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Re: How can Christians not "assemble" themselves together?

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  • Joe Gill
    LOL!!!!! Tim, I would have more success convincing you that Enoch didn t die than I would suggesting a community of faith you could join! I hesitate even to
    Message 1 of 202 , Oct 1, 2005
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      LOL!!!!!

      Tim, I would have more success convincing
      you that Enoch didn't die than I would
      suggesting a community of faith you could join!
      I hesitate even to mention the name of my church,
      prefering not to have you pronounce sentence on
      them as "false teachers"!

      Besides, are you really saying that you have
      investigated every neo-Orthodox, unitarian
      group out there and found none that was worthy
      of your membership!

      On a serious note, authority is God-given...
      it is not conferred by a seminary; it is not
      grasped through memorization of the whole
      bible; it is not established by demonstrable
      gifts of preaching or administration alone.

      God anoints leaders and their anointing is
      discernable to the believers that encounter
      them. How did Paul describe the process? He
      reminded the church at Thessalonica that
      "when ye received the word of God which ye
      heard of us, ye received it not as the word
      of men, but as it is in truth, the word of
      God, which effectually worketh also in you
      that believe" [1 Thess. 2:13].

      Paul rarely wrote of his "authority" because
      he was humble (I can agree with Ross that
      humility is a characteristic of genuine
      leaders--I am suspicious of imperious folks),
      but in 2 Corinthians he made mention of it:
      "For though I should boast somewhat more of
      our authority, which the Lord hath given us
      for edification, and not for your destruction,
      I should not be ashamed" [10:8]. And also:
      "But we will not boast of things without our
      measure, but according to the measure of the
      rule which God hath distributed to us, a
      measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch
      not ourselves beyond our measure, as though
      we reached not unto you: for we are come as far
      as to you also in preaching the gospel of
      Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure,
      that is, of other men's labours; but having hope,
      when your faith is increased, that we shall be
      enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly"
      [10:13-15]. Not that men always recognized his
      authority: I suppose that is why he wrote some
      of the things he did in chapter 10. But as you
      or I yield to the Spirit, Tim, we will be able
      recognize authority when we encounter it.

      - Joe


      --- In TruthorTradition@yahoogroups.com, "Tim H" <THardesty@s...>
      wrote:
      > Tad and Joe, okay, then would you like to tell me
      > WHICH authority I should submit to? Tad will say
      > the catholic church which I reject. What authority
      > do you say, Joe?
      >
      > The point is, guys, that if there were an authority
      > that I could trust to teach God's Truth and not false
      > doctrine, I would not have a problem with it, but
      > can either one of you, or anyone else tell me just
      > who that authority is? I guess it just depends on
      > who you ask, right?
      >
      > My point is that in theory I agree with submitting to
      > church authority---if such a thing existed in reality!
      > But the 'true church' does not exist as a man-made
      > organization, so there are no 'true church authorities'
      > either. That's the real problem...
      >
      > And, tell me something else... Just because a man has
      > gone to college or a "seminary" and gotten a degree in
      > theology, does that make him an authority? I don't think
      > so. Or, just because a man happens to have a good knowledge
      > of the Bible and a particular group of people like the way
      > he preaches, does that make him an authority? Just exactly
      > what defines and identifies these so-called "authorities"
      > that we should submit to?
      >
      > Love in Christ,
      > Tim H
      >
      >
      > > Tad wrote:
      > > Amen Sir Joe!
      > >
      > > This seems to be part of the problem of understanding one another
      > > here: one side tends to think ALL authority in the church is a
      bad
      > > thing, so they run from ALL of it. trading it in for anarchy.
      > >
      > > you are right and true when you say church authority is a
      > > biblical/godly creation, not a mandmade thing...unless of course,
      > > a "man" goes and starts his own church! : )
      > >
      > > in Christ,
      > >
      > > tad
      > >
      > >
      > > > Joe wrote:
      > > > Ross,
      > > > Did anything I posted deny the headship of
      > > > Christ over His church? Why are you dismissive
      > > > of human authority in a body of believers? It is
      > > > a biblical concept.
      > > >
      > > > There are several passages in the New Testament
      > > > that encourage and instruct leaders on how to
      > > > exercise authority: by living up to their
      > > > ordination [1 Tim. 4:14], by willingly and
      > > > righteously assuming oversight of the flock
      > > > [1 Pet. 5:2], by consistently preaching the
      > > > word [2 Tim. 4:2], by rebuking the unruly
      > > > [1 Tim. 5:20; Tit. 1:11–13], by exhibiting
      > > > fatherly love [1 Thess. 2:11]. Moreover, we
      > > > have scripture that explains how we should
      > > > interact with leaders: by praying that they
      > > > excel in the word [2 Thess. 3:1], by honoring
      > > > their labor [1 Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:7] by
      > > > rendering to them our obedience [Heb. 13:17];
      > > > by receiving the word they minister to us as
      > > > directly from God [1 Thess. 2:13].
      > > >
      > > > "Authority" isn't a bad word, Ross. God has
      > > > vested it in leaders of His choosing. They are
      > > > not "usurpers"; they're His approved under-
      > > > shepherds. They exhibit the characteristics of
      > > > love, respect, service, and trust that you
      > > > champion. I don't know if you have ever met
      > > > such a leader, but I personally know several.
      > > >
      > > > - Berean Joe
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > > Ross wrote:
      > > > > Joe Gill wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > > For example, how can one practice the
      > > > > > discipline of submission to church leadership
      > > > > > --as discussed in Heb. 13:17 and elsewhere--
      > > > > > outside of membership in a body of believers?
      > > > > > To whom is one accountable and whom is one
      > > > > > in turn holding accountable?
      > > > >
      > > > > Hi Joe,
      > > > >
      > > > > If one is redeemed, one is a member of the Body of Christ.
      All
      > > > other
      > > > > memberships are superficial and tend to hypocrisy. As a
      member
      > > of
      > > > the
      > > > > Body of Christ, we are accountable to only one, and His name
      is
      > > > Jesus
      > > > > Christ who is the one and only head of the His Body. Every
      man
      > > has
      > > > only
      > > > > Christ as His head and all others are usurpers and
      > > > interlopers...away
      > > > > with all of them, all those who would superimpose themselves
      > > > between the
      > > > > Lord and I. True leadership has nothing to do with authority,
      > it
      > > > has to
      > > > > do with service. We do not submit to usurped authority, we
      > > submit
      > > > to the
      > > > > true service of the humble among us. Heb 13:17 says to allow
      > > > yourselves
      > > > > to be persuaded by your leaders. Implicit is the absence of
      > > > authority,
      > > > > as well as, the the obvious relationship built on love,
      > respect,
      > > > trust
      > > > > and NOT authority. This is the kind of leadership that works
      in
      > > the
      > > > long
      > > > > run and builds powerful loyalties that treads freely where
      > > > authority is
      > > > > confounded and does not dare to go.
      > > > >
      > > > > In Christ,
      > > > > Ross Purdy
    • Joe Gill
      Excellent post, Don. I keep rereading it. ten Boon s testimony of encouraging persecuted brethren shames me personally. Certainly in our day the situation is
      Message 202 of 202 , Oct 26, 2005
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        Excellent post, Don. I keep rereading it.

        ten Boon's testimony of encouraging persecuted brethren shames me personally. Certainly in our day the situation is growing worse for believers throughout the world...but I have to ask myself what I am doing to help those who genuinely suffer for the faith we share. The scripture says "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body [Heb 13:3]." It can be so easy to shirk this responsibility... to allow the believers in Islamic nations or behind bamboo curtains to fend for themselves.

        I do have a desire to shed the complacency that characterizes much of the organized church in the West... and to reach out to our brothers and sisters that are suffering persecution. But how to do it?

        - Berean Joe

         

        -- In TruthorTradition@yahoogroups.com, dsimmons <dsimmons@h...> wrote:

        >
        > Very true Tad! And we will be seeing this on the increase and there are
        > countless numbers that will not be prepared. Below is a good article by a
        > well-known, respected woman of faith who has since passed on. She is writing
        > about the coming persecution and suffering that many are not being taught
        > about.
        >
        > ---
        > Shalom in Y¹shua,
        > Donimus
        >
        > ³When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth,
        > he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest!² ­ Author Unknown
        >
        > > Corrie ten Boom on
        > > the Tribulation and the Rapture
        > >
        > > CORRIE TEN BOOM COMMENTS ON THE TRIBULATION AND ON A RAPTURE VIEW WHICH IS
        > > POPULAR TODAY. SHE EXHORTS US TO PREPARE OURSELVES SPIRITUALLY IN CHRIST AND
        > > IN THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR THE COMING TRIALS OF OUR FAITH. SHE TELLS OF THE
        > > CHINESE CHURCH¹S BEING UNWARNED AND ILL-PREPARED FOR PERSECUTIONS THAT BEGAN
        > > IN 1949 UNDER MAO TSE TUNG¹S RED GUARDS.
        > >
        > > MANY OF TODAY¹S POPULAR PROPHECY TEACHERS ARE SIMILARLY FAILING TO PREPARE
        > > COMFORTABLE WESTERN CHRISTIANS TO TAKE UP THEIR CROSSES AND TO WITNESS AS
        > > OVERCOMERS IN THE COMING TRIBULATION.
        > >
        > > Miss Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch survivor of the Nazi Concentration Camps and
        > > a lifelong missionary. Corrie was a believer in facing tribulation. She was
        > > one of the many people persecuted in concentration camps during World War II.
        > > Her family was murdered before her eyes; but though her life was threatened,
        > > God led her through that terrible time. She lived to testify all over the
        > > world of how God brought her out of that time of trouble.
        > >
        > > In the worst days in the concentration camp, Corrie and her sister Betsy
        > > discovered that ³there is no pit so deep that the Presence of God is not there
        > > with us.² In an interview titled ³Prepared for the Coming Tribulation,² Miss
        > > Corrie Ten Boom expressed definite views concerning the rapture. In the
        > > following message, she shared a plea for the saints to prepare themselves for
        > > the possibility that, at some point, their faith may be tested. It serves
        > > today as a timely warning to us in the comfortable and complacent Western
        > > Church as we approach the threshold of the endtime drama.
        > >
        > > Here is Corrie¹s exhortation to us from a letter she wrote in 1974.
        > >
        > > The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already
        > > signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians
        > > to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who
        > > are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are
        > > overcomers.
        > >
        > > Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven
        > > to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change.
        > >
        > > My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck
        > > because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from
        > > Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for
        > > two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives
        > > of Heaven in that room.
        > >
        > > We may have been the Lord¹s only representatives in that place of hatred; yet
        > > because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, ³In the world you
        > > shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.² We
        > > too, are to be overcomers ‹ bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled
        > > with darkness and hate.
        > >
        > > Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world
        > > and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming
        > > true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just
        > > read the last pages. I can now come to shouting ³Hallelujah! Hallelujah!² for
        > > I have found where it is written that Jesus said, ³He that overcometh shall
        > > inherit all things: and I will be His God, and he shall be My son.² This is
        > > the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive ‹ but that
        > > we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.
        > >
        > > Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who
        > > was so weak and sick. ³Yes, the Lord will heal me,² Betsy said with
        > > confidence. She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid
        > > her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the
        > > women who died that day.
        > >
        > > It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all
        > > that. Yet because of Betsy's death, today I am traveling all over the world
        > > telling people about Jesus.
        > >
        > > There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the
        > > Christians will be able to escape all this. These are some of the false
        > > teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them
        > > have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have
        > > been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.
        > >
        > > In China, the Christians were told, ³Don't worry, before the tribulation comes
        > > you will be translated ‹ raptured.² Then came a terrible persecution.
        > > Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from
        > > China say, sadly,
        > >
        > > We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution
        > > rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be
        > > strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes ‹ to
        > > stand and not faint.
        > >
        > > I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it
        > > is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the
        > > tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the
        > > world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it.
        > > We are next.
        > >
        > > Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus¹ sake, and since I met the
        > > Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, ³Hey, I can
        > > use that in the time of tribulation." Then I write it down and learn it by
        > > heart.
        > >
        > > When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the
        > > women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, ³Nothing
        > > could be any worse than today.² But we would find the next day was even
        > > worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me
        > > great hope and joy:
        > >
        > > If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit
        > > of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part evil is spoken of, but on
        > > your part He is glorified (1 Peter 3:14).
        > >
        > > I found myself saying, ³Hallelujah! Because I am suffering, Jesus is
        > > glorified!²
        > >
        > > In America, the churches sing, ³Let the congregation escape tribulation,² but
        > > in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year
        > > alone, more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now
        > > things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad
        > > political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about
        > > that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our
        > > steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to
        > > death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going
        > > to escape the tribulation.
        > >
        > > Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come
        > > into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded
        > > to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were
        > > arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing
        > > happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the
        > > Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.
        > >
        > > The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they
        > > were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking
        > > at each other, their eyes asking, ³Will this one I am sitting beside be the
        > > next one killed? Will I be the next one?²
        > >
        > > The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless
        > > windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I
        > > told them a story out of my childhood.
        > >
        > > ³When I was a little girl,² I said, ³I went to my father and said, ŒDaddy, I
        > > am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a marty for Jesus Christ.¹²
        > >
        > > ³Tell me,² said Father, ³When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I
        > > give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?²
        > >
        > > ³No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the
        > > train.²
        > >
        > > ³That is right,² my father said, ³and so it is with God¹s strength. Our
        > > Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for
        > > Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need ‹ just in time....²
        > >
        > > My African friends were nodding and smiling. Suddenly a spirit of joy
        > > descended upon that church and the people began singing,
        > >
        > > In the sweet, by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful shore.
        > >
        > > Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed. I heard
        > > later that the other half was killed some months ago.
        > >
        > > But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to
        > > encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of
        > > God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only
        > > overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He
        > > would give a crown of life.
        > >
        > > How can we get ready for the persecution? First we need to feed on the word
        > > of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined
        > > Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but
        > > put the principles to work in our lives.
        > >
        > > Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just
        > > the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of history, but the life-changing Jesus of
        > > today who is still alive and sitting at the right hand of God.
        > >
        > > We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the
        > > Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have
        > > stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for
        > > Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the
        > > Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.
        > >
        > > In the coming persecution, we must be ready to help each other and encourage
        > > each other. But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.
        > > The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian¹s
        > > life.
        > >
        > > Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a
        > > little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the
        > > horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the
        > > tribulation also. But then I read the Bible and I am glad.
        > >
        > > ³When I am weak, then I shall be strong,² the Bible says. Betsy and I were
        > > prisoners for the Lord; we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy
        > > Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped
        > > us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation
        > > comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake
        > > you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He
        > > ever left me, or let me down.
        > >
        > > ³Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him,² for I know that to all who
        > > overcome, He shall give the crown of life. Hallelujah!
        > >
        > > Corrie ten Boom‹1974
        > > (source: http://www.tedmontgomery.com/bblovrvw/Rapture/corrie.html)
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > On 10/25/05 2:12 AM, "barpadre" wrote:
        >
        > > 10-4 good buddy!
        > >
        > > i heartily agree.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > yes, most of us American Christians know very little about
        > > persecution for our beliefs. we know very little about suffering, in
        > > fact, most of our churches preach that God does not intend for us to
        > > suffer, but rather have a wonderful life with a good job, nice car,
        > > nice house, beautiful wife, 401k, etc...and maybe a couple kids if
        > > we can see fit to squeeze them into our lives.
        > >
        > > i believe Christ told us we would suffer, and that when it comes to
        > > embrace it and identify more closely with Christ in teh midst of it.
        > >
        > >
        > > in Christ,
        > >
        > > tad
        > >
        > > --- In TruthorTradition@yahoogroups.com, "Joe Gill"
        > > berean_joe@y... wrote:
        > >> >
        > >> >
        > >> > Very comparable to the challenge posed to the Hebrew boys! And in
        > > fact, this test is already being faced by Christians today--in Red
        > > China.
        > >> >
        > >> > Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were willing to submit to
        > > Babylonian authority, even become ministers in Nebuchadnezzar's
        > > government, but never to compromise their core beliefs. They left us
        > > a model of submission to secular authority as it should be properly
        > > exercised. Sometimes we have to accept that it is our lot to face
        > > the fiery furnace!
        >

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