A Call To Arms

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, his work among them was being ridiculed by “some…who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.” (2 Cor. 10:2)  Because these people were still walking (living) according to their flesh nature, which Paul wrote elsewhere was “enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7), they could not conceive of any other possible way of living, not even for Paul who had carried on the work of God in their midst for years.  Paul went on to say, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

When we couple this thought with what Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12) and what he had already told the Corinthians, “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14), we have a picture of the warfare that God calls us to – a spiritual warfare that consists of wrestling against evil demonic beings and using spiritually discerned truth to bring our own thoughts and the thoughts and beliefs of others into obedience to the truths of Christ.  Because there is no neutral ground, every action we take that is not spiritually oriented in Christ becomes an act of warfare against Christ and God.  This ought to be sobering indeed.

The “church” is built upon carnality.  Nicolaitan overlords and their followers practicing sectarian division, lawlessness (doing what is right in one’s own eyes – Jdgs. 21:25), envy, and self-seeking – all this and more are the building blocks with which the “church” is assembled.  “Theology” is learned and taught, not at the leading of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:26, 16:13), but according to the “theologies” and “doctrines” of men and denominations (heresies – Gal. 5:20) and the tradition of men makes the Word of God, the Spirit of truth (Eph. 6:17) of no effect among the people of God.

Paul wrote, “Love never does a wrong to one’s neighbor; so love is the perfect satisfaction of the law.  And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.  The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand.  Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave (walk) properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (Rom. 13:10-14)

As the battle cry sounds forth, we must know what our weapons are and what they are not.  The one who brings only natural abilities to the battlefield is on the wrong side of the war.  The one who has not endured the training necessary to conduct spiritual warfare is a casualty waiting to happen.  The one who has humbly bowed before the King of truth and allowed Him to mold and shape His warrior is the one who will still be standing when the battle is done.

The Old Testament records this event:

Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control – for Aaron had let them get out of control to be a derision among their enemies – then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!”  And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him.  And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’”  So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day.  Then Moses said, “Dedicate yourselves today to the Lord – for every man has been against his son and against his brother – in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today.” (Ex. 32:25-29)

As we seek to apply this – especially in the atmosphere of rampant religious violence perpetrated by zealous fanatics – let us be abundantly clear that no true follower of Christ can physically take up arms against Christians or even non-Christians and rightly claim to have God’s blessings and approval.  Our weapons are not the weapons of this world, our enemies are not human beings and this is not how God spiritually purifies His body!  Jesus commanded His true followers, “I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44) and the Revelation warns us, “If anyone leads into captivity, to captivity he goes; if any one kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed.  Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” (Rev. 13:10)  Those who fail to heed the warnings about using this world’s weapons are destined to experience them – from the other end!

Yet we must also remember that Jesus warned His disciples, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.  I did not come to bring peace but a sword.  For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’” (Mt. 10:34-36)  Make no mistake – as we learn to wield the spiritual weapons of Christ, we will bring about enmity.  As John wrote, “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (Jn. 3:20)  As our light exposes darkness, some will react with the carnal weapons of this world and will rise up and kill the true followers of Christ thinking they are thereby serving God.  This is the unavoidable nature of the warfare into which we have been plunged.  Anyone who would remain on the Lord’s side throughout the battle must be prepared to stand against the demands of his own flesh and blood even as he refuses to fight against them with the fleshly weapons of this world.

Paul wrote, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may become blameless and innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.” (Phlp. 2:14-16)  He also wrote, “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim. 2:24-26)  And Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (Jn. 10:27)  These are the responsibilities that is upon everyone who intends to be saved when all the warfare is finished.  Since the “church” promotes, intentionally or otherwise, a virtually responsibility-free gospel, the truth is much less popular than is the “church’s” so-called “kingdom of grace” deceptions that scratch and tickle ears.

War in this world is all out, kill or be killed, or, as one observer aptly said, “organized murder.”  And there are applications of this attitude that we could emulate in our war against the evil, spiritual beings who manipulate and mastermind the war of Satan against God.  It is certain that our enemy is much more committed to all-out warfare than are those who call themselves “Christians”!  But overall we do not need to practice any kind of desperate warfare.  In truth, we are not desperate.  We face a foe who has been defeated but who has not yet surrendered (nor will he ever surrender; he must be overcome yet again in the lives of the end time saints – Rev. 12:11 – and then he will be captured and imprisoned – Rev. 20:1-3 – but he will never voluntarily surrender as after having been imprisoned for a thousand years he is released and rises up in war against God again. – Rev. 20:7-8)  But even now we stand in a position of strength and greater resources than our enemy although, if we can only see with our natural eyes, we would seem to be completely outgunned, outclassed, outnumberd and outmatched.  Only when we have spiritual eyes will we see the armies of the Lord that so vastly outnumber and overwhelmingly hold the superior position over the enemy who has already been imprisoned on this planet so as to limit his corruption among the creation and who has already experienced having all of his powers undone at the cross of Christ.

The trumpets are sounding – the cry to advance the cause of the Lord is going forth.  Let us shake off every tradition of men and teaching of demon that would hinder us from being on the Lord’s side and taking up His armor and weapons of light, love, truth and righteousness.  “Let us purify ourselves of every filth of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 7:1)  Let us rise up with holy fervor and pray mightily against the spiritual forces of deception and darkness which plague our world.  Let us serve our fellow human beings with love and compassion as we speak the truth that Christ alone is the solution to our world’s problems.

This is the call to arms that is ringing out.  This is our battle cry!

Let he who has ears hear.

All In

In the parable of the talents (large sums of money – representing the life of Christ implanted within all believers – given to servants who were then responsible to go out and bring in a return on the master’s money), the master (who represents God and Christ) said to the third servant (who did nothing with his master’s money), “Therefore you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.” (Mt. 25:27)  Since this servant did not even do this least of things for his master, this lazy, negligent servant is “cast into the outer darkness.” (Mt. 25:30)

And in the parable of the workers who were each paid a day’s wages, all the workers, whether they had worked all day or only an hour, received the same amount of pay. (Mt. 20:9-10)  And Jesus promised that anyone who would give even a cup of water to the least (poorest, smallest), would not lose his reward. (Mk. 9:41)

One inference we could make from these statements is that there is some bottom line, lowest level of activity that brings in a minimal increase that would still allow one to remain in Christ and God’s kingdom when our personal account with God is finally settled.  But we must also immediately recognize that this minimum level that God will deem acceptable is known only to God – and it is likely to be different for each person because each one will be judged by what he has done with what he had been given.  But no “bottom line” of acceptability is ever once mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament, neither spelled out nor given in specifics nor advocated.  In fact, we find that God has always had a different standard in mind.

Jesus said that the most important commandment was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Mt. 22:37)  And to the woman at the well He said, “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (Jn. 4:23)  As a condition for attaining eternal life, Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “Sell all that you have, and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow Me.” (Lk. 18:22)

The minimalists (as well as those who don’t even rise to that standard) will immediately point out that the first requirement is in the law and we are no longer under law, that the second requirement doesn’t say anything about “all” and that the third requirement was placed upon only one particular man with one particular hindrance in his quest for eternal life.  All of these observations are true but these are given as an excuse to avoid the responsibility to the main point – not as a means to find truth.

The writer of Hebrews warns us, “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard lest we drift away from it.  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb. 2:1-3)

Christ commanded His disciples, “Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (Jn. 13:34)  If anyone ever gave His all to the will of God, Jesus stands head and shoulders above all others! (also see Heb. 10:7)  By this same standard, we are to care for the others who also belong to Him.  But because men have begun to care more about what is right in their own eyes (translated as “lawlessness” in the better versions), the love of most has grown cold. (Mt. 24:12, also see Jdgs. 21:25)  Because this lawlessness is rarely recognized for what it is, it is rarely considered as a sinful or carnal way to choose one’s “church” or one’s preferred “theology” and so it remains the most popular foundation stone of churchianity.  Because the many have heaped up and followed the false teachers in their dangerous divisions (“denominations”), all these “church”-ites can attain to is a mere form of godliness that cannot enable anyone to love others as Christ loved His followers. (see 2 Tim. 4:3-4, 2 Pet. 2:1-2, 2 Tim. 3:5)

Jesus also said, “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” (Jn. 7:17)  Here Jesus invites everyone to question and challenge the source of His words and teachings.  If anyone’s words and teachings ought to be above question, it should be the Christ’s.  But since even His words are not above challenge (though indeed they will stand up to any and all challenges), let us be free, once and for all time, from the monstrous, demonic lie that teachings from the clergy are above question. (also see 1 Ths. 5:21-22 where Paul says to test all things!)  Let us also clearly recognize that one who will not stand to have his teachings or practices questioned or examined – especially by the light of the Scriptures – is clergy.  It is the “all in” attitude for the will of God that protects us from the deception that is the characteristic of the end times (Mt. 24:4) – that is, unless someone wants to do God’s will above their own will, they will be ripe for failing to discern just where any particular teaching comes from.  This is serious business indeed since the end times will be characterized as “perilous” (2 Tim. 3:1) and will be fueled by “doctrines (teachings) of demons” that will cause many to depart from the faith. (1 Tim. 4:1)  The stakes are high where deception and truth are concerned.  Those who teach otherwise are perhaps the most dangerous of the deceivers because they are as deceived as those whom they deceive!

There simply is no safer place in God than to be “all in” – anything else leaves far too much of ourselves exposed as a target or as a captured “beachhead” in our enemy’s assault upon our eternal soul.  Only fools parade themselves openly in battlefields and dance brazenly in minefields.  Those who take the battle seriously and fight like they want to both win (attain to God’s will) and survive (remain in Christ’s kingdom when this life is done) are those who are “all in.”  All else are deceived – already wounded, maimed or even dead on the battlefield and are “out.”

Let he who has ears hear.

Why Do We Meet

In one of the few places where the KJV actually uses the word “assembly” (instead of “church”) to translate the Greek word ekklesia [1577], Luke records, “Some [of those who had rushed into the theater] therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly (ekklesia) was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.” (Acts 19:32)  Demetrius the silversmith had stirred up the people and gathered the assembly to discuss what to do with Paul and the Christians (Acts 19:24-29) and the assembly was so confused that most of them did not even know why they had gathered.  This is a perfect picture of the modern “church.”  Few, if any, seem to remember or even know what the mission of the genuine ekklesia is.

Put simply, the ekklesia is to be spiritually able and equipped to attend to the issues and affairs of Christ’s kingdom of light.  Thus, when we come together, the key item on the agenda is not to have a time of worship or to hold a Bible study or to hear a “sermon” that titillates our ears (2 Tim. 4:3-4) but rather to, in some real way, further the kingdom of God in our midst.  In practical terms, the ekklesia then should be focusing on:

 

  • Hearing and doing the wishes and commands of the Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 1:22, etc.)  The kingdom of God comes into our midst when we obey Christ and God through the leading of His Spirit. (Mt. 6:10, Rom. 8:14, etc.)  Until the Lord is truly the Lord over any assembly, there is no possibility of furthering the kingdom of God.  As valuable as corporate worship, Bible studies and spiritual messages may be, if they replace the headship of Christ over the assembly, they are out of order.  He alone is to be the Administrator (Greek leitourgos [3011] director, “liturgy”) of the work performed in the sanctuary that is His people. (Heb. 8:2)

 

  • Producing viable citizens for Christ’s kingdom. Discipleship is virtually a lost art in today’s apostate environment but it is a requirement for any kingdom that its citizens be taught to practice good citizenship according to its laws and ways.  In Christ’s kingdom, the primary characteristics are called “the fruit of the Spirit” and they violate the law of no man’s land. (Gal. 5:22-23)  These are produced, not by adherence to any list of do-s and don’t-s, but by learning to individually hear and obey the Lord.  “My sheep hear My voice,” the Lord said, “and I know them, and they follow Me.” (Jn. 10:27)  Those who do not hear His voice and do not follow and obey Him have no right to claim Him as either Lord or Savior!

 

  • Meeting the needs of the people of Christ’s kingdom and even of this world. As any assembly practices the headship of Christ Jesus over their activities and as citizens of His kingdom are better equipped and prepared to shine light in their dark worlds, the needs of the people of the assembly and those they interact with will need to be addressed.

 

Peter wrote, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If anyone serves, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 4:10-11)  There are two kinds of gifting in view here – speaking and serving – and they are both vitally necessary for a healthy expression of the way of following Christ and God.  Yet, the “church” meeting format caters almost exclusively to the speakers and virtually excludes the operation of those who are gifted primarily to serve.  Service (actual work, productivity) in the kingdom of God is almost impossible to do at a meeting and it is in this light that meetings can rob the people and divert them from their mission to hear and obey God, disciple others and meet real needs.

These three things are the lost mission of the ekklesia.  Too many think or act as if the whole purpose of assembling is to sing songs or to talk about the Bible or even just to have meetings so that we may know who each other are.  Even the world’s business community knows that having too many meetings is counter-productive to actually getting any work done and that when meetings over-shadow productivity, the business is headed toward a disastrous end.  The “church” is in its present straits because it has forsaken the true Head and has settled into a tradition of holding dead meetings that produce nothing of the spiritual life of Christ and which meet no real needs of the people who attend the meetings.  What little of Christ is experienced in most “church” meetings is not a function of the “church’s” methodology but a testimony of the transcendence of God who will meet anyone who sincerely and diligently seeks Him in whatever environment he or she is in.

When we learn again to “minister to the Lord” (Acts 13:2, etc.) in the sanctuary of His people (and not in the abominable “sanctuary” of the “church” building that is patterned after the judgment halls, “basilicas,” of the Roman empire), then we will see the kingdom of God flourishing in our midst.  Until such time, we will continue to witness and experience the apostasy, the great falling away from the faith that must be called churchianity. (2 Ths. 2:3, Mt. 24:10)  Those who would “shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Mt. 13:43) must be true sons of the kingdom intent upon furthering their Father’s kingdom and cannot be mere “church”-ites confused as to why they have gathered together, thinking they have assembled to satisfy some purpose or agenda of their own.  To further the kingdom of God in our midst is the real mission of the genuine ekklesia – all else is simply some man’s or some demon’s deceptive “church.”  The time to choose which entity – the kingdom of God or this world – to which we will belong, is now.

Let he who has ears hear.

A Counterfeit Levitical Priesthood


A Counterfeit Levitical Priesthood

ONLY LEVITES had the right to receive the tithe from the people of Israel (Numbers18:21-26). This is what Scripture commanded! Since there is no Man-Made “Temple” in existence and no ordained Levitical priesthood serving in this man-made temple of today, the laws of tithing to a counterfeit Levitical system do not exist in the New Covenant, New Testament Living in Christ. Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19, for we are the temple of the living God. As you come to him, the living Stone rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-6) We are all kings and priest in HIS kingdom. We are a royal priesthood (ALL SINCERE BELIEVERS IN CHRIST), sacred to God serviceable to others. (1 Peter 2:9)

Those who minister the word today are not Levites. Neither Christ nor the apostles were Levites so they were all disqualified from being the sole recipients of the tithe in the Old Testament. Only the Tribe of Levites could. Jesus and the apostles like Paul and Peter came from the Tribe of Judah and Benjamin. Therefore in the New Covenant, New Testament in Christ, tithing is never mentioned. It is just that simple. Many abusers of the Old Testament Law twist the meaning of Hebrews 7 in an attempt to sustain legalistic tithing as a New Testament commandment. Jesus never commanded New Testament believers to adhere to the Ceremonial Law of tithing as “New Testament tithing” cannot rescue fallen humankind from their desperate position under the curse of the Law. LOOK AS HARD AS YOU LIKE YOU WILL NEVER FIND IT ANYWHERE IN THE NEW COVENANT DOCTRINES OF CHRIST!

Jesus never commanded that animals must be sacrificed to atone for sin as believers of the New Covenant live under an entirely different dispensation from that of the Old Testament Israelites. Abraham practiced animal sacrifices, polygamy, and circumcision amongst other things ALL DONE BEFORE THE LAW! Would they all be valid in today’s church because they were all done before the law? If today’s clergy (pastors, set man, apostolic source, spiritual fathers, etc.) choose to keep one law, (Tithing, Offerings and First Fruits) to “earn” blessings from God, they must keep the entire Ceremonial or Ritual Law, and thereby proclaim that they do not need the Lord Jesus and His complete atonement. They then actually reject the grace of God in Christ! (Gal. 3:10-14; Gal. 2:21)

Tithing is one big CASH COW  as today’s tithe is treated with such reverence that this counterfeit Levitical priesthood hold it above the sacrifice of Jesus himself and would do anything to make sure nothing and no one affects this CASH COW in anyway. The only New Testament Law which Jesus and His disciples ever commanded was the Moral Law of Love for God and fellow man (which naturally relates to offerings) but the New Testament never mentions tithing and first fruits, except in the view of those who abuse Scripture non-contextually to reinforce their manmade or demonic doctrines of greed – the spirit of mammon. (Mt. 22:37-40; 2 Cor. 9:7; Rom. 8:14)

The Context of Malachi 2 and 3 (Sons Of Levi)

God was rebuking His backslidden religious priests – sons of Levi and not New Testament Believers when He said in Malachi. 2,

“I will send the curse upon you and curse your blessings… For a priest’s lips should guard and keep pure the knowledge of My Law, and the people should seek instruction at his mouth… But you have turned aside out of the way; you have caused many to stumble by your [false, twisted] instruction in the Law; you have corrupted My covenant with the people. [The son’s of Levi perverted God’s truth and made it into manmade doctrines to profit themselves.] You do this with double guilt, covering My altar with tears, shed by your wives, whom you divorced that you might take heathen wives, and with your crying out because I do not regard your offering any more… Yet you ask: Why does He reject it?” (Mal. 2:2-8, 13-14) Malachi 2:1-9 helps us establish that the rebuke given to the Levites is consistent throughout the entire context. God said it was a “MAN” who was robbing God [tears shed by your wives-whom you divorced]. Furthermore, women could not hold the office of a priest, so this is further proof of who the rebuke is to.

These priests were swindlers operating from the “spirit of mammon.” “Nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:10 )

They were the ones defrauding GOD, they neglected to distribute among the poor, the widows and the orphans. They oppressed the widows and the fatherless,they defrauded labourers’ of their wages and deprived aliens of justice. They did not fear the Lord. They blatantly disregarded God’s Royal Law of agapaö (love for God), and agape (love for people). They  twisted the Holy Scriptures.  They were idolators, disobedient, adulterers, but they were still asking: “Lord, why do you reject our offerings?” (Mal. 2:14) Their deliberate transgression of the Moral and Ceremonial Law brought them under the entire curse of Deuteronomy 28, which is why God cursed these religious fraudsters “with a curse.” By mixing NEW WINE in OLD WINSKINS, which are two different dispensations, wolves in sheep’s clothing have indoctrinated Jesus’ blood-bought, New Testament disciples to believe that they should pay the tithes or taxes of Old Israel, FIRST FRUITS included, to a “counterfeit Levitical Priesthood” to “earn” “super natural” blessings from God! Thus, according to this blatant lie, God “curses them with a curse.” (Gal. 2:21) Jesus still says to His followers, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed [the spirit of mammon]; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Lk. 12:15)

THE MORE EXCELLENT WAY OF GIVING IN THE BOOK OF ACTS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW. WE SHOULD GIVE TO THE POOR, THE WIDOWS AND OPHANS AND WHOEVER IS IN NEED. (Not the greedy counterfeit Levitical Priesthood), Acts 2:44…. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46.Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,…JESUS SAID TO THE RICH YOUNG MAN….SELL ALL AND GIVE IT TO THE POOR. PERIOD! (Mat 19:20) – (NOT TO THOSE FALSE APOSTLES AND FALSE TEACHERS, ‘SET MEN’ WHO LIVE IN THE LAP OF LUXUARY RECEIVING THE COUNTERFEIT LEVITICAL TITHES TODAY THAT DOES NOT BELONG THESE IMPOSTERS AND CAN DO WHATEVER THEY LIKE WITH IT! The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. [it does not say give your tithes to this one] Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.…(Gal 6:6-8)

Who Do You Say that I AM?

“Who do you say that I am?” (Mt. 16:15) This is the question Jesus put to His disciples – and the right answer, given by Peter but shared by all of them, that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, is what Jesus said would be the foundation of the ekklesia, His people called out of this world’s darkness to be citizens of and family within His kingdom of light.

At the time that Peter gave this “right answer,” however, he did not really have the right answer. In his mind, the Messiah was surely going to rise up with military power and destroy the Romans, conveniently leaving Peter sitting in the second-most powerful position in the world.

At the time that Peter gave this “right answer,” an answer made possible only by receiving spiritual revelation from God (Mt. 16:17), he was miles ahead of the multitudes who superstitiously believed Jesus to be the reincarnation of John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. (Mt. 16:14) But even in his rightness, Peter still held false beliefs about the true nature and mission of the Messiah. Being set free from these cherished beliefs, expectations and hopes in the Messiah would require great encounters with the realities of the depths of his own sinful nature and a complete breaking of Peter’s desire to be something great, something self-defined and designed and crafted. Peter, as Jesus came to know, needed to know that participation in godliness is not a thing that can be grasped but must be received. (Phlp. 2:6)

Asking who we say that Jesus is may produce the right answer – but it does not guarantee that we are free of deception about who Jesus is and what He requires of us. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32) The Jews to whom He said this did not abide in His word, they were not His disciples, they did not know the truth and they were not free – they conclusively demonstrated this by trying to kill Jesus for the crime and sin of blasphemy. (Jn. 8:59)

His disciples did remain in His word, they were His followers (even when they did not understand or totally agree), they came to know the truth (when the Spirit of truth was poured out upon them) and they became free.

This is the process we must all go through. It is not enough to know that Jesus is the Messiah – that is only the first step and a baby one at that. It is not enough to know all the “right answers” – we must be filled with the Spirit of Christ and God and we must follow Him by His Spirit if we are to truly be sons of the living God. (Rom. 8:14) It is not enough to trust in the mere fact that we know enough to say or sing, “You are my God” – we must progressively come to know Him (as He truly is and not how we want or believe Him to be) and worship Him in spirit and truth. When we have only a flawed understanding of who Christ is and what He requires of us, having “the right answer” but not the Spirit who gives us the right “substance,” only guarantees that our expression of ekklesia (the Greek word misrendered “church” in modern English translations) is also flawed and misguided.

Only when we are free from our own flesh- or sin-generated or contaminated notions of who Christ is and what He requires of us will His promise of liberty be fulfilled in our lives. Until such time, we will remain under the sway and power of the evil one because we have not left the realms of religious bondage so as to come into the glorious liberty of being the saints (the holy, set apart ones) of God. Until the power of God’s people – that is, the power each individual has to control and rule over his own life – is broken and that power placed totally and only into the hands of Christ and God, we will continue to mistakenly believe that dead works and religious requirements (“church”) are God’s plan for our lives and that fleshly religious façade and mere form of godliness is the “abundant life” that accompanies salvation instead of it being the very thing from which we should turn away and flee out from. (2 Tim. 3:5, 2 Cor. 6:17)

The way of the Messiah is truth, light, liberty, love, holiness and righteousness. All else, even when practiced in the name of Christ and God, is still merely a deception engineered by the devil so as to divert unwary souls from the way that leads to life. (Mt. 7:14)

Let he who has ears hear.

What the Apostolic Ministry IS NOT!


IT IS NOT a means for personal kingdom building.

It is a mandate for all believers given the glorious privilege of presenting God’s kingdom of light to a lost and dying world in the hope that many more will be turned from darkness to light, to Christ Jesus the KING of kings, the LORD of lords, to HIS KINGDOM where HE rules and reigns SUPREME! ( Mt. 6:33 ; Rom. 14:17)

IT IS NOT how many churches you have in “your” network.

Apostolic building is a spiritual quality that results in the increase of Christ and His kingdom in the earth, not the increase of a network or of a mere mortal who sees himself “set” in place over his own personal creation and area of rule. Paul’s apostolic mandate was to make Christ known in a foundational way. The call of an apostle is to be gladly spent and used up by others ( 2 Cor. 12:12-15 ), not to build up a great network or a cleverly disguised pyramid scheme to swindle God’s flock for the first fruits, tithes and offerings for themselves by calling it a more excellent way of giving. ( Eph 5:3 ; 2 Tim 3:2)

IT IS NOT about money.

It is the quality of care for the local assembly and love for the saints. Peter wrote, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;” ( 1 Pet. 5: 2 ) And Paul wrote, “You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed – God is our witness.” ( 1 Ths. 2:5 ) Paul declares, and calls upon his readers as witnesses, that he never used his ministry as a secret means of enriching himself.

IT IS NOT a multi-level marketing scheme.

A system of “church planters” where all the first fruits, tithes and offerings work their way to the top – ‘the Covering Apostle’ – is only a pyramid scheme to separate the unwary from their money. True Christian leaders have integrity with the Lord’s money. They refuse to take large amounts of monies for themselves; handle all finances with integrity and responsibility; and seek to promote Gods work in ways consistent with New Testament standards for leaders. ( Tit. 3:3 ; 1 Tim. 6:9-10)

IT IS NOT about human glory. “I’m Apostle so and so.”

Paul said, “We have never sought honour from men, from you or from anybody else.” ( 1 Ths. 2:6 ) Paul repudiates personal ambition. Paul never used his preaching to gain the honour, recognition and approval that men give but instead sought and taught that all men should seek God’s approval. ( 2 Tim. 2:15 ) Being Apostolic means faithfulness to the gospel, and to serve one another in LOVE! It’s about preaching the Gospel without any costs attached to it…FREE OF CHARGE…not turning God’s grace into a lucrative career and position of prestige, power and preeminence! ( 1 Cor. 9:18 ; 2 Cor. 11:7 ; Tit. 1:7 ; 3 Jn. 9 ; etc.)

IT IS NOT about going wherever the “apostle” thinks he is welcome.

It is not “sending” yourself or using your eloquence or charisma to collect resources so you can go wherever you’re welcomed or have gained a personal following. It is going exactly and only where God said you should go. ( 1 Tim. 1:1 ) Apostolic means that the messenger is truly sent by God. (this is Greek meaning of “apostle” – the word “apostle” is only a transliteration, imported into English to sound more official and important.) The only instance in the New Testament of this kind of sending is Barnabas and Saul – and this sending was confirmed by all present at that gathering. ( Acts 13:1-2)

ABOVE ALL WE SHOULD FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR CHRIST JESUS.

Jesus said, “You call Me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you. In all truth I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know this, blessed are you if you behave accordingly. I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen; but what scripture says must be fulfilled: ‘He who shares my table takes advantage of Me…’” ( Jn. 13:13-18 ) And “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” ( 1 Pet. 2:22) Anything else is a only man-made addition or a demonically authored counterfeit to the only true way to follow Christ. AMEN!

Tithe of the Tithes to the “covering apostle”

Have you ever wondered where in scripture in the new covenant IN CHRIST does it speak about the tithe of the tithes must go to the covering apostle?  Look as long and as carefully as you like and can – it’s JUST NOT IN THERE unless you allow some (Holy) Spiritually unlearned, untaught and unstable “apostle,” “prophet” or some other exalted title twist the Scriptures just so for you.  The price tag on that, however, is his destruction and yours! (2 Pet. 3:16)

When one takes a closer look at this false teaching, immediately you will see that it is one Big Pyramid Scheme. Let’s do a simple math test and see what a crafty scheme it really is. For example if the “covering apostle” has under his “covering” a 100 churches and each church pays him a tithe of their tithes of fifteen thousand a month. I.e. 15000 * 100 = 1.5 million a month going to this “covering apostle”!

No wonder why this teaching is so religiously practiced and why these travelling hucksters cover the globe making disciples after themselves instead of followers after Christ. (see Acts 20:30)  Be not deceived – God is not mocked.  The one who sows to his carnal, religious flesh will reap the same death as the one who sows to his worldly, self-centered sinful flesh.  Only the one who sows to the Spirit will reap everlasting life.  (Gal. 6:7-8)  There is no middle ground.

Let he who has ears hear.

I’d love to hear your comments according to new covenant teachings In Christ and the original apostolic doctrine of Jesus’ s day.

God’s Order

Paul wrote, “God is not a God of disorder but of order.” (1 Cor. 14:33)  From this truth some have drawn the conclusion that anyone who promotes disorder speaks a word from the devil and the demonic.  As an example of God’s order, these will point to creation, such as a tree, and emphasize how it grows, how it is ordered and structured out to its furthest limb, twig and leaf.  These then go on to infer that anyone who speaks against the “church” structure, with its buildings, clergy, religious practices, doctrines and theologies is therefore promoting disorder and may be summarily dismissed as one speaking only a word from the devil and the demonic.

Yet this example comes up very short from the reality of the “church.”  Men have seen God’s “tree,” lopped off branches and replaced them with boards, pipes, wires, car parts or any other man-made or even demonic thing.  They have dug around the roots to give them air and watered the tree with sugar water or bleach, depending on their own peculiar bent and tastes in life.  And then men call this “God’s order” for His people.  Along comes someone who speaks against the boards, pipes, wires and all the other man-made or demonically-invented abominations and, for his efforts, gets labeled as one promoting disorder.  The truth is that anyone who places any man-made or demonic addition onto God’s “tree” is the one who is promoting and practicing disorder.  But since God’s order is only visible to the spiritually mature and since one who is called to speak about such things faces tremendous challenges and great opposition, this fact remains unavailable to the immature, carnal, abominable, apostate “church” even as every heart that truly seeks Christ knows these things to be true.

God is a God of order.  His order is that He has placed Christ as Head (King, Absolute Monarch and Ruler) over all things for His ekklesia – His people called out of this world’s darkness to be citizens and even family who attend to the issues and affairs of His kingdom of light, love, truth and goodness. (Eph. 1:22)  Anyone who does not have Christ as his or her true and literal King but instead follows man-made or demonically-induced doctrines or “theology,” who takes upon him or herself labels that seem to come from the Bible but in reality come from the authority structures that men have created in the name of Christ and God – no matter how much that one seems to operate and move in the Spirit of God – is impure and not entirely working for the kingdom of Christ and God.  In truth, he may work more for the kingdoms of darkness, death and deception than he does for the kingdom of God.  Anyone who clings to the manmade additions will find in the day when God removes these things from His “tree” that they have a very serious choice to make.

The presence of the dual streams of power (divine and demonic) that operate in the lives of so many who claim to follow Christ has long been overlooked because the “church” provides a place where the “pastor” can hide behind the pulpit and project forth an aura of infallibility and spiritual expertise that is not the reality of his or her life.  And the people sit quietly in their pews or chairs listening to a Bible lecture (“sermon” or “study”), briefly rub shoulders with one another and call that “fellowship,” never demonstrating the desperate and often demonized realities of their life to one another.  This modern aberration called “church” – especially the mega-“church” – is not God’s order but is instead a conglomeration of man-made traditions and demonic teachings grafted onto the way of following Christ and God.

The man or woman who, like Christ, is careful to speak against the human traditions (Mt. 15:3) and the demonic teachings (1 Tim. 4:1) while simultaneously cultivating the original structure and way of Christ under the leading of His Spirit of truth and holiness is not speaking from the demonic anymore than Christ was.  Any leader who labels the one who is being led by God’s Spirit to speak against man’s order of things as demonized is coming perilously close to the sin that Jesus said would not be forgiven, the blasphemy against the Spirit of God. (Mk. 3:29-30)  We have looked upon the grotesque additions of men to the things of God without spiritual understanding for so long that we, like the Pharisees of old, have powerful positions to protect and maintain and we will do so at the expense of even the lives of the sheep of God.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap death, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Gal. 6:7)  This – one’s life genuinely lived in and by His Spirit, both individually and corporately, with Christ as the literal and true King – is God’s order.  Anything else is mere deception, fraud and counterfeit of the true way of following Christ and God.

The word of the Lord especially for this time and season is:  “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” (Rev. 22:11)  God knows those who are His (2 Tim. 2:19) and may we not grow weary in our fight and work in His kingdom of light, love, truth and goodness. (Gal. 6:9)  Because of the precious promises God has given us, let us indeed purify ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord! (2 Cor. 7:1)

Let he who has ears hear.

The Passing Darkness

The observation has been made by many that mainline denominations are dying out.  For those who have eyes to see, the reason is blatantly obvious.  John wrote, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk (live, conduct our lives) in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 Jn. 1:6)  The primary sins of the “church” are heresies (in the original sense found in the New Testament, “parties formed upon an idea or upon the leading of some man,” Greek hairesis [139]), contentions and selfish ambitions (in essence, rivalry for preeminence, Greek eris [2054] and eritheia [2052], also see 3 Jn. 9) and dissensions (especially between differing denominations and their “faithful” adherents, Greek dichostasia [1370], the “double standard” of “believe as I do or leave.”)  Each of these four sins is found in Paul’s list of the works of the flesh that prevent followers of Christ from attaining to or inheriting the kingdom of God. (see Gal. 5:19-21)  As the root of these sins, we must name the sin of lawlessness (Greek anomia [458], best recognized as the secular philosophy of relativism and summed up as “doing what is right in one’s own eyes” (see Jdgs. 21:25) as each individual decides which brand, flavor and kind of “ministry” he prefers most and then attends the “church” he or she likes best.  Those who practice this kind of religious lawlessness may well find themselves eternally dismissed by the King, Christ Jesus. (Mt. 7:21-23)

To this list we can add schisms (divisions, Greek schisma [4978]), which the very presence of denominational divisions simply proves that the “church” is not the body of Christ because “God composed [Christ’s] body…that there should be no schism in the body…” (1 Cor. 12:24-25)   We can add Nicolaitanism ([3531], “conquer or rule over the people” – Rev. 2:6, 15 ) where “pastors” and other professional rhetoriticians use sophistry and eloquence and various forms of deceptive “damage control” techniques to keep their passive, spiritually ignorant listeners comfortably imprisoned and seated at their feet. (also see 2 Tim. 4:3-4)  We can add greed and covetousness as far too many clergy are more interested in maintaining their lucrative career than they are in seeing that Christ’s ekklesia (Greek [1577], Christ’s “people called out of this world’s darkness to live in and attend to His kingdom of light,” the word inappropriately but most often translated “church” in English versions of the New Testament) stands as the unified, singular “pillar of truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15)  And there are other subtle sins such as these we could add but hopefully the point is made.

To this above list we could even add those “churches” that embrace and practice flagrant and open sin and abomination but this would only allow those who practice the above sins to think themselves approved by God simply because they do not practice these gross and obvious sins and abominations but instead simply and faithfully attend what they think of as a “good church.”  The truth remains that if we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet live in continuing darkness (wickedness, deception, lawlessness – doing what is right in our own eyes – sin or unrighteousness of any sort), we lie (to God, to others, to ourselves) and do not practice the truth (that is, hearing and following the Spirit of truth).

With all of this darkness practiced at most, if not all, denominational “churches,” it is no surprise they are dying out.  The darkness is passing away and those who hunger for truth and light are no longer fooled by the putrid smell of death wafting from the pulpits, through the pews and out of the “church” doors.

In contrast, the kingdom of Christ and God is without end (Dan. 7:13-14) and completely unshakeable. (Heb. 12:28)  The denominational “church” cannot long remain because God has promised that all things that can be shaken will be shaken and only that which cannot be shaken – His kingdom – will remain. (Heb. 12:27)  Only those who are truly in His kingdom – and not ensnared in some man’s “church” (by whatever name they call it, even “ekklesia”) – will be those who receive eternal life.

Christ’s kingdom is precisely that – a kingdom.  Look in any dictionary – a kingdom is a realm that is ruled by a king.  The subjects of a kingdom are those who live in obedience to the word of the king.  The kingdom of God is that realm where Christ and God are obeyed and the people live as children of light. (Eph. 5:8)  His will and His kingdom are inseparable. (Mt. 6:10)

Light or darkness – the choice, and the consequences, are ours.

Let he who has ears hear.

Furthering the Kingdom

When we look at the fractured landscape of people trying to follow Christ, we find, in general terms and broad strokes, what some are calling “post-denominational Christianity” (a curious mixture of deceptive churchianity and religious spirituality) and the “out of church” refugees who have fled from all institutional hierarchies.  Within both groups, however, there is little focus on personally (individually or corporately) following the King as the only means to truly further the kingdom of God.  This only means that various sects and divisions will continue (especially in those groups that have completely departed from the literal and interactive Lordship of Christ over the group – sadly the vast majority of groups that claim to be “Christian”) to proliferate, further devastating the spiritual landscape, preparing many for succumbing to the coming and even present Satanic deceptions of the last days.

What is a genuine seeker of Christ, who desires Him and Him alone to be his King, to do?  Or, as others have asked at various times of impending hardship and darkness, “How shall we then live?”  The first (and truly only) answer to this question is, “Follow the Lamb wherever He leads.  Period.” (see Rev. 14:4, Jn. 10:27, etc.)  But the danger in this is that we become isolated individuals who, even if we have only truth in our possession (which may or may not be true), we have not the strength of the body of Christ to draw upon.  What practical guidelines might we use to build or gather (even if only in a “loose network” – see Mt. 13:47 for the appropriateness of this figure) a group that truly furthers the interests of God’s kingdom?  And again, we cannot over-emphasize the need to be led into all truth by the Spirit of truth (Jn. 16:13) so that we may truly co-labor (1 Cor. 3:9) with Him who alone builds His ekklesia. (Mt. 16:18)

Perhaps the first issue we need to resolve (or at least contemplate) is,

“What does it mean to have Christ as King?”

 Those who have learned to be lawlessly (doing what is right in one’s own eyes because there has been no king to follow and obey – Jdgs. 21:25) independent may require years to become a “King’s man,” one willing to obey the King (of life, truth, love, etc. – Acts 3:15, Jn. 18:37, 1 Jn. 4:8-9, etc.) even at the cost of one’s own life if necessary. (Mt. 10:39, etc.)  Many will have trouble even recognizing that the gospel of the kingdom – that there is a King who is to be followed and obeyed and that one can only remain in the kingdom of God by doing the will of God (Mt. 7:21, etc.) – is the original gospel preached by the original apostles.  Much work with much patience is required to restore sheep who have been deceived, neglected, malnourished and even abused in modern churchianity.

The second issue, closely related to the first, is,

“How do we help one another submit to the Lordship (King-ness) of Christ?”

 This is simply another way of saying, How do we “Consider one another in order to stir up love and good works”? (Heb. 10:24)  The answers the “church” might give are not adequate.  Our “marching orders” must come from the Head Christ Jesus and not from any man, certainly not from some “pastoral” Diotrephes (3 Jn. 9) who uses the people for his own purposes and advantage.  We must know one another first and to do this we must overcome the isolations our culture, economy and technology have placed upon us.

Perhaps the first efforts to gather any group should be based on the pattern of the apostles and the first believers who were filled with the Holy Spirit.

“They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

 And yet again, this is not a pattern to be fixed on our calendars as we begin to mail out invitations.  First and foremost, we need to seek the King as to whom we should even begin to try to be ekklesia with.  “The Lord knows those who are His” (2 Tim. 2:19) and He alone can direct us to those whom He has trained (or is training or will be training) to be His loyal subjects and servants.  The pattern is given as the most likely way in which He will bring us together.  We may need to share some kingdom truths with a friend, a neighbor, an acquaintance or even a total stranger.  This is preaching “the apostles’ teachings” – the truth of the kingdom of God that transcends all of men’s efforts and teachings which have produced only fractured churchianity and demonically-driven apostasy.  Invitations to share a meal may be a way to simultaneously delve further into one another’s lives and into kingdom truths.  And surely, as soon as any kind of similar focus is found, common prayer should be a regular (as “regular” as our getting together may be) occurrence.  While the “church” is content to have only a few “prayer warriors” who meet to pray, the ekklesia needs all of its members able to effectively wrestle against our spiritual enemies. (Eph. 6:18, etc.)  And yet again, each of these activities must be led by the Spirit, especially prayer, because the enemy will surely oppose these efforts to follow only the one true King.  Only in this way of complete submission to the Holy Spirit will be able to maintain a pattern of assembly consistent with that of the New Testament.

Because so many who seek to follow Christ have been tainted by their time in “church,” the biggest hurdle to overcome will be knowledge learned at “church.”  Doctrines that derive from men (Mt. 15:3) or even demons (1 Tim. 4:1) but are held to be sacred, beloved and cherished truths from God (and there are several of these doctrinal deceptions that are aimed precisely at disrupting a group’s unity in the Spirit) will quickly rise to the forefront of discussion and we must be prepared to stand against any deceptions.  Reverting to the first two issues – having Christ as our true King and seeking to aid one another in submitting to His Lordship – is likely to always be a good first step in any discussion of controversial doctrines or teachings.  And in this age of dissension and deception, every truth of God has at least one, perhaps many, counterfeits and distortions designed to derail any individual or group away from the King and His kingdom.

Following are several Scriptural standards by which we can peaceably and corporately seek to glean from the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16)

  • Paul said to the Ephesian elders, “I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27)  It is not impossible for even one man to know the whole counsel of God on a matter.
  • Paul wrote to his fellow worker Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)  Diligent workers who reverently and carefully seek the mind of Christ will be able to rightly divide and apply the word of truth (in accordance with the whole counsel of God) to the situation at hand. (see also 1 Ths. 2:3-6)
  • Paul wrote to the carnal (fleshly) and divided Corinthians, “We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  …the natural man [who is manipulated or controlled by the god of this world – Eph. 2:2] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:12, 14 )  Anyone who remains obstinately unable to receive the things of God which the rest of the group is able to receive is to be restored to spirituality as gently as possible (Gal. 6:1) or, in due course and time, rejected by the entire group. (Mt. 18:17)
  • Paul also wrote to the Corinthians, “We speak wisdom among those who are mature…” (1 Cor. 2:6)  In some rare instances, the situation may truly be beyond the scope of the written words of the New Testament.  But more likely this wisdom will be needed in matters that require spiritual discernment so as to rightly divide an issue and appropriately nest it within the whole counsel of God.  In the discussion that attends such matters (which may become quite heated), the standard of what godly wisdom is like should be held to in order to keep the discussions from being harmful to the hearers. (see 2 Tim. 2:14)  James wrote, “Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.  But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking [for things like preeminence or significance] in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.  This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.  For where envy and self-seeking exist [are allowed to remain], confusion and every evil thing will be there.  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (Jas. 3:13-18)  Anyone who insists on forcing his or her own “private interpretations” (things gleaned apart from the work of the Spirit of truth – see 2 Pet. 1:20-21) upon the group – especially if his views are expressed with acerbic or acidic sarcasm and rudeness – is to be pressed toward repentance or rejected by the unanimous consent and confirmation of the entire group.  Rejection by the one who has the most Bible knowledge (possibly the most dangerous person in the assembly) only produces yet another Nicolaitan Diotrephes (see Rev. 2:6, 15) and a “majority vote” only brings the minority under the tyranny of the majority – all in contradiction to Jesus’ command that “It shall not be so among you.” (see Mk. 10:42-43, etc.)
  • Paul wrote, “I beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness [humility] and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unanimity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1-3)  The Greek word rendered “unity” in many translations is henotes [1775] and is more accurately rendered unanimity – unanimous agreement, one accord. (see also Acts 15:22, 1 Cor. 1:10, etc.)  Paul wrote, “By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…and have all been made to drink one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13) and he later wrote to the same people, “I fear…[that] if [someone] who comes preaches [to you] another Jesus whom we [Paul and Timothy] have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it.” (2 Cor. 11:3-4)  Only one Spirit, that of Christ and God, is to be received if we are to be true ekklesia that furthers the kingdom of God.  Any group that fails to practice this unanimity of the Spirit is operating outside of God’s purpose that we all be one, as Christ and God are one, so that the world around us might see that Jesus is the Messiah whom God sent to be the Lamb who would take away the sins of the world. (see Jn. 17:21-23, 1:29)

We must take special care to hear what Christ said about our being one.  We are to be one so that the world will believe and know that the Father sent Jesus and that the Father loves us too.  The purpose of any group then is to corporately reproduce Christ – most often on the scale of two or three. (Mt. 18:20)  The purpose of any group is to build up His body – in spiritual strength and not just in numbers.  Any true leader (those who go before, not those who stand over!) must have as their “prime directive” the words of John the Baptist:  “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (Jn. 3:30)  Any leader who takes the preeminence to himself and away from Christ is simply another Diotrephes.  Every older leader who is a true elder (Greek presbuteros [4245] or episkopos [1985], in accordance with Paul’s list of characteristics to Timothy and Titus) must look for the servants (Greek, diakonos [1249], those who raise a cloud of dust in performing the needed work) who can go and physically attend to the needs brought to the group’s attention.  These servants, if they prove steadfast and reliable, are the leaders of the next group or next generation.  When a group is too large to gather in one home, we are to simply gather in two or three homes.  A group that is too large produces spectators and not participants.  Being ekklesia is definitely not a “spectator sport”!

This is the high and upward calling of God in Christ Jesus for any group who names the name of Christ.  This is the standard by which we should evaluate whether we are being genuine ekklesia or we have settled for being merely some man’s “church.”  If we are content to be carnal, divided or apostate, it matters not what label we take upon ourselves – our judgment is not sleeping.  But if we are going to take His name as our Husband and King, let us always remember that His is a name above every other name and the one to which every knee will someday bow, and that every tongue will someday agree that Jesus Christ is King and thus glorify God. (Phlp. 2:9-11)  The key responsibility upon mankind now is to individually and willingly choose to receive Christ as King and thus glorify God with their lives here and now and for the remainder of their days – or else they can wait until their death punctuates their earthly existence and they will then unwillingly acknowledge Christ as King and be consigned to the eternal lake of fire reserved for the devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41) and whoever has so served these masters of darkness (evil, oppression, deceit and rebellion against God) that their name is removed from or never entered into God’s Book of Life. (see Rev. 20:15, 3:5)  God’s judgments upon every individual and work of men will be “true and righteous” (Rev. 16:7, 19:2) and many will be eternally dismissed who believe they have a right to remain in His kingdom. (Mt. 7:22-23)  The task before us now is to purify ourselves as He is pure (1 Jn. 3:2-3) and to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting [completing] holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor. 7:1)  Anything less is mere “church.”

Let he who has ears hear.