Thank you brother Frank for some of your very honest thoughts towards the lack of Christ's presence in denominations.I think the core root of the issue as brother alluded to is the Headship of Jesus Christ and the presence of Jesus in the meeting of any saints. That qualifies it to be a "Church" gathering where living stones and the chief cornerstone are assembled.God does not put his name on a church building but rather on the hearts of His people. I would say the system is failed when it goes on without a problem and the presence of God is not there ie a lampstand is removed. It is clear in New Testament Scriptrures that there was no option given except for God's people to gather together under godly leadership and Christ's rule and presence. It is when something is perpetuated that looks even good but has men in control and God departing that we should not desire to gather towards.Christ is the gathering point of His people and not men, or a name of a church etc. But to say we do not even need to assemble is the other end of the pole. In the end times it will be hard to find right fellowship in this way but the Lord has His people everywhere.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Greg writes.........."I would say the system is failed when it goes on without a problem and the presence of God is not there ie a lampstand is removed."Interesting to think about the lampstand and what it means when it is removed. Have we gone so long without experiencing the actual presence of God corporately that we would even know if the lampstand was removed? .........bro Frank
Yes yes yes and a million times yes...this is a powerful and accurate word and reflects my heart in so many ways. Thanks brother Frank...finish this book soon ok? When are you going to print? Do you need help editing or anything like that...let me know.Regarding the lampstand. I think very very few people actually understand what this really means and what this actually feels like to have Christ remove His lampstand. But it has been removed for so very long now that most believers cannot tell or even remember what the presence of God looks or feels like. So many other things have been substituted that they are mistaking these things as His presence.Oh how I long for His presence. I think one way to tell when when we have His presence bsck in a corporate setting will be deep heart felt sorrow over sin and lukewarmness and many tears. Yes many tears, both silent and loud...crying out to the Savior to not pass them by. Much tears...followed by much gladness and joy that comes in the morning. The end of all this will be a renewed inner life and a renewed local body, with much stripped away. It will be Jesus and only Jesus that captivates and leads us all.
I agree with most of what you have written here, Appolus. However, I want to inquire about a few things. You wrote, "It seems plain enough that in Scripture, Christians met in their homes and their very homes became places of worship, houses of prayer if you like." However, the apostle Paul writes regarding holy communion in 1 Corinthians 11:23, "And if any man hunger, let him eat at home..." Yes, that could mean that the meeting occurred in someone else's home. In the same letter Paul says, "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church (1 Cor. 14:34,35)."I have heard it said that the men and women gathered separately in these meetings, just as the Jews did in the temple (and as Greek and Russian Orthodox Christians still do)---hence the wives keeping silence (instead of shouting across the room, "Honey, what was THAT supposed to mean?"). If such were the case then it was quite a large room, and perhaps a rented hall, and not in someone's home (unless that person were wealthy like Lydia, the seller of purple).If gender separation in worship services were Divine mandate I think we'd have greater clarity about it in the Scriptures. We see it on some occasions (such as the Jews coming to the base of Mount Sinai to meet with the Lord in Moses' day, or the Jewish men and women mourning apart from one another when Jesus is revealed to be the Messiah at His second coming, as shown in Zechariah 12:10-14). Lastly, do you not believe that the rapture is a separate event from the second coming of Christ? I do. I know some brothers who do not.
Hi Alec, you said you would agree with most of what I wrote :) I will take that :) I do not believe that men and women met seperately or were separated within the house or meeting place. The word church simply means a calling, a gathering, a congregation of people coming together. I believe the larger houses would accommodate the gatherings and there would be many houses where the folks would meet in larger cities. They would come together for special occasions and meet in fields and so on. Yet in each city there would one leadership, one set of elders. There are no plurals of the word church in regard to one town or city in all of the NT. There is only the plural used in regard to regions. I do not believe that the rapture is a second even from the Lord's second coming. When He comes in the sky, then those who are alive and remain will join Him and those who went before us. Hope that answers some of the questions Alec..............bro Frank
Hi bro Mark,The book was finished and published last May :) It can be found on Amazon but if you send me your address on Facebook private message I will gladly send you a copy..........bro Frank