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Author Topic: The Flaw of Denominations
Eden
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oneinchrist, I do use the King James Version but I update the "thine" and "thy" and "thou" and others like it, and change them into modern English like "you" and "your", and so on. But other than those changes, the Tudor English is perfectly suited for translating the Bible of God.

I found it interesting, by the way, that the KJV was written in 1611, just when Johannes Kepler was proposing that the earth was not the center of the universe but that the sun was the center of the universe and that the earth revolved around the sun and not the sun around the earth as had been thought since Aristotle and Ptolemy.

And in the midst of that "brandnew astronomical news", the KJV appeared in England in 1611.

love, Eden

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Michael Harrison
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For sure bro Daniel. I am glad that i have you to a brother in Christ! God Love you.
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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
I really enjoyed your post. It cut to my spirit. I am also a firm believer that fruitfullness does not come without following Christ, by denying ourselves and taking up our cross. This surely is not an easy path by all means, and I am thankful for the Lords help and guidance along the way because it gives a sure confidence in a purpose that is worth living for. Thank you brother for fellowship in the Lord.
With love in Christ, Daniel

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Michael Harrison
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You know, on the one hand, one can take a scripture out of context by using such a small portion of it to illustrate their point. It more often happens. On the other hand, a single, solitary scripture can slay the individual that is unknowingly emnity against God, if they understand it from the heart. Most try to understand with their head. Whenever one receives it, and if; God gives it to the heart. This is close to where this conversation started.
When I entered into the revelation of Christ my Life, after being born again by believing on Jesus, then second, after crossing the threshold of Charismatic renewal (gifts etc), I told the church where i worshiped and fellowshipped that "all things are revealed to Him of whom we have to do." It was pure scripture. I wasn't prepared for the pastors wife to balk at me! She did! She blurted it out in consternation, for the whole congregation. Her spirit was uneasy. She wasn't ready for that stage of her walk with our Lord, wherein she could accept the lack of privacy of her thought life. But: Heb 4:12 "The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Heb 4:13 "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." That means that He knows your heart.

When I became a man: We read 1Co 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
I realized something about my heart, soul and mind that wasn't clear before. It was then, at the point of sanctification, i.e. circumcision of the heart, that i literally understood that i had a spirit, shaped just like me, which was in my soul, and all in this 'jar of clay' which is my body. Until then i didn't understand that. To this day, i discern it. It was then that i understood because the word (the sword of the Lord) truth, pierced even to the DIVIDING ASUNDER of my soul and spirit. I had entered a new dimension of faith, and revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven in the fullness that Jesus intended. Scripture that was foreign to me before was open like a light. Then i valued the verse which reads, Luk 11:35 “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.” Light, of course, refers to religion. It means take heed that the religion that is in you be not darkness, you know, religiosity! I’m afraid that even if you are sealed with the Spirit of God in the form of Pentecost, religiosity is by and large, the experience of the believer. That means that they do not “Walk in the light, as He is in the light.” Not that they don’t experience things of God, blessings, gifts, worship and the flowing of the Holy Spirit in the congregation, and so on, but they, well, they are still in the nursery room! I have to laugh at saying that. It seems so pious! I think I’ll quit.

No. No quit yet. It is like that song that Avalon recently put out “Testify.” All I can do is Testify!

It is like the parable of the Talents. To one was given one, to another five, and another ten. To the one who received one, that one is like one who only receives Jesus as Savior, then nothing more comes of it. He trusts that all is taken care of and lives out his life without seeking God that he may lay up treasure in heaven. The one receiving five is like the one who knows the upper room. Or let's cut to the parable of the seed. Comparing to the Talents, the one who falls on stony ground which lacked moisture, and they withered away (so much for once saved always). Then some fell among the thorns, but the cares of this life choked the word, and they brought not forth fruit to perfection. These would be they who were blessed with the fullness of the Spirit, but loved this life, and as we all know; 1Jn 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Then there were those who brought forth fruit to perfection. They loved not their life unto death (literal? sometimes, but otherwise no!) These were the ones who realized taking up their cross (samething i just said) and following. They got the revelation of what it means to 'die to self'.

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Michael Harrison
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Both OneinChrist and Eden said, i believe, that these words come from my heart. Do you know: Jesus is my heart!


OneinChrist: Do you believe that Paul saw something in the church of believers that they couldn't see in themselves? It is clear that He tried to tell them, and the record is preserved to this very day that we may consider it. There is something which i cannot impart! It only comes directly from Him. I can tell you that it is there.
It is such that Brother David quoted from another, something wherein there is a scenario where a guy goes into church and tries to explain, but they reject him. But all i can do is try!

The message here: Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.


Num 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.
Num 15:33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.
Num 15:34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
Num 15:35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
Num 15:36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Here, hidden away, way back in the Old Testament is a passage that has a subtle message. A man was simply picking up sticks on the Sabbath day. The result of his doing, so seems so very harsh to us who read it. What was it that he did that was so wrong? Well, the law is/was our tutor. This passage looks to the future age of grace as a picture of our relationship. The Sabbath represents the rest of God. The Sabbath represents Jesus, or Jesus the Sabbath. The age of grace begins with the finished work of Jesus. (Again, Jesus IS the Sabbath Rest of God.) What this man did, in New Testament parallel, was to sin against grace – frustrate grace. (Back then it was a law.) What were the results? He got stoned.

Can anyone realize that the modern terminology for getting high comes from this?
Stoned, by the way, is a type, or representation of death, in this man’s case, literal. With drugs and alcohol it would mean stupid, dysfunctional, ineffective, in relation to normal activity. It has a meaning for the Christian walk also. It means to be like Adam and Eve, separated (by some degree) from God (by sin of course), a type of spiritual death (though not totally out of relationship, just only short of His design). One would be less than one (reconciled) with their Savoir; therefore they would be ‘double’, as was the case with A&E, self exalted basically, because of the decision to eat the forbidden fruit!

A&E experienced a spiritual death and had to tough life out by the sweat of the brow. Toil and strife was their fare. Such is it for the Christian who overrides, doesn’t receive, or walk in Grace. Though he may be walking the walk, it is in strife; non productive, non fruit bearing labor. It may not have been obvious to this stick picking guy that what he was doing was wrong. He paid a price. It is not obvious to the believer where they are wrong. They do not realize that they pay a price! You cannot serve the Lord with any amount of self-effort. In fact, people who claim that they ‘do the word’ in fact do not, because if they did, it would lead them to a place that they know not. Instead they do what they think the word says, their carnal mind distorting, before it reaches the heart, what they hear. Therefore, they do not understand what it is to “Walk in the light as He is in the light.” But God is wooing us to nestle into His loving arms of relationship so deeply and securely that all we can do is sigh with resignation of placid, calm, evenly distributed peace, and secure understanding.

Both OneinChrist and Eden said, "I believe, that these words come from your heart." Do you know Jesus is my heart!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By the way, rather than repost that last one, i edited it. And, blatant, or subtile; i don't know which would describe the one of faith who doesn't recognize that they live by the 'faith of' the Son of God, rather than faith in. This leads me to wanna post about why i have appreciation for that outdated KJV, and the difference between 'of' and 'in'.

Clearly you are interested OneInChrist. I am deeply, deeply thankful that you would even ask. I pray a blessing upon you, to cling to you, in the Joy and Love of our Lord.

Rom 13:14 "But PUT YE ON the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."
When we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we put Him on from the centermost part of our heart - outward! (It is not like we cover ourselves with an overcoat, or an umbrella.) This is a profound way to live! When our heart believes Him as He is, we will see Him as He is. This is to commit, i.e. total investment (allofyourheart) by letting Him have, and do, it all. It is an act of faith! It is the germination of the mustard seed, which will grow into a tree, wherein the fowl of the air may lodge. Without this surrender, from the heart, one is walking in their lusts.
2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves....

Dear Daniel
I do not believe that they are interchangeable, of and in! Newer translations seem to think so. I am not a Greek Scholar, but i do (even as Paul said) think that I have the Spirit of God.

Faith 'in' Christ is separate from Him, outside of Him. It is like your having faith in your car to get you to work, or a friend to do you a favor. Faith 'of' Jesus; well, let's look at the word of. 'Of' means, comes-from. If it comes from, it means that they have it, not you. If they have it, you get it from them by intersection only. Faith 'of' comes from Union with the Savior, which,if you are separate from by any degree whatsoever (period), you do not have. (It is a matter of seeing.) It is not external, as though you invested in them to believe in something that is promised, by something they said. It is like it is in you by the one who believes in themself. It is not you, it is them. If Christ 'is your life', His faith bears fruit through you.

Here is scripture: Rev 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Joh 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."
Simultaneous abiding in, is intersection, a wonderful miracle! It is the reason Jesus died. It is the whole reason that Jesus died.

Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?"
Luk 14:32 "Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth ambassadors, and desireth conditions of peace."
Luk 14:33 "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."

No one can have this life of Christ unless they have counted the costs, and are willing to pay the price. Almost no-one is willing, though they have believed and want to be saved. They want to offer the sacrifice that they want to offer (that of Cain) rather than pay the price to know the sacrifice that Jesus savors. It is nothing to be afraid of. It is life - in its fullness.

Anything less, and virtually every lesson in the epistles points it out, if the reader is willing to look at themselves in the light. However everyone cherishes what clicks, or rings true, without testing it together with other passages that they don't like. How much scripture do you think people ignore? For example, i believe that "whatsoever God hath joined together," man cannot by any means separate. Christians everywhere are able to ignore this to further their own hopes. They are 'loving their life' rather than laying it down, in trust, for His. Therefore, they cannot know the fullness of His. Here is the obedience that you keep talking about.
The point is, are you willing to let Him have full control, or do you want to manage it in your own wisdom? Again, the question is, do you think it is even possible (for Him to have full control)?

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oneinchrist
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Hi again Eden,
I do want to add that I did'nt notice something before, that I just noticed after I posted. It is true that there are no "faith in Jesus"...but there are "faith in Christ Jesus". In my initial search on this subject I was just concerned more with the "faith of" and "faith in" portion....not so much the exact wording after that. I just wanted to clarify that so it doesnt appear that I am arguing against your post, but that I am just focusing on the "faith in"s".

With love in Christ, Daniel

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oneinchrist
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Good morning Eden,
I have a New King James version bible, but a King James Version New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. I thought that I saw "faith in" in a few of its references. Let me verify real quick.

Acts 24:24 ...him concerning the faith in Christ
Acts 26:18....by faith that is in me
Gal. 3:26.....of God by faith in Christ Jesus
Eph. 1:15.....heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus
Col. 1:4......heard of your faith in Christ Jesus
Col. 2:5......stedfastness of your faith in Christ
2Ti. 3:15.....faith which is in Christ Jesus

I dont have a KJV so I cant verify these myself.
It does trouble me though that one word can be changed so much as to change the meaning of a whole sentence. It kind of reminds me of the idea of telling someone something and telling them to tell 100 more people. Then see if the 100th person can repeat exactly what the first person said. Of course we know that is not how we have received the bible. It has been in written form passed along for years and years. But there are many people along the way who have said...."Hey, we could put this word in for this word because it is a synonym, or we can put this word in for this word to make it more understandable"......not realizing that even a little variance can virtually change the whole intended meaning.

Ive noticed that the New King James Version does change a lot of "faith of's" to "faith in's". Now I wonder how much more of scripture has been changed that much.

Eden, do you have a KJV bible? Do you recommend a particular one?

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Eden
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I think that "faith of Jesus" works, and "faith in Jesus" works, but I have a harder time with "faith on Jesus" because that is not eevn good English.

The faith of Jesus

Romans 3:22
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Galatians 2:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:22
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Revelation 14:12
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

At times, I have interpreted that to mean that I am saved, NOT BY MY FAITH, but by the faith of Jesus, meaning, by the faith that JESUS HAD in His relations with God the Father. The "faith of Jesus" is therefore that which saves me.

The phrase "faith in Jesus" does not exist in the King James Version.

The phrase "faith on Jesus" also does not exist inthe King James Version.

with love,
Eden

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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
It appears to me that our journey is making headway to where we can come to the realization that it was only terminology that caused some of the confusion.

I have a New King James Version bible, but I'd prefer the old original version because I do agree with you that some words can be changed to the point that they no longer mean the same thing. I know that the King James is supposed to be truest to the Greek translation. Can you suggest where I may buy one on-line and what particular publisher I should stick with?

Something interesting I've noticed in scripture is how often the word faith is used, and how it can put on different meaning depending on the context. In some parts of the bible it will say "faith in", other parts it will say "faith of". I also see "the faith" used as well as "your faith".

Here is where I see that we truely connect..... that this "of faith" that is spoken of in scripture is dealt out by the Lord to the individual believer. Paul described the dispensing of this in the form of Holy Spirit Gifts. I completely agree with you that this becomes available to one who has made himself fully available to the service of our Lord. In fact, if you look at some of my earlier posts I make references to trusting ourselves into the Hands of God...and it seems to me that you just have a different way of describing the same concept.

So, I also believe that Gods spirit has born witness with my spirit. We can rejoice in that fellowship of the spirit.

So the only thing that I feel we may somewhat disagree on is our obedience. You, if I remember right, considered it insignificant, whereas I believe it is an essential and important part of our faith. I believe in its significance because it is an element that is involved in the fruit-bearing process. Though the Holy Spirit helps, guides, instucts, warns, teaches, etc. ...It still leaves us with choices to make where we may have to face some of our worst fears....and these choices play a part in whole picture of our faith journey. The Holy Spirit may convict my spirit of unforgiveness, or bitterness but it leaves me with the choice to reconcile and make ammends with my brother or sister. I also consider myself a pea in a pod in comparison to the Great Almighty God that we serve, but that is why I choose to fear Him and acknowlege that if I dont take his word seriously, that I will eventually have to come to terms with His just and righteous penalties because I knew what was His will(by the revealed word) and I chose to resist it. Let me just be outright down to the point, I know that I cannot plead ignorance because I know the command of Christ. Now that I know it, I believe I am more accountable to it. I dont know what else to say Michael.

Ive enjoyed your fellowship and I am happy to see that neither of us has allowed the evil one opportunity to creep in.....thank the Lord for He has given us an awareness of the importance of a unifying body. God bless you and strengten you by His witness, that the Word of God may be known and understood through you, and that many come to repentance under His conviction.

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Michael Harrison
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Dear Daniel
I do not believe that they are interchangeable, of and in! Newer translations seem to think so. I am not a Greek Scholar, but i do (even as Paul said) think that I have the Spirit of God.

Faith 'in' Christ is separate from Him, outside of Him. It is like your having faith in your car to get you to work, or a friend to do you a favor. Faith 'of' Jesus; well, let's look at the word of. 'Of' means, comes-from. If it comes from, it means that they have it, not you. If they have it, you get it from them by intersection only. Faith 'of' comes from Union with the Savior, which,if you are separate from by any degree whatsoever (period), you do not have. (It is a matter of seeing.) It is not external, as though you invested in them to believe in something that is promised, by something they said. It is like it is in you by the one who believes in themself. It is not you, it is them. If Christ 'is your life', His faith bears fruit through you.

Here is scripture: Rev 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Joh 15:4 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."
Simultaneous abiding in, is intersection, a wonderful miracle! It is the reason Jesus died. It is the whole reason that Jesus died.

Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?"
Luk 14:32 "Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth ambassadors, and desireth conditions of peace."
Luk 14:33 "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."

No one can have this life of Christ unless they have counted the costs, and are willing to pay the price. Almost no-one is willing, though they have believed and want to be saved. They want to offer the sacrifice that they want to offer (that of Cain) rather than pay the price to know the sacrifice that Jesus savors. It is nothing to be afraid of. It is life - in its fullness.

Anything less, and virtually every lesson in the epistles points it out, if the reader is willing to look at themselves in the light. However everyone cherishes what clicks, or rings true, without testing it together with other passages that they don't like. How much scripture do you think people ignore? For example, i believe that "whatsoever God hath joined together," man cannot by any means separate. Christians everywhere are able to ignore this to further their own hopes. They are 'loving their life' rather than laying it down, in trust, for His. Therefore, they cannot know the fullness of His. Here is the obedience that you keep talking about.
The point is, are you willing to let Him have full control, or do you want to manage it in your own wisdom? Again, the question is, do you think it is even possible (for Him to have full control)?

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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
Thank you for responding. I understand what you are saying now. As a matter of fact I do believe that I recall seeing "faith of" in scripture, let me check real quick to verify. As a matter of fact here it is.....Rev. 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Ok, great....now we have something to work with.
Ok, now Im looking at my concordance to see references to passages that say "faith in"...ok heres one...Gal.3:26 For you are all sons of God through (by) faith in Jesus Christ...Hmmm ..Romans3:22 also uses "faith of Jesus" but I also see other "faith ins" . Wait a second heres a quote by Jesus himself in Acts 26:18 ......that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me...

Ok, now the wording "faith of" and "faith in" are both used in sentences that speak of
salvation and sanctification. It appears that they can be used interchangeably almost like one can say "believe in" or "believe on" and they mean essentially the same thing. So my question is this just a miscommunication because of terminology........or.......do you believe that I may not have the "faith of Jesus?" and you would like to explain to me how this would be manifest into my life?

Its got to be one or the other. Terminology confusion or a concept that I need to be enlightened with. If I currently have "faith in" but it needs to be replaced with "faith of" how is this appropriated into my life?

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Michael Harrison
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Both OneinChrist and Eden said, "I believe, that these words come from your heart." Do you know Jesus is my heart!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By the way, rather than repost that last one, i edited it. And, blatant, or subtile; i don't know which would describe the one of faith who doesn't recognize that they live by the 'faith of' the Son of God, rather than faith in. This leads me to wanna post about why i have appreciation for that outdated KJV, and the difference between 'of' and 'in'.

Clearly you are interested OneInChrist. I am deeply, deeply thankful that you would even ask. I pray a blessing upon you, to cling to you, in the Joy and Love of our Lord.

Rom 13:14 "But PUT YE ON the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."
When we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we put Him on from the centermost part of our heart - outward! (It is not like we cover ourselves with an overcoat, or an umbrella.) This is a profound way to live! When our heart believes Him as He is, we will see Him as He is. This is to commit, i.e. total investment (allofyourheart) by letting Him have, and do, it all. It is an act of faith! It is the germination of the mustard seed, which will grow into a tree, wherein the fowl of the air may lodge. Without this surrender, from the heart, one is walking in their lusts.
2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves....

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oneinchrist
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Good Morning Eden,
If I am in blatant error about something in my faith, I need help from a brother who understands.
With love in Christ, Daniel

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Eden
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Hi, oneinchrist. You said, among other things: "I want this conversation to test the integrity of my faith..."

Eden here: I was a bit puzzled by the above sentence. Test the integrity of your faith? Don't you know aleady yourself what your faith is based on?

I sure know why I believe that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and that Jesus died so that I don't have to die, and that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day?

So let me repeat what you said, oneinchrist:

"I want this conversation to test the integrity of my faith..."

Uh...how is that conversation with Michael Harrison going to test the integrity of your faith?

with love,
Eden

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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
Ok, now you have completely lost me. You made no direct reference to my post so that makes me even more confused. What is the point that you are trying to make now? What is it that you think that I dont understand about Pauls teachings? Certainly Paul didnt speak against obeying the gospel of the Lord Jesus. In fact he spoke of the dire consequences if we dont obey. This whole conversation began only because I asked you what you meant by "stop doing what you have"....now I know that you are not suggesting that believers stop obeying the gospel. If this converstation is going to make progess, I need you to specify where I am in error and what the truth is. Then I will reply back to you. I am not angry, but I want this conversation to test the integrity of my faith and if I am in error I am willing to face it.
With love in Christ, Daniel

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OneinChrist: Do you believe that Paul saw something in the church of believers that they couldn't see in themselves? It is clear that He tried to tell them, and the record is preserved to this very day that we may consider it. There is something which i cannot impart! It only comes directly from Him. I can tell you that it is there.
It is such that Brother David quoted from another, something wherein there is a scenario where a guy goes into church and tries to explain, but they reject him. But all i can do is try!


Num 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.
Num 15:33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.
Num 15:34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
Num 15:35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
Num 15:36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Here, hidden away, way back in the Old Testament is a passage that has a subtle message. A man was simply picking up sticks on the Sabbath day. The result of his doing so, seems so very harsh to us who read it. What was it that he did that was so wrong? Well, the law is/was our tutor. This passage looks to the future age of grace as a picture of our relationship. The Sabbath represents the rest of God. The Sabbath represents Jesus, or Jesus the Sabbath. The age of grace begins with the finished work of Jesus. (Again, Jesus IS the Sabbath Rest of God.) What this man did, in New Testament parallel, was to sin against grace – frustrate grace. (Back then it was a law.) What were the results? He got stoned.

Can anyone realize that the modern terminology for getting high comes from this?
Stoned, by the way, is a type, or representation of death, in this man’s case, literal. With drugs and alcohol it would mean stupid, dysfunctional, ineffective, in relation to normal activity. It has a meaning for the Christian walk also. It means to be like Adam and Eve, separated (by some degree) from God (by sin of course), a type of spiritual death (though not totally out of relationship, just only short of His design). One would be less than one (reconciled) with their Savoir; therefore they would be ‘double’, as was the case with A&E, self exalted basically, because of the decision to eat the forbidden fruit!

A&E experienced a spiritual death and had to tough life out by the sweat of the brow. Toil and strife was their fare. Such is it for the Christian who overrides, doesn’t receive, or walk in Grace. Though he may be walking the walk, it is in strife; non productive, non fruit bearing labor. It may not have been obvious to this stick picking guy that what he was doing was wrong. He paid a price. It is not obvious to the believer where they are wrong. They do not realize that they pay a price! You cannot serve the Lord with any amount of self-effort. In fact, people who claim that they ‘do the word’ in fact do not, because if they did, it would lead them to a place that they know not. Instead they do what they think the word says, their carnal mind distorting, before it reaches the heart, what they hear. Therefore, they do not understand what it is to “Walk in the light as He is in the light.” But God is wooing us to nestle into His loving arms of relationship so deeply and securely that all we can do is sigh with resignation of placid, calm, evenly distributed peace, and secure understanding.

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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
Thanks for your response. I feel that I am getting to know you better because you speak with words from your heart. I sense that because of some of my speech that you may be lead to believe that I overemphasize one thing and underemphasize another. To lay the record straight....I love the Lord..... and it is because I am sincerely convinced of His love towards us. I also love Him for His guidance and for the things that I have learned from Him.

I would like to show you how I view faith so you understand the reasons why I express myself the way that I do.
I believe that faith means believing so strongly in something that you are willing to commit yourself to it, and commit your life into the Hands of it. I want to show you that I look at faith from both sides so you dont feel that I overemphasize the one side. When I speak of committing yourself to it , I mean by taking the Word of God serious, especially by what is written in scripture. Much of Gods will is layed out plainly in scripture. His commands are clear.
If we dont take His Words seriously, do we really see Him as Lord? Now this taking God at His Word leads to an obedience that manifests itself in different ways all for the same purpose.
Ok, now the other part of faith I believe just as essential as the first, is the part where one commits theirself into the Hands of the Lord. . What I mean by this is that we believe so much in the gift of eternal life that we make ourselves available for whatever God may desire. This is the part that can be much scarier because it can involve elements of unknowns that take one out of thier comfort zone. Since the Holy Spirit is unpredictable, we have no idea what direction this could lead us.....we just go along the way obeying Gods leading and trusting in His protection to carry us through whatever trial, tribulation, or adversity we may be faced with. Through this journey we learn our limits as human beings, and we realize how much we really need God continually...especially if Satans strongholds are to be brought down and the Lord Jesus magnified.

So, in summary , I wish to convey that my ultimate goal is to glorify God....and I believe that the means are a mixture of the two facets of faith that I described above......a heart that takes God at His Word which results in obedience, and a heart that trusts itself into Gods Hands which results in victorious spiritual warfare and fruit-bearing life. I understand that you may believe that I overemphasize and underemphasize, but I hope that my post shows you that I just believe that all these parts of our faith are essential elements that operate together in the life of a believer.
With love in Christ, Daniel

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Blessed One: Greetings in our beloved Lord Jesus Christ! Everything you have spoken is wonderfully said! Yet, there comes a time in the believers walk that he realizes that by the power, life, and virtue of who Jesus is – Lord, that we are walking in ‘done’. Our obedience under the New Testament is in ‘to believe’, and ‘to receive’ (have). That IS our obedience in Christ. Is there some little thing we ‘do’ here or there? Of course! Doing, however, becomes transparent to the life that is. Therefore, ‘having’ properly describes something of utmost value, ‘done’. The key to done is that we do not add anything to God, but by the Life of Jesus, ours is to praise Him for our ‘having’, thank Him for His ‘doing’ (i.e. having done). I give glory to our risen Lord for the wisdom and blessing in His Holy Name, and His tender mercies upon us.

You said [We need to repent and place our trust in Christ (isnt that doing something?) We need to commit to the Lordship of Christ (isnt that doing something?) We need to surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit (isnt that doing something?)]

The weakness of this sentence is in the doing. Strength is in that, if we accept that we can trust Christ, if we accept that we can believe in His leadership, accept that we ‘have’ the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then we accept, in His love for us, ‘done’ on our behalf! What did we do? Accept! Believe! Praise! Receive! HAVE! God is Love. Life is given. Glory to His Name! Remember that when we are weak, we are strong. Remember also 1Co 1:29 “That no flesh should glory in His presence.” Therefore, You might speak; You might wait; You might place yourself someplace strategic, but He does the doing, in fact, He has already done the doing. We follow after. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psa 46:10) Done!

Eph 2:8 For by grace (His completely doing it all for us - done!) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast that He contributed anything. For 1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
He will make this real to you (plural, you who) if you, from the heart, surrender the whole kit and kaboodle, hands off, and accept His doing.

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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
I read your post and I appreciate your explanations. Too be honest I'm a little confused right now. I'm not sure if we disagree on vital issues because you dont appear to take a direct stance against what Ive stated. I had thought that you had accused me of justifying myself, but it seemed that was just a miscommunication. I certainly agree with you about relationship. I just believe that our willingness to obey the Lord is a sure indication of a right relationship with Him.

I know that none of us could go to Heaven without Christ entering the Holiest of Holies by His blood...so the question of sufficiency in the atonement never crosses my mind.

The only thing I can question is the sincerity of my faith towards the Lord. I know we cannot be plastic with Him because He sees right through us....so I am humbled by that truth.
I am convinced that faith is a heart response towards God and His awesome love for us. I take the Words of Jesus to heart because He is the Son of God, savior, and Lord. I choose to obey because I dont see how anyone could be a follower of His without heeding to His words. If I truely believe, I surrender to His Lordship and allow the Holy Spirit to direct my life. I let God make me the man that He desires so He can accomplish His will in me. I change my attitude towards sin, cultivate loving relationships, look for opportunity to share the gospel message.

So, I guess when you say that it has nothing to do with what we do, Im a little confused.
We need to repent and place our trust in Christ(isnt that doing something?) We need to commit to the Lordship of Christ (isnt that doing something?) We need to surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit(isnt that doing something?)

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Brother dude! I wrote that oneliner because of this sentence in your post. //When Paul spoke of works, he was speaking about how men would go about justifying themselves in the sight of God.// But let's not go there right now.

When we look at the word, we invariably are looking for something that we are supposed to do. From there we come to conclusions that sound good in themselves and act on them. We think we are fulfilling the Great Commission, something that we all want to do. I fully understand about wanting to obey. I understand what you are saying about not thinking that we are working to justify ourselves. We are thinking that we are obeying, as a byproduct, therefore we are bearing fruit. Here is something though that cannot go unsaid, no matter how much fall-out there is to it: Jesus is more interested in our having the proper relationship, than He is our doing for Him.

There is a lot of discussion about what that relationship is. All borrow from Paul to expound upon what they think that is; but Paul is very specific! He is saying one thing, in many different ways. Yet, everybody dissects it incorrectly in coming up with what one must do.

Jesus’ desire is to be manifest on this earth, in the creation that He created. He instead ends up being left over in a corner while we think we are doing the right thing by Him. If we examine ourselves in the light of the word, (Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. ) we can discover an incredible thing, or two – one or another hurdle that is keeping us from being in alignment with His will. Typically we like to go around that, and keep on doing. Isn’t it great that He loves us! He is so patient. But there is something so very important for us to discover pertaining to the life that IS Christ. Will we?

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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
What gives you the idea that I think that I am attempting to justify myself? Is it a lie to say that genuine faith issues in obedience to the Lordship of Christ?

It is Jesus who says that His mother, His brother, and His sister are the ones who do the will of the Father in Heaven. I agree with you that we are not saved by our doing, but heres the thing; if we are not doing the will of God most likely we do not have genuine faith. We only say that we believe, but our hearts are far from Him.

We obey because we love the Lord and we believe that He has good reasons for telling us how to live our lives....not because we think we are saving ourselves. We count the Lord worthy of our obedience. We also obey because that is the command of the Father that we "Hear Him!"

Do you still disagree with what Ive said?

With love in Christ, Daniel

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You cannot justify yourself in the sight of God!
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oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
If we say that we have Jesus, be we do not do what He teaches then our faith is not genuine.

When Paul spoke of works, he was speaking about how men would go about justifying themselves in the sight of God.

When James spoke of faith without works, he was describing a faith that lacks compassion and mercy...therefore it is dead because it abides not in the vine.

Therefore, a faithful servant of God obeys Christ. He doesnt go around claiming that he is saving himself because of His obedience, but he realizes that faith in Jesus means faith in His words. This is why a true servant will be found doing the will of God.

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Eden: Ya said //I gave each of them a dollar. aiopj, is that like handing out soup with a Word from the Bible?//

Love in Jesus! While what you did is commendable (though somewhere someone would argue, needless to say) it likely is more like you were being a girl scout. I'm not reproving you at all. I like what you did, however... Did Jesus give out the three one dollar bills, or did you, out of 'good intentions'? Was it your flesh? One way to know is if it bears fruit. Needless to say, if it does in this case, you may never know it. That may be down the road. But i say this only because i see that this is what you are shopping for out of what i said.

Only what Jesus does, survives! Therefore it is worth knowing if you, by Jesus, ministered to them (rivers of Living Water), or brought forth out of good intentions. There is a distinction. Really, there is! One must come to a point where, as it in scripture says, they "Be still and know that I am God," or, "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Let me throw in this one John 14:10. Not so clearly i'm afraid, it is not what we do 'for' God, but what we do 'by' Him! Every moment can be by....

There are lots of well meaning Christians. What you are looking for in what you do is, are you ministering Jesus? Don't assume that what you do is by the spirit, because the flesh, if the faucet is not turned off, only pumps out muddy water by mixing into/with the Spirit. Who will drink out of it? This is not to discourage anyone, but to encourage one according to scripture, to humble down and discover Him! I'll post more, by and by.

Daniel: this might not be perfectly clear, but it means something!

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the DOING, but by the HAVING of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of DOING: for by DOING shall no flesh be justified.

Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (By doing?)
Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? (if it be yet in vain).
Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by DOING, or by the HAVING (letting go and letting God, who does the doing)?

Well, i gotta cut this short and get back later.


I have to say, as Christians, until we are broken, we invariably get out and try to pull the car, instead of letting the car pull us. For some reason we don't see it, and we wonder why the car isn't moving!

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aiopj
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quote:
Originally posted by Eden:
...assuming you would hand out soup, HOW would YOU hand out this Word with the soup?

I don't understand what kind of details you want.

Who knows how the Holy Spirit would cause the mechanics to work themselves out tomorrow, next week, or next year? Scenarios are different and these things have to work themselves out when you get to them. It's not, "If I get a chance, I'll take that guy to a table in the leftmost corner of the room, by a window, if there is one," and so on. The details of it are irrelevant right now.

In any case, God says that is the job, not YOUR good works, rather God's good works. That's the mission:

Romans 10:15 As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

It works the other way, too; If you don't bring the Good News, your feet are not beautiful.

God says, "Git'er done!" You get to decide whether, or not, you obey.

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aiopj said: "... When you hand out soup without the Word, you are exalting yourself, not God. The person getting the soup thanks you, not God.

Jesus didn't want people coming to Him for healing and food, rather first for Ministry."

Eden here: Okay, I got that, but as a practical matter, tell me how, in your example, YOU would hand out this soup. Or would you hand out no soup at all? Jesus said, "There will always be the poor; you can do good to the poor whenever you like".

So, aiopj, assuming you would hand out soup, HOW would YOU hand out this Word with the soup?

with love, Eden

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quote:
Originally posted by Eden:
[QB] aiopj's last post re the soup kitchen reminded me of last weekend when I was jogging in a part of town that has a lot of tourists and locals walking up and down the sidewalks, and there were 3 "street urchins" sitting, with one holding a sing, "you can abuse me for money", so I got out 3 one-dollar bills and I said, "okay, this is how I'm going to abuse you: by telling you that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on third day" and they went, "okay, okay!" and I gave each of them a dollar. aiopj, is that like handing out soup with a Word from the Bible?

BTW, how do you envision this handing out of soup WITH the Word? Do you mean by having a preaching sermone for 15 minutes first and THEN giving them soup, or do you hang a Bible verse from the handle of their soup cup?

Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God.

We're not to be concerned about the things that can kill the body, rather the things that can kill the spirit.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after Righteousness. The unbeliever hungers for food and drink, not Righteousness.

According to Ezekiel, God says that you are to warn the wicked, that, if you don't, their blood will be on your hands.

When you hand out soup without the Word, you are exalting yourself, not God. The person getting the soup thanks you, not God.

Jesus didn't want people coming to Him for healing and food, rather first for Ministry.

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aiopj's last post re the soup kitchen reminded me of last weekend when I was jogging in a part of town that has a lot of tourists and locals walking up and down the sidewalks, and there were 3 "street urchins" sitting, with one holding a sing, "you can abuse me for money", so I got out 3 one-dollar bills and I said, "okay, this is how I'm going to abuse you: by telling you that Jesus Christ rose from the dead on third day" and they went, "okay, okay!" and I gave each of them a dollar. aiopj, is that like handing out soup with a Word from the Bible?

BTW, how do you envision this handing out of soup WITH the Word? Do you mean by having a preaching sermone for 15 minutes first and THEN giving them soup, or do you hang a Bible verse from the handle of their soup cup?

with love in Him,
Eden

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quote:
Originally posted by oneinchrist:
What would be some examples of "dead works?

The works of men's own hands without faith. They are as filthy rags, smudging up the world.

An example would be to work at a soup kitchen, handing out soup without handing out the Word. In other words, you're not doing God's work, rather YOUR work, exalting YOURSELF.

quote:
Originally posted by oneinchrist: How does one go from a life of "dead works" to a life of fruit bearing?
By, first, being born again. Out of that should come good works.

What's "good works"?

God's work.

What is "God's work"?

REDEMPTION, and we are fellow laborers with Him in that work. Therefore, we do good work when we do God's work, by declaring and/or invoking His Blessing, Goodness and Favor.

What, or Who, is His Blessing, Goodness and Favor?

JESUS! THE WORD!

So, when we pass out soup, not the Word, we are not helping Him fulfill His Ambition which is Salvation.

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oneinchrist
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Hi again Michael,
Thanks for the reply. What would be some examples of "dead works? How does one go from a life of "dead works" to a life of fruit bearing?

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Yall! It is so difficult to grasp, yet it is so very easy! It can be said a thousand different ways, yet it means one thing, the simplest thing. It was the message of Paul. I will untiringly enunciate the message, as long as i have left in life, but only He can give you (you plural, meaning whoever) the revelation!

I will start up again by simply saying that Christians, sealed by the Spirit, are guilty of dead works! They historically spend their entire lifetime producing dead works, well meaning though they are. God has something better, but so few are willing to pay the price. In fact, at that very mention, many retract. It is nothing to be afraid of. It is life the way He intended, more abundantly!

Without going into detail right now, let me just say that, Israel, when looking for a savior, was looking for the wrong thing. God didn't come as they expected. Living the life of Christ is no different. We expect that we know, yet we are misguided by the flesh, the carnal mind, the natural man, into doing what we believe He wants of us.

Paul tried to explain that they couldn't see that they were building wood, hay, and stubble. Rather than elaborate here, let me direct attention to 'casting down imaginations', stop (leave you hanging) there and say :

The message, in summation for the moment, is His Highest, for Our Best. Lovingly!

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oneinchrist
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Hi Eden,
Real life examples would be showing how the particular theology is appropriated into our lives. Based on the statement "stop trying to do what you have" a contrast can be given with real life examples. One of the examples can demonstrate the proper assimilation of the truth and the other can demonstrate the improper way to assimilate the truth. With love in Christ, Daniel

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Hi, onechrist. You said to Michael Harrison:

"Also if you could give real life examples to express what you are trying to say. Thank you."

Eden here:

wow, oneinchrist, you seriously want others to include real life examples to express what they are trying to say? Why not believe that the moon is made of blue cheese?

What are real life examples anyway to express what we are trying to say?

May God help us to love each other,
Eden
"love my neighbor as myself"
Eden here: Isn't that asking for a bit much?

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Hi again Micheal,
Thanks for the clarification. I just thought it was a statement directed at me because my screen name came shortly after. Could you still please explain what is meant by the statement "quit trying to do what you have". Also if you could give real life examples to express what you are trying to say. Thank you.
With love in Christ, Daniel

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Hi, #6801, this is #5728. Greetings. I appreciate your posts.
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Michael Harrison
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Actually Daniel, i was posting a general message that i tell everyone! I was excited by the words of the article that #1 posted, and wanted to greet you also because of your agreeable message to me which preceeded (that is, not to leave you out of a greeting in Christ). Therefore i wrote hello to u 2! *-)

Love and blessings!

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Hi Michael,
I enjoyed reading your post...it seemed as if you spoke from your heart. I just have one question. Were you directing the statement "quit trying to do what you have" to me? Im a little confused about what you mean by that. Is there something that I said on another post that leads you to believe that I have a schism in my faith that needs to be adressed? If so I am willing to listen.

With love in Christ, Daniel

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#1, you said (or quoted): Oh never mind: What is a Christian? Oh that's easy, someone who is in Christ. What do you mean "in Christ"? Don't you mean "believes in Christ?" No, I mean IS in Christ, in union, one with Him.

Also: It is not even "the Lord of my life", implying something apart from Him that I still have control over; it is "the Lord AS my Life."

For this speech i bless you with the blessing wherewith i am also blessed, upon hearing, and i will add:

I don't know how some may misunderstand this. Rather than try, i will go ahead and express it, in brief fashion:
It is easy to discover the most potent element of relationship, which He has ordained for us to know, the one being Christ as our life! (I can get into many side discussions concerning this. I'll try not.) I will start by drawing attention to Galations, chapter 3. Preferably read in the KJV. It works like this: Where the text reads LAW, replace the word with 'DOING'. Where it says FAITH, replace the word with 'HAVING'. It is every bit that simple, and for a reason. If you read 'having' correctly (you must pray for that revelation) the most certain effect is that it will bring you to the end of yourself, of trying (as a matter of course), a completely vital part of walking with God. This is so important because there are scores of Christians walking around professing to be 'dead' and buried with Christ, who are really the living dead. That is, they are professing to be dead by faith, but it is not their experience, or reality. They who are not dead, cannot experience being 'risen' with Him from the grave, or "seated with Him in Heavenly places." They have not come to the end of themselves; in this moreover, quite simply, they almost completely frustrate His grace. Yes, they may see a trickle of His Life, but not a flow.

To understand better, it is like the passage in Acts when Paul was in a row boat with the guards, wherein he told them that as long as they were trying to save themselves, they would fail. He told them to put down their oars and God would deliver them. "Let go and let God."

Our walk is like that. We struggle to please Him, and only amount to offering the sacrifice of Cain. Though we are truly well meaning, we miss the whole point. I will necessarily refer here to the story of the man who kept the commandments, who besought of Jesus concerning what he must do to be saved. Jesus replied that he must sell all that he had and come follow Him. This is a key element; for those who are not dead (buried), are so because they love their life!

It is a hard place to come to, and we cannot without His help. But blessed, so blessed it is. Whatever is most important to you, give it up! If you are trusting Him, you are trusting whether it stays or goes. Then step out (i know it is scary) on faith. Let Him have it all, be in control of it all (having), be it all. Do this by deliberately 'not doing', but rather 'having' since this is why He died, and He has your very best in mind. You are a ‘haver’, if so be that you are willing to be crucified with Him. (Let me refer to Hebrews, where Paul said the strangest of things, “LABOR, to enter that REST.”

The point is, you cannot 'do'. Moreover, it isn't necessary as long as you can 'have', because if you could 'do', then there would have been no reason for Him to die. So quit trying to do what you have.

Bless u 2 oneinchrist!

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Escape From Churchianity
by Chip Brogden

It is important that we make a clear distinction between the True Church (the Ecclesia) and the Institutional Church, Organized Religion, or religion in general. The easiest way to begin is to discuss one critical thing that Organized Religion cannot do.

Organized Religion cannot impart Life.

"This is our testimony, that God has given us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son: He that has the Son has Life, and He that has not the Son of God has not Life (I John 5:11,12)."

Contrary to popular belief, the Lord Jesus Christ does not live within the matrix of Organized Religion. The Ecclesia, like our Lord, is Wholly Other. I can prove it to you beyond the shadow of a doubt. Can you join a "church" ? Yes, if you meet their requirements for membership. Can you join the Ecclesia? No. You have to be born into it. Or, to be more correct, you have to be born-again into it. It is not a question of joining or not joining, but a question of having Life versus not having Life. "He that has the Son has Life; He that has not the Son has not Life."

Some erroneously believe Jesus founded a movement, or formed a new religion. No, the world already had movements and religions, and would continue to have them. He had no intention of starting a new one. What did He bring us? What did He contribute to the world? He committed Himself to us as our Life.

Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, or Socrates can bring us good teaching, moral excellence, and religious philosophy. For this they may be commended as rendering help and aid to humanity. But Jesus Christ is different: He brings us Himself as our Life. It is not that He merely transmits some teachings to us, depositing some virtue into the human race, before being taken up into heaven. It is well beyond Him simply being an example for us to follow, the standard by which our morals are measured as we frantically whisper, "What would Jesus do?". No, He Himself came to be our Life. He is Savior, and Salvation. He is Redeemer, and Redemption. He is Healer, and Healing. He is the Giver of Life, and He is Life.

In Him is Life because He is Life. All who are in Him possess Life, and Life possesses them. The Life is in the Son. The Son is in me, and I am in Him. We share in a common Life. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him (I Corinthians 6:7)."

Everyone together who possess Life are called the Ecclesia, the Church, the Body of Christ. The individual members of the Ecclesia are called Christians. They are the in-Christed ones. They abide in Him, and He abides in them.

You ask is not a Christian one who believes thus and so, or behaves thus and so. We answer that they may very well believe or behave thus and so, but the belief or the behavior, while it may assist us in identifying them, is not what makes them a Christian. It is the Life. Certainly, Christians have a core system of beliefs and practices. But the characteristic of a Christian is Life. It is not even "the Lord of my life", implying something apart from Him that I still have control over; it is "the Lord AS my Life."

An intellectual Christianity is what Organized Religion brings. It cannot impart Life. What do I mean by an intellectual Christianity? It is the ABC Gospel. Perhaps you have heard it. Salvation is obtained in three easy steps: "A" stands for "admit you are a sinner"; "B" stands for "believe on the Lord Jesus to save you"; and "C" stands for "confess Jesus as your personal Savior." What is wrong with that? Simply this: there is no Life there. "ABC" will not save us. With "ABC" there is no encounter with Jesus, Who alone is Life. There is only an intellectual acceptance and affirmation of what is presented as "Three Easy Steps". I believe this, I say that, and that makes me a Christian, right? No, it just makes you religious. There are many people who "get religion", but they don't get Jesus.

Organized Religion has caused Christianity to morph into Churchianity, a gospel which is easy to believe in but progressively more difficult to live up to.

Organized Religion can bring doctrine, teaching, and belief. Some of it may be morally excellent and good. Some of it may even sound Biblical, like "Three Easy Steps". Nevertheless, Organized Religion cannot impart Life. Why? Because it has no Life to give. Jesus Christ is the Life. And Jesus does not live within the matrix of Organized Religion. He gives HIMSELF. How can any man, organization, or movement claim to give away another man, much less impart the very Life of Jesus Christ? Only Jesus can give Himself as our Life.

You see, then, that the most anyone can do is point people to Jesus as the sole Source of Life. They may contact Life through us, but we cannot give them Life. To those bound by Organized Religion, Jesus cries "You search the Scriptures, because you think in them you have Life. You are content to read about Me, but you will not come to Me that you may have Life (John 5:39,40, paraphrased)." Come to Me! Not, "Memorize these Three Easy Steps and attend the Church of your choice this Sunday." Come to Me! He is Life.

The Church, the Lord's Ecclesia, is the synthesis of individuals who have the Revelation of Jesus and have come to Him to receive Him as their Life. Here is where the confusion begins. We glibly use the term "church" to describe things which are not The Lord's Ecclesia. A building devoted to religious meetings is called "the church". Attending a religious meeting is called "going to church." Hearing a good message or good music during the religious meeting is called "having church" (a popular tune says "crank up the music, let's have church!"). Becoming a member of the non-profit organization which owns the building devoted to religious meetings is called "joining the church". Taking responsibility as the founder or being voted in as the director of the non-profit organization which owns the building devoted to religious meetings is called "pastoring the church". Making additions to the building devoted to religious meetings or to the membership list of the non-profit organization which owns the building is called "church growth".

Why are we being so facetious and wordy? Why do we choose our phraseology carefully? For the sake of convenience, or just plain laziness, people have grown accustomed to saying "church" instead of "a non-profit organization that owns a building devoted to religious meetings." Whatever nomenclature you decide upon, we are drawing the line and making a distinction between "The Church" and "church". We hope to impress upon you the difference between what people customarily call "church" and what the Lord considers to be "The Church". As demonstrated above, much of what we call "church" is simply Organized Religion. It is not the Lord's Ecclesia.

We simply see things the way we have been trained to see them; we do not see things as God sees them. It is very easy to quantify and describe things in terms of Organized Religion because it is earthy, worldly, natural. Ask someone on the street. What is church? Why, it is that building there with a steeple on top. What is a pastor? The fellow who does the preaching. What is a Christian? The folks who read their Bible a lot and pray a lot and go to church a lot - you know, doing good works. You see how easy it is to define. It is tangible, concrete. We can get our hands on that.

But the reality is that everything which makes up the Ecclesia is spiritual, and thus, it is invisible to the naked eye. It is non-corporeal. It cannot be measured by dollars and statistics. Now ask the same questions of someone who knows better. What is church? The Church, the Ecclesia, is the synthesis of individuals who have the Revelation of Jesus and have come to Him to receive Him as their Life. Pray tell, where do I find that? What do I look for? You can't do it, it's like trying to find the wind at 101 North Main Street. It is beyond geographical description; it is everywhere and nowhere. What is a pastor? Someone called to feed the Lord's sheep as an under shepherd of the Chief Shepherd. Huh? You mean preaching? No, not necessarily. You mean a doctor of theology? No, not really. Oh never mind: what is a Christian? Oh that's easy, someone who is in Christ. What do you mean "in Christ"? Don't you mean "believes in Christ?" No, I mean IS in Christ, in union, one with Him. So what does THAT look like? How many chapters of the Bible do they read per day? How long do they pray? How often do they attend church? It defies explanation because the truth is it has nothing to do with the external, only the internal. Like the wind: you can see the effects of it but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes; so are they which are born of the Spirit (John 3). This invisible Life is the characteristic of the Ecclesia. When you can capture the wind in a bag then you can stuff Christians into a building and call it "church". " Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21)."

So, from our vantage point here on earth, Organized Religion can be easily seen, felt, touched, experienced, quantified, denominated, characterized, categorized, analyzed, and explained. We can chart its progress and hang the data up on the wall, point to it and say yep, we've got this many million converts here, and this many million members there. Church growth is up (or down), we collected this many billions of dollars last year, and in relation to the rest of the world's religions we rank number whatever. We've got this many thousands of churches in this part of the world, we have this many thousands of pastors and Christian workers, and we've translated the Bible into this many different languages.

Meanwhile, what drives the Real Church, the Ecclesia, is invisible, spiritual, ethereal, in the world but not of the world, hidden, veiled, hard to describe in terms we can understand. We can't generate the data and hang it up on the wall. Even those who know what the Ecclesia is sometimes have difficulty expressing themselves. Ask them where to find the Church of which they so longingly speak, and they are apt to reply, "I'm not sure if I know where the Church is, brother, but I sure know where it ain't!"

Now imagine that the Lord wakes you up one night and says, "Come up hither, and I will show you the Church." You expect Him to carry you down the street to the Family Worship Center or across the country to where the crowds say they are experiencing revival; but instead you find yourself rising high into the air, leaving the earth behind, and in the blink of an eye you travel beyond the edges of the temporal universe and into the spirit realm, seated with Christ in heavenly places, there in the throne of God.

Seated with the Lord and looking back down upon the world, we find from this perspective that the cathedrals, the church buildings, the worship centers, the sanctuaries, the denominational offices, the seminaries, the tithes and offerings, the membership drives, the movements, all vanish from sight. Everything melts away. He does not see the Assemblies of God, the Southern Baptists, the United Methodists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, or the Roman Catholics. He does not see Charismatics or Fundamentalists or Bible Belts or Christian Conservatives or Religious Rights. He does not see the building devoted to religious meetings as anything more special or significant than the grocery store or barber shop. He sees pastors, yes, but strangely, He does not see every director of a non-profit organization who owns a building devoted to religious meetings as a pastor. And it is not just the pastors that are different, from our heavenly observation point. Everything seems odd. Backwards. Apostles are not where you expect them to be, and they are not doing what you expect them to be doing; neither are prophets, evangelists, or teachers. Yet, they are right where He wants them to be, doing exactly what He wants them to do. Interestingly enough, He is not concerned with a rise or a decline in church attendance because He does not see the Church as something which can be attended. Hmmmm.

Standing next to Him we see as He sees. We realize when we look upon Christendom that all God sees there is His Church, the Ecclesia. He deems those who abide in Him, those who possess the Son, as those who have Life. His Church is not declining, it is growing because His Life cannot be contained or restricted. His Ecclesia is outside the matrix. His Church is spiritual, and as such, it is eternal, transcending time and space. Just as He is, and does.

You look upon His Face and see the curve of His smile, so you follow His gaze - and there it is, the living stones and precious gems which make up His Church. You couldn't see them before, because you were right in the middle of it while still on earth. But now, far removed from it all and looking down upon it from the Lord's perspective, you see that the living stones are being assembled together into a brilliant, gleaming, dazzling building which covers the entire earth! An angel stands apart from it, shouting, "100% pure: never touched by human hands!" You zoom in closer and discover that the stones and gems are not literal stones and gems, but people! Wonderful, beautiful, joy-filled people, joined together into a striking mosaic of vibrant colors, a tapestry of interwoven beauty, a medley of lives in perfect twelve-part harmony, all pulsing with His heartbeat, His Life, His Essence. You begin to weep at the unadulterated purity of it and oneness of it. There is no spot, wrinkle, or blemish to be found.

Only God could make something this gorgeous. Only God. Only God. And there in the midst of this wonderful place, you see what makes it so splendid...

There HE is, walking around in the midst of this Temple, adding living stone upon living stone, precious gem upon precious gem, and what do you hear? Singing? Yes. The Living Stones are crying out in praise. And He is smiling, and - whistling! - while He works.

Jesus is building His Church.

Then, as quickly as it began, it is over.

You open your eyes and find yourself back on earth, having returned to your three-dimensional world. It's a sunny day, the birds are singing, the church bells are ringing, and you see men, women, and children walking down the street, carrying their Bibles. You rush out into the road and grab an elderly gentleman.

"Where are you going? What's going on? Why are you so dressed up?"

"Get your hands off me, you crazy idiot! It's Sunday morning, and I'm going to church!"

"You've seen the Church??"

"Seen it? Of course I've seen it. My great-great grandfather helped build that church!"

"No, I mean have you SEEN the CHURCH," you repeat emphatically. "The Church that JESUS is building!"

"I don't know what the devil you're talking about, young man. Now let me alone, or I'll be late!"

You let him go and before you know it you are swept along by the crowd and find yourself sitting within the four walls of a building that calls itself "First Hypocritical Church, International."

The service is just beginning. The pastor approaches the lectern and announces, "Let's all stand and sing!"

Not sure what to do, you join in the chorus:


Know ye not, know ye not ye are the Temple?
Know ye not, know ye not ye are the Temple?
Know ye not, know ye not ye are the Temple?
Ye are the Temple of the Holy Ghost!
At the end of the song the pastor appears at the lectern again and matter-of-factly shouts, "Isn't it good to be in the house of God today!" It's more of a statement than a question. And all the people say, "AMEN!"

Hope rises! The House of God! Maybe he's seen it too! Forgetting where you are, you stand up and excitedly shout "Have YOU seen the House of God, brother?"

"Amen!" He replies. "It's good to be in church this morning!"

"Amen!" the people agree.

"No, wait a minute," you interrupt, mouthing the words ever so slowly and deliberately, as if you were talking to a deaf lip reader. "Have you SEEN the CHURCH, brother? The Church that JESUS is building?"

All heads are turned now, facing you. The old man, one of the deacons, whispers, "That's the weirdo I met on the way to church this morning!"

The pastor is growing impatient. "This IS the church, brother. Hallelujah!"

"But sir," you press, "KNOW YE NOT YE ARE THE TEMPLE???"

The silence is deafening.

"You are the Temple. WE are the Temple! Jesus is building His Church! I' ve seen it! It's a wonderful House of Living Stones, filled with His Life! We are the Church that He is building! We are the Living Stones, the Precious Gems! I saw Jesus, and He was smiling and placing the stones together, and..."

Some teenagers on the back row are giggling.

"I've seen it! It's true! The stones... the jewels... it's gorgeous!"

The people are looking at the pastor to see what he will do.

Slowly it dawns on you. You realize that to them you are an alien from another planet trying to communicate something that is so real to you but is totally foreign to the rest of the world.

Desperately you grab the man standing next to you by the shoulders, thinking to shake it into him. "You don't believe me... But it's true! You sing about it... but you don't believe it! YOU ARE THE TEMPLE! You have to believe me! I've seen it! Jesus is building His Church!"

The ushers are making their way over to your place in the pew.

Sweating and shaking, you look around the sanctuary, wild-eyed. "No, something's wrong here. Everything is different... this isn't the Church! I mean, you're calling it church, but this isn't what I've seen at all. No, the Church is... is... One Flock with One Shepherd, not divided up into denominations and sects! It's a mosaic of people! It's a tapestry of rich colors! It's a medley..." You begin to sob. "Listen to me! Know ye not ye are the Temple?!?"

The congregation is uncomfortable and agitated. The old deacon is ashen-faced, glaring at the pastor to put an end to this.

"Friend," the pastor finally manages, "if you'll go with the ushers I'm sure we can better minister to you in private. With every head bowed and every eye closed, why don't we go to the Lord in prayer right now."

While every head is bowed and every eye is closed, except the pastor's head and eyes, the ushers quickly hustle you out the back door and throw you down the steps.

The pastor smiles. "and the church said... AMEN. Amen. You may be seated. Well, praise the Lord. Today my message is entitled, 'What It Means To Be A Christian'. Turn in your Bibles to...".


* * *
If God would grant you a moment by His side and allow you a fleeting glance at His Church you would at once understand what a pitiful substitute we have in Organized Religion. There is no vanity so deep as religious vanity, nothing more sickening and diametrically opposed to the heart and ultimate purpose of God.

And we who are in Christ Jesus ARE seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).

If God is pleased to grant you this vision of His Church then you will come to appreciate it as a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because to see things as He sees them is true Wisdom and Oneness with Him and His people. A curse, because to see things as He sees them will ruin you for life, for you will never again be able to accept the surrogate, the counterfeit, even the good, at the expense of the Holy. His Church, His Treasure, how holy and pure and wonderful and unspeakable it is! Before you would casually call this thing and that thing "church" just like everyone else does and find it socially acceptable, but now your skin will crawl and your stomach will twist in knots when you hear others call some building the "house of God", knowing full well that His House is not this dead thing made with human hands!

It will not be enough for you to then say: "Lord, the Church belongs to You, not to me, not to anyone. Now I see my mistake. I take my hands off of it, for it is not mine to control or run. I repent of trying to build what you wish to destroy, and destroying what you wish to build. What am I, Lord, but a little stone, a little sheep, a little member of a wonderful Body of Believers? You are building Your Church, and now I will let you do it. At last I see. Only let me find a quiet place to serve You and serve Your people in secret, for I want nothing else for me, but all of it for You."

No, once you see this, once you take your hands off of His Bride, once you stop beating your brothers and sisters in the Name of God, then you will be jealous over His Church with His jealously, and will be so sensitive and so aware of false pastors and false teachers and false evangelists and false prophets and false apostles - yes, all that would abuse and confuse and rape and pillage His People! It is a question of seeing! And see, you will! You will see as He sees, hear as He hears, feel as He feels. "He was angered at their hardness of heart." Without effort, without trying, you will see right through the false, the quasi-faith, the pseudo-spirituality, the whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones. Once you have had a taste of Real Life, you smell Death a thousand miles away, and your spirit rebels against it, your emotions scream in protest, and you are sick to your stomach with grief, anger, and compassion all at once. "No! This is not the Ecclesia. This is not the Lord's Church. This is a sham. This is bogus. This is nothing but Organized Religion!"

May God have mercy on us, and give us such a revelation of Himself, and His Church, that we may escape from Churchianity and find Life.

We are not suggesting that you challenge the system this Sunday by provoking a public confrontation with some unsuspecting pastor. All the argument in the world will not convince people, nor should we attempt to make people see. Simply allow them to see. Look upon the face of Him who sees things as they are, that others may look into your eyes and see Him as He is. One minute of seeing is worth a lifetime of argument. God will grant us a discerning heart and eyes to see if we will ask for them, and if we are willing to accept both the joy and the burden that accompanies such a revelation.

http://www.watchman.net/articles/escape.html

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Posts: 3276 | From: Charlestown, IN | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
oneinchrist
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Hi Michael,
Its nice to meet you. I certainly agree with you that its not about religion, but its about relationship. Realizing that truth, it is my hope that God helps us to bring down religious strongholds, so that others may experience an intimate relationship with Christ, and not put so much trust in man. With love in Christ, Daniel

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Michael Harrison
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*Lora, you did well, I think. I was going to post the same passages, noting that denominations were trying to start - right back there where Paul was addressing them. We have it in early scripture already. But, that said.....

Denominations are the work of the one who would confuse those seeking to follow the Lord (and prevent those who would use it as an excuse not to). The whole reason that Paul wrote those epistles was to exhort the 'church' to know the Lord as Paul did – directly, and not subject to someone else’s notion, even Paul’s. "Be ye followers of me even as I also am of Christ!" (1Cor 11:1)(Do as I did!) If one does not know, as Paul 'did', then they were/are necessarily a part of some 'denomination.' That means that they are part of a division that has only part of the truth! Simply.

It is so difficult to address. It is about relationship, and regrettably, as soon as one tries to describe that, it automatically becomes 'doctrine', thusly, denominations. But it is necessary to exhort one another in the hope that they will discover what they have not already.

It is very personal. The reason that Jesus gave us certain, often overlooked passages, is to encourage us on. If you dig for the Pearl of Great Price, you look past denominations, in expectation. Otherwise, the denominations plainly have something in common with those Pharisees and Lawyers; they hinder the seeker from entering the truth.

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Joy2Tworld
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We could all be from different churches, but there shouldn't be a difference from any church, being from a baptisit, a church of england or methodist or anything else we are no different. We are christian and that is all there is to it. We are all part of the same family.
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oneinchrist
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Hi everybody,
Wow, there are so many denominations. I was raised a lutheran, but in my past have attended catholic, pentecostal, presbetarian, non-denominational, and baptist churches. They all profess the infallibility of the Word of God, but surely have thier differences in interpretation and application.

At this time in my life I try to look past the labels, and discuss core beliefs. If the focus of any congregation is not on the Lord Jesus, then there is a serious problem. What more can be said.....for it is of God and through Jesus that all things exist.

I do believe that there is too much strife between people of different denominations, not because of the denomination, but because of the people.

Unity in Christ is not a unity of religions, but a unity of purpose..... For the purpose of the glory of God and the lifting up of the name of Jesus Christ. If we can understand this then we wont allow denomination labels to hinder the cause.

I do admonish all my friends in the Lord to be careful with assumptions about others of different religions. Open up communication lines, be amiceable, and get to core beliefs quickly. If they confess Christ, then we should not argue other points. We then may encourage them in the faith, and share our testimony with them.

With love in Christ, Daniel

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Lora
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1 Corinthians ch. 1:

10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas[a]"; still another, "I follow Christ."
13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into[b] the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Some of us say that we follow Wesley, others follow Lucado, yet others follow Bevere or Derek Prince... I feel ashamed when I have to explain to a non-believer why there are so many churches. The truth is that these divisions are a sin. A massive sin. If I go to a pentecostal church, I'll never say that I am Pentecostal. I am a sinner saved by grace! A follower of Christ! Why exalt a human leader or a group of people?

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I am spared by mercy, a child of his grace
Received into his favor despite my selfish ways

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corriee
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My demonination has changed so much from when I was a child I don't recognize it anymore. However, God never changes, so how can churches change their sins?
When I was little, our little Baptist Church in way down south Texas had closed communion. G.A.'s learned tons of Bible Scripture to advance to the next level on the way to the Queen Step. When we went to summer camp at Alto Frio, there was no mixed swimming -boys went one time and girls another. We didn't dance, drink, or play cards.(although all the men smoked..lol)
We dressed in our best to go to Church. We sang the old hymns with reverence..We ate breakfast and had our coffee at home. We sat in chairs in Sunday School and had a lesson, not entertainment. Women for remained silent in the Church for the most part. One lady led our singing when the regular song leader wasn't there. But all that was thrown out the window for something better they said. We changed, but God has not changed. These are all man made rules, not found in the Bible as a set of laws. But this was our way of doing it before something else came along.

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Eden
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Denominations in the church

Are denominations in the church good, or bad? Or perhaps some parts of the denominations are good and some parts of the demoninations are bad in the church.

Christians tended to identify with the main Christian who had had the zeal to change things for Christ, like Zwingli and Luther and Wesley and numerous others, and all of these formed churches (thanks be to God for that) which then accumulated believers and believers invested their time and money into these particular churches so that they became fairly large entities by themselves, which we later called “denominations” like the “Baptist church” and the “church of God” and numerous other names.

But in the end, they are all churches and bastions of our God, and that is a good thing.

With love,
Eden

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jman
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"I think Denominations make people feel special, and unique. Almost like they have a knowledge of God that other churches do not. The desire to feel unique, and special is derived from pride.

Pride comes before the fall….
The churches are practicing law, and not faith…. That is the problem with denominations."

This direct quote appears to suggest otherwise. General sweeping statements about denominations and the motivation behind their differences are to some of us inflammatory. Do not let that stop you howvever because like you I believe open honest debate can fruitful. By the same token though allow me the freedom to highlight my perceptions of the comments made.

My real motivation is that I get sick of all the church bashing amounst christians who have rather minor differences at the end of the day. I believe there is no greater hinderence to progress than petty 'in fighting'

' a house divided against itself' and all that.
G'day

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sevenlamps
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Most of these post are intended to be constructive. As Paul taught that the body has many members, I feel discussing differences in a constructive way is stimulating,reflective, and exhorting so that Jesus can be held up as a mirror to look at ourselves and see if there is anything we need to attend to.

--------------------
Don't grieve the Holy Spirit

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jman
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Here's a thought

Many of the comments you guys have made, perhaps don't go along way towards unifying varied christian expressions of worship. Instead, you are separating yourself from one branch of our greater Christian family. The notion of pride was raised, well when we see our position as safe and correct, whilst critising another, does that not smack a little of pride (unintentional though it is) It is all the 'us versus them' and 'we do it right' that continues to keep us all apart. Maybe none of us are right, we are all just different.

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Eden
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sevenlamps said, "Why the byways? Because some are saying I have oxen(buisness) to take care of and some are saying I have a wife(family) to attend to and have refused the invitation."

Eden here:

Why the byways? Because the Israelites, and in particular Judah-Benjamin-Levi, had the chance to accept the invitation of the Lord Jesus. The Israelties were on the "highways" of God.

But when the Israelites refused the invitation, then God sent ministers of reconciliation onto what the Bible calls the "byways", where the Gentiles lived and still live.

But, no sooner have I said that and it is proven to be nonsense by Luke 14:21-24 (KJV):

Luke 14
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

A nice description of the Gentiles who are being saved.

Is that a physical poor or a spiritual poor?

Is that a physical maimed or a spiritual maimed?

Is that a physical halt or a spiritual halt?

Is that a physical blind or a spiritual blind?

But these were mostly the Gentiles who are currently beind added to the church, until Ezekiel 37 occurs when the house of Judah and the house of Israel will COME UP OUT OF THEIR GRAVES WHILE AMONG THE GENTILES.

I believe that will be a LITERAL coming up out of their graves while among the Gentiles, and WE HAVE NOT SEEN THAT YET.

with love in Him,
Eden

22And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as You have commanded, and yet there is room.

23 And the lord said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.

24 For I say to you, That none of those men who were bidden shall taste of My supper.

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