INDIVIDUALISM – ENEMY OF THE CHURCH – by A. Strom

We live in an utterly individualistic and “self”-oriented age today. I’m sure few would disagree. Every advertisement appeals to ‘self’ in some way. We are taught from childhood to be completely self-contained, reliant on no-one, living in our own little bubble where we decide exactly what will take place. We are often frightened to commit to any particular group or cause, any particular leadership. The modern man is an “individualist” to the core. “Don’t ask me to join or commit! And don’t tell me how to live my life!”

But all of this, of course, is the exact opposite of “Body”. It is
the exact opposite of ‘Community’. And thus the exact opposite
of the true Church. And yet millions upon millions of Christians
today (especially in the West) are just as “individualistic” as
the next man. Sometimes even more so.

As noted previously, the very first sentence used to describe the
early church says: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
(Acts 2:42).

That is the very picture of a BODY – not a pile of “individualists”.
They have GIVEN themselves to a group and a cause – a group
with real LEADERS who are anointed preachers from God. But
it is almost anathema for a modern person to give themselves
to any group in such a way. We are far too suspicious and
individualistic and untrusting to ever do such a thing. And thus
the question must be asked: Is it even possible to have true
“BODY” in our day? Is “CHURCH” (in the true sense) even a
concept that we can understand? Or have the media and our
entire culture so “individualized” us that true ‘Body’ is no longer
possible?

You know, Christianity is not designed to be lived out by a pack
of “individualists”. And half-committed “building-attenders” on
Sunday mornings are not it either. Christianity is designed to be
lived out CORPORATELY – the “Body of Christ” – an entity that
can be seen and observed by people – full of the glory of Jesus.
A Body that corporately carries all the words and power and love
and miracles of the King.

So how on earth can such a “gathering” take place? How can
the scattered remnant of today come together to form such a
Body? Well, it all starts with the anointed “word”. You notice
in the above verse that these people gathered around a very
specific thing – “The apostles’ doctrine and fellowship”. It is
an anointed apostolic “word” being preached that is a crucial
element in all this. From such a ‘word’ everything else follows
and comes into alignment.

But the big question is- Could today’s “individualistic” types
bring themselves to form a real ‘Body’ – even if such a word
was being preached? Or is individualism so ingrained that
even ‘apostolic’ preaching might not bring this about?

These are questions that every one of us should be asking
ourselves if we ever hope to be part of a true movement of
God in these Last Days.

Blessing to all! – Andrew Strom ( [email protected] )

Posted in Articles by Andrew on May 15th, 2013 at 10:26 am.

164 comments

164 Replies

  1. This is a great post. Great reflections!

    I think we can possibly de-program our individualism, but we have to acknowledge how strong it is first. Once we do that, we need to start submitting ourselves to community in small ways until we become accustomed to the idea of true body-life.

    Individualism is just a form of ‘selfishness’ which is culturally accepted and promoted to the point that we don’t even see a problem with it.

    As times get hard, community becomes more necessary – hardship always brings us back to our communal roots. Hopefully Christians can learn this now, so that in times of distress we can light the way for others to enter self-less community environments.

  2. alphfaith May 15th 2013

    Great word Andrew!

  3. Mike Young May 15th 2013

    I agree that we Christians, especially in America, embrace individualism. We are taught individualism from an early age and that trait is reinforced and encouraged in our culture.

    We are then taught about ‘cooperation’ and many of us seemingly confuse that with community, or as in the church, we substitute community (body) with necessary cooperation. The result is many ‘heads’ and few in the body. Confusion and conflict follow.

    But, this problem in American churches, is compounded by “pastors” who see themselves as “God’s LEADER with a vision” instead of God’s SERVANT with God’s calling. (You even hear them say it this way: Servant-Leader. (And there is no such thing).

    Many Christians in America are individualistic which hampers being ‘part of the Body of Christ’. But, I would go on to say that the majority of Christians in America are wary of ‘body life’ because they have been manipulated by, used for selfish ends and spiritually abused by an agressive, abusive and egotistic religious humanist, aka, postmodern pastor-type.

    It’s hard to drink from that well too often.

  4. Kevin Stiller May 15th 2013

    The majority of churches here in Australia that have good attendances are dependent on “good” entertainment. God wants his house to be a house of prayer but in our “sucessful” churches we have made them houses of entertainment. God still honours his Word, He resists the Proud, and we are fullfilling his end time prohpecy, choosing to be lovers of self.

  5. Judith Taylor May 15th 2013

    I am one who has to admit to being “guilty as charged” Yes I am an individual. I remember the pastor of my last Church talking about this problem and he blamed the US mindset. He wanted “community” but then he was a Calvinist pastoring a PCA Church and I became conflicted by scripture twisting, TULIP etc. and eventually had to leave to stay sane. Before this it was Charismatic flights of fancy which eventually jelled into the massive deception we see today which you Andrew Strom wrote a book about.

    I long for a body of believers where Jesus, the Word reigns supreme but I can not see it happening until we all as individuals do our own homework and agree as we gather around God’s Word. Right now the adversary has made so many inroads with doctrines of men and demons that speaking the truth in love engenders strife.

    I can remember a day in the past when everyone carried Bibles and visiting teachers would encourage checking their words by The Word. Not so today, believers must ‘follow the leader’ and this I can not in good conscience do.

  6. stephen boyce May 15th 2013

    I my self am a believer and I am looking for a Christian wife. I am praying the lord will show me to her. I need some one understandable because of my aspergers

  7. Some of us have been the distance..been a.part of movements ( mostly good), mainline churches, mega churches, home gatherings and we still love the “Body”. We simply gather and relate to smaller groups of individuals who we call “community” because they have been our friends and accountability for the longer haul.
    We love Jesus and desire to walk the “kingdom of God”….we serve others and some of us are becoming more contemplative. There is nothing wrong with being an individual. Jesus exemplified one. However- He obviously walked in unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit – we submit to God and are humble and authentic before God and man. Remaining teachable, servant hearted, prayerful and loving.
    God is overhauling Americanized christianity in my opinion. Keep looking to Him .

  8. Ken Arrand May 15th 2013

    We were called to be discipled and to disciple others. A disciple of Jesus was one who denied themselves, took up their cross and followed Him.
    Discipleship necessitates community relationships.
    Perhaps we are not being discipled and not discipling others?

  9. Andrew – good post. I agree with you. However, part of the problem must fall on the leaders of the church. My wife and I began walking with Jesus in 1980. As I reflect on the past 30 years of church experience – it is frought with fallen leaders who left their wives. They used the church for their own kingdom. They brazenly lied to the church, they deceived the church, they bankrupted their church and many times, when the going was tough – felt “called” of the Lord to greener pastures. I would appreciate you praying for our hard heart, But the leaders have been tough over the years. thanks for allowing us the place to post a thought.and have a dialogue on subject that rarely is addressed in churches today.

  10. It’s hard to strike just the right balance between individualism and collectivism. It’s true that Western culture is more and more individualist in the sense of being self-centered, shallow, materialistic and consumer oriented. But at the same time our public schools, governments, and media are moving us closer and closer toward an unhealthy collectivism. And many of our charismatic churches are more and more cult like. There can’t really be “a pack of ‘individualists.’” A pack is a close-knit group controlled by a pack leader. We don’t want that either.

    I suspect that a true, Gospel church will look more like the underground churches in areas hostile to our faith. In the first few centuries there was one universal church, and only one ecclesia in each city. They didn’t have a smorgasbord of churches, denominations, parachurch groups, sects and cults to choose from. In addition, the church existed in a hostile environment with every incentive to huddle together and draw strength from each other. There’s no way we can recreate a first-century Church without first-century conditions. That condition exists to some degree in China and other places where the church is persecuted.

    So what do we do? Do we invite persecution? Obviously not. I’m pretty sure that’ll take care of itself soon. Something like NT conditions already exists in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and other Moslem countries—and to some degree in areas of India.

    In one sense we aren’t called on to create unity, but to preserve it—“maintain the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). This unity is real, though spiritual (he who is joined to the Spirit is one spirit); and with the proper teaching we can learn to recognize and celebrate it.

    I’m sorry I can’t contribute a brighter note to the conversation. Right now we can prepare ourselves for persecution by cultivating personal holiness and “charity towards all men,” especially “the household of faith.” And we need to learn to live supernaturally. We need to hunker down, live for Jesus and each other, and wait for persecution to accomplish its work. If we are a countercultural outpost in the world, the world will hate us, and persecute us. Sorry for the gloomy prospect.

  11. Mike Fuselier May 15th 2013

    Marty hit the nail on the head. The problem is not the sheep. It’s the Shepherds! The LORD will be the one to Gather the flock together, not our oun plans or schemes. But HE will do it!!!!!!!!
    Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

  12. I believe that The Lord is preparing His living stones and then He will bring them together to build His Temple. His sheep hear His voice and a stranger they will not follow. He is purifying His bride and driving every unclean thing out of His Temple.

    The “Body” is world wide. There are few that have found the narrow path all over the globe. They make up the “Body of Christ” not a particular “church building.” We may not fully understand what God is doing, but we must absolutely believe that He is building His “Church.”

  13. Sophie Owori May 15th 2013

    We can overcome individualistic tendencies by asking God to fill our hearts with His love. When we truly love one another we will find it easy to commit ourselves to serve in our communities and in church. When we are filled with God’s love we cannot see our brethren in the community and in the church suffering and we do not extend a hand of help. Read 1 John 3:16-18.
    In Africa, we are privileged in a way that from time immemorial we have had closely knitted community and family ties. It is normal for one to take care of his brother’s children even when the brother (the father of the children) is still alive but may be financially incapacitated. Unfortunately, this vice is slowly being eroded away with the education system from the western world and rampant poverty in the communities.

    God help us to fulfill your greatest command i.e to love one another.

  14. Austin May 15th 2013

    Andrew
    not all individualistic traits are evil – for instance, some could be simply read as ‘responsible’ or ‘not following the crowd’. Sometimes it is tough to stand out and be that individual. While I agree with your general sentiment about the body of Christ being a committed core of people, the major blockage to this happening is not individuals (it is God given for us to have our own personality traits etc) but those who are currently in ‘leadership’ within the “church” who want to own and control everyone.

    When I come across websites like yours Andrew, by far the majority of readers and responders are ‘individuals’ who feel that they have been cut off by mainstream “Christianity” which is really what I and many others call ‘churchianity’ and so they are forced to walk along an individualistic pathway, seeking God and fellowshipping with other believers where and when they can.

    If Noah had submitted himself to the ‘leadership’ of his day he probably would have drowned in the flood, similarly, if Moses had submitted himself to his ‘leadership’ he might have stayed in Midian or worse still, could have ended up compromising with Pharoah’s magicians and worshiped pagan gods to get by.

    I myself have spent several major stints (2 out of 3 were for some years at a time) because of those very factors – I couldn’t find what I regarded as decent churches to go to either (not a perfect one) and I would not compromise. It all started to fall apart for me during the so called ‘laughing revival’ here in Oz in 1996 and it has never recovered since that time. I currently meet with a group of 9 people in a Cafe in downtown Fortitude Valley on Sunday afternoons so am accountable on a regular basis to that group – a smaller core also meet on Friday nights for prayer and we outreach throughout the week and weekend individually and together – that is ‘church’ for me.

    Many simply wander aimlessly from one place to another seeking that which they believe to be the NT ideal, and that is what you described in a previous post about how the church should be – out there on the streets, not regarding the former buildings it used to own – not able for them to contain the ever growing crowds of new believers etc. That is the church I see in the near future too, so much so that I turned part of your article into a flyer and distributed several hundred copies around Brisbane.

    It is not the little people who are the impediment Andrew, but those who would pretend to lead them and by far the majority of those ‘leaders’ are not worthy of the task as they have sold out to money/prosperity doctrines/greed, or notoriety/popularity or they are simply inept “pastor disaster” types or they have unfortunately become corrupted by money/women/glory of self etc.

    The apostle Paul warns us in Acts 20:29-31 about Satan’s 2 pronged attack on the church:

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

    30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

    Many individuals in this position have trust issues with so called leaders and will not come under their misguided influence, and neither will I or my friends – we are not ‘house church’ folk as such but feel that God is moving in revival here in Brisbane and that your aptly described ‘church on the streets’ is just around the corner…

    Austin Hellier
    Brisbane Australia

  15. We are individually free and responsible under God.
    If you mean self indulgent that is one thing.
    But to surrender individual freedom is unhelpful.
    People slide away from the truth (reality) quite easily. One only has to look at the control structures built out of the church through the last 2000 years.
    And for the bulk of the human race, which is not subject to the authority of God, surrendering individual freedom and responsibility leads only to Marxism, fascism, and whatever else can come along.
    We are individuals before God and need to remain individually responsible.

  16. I believe Yahweh is already doing that here and there with small groups who are becoming accountable and transparent with one another.. However, I agree that is a huge problem in the nation of America where I live.. Now a days most have a difficult time even knowing what family is..Mom goes to work, out of necessity to pay the bills, and in many families today, unfortunately mom is the only adult in the household due to all the babies who are born out of wedlock. Children are left to there own devices or are raised at a day care by strangers..It is difficult to trust anyone enough to let them know too much about oneself.. Those who have attempted that in many so called churches have been spiritually abused and need healing.. it is a difficult situation and the result of a curse on the church and the nation..I do believe though that Yahweh will have a remnant just as He says he will..With Yeshua all things are possible..

  17. “But the big question is- Could today’s “individualistic” types
    bring themselves to form a real ‘Body’ – even if such a word
    was being preached? Or is individualism so ingrained that
    even ‘apostolic’ preaching might not bring this about?”

    I am very thankful brother Andrew you wrote this article. This to me is one of the greatest questions we need to ask ourselves as we seek a reformation and revival of Christianity in these last days.

  18. Kathleen in WA State May 15th 2013

    I concur with Ruth in affirming the value of the Small Group (aka Home Group, Cell Group). How grateful am I to have been linked to them in the course of the past 12 years. They are a marvelous mechanism for doing life together: mutual accountability, reasoning through the Scriptures, fellowship, fun (our current group just spend a long weekend away together ~ a retreat of sorts ~ at the ocean). I’ve seen amazing things occur in such settings, not the least of which is the expansion of His Kingdom.

    The other element I believe is an antidote to Lone Rangerism is in serving the Body. Whether ushering, greeting, leading studies, serving Communion, rocking babies, etc., we learn to love & wash the feet of others.

    Thank you for keeping this front-and-center in our focus. The bottom line is that it is God’s design, and we all benefit/thrive when we obey.

  19. Thank you Andrew for highlighting this problem. It is not an easy one. So many churches in GB today have got away from being Word-centred. They are either superficial, into error or compromise and paddle in the ecumenical pool. This leaves a lot of truth seeking believers out on the limb.

    In the South West we hold an Isolated Believers meeting two or three times a month to cater for such needs, and have a sound speaker and some good fellowship to enlighten and encourage the isolated ones.

    However, even that is under attack as small issues are emerging that cause some to distance themselves. It is also frustrating that there are so many who once walked with the Lord who no longer see it as important to assemble together, even with sound believers! Individualism has a lot to answer for.

  20. When INDIVIDUALISTIC is defined as you define it, I agree 100%. HOWEVER, the danger is that it tends to cause the problem that the church is in today becuase in its truth is a root of debilitating error.
    The bible states that we are members of the body, IN PARTICULAR. It is because the body members are trying to become like each other and meld into a body mentality that we have the church problem today. That mindset is promoted by the current pastoral leadership and by incompletely discussing individualism.

    If every member IN PARTICULAR was focused on being all he/she was meant to be as a part of the body, the body would function properly – and Christ would be manifested and glorified through us. We are too busy trying to fit in or to help with the objective of the body as defined by some doctrine.

    The purpose of every member IN PARTICULAR is to first realize that it only exists for the betterment of the body and fulfilling Christ’s objectives as an expression of Himself. He does this as each part responds as the unique part it is. Noses MUST BE noses; eyes, eyes; fingers, fingers; ears, ears; etc. If the nose is not completely the nose, the eyes not completely the eyes, the fingers completely the fingers, the ears completely the ears, etc, the body of Christ suffers. The body CANNOT BE THE BODY if its unique parts are trying to be the body.

    Just think of how our natural bodies would quickly die if we followed the advice of modern Christianity. But for the life of Christ working in each of us, His body would be dead also because of our teachings and practices.

    UNIQUENESS is crucial to the body and I fear that messages such as this tend to swing the pendulum into equal or greater error than does individualism. I truly believe that Christianity needs to focus on uniqueness within the body and encorage the uniqueness that Christ intented so that He could rightly and fully be manifested.

    The necessity of individulal UNIQUENESS is the message that is missing from Christianity. Messages decrying INDIVIDUALISM without promoting UNIQUENESS are also potententially damaging by their omissions.

  21. fabakary May 15th 2013

    This is a good word Andrew Strom.

    God desires is dwell in man. And man is both spirit , soul and body. It is God power to take cares of man spirit and unless he gives us the spiritual power to help man as a spirit, we cant do anything. But He has given us all , physical abilities , and some of this abilities are natural powers given unto us, to do good to our own selves and our neighbors by our own good pleasures or desires. This can be related to the “Free will offering ” and the tithes in the old testament. There where tithes that where given by Gods command , and it was a sin to disobey them. Yet the “free will offering” where given as chosen or will by man according to his own desires.It all depend according to how he wills and not under any specific define command. We can relate the tithes by the specific instructions we received God while the “free will offering” with the good we know is good to do.For example about loving our neighbors in doing good to them , our Lord did not say wait until I tell you to love him, or do good to him before you do so but he said “Go and do likewise”. It is a free will sacrifice . But sometimes we hear direct command to go and do this or that which if we disobey is a great sin like the tithes. Individuality can come when we neglect the “free will offering ” seeing the neighbor near us in need of love , mercy , comfort etc and we remains unconcern and unsympathetic because God did not specifically tell us to do anything or because we think it has nothing to do with the salvation of there soul and spirit. This same attitude of forgetting the “free will offering “can be brought in in a community of believers where we will not care the pain , misery , weakness, adversity of one another; because we may be waiting for the Lord to act , while the lord is waiting us to act by Love. If we will not wait for the Lord to tell us to eat lunch, sleep etc Why should we wait for him to tell us to love our neighbor before we love him. there will be somethings the Lord will want us to do our of love and sacrifice . Love is always the will of God , waiting to be specifically commanded to everyday “Love” your neighbor before you Love is not God way. That will only lead to individualism. Love is one of the thing which is always God will.

  22. ANGELOS May 15th 2013

    Great word Andrew! I find myself becoming more and more grieved in my spirit as I observe the state of the Church in America. We have compromised the Truth and in many churches turned to another gospel. It is my earnest prayer that as God’s people, we will apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 in our churches once again. I thank God for your voice. While in prayer recently, I asked the Lord where we were failing as a people. He answered, “The Church is lacking a Voice.” Even if they refuse to listen and obey, a True voice must be heard. Speak out the Truth without fear or favor of Man! God bless you brother Andrew. You are an inspiration to many.

  23. Andrew, if you have the vision then you have the task.
    Maybe you can become our Apostle to whom we can submit, even if there are thousands of km’s between you and most of us? The “anointed apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” are nowhere to be found, especially in my country – we have been looking for that for many years now, but none!
    Ken Arrand got the key: ‘We are not being discipled and therefore not discipling others’! But how and where do you get started, especially if one is living on an isolated farm? It is just natural for an individual to have an intense longing to be part of the Head, the brothers and sisters of the Body. But then that Body must be Biblical and pure.

  24. Jane Milam May 15th 2013

    The “problem” with the word “Individualistic” is this: we are saved individually…we are baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit Individually…we are called individually by Christ….”deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me”….so there is a foundation set forth in the Apostles Doctrine of individually following Christ. The Body of Christ, the ekklesia, called out ones are supernaturally knit by the Spirit as a supernatural BODY….and the head is CHRIST….the members are spoken of as individuals who are members of one another. The problem as I see it is not….”acting out body life”….it is the lack of revelation of the Spirit that we are already ONE in HIM…and are joined one to another by the SPIRIT. If we understand that we have BEEN crucified with Christ, that we are not our own, and that our lives are lived under the dictates of the SPIRIT and the WORD…then we will naturally live OUT the harmony of BODY life. It is the living after the carnal mind, reason, and the will of the flesh that hinders the SPIRIT from freely manifesting CHRIST in and through us. The independence is the issue….living a life INDEPENDENT from the HOLY SPIRIT….. NOT FROM ONE ANOTHER….Jesus looked VERY independent from the established religion of the Pharasees….we have camped out in America at the IDOL of CHURCH…..when in truth…we ARE THE CHURCH! We have acted out UNITY by forming little or large SECTS/DIVISIONS under leaders ( many of whom have been appointed by themselves, man, or the intutions of businesses called “non profits….churches) and we have LOST the LIFE in the BODY….the HARMONY that comes from living a CRUCIFED life in CHRIST….we have INDIVIDUALISM because we have DIVIDED the BODY into this CHURCH and that CHURCH…and we have lost the power of the SPIRIT because we have made following man, a church, a movement, the goal….rather than FOLLOWING CHRIST…..”follow me as I follow CHRIST” Paul shows the way…..if we are dying to our lives, and allowing the SPIRIT of CHRIST to lead us ( for we ARE NOT OUR OWN!) we will MANIFEST the life of the body…..I have come to belive after 38 yrs of “church life as usual” that we have not built upon the true foundation set forth in the word of God….and this is the issue that must be looked at once again for those who name the name of Christ in the American version of Christianity….we have been called to a LIFE of self denial…and obedience to the word and the SPIRIT….if we will come back to the original call of CHRIST and examine ourselves to see if we are in the FAITH ( true faith!) ….the problem will be resolved! There are too many leaders…that is the problem….and not enough TRUE FOLLOWERS! May we have a MASSIVE RETURNING to our FIRST WORKS….FIRST LOVE…and HONORING the KING FIRST….who is the TRUE LEADER….and will always lead us into the NARROW WAY….a life laid down out of love for HIM….which causes us to lay our lives down for one another….the HARMONY of the TRINITY lived out in us!

  25. We will not voluntarily live a dependent life apart from a massive move of God. Don’t be surprised if God brings world events to a point where we are forced to live in community as first century christians did. Then we may finally “do greater works than these” because we will finally see our lord for who he really is…the head of his BODY not individual pieces of it.

    Frank Viola and others have it right. Unfortunately we will never volunteer for something like this kind of corporate living now. Society is structured to bring the exact opposite about. It must be put upon us and required of us by the Bridegroom at any cost. In my opinion this will be the next great move of God.

  26. Deborah May 15th 2013

    I’ve seen much wisdom in these comments. I can’t help thinking about Judges 17:6- In those days [there was] no king in Israel, [but] every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes. I agree that this kind of ‘individualism’ is not supported by Scripture.We have seen a pandemic of self-proclaimes ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’ who don’t live up to the Scriptural imperative, seeming to be interested only in gaining their own following and ‘fleecing the sheep’.
    Forget that- “Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.” Mark 10:42-44
    What Andrew calls individualism, I see more as the situation in the book of Joshua; there are those claiming- contrary to all evidence and rational thinking- that Islam worships the Lord of the Bible. In Joshua 24:15, we see- “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
    Those of us who follow THIS leading will be brought together, each joint with the strength that the Lord provides, and Jesus will, as He emphasizes- I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Mark 16:18
    ‘Churchianity’ gets no such guarantee.

  27. Andrew, Very true brother.

    We sing it all the time also in our praise and worship too – “Me” “I” and “God” and so very little of “Us” and “God”.

    The Holy Spirit is not impressed with the just me and God worship theme that is prevalent in our modern worship.

    We need a revolution here to start with I think.
    What do you think?

  28. Mick 2 May 15th 2013

    Christ is the head of the church, His body. I shall serve Him, and not the body. This shall, no doubt, see that I am rightly fitted into that body, and not bickering with the other parts. Keep your eye on the King, folks. The scripture is quite clear on this; man is not.

  29. DonaldN May 15th 2013

    The leaders are leading wrong
    The people are heaping up teachers for their itching ears.

    They are all wrong.

    Am I the only one right?

    Why can’t I seem to find others who believe like I do so we can have a biblical fellowship?

    On and on it goes…..

  30. I hear u loud and clear Donald. For over 38 years my wife and I have wanted to be part of a N.T. style fellowship. But there is no interest. No one dares buck the ‘system’. So we sit alone…2 of us. Where 2 or 3 are gathered…..! We wait for others to hunger for the truth. How can 2 walk together except they agree?

  31. L. Alex Smith May 15th 2013

    I don’t see “Individualism” –the belief in the individual instead of “Group-think” as the problem: I see UnAccountability as the problem. We are all created uniquely different. Those differences can be used in the Body of Christ as the differing members of the Body. It’s when those differences become Idolised, held up as a personal standard against which no Word or words may prevail, that it becomes destructive. “Confess your faults one to another that ye may be healed… The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.” (from James). “If you see a brother overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest ye also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1) Confession is Accountability. Restoration is the remedy. Individuals have to lay down their Pride– but it’s not the fact that the person is a unique individual, appreciates that, and utilises it…the problem there would be Pride. I converse with my wife about Logic…point out fallacious thinking, and then say, “Nod your head like a bobble-head doll” when we discuss “group-think”– everyone going along with a teaching or movement, because they have not taken the INDIVIDUAL initiative to think clearly, they are just being swept along like herring or lemmings over the cliff. Argumentum Ad Populum is the exact opposite of Individualism! Going AGAINST the flow when one is submitted to God, is something that few are trained to do by our culture– the “Self” does reign supreme, but I’d say that Self is the problem, not individualism. Self, Pride, and UnAccountability…not being separate, thinking for one’s self rather than “group-think”, obeying God when all others seem to fall by the wayside– the whole point to the founding of America was going against the established Church of England and being Free to worship how one’s own conscience dictated (guided by the Bible of course).
    Richard Kirby, the first few centuries of Christianity was NOT unified, other than love for one another– there WERE all sorts of sects, even in Paul’s day “some say ‘I am of Paul’, and ‘I am of Apollos, and ‘I am of Cephas’ (that means Peter)… he warned against the Gnostic sect in I Timothy 6:20 (‘science’ falsely so-called means Gnosis falsely so-called, gnosis means Knowledge, in Greek, Scientia means Knowledge in Latin); he warned the Galatians about the Judaisers; Jude said to “earnestly contend for the Faith once delivered to the saints” (J. 3) In the centuries up until the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. there were literally dozens of sects and splinter groups, Docetists, Montanists, MonoPhysites, MonoThellatists, trinitarians of Origen’s type, Arius (wide following in the East), Athanasius (wide following in the West), ALL SORTS of controversy and division. That’s why Emperor Constantine ordered the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. –not because he was concernced with Biblical truth, but because he wanted to hold his Empire together, so that with the force of Roman Law, it would be illegal to hold any other viewpoint than that upon which they finally agreed (not that he really cared WHICH viewpoint). The persecuted Church was bound together by cords of Love, not doctrine. The “apostle’s doctrine” or teaching, in the Book of Acts was long since tossed aside in compromise with pagan religions and philosophies, and finally abrogated by political expediency! BUT, the truth of the Gospel still remains, even if muddled by traditions of men (read Collosians 2:8-9). Jesus said, “On this rock (Petra, a cliff-mass of the Revelation that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God) will I build my Church: and the gates of Hell shall NOT prevail against it.”

  32. DonaldN May 15th 2013

    We probably all or at least most agree that the local church as we know it is a social club teaching nonsense.

    We also agree that there are probably dozens or more right in our own area that are sheep without a shepherd, wandering alone, because there is no option.

    How do we remedy this?
    We can’t just put an add on Craigslist, I’ve seen some of the conversations there and they scare me.

    How do we get together?
    I would love to be a part of a dedicated group of disciples being a part of the “Body”.

    Easy to say….but…

  33. Lightning Storm May 15th 2013

    Hallelujah Jane Milam! AMEN AMEN

    You have perfectly described the MARK that we who call ourselves, FOLLOWERS, have missed since Pentecost of the book of Acts.

    The number of people who gathered together in Acts as One Body was 120 people.

    Do you really believe that there were ONLY 120 born again believers in ALL of the entire mission field covered by Jesus and His disciples?

    ONLY 120 people born again in 3 1/2 years?

    There was a REMNANT who received the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2…..who were of ONE ACCORD

    Act 1:13 KJV
    And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James.

    Act 1:14 KJV
    These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

    Act 1:15 KJV
    And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

    Now take a look at the 7 congregations in Revelation.

    EACH BODY of believers were UNIQUE…..and they were NOT rebuked for not coming together and becoming 1 congregation instead of 7 separate .

  34. Lightning Storm May 15th 2013

    AMEN AMEN! L. Alex Smith

  35. Lightning Storm May 15th 2013

    How many people have to meet together before you SATISFY the “forsake not the assembling together” crowd who believe in the 4 walled church congregations?

  36. Good word brother. This individualism seems to burn at the heart of the American culture and makes it very difficult to form community around chosen leaders. Rebellion against authority is another trait so ingrained in the American culture. Yet, putting that aside, you still have to deal with the legitimate fact that much of the church in the West is in full blown apostacy.

    The great falling away has undoubtedly begun and saints all over the west are feeling compelled to ” come out of her.” And in this sense, this article may just confuse genuinely conflicted saints. The remnant saints, people who are not individualistic , but who find themselves isolated, are desperately seeking genuine fellowship. Indeed the word of God must be preached by the power of the Spirit of God and this is truly lacking, but the greater need seems to be genuine fellowship centered upon an all consuming passion for the Lord Jesus and His felt presence in gatherings.

    Also, one cannot have this kind of discussion and not think about the prophetic calender. If God is in the process of calling His own ” out,” and I believe that He is because He is soon coming back for His own, then the enemy of our souls, the accuser of the Body, will hurl every type of accusation against the saints in an effort to stop them coming out. ………..bro Frank

  37. Lightning Storm May 15th 2013

    Jesus and the Apostles were “rolling stones” (humorous to me)……They FOLLOWED wherever the Holy Spirit led them. There were 120 DISCIPLES who did likewise.

    What a UNIQUE idea! Each individual FOLLOWING GOD HIMSELF!

    The conventional idea of religion during the time of Acts was to meet together in the same synagogue under the same scripture teaching as every other synagogue was teaching that day. Every synagogue being taught by a rabbi or teacher who went to the same torah/talmud school that passed down the religious traditions from generation to generation.

    Sound familiar?

  38. Fellowship, Acts 2:42 is the model for all time, but apostasy, beginning under Constantine has largely caused the church to move away from the unity and leading of the Spirit to conforming to formalized doctrine under a developing hierarchy. Paul is our example in the sense that he and we also came after Pentecost. He did not begin with fellowship, but was taught by the revelation of Christ. This preparation took years before he was released to teach and to lead God’s people. Paul longed for fellowship, and he speaks of missing Titus. Writing to Timothy, he says:“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”2Ti 2:22 KJV Thayers’s lexicon says this about the word righteousness: “in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God”
    Christian fellowship is described as being with those with purified hearts and having no agenda but to follow Christ and to be taught by Him. Leaving the crowd and sitting under Jesus’ feet may be the first thing to do, and He will build His church

  39. DonaldN May 15th 2013

    Lightning Storm–
    The conventional idea of religion during the time of Acts was to meet together in the same synagogue under the same scripture teaching as every other synagogue was teaching that day. Every synagogue being taught by a rabbi or teacher who went to the same torah/talmud school that passed down the religious traditions from generation to generation.

    Sound familiar?

    Tooooo Familiar!!!

    The pastor at a church I attended a few years back would tell about his professors who gave him poor grades for not including all opinions on all sides of a subject matter. He told of some of the doctrines he had to deal with while getting his degree.

    Then, of course, he would brag about HIS MASTERS DEGREE!!!

    What good is a masters degree from a school of the Pharisees?

  40. Communism is not the answer, we are to be lively stones individually shaped, we are not hewn stone. Our individualism is not the problem that a call for communism will fix. You people just refuse to drop the religious unbiblical concepts of leadership and fellowship you hold. So you can cry about the lack of community all you want, but until you get real with one another and Jesus Christ in true fellowship, speaking the truth everyman to his brother, and stop the personality driven leadership model, you will continually be met with the very problem you see, with no answer in sight. Of course if I am right, there are some that will have a harder time making a living being a full time preacher, that’s really what they are afraid of!

  41. Doug P. May 15th 2013
  42. The church today has a name saying it is Alive yet it is dead….lacking natural affection, devouring widows houses and robbing the poor by falsehood and the traditions of men that make null and void the word of God. That says it all. I’m a man of few words.

  43. DonaldN May 15th 2013

    OK here is a challenge—-

    I quit attending the church I was in because I got fed up with the social club attitude, being in attendance to fulfill the forsake not assembling scripture, etc, etc.
    Now I am not attending anywhere because I cannot find anyplace that is any different.

    What is some practical advice for me?
    Can anyone tell me what I should be doing?

  44. Andrew, I believe that God has called you to be a leader – I believe that this is the call which God has on your life…

    Our name sake in scripture brought many to Jesus…

    Lead brother (as the Lord leads you)… :-)

    Lead them to Jesus… :-)

    Teach and proclaim the truth which the Lord has shown you, the truth which you know has transformed your own life – the truth which has set you free in your own heart, transformed your own soul…

    Don’t “go beyond” what He has personally, unshakably established in your own life and don’t feel that you have to have “all the answers” before “taking a stand” – but lead as He leads you – which I believe you are doing…

    But I just wanted to encourage you to do this more – as you “step out” more and more He will “catch up” your understanding on any areas where He hasn’t revealed truth as yet so that you will be protected and will not fall – just “step out” to the full measure that you know He has established in you at this point in time and He will give the increase…

    He will bring around you others who He has also “moved in” to support you in all that He has put on your heart to accomplish – it’s His call and He will fulfil it in you – be at peace and know that He will fulfil it in you – every promise and every word which He has spoken to you He will surely fulfil as you relinquish control to Him of every area of your life, as you hand it all up to Him – as I believe you are doing… :-)

    Bless you brother…

    Just wanted to encourage you to do this more – I am standing with you (supporting you) in every act of surrender which you make to His Name…

    And I will always support you in this way…

    Bless you for leading and remain sensitive to His Spirit leading you…

    He is the Wisdom and Power of God through you…

    And He will give you Wisdom and Power to refute all who come against Himself – His Spirit – in you, expressed through you…

    Love you,

    Lift him up Lord, to the degree that he has humbled himself before You lift him up – lift him up that he might exalt Your Name in all the earth…

    And protect him Lord and his entire family that they would remain pure and malleable in Your Hands and full of Your Holy Spirit and Your Fire in all things – both our brother and his entire household – protect them Lord – and plant them wherever it is that You would have them to be and in their submission to Your will, to Your purpose for their lives, make them a blessing, a lighthouse in the community where You plant them in the Mighty Name of Jesus – let them shine for Jesus – and here too Lord in cyper-space… :-)

    Let their freedom increase, let their understanding increase, let Your Revelation of Your truth to them increase (bless Andrew’s wife Lord – bless their unity), let them Know You Lord, deeply and personally and know Your Presence and Your Peace hovering over them – Presencing Yourself with them – bless the unity of this family and bless them with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus and pour it out Lord – everything they need for life and godliness through their knowledge of You Lord – physical provision – we speak abundance in Jesus Name – abundance to now break over this family – the Strom family – in Jesus Name – healing and restoration – all that the enemy has tried to rob – let it be restored to them now Father, You are a good Father – restore now everything that has been robbed – rub in the oil and wine into the wounds which have been suffered and let there be wholeness in their bodies and in their souls and in their spirits to work as a team for Your Glory – open up their eyes to see the Land which is a very far off – let them live in that realm where You are so real and Your Presence is so near and Your Voice is so clear and Your Peace is so prevailing – bless them with all the blessings of heaven and make them a blessing to many, many people – multiply them Lord so that they can multiply for You – release all that You have for them – let nothing be held back in the Mighty Name of Jesus…

    Freedom, liberation, expansion and unity for the Strom family in Jesus Mighty Name (I’m getting the joy)… Praise You Jesus… :-)

    Bless them real good… :-)

    Love you brother,

    Andrew

  45. This is an awesome message. Thank you Bro. Andrew.

    These are qurestions I’ve been asking too. Can we, in the West, ever be like the eartly Church with all our baggage?

  46. antipas4yahshua May 15th 2013

    G_D will bring HIS Body together by HIS Holy Spirit.
    However, in review of the scriptures & history – it will “not be pretty”. It has before and will occur in tumultuous times of persecution / tribulation and in addition to “tares” being in the mix.
    Interesting enough, the first group of those “called out” were mostly Jews and Gentile converts. What is approaching will be the same a very sudden reversal of what has occurred of the during the last 19 centuries of G_D turning back to the HIS elect Jews and “Acts” will continue with both.
    G_D will be bringing together His elect of Jews and Disciples together “I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand (ie Ezek 37).
    Shalom

  47. For me I see it as in Amos – can two walk together lest they be agreed.

    There are the ones we lift up Jesus to and then the ones we are one with – where we can have that fellowship with. And that is who I long to be with. The ones where we are like-minded at least enough that we wont be quenching the spirit.

    There are so many doctrines floating around out there it is very oppressive. And people feel theirs is the “one” or this person is the “one” they push it or them on you or try to.

    Oh, and when I was in fellowship with lots of people, well, that was my love I later realized. I was so busy and people oriented – my alone time was sparse. I could not hear the Lord as well. I was so excited for all the fellowship.

    Now, I wouldnt trade my quiet times for anything. Jesus, me & the few. Awesome. And taking as many to Jesus in relationship, planting & watering seeds with lots of prayers and He will give the increase. And it works and He gets all the glory!

    I am finding out more can be done with prayer than anything else on earth. I am trusting my Lord to bring the ones where I can be one with – like-minded & there will be the deep fellowship, sharing of God’s Word etc. Everyone else I take to Jesus.

    Even Jesus only had a few that were close to Him. Not always about being an individualist but about being so close to Jesus in the quiet times that He fills the voids and brings the ones to be one with in close fellowship. I know Pastors hate this.

    Hope I am making sense here. I know most may not agree but……

  48. What is the baggage we, in the West, carry? It’s the easy comfort, and access to hedonistic distractions, and materialistic accumulation of weath, and belief that we don’t have to sell our land, like Ananias and Sapphira, where all the apostles and disciples “had all things in common”. It’s the inability to lay our investments for retirement down at the apostles feet so they can divide it to give to those who have more need.
    Tell that to christians in the West, and we’d be run out of town.

    If western christian women, who spend monies to make themselves beautiful, cosmetically/surgically-youthful, fit, beautifully clothed, adorned, hair colored, primped, painted and living in king’s houses (where average homes in the West are considered King’s houses by poverty-stricken nations), would put their energy on the Kingdom of God and lay all down at the altar, and give their vanity, and ego, and sense of equality entitlement,, and allow their husbands to be the priest of the homes and live like a woman in Proverbs, we would no doubt see a real revival.

    If men focused on teaching”that all men in an apostolic church must have things in common” instead of trying to fix political problems and worry about rich men being taxed, or hollering at tv screens and writing editorials on their frustration at the “culture” and believing they can change the “culture”; prioritizing their lives with Jesus first, then all other things second, we would see a revival.

    We are SO grafted into the culture in our hearts and minds, we can’t sense the urgency that we need to get out of the culture mentality; put away vanity and pride, put away being first, competitive, loud, in people’s face, and judgmental. If a man wants to preach on God’s judgment, do it with the fellowship of the Saints. Not in a microphone in a room full of unbelievers. If pastors and their wives would live with one pair of sandals, rather than need a ‘walk-in closet’ in their big house, they’d become a true witness of Jesus. If pastors would realize that they are to build up the saints, the sheep, in the congregations to go out and do the same exploits as they are supposed to do, there would be revival. If they stopped valuing their sheep as their property and realized they are the Lord’s property, and that they should be encouraged to leave when they are ready and go out and do exploits even greater than the pastor’s, there would be revival.

    In the West, certainly, none of these attributes are there hardly anymore. The Church has become like an Olympics for the Lord institution. A spiritual Olympics, where each church grandstands it’s revelations and exercises and flaunts it’s muscles in front of people; and points it’s fingers at other denominations’ false doctrine, and believes that other church’s sheep are their mission fields. It’s pride, and competition and greed, and a sinful need for “allegiance” in their camps.

    Why aren’t there more saved in the West, with all the wealth and opportunities at their disposal? If wealth and prosperity and freedom is the key to bringing all to Christ, then it’s evident now that isn’t the case. The increase of goods and shallow vanity that’s invaded the church in the West is the “unclean thing” that keeps hoards out of her, because unbelievers see the hypocrisy and refuse to participate in such hypocrisy.

  49. Dear Andrew J. Horton, I join with you in that beautiful prayer for Andrew Strom and his family.

    In Jesus’ Holy Name. May be Lord keep them and us all here protected in His shadow. Amen!

  50. Amen Marie!
    I have seen more people get turned off to the Lord in Churches. We say come as you are but do we really know how to do that? Are we mature enough with solid doctrine to not turn off people? Can we allow the Holy Spirit to clean up people? Do we extravagantly show the love of God in welcoming them into the Church or do they leave feeling more lonely or beat-up than when they come in. Do we play the Holy Spirit?
    There are so many reasons why people dont want Jesus or turn away. They dont see Jesus in us enough for one thing. There is no difference between us most of the time than the average Joe walking down the Street. Even the ones who are supposed to be so spiritual – where’s the love?
    The most important person in the Church is the greeter. If people dont feel sincerely welcomed it is very hard for them to hear the message.

    We are a mess for sure. God forgive us and help us.

  51. Ok, Donald, to your challenge, above Andrew H and Marie make my point, they don’t realize it though. This is what you should do, you should mourn over the pitiful condition, lack of judgement among his people and rejoice only in the highness of God. Be of a broken and contrite spirit, fear and tremble at his Word, hold on to those things that you are positive you have received from God, those that put their trust in the Lord shall not be ashamed. Do not rejoice in men, as many do, but rejoice only in the highness of God. It is God’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom, if we wait patiently, be careful how you treat strangers and walk in the fear of God. Speak the truth everyman to his brother and love no vain glory or false oath. Ok, Bro, there is a start, but those who simply want to recreate a revival of the past in their own image, have nothing but disappointment awaiting them and those cheering them on shall be ashamed!

  52. Barry Schmidt May 15th 2013

    Wow! This is a cutting edge prophetic word right from the throne room if the Almighty. Which is why it will be under valued, ridiculed and many will attempt to avoid obedience to it.

  53. The comments here, I can relate so much to them. DonaldN, I’m in the same boat, not churched, yet wanting church and fellowship, but feeling like it becomes a clique, and a social club. However, no matter how we want it to be perfect, with men it’s never perfect.

    But, I think that men today are extremely selfish, so much more than they were in the early church. Suffering was a daily dose for them then, living under a fearful Roman rule and the pagans who no doubt hated them. In the West, we’re free to practice whatever religion we want, and are not persecuted. In fact, church people feel entitled to have their rights protected.

    I think, just my thinking here, is that if every neighborhood, in cities, towns, small villages and rural areas, all adopted the idea to meet in people’s home instead of attending buildings, and if each neighborhood had called pastor to shepherd those in his neighborhood (with no more than 20 people) and allowed another pastor in the neighboring neighberhood to shepherd his neighbors of approximately 20 or 30 and no more, these tiny home churches would spark the fire that is needed now.

    No more institutionalized church. Just pastors and teachers giving bible studies, edifying and giving sermons in their homes. Most homes can only house 20 people in most cases, in a basement. It would alleviate spending too much on church mortgage, heat, power, and maintenance costs. These pastors could find work, and if need by, the members could donate whatever they could give to help.

    In small home churches, there would be no glory given to men. A group of about 20 people would be enough for them all to pray and comfort one another. They could pray for their neighborhood, and if they were in a neighborhood like the Cincinnatti kidnapper of those 3 young women, prayers for those in that neighborhood could have been answered. A praying people in a house in one neighborhood could set demons on the run and spare sinful actions of offenders from offending anymore.

    No glory, no church name, no profits, no increase, just a small group of saints in one small area concentrating on their immediate neighborhood and being concerned about the elderly couple across the street, etc.

    The West is too “me geared” and hardly anyone now knows who their neighbor is. Yet, we used to drive to a church 10 miles away, come home and lock the door and go to bed. A church building in some remote location miles away from our house block has no meaning to those who we live next door to. If i witness to my disabled neighbor and she/he can’t go to my church 10, 20 miles away because it’s too difficult for them and very tiring to travel, I can only pray and hope for the best. But if I could tell them my pastor lives two doors down and preaches in his home, I could push her in her wheelchair across the street into his home. I personally am convinced this is the only way to win souls. Big church buildings have become hindrances to the gospel rather than cities of refuge.

    If only we had thought about the “church method” ‘s inability to possess the land adequately; and if could have seen how so un-apostolic it is in the West.

    Lord Jesus, please help us understand and know what to do.

  54. Andrew! I’m surprised at you. Such sloppy exegesis. There’s nothing in that verse about “preachers preaching an annointed word.” Yes,l the annointed word is taught, shared and discussed, but no “preaching”. In the New Testament, the only preaching mentioned was to pagans. Never to Christians. For christians we teach.

  55. Ivanon May 15th 2013

    The fact that many have become individualistic in the Church is the direct result of not obeying God’s Word!!! God gave to Apostle Paul instructions for the Church. Why did God gave these instructions? Because HE knows exactly what His Church NEEDS and what not! HE can and will build His Church on His terms! HE won’t put these instructions for nothing!!!

    1 Cor. 14:26 says: “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you COME TOGETHER, EACH OF YOU has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done FOR EDIFICATION.”
    God clearly told Paul that when you come together, that EACH OF YOU has something to contribute to the edification of the others present! IN THIS WAY God wants to use each one of His children to build His Church. And this instruction will help combating individualism!! Think about that!
    This verse clearly speaks of TOGETHERNESS in a broad sense, and NOT of an individualistic approach. In several other verses in the epistles of Paul, you will find the “ONE ANOTHER” approach that reinforces the community living, which again is contrary to the individualistic lifestyle.

    In the same chapter of 1 Cor 14, we read WHERE these instructions came from: “36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that THE THINGS WHICH I WRITE TO YOU ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.”

    Again some have invented other ways to substitute God’s ways. The consequences speaks for themselves. Not only are Christians becoming individualistic, but there are other things going wrong too in the Body of Christ, for the same reason described here above!

    Also, we must not forget that “SELF-SEEKING” will produce individualistic Christians! And self-seeking has been growing (also in the Church) in these last days!
    James 3:16 “For where envy and SELF-SEEKING exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

  56. I found the more individualistic one is the less accountable he has to be to anyone, except himself. This can be dangerous and is a selfish trait. Jesus, Paul, and their disciples were given to everyone and not just themselves. I found that if I do not have an intimate loving relationship with God in intimate prayer then it is hard for me to have a close relationship with people as well. Because of the work I did in past, I was in contact with a lot of pastors and church leaders. I found them to be the most isolated people in the body even though they were over many people and ministering to people most of the time. Though this is good it does not build relationships with people and everyone needs to have close relationship with someone otherwise it is a lonely hard place. Psychologists tell us that a person can be with a million people at an entertainment game or event and still feel lonely and alone. This happens in some of the best churches in America where they have the best entertainment ever, people go home totally entertained after church, but are void of any true relationship building with body which is why they start feeling lonely at end of day or week till the next thrill on Sunday morning. This can also happen to a pastor or any person in any church that has not built any kind intimate relationships with God through prayer or any one in body. The Pastors can be and usually are the most respected, admired, loved and liked person in the whole church. Yet! He is the most separated and individualist person in the whole church who cannot have close friendship relationships because of his spiritual position. I personal believe this is why so many pastors and spiritual leaders are failing in our church today. I find many well like and isolated believers all the time and try to befriend them and connect them to body again by building relationships with them based on God. These are some of my best friends today and we love one another and care for one another and pray for one another and thus fulfill the bible. You cannot do this and fulfill Jesus words as an individualist person even if you are a leader of a great ministry. Jesus had a relationship with the father through prayer that we clearly see in bible. He also had relationship with twelve people and changed the world. Paul and disciples did also and built relationships with body. You can tell they did by the way they loved and talked about one another. We can’t blame our pastors, churches or anyone for not being able to have or build relationships because we have to take responsibility for this ourselves. Building real relationships with believers will break individualism and connect body together as should be connected. Thanks for bringing this up Andrew.

  57. Dear Stephen Boyce my son, who was never diagnosed with Asperghers’ but who displayed many of the traits and finds it so difficult to socialize and feels that girls first like him, then eventually are not interested, is also hoping for a wife who can understand his ways. I am going to keep you in prayer, dear brother, that the Lord puts in your path a “Rebeccah” like he did for Isaiah.

    When I pray for my son’s wish, I’ll always remember your wish, in prayer too.

  58. Trying to be hopeful May 15th 2013

    Thank you, Andrew, for this piece. This is one of the hottest, most frequently-promoted attitudes in today’s politically Conservative (while not always being Biblical) print/electronic media, especially in the U.S., and is similar to beliefs held in my teenage years by my unsaved, alcoholic, secular-humanist family. The ideal seemingly being presented is that of a race of totally encapsulated, self-contained, self-reliant, self-dependent demi-gods who can do anything, be anything, solve anything, with no need of any kind of aid from any outside source, including community, government, or God. (“We must wean people off government dependency!”) And it’s amazing how the pendulum swings. I well remember in my teen years back in the late ’60s-early ’70s hearing so many folks, especially in the media, crying that the human race was doomed because individualism was dying, that we were all being sucked into some kind of look-alike, think-alike Orwellian collectivism, and that we had to resort to drastic measures to try to prevent this. (A great entertainment example of this concept, used at the time, was an old 1962 Kirk Douglas movie called “Lonely Are the Brave”.) And now we’re being told the human race is doomed because of too much individualism. Funny thing is…I don’t remember hearing any born-again believers back in the 1965-75 era talk about what the Lord Jesus Christ was doing to rectify the situation back then, just as I don’t seem to hear them talk much about what He’s doing in the midst of this current situation. (Just for the record, I don’t believe in “government dependency” either, I just wanted to make a point.)

  59. Good post Andrew…Many on here have voiced things that I agree with either in part or in whole. I cling to the promise of God, *UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, AND THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT*….it is God’s job to do this thing, that looks so impossible to us. I was driving one day, listening to Steve Camp singing on the radio (maybe twenty years ago now) about how the gates of hell would not prevail against the church….I remember saying to God…”that sounds like some kind of sick joke! Look at the mess we are in” As clearly as I have ever heard God, He replied “look at those you have truly counted as brothers, as family of God, over the years, who have remained, who have been sweet sources of godly fellowship and counsel…..THAT is the real church, the enemy will not prevail against the real church.” We need to remember that He doesn’t live in buildings made with hands, but He has prepared a body…and that’s us! I pray with and fellowship with house church people, Baptists, Pentecostals and non-denominational people…I love them all, and try to live a life that is accountable. The family of God is one of the biggest sources of joy in my life….when I moved here seven plus years ago, I found myself pretty alone but I prayed a lot and God began to work to bring fellowship into my life.

    I don’t know that at this point we can all gather together under one man, one preacher…very few of us trust many of those types, but there is excellent preaching available on the internet, like John Piper, Francis Chan, Carter Conlan….there aren’t enough of those guys to go round into every local fellowship in our day. Entire cities are devoid of any kind of real man like that….There are few really solid preachers out there in our day. But we do survive in our small groups, following hard after Him!

  60. chas351 May 15th 2013

    “All that believe are justified.” — Acts 13:39

    The believer in Christ receives a present justification. Faith does not produce this fruit by-and-by, but now. So far as justification is the result of faith, it is given to the soul in the moment when it closes with Christ, and accepts him as its all in all. Are they who stand before the throne of God justified now?-so are we, as truly and as clearly justified as they who walk in white and sing melodious praises to celestial harps. The thief upon the cross was justified the moment that he turned the eye of faith to Jesus; and Paul, the aged, after years of service, was not more justified than was the thief with no service at all. We are to-day accepted in the Beloved, to-day absolved from sin, to-day acquitted at the bar of God. Oh! soul-transporting thought! There are some clusters of Eshcol’s vine which we shall not be able to gather till we enter heaven; but this is a bough which runneth over the wall. This is not as the corn of the land, which we can never eat till we cross the Jordan; but this is part of the manna in the wilderness, a portion of our daily nutriment with which God supplies us in our journeying to and fro. We are now-even now pardoned; even now are our sins put away; even now we stand in the sight of God accepted, as though we had never been guilty. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” There is not a sin in the Book of God, even now, against one of his people. Who dareth to lay anything to their charge? There is neither speck, nor spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing remaining upon any one believer in the matter of justification in the sight of the Judge of all the earth. Let present privilege awaken us to present duty, and now, while life lasts, let us spend and be spent for our sweet Lord Jesus.

    “Made perfect.” — Hebrews 12:23

    Recollect that there are two kinds of perfection which the Christian needs-the perfection of justification in the person of Jesus, and the perfection of sanctification wrought in him by the Holy Spirit. At present, corruption yet remains even in the breasts of the regenerate-experience soon teaches us this. Within us are still lusts and evil imaginations. But I rejoice to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work which he has begun; and he shall present my soul, not only perfect in Christ, but perfect through the Spirit, without spot or blemish, or any such thing. Can it be true that this poor sinful heart of mine is to become holy even as God is holy? Can it be that this spirit, which often cries, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this sin and death?” shall get rid of sin and death-that I shall have no evil things to vex my ears, and no unholy thoughts to disturb my peace? Oh, happy hour! may it be hastened! When I cross the Jordan, the work of sanctification will be finished; but not till that moment shall I even claim perfection in myself. Then my spirit shall have its last baptism in the Holy Spirit’s fire. Methinks I long to die to receive that last and final purification which shall usher me into heaven. Not an angel more pure than I shall be, for I shall be able to say, in a double sense, “I am clean,” through Jesus’ blood, and through the Spirit’s work. Oh, how should we extol the power of the Holy Ghost in thus making us fit to stand before our Father in heaven! Yet let not the hope of perfection hereafter make us content with imperfection now. If it does this, our hope cannot be genuine; for a good hope is a purifying thing, even now. The work of grace must be abiding in us now or it cannot be perfected then. Let us pray to “be filled with the Spirit,” that we may bring forth increasingly the fruits of righteousness.

    written by Charles Spurgeon.

    ——————————————————————————–

  61. Andrew ,

    With regard to your article , it is important to define exactly what you mean by ” anointed apostolic word “.

    Do you mean a word that is confirmed by the signs and wonders as it was with the early apostles ?

    Or do you mean a word that reflects the principles and truth of what the early apostles said ?

    Why I ask is that words of truth alone are not enough to gather together the true Body , or to overcome the individualism that reflects the spirit of this age.

    The body came together, under the full anointing of the early apostles, which was the words of truth along with the spiritual authority and power from Lord Jesus Christ ,to set the captives free from the bondage of the spirit of this world.

    I really believe that this is the stalemate we face in the west, in that people can not receive or be set free by words of truth alone.

    I put it to you , that it is only when the Spiritual authority of our Lord Jesus Christ has gone before the preaching of words of truth , preparing the way, that the words of truth will be able to be received.

    Blessings

    Kevin

  62. Andrew May 15th 2013

    Kevin – sadly, my friend –
    I know guys who are genuine godly men, who have TRUE miracles and healings flowing in their walk all the time. Hardly anyone gathers to these ones either – and also – it does not mean that they truly preach an “anointed apostolic word”. The two things do not necessarily go together.

    If I had to chose one of those things, I would chose the “word” every time – because under that anointing it is truly capable of transforming those who hear it. And I mean really “transforming” – especially over time.

    “John the Baptist had no miracles” and yet all of Judea went out to him.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  63. And this was the huge problem in the Corinthian church. Note 12:27, Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. Each individual is a member – a part – of a body. In chapter 13, this same expression – individually – is translated “in part.” In Corinth they knew as parts and prophesied as parts, but Paul told them that when “perfection” came that which is “in part” would disappear. 13:8-10. Individualism is childish. Working as part of a body, where my every action is done for the good of the whole body, is mature – perfect! The same message is much clearer in Ephesians 4:7-16. Also note Romans 15:14 and 1 John 2:18-27
    Downunderwriter David

  64. Kevin, you said
    Why I ask is that words of truth alone are not enough to gather together the true Body , or to overcome the individualism that reflects the spirit of this age.

    Kevin, i disagree the Word alone IS sufficent.

    Kevin, you said
    The body came together, under the full anointing of the early apostles, which was the words of truth along with the spiritual authority and power from Lord Jesus Christ ,to set the captives free from the bondage of the spirit of this world.

    Kevin, at that time they did not have the cannon of scripture (NT) and that was the NEED for apostles then. The apostles laid the foundation of the Church and left us with the Word. When the foundation is laid, that is when the foundation layers leave. It is then up to us to build the house, on that foundation. You NEVER bring the foundaton layers back after the process of building the house has begun.

    His living Word is ALL sufficent,

    Blessings.

  65. This message sure hits the nail of the head. The self centered, “me” generation. Its all about “I”. There are thousands outside the church and thousands setting in the church, busy with this life’s affairs.

    We recently went to visit a borderline homeless person. She’s in her seventies still has to mow grass for a living and is now in poor health.

    My wife thinks this lady had a mild heart attack. She is not able to get around well, but has been improving over the last several weeks.

    Her refrigerator was empty, she has not been able to get out and mow. Her boots were wrapped with duct tape. I had to go outside to weep, for this sister in the Lord.

    She told us while there she cannot understand why no one from her church will come and help her. They know shes been sick but everyone is too busy to help this dear saint of God. Besides she dresses poorly, not educated, and is not one of the church elite.

    It’s the “me” generation that does not realize what is going on around them. Its going on for sure outside the church and inside as well.

    GaryB

  66. Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Blessings

  67. Roger (NZ) May 15th 2013

    We might need to distinguish between ‘word’ and ‘Word’ here.

    The written ‘words’ of scripture, and the living ‘Word’ of God, who is Christ Jesus, only Son of the Living God.

  68. Richard Savage May 15th 2013

    I’ll probably be evicted from the forum for this post, but hey ho! The Lord Jesus will prevail, either from my words or others thoughts.

    I think deeply and pray about every article posted here, but this one …

    …this article disturbs me, not for the plain text, which most are commenting on, but rather it’s ‘voice,’ it’s back flavour or redolence. The unheard cry of a man trying desperately to defend the indefensible.

    It’s what I hear as I read.

    Andrew S, you’re a man I admire, a fine Christian man, you’re a fighting man. A stand up and fight the good fight man. Right? Of course right! I’ve learned a lot about you this last year. Yet in this article I hear you fighting against, resisting God, the perfect will of God. This article is a cry! Your cry!

    Why cry out against our Father? Peer pressure, perhaps? reputation? Fear? Of no account, really.

    Andrew, you’ve been in, and divorced yourself from OOC people. A bitter, wounded spouse. Like many divorced men they think and, occasionally, speak ill of their former brides. I know, I am a divorced man.

    Yet your former bride, the wife of your youth, awaits you still, arms open and willing to receive you as if nothing happened.

    You’re the man, Andrew, the man of this time. The man who has a place in and with OOC … there’s between 20 million and 100 million Christians out here. Such a congregation. This is your time. Now! Soon, oh so soon, no one will muster this army but the Holy Spirit. But for this time, this moment …

    … I believe no man has had such a congregation before. I believe also, the Father, through His son and in the Holy Spirit, has been calling you for ten years, maybe more.

    Stop fighting, man.

    I appeal you to realise your call of a Holy God. Better the difficult road than the easy one which is wood, hay, straw and stubble. Do they ever burn!

    I’ll say goodbye to all, Andrew, you won’t leave this post to be read.

  69. Dear Roger (NZ)

    Sorry, but i am not quite understanding you, could you please explain a little further, thank you.

    And btw really good article you posted on the near end of the previous thread, i read it all today :)

    Blessings

  70. Ken1,

    Do you understand that when the bible refers to the word of God , that it is referring to Lord Jesus Christ ?

    So if we separate the letter of the bible from the spirit of our Lord , and deliver the letter only it is not the living word of God as you said above, for it is the Spirit that gives the letter life.

    When we deliver the letter of the bible with the spirit of our Lord , it indeed the living word of God, and as such will set the captives free.

    Blessings

    Kevin

  71. Roger (NZ) May 15th 2013

    Ken1, my apologies, the comment I made refers to your previous one, where you said: “His living Word is all sufficient” to me, that phrase speaks of Christ Jesus our Lord, not the wriiten words of scripture.

    I could have explained that better :(

  72. Andrew,

    Regarding John the Baptist , it was the spirit of God that drew people out to the desert to hear John preach and to be baptized.

    This was what I was meaning above when saying

    ” I put it to you , that it is only when the Spiritual authority of our Lord Jesus Christ has gone before the preaching of words of truth , preparing the way, that the words of truth will be able to be received.”

    Blessings

    Kevin

  73. Yes, Kevin i do understand that and believe it.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Kevin, sorry if i missunderstood you, and maybe i am missunderstanding DonaldNZ aswell.

    Blessings.

  74. gloria goold May 15th 2013

    I believe we dont want to be individualistic , and I believe when the true church arises with true apostolic annointing, real, true, Godly apostolic anointing the people who are truly called to that office, we will see the fruit and follow, and we will then grow into the church and body GOD has called. It is not happening right now, in the content it should but God is preparing for HIMSELF people who will display the power, works, and kingdom of God government and true offices. I don’t believe LEADER will be the word, I believe TEAM, OFFICE, BODY will be the words used. And I believe GOD will bring it to the cities ..as HIS CHURCH in a city…when we recognize truth we will follow truth…

  75. RogerNZ, i see we have been posting at the same time :)

    Blessings

  76. RogerNZ, no problem :)

  77. Let’s replace the word office with the word function.

  78. I am not sure what folk mean when they talk of “apostolic annointing” Maybe i am missunderstanding you.

    From the bible, this is what the credentials are for an apostle/prophet.

    Acts 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

    Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, “must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection”

    “must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection”

    Blessings.

  79. DonaldN,
    What is some practical advice for me?
    Can anyone tell me what I should be doing?Quote………………………………

    Put your total faith in Jesus and His Words.

    Continue walking with the Lord, seeking His Will for your life. In God’s timing He will make a way for you.

    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the powers of darkness of this age.

    God knows your circumstances so commit all your ways to Him and He will direct your steps.

    Lord Bless,
    GaryB

  80. I have struggled in my church membership. I have a son who has autism and many needs. Having often felt out of sync with church settings, I have tended to not be committed and therefore skirt around the edges. I can be accused of being an individualistic christian. I don’t want it to be that way, but have found it difficult to trust others. People are often so busy, its hard to sit down and have a cup of coffee with someone these days. ‘Busy’ has become a catch word. I have recently felt that its a type of idolatry. We parade our busyness as though its a badge of pride. i think that is part of the problem. I have stopped saying ‘I’m busy’ seriously, who isn’t ? and who cares? why should it stop you from sitting down and having a coffee with someone? maybe you would find out that they are struggling with a child with special needs!

  81. Ken1,

    In response to your comment to me when you said ;

    ” You NEVER bring the foundaton layers back after the process of building the house has begun.”

    Have you noticed how Paul was coming back after laying the foundations to ensure that followers continued to walk in the truth ?

    The apostolic ministry , is really the ministry and fullness of Lord Jesus Christ and as such the true apostles are called to walk in the authority , love and example of Lord Jesus Christ, as Paul did , which is often referred to as “apostolic anointing ”

    Jesus came in the flesh, and established the apostolic ministry here on earth , and imparted this to the first apostles.

    True apostles today would be examples of our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, and the spiritual gifts working through them would confirm the call, as it was with Paul .

    Blessings

    Kevin

  82. The apostle Paul , is really the example for today, in that he came after the other apostles, after the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ , and the sending of the Holy Spirit , so Paul was called by , empowered by and sent by the Spirit of our Lord .

    In Paul we see the example of the the “apostolic anointing” and how he was called to serve our Lord and His Body.

  83. wineskin May 16th 2013

    Christianity 101: Every single Christ follower is an INDIVIDUAL part and parcel of something very real, healthy and magnificent…namely, the proverbial Body of Christ! Unfortunately, and for reasons that escape all logic, the majority of today’s Christians have forfeited their genuine individuality in favor of joining a bandwagon mindset that leaves them clumped together in a badly weakened state of spiritual deformity.

    I believe it is the LACK of our INDIVIDUAL crises and courage that has molded Christianity into the floundering clump of cloned body parts it has become.

    Stand up and be counted for Christ’s sake.

  84. Great post Andrew, if I may, I want to point to something Jesus prayed in the garden. It’s found in John 17:-

    John 17:17-23 KJV
    [17] Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. [18] As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. [19] And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. [20] Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; [21] That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. [22] And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: [23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

    This was a prayer from God The Son, to God The Father and I believe that many Christians miss something very important about unity of the Body of believers when they read these words. First off, the Bible teaches us that if we pray and ask anything according to God’s will, He will give us the thing we have asked for:-

    1 John 5:14 KJV
    [14] And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

    James 4:3 KJV
    [3] Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

    These give the positive and negative sides of this principle, but the prayer of Jesus was that all who are His disciples would be one, as He and The Father are one. Clearly Jesus could not pray anything that would be against The Father’s will.
    This leads us to pose a question; If Jesus asked The Father for believers to be one, and He must have been in line with the will of The Father to do so, then surely this request has been answered in the affirmative?

    Although we may not perceive this unity of the brethren all the time, I’m sure that there are many who have experienced this phenomenon at least once in their Christian walk. We know from scripture that it’s not by might, nor by power, but by The Spirit, that God’s plan is unfolding in the world. Therefore, since Jesus prayed for His followers to be ‘one’, as He and The Father are ‘one’, it must indeed be so, unless God The Father denied Jesus’ request, something I find hard to believe.

    Those who are truly His, are one in Him, whether they perceive it or not. This is not a forced, ‘let’s all just go along to get along’ type of unity (which is merely compromise), but a true unity, based on the truth of God’s word. When we love the truth, we are one with others who also love the truth, but we may (and often will) be at odds with those who don’t love the truth in the same way.

    This is happening around the world, where Christians who love the truth enough to separate from wrong teaching find that they are not alone, there are others who share this dislike for what is happening in apostate churches, because they love the same truth and follow the same Spirit. In this they are more ‘one’, than many who still trek along to their favourite entertainment centre and boast of their ‘unity’.
    They have a kind of unity, but it is unity based on compromise. It is the kind of unity that says; “Oh, we shouldn’t disagree with the Pastor, it breeds disunity.”

    This is not the unity that the Bible applauds, it is false. The prophets in the OT were at odds with the majority and often found themselves a lone voice, but taken as a group, they were ‘one’, they spoke with one voice, because it was the voice of God. The same thing is happening today, where Christians who truly walk in the Spirit are ‘one’ with others of like mind, but often find themselves accused of bringing division. I’m sure you have experienced that yourself. However, the scripture often quoted, says that those who bring division, are not those who speak out against wrong doctrine, but those who speak contrary to sound doctrine:-

    Romans 16:17 KJV
    [17] Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    The fact that the majority go along with these wrong doctrines, doesn’t mean that they are right just because they have a kind of unity, it is in fact those who speak out against false doctrine that are truly ‘one’ according to scripture. Of course, as long as they are truly doing so out of a love for the truth and in love for the brethren.

    I think that in light of what I have said above, God will take care of us being ‘one’, or in the kind of unity that He is pleased with, so we should be praying that in-spite of all we see around us, we should be looking to Him first and foremost, to keep us grounded in the truth of His word, which will ensure that we are in fact, of one mind, the mind of Christ. Anything other than this is vanity.

    Shalom,
    Alan.

  85. Ken1 said: Kevin, at that time they did not have the cannon of scripture (NT) and that was the NEED for apostles then. The apostles laid the foundation of the Church and left us with the Word. When the foundation is laid, that is when the foundation layers leave. It is then up to us to build the house, on that foundation. You NEVER bring the foundaton layers back after the process of building the house has begun.

    His living Word is ALL sufficent,

    Blessings.

    Me: If what you wrote was true, then why do we have thousands of denominations all believing something different but reading the same NT scriptures? And why is there over 2 billion people professing to be Christians, but yet we don’t see the power, the love, the miracles, or the fellowship that the 1st century Christians had?

    Kevin said: Jesus came in the flesh, and established the apostolic ministry here on earth , and imparted this to the first apostles.

    True apostles today would be examples of our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, and the spiritual gifts working through them would confirm the call, as it was with Paul .

    Blessings

    Kevin

    Me: I agree, and I will add this: Not only did Jesus establish the apostolic ministry, but He also gave the other four ministry gifts to His body that we may all come to the unity of the faith.

    We all know the often quoted Ephesians 4:11-13, but we have not seen the reality of those written scriptures lived out in this generation, but I know that day is coming soon and we will see a great end-time harvest before Jesus returns.

  86. Sandra G. May 16th 2013

    Andrew S., good article, many different views. The Lord will lead, and HE knows your heart, and I know you already know this. Follow the spirit, if this is your calling, it will be revealed, and if it is truly from God, it will not fail. Jesus is gathering HIS church from all over the world, and HE has appointed some preachers, teachers, etc. All things will come together in HIS time, and for HIS glory.

    Blessings,
    In HIS light,
    Sandra G.

  87. Lightning Storm May 16th 2013

    Alan……………an amazing revelation!

    That is a real eye opener for me…thank you.

  88. Yes Andrew is correct about the individualism of today, however let’s not not forget, if this were not so then the Bible would not be God’s book!
    The last days began at Pentesost ! How do we know this? because Peter said so “this is that …..in the last days …..by the Prophet Joel…”
    In Bible prophecy a “day” is often a thousand years.
    Adam to Christ 6 days, Christ to second coming two days – the “last” days. followed by va thousand year millennium – one day the last day – a sabbath type -Jesus reigning supreme..
    Paul expands on this in II Timothy 3 “This know also. in the “last days….” We all know the rest of this chapter. The individualism and self aggrandisement will only continue to get worse, not better! This philosophy has been taught to primary school children in Australia for a generation “You are the most important person, you must do what is best for you”
    .It is an growing ongoing phenomenon of the last two thousand years and is coming to its peak in our time with the “sea and the waves” roaring – Luke 21 14 the sea is the multitude of people nation languages Rev 17 1 and verse15 – ” – the age of Laodicea ( power of the people)
    This understanding helps explain the important parable of Peter invited to walk with Jesus on the raging sea,. he started ok but began to sink when he focussed on the problem (the stormy water below) and not the solution, Jesus walking toward him.Then Jesus lifted him up by the hand and they walked on, how? – Together! Hand in hand PTL
    In Christ the Spirit filled, fitly joined together, “walk on water” (above the world ‘s storms) with and untill, Jesus returns, no matter how much these storms worsen, provided we keep our eyes on Him and walk with our hand in His, we focus on the solution,, not the problem.

    Just as Andrew says above: so the the Bible pattern is!
    Although our salvation is individual, we each become a vital part of the Body and walk together with Him, we all, (ie Christians by the Bible definition not our own – Acts 2 38) need each other. One church, one faith, etc.
    Are we furiously paddling in the storm alone? struggling just to keep our head above water? In great danger of being engulfed! Or ratgher walking with Jesus His hand in ours, above all the turmoil. Victorious, more than conquerors, with the Saints of God.
    Bless you all
    Pr Michael

  89. Andrew May 16th 2013

    I think some misunderstand what I mean by an “anointed word”. This is not just a person talking about the Bible, but it is a “word with power” – a special anointing upon preaching that literally has the power (by the Holy Spirit) to transform those who hear it.

    Such preaching is sadly quite rare and is one of the hallmarks of truly “apostolic” teaching or preaching.

    In my view, it is one of the keys to seeing the true ‘Body’ form in our day.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  90. Andrew ,

    I agree with what you have said in your above post about an anointed word, for it is only in this way that people can be transformed and become part of the true Body, and I agree that sadly it is quite rare today.

    When the word isn’t anointed all it does is make people angry and cause divisions , as it lacks the power to set them free.

    Blessings

    Kevin

  91. Andrew,

    There is the aspect that those who have been given over to a strong delusion wont receive any word for they have not a love of the truth.

    Having said that , many who are ooc as you would put it , are simply there because they have been caught in the crossfire of deceptive leadership , and have simply ducked for cover, so I wouldn’t become discouraged by the rejection of ones who have not a love for the truth, for if our Lord Jesus Christ sends you out with an anointed word, it will accomplish what it was sent out to achieve.

    Blessings

    Kevin

  92. Randy McCoy May 16th 2013

    I believe one of the greatest tragedies of the modern American Church is the absence of and/or desperate on-going struggle for true community (Body life}. That when man was created in God’s image, He did provided for individuality, yet instilled within man an innate desire for something God Himself was seeking – relationship and a loving family. One that would manifest the life of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. A family that could easily be recognized by how they would exercise their individuality in showing their love for God and fellow man.

    God has never changed that pursuit, even with the complications of the fall. His Son resolved that problem, but it would seem that shortly after the first century man lost sight of God’s eternal purpose regarding family, and man with his individual ideas and practices regarding God run amuck, particularly on what the role of the Church was.

  93. Andrew anointed word I take it you mean like Peter at Pentecost?
    He did not have to go off and prepare a talk consulting lexicons concordances OT scripture, writing notes, and prompts. He had just been baptised with, filled with, the Holy Ghost and fire he had spent three years at Jesus feet, he only had to open his mouth and the Spirit of God poured out of his new heart and mind, every word inspired.- result 3000 baptised that very day
    I do not believe this anointed preaching can be copied. learnt.or taught. i have been privileged to see it develop in young men dedicated to the Lord.
    I came to know the Lord after coming out from a mainstream church in ’65. where such preaching and testimony ( in private homes) saw about 50 folk of all ages living in a geographically isolated, parochial population of just 3000, get baptised and Spirit filled in just 4 months, this is a huge percentage. There were many miracles of healing and deliverance whilst the rest of the community was turned upside down, they clammed up and would have nothing of it
    I soon came to the conclusion that “he that has ears to hear, let him hear”, is so true. A scholarly word may be interesting, informative, but the inspired word will bring genuine tears of repentance or joy in those that have hearing ears but also public vitriol and some a rarer secret respect in those that choose to not “hear” Such preaching is indeed rare and the “College of knowledge” can not reproduce it
    Pr Michael

  94. Andrew May 16th 2013

    Yes, Michael – exactly.

    Teaching too can have this “transforming” anointing.

    In fact, we could do with an entire Reformation/Revival centered around teaching like that in the modern church!! A “teaching” revival.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  95. fabakary May 16th 2013

    Sometimes it is not the lack of “apostles” etc the Corinthian Church never lack “apostles” like Paul , yet the were very divisive , disunity was there order. None of the apostles were to be blamed , of the divisions or there carnality but each individual person among them. God has given each of us an individual responsibility to walk in Love ,and mercy. Each of us has a neighbor. Anyone that we can come in contact with by any mean is a neighbor. We also have spiritual neighbors ;the brother and sisters in Christ. It is in our relationship with our neighbor that our Love and mercy will be tested. The unity of the church starts with each individual treated each spiritual neighbor as himself. Confession of sin to the neighbor we harm, forgiving the neighbor that wrongs us,interceding ,sharing spiritual food, as God lead , because we desire their good etc. To think of the unity of the church while neglecting our work to Love the neighbor near us , is a vain fantasy.One of the most challenging word from the Lord is “love one another as I HAVE LOVED YOU”. Christ Love extend both to our physical, emotion and our spiritual needs. He want us to extend the same kind of love to one another. At one season , our Love may be express by physical means, another time emotional healing, and another season it can be spiritual when he empowers us . We have Love to give always in it many forms , to our neighbor. Forget about unity if we neglect our responsibility , to follow peace and love with all men.Talking about unity while am living in malice, unforgiveness etc is a vain fantasy.Love is always Gods Will.

  96. So true ! But how can Baby Christians who watch “christian” TV NOT get carried away by this stuff when they see people on TV telling them that to b e a Christian means to love oneSELF, to recognise oneSELF, to assert oneSELF and to love oneSELF before we can love others.

    Surely this is the exact opposite of ” DENY yourSELF, take up your cross and follow Me” ? Only when we GO and GIVE and participate in the lives of others, only then do we see that this is what The Lord Jesus did. He ( and arguably Moses in the OT ) was completely selfless … This should be our goal. God bless!

  97. All the responders here have made valid and identical comments. I think the individualism is not so much the crucial issue in this article, but more the fact of the church moving away from the Book of Acts Early Church community structures towards today’s manmade religious system, which inhibits community.

    Jesus warned his disciples to beware of false prophets who would come to them in sheep’s clothing and Paul predicted that before Christ would return there would be a “falling away”. He also said “But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons…”

    Those departures from original Christianity increased in the 2nd century and grew in number with each passing generation. The most significant of the early departures occurred when the Roman General Constantine embraced Christianity in his struggle for victory in a civil war with Gen. Maxentius, leader of the old pagan element of Rome. This occurred in 312 A.D. After Constantine, became the emperor, through a series of edicts he gradually turned Christianity into the state religion . He and his successors used the church for their political ends

    The period of time from 476 to the start of the Protestant Reformation and the Renaissance in the 1500s has been called the Dark Ages, because all of Europe and England fell under the power of a corrupt church that we now know as the Roman Catholic Church. The scene for church structures were set by
    those earlier years and thus destroyed the foundation of the Book of Acts Early Church. Those Roman style church structures WORK AGAINST COMMUNITY AND UNITY.

    BUT what happened to the faithful church (remnant) during this period? The true church continued to exist and went underground during those long centuries of persecution. And to cut a long historical story short, the underground church is still visible today, as some are in the process of being called out from their apostate churches, meeting like the remnant church did, in homes, backpackers, cafes or wherever. Some still reside in churches which may still hold onto Biblical truth, but overall their structures are still not in line with that of the Book of Acts Early Churches.
    So today’s church structures do not set the scene for having things in common or breaking bread from house to house.

  98. Jda016 May 16th 2013

    The thing that hits me the most about this article is the importance of the anointing.

    I look around me and see a lost and dieing world and I feel so helpless to do anything about. The ones I witness to simply smile and nod and tell me they believe in God and yet they go and live an ungodly life.

    I see emotional and physical pain that overwhelms my heart and soul. I see emotionally healing, but it comes so slowly and with much difficulty and pain. I praise God for these emotionally headings in others, but lately I just find myself all the more desperate for God’s presence and anointing.

    I feel as if many Servants of Christ are in the “upper room” waiting for a new wave of Pentacost. I know we have the Holy Spirit already and I am so grateful for his power, leading, discernment, and healing. I see His work in my life and in the life of others and yet I long for a greater measure of Him to be poured out.

    I see the light of People’s love for God being extinguished in so many lives as the great falling away continues to take its toll. I pray for a third great awakening. I pray for God’s Spirit on a massive scale where people will turn their hearts back to God and the annanias and saphiras will be judged, so that they can no longer harm the Church.

    O’ God, may your fresh anointing and Presense fill your people in a way that we have not yet seen!

  99. Amen to my brother Jonathan’s prayer for a third great awakening in America – there will be – it has been prophesied – it will be… :-)

    As you say Jonathan it’s all about tarrying – waiting for the Power to come from on High – this waiting where we literally cease our labours and show God that we “mean business” is what He is waiting for…

    People only preach anointed sermons when the Power of the Holy Spirit is upon them – the Power of the Holy Spirit is only upon people when they have waited (tarried) for the Power from on High…

    Yes, we all do have the Holy Spirit within us but we need the Presence of His Holy Spirit upon us like He rested on Jesus in the form of a dove and we need to have gone through our wilderness experience (led by the Spirit into the wilderness) being tempted by the devil and then we come back in the Power of the Spirit – Jesus came up out of the Jordan Filled with the Holy Spirit – He came back from the wilderness in the Power of the Holy Spirit…

    Preparation is so important and then there is a time where all the prayers are “tipped out” over your life or your college or your town or whatever and you experience the results of those prayers but even when that is happening you must keep praying cos that’s preparing for the next wave of God’s blessing – as the answers always “lag” (but the Lord will help you to do all of this as you rest in Him – it will flow out of you like rivers of living water)… Good thing to remember for the future brother… :-)

    Love you,

    Andrew

  100. i see nothing wrong in being individual – we are all created unique and surely it is out diverse gifts and talents that show the some of the greatness of God Almighty. i am glad for individuals who have had the courage and bravery to branch out into their callings – else we might be sharing these comments online but waiting for the wells fargo to come into town with messages that had been written weeks ago.

  101. There is no such thing as individuals for those who belong to Christ. Our walk is not alone it is with Jesus, God and teh Holy Spirit and all those others that belong to Him. No we may not attend mens churches and listen to mens doctrines and be conformed to mens ideas of what a christian should be,we are His, and we follow Jesus alone, we are being conformed to His image not the image of man, a thousand miles apart,never seeing one another yet all have one mind, to have Jesus glorified in our lives.

    In all His Love

  102. Kevin

    The apostles (foundation layers) continued laying the foundation right up to the end of their lives. John the revelator being the last foundation layer and he completed the cannon of scripture in 90 something AD. That is when the foundation was completely laid and finished. And that is why we have no need of apostles today as we have the completed Word and the indwelling Holy Spirit to leed, guide and teach us.

    The first century Church did not have the completed cannon of the NT scripture and it was also a BIG transition period for them, from law to grace, they were a very unique generation, being a pre cross post cross generation. Can’t have been easy for them, hence the NEED for the apostles then.

    Blessings.

  103. The answer seems simple

    Instead of waiting for some anointed word, or move of God, or a group of believers that share His heart, there is only one thing each of us needs to do to bring forth His will on this earth.

    Be and do all that He has called us as individuals to do. Be the part of the body He has called us to be. Encourage others to be who God has called them to be.

    Individualism is not as great a problem in the body as is looking to someone else to begin a move of God. Every individual member is meant to be a move of God and when such members are gathered, the church and Christ is manifested. The churches greatest problem is looking to others, or some prophet or apostle to join to.

    The church is not looking like the church because its members are not functioning as His members in too many instances. His members are always individually functioning for the benefit of the body.
    To do that, we must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and His sheep do hear His voice.

    the solution is that easy. Most of us are waiting for someone else to get something happening, or trying in our own strength to make it happen. When done in the Spirit, the word brings forth its own fruit

    That seems to be the most tell-tale reason why things are as they are. God has not spoken to or through most speakers or transformation WOULD happen. It is one thing to point out the symptoms of the problems, it is quite another to point out the root of the ANSWER.
    Do not depend on Andrew, nor me, nor another. Depend only on God who will make you broken bread and poured out wine for others. The flesh will manifest death, and the Spirit will pour forth life.

  104. Dear Reb,

    The last part of your message was the best.

    Depend only on God who will make you broken bread and poured out wine for others. The flesh will manifest death, and the Spirit will pour forth life.

    Live in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine: No more can you, except you abide in Me.
    I AM the Vine, you are the branches: He that lives in Me, and I in them, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5

    Robert Glenn

  105. Marilyn Crow May 16th 2013

    Andrew Strom

    When I read your article Andrew, I tried to see your heart & hear what God is saying through you. I heard your deep concern & pain for the Body of Christ. I felt your cry that we were scattered & in danger, separated from each other.

    I know you have shed tears, prayed long & sought with deep longings for Christ`s Body & that it is seemingly in disarray. With your eyes you see the devistation that perhaps you think is from the enemy, but then I look & …….

    I see JESUS, Jesus only.

    Jesus the living Head
    He who flung the stars in space,
    He who holds all things together,
    He who hung upon a cruel cross,
    He who wields all power & forgiveness.

    I see that He is well able
    to gather the sheep & those with lambs,
    gather them into His bosom,
    bring them from the far flung hills,
    return them to green pastures.

    I know that this is but
    a moment in His planning,
    a space where we can ponder,
    what is of me, of God or man,

    Accounting day has come come upon us,
    who will live to go on further,
    who will rise to face the day,
    only those who hear God calling
    know the time, the day, the way.

    So my friends, as we gather,
    from the North, South, east & West.
    don`t doubt, nor fear, nor worry,
    come kneel anew & listen,
    uphold each other now in prayer.

    This new day is fast approaching,
    when Jesus comes afresh,
    reveals Himself in fulness splendour,
    hearts o`flowing, He know best.

    So rest now, wait now, kneel now, trust now….
    …in His timing, in His way.

    All in His care. Love Marilyn.

  106. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    The Body IS from Pentecost. The Body doesn’t consist in hierarchies, buildings, authority structures. The Body Is wherever it is to be found.

    That so many power structures insist so powerfully that they must control the Body, disciple it, fleece it of resources and ‘teach’ it is very worrying indeed.

    One wonders what it is about the Body these earth bound people so fear?

    Couldn’t be the Lord Jesus, could it?

  107. Tyrone & Kevin

    From scripture, this is what the credentials are for an apostle.

    Acts 1:21 Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us

    Act 1:22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—”one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection”

    “one of these [must become] a [witness with us} of [His resurrection]”

    Blessings.

  108. I certainly fear the Lord.

    Again our brother Reb wrote:

    Depend only on God who will make you broken bread and poured out wine for others. The flesh will manifest death, and the Spirit will pour forth life.

    The flesh will manifest death. Because the two-edged Sword of the Spirit of the Word of God will slay the flesh of the man who comes to the LORD.

    And the Spirit will pour forth life. Because the same Sword of the Spirit of the Word of God that slays the man of flesh, does so that He may bring forth the Life of Christ Jesus within the soul of the redeemed.

    See now that I, even I, AM He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. Deuteronomy 32:29

    Robert Glenn

  109. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    The controlling spirit in Rome manifested itself clearly as the Roman church was over-arching the Hebrew/Roman Christians. So many of todays would-be controllers are from daughter churches of Rome! Others, from Pentecostal arrangements, must like the power and influence such control gives them. It’s worth remembering pastors and teachers are at the bottom of the list of offices given by Paul. Does this signify their relative importance in the Body? I think so.

    Whatever the case, some of us now outside the institutions, let’s say here shall we, outside the camp, look now not for conventional leadership which tends to corruption, a priesthood in all but name, but rather to local elders, in true NT fashion.

    Far from being a case of rampant individualism, or chronic lone-ranger syndrome as our life condition is often diagnosed, it is a genuine seeking after Jesus, the Holy One of Israel, without the mediation of an errant pastor, well trained in Bible school but largely inexperienced in or ignorant of the ways of God. Individualism doesn’t come into it.

    Judgements and accusations of lone-rangerism have been pitched at me. Yet the pitcher more resembles a bad husband divorced by a good wife and mother.

    Isn’t it amazing? We have a crucified and risen Saviour, Jesus of Nazareth, who, in His resurrection tore down the walls of separation between people of all kinds. Yet somehow, the institutional church has been so hard at work erecting walls, impenetrable barriers, around their particular bits of turf; so busy making Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals et al. A priestly dereliction of duty to the flock.

    Either we are of one Body, or we are not. But I say again, the Body doesn’t consist in buildings or institutions. It consists because the Lord Jesus left us the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. But He didn’t give us an institution.

  110. Hi Richard, If there’s anything which you ‘d like me to pray about either for you personally or for your family (or any family member), anything the Lord’s put on your heart for breakthrough for you personally or for your family (or any family member), just let me know and I will take it before the Lord to seek His will, Love in the Lord, Andrew

  111. Heal the hurt Father, heal the division in Your Body – Your “Called Out Ones” all over the world – bring Your “Called Out Ones” – called out of the world and it’s way of thinking – back together with each other in True Unity… :-)

    What I am beginning to experience in our local congregation here in Christchurch, New Zealand – a growing and building momentum of a move of Your Spirit amongst us – let this and much, much more be experienced all over the world – especially in the West – by Your People who are genuinely seeking Your Face – for the “real deal”…

    We are waiting for Your Name to be established as a Praise in all the earth…

    We are waiting for the headlines to declare the mighty works of God all over the world…

    We are waiting for a pure testimony for Your Glory to raise up from the earth – the Manifold Wisdom of God to be released and seen through Your Church as it visibly presences itself in various locations, towns and cities all over the world…

    Presence Yourself God in the corporate gatherings of Your People…

    Whether this is in a supermarket carpark, a sports field, a town square, a local school hall, a ‘church’ building, a stadium, a prison, a jungle, a river, wherever Your People meet all over the world Presence Yourself amongst them and let them wait on You to pour out the Power of God from on High as at the beginning…

    And of the increase of His Government and of Peace there shall be no end…

    This tells me that no matter how dark it gets Your Light – Your True Remnant on this earth – will shine brighter and we all know that we shine brighter in unity and togetherness with all our brothers and sisters in our localities – join us together Lord – let us put aside differences – when we know that certain ones are true brothers and sisters – in that case let us put aside differences and “get on” with each other and the work which You have called us to do – to demonstrate You to the world…

    You gave us a Body not an institution, a Body with some guidelines in Your word of how it was to operate at a local congregation level – let us get back to Your word and follow Your guidelines…

    Do we really love You?

    Your Church is Your Body Globally and each local congregation of Your Saints is a microcosm – a miniature picture – of the whole – demonstrating to the spiritual realm the Manifold Wisdom of God – how great a priviledge is that?

    Bring Unity all over the world in Your Church – not the false unity of the world – but Unity in Submission to the Holy Spirit – unity in submission to the word of God – to the spirit of the word of God…

    A new commandment I give you, love one another, as I have loved you so you must also love one another, all men will know that you are My disciples (note) if you love one another…

    How important is true unity amongst His People to Jesus?

    How important is it to us?

  112. wineskin May 16th 2013

    My individual thoughts, desires, mistakes and decisions are a God-given blessing, not a curse.

    Only as a free thinking individual could I have made the personal decision to do as Jesus told us to do…to follow Him to individual freedom.

    Ironically, the first thing my new-found freedom showed me was that following Jesus was much easier, safer, saner and far more rewarding than my following the others that claim to be following Jesus.

    I think it’s pretty spooky how our God-given individuality rubs so many Christians the wrong way.

  113. Eph 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
    Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
    Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
    Eph 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

  114. Lightning Storm May 16th 2013

    Yes…Its the ANOINTING that is needed and required!

    It is the ANOINTING that is lacking! Because you will not find Christ, the anointing, in the world, in a building, in a song, in a book. The Anointing is the Holy Spirit and Christ.

    But, WHY are you looking OUTSIDE YOURSELF for the ANOINTED ONE??

    The ANOINTED ONE resides WITHIN YOU.

    If you are hungry or thirsty for ANOINTED teaching and preaching, why look to someone else other than God?
    Why are you looking for Light outside of yourself? God and His Light is INSIDE you.

    We were given the HOLY SPIRIT and the ANOINTING. We were given ALL THAT WE NEED….GOD HIMSELF living WITHIN each of us. He is ALL SUFFICIENT.

    You are hungry and thirsty because you have not entered into the SECRET PLACE to ACCESS ALL that has been made available to you by/and in Almighty God, Who is All Sufficient.
    The ONLY place you can receive what you need from God is in the Secret Place.
    You must ask Him for THE INCREASE.

    Sgs 2:14 NASB
    ” O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your form, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your form is lovely.”

    Mat 6:6 KJV
    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret SHALL REWARD THEE OPENLY.

    Joe 2:16 KJV
    Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the BRIDE OUT OF HER CLOSET.

    The Rivers of Living Water; the Light of God; the Anointing; the Presence of God; the Power of God; etc etc

    ALL RESIDE WITHIN YOU, because He resides within you.
    ALL ARE TO FLOW FROM WITHIN YOU…..AN OVERFLOWING can happen only when YOU are FULL.

    If you are hungry, thirsty, dry….you are not FULL….you can become FULL ONLY in the secret place.

    DO NOT go into the world with an empty cup like a beggar.

  115. Lightning Storm May 16th 2013

    When a follower of Jesus Christ lives in the FULLNESS of His Presence (abiding in the vine), then it matters not where the Holy Spirit leads them.

    Because they are not SEEKING to be filled up or to receive…..they are already FULL and are waiting upon the Lord to use the OVERFLOW anywhere at anytime or place.

    We CARRY the Presence of God; the Fullness of God; the Anointing of God; the Goodness of God into the world….

  116. Lightning Storm May 16th 2013

    Our outward human relationships are a REFLECTION of our INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP with Almighty God.

    Our intimate fellowship with Almighty God is NURTURED and INCREASED in the secret place.

    Not church, bible study, or forums.

  117. Andrew May 16th 2013

    Is it my imagination, or is “INDIVIDUALISM” (of the most damaging and extreme kind) utterly rampant in this very Thread lately?

    Good grief!!

    So “anti-Body” and “anti-leader” – it is incredible.

    The very things Jesus set for edification and unity, they want to tear down.

    Sad.

    Andrew Strom

  118. Andrew May 16th 2013

    Kevin – you shone a bright light with your Scripture quote-

    “Eph 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
    Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
    Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
    Eph 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

    I think some here need to read that passage over and over until they truly “get it”.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  119. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    Andrew, it is your imagination!

    Look to the Damascus Road my friend.

  120. It’s not your imagination Andrew, I can see it too… :-)

  121. My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,

    There is a Godly answer for all of the impotent out of church people, as well as to all of the impotent people in a church structure. The answer has been there from the begging when the Alef Tav, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lord Christ Jesus walked among His people on this earth. His Word was the Word of His Father and His Word is AMEN, AMEN, the First and the Last that upholds all things of creation.

    But, before we provide a Rock solid answer to our problems, we’re going to challenge you. Each of you will need to answer the following questions that have been asked before on this blog, but no one will answer. Apparently it is thought that it is better to remain ignorant and voiceless to the controversy of our New Covenant Communion in the Body and Blood of our Savior. I wonder who is the disputer of the Word of God, in the first place?

    So then, the first quintessential question that leads us to Truth is: Whom do you believe and fully trust? Is it the teachers who teach out of the blindness of their own philosophical hearts and self determining minds, who in their blindness, have seen nothing of the substance of the Truth? Obviously, most of the out of churchers wouldn’t be here on this blog if you were completely enthralled with previous church leadership. Or do you believe the Word of the Creator of the heavens and the earth, whereby all things of this universe, visible and invisible, consist of the TRUTH of His WORD of unknowable Power? Do not the heavens declare the glory and the power of the God of the Living? Only the fool or a blind man continually denies the facts of the evidence of the Almighty’s infinite power. God is not confined to the constructs of His creation.

    So then what is your perception of the Truth when holy, holy, holy Father God the Almighty has His living Word of TRUTH, Jesus Christ say: Amen, Amen [or Absolutely Absolutely]; I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you have no Life in you.” (John 6:53-57.) Jesus then asking the unbelieving, says: “Does this [Word] offend you”?  Of course so many of you have been offended, because of your own unbelief that is not of faith in the WORD made flesh. You have let blind guides establish their form of philosophical errors within the matrix of your mind, and that mind of yours, by the breath of your mouth, presents and speaks of your own spirit. So then you that are wise in your own conceits, tell me if you can: Does not the mind of a man engender the spirit of that mind when the man speaks? And how do you even begin to purge the unknowable errors of self centered sin that is established within the hundred billion neurons with its trillions of interconnecting dendrites and axons that permeates the solitary structure of the human brain that initiates the thoughts and intentions of the mind of man? If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and The TRUTH is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and His WORD is not in us.1st John 1:8 and 10. Make no further mistake on this matter. The mind that you and I have needs to be regenerated with the Truth of the Word of God. The mind of Christ is the Mind of the Holy Spirit that God gives to us as a promised gift, and certainly the Mind of the Spirit of Christ and God does not need regeneration.

    Now, at the Lord’s final Passover meal: Jesus the Christ of God, took [unleavened] bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said: Take and eat, for this is My Body. The Lord would say to all of His Disciples in learning: Yes: Take, and eat for you are a part of My Body that was given for you, so that in living in Me, you may have the provision of everlasting Life. Then Jesus took the cup [the 3rd cup of Blessing or Redemption], and after giving thanks to God His Father, He gave it to them, saying: All of you drink from it: For this is My Blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission [obliteration] of sins. Matthew 26:26-28 The Life is in the blood, because the Soul is the Life that is in the Blood, that enables the body to live, and the Spirit of Life that raised up the Body of Christ Jesus from the dead will also raise you up, that is if the Spirit indwells you. “Having therefore, brethren, opportunity to enter into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He [Jesus Christ] has consecrated [inaugurated] for us, through the veil that is to say, His Flesh; and having a High Priest over the household of God: Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of [true] faith; having our hearts sprinkled [with His Blood] from an evil [or condemning conscience}, and our bodies washed with pure water [of His Word]“. Please read Hebrews 10:19-and out. What is TRUTH? Oh, how impotent I am with out the Spirit of TRUTH.

    I am your brother in Christ Jesus, and by the grace of God, I have seen the sharp two-edged sword of the Spirit, and its Oneness with the Holy Blood and Water of the Word of God that continues to slay the wretchedness of this old earthly creature, whose soul is birthed anew into the Body of Christ Jesus.

    Robert Glenn

  122. Andrew S ,

    The sad part is that many reject those ministries now because of the abuse they have suffered at the hands of the self appointed ones .

    What I don’t think many understand is this verse ;

    Eph 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

    ,,,,in that those who have been baptizes have the Holy Spirit within them, however this doesn’t always stop them being caught up and tossed around in all the different winds of doctrine .

    BTW Andrew , where are you and your family living presently ?

    Blessings

    Kevin

  123. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    Robert Glenn, so what, in essence, perhaps 50 words, is your point?

  124. Andrew May 16th 2013

    Kevin – we are living back in our old place in West Auckland.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  125. From the article,
    Well, it all starts with the anointed “word”. You notice
    in the above verse that these people gathered around a very
    specific thing – “The apostles’ doctrine and fellowship”. It is
    an anointed apostolic “word” being preached that is a crucial
    element in all this. ……
    I think you have oversimplified this passage of scripture to get it to mean this. They church at this time was joined together first in the unity of doing whatever Jesus wanted them to do. It was nothing that any preacher did to bring them together , it was each person doing what God wanted them to do. They did what they did because each individual would do what The Lord told that person to do. Today you have meetings where people who will not do whatever Jesus tells them to do are included, so the result is going to be very different than what you read about in the word.

    Do you really expect Jesus to fix man’s mess of a church or should we just all start doing whatever Jesus tells us and that is good? You can’t meet together with people who won’t obey The Holy Spirit and then have a meeting together of the believers. The unity will be that of the world, Jesus will not be the leader of it.

  126. Lightning Storm May 16th 2013

    Again….I am not out of church. I attend a Church of the Nazarene and it is no better/no worse than what is being described in these posts.

    Why do I attend a 4-walled congregation of people?
    Because I was PERSONALLY INSTRUCTED by the Holy Spirit.

    I also spent 2 years “ooc” because of the PERSONAL INSTRUCTIONS of the Holy Spirit.

    THAT is the ONLY REASON ANYONE should be DOING ANYTHING or GOING ANYWHERE IN THEIR DAILY LIVES…..if they want to be called a Follower of Jesus Christ.

    Spirit Controlled or Carnal Flesh Controlled…..the only 2 choices a believer has.

    The Truth is: that is more people spent more time inquiring of the Holy Spirit about their daily decisions, there wouldn’t be a lot of these discussions and arguments.

  127. Andrew May 16th 2013

    The “gathering” began at Pentecost as Peter preached.

    It continued as the people “gave themselves” to the anointed teaching and fellowship of the apostles.

    Yes – we need such preaching.

    Andrew Strom

  128. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    Storm, if you care to look back over my posts both here and in JBTV you’ll see, I say, so often, only come out of the churches if you’re called out; there us no other justifiable reason. No other reason you may live with. You will also see I declare, and live by, this statement: I counsel no one to depart a church, whatever their reason. Wait until the Lord Jesus speaks to you and that word is confirmed.

  129. Lightning Storm May 16th 2013

    If anyone has paid any attention to my posts….I have continually advocated for PERSONAL INSTRUCTIONS FROM The Holy Spirit, and against people DICTATING what they think everyone else ought to be doing and using their own interpretation of scriptures to enslave them with.

    The Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ indwell us for multiple reasons….but the one that is not respected by most people…..is the fact that we are to SURRENDER to THEIR AUTHORITY AS GOD, KING, RULER in our individual lives daily, hourly, moment to moment…….practicing the Presence of God….as a BONDSLAVE.

    I hear and read more about submitting to men, then to God the Holy Spirit.

  130. Andrew May 16th 2013

    LightningStorm – you mean we throw out the clear pattern and teaching of Scripture and just go by our own “impression” of what God is telling “us”?

    Even if it is totally “anti-Body”?

    Even if it is truly “anti-New Testament”?

    -Andrew

  131. I know we need the word to be preached as The Spirit of God leads us, but the church that gathered in the bible was only people who would obey Jesus, not the mixed gatherings that are done today and result in all kinds of error. Pentecost was a public call to repent and follow Christ , the daily meetings after that were private and only for those who did follow Jesus.

    Most people today have no clue that ‘church’ is not a meeting of believers as the bible defines it, and we are instructed to have a meeting of believers ( just those who obey Jesus). How great is the deception today when people do not even know what a meeting together of those that believe in Christ is?

  132. Dear Richard Savage,

    The point is on the Word of God that is sharper that any two-edged sword, piercing and even dividing asunder the soul from the spirit of a man, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart or core of the man.

    A beginning point, the rest perhaps tomorrow. Are you not the priest of your household? Then why are you in disbelief?

    Robert Glenn

  133. watchful May 16th 2013

    1Cr 14:26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, EACH OF YOU has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done SO THAT THE CHURCH MAY BE BUILT UP.

    1Cr 14:27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.

    1Cr 14:28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

    1Cr 14:29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

    1Cr 14:30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.

    1Cr 14:31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

    Hbr 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who BY REASON OF USE have their senses EXERCISED to discern both good and evil.

    Unfortunately we don’t see too much of this exercising going on in the churches, whereby everyone participates in fellowship and uses their gifts to build themselves and others up. However, I have been blessed to see and experience this occurring quite a lot on this very website, I think because the internet has the effect of making it more of a level playing field, so to speak.

  134. Andrew May 16th 2013

    Yes watchful – True ‘Body’ is not the same as “going to church”

    I’m sure you know what I believe on that topic.

    We need true ‘Body’ back

    -Andrew

  135. @ watchful …..Everything must be done SO THAT THE CHURCH MAY BE BUILT UP.

    Well that is what The Lord wants but I don’t see it as being possible in any public gathering , like this forum. I mean you see those things but you also see what tears the body apart mixed in too. That is not good for us. I am convinced that the “modern” problem we are faced with is that the disciples do not get alone with Jesus . Just us and Him meeting together so that things can be done as in the scripture you quoted . It is clear from the word that church meetings are to be private and for just The Lord and those that obey Him so that what hurts the body can be dealt with His way. To try to do what is an instruction for a meeting of JUST believers in a public meeting is deception that has been a part of meetings for a long time . We can not invite the public to come and then try to do the things that are meant for only those that obey Him, like worship for example. Some ministry is meant for the public but a lot is meant for only those that really follow Jesus.

  136. Ken1 said: Tyrone & Kevin

    From scripture, this is what the credentials are for an apostle.

    Acts 1:21 Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us

    Act 1:22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—”one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection”

    “one of these [must become] a [witness with us} of [His resurrection]”

    Blessings.

    Me: The scriptures also tell us about the credentials of Paul who was an apostle of Jesus Christ, but was not with Jesus during His earthly ministry. The key word is “witness”, Paul became a witness of the resurrection of Jesus on the road to Damascus and he heard the audible voice of the Lord speaking to him.

    Galatians 1:1-2,11-12, 15-17

    “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me,”

    “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

    “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.”

    If there is no need for apostles today then there is no need for the other four ministry gifts and then you would have to erase Ephesians 4:11-13 out of the bible.

  137. Each one’s faith walk is UNIQUE, modeled on our Savior. That is, my journey from the cradle to the grave will NOT necessarily resemble the journey of the collective, for I have specific lessons (Gal.5:22) to learn just as each follower of Yeshua has; YET, since my model is Yeshua, the end product will be fit for heaven when my expiry date arrives. We are each to operate as individuals, within the collective, whilst voluntarily setting our individuality aside for that which is in the best interest of the collective. Sounds a bit marxist, yet that’s how I read Acts 2.

  138. watchful May 17th 2013

    Jeff M, I think you are right, unless the Holy Spirit leads you to bring someone along.

    Christianity is not lived out in meetings, as I believe some are saying in different words. Meeting together is for mutual encouragement and building up so that we can be strengthened to go out and live out our faith where the rubber hits the road. For many or most of us that road is not in a place surrounded by other Christians, so I am trying to grasp what others are really understanding about this, and what they mean by ‘community’, etc.

  139. Andrew May 17th 2013

    As I said elsewhere, my point in all this is that if we become used to “life outside” or resigned to “No true NT Body” then all is lost. We need to hunger for the real thing or it cannot come to be.

    Bless you!

    -Andrew Strom.

  140. How about this?

    “apostolos: a messenger, one sent on a mission, an apostle
    Original Word: ἀπόστολος, ου, ὁ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
    Transliteration: apostolos
    Phonetic Spelling: (ap-os’-tol-os)
    Short Definition: an apostle, a messenger, an envoy, a delegate
    Definition: a messenger, envoy, delegate, one commissioned by another to represent him in some way, especially a man sent out by Jesus Christ Himself to preach the Gospel; an apostle.”

    In that sense is not every Spirit filled walking in the Spirit saint an apostle? Now a witness to the resurrection of Jesus? (Acts1 8) If one is Spirit filled one knows Jesus rose from the dead!
    There were 120 plus 3000 at Pentecost not only the 12 and if we limit apostleship to twelve then does not Paul make it 13!!?? What say you all?
    If so, lets all get being and doing according to our various abilities Cor 14
    Is the “twelve” apostle doctrine become a tradition?
    Are all prophets? No? “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.”
    The Corinthian’s were becoming individualistic, confusion reigned, competing over the Gifts and holding persons in advantage, they were puffed up. Paul rebuked them and proclaimed, let all things be done decently and orderly.

    There is an old Elim Chorus:
    We are Christ’s ambassadors
    and our colours we must unfurl
    we must wear a spotless robe
    clean and righteous before the world
    we must show we’re cleansed from sin
    and that Jesus dwells within…
    proving duly we’re truly
    Christ’s ambassadors”
    Pr Michael

  141. Heb 10 25
    Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
    Pr Michael

  142. Lightning Storm May 17th 2013

    Andrew Strom, I would definitely NOT OBEY OR TRUST AN IMPRESSION.

    We are to be discipled in the Spirit Controlled life(Gal5;Eph 6; Rom 8) by those who are already practicing it.
    A part of this is learning how to enter into the Presence of the Lord and abiding there as you go about your day in the world in which we live.
    Entering into His Presence, the secret place, is where we begin to HEAR HIS INNER AUDIBLE VOICE…(still small voice).
    The more we abide in His Presence, the more we hear His Voice and the more we obey His personal SPOKEN instructions to us.

    Just like Jesus told us and just like the Apostles experienced after Jesus’ ascension.

    Jhn 10:3 KJV
    To him the porter openeth; and the sheep HEAR HIS VOICE: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

    Jhn 10:4 KJV
    And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for THEY KNOW HIS VOICE.

    Jhn 10:5 KJV
    And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

    Jhn 10:16 KJV
    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and THEY SHALL HEAR MY VOICE; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

    Jhn 10:27 KJV
    My sheep HEAR MY VOICE, and I know them, and they follow me:

    Rev 3:20 KJV
    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man HEAR MY VOICE, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    Mar 9:7 KJV
    And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and A VOICE came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

    Luk 9:35 KJV
    And there came A VOICE out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: HEAR HIM.

    Jhn 12:49 KJV
    For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

    Jhn 12:50 KJV
    And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

    What I am seeing is more concerning to me than people not attending a 4-walled building.

    I am seeing a HEADLESS Body of Christ, who is floating around looking for “another talking head”……just like the Hebrews who wanted Saul , a man, for their king instead of God Himself. And wanting Moses to enter into the Presence of God, instead of individually entering the Tent of Meeting themselves.
    And on and on and on…..mankind always desiring mankind to take the place of God.

    Even the word “LED” up by the Spirit is more than a mere “impression”

    Mat 4:1 NASB
    Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

    agō….
    1) to lead, take with one
    a) to lead by laying hold of, and this way to bring to the point of destination: of an animal
    b) to lead by accompanying to (into) a place
    c) to lead with one’s self, attach to one’s self as an attendant

    d) to conduct, bring

    e) to lead away, to a court of justice, magistrate, etc.

    2) to lead,

    a) to lead, guide, direct

    b) to lead through, conduct to: to something

    c) to move, impel: of forces and influences on the mind

    3) to pass a day, keep or celebrate a feast, etc.

    4) to go, depart

  143. One of the consequences of the breakdown in the traditional church , that hasn’t been considered on this thread yet, is that many believers have not been baptized into the true Holy Spirit.

    We have been discussing the false gospel on the last couple of articles , and with this comes the false spirit that Paul spoke of;

    2Co 11:4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

    So many today lack the true indwelling Holy Spirit , and have been sold a false Christ ,as their personal servant for example in the prosperity movement.

    The rise of the counterfeit spirit has caused much of division and hurt.

    Many have been caught in the crossfire of this , and have been led out , so that they may come to know the truth , Lord Jesus Christ , in a personal and real way, and come to be led by Him in spirit and truth.

    Remember wide is the path to destruction and narrow is the path to life, so the majority is not an indication of truth in the Kingdom of God.

    I’ve yet to meet a spirit filled follower of Lord Jesus Christ who is anti His true Body .

    ++++

    To all that I have fellowshipped with here on this site, I’m signing off for now .

    May the blessings and truth of Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

    In His love

    Kevin

  144. Kevin . so right and we have the proof in PNG

    “In 1982 in a village near Lumi, revival came to Papua New Guinea. It started with 28 people being baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues).
    From this village the message of salvation – repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit – grew. It was not long before hundreds and hundreds of people from many villages in the district were experiencing revival in their lives……
    The gospel is one of signs, wonders and miracles. People were being healed and their lives changed for the better. Today we have over 220 main centres throughout Papua New Guinea with many thousands of Spirit-filled brothers and sisters living the life that comes from believing and experiencing the miraculous.”

    This revival started from one man a native born PNG working in Melbourne who heard the word on a Wednesday, went to a meeting that same evening was baptised that night in water and Spirit, about a year later returned to his village were his mother was sick .He prayed for her, she was healed,. it has not stopped!
    The best thing is not the great numbers but genuine revival and love of/for the Lord.
    I know of no contemporary revival to mach this PNG one.
    Pr Michael

  145. Roger (NZ) May 17th 2013

    Michael – it is indeed good to hear your testimony of revival in PNG – the gospel of Lord Jesus being shared and received.

    I ask this because I am interested – have you heard of Bruce Olsen (Bruchko) and his testimony of Lord Jesus at work in Colombia, S.America..? Your account sounds very similar, in that one born-again Christian went into a native Indian tribe in 1962, and over a period of time, as members of one tribe were converted, so they shared the gospel in other tribes, and indeed through groups of guerrillas and drug traffickers – again with signs and wonders following, with many thousands living that same Spirit filled life today, that you speak of..

  146. @watchful, I’m not trying to argue but it sounds like you don’t get the point. Of coarse we should do whatever The Lord tells us to do, all day long. But it is impossible to invite someone who does not obey Jesus to a meeting of believers , as soon as they join you it is no longer a meeting of believers. It has to be just believers for the bible instructions on what to do when meet to work. The understanding of what a meeting of believers is has to be in us or God can’t use that knowledge as He moves. I believe The Father is trying to restore a biblical gathering of those who obey Him. We all have rejected the meeting together of believers when we went along with how people have “church”. We know we are His if we will do what He says.

  147. Our brother Andrew wrote in the above plea:

    You notice in the above verse that these people gathered around a very
    specific thing – “The apostles’ doctrine and fellowship”.

    Actually Andrew’s assertion left off the words and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Pardon me, but I think that like so many readers on this blog, Andrew’s past learning experience and splintered Protestant tradition, has prejudiced his own mind so that he cannot see the whole message properly. The following scripture from Acts 2 in the KJV is all conclusive 42 And they continued “steadfastly” in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. As the word steadfastly would signify, the whole essence of the passage was continually necessary, and all for the enrichment of the Ecclesia of God.

    It should be obvious that the first born of the Ecclesia of Jerusalem is meeting in homes where the redeemed souls being of like salvation mind, are participating in the doctrine or teachings of the Apostles of Christ Jesus, and are having fellowship (koinonia). But what is not so clear is that they are having koinonia in the breaking of the bread (matzo) and then continuing in prayer. If you will excuse the word “pattern” then this is what is portrayed in this passage and should be exercised every time in our gathering in the Truth of the Word of God. Jesus the Christ of God made the following provocative statement to the Jewry of that day and it continues to resonate today. (John 6 verse 54.) Amen, Amen, I say to you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you have no Life in you. and verse 56 He that eats of My flesh, and drinks My Blood, dwells in Me and I in him.

    I believe that the physician Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, was careful in his vernacular when he wrote “and in the breaking of bread”, because already there was inferences to blood libel and also the disciple’s stealing away of the dead body of the Lord. What do you think if the scriptures were read thusly: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood of Jesus Christ, and in prayers? The Apostle’s gospel doctrine is True, but who of the unredeemed can hear and bear it in that vernacular. Only those who are born of the one Spirit of the Almighty God and His Christ.

    I came on this site, maybe four years ago, and with what patience I might possess, I listened to those who justify their not being in the traditional church setting and began to empathize with them, but said nothing. In the past I thought it was necessary to be involved in a church body, and still do. But for myself it has been in a church that traditionally serves the people Communion in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and the doctrine is not off the four walls of the church. I also may have communion at home. However, please take note of the following scripture in the book of Acts chapter 2:46-47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the “temple”, and breaking bread from house to house , did eat their meat [provisions] with gladness and singleness of heart,  praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. First of all, in the breaking of the bread, the new disciples were not having breakfast, lunch or dinner from house to house, but were continuing in the (koinonia, fellowship, communion) not just with themselves but with the Word of the Lord and His Spirit, Who sets apart the matzo (unleavened bread) and the wine with water, to be for His people the Body and sanctifying Blood of the New Covenant of promise. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father: So he that eats of Me even he shall live by Me. The Holy Spirit of the Living God is our Helper and is the Reprover of our sins, and we need the True Nourishment of the sanctifying Life He provides in Christ Jesus to enable us to be His witnesses to the world about us of that resurrection Life. Self idolatrous sin begets death, but the Blood that the Spirit of God gives to us, because it is of the Love of God it is the antithesis of sin and death, and removes our own self idolatrous stumbling block and failures so that we may worship the Almighty Father in the Spirit and the Truth of His Son, Jesus Christ.

    Secondly, the fellowship in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ indeed strengthened the new disciples within their inner being so that they could go together in one accord to the Temple to be a witness of God’s goodness in their lives. If you are out of a church setting or dismayed within a church because of heretical teaching, then find at least one more person seeking the Love of God, even your spouse, so as to have communion together with the Lord and His Spirit of Truth. Then when the Lord has begun to strengthened you in the Perfection of His Love, then we would suggest that you together as a small band of living members of the Body of Christ Jesus, find a place where people are gathered in His Name, but are lacking in the God given grace and strength He has given you, and that you may give of the Love that He has bestowed upon you.

    In communion with you in the Body of Christ Jesus,
    Robert Glenn

    P.S. I’m sorry Richard, but there are more than 50 words. I hope they are all edifying to the Body of Christ Jesus!

  148. Lightning Storm May 17th 2013

    Excellent comment, Robert Glenn

  149. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Robert Glenn——
    Finally, the practical advice I have been waiting to hear from someone

    “If you are out of a church setting or dismayed within a church because of heretical teaching, then find at least one more person seeking the Love of God, even your spouse, so as to have communion together with the Lord and His Spirit of Truth. Then when the Lord has begun to strengthened you in the Perfection of His Love, then we would suggest that you together as a small band of living members of the Body of Christ Jesus, find a place where people are gathered in His Name, but are lacking in the God given grace and strength He has given you, and that you may give of the Love that He has bestowed upon you.”

  150. Jda016 May 17th 2013

    Amen!

    I have always saw the beginning of the Church as “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20).

  151. booter May 17th 2013

    Amen! & Amen! If we substitute the words ‘Rebellious or Willful’ (our will = Not! GOD’s Will) in place of ‘Individualism’ then it makes perfect sense.

    The devil’s original sin of Pride & Rebellion fuels every type/kind of sin within today’s Church. Society ‘helps things along’ with it’s own particular brand of Individualism. I’m old enough to remember ‘the Do Your Own Thing generation’ & the Me generation, etc. So much of today’s Church is brainwashed and marching to the; PC-Politically Correct, SC-Socially Correct tunes = that it makes it very hard to hear GOD’s Own Sweet Music.

    GOD’s Holy Word is full of Commandments/Parables/examples of not just ‘being in the world-not of the world’ but also conforming to the Image of CHRIST through the following-The Bible’s teachings. The argument is also made with the many references to; GOD’s Military examples, and the growing/raising of crops, both of which require strict adherence to set protocols for producing results. Not by your will but by HIS Will.

    GOD Bless.

  152. watchful May 18th 2013

    Jeff M, I think you misunderstood me, I did understand what you were getting at and agree. I’m not able to spend much time here lately so my reply was too brief. I just wanted to say that there might be times when the Holy Spirit would want a non-believer to join a gathering, just for me I wouldn’t rule out that possibility, if He is drawing someone to Himself, for example.

  153. @watchful , thanks for explaining. If it is the Holy spirit doing it then we will have to trust Him above our own understanding. I just hope we don’t repeat the mistakes that resulted in a huge religion that thinks it is Christ’s Church but isn’t.

  154. watchful May 18th 2013

    Amen JeffM.

  155. They went out from us because they were not of us. If they were of us they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain they didn’t really belong. 1 John 2:19. There are individuals who are not cut out for fellowship: they don’t want to believe like the body; they don’t want to behave as the body; they don’t want to belong to the body. It’s me, me and if anything left over, me again! While in 1 John, notice the well-known 1:7, “if we walk in the light as He himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Walking in the light means having fellowship with one another! Will the blood cleanse us of all sin if we avoid fellowship with one another?
    Downunderwriter David

  156. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    quote: Walking in the light means having fellowship with one another! Will the blood cleanse us of all sin if we avoid fellowship with one another? unquote

    Where are the heresy hunters?

    Where is this in scripture that some of you say you know so well?

  157. Marsha Farmer May 18th 2013

    Thank you Jesus for Andrew!
    Andrew I live in England and so get what you’ve said in this post! I thank God for how he uses you to speak the truth and this encourages me to do the same.

    In a climate when all that is wrong appear to be good and only the eyes opened by the spirit of God can see the truth behind all the deception and sin in the church.

  158. Dear David,

    You posted the following:

    While in 1 John, notice the well-known 1:7, “if we walk in the light as He himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Walking in the light means having fellowship with one another! Will the blood cleanse us of all sin if we avoid fellowship with one another?

    The whole of the scripture statement of 1st John 1:7 is completely sound, but your supposition to the scripture is not wholly complete without the beginning context of John’s epistle and his subsequent writings in the book.
    In answer to your question, it is vitally important to note that the Apostle John, when writing his 1st Epistle, was warning the Ecclesia, of the Gnostic teachers that were infiltrating the church of Jesus Christ, and were attempting to destroy the fellowship that was essential to the doctrine or teachings of the Apostles. The Gnostics with the spirit of antichrist were contesting the deity of Jesus Christ and denying that God had come in the flesh. Of course there were other things that were secret knowledge that only the Gnostics knew and would proclaim to their elite followers.

    So in establishing the Truth, John began his true eye witness account in his letter with:

    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;  (For The Life was manifested , and we have seen it [The Life], and bear witness, and show unto you that Eternal Life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)  That which we [the original apostles] have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship [in the Life of Christ] with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1st John 1:1-4
    John, the beloved Apostle of the Lord, was amplifying the Truth of Jesus Christ that was revealed to him and the other apostles; by truly testifying to the fullness of the Way and the Truth and the Life of men that is eternally sanctified in the Person of the risen Eternal WORD, our Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua ha Mashiach.) As a help, I added some logical amplifications to the beginnings of John’s epistle.

    We should know that Jesus Christ is the personification of the truth, for He indeed is the Truth, whereby all things of God’s creation consist of the substance of His Word of light and power. Without the Light of the Truth of the Father’s Eternal Word and Son, nothing would exist, and be assured that which exists will be what He proclaims it to be, by the power of the Word of the I AM that I AM. John, in declaring the true essence of the Word made flesh, is speaking of the Way of true fellowship with the Father of Life, and the same Life that is in His Son, Jesus Christ. Although it has its beginning importance in the assembly, this is not just a meeting to be infused with someone’s knowledge of scripture, but it is that time of preparation, when the earthly body of Jesus Christ comes together in the One Holy Spirit to participate in the Truth of the Sprit of the Word of God made flesh, with the eating and drinking of the Lord’s provisions of Life. That which is set apart by our word of faith in union with the Holy Spirit of God is for the people of faith within the Body of Christ whose members we are together, and in the drinking of the Holy Spirit’s consecrated wine, which in now for us, Christ’s Blood of the New Covenant that covers our confessed sinful flesh and that which is not revealed in the substrates of our minds, by and through and in the Love of God. That which is confessed, I am sure that God in His faithfulness will cleanses the sin even by fire, so that the person that suffers in the flesh will cease from the self idolatrous sin that has been part and parcel with them.
    David: those that went out from the early church were in all probability the Gnostics that were confronted with the Truth, and the steadfast fire of the Spirit of the Truth of God left them no room in the congregation of the followers of the Truth that is Christ Jesus. The Gnostics, in the blindness of their own thinking, will walk in their own light. If they participated in Holy Communion, they did not participate in the necessary faith in the salvation Blood of Jesus Christ, but were in full denial within the light of their own minds that is fostered by the anti-Christ or the dark angel of light, Satan. The Blood of Jesus Christ does not avail to the person who is right in the light of their own eyes, even as the Blood of Jesus does not avail to the father of lies, Satan along with his demonic compatriots. Gnostic teachers will reap what they sow, for they are not led of the Spirit of God, Who gives us harmony in His fellowship with fellow believers in the Body of Jesus Christ. Unless God gives them repentance, they have no part in the Lord’s Table of Life and Grace.

    In taking of the consecrated bread, we remember the Lord’s death for our sins until He comes again. But in taking of the New Covenant Blood of Jesus Christ, the Body is refreshed in the Life of the Spirit of Christ and God where their is no sin, and the members of His Body can shine the Life of Christ in this world of chaos.

    Robert Glenn

    P.S. Remember the Lord’s story of the man, who out of fear hid what his master had given him? Selah!

  159. Sorry! The closing /blockquote after the scripture was spelled /bockquote and obviously did not return to the standard formant.

    Robert Glenn

  160. Jda016 May 19th 2013

    I have heard the idea that “You are going to hell if you don’t attend a local congregation” quite a lot. I don’t just mean on forums, but even where I live.

    I am curious as to what scriptures are used to justify this and how did it even get started?

  161. In the above dissertation, I suggested that the parable of the talents and the example of the servants would be profitable to the readers. Here is the ending short of it.

    Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

    His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, you knew that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:  You ought to therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he [thinks that] has. And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    The fearful who think they have, because they have hidden the masters provisions away in safety, even that which he thinks that he has laid up in store, shall be taken from him and given to another who has the abundance, because the faithful servants obtained the trust of their master from previous returns of that which was given. What are you going to do with that which the Lord of Salvation has given to you? Are you going to hide yourself in safety.

    But from him that has not, cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Robert Glenn

  162. Here’s the answer: watch this powerful video on revival–
    http://youtu.be/uaa1N13rwW8