INDIVIDUALISM? OR JUST SICK & TIRED?? – Andrew Strom

I had some very interesting responses to my post against the rampant “Individualism” that we see today. I thought the replies below made some very good points-

Terence wrote-
“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.”

Judith wrote-
“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… 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.”

Frank wrote:
“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… 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”… 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.”

So there we have the other side of the coin. What are your
thoughts on this issue, my friends? Please post your comments
below-

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

Posted in Articles by Andrew on May 16th, 2013 at 9:06 am.

357 comments

357 Replies

  1. Serenity May 16th 2013

    I think if we will humble ourselves and pray and seek the Lord Himself as to whether and where we should be fellowshipping, HE will guide us into the fellowship He has for us.
    When I started opening up to the Lord for HIS direction as to where my family and I should fellowship, He began to lead us. A number of times it was to a Baptist fellowship, which I would not have chosen.
    In retrospect, I can see some of why He had us in those groups when we were there.

    At present we are in a place where the walls are mostly painted black ; the noise is loud, tuneless, and lacking the presence of the Lord ; the messages lack depth and even, length ; there’s no whole-of-church prayer meeting ; etc, but a lot of people there are dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    As a result of joining a home group, I have made a number of good friends. Some confide in me. Little by little, as we talk together and pray together, God is working to mature all of us. I don’t tell them the faults I see at our fellowship, but if they mention something, we talk about it in a spirit of meekness.

    God said He humbled His people and found out what was in their hearts, by taking them through gruelling wilderness wanderings.
    It is not up to me to do my own thing as regards where I fellowship. The leaders (and attenders) need my prayers and exhortations. They don’t need my selfish criticism, or my departure (unless the Lord is calling me to move on).

    Jesus must have sat through many synagogue meetings that were as dry as dust, even before He was filled with the Spirit. Who are we to demand that everything is done OUR WAY ??

  2. Jda016 May 16th 2013

    Many say it is sin not to attend church, but you don’t often hear that it is sin TO attend church.

    How can one, with good conscience, stay in a church where the pastor is preaching hellfire, to its own members, if they don’t tithe directly to his church, not even the Church of Christ or to widows or orphans, but directly to him?

    How can one stay under preaching that encourages self-exaltation and believes that preaching repentance is “unChristian?”

    How can one stay under the authority of a man who willfully abuses his flock and cheats on his wife?

    Lord knows that my lack of church attendance is not for lack of trying! But where are the ministers who have not bowed the knee to Baal? I’d love to find one that is faithful and true!

    Eventually the question becomes when are we actually sinning and In error because we refuse to leave the place that has “Ichabod, Ichabod” (the glory of the Lord has departed) all over the front door?

    When are our hearts in error because we refuse to see the writing on the wall and realize that many of us are apart of a self-centered instead of Jesus- focused church, that has a form of Godliness but denies the power to actually live for Him?

  3. Jda016 May 16th 2013

    I was apart of a home church group that continually spoke perverted humor ( it was really bad, not just light jesting). They would sometimes talk about all the great preachers and sometimes speak truth I stayed, because sometimes they had a form of godliness.

    I confronted the leader in private with Scripture and love and he ignored me, all the while agreeing with me. I later confronted the group and was met with hostility, but then they agreed. I went again and they acted worse than they ever had before.

    I literally felt dirty after each meeting and had to ask God to cleanse me. I eventually left for good and even after a year I found out that the perverse humor continued in earnest.

    One camp advocates staying so that you can be a light to those in darkness, but another camp says leave lest you partake in their evil.

    When do we “wipe the dust off our feet and walk away” and when do we tarry and persevere? Obvious we need the Holy Spirit’s leading, but these are tough questions to ask.

    When does our silence become sin?

  4. Both articles are good and it does bring tough questions, as jda016 shared.

    May the Lord give us all mercy to carry on and His understanding by the Holy Spirit.

    Lord Bless everyone’s day,
    GaryB

  5. I have tried to be a member of the “body” by travelling around churches, this was after 35 years in a mind-controlling “Christian” organisation and I have yet to find a true replica of the first century church in all its glory.

    I believe that the works and miracles of the early Christians will only happen again when the church realises that it is going down the wrong path, only then will Gods spirit flow within it. I for one cannot be a member of a church that has contaminated teachings or is run like a business. What appears on the surface to be pure is tainted on closer inspection and makes me want to run a mile.

    I am an “independent” Christian, not by choice, but by force.

  6. Tilman May 16th 2013

    I agree that there is no easy solution to the problem. We aren’t told where to go when we leave the church. We have to ask the Spirit to guide us – as we have to in all other aspects of our live. On the other hand, staying in church, hoping to “convert” lukewarm brothers and sisters doesn’t make sense either. It’s my experience, too, that there are too many superficial Christians in churches – and in many cases the sermons aren’t really led by the spirit.

    What did Derek Prince say on that isssue? It’s a waste of time to preach without the Holy Spirit. Dear God, how many time is wasted in our churches today! I myself prefer to listen to a solid, spirit-led sermon (e.g. from Derek Prince) rather than keeping warm a church pew and leaving church completely unchanged.

    The main reason to go to churches today should be prayer. Therefore I would make a differentiation: Yes, there is too much individualism in our time – and basically it’s for no good. But there is a self-chosen individualism and a spirit-led one, like in case of John the Baptist. The latter has also positive aspects, if we use it the right way. This includes that we remain in prayer and obedience, doing our job God wants us to do.

  7. I understand the concept of individualism but I think the process is simple in that right throughout the church hstory, the comes a time where the church lose focus and start briging in man’s rituals and man;s ideas and the God raise a man or a woman who has a desire for Him and who will not adhere to man’s standards and then walk out of it because it’s no longer the truth.

    That very idea is the reason why there are so many churches out there and why most of us belong to such a chruch where the pastor walked out of the church and started his own because of the phenomina. I see it as a why of God purifying his body, bringing seperation betrween life and death.

    This should not be confused with rightout rebelism where one does not want to stand under authority – which is right out a sin andf is seen as witchcraft. But rebellion agains death and lies is not in the same classification as seen with the 3 friends of Daniel and also Gideon.

    I beleive we have to stand up for what is right and truth but as Paul wrote, that we check ourselves regularly that while we are preaching to others that we have not fallen ourselves. I have been chruchless now for almost 13 years and have only recently join a ministry, and I know without a spec of doubt that I am in the will of God.

    Who know’s what the Spirit of the Lord will do as the Scripture says, we dont know where It comes from and we dont know where It’s going – be blessed all you lovely childrem of God, eyes focuessed on our everlasting King

  8. fabakary May 16th 2013

    Finding good Christian fellowship is only a tiny percentage of a Christian earthly walk in the lord. The most percentage of our Christian walk is spent without a bible, learning good doctrines etc as we faced the circumstances of life in our families, work , environment etc. Life circumstances will forced us to hear the unacceptable, error and yet we must be forced to lived, and stay out of duty or we must commit suicide and live the world. One day in my place of work, a meeting was called and at the close of the meeting being a muslim dominated country they closed the meeting in islamic prayers. As I saw them all bowed chanting those Islamic words a cloud of loneliness and discouragement came within me and I cried “Lord why did you allow me to be born in a Muslim dominated country like this, what is the purpose of all this ,why don’t you allow me to be born in a Christian dominated country ?“. If we keep crying for the lack of light rather than being a channel of light we will keep being defeated. Crying that we have not yet see good fellowship, well okay, but are we fulfilling our responsibilities to Love our neighbors as ourselves? A good fellowship will not offer or teach anything greater than Loving God and our neighbor as ourselves. Fixing the wrong we do to our neighbors, forgiving, being concern of their misery, afflictions etc are works no heresy or false prophet can stop us doing. Unless every members realize that He is responsible and do his work, be it in the home, office, farm, etc we will remain vain talkers . An army that wastes all its time talking about the weakness of its enemy rather than fortifying its strength , will be defeated by the enemy that fortifies his weakness rather than spending all his time and energy talking about the weakness of his enemy.

  9. You made some good points in your original article. We are supposed to be one in unity but the unity has to be in spirit and in truth, not a bunch of nonsense. False unity is what they had in Babylon. It is lack of trust in the leadership that is causing us to become more individualistic. Some are afraid to “Follow the leader” or be part of a group. We don’t like to cause hurt feelings by leaving so we are hesitant to join. I speak as one of those types, not everyone is like that. Yes according to the word, we are to be part of a body of believers. We must take heed to remember our salvation is individual so that at least we have assurance of our salvation before joining any group. Some groups do have the mindset, its our way or you can’t be saved type of thing. In picking a local church or home group, we have a variety and it gets confusing. We need a balance between licentiousness and legalism. Legalism can be just as damaging to a person’s faith as believing one can sin and still be saved. I’ve heard a lot of legalistic preaching lately. Not preaching against sin but against stuff that have nothing to do with anything, so it can get scary. I guess what is needed first is a strong relationship with Christ as an individual, a deep study of the word and then ask the Holy Spirit to make us perfect in love as we seek out a fellowship and encourages individuals to exercise gifts of the spirit within a body of believers that are wanting to serve, not lord over and control.

  10. Sally Prittie May 16th 2013

    We have agonised much over all of this. We have been in churches and we have been ‘out’. Currently about to move house and will need much grace if the Lord wants us in a church again. These last few years we have realised that we have been given a church – a camouflaged church of those we fellowship with and pray with and for and have some/differing depths of relationship with, but it never meets all together – partly geography, but also the Lord hasn’t led it to be gathered by anyone and some only fellowship with us and not with each other, some are in other churches. This region has known a recent church split, and many are still hurting from previous ones, piled on each other and never sorted. There is little real forgiveness.
    There are many individuals (not individualistic!) who are holding onto the Lord and increasing in maturity but the Lord has to do a sovereign work if a way is to be found for a vibrant fellowship here. Expectations are low. The established churches have not grappled with the situation and seem uninterested to come where God is moving. This may not be typical of the UK as we are in the far north, in Shetland. There is a heritage of godliness, but they are few who are praying for revival. Nothing would delight us more than to hear it has broken out after we’ve gone!

  11. Stephen May 16th 2013

    I long to be a member of a church where the scriptures are read and sound commentary is given in context of the rest of scripture. Where grace is a ticket to live without past sins, not a licence to live in sin.
    Where do we find a church organisation that sets aside a portion for the saints who are suffering in Jerusalem, the poor, the widows and orphans. How about a church that openly discloses where the money goes, even as Stephen was chosen to set an account book upon a table to ensure such matters were properly attended to?
    Sure, it’s a tall order, to find such a church in a world such as this.

    But we are also told not to refrain from gathering for fellowship… I want to hear from those who have found a balance they can feel supports the instructions we have been given.

  12. Richard May 16th 2013

    May I , by the grace of God given me, propose a better way? A way that leads to the corporate fellowship and the first church principles that we all yearn for…

    What if the leadership of the church was not centred around title, office or function…what if the 5 were given to guide and not lead…what if the 5 given was merely an extension of Christ living through His servants who were slaves to righteousness and dead to self.

    What if the first church was 1 Cor 14…”when you gather together brethren, one has a word, one a song and let others prophecy…etc” What if the first church understood the terms..”Christ in us the hope of glory” This mystery to be revealed?

    Finally beloved…what if judgement belonged to God and forgiveness and obedience belonged to us? If this is so…forgiveness of those who propogate a different gospel…who steal finances through false teaching on tithing…who teach individualism centered around title..should be easy and obedience to the Word in His fullness, a daily sense of being a slave to a righteous King. Yes we are sons and daughters…yes we are called to rule….but for now let Christ be Christ and let us serve and be servants abounding in love, patience , goodness, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, long suffering and so forth…

    God has a fellowship in my house…here is no leader but the Holy Spirit…here abides no false teaching…but simply what flows through the anointing…let us boldly join His group, His fellowship as we passionately await His imminent return…

    Yours in Him
    Richard
    [email protected]
    Gold Coast
    Aus

  13. Individualism? Of course it exists, along with hundreds of other signs of apostasy! HOWEVER, although an increasingly large number of believers are now sensing the “problems,” who has the solution?

    Charles Finney, the great 19th century revivalist, once said:

    “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

    I totally agree with Finney.
    Finney believed there was a direct correlation between the kind of legislation passed in Congress and the kind of preaching taking place in the pulpits of America’s churches.
    He also believed that the churches are ultimately responsible for corruption in government.
    America’s biggest threat does not come from domestic abortionists, gay rights activists, pornographers, drug dealers, or terrorists.
    Neither does it come from North Korea, Iran, Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan.
    America’s biggest threat comes from our nation’s pulpits.

    So what is the answer to all of the “problems” within the visible church? On the side of real Spirit-filled believers, the solution is pure and simple … repentance on the part of Spirit-filled Christians (I have seen very few believers who understand what true repentance means) and true intercession for the body of Christ, which includes groaning in the spirit and weeping between the porch and the altar on the part of the ministers of the Lord (as distinct from those who minister to the house)..

    P.S. Serenity, I no longer have your email address. Please email me.

  14. Baruch May 16th 2013

    Work hard – mind your own business and keep your mouth shut. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (MSG) 11-12 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job.

  15. Yes some are in a sense forced to be individuals seeking the genuine Biblical fellowship. But we must not be left in that state for long, God will provide fellowship it is His will for us to be in a body.

  16. Guess it’s a mixture of both, then. A clear tendency toward individualism, such that people don’t even look for real community. Churches that go with the flow don’t offer it – they are perfectly fine with people attending on Sundays (run like a business, as someone noted above) and maybe the odd other event. Those who look for real fellowship will find it hard to find. And then there is the other extreme of abusive churches who force fellowship and control your life – I was in such a one. To find the middle way appears to be a lost art but house groups are probably key. The Early Church was exhorted to be of one mind, to decide things as a community, met in houses, etc. – it seems we are very far away from that in most places today. And I’m finding it extremely difficult to change that in my own church. Most people don’t ask the questions we are discussing here.

  17. Barry Schmidt May 16th 2013

    They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42 NASB)

    While it is true that God has called us into the fellowship with others this passage clearly tells us the fellowship must also include apostolic doctrine, communion as well as prayer.

    Has Christ been divided?? (1 Corinthians 1:13 NASB)

    Having said that this is a feeble excuse to remain “unchurched” the above verse says it all- Can Jesus no longer find himself in the communities we live in? Jesus will NEVER divide Himself from HIMSELF- not in His Spirit and not in His body. If we CLAIM to be Spirit filled how then can we remain separate from the body???

  18. fabakary and Baruch
    Your comments will be ignored here and most places. The bigger problem is not individualism, but lack of individual responsibility.

    In reading comments about the church and the failings of Christianity, it is usually someone looking for someone else to fix it or make it happen. That is the reason for the popularity of the false apostolic movement. People do NOT want to be individuals but part of a group where things seem to be happening.

    It will only be when each MEMBER IN PARTICULAR begins to take responsibility for being who and what Christ called him’/her to be in His body that it will begin to function.

    We should stop complaining and pointing fingers and joining in hating a symptom of a problem. That is totally unproductive and unscriptural, Anointing or power has nothing to do with focusing on our problems, but we american christians rally in the flesh behind someone who is able to blame something or someone and call them anointed, or prophet, or whatever.

    I think if we took fabakary’s admonition:
    If we keep crying for the lack of light rather than being a channel of light we will keep being defeated.

    The church would begin to manifest itself. It is about the individual. No one ever saw a healthy body where the individual parts were not doing their indivicual functions for the benefit of the body.

    I just wish that people would stop distracting the church from the LIFE God gave it with postings about problems, symptoms, and the us/them mindset.

    Post solutions, not problems. And not just ancillary solutions, but root solutions to root problems, not symptoms of problems.

  19. Aside from the culture that promotes individualism and a ‘know-it-all’ attitude, it seems like there’s a serious lack of trust. I mean how many cults, christian perversions, secular religions have we seen rise since the ’60’s. Almost everyone knows of someone who’s been effected by these strange beliefs. Sometimes I feel like I’m guarding my soul by building a wall around my heart.

    Seems like most of the people reading your posts understand what’s going on in the world and in the church. Would it be a good idea to have a section on your page where people can list churches or connect somehow? Seems like it might help the scattered flock come together.

  20. Barry Schmidt May 16th 2013

    One comment on the article blames TULIP- paleeezzza!

    There are many fine TULIP churches who are Spirit filled, sound in biblical apostolic teaching, on fire in prayer, sacrificial living and to be fair- The ONLY churches in many Canadian cities that are baptising multitudes, planting churches and sending global missionaries into the t
    10/40 window are TULIP churches.
    A close affiliate of TULIP churches in famous contemporary prophet and aurora John Piper. Where in the charismatic or Pentecostal circles is there anything close to Pipers cutting edge prophetic insight???
    In Vancouver Canada there is a Mennonite Reformed group who adheres to TULIP doctrine who has baptized over 1600 pagan Canadians and planted 3 churches in the past year and whose goal is to plant 32 churches in metro Vancouver in ten years.
    What NON TULIP church is doing that????

    In Vancouver

    PS – I am not in a TULIP church.

  21. Barry Schmidt May 16th 2013

    The ONLY growth in the Charismatic and Pentecostal ( Neo WESLEYISM) churches in the Western World Has been TRANSFER GROWTH. Where are the unchurched post Christian pagans in the Western world ? They are NOT in the so called “Spirit filled ” circles because the only place in the world that so called “Spirit filled” churches are reaching the pagan non churched people are in the third world.

    The sad fact is the Neo Wesleian Pentecostal and Charismatic Movement IS DEAD and most so called “Spirit filled” Christians are too proud to admit it.

    When the Spirit entered the TEMPLE EVERYBODY KNEW IT. When the Spirit left Samson ” He knew it not!!!!

  22. It is partly about individualism, but then that word is subjective. If by individualism you mean someone who can think for themselves, read scripture and receive the discernment of the Holy Spirit for themselves, can reason from scripture for themselves, refuse to follow behind those who worship church doctrine and follow after “churchianity” rather than CHRISTianity, then yea, my family and i are individualists. We refuse to go along with the flow and crowd who are happy and content in their lifestyles of unrepentant and willful sin, which seems to be the VAST majority in the churches. I don’t not attend churches because I don’t want to, we don’t go to church because we can’t tolerate what passes for fellowship and accepted sinful practices.

  23. Westerners are the most individualistic culturally, the US may have enhanced this with the war of independance being glorified. The most corparate minded people being the Chinese then Africans.

    Must have something to do with the individualistic version of the gospel we have here.

    Good pts in reply above.

    The one above that said “Would it be a good idea to have a section on your page where people can list churches or connect somehow? Seems like it might help the scattered flock come together.” which is a great idea i think.

  24. Thers always a plus side, people used to individualism should be able to survive the best as Christians when isolated and not part of a corparate body for a season…perhaps… as many of us feel forced to at present???

  25. Kathleen in WA State May 16th 2013

    As much as the comments, I appreciate the questions raised here ~ JDA016’s in particular:

    “When do we “wipe the dust off our feet and walk away” and when do we tarry and persevere? Obvious(ly) we need the Holy Spirit’s leading, but these are tough questions to ask. When does our silence become sin?”

    Well worth pondering & prayer!

    I also found Reb’s admonition powerful. Going beyond the surface, he seems to be saying we can be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

    So, as I consider this post & comments, a text comes to mind, which begs the question of me: What it is I am laboring to build?

    “Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
    Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
    In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
    toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:1-2

  26. My wife and I stopped going to church about a year ago, though we still attend a weekly bible study. We got tired of only hearing from 1 person and the routine got too boring for us. Does that make us individualistic?

    We are hungry for greater truth and a togetherness of the body of Christ, yet, most of what we saw when we would go to church was a time to hang out with friends and a watered down message that never challenged us as believers. The word that is being preached is never one of conviction anymore, never one that challenges someone to change or to get involved in evangelism. It’s generally a feel-good message that makes you happy enough to pay your weekly tithe so the church mortgage and salaries could be paid. If church meetings were more involving of the body, then I would be all for that. It should be more of a round table discussion than a pulpit to pew lecture type setting. Let’s hear from the whole body and not just 1 super christian who has a title in the church Matt 23:9.

    What then, brethren? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1 Cor 14:26

    We are still in the church, we just don’t go to church anymore. We seek true biblical fellowship, not a time to sit and behave so we can hang out after a service is over.

  27. Just a thought: According to Romans 12, true community comes about as a result of not “thinking more highly of yourselves than you ought to” but to “think with sober judgment”, that is, according to the “measure of faith” given you for the sake of fulfilling your ministry in the context of the body. In other words, an honest self-assessment in the light of God’s Word will lead to humility which will awaken an understanding of one’s dependency that will manifest as a desire for fellowship, pretty much like the members of your body know that they need another. (Of course it can also work the other way around: An understanding of Christ’s body will make you realize how little you are and how much you need the rest of the body for your health and survival.)We can thus safely assume that individualism has little to do with being a lone ranger and everything with being self-obsessed. Narcissistic individuals who flock together do NOT have community according to its Biblical definition, but something that is known as incestuous symbiosis (or reciprocal parasitism, if you wish). To try and find community by sticking to people who think that Christianity is a tool for self-aggrandizement is to ruin any chance of finding true and Biblical community. It is much preferable to find one brother or sister who understands and obeys the gospel and have true communion in Jesus Christ.

  28. fabakary May 16th 2013

    Good counsel there, “Reb” , we are indeed called to be a light and a solution and not just to stop and be at ease because we see a darkness here and their . There is much good that we can do , when we take our responsibilities in Christ. To settle and fold our arms , spending time and energy here and there talking about how others are not doing there responsibility and stop there , will never advance God Kingdom.Those “little things” that we despise are mostly the very heart of God. Witnessing to the that man or woman we know, giving a helping hand to that needy neighbor, forgiving that man or woman that offend us, confessing our faults to those we wrongly offend etc is somethings greater in God eyes than faith to move mountains or understand all mysteries etc without Love

  29. I am amazed…and this is a great article.
    So many have asked me, “why are you not in church?”
    So I finally said, “I don’t know, I will ask God.”
    So I did. I was asleep when I heard His voice. He said, “your church is called, Be Still And Know that I am God.”

    After 15 years of writing about the things I witnessed in many churches, and after reading Andrews Rival Book and Kundalini Spirit, God opened a door and said, “you are going to be teaching and the name of your class is called “teaching the difference between a true and a false prophet. ”
    God brought the great breakthrough I had been searching for for 15 years!!! Thank you Andrew for your words of wisdom. I knew as God taught me through the Holy Spirit, but your books confirmed it and led me to my breakthrough. Not only that, the door opened for my testimony on a christian radio show I had nothing to do with.

    Yes, I was troubled in many churches. I could not find what I was looking for until I got out.
    So many I counsel and pray with are led by a different spirit, other than the Holy Spirit.
    I am grieved to say the least. I know God will give us a chance but I also believe it is up to us as leaders to continue asking our precious Lord Jesus that when we are in error to please show us.
    He did it for me and I am so very, very grateful.
    It is amazing to know God in His stillness!!!
    God bless 🙂

  30. Delight Guthrie May 16th 2013

    AMEN to the other side of the coin!! I have never expected perfection, but the apostasy in the Church has indeed left many of us searching for new cover. When I walked out a year ago after years of being active, and praying for the church I was in, I remember saying, I just cannot be a part of Golden Calf worship. I long for fellowship, and those that you can trust to hold one accountable. If we are heading into the end of days, and we are expecting the “veil” to be lifted from the eyes of the Jews, then perhaps we as Christians are going through the same sort of thing, which is to strip away the false teachings, the error, and the humanist doctrine that has replaced much of the Word in our Churches. The Word says “If you love me, you will obey Me”….but we have reduced that to a message of grace and tolerance which does not require anything from us at all, merely to show up. When one speaks up for the Word and for Righteousness, they are accused by the brethren of not being in love. But how is it love to not teach the Word and to warn those that have fallen from obedience risking their own damnation? Sadly, there is not a shortage among leaders of the knowledge of the Word, merely it seems to obey. There is far too much emphasis on buildings, and keeping the numbers and finances coming in, than on the true souls of those that have been entrusted into the care of the Church. The emphasis has become one strictly of altar calls and professions of faith, with little real emphasis on teaching the Word in FULL and making true disciples of Christ (as opposed to disciples in our own images). I will add this, as I prayed about the feeling of isolation the LORD spoke to me and told me that I was “not isolated, but insulated”. I have clung to that. I hate this feeling of aloneness. Perhaps, we are being prepared to walk alone if need be in order to stand in days to come of persecution. The wide gate folks will miss the narrow gate. As we go into the last days, following the crowd is not going to cut it.

  31. Here is a letter I wrote 2008 – after my work experience with a well-known Ministry – addressed to small churches which on a regular basis negotiated speaking assignments with TBN personalities to just fill the pews:

    Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

    The 9/11 anniversary just passed, my thoughts were drawn to brothers and sisters, to my friends calling from Tulsa and the Ministries who contacted us with their own issues after the fact. What will happen when a self proclaimed “minister”, a so called man of God crashes into the towers of our believe system. We would be hurt like so many others. Some may give up on church and join the growing ranks of bitter, disenfranchised Christians. Others may suffer total spiritual shipwreck. Like the men of Flight 93, aren’t we called to stand up and change course to protect more victims?

    When a spiritual leader we’re connected with violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply to say we don’t condone such behavior. Those we lead trust us to let them know whom to trust. Our careless accountability has caused the body of Christ to be spiritually raped and abused. It has produced disillusionment and brought immeasurable reproach to our God and cynicism to His message.

    Often we hear: “Please be careful when speaking against preachers ….”. Even when wickedness is exposed by a dependant subordinate, non-disclosure agreements will keep the hurt quiet and enabling so bad behavior for years. We know of Acts 5:38-39: “Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought. But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it; lest haply you be found to fight against God”.

    We find many with an attitude like … “oh well, let God take care of what is wrong with them; let’s just focus on the positive”. Some of them reference the book of Jude, specifically verse nine (9): “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee”. Jude writes to Christians whose ranks have been infiltrated by false teachers.

    The mistake is the misconception that pointing out the truth of something personally experienced is “negative” when it is not simply because the truth is always positive regardless of whom it offends. We are called to forgive which doesn’t mean we have to continue to trust the person. Addressing these things is commanded in Scripture and those who fail to do it are being disobedient to God and His Word:

    Paul wrote: “… Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Rom. 16:17-18.

    Some of the 30-minute “TV celebrities” can bring forth drops of spiritual truth by tapping into the river of wisdom flowing through biblical text, thus producing the false image of being a speaker of wisdom when they are actually only skilled mouthpieces. Multitudes of believers susceptible to skillfully constructed image and hypnotized by charisma and oratorical skill, will see them as great religious teachers.

    All to often we assume a person’s credibility is based on gifts, charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy or work a miracle, etc. Miracles and signs are intended to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity. We have become no different than the world around us in our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to undeserving individuals; it has allowed some of those people living in immorality and sin.

    While thousands watching on TBN or listening to them when they visit their churches can be duped for many years, the real nature and character is exposed inside their own walls. How do they treat their own people, the people closest to them? The genuine fiber of those beings is revealed by the exploits and the abuses of their work force, refilled by a never-ending flow of God-loving people drawn to them to serve and mesmerized by a name and public image.

    This flow could have been avoided if someone who went through it would have been more vocal about his objections and urged other people to evaluate the spiritual and work experience with the ministry or ministry leader through the filter of God’s Word. Why didn’t anyone correct those errors from the pulpit? Godly leaders are supposed to protect the sheep from heresy, not spoon feed deception to them. No one in ministry today should be out on their own, living in isolation without checks, balances and wise counsel.

    If this message is counsel to you, ask yourself if the upcoming speaking assignment with the TBN personality is a God-given appointment. Evaluate your original motives. If in doubt and after much prayerful deliberation, consider distancing yourself and your congregation. Stay strong — He will give you words to say and a spirit filled message of your own heart worthy of your people.

    Written with Love, September of 2008.

  32. Pastor Mac May 16th 2013

    As a Pastor I have slowly been forced out of denominational churches because of the Word being preached. I am now in an independent church that has about 10 people attending. We have crossed paths with many people who claim they are looking for a solid Word fellowship. My wife and I invite them and we have yet to see anyone come through the doors. We have home parties to have a place to away from the “church building” to meet and gain introduction but still no show. We are at a loss as to why .

  33. Reply to Reb: take yourself back to the early church where the warning was that oppressive wolves would come in and not put up with the healthy teaching of Christ – this was a warning from the apostles as to what would happen after they died – it even started to happen BEFORE they died!

    So now the church has become contaminated and the whole apple has become rotten, the Romans adopt Christianity and it all goes horribly wrong… so then, do you remain inside the corrupted church just because you want to be part of a body – an ugly, distorted, twisted body that is only good for the fire?

    After Pentecost the spirit was poured out in an amazing way, but only lasted as long as the pure teaching lasted. Then the great works passed away. Cant we see why? Can we see why these great works are not present in our church today?

    The early prophets were always and I mean ALWAYS individuals, never part of a group. When Paul spoke of the body, he was speaking of the situation as it existed then – the pure, untainted original spirit-filled church.

    Thats why I’m a loner – I don’t want to be a part of it, but I want to be a part of Christ and a part of God.

    We can all do our bit to make our light shine – whether inside a building of people or outside of it.

  34. Such wise points here on this serious subject. The real church is still at work!! And no matter how the enemy would like to squash and deceive the elect, there will be a remnant that will remain. Praise God!!

    I wish that all christians who are being deceived and easily influenced by what goes on the the U.S. right now be stirred and break away.

    I am going to share my deepest feelings on what is happening in the West, and it’s just my opinion. Opinions don’t matter, but this has been on my heart. There is a carnal attempt by conservative leaders, conservative media and forces unknown in the U.S. that have a great hatred for the U.S. President. He has been provoked, ridiculed, slandered, mocked, and his children and wife are periodically brought up in political debates by conservative talking heads who lash out and make comparisons. The language is not christian, nor the attitude. Yet, the CHURCH of CHRIST sits aside, and instead of showing by example and not engaging in politics, it supports public ministry leaders who lambaste the U.S. President for his choices, using untoward language and lashing out with an unforgiving, unchristian attitude.

    My post isn’t about 2 political parties. I am neither a supporter of any party, nor am I a U.S. citizen. But as a neighbor to the U.S., and friend, I am appalled at the carnal ugly rhetoric which began in 2008. Yes, there were lots of ugly accusations in the previous administration, but this one took on a whole new ugliness. A national leader was called “Liar” and told, “You lie”, was told he had no “Cajones”, “limp and impotent”, racist black jokes were sent among conservative leaders offices, jokesters were making posters with Obama as Hitler, he was accused of not loving America, not being American, not understanding America like others did. The ugly powers that be are trying to impeach him and accuse of lying, stealing votes, etc., etc., etc. Talk about being persecuted. And folks, this is not from unbelievers. This persecution of one man (whether he be christian or not) IS HAPPENING RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES, by those who profess Christ. Of course, these are not true followers of Christ, as their fruit is openly and dishonestly rotten. No child of God schemes and provokes and bullies like those conservative christians have in the history of the United States.

    I think about the slave trade. Fathers, mothers, children, kidnapped, shackled in chains, brought to sit in trading jails, waiting to be sold. Traveling to this New World, being treated like animals, sold to those who would be the nation’s Founding Fathers, never having their freedom, but being bound to work for their masters, living in poverty. When revival swept the African-American communities, many and most gave their hearts to Jesus Christ. These, folks, are our brothers and sisters. And I grieve with them about the hurt and pain they endured at the hands of cruel masters. It was a major shameful, cruel, sinful, despicable way to treat other humans, including how the Native Americans were treated. Throughout the generations up until this century, there were lynch mobs. Is it any wonder the U.S. is in the throes of confusion and chaos? AA’s endured being hated for their skin color and we all witnessed in 2008 one African/American man’s destiny. All the prayers, for freedom in this temporal life and hope for eternal life became a reality for them when they saw an African-American man become their President. Doesn’t the bible tell us that God appoints leaders of nations? If this was his will, and if this was a direct message to the American people that He valued those precious African-Americans as much as white, hispanic, asian and blood-bought Americans, why oh why then didn’t the church react in a positive way? Yes, this President was a liberal who would support abortion and unchristian lifestyles. We know this isn’t God’s will. But, we also know that he places demagogues and pagans and dictators in seats of power to provoke his church to pray more and sometimes to be chastened and to be tested. This test failed miserably because it showed the world how utterly un-christian supposed christians became. And, how many other presidents before him manipulated and cheated and gave the call to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima; schemed to conquer and invest in weapons, selling, engaging in conflicts which killed many innocent civilians? What American president has not sinned?

    My whole point, if I can express myself here, is that the Church of our Lord, the members of His Body, sat back, and instead of praying for the leaders and those they disagree with, picked up their pitchforks and joined the riots. Some in the Body of Christ were the worst perpetrators of hate. And the world watched their actions, and said, “christians are hypocrites”. The silence in the churches was deafening. Few men of God corrected, rebuked christians on blogs, who took up spiritual arms “against” those sinful liberals. Instead of praying for them, some even encouraged christians to pray the Psalm imprecatory prayer against the President, the one that says, “may his wife be a widow and his children fatherless”.

    If American churches don’t repent, it’s almost all but lost for any revival. Paul rebuked some who said, “Cretans are always liars”. Isn’t there a Paul out there who can rebuke the saints in America for harboring feelings they would never admit on race, and calling them ‘liars’? I believe a “racist” spirit has been at work in the United States and the church has been defiled by it.

  35. So what do you do with people like John the Baptist? Talk about being isolated! And he was God’s man, in the place God wanted him. I’m sure he had his detractors who labeled him antisocial and an individualist.

    An individualist, by definition… “a person who shows independence and individuality in his behaviour, opinions, or actions.”

    Thank God for men like that! We need MORE of them in the church today!

    Dependence on God does not mean we are stripped of being individuals. Neither does being part of the body nullify our unique place in it.

  36. Shirley May 16th 2013

    While I agree with much of what has been written and commented on, I am an American who attends a small strongly based Word church; we have none of the social groups other than a Family Dinner every few months were we ALL, young and older, eat and have fellowship. During these times the older have opportunity to interact and mentor the young as the Bible instructs.

    To the many who are quick to condemn all Americans I say: there is an American Church Body who seeks a strong Word teaching church fellowship. You probably won’t find it in large churches, you will need to look at the smaller nondenominational ones. It took me awhile but I was determined. Now I am beginning to see truth seekers join our fellowship and they are soaking up the Word like hungry baby birds.

    There is a “true American Church” coming out of the mess and it is growing daily. We need words of encouragement, not all encompassing condemnation. There will be part of the Church Without Spot or Blemish that includes many Americans. I am excited for what God is doing in these last days and intend, with His grace, to be part of that glorious Church. Make no mistakes my friends, there is a price to pay to be included. The release of self, judgmental and prideful attitudes, just to name a few. So, let us exhort, lift up and encourage true seekers of the Word that they will persist in finding fellowship in a Bible believing, Word and Holy Spirit teaching and led ministry. For it is there that signs and wonders will prevail and spill out into the highways and byways as Word taught, Spirit filled Believers go and DO the works of the ministry.

  37. I agree with Mike Helms totally. I can honestly say that I have never felt more spiritual since the day I walked out of church and relied on God and his word solidly. I am alone but have an inner strength and love for God and his word that I never had when I was part of a church. It is wrong for someone to judge me because of this, just as its wrong for us to judge anyone who decides to stay within a church, for whatever their personal reasons are.

    I totally depend on his spirit and guidance and am not influenced by the teachings of men. Every church has its own slant on things and a lot of churches are money-orientated, although you would never know until you look deeper. Ive visited and remained in various churches to see what lies beyond. Its not a pretty picture at the best of times.

    I speak about my faith to whoever I meet and I feel aglow with the spirit. Yet I am not affiliated with any “body”. Although I miss fellowship sometimes, I will not compromise what I know to be right just for the sake of being part of a club,

  38. What marie has witnessed are those who walk in
    the kingdom of this world and are national
    not spiritual.
    The left has a very dangerous agenda as well.
    while the right focuses on national pride,
    the left focuses on a new age agenda, to bring the whole
    of humanity under the ONE of the world.
    both sides are being USED by darkness, for both
    sides walk in the worlds kingdom.
    the fruits of leaven from non scriptural thoughts of men
    and not HOLY truth has destroyed many.
    I would step foot in neither the left new age churches
    which are mainly in liberal, gays, atheists even
    NOR would i step in the right, consevative, which
    focuses on the me , my self, and i, and money, and easy life.
    There is a very small true to the lamb group.
    who simply meet, and go out and do and let the Light of Christ shine.
    SINCE we are not to have fellowship with the works of darkness
    NOR are we to NOT have fellowship with true belivers.
    I suggest we who now know better. BEGIN to move forward as a group. We cant just sit and do nothing.
    However, i strongly suggest
    we come to one mind and quick.
    The best way to do this…………..is to
    begin anew, start fresh in the gosples
    and study the sermon on the mount.
    THEN become ONE MINDED in CHRIST
    as HIS WORDS purge OUT opinions
    and TRUTH replaces our own thoughts
    and THUS our thoughts and opinions BECOME TRUTH.
    ONLY TRUTH profits.
    Since many see the problems
    many should know the answers aint to send anyone back
    into a church which is leaven filled.
    THE solution is WE as a GROUP begin to MOVE forward
    as the SPIRIT bids.
    WE didnt come out of egypt to return to egypt,
    LEST it be only to warn others to come out.
    And once out of egypt, we must purge all bablyonian
    doctrines of men we have been taught.
    THUS we MUST begin anew in THE BIBLE doctrine.
    and MOVE FORWARD from that.

  39. It’s kind of funny how the church (all of us) are still fussing about who is in charge, and using “individualism” as the rationale to rebel, walk away, or whatever. Done it several times myself. Who knows … may again.

    But you know, I’m coming to believe that we can still be in a church and be individuals with common goals, and those goals being (1.) Christ in us and (2.) reaching the lost. After searching for a church that suited myself and the style of worship I wanted, I took a chance and chose a church (Salvation Army Church) that met none of those individual “wants” but had a desire towards these two goals. I made it clear to the pastor from the beginning, “I do inner city rehab and ministry work and I need help … if you really want to help the lost and reach these inner city people, then I will also work to help the church, I simply do not have the time to waste helping if you are not sincere”. Strong words that brought a strong reply, but it’s working! We’re coming together as a congregation towards these common goals and we are beginning to see people come to Christ. A trickle now but on the verge of a gusher.

    And yes, the biggest problem is the old crusty members who aren’t willing to help and yet complain that outsiders (like me) are taking over. BUT … as we grow a loving body … the make believe power that they wield is slowly passing away.

    If you are really hungry for God and willing to give yourself to Him for His work, then you might take a chance and try breathing life into a dying or dead church. All you need is the support of the pastor to implement what God has put on your heart, and willingness to volunteer and work hard. And be ready to ignore the “I want to quit” feelings that will come. They will slowly be replaced with joy.

  40. Austin May 16th 2013

    Andrew,
    asking for further comment has obviously brought more ‘individuals’ out of the woodwork of the real church – the one that has no ‘pope’ nor fancy buildings, nor even a set of coherent doctrines!!! I believe that what you wrote was of God, not because it was entirely right, but it was the right formula to draw out the crowd – well done. I must agree with those who state that many men and women of God were/are strong individualists, but that trait did/does not preclude them from interacting with a local body of believers. Paul and others certainly spent time alone with God just “toughing it out” but when it was expedient, they also went and did the work of the Lord by building the body as and when they could.

    We often state the desire to return to the days of the early church, but often forget the conditions under which they lived – persecuted by the Jews (often their former friends, relatives and neighbours) then by the Romans (for several centuries!) People who didn’t end up dying a martyr’s death or becoming enslaved were often forbidden to work at their former trades, or had their farms confiscated by the Roman state – how long would the members of modern ‘churchianity’ last under such conditions? Not long, and thus the Bible’s predictions regarding the ‘great falling away’ in our day.

    Perhaps those of us who end up being relatively ‘safe’ in the end times, will be those who are unattached to any large, officially recognised church denomination, but are only loosely associated with a local home group or loose knit fellowship? While personal ‘safety’ may not be the highest priority in terms of eternity, it does ensure that some will survive whatever is coming (tribulation, betrayal, isolation etc) and will be able to shine their light to the people around them who are still walking in great spiritual darkness. I know that this sounds a little gloomy, but it is the reality that many ‘real’ Christians now believe that they will face in the near future.

    Even the unsaved people in the world, some of whom are very close to the kingdom of God, can see the hypocrisy in the mainline churches (including the Pentecostal and Evangelical ones) and want nothing to do with them. Even they can join some of the dots together, and work out that the world as we know it, is living on borrowed time, and is headed for the abyss

    Perhaps independent fellowships, that spring up here and there under the inspiration and enabling of the Lord, will be the order of the day, and not denominations, that are fast becoming abominations? As one pastor said above, he had to leave a denomination because of the falsehoods that were being preached.

    The title of this current post is most apt – God’s people are sick and tired of false plastic religion, they are searching for something real, even if that search is tinged with an idealism which is yet to find expression. It can only be a massive world wide move of the Holy Spirit to plan and align and join together such people (individuals) from such wide ranging backgrounds, who hold to such a non compromising stance, and I hope and pray that this move is already underway…

    Austin Hellier
    Brisbane Australia

  41. Unfortunately, yes we in the West are in apostasy. It feels awful. Except for a handful of sites like this one, I find none that inspire us for the times we live in. Or not tithing is sin against God, or holiness works, or grace+ something or grace minus anything, or………and celebrities, churches who pride themselves on being unique and different. I hear worship songs by people who love to worship in Spirit, yet their songs are about, “I am a Pentecostal, with lyrics about their works. That is not lifting up the name of Jesus. I do appreciate the Hillsong worship (whether they have errors in doctrine or not, I don’t know) but I do know that when they sing and play their instruments, they are all humbled and determined to give all glory to God and when they worship, they bring the crowd to worship Jesus and focus directly on Him. That’s something rare these days in churches.

    I think the individualism thing we notice is the me-generation influence on us (middle-agers) and our kids. We’ve been brainwashed by media and the education system; to believe we can achieve anything we want. So, the christians today who may not have left this mindset at the altar, are still wrestling with it. I believe we should have lived like the communal churches in the book of Acts. I’m sure each saint believed they were all unique and individuals as part of Christ’s Body. That’s all the indivudualism that we need. Some are the legs, feet, arms, and comely parts, etc.

    The western church is imploding. In my experience, going into a church service is shaking a few polite hands, sitting in a nice air-conditioned modern pew. Music starts, it’s time to worship, but just when I’m getting into it, it suddenly stops and preacher does announcements and talks and jokes around, then the ushers take the offerings, and the music starts, then the preacher preaches for maybe 15 minutes. Then take it away, musicians…….prayer at the altar…….then we all leave; for me, why doesn’t it edify? It makes me feel even more lonely and depressed. My young son felt the same way. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but it’s there, and I’ve encountered this in every church. OK, it could be me, you say. No doubt. But, I’ve been through many trials in my life and there are beautiful christians out there that I’ve met on-line and I sense they should be the ones pastoring the saints. The unchurched should be the ones teaching, preaching, edifying, encouraging, giving glory to God at all costs, having all thing in common, not being of Paul or Appollos but using only the founder’s name, JESUS.

    Individuals in Spirit, through Jesus Christ: Yes
    Individualism in gratifying the hierarchy of needs and self-actualizing: No

  42. L. Alex Smith May 16th 2013

    Revelation 12:14, and 17. the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, INTO HER PLACE, where she is nourished for a Time, Times, and Half a Time (=3 1/2 years) from the face of the serpent.
    v 17 and the Dragon was wroth (furious) with the woman, and went to make war with The Remnant Of Her Seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
    (For the “testimony” see Rev. 19:10) There will be a Remnant.
    Who are they– who will they be? She only had “one” child– the “Fully-Grown son, a male” in Revel. 12:5. But they will be “caught up” (in vs. 5)….but the description of their inward character is seen in vs 11 “…and they loved not their lives unto the death” YET THEY WON’T HAVE DIED. Therefore, they will be totally willing to “lay down their lives for their friends” (Greater Love has no man that this…)– so the Remnant could only be some of that group who will in Total Love, voluntarily ask God to sty behind–not LEFT behind. The Woman is Left Behind; the “man-child” is caught up; but the Remnant “Stays Behind” to Nourish the Woman (the Christian church as a whole).
    God will have His remnant!
    Are the Two Witnesses that very same group, of saved Jews and saved Gentiles?
    The Woman will need “nourishing” during the dark days of The Wrath. Who shall do it? Individuals who have that white-hot fervent love for God and for the Brethren. And they will have the Testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of Prophecy–TRUE prophecy which pierces asunder to the dividing of the soul and the spirit, the joints (bones) and the marrow, DISCERNING AND LAYING BARE the Thoughts and the Motives of the heart. It will be Strong nourishment indeed. Who will be in either group– of those who are caught up, or those who literally plead with God to let them stay, all for the love of the saints? (I don’t think I’m remotely there yet….but at least we can set our sights on it…)

  43. L. Alex Smith May 16th 2013

    This was in response to all the posts complaining of the church’s hypocrisy and deadness, so they left, but then feel isolated and desolate….I can relate…but God is calling not only the collective peoples, he is calling the individualistic non-conformists to “Standard Church Culture” to a higher Love than we have known before.

  44. I stopped going the direction of the denomination church since 2002. I see many others on this site have also by what they wrote. Dose this make us individualist because we feel the Holy Spirit has moved us from the organized church due to the direction she has taken. Does this make us individualist because we no longer attended organized church or a house church. I heard and saw things in the churches that did not make biblical sense anymore but I attended anyway because I felt guilty if I did not. So I went to church for years out of duty and guilt which was not the right reasons. When I visit a church now I have to pray that I not become critical of what I see and hear while there visiting. I don’t want to be like this but my spirit feels very uncomfortable being there even though I want to be there and fellowship. I don’t feel like this when I meet with a few brothers and sisters out side the organized church to fellowship. So I guess I was not individualistic when I attended church and now that I do not attend church I am labeled individualistic. I try to meet and gather with 1, 2, or 3 brothers every time we can anywhere we can, because we don’t want to forsake the assembling of the saints. We just don’t meet every Sunday morning at 10:00 at same location with the masses. Do I feel God has lost control of his church? No I think he is just reorganizing it.

  45. Austin May 16th 2013

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RJBd8zE48A

    A naughty but nevertheless true parody of modern ‘churchianity’ in pentecostal style. This is what happens when people agree to compromise – truth goes out the window while error comes through the frint door, and takes pride of place.

    Austin Hellier

  46. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    Neither sick nor tired but always an individual before God but, sadly, not always man.

    No longer enslaved as a trapeze artist in a variety of religious circus’ with a ring master in a clerical collar cracking a whip; swinging back and forth between church requirements of me, (duty to pastor who is a priest in practice) and my Lord Jesus, the God who bought this territory which is me with His blood.

    This God, my Father, bought my life and my freedom with the blood, the suffering and the very life of His Son, the greatest mercy our Father could ever offer a sinner like me.

    I am a free man in Jesus. I could not, and now will not, believe this same Heavenly Father would so enslave me again, subjugate me, in a corrupt and corrupting religious system of tithes, observances, deceptions and dogma, of duty to a pastor who is in all but name a priest!

    After more than twenty years outside the camp, so to speak, I conclude, no one inside will appreciate or enter into life without a religious institution.

    If I am to go back into the camp, then it will be a very different man to that which came out.

  47. Robert May 16th 2013

    Sick and Tired here. LIke the one responder said, the apostasy abounds in America. Many good Christians are leaving churches not out of individualism but because they are tired of the compromise, false doctrines, lack of fire, etc. If you stay in a church like that too long-and I have- you will cool down.

  48. Linda Spagnola May 16th 2013

    Today’s institutionalized, organized church system is home to individuals, who can not become one of spirit because the church system is patterned after our individualized government. I have always found it strange in the secular world that they demand that you be an individual and be all that you can be, but become angry when they can not get people to get along and get things done. I have found this true on jobs I have had (bosses and their workers) and in churches I have been in (leaders and their followers: I asked my pastor after service one day why he was looking so glum and angry and he stated it was because people in the congregation sat and listened but did nothing more. I don’t think he has yet seen that he is the cause: the speaker and his passive, entertained audience – also patterned after the secular world).

    I saw the handwriting on the wall in the 80’s when I visited different churches around town. Each had their own thing going, full of individualized meetings, ministries and the like. I began to refer to them as “Designer Churches”, as I realized that most came into being to fulfill the agenda of a few with similar interests and minds. I saw the lack of commitment and power as compromise and personal agendas ruled.

    Yet, knowing this to be true, knew that I needed to be with a body of believers, instead of out here on my own. I tried three churches in buildings and a few house churches. What I experienced was the same as before: lack of commitment, compromise, always doing (for Christ) but rarely being (and ministering to Christ), hypocrisy, lies, deceit, pushiness and I was even used in one of the churches to further their agenda (based on race). It was not pretty. The house churches were just little off-shoots of the big buildings.

    I did find one place where folks gathered to do nothing else but worship the Lord and let him lead and guide the meeting. How I wish I could have continued meeting with them! The Lord really moved amongst those folks as they set their individual agendas aside. But, it was 65 miles north of me (I live in South Los Angeles and this body of believers is in Simi Valley). It is what I really long for.

    I heard one pastor say during a service that many people came and went and that it was their fault. He suggested they were uncommitted or looking for something to meet their own agenda. In my case, these churches left me feeling empty, stifled (since I was not allowed to contribute) and longing to truly experience the Lord as was evident in the first century church. In the church mentioned above, I had one lady my age tell me that it took her five years before she had close friendships within the church. HUH? This sounded ridiculous considering what I knew of the first century church: but I found it to be true, unless you belonged to the pastor’s clique.

    I would say that we all begin as individuals; certainly the converts in the first century were. And look at the 12?! How much more individualistic can you get! What really makes a difference is when people put aside their own agendas and sit quietly before the Lord, ministering to him, learning to hear his voice and coming together with those practice the same. We are the individual seeds that the Holy Spirit crushes and mixes together to form a heavenly bread. And only the Holy Spirit can do this work: not some orator or ministry. I do not like being out here in this desert: I wish to gather with others of the same ilk and I know I am not the only one. But if we continue to seek the Lord with all our strength, hearts, minds and souls, and listen to and move by the unctionings of the Holy Spirit, I believe we will be connected in, by and for the spirit.

  49. I hope my post a while back was not offensive to anyone. I hope my post about the political/church mood in the U.S. didn’t sound condemning of those christians who desire and seek true relationship with the Lord.

    I thank so many good pastors in past, evangelists from the U.S. of which my denomination was affiliated with. Truly revival was being spread by many American churches. My point was to show how these same churches want christians to support a system, or are viewed today, right now, by the christian world as silent against the wicked tide. They don’t need to make political statements at all. Yet they need to preach to the world that wickedness and hate is rampant and those who are poisoned by this hate need to run to an altar and repent right now.

    Since 2008, maybe I’m a lone voice in this, but the ugly tone from those dominions, like media, by way of spiritual leaders who have a platform in media, have increased exponentially. Instead of the church encouraging, keeping the flocks from engaging in the stone-throwing of politicians, it is ignoring the stone-throwing and rather enjoying watching from the sidelines because it profits them monetarily and powerfully. Who is the voice in the wilderness who cries out to unbelievers and the church, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”.

    In Matthew 3:5 – “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

    It is interesting to me, to note, that when the Pharisees and Saducees, (the present day teachers and religious leaders) saw this, this is what verse 7 says: “But when he(John the Baptist) saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them: Brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentence, and do not think to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our Father.”

    This is seems so similar to today’s church leaders who dare anyone to speak out against their leaders, placing their politicians in the idol-worship/savior mode. Am I the only one who notices this? Aren’t spiritual leaders supposed to correct other apostles who condemn and accuse those who don’t yet know Jesus? I thank the Lord for small independent home churches and that many are coming out and thirsting for God’s truth. But as Ambassadors and witnesses of Jesus, christian leaders have the responsibility to show the world that this behavior of the wolves is condemned and speaking wickedly, accusing homosexuals and abortionists and democrats and feminists and the President and his family of their sin in a public domain is not the way Christ taught. He didn’t go to the governors and priests and stand beside them and accuse sinners with them. He spoke to the religious hypocrisies in public, and he taught the multitudes about sin and repentence. But first, he had to acknowledge that the hypocritical religious leaders had no place in the Kingdom of God if they carried on as such. Some are using the name of God as a way to exploit sinners for political gain. They don’t care about the homosexual. They only care to make them a target so their christian base will vote for them. And churches are jumping on this bandwagon. This is anathema and the those watchman who speak out are sent nasty e-mails and spoken evil of. If there are churches right now in the U.S. who weep for the lost, sinners, liberals, the President and his family, and who speak no vile out of their mouth, or who fast and pray for the poor, those on food stamps, the ill without health insurance, those forgotton, fallen through the cracks, for their souls and bodies, and delete every nasty word we hear from media, and put it to silence and forgive and love each other, then I’ll rush to that church this Sunday.

  50. Sick and Tired is the truth. I don’t even mind if the theology is off base compared to my own if I could only find a church with the HEART of Jesus – to follow Him in what matters to Him.. and to rely on Him and not themselves. I walk into churches and see nearly everything is antithesis to Christ – that it’s not even the same “religion” as I have. I feel guilty, like I’m being too critical. But it hurts too much to keep trying.

  51. 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, wandering….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.

  52. Averyl May 16th 2013

    Marie, – I totally agree with you.

    I’ve watched old clips of Obama saying he disagrees with homosexuality etc but has obviously been persuaded to be tolerant by letting people have the freedom of choice.
    I’ve watched him becoming disgusted with so-called Republican Christian attitudes & behaviour.

    He has a soft spot for Islam because of nostalgia from childhood days, and desires to treat them fairly.

    There are those who would not be surprised if he morphosed into the anti-Christ because of the persecution & frustration he endures.

  53. any agenda , any political motivated move
    will ALWAYS cause division.
    IF only………………the lambs would know
    THIS world is not Home.
    THIS kingdom……….not ours.
    OUR life, is hid in CHRIST
    our agenda…………..to furthur the gosple.
    Maria………..
    both sides are divided and being used of the powers of spiritual darkness…….
    ONE to enslave the colletive humanity into ONE
    and ONE dark leader which is to come.
    The other…………..is being fuelded by hatred
    and soon will do nasty exploits against govt
    this will only give the Chaose the other side needs
    to get the entire world into false peace, unity
    and amergeddon, rfid, all of it. and satan controls all of them, both sides, and is taking captive all at his will. WE must resist the devil
    by our faith.
    WE simlply must only be about to WIN souls
    to encourage one another , and do all as unto GOD.
    be blessed.

  54. AVERYL……………..
    i dont occuse Obama. BUT undrestand
    HE is of new age. HIS WORDS, his own speeches show this.
    I no votey for ROMENY neither
    NIETHER MAN is a man of GOD.
    AND i partake , vote, FOR NO evil
    PRAY , but dont partake in their system.
    it will only cause divisoins in the unstable,
    those who are worried about this life, these cares, these pleasures.
    WE DEAD to all that.
    The political realm………………………….is far long
    controlled by spirit of darkness.
    and i shall give no vote for any evil, whether greater
    whether the lesser. WE must be made wise asap.
    or fall away we shall for any wind of doctrine
    any cause of the world that may appear right, to unstable
    or unlearned. AVOID it.
    OUR KINGDOM is not of this world.
    OUR mission is NOT OF THIS WORLD.
    Be blessed. trust in any man is vain.
    we in the last times. LET the light of CHRIST
    shine, and pray souls be won, and do all as unto GOD.
    giving all glory unto the FATHER. amen.

  55. Bob Ward May 16th 2013

    The above comments reflect the spiritual mindset of most of my Christian friends as to finding and being part of a church body that is truly patterned after biblical guidelines. My others friends that do attend services…and that is exactly what they do. Because of the large size of the church (not just the building but the number of those who likewise attend just the services) or those in leadership not preaching or teaching the Full Gospel and are more into control than being true shepherds.
    For primarily these reasons they are not willing to be a vital living part of the organized church, just service attenders. The Holy Spirit must be the one to begin a movement involving the thousands upon thousands in this searching, hungry mode, for as I see it they (including me) are truth seekers and passionate to be with others that are like minded and able to find those that are given spiritual authority as true loving, yet disciplined pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists and administrators. Just as important is this…. not being led and put upon by just one man but a true scriptural plurality of leaders. Bob Ward Mesa, AZ.

  56. 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.

  57. Everything is just as the prophets of old predicted it. We are a scattered people, learn to mourn. It is God that has made us individualistic, each of us must work our own salvation out with fear and trembling. Flattery is the work of the enemy and rebuke is futile with individualistic people, yet God is still able. For who can make straight that which God has made crooked and the idea continues in Psalms 74.

  58. Only Jesus can build His church. He is finding out who will let Him rule over everything and who wants to take over and do what they think is “best”. The Lord wants to find out who loves Him.

  59. Jda016 May 16th 2013

    Marie said,

    “In my experience, going into a church service is shaking a few polite hands, sitting in a nice air-conditioned modern pew. Music starts, it’s time to worship, but just when I’m getting into it, it suddenly stops and preacher does announcements and talks and jokes around, then the ushers take the offerings, and the music starts, then the preacher preaches for maybe 15 minutes. Then take it away, musicians…….prayer at the altar…….then we all leave; for me, why doesn’t it edify?”

    That is EXACTLY what I am sick of. It is dead and dry religion with no power of life, ” having a form of Godliness but denying it’s power.” I think we are right to feel dissatisfied with this type of church setting. If this type of service fulfills anyone, then is it Jesus they are truly seeking?

    Sometimes I think more lives would be changed and delivered if they just cut out the sermon and announcements and stuck with the praise and worship. Sure people would get bored and leave, but those who felt God’s Spirit in worship would stay.

    Amen Kathleen! I completely receive that Scripture. If The Lord has not built it, truly the workers labor in vain.

  60. Averyl May 16th 2013

    Do they truly love us & do we truly love them?
    By this shall we know who are His disciples, when believers go out of their way to show us they truly care.
    As the Lord leads, so will we.

  61. Averyl May 16th 2013

    Andrew J Horton, – do you still have my email address? Have lost yours, need to contact you!

  62. How bout sick and tired of being labeled ooc ?

    What about a new label oob ? ( out of bondage )

    or afd ? ( away from deception )

    In my walk with Lord Jesus Christ the first 8 years were outside the mainstream christian movement, the next 8 years where within the pentecostal movement , and now it has been 5 years outside of mainstream christianity.

    Guess what ? the whole time I have been part of the body of Lord Jesus Christ.

    My observations where that I grew, and was a far more effective servant for Christ , when I was outside mainstream christianity.

    Why ? cos the deception and manipulation that exists with many man appointed leaders does nothing towards true discipleship , which leads to growth.

    Insecure man pleasing , self serving leaders have no desire to see anyone mature to a point of questioning the twisted teachings they present.

    Now we have people who know all this and the problems that exist within mainstream christianity , and who speak about the deception, who have decided to label all of us outside the walls so to speak as ooc, or individualistic

    To all who feel they have been labeled ooc

    Take heart , I know when my wife and I where led out 5 years ago , we where clearly shown that we can’t serve two masters, yet despite having such a clear word and confirmation as to what our next step was, it still took a little while to become free of the religious spirit that tries to bring condemnation through those who are ” in ” or seeking a “career” within .

    Once we were free from the power of religious deception, it was business as usual, serving and growing in Christ , and meeting many who are doing exactly the same thing.

    All who know Lord Jesus Christ are part of His Body

    Take heart with the following verse our Lord Jesus Christ gave me ;

    Luk 9:49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”
    Luk 9:50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

  63. I started to recognize, several years ago, that the largest organized group of volunteers in the world is the Christian church. They have recruitment centers on every corner, in most parts of the world, and yet more than 90% of the world has no idea what Christianity has to offer. They have vast financial potential, facilities, and trained compassionate people. This powerful entity is divided however. We have allowed, even encouraged, this division. We have developed an insidious tool called denominationalism. We have organized religion into a list of divided, separatist rules: overseen by divided separatist rulers, all in the name of Jesus. Jesus himself said in Luke 11:17, “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined…” He even went on to say…”If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?” Satan’s kingdom is growing everyday.

    Dont blame the individuals that see through the industry, that are not willing to sit as the baby in a foul bathwater that meets weekly. Discernment should not be trapped inside of “Individualism”. We must always be circumspect and weary of any attack in the truth!

  64. The true Body will always gather when the true God called servants walk in there God given ministry.

    This will overcome all the deception that causes division today, however we are not called to come under false leaders walking with the wrong spirit.

    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.

  65. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    Kevin, how about outside the camp.

    Biblically much happened outside the camp, much of great spiritual significance, including the crucifixion of Jesus. Ref Hebrews 13

  66. Averyl May 16th 2013

    The writings of Charles Elliot Newbold have been a blessing to me, especially “His Presence in the Midst of You” & “The Harlot Church System”. Short & sweet!

    Free downloads on
    /openheaven.com/networking/webrings/

  67. Richard Savage,

    Maybe, however in biblical OT terms the camp moved to keep following the glory and provision of God , having said that I understand what you are saying

  68. Roger (NZ) May 16th 2013

    Pondering on the name overnight, both here and elsewhere – I am reminded of a term used in NZ when we first were introduced by Lord Jesus to others in a similar situation. The term is ‘outside the structures’.

    In truth the term I prefer is Ekklesia, or Body of Christ Jesus – which includes all born-again believers in Christ Jesus – no matter where they are..

  69. Andrew May 16th 2013

    Roger – it is difficult to see how one can possibly call a bunch of scattered “non-body” and “anti-leader” individuals the “Ekklesia”.

    That is the exact opposite of the use of the term in the New Testament.

    A body is a “BODY”. Just like my own body is a BODY. I do not allow my own fingers to run off down the street by themselves and still claim to be part of “me”.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  70. The “body” of Christ is not an individual church with people, it is an accumulation of faithful disciples whether alone or in groups.

    We do not need to be guilted into attending a church just because of Pauls words about being a part of the “body” of Christ. The body is everywhere, in every generation, throughout time. The body is made up of individuals, not members of a building who meet together.

    You are likely to be a more spiritual person if you depend on God alone, rather than your Pastor, for insight. It is God who gives freely, not man.

    “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out, he goes back to the ground, in that day his thoughts do perish”. Psalms 146:3

  71. Averyl May 16th 2013

    Andrew, – you nearly said “nobody” instead of “non-body”!

    Trouble is you are looking with eyes of flesh instead of with spiritual eyes, which is how God sees.
    He sees His Body as co-ordinated & doing exactly what He has told them to do individually in their “neck of the woods” & I don’t think we should be judging them for that.

    I had the same thing blasted at me for hours yesterday by my daughter who has been blessed to find a local fellowship to which she has not invited me but still insists that I should “GO SOMEWHERE”! Even if it’s church hopping, but anywhere she would rest assured that I am participating in the Body.
    I did not argue with her as our relationship is not good.

    Time for us to stop kicking one another & to encourage and love one another instead.

    Why did Jesus say where 2 or 3 are gathered together in His name there He is?

  72. Andrew May 16th 2013

    I take my model of “CHURCH” and “BODY” from the New Testament and the Book of Acts – where we clearly see it functioning as a ‘Body’. We can “see” it, so to speak. There it is.

    These so-called “invisible” scattered bodies I do not find there at all.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  73. Averyl May 16th 2013

    As for “anti-leader”, – what’s wrong with being led by the Holy Spirit?
    If we submit to one another & share what we think the Holy Spirit is telling us, we won’t go far wrong.

    A leader in Christian circles is meant to serve, not direct.

  74. If you live in the UK, go on the charity commission website and type in the charity number of your church.

    Then look to see how the money is being donated and in particular, what the Pastor is paying himself. Its usually way way down the bottom of the list of around 20 pages. I always ask myself if this is intentional, to make you give up the search!

    The more contemporary (or megachurch) you attend with high attendances, the more the Pastor will be paying himself. Be prepared for a shock. If you live in the US I am not sure how you can find that information, but if you can, I am sure you will be floored by the figures. Its BIG business.

    There is a saying, that if you want to be rich, go start up a church, have a great band, keep it light-hearted and cater for individual needs. It seems the more “revival” the church is, the more money is to be made.

    If Jesus returned today, he would treat them the same as the money-lenders and traders in the temple, when he threw them out by saying : “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:13

    And we wonder why the church is in decline?

    Just one of the reasons I have decided to sever my ties, and I couldn’t be happier, or stronger in my faith.

  75. Richard Savage May 16th 2013

    Roger, yes, perhaps that is better. The structures encompass, define, the camp, occupied by the religious. Doesn’t the camp have palisades, boundaries? Are there not within those boundaries religious motifs, idols, ceremonial, none of which is instituted of God? Does He not speak so loudly against such things in the Prophets?

    Outside the structures, yes.

    I too prefer ekklasia, however, is it the case we who are outside the denominations do not need a label, that the sheep know their shepherd and the shepherd knows His sheep? Perhaps a label is needed because the religious need to know us, to define us, to put us in a comfortable box and file us away.

    Recently I had a sharp altercation with a local vicar, a high ranking local Mason, currently cohabiting with another man’s wife. Like many, he’s vehemently opposed to anything not High Anglican (I was brought up High Anglican so I know the breed). He challenged me in a fashion quite without warrant or mercy, and quite without attempt at understanding. ‘So, dear boy (I’m 62 and he’s about 40, such is their superiority) how would you describe yourself?’

    ‘Of Christ and no other.’

    Strange, the conversation was cut short!

  76. Andrew May 16th 2013

    If you do not want ‘Body’

    You will not get it.

  77. Averyl May 16th 2013

    The Church in the book of Acts is much to be desired by all of us but we can’t just decide to make it happen in our location.

    I have Ron MacKenzie;s book “Being Church Where You Live” about how the Church should be according to the Acts model. But it’s an ideal & doesn’t exist everywhere.
    We can try to make it happen but unless the Lord builds the House….

    Just received a text from my daughter on the topic, she says it is our choice, we need to dethrone ourselves Well, I don’t see myself on the throne at all! How sad is that!
    Who is in rebellion & judging the Lord’s servants?

  78. Averyl May 16th 2013

    Andrew, – WE DO WANT BODY!
    Oh dear, our heads sure are banging together!
    Dear Lord, please help us!

  79. Averyl May 16th 2013

    Both John the Baptist and the Apostle John when on the Isle of Patmos were still connected to the Church.

  80. Lightning Storm May 16th 2013

    Gotta love that one, Averyl….must have been the Holy Spirit pointing that out.

  81. Andrew May 16th 2013

    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

  82. Andrew, where are you going with this? I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what your position is. You’re one of the first people who broadcast the whole out-of-church movement a few years back. (In fact, I thought it was you who even coined that term.) I would bet many of the people who frequent your site had their beginnings with you through those very messages that you shared about being an out-of-church Christian. You certainly seemed to be strongly advocating that at one time. Has that changed for you?

    You say that you get your pattern for body life from Acts, but that is hardly specific. We see “body life” in Acts, but very little of the structure that we call “church” when we use that term today. So what are you calling for with your recent posts? What are people actually doing, or not doing, that makes them “individualistic” and
    therefore not participating in body life as you see it?

  83. What I see is that there is a lot of hurt out there from what has happened in the Name of the Lord but hasn’t been of the Lord…

    I’ve found a number of people have been very suspicious of me since I’ve been led to head back into a local fellowship…

    As if I’m “heading back to Babylon”…

    I hear Averyl’s heart and I feel that there are many others who want “the real deal”…

    If you’d like Averyl I could ask the leader of our Prophetic Intercessors group here in Christchurch for any who he knows in Taranaki who really know the Lord and I could pass their information on to you? Is that a good idea?

    He knows lots of people – lots of people who pray – and they tend to be the most discerning ones – the ones who pray… 🙂

    There might be a fellowship in Taranaki which is doing good things in the Lord – I don’t know… 🙂

    There are these fellowships around – as Serenity shared with us previously no ‘church’ is perfect – no grouping of believers in a locality is perfect – but where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty and that liberty “glues” us together to be able to grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – it enables the falsehood to be exposed and in an atmosphere of love – enables us to grow up into Him…

    The spirit of suspicion is based on hurt…

    People have been abused – spiritually abused – but some people have been physically abused in their childhoods – or neglected or just have never known love and acceptance – always felt on the outer and never felt a part of something, i.e. always been under rejection…

    Never known the love of a father or thus of the Father – it does make a huge difference when you have a father figure in your life to look up to who is modelling Christ to you – I have been blessed to have that… 🙂

    The truth is that we are accepted in Christ…

    He has accepted us never to be rejected again…

    In that spirit we can relate to our brothers and sisters in love – in the spirit of acceptance – knowing that we’re all growing up into Him and bearing with one another as we do – much as we do with our own children…

    The key to this is establishing who actually do know the Lord and are brothers and sisters and who are wolves – the role of leadership is to make this distinction to protect those who are brothers and sisters to be able to grow in peace – without experiencing unnecessary condemnation and accusation from the wolves…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  84. Averyl May 16th 2013

    We walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Cor,5:7, – don’t we?

  85. Averyl May 16th 2013

    Andrew Horton, – great post & great idea! Looking forward to the information he finds.

  86. Marilyn Crow May 17th 2013

    So true Averyl & others.

    I have appreciated reading the many good comments & heart responses. And it seems like there are certain stages we are all going through. I`ll put them in point form but of course they overlap & also I may have missed or misinterpreted some.

    While we may seem `alone,` & often misinterpreted as `independent,` the truth is if some of us had been together in a local area we would have set up `shop,` as before & the same cycle would have continued.

    Stages of a fresh move of God`s Spirit.

    1. Coming out of religious organisations.

    – for a variety of reasons.
    – often still looking for a better version of the Rel. Org.

    2. Recognising the limiting structure.

    As we seek the Lord we are drawn closer to Him in our daily life, relying on Him & listening closer to His Holy Spirit. We learn to be guided more intimately & know His true voice. We realise that the Rel. Org.`s structure is limiting to Body function. Don`t know what is up ahead but trusting Christ the Head.

    3. Interdependent.

    Seek out other believers – nearby, phone, internet etc.
    Developing accountable relationships, sharing lives. prayers, etc.

    4. Mentoring.

    Seek relationships with those in need & guide them in life`s lessons. Help them to reach out to those around teaching them to rely on God`s Holy Spirit to give that word, encouragement, etc.

    (This is where we are in our region at the moment. This is called, I believe – A Network of Accountable relationships.)

    5. Gatherings. (in the next couple of years)

    A variety of gatherings will emerge as the need arises. Here Andrew Strom & others will see the New Move emerge as a visible function of Body Ministry. Each joint supplying in accountable relationships, with father/mother ministries underguiding & travelling throughout regions to encourage, share, & themselves receive ministry from the Body.

    We trust you Lord & await you timing. And may we be found working amongst your people reaching out to the lost.

    Marilyn. 🙂

  87. Andrew May 17th 2013

    Sadly Marilyn, I have known quite a few people for over 30 years who got to stage 1 or 2 and stayed there forever.

    Very very common, sadly

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  88. Just to clarify, my previous post was directed to Andrew Strom, not Andrew Horton.

  89. Marilyn Crow May 17th 2013

    Andrew Strom,

    Yes I have seen that also. However as we all keep following our Lord then the weak, the feeble, the lost will be drawn by His Holy Spirit to safe accountable relationships that will connect across the Body, visible to all.

    I know your heart bleeds for them, but I am a big picture person, & always looking ahead. I have to becareful that I don`t strain ahead & not connect in people`s pain.

    But we all know that our Lord, He is our Head & He is firmly connected to the Body.

    Marilyn.

  90. Averyl May 17th 2013

    Mike Helms, – For the answer to your question, go to Andrew’s articles & read “The Church For Tomorrow”.

  91. Roger (NZ) May 17th 2013

    That is an interesting list Marilyn – and I’m pleased to see your explanation that these points may overlap.

    In our experience, points 3 and 4 are current – point 5 gatherings, not large, but genuine, we first experienced in 2000, some had occurred before then, and gave contacts around NZ, with some attendees from overseas.

    In your point 1, the initial coming out – you say for a variety of reasons..? I would agree with this fact, and would add that for those who came out other than by direct leading from the Holy Spirit, most (that I am aware of) have gone back in or are still lonely in their hurts, and these last ones are those who are so very vunerable and need true disciples of Lord Jesus to walk beside them sharing His truth, and pointing them back to Him.

    In His love,
    Roger

  92. Averyl, thanks for pointing out the article. I understand what Andrew is saying in it, but it doesn’t answer my question about what he feels people are specifically doing, or not doing, that would make them “individualistic” and, therefore, not participating in the body life he is calling for.

  93. Averyl May 17th 2013

    God does not want His people or His Body to be either sick or tired!

    Try reading Andrew’s article “Love people Please!”
    I think we get sick & tired when we forget his admonition to “Truly love people more than the truths you are trying to make them listen to”.

    After all, it’s only God who works in us to will & to do His good pleasure. We may have the will but if He doesn’t show us the way to perform it, we have to wait.
    We can’t go before Him to make things happen.

  94. Averyl May 17th 2013

    Mike Helms, – That’s true.

    Andrew, – give us some advice as to what we should be doing, PLEASE!!!

  95. Judith Eddy May 17th 2013

    I was so glad to read the comments in the email I received today. I am a born American and yes we are brought up with that belief in independence and of course that does not work in the Kingdom of God (presently it does not work too well in America either)
    I have read your book also regarding the un-churched and it is a difficult place to be. Certainly the Body of Christ must have a place or way to fellowship together – it is supposed to be the “communion of saints” – It is hard not to feel condemned when you know to be in a local fellowship is right but finding one that is passionate about what God is passionate about – where is it???
    It really is not necessarily what I am passionate about – I thought it was about my passion in the past but realize that can also be a deception and back to the big “I”.
    I am already a member of God’s family so only need to know where are the places that have pure worship and milk to meat training so we can go OUT and BE the epistle read of all men instead of making us just a head count for corporate or find ourselves under leaders like the Pharisees who made proselytes that were “twofold more the child of hell ” than they were ( see Matthew 23:15).
    Individualism is “being your own person” and yet God made us so that no two fingerprints are alike…In the spirit is the only place this can be correctly accessed.
    May we always ‘err’ toward mercy. The Lord will clear it all up…If we “see” we must pray and be not as judges but as lovers of the brethren.

    I

  96. Andrew May 17th 2013

    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.

    -Andrew

  97. Averyl May 17th 2013

    Very helpful answer!

    I think most of us on here are here because we do hunger for “the real thing” and this is the only alternative we have.

    So, thank you Andrew for providing this forum so we can at least have a very small taste of fellowship apart from the 2;s and 3’s.

  98. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    I don’t think any of us is fully aware of the level of devastation left by the invasion of power seeking, experience centred, Bibleless leadership in the modern churches across the globe over the past Twenty five years.
    I am completely overwhelmed at the number of people posting in this article who have lost all faith in the visible church. I wish it wasn’t true but this may be only the firstfruits of the mass exodus from corporate community we may yet witness in our generation. The worst may yet be to come.

    But this mass exodus cannot be excused nor can it be placated regardless of the failures on behalf of the nascent leadership in the churhes. This exodus is completely indicative of the same kind of love of self, fear of commitment and relational covenant unfaithfulness we have seen in the institution of marriage since the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.

    In the minds of most believers faithfulness to covenant Church relationships – like faithfulness to lifelong monogamous marriages- is no longer viewed as essential to discipleship and keeping faith with God. Most see their Covenat relationship with life long commitments to local churches as a mere expedient. The church isn’t the end of salvation and sanctification but a mere expedient – a stepping stone on our way to salvation and redemption. Like shacking up to meet my selfish needs I stead of marriage until problems arise or something better comes along – in the same way professing now Christians view lifelong commitment to a local family of the local church .
    Ask anyone who has abandoned marriage and they will give you a litany of reasons why their spouse was dishonest, abusive- ad infinitum.
    And so the same litany of “reasons” for abandoning the church family on this posting.
    Who said you could leave because the pastor is a shister any more that a marriage partner can leave because their spouse is a shister.

    How sad! how incredibly sad!

    But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, (2 Timothy 3:1-4 NASB)

  99. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    “A friend must prove himself friendly.”

    What I hear among young people almost universally regarding marriage is this:” I am looking for a mate who will be right FOR ME- meet MY NEEDS etc etc. ”

    I tell them this consistently: “Be that and God will give you a mate to practice on for the rest of your life!!”

    Every professing believer who fails to make a life long sacrificial commitment to a local group of followers of Jesus DOES SO FOR THE SAME SELF CENTRED REASONS:
    “I am looking for a church family who will be right FOR ME- to teach ME the right doctrines and who will never make demands OF ME- and who will be right FOR ME!”

    My advice to you is this: “BE THAT to the church family in your community and God will give you a local church to practice that on for the rest of your life!!!”

  100. Jda016 May 17th 2013

    Barry said,

    “Who said you could leave because the pastor is a shister any more that a marriage partner can leave because their spouse is a shister.”

    A Marriage is allowed to end when a partner has an affair (breaks the covenant) so I see the same being true when a pastor divorces himself from Jesus to preach a false gospel.

    It is very hard for me to believe that a true Bible believing Christian is in right standing with God when they would stay at, for instance, Rob Bell’s church after he has denied the doctrine of hell.

    we are called to leave such a place. By staying we choose Rob Bell as master, and while leaving we choose Christ.

    Peter and John had to be disobedient to the pharisees in order to be obedient to God. Can anyone even imagine what would have happened to the early church had Peter and John “submitted themselves” to the Sanhedrin?

    If your quote simply means that we have no right to leave because the pastor isn’t perfect, then I agree with you. However I do not believe we are called to apart of a church that has departed from Christ.

    Blessings,

    Jonathan

  101. Jda016 May 17th 2013

    And also the question arises as to what is the true “Church Body?”

    If it is “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them” (Matt 18:20). Then yes I am apart of the church body where we have communion, teaching, prayer, deliverance and the giving to the needy.

    If the “Church body” is 15 mins of worship, 10 minutes of announcements, and a 30 min sermon on Sunday morning, then no, I am not apart of the body.

    I suppose it comes down to how we define such things.

  102. Jda016- Absolutely! It all comes down to how we define things.

  103. Andrew May 17th 2013

    We need to hunger for the real thing.

    For without it, what hope for this generation?

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  104. Hi Jonathan,

    There’s a personal testimony (not one I’m proud of but its true none the less) of my experience regarding the importance of remaining faithful to the local congregation where God had planted me at the following link (Note: the Lord specifically told me to go to this local congregation in 1998 when I really wanted to go to another local congregation)…

    http://ahouseofprayerforthenations.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/personal-prophetic-word/#comment-399

    I think you will be blessed/challenged to read it… 🙂

    Love you,

    Andrew

  105. Roger (NZ) May 17th 2013

    Please believe me – this is not just a smart comment, or of the top of my head.

    I say this, mean it, believe it, and live it:

    The only hope for any generation is Christ Jesus our risen Lord – He is my hope, and He is the ‘real thing’, and the only reality.

    In His love for all,
    Roger

  106. If all we have is individual salvation then Jesus will never get what He wanted in John 17… 🙂

  107. It goes deeper than individual salvation… 🙂

  108. To a corporate expression of the Unity of the Godhead through the Church in any given location… 🙂

  109. Shalom May 17th 2013

    I am 63 years old, and a christian for 38 years. I have been out of the institution church for 10 years. Spent the last 9 years in the UK, now back in NZ.
    Andrew you are right, of course you are right.
    I “thirst” to be part of the Body of Christ again, it is the place where our Lord will most closely commune with us, and teach us.
    I long to trust in a fellowship again, one who will “love one another, as I have loved you”. I know the old saying: “if you find a perfect church, don’t join it…etc.”.
    I’m not looking for a PERFECT church, only one who is willing and humble to be made perfect by the Holy Spirit. To walk humbly in the Word.
    I’m so tired of hearing how people are “running” the church, business models etc.
    Please God…bring all those who thirst for You… just You… bring us back to the Body of Christ. Your Bride yearns to worship You and serve You…only our God can do this…but we must not stop trying, praying, searching.

  110. Barry,

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

  111. 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

  112. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Andrew J Horton– You say the Spirit led you to the congregation you are in and has kept you there. Perhaps you are a unique case and others are not to follow your example. I know you say to go where the Spirit leads, but then all your comments lean towards a traditional local congregation.
    Andrew Strom– You say we need “Body”. I don’t at all disagree with you. But how about you coming to my town and finding me a local group to become a part of. If I keep looking I will get branded as a church hopper.
    Often the best advice is not practical.
    That is why I have always asked for practical advice from anyone who will give it. I get very little.

  113. Andrew Strom, Thanks for sharing your heart. I agree, in the midst of how various Christians might define what the “real thing” is concerning body life, there is, in fact, that which God holds out as His heart and truth concerning these things. Hungering after that, and desiring that, is indeed what we need most.

    Blessings!

  114. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Half a dozen people just like me would not make a perfect church, because we are not perfect.
    But, on the other hand, it would make a great church because we could all work together to serve, love, and grow to perfection.
    I believe this is what most “out of church” people really desire. I don’t think most of us actually want to just remain loners. We are just waiting on the true Shepherd to gather us together into a local group. Until then, I don’t think I want to join a social club, I’d rather join the health club down the street and at least get some benefit for my money invested.

  115. I understand that the Lord calls us out, I’ve experienced that… 🙂

    But I also understand that after our “detox” He sends us back in… 🙂

    The enemy wants to keep us in isolation from other true believers… 🙂

    I pray for us all Lord to be brought into contact with the other true believers in our cities, in our towns, in our villages, our neighbourhoods and to be able to fellowship with them in You…

    Bring us together Lord and if necessary form us into new local congregations with those who You Divinely bring across our paths…

    Do we have the appetite for this? Not to make excuses but to keep praying until the Lord reveals to us where they are?

    He will reveal to us where they are if we ask Him sincerely and if He reveals to us that there are none then He might reveal to us those who He is going to bring to salvation so that we can meet with them…

    There is no stress or striving in this – we just decide that this is what we really want and we surrender to Him to do this – knowing that that will mean a response is necessary from us (when He does bring them to us or bring us to them) and then watch Him do it…

    I have experienced this with being re-connected into a local congregation…

    I prayed to God for quite a long time last year earnestly asking Him about where they were (the ones which He’d have me to link together with) and finally He told me what to do…

    I feel blessed – they are here – and more of them than I ever realised… 🙂

  116. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Andrew J Horton–
    I take it that the leadership of your group is not teaching a true and pure doctrine, and that you are there to teach those who the Spirit leads you to.
    Now, let’s say you bring a person to the Lord in truth.
    Do you actually feel OK about leaving them there to continue to hear false doctrines? A young believer might not know the difference and eventually become quite confused.

  117. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    If the Spirit can lead you to minister to individuals in your congregation, could He not also lead the individual to you outside of that congregation, and get that person connected up with you, thereby hearing only a true and pure teaching?

  118. Apologies Donald if I didn’t make that very clear, no, I believe the doctrine is good – very similar to what I’ve been sharing on here – about our acceptance, identity and inheritance in Christ and then about us surrendering ourselves to Him for His purposes in the world… 🙂

  119. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Andrew JH– Now I understand a bit about your situation. But also, you seem to encourage us to get into a congregation that the Spirit leads us to. We would love to have a Church like yours to become a part of, but what if there is none in our area?

    In short, I will admit this–
    I feel a bit of condemnation coming from those who talk about the necessity of “Body” and the need to be in a local group. If there is no such group in our locality, then again, what is the practical advice for those like me?

  120. Hi Donald, I’m not trying to condemn anyone cos that was exactly how I felt when the Lord called me out into the wilderness (people would condemn me for not being “in church”…

    I’m just trying to encourage us from my testimony of how the Lord has now provided a church family for me – as I sought Him about this in prayer – and that He can do the same for us all… 🙂

    I’m also trying to break down the strong hold of isolation where the devil tries to whisper to us that we’re the only one left… 🙂

    Love you brother,

    Andrew

  121. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    It is actually not much different that the guilt trip I get from the church I used to attend, when they find out I have not joined another yet, they look at me as if saying,
    “Shame on you, you backslider.”

  122. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Thank you Andrew for your testimony. I know there is hope, and I need patience and to continue in prayer and God will lead me where He wants me to be.

  123. Jda016 May 17th 2013

    Elijah longed for true fellowship and cried out that he was the only one who served God and God showed him that there were 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to baal.

    There are certain regions where many people are in similar situations like Elijah and they just can’t find the ones who serve God.

  124. E.M. "John" Johnson May 17th 2013

    What is being described as “individualism” might also be described as independence. God does not want us to be independent but totally dependent upon him. Independence is a form of rebellion.

    Likewise in the body of Christ can the eye say to the hand I have no need of you. Yet we as believers have the tendency to walk independently of others.

    It is true we are all unique…just like everyone else. However, being unique does not allow us to be independent. If I have the gift of mercy…is it unto myself? If I have the gift of giving is it not for others? If I have the gift of prophecy do I speak so no one hears?

    No, any gift that I have is for others no matter how unique it is, it is not mine alone. Even if it is only seen by God (which is a great thing) it is not for me alone.

    Most Christians (if not all) believe that they are right or have the truth regarding the scriptures. This being the case it is most difficult to come to a oneness of mind without “iron sharpening iron”.

    However, if we realize this we can come to a place of understanding. If we are humble (as some have said) and if we are willing to lay all that we think we know at the feet of Jesus (asking Him continually for His understanding)…we can walk together as believers.

    We need each other…especially as we see the day of evil ever more approaching.

  125. In our small community:

    We have church# 1: Part of the laughing revival heavily supports Benny Hinn, and other Wof faith preachers.

    Church #2 They say you have to be baptized in water to be saved, along with other unscriptural concepts.

    Church#3 Once saved always saved, you can live the way you want because you are part of the elect and no man can pluck you from the Father’s hand.

    Church#4 Pentecostal church, where you have to follow a dress code, agree with Jesus only doctrine, and never ever question all the people who are in and out of sin on a regular basis.

    Church#5 Another charismatic church that the minister follows certain prophets out west who you can pay to get a prophecy. They have a book in the church that interprets dreams, so anytime someone has a dream they can consult this book to check out what each symbol represents and what God is trying to show us.

    Barry
    Tell me which of these churches should I attend?

    GaryB

  126. I forgot the Bikers church. Former drug addicts who still dress the part and ride Harleys.

    A brother in the Lord I know went to their church and was sharing about his prison ministry. After the meeting a man comes up to him and the pastor and says there’s a big drug deal going on in the parking lot.

    The Pastor tells him: At least their at church.

    True story, I could not believe my ears when I heard it.

    Barry maybe this is the one at least I could dream of riding a Harley. 🙂

    GaryB

  127. Father, I pray that You would show Gary and his wife which of the six churches listed above that they should become a part of in this community and if it’s none of them please show Gary and his wife the (perfect – that’s a coincidence) seventh church that You’ve have them to attend – it must be somewhere or forming as we speak… 🙂

    If there is no (perfect) seventh church then I pray that You’d show Gary and his wife what to do for fellowship – speak to them Lord and set their hearts at peace – and let no one condemn them once their hearts are set on You and they know that they have heard from You even if they don’t understand Your answer please let them be obedient – what is the least of all the evils? Where do you feel the Love of God is most “felt” in the atmosphere – where is there no spirit of condemnation felt? Where is acceptance of one another in Christ practiced? Where is there an outward focus on those who need to know Christ? Where can you see yourselves making a difference for good – in your intercession – what do you feel you’ve been through and overcome that can breakthrough for them?

    Ask the Lord these questions – or others that He brings to mind – if you hear Him then you’ll know what to do… 🙂

    Love you brother,

    Andrew

  128. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    I get the distinct impression that some well meaning and sincere people on this site believe that their personal final judgement will be based upon their doctrinal accuracy as if the final judgement will be some kind of final doctrinal examination whereby if they can give Jesus all the right doctrines what they did or rather WHAT THEY DID NOT DO FOR HIS CHURCH will pass his burning eyes on that dreadful day!!!

    Jesus clearly said, “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:40, 45 NASB)

    AND WHO IS “THE LEAST OF THESE MY BROTHERS”???
    Is it not those in the church who we THINK THE LEAST OF???

    And how can we be DOING THINGS FOR THESE “LEAST” ones when we have separated ourselves from, rejected, abandoned and considered UNWORTHY of our lifelong sacrificial love and commitment????

    Friends the GREATEST REASON IN YOUR LIFE NOT TO LEAVE THE CHURCH IS YOUR COMING FINAL JUDGEMENT !

    Do you think you will escape that fateful day because you adhered to doctrinal accuracy???

  129. Barry
    I see some on this site are great arm chair advice givers. Its easy to set in judgement and pull scriptures out of context and leave portions off to try and prove yourself correct.

    So to be honest here, Which church do you think is the best selection for me to go to?

    Or are you going to avoid the question as so many do.

    GaryB

  130. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    I do not believe in “ATTENDING” a church because I do not see any command in the New Testament that we are commanded ton”attend” a church.
    Rather I see the New Testament about 300 commands that clearly indicate we BELONG to the local church, that we LAY DOWN OUR LIVES IN SACRIFICIAL LOVE for the local believers.

    ” attending ” church is a modern individualistic doctrine that has virtually no foundation in biblical reality.
    HERE IS A NOVEL CONCEPT TO CONSIDER:
    Love the church- do good to them, care for them, pray for them, listen to their problems, baby sit their children, take them on holidays with you, visit the elderly among them, pay for the pastors holiday, teach them accurate doctrine in a Bible study, encourage the faint hearted among them, win the RIGHT to exhort them by spending outrageous amounts of abandoned love for them!!!!

  131. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    Do we view the church with a modern consumeristic perspective whereby if the church doesn’t offer us the RIGHT DOCTRINE, THE RIGHT SERVICE, THE RIGHT KIND OF LEADERSHIP AND THE RIGHT KIND OF PRODUCT- we will refuse to “attend” that store.
    We accuse the church of being run like a business when WE OURSELVES our the ones who are treating it LIKE A BUSINESS by our consumeristic approach to it.

    WE ARE THE CHURCH!
    The church isn’t something OUT THERE that we can “go to” , ” attend” or NOT like it is some kind of spiritual grocery chain!

  132. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    It may appear as if I am being harsh here and that there is no real and genuine and serious belief problems in the local assemblies of believers in our communities. I too am appalled at the shallow and often blatantly heretic words that come from our local pulpits.

    But that never stops us from sacrificially pouring our lives out for those people –

    If we know they are preaching heresy- then don’t believe that nonsense. It is when WE DON’T KNOW they are preaching lies that puts us in danger of buying into their falsehoods.

    Just as The NT gives concessions for leaving a marraige ( sexual unfaithfulness ) so the NT gives concession for abandoning an individual professor of faith in Jesus:

    But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-not even to eat with such a one. (1 Corinthians 5:11 NASB)

  133. Barry
    This only shows you know nothing about me but are making assumptions from a few comments on the internet.

    Knowing Christ is not about doing certain things to get attention from other people and then receiving praise for all the good deeds one does.

    Some people love to make long prayers in public to gain the attention of others, very eloquent prayers does not mean God is even listening.

    Unless you know of everyone’s personal circumstances in their day to day lives and has spoken on this site it would be hard to make concrete judgement calls from a few comments.

    Whatever happened to giving others the benefit of the doubt until we have the complete picture. Only the Lord God know this.

    The problem here is this: No one really has the answers to the circumstances that some of the brothers and sisters find themselves in.

    We all have opinions but this never solves anything.

    What needs to take place is more Kneeology on the behalf of what is taking place with God’s sheep and less opinionology that has no real results.

    It’s good that this is being addressed by all, but I would not want to be found condemning God’s people to a devils hell because they have not a solution at this time.

    Prayer and Fasting done in secret and even at times corporately will do more then all of the armchair advice that is given over the internet.

    GaryB

  134. Barry Wrote:
    It may appear as if I am being harsh here and that there is no real and genuine and serious belief problems in the local assemblies of believers in our communities. I too am appalled at the shallow and often blatantly heretic words that come from our local pulpits.Quote…………..

    I see your point here but have you tried t reach people in these conditions. If you come against the heresies spoken in pulpits many times the people think you are just being critical of the ministry.

    I am glad you can see there is a problem in these places that is not imagined by others.

    GaryB

  135. Barry,
    Do you go to a denominational church?

    And are you a Kiwi? 🙂

    Just trying to get a perspective of your situation.

    GaryB

  136. AJH,

    🙂 🙂

    I would have to let my hair grow long at the Bikers church and
    a Harley Davison is so expensive. 🙂

    Lord Bless,
    GaryB

  137. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    This is why I have chosen to personally abandon the entire “prophetic movement” – because they call themselves ” brothers” but are idolaters, swindlers, covetous, drunkards ( you don’t have to drink liquid alcohol to be a “drunkard” – you can be addicted to spiritual alcohol- “spirits” that make you drunk.

  138. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Barry–
    Do you believe a Mormon church would be acceptable to join up with, or perhaps SDA? How far off, doctrinally, must a church be to avoid it?

  139. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    Gary- I know – you are right in this way- because I have been blessed with a church fellowship whose only folly and false doctrine over the years has been self effort works sanctification- ( of which I have persistently been teaching and preaching against for ten years now) and I have only had to “leave” one assembly in my 50 plus years in the church because of rampant and widespread spatula abuse by the leadership and almost universal adherence to the counterfeit media brand of charismatic “Christianity ” often exposed by the leaders of this revival school.

    But I have maintained relational contact with as many of them as would permit me to this day. I really do not think it is necessary to become a member, buy the party line etc to hang with, worship with , pray with, serve with and just be friends with a certain assembly.

    I really believe all The Lord is asking of us is this RELATIONAL dynamic. The rest is just church politics and party lines-
    Be blessed- I believe God is showing me your heart Gary- you are a good and a sincere man who has a passion for truth in love:
    I sense The Lord said this to me about you:
    “Here is a true Isrealite- in whom their is no guile ”

    I encourage you to keep pressing into Jesus until he gives you ways to practically and relationally reconnect with the believers of your community.

  140. Barry Schmidt May 17th 2013

    Donald- I would not participate spiritually with any assembly that preaches another gospel, another Jesus and another spirit- this to me speaks of the key and foundational concepts of:
    1. sola fide and sola gratia-salvation and sanctification by grace through faith alone
    2. sola script era- the Bible as the final authority on all maters of faith and practice
    3. Sola Deo Gloria- placing the glory of God above every other motive in everything we do

    If an assembly agrees to apostasizes from these foundational beliefs I would not associate myself with them for this reason alone:
    They call themselves brothers but are IDOLATERS!

  141. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Barry–
    This is exactly my point. Many local churches admit to these foundational beliefs. They even write them on marble plaques and hang them on their walls.
    BUT.. they don’t actually submit to them. They don’t actually obey them. They preach around them and might even include some in their message, and then explain their view of what that really means. So how do we deal with this?

  142. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Heb 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

    If the leadership is not watching out for our souls, and is preaching false doctrines, should we obey and submit anyway.

  143. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Do we bring out the balance scales and put truth on one side and falseness on the other and see which side it tips toward?

  144. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Again, my question:

    How far off, doctrinally, must a church be to avoid it?

  145. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Barry-
    “If an assembly agrees to apostasizes from these foundational beliefs I would not associate myself with them for this reason alone:
    They call themselves brothers but are IDOLATERS!”

    While meditating on things a few weeks ago God spoke this into my spirit,
    “They do not worship Me, they worship their system”

    This is true IDOLATRY.

    How do we remain in their system and not also become idolators?

  146. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Matt 23:15
    15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

    The Pharisees had a lot of truth in their teaching.

    Was it enough to remain following them?

  147. Barry,

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I have friends I’m still in contact with from our former meeting, who are in the same dilemma at this time. Our meeting fell apart over the laugh in revival. Prophets were brought in from other camps with a mixed message.

    I do appreciate your prayers in your private time with the Lord. The prayers of a righteous man avails much.

    Lord Bless,
    GaryB

  148. Lightning Storm May 17th 2013

    Even though there are many people stating in their posts that they ARE NOT ISOLATED, the ones who are pushing a congregational setting as the “biblical body” are not listening, or believing, or accepting this stated fact to be true.

    Again, I ask the question:

    How many believers does it take to satisfy the “forsake not the assembling of yourselves” dogmatic group??

  149. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Lightning Storm- AMEN
    Acts 16:13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.

    And it doesn’t require even a building.

  150. HolyHolyHolyLGA May 17th 2013

    We need a ‘Like’ button, so we can agree with others without posting ourselves ! Yes, that would do nicely ! 😀 <3

  151. DonaldN May 17th 2013

    Robert Glenn posted this on the previous thread.

    “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.”

    Finally, this is the practical advice I have been waiting to hear from someone.
    Thanks Robert

  152. Here’s the rub – and remember – I’m holding up the truth so that the Lord can show us whether we’re really surrendered to the truth or not…

    I’m not holding up the truth to condemn us but just to show us where we are…

    Jesus said that all men would know that we are His disciples if we love one another…

    When the world looks on at our physical fellowship – either they see us worshipping the Lord by a river or in a park or whether they see us in the supermarket going up to people and asking them if they’d like prayer (as our youth group did last night -which was quite cool 🙂 ) or whatever – when they see us – believers – practically, physically, together do they know that we are His disciples because we love one another?

    If our fellowship is all by private email do they know that we love one another? If we never physically interact with other brothers and sisters in the real world do they know that we love one another?

    We went out (in the rain) last night after praying for Divine Appointments to find some “treasures” – people who the Lord put on our hearts – and had some interesting experiences – when we got back we shared and then we prayed for Holly – many are believing for her healing now – and also for another lady with very severe diabetes and for another young sister who’s off to missionary school somewhere tomorrow…

    It was very beautiful – just meeting in one of the homes – although some of the people thought it was strange that these Christians would come up and ask if they had need of prayer or whatever – we did what we did in peace and unity and there was a real buzz around that – I think I experienced some of what Jesus was talking about last night…

    There’s a keenness to get out and share the love which we have come to know (and there’s a sense of unity – working together – not pride, elevating just a few – but all of us working together)…

    If everything is done based on love and not fear of being deceived then this love is contagious and a preservative against deception…

    Unity is where we all work together for a common goal – Lord give us unity and whatever we do together as believers no matter how many or how few of us are meeting may Your Spirit give us love for one another and may the world know that we are Your disciples and believe that the Father sent You and that the Father loved us even as He loved You Jesus…

  153. Andrew, if I lived in the time of the apostles I would have no problem with wanting to be part of the “body”, but I can see no likeness of the early church in any of our churches today. If there is one, can you point me to it please so that I can join the “body”?

    I was in a controlling Christian religion (cult) for over 30 years and now broken free yet at the time believed I was part of the original Christian “body”. Since I left, I found disappointment after disappointment in churches, where they rarely take the Word of God seriously, let alone study it! I love the people but the leadership and structure grates!!! When Paul wrote about being part of the body it was pure and true and clean, before the days of contamination and wolves creeping in. I am not sure Paul would have written the same letter had it been 100 years later.

  154. AJH Wrote:
    If our fellowship is all by private email do they know that we love one another? If we never physically interact with other brothers and sisters in the real world do they know that we love one another? Quote……………………..

    AJH
    Do you honestly believe out of churchers are hiding in a cave with only a connection to the internet so nobody can see us? 🙂 At least this is implied.

    Just because everyone is not doing something the way you see it does not mean they are lacking in love. That is a strange assumption.

    To try and force a belief on others is where the line is crossed and shows that it is a lack of love on the part of those in church.

    Whatever state a man finds himself in he has to learn to; “Work out his own salvation with fear and trembling.”

    Each of us as individuals will answer to God and God alone. I honestly don’t see how any of us can force what we believe to be true in the Bible on someone else.

    We don’t know everything about each others lives or circumstances, so I cannot see how we can assume so much about them.

    I just thought it strange that you implied that you guys have love and we don’t. 🙂

    GaryB

  155. I didn’t imply that Gary… However you respond to what I shared is between you and the Lord… Love you brother, Andrew… 🙂

  156. Andrew May 17th 2013

    By no means do I believe we just go “join” the apostate churches.

    My point is that we must *hunger* for the real thing.

    And seek it out.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  157. Thanks Donald, I pray that the Lord would lead you to some really good Christian fellowship even if it’s just with a few brothers and sisters at the beginning in your locality and that you would see Him add to your number daily those who are being saved, He is the One who does the work, we just surrender to Him and watch Him do it through us, it’s really fun to see it like that cos it’s just us getting to know Him better as He lives through us – there’s no pressure in that only joy – bless Donald real good Lord and provide around him those who know and love You so he could fellowship and grow with them wherever they are in his city… Love you brother, Andrew… 🙂

  158. Lightning Storm May 17th 2013

    AMEN…GaryB

  159. Jda016 May 17th 2013

    Out of church Christians DO hunger for the real thing Andrew. But many congregational Christians seem to want “out of churchers” to be in ANY church whether apostate or not, rather than be out of church. That is the problem.

    The worst thing of all, is other Christians damning “out of church Christians” to hell.

    My grandma told me I was going to hell when I was a little boy because my parents didn’t take me to church, then later when my father had an affair, she said it was my mom and I’s fault because we didn’t attend a local congregation like her.

    Man turned us away and blamed us, while God was with us and helped us. The proof is in the pudding. The apostate church condemned us and yet my mother and I were a church (“wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them”) where she taught me the Holy Spirit and all about God and taught me how to seek God on my own.

    I say these things to encourage out of church Christians, who are not trying to be in rebellion, but who can not abide heresy, falsehood, and corruption within the apostate church.

  160. Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. “Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This year you are going to die, because you have counseled rebellion against the LORD.'” (Jeremiah 28:15-16 NASB)

    I think it is very important that we do not counsel – or encourage – rebellion against the Lord…

    What Andrew is sharing is the truth – God longs for His Body to work the way He always intended in a locality in unity – a very open, visible unity…

    We are the problem…

    Our fear is the problem…

    Our issues with authority is the problem…

    Our issues with rejection are the problem…

    No matter how much we have been abused by people if we have been truly healed by the Lord via forgiveness – knowing He has forgiven us so knowing that we can forgive them – then we will be ready to be hurt again and to reach out to all among us to bring that unity with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit…

    I remember the day I stood in our local congregation and heard the Lord say to me that I was “un-offend-able” because I wasn’t trying to push my own agenda but was coming “underneath” the leadership to support His agenda (not theirs but His) and this was a great release for me and has given me great unity with the leaders of our local congregation…

    When we come “underneath” to support and lift everyone else up in their roles and functions in the local congregation wanting a full expression of all the gifts which God has given – then we see the Holy Spirit released in blessing… 🙂

    Those who counsel rebellion against the Lord show of what spirit they are of…

    They are not of the Holy Spirit…

    He brings unity in accordance with the truth…

    God wants the pattern He established in scripture – local congregations – He doesn’t care where they meet – that’s not the point – He just wants them – and to follow the fairly simple and uncomplicated pattern which He set up…

    Can we achieve this? No, but He can… 🙂

    If we surrender to Him and admit that we can’t achieve this – i.e. stand still and see the salvation of the Lord – then we will see Him come through on our behalf and begin to establish this in our midst – He will not be denied…

    He died for our unity and He will see it before He comes…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  161. Jda016 May 17th 2013

    Dear AJH,

    I read your blog, and I have been in a similar situation where I was kicked out of a church but still continued to pray for them. I was never called back to that church though as it completely fell apart to the point where even their house group disintegrated.

    It can be hard to know when to intercede for Sodom like Abraham, and when to “wipe the dust off your feet and walk away.” I believe God calls us to both, but we need to hear the Spirit’s leading.

  162. Averyl May 17th 2013

    Good morning all from New Plymouth,NZ!

    It seems we’re learning that written communication with people we have never met is prone to all sorts of misunderstandings & assumptions, resulting in defensiveness &unnecessary harshness.

    Do we all have to do the same thing while having one mind/Head?
    No, the members have different functions coordinated by God.

    But we must all love & respect each other, even give others the benefit of the doubt.

    Let us build one another up in our mutual holy faith instead of kicking each other, – God knows it’s hard enough fighting the good fight against evil without the brethren fighting us too!

    May the fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all today!

  163. Jda016 May 17th 2013

    I do not see it just about rejection, hurt, or rebellion, but obedience to God and not to men.

    I was once apart of the school (church) of the prophetic under Rick Joyner. After two months I knew I had to leave because of the falsehood being preached.

    I remember very clearly standing under a tree and weeping because part of me did not want to leave the fellowship I had with some people there who I knew loved the Lord.

    God spoke to me though and said, “Do you desire fellowship with people more or fellowship with Me?” I said, “I desire you Lord.”

    I knew I had to leave and He comforted me with, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and THEN love your neighbor as yourself.”

    In that situation, the greatest commandment compelled me to not place myself under a demonic head covering.

  164. In both postings re individualism versus the true church foundation, and assuming we mean individualism in regards to the church and not secular society as a whole, the main reason is not people seeking to be loners, but the lack of appropriate church structures that promote a sense of loving community and serving, that characterised the Early Church.

    PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR FELLOWSHIP. I have been praying to God to begin to network HIS Bride in my city region and since those prayers, people are literally falling across my path, telling me they are looking for fellowship but can’t find it -what they can’t find is true and loving shared fellowship, coupled with meaty Bible study and combined action together to serve in the marketplace for Jesus.

    Sunday meetings are wish washy affairs, the house meetings under the hierarchal church umbrella are no better, there is no passion to serve Jesus or even realise why we are saved (for a purpose).

    BUT re individualism in society -once again western capitalistic
    society creates an underclass people, isolation and lonliness, because its driving aim is for money, material goods and profit, and not caring for the poor, needy, lonely and afflicted. However other ethnic cultures are not individualistic and are communal,
    so when these cultural groups are converted, we can see more evidence of spiritual communal living. BUT the downside is we have seen the “Americanisation” of the globe and its material thrust worldwide, so this will change too eg China.

    But as others have said -the church consists of ‘2 or 3’ gathered in my name. We can open our own homes up for creative fellowship and Bible study, we can draw in the brokenhearted and lost into these environments, we can do the proactive thing, even if the local or city church continues to deviate away from Early Church foundations and become indifferent to the plight of their fellow believers.

    God does not need an army -the Bible stories tell us that. One man or woman can set a city on fire (spiritually). One American missionary man walking around the tribal villages of Nagaland back in the early 1800’s has resulted in Nagaland (state of India) become 98% Christian, including the conversion of headhunters.

    Regardless how apostate the church is becoming, we should just get out of it and go into the marketplace (world) and do what Jesus asked us to. On a one by one basis if need be, patiently and with perseverence, feeding them with the milk and meat of the Word ourselves. Amen.

  165. Marilyn Crow May 18th 2013

    Good morning all from Oz.

    The terms OOC, Out of Church, or outside the structure or life outside, the wilderness etc etc are misleading. It does not show what God is doing. So let`s look at the correct terminology of structures.

    1. Denominational (or Nondenom.) Formal structure.
    2. House group Networks. Formal & informal structures.
    3. Accountable Networks. Informal structure.

    Now we mainly have been used to the Denominational Formal structure & perhaps the House group network structure. But now there is emerging the ARN, the Accountable Relational Network with informal structure.

    What people need to do is study the advantages & disavantages of the different structures & see what they can work in.

    eg. In the Denominational Formal structure there are many people to relate to & you can have opportunity to serve in music, children`s work, womens, mens, teaching, upfront, etc, etc.
    It is difficult to relate with the speaker though & the gravitational pull is to the centre of the hub which can cause a bottle neck & burn out for many leaders. etc, etc.

    House group network structure. Adv./disadv…………………….

    Accountable Relationship network informal structure.
    You personally have to build accountable relationships in the Lord with peers & then reach out & mentor others & help them to mentor & serve others. This takes time, committment to discipling but grows you as a father/mother.

    The ARN, Accountable Relationship Network is actually the way the Apostle Paul operated. He did not bring his disciples to the main group to stay.(12 disciples & other Jews). Paul worked with individuals, mentored them as a father/mother, knew their life, their giftings, their family & relationships, their work, & their contacts.

    Paul had a peer group that he was accountable to & they to him – Barnabas, Silas,Titus, Timothy, Pricilla & Aquila as they matured, etc.Would be an interesting study to track Paul`s peer group plus his disciples & then their disciples.

    `For who is our hope or joy or crown of exaltation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you (Thessalonians) are our glory & joy.` (1 Thess. 2: 19 & 20)

    My challenge to all of us is to work out –

    a) which structure you can work with (adv/dis they all have some)

    b) then write down who you are relating to that you continually give & receive God`s wisdom, (accountability)

    c) & finally specifically who are your few disciples that you are mentoring in every day life.

    These are the important questions as they revolve around –
    `Go make disciples…..`

    Together in His service. Marilyn.

  166. For Jda016

    I can fully understand what you are saying about Rick Joyner (and many others are the same). Some years ago this man RJ came to the city region where I live and a crowd of over 500 attended the night meeting. I was part of an organisation called Truthwatch, which ‘watched and tracked’ the deception in the church market place, so we attended the meeting to see if what this man was preaching to the ‘attentive masses’ or ‘tickling ear’ Christians lined up with Scripture and was valid. And of course it was blatantly ‘doctrine of demons’ territory as we expected, offering a mixture, so that the unsuspecting masses, who rarely opened their Bible pages, were so hooked in of course.

    For Marilyn
    So true your categorising and find out which suits folk best, but the main thing for all of us, is preaching Christ and salvation to souls, before we run out of time on this earth, as the persecutuon of Christians around the world is increasing and we will see such occur, even among western nations

  167. Hi Jonathan, Did the Lord release you from your burden for the local congregation which you mentioned?

  168. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    An assembly’s orthodox ( I use the term orthodox in a theological way here) orthodox creedal statement or “statement of faith” is no guarantee they actually BELIEVE OR ADHERE IN PRACTICE to their statement of faith.

    When I say I would not allow myself to engage in spiritual fellowship with an assembly that doesn’t adhere to sola fide/ sola gratin/ sola Scriptera and sola Deo Gloria I was not speaking of their doctrinal statement.
    A mans creed is what He SAYS he believes but a mans BELIEF STRUCTURE is what he ACTUALLY BELIEVES. If you want to know an assembly’s ACTUAL BELIEF STRUCTURE- then look at what they actually practice- that is their ACTUAL STATEMENT OF FAITH.
    For example if their statement of faith says sola fide but in practice and preaching they continually undermine faith alone as the only means of salvation and sanctification then their ACTUAL statement of faith is ” faith plus self effort for salvation.”
    Or if their credal satement says Sola Scriptera but they continually sideline the authority of Scripture in FAVOR of their own opinions, party lines, experiences and so called ” prophetic words” THEN THEIR ACTUAL statement of faith is ” Sola Scriptera—until our experience seems more accurate.”

  169. Jda016 May 18th 2013

    Dear AJH,

    Not only did he release me, he delivered me from it (Here is the full story if you want to read it).

    I was deceived into thinking the pastor was a man of God. I loved him and his family and even when I saw him treating his family badly, I didn’t pay attention to it because I was naive.

    I poured money, time, and service into helping him renovate an old movie theater to make it into a church for inner city people.

    After several months of helping the pastor my mother was curious about the church and came down to meet him and see if she should join the church. She told me later (as she didn’t want to tell me right away as to not hurt me) that she immediately had a horrible feeling about the church and pastor and God gave her a prophetic word about the man.

    She didn’t want to tell me and she didn’t want to tell the pastor as she wasn’t completely convinced she was right, but she felt convicted and told me the word God gave her anyway. She saw that the man was full of pride and arrogance and that the Lord had nothing to do with the church that this man was building. The pastor was laboring in vain, as the Lord has not commissioned this church.

    She thought I would be mad, but strangely I knew in my heart it was true.

    A week later, I was with this man at his house for dinner. He wanted to know what my mother thought of his church. I was somewhat at a loss for words because I didn’t want to speak against this man. I told him he should ask my mother personally. He became indignant and demanded to know what she thought and began raising his voice at how he would have nothing “negative” spoken over his ministry.

    I still didn’t quite know what to say and lacked the boldness to say it, until his wife came into the room and asked her husband, quite worriedly, (as she could hear him yelling from the other room) what was wrong. At that point he leveled his finger at her face and said, “Shut your mouth!” At which point I found the courage to speak and said, “How dare you speak to your wife that way.” I then proceeded to tell him everything that my mother thought.

    Other things happened, but the short of it was that the pastor’s son jumped in front of me to protect me from the pastor as he was coming toward me looking like he was going to hit me, (The son later told me he knew that look in his father’s eyes). The pastor later slandered me, told me never to enter his part of town again, and kicked me completely out of the church.

    A year later I found out that his entire ministry failed and even his home group fell apart because of his sin. His wife called me and thanked me for standing up for her as it caused her to realize that there were things seriously wrong in their marriage. They got counseling and help, but all that my mother prophesied came to pass.

    I wept many tears over him and his family after the fallout, as I loved them as my own. I prayed for them consistently, but I never had the same type of burden you described in your blog. However my grief and love sent me into deep prayer for them.

    —-What I learned here is basically this, “When does our silence become sin?” I had to speak up, I had to confront him, as scary as it was, and God set it up in a way that I was able to confront him where I would never have had the courage to stand up on my own.

    In this situation I was called out from under a “false ministry.” I believe many Christians today are in such ministries that are not sanctioned by God and I believe God is calling people to speak up. Sometimes leaving is the greatest way they can speak up for the truth.

  170. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    While I see any assembly of believers must be VISIBLE , must have some authority structure, must have functional accountability, must be Christ centred, Bible based, must adhere to the foundational doctrines of the faith in its theology, Christology and soteriology ( doctrine of salvation) and MUST HAVE RELATIONAL interdependence and love in order to be considered a New Testament local church- THAT IS ALL IT NEEDS!
    It doesn’t need to meet certain days or times, deaons need to have a certain size, doesn’t need a place, doesn’t need “services” , doesn’t need a full time vocational preacher, doesn’t need any professional leaders, doesn’t need a credal statement, doesn’t need financial structures, doesn’t need a “covering”. These are all mere preferences.

    The local church in the New Testament is MOSTLY ABOUT COMMITTED LIFE LONG COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND FELLOW BELIEVERS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

    The rest is just party lines and politics! Do that and you are in obedience to the Bible. Don’t do that and you are being disobedient to Christ Jesus. It’s that simple!

  171. old97fan May 18th 2013

    Maybe the real problem in this whole conversation is how we are defining church. Most have come to believe “church” is our current version of temple worship. Nothing can be further from the truth. The church is the body of christ, us, the believers. And as such we should each operate within the body in the function that he created us to do. It is not attending a meeting on a specified day with a bunch of people who look and act like us, going through certain motions as agreed upon by a body of self-described leaders and theologians. It is daily living connected to and functioning the way we are called with the other believers he has connected us too. For some that is a quiet life of praying and staying connected and accountable to other believers, for others that is doing certain kinds of work while staying connected and accountable to other believers and for others that is teaching, evangelizing, prophecying, etc, etc. etc.

    As long as the first thing that comes to your mind when the word church is mentioned is either a building, denomination, form of worship, or have the correct-perfect theology worded exactly right way, church will never be right and your role in it won’t be either. When you get to the point where when you hear church what comes to your mind is a body of believers functioning in right relationship with each other and God while being a witness to the world not only by words but by deeds and holiness. THENj you are getting somewhere and THEN individualism wont be an issue. The former breeds individualism or blind conformity. The latter IS the church and makes people want to be unified.

  172. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    This may well be an over generalization on my part but in 50 plus years in church circles the SAID reasons why people reject life long committed interdependent loving RELATIONSHIPS within the context of the local church IS NOT THE REAL REASONS THEY REJECT THESE.
    The SAID reasons for rejecting the local church are mostly doctrine, practise etc. because doctine and practices are neat, orderly, , specific, defined and easily identifiable and easy to CONTROL-

    but the REAL reason MOST people ACTUALLY reject a lifelong committed interdependent relationship to the local church is BECAUSE relationships are messy, unpredictable, painful, demanding, hurtful AND MOST OF ALL UNCONTROLABLE!

    We can swear to ourselves and everyone else on a stack of Bibles we don’t trust their doctrine or practice but the REAL reason is that we DON’T TRUST GOD OR THOSE UNPREDICTABLE AND UNCONTROLABLE PEOPLE!

  173. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    amen old97fan! Well said! I think you nailed the essence of what the church is there.

  174. Good on you Jonathan, Praise You Jesus, I understand where you’re coming from and because the Lord released you from the burden – or from your support of something which the Lord wasn’t building – you are free indeed…

    As you said, I suppose what I’m talking about is where we find ourselves with a burden in intercession which the Lord won’t release us from – it is then that we know that we are dealing with one of His Candlesticks (local congregations) which He will not let go – but will fulfil His Purpose for…

    Love you brother, you have a good heart., God will bless you for this..

    Andrew

  175. but the REAL reason MOST people ACTUALLY reject a lifelong committed interdependent relationship to the local church is BECAUSE relationships are messy, unpredictable, painful, demanding, hurtful AND MOST OF ALL UNCONTROLABLE!

    Amen Barry… 🙂

    I know I saw all of those things surfacing in me during my wilderness experience… 🙂

    Heading back into a local fellowship was scary… but the Lord was with me and I have been blessed and enriched and feel like I’ve come full circle to being “back where I belong”…

    But I would say that we need to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things – there is no “guilt trip” in this – as He shows us these things in ourselves – we are able to “let them go” and then He prepares us to be “re-assimilated” into meaningful inter-dependent relationships…

    I especially like the part about relationships being UNCONTROLABLE – that is the true test of God’s Grace – face to face relationships where people can see your “real time” reactions to the things they do and say… 🙂

    Praise You Jesus… 🙂

    Bless you brother,

    Andrew

  176. Averyl May 18th 2013

    Ida016, – Good points you shared in that testimony.

    It’s easy to throw accusations around & so be in danger of doing Satan’s work as the accuser of the brethren.

    But when we are brought to the place of putting our neck on the chopping block by defending the just against intimidation, it takes a great deal of courage & the anointing to refuse to be intimidated ourselves.

    I used to think it was virtuous on my part to be quiet and accept abuse for the sake of peace and to maintain my relationship with a family member. But Satan is only too glad to take advantage of such a situation.

    There is a fine line between holding our tongue and trusting God on the one hand, and not allowing ourselves to be used & abused by those not under God’s control, whether they call themselves Christians or not.

  177. Marilyn Crow May 18th 2013

    Barry Schmidt

    So agree about the relationships being difficult & messy obviously because we are this side of glory. Still as more & more father/mother mentors arise there will be the right caring relationship that nutures, forgives, admonishes etc.

    However to put alot of people together who are not in a mentor/discipleship relationship leads mainly to superficial relationships.Then to organise these people some are put in charge without having laid the foundations of trusting proven over a period of time.

    Been there, done that, not going there again. Marilyn.

  178. The deepest form of rebellion is to say, “I will never allow myself to be hurt again”…

    Love always trusts…

    If it’s God living through us so can we…

  179. Marilyn Crow May 18th 2013

    So true Andrew J. Horton. Love trusts, forgives….

    I was talking about the time I was told to disciple a person. I tried to but the person who led her to Christ was the one the new convert looked to. Thus I will not overide God`s relationships with people & impose man made attempts.

    I think we would both agree with that. Marilyn.:)

  180. Averyl May 18th 2013

    If we speak up when Satan tries to muzzle us, we will be hurt.
    But at the same time we must forgive, (Father forgive them, they know not what they do), and trust that God will bring good out of our suffering in obedience to Him.

  181. David Marsh May 18th 2013

    old97fan,
    You are right on the bulls eye with your description of what church – or who church really is.

    Unfortunately we have become so brain washed by the current unbiblical church – and by the fact that the original model of the ekklesia has not been seen since AD300, todays’ beleiver needs a paradigm shift in thinking to see the original model.

    David Marsh.

  182. Marilyn,

    What or where is oz?

    GaryB

  183. Roger (NZ) May 18th 2013

    old97fan – When you get to the point where when you hear church what comes to your mind is a body of believers functioning in right relationship with each other and God while being a witness to the world not only by words but by deeds and holiness. THENj you are getting somewhere and THEN individualism wont be an issue. The former breeds individualism or blind conformity. The latter IS the church and makes people want to be unified.

    Amen – Lord Jesus came to save people.. and individual people are members of His body.

    ***
    GaryB – Oz is a nickname/slang term for Australia – Aus, or Oz.. 🙂

  184. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    (quote) Love always trusts…
    So true Andrew J. Horton. Love trusts,(unquote)
    …………………………………………………………………….
    Really? What scriptures are you quoting?

    Perhaps you’d better do a “word study”….pulling every verse in the bible with the word “trust” in it.

    You can start with the Words of the LORD in Jeremiah 17:5-10

    Then do a word study….pulling every verse in the bible with the word “confidence” in it.

    The word FAITH is synonymous with TRUST; TO PUT CONFIDENCE IN; DEPEND UPON.

    God calls putting your FAITH AND TRUST into someone or something else other than Him……IDOLATRY.
    And loving someone or something more than Him, He calls ADULTERY. (that would include your self)

    It is the WORLD that spreads the Lie that one must TRUST in order to LOVE, and that TRUST AND LOVE are synonymous……..GOD DOESN’T SAY THAT.

    Find the scriptures that say that……

    This Lie is why people are sucked into RELIGIOUS CULTS.
    This Lie is why many people who go to church are wounded and broken and feel betrayed.

    Because TRUST HAS EXPECTATIONS,
    it makes you vulnerable to being betrayed, disappointed, wounded, and afraid when its placed in someone or something other than GOD.
    ONLY GOD is TRUSTWORTHY…..He Never Changes.

    Agapao/Agape LOVE DOES NOT have EXPECTATIONS…….IT IS UNCONDITIONAL, therefore, when you are filled with the FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, you have a shield of FAITH which prevents us from being betrayed, offended, or wounded.

    Come on people…these are BASICS of the christian FAITH walk.

  185. We are really hitting a raw nerve now…

    This issue of individualism has at it’s heart dis-trust of our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord…

    That’s the root – “I don’t want to be hurt again”…

    Sarah surrendered herself to Abraham calling him ‘lord’ and look how the Lord looked after Sarah – we are called to follow the same attitude trusting in the Lord – who is Sovereign – and not being afraid by any fear…

  186. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    Are you going to DEFINE your words according to the scriptures or according to the WORLD?

  187. Once I realised that the Lord was Sovereign I realised that no one could hurt me… 🙂

  188. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    I am not surprised that I have to do the work for you.

    Psa 118:8 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

    Psa 118:9 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

    Psa 146:3 KJV
    Put not your trust in princes, [nor] in the son of man, in whom [there is] no help.

    Pro 3:5 KJV
    Trust in the LORD with ALL thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    Jer 9:4 KJV
    Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.

    Jer 9:5 KJV
    And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, [and] weary themselves to commit iniquity.

    Mic 7:5 KJV
    Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

    Psa 118:8 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

    Psa 118:9 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

    Jer 17:5 KJV
    Thus saith the LORD; CURSED BE THE MAN WHO TRUSTETH IN MAN, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

    Jer 17:6 KJV
    For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, [in] a salt land and not inhabited.

    Jer 17:7 KJV
    Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

    Jer 17:8 KJV
    For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

    Jer 17:9 KJV
    The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Jer 17:10 KJV
    I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

    Pro 28:26 KJV
    He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

  189. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    Yeah…I’m not seeing the word TRUST in this definition of Love.

    1Cr 13:4 NASB
    Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

    1Cr 13:5 NASB
    does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

    1Cr 13:6 NASB
    does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

    1Cr 13:7 NASB
    bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    1Cr 13:8 NASB
    Love never fails……….

    As a matter of fact……FAITH, which is synonymous with TRUST, is actually SEPARATED from the word LOVE.

    1Cr 13:13 NASB
    But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    Not only separated but definitely making a point that LOVE IS GREATER THAN FAITH/TRUST.

  190. And once you realise that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you or how they treat you then you are truly free…

    Truly free to love all who come across your path…

    Thinking nothing of yourself but only thinking of their welfare…

    That is the opposite of individualism and that is the opposite of selfishness…

  191. That is the love which Jesus displayed when He was here on earth and that is the love we (those who know Him) will display once we know that He unconditionally loves us, has accepted us, has forgiven us, has justified us, has glorified us, has seated us in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, has made us sons and daughters of the Living God, has made us joint heirs with Jesus, has made us one spirit with Him, has loved us with an Everlasting Love, will never let us be snatched out of His or His Father’s Hand and will cause all things to work together for good towards us…

    Even if all things working together for good means that we die of stoning as Stephen did…

    We will be in His Presence…

    And His Lovingkindness is better than life… 🙂

  192. Jda016 May 18th 2013

    Averyl said,

    “I used to think it was virtuous on my part to be quiet and accept abuse for the sake of peace and to maintain my relationship with a family member. But Satan is only too glad to take advantage of such a situation.”

    Amen!! If anything God has been teaching me recently, it is this: that we are called to stand strong against evil and not allow it to freely operate. I think of the scripture where it is said to, “expose the deeds of darknes.”

    I also think of David as a Shepard who was willing to slay the lion and bear in order to save the sheep.

    I think too often Christians/ shepards lie down when wolves and bears come and they let them slaughter the flock, all in the name of peace. That makes me think of Jesus when he said something along the lines of, ” there is no peace between belial(devil) and God.”

  193. Jda016 May 18th 2013

    AJH said,

    “The deepest form of rebellion is to say, “I will never allow myself to be hurt again”…

    I understand what you are trying to say in that we need to be open and vulnerable with people and be willing to allow ourselves to be hurt for the sake of others. After all, Jesus was willing to be crucified for our sakes!

    But I have also known people who say that they will never allow themselves to be hurt again are some of the most abused, abandoned, rejected, and tormented people around.

    If an animal is bloodied, beaten, and backed into a corner, and it growls at me when I ask it to come to me so I can help it, then I can’t accuse it of being rebellious. It is growling, because it is hurt. I think compassion is needed and not a rebuke. If that makes sense?

    I’m not saying you wouldn’t be compassionate, I know you would be as I have gotten to know your heart better over the months of your postings. I just thought I would offer a different viewpoint.

    God bless you,

    Jonathan

  194. I’m under a burden to expose the root Jonathan, Jesus’ compassion towards us doesn’t ignore the fact that no matter how we are treated He wants us to forgive and trust again…

    Yes, Jesus feels our pain, yes, Jesus knows our suffering but the “victim mentality” doesn’t “cut it” with Jesus…

    He went through an Eternity of the Wrath of God for the sin of the world in three hours on the cross and at the end of it said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”…

    Forgive one another just an in Christ God forgave you…

    I’m not shooting off my mouth here Jonathan – I have lived this – I know that what I am saying is true…

    This spirit is so insidious that it will make any excuse not to go…

    The victim mentality is one of them…

    There is no choice in the Kingdom of God but to forgive and trust again as God leads us…

    Not in fear…

    But in surrender to the Lord…

    Just because we’ve been hurt by “Christians” before – as I have – doesn’t mean we have a special right to “hold ourselves apart from them” making all sorts of excuses as to why we shouldn’t meet with them when in reality it is because of our own hurt…

    If we’re spiritual – or think we are – we’re meant to know how to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness…

    If we see a brother or sister committing a sin not leading to death we’re meant to pray and God will give them life – does this not apply to local congregations also?

    Does God give us an option to sit on the side lines and “bag” those who are in local congregations?

    Love you brother,

    And I know your heart is good so that you will hear my heart in this… 🙂

    Andrew

  195. 2 Peter 1:16
    For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

    19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

    20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

    GaryB

  196. Jda016 May 18th 2013

    I understand what you are trying to get at Andrew. No amount of hurt we have suffered ever gives us the right to not forgive. We are called to forgive and even warned that if we do not forgive our brother, then God will not forgive us.

    Also I am not talking about just abuse from Christians, ( I’m not even talking about my own hurt, but the hurt I have seen caused on one that I greatly love) but abuse in all it’s forms that the devil has sent to severely destroy a person’s life.

    I am not making an argument for unforgiveness, a lack of trust, or isolating yourself completely from any and every Christian.

    I am just pointing out that some people have been abused so badly that their capacity to trust is simply broken; that their ability to even feel love is severed. They choose to forgive and love those who have hurt them, even when the FEELINGS of love and forgiveness have not yet arrived.

    These people need a deep healing and restoration. They need to know first that there ARE indeed people who love them.

    I suppose what I am getting at, is that in order for people to be willing to trust again, they need to KNOW that they are loved. When people know that they are loved, they can begin to trust.

    It just seems to me that if we are going to tell people to trust again, then we need to make sure they know they are loved first. Otherwise it is like sending a soldier without any armor on through a shooting ground.

    God bless!

    Jonathan

  197. Jda016,
    Quote…I suppose what I am getting at, is that in order for people to be willing to trust again, they need to KNOW that they are loved. When people know that they are loved, they can begin to trust. quote………..

    I don’t understand fully what you guys are trying to say here. Are you talking about this article on ooc? Trusting those in a church?

    GaryB

  198. Andrew Storm wrote:By no means do I believe we just go “join” the apostate churches.

    My point is that we must *hunger* for the real thing.

    And seek it out.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom
    quote………………………………………….

    After thinking about this, I know that what you are saying is true.

    Its easy for us as men to become set in our ways and then if everything is going good we come to the point we don’t want things to change.

    If anyone questions or “appears” to be attacking our position, then we want to stand our ground and defend the truth as we see it.

    Several years ago the Lord gave me a dream I have partial understanding on it:

    I was with a large group of people in a place where the lights were turned off in the area where everyone was seated. In the front of the building there was a pulpit with a light shining down on it. There was no instruments, no people up front, only this pulpit with a microphone and this light shining down.

    In the dream I remember I was waking up as I had fallen asleep. I remember being so embarrassed for having fallen asleep in church as I would never dream of doing this. When I looked around the congregation I could make out the people as it was dark and noticed everyone had fallen asleep and was waking up. I then noticed a lady looking back at everyone and smiling as she, I thought had realized that everyone had fallen asleep as well.

    From then on everyone was waiting for something to happen and looking at this pulpit with the light shining on it.
    And that was it.

    I believe the Lord showed me in part that He was waking up His people as they have been lulled to sleep.

    Anyway for all its worth, I do think its important to be with other saints, in fellowship centered around the Lord, functioning in the gifts and Worshipping God.

    Setting at home is no substitute for what we see in the Bible.

    GaryB

  199. Andrew,
    I believe you have struck a chord that I pray will resound around the world – bless you brother!

    IF ONLY – IF ONLY we would stick to the Word of God – and allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us

    IF ONLY – IF ONLY we would have intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit – then we would know His voice and we would follow Him

    IF ONLY – IF ONLY we would believe God and trust His precious promises which are Yes and Amen!

    IF ONLY – IF ONLY we would trust in God and rather than have confidence in man – Psalm 118:8

    THEN AND ONLY THEN – will there be UNITY in the Body of Christ – for then ALL will have the MIND of CHRIST!

  200. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    Lightning – trust is foundation of every healthy relationship.
    Without trust you CANNOT have any relationships. It matters not what relationship – even the most superficial relationship requires trust.
    The BIBLE doesn’t NOT as you imagine forbid trust in people.

    You asked for Bible proof of this:
    Why d

  201. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    lightning-
    Why does God rebuke those in Malachi for “breaking faith with the wife of your youth”
    The truth is you resist trusting people because you have chosen to herded your heart to trusting relationships.
    You have been hurt and been disappointed many times.
    Without forgiveness, breaking free of your denial you will never know healing and future trusting relationships with Gods people.

  202. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    You say God forbids trust in man- Do you not trust the cook in a restaurant when you

  203. Barry Schmidt May 18th 2013

    Sorry- keeps posting before I finish
    Lightning- I know you trust the cook in a restaurant when you order your meal that he isn’t going to poison you- is that trust forbidden by God?
    Or how about when you drive on th hiway- I know you trust the other drivers at least some- that they won’t run into you- Is that trust in man forbidden by God?

    The truth is IF WE TRULY TRUST IN GOD – then we will be trusting in our fellow believers in a local church community. If we don’t entrust ourselves to our leaders and our fellow believers THEN WE ARE LYING IF WE AAY WE TRUST GOD.

    No trust – NO RELATIONSHIPS!

    That’s why you come out swinging against trust my brother.

  204. John 15:11-13

    “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

    When the good news of the kingdom is preached again and people are truly made disciples of Jesus and filled with His Spirit, then we will know the same divine love and fellowship that the 1st century Christians had.

  205. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    Wow….just IGNORE the scriptures so you can continue in your own doctrine and belief.

    I even did the work for you…..posted the scriptures…and you IGNORE the WORD THAT CAME OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.

    Jeremiah 17:5 THUS SAITH THE LORD…..THUS SAITH THE LORD……THUS SAITH THE LORD

    (I am not saying it….THE LORD IS SAYING IT)

    No, I DON’T TRUST the cook in a restaurant…..I Trust God with my life and my circumstances, situations.

    I go to the restaurant when and where the Holy Spirit directs me….I TRUST HIM.
    I am CONFIDENT IN HIM when I am in HIS WILL in ALL situations, circumstances.

    Job 13:14 NASB
    “Why should I take my flesh in my teeth And put my life in my hands?

    Job 13:15 NASB
    “Though He slay me, I will TRUST in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.

    Job 13:16 NASB
    “This also will be my salvation, For a Godless man may not come before His presence.

    The reason why you are RESISTING these scriptures is because the WORLD has taught you that the

    OPPOSITE OF TRUSTING IS SUSPICION!

    In the scriptures, the OPPOSITE OF TRUST IS LOVE.

    Trust is a 2-way expectation of the other person returning something to me.
    Agapao/Agape LOVE is 1- way UNCONDITIONAL WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS OF A RETURN.

    Agapao/Agape LOVE is exactly what it says in 1 Cor 13.

    IT NEVER FAILS….NEVER DISAPPOINTED, FRUSTRATED, NEVER ENDS, NEVER OFFENDED…etc.

    Those who Trust people INSTEAD of Agapao/Agape people, are those who are the most suspicious and are always quoting scriptures that justify their kicking people to the curb and not associating with them, talking with them, etc.
    They are the ones who are trying to MOLD people into the kind of person that they can PERSONALLY PUT THEIR TRUST INTO, usurping the authority and role of the Holy Spirit.

    Those who Agapao/Agape people instead of Trusting people do NOT try to CHANGE PEOPLE, but put their Trust in the Power of the Holy Spirit and His desire and plan for the person……..they are in tune with and in line with the plans of the Holy Spirit and do not intimidate, manipulate, pressure, force, or try to CONTROL people into their personal idea of the “knowledge of what is good and what is evil.

  206. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    Barry….every example you have posted is a good example of the 2-way EXPECTATION of Trusting.

    Every example shows the EXPECTATIONS that you have from the cook to not harm you and the people on the road to not harm you.

    How foolish is that? The people of the WORLD are filled with a sin nature and are under the influence of the
    Evil one.

    That must be another lie that you believe….that people are GOOD.

    There are too many scriptures that DENY THAT LIE.

    And here is another question for the group.
    If you are not willing to come under the ABSOLUTE control of the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus in ALL your ways, because of unbelief, is the Lord obligated to keep you safe and secure from the evil of this world?

    We have MANY examples in the OT that answer this question.

  207. Lightning Storm May 18th 2013

    Mankind is not DESERVING of Trust.

    Mankind is DESERVING of Agapao/Agape Love because they are created by God, the Father and bought by the Blood of Jesus Christ, God the Son.

    Mankind is NOT GOOD. Jesus said those words.

  208. I understand what you are saying Jonathan and there are some on this blog who are in exactly the situation you describe which is why I’ve been exposing the root and at the same time sharing on our acceptance in Christ – which breaks the spirit of rejection…

    When I had the experience of interceding for someone over the last year or so the Lord showed me many precious lessons…

    I realised that to truly love someone you need to lay down your life for them and want their good more than you want your own…

    No matter what they do to you, how they might mistreat you, misunderstand you, push you away or cause you pain – it’s not them (if they know the Lord) but it’s the rejection in them reacting to the truth…

    Some people are so shut down with rejection that they actually change gender – they go from being a male to trying to be a female…

    I understand the depths of this as the Lord has shown me some of these things in prayer…

    Self hatred is actually a rejection of being loved by God – a refusal to accept that He loves us and has accepted us…

    Love your neighbour as yourself is really important – if you don’t know that you have been accepted by God in the Blood of Jesus – washed clean and are standing blameless before Him in the Blood then how can you love or accept anyone else – you can’t…

    So for me the breakthrough came when I was able to say that I loved this person, trusted them, accepted them, forgave them and had given myself to them – under the Lord – to protect them…

    And this is what I believe Paul talks about when he says, “for I have you in my heart”…

    When we have others in our hearts – and are genuinely concerned for their welfare (another thing Paul says) – then we have laid down our lives for the sheep…

    This Father Heart is what leaders in Christian circles have not been modelling…

    But, as I experienced, just because I wasn’t seeing a lot of it didn’t mean it didn’t exist…

    The two men who the Lord called me to submit to are modelling this – which is why the Lord told me to submit to them (as I look back) – and I am blessed under their “protection” under the Lord…

    When we submit to a leader as the scripture in Hebrews instructs us we are not pretending that they are perfect, nor are we throwing our brain out the window – we are submitting under God – and we only submit when He specifically tells us to (timing is important as is willingness to submit)…

    And when we submit – like Ester – we can always make an appeal to their authority when we see things which are not right or make an appeal directly to the Throne – as wives are encouraged to do by Peter – winning their husbands without a word…

    This is the place of power with God – this is why it is so contested…

    I’m not saying, “Round up all the hurting and bleeding ones and send them back in to get more wounded”…

    What I am saying is, “Let’s deal with the root of the problem so we won’t be able to be hurt any more via forgiveness and knowing who we are in Christ – knowing our acceptance – let’s break the walls down in our hearts of self protection and then we will be ready to engage in meaningful fellowship with our brothers and sisters looking out for their best interests and not worrying about how they will hurt us”…

    Love you brother, I believe we’re on the same page in this…

    Andrew

  209. Andrew Storm wrote:By no means do I believe we just go “join” the apostate churches.

    My point is that we must *hunger* for the real thing.

    And seek it out.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

    ………………….

    We’re not just *hungry*, many are starving to *death*. They can’t find the Way nor those who can get them started, especially in person.. they go to the “churches” and all manners of places looking, craving, and crying out.. few manage to make it out of that mess, into the void of nowhere to turn but to try on their own. Fewer still even “see” the Path at all.

    Who shall lead them even barely far enough to *really* get started?

    We should be weeping. Begging God to show what’s wrong in US so that we can be truly be the Messengers HE desires for the saving of hungry and starving souls. How unfortunate will it be to have The Most High God upset at people for spending their days debating minutia instead of calling the sick, hungry, and lost!

    I say weep for our selves. Minutes or even seconds apart, somebody dies without Christ. Time is short. We don’t get to try again.

  210. Jda016 May 18th 2013

    Dear Andrew,

    We are on the same page! I completely agree! Thank you for being patient with me and explaining! =)

    You said, “I realised that to truly love someone you need to lay down your life for them and want their good more than you want your own…”

    Amen and Amen! I have been experiencing this, and while it can be so difficult to lay down all selfish desires, it is so freeing to do so!

    It seems easy to give up a lot of things in life, but when God asks for your last 10% of self after you have given him 90%, it is very easy to get upset and say you deserve the 10% because you have given up so much already. I’m learning to give up that last 10% and boy is it hard!

  211. David Marsh May 18th 2013

    There seems to some here who are quite interested in what the N.T. ekklesia really looks like. Anyone interested can email me and I will be happy to send you my 10 year research work on how the N.T. church really functioned.

    God bless

    [email protected]

    David Marsh.

  212. Amen, Jonathan, Exciting to be on the same page with you, Yes Lord, Go Lord with Jonathan, let him let it all go as he sees that You let it all go for Him – You are so Beautiful Lord – Your Presence is so Beautiful, there is nothing which compares with Your Presence – Ignite Jonathan’s heart to fear Your Name and to desire You more than anything else in this world (which is passing away) – Praise You Jesus – just back from our local fellowship and just uploaded another five of my songs onto YouTube… 🙂 Love in the Lord, Andrew

  213. Correction: that You let it all go for him

  214. Averyl May 19th 2013

    Lightning, – the last section of your post starting “Wow” is so true.
    Such control & manipulation you speak of is not from God.
    Add to the mix unforgiveness & accusations and we have a lethal mix from the pit of hell.
    And such people think they are holier than thou!

    Do we forgive & entrust these people to God? In the past few days one such person said that we only qualify to receive the Holy Spirit through our obedience rather than God’s mercy & that they show the fruit of it.

    So, we just lie down & let the enemy through them trample us? not forgetting to forgive them & pray for them, of course.

  215. Averyl May 19th 2013

    But we are fighting a spiritual battle so we mustn’t forget our armour and our weapon, – the Sword of the Spirit!

  216. Lightning Storm –

    Love is trusting …

    … in the Lord.

    I don’t think anyone else is really saying anything else.

    Must you be belligerent to feel like you’re bringing forth a word of truth?

    Please humble yourself …

    Thankfully, God doesn’t analyze our every word and judge us by how well we describe something that we say. He looks on our hearts.

    So, please try to see the HEART of the one who spoke and put yourself in his/her shoes.

    Most of us on here truly love God and wish very deeply to please Him.

    To nick-pick and find fault with every word and phrase is not of God.

  217. Andrew May 19th 2013

    Sally said-
    “To nick-pick and find fault with every word and phrase is not of God.”

    Excellent point, Sally.

    A lot of us if we met in person would get on fine.

    Forums like this can easily breed misunderstanding

    We all need to keep that in mind

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  218. I might be wrong Averyl but I sense the condemnation might be coming to you through your daughter who you mentioned in an earlier post…

    Anyway, whoever it’s coming to you from its not of the Lord – the Lord wants you to see what’s going on in your own heart and give that to Him – after that is all sorted out then He can direct you about all these other issues…

    No one who “guilt trips” you – using fear as the motivation – to do anything is speaking to you – as a child of God – via the Holy Spirit…

    Be at peace Averyl and may the Lord speak to your heart about what He is doing in your life and may you be given peace to ignore all other voices even if they do come through your daughter…

    Love you,

    Andrew

    (I sent that email on Friday by the way – I’ll follow it up – maybe tomorrow – Lord willing – or Lord reminding me)

  219. watchful May 19th 2013

    The issue of trust is an important one………when man trusts in man it brings a false unity, such as we see with cults, but when man trusts only in God there will be the true unity that comes only THROUGH Him. It’s the difference between flesh and spirit.

    Jhn 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all [men],

    Jhn2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

    If we are hearing anything that is contrary to the scripture then we are not hearing from the Holy Spirit, because He would not counsel against His own word, and we need to let His word renew our mind in this area of understanding.

  220. When man trusts God to submit to leaders in the church – because the Holy Spirit has specifically told him to do so – then man is trusting God to protect him in that submission… 🙂

    Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17 NASB)

    This is a proof of our trust and submission to God… 🙂

  221. watchful May 19th 2013

    Be submissive by all means, that is a good attitude to have, but I wouldn’t entrust myself to anyone but God, Andrew J. It is two different things. We are to be as harmless as doves but as wise as serpents. Sober and vigilant, especially in these perilous days.

  222. Barry Schmidt May 19th 2013

    The bottom line answer to any hope any of us has in securing and maintaining body life is THIS ONE THING ONLY PLUS NOTHING:

    BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!
    Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1, 2 NASB)

    We will only have peace with each other ON THE VERY SAME BASIS we secure and maintain peace with God: BY BELIEVING THE GOOD NEWS!

    Anything else will cause us to nit pick each other until their is nothing left of each other!

  223. Barry Schmidt May 19th 2013

    Our fellowship is founded and maintained by our common faith in the good news plus nothing.
    Our acceptance of one another is founded and maintained by our common faith in the good news plus nothing!
    The only ground that is level enough for us all to stand together in unity is the ground at the foot of the cross- plus nothing!

    Anything else will divide us!

  224. Amen Barry “plus nothing” no if’s no buts, only believe.

    Rom chapts 1-5 Justification, only believe.

    Rom chapts 6-8 Sanctification, AFTER!!! believing.

    Our Justification is that good, that we are already SEEN AS Glorified.

    Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    Rom 4:17 “b” and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

    Blessings.

  225. Barry Schmidt May 19th 2013

    ” The life is in the blood” Gen. 9:4

    Just as the life of the physical body is in the blood so the life in Christ’s body “is in the blood.”

    When we gather around ANYTHING ELSE we will have no “”BODY LIFE”

    Blessings to all!
    The Elder- Barry

  226. Andrew all we have to do is look around us and listen to the leading of the holy spirit. God is and has been this last decade separating the vile from the holy.

    He is raising up his True Remnant church from the four corners of the earth and she is stunning who hungers and thirsts after their master Jesus Christ whom is the head of his true church.

    Revival is saturated within these true saints and it is a revival of holiness and bearing the cross of Jesus Christ, true disciples, she will settle for nothing else, it is prophecied so, she will go out to take the land, refusing to be shut in, but branched out taking the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the whole earth awaiting his glorious coming.

    It is truly cross centered and Christ centered, the five wise virgins, their lamps full of oil.

    I believe the Lord has show me more than once, it will be as John 17 beginning to fulfill the desires of our lord as he is preparing his bride without spot or wrinkle, walking in his glory, his end of days Remnant church.

    Those whom are truly the Lords will begin to hear the call all across this earth it will be the darkest of days yet the very best of times for the church spiritually joined and connected to Jesus Christ and in harmony with each other.

    It shall be such as the book of Acts church, all of one mind, but yet even more, for many shall die for their testimony of Jesus Christ. yet only to be immediately under the alter of God, a time of war against the saints of God, satan knows his time is limited, he will exault himself up as God through his antichrist, and in a time of war, God always has had his anointed messangers. his faithful watchmen.

    Andrew please stand strong, keep preaching for these sent ones God is sending out, I believe they will be used to gather this precious Remnant of God togetherall across this nation all across this earth. I am seeing this right now in Kansas and a small gathering in Oklaholma we sure could use you here, I would like you to meet these men of God. I only know them through the internet.

    Jesus is paving the way before us, he will be our rear guard and our front guard in these approaching days of darkness, he will never leave us nor forsake those whom are his.
    In his Love, to my brothers here, lynn.

    John 17
    Jesus prays for his disciples then and throughout the whole church age. I believe this is the beginning of the fulfillment of his prayer, and many will come out from the wilderness joined to Jesus and together.

    6 ‘I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[c] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

    13 ‘I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[d] the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

  227. Barry Schmidt May 19th 2013

    Let me explain that “prophetic language” in plain biblical teaching so that no one will scoff at my parabolic speech in this word:

    Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “T he reproaches of those who reproached Y ou fell on M e.” For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (Romans 15:1-7 NASB)

    Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6 NASB)

    Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30, 32 NASB)

    The foundation of any authentic BODY LIFE is the SAME foundation of our own individual ongoing fellowship with God Himself- His acceptance, forgiveness, tolerance and patience IS BASED IN ONE THING ONLY – The blood of Christ-PLUS NOTHING!
    ” just as God has accepted you in Christ” and
    “Just as God has forgiven you in Christ”

    We cannot give away to other believers in the body what we have not yet embraced from God ourselves.
    If we insist on OTHER standards for the foundation of our relationships with each other before we will embrace the body of Christ – IT IS BECAUSE WE ARE STILL GIVING LIP SERVICE to the good news that God has justified us, forgiven us, accepted us and reconciled us to Himself by the death of Jesus – PLUS NOTHING!

    The more we ourselves reject simple faith in Jesus alone plus nothing ( sola fide) and trust in faith in Jesus PLUS OTHER THINGS – those “PLUSES” we will demand of others before we accept them or give our hearts to them in body life.

    It is the faith in Jesus “PLUSES” that divide us and cause us to make IMPOSSIBLE demands and to bite and devour one another:

    This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:8, 9, 15 NASB)

  228. Amen Barry… 🙂

  229. You and I are of one mind Barry, Praise the Lord, we’re burdened for the same thing and that unity will break through… Barry and I agree in prayer for this revelation to “break” on the Church Father – our acceptance, identity and inheritance in Christ through the Blood of Jesus and through faith in His word – that all these things were given to us freely at the cross as we believed in our Sacrifice – Jesus Christ – seated in heavenly places we now are in Christ – everything which Christ has we now have in Him… Praise You Jesus – let this understanding “break” in the hearts of all who know You Lord and let them cease striving and know that You are God – and let them then see that the Grace of God made the Apostle Paul work harder than them all – the Love of Christ controlling him – to burn out to see every single soul presented perfect before Christ – knowing that Christ had died for every single soul and that every single soul died with Christ and only need to believe – to receive the free gift, to be brought into Eternal Life – open the blind eyes Lord and set them free… Praise You Jesus… 🙂

  230. fabakary May 19th 2013

    Andrew Strom wrote “A lot of us if we met in person would get on fine.”
    Not sure of what you mean by “would get on find ” but if the opposite of that mean the hate, malice, unforgiveness etc that can happen in a place like , we will not escape such in real live. Walking with a person in real life can be more difficult than a place like this .Look the case of the family, before the marriage , it is far more easier to corporate especially if before the marriage they have less physical connection . Physical relation in real life have its own severe challenges.The increase in divorce is a proof that this issue is a heart issue. Whatsoever sin be it hate, malice, unforgiveness that we manifest in a place like this we can even be more far tended to manifest in real life. If I will hate a person in heart just because I misunderstand him in a place like this, I am bound to hate him more in real life because of misunderstanding . The point am making is , as believers there is no excuse, to hate , unforgiveness, malice etc It is all about faithfullness. If we are not faithful to check our character, to avoid christless ways in small things like here, we will not be faithful in big issues. He that is faithful in the lest is faithful in much. A person may run and live in the desert to avoid temptation from the external world but it will not take time before he see those temptations in His heart. The issue in is always “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speakth”. If divine life is within at present, even if i misunderstand a person, I will not fall in transgression by my mouth. A place like this is part of the things that revealed our need for more of his grace and likeness.

  231. Barry Schmidt May 19th 2013

    Thanks Andrew! I amen your prayer too!
    Fabakery- I agree – the real test of Gods powerful sanctifying grace is not in the desert or a monetary alone but in the church-
    Grace isn’t for isolating us – it is for knitting us together into one body.

    O to live with the saints above- wont that be glory?
    But to live with the saints below- now that’s another story!

  232. Wow Goes quickly,
    Here is the remainder of John 17 from my post above, where Jesus is praying for all believers whom are truly his. as I said I believe we are now seeing the beginnings of the fulfillment of his prayer, and many will come out from the wilderness, joined to Jesus and together.

    John 17
    I believe this is the beginning of the fulfillment of his prayer, and many will come out from the wilderness joined to Jesus and each other.
    20 ‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – 23 I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

    24 ‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

    25 ‘Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.’

  233. The issue of trust is an important one………when man trusts in man it brings a false unity, such as we see with cults, but when man trusts only in God there will be the true unity that comes only THROUGH Him. It’s the difference between flesh and spirit.
    thanks watchful
    EVEN paul said he should be judged of man, meaning
    even what he said should be TESTED.
    though he said mans judgment means nothing.
    Even his own.
    Till the day of my end, i will test all a man says.
    and will only submit to leadership
    of men WHO TEACH and PREACH only the HOLY
    rightly divided word of truth.
    a man teaching we should trust in man.
    is fast heading the wrong direction.
    TRUST only the TRUTH a man brings.
    men can fail, i , andrew, barry, or anyone can fail
    BUT THE TRUTH never will.
    TEST all. a new age form of collective or univeral
    salvation is being taught in several forms.
    though they dont all yet agree, they are being drawn
    into a collective or universal salvation.
    and this spirit is leading man to trust in man, leaders etc.
    and it is all leading to SON OF PERDITION.
    this universal, our group, or colletive salvation
    is the fastest growing. as i said, they dont all agree
    but they soon will agree, when once the dark one rises.
    TEST all. be blessed.

  234. amen………………I DONT TRUST in the cook either
    or the food, or any other thing.
    TRUST ONLY GOD.
    TRUST ONLY GOD.
    TRUST ONLY GOD.
    TRUST ONLY GOD.
    TRUST ONLY GOD.
    TRUST ONLY GOD.
    TRUST ONLY GOD.
    this are the seven steps which if done
    will KEEP us till the END in CHRIST.
    NOW that is a simple seven step program.
    WOULD have been eight, nine or hundreds
    but i thought, seven times should get the point across.

  235. EVEN PAUL said we should test all,
    the BEREANS were more NOBLE
    for they TOO TESTED ALL and RECIEVED THE WORD gladly.
    leaven starts small, but at her end…………….waxes fat.

  236. Andrew May 19th 2013

    Untrusting and aloof.
    Untrusting and aloof.
    Untrusting and aloof.
    Untrusting and aloof.

    The creed of the modern “individualist”.

  237. fabakary May 19th 2013

    Amen Barry schmidt , if there was any man that was tempted to flee carnally from many a region of the church in his time , was apostle Paul. With all his anointing, gifts etc there was a point almost all those in Asia forsook him, but read the scripture and we can see his love for the brethren, his faith to see the final triumphant and victory of the church. We can only be made mature sons by the things that we suffer for his name sake with the weapon of Love divine. Like those scripture quoted by lynn, is His mind and will.

  238. Acts 2:36-40
    what would of happened if no one believe in the words Peter spoke if they had not trusted Peter enough to listen and to be Gods Messanger ? of course the Holy Spirit was there to convict them of their sin. but they first listened to the messanger.

    29 ‘Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,

    ‘“The Lord said to my Lord:
    ‘Sit at my right hand
    35 until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.’”[a]

    36 ‘Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.’

    37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’

    38 Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’

    40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ 41 Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

  239. watchful May 19th 2013

    Amen Randall –

    leaven starts small, but at her end…………….waxes fat.

    That is the danger!

    How the flesh wants to find a place to rest its weary head, but we need to fight the temptation! He said come to Me, you who are weary and heavy laden, He didn’t say come to your brothers and sisters, or come to “a church”, or a Pastor, or to any man. Jesus is to be our only place of rest in this world and everything will flow from that, from Him. Jesus wasn’t aloof, He was in the Spirit. Though I guess we could say that His flesh was aloof, and that is a good thing because the flesh profits nothing.

  240. Roger (NZ) May 19th 2013

    Amen Randall – I could find a number of scriptures with respect to our need to place trust in God – couldn’t find any to do with trusting man..

    I’d like to share this psalm with all:

    Psa 56 To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

    Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

    What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

    In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

    Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.

    Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

    When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.

    In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

    Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

    For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

  241. You are right Andrew and what you say above needs to be said…

    Now on that basis Lord we pray opening for the blind eyes that they would see that they are untrusting and aloof because at this stage they don’t see that but instead believe that we who do are deceived…

    Let them see the hurt which is deep in their hearts and let them find healing in their unconditional acceptance in You – upon the basis of when they put their trust in You…

    Once we know that God has given each of His own a righteous soul, a new heart and a new spirit and placed His Holy Spirit into that new spirit and that that which has been born of God cannot sin – once they see that “sin within me” sins but this is no longer me or no longer my brothers and sisters – then there’s nothing to be afraid of anymore…

    There’s a more powerful “Force” involved in the heart of each of His own than “sin within them” and the more powerful “Force” involved in the heart of each of us is able to combat “sin within our brothers and sisters” which attacks us through them enabling us to see the lies and deception coming through them and love them anyway knowing it’s not them – their new creation…

    The new creation is created in all holiness and righteousness of the truth and the evil one does not touch it – he cannot – because it is the dwelling place of God’s Holy Spirit and God will not let the dwelling place of His Holy Spirit be defiled…

    Set the captives free Lord and let us see that the way has been made open (via the truth shared above) for us all – who have been born of God – to be one as Jesus has always wanted us to be – in the truth of Your word of reconciliation which was preached to us…

    Praise You Jesus… 🙂

  242. Andrew May 19th 2013

    Untrusting and aloof.
    Untrusting and aloof.
    Untrusting and aloof.
    Untrusting and aloof.

    The creed of the modern “individualist”.

  243. watchful May 19th 2013

    What about those who had placed their trust in Peter when he was judaizing them? Nobody, but nobody is infallible, except the Lord Jesus Himself. What if Paul had trusted Peter…..then who would have been watching Peter’s back to help correct him?

  244. Averyl May 19th 2013

    Andrew, – do you not accept what the Bible says about trust?

    Not that we live our lives as paranoid fearful individuals, – we put our trust in God no matter what we do.

    But it is wise to be cautious, which isn’t necessarily the same as being aloof.

  245. Paul – who was spiritual – corrected Peter in a spirit of meekness and won him back – as we are to with our brothers and sisters in the local congregations who have strayed from the truth – note I said, “our brothers and sisters” – I am not talking of those who think they are our brothers and sisters but do not know the Lord – those of us who are spiritual – i.e. surrendered to the Lord in all things (not that that makes us perfect) – will be able to see (discern) the difference…

    If a “Candlestick” (local congregation) is still alive then it needs to be saved – and this is the way to save it… Aggressively presenting the truth to cause the ruling spirits of apathy and rejection to be removed…

    Once an understanding of our acceptance in Christ “dawns” on a local congregation a spirit of love – the Holy Spirit – permeates the atmosphere – this is what we’ve been experiencing in our local congregation and where that unity is there is revelation released…

    And we are all blessed together…

  246. Averyl May 19th 2013

    It’s so easy to make unjust accusations & call people names, because that’s the nature of flesh. (I could throw in a few choice names too).

  247. Andrew May 19th 2013

    Jesus entrusted his disciples with everything most precious to him – and then left the planet.

    You can excuse today’s total lack of “trust” any way you want, but it is not biblical in any sense.

    I say again what I said before-

    Untrusting and aloof.
    Untrusting and aloof.
    The creed of the modern “individualist”.

  248. (I want to thank everyone for not “nit picking” how I wrote it as “nick-pick” – typo ;o)

    I think trust can be a very ambiguous term here.

    We are not to trust in man – only God.

    But …

    We are to be lowly and gentle in spirit.

    “Love believes all things …”

    Does this mean we’re to be duped and simple minded, believing everything we’re told and trusting everyone who comes along and says they have a word from God?

    Certainly not, and no one on here believes that.

    But …

    If we walk around mistrusting and suspicious of everyone and anything said (which, I admit, it’s hard not to do nowadays), we may miss what God would show us.

    “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. And you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” Jesus says.

    I admit I’m a suspicious type, and I don’t trust easily. I’ve been hurt a lot as well, as most of us can probably attest to.

    But we mustn’t let that harden us.

    “Remember that some have entertained angels unaware.”

    My prayer is that I would be yielded enough to God that I may hear His voice clearly and also softened enough to those around me that I won’t miss an opportunity to bless them and also be blessed in return.

    Hope that all makes sense.

    Blessings to all!

  249. Andrew May 19th 2013

    Nicely put, Sally.

    Sadly there are many now who are so wounded that they simply do not know how to “trust” anymore.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  250. watchful May 19th 2013

    Thank you Roger for sharing that beautiful psalm, I have need to hear that lately, bless you, and amen.

  251. Andrew May 19th 2013

    But it is also part of our culture today – not to “trust”.

    We trust no politicians, or teachers, or mayors, or police, or leaders of any kind.

    If the church had been like that with the apostles, there would have been no Book of Acts.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  252. Averyl May 19th 2013

    Untrusting and aloof.
    The bait for the day is being dangled.
    I for one will not swallow it hook line & sinker. I’m spitting it out!

    If you are fit & healthy your time wold be better spent doing the good works you have been ordained to do instead of sitting at the computer making accusations. Even better, they should be reading God’s word, checking up on scriptures relating to such issues as trust.
    Those of us who are not fit & healthy need to be provoking one another to love & good works.

    (Those who have been wounded have been taught to put their trust in God alone & to be cautious when it comes to trusting man).

  253. Abuse…

    That’s the word the Lord gave me just before I posted my last post…

    The Lord is showing me that certain ones who are posting – who are really struggling with trust and commitment – have a deep issue with authority due to abuse…

    Abuse which occurred in their childhoods…

    We are to trust the Lord and we are to trust the Lord through our brothers and sisters…

    There is no difference between receiving directly from the Lord and directly from the Lord through our brothers and sisters but those who have been abused are not able to do this…

    I know because someone who I love dearly is suffering with this exact same problem…

    “I’ll only receive from the Lord”…

    That is what this loved one of mine says…

    And what that means is that they will not receive from anyone else – there’s no trust there that God could speak through anyone else – nor speak directly into their lives through anyone else…

    The only ones they’ll receive from are the ones who they sense the same spirit as they have working through them – the spirit of distrust and isolation – these ones “group together” or “band together” to support their isolation and rejection…

    They cannot receive the Grace of God due to the rejection ruling in their hearts – they just cannot – I’ve seen it first hand in this loved one of mine…

    Only the Grace of God can break through…

    I know this because He broke through in me when I was lost in this wilderness…

  254. Andrew May 19th 2013

    I say again – a very obvious truth – that it is a big part of our culture today – not to “trust”.

    We trust no politicians, or teachers, or mayors, or police, or leaders of any kind.

    BUT THINK ON THIS-
    If the church had been like that with the apostles, there would have been no Book of Acts.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  255. And these ones who band together are like a cancer to the Body of Christ…

  256. I went through a very abusive time myself (spiritual abuse) for about 10 years.

    It’s a slow and arduous process of healing, but God is faithful!

    Thankfully, through it all I clung to Him and truly came to know the God of the Universe (in the midst of it and afterwards).

    He alone kept me during many dark hours.

    So I know how hard it is to trust others.

  257. Averyl May 19th 2013

    And we are still being abused!
    Lord have mercy on us all!

  258. Amen Sally… 🙂

    Faithful are the wounds of a friend Averyl… 🙂

  259. Lightning Storm May 19th 2013

    Just throw out the scriptures that you don’t agree with, just like the organizational church has done for 2,000 years.

    Jer 17:5 KJV
    Thus SAITH THE LORD;
    CURSED BE THE MAN WHO TRUSTETH IN MAN,
    and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

    Jer 17:6 KJV
    For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, [in] a salt land and not inhabited.

    Jer 17:7 KJV
    Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

    Jer 17:8 KJV
    For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

    Jer 17:9 KJV
    The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Jer 17:10 KJV
    I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

    Psa 118:8 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

    Psa 118:9 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

    Psa 146:3 KJV
    Put not your trust in princes, [nor] in the son of man, in whom [there is] no help.

    Pro 3:5 KJV
    Trust in the LORD with ALL thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    Jer 9:4 KJV
    Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.

    Jer 9:5 KJV
    And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, [and] weary themselves to commit iniquity.

    Mic 7:5 KJV
    Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.

    Psa 118:8 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

    Psa 118:9 KJV
    [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

    Pro 28:26 KJV
    He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

    I will no longer be posting on this article……there’s enough warnings in the above scriptures for the Holy Spirit to do His work.

  260. Lightning Storm May 19th 2013

    I forgot to tell you WATCHFUL that the verses in John that you posted much earlier were EXCELLENT!

    What’s good enough for Jesus Christ is good enough for me!

    Jhn 2:24 NASB
    But Jesus, on His part, was NOT ENTRUSTING HIMSELF to them, for He knew all men,

    Jhn 2:25 NASB
    and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

    Jhn 2:24 YLT
    and Jesus himself was not trusting himself to them, because of his knowing all [men],

    Jhn 2:25 YLT
    and because he had no need that any should testify concerning man, for he himself was knowing what was in man.

    pisteuō—–ENTRUST;COMMIT

    1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

    a) of the thing believed

    1) to credit, have confidence

    b) in a moral or religious reference

    1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul

    2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith

    3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith

    2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity

    a) to be intrusted with a thing

  261. Barry Schmidt May 19th 2013

    For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:17, 18 NASB)

    I am sooooo glad Jesus didn’t allow his heart to become
    untrusting and aloof
    Untrusting and aloof
    Untrusting and aloof
    in the face of the abuse of evil men . If he had Jesus would have remained alone in the wilderness ( isolated, individualistic and SAFE) instead of “setting his face like a flint towards Jerusalem” and we would still be in our sins and not yet reconciled to God!

    Pain and suffering from abuse of authority or from “sheep bites” will ALWAYS either lead us into the the fortresses of Distrust, Independence, Isolation and Individualism OR it will lead us to the cross to where we learn to bear with the sins of others ” so that we might win people to God- like Jesus!

    The church is emptying out because everyone is fleeing to their strongholds to lick their wounds.

    The sad thing is they don’t even have courage or honesty to admit they are in self protection mode!

    Where are those who are willing to suffer wrong, keep entrusting themselves to their faithful Creator and CONTINUE WITH THE SHEEP-bearing with their sins????

  262. I agree, Barry.

    However, the church is also emptying because of deception.

    Some are leaving due to hurt and offense, but others truly long for God’s holy words to be spoken and find nothing but sacrilege.

    That’s my family. We’re longing for fellowship, though, and with God’s guidance we believe we will find it.

  263. Barry Schmidt May 19th 2013

    To be fair John the Baptist was in the wilderness- BUT REMEMBER THE CITIES EMPTIED OUT TO COME TO HIM!

    John was NEVER in the wilderness alone all during his ministry. I wonder how pleasant John had it living in the desert AMONG 100000 dirty, grumpy, hot and hungry SINNERS?????

    Andrew Storm may well be a prophet after the spirit of John the Baptist- but I wonder how pleasant he feels- with scores of wounded, post deceived – untrusting, complaining and independant sheep flocking to him ???

    Friends – don’t be self deceived- When God’s Spirit leads man of God out into the wilderness of isolation — He intends to send the RABBLE out after him.

    If we say we being led by the Spirit into the wilderness of isolation – and no one is following us we are not following the Spirit- WE ARE JUST RUNNING AWAY FROM PEOPLE!!!

  264. Andrew May 19th 2013

    Well-said, Sally.

    The truth is, if people are that “untrusting” then they will never go near a ‘group’ again – even if they are true believers! And no leader will ever be good enough. Even true-hearted ones!

    But you are right – False doctrine and false Christianity are perfectly valid reasons to stay clear.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  265. BarryWrote:
    but I wonder how pleasant he feels- with scores of wounded, post deceived – untrusting, complaining and independant sheep flocking to him ??? Quote……………

    This is who Jesus hung out with Barry, those who needed a physician.

    The people that thought they had it all together looked down at the disciples and Jesus.

    Andrew also has those who know everything that is politically correct, flock here as well. 🙂

    GaryB

  266. Galatians 5:14-16

    14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

    1 Corinthians 13:4-6

    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
    5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
    6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

    GaryB

  267. TIME to TEST that SPIRIT andrew.
    ABUSE……………………..you say…………..
    In every church i went ……………..i was treated VERY KIND,
    very nice, very welcome.
    YET I LEFT………………..
    NOT because of abuse, but because of the FOUTAIN of the MOUTAIN of FALSE DOCTRINES.
    I was a HUNGRY lamb for truth…………..yearning and digging for truth. I knew by Grace we should have fellowship.
    I went searching for PASTORS who taught LOVE of TRUTH
    and instead found pastors who taught love of the conforming
    to this world. And by Grace and the reading of how early apostels wrote………………I KNEW TO LEAVE, and DO SO quick.
    By Grace i learned not to trust in my flesh
    and BRO ANDREW, if i dont trust in mine own flesh
    but test all thoughts even against scripture.
    WHY ON EARTH you think i am going to TRUST any other man.
    WHAT i have learned is to TRUST the TRUTH in the man.
    TO teach to trust men is EVIL.
    to teach to trust only the truth in a man, is good.
    AND as watchful said
    Even the apostels had to watch the backs of the apostles.
    PETER got off course, BUT GOD sent PAUL to correct
    even barnabas was taken with the assimulation.
    I REFUSE TO TRUST any man. BUT what i will do
    is submit to the authority GOD has given in appointed men OF GOD. and i will always TEST every ounce of every word outta
    any ones mouth.
    GOOD thing paul did not submit to PETERS mistake
    JUST because PETER was ONE OF THE TWELVE.
    GOTTA GET THIS ONE RIGHT ANDREW………….
    you slipping and i am fearful just a bit FOR YOU.
    NOT OF YOU, BUT FOR YOU.

  268. when i worry is when men like barry
    use the reasonings of men, like the COOK teaching
    to try and teach.
    Barry……………….HECK no i dont trust them cooks.
    but I DONT WORRY EITHER.
    GOD has me brother barry……………..
    even if a cook put poison in my food………and i knew NOT
    it would have NO EFFECT upon me.
    I TRUST GOD. and if effects came upon me
    and i died………..THEN my time was simply up.
    NO, i trust no man. ONLY GOD.
    I will , HOWEVER, respect the authority GOD has given
    a TRUE TEACHER, a TRUE APOSTLE, a TRUE
    PROPHET etc.
    TO the false ones…………………I SHANT HEAR THEM.
    I SHANT SIT UNDER THEM,
    I shant even partake of food and drink with them.
    LEST THEY REPENT.
    I will hear what the TRUE APOSTLES SAID.
    I AGREE with the NEED of the FIVEFOLD MINISITRY
    and I AGREE with the need of apostels, teachers, deacons, bishops, the gifts of the spirit, the working together in UNITY of the SPIRIT. I long tried this on PETES sight
    and was basically ignored.
    BUT andrew………………I SHANT TRUST NO MAN.
    I SHALL TEST ALL ONE SAYS.
    this is what trusting GOD and not men is ALL ABOUT.
    THIS is what i mean by i shant trust no man.
    I MEAN i shall TEST ALL I HEAR FROM EVERY MAN.
    to SEE whether it is TRUTH they speak or the blending.
    THAT is what i mean. AMEN.

  269. ANDREW, IF YOU yourself TEST all you hear of every man
    THIS MEANS YOU DONT TRUST MEN EITHER.
    SO DONT teach others to trust men.
    simpier words. YOU should be saying YES let there be UNITY
    UNITY of the SPIRIT………………NOT THE WORLD.
    THIS WORLD will NEVER have peace
    TILL JESUS COME and DESTROYS all wickedness.
    TILL THEN JESUS OWN WORDS
    DO YOU THINK i came to BRING PEACE on EARTH………..
    nay BUT RATHER DIVISION.
    from NOW on…………….a persons enemies will be they of his own household(the fleshly household, NOT SPIRIT)
    three against two………………two against three.
    the ONLY UNITY we can HAVE is that OF THE SPIRIT.
    ITS when so many other men tie this into unity of the world
    i get MASSIVELY WORRIED for them.
    andrew……………….i am not here to attack you as an enemy.
    JUST to admonish, when some things aint either quite clear enough, or just plain wrong.

  270. TO trust man means, just that TRUST MAN.
    any man whether aposlte, deacon, bishop, evangelist,
    teacher, prophet…must have his own words and teachings
    TESTED against TRUE SOUND DOCTRINE.
    GODS WORD.
    to teach otherwise is futile.
    BY GRACE i know to TEST ALL, and i mean test every word
    which comes outta man.
    THE ONLY ONE I CAN TRULY TRUST IS CHRIST
    HIS WORDS. if a man come speaking and walking and doing as did CHRIST , then AMEN.
    but if one comes , even with a minor erroneuos teaching.
    I shant hear that erronous teaching. and will correct it.
    ARE WE ALL KNOWING……………….
    a man can make mistakes, even teach a small error and be
    called least in the Kingdom.
    A man, even one of the first apostels can make a error,
    THUS ALL MUST BE TESTED and every word and action
    TRIED against SOUND DOCTRINE.
    no man is above error. NO man.
    and iwill test all till i am dead , gone, or till JESUS COME.
    ALL.

  271. HEY ANDREW………………..
    the reason so many cahtolics are LOST
    is cause THEY TRUST THE POPE.
    PEOPLE NEED TO TEST ALL THEY HEAR
    MEN make mistakes and many teach FALSE LIES.
    again do you now have a FULLER UNDERSTADNING
    of why i say I TRUST NO MAN, BUT TEST ALL I HEAR.
    if i trusted man…………….then i would trust what i hear from him.
    YET I TEST ALL……………which means i trust no man
    BUT GOD ONLY. testing a man is NEEDFUL.
    testing his every word is NEEDFUL.
    better to test a man who is RIGHT, LIKE THE BEREANS DID
    than to simply have trusted man.
    PAUL WAS A TRUE TEACHER…………and these bereans
    were recored as being MORE NOBLE.
    because they did recieve the WORD, and BECAUSE THEY TESTED ALL. and by TESTING ALL, they came to the conclusion PAUL WAS RIGHT.
    many false ones out there, and many who still have a few small errors. GOTTA TEST ALL YOU HEAR.
    deep down YOU ALRADY know this ANDREW
    so you dont REALLY TRUST MAN.
    SO why NOT say this instead andrew.
    TEST ALL YOU HEAR. TEST it , and may we all have fellowhip
    and come together as we should SO the CHURCH can have
    the TRUTH, the EDIFYING OF THE BODY.
    but dont use TRUST MAN. simply TEST EVERY MAN. amen.

  272. Jda016 May 20th 2013

    Well said Sally! =)

  273. Dear friends,

    Just to say some real gems of inspiration here, very encouraging. Thank You Lord…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  274. Andrew May 20th 2013

    So we are left with no NT church
    and a massive pile of “indivualists” who constantly and never-endingly “test” everything
    but will never ‘join’ themselves to anything.

    Oh well.

    No point talking about it any more then.

    Thanks for your time.

    -Andrew Strom

  275. AGE does not seperate us andrew.
    if memory serves me correct……….you are forty one
    and shal be , LORD willing , FORTY TWO in september.
    I am forty one and shall be forty two in march.
    we less than six months apart. SO i speak more freely to YOU
    than to an elder.
    I do BELIEVE in the ORDER of HOW GOD places all things.
    men and women in the church.
    all of it. i myself do not know it all.
    BUT what i know i am GREATFUL BY HIS GRACE I DO KNOW.
    and i am learning dailey.
    BUT ONE THING has reamined since day one, specailly since
    becoming engrained in years of doctrine.
    I may not know the all of it………………..but i immediately know
    when i see error.
    HIS SHEEP KNOW HIS VOICE. and HIS VOICE IS TRUTH.
    not mostly truth and part blend
    ALL TRUTH. a lamb in CHRIST……………
    will have the unctions of GOD to steer clear of evil,
    even when they yet immature. and as they grow in GRACE
    and are BURIED IN HOLY DOCTRINE
    they then become WISE unto salvation through faith in CHRIST.
    the part i know you are correct on
    is that we must have fellowship,
    but you need to not trust any man. TEST all you hear.
    YOU can know a man is a brother or sister in Christ.
    BUT to fully trust all they say………………..NO WAY.
    the spirit within will test, and after much learning
    in doctrine, you can then easily spot the specfics of error from
    holiness. or truth.
    The time has come that we ought be TEACHERS,
    yet still in some how i see wordly reasonings
    THIS simply should not be. again let us come back
    to jUST bible reading. and fellowhip
    eyes will be opened. amen.

  276. ANDREW…………….i never disagreed with JOINING with brethren
    i simply DONT AGREE with trusting any man.
    Check the spirit.
    Why would you disagree with this………….
    i am not saying we should NOT HAVE FELLOWSHIP.
    I am saying WE SHOULD have fellowship.
    BUT TEST ALL YOU< I OR ANYONE SAYS.
    we MUST.
    andrew…………..does it BOTHER YOU
    that i test what YOU say……….
    IT SURE DONT BOTHER ME , IN FACT, I WANT YOU
    and ANYONE ON THIS SITE and ANY OTHER HUMAN
    TO TEST ALL I SAY.
    WE MUST. to sharpen one another, and if any of us
    has either hidden fualts, or erronenous doctrine
    THEN the one can HELP the OTHER.
    but we MUST TEST ALL. for their good, for our own good.
    GOD is the ONLY ONE I TRUST. amen.

  277. Andrew May 20th 2013

    ‘Suspicious’ and “looking-for-reasons-to-leave” people make the worst kind of participants in any group.

    The same is true of the church.

    Let us leave this alone now.

    No point continuing.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  278. I have come to a STRONG BELIEF
    that i will simply NEVER be able to TRUST any one
    other than GOD. that we just simply wont know all.
    that we simply know in part and prophesy in part.
    and all of this IS OF GOD, not men, GOD.
    ON this i stand firm.
    I TRUST no man, not even in myself,
    i would fail WERE IT NOT FOR GODS GRACE.
    I ONLY TRUST GOD. and i HAVE PEACE.
    i also know GOD will bring others to help me out of
    any hiddne fualts, corrections etc.
    and i KNOW any chastisments from the world
    will only benefit me………….
    that GOD is ONLY chastening me………..FOR MY OWN GOOD.
    I TRUST HIM, and i pray where i fall short in trust of GOD
    that GOD ONLY GIVE ME INCREASE TO ONLY TRUST HIM.
    THAT IS MY PRAYER. TO GOD BE ALL GLORY.
    CHRIST the ROCK OF MY SALVATION.
    AND THIS JOY i want for us all. TO TRUST ONLY HIM.
    and HIS EVERY WORD. test the REST. amen.

  279. ANDREW………….lift up the hands………….
    do not be upset or angry…………….
    JUST call upon the LORD who is faithful to heal us all.
    to give us the knowledge we NEED for this day.
    TO GO and proclaim the gosple.
    ANDREW……………….i dont think you a false teacher.
    nor count you an enemy. I believe you honestly want to
    do that which is right. SO all i am doing is just helping.
    You youself said it can be hard to get points across on the internet. I believe you do what do to for the kingdom of GOD.
    SO take the advice i gave you . IF you are upset
    its only because you are misunderstadning me.
    TRUST ONLY GOD and test all you hear.
    you, me, roger, any of us could have a hidden fualt.
    BUT GOD NEVERDOES………………..
    TRUST HIS EVERY WORD, and TEST the rest .
    YOU will FIND PEACE in this…………….
    and lambs SHOULD gather together.
    But not under false teachers, as you youreslf even said.
    UNDER TRUE TEACHERS.
    IT may be………………..the LORD is soon going to use
    a few of us here to help the church and like the early church
    TEACH PURE HOLY DOCTRINE from which the others
    can grow. THIS may be the reason for this lil
    gathering even on this site. PRAY about it andrew.

  280. Friends I see a technical objection to Andrew’s message being mounted on the basis of the words he chose rather than the heart meaning.

    Untrusting and Aloof…

    This untrusting is I believe failure to trust God Himself to keep our hearts pure and safe in a less than perfect Christian environment the He may want us to serve in.

    Aloof speaks of a judgemental spirit, putting ourselves above others, being too ‘pure’ for contaminated believers who meet together in imperfect ways.

    Such folk would not have joined with Jesus to right the wrongs of the seven churches in Revelation.

    Untrusting and aloof…

    Of course we are not called to trust man as we would trust Him…

    But if we truly trust Him we will serve wherever He calls.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  281. Randall – Please be aware that many will think you are shouting by all the capital letters you are using.

    Well said Carl. I agree.

  282. Carl………………..
    OF COURSE we are not called to trust man as we would trust
    HIM,
    but if we truly TRUST HIM, we will serve wherever HE CALLS,
    NOW that is very wonderful words………
    SO………………..
    i pray IF, andrew sees how quickly i agreed with What you said
    in this statment…………
    and see that i mean him no ill will.
    I simply believe and TRUST in GOD.
    and i KNOW we are to SHARE what we know
    , and the gifts, with others so the body can grow in unity.
    just like likeminded brethren hear of GOD from the SPIRIT
    and will prophesy unto US the truth and edify the CHURCH,, which we all are, HIS BODY.
    BUT my one point remians……and that is I WILL TEST ALL i hear which comes out of man.
    Be blessed Carl and andrew, and all others.

  283. do i believe in the new testament church ………..
    YES……………
    but if we want this , this unity
    then let us obtain it THROUGH TRUTH.
    GOD will lead all his lambs
    whever HE desires.
    and we must be made BIBLE WISE unto our salvation
    through our faith in CHRIST.
    i said bible wise, because the holy scrips are the bible.
    so let us begin anew,
    let us begin in doctinal reading, as PAUL had timothy DO as well.
    this way we can learn and grow, and the works of the spirit also.
    though prophecies, etc.
    BUT DO TEST all YOU HEAR. on that i stand FIRM.
    be blessed and know all are loved.

  284. Some principles of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ to ponder.

    If a man is called by Christ to do a job and sent by Christ to the place and time to do the job , will the man succeed ?

    If a man is called by Christ to serve in any of the 5 fold ministries , will the gifts and the fruit evidence the call ?

    If a man is called by Christ to disciple others , will those whom are given to him to disciple recognize the call on his life ?

    ++++

    I see the stalemate , in that if we are to trust in God through man, then we need to see God in that man.

    I have never seen a true called servant of Christ who was defensive, hurt, controlling or self promoting.

    ++++

    If those who feel they have a call on their life in the 5 fold ministries would wait until the gifts and the fruit evidenced the call, and they were truly sent , then the other members of the body , would recognize them , and not reject them.

    ++++

    Words and reasoning will never replace the spiritual witness that occurs when a person is called and sent to those who have been prepared to receive them.

    ++++

  285. I don’t believe that anyone would disagree that we should test the spirits whether they are of God or not.

    Trust God first – ALWAYS.

    (NO ONE IS SAYING OTHERWISE)

    But don’t be so suspicious and untrusting of people that you cannot get along with the Body of Christ.

  286. If Jesus had embarked on His earthly ministry 2 years before His time , before He was spiritually empowered and sent , what would have happened ?

    Would he have been received by those he went to ?

  287. Marilyn Crow May 20th 2013

    Gary B.

    As Roger said,`Oz,` is slang for Australia. However do you know that `Kiwis,` (NZ) speak of Australia as `the little island off the coast of NZ.` (Lol) I love NZ Roger.

    All.

    How did the early believers `obey their leaders?`

    OBEY: to convince by argument. (Gk)

    eg. The noble Bereans looked into the scriptures that Paul showed & they were `convinced by argument,` that Jesus is Lord. They reasoned, then believed. This is to obey. Thinking through & then receiving the truth, (of Christ)

    Who were the early believers NOT to obey?

    The Apostle Paul warned his disciples, the Corinthians about letting people control them, use their money, deceive….etc.

    `For you endure it if a man assumes control of your souls….spends your money…deceives….puts on airs…`
    (2 Cor.11:20)

    All this controlling behaviour is not what God means by `obeying your leader.` God means `receiving the truth,` but nowadays many leaders of organisations assume control over many aspects of people`s lives, weilding the threat of `obeying your leader,` or you are disobedient, rebellious & individualistic.

    The only `obey,` is to `be convinced by argument,` (Gk. obey) of the truth of Christ & from a mother/father mentor who knows you personally, & who is interested in your life helping your make right decisions & guiding you in discipling others.
    (eg. Paul – 1 Thess. 2: 7 – 11)

    To define obedience as giving yourself to a group, a cause, real leaders is not scriptural. We `obey,` by being convinced by argument of the truth of Christ & then the Holy Spirit connects us to one another. (1 Cor. 12: 18)

    As mother/father mentors arise we will see the true Body in operation & not a man-made structure that organises believers every move.

    Let`s `obey,` what God says about obedience & not what man is tries to put on us.

    In an Accountable Relationship Network, Marilyn.

  288. Barry Schmidt May 20th 2013

    Randal- I don’t think you are shouting using caps. I use them to try to emphasize a word. It’s SOOOO hard in writing to communicate tone and body language isn’t it?

    For whatever it may be worth to you – I trust your motive – that you sincerely believe your stand is the right thing. It really comes down to being between you and the Lord And it is tomHim alone you will give an account to.

    But I ask that you too trust our motive in our vehement disagreement with you on this issue of staying relationally connected with the body. I ask that you do assign these good motives to us who disagree with you as well: that we do care for you, that we care for the believers who are being short changed of many blessings you could be bringing to the body by your return, that we too are not trying stay true to the Scriptures and to our Lord and yours in our sincere attempts to show you the error of your thinking.

  289. Barry Schmidt May 20th 2013

    Marylyn- well said. The command to obey your leaders was spoken to followers. It WAS NOT SPOKEN TO LEADERS SO THEY COULD USE IT TO DEMAND OBEDIENCE. In the same way the command for husbands to love their wives was given to husbands – NOT TO WIVES TO USE IT TO POKE THEM IN THE RIBS WITH IN CHURCH. and in the same way the command for wives to be submissive to their islands was given to wives- NOT TO HUSBANDS TO BROW BEAT THEIR WIVES INTO SUBMISSION.

    Here is Gods word to leaders: No mention of giving them permission to abuse, demand, threaten or fleece the sheep here:
    Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:1-3 NASB)

  290. David Marsh May 20th 2013

    Barry, you are quite right

    “according to the will of God;”

    And words from Paul the leader apostle.
    2 Corinthians 13:3
    “since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you.”

    The Leaders (in the N.T. ekklesia) dared not lead in any direction UNTIL God gave them His directive.

    These are the New Testament qualification for every leader within God’s church. And they have not changed.

    Incidentally, if a leader leads by his own ideas and will, he usurps the rightful position of the Holy Spirit (Christ) over each and every member.

    Food to digest.
    God bless you
    David

  291. Marilyn Crow May 20th 2013

    Good points too, Barry & David.
    Marilyn.

  292. Another area that individualism shows up is with self appointed leaders who try and take authority over people that Lord Jesus Christ has not given them,

    This what what Paul was dealing with here;

    1Co 4:18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.

    1Co 4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.

    1Co 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

    See Paul walked in the spiritual authority/ power of Lord Jesus Christ .
    Paul wasn’t self promoting , and didn’t walk in words alone.

    ++++

    To start to gather as a body in fellowship together simply needs people to come together as brothers and sisters in Christ , as equals to encourage one another and help one another to grow and mature.

    If our Lord Jesus Christ calls someone from within the group to walk in one of the 5 fold ministries , it will be obvious to everyone else, as the gifts and fruit will evidence the call.

    Many fellowships are abused by self appointed leaders who promote them selves and demand others submit to them.

    This is an aspect of individualism that has caused much division and scattering of the flock.

    We all should be willing to humble our selves one to another in the service of our Lord , even if we are called to serve in one of the 5 fold ministries.

  293. If we meet as equals in Christ then the issues of trust are no longer issues.

    Abuse is only handed out by those who claim authority over others that they haven’t been given by Christ.

    The bible is very clear about what the fruit needs to be to serve as an elder or a deacon.

    If you have been on the receiving end of control and manipulation by self appointed leaders, take heart and seek out either leadership that shows the biblical standard in terms of fruit and spiritual authority, or if there are none in your area, seek out others who are prepared to meet as equals and grow together until such time as our Lord makes it clear that some one has a calling in serving Him in one of the 5 fold ministries.

  294. David Marsh May 20th 2013

    Yes, Kevin
    You are right with your observation.
    Every, N.T. ekklesia (church) was based on the very 1st ekklesia of Jesus and the 12 disciples.

    Jesus dared not lead anyone – as He only did and said what the Father gave him to do and say by the Holy Spirit.

    The disciples watched Jesus and learned from Him. He is our final and only example.

    After pentecost. the disciples became the apostles, baptised with the power of the Holy Spirit. they then EMULATED Jesus and they too followed the holy spirit’s directives. (read the scriptures)

    This is how Jesus becomes the Head of the body. When He leads.

    Most Christians miss the vital point that the apostles taught the new Christians how to hear and be led by God’s Holy spirit.

    Think of Phillip and steven, Ananias (Acts 9:10) Niger, Lucius, Manaen, Paul and Barnabas ALL mentioned hearing and following the Holy Spirit.

    The new Testament church was led by the Holy spirit. First through the apostle leaders and then through the members – who were taught how to be led by the Spirit by the apostles.

    That is the picture of the New testament church model. that is why i call most of todays church models unbiblical.

    God bless

    David Marsh.

  295. David Marsh May 20th 2013

    There is a confusion over the structure and function of a biblical N.T. church. Remember that as the apostles followed the Spirit’s directives HE did amazing things to wrest the populations attention. And then as the people listened to the apostles they preached in power – which means that the Spirit gave the apostles the words to speak, and empowered those Words in the listeners hearts/spirit.

    When the people came together, the Spirit of God performed more miracles (through the obedient apostles) to prove His testimony through His servants, the apostles.

    The ekklesia – just like Jesus 1st ekklesia group- was a simple 2 tiered structure. GOD on top of every member – and every member under the authority of God’s Holy Spirit. No in betweens.
    The apostles had no personal authority over the members. They had simply already learned what God wanted them to teach to the other members.
    The Spirit backed the apostles – as they remained obedient to HIM.

    The apostles taught the basic doctrine of Christ but more importantly they taught the new members how to hear and recognise the Holy Spirit ( they were not baptised into the Holy Spirit just for salvation). The Scriptures actually show how to Locate, Access, Recognise and Discern the holy Spirit voice of God.

    The N.T. church meetings are full of the members ‘hearing’ the Holy Spirit and those same meetings are full of the members walking in the gifts of the Spirit.

    Thus, it was the Holy Spirit who directed the events that took place in every meeting. And it was the Holy spirit who appointed each member into what role HE wanted them to perform in the group.

    Every role in the church/group/ekklesia was a ministering to the members – under the authority and leading by the Holy Spirit.

    In the New testament church WAY, God became the personal leader of every member. That is His desire and that is his aim, and it has not changed.

    God bless you guys

    David Marsh

    PS Individualism is obviously very very unbiblical.

  296. Yes David ,

    The NT contains examples of people who were directed specifically by the Holy Spirit as to where to go and what to say to whom.

    When this is not understood, people end up trying to copy the events that were recorded, rather than learning to listen to what the Holy Spirit would have them do and say.

    To be in the will of our Lord Jesus Christ and to follow in His example , is to hear from Him through the Holy Spirit as to where to go and what to say to whom.

    When ever we do this , we are in His will, as He was when He did as His Father in Heaven directed to Him by the spirit.

    This to me was what the NT was about in terms of the example that we are to follow.

  297. Anyway on an earlier post I mentioned that I was signing off for now, meaning stepping back from online posting for now.

    May we all walk in Spirit and truth with our Lord Jesus Christ, becoming effective servants for His Kingdom and His Glory.

    In His Love

    Kevin

  298. watchful May 20th 2013

    Kevin, may God richly bless you and be with you, and I look forward to your comments whenever you may drop in again.

  299. watchful May 20th 2013

    . Psa 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

    Psa 130:6 I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

    I’m one who the Lord teaches like a child often through the simple living parables of the Old Testament. Lately the story of Abraham and Sarah has been coming to mind. Not trusting and waiting when it looked as though time was marching on and on and getting away from them with still no visible sign of the promise, and so taking things into their own hands they produced Ishmael.

    Lot’s daughters did likewise, not waiting and trusting that a Husband would appear for them and so they did what was customary, ie, traditional, and gave birth to what was not of God.

    Except the LORD build the house we labour in vain, and worse than that we give birth to what may become an enemy of God.

    But these words give me hope, they are spoken to Israel, but the principle I believe applies to all believers:

    54:1 Sing, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou [that] didst not travail with child: for more [are] the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

    Isa 54:2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

    Isa 54:3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

    Isa 54:4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

    Isa 54:5 For thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

    Isa 54:6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

    Isa 54:7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

  300. Barry be blessed.
    i am glad you see that i was not yelling in caps.
    its as you said , making a ppoint.
    and i agree, that i do believe both you and andrew
    are just doing what you believe.
    Did you notice i agree with the need of the five fold ministry.
    I do.
    and not to belittle either you or andrew,
    nor compare you all to this guy i next speak of.
    Torro. This man too was very caring and had the best interests for me in his heart. he spoke of love, companionship, unity,
    He spoke of revival in the world.
    He was a very kind man, and very meek in his words.
    no loud voice, no demeaning attitude.
    One would have believed what he said, if it were based on
    how he acted. FOR he acted with great kindness.
    THE ONLY PROBLEM was HIS WORDS FAILED the test
    against the WORD OF GOD.
    FOR though he never argued with me about MY FAITH
    HE said, THAT that was just it, it was MY FAITH leading me tO GOD.
    BUT that muslims, hindus, etc, will end up there as well through
    their faith. HE spoke of works being evidence of CHRIST IN THEM. NOW this is all humanism and new age.
    THIS is why no matter how kind , and caring an indvidual may appear…….HIS WORDS anD ACTIONCS MUST BE TESTED.
    HE was ovbious in his falling away.
    many others have only begun to err in part, and are much
    harder to spot for the unlearned or unstable.
    WE must examine EVEN OURSELVES to see IF WE Walk in the faith. And if we must examine OURSELVES
    my GOODNESS i am going to examine others as well.
    MY advice stands. TRUST ONLY GOD and HIS EVERY WORD.
    TEST the rest. and if they pass, PRAISE GOD
    if not, then begin to reason out the scrips with them.
    BUT TEST ALL WE MUST.
    what i am noticing Barry, is that many are being led back into churches, made to feel they MUST, by men, NOT GOD.
    the leaders try ahd make them feel guilty for speaking TRUTH
    DO i believe we as lambs should gather and have a fivefold
    miinistry. YOU BET I DO.
    BUT i am going to test, every word, phrase, belief
    that comes from any man. against sound doctrine and JESUS WORDS.
    These men are even using words like
    even if men are wrong. hang out with them
    just focus on good works, give them the benefit of the doubt.
    CORRECTION. NOT WHAT PAUL nor CHRIST, nor early apostles said to do. IF a man consents not to wholesome words of CHRIST, not to the doctrine in pauls letters,
    PAUL SAID with such a man NOT TOEVEN eat.
    I myself have SEEN andrew use a good truth.
    AFTER THE First or second admonition REJECT
    WE gotta test all. and CORRECT QUICKLY
    or the leaven will consume the whole.
    tis why we see the churches in the state they are
    over time less and less corrrection, and more
    humanizing to keep the wrongdoers in church
    instead of doing as JESUS himself said, and paul later said.
    and my question to andrew is
    Andrew………………..are you wanting us to have a church?
    IF not, SHOW ME WHERE A TRUE LEADERSHIP church IS.
    I understand there is no perfect church.
    BUT WITHOUT PERFECT DOCTRINE
    there NEVER will be matuity, only falling away.
    PHyscology, phylosphy, so called sciences
    wisdoms and reasonings of men. HAVE NO PLACE
    in the church. DONT we know the wisdom of this world
    is FOOLISHNESS.
    want to be made WISE……………….BECOME A FOOL
    to this worlds wisdom. THAT IS A DEEP TRUTH
    many fail to see.

  301. Bet some here dont know
    many pastors and deacons of today
    have PHYSCOLOGY DEGREES.
    and i bet you dont know
    that PHYSCOLOGY TEACHES a MAN HOW TO CONTROL a GROUP.
    want to know how………….THROUGH THE SENSES
    through the flesh, a FEEL GOOD,
    a POSTIVE TEACHING on focus on GOOD in people
    and NOT ON EVILS.
    I MYSELF TOOK PHYSCOLOGY.
    LONG BEFORE I CAME TO CHRIST.
    sigmund freud taught HOW TO CONTROL masses
    and through the FIVE SENSES.
    this is EVIL and is of satan. YET many see physcology as good.
    or phylopshies.
    WRONG. though they have truths, so does muslims, buddists
    atheists, etc……………JUST NOT THE TRUTH.
    the world as a whole is being controlled through the five senses.
    ALL OF WHICH ARE FLESH.
    WANT TO BECOME WISE………………..
    THEN BECOME A FOOL TO THIS WORLDS WISDOM.
    LEARN ONLY BIBLE DOCTRINE
    SEEK and ye shall find
    KNOCK and it shall be opened
    ask and ye shall recieve, for how much more shall
    my father, give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask.
    KILL THE FLESH and dont be controlled.
    IF you all want a church. then let us DO JUST THIS.
    amen.

  302. DonaldN May 20th 2013

    1 Thess 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

    Amen Randal…

    It is true that we need fellowship
    It is also true that we need truth.

    Which is more important in the event there is not both available?

  303. Marilyn Crow May 20th 2013

    Very true Randall. Bless you brother.Have a good day in Him.

    Watchful.

    Is. 54: 7 `with great mercies I will gather thee.`

    Truely our God is a God of great mercy. Thank you Watchful for the encouraging scriptures. And yes the waiting is the difficult thing, especially when some brothers & sisters don`t understand that God has His hand on us.

    But He will `gather,` us as that is His heart to bring us together. Even being here to talk to each other or by e-mail is a wonderful encouragement. Paul so looked forward to receiving a word & letters from the ones he mentored.

    Personally I believe it will be a quick work of God that will be seen. However the testing now is for the mother/father mentors that God is forming, `enlarging,` to hear the Holy Spirit, as David Marsh talked about.

    Not individualism, never, but reliance on the Holy Spirit with a good attitude to all our brothers & sisters, watching for the Lord the connect us to each other.

    Kevin, Miss your comments too. But as Watchful said, will look forward to when you can post again.

    All, in His care & great mercy. Marilyn.

  304. Walking through a dry and thirsty land
    with darkness all about
    and many strange voice with the Blending of partial truth and
    humanity reasons, YET though the darkness be great
    HIS LIGHT IS GREATER STILL……………
    many voices now talking of who man is and
    about them own selves, and things.
    Well, heres what i have to say about me,
    here is my participation in that conversation.
    hello group i am SINNER saved by Grace.
    my goals are MAY GODS WILL BE DONE.
    my interests are the FURTHERNACE of the gosple.
    my hobby is………..READING ONLY THE BIBLE
    and my desire is for souls to be saved.
    NOW lets all talk about and LIFT UP GOD.
    THE ONLY GOODNESS I HAVE.
    LET HIM have the glory.
    self dont need no self help books
    and JESUS didnt come so i or any other could exalt them selves.
    GOD didnt give me his word so i or any other could try and improve it with mens physcologies or etc……..
    THE WORD IS ALL POWERFUL
    SPEAK IT and LET GOD GIVE THE INCREASE.
    Why would any lamb partcipate in this worlds physcologies
    and wisdoms , which this very system CRUCIFIED CHRIST
    for they reasoned as MEN. and the same men would KILL any of us when once the chance is given, and soon it will be.
    WE have aKINGDOM, and it aint OF THIS WORLD.
    thus my goals aint OF THIS WORLD.
    AMEN DONALD……………..
    TRUST ONLY GOD and TEST the REST.
    BIBLE 101 and then read only it FOREVER.
    EYES WOULD SO QUICKLY BE OPENED.
    Let us pray for lambs to be gathered in groups all over the world
    and that anyone in isolation be given a FRIEND in the LORD.
    and from there PREACH the GOSPLE till CHRIST COME amen.
    THIS is JOY and PEACE ABOUNDS. amen.

  305. I GOT the LORD and i have HIS BOOK
    which dont help self
    IT HELPS KILL SELF. amen.

  306. and heres a lil telling…………..
    there once was a man, very wisdom world oriented.
    some even thought him either a prophet or knew
    HUMAN beings so well, he could predict the outcome of
    scenarios. HE was looked upon a bright
    and some even said would make a WONDERFUL counsler in PHYSCOLOGY, could even benefit the human race.
    The man was filled so full of himself he could have tasted his own feet, IF THAT were possible.
    HE was headed to heights untold.
    Then ONE day……………the GRACE OF GOD
    came upon this SINNER and a NEW HEART GIVEN
    and ONLY IN THE BIBLE ever since.
    TRUE Story………..that man was ME.
    SO i can clearly tell you all
    PHYSCOLOGY is of the devil and GET FAR FROM IT.
    amen.

  307. IN TRUTH i can tell you all
    IF YOU TRULY WANT TO BE MADE WISE
    then UNDERSTAND THIS WORLDS WISDOM
    is UTTER FOOLISHNESS
    PICK UP ONLY BIBLE. READ, BELIEVE , and FOLLOW JESUS.
    amen.
    PS……….the BIBLE will tell you everything a BELIEVER SHOULD DO
    and SHOULD NOT DO. ITS that simple. that easy.
    amen.

  308. LAMBS…………….lets have us a song of singing unto the LORD.
    SING of HIS MERCIES
    SING of HIS GRACE
    PRAISE THE LORD and BLESSED be HIS HOLY NAME.
    SING with me lambs………
    TO LOVE TRUTH is LIFE and LIFE ABUNDANTELY
    to KNOW of HIS SALVATION is a JOY no thing can give.
    SING lambs………….and know i love you all.
    amen.
    SING …………O LORD THY WILL BE DONE.
    THY KINGDOM COME………………
    TELL the world of HIM, HIS GRACE , the WORD of reconcilation.
    FOR ONE DAY , THE DOOR WILL SHUT
    WHEN ONCE THE MASTER RISES UP…………..
    and NO man KNOWS that DAY or HOUR.

  309. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OUR GUIDE
    and THE HOLY BOOK with HIS WORDS
    gives us all the insrtuction we need.
    I missed you all, so i sent a few emails today.
    Be blessed and PRAISE THE LORD.
    ANDREw…………….SING a SONG with the peoples
    and praise the LORD.
    WE love you!!!!!!!!

  310. watchful May 20th 2013

    I know it goes without saying, but all the same it’s good to be reminded and encouraged of the fellowship that we have with the Lord, truly the most important fellowship that we can have. One of the very reasons we are led into the wilderness is to re-establish or deepen our fellowship with Him…..the fellowship of His sufferings….. and even our loneliness or whatever similar we may be experiencing can be embraced as part of the cross we are carrying and made useful in drawing us closer to God, as well as putting to death more of our flesh nature.

  311. David Marsh May 20th 2013

    Another problem for many out of churchers today is that they know that the New Testament walking in the Spirit – is the way to go. That there is no greater intimacy with Christ than communing directly with His Holy Spirit.

    But when we all look back at the unholy spirit hysteria that is going on in many of the present so called pentecostal churches – there is a natural tendency to tremble at anything that has to do with God’s Holy Spirit – even though we know HE is the one we want.

    It comes down to the simple fact that the current church has dived head long into the spirit realm WITHOUT the Word of God. They have not applied themselves to God’s instruction manual – as to how one proceeds in the realm of the Holy Spirit.
    And the current new age spiritualism movements bear witness to this fact.

    I would like to offer one more time a free pdf file copy of my 10 year research into the scriptures that shows exactly how the apostles walked with God and heard His voice with accuracy.
    If any one is interested just simply email me at [email protected] and I will gladly send you a free copy.

    God bless you my brothers and sisters,
    Yours in Christ

    David Marsh.

  312. watchful May 20th 2013

    LOL Randall, you’re making me laugh……..my paltry little offering in the same time it took you to say all that…..crystal clear truth brother!

    GOT the LORD and i have HIS BOOK
    which dont help self
    IT HELPS KILL SELF. amen.

    Ha-ha-ha, AMEN!

  313. watchful May 21st 2013

    Marilyn, amen, and where it says for a brief moment He forsake us, it reminds me of the cross where Jesus felt momentarily forsaken. If the Father hadn’t looked away for that brief moment I just think that Jesus His Son could not possibly have died.

  314. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    A little song of praise and worship for Randall, and all to enjoy 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdYAPBLQMWA

  315. Marilyn Crow May 21st 2013

    You are all such a joy to talk & listen to. Yes Randall, I appreciate that `foot in mouth,` picture. Thank you for your song of praise & yes we rejoiced with you to our precious Lord.

    Watchful, I just went for a walk & of course had a chat with the Lord. I sensed that He has given you a `contemporary,` prophetic edge. In plain speak you seem to pick up on what the Lord would have us focus on & say it in everyday language.

    Bless you. Marilyn.

  316. Marilyn Crow May 21st 2013

    Loved that song Roger, it really touched my heart.

    Dear friends I have in front of me a glass of wine & bread. If any would like to share with me communion in remembering our precious Lord, then time, distance etc cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

    We do not need a doctorate to share of His sacrifice. Thus if any want to & also share your prayer as you take.

    `Your body Lord was broken for us & now we are menbers of your body here. We give you thanks & heartfelt praise.` (I have eaten)

    `Your precious life`s blood you shed for us on Calvary, Lord, We now have forgiveness of sins & a wonderful hope that we will share with you in eternity.` (I have drunk the wine.)

    Love in our precious Lord. Marilyn.

  317. Jda016 May 21st 2013

    Dear Donald

    you asked,
    “It is true that we need fellowship
    It is also true that we need truth.

    Which is more important in the event there is not both available?”

    I would answer Truth, every time.

    Better to walk towards Heaven alone, than to walk with a thousand “friends” away from Jesus.

  318. watchful May 21st 2013

    Hallelujah, hallelujah, Roger, how I love those old God-breathed revival hymns, I listened to it three times. oh dear Father, to think that in His footsteps we are to follow……how they could crucify one so beautiful it’s hard to fathom, and yet I can’t point a finger, knowing that all flesh is the same.

    Marilyn, some days especially it’s just such a blessing to be here with you all, and makes me long for the Lord and want to be with all of you face to face. Where the Spirit of the Lord is………well, there is just no lack of every good thing! The fellowship of His sufferings……….and in that we have fellowship with one another and encourage each other as well.

  319. watchful May 21st 2013

    Amen to breaking bread, I also had that desire……..and will eat and drink remembering too our brothers and sisters who might be absent or away from their computer etc… one with them all in spirit.

  320. Marilyn Crow May 21st 2013

    Thankyou Watchful, True fellowship in the Holy Spirit, which paul often had as he was travelling, sick, beaten, but not separated.

    A big hug to all. 🙂 Marilyn.

  321. watchful May 21st 2013

    The Lord bless you Marilyn…

  322. Marilyn Crow May 21st 2013

    Watchful, it is lunch time here in Oz, What time is it where you are? Marilyn.

  323. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    Is this appropriate..? Barry Mcquire – Communion song.

    Can be played, sung, prayed – any time..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_wdhA1C-VE

  324. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    Maybe followed by: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-zk-E55dRk&list=RD02-_wdhA1C-VE

    Blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ – to all 🙂

  325. Marilyn Crow May 21st 2013

    Thank you Roger,

    I so enjoyed the songs, & yes just right for our `communion,` together over time & space. I haven`t heard Barry Mcguire (q? g?) since the early `80`s & brought back many memories.

    God bless, Marilyn.

  326. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    Marilyn – oh yes, memories – I even found some 70’s clips..!! 😉

    ..and yes definitely a ‘g’..

  327. Marilyn Crow May 21st 2013

    Hi Roger,

    And what are they? `70`s clips. Would love to see as I`m of the `70`s too.

    Bullfrogs & Butterflies…….Marilyn.

  328. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    Marilyn, I found some of Chuck Girard on this link – ‘Sometimes Alleluia’, ‘Lay your burden down’, ‘Slow down’, and ‘The Name above all names’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGf916aTDXo&list=RD028Wu4Ux6WpFg plus ‘Love Song – two hands’ which we originally heard elsewhere, but hearing this today, again the memories. All of these ‘oldies’ were on tape, played often, worn out, long gone – good to find these clips.

    Yes we remember B & B 😀 No doubt you’ll recall Keith Green..?

    Saved in a house fellowship in early ’72, I remember there were tent meetings throughout the summer in UK. Precious times..

  329. Marilyn Crow May 21st 2013

    Thanks Roger,

    Looking forward to playing those clips. And yes I loved to listen & play Keith & Melody Green songs. Must be getting on for those songs were easy to sing, played from the heart, & not cluttered with instruments. (I do play music but the voice is what needs to be heard.)

    Tent meetings…yes we had them in Oz & what a time of rejoicing they were. We`ve been blessed to go through those times as they were simpler but as many here are looking forward to a fresh move of God`s Holy Spirit there is still more to come.

    God bless, Marilyn.

  330. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    A selection of Keith Green – for those who remember this man..?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQSuTP5OHBE&list=RD02JQ3lvN4tQmY

    May you be blessed as you listen 🙂

  331. Johan Laubser May 21st 2013

    I KNOW A MAN IN SOUTH AFRICA WHO HAS A CONGREGATION OF MERELY 50 PEOPLE. HE DOES NOT LEAN ON THEM FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND THEY CANNOT CONTROL WHAT HE SHOULD SAY OTHER THAN TRUTH OUT OF THE WORD. I SOMETIMES WONDER HOW IT IS THAT I HAVE TO TRUST GOD FOR MY PROVISION WHERE AS ‘SOME’ PREACHERS ONLY HAVE TO TEACH THE FLOCK TO TRUST GOD FOR THEIR PROVISION ,AND THEN THEY ARE SECURE IN THEIR(THE PREACHER) NEEDS…I AM SURE THIS DEBATE WOULD BE QUITE DIFFERENT IF NO MONEY OR STATUS OR POWER WAS PART OF THE EQUATION. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE(BROTHERS) ARE OFFENDED WHEN YOU ELEVATE JESUS AS THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF TRUST IN HIS(CHURCH) BODY….I DO HAVE A SUSPICION THAT MOST ,IF NOT ALL, OF THIS SO CALLED ‘UNTRUSTING’ INDUVIDUALS, ARE NOT FULLTIME EMPLOYED BY THE CHURCH….IF JESUS SAID THAT WE SHOULD TRUST NO ONE, HE MEANT STARTING BY ME, THAT WE SHOULD NOT TRUST ANYONE. IS THAT TOO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND? I WILL BE SO PLEASED IF I CAN BE CORRECTED ON EVERYTHING I SAY, AS NOT TO MISLEAD ANYONE,MAY IT BE ON PURPOSE OR BY ACCIDENT! ALTHOUGH JESUS ALREADY SAID IT IN THE WORD,I WONDER WHAT HE WOULD HAVE SAID AROUND THIS TOPIC…

  332. HHHLGA May 21st 2013

    Roger (NZ) RE: ~ KEITH GREEN – THERE IS A REDEEMER ~

    – Roger…thankyou for posting this beautifully expressed truth in song. I posted the lyrics so we can all appreciate the artist and his heart.

    There is a Redeemer,
    Jesus, God’s own Son,
    Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
    Holy One,

    Thank you oh my Father,
    For giving us Your Son,
    And leaving Your Spirit,
    ‘Til the work on Earth is done.

    Jesus my Redeemer,
    Name above all names,
    Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
    Hope for sinners slain.

    Thank you oh my Father,
    For giving us Your Son,
    And leaving Your Spirit,
    ‘Til the work on Earth is done.

    When I stand in Glory,
    I will see His face,
    There I’ll serve my King forever,
    In that Holy Place.

    Thank you oh my Father,
    For giving us Your Son,
    And leaving Your Spirit,
    ‘Til the work on Earth is done.

  333. HHHLGA May 21st 2013

    Roger (NZ), again..wonderful!
    I am going to cut and paste all these for my keeping.

    Chuck Girard – Sometimes Alleluia
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGf916aTDXo&list=RD028Wu4Ux6WpFg

  334. Barry Schmidt May 21st 2013

    Where can Jesus be found in the earth today?
    In the wilderness if isolation and individualism?
    For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20 NASB)
    And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22, 23 NASB)

    And if Jesus is where the Bible promises He will be- IN THE CHURCH-where then will His servants on the earth be found?
    In the wilderness of insulation and isolation?
    If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26 NASB)

    And if we are not with Jesus in the church but rather in the wilderness of isolation and individualism then where does that put us in our relationship with Jesus?

    He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. (Matthew 12:30 NASB)

    Those who claim to honor the Scripture above the words of men- what argument will you give against these plain and simple Bible truths?

  335. Barry Schmidt May 21st 2013

    When Jesus was 12 when his parents and everyone was looking for Jesus in the wilderness while traveling back to Nazareth from the feast in Jeruselem- they thought Jesus was somewhere with them in that wilderness- but they were wrong- WHERE THEN WAS JESUS??? AND WHAT ANSWER DID JESUS GIVE THEM WHEN THEY FOUND HIM?
    Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house? ” (Luke 2:46, 48, 49 NASB)

    And has Jesus changed?
    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NASB)

    Where then do you suppose we are MOST LIKELY TO FIND JESUS TODAY?
    Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:16, 18

    And what is the MAIN THING JESUS IS DOING IN THE WORLD TODAY?
    Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:16, 18 NASB)

    He is building HIS CHURCH!
    Jesus doesn’t build His church FROM THE WILDERNESS OF ISOLATION AND INDIVIDUALISM.

    Jesus CAMPS OUT IN HIS CHURCH WHILE HE IS BUILDING IT!!!

  336. Barry Schmidt May 21st 2013

    John the Baptist could only be found in the wilderness- if you wanted to recieve from Johns ministry you had to go out to the wilderness-

    Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1, 2 NASB)
    But John was the LAST of the Old Covenant prophets:
    I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28 NASB)

    But JESUS COULD ONLY BE FOUND AMONG THE PEOPLE OF GOD : if you want to receive of Jesus ministry – especially on the Sabbath- you had to go to the synagogue to find Him:

    I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28 NASB)

    Nothing has changed with Jesus- he is still AMOUNG HIS PEOPLE- speaking and reading the Scriptures and HE IS worshipping TOGETHER WITH AND AMONG HIS CHURCH!!!
    For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Y our name to M y brethren, I n the midst of the congregation I will sing Y our praise.” And again, “I will put M y trust in H im.” And again, “B ehold, I and the children whom G od has given M e.” (Hebrews 2:11-13 NASB)

    Here Jesus HIMSELF says that
    1. he is NOT ASHAMED OF HIS CHURCH BROTHERS
    2. He is STILL “in the midst of the congregation”
    3. Amazing of all- he “puts HIS TRUST” IN HIS CHURCH!!!!!

    Listen to this!!
    If Jesus trusts His brothers – who are we to tell each other NOT TO TRUST EACH OTHER???

  337. Barry Schmidt May 21st 2013

    On finding Jesus in the synagogue on the Sabbath I copied the wrong verse. Should have been:
    And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. (Luke 4:16 NASB)

  338. Johan Laubser May 21st 2013

    BARRY, SADLY IT DOES NOT SOUND LIKE YOU! IT APPEARS AS IF YOU PROMOTE THE FOUR WALL CHURCH. IF JESUS SAID HE IS GOING BRAKE THE TEMPLE DOWN AND IT WILL BE REBUILD IN 3 DAYS,REFERRING TO HIMSELF, WHERE DOES THE ‘BUILDING’ COME IN? I AM NOT SAYING THAT WE SHOULD NOT COME TOGETHER FOR PRAISE,WORSHIP,COMMUNION AND SO FORTH, I AM SAYING WE ARE HOLY THROUGH JESUS, NOT THE VENUE. I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN WE ENTER AN IRON CURTAIN ERA AGAIN,WHICH WILL HAPPEN, WHERE WILL THE ‘BODY’ THEN BE? I AM NOT ANTI CHURCH! I AM ANTI ESTABLISHMENT, ANTI DECEPTION, ANTI POWER ABUSE, AND ANTI ELEVATION OF A MAN AS THE ANOINTED UNTOUCHABLE SUPREME VOICE OF GOD! WE ARE ALL CALLED AND NOT ONLY THOSE IN ‘OFFICE’. AS I SAID BEFORE,LET THEM BRING THE WORD FREELY AS IT WAS GIVEN AND THE MARGIN OF ERROR WILL BE GREATLY REDUCED. JESUS LIVES IN A BODY, NOT A BUILDING!

  339. watchful May 21st 2013

    Marilyn, it was just about 10 pm our time or thereabouts when I made my last post…

    Roger, thanks for sharing those beautiful Christ-honouring songs, it was a blessing to come downstairs to listen and worship God first thing this morning!

    Barry, do you not think we need to know the time and season this is and the reality of what is happening with most churches………..didn’t Jesus say to FLEE Jerusalem when we saw certain things happening? Why?….because soon not one stone would be left on top of another….not a safe place to be anymore in other words. There is a time and season for everything under heaven, and what has been will be again. At least these are the simple things the Lord has been teaching me.

    But I believe as well there are times when he might tell some to remain, or sends some to go into a church for a season as witnesses or some other purpose, he has done that with me too, and each one should of course obey what the Spirit directs for them individually.

  340. watchful May 21st 2013

    Amen, Johan Laubser!

  341. Jda016 May 21st 2013

    Amen Johan. You basically summed up my feelings exactly!

    Also I would gladly follow any leader who was truly of Christ. But I won’t blindly submit to just “any man,” because he decided to name himself pastor. Met several of those who were never of God in the first place.

  342. Barry Schmidt May 21st 2013

    When the crowds were greatly perplexed and deeply disappointed with the news that John had been thrown into prison Jesus asked a very fitting question of them:

    ” what did you come out to the desert to see?”
    In other words, ” What was your EXPECTATION of John’s ministry?”

    If we have false or unreqlistic expectations of CHURCH we will always become disalusioned and disappointed with the CHURCH.

    Jesus is asking the same question to us about the CHURCH today?
    “What were you expecting of the church?”

    Were you expecting a pure and clean spiritual and doctrinal hospital with pure doctrine, perfectly sterile leaders where everything is SAFE, PURE, SPIRIUALLY STERILE????

    Where you expecting the visible, public celebration services where there is only opportunity for one expert to speak to be a setting where everyone can interact and participate using THIER individual gifts???

    The public celebration services WERE NEVER INTENDED to be anything more than the “4 walls box” dimension Of the church.
    THAT IS MERELY 1-3 hours of a believers church life per week!
    Church was meant to be experienced 99.9% in small group settings , in the home and in the marketplace.

    Until we have a realistic and biblical expectation of CHURCH – You will be left disappointed, disalusioned and your ONLY response will remain individualistic and isolated!

  343. Barry Schmidt May 21st 2013

    If you have an expectation of any local church to be spiritually and doctrinally sterile environment before you will join up and give your life in sacrificial service to the local church YOU WILL NEVER SIGN UP!

    Contrary to popular opinion the EARLY CHURCH WAS NOT THIS WAY EITHER!
    THE EARLY CHURCH was frot with false teachers, false doctrines ,sinful attitudes, CARNEL striving, selfish ambition , prideful leadership, arrogant factions and schisms.

    If you don’t see this REALITY you haven’t read your Bible!
    Virtually every letter Paul and the other apostles wrote to the early churches were to rebuke, correct, straighten out or solve one of the above issues!

    I am so glad the apostles didn’t run away and isolate themselves in insinuation and individualism when they saw all these heresies and carnality in the church!

    Why did they REMAIN- one reason ONLY-
    BECAUSE THEY WERE TRUE SHEPHERDS AND NOT HIRLINGS!
    HIRLINGS always show their true motive, calling and colors in this way:

    He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. (John 10:12, 13 NASB)

  344. Barry Schmidt May 21st 2013

    There is only one true motive for abandoning the local church- SEPF PRESERVATION !

    And that’s all I got to say bout dat!

  345. Very good Barry,

    Then the unprofitable servant 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.

    Robert Glenn

  346. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    HHHLGA – thankyou for sharing those words from Keith – some songs are timeless aren’t they..?

  347. Andrew May 21st 2013

    I disagree, Barry.

    There is “apostasy” as a motive for leaving

    There can also be a “wilderness” time of “deprogramming from religion” which can be utterly vital.

    These are both valid for a season.

    But not forever.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom

  348. watchful May 21st 2013

    Sorry to say guys but the mis-application of scriptures from both of you here (Barry and Robert) only confirms that my Shepherd didn’t make a mistake in leading me outta there!

  349. Roger (NZ) May 21st 2013

    Barry – this is the problem when one takes individual scripture verses and builds a debate around them. I believe that we should believe first in He who spoke those words, and trust that He is God, and able to accomplish His every plan, purpose and desire.

    You speak of Lord Jesus indwelling every believer, camping out, (tabernacling) in His ‘church’ whilst He builds it – I agree – He is in every single born-again believer, every member of His body, no matter whether a gathering of hundreds, or 2’s and 3’s.

    Then you say He will only be found among His people – I agree..

    Then you say He is not ashamed of His people, that He is still in the midst, and that He trusts those who are His – again, I agree.

    You quote scripture with which I agree – yet it would seem you place a meaning on that to fit your belief.

    I understand from scripture that all the ones spoken of above, no matter where they are, in a large assembly, or 2’s and 3’s – Lord Jesus is with them, accomplishing His plans.

    ***
    Robert – you add your agreement to Barry..? then highlight “.I was afraid..”, as if to infer that all those who are only in 2’s and 3’s are afraid..?

    What is there to be afraid of..? Lord Jesus is with every member of His Body, His ekklesia, His church – you agreed with that spoken by Barry.

    I understand your implication Robert – about hiding the talent – yet when one is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, even when only in 2’s and 3’s, one can share with unsaved neighbours, share both practical help, natural skills and talents, as well as the things of God, the gospel of Lord Jesus, which inculdes the spiritual giftings.

    I know of those who are in large fellowships, churches, who are sharing their talents with those who are there, I also know of others who are out in the world, doing that same work.

    In His love and peace, for His names sake,
    Roger

  350. Roger (NZ),

    Thanks for the Keith Green songs, I enjoyed reading his book about his testimony.

    GaryB

  351. Here is a biblical example of putting your trust in your brothers and sisters as they speak to you in the Name of the Lord… 🙂

    They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” (2 Chronicles 20:20 NASB)

    emphasis added

  352. Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:1 NASB)

    emphasis added

  353. A couple of insights I was given yesterday after signing off.

    If a shepherd believes he has been given a flock to tend and finds the flock aren’t following him or listening to his voice what is the shepherd to do ?

    Send out dogs barking scripture to control and round up the flock ?

    Or learn to truly speak in the Masters voice so the flock recognize the Masters voice speaking through the shepherd .

    ++++

    Many of the flock have been ravaged by wolves that came looking like sheep, and have been wounded and scattered .

    How would Jesus speak to the ravaged and scattered flock ?

    Would he use barking dogs to round up those who had been ravaged and scattered by wolves ?

    Or would he bind up their wounds and carry them back one by one to a place of safety ?

    ++++

  354. Andrew JH , you said above about the abused and ravaged flock;

    “And these ones who band together are like a cancer to the Body of Christ…”

    ++++

    Andrew , do you really think our Lord Jesus Christ would say what you have said above about the abused and ravaged flock ?

  355. Andrew May 21st 2013

    As I said earlier-

    There is “apostasy” as a motive for leaving

    There can also be a “wilderness” time of “deprogramming from religion” which can be utterly vital.

    These are both valid for a season.

    But not forever.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom