| 2009/6/23 8:51|
| Re: |
Old Joe said;"Christ alone can save you, but beware of church!"
"Pretty well the only noticeable key for discernment today is to recognize "if a preacher is famous, he is false"."
Brothertom:...It'd hard to tell when the model of a plurality of Pastors fell, but both Paul in Acts 20, those who would "draw disciples after themselves" and the apostle John, in 3John, with Diotrophes, who "loved the preeminence among them", had to confront these usurpers. The seeds of ambitious power were sprouting even in the most primitive of church plants.
Later, in Rev:2,....[no more than 40 years..] The Lord Jesus himself speaks to John, about these; to the churches of Ephesus and Pergamos: the NICOLAITANS. [ Ephesus was a very large "model' Church..]
It is a word that means Kings or Lords over the lay, or the common. It is the Babylonian system as defined in every Empire in the ancient world, where Kings ruled absolutely, with a court, or underlords that implemented his will. It was forbidden by the Apostles , and Peter and Paul both championed the Priesthood of the believer, and always a plurality of shepherds and a company of ministers. Brotherhood and equality, with all submitting to the Lordship of Jesus; the Spirit, the Lord.
It was the Lord Jesus Himself who coined the term "Hirelings", which brings us to our modern terminology, "Professional Ministers", including "the PASTOR". This was an oxymoron to the Apostles. It was attacked too, while they lived. I like what Jesus says about that. "The hireling flees because he is a hireling". Otherwise, when the perks of power and the cash is gone; so is he. Easy rider...and when hardship or persecution comes, well....SIANARA! ADIOS!
I went to the underground church in China, in 2007. We met by night, under cover and Christian sentries. Most of the Pastors had fled, abandoned their flocks, but not all! There were women, 3 or 4 to each man. You see, they had been tried, and many failed. To lay your life down for your brother is more than a good slogan, and that is the Shepherds duty and calling. Rare indeed in soft, plush America ; for now.
We must also remember that Jesus Himself, the MODEL for all itinerant ministries, was supported by those who followed Him; often women; sisters. Paul said; "muzzle not the OX that treads put the grain!"..speaking of the SENT ones. There are full times ministers , and it is not there fault if they are famous. We cannot make blanket statements that imply that everyone is corrupt or out of God's will, for God looks upon the Heart.
There are some right here on this site, that I respect.
| 2009/6/23 9:43|
| Re: |
So there are the four of us, and it's like experiencing Acts 2 and this sense of awe. Nothing out or order or mystical or glorifying to itself. There is an extremely strong sense of "Body" and "One Faith" (eph 4) and in fact Christ Himself. We are aware of Christ walking among the lampstands. There is not one of us in this One Faith that we do not need.
This was beautiful to read. Four of you? Wow! :-) I wish I could be there with you.
May the Lord bless you, and continue revealing Himself to you.
| 2009/6/23 11:03||Profile|
| Re: |
My wife [a full blooded Norwegian] has a longtime ministry to the Asian community in our city. This is borne out of her previous occupation as a lead researcher in Cardiology for the university where she met many who became a part of her small groups where she teaches english, current events, crafts and bible study. Many of her friends in Christ have gone back to be in home churches in China, Praise God! We hear frequently from them and the church is being mightily tested there, for sure, but...the persecution and attacks from the evil one against them are absolutely incredible here in our city. From professors who hate Christians, to treacheries in keeping green cards, to schisms in their local churches...all evidences to my wife and I of the nearness of our Redeeming Lord. The Asians have a very strong quality of perserverence which has been a deep encouragement to us as we have also been buffeted mightily by the early winds of persecution and hatred but that is the key, or one of them...to stand, simply to stand for we have so much to gain in our Lord! We pray the Lord will not tarry as many of our precious brothers and sisters have fallen back into the world as their lights have dimmed and flickered out.
| 2009/6/23 13:30||Profile|
| Re: The fire in the harvest.|
Robby K...so good to hear from you. It's all kind of like a dream, isn't it? I cannot believe the naked hatred that I experience, and almost every day I live. I live in a rural area in southern Illinois, near Paducah, Kentucky. The area has several full fledged satanic covens, with most of them drawn to religious mainline churches, where they are members. I think of one of my favorite and more sobering faith promises; "You shall be hated by all!"....MATT:10.. It's really happening!
You portray the exact sentiments of my post, with this testimony!...
.........."as we have also been buffeted mightily by the early winds of persecution and hatred but that is the key, or one of them...to stand, simply to stand for we have so much to gain in our Lord! We pray the Lord will not tarry as many of our precious brothers and sisters have fallen back into the world as their lights have dimmed and flickered out."
This is precisely the HARVEST hand in hand with the great falling away. One goes to the Lord's Barn....The new Earth and then to New Jerusalem forever; and one is sent to the fire, the fire that is never quenched. "Behold the goodness, and the severity of the lord!" It scares me, as I am so aware of my failure and flesh.
robbyK wrote:...[about his wife...]
"Many of her friends in Christ have gone back to be in home churches in China, Praise God! We hear frequently from them and the church is being mightily tested there, for sure, but...the persecution and attacks from the evil one against them are absolutely incredible here in our city. From professors who hate Christians, to treacheries in keeping green cards, to schisms in their local churches...all evidences to my wife and I of the nearness of our Redeeming lord"
Remnant overcomers brother.
By the way, I traveled over to UTUBE and listened to your music. I heard you sing Wholly and Holy..[ wrong title I'm sure..] but Wow, I liked it. It was just you with a guitar. This old Jesus freak enjoyed that. Could you post a link to that song? You have a gift, and I appreciate your down to earth Love expressed to Jesus.
until later, and thanks for an encouraging testimony and song.
your brother, Tom
| 2009/6/23 18:48|
| Re: |
"This is precisely the HARVEST hand in hand with the great falling away. One goes to the Lord's Barn....The new Earth and then to New Jerusalem forever; and one is sent to the fire, the fire that is never quenched. "Behold the goodness, and the severity of the lord!" It scares me, as I am so aware of my failure and flesh."
Brother Tom it scares me mightily as well as I have become even more aware of the strength and cunning of the enemy! I have redoubled my efforts to, as Enoch, walk constantly with my God [Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him] and be ever on guard and vigilant. Madison is a gathering and welcome community for covens and satanic orders. My desire to be always in His presence is why I have recently joined this community, to be with like minded, Bible believing, strong and persevering men and women of God and to be edified, lifted up, encouraged and emboldened. I thank the Lord for you all as you are tremendously gifted with His Word and the knowledge of His ways!
And as well thank you for the positive note on the music the Lord gives to me. I am just now recording a bunch of Gospel tunes that I have performed locally in churches over the past decade. Wholly in Love can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iC2IuXHo0g
| 2009/6/24 2:15||Profile|
| Re: |
This whole thread has been a great encouragement to me. Thank you all for sharing yourselves. I know it can be difficult, going against the status quo, so to speak.
| 2009/6/24 2:54|
| Re: The Harvest and the great falling away. A warning.|
Quote:Are there some words missing in the first of these sentences? I feel you are talking about two different communities both called Madison, one which attracts occultists, and one which attracts serious Christians.
Madison is a gathering and welcome community for covens and satanic orders. My desire to be always in His presence is why I have recently joined this community,
Please could you clarify?
| 2009/6/24 6:59|
| Re: community?|
Madison, Wisconsin. It's a big city, [ community ] and he lives in a Christian community in the area.
| 2009/6/24 8:39|
| Re: |
Thanks for the request for clarification. Brother Tom is correct in that I live outside of Madison in a nearby small town and share and take part in a vibrant Christian community from many of the regions Bible based churches..
Madison is a large community with a well known reputation for tolerance which is inviting to many groups which consider themselves as in the minority. I have seen many statistics which cite us as having the largest number of individuals per populace in the US for the categories of satanists, wiccans and homosexuals. We have many abortion clinics. Our former University of WI chancellor declared the university grounds to be a religion free zone and at one point disallowed HRs and RAs from possessing Bibles in their dorm rooms citing that as offensive and hateful. Our legislature banned the famous Green Bay running back Reggie White from speaking engagements for comments he made regarding his Christianity and homosexuality. We are the home of Annie Gaylor and the Freedom From Religion group, etc. Thus we are indeed a very open and inviting community to the above groups who tend to be very vocal and active.
Where we hold house church on Sunday, a group of occultists hold a counter church just across the street. These satanic groups in Madison take their vocation VERY seriously and are not in it for the nose jewelry and Ozzy Osboune music.
As you surmise, there are also many who have strived mightily to make Christians a viable force in this Corinthian city, but, alas, with little success. Almost every venture I have seen spring up in the last twenty years, and I have been a part of many of them from revival meetings, HOP and other prayer events and my own gospel music venues have withered and died on the vine in the face of fierce opposition. Oddly, much of the resistance comes from the churches?!?
I have been blessed to be well known and accepted [at least on the face of it] by the secular community as a local Christian artist and I have been president of the Madison Songwriters Group and recently  received 4 nominations from the Madison Area Music Awards for my original Christian compositions in the categories of jazz and pop. I have been taken back as to why the Lord allowed that but it has allowed me to work one on one for Him within the music community to some small degree. I am thankful the Lord has used me in that way.
I hope that helps explain this city, it is an exceedingly wicked place and nothing to play with superficially. I once began to lead Tuesday night concerts, mostly southern Gospel, at a local Masonic Center auditorium and definitely crossed a spiritual boundary. One night a demon followed me home and manifested herself to me as I lay in bed. She attempted to suck the air out of my lungs and for 5 minutes I fought for my life. Scared? Yes I still am. I countered by always anointing every door that I walked into at the center with holy oil and then nightly patrolling the boundaries of my property with prayer and holy oil and the Word. The attacks ceased immediately. I often tell my friends the mistake Satan made that night was that he revealed himself and his methods to me. He wins more through deception as opposed to an outright attack. Now I know with every fibre of my being that spiritual battle is real and Ephesians 6 is a DAILY necessity, its not a game.
Sorry for the long past and probably too much information. Time to go to prayer in the garden! God bless you all.
| 2009/6/24 15:14||Profile|