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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Just who IS responsible for this state of affairs?

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philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
The doctrine of our Savior and his mediation is the principal doctrine of Christianity. It is the foundation of all other doctrines. Leave it out, and you have no foundation for our hope of salvation.


I think we must be talking past each other. I have never thought of the 'word of HIs grace' in the Acts context as being a reference to the foundations of their place in Christ. Neither am I referring to the importance of the scriptures in the life of the believer. I am simply saying that God finds ways of speaking to us personally and one of the ways that this ways that God does this is in the context of the gathering of the saints.

When Paul speaks of the prophetic in this sense he sketches the scenario of someone attending a meeting and discovering that God could speak to the heart. The reaction Paul expects is that the 'stranger' will 'fall down on his face, he will worship God, and testify that God is among you'. 1 Cor 14:25

This is not the result of exposition, although exposition is vital. It is the consequence of 'revelation'. God has lifted a veil and revealed the man for what he is. I know the cessationists would prefer to relegate these verses to history but I see no biblical evidence for that conclusion.


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/25 17:49Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
There is a doctrine concerning "The angel of the Church of Ephesus" etc, or the messenger of a particular Church, as being a leader of that church, city, or geographical area. I assume this doctrine was derived from the first few chapters of Revelation, and the letters to the 7 churches, prefaced by, "And to the angel,of the church of Pergamos or "to the angel of the church of...."...[ " "angelos", greek translated "messenger or angel.]


Indeed there is such a doctrine and I have known of 'leaders' who believe themselves to be the 'voice of God' in a particular context. This effectively lifts the responsibility from everyone else and neatly silences them at the same time.

Paul's letter to the Corinthians is the only letter we have that gives us any clue as to how a meeting 'worked' in the New Testament period. The extraordinary thing about Paul's letters in there is no little reference to 'elders' or church leaders, other that in the pastoral epistles. Why would this be? Paul clearly believed in the functioning of an oversight/eldership and yet they are not addressed in the Corinthian epistles. It is the church that Paul holds responsible for their carnality, the church where 'each one is saying I'. Wouldn't you have expected Paul to lay this responsibility on the elders?

I am not saying that true 'leadership' is an obstacle to 'the word of His grace' being in the midst... but leadership wrongly understood can become a control mechanism and then it can be a real obstacle to such 'words of grace' coming into the meetings.


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/25 18:09Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Ron's: Wouldn't you have expected Paul to lay this responsibility on the elders?



So in what sense are the elders accountable to God? It is starting to seem as if there is a responsibility that individuals share and the elders share? But who is responsible for what?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/25 19:23Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
So in what sense are the elders accountable to God? It is starting to seem as if there is a responsibility that individuals share and the elders share? But who is responsible for what?


I think what Paul, by the Spirit, is doing is to bring accountability to those who are accountable and in this case that is 'every one of you'.

It is interesting that Paul does not address the church 'through the elders' which is the way of hierarchy.

The responsibility of the oversight is to oversee, or keep a watch,(like the Christmas shepherds.. they were 'keeping a watch over' not 'ruling over'). They are not the initiators of every move in the church but they are the safety element in the church.

Do you have those dual-controls for learners drivers over there in the US? In the UK dual-control usually means that the instructor has a clutch and a brake on his side of the car... but not a steering wheel! Consequently the instructor is able to veto any dangerous maneuover but does not 'steer the car'.

I see the oversight, and notice I keep using that phrase which speaks of multiple responsbility, as providing the veto as necessary. That doesn't mean that the oversight is prohibited from taking an initiative but that initiative in the church is not restricted to the oversight.


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Ron Bailey

 2008/12/26 4:49Profile









 Re: Who is responsible???...Philo


I think we have to bring ourselves to face that what we we facing is Apostasy itself, and in this era, it is WE who are the keepers of the Holy Gate. This is not a theological gate, which exists between our ears only that measures holiness through being right or wrong, but one in which is the very Temple of God Himself, who dwells in light and the peaceable fruit of Righteousness; His presence and Love in the Church.


It is also important to realize that much of the fight IS over pure doctrine, and the understanding that pure doctrine is foundational in our BEHAVIOR as a Church, and what we believe affects our Faith directly. For instance, if I believe the doctrine of Mary's adoration and omnipotence, and pray through her as my mediatrix, then another being will "answer" my prayers....or the combination of descending doctrines from Catholicism will alter the reality of the absolution of my sins, and there-by my SALVATION. I will end my life yet fully in my sins, and thereby dead and forever in Hell.



You can apply this empirical logic and truth to any heresy, and in the end must realize that Doctrine ALWAYS bears fruit to God, for it is always acted out either in faith, or deception and unbelief. One brings Eternal life, one death.



"and their Word will eat as does a canker, of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;, Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection has passed already....[secret rapture?...]AND OVERTHROW THE FAITH OF SOME."


In this sense, the overseeing of doctrine, there is no question in my mind who is more culpable. The Shepherds! "Strike the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered." The difference being, that we have the singular "Pastor", or even with elders, they are usually subservient ones, and the new testament always had a group of equal authority, so that a rogue could NOT hijack an entire Church.



This is why Character was such a load-stone for a Shepherd to be ordained, as per the Pastoral epistles. Ambition is the twin sister of Pride, and are firmly rooted in the "I will's" of Satan's rebellion. HE and his equal brothers held no desire to attain to a higher seat, or a superior position The Pastor was not supported by the tithe, but held a job. He was not a professional, a hireling. He was a brother first, and His heart character dictated His spirituality. Always plural. always equal. This was an important safety net ignored today, and our teachers and elders have descended into roles resembling "Master of Ceremonies" than the lowly shepherd who loves and protects his lambs entrusted to his care.


Saying that though, we are all, at least the mature, have a responsibility to honor the holy Spirit within as Lord, no matter what. Jesus is our Lord, and if we are real Christians, we will walk with Him FIRST, no matter what our leaders do or say or instruct. In the end, we cannot say that our Pastor made me do it. He taught me wrong. In the end, we all stand on the platform responsible for our own Faith, and the fruits of our lives in whether we Loved, or whether we loved ourselves, the World, and our own desires and lusts.



"A little leaven leavens the whole lump." We must also realize that leaven is generational, and to some extent the Church is ever purging herself of these stains. I consider some of the Anabaptist leaders, who in essence constructed a massive repentance, and held to it. The sola's.....the RETURN to the "simplicity of the faith' and the Word. God answered with a mighty Presence that was enough to carry the body through for a long season...but we have again become corrupt, for we believe that agreement and understanding alone is the LIVING OF IT, and it is not.


This is why the adaption of the singular pulpit has been so destructive. It has ripped the heart out of the church by denying "the least of the brethren" access to being a part , having a ministry! This could, and was often Above the ministry of the Pastors or shepherds. NICOLAITANISM....this is the Pharisee's, who were the OBSTACLE to the common union of equal love and body life...["for you are a NATION of kings and Priests"] "you are all brethren and have one Master, even Christ."


Jesus hates the teaching and the Deeds of the Nicolaitan. This is one of our greatest battles today, and it is nothing less than presenting the Lamb the Lordship that He has over His purchased possession. He loves and honors the teenager, the elderly widow, and the educated teacher the same, and demands that we act exactly the same, or incur His judgement.


Many scriptures point to this unity and equality, throughout the Bible. Overall, we must repent, and repent to be a brother first. A Brother to Christ Jesus, pleasing to Him, a "GOOD BROTHER.", or Sister to Jesus, and our commanded to treat every blood washed son on
Earth the same. "Love one another."


 2008/12/26 6:56









 Re: Who is responsible???...Philo


Philo: I appreciate your insights and clarity. Thank you. There must be those who labor in the word and in doctrine within the Church. I think you labor here.



With absolutely no fingers pointed, I must say that Theologians, in general have become a stumbling block, even Anabaptist ones! We must live the gospel, and that is Always unto "the least of the Brethren."


Our hearts are revealed when we must sacrifice to the weak...IE, love them and comfort them, in a real and nonreligious way. It is simple to stand before a crowd and deliver a great truth, and assume that you are a great and anointed Christian, [or allow others to do so..] and maintain the "BAR", to the ongoing exclusion of most everyone else, and of course the least of the family of God. That is what "ministry" has fell to today. We do not know, or fellowship those who labor among us. They are separate, a priest class, and usually maintain this separation, and justify it their entire lives. It is sad...and all the while, assuming that they are laboring in the Kingdom.



We are brothers and sisters..absolutely equal in every way, and all of us have the opportunity to become as close to Jesus as anyone who ever lived. This is who the Lord seeks; WORSHIPPERS and those who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Vessels! Temples of the Holy Spirit...and sadly, sometimes, the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Perhaps we will see the down syndrome child or retarded mother and senior citizen, way in front in the holy Throng on that day. I believe we surely will, if you get my drift.


Man fights for the highest seat, and promotion. Jesus loved the repentant harlot beggar and leper as much as his disciples. His last night on Earth, before Gethsemane was with Simon the leper.......in Bethany. A nobody he healed, perhaps the one leper who returned,,,we do not know. He did not stay his last night on Earth with Peter, John, or His mother...no. A lowly nobody Jesus had mercy on. This is you and me, and the Pastor, or the Apostle. God is no respecter of persons, nor or His true Shepherds He has ordained.



This, in my opinion, IS the RETURN...that we will see in these last days. It is the Word of Elijah, in Isaiah 40.


"Every valley shall be exalted...[the weak, the rejected, the lowly and the least of God's family...]and every mountain and hill shall be made low[....the proud, the pharisee, the controlling...]and the crooked shall be made strait..[bad doctrines, false apostles, and grievous wolves expelled..], and the rough places shall a level plain."



"AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD SHALL BE REVEALED...[EVERYONE WILL SEE JESUS IN THIS BRIDE,,]AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE IT TOGETHER!"...FOR THE MOUTH OF THE Lord HAS SPOKEN IT.


This is where we are heading. You can get on board, our hold on to an old wineskin, that in the end, will leave you barren. We will become a family, and then a pure and spotless Bride. There will be a pure love in this company, unto the least. we need the weak and the least, for this proves Love, and where would any one of us be without it.....those of us who have been redeemed, and born the second time from above, who KNOW our utter depravity and the filth that has left us, when we were flooded by the Holy Spirit.



The other great attack that has brought us into the depraved state of the nicolaitans in when Satan stole the doctrine of the Crosses from the Church. Yes, crosses....Jesus's glorious cross that he bore...His Blood, and the cross that we must bear today...to deny ourselves and to follow Him. This, coupled with the devils genius in removing the FEAR of the Lord from the Body, has left us helpless, and destitute.


I'll comment later if the thread permits.

 2008/12/26 7:43
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[color=000066] And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and [u]called the elders of the church[/u]. And when they were come to him, he said unto them,...

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you [u]overseers[/u], to [u]feed the church[/u] of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock...

Also [u]of your own selves shall men arise[/u], speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them...

And [u]now[/u], brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20)[/color]

I'm seeing some clues here. Paul says in that last verse, [i]'now'[/i] I commend you to God. Why now? Because he was leaving and would see their face no more. If I can say it like this, the Apostolic era was coming to a close. it is interesting that Paul knowing he was leaving did not seek to shut down the word of God's grace in favor of exclusively only the written word, but commended them to the word of His grace. It strikes a hard blow on those that think that the prophetic was the 'childish things' that are to be put away once we become men (as it were). If so, Paul is here commending them upon his Apostolic departure to the childish thing.

I also see an added responsibility to 'feed' the flock of God. A shepherd typically did this by preparing the land for grazing; i.e. removing hazards such as poisonous plants, fall hazards and ridding the area of dangerous animals (For those not familiar see A Shepherds Look at Psalm 23). The Lord still has to provide the grass, etc. The shepherd has to 'prepare the table' (tablelands as it were). This agrees with what Paul is saying, I think.






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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/26 8:19Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

I believe you are right>>>>>>This agrees with what Paul is saying, I think.

I do believe there needs to be more freedom in the assembly of saints, however I don't see this happening short of a really big move of God within the local churches all at once. In this area the local churches tried to organize a church unity revival this year and it was man centered, man controled, man organized. What a flop! I wonder when we will gather to hear and follow the very "Word of God" in our midst? :-(


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D.Miller

 2008/12/27 0:09Profile









 Re:

Quote


"What a flop! I wonder when we will gather to hear and follow the very "Word of God" in our midst? "


That was sad to hear brother. Living here in the States I do not sense any "sense of desparation."
There needs to be a desperation for God's presence. One second in His presence changes everything.......brother Frank

 2008/12/27 0:49
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
I wonder when we will gather to hear and follow the very "Word of God" in our midst?



I think this will happen when the Saints begin to gather, probably in homes, for the purpose of realizing [i]genuine[/i] church life. I think it requires a willingness to follow a biblical pattern and allow God to have [u]all[/u] of the glory.

I believe also the Lord is calling out a people for this very thing. I experienced this in the UK and coming home find it hard to muster the desire to return to having church as usual. Besides, the numbers of people attending church is dropping almost everywhere I have seen except some of the churches that have lots of activities for people. One of the largest Pentecostal churches in KC just stopped having services on Sunday Night recently. This is a trend that has no parallel in the 70's and 80's.

It seems, and I could be wrong, that the Lord is not blessing many churches with His presence as He once did when they gather. This may be due to the soulish nature of worship or because He is wanting a genuine church life pattern. just a theory I have. But truly the times will demand that we really come together with like minded believers and seek God together New Testament style. I believe the days of 'playing church' of 'entertainment based church' may be numbered.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/12/27 5:39Profile





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