HI Phillip, you write......."There is no remnant in the Body of Christ." Did someone say that there was ? Its Christendom that the article talks about, not the Body of Christ. "unless you want to call the whole body of Christ the remnant."There you go brother, now we are closer. We are called to reach out to those who are lost. In this country, for example, four out of five claim to be believers. If one is to reach out to the lost, then one will be reaching out to " believers." Perhaps we need a definition of terms for a clearer discussion?..........brother Frank
"The Jewish people that stayed behind in Babylon stayed behind becuause they had becomce accustomed to the ways of Babylon, become comfortable. The Remnant people of God are not some exlusive club, they are the ' whosoever." Whosever is hungry and thirsty and sigh and cry for the " abominations of Jerusalem." (Ezek 9) .........brother Frank"Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Hi Frank"I am more interested in the parallel between the worldliness of the majority of the Jews and the worldliness of Christianity today. I am coming from the perspective of crisis"Some might say that Christendom and worldly christianity is just "Babylon' and we should come out from among them. Others say that we should stay in these churches and let our testimony of Christ shine so that some will be changed. I believe the Spirit says both are true. We should be seperate in heart from all appearance of evil, separated unto God, and waiting the coming of the Lord. This is important and will keep us holy.There may come a time in the Lords will where we have to separate completely, but this should be free from all human emotion, pride or self seeking. God will judge Babylon in His time of judgements.If we read the letters to the seven churches, we see that most of the churches had within them those who held hateful doctrines, some immoral, some idolatorous, but Christ's message to the few, the overcomers, was: "that which ye have already hold fast till I come" Rev 2:25 (KJV) and: "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Rev 3:11 (KJV)
"There may come a time in the Lords will where we have to separate completely, but this should be free from all human emotion, pride or self seeking. God will judge Babylon in His time of judgements."Hi David, do you know that the time is not at hand? Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. Rev 2:15 So you also have those who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Rev 2:16 Repent! But if not I will come to you quickly, and will fight with them by the sword of My mouth. Rev 2:20 But I have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel to teach, she saying herself to be a prophetess, and to cause My servants to go astray, and to commit fornication, and to eat idol-sacrifices. Rev 2:21 And I gave her time that she might repent of her fornication, and she did not repent. Rev 2:22 Behold, I am throwing her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction, unless they repent of their deeds. Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches will know that I am He who searches the reins and hearts, and I will give to every one of you according to your works. Rev 3:3 Remember then how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.Rev 3:14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Head of the creation of God, says these things: Rev 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. Rev 3:16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Rev 3:17 Because you say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, Rev 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be clothed, and so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see. Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; therefore be zealous and repent. Even before the Apostle Paul died, wolves in sheeps clothing were gathering. He did not cease to warn the brothers and sisters night and day. In a very short time in history, the so called universal church, the Catholic church had become a dead denomination and for hundreds of years the world was plunged into what was rightly called " the dark ages.' Yet all through that period there was a remnant, the true church of the Living God. And they were hunted and killed over all of the centuries, yet never bowed the knee to "Baal," or Rome. Even after the reformation, we see the anabaptists and the moravians and other groups hunted and killed by the " reformers." And so here we are in our day. Britain and Europe a post Christian world, most of all of the denominations dead or on their last legs in these places. A crisis of great magnitude stares us in the face. Almost 90% of Americans claiming to be Christian, 100 million claiming to be born again, and yet this, accrording to Barn is the most Biblicaly illiterate generation in almost 300 years. One can barely tell the difference between the world and "Christianity." Statistics show that the divorce rate in the " church," is the same and in some case worse than in the world.Yes, a crisis indeed. Lines in the sand are being drawn, there is a seperation taking place. And it is not at the call of any man or men, it is the call of God to a people who are called by His name to come to Holiness, come and live a life of wholehearted worship and devotion to a Holy God. God is calling those who bow the name to Baal to stand up and repent quickly for you do not know the hour of His return. God is calling His people who sigh and cry at the abominations in the land to stand up and be bold. It may cost a man his ministry, it may cost another his reputation, it may cost another yet seperation from family, but it will cost and He is asking. God's people will stand up and follow Him, they will draw near to Him, wherever He is. They will follow Him wherever it takes them. Praise God for His mercy to men in this day, but we know the Lord is coming back and this is where mercy and judgement will meet. I believe that He is at the door. There is a fierce urgency in the hearts of many believers and they are crying out in prayer night and day. I truly hope and pray that "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." .............brother Frank
Here is the latest e-mail from Andrew Strom, seems to fit in well with this thread.........WHY Are THEY LEAVING the CHURCHES??-Andrew Strom.Since we have been discussing the "Out-of-church" Christians,I think it is very important for us all - including church leaders - tolook at the reasons why these people are leaving. Very often theyare NOT "church-hoppers" or backsliders. A lot of them are leavingbecause they believe the CHURCH is backsliding!So many people write to me from all over the world saying thatthey have tried and tried - but they cannot find any fellowship intheir town that seems remotely biblical. They tell me they havelooked hard - but they are either cold, formal, or anti-charismaticon one hand - or "hyper-charismaniac" or 'seeker-sensitive' onthe other. There hardly seems to be any balanced biblical approachwhichever way they turn. It is easy to pass glib remarks like "There is no perfect church"but my heart truly goes out to these ones because the churchscene has been bad for awhile - and seemingly growing worseand worse. So what are people to do?Below are some accounts that people have sent me about whythey have left the churches. We would love your comments onthis too at our website (link at the end)-From: Peggy (-USA): "My husband and I have been Christians for 30 years, home group leaders for much of that time; my husband has also been a worship leader for most of that time. However, now we are among the "out of church" that your message describes, although we do continue to meet and pray with other believers who feel the same longing for something more real than we have experienced for longer than we care to remember. The cry of our hearts is *not* to live on our memories of incredible intimacy with God in years past, but to discover Him anew and in deeper ways than ever before. We are desperate for Him. In light of that hunger, the emptiness of our church experience, a church we'd attended for 17 years, was more than we could bear." From: Randy (-USA): "I read an explanation of why the phenomenon is growing - the out-of-church Christians. They say that we are lone rangers, backsliders, not team players, have bitter root judgements.... This can't be further from the truth. When we have been attending church, we find- No God - No Power- No Gospel- Bad Agendas- Poor Leader-ship- Bad teaching- Bad programs- No Christ- No Healing- No miracles. Just a struggle for personal power and control. I can't tell you how many times I have been treated like I am not going to Heaven because I am not attending church. So, the sad part is, where do we take our gifts, our tithes, and our love - but out to the streets. We know many who have left the church, who are committed as prayer warriors, intercessors, missionaries, and worshippers. Wanting to share their gifts from God..." From: Dorie (Canada)- "I wanted to write to you because I am so frustrated and don't know what to do anymore... I grew up in a church denomination that was wacky-charismatic with little-to-no-discernment and a lot of control/spiritual abuse. About 10 years ago, the Lord gave me my first wake-up call, grabbing my attention and then 5-6 years ago, another big, final one... Now I haven't really been "a part of a Sunday-morning-church" for a long, long time. I have "fellowship" with some Evangelical Christians here in Calgary, but just can't seem to be able to sit through the dry services that seem filled with flowery messages, as opaque as milk. (I want meat!!!) The worship feels like it is being led by robots as do the people in the congregation. Or else, the charismatic churches (Vineyard, Pentecostal, non-denominational) where they're not considered to be "dry" (so-to-speak), are just plain wacky! My problem is: I miss really good worship music and intimate worship times with people who love to worship and aren't being forced-to, but the only handful of churches I know that have it, are wacky. People (worship leaders/intercessors) are acting like Stacey Campbell and I get turned off so much that I can't tolerate the rest of the service. I feel so torn. I can't seem to find a church to "fit" in.I've tried different denominations with no success. The last evangelical "small group" I was in, ended breaking up because the small-group pastor was purposely hiding the fact that a christian couple who were co-leading with him, were living together and not married. (Once saved, no need for any more personal repentance, is what he preaches. Greasy-grace. Argh!)... The pastor also told other young christians in that group that "sex before marriage was fine"... I have tried so many places and I'm not being fussy or picky, it just seems really, really hard and weird here... I really want the fellowship. I can't seem to fit anywhere, and I am so frustrated that I could just cry. I long to be with like-minded people, sold-out, crazy-on-fire for Jesus, totally unashamed. Christians here seem so focused on their careers, and houses, and cars, and vacations and I feel like a stinkin' hippie around them because I can't live for those things!!What do you do when you want so desperately to be in a fellowship of believers that is growing strong in the Word, intimate and deep in worship, and not wacky? I am so discouraged and have a hard time believing that it exists..."-Please comment on this topic at the website below-http://www.johnthebaptisttv.com/
One obvious problem resulting in the seperatist way --( and though this term is used, do not think for one second that i am against this )--is a failure to follow literally Jesus comission before ascending to God's only great throne.The question need be asked, "As i go along in the path of living, do i make disciples?"Now Jesus emphasised "teaching them to observe..."Teaching IN DISCIPLESHIP starts with showing others how we do live in Christ. It is showing others who come along side us to share in the life Jesus lives through us.Sadly, many think training others into the faith is a matter of rote. Well meet in church, but after that, we will live our own lives, and 'perhaps' help if there is a pressing need.Advice comes at little cost because words are cheap.i have always gotten a kick out of one of D.L. Moody's quotes, and though i have never looked for the exact words, when it was heard, the concept stuck. He said something to the extent that "the Bible should be covered with shoe leather."Exiting a church because of the love of many waxing cold is more than evident has a good place due to current trends and conditions in the world, (that are often more evident in the church,) but when we do this, are we ourselves making disciples: by the deeds we example and the words spoken by the leading of His Spirit?If not, you are in for a hard road:Been there.Done that!We all need each other, and though we can have a vibrant life in Jesus without all the clap-trap of dead traditionalism in a gathering of the worldly that says they believe, we need not close off contact with doors that have already been opened in our lives. (Just because we seperate from the ritual of certain day observances with them is no reason to cut off contact with individuals that may still be clinging to what is being shaken apart.)i attend church Sundays, Wednesdays, and whenever else the doors are open and i can free up time to be there (almost every day) with a wonderful group of believers who follow Jesus, and God be praised that He led me to them in the first place. There are changes happening regularily as far as the old dry stale traditions go, but it is the opposite pole from what many are currently having to deal with and exit stage left. (Just make sure that you have a clear message from God before you do such: by His voice with scripture as well confirming convictions.) (Weeks back, a prayer one Tuesday night after conference call corporate prayer finished and Brother Frank asked about any requests (weeks back) put a huge dent in the way the devil was working there in the hearts of a few. Praise God!)All in all, what is being said is, the Body is universal, and the individual (true) churches form the cells of which this Body is composed. If we are not following Jesus comission in making disciples by example, teaching, we are walking towards very unstable ground in seperating. Better to find one or two within the group to fellowship with in praise and prayer in observing God's Word, (namely our Lord Christ Jesus) and the humble service of worship, than to become the lone ranger.without a cell of the body to be part of, we are no better off than a lone mitochondria. It cannot function without the cell (which is part of the worldwide Body of Christ). We become not only outside of the Body, but outside the cell we can shrivel up and die.Go, and as you are going, make disciples, teaching them (by example) in deed, then with words.Salt and light do not need to say anything to make their presence known. "By their fruits ye shall know them" applies to us as well as the others we may be giving some attention to.It only takes one contentious person to stulify God's Spirit in taking our focus off the Lord. The bitterness that spreads through such a one can become infectious.Pray for unity for all of us who share convictions towards a pure faith in Jesus Christ. . .And remember to pray for the upcoming Dallas Revival Conference beginning Oct. 19. Keep this in your prayers.Appolus? Man i wish that at least one Barnsdale gathering could be attended. Maybe not this year, but who knows what will come about futurewise? The Lord: He has answered much more impossible prayers for me. i will definitely mark the next one far ahead of time and trust God to make a way for me.Justanuthabrutha,gregg
Hello Frank you wrote"do you know that the time is not at hand? "I'm not sure from the context what time you are speaking of, but when I read your message and the e mail from Andrew Strom, I can understand your heart in this matter.God is indeed drawing out His people from among the dead "churches". What a release it is to be freed from such bondage and to find time now to wait on the Lord Himself. And this, I believe, is what these folk should do. Learn to wait on God alone, learn to commune with Him in private, to find food, nourishment and encouragement in His Word, and to build themselves up in their most holy faith. And to pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting. This and much more can be achieved without churches. If God has called someone out of the system, He has called them to Himself, and there they should wait. We are not here to form churches, that is the work of Jesus alone. Of course, if two or three can meet and break bread with others of like mind, then certainly the Lord Jesus Himself will be in their midst. But please, don't let's make any more churches. Let's keep our hands off. There's a whole world that needs the gospel messsage; as we have opportunity we should give testimony to His love and grace to us. If He wills, He will gather his little flock, He knows them all by name.And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. Luke 6:20-23 (KJV)Leaping David
"Appolus? Man i wish that at least one Barnsdale gathering could be attended. Maybe not this year, but who knows what will come about futurewise? The Lord: He has answered much more impossible prayers for me. i will definitely mark the next one far ahead of time and trust God to make a way for me.'Hey Gregg, I almost positive that we will have a gathering, probably even this year. Watch this space:) Or keep coming to the Tuesday night pray meeting :)I agree with most of what you say above brother. In fact, I would say what is going on in Barnsdall is a great example of people coming out , but gathering........brother Frank
"Hello Frank you wrote"do you know that the time is not at hand? "I'm not sure from the context what time you are speaking of, but when I read your message and the e mail from Andrew Strom, I can understand your heart in this matter."I am glad that you can see my heart in this matter. God bless you brother............brother Frank
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon [Satan] was wroth with the woman [Church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the Commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.Indeed, the remnant will come from all corners of the world. All the believers who have the testimony of Jesus Christ and those who keep the commandments of Our God. Anyone, regardless of what church you attend that does not obey the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ will not be able to stand! There will be a revival amongst the remnant that has not never been witnessed before and as a result Satan cannot overcome them. Blessed is he/she who is part of the remnant!