THE BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES YOU FROM ALL SIN AND GUILT (1 JOHN 1:7). JESUS IS THE DELIVERER!!
The bottom line first, is that there is NO requirement to go to "church", as we know it today. Jesus is suppose to be with you EVERY day, not just on a "church" day.
If your church is NOT doing and teaching Deliverance, especially the leadership, why would you want to take the chance of picking up more demons from a church who does not think Christians can have demons.
You say your church IS doing Deliverance? Did they ever tell you that YOU have demons? Did they ever cast demons out of YOU? Something wrong with this picture.
Most people go to church because their pastor told them to [mind control], who wrongly use the below Scripture.
Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching."
In responding to those who seem to believe that you must attend a church every Sunday, using the scripture above, we have done some research on the subject "forsaking not the assembling of yourselves together". We have found in looking in The Erdmann's Bible Dictionary the following information.
Assembly or congregation. Greek - ekklesia. Generally a gathering of various types, but more specifically the popular assembly or the Israelite religious community.
Hebrew - eda (usually congregation) refers to the entire community of Israel, particularly that of the wilderness wanderings and occurs most frequently in passages attributed to the Priestly source.
Hebrew - gahal - assembly. Indicates more particularly the gathered community, assembled both for worship and for legislative or judicial purpose, such as the distribution of land and deliberation on internal matters. Deuteronomy 5:22
It is sometimes proposed that Gk. Ekklesia in the New Testament be rendered congregation in order to distinguish between the universal church and local bodies of believers. Although the term sometimes does refer to such local congregations Galatians 1:2, I Thessalonians 1:1, it is also used to indicate the church in general. Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18.
So we see from the historical facts that this scripture did not mean "go to church every Sunday." It was the town or group meeting of people to discuss issues pertaining to their day. Just like we have town meetings. However, all being Believers at that time, they did worship the Lord and sometimes they did give sermons. Today, most people are taught using this scripture, causing them to think that they HAVE to go to a building once a week, and because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie end up worshipping and serving the creature rather than God. Romans 1:25
The Book of Philemon - Verse 1 - Paul, A prisoner [for the sake] of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), and our brother Timothy, to Philemon our dearly beloved sharer with us in our work.
Verse 2 - And to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier [ in the Christian warfare], and to the church [assembly that meets] in your HOUSE:
Romans 16:5 - [Remember me] also to the church [that meets] in their HOUSE...
I Corinthians 16: 19 - The churches of Asia send greetings and best wishes. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church [that meets] in their HOUSE, send you their hearty greetings in the Lord.
Colossians 4:15 - Give my greetings to the brethren at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the assembly (the church) which meets in her HOUSE.
We recommend that you stop going to your "church" if your church, including your pastor, is NOT doing and teaching Deliverance on a regular basis. There are no Scriptures saying you must go to "church". There are demons of mind control saying you must go to a "church". If your home group is not involved in Deliverance, start teaching and doing Deliverance. If there is a leader, and they don't want to start Deliverance, stop going. Start it in your own home.
Some pastors allow you to do Deliverance in their church, but THEY do not do Deliverance. Why waste your time there? You are under the control of a pastor who is not obeying the command of Jesus to cast out demons. You can do Deliverance in your home on all who want Deliverance. We have heard from many involved in Deliverance who want to stay in their church so they can change the pastor. We have never heard from anyone who, in fact, have changed their pastor.
Here are some Scriptures in the Book of Acts showing the early church met in "HOUSES".
Meals and making merry ... breaking bread from HOUSE to HOUSE, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. (2:46) Teaching and preaching ... and in every HOUSE, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (5:42) As a sanctuary and lifestyle ...he made havoc of the church, entering into every HOUSE. (8:3) General gathering ... send for thee into his HOUSE ... he went in, and found many that were come together. (10:22,27) Praying together ...he came to the HOUSE of Mary ... where many were gathered together praying. (12:12) Comfort and encouragement ... and entered into the HOUSE of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them and departed. (16:40) Visiting ... And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from HOUSE to HOUSE (20:20) Kingdom revelation ... and Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired HOUSE, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God. (28:30,31)
Also, scripture in general supports home group fellowship: greet the church that is in their HOUSE. (Rom. 16:5) with the church that is in their HOUSE. (1st Cor. 16:19) and the church which is in his HOUSE. (Col. 4:15) and to the church is in thy HOUSE. (Phn. 2) Note: The Jewish Christians did meet regularly in the Temple (Acts 24:11), as there was a strong sense that Jerusalem was still their central spiritual H.Q. However, with the increased persecution, and finally the fulfillment of the Temple being destroyed a few years later, all ties with the Old and it's formalities fell away.
For Home (HOUSEhold) Fellowships are totally scriptural: Acts 10:2 ... with all his HOUSE Acts 16:15. And when she was baptized, and her HOUSEhold ... come into my HOUSE, and abide there. Acts 16:32 ... to all that were in his HOUSE. Acts 16:34 ... into his HOUSE, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his HOUSE. Acts 16:40 ... entered into the HOUSE of Lydia Acts 17:5 ... and assaulted the HOUSE of Jason Acts 18:7 ... and entered into a certain man's HOUSE, named Justus Acts 18:8 ... believed on the Lord with all his HOUSE Acts 21:8 ... we entered into the HOUSE of Philip the evangelist 1 Corinthians 1:11 ... by them which are of the HOUSE of Chloe 1 Corinthians 16:15 ... ye know the HOUSE of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia 2 Timothy 1:16. The Lord give mercy unto the HOUSE of Onesiphorus Romans 16:10. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' HOUSEhold. Romans 16:11. Greet them that be of the HOUSEhold of Narcissus 1 Corinthians 1:16. I baptized also the HOUSEhold of Stephanas Philippians 4:22. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's HOUSEhold. 2 Timothy 4:19. Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the HOUSEhold of Onesiphorus.
Note that none of the above or below says you MUST go to "church" or MUST have a house meeting. You should be worshipping the Lord EVERY day, not one or two days at a "meeting".
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Snippets Plus - end time extracts and articles outside mans comfortable, conventional, structured church; where the prophetic voice from God is no longer muffled, muzzled, or filtered, but to be heralded and heeded with all earnestly ... If you are being introduced to this Snippet Plus for the first time and haven't got time to read, or find it is just not your cup-of-tea, please go to the end of this letter to "unsubscribe". To the faithful and inquisitive .... please read on: Without the Camp has been updated. The following is small snippets. To get the big picture please view Without the Camp? Make your heart where your home is: The principal of the HOUSEhold is scriptural: Galatians 6:10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the HOUSEhold of faith. Ephesians 2:19. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the HOUSEhold of God; The reason people are confused about the church and it's function is because they do not realize the church does have a Divine order. Not hierarchical of course! Because the clerical system has been so entrenched over the centuries only their view point has been pushed ... clergy over laity. This unscriptural concept has camouflaged the true scriptural tri-part order which parallels to Father - Son - Spirit. Or God - Christ - man. Or Christ - man - woman. Here's another ... Man - woman - child; and so forth. Within the Systematic Church you have God - the Minister (Priest or Pastor acting as go-between, replacing Christ) - then the people. This way the woman can by- pass her husband's authority and conveniently mediate with God through the Minister / Priest/ Pastor / Rabbi; which throws God's order out and justifies the clerical set-up. With God's order the woman must go through her husband and remain loyal to him spiritually, emotionally, and socially. He must be the one meeting her needs through Christ. No wonder there is so much hanky-panky going on between the Minister and his "rightful" female parishioner/s. In the religious order, the man is bypassed therefore cancelling out the family nucleus of the Body. No head, then no family! It's as simple as that! The same goes for the Body of Christ on earth. The order is ... the church universally (on a whole), then locally (in a district like a town or village), and then in the HOUSEhold (the home base). This is where the husband/man is in charge (as the male elders are within the church locally). Destroy this then you destroy the family structural base which has to be replaced with something else. By-pass the husband headship with an ecclesiastical figurehead you then destroy God's order. Therefore, an unscriptural system has to be re set-up to replace it, which is outside of God's word. Without the scripture their is no truth. Where there is no truth their is no Spirit of truth either ... the Holy Ghost! And where there is no Holy Ghost there is no life from above. God is not in the midst; only empty rhetoric, religious vibes and atmosphere! Dear Saint! Do you really want to get back to the New Testament church? Do you really want to experience true koinonia? In other words ... do you want the reality, or do you want the counterfeit? Not just mere sentiment or nostalgia? Not just religious fantasy or subterfuge? Then it's up to you to do something about it! Like ... right now!! If you claim to be a bible believer in the true sense of the word. In spirit and in truth: Have you ever heard the term or been asked the question, "Where do you worship?" Did you know that when we gather we are not suppose to come together for the sole purpose of worship (leave that to the religionists)!? Nowhere in the New Testament does this notion lend support. You see New Covenant worship is in spirit and in truth. Therefore, everything we do; working, recreational activities, eating and drinking, making love (strictly within the confines of marriage) and of course fellowship, is to be in spirit and in truth. Our lives should be a continual worship unto the Lord. It's our reasonable service. Just imagine sending your children away to special seminars where they will learn the art of honoring and respecting you with lip and devotional service. Certain parts of the day or week are laid aside where your children can prove their devotion to you by mechanically saying the right things and following the correct procedure: "Father, this day we are bestowing upon you all the praise due to your name, all the honor you are worthy of, because you have chosen to devote yourself to our well being and upkeep. We hereby praise you from the bottom of our hearts Father! We hereby praise you with the fruit of our lips. This day do we use to pay special tribute, gratitude and respect for the affections you bestow upon us each day. Praise you Father!!" " Now's it okay if we go outside and make mud pies?" Praise is not simply a word but an attitude with expression. For instance, if you are introduced to someone's baby while casually passing by do you exclaim, "Oh I praise your child! How I praise it! Praise it! Oh ... hallelujah, hallelujah!!" No you say, "Oh what a beautiful looking child! Look at it's lovely complexion! He's got your lovely eyes, and your husbands smile, and ... ... !" etc. etc. (thanks Juan!) You see praise is not mechanical, or empty rhetoric, or even showy. It is not expressed blindly, glibly, superficially, but for a reason. Like spontaneously expressing gratitude for something already purposed, and praising someone for their attributes. David and others did: Psalms 52:9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it Psalms 118:21. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. Psalms 139:14. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Isaiah 12:1 ... I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Isaiah 25:1. O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. The following wasn't actually orchestrated either: Acts 16:23-25. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Then all heaven broke lose! The teaching of "praise and worship" based on music, which was introduced through the charismatic movement, then infiltrating most mainline churches, sounds "nice" and scriptural, but is in fact a big con, allowing people to be manipulated through their emotions. This leads to spiritual deception, and in the end, if we continually refuse repentance, God will hand us over to such things as Toronto / Pensacola and New Wave type delusion. Be careful of music too! In meeting together that is! It is scriptural to sing to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. But this is only a minor part of the New Testament (today it is major and full-on!) with very little scriptural reference. The reason ... it was only part of meeting for uplifting each other unto the Lord. It was never intended to be dominant (don't let me put you off listening for enjoyment sake though) let alone the centre replacing true fellowship. Music has only taken over in recent decades as it is based on vibes and warm fuzzies, usually plus someone's ego. As far a Christian having a career in music I don't believe the Lord would have a problem, as long as the music was wholesome, provoking or uplifting, and wasn't used as a substitute for true New Testament church. Things like Worship Leaders and Youth Pastors are also unscriptural. Sorry about that!! True fellowship: We come together for fellowship. That's why it is an unstructured 'happening' in the home where there is no pressure to perform. "Going to church" may look impressive but is in fact impersonal, cold, institutionalized gobbledegook. As well as being unscriptural. That's why things have to be up-dated all the time, like cosmetic face-lifts (the new-look auditorium), with the latest and the greatest trends (a clean-look rock band), marketed in such a way to make things look exciting and relevant, and to keep folk involved, so they don't have time or heart to question and break-out. When it is just you and your friends making it with God, you don't need substitutes, the Holy Spirit is sufficient thanks! A scripture that's quoted many times to lure folk back into the Comfortable Church is Hebrews 10:25: Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is ... Now straight away, because of our Westernized mentality, we associate the word assembling with the formal word 'assembly'. Like gathering in a hall with hundreds of others after the school bell has rung. Or mustering on a field military style, after an alarm has gone. "Assembling yourselves together" simply means coming together at one given, or casual time, like: ... where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Why do we come together? Well, we will have to quote some more of Hebrews 10:25: ... exhorting one another. In other words, we meet together to encourage one another, taking advantage we are still living in the day of grace. Prodding, provoking, stirring, sharpening and stimulating one another, is all part of it (verse 24). This is spiritually healthy and helps keep us honest, and on our toes. Titus 1:8 ... a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men .... This means you can choose your own friends. Why gather with those who are unruly, or have a competitive spirit? Or be bullied or blackmailed into fellowship? Or why be forced to come together with someone who doesn't like you? You know ... who bring a sour attitude with them. In our meetings we shouldn't have time to get bogged down with trivial irrelevant issues and mumbo jumbo, a slinging match, nor going for the jugular. The object of the exercise is to gather with those who are hungry, whose affections are set on above, who bring no malice with them, so we can uplift one another. Get this verse .... follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord with a pure heart. After all ... a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
This was copied from an incoming email.
Can you give me Scripture references for why you feel it is inappropriate for believers to meet in both a more formal worship "service" as well as informally (in order to further relationships)? Scripture tells me that the first century believers continued to go to Temple, (not just the courtyards, but the more formal, "corporate" meeting times) even as they also began meeting together in homes. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but rather to understand. Okay, just for fun. :) Let's flip this around and look at it from the other side. (Since we have strayed SO far from God's Intent and the Ways of Jesus and the Apostles, perhaps we shouldn't start with TODAY as a reference point to be DIS-proved, but rather start with Apostolic Life and try to support all the stuff we've done to it instead!) So, here's the game: :) Can you give ME Scripture references to justify the practice of a man with a title, putting a weekly ceremony on the calendar, and giving a prepared speech to a group of people who have "attended"? You know it wouldn't be difficult to add 4000 man-made additions, subtractions, distortions, and dilutions to that list. But, let's just stay with these for now. Can you give ME Scripture references to justify the practice of a man with a title, putting a weekly ceremony on the calendar, and giving a prepared speech to a group of people who have "attended", and passing the bucket for his "salary" and other stuff? The truth is, there is NO justification for this departure from the Scripture and practice of the Believers that were Born under Jesus' Leadership through the apostles. "When you come together brothers, EVERYONE has a word of instruction, a song, ...." There is NO other Biblical Pattern for Believers being together, except as a Priesthood. No ceremonies, no pre-arranged choreographed stuff, no assigned leaders. Jesus Himself forbid the titles and positions and traditions. Did Paul ever "preach" to a congregation? (And surely no one considers himself today a better man than Paul.) No such event ever took place, that the Holy Spirit recorded. When Paul was in Troas , the Bible says he "DIALOGUED" with the Saints until dawn. He did not "preach" and there are NO examples in the Scriptures of anything like what happens today with the ceremony and speech, on a holy day, in a holy building (or holy living room for the "service"). Where are the Scriptures for what is happening today? There are none. "When revelation comes to the second, let the first one SIT DOWN" saith the Lord. THAT is Scripture that makes virtually every religious organization on the planet immediately disobedient to God. It is NOT the way men function. "Hey! I'm the one with the Bible knowledge and charisma! I'm the man of God around here, and I WILL BE THE LEADER AND SPEECH-MAKER!" And the people loved it so. Even if God has another Command. "Let the first one SIT DOWN." That, and "remove the leaven from the batch" are two TOTALLY unacceptable Scriptures to those that love and defend and are comfortable with the leavened batch and unBiblical lifestyles and assemblies. Now, why did the new Christians continue to meet in the temple courts? This was a city park, open-air area - not a building, if you check the drawings in the back of many Bibles. But, it wouldn't matter if it were a building, because you must realize that the Jews that were converted to Jesus did not immediately think of themselves as "no longer Jewish". To THEM, all that had changed was that they now realized that the Messiah, long-awaited, had COME! This is the largest celebration OF Judaism, not a reason to think they were no longer Jewish! He has Come! Now, every Jew should know this!! It's what all of their history had pointed towards, and He has Come! It never occurred to them that they should stop being involved in Jewish things! As time passed, now their minds were opened to the fact that this Deal was for GENTILES too. (It was perhaps a full 5 years after Pentecost when Cornelius was brought into the Family, and then much longer until "the uttermost parts of the earth" finally kicked in - maybe another 3-4 years for the push towards Antioch.) THEN they had to work through how much Judaism was REALLY just a "visual aid" (Col.2:16-17; Heb.5, 7, 9, 10; Rom.4) - and how much was for them, still (Acts 15). So, it should come as no surprise at all that they would TEMPORARILY continue with "the hour of prayer" (Acts 4) and the like. And, since they were to go first to the HOUSE of Israel, "first Jews, then Greeks", it makes sense that they would also use synagogues for "fishing holes" later on. They did NOT continue to be under Jewish Law in any way, or else Christ died for nothing, according to Paul. Nor were they "under" Jewish "form" of the synagogue service on the Sabbath, with a Rabbi (NONE of this in the Scripture, but was born out of man-made concessions, while in Babylonian punishment by God). The first " christian religious facility" (built for christians to have meetings in) that archaeologists have ever located, was in approximately 275AD. For well over 200 years after Jesus, it was clear to the Believers that they were not to build "worship temples" in the towns and cities. ALL of the other world religions had always built "church buildings" and were still doing so. But for MANY years, even when other things were slipping away from Jesus' Truths, they still KNEW that what Jesus had "started" was not about that. Emperor Constantine, circa 312AD, merged his form of state-approved "christianity" with the other religions of his Roman Empire. He did this, to please his people and his flesh, by taking pagan holidays worshipping false gods ("fertility"/Easter, Saturnalia/Xmas, etc) and pagan religious practices with their temple "services" and high priest sermon-givers... and wed them together. WE are the recipients of these pagan practices, with christian fish-stickers on them to lend credibility. But you won't find any of that in the Bible. If you doubt we are capable of absorbing false god worship into our daily lives, without ever being intelligent enough or honest enough or diligent enough, or having enough conviction to reject involvement in anyone's false god worship -- just consider what "everyone" easily calls the "days of the weeks" and the "months of the year". Without any discernment whatsoever, it is NO problem for most to teach their children the names of the "days" and "months" - clearly named in many cases after demon gods. We just naively absorb most everything handed down to us. SO, small wonder that the Jews absorbed world religion practices in Babylon that were not in their Bibles. (Old Covenant Temple worship -yes. Synagogues with Rabbi's - no!) And Constantine legitimized this practice of the world religions into "christianity". And the Roman catholics led the way in fossilizing this, while the protestants took 90% of Roman catholicism and embraced it as well. "Priests"/"Clergymen" (totally unBiblical to an extreme) are NOW allowed to get married? This is "protestant reformation"? I'd say we should go a little deeper and find out what JESUS had in mind!!! "From the Beginning, it was not so!" I am sure that you weren't being in anyway argumentative, my brother. :) I could sense your heart in the honest inquiry. I wish I had more time to give you even more, but, alas..... __________________________________________ While I do see the difficulty of trying to walk in and "share the light" in among a congregation that is not presently engaged in this, I'm not sure I see how the answer is to walk away. How will anyone ever learn there is a problem if we don't sound the alarm? I guess I'm wondering if we don't bear some responsibility, similar to the prophets of old. They did not walk away from Israel when she was in open rebellion, but instead stayed to call her to repentance, even at risk to themselves. I feel that there are many well-intentioned Christians who work diligently within the "system" who want nothing more than to serve the Lord. To walk away seems somehow selfish--"I found truth; see ya later-you're on your own!" Please let me know your thoughts on this. Another good question. Just to make a point that has substance, rather than just expressing it as a "concept", I want to tell you a bit about the church here. I hope this is okay. We have somewhere between a zillion and a zillion and half folks (give or take) talk to us about moving to this city every year or two. We have never, in fifteen years, encouraged anyone to move here to be part of the church. There are a number of stories of folks that had even quit jobs and given notice on their apartments, or had their HOUSEs for sale - that we TALKED OUT of moving here. Sometimes they eventually came, a year or two later. Sometimes many years later. Usually not at all, ever. WHY do we not "recruit" as is the common practice in the "church world"? BECAUSE OF THE VERY POINT YOU'RE MAKING: If folks have not exhausted themselves in their given worlds or relationships and religious organizations - trying desperately to love on and get deeply involved with those that are ALREADY in their lives, they have "put their hand to the plow" and looked elsewhere. This is robbery to those that are all around them, as well as cheating themselves of Growth by sacrifice, and the love of others. HOWEVER, being faithful FOR REAL, is seldom the way folks function, unfortunately. If you or anyone REALLY ARE FAITHFUL (rather than token "radical" remarks during a bible class, and a couple of new programs) -- if you are REALLY willing to get involved in "admonish one another daily so that none are hardened and deceived by sin" -- if you are REALLY willing to "confess your sins one to another" and "bear one another's' burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ"... you will either see WONDROUS REVIVAL there, or you will be thrown out on your ear for shaking and exposing the lukewarm elements of whatever is out there. It is NOT an option, if you love Jesus, to allow "leaven in the batch". No excuses, no rationalizations, no procrastination. "IF you love Me, you will obey Me." If you think you can "blend in" and be "one of the boyz" but just a bit on the weird and radical and committed side, you are in serious trouble. "A little leaven leavens the WHOLE batch." God didn't give you a choice. Nor does your "assembly" have a choice. The question is NOT whether to get the leaven out of the batch. It is MANDATORY, or quit calling it a "christian church". "WHY do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and don't do what I say?" "I will take the Kingdom away from you and give it to those who will bear its Fruit." It is NOT an option to leave leaven (compromise, worldliness, lukewarmness, greed, etc etc) in the batch. The question is HOW to remove it? Legalism? NO WAY! Passivity or disconnected ignorance of it? NO WAY. That didn't cut it with God when God judged all of Israel for Achan's hidden sin, and it doesn't cut it now either. The Answer is: If the "church" is build around meetings and times and places, rather than by 100% (from the least to the greatest) "walking in the Light" in deep relationship with one another, "admonishing one another daily" -- then it is IMPOSSIBLE to obey the Command to remove the leaven. And then EVERYONE is leavened and even the good things are greatly tarnished, according to God. SO, "bailing out" is not the answer. At least not until you have bloodied your knees in prayer, and risked your life getting into others' homes and lives. Liken it to a man who discovers a leaking toxic gas in his apartment or flat, and gets up in the middle of the night and moves his family to another location. Meanwhile, he fails to try to help the other 7 families that live in that apartment building, and the other 500 families that live in that complex! What a terribly selfish thing to do! "Bailing out" ROBS God's People of their God-given Right to make their own choices about Truth! And, how do you know that EVERYONE won't receive Truth and a wonderful thing happen amidst those families? You cannot know - until you TRY! Give out books and booklets at the back door after "the benediction", get into people's homes multiple nights a week and pray with them and talk with them and plead with them! Honor their relationships and responsibilities with the "assigned leaders" by avoiding "undermining" or "gossiping" -- but recognize that those people BELONG TO GOD and MUST have their OWN chance to decide and act on what the Scriptures Teach that CHRISTIANITY IS. :) Prolonging involvement in a place where "leaven" (love of the world, false conversions, greed, pope-ery, and other evil) is taking place without Light and Repentance, is also NOT AN OPTION. We MAY NOT stay indefinitely in an environment that does not "love the Light" and protects the traditions of men and the compromise. Even if there are some good people there, and all of your children's friends. You MAY not stay indefinitely in a place where there are entire pockets of "members" that have no Light-walking relationship with others, so that there is NO WAY to help them or even be aware of hidden leaven. We are still responsible for it, as 1Cor.5 makes totally clear, but we have built so poorly and unBiblically that we don't even KNOW where the problems that we are responsible for even lie. So, yes. Risk your life trying to find others who TRULY love Jesus ("If you REALLY love Me, you will obey Me." - not just "worship" good and say deep things), and live a BIBLICAL life with them. And, take responsibility, as you must, for "see to it brothers that NONE of you has an unbelieving heart" and the other issues of leaven in the batch. If there is revival, Hallelujah! If the leaven and the bad, unBiblical building practices that allow the leaven to be hidden or undealt-with continue... then leave -- or be leavened to the guaranteed detriment of your family's life and spiritual Life. And, even if you HAD to leave because of the continued hidden and un-dealt with leaven and refusal of those there to be obedient to the One they call Lord - you would STILL need to do what Paul did: visit some "fishing holes" along with other trusted brothers and sisters to try to find those that truly DO want to go to the Highest Places with Jesus and His Bride. And devote yourself to what people you can find who DO want to see "the Bride prepared" regardless of personal cost - those that "love the Light". ________________________________________________ My next question is this--I understand the importance of not allowing unbelievers to "infiltrate" the ranks, but I'm unclear on how an unbeliever is exposed to truth. I see how my employment can be a mission field, of course, but if I'm spending my days working and my free time with family and the rest of the Church, when do I have time and opportunity to cultivate relationships in order to win others to Christ? Am I missing something? When you gather in homes, are unbelievers welcome? Or are the gatherings strictly limited to "Family" only? And if they are not limited, then doesn't that constitute "leaven" in the batch? Another great question. IF the "church" is a meeting to attend, then being involved with unbelievers would best be served by "bringing them to a meeting". Maybe they'd "hear" something. That's how the reasoning goes. First of all, an unbelieving visitor would not be "leaven" because they would not consider themselves to be a "members" of the Body of Christ - or Christians. "Leaven" is, according to the Scriptures, for those that "call themselves brothers" and continue to live in sin, without repentance. Those that "love the Light" (Jn.3) and "love the Truth" (2Thes.2) are NOT leaven, since such a person DESIRES to change and WANTS darkness exposed. Weakness is not leaven. Even sin is not leaven. A refusal to love exposure, and a refusal to change, are what constitute leaven. So, a weak brother or sister that is caught in a sin, but WANTS to turn from it for Jesus, and WANTS help, and DESIRES that "his deeds be exposed" (rather than defensive about it, as Jesus Himself taught)... that one is not leaven. They will get help to change, no matter how large their problems are. If they honestly love the Light, God's Resources will be there for them and they will "bear fruit in keeping with repentance". Also, one that doesn't claim to know Jesus and does not "call himself a brother" ... is not leaven. An "unbeliever" is named in 1Cor.14 when "the whole church" is together. But such a person doesn't consider himself PART of the church. He is an unbeliever. Part one of your question: OF COURSE an unbeliever could easily be present when the whole church is together. But again, I have to say that it is virtually impossible at times to "figure stuff out" in our "church" world. Why? Because we are often, in today's world, trying to "apply" or "find" Scriptures -- to plug into an entirely UNScriptural church world. Even the WORST of the churches in the New Testament (probably the Corinthians) had SO much relationship that the man that they didn't eat with almost DIED from the withdrawal of daily mutual life. (1Cor.5, 2Cor.2, 2Cor.7) That means that arguably the WORST of the churches back then -- were FAR superior to most of the "best" today! (The "parable of the wheat and tares" is about the church not isolating itself away from the world. "IN the world, but not OF it." It is NOT a license to disobey God by allowing tares to consider themselves part of the church. 1Cor.5 is totally clear. "Remove the leaven. You must not eat with them, or socialize with them. Expel them from your midst." - Jesus Christ, Lord. Jesus said "the field is the WORLD" in this parable so frequently abused - NOT "the field (where the wheat and tares grow together) is the church." The wheat and the tares must NOT "grow up together" in the CHURCH, but rather in the world. How else could we be "the light of the world" and "the salt of the earth" and "a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden"?! "THIS is how all men will know you are My disciples - by the love that they see you having FOR ONE ANOTHER.") Essentially, because the church is SUPPOSED to "contending as one man for the Faith", "joined and knit together by every supporting ligament", "being many, are ONE" "baptized by one Spirit into one Body", with "a hundred mothers, brothers, sisters, lands, and possessions" -- we are to relate to unbelievers via His FAMILY, not as individuals inviting someone to some event. "THIS is HOW all men will know!" It's not about events, but about them seeing us love on each other - which CANNOT be done in a meeting! Unbelievers must be invited into our lives and the things we do with one another on a daily basis. Jesus said that unbelievers seeing our lives and our love for one another is HOW they will know that Jesus is for real. Think about this, as it relates to your question. We are not, then, competing for time to "share Christ" with unBelievers - with all of the other busy stuff with family and work and other things. We are weaving ALL of that together into One! "THIS IS HOW": evangelistic meetings? Nope. Inviting to "services" or events, or having programs about it? Nope. That's not the "HOW" Jesus said was His Way. Our mutual love of one another, daily from HOUSE to HOUSE, as we rise up, sit down, and walk along the way, our shared trips to the marketplace and the errands and the activities and families, all joined into a harmonious whole! "A hundred fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, lands, possessions, persecutions" -- all rolled up into One Life. Not one person, if in Father's Best, has a separate work life, recreational life, family life -- and then tries to add into that a "church life" and an "evangelism life" and a "feed to poor life". Unless it is all melted together into One, as Jesus Designed and Ordained and Commanded and Empowered... our lives will be far more impotent than God ever intended. We'll only be kidding ourselves, really, and trying to prop ourselves up with what we CAN do and what we LIKE, while closing our eyes to SO much more that God intended. Everyone quadruples their capacity when we build "according to the Pattern". It is ESSENTIAL that we build the way the great Architect laid out the Blueprint! On the simplest level, if we do not "admonish" "be called alongside" "warn" "encourage one another daily"... GOD said we WILL be hardened and deceived. We will be wrong in many areas ("deceived") and our conscience will not warn us of the danger ("hardened"). If the "church" is built around assemblies and sing-alongs and programs, rather than around interwoven daily lives as Priests, 100%, "from the least to the greatest" -- we WILL have massive and unnecessary weakness, "cracks", leaven, and lukewarmness. We cannot build according to man's blueprint -- and have God's HOUSE. Will there be some saved and sincere folks in the man-made "churches"? Of course. But even the really special folks will never reach their Potential in an unBiblical environment. As has been said before, "You can't grow an orange tree in Alaska, no matter how good your artificial programs are. That is not the habitat for orange tree life. And you cannot grow a Believer well -- in a man-made environment. It is not the habitat for Spirit Life." It MATTERS how we build. Immensely. The perfect example is the Samuel kingdom, versus the Saul kingdom - and how GOD felt about the move from organic to organizational. It matters. WOW does it matter. Look it up - it's VERY serious to make these "small administrative changes" that men continue to make out of fear or convenience or control or greed or ape-ing the world system models of "leadership" and "efficiency" and "marketing". When we're building His Way, we don't have three or four competing "lives" (work, family, church, spare time)... but only one interwoven Life with Jesus and one another. That makes a lot of sense for a doulos, doesn't it? :) And in that One life, the people that we meet at work or elsewhere are invited on to the edge of our lives, "as we rise up, as we sit down, and as we walk along the way". Dinners with several families, ice cream places, basketball games with a two hundred of us, fireworks, barbeques, piano recitals, golf, lunches with a gang of brothers during the business day, library visits, park hikes, bicycle rides, and a thousand other Opportunities. All of these are "windows" into their souls -- and divine appointments for Seed planting. If the Church happens to be getting together some evening after an seeking unbeliever is at someone's home for dinner with a few folks... well, sometimes it would be the Spirit's Directive to bring him along to the place chosen for the evening. Or maybe, another couple dozen of folks might have inadvertently gradually dropped in after dinner. And if they did, someone or several LIKELY would have something they wanted to encourage everyone with, and the unbeliever would "have his heart laid bare" by the Way that the Spirit does His business. (1Cor.14:24-26) John, Lydia... it is wonderful that you are looking into these things, with the openness that was evident in your letter. NEVER does Father fail to Reward "every act prompted by our Faith." In His Kindness, Mike
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