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Flashback

February 11, 2013

As I was praying about blogging today I sensed the Lord leading me to re-post something from the early days of this blog.  So here it is!

Were The Twelve Wrong?

 

Hello fellow seekers of truth in love,

First off, I must say straight out that there should be no divisions in the church. Because through Jesus we are all priests and equals now. I also know that Jesus led by example by being a servant and washing the disciples feet .  Jesus also said “The greatest among you will be my servant.”

Remember, this is just how I feel and see. There is
no requirement to buy or order anything.

I would love your accountability and feedback in
continuing to sharpen one another though…

Some of this is recycled revelation for me that is hitting me fresh again now.

Just so happens we happened to be “studying”
Acts in our housechurch at the very time this pops up. I put studying in
quotes because we are going about it in an extremely
unstructured, disorganized way. We didn’t plan it.
God seems to have led us in this direction and we
are continuing until we get instructions otherwise.

Before I begin let me say that these are just
prayerful musings, or what ifs, at this point; but I am
becoming more and more convinced that they ring truthful.

I feel Acts Chapter 6 is very problematic. Some folks
might be right when they suggests the roots of the
hierarchical church may have grounding here. The
“apostles” may be getting too caught up in their own word of
mouth press by this time in the churches young history.

It is pretty pious and hierarchical to say they
shouldn’t do common mercy, get your hands dirty,
practical ministry, wait on tables type of  stuff;  so they could do
hyper-spiritual, prayer, and word stuff ain’t it?   And
then they assigned these non-attention getting “menial” tasks to others?  So much for Jesus’ cup of cold water teaching ehh? How ’bout “.you are not to be called teacher for you are all brothers (including sisters of course)”?

More troublesome than that to me is their reason. They
simply did this in response to a complaint. A complaint from the
Grecian Jews about fairness. Then they ASSUMED a need from this
complaint and REASONED a way to meet this supposed need.

No where does it say that they were led by God to do what
they did or organise at all. It even said it was a “proposal”.
I wonder was this Spirit led and God inspired or just a
reasonable fleshly response to a implied need? Did they use
rightgeous judgement in this matter, or did they judge by appearance
based on a complaint of a splinter group?

I also find it quite interesting that in the chapters
imediately following this “big idea” we find Stephen and
Philip doing wonders, miracles, and prayer and preaching stuff, instead of the menial tasks they had been assigned by the “apostles” in
this “big idea”.   Or like my friend Hal said “Stephen and company didn’t stay in the swim lane the 12 assigned them.”

Call me a hopelessly romantic heretic if you will, but
could it possibly be that Steve and Phil were the first relational
hc, buck the system types in church history? Seems they
wouldn’t let no apostolic decree keep them from their God-given
priesthood!

In fact Steve was so bold and full of grace (yes, the two
are compatible at times. Surprise!) that he was the one who
got the attention of the Sanhedrin; instead of the prayer and word
only,  special types. Of course they stoned him (Go figure?),
but not before he raised the relational church anthem of “
The Spirit of The Lord does not dwell in temples made by human
endeavor or hands.”

And Steve also voiced one of my all time faves with,
“You stiff necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears…you
always resist the Holy Spirit.”

Anyhow, Because Steve was bold enough to practice his full
priesthood, perhaps in spite of the revered apostles, he
got done in. But before the very eyes of Saul, soon to be
Paul. I feel this event helped bring conviction unto Paul and lead him
unto the one true faith.

At this point, perhaps due to bloodguilt, Saul starts going
crazy on the church and literally persecuting it to death.
Interestingly enough it says, “Saul began to destroy the church.
Going from house to house ..he put men and women in
prison.” So, the church is the people- men and women- and he had to
find them house to house.   Why not in the temple or the temple
courts?  Perhaps it is because they no longer gathered there like
they did in the extreme infancy of the church. Perhaps they only did
so in the begining because of their jewish baggage and grew out of
that to discover just meeting house to house was better?

Anyway, in Acts 8 we see Phil being led by the
Spirit and an angel to baptize  somebody. Then
ordinary table waiter Phil even gets beamed up (Translated, moved?) God
style. Glad he didn’t take the place he’d been given by
the “big idea” Apostles and instead did the prayer and special word stuff too.
(Interesting sidenote: When Phil got Calgoned (God take
me away!)  The guy he had just baptized was left all alone. Guess God
thought His Spirit could do a great job of discipling this guy
without Phil or the “Big Ideas” guys help?

Then in Acts 9 Saul gets zapped into Paul by Jesus. And
ordinary, heck he ain’t even worthy of waiting tables, Ananias
hears directly from God (Gee, and he wasn’t even reading a bible at
the time. In fact they didn’t exist yet) and proceeds to lay hands
on Paul the former persecuter and get him healed of blindness (physical
and spiritual?) and filled with the Holy Spirit. Sure hope
Ananias was an elder, if not he just might have violated James 5 too!
;) Please note: No special set apart for word and prayer, Big Idea
guys were involved in Paul’s conversion. In fact they didn’t want
to receive him when he did finally show up in their city.

“At once”  Paul starts the powerful prayer and
word thing, without apostolic permission even. The gall! Then when Paul
finally gets accepted in Jerusalem he debates the Jews and they tried
to kill him! Wonder if he called them out for inciting the Big
Idea thing with their complaints?

How do I tie this mess together before I close?
Well, I find it interesting that the church grew beyond
the realm of Jerusalem (like it was supposed to by Acts 1) by a
strange chain of events and people.
And it was mainly due to the non-Big Idea, original apostle people. Steve takes a stand in spite of the place given him by the Ford folks. This stand gets the scattering going, except the Ford execs stay in Detroit. Plain old “Idealess” Phil does  God’s deeds in Samaria.  Then Non-original, but rather ingrafted into the big idea guys, Paul gets the biggest missions territory.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Paul got the call because the Ford
Motor company was starting to blow it. And God proved that the
only thing special or set apart about folks is whether or not they
hear from God and obey!
Being an original apostle or Model T was not that big of a deal. It
is the Spirit led heart that matters and not the best laid plans
of mice and ANY men, including apostles.

Ford tried to incorporate and go assembly line, but God
forced the organic hands on planting and gardening once again?

Or am I dreaming? If I am it is sure sweet and not an
organizational nightmare at least!

And I just love Acts 9:31:  ” Then the church
throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was
strenghtened; and encouraged by the apostles…. …NO THAT’S NOT
IT…IT’S BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, it grew in numbers, living in awe of the
Lord”

But NO! God couldn’t have allowed an expression of
man’s error to teach us about Him and churchlife could HE?

Can anyone say “Golden Calf”? or John Mark?

Love and ……

Kirk Out !

p.s. The bible contains many messages of God’s people getting into error.

 

 
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32 Comments
  1. Mickey Merrie permalink

    WOW! You sure were much more sarcastic in your youth! LOL Thanks for the timely repost of a good thought provoking post
    Peter seemed to have continued on in mildly flesh issue thoughout the scriptures, The key however was his willingness to listen to correction from others. Paul too it seemed had his moments… Ah but the Holy Spirit brings us all to return to one accord!

    Carry on (my) formerly wayward son there, there is Peace when we are done…

  2. "BK" Zimmer permalink

    Had to smile as I read this wonderful account :). Thanks, “BK”

  3. “It is pretty pious and hierarchical to say they
    shouldn’t do common mercy, get your hands dirty,
    practical ministry, wait on tables type of stuff; so they could do
    hyper-spiritual, prayer, and word stuff ain’t it?”

    No- it’s purely practical. It’s the right use of gifts- it’s important- not everyone can do the same things, and not everyone has the same giftings as everyone else. And some people just aren’t good teachers, either. The 12 got it right…

  4. Tim, what I hear you saying is that being “practical” is more important than being like Jesus who humbled Himself and was a servant of all. What is important to a gathering is the Great Teacher, The Holy Spirit, following through the body as He sees fit, not predetermining who will teach and who will not. The Lord should be allowed to flow freely through all believers and not just a select man-chosen few.

  5. Then you “heard” wrong.

  6. Frankly Chris, I find your reasoning in this post troubling. Not because I do not agree with many of the truths you make here, I do, but due to the fact that this scenario you paint has not been proven. To me that places those who suggest the roots of the hierarchal church being found here as mere speculation. Having just read this, I already have thoughts/questions that would expand pages although I’ll attempt to condense my thoughts below.

    The most important issue to remember with the forming of the New Testament Ekklesia is the fact that it was new. These were very specific times in which transitory things took place with these people and we should note those. Some of these are the special use of the 12, the manner in which the Holy Spirit was received (on occasion an apostle needed to be present), the gospel going to the Gentiles, food restrictions being lifted, Paul’s special calling to these Gentiles and the manner in which decisions were made. Explaining these thoroughly alone could take 10-50 pages.

    It would be pious and hierarchal to refuse to do menial tasks because a Christian preferred to do the more noticeable and recognizable services. But is that what the text says, that they were unwilling?” I don’t see them being unwilling and note the emphasis upon not neglecting the word. The entire Jewish and Gentile world was absolutely dependent upon the proper revelation of scripture and it was their job (not exclusively, but primarily the 12 and especially Paul) to initially explain these changes during these turbulent times. The fact that Steven and others were used outside of serving tables doesn’t add to the hierarchy theory or that they were restricted in any way or confined to particular types of service.

    The premise that these disciples were in any sense lording it over others or promoting hierarchy appears to be contrasted with the manner in which the actual decisions about the widows were made. They just didn’t make a command decision on their own but involved all of the saints. Only after the saints reasoned among themselves were their thoughts brought before the apostles. This would seem to be both proper and necessary. Furthermore, the act of laying on of hands should not be a hasty one but in most cases be directed or performed by more mature saints.
    Had these decisions been wrought by selfish means (which would amount to sinful means), is it reasonable to conclude that their ongoing service might have been hindered? I think that’s fair. Nonetheless we find instead this in verse 7: The word of God kept spreading; and the number of disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. Who? Priests. Were these priests only converting because they knew (by seeing the apostles) they could keep their high positions among the saints? Obviously not. That would not be consistent with becoming obedient to the faith.

    There are several reasons why using this passage of scripture to paint such a picture as you suggest seems unwise to me:

    1. There are many other passages that show factually and with certainty that religious hierarchy is condemned by Jesus and not found among Christians. Why use a passage or any passage that makes this seem questionable or possibly even detract from the truth itself. This isn’t necessary.
    2. This passage does not prove said claims. It is mere speculation which Christians are commanded to reject.
    3. Cosidering Paul sternly rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy in this very book, doesn’t it seem likely that a similar rebuke would be forthcoming by the Spirit had these apostles been in sin? Yes it does.
    Personally Chris, I have to reject this scenario outright. The bible does as you say contain many messages of God’s people getting into error. That said, calling into question what the Holy Spirit does not specifically note as error or sin is a dangerous practice. Along that trajectory, anything the apostles did or said could be called into question. Is that a trend any bible believing Christian wants to encourage? I know I don’t.

    I stand by Christopher and his outright rejection of hierarchy among the saints. That is a truth that is clearly delineated through scripture and should be rejected.
    Were the 12 wrong? No. They were perfectfully within the framework of what was in transition, those truths within this article that Chris supports and others he rejects.

    • "BK" permalink

      I appreciated you thoughts here. My husband is one who ‘conjectures’ a whole story of ‘what was happening’ or ‘what they were thinking’ in varied places of scripture and I generally take him to task for it 🙂 I do have to say your statement “…religious heirarchy is condemned by Jesus and not found among Christians” begs comment. Wow, they kept on top of this all the time (and thank God for that). I don’t think calling into question anything the apostles did or said is a bad thing, or to be feared. As you said, the church was in its infancy so reading in Spirit and considering the things they said and decisions made, and the fruit of them, instead of making every one of them ‘infallible’ is spiritually healthy. I’m not talking rebellion and dissention, I’m talking honest consideration. Lastly, I don’t actually see ‘proof’ the 12 were right or wrong, or maybe right AND wrong…..the points made by both of you have merit. Just my rambling thoughts, “BK”

  7. Mickey Merrie permalink

    You reject this, but you accept infant baptism when performed ib other acceptable “churches”?!?!

  8. Chris, thank you once again for your willingness to go outside of the box, following the Holy Spirit into new insights. Servant of all, is our guiding light.

  9. Alright Michael and all, that is the kind of free & open dialogue I am hoping for.

  10. Mickey Merrie permalink

    My question was for Pastor Bushong regarding infant baptism performed by other churches being accepted at his church as per his churches website available via his name being a link to it. Specifically, this reference is found under the beliefs section at the bottom there is a link to a PDF of their constitution.

    With regards to ATF’s assessment of questioning the 12, your points are well taken.

    I have however questioned in my mind the drawing of straws to replace Judas Iscariot for example, as well as many of the Apostles needing to be scattered from Jerusalem by persecution in order to fulfill their Great Commission. Also the mentioning of the possibility of John living forever, the Apostles mentioning who could run ahead, the Apostle He “loved best,” Paul’s sharp break with companions et al.

    I do think we can see that these men, while called by Christ, still struggled with their flesh as do we.

    I also think asking questions is a good thing. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all Truth via the Word in context as we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

  11. Martin permalink

    And, they scratched around like chickens in a hen coup , looking for proof in the ancients. They pecked, they imagined, and scratched again. They needed to be right, as bad as they needed food. Each one layed their ‘golden’ egg squawking afterwards declaring they’d found the solution, only to be gazumped by the next chicken laying her egg. The script was perfect they crowed, all they needed to find was the perfect golden egg. And, so they continued…

  12. Malkiyahu. please clarify…who are you addressing with your comment? Thanks.

    • "BK" permalink

      I believe Malkiyahu is responding to Martin’s post. “BK”

  13. Reformed by the Spirit permalink

    Malkiyahu……that does not help or add to the conversation….in fact, it is divisive. Can you make a comment, stating your case, without attacking a person about what they wrote? Tell us why you find what was written to be arrogent….or why you believe the person who wrote it is arrogent (without attacking…which will be really difficult actually)…..

    • BK is correct, I was replying to Martin.

      Reformed, I think you are completely abusing the word “attack.” I also think you should recognize that you are stating your subjective opinions as fact. I also think your suggestion is completely unnecessary, as Martin’s mocking is rather obvious, and I won’t waste anyone’s time by continuing to focus on it.

  14. Martin permalink

    It was said in jest, my friends. As i read this blog, It amazes me how long you all ‘scripture people’ will continue to fight and squabble over someone else’s letters, history books, poetry, and mythical stories. I’ve watched BK, and Chris do it for over ten years. If this is a completely open fellowship, and none of what I said struck as you truth, then let it go. It’s really no skin off my nose. I saw the poem in my head, as I read your comments, and wrote it down, as a service the group. I was probable wrong, and that’s ok with me too.

    • "BK" permalink

      Martin, I wasn’t putting down what you posted….I did as you said, just let it go because I didn’t have a clue what you were trying to say. No fault of yours….I honestly just am dense in some areas. I just answered the ‘who are you referring to’ question. It does hurt my heart that you seem to jump at the chance to slam Chris or I at any opportunity, but I don’t carry it with me and jab at you every opportunity. I don’t have any desire to fight or squabble….I haven’t even heard from or of you in about 10 years for you to ‘watch’ me do anything. Sorry you took my one liner that way. Love, “BK”

  15. Hey Mickey- if you REALLY want to get into it, then fine- as long as its give-and-take and only within the parameters of the Bible. I’m just not going to start if you’ve already made up your mind. Can you clarify what the “this” is that you said that I reject?

  16. Mickey Merrie permalink

    You rejected Chris’ questioning of the Apostles intentions.

    By the way, you did it in a way that goes against your own desire for give and take and within the parameters of the bible. I simply see an inconsistancy in your comments here.

    I am completely open to genuine conversation that both helps clarify ones position, and serves to be that iron sharpening iron scripture refers to.

    I approach these opportunities from the pre-concieved notion the both of us are ultimately seeking to see Christ Jesus increased and our own selves decreased.

    Yes, it would be interesting to hear why infant baptism is accepted by your fellowship!

    Since I don’t have a website or a blog to send you to for background, feel free to ask questions as well. This I will tell you: in our nack of the woods, the “churches” are very much into the latest “every wind of doctrine” heresy, and thus, rather than continue to expose my family to continual downgrade we pulled out, depending on Christ Jesus to shepherd us via His Word in context as lead by the Holy Spirit. We fellowship with a few other believers as the Lord leads.
    I hold to no mans doctrine/traditions, but in studying the Word this way for six years now, would say I am more in agreement with the reformers and reformed theology then the modern purveyors of the American jesus franchises today.

  17. Mickey- as this is Chris’ site, I don’t know if he would want me to continue this discussion here- and if you want, you can email me at:

    timbushong60@hotmail.com

  18. Tim, Mickey, and everyone. Please feel free to have any conversation here.

  19. Okay, Chris- I appreciate the offer. I’m going to ‘speak’ frankly, and Chris- I don’t want this to seem like I’m talking as if you’re not in the room- not at all- but it’s a public forum, and, for everyone else’s benefit, I’ve addressed these concerns many, many times before this particular post with the good Captain.

    So, what I hear you (Mickey) suggesting is that I shouldn’t call Chris’ interpretation of Acts 6 into question, nor should I make the claim that what he is suggesting is extra-biblical at best, if I am ALSO simultaneously making allowances for paedobaptists at our Church, which you see as also being extra-biblical, and therefore inconsistent. Is this correct? Let me first interact with some of your mains concerns.

    “You rejected Chris’ questioning of the Apostles intentions.”

    Partially true- but my main objections are with where he starts and where he ends up. His conclusions are conjecturally dependent upon his own definition of what it is to be “Spirit-led” (which I, at least in part, reject), his loose application of “Sola Scriptura” (he adds his own private interpretation to it and places his own “Spirit-led” existential impressions on par with Scripture), and, not least of which, he claims that these conclusions are “recycled revelation”, as if it is indeed the Spirit of God ‘leading’ him in this whole pursuit of trying to discern a person or persons’ motives, which as I understand it, is something we’re not at all encouraged from Scripture to do.

    (Heb. 4:12: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”)

    “By the way, you did it in a way that goes against your own desire for give and take and within the parameters of the bible.”

    How did I do this? Just compare the reasoning: Chris ventures past what is written and offers his own ‘maybes’, ‘perhaps’, and ‘I wonder’, and they are all couched in revelatory terms, again presuming that it is the Holy Spirit who is directing him to reach these conclusions. The parameters of the Bible aren’t open to personalized “hunches” that have to be shored up by a wide array of other assumptions. I believe that all of this always circles back to Chris’ view of what an elder is, and is also subject to who is really “orthotomeo”, or rightly handling the Word of God.

    Now- regarding baptism: I am a credo-baptist (credo, meaning ‘creed’, or “confessor’s baptism”)- IOW- a baptist! When we started Trinity Evangelical Church back in the fall of 2005, we self-consciously made the decision to allow for both positions, since there were a couple of families in our little group who had reached paedobaptist (covenantal baby-baptist) convictions. By the way- maybe it would be helpful if you understood why some Bible-believing Reformed folks baptize their babies.

    To continue- we thought it best in the long-run to NOT divide over this issue, to continue to work through it biblically, and to be charitable with each other in each of our respective practices of baptism. We both compromise a little to maintain our ecclesiastical unity: I will hold the basin when babies are baptized, and the 2 “paedo” elders don’t insist on the newborns of credobaptist households be baptized. Our Church is about 2/3 credo and 1/3 paedo, and the elders are reversed. Now, you are free to disagree with how we’ve handled this, but does that help you understand, Mickey?

  20. Mickey Merrie permalink

    Thank you Tim for your response to my question. I see where you are coming from and will not need to comment any further regarding your traditions. I do appreciate your willingness to respond with clarification as to your position on these matters.
    At this point I will yield the floor so to speak to Chris’ open invitation for others to participate.

  21. Tim, I have NEVER claimed that any of my musings are “on par with scripture”. Plus I reject
    “Solo Scriptura” because my Lord is much bigger than that. I do believe in being Spirit led and not bible led, but also affirm that the place the Spirit leads us most is to the bible. I know that some of my musings do not line up with Traditional scripture interpretations, but I also assert that our traditions get in the way of truth in love at times. Plus the truth is now matter how pure we think our view of scripture is..we ALL interpret through our own personal lenses even when we think we don’t and don’t really want to. Thanks for the interaction.

  22. timbushong permalink

    “Tim, I have NEVER claimed that any of my musings are “on par with scripture”.”

    But you claimed that it was ‘revelation’- from God Himself (“God seems to have led us in this direction”), and that ties into…

    “Plus I reject “Solo Scriptura” because my Lord is much bigger than that.”

    Bingo- there’s the witness. You have another authority, since you artificially separate God from His inspired Bible- and by doing so you construct a false dichotomy- a competition for ultimate foundations- between the Spirit of God and the writings that the Spirit of God inspired.

    BTW, it’s “Sola”, not “Solo”, but we’ve been over this ground before…

  23. Tim, Solo was a typo. Do you not believe that we can receive direct revelation from God other than the bible? I do not separate God from the inspired bible. I am just saying that The Spirit is greater than the bible. The bible is NOT part of the Godhead. Are you saying that the Spirit is not another authority? Father, Son and Spirit are the ultimate authority. They are greater than the bible they inspired. So please clarify for me…are you saying that the bible is equal to or greater than God Himself? If you do indeed believe that then I would say that you are practicing IDOLATRY. The inspired, created through its writers, bible, is NOT on the same level as its true Author. The creation is not equal to or superior to THE CREATOR.

  24. Please allow me to answer point-by-point.

    “Tim, Solo was a typo.”

    Probably more of a misspeak, since the “a” key is very far away from the “o” key.

    “Do you not believe that we can receive direct revelation from God other than the bible?”

    That is without a doubt what I believe- there is no new revelation.

    “I do not separate God from the inspired bible. I am just saying that The Spirit is greater than the bible. The bible is NOT part of the Godhead.”

    That’s a straw-man- nobody from my camp makes that claim, either.

    “Are you saying that the Spirit is not another authority? Father, Son and Spirit are the ultimate authority. They are greater than the bible they inspired. So please clarify for me…are you saying that the bible is equal to or greater than God Himself?”

    Again, you post a false dichotomy- all of the content which we embrace is contained in the 66 books of the canon. Section 1, paragraph 6 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith says it very succinctly:

    *6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture, to which nothing is to be added at any time, either by new revelation of the Spirit, or by the traditions of men.

    Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word.*

    See: we absolutely acknowledge the NECESSITY of the Spirit, and in the application of the Word of God- indeed, in ALL of the work of the Triune God in salvation- is predicated on the work of the Spirit- amen!

    “If you do indeed believe that then I would say that you are practicing IDOLATRY. The inspired, created through its writers, bible, is NOT on the same level as its true Author. The creation is not equal to or superior to THE CREATOR.”

    Strong words, Chris- but based on a false distinction between God and His revealed Truth. If I’m guilty of idolatry, then that would mean that real worship is being paid to something or someone other than YHWH. The Bible gives us true knowledge of God and creation- YHWH and His cosmos- because God spoke (and continues to speak) through the content of the very words of the Old and New Testaments, and through which we can rightly worship Him and be equipped for “every good work.”

    In your system, there are “good works” waiting to be done that the Bible is NOT able to equip us for, and that’s where we part company doctrinally.

  25. Tim, you use many words, but to me I still hear you saying that the bible is equal to, or greater than
    The Holy Spirit and that the bible is the ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice. I cannot go there because the Spirit has shown me otherwise. I follow The leading of the Spirit, not the leading of the book. However, the Spirit 99.9 % of the time leads me to the book and the wisdom contained within the well worn pages. Seems to me I am just a faith guy and you are just a fact guy, but I hope we are still brothers?

  26. Mickey Merrie permalink

    I see two extremes in American churchianity today. One being a reciepe for salvation based upon legalism, and another a very fluid christianity based upon feelings.

    Now let me say that I am not in any way “button holing” Tim and Chris by these two extremes. Because, based upon their writings, they clearly are NOT in these errors.

    That being said, our theology leans in one of these two directions. When we lean toward the legalistic end, we must seek a greater involvement in our faith by crying out to the Holy Spirit for clearer understanding of Christ Jesus’ will. When we tend toward legalism, we tend to neuter the Holy Spirit by standing on man’s tradition that ,”…that which is perfect is come…” meaning the whole cannon of scripture as men have decided what is in and what is out regarding the books.

    Now, I have no desire, nor basis for questioning their decision back in the day. Yet the question must be asked, “By what authority were they lead to select these books?” In my understanding they were lead by the Holy Spirit! To my knowlege there were no instructions within the writings that said, “These are the 66 books!” Further, the aprocrypha has nothing within it’s pages that I can see which read contrary to the Protestant cannon. Perhaps that is why the Geneva bible carried them as such? The king James was an authorized Anglican book that a king who couldn’t get his marriage annulled by Rome, left to start his own division/denomination hiring politically bishops who ordained his divine right to rule, as he ordained their divine right to also rule over the laity. (Deeds of the Nicolaitans anyone?)

    WHY was the scripture relating to, “Test the Spirits to see that they are of God…” placed within the cannon, or am I missing something?

    Tim, where is the pre-trib rapture in scripture, or in the teachings of men prior to 1830, for example, yet today it is the dominant view of all faiths, including those who hold to the extra biblical writings of men you referred to above? Cyrus Scofield and Darby brought these teachings to prominence in America, and a simple google search can bring you a wealth of information on their associations and Scofield’s numerous brushes with sinful decisions he made. Further, many Baptists hold to the notion that C.S. Lewis was a bible scholar and quote him and his works from the pulpits, yet his writings have clear occult undertones…Again, a simple search will turn up volumes of proof from his own writings. See? Extra biblical and no testing the spirits!

    I go now, back to your elders’ decision to accept and baptize babies… There is no biblical precident for this practice, and many condemn this practice as part of the sins of Rome, yet you folks were “lead” by something or someone to modify the Baptist practice for unity in diversity’s sake! Now, I am not saying this is wrong to do, yet it does show that perhaps you too are lead at times by the Holy Spirit to do extra biblical things?

    Chris on the other hand, admits to being lead by the Holy Spirit in directions you label as extra biblical, yet he affirms the validity of being lead 99% of the time to scripture. He in no way aligns himself with the “feelings lead extreme” such as the apostate Todd Bentley, the NAR crowd, IHOP ad nosium, and in fact, I believe he would agree with my marking them as apostate, though we never had that particular conversation.

    If he were in their error in that way, I too would seek to admonish him, calling him to “test he spirits” and return to scriptural study.

    Now, as to the “that which is perfect” error. Did Paul, ever say, “Here I am telling you what the Holy Spirit lead me to understand without the benefit of the twelve, “I, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, called by God and not by man.” and “I count all my (religious past) as DUNG.” “Now, you folks wait till my words are written down to follow them for then they are perfect?” The same goes for the rest of the Apostles and elders of the early Ekklesia. No! They affirmed the rhema, which thankfully was made logos and preserved by men lead by the Holy Spirit so that we too could learn of these teachings!

    The Holy Spirit dwells in Christ Jesus’ elect, and we in Him…Why? Because the bible is useless without the Holy Spirit. Ancient mystery religious writings are preserved too, yet they are illuminated by another familiar spirit and the prince of this age. But they are also preserved by God who maintains everything for His perfect purpose. We test the spirits to prevent us from going into error, and this is done by the scriptures in context.
    We all need to, like Paul, count our religious training as dung and be taught by the Holy Spirit what Jesus wants for us, by His Word.

    I am reminded that the Jews were admonished by Christ that they searched the scriptures in vain thinking in them they would find salvation. Yet salvation comes through and by faith in Jesus Christ. The bible alone can never reveal Him to men. Ah but when we are Spirit filled!!!

    So, who calls a man to ministry? (Most today are called by mom, and not God) then the first thing they do is run to state sponsored institutions, going with state sponsored financial aid, and studying by state subsidized professors, which about half of these professors, when surveyed are not believing as we do that the bible is the inspired word of God, and accurate. They then graduate with a state sponsored degree and can choose to participate in godless social security, or opt out, a state sponsored privelege. They then become an employee of a state certified 501(c)(3), giving them favored tax status, and the ability to sanction a tithe report that their members, if they sign the 501(c)(3) church corporation covenant, can deduct from their state ordered taxes… Forgetting that the Constitution clearly gives them this as a RIGHT being ordained by God as inalienable. Yet these preachers are sure they are following God’s plan for fellowship, as described by an all clergy Ekklesia, which He alone makes you a member of, He He alone is Head, alone keeps you, and He alone says you are not to make in effect other covenants, particularly within that which He HATES being the deeds of the Nicolaitans. (Please send me a copy of a sermon on that subject, will you? And while you are doing that for me, please unlock and video the “storehouse” where the tithe reminder says the money is used to have meat in My House.) True eldars are to serve all giving their lives for the sheep of the True Shepherd!

    Now, let us look at the invitation which is standard in American churchianity today shall we? First, invite your friends and family to church, not to Christ, and who are those who are called to preach? We all are. It is the fellowship of the saints and we are not to fellowship with the reprobate, yet we see that satan still sews tares with the wheat, and it is done by ministers from pulpits in broad road fellowships! Or second, invite them to a jesus who loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives, so that they can make a decision for this jesus who is then obligated to accept them as they accept this jesus into their hearts. My bible as shown to me by the Holy Spirit says that God HATES all workers of inequity, including the false prophets and priests/shepherds who do things in His Name that He did not say, see proverbs and Jeremiah for a few examples of this. Are these not extrabiblical and lead by other spirits that the “man of God” have not tested for? Now Tim, I do not know if these are your fellowship’s errors, but it wouldn’t take me long to find fellowships you are in association with who do promote these errors I’m sure. Yet do you contend openly with them as you attempt to do with Chris here? Do you seek to break from associtaion with your educational institutions of religious degrees for what I could find in their current curriculum, and in their bookstores? These are not hard to ascertain you know…

    Folks, I do not want to have unity in a diversity that either neuters the Holy Spirit by men’s traditions nor refuses to test the spirits…nor should anyone who is more than nominal. America is in the state we are in precisely due to the errors pointed out at the onset of my comment here. And no heresy or apostasy ever entered any fellowship without the failure of the elders to test the spirits, nor the assembly of the living stones to study the Word in context as revealed by the Holy Spirit. When we walk the “narrow road” we will not accept the broader road taught by blind guides! A blind man cannot read the scriptures clearly unless he be made to see by the Holy Spirit.

    I trust we all here are children of the King, yet we all need less of ourselves and more of Him. He IS the Word of God clearly revealed to those who live by the Spirit of God as He leads us into all truth by the Word in
    context.

    It is time for all living stones to count our religious training as dung, and the traditions of men that they are, and sit at Jesus feet like Mary, and stop worrying about the many things that are merely religious cares of this world like Martha. Our nation is under judgement because those who call themselves by His name refuse to humble ourselves turning from our wicked ways and back to Him in repentence! Do any of us dare say we are without sin?

    55,000 denominations today equals 55,000 divisions of Jesus, yet the enemy remains unified against His bride. If Rome be the Great Harlot and mother of all Harlots, then who fits the description of her daughters? Certainly Rome, via the Jesuits seek an ecumenical movement that returns the daughters back to herself, and there is Rick Warren and other blind guides leading the cause.

    Tim, Chris, fellow readers, we are the target of satans wrath, and an even greater wrath he will bring upon us according to scripture. We are in the eyes of the world the problem preventing their solution. Scripture says virgins, both wise and foolish are asleep, and the heresy known as pre trib rapture, an extra biblical revelation of another spirit has done it’s job in putting them to sleep. So too are the bibless studies, and their is a famine in the land, both rhema and logos. There is also a famine in the teaching of scripturally testing the spirits, and we are in judgement because of it. Scripture says that judgement begins at the house of God, and that elders are held to a higher standard. Many will hear in that final day, “depart from Me,I never knew you, and will cry but Lord! LORD!! We did all these things in your Name…” There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! Yet not an elder nor disciple I meet thinks anything like that will be their lot.

    Should this not be a fearful scriptural picture for all who name His Name!?!?

    Fear not the one who can destroy your flesh, rather fear the One who can both destroy your flesh (a good thing for we who deny ourselves an pick up our cross daily) and then cast into the lake of fire…

    There will be weeping…

  27. "BK" permalink

    Whew! That was quite the read, but enjoyable, I must admit. I was a little unclear on how you were meaning we ‘test the spirits’….by ‘Spirit’ or by the Bible….or maybe both? I see that verse to simply mean, see what is produced in the one speaking…if their life testifies to the life of Christ and His reality within them, they are of God. If not, they aren’t. Simple and not quite ‘all inclusive’ and ‘across the board’, but in my experience more point by point…some beliefs produce alot of Christ; some, in held by the same person, do not.

    “My bible as shown to me by the Holy Spirit says that God HATES all workers of inequity, including the false prophets and priests/shepherds who do things in His Name that He did not say, see proverbs and Jeremiah for a few examples
    of this.” Hmmm, I must say here these books both were written before Calvary. God hates the DEEDS of the Nicolaitans, workers of iniquity and false prophets, but He died for them as much as us, “For God so loved the world….”. I don’t see any ‘except for’ in that verse.

    “If Rome be the Great Harlot and mother of all Harlots, then who fits the description of her daughters?” Where I came out from we were taught the Great Harolot was Rome, her daughters Protestantism and the islands the independent world (didn’t leave much room for anybody except ‘us’ 😦 ) I’m not quite so set in stone on this today as when I was with “them” but it’s still an interesting thought!

    “Fear not the one who can destroy your flesh, rather fear the One who can both destroy your flesh (a good thing for we who deny ourselves an pick up our cross daily) and then cast into the lake of fire…

    There will be weeping…” ah, yes; but the verse actually says destroyed in hell (which Revelation says is cast into the Lake of Fire). I’m not sure that doesn’t refer to the the religious world and not God (only recently started wondering about that). And weeping only endures until the bonds burn off, then freedom and joy comes ‘in the morning’. After Rev 20 and 21 we have chapter 22 where the Spirit and Bride are still saying to those outside the city….’hey! are you thirsty? Come on and take a drink of this..there’s LIFE in this here Water!”

    Just some thoughts as I read. Not meant to be in disagreement, just additional thought…..”BK” Oh, yeah, and as far as sermons about the Nicolaitrans, I don’t believe much in sermons but we do talk about them and I’ve written a couple of things here and there over the years 🙂

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