so used by the writer of the letter to the Ekklesias of Galatia. When wealthy parents of “gifted” (mostly male) offspring wanted the best in education for the child they would hire/or slaves, a “Tutor”. Viewed from the perspective of a gentile believer I will assume this is what they thought of when Paul told them about the “Tutor” to bring them to Christ. Many famous people of the ancient world had tutors/mentors to guide them. Many of those “Tutors” are taught in Universities today. No matter how educated or “Smart” the tutor was, the “Heir” came of age and the tutor became at best a counselor, but almost never the ruler of the heir who inherits all of the “Abba”. Our promised guide is the “Wonderful Counselor” of the Holy Spirit, the one mediator between God and man. Prayer for today is not to look in the rear view to see where we have been but to look forward to see where we must go on the narrow road.

The prayer of David “Thy Word is a light for my steps” not a used car lot light show to the next best deal of the day or a carnival to demand the emotions to respond to the latest marvel. Pray for the gift of discernment to hear the Word of God, to study the Word and to shut out the millions of voices from the divided denominated daughters of the whore of Babylon. When we have the whole truth we will find the source is God. The message will be the message He has revealed in Jesus. God is Love!

You won’t need astrology, numbers, or crystals, or altars or magic books to worship Him, He is Spirit and Truth, that is how he rides. The grandest building man can build won’t save you or anyone. Only God can forgive you, judge you in the real deal, final exam, final sentencing for the accused, or write your name in His Book, the wedding Feast, The Bride, the New, Earth, New Jerusalem. What does Peter say about this world and All that is in it? “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3.

We are promised several out of the world promises from Jesus. I personally believe the New Testament as written, I know where most of the add ons, glosses, deletions and side remarks were found in some translations. If you include Mark 16 to the end of the longest copies we have you read several super natural things we should as disciples be able to do. Jesus said we could do more and included us that we would be able to do. Not on our demand or call like a genie in a bottle or a lucky charm. But with power and in the plan of God. Every theologian has a concept of God. In every case in every era men have tried to place God in a box. Then they charge admission to one and all to see the package they created. A little god in an orderly box of all the questions answered on you tube or TED. Jesus said some amazing things and we like his people then are afraid to step out of the boxes others have created for their little god. Read what Jesus said with out the lens of theologians. Read the words of God as written for the message. The message is “If you love me you will obey me and do greater things” Of course you should read some of the 50 or so commands of Jesus before hand. Why? Because I think they are conditional and situational. I believe the Holy Spirit is a living being far above my imagination other than the revealed word of God for my benefit in all things for God. The Holy Spirit is empowering, filling and delivering according to God’s promises. I believe our understanding of the Holy Spirit is limited by our understanding that He is first revealed in all of God’s written word and then indwells as a abiding presence of the repentant and obedient follower. He acts, guides, directs, disciplines, corrects and forgives. Believers sin against the Holy Spirit by lying, deceitful practices. (Make a list of sins God likes here)

HOUSE CHURCH ACADEMY

HOUSE CHURCH ACADEMY & Covenant House Church 208-262-6875 glennewman1948@gmail.com

ONE PAGE HOUSE CHURCH GUIDE

Ephesians 4:11-16. 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting ( complete furnishing) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers 

Pastors. There’s no such thing as a senior pastor in the Bible. So this is not the person up front running the church, but the people within the body who are nurturers. Also known as shepherds 

Apostles. Not a lofty position in the church, but those who break up fallow ground (spiritually speaking). The apostle is an ambassador for Christ. What some would call a missionary. 

Prophets. Sometimes foretellers, those who speak the word of God boldly. 

Evangelists. Soul winners

Teachers. Those who rightly divide the word of truth. 

Bishops. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 Synonymous with elder. An overseer 

Presbyters. Plural of elders. 1 Tim 4:14 

Deacons. 1Timothy 8-13. Similar to helps. 

Discipleship. A disciple is a learner, a pupil. 

1 Corinthians 12, Corinthians 13, 1 Corinthians 14, Romans 12 

Helps. A gift to help wherever there is a need. 

Elders. Titus 1:5, 1 Timothy 5:17 The older, more mature believers. 1 Timothy 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

Giving instead of tithing. Tithing is Old Testament Giving is New Testament 

Church. Ecclesia. The assembly of believers. WE ARE THE CHURCH 

No 501c3 Corporation status. No permission from the government to become a church. We are the church.

TRUE BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP MODEL 

Mark 9:35. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and says unto them, “if any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.”

Matthew 20:25

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him

be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 53. The entire chapter prophecy of Jesus’ arrival and suffering for all of mankind. 

Matt 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:3132 and the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 3:3 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1 Corinthians 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Luke 9:22 “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Philippians 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 27:50,51 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Revelation 1:6 and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light

2 Timothy 3:16,17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

A GUIDE NOT A RULE BOOK FOR THE HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT KEEPING GATHERINGS AS NATURAL AND ORGANIC AS POSSIBLE

Glen Newman HOUSE CHURCH ACADEMY

HOUSE CHURCH ACADEMY & Covenant House Church 208-262-6875 glennewman1948@gmail.com

ONE PAGE HOUSE CHURCH GUIDE

Ephesians 4:11-16. 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting ( complete furnishing) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers 

Pastors. There’s no such thing as a senior pastor in the Bible. So this is not the person up front running the church, but the people within the body who are nurturers. Also known as shepherds 

Apostles. Not a lofty position in the church, but those who break up fallow ground (spiritually speaking). The apostle is an ambassador for Christ. What some would call a missionary. 

Prophets. Sometimes foretellers, those who speak the word of God boldly. 

Evangelists. Soul winners

Teachers. Those who rightly divide the word of truth. 

Bishops. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 Synonymous with elder. An overseer 

Presbyters. Plural of elders. 1 Tim 4:14 

Deacons. 1Timothy 8-13. Similar to helps. 

Discipleship. A disciple is a learner, a pupil. 

1 Corinthians 12, Corinthians 13, 1 Corinthians 14, Romans 12 

Helps. A gift to help wherever there is a need. 

Elders. Titus 1:5, 1 Timothy 5:17 The older, more mature believers. 1 Timothy 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

Giving instead of tithing. Tithing is Old Testament Giving is New Testament 

Church. Ecclesia. The assembly of believers. WE ARE THE CHURCH 

No 501c3 Corporation status. No permission from the government to become a church. We are the church.

TRUE BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP MODEL 

Mark 9:35. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and says unto them, “if any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.”

Matthew 20:25

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him

be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 53. The entire chapter prophecy of Jesus’ arrival and suffering for all of mankind. 

Matt 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:3132 and the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 3:3 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

1 Corinthians 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Luke 9:22 “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Philippians 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 27:50,51 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Revelation 1:6 and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light

2 Timothy 3:16,17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

A writer said a few things on my comments about the Torah and implied that Galatians was being read wrong. I feel the Torah worshipers are a cult that place Jesus below the temple, the old law and the Torah. I may be wrong as Tyndale or Wycliff about the “Ekklesia” being the “Congregation” but I think they are wrong and sadly misled. Here is my reply. You actually believe the Torah is in force for gentiles? Where do you find that? I bet you think the temple will be rebuilt? Have you actually studied history of the first 100 yrs of the ekklesia? Israel, the old covenants, the law, the Torah, the temple all plowed under by Rome as prophecy fore told. We walk by faith, not by sight. We obey the perfect law of liberty. We don’t walk with divided denominated daughters of the whore of Babylon. We know many followers that survive in those boxes that men build to hold God captive in religions. We know the history of the greed, power and control struggles that made religion a tool of kings, popes and Satan. We follow Jesus as our Lord, our Wonderful Counselor, Our Mighty God, our Prince of Peace. We are one with Christ Eph 4:5, one in Christ Gal 3:24-29, Col 2:12. We don’t need the religion of the world or the Jews dead religion. Paul sez it is “Skybalon” or as rubbish on the street. “Obsolete” “Fulfilled” How many times does God have to speak? “It is Finished!” you would say” but wait there is more!” We have a new covenant, the old is yesterday’s news. When you have new why would you want old? UGH! If a Jew, Asian or an Indian want to become a follower of Jesus, they must obey His commands, not the old rules, rituals and dead witness. The “Hired hands” killed the Son. The Spirit of God had left the Temple long ago. Read the history, the “Abomination of Desolation” had come and gone. The Jewish High Priest had no one to talk to, no “Ark of the Covenant ” to commune with our God. No stone law tablets or budded staff of Arron. No more Manna. Read Acts of Stephen’s testimony or Peters. This is New. What part of new do you not understand? The history shows a gradual progression of people from the old ways, traditions, rules and relics as the time went by 15 years are so after Pauls conversion from Pharisee to follower of Jesus. We see the Ekklesis moving away from old ways and moving into pagan cultures that know many gods and not the True God as His Son Jesus. The Roman veterans, retired and living in Corinth may have known the God of the Jews but the new covenant suited them better than all the rules, relics, traditions and the big one for males of Corinth. Can you read 1 Corinthians 12 and not see that we followers of Jesus have “All power, all of His Spirit, All of His wisdom” What else do we need? Make me a list? We put on Jesus/God, We are buried with Him into His death, to rise and walk in new life.” What else do we need? He gave the keys to Peter, Acts 2, He chose Paul to go to the gentiles, he added a emasculated servant to the Kingdom by belief and submission to immersion. God made all things good as food for Peter. God gave the Holy Spirit to a gentile warrior of the oppressor the same salvation He gives us. The Curtain of the Temple is torn, the Holy of Holy is empty, gone void. All the might of Europe could not drive Satan’s forces from the land and cleanse the temple. Man failed. The “Roman Church” failed to prevent the taking of the empire. God had handed them over. Wars and rumors of wars. The new covenant is the “God is with us” the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We need no physical thing to worship our God, no robes of high priest, no written word, no temple, altar, no miters or incense, no entertainment of men, no trappings of pomp or pride, We stand free before the Throne, clothed in the robe of Jesus righteousness, washed in His Blood, Bold before the very throne of God we come as children to a loving father, we cry Abba! As adopted sons and daughters of God by our Lord Jesus Christ. The simple Gospel of Jesus is so far from the BS of Judaism or the “Cults/church of men”, that to put them together is the lion and the lamb. God did it. He alone makes all nations, tribes, people one, One not reformed, or restored, but one Holy Nation, one Temple of lively stones built into a house for God. People can not, did not, have not and will not ever create anything that lasts based on human eloquence or human wisdom. Paul said that. Read Corinthians and tell me we must do this or that new practice to draw the crowd. New wine gets new wineskins. God left the building when the Babylonians sacked it and took/or someone lost the ark of the “Covenant”. If Jesus cared about the temple for His new covenant why did God have John go out into the wilderness and the river to immerse people for repentance and preparing for the Kingdom to come? Why did Paul place so much on the facts of immersion for the remission of our sins our regeneration as priest of God after burying the old man of sin? Jesus is the Root, not Israel. Got to go but you can pick this up on my journal. Pray for the Holy Spirit of our God to bless your walk this day and rest this night. In the precious name of Jesus.

Pieces of the Cross and a few stones………….more

If you read this be prepared to check the facts. Understand this university educator is teaching what Atheists believe about Jesus at the most critical level. “He has knowledge with out wisdom or Love” Read for free on Audible first read, Don’t let your grand children , children be blindsided by these atheist professors. “The Truth will set your Free” https://www.audible.com/search?keywords=From+Jesus+to+Constantine%3A+A+History+of+Early+Christianity&ref=

When Paul prayed for “God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus”   In Chapter 3 of his letter to the “Faithful followers” He asks God for the congregation, “Power in the Spirit” that the “Love of God ” can be understood. Too bad he did not pray that we could understand theology then we would not have a problem understanding how silly the stuff we argue over. Some do not argue they simply walk away confused, hurt, damaged by the very people that should be sharing healing and comfort. People try and forget they are a Spirit created by God for His pleasure. Our Ego screams “Me” “Mine” “All mine” God tolerates no opposition to His Love, He remains a Jealous God. It is easy for them to slip back into the world. The “Root of Bitterness” grows fast in poor, rocky soil of discontent, Sheep will wander into those places when the shepherds are more focused on the rules, rituals, and tithe than the one the “tithe” was to benefit. These are the “Hired Hands” Jesus spoke of that are in charge for power and the control of others. Some people are so done with the “church” of today they are never going back to a structured religion unless someone drags their coffin into one. The hype, the divisions of men and many other reasons, the “Dones” are done. Most “Dones” and “Nones” will never see the inside of another grand church building. This one prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21 has all the necessary elements of Ekklesia. This prayer of Paul for the Christians of the Church has all of God’s Power the Church needs. Read it here, click on the underlined text. “I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ekklesia /Church,Greek root word. Not a location in use of text.

New Church Tahoe is a model for the Ekklesia of the 21 millennium.

Do you believe this humble prayer? Does everyone around you know these Truths that Paul asked for to equip the “Royal Priesthood” of the “Living Stones” Some will only be happy with traditions and build on sand with straw. Be radical build on the Rock with living stones? BTW The “Church” in some translations is the congregation, the people, the Ekklesia, never a location or organization state/political type church in the first century. What are you to do? Peter sez, https://www.biblestudytools.com/1-peter/2-12.html

If one accepts and acts upon the prayer for wisdom and understanding from the power of God in the Holy Spirit, What should be the response? Why does this work? Why does this plan not work? What is in the way? Am I building on sand with straw? My humility level may not qualify me to understand God’s Love? Am I “Child like ” not naive like a child but innocent of evil intent or any guile on my part? Am I wise as a serpent and meek as a dove? Here is a starting point for dialogue and prayer.

https://newchurchtahoe.com/who-we-are/

Pieces of the Cross……and some stones.

People just want to be Free, only they forget the Truth, Love is the real power.

Jesus loves me always, all days, all of His Ways, myriads of ways, always with love https://www.biblestudytools.com/1-peter/2-12-compare.html

Paul prayed for the ekklesia of Ephesus in Eph 3: This will be my prayer for you followers of Jesus.

Paul writes: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”

Will China invade? Will Iran become a smoking hole in the Gulf? Who cares? Not me We win, click link to read a well thought out reason I don’t care. Shift happens on youtube in case you have been denial all these years watch the old one for back in the dark ages of 2008 too! Knowledge is increasing, is wisdom? Check the facts as people thought in 1890s

Who was the worlds super power in 1900? Largest Navy, Empire, Army, World Financial centers? What did America know in 1890s that we don’t know we need to know? Ans. Great Britain, the other nations of Europe that had been in power were in declines and by wiping out the middle class to pay for wars had bankrupt their respective empires. Jesus said “Wars and rumors of war” . If we use the time measurement of the new agreement as correct, I figure America has maybe enjoyed 20 yrs between major warfare since 1800s. Of course the American of 1890 was the cowboy, worlds policeman like our president Teddy Roosevelt. Most of the generation in power had fought with their brother and each had bloody noses and missing limbs. Many would suffer the shame of what they had done to this day. Most felt it was our “Manifest destiny ” to ride to the rescue like a “Cowboy” policeman. In the 1890s Columbia was rising. Britannia held an iron grip on Her Empire, enslaving millions for profit, Her Majesties’ family held Europe in it’s oppressive hold. More people enslaved. History shows that man’s greed for gold, power(oil, salt, fish, etc) and control were the same as in our time, or Jesus’ time. Where is our persecution, our discipline, our “rod and staff of the Good Shepherd” Are we so lost a sheep he can not find us? Or has He left us to flounder in our wilderness? Are our hearts so hard that we can not see “That it is not all about me”? Our lack of repentance/obedience attitude may keep us in the prodigal mode. Or as Jesus sez “Lukewarm is not nice” Or Are we so frustrated by man’s religion ” the hired hand’s “, grand temples while homeless starve, cold in the street? Or miffed man’s many little god’s did not come through for you? Missing out on the Health Wealth and happy times “Get rich” Pastors preach? We have been hurt in our “churches” taken advantage of and out right duped by “Wolves” the Sheep with the voice of the dragon, and naive brainwashed traditionalists types, fans on gameday, the “Don’t Know, don’t care”, the apathetic church goer, and the clicks that are cults with in denominations of the divided daughters of the whore of Babylon, False prophets, reverends, pastors Preying on the sheep. What can you and your people, your neighbors, your family do? You form community, you care for one another. Every 501c “Church” in America should evaluate “Who is my neighbor?” Is the community around me cared for as much as I am able? Do I respect and honor my neighbor as a human just like me created in God’s image? What did followers of Jesus believe in the 1890s? about the world around them? Click the link to a record. https://www.ccel.org/ccel/johnson_bw/pnt.pdf

Online copy that is easy to use https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/revelation-7.html

A study of Eph 3 reads that Jesus gives all power to those that obey His commands. All the old laws are covered, all the pharisaic laws are optional, sometimes good advise, none are binding on the new covenant believer. The problem is when a nation or a person uses an old covenant practice to enslave, make war, infanticide, genocide and claims God told them it was OK cause the nation is evil. Even other gods have people that go off and kill for not a godly reason, but to expand empires. Pol Pot in a Buddhist nation turned a country upside down and Satan got his due of many good people. The “World Police” were not around to prevent this genocide because they had just lost a few other colonies at a high cost of their children and their children’s, children. (Just ask mine what it cost to have a war you could not vote for affect you) The human pain is our part and parcel we carry in this life of physical time/space. Jesus sez “Lay down those burdens, all of them, everything and take up His cross. Only then can we forgive as He forgives and love as He loves.

Jesus loves me always, all days, all of His Ways, myriads of ways, always with love.

Free edition and download. We would like to discuss as a group of elders, deacons, and humble servants of God the birth of the Ekklesia of Christ. Not to form a new group or divide but to seek truth and unity as Jesus prayed for. We/I have to start somewhere and this was written as a bible college textbook for most of the schools of the time, 1890s . No mention of a rapture, Written before all the cults, wars and divided denominations of the last 200 yrs. Acts is commented by an eye witness to Palestine of the 1800s. Who would like to discuss this and other documents relating to first century of the new covenant? http://www.ccel.org/ccel/johnson_bw/pn

Pieces of the Cross, side notes, you are reading half of the conversation, just like all the letters in the NT.

God’s law of physics/science rules the universe. There is no such thing as luck. To attribute Luck with God is to have an idol of a lesser god. The follower of Jesus is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. We can transcend the physical laws to worship in Spirit. I commune with God with out a cell phone, no altar but my bent knee, no mediator save Jesus. He communes with me via His Word in many forms and ways. Never does He contradict the plan and purpose. Gal 5:14 one rule overall. If you have to have physical evidence or must hold something see something, or be somewhere then your god is limited in time /space and may not save you. We must learn to walk by faith. (Action word)

Comment on the Dr Bart Erhmans class; Forgive my ignorance. I now understand the laff. Would you care to comment on the atheist allegations he makes or points he makes that actually are evidence that demands a verdict? He believes in a historical Jesus without giving Jesus credit for the Resurrection, yet he can’t deny the Resurrection as he has no evidence to prove Jesus did not rise. If he had the evidence of a dead never risen Jesus it would be out there in all the media. Have you read this restoration movement teacher from before? https://www.biblestudytools.com/comm…/the-fourfold-gospel/

Answer to a teacher saying “Jesus Spilled his Blood” “Calling what Jesus did for us an accident, spilled blood” I take great offense to your reducing the master plan of God to an accident on human terms. Jesus did not spill his blood nor did the woman spill anything. The vase was broken as it was old and never to be used again in the other account. I attended Atlanta Christian in the 70s, now I see most have adopted the designs on mixed covenants and trappings of the divided daughters of the whore of Babylon. Millions of followers look the lookout to be our flagpole. Please run up the Truth flag and not the world’s message that our God makes mistakes and spills stuff like a child.

Jesus loved his Mom, add to Mother’s Day message of praise of Wives, mothers and women.

The political state “Church” kept women in the lower laity class at best, indentured servant at worse. Of course the Clergy had those tall hats to lord over the little people.

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.

Where would Aquila be without Priscilla? Where would I be without my wife?

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??????

What is your “Church” doing to use the special gifts God has blessed you with? The Holy Spirit gives these to all who ask in faith. You do have the gift of the Holy Spirit don’t you? Acts 2, Acts 5

Corinth had been a Greek city recolonized by the Romans in 146bc after a war where Rome destroyed the population and most of the country. The Romans repopulated the city with retired veterans.

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.

Cold Cold Ground…….

The landing zone at LZ Stud during operation Dewey Canyon 1969

During my 18-19th year on the planet I was in a place off a road described as “Street without Joy” and near the site of the famous stand of the dumbass leadership that placed marines, sailors, airmen, and troopers in harms way just so Johnson, Westy, Bob McNamara, and later Nixon could prove they had some balls at Khe Sanh. We defended a patch of beautiful tropical mountain ranges from an enemy we could not find unless he wished to be found. We trapped him with bombs and our allies, the brothers of the NVA and VC would let them go in the cowardice of the lame leaders of the ARVN. We poured millions of US gold backed dollars into a third world war at a level that by now we could have purchased a rice paddy, water bull, bamboo hut or houseboat sampan or both for every Asian we slaughtered by fault or proxy or direct intervention into their Buddhist belief system by helping the recycling process at an industrial level in our “Monroe Doctrine” and NATO agreements. We know where all the flowers have gone. We lost the best and brightest in our season of war, death, and destruction. Our smart, our rich may have bought a deferment or lucked out as they bent fate by their position in our culture. Some in a noble quest or Quixote like may have joined as many did to save the world from the red peril, or protect American virgins from foreign pillagers and fight ancestors of the yellow peril we have fought with so often and will again.

The mountains were fog-shrouded, Vandergrift Combat Base, Task Force Hotel 1969

My job was varied. The Marines trained me as mos 2531, a field radio operator. When I was to be assigned overseas to the fleet they sent a few of us to mess duty and then to truck driver school. I got a military driver license up to 6×6 5 ton. During Operation Dewey Canyon I was told to guard and escort a Chaplin to a firebase as there were many casualties. I found the Father, a Navy Lt Cmdr. His utes all clean and untouched by the invasive red dust that underlies the valleys in the dry season, and turns to red clinging mud in the wet monsoon season. This was January 1969 and it was the season to kill and die young.

Marines awaiting ride to the firebase 1969

The hillside of the firebase was torn, the top of the mountain shaved off by explosives and like a few hundred others was nameless unless some gallant feat of arms awarded a firebase or obscure scene of a fight a name for history it would never have a name. The dark slick body bags were already laid out with the new dead in them, as soon as our chopper landed it took off with wounded that were queued up for a ticket home or patch up and back again. Trash and empty ammo boxes, c ration cans, littered the red clay and exposed rock. Smoke from small fires around the perimeter filled in where the fog met the top and fog made the place surreal. Our foes have a few bodies in the wire and these are fresh dead, flies crawling in the blown open flesh, smelling of blood and burned flesh. The serious Marine wounded were removed in the dark of the early morning by gunships bringing in ammo and fresh fodder for Mars. All the young and restless of this generation that saw a hope or chance or just a get out of town/nest/marriage/jail ticket in service to the nation or escape to a cooler frying pan or softer burning fire. The quick and the dead are evident. On this hill with rifle fire still cracking across the valley. I follow the Chaplin to some of the bodies, the good father walks around like he is at a Sunday dinner on the ground. He is smiling and handing out some hard candy and small bibles. I am supposed to unzip the bags and check for the tags each Marine is handed to wear on the chain around the neck and in the boot lace in combat. When the tag reads Catholic I am to call the padre over to give the soul forgiveness. I try to pray over each of them and can’t. I unzip your bag, yes yours, I signal to him. The priest touches the marines forehead just above the eyebrow line and dabs a spot of oil on the skin of the dead marine. The priest says a recited prayer and I am reminded of the song by the Animals, “Sky Pilot, how high can you fly?” There is a folded letter, bloodstained crumpled in the pocket of your jacket. I can see the address and today believe it is somewhere in Massachusetts. I pray we and your brothers will meet in the presence of God soon where we will be accountable for our lives to Jesus. Massachusetts, religion, war and this earth won’t matter.

I last saw you all tall and handsome at the prom, of course with the best looking girl. You were at the dance with her too, I saw you in the gym, you danced so close the teacher broke you up and you left with the girl. Now you lay in a foreign land soon to be in the cold, cold ground. The prowess you displayed on the ball field of youthful dreams is a moot point now as your muscled frame turns to putrid flesh. I watch as the padre touches your tanned face and I want to comb your hair out of your forehead. I see you are a Corporal and maybe you are allowed to grow long hair than a boot, still, it is way shorter than the back home Jodies that are taking your girl, job and car while you are here. You look to be asleep awaiting a lover’s caress and not the too little, too late watch care of a priest. We walked the earth as warrior kings but now we are no longer proud of our battles won for they are of no value in the “Big Picture”. You will look really good in your blues when the honor guard delivers the flag to your mom. They will fire the salute and go on to the next of the 58K+ and more as Satan tracks us down and destroys us with our due for sin in this body of pain. We all ate the slice of “American Pie” I will never forget your tanned youthful face, now marbled by cold and grey under the youthful blond stubble, your eyes were closed as you were asleep, your hands folded, dirty and cold white. Forever you will be the young Marine I think of when I pray to God and question Him, Why?

If we could skip your young death, if we were able to meet, if I could talk to you I would ask, Do you know Jesus? Do you love Jesus? You loved us enough to give your last full measure for our lost cause and your brothers. I would introduce you to the Jesus I know today, the forgiving, loving God of second chances. The God above all ritual, rules, and BS made up by men to control and manipulate people for power and money. I will continue to pray that our life is not in vain, that you and all my friends that lost so much in that war can know Jesus and forgive all our enemies, first ourselves and everyone else that has wronged us. Semper Fi!

Water of Life

Gal 6:12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. 17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 

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.

Why are we doing mixed covenants today? I would love to celebrate Hanukkah but I would only do so if Christ is exalted as Messiah. I would love to celebrate all the Hebrew Covenant rituals but only if Christ is the head and center of Worship.

To reach back and pull a practice up tells Jesus that the new covenant is not enough. If an angel told your prophet or the Holy Spirit spoke to you? Did what you heard or saw contradict the “Royal Law”, “The Law of Liberty”, the Elders you have a relationship with, the clear words of God in the new agreement? 

Why are traditions of men developed into a rule of faith or practice? Who does it serve? Power? Control? Money? Is the thing/practice/rule an added expedient? Does it obey Christ in all things? Does it continue the mission?  

Or does it divide and separate the very Church Jesus died for?

Does the practice or teaching focus the “Followers” to practice pure Religious Worship that Jesus’ brother reminds us that the balance of faith and works is based on Love for one another? 

In the first and only recorded Holy Spirit, Apostle and Elder decision in the book of Acts of the Apostles is the divorce letter to the Hebrew Nation of Israel on the rules and rituals, laws of a moral nature and Moses to the hard-headed Jews of that day. As James, the brother of the Lord says” The Law of Liberty”   is the Law of Love

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. 

More later………..

He messed up and was fired.

How do you face failure? The young man like you failed and the contention was bitter. Acts tell us Paul refused to take John with him because JohnMark had deserted during the mission trip.  Paul later forgave and called Mark “Profitable for the Ministry” 2 Timothy 4:11  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Peter refers to his son “Markos” Was Mark forgiven? Are you forgiven by all your brothers and sisters? Your family? No one else? 

Painting from the romantic period with artist misconception of the dispute over John Mark. The dispute was bitter and John Mark could have quit for good. Where can we get hats to wear?

 https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/markos.html

I am forever grateful for forgiveness. More so the second chances God gives me like rain on a dry land. Jesus said “Poured out and overflowing “when He described forgiveness in the teaching of Luke 6: https://www.biblestudytools.com/luke/6-38-compare.html

You cannot out give God, you forgive and forgiveness pours over you in a downpour of Spiritual wealth that the World does not know. Peter describes this ” Knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers;  but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, [even the blood] of Christ:  who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of times for your sake,  who through him are believers in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God. seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently: 

Note that Peter calls for “Obedience to the Truth”. Have you obeyed the Truth? What is Truth? Jesus said He is the Way the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except by Jesus   

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? 

Free and no hassle! 

Ted talk on “Unchurching” Read also Francis Chan, “Letters to the Church” and A. Stanley “Irresistible” for more views on what some are doing. 

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.