New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, January 22 2002 Vol 02 : 016
Re: [NTCP] Demons
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
[NTCP] NTCP:RE Spiritual fathers
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
Re: [NTCP] Re: Encouragement!
Re: [NTCP] An Historic Gathering in Southern Ontario
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 14:47:34
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Demons

NAHMEN said:

>I have since come to believe that there are preachers standing in the pulpit
>who have received a religious spirit in seminary and are receiving revelation
>from the devil himself. "Doctrine of demons"? Could this be?

Dear Nahmen,

I believe you are correct in this assumption. I have seen one way of exposing
these demons that are normally hidden. Wave a few dollars in front of them,
you'll see how many of them come running out of the woodwork.

Have you ever read the prophecy by Stanley Frodsham given in 1965?? It follows:

1965 VISION OF COMING DECEPTION by Stanley Frodsham. The following is an
excerpt from a prophecy given at the Elim Bible Institute Summer Camp Meeting
in 1965 by the late Stanley Frodsham. Brother Frodsham was a recognized prophet
and teacher in the Body of Christ whose life and ministry spanned the
Pentecostal Revival, the great Healing Revival and the early days of the
Charismatic Movement. He also authored the well-known book, "Smith
Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith".

"When I visit My people in mighty revival power, it is to prepare them for the
darkness ahead. With the glory shall come great darkness, for the glory is to
prepare My people for the darkness. I will enable My people to go through
because of the visitation of My Spirit. Take heed to yourselves lest you be
puffed up and think that you have arrived. Many shall be puffed up as in the
olden days, for many then received My message but they continued not in it. Did
I not anoint Jehu? Yet the things I desired were not accomplished in his life.
Listen to the messengers, but do not hold men's persons in admiration. For many
whom I shall anoint mightily, with signs and miracles, shall be lifted up and
shall fall away by the wayside. I do not do this willingly; I have made
provision that they might stand. I call many into this min- istry and equip
them; but remember that many shall fall. They shall be like bright lights and
people shall delight in them. But they shall be taken over by deceiving spirits
and shall lead many of My people away.

"Hearken diligently concerning these things, for in the last days will come
seducing spirits that shall turn many of My anointed ones away. Many shall fall
through various lusts and because of sin abounding. But if you will seek Me
diligently, I will put My Spirit within you. When one shall turn to the right
hand or to the left you shall not turn with them, but keep your eyes wholly on
the Lord. The coming days are most dangerous, difficult and dark, but there
shall be a mighty outpouring of My Spirit upon many cities. My people must be
diligently warned concerning the days that are ahead. Many shall turn after
seducing spirits; many are already seducing My people. It is those who do
righteousness that are righteous. Many cover their sins by theological words.
But I warn you of seducing spirits who instruct My people in a evil way.

"Many shall come with seducing spirits and hold out lustful enticements. You
will find that after I have visited My people again, the way shall become more
and more narrow, and fewer shall walk therein. But be not deceived, the ways of
righteousness are My ways. For though Satan comes as an angel of light, hearken
not to him; for those who perform miracles and speak not righteousness are not
of Me. I warn you with great in-tensity that I am going to judge My house and
have a church without spot or wrinkle when I come. I desire to open your eyes
and give you spir-itual understanding, that you may not be deceived but may
walk in uprightness of heart before Me, loving righteousness and hating every
evil way. Look unto Me, and I will make you to perceive with eyes of the Spirit
the things that lurk in darkness that are not visible to the human eye. Let me
lead you in this way that you may perceive the powers of darkness and battle
against them. It is not a battle against flesh and blood; for if you battle in
that way, you accomplish nothing. But if you let Me take over and battle
against the powers of darkness, than they are defeated, and then liberation is
brought to My people.

"I warn you to search the Scriptures diligently concerning these last days. For
the things that are written shall indeed be made manifest. There shall come
deceivers among My people in increasing numbers who shall speak for the truth
and shall gain the favor of the people. For the people shall examine the
Scriptures and say, 'What these men say is true'. Then when they have gained
the hearts of the people, then and only then shall Satan enter into My people.
Watch for seducers.

Do you think a seducer will brandish a new heresy and flaunt it before the
people? He will speak the words of righteousness and truth, and will appear as
a minister of light declaring the Word. The people's hearts shall be won. Then,
when the hearts are won, they will bring out their doctrines, and the people
shall be deceived. The people shall say, 'Did he not speak thus and thus? And
did we not examine it from the Word? Therefore he is a minister of
righteousness. This that he has spoken we do not see in the Word, but it must
be right, for the other things he spoke were true.'

"Be not deceived. For the deceiver will first work to gain the hearts of many,
and then shall bring forth his insidious doctrines. You cannot discern those
that are of Me and those that are not of Me when they start to preach. But seek
Me constantly, and then when these doctrines are brought out you shall have a
witness in your heart that these are not of Me. Fear not, for I have warned
you. Many will be deceived. But if you walk in holiness and uprightness before
the Lord, your eyes shall be open and the Lord will protect you. If you will
constantly look unto the Lord, you will know when the doctrine changes and will
not be brought into it. If your heart is right I will keep you; and if you will
constantly look to Me, I will uphold you.

"The minister of righteousness shall be on this wise: his life shall agree with
the Word and his lips shall give forth that which is wholly true, and it will
be no mixture. When the mixture appears, then you will know he is not a
minister of righteousness. The deceivers speak first the truth then error, to
cover their own sins which they love. Therefore, I exhort and command you to
study the Scriptures relative to seducing spirits, for this is one of the great
dangers of these last days.

"I desire you to firmly be established in My Word and not in the per-sonalities
of men that you will not be moved as so many shall be moved. Take heed to
yourselves and follow not the seducing spirits that are already manifesting
themselves. Diligently inquire of Me when you hear something that you have not
seen in My Word, and do not hold people's persons in admiration--for it is by
this very method Satan will destroy many of My people." I have seen this word
come true for myself. God knew from long ago that this deception would
infiltrate the Church and has been sending warnings to His people.

David Jaggernauth


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Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 15:07:57
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Dear Jim,

I will do better than that, I will send you a copy of his autobiography which
was released last week. I will also send you his email address.

The 600 Billion pounds I thought it was an incredible figure too but it is the
value of total assets not cash or income (it was what was quoted in the local
newspapers, it could actually be million instead of billion) . The gentleman
who left it to him was one of the richest men in the world apparently. I have a
newspaper clipping with his name , I'll try to find it and send it to you.

Anyway, one of the things that happened was, a pastor he entrusted to be his
advisor went to the lawyers in the UK behind his back and tried to get the
entire estate signed over to his name saying that the man was mentally
incompetent to administer the estate. The plot was revealed and the pastor
exposed. Since then, that pastor who has a very large Church (that owns a lot
of property) has had most of his congregation leave his Church.

The name of the pastor is VISHNU LUTCHMANSINGH and his email address is:
pastorkitty(--AT--)hotmail.com

David Jagg.


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Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 15:28:42
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: [NTCP]
NTCP:RE Spiritual fathers

Dear friends,

I just received an email from another list I belong to. I thought I'd share it
with you, it has to do with fathering.

David Jaggernauth. Date received: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 13:48:52 -0500

Spiritual Fathers by Jim Rinker

1Cor:4:15: For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye
not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Part of my job is to go to another site once a week and make myself available
to help the chemistry department with any IT and computational related issues
they may have. One of the most important parts of my job is availability.
Usually I don't know half of the issues before I arrive. I show up and then
people usually stop me to get some help.

I was walking by this person's desk, a young new Ph.D. chemist just out of
graduate school. She was searching through our chemical supplier's database and
was having trouble finding the proper information to contact a certain chemical
supplier to buy a chemical she needed. I told her the information was probably
not in the database, that is why she could not find it.

I looked at the supplier and it was obviously not an American company. I
investigated further and found the list of all suppliers for that particular
reagent and found more than one that we deal with regularly. I asked her why
she didn't simply order from this one particular supplier that is reliable and
delivers overnight. She replied "their $30 more expensive than this other
supplier". My short answer to her was "that is irrelevant, just order it from
the supplier we usually use". She questioned me for the evidence was there that
surely management would be interested in saving some money. I repeated what I
just told her then explained to her that her boss was not interested in the
price but rather the timeliness. I was then off to help someone else.

How did I know her boss was not interested in this one thing she was intent on
doing to please her boss? Because we both have the same boss and I have built a
relationship with Him over the past 5 years and know what is relevant to him
and what is not. I was trying to help her, even though the "evidence" was there
to suggest the contrary. Besides this, we have a discount with our regular
supplier that makes the price difference smaller or non existent, a point she
was totally unaware of.

This is a good example of how spiritual fathers operate. There are seven points
from this analogy I wish to bring out:

1. First they make themselves available. I have to drive 115 miles one way to
make myself available for consultation. I am not crazy about the drive but it's
the job description. If your not available you cannot help anyone.

2. Second, they have a well defined relationship with the Father and understand
what the goals are. Furthermore, they understand what will help accomplish
those goals and what is simply irrelevant. Advice that will save another person
both time and heartache stems from clearly understanding the goals and what is
relevant in meeting them.

3. Third, they are not the other person's boss or "leader". I am not the boss
of the chemist's when I go to consult. I am there to help the chemist's please
their boss, who is also my boss, and achieve the goals outlined by their boss.
I don't tell them what to do, I give them the skills to do what will meet the
goals and objectives set before them by their boss.

4. Fourth, they are recognized as spiritual fathers because the Father tells
others to listen to their advice. The chemistry department is informed by their
boss that I will be on site for consultation and/or training. They are also
informed to listen to what I have to say so they have the skills they need to
meet the goals and objectives set before them.

5. Fifth, many in the body need to humble themselves to listen to fatherly
advice. I am not a Ph.D. chemist but over the fifteen years that I have worked
as a chemist I have gained through experience that which many have not yet
gained through education. Many who have a degree will not listen to those
without the proper "credentials". Likewise, in the body there are those who
have the proper "credentials" and have gone through all the "schools" but
question the advice of those who are sent to them who have gained through
experience the proper know how. Many with a degree resent having to listen to
someone who does not. This must change for the Father hs sent them to advise
the body on things that we don't know because of a lack of experience, just
like that young Ph.D..She was smart, but inexperienced and her zeal to please
her boss without experience would have caused her to do what was not pleasing
and irrelevant to him.

6. Sixth, they do not overstep their metron or sphere of authority. I am there
to consult them in computational matters, not in other matter's pertaining to
their job. Because my time is valuable and I have other tasks to do to please
my boss I must focus in on doing only those things I have been asked to do. I
am a chemist who worked in the lab for 15 years and thus am qualified to help
them with matter's pertaining to their chemistry. If I start doing that which I
am not called to do I will begin to neglect that which I am called to do, even
though I am qualified.

7. Seventh, they have their own spiritual fathers. I have a friend at work that
helps me do my job better. When I need advice on matters I am not yet expert in
I go to him. He is not my boss but we likewise have the same boss. He helps me
gain the necessary skills needed that we may both meet the goals and objectives
set before us by our mutual boss.

May we see a release of true spiritual fathers into the body to help us know
what is pleasing to the Father that we may then be trained to do that which is
right in His eyes.

In His Love

Jim Rinker Reading, Pa.


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Date: 21 Jan 2002 10:43:51 -0500
From: Mike Sangrey
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

On Mon, 2002-01-21 at 10:07, David Jaggernauth wrote:

>The 600Billion pounds I thought it was an incredible figure too but it is the
>value of total assets not cash or income (it was what was quoted in the local
>newspapers, it could actually be million instead of billion) .

One of these days I'll get around to participating more in the discussion on
this list, however, for right now...

British 'billion' is the same as American 'million'.

- -- Mike Sangrey
Landisburg, Pa.

"The first one last wins." "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the
truth."


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Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 15:49:09
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Thanks for clearing this up, I thought this much too.

David Jagg.


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Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 11:32:39 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Encouragement!

Dear Dan,

I know it wasn't for me, but I appreciated your word of encouragement to David.
It reminded me of the following:

THE RIVER OF EDEN

When man was kicked out of the garden of Eden, he was cast into the economics
of scarcity. Economic goods were born. With them came the need for money. Man
had been kicked out toward the east, in the direction of Havilah where the
"good gold" was already located. God had provided even before man knew he had a
need.

We need to understand the Scriptures "Christocentrically". For this purpose,
the original language is not only more accurate than the translation, but it is
much more colorful. Below are three renderings of the passage, the first from
the New International Version of the Scripture, the second, a very literal
rendering from the Hebrew as found in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and
Dictionary of the BIble. And finally, what we would call a "Christocentric"
paraphrase generated in the light of the New Testament revelation.

GEN 2:10-12:

Bible - N.I.V: Strong's - Hebrew:
Christocentric paraphrase: A river A
shimmering, A Glory watering saturating
surrounding the garden
the bower Jerusalem flowed
broke forth Broke
forth from Eden; out of pleasing;
from Christ. from there it was from there
it was >From His separated into
broken into (out of joint) brokeness came four headwaters.
four headwaters. a life
giving Spirit. The name of the first is the The name of the oneness Whose
name is Pishon; is dispersion
Blessed; it winds through the entire it surrounds
the entire permeating the Gentiles, land of Havilah,
land of travail, all who travail in lowliness,
where there is gold. where there is shimmering bringing the
things of Christ. The gold of The shimmering of
This, the gold of Christ that land
that solid ground in a believer's heart is
good; is good;
is good; aromatic resin there is a
difference it makes all the difference, and onyx
and blanchness purity and
tenderness of heart, are also there. is also there.
even a new heart is the result.

Clearly the garden is lower than Eden, and Havilah, lower than the garden,
otherwise the river would not flow as it does, In like manner, The Holy Spirit
brings the things that are Christ's, first for the Jew and then for the
Gentile.

The Jews and the garden had something in common, they both had the law. It is
the Christ, however that infiltrates both the Jew and the Gentile that is the
only good, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified or called
good. Christ's life, even Christ's life in the believers, is the only life that
is pleasant to God. His life is Eden, the pleasant or pleasing place.

We might also point out that the Scriptures tell us that "... God sent his son,
born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law, that we might
receive the full rights of sons.", GAL 4:4,5. Jesus came to the Jews still
intact, but it is written of Him, "... and all my bones are out of joint:",
Psalms 22:14. Clearly this speaks of the cross. The original word in that
passage, "parad" translated "out of joint" is the same word in the original of
Genesis 2:10, translated "divided" or "parted". By that means the "one seed",
became the many by which Jesus would respond to the question of the Greeks or
Gentiles, "Sir, we would see Jesus...", John 12:21. It was the parting of the
cross, and the subsequent persecution of the Jerusalem Church, that made Him
available to the Gentiles, Havilah.

In this connection, it may be noted that the church, as the "Bride of Christ",
is "bone of His bone". Viewed from that perspective, then, the scattering of
the saints, was like a scattering of the bone, or bones out of joint. In
Jerusalem at the first, the believers were all one. From the persecution on,
however, there was a constant struggle with division, the "judaizers" being
responsible for only one variety.

Could it be that by our own day there is nothing left of the former vitality
but a valley of dry bones, and if so, "... can these bones live?" See Ezekiel
37:4-10 for the answer and the chronology.

The Greek word for gold is "chrusos", and Strong's suggests that it derives its
meaning from the root word "chraomai", furnish what is needed. The Greek word
for Christ is Christos, and Strong's suggests that word also derives its
meaning from "chraomai".

Jesus said as recorded in John 14:13-15, The Holy Spirit will take the things
that are mine and make them known unto you. We are the Havilah, The Holy Spirit
is the River, and Christ is the Gold. Gold deposited by the flow of water is
called "alluvial gold". This is our inheritance in Christ.

Havilah's travail is birth pains, the pains of the new birth, the birth pains
of Grace. These are the pains by which we come to "partake of the divine
nature" (II Peter 1:4) in Christ. If Havilah is in travail, it is only until
Christ is formed in her, like the desolate woman of Isaiah 54:1, who Paul tells
us in Galatians 4:19-31 is our mother, the "desolate woman", the mother of
those who are free, truly free.

In us dwelleth no good thing, it is all Grace, the true gold of God, or it is
no grace at all. Water is a major factor in the distribution and recovery of
Gold. If we look at gold in its function, common to Christ, "furnish what is
needed", then it is the Holy spirit which distributes "what is needed".

On the recovery side, water is used to wash away the base materials in sluice
boxes, rockers, and pans. The gold is then left and found in the low places. In
Ephesians Paul speaks of "the washing of water by the word". Jesus had said
"... and you are clean by the words I have spoken to you." The river may wash
over, even penetrate or saturate the entire land, but it leaves its gold only
in the low places. It is in the low places, and at the low points of our lives
that the greatest deposits of Christ are found. "Blessed are the poor in
spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom...Blessed are those who hunger and thirst...
for they will be filled... but many who are first will be last, and the last
first...I am among you as one who serves..."

It is worth noting, that the same water which deposits the gold is also used
for the sluicing, panning, recovery, and washing, of the gold. "Jesus answered,
'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' Simon Peter replied, 'Then Lord,
not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!' Jesus answered, ' A person
who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean,
...",John 13:8-10. "...just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for
her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
and present her to himself as a radient church, without stain or wrinkle or any
other blemish, but holy and blameless.",Ephesians 5:25-27.

On the refining side, it is also worth noting that it is fire which removes the
impurities, and makes the nuggets and dust alike flow together into one ingot.
God's judgement is visited on both impurity and division, Malachi 3:2, I
Corinthians 3:12-15, 11:17-34, Hebrew 10: 26-31, I Peter 1:7, 4:12, and in
just this order, first with water, and next with fire.

Revelation 21:21 tells us that, "The street of the city was of pure gold, like
transparent glass." Literal physical, old creation gold speaks to us or is a
revelation of, an otherwise invisible, truth about God. "The spiritual did not
come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual." ,I Corinthians
15:46. The spiritual gold of the of the new creation city of God, The New
Jerusalem, is clear as glass. Such clarity in gold must therefore be born of a
refining process previously unknown. But one thing is certain, the street
speaks to us of a place or way of human interaction, of human and devine
relationship, pure and intimate beyond anything we have ever known.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 12:30:40 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] An Historic Gathering in Southern Ontario

Greetings Beloved Brothers and Sisters!

What a weekend!

Last Friday evening, which is our regular gathering and entry point for people
wanting to check out house church, we had guests from another house church down
in Mississauga, On.. They have been together for about 6 months now, and I got
connected via email with Jason and some of the other brothers there for the
last few months. Jason decided to come down with 6 people and just join with
us. It was an incredible thing. You see Jason and the others, they are not
charismatic at all, and we, well we have strains of Pentecostalism,
Vineyardism, and the whole pheonomena of the Toronto Blessing, as part of our
"house church DNA"! Wow! The grace and the move of the Spirit was incredible!
A lot of interaction and body life, and lot of praying for one another and
sharing! Again we had 40 adults and some of the kids out! Again the Lord
ministered until after 1 am when we all were tired and had to go home!

AN HISTORIC GATHERING

On Saturday, we went down to the Mississauga house church, and there we found
ourselves with 26 others from 8 different house church's. We immediately sat
down to a wonderful meal at the table and began to mingle and share and
interact. You could feel the buzz and the presence of the Lord as people let
their hair down. The fellowship in the Lord was sweet. The common threads
were unbelieable. Over half of the people came from Baptist backgrounds, there
were a couple of former atheists, and a former Netherlands Reformed (Black
Sox), some Free Methodists, and then us three Charismatics! Here is what we
discovered:

1. We in the house church are not crazy! There are others in this just like us
for the exact same reasons...desiring the Lord intimately and desiring intimacy
in our church life and expression.

2. We have been on this journey for two years or less in our gatherings.

3. We have been on our personal pilgrimages to this reality for about 10 to 20
years on average, and for others just a couple of years.

3. Our visions all incompass the city/regional church/body of Christ, and
establishing relationship with the wider body of Christ in our geographical
areas.

4. Our visions all incompass going to the nations in short term missions and
outreaches.

5. Our visions all include reaching Canada from East to the West and from the
North to the South.

6. All our visions encompass deep intimacy with Christ, and the flow of
ministry with Him as the head, and in the multiplication of house churches
through the multiplication of the the saints in our house church's replicating
their own experience in house church in their own homes.

7. All our visions encompass reaching out to other house church's and building
relationships that will deepen our love for the Lord and the Body, and also
bring about joint projects for outreaches and conferences.

RESULTS:

1. We will be praying for one another and the days in which each gathering
meets.

2. Establish an email list and phone list for prayer needs and communication.

3. Work together for regional house church conferences and outreaches. 3.1. We
will be setting up info table and conducting a house church seminar at the
TorontonMissionfest 2002 in March 3.2. We will be networking together to get
the word out and participation up for the coming house church conference
sponsored by Guelph Vineyard on the 12-13 April, featuring Tony and Felicity
Dale from House2House.

4. We will pray daily for one another and the extension of the Kingdom of God
in Canada and in the world.

I believe that we need to do these things at a relational level, and see the
Kingdom go forth in the earth.

I have been richly blessed!

Blessings,

Sam Buick
www.dwellingplacehop.org


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:35:47 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Jim Rutz wrote:

>The spirit of religion is more common among laymen. When you meet someone
>whose heart is eager for the things of God and yet he has an almost violent
>reaction toward rearranging his traditional church service in any way, you've
>probably got a mind that has been seriously invaded by the spirit of
>religiosity or religion.

I don't doubt that many works of the flesh are coaxed from us by malevolent
spirits. But not necessarily through direct "inva[sion]". Not only that, but
the above scenario is explained easily enough by the demonstrable fact that
most people simply prefer things to stay as they are. And
Evangelical/Charismatic Christians tend to be more conservative on almost all
points of life than most folks, attaching sacred significance to things most
mundane. This has been my observation.

>Let me take a few more paragraphs to give you my (non-inspired) version of how
>these demons came to roost in the church in history. Remember, this is just
>my opinion. But it seems to make sense to most house church folk I tell it
>to.....

Big on imagination, small on facts, Jim. A problem. Your scenario does not
address my supported position that "*free-form* house meetings" were not the
norm nor the ideal in New Testament times. One could get the impression from,
say, 1 Cor. 12-14 that in that age there was no pre-planned structure to
congregational meetings; that the H.S. would not have freedom to work in a
liturgical environment. But it would be the wrong impression. Scripture,
carefully studied, presents a different story.

Your "opinion" (see above) of course makes sense to a lot of house church folk
because they may be predisposed to accept it, earnestly desiring to be New
Testament in relationships, Spirit, form and expression, but not really having
a handle on the early church's practice and environment. My impression is that
they tend to operate more on romance with an idea(s) than on solid scriptural
and historical evidence.

>So an elder stands up and says, "Excuse me! This is not the time to bring up
>such matters. Please save that sort of thing for afterward thankew." And so
>the spirit of control drops into the midst of the fellowship like an African
>bull elephant and takes over.

It could be that-- it could be that they don't want any questions. That they're
closed to any honest inquiry. Or it could be that they have in mind a verse
such as, "But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way" (1 Cor.
14:40). And act accordingly. Culture often defines how and when people are
allowed to ask questions. How violators of social norms are policed should be
addressed in terms of appropriateness. But a desire to obey the Bible and,
within the covenant community, enforce its commandments is almost certainly not
demonic.

>the leaders learned to fear ... also the occasional visiting skeptic or
>critical Christian, people who would create dissension by questioning or
>arguing about the plainly artificial foundation of that ekklesia.

Skeptics and critical Christians like me? Right now? And an artificial
EKKLESIA like the one in the yarn you have been spinning? Jim, my basic
contention is that your foundational model does not fit the scriptural or
historical facts. We on this list keep going around the mulberry bush on such
things as whether or not "religion" is a dirty word in the Bible, whether
liturgy is wrong, whether all churches in the NT were house churches, whether
monoepiscopacy is unscriptural, etc. I try to present a researched and
substantial case which, in many cases doesn't fit with some people's paradigm,
and the evidence is simply ignored and people go on discussing the same issues
as if their position(s) are a given.

Ignoring the bogey man will not make him go away. The testimonies I've read of
abuse at the hands of some in the "institutional church " are more real than I
would like to admit; there is a great deal of evil that goes on in the guise of
our faith. But we must accept what the Bible itself presents to us as NT
Christianity and not simply react to injustices we have witnessed or
experienced. Within that biblical presentation we find "religion" as a good
thing, liturgy and the moving of the H.S. going hand-in-hand, early Christians,
and even Apostles, meeting in religious buildings, and mention of "*THE*
overseer" (Gk. TON EPISKOPON-- assuming a singlular church leader) not once but
twice in the writings of Paul (1 Tim 3:2; Tit. 1:7).

We can't just keep on discussing things as if that evidence did not exist. If
a person can shoot it down, well then, have at it. The floor is open. I for
one want the truth more than my views on display at the top of the heap. But
for you (Jim) to present a picture where these biblical practices are
symptomatic of demonic infestation is simply not fair. And furthermore, it is
not wise.

Michael
Jerusalem


------- <><><> -------



Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 04:20:14 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

Deborah wrote:

>We can't just keep on discussing things as if that evidence did not exist. If
>a person can shoot it down, well then, have at it. The floor is open. I for
>one want the truth more than my views on display at the top of the heap. But
>for you (Jim) to present a picture where these biblical practices are
>symptomatic of demonic infestation is simply not fair. And furthermore, it is
>not wise.

Dear Michael,

YOU CAN'T MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOU'S EAR

There is a clear priority in the gospel: "I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."1.

"There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first
for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who
does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show
favoritism."2.

Whatever other reasons there may be for this priority, there is a certain
economy in taking the gospel first to those who are already looking for God,
even their Messiah. If we are to be good "fishers of men" it makes good sense
to cast our nets where the fish are biting.

But, fishing is one thing, worship is quite another: "Our fathers worshiped on
this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in
Jerusalem." Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will
worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans
worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from
the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will
worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the
Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in
truth."3.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible tells us that the meaning of the
word "Jew" is "worshipper". In the above passage from John's gospel, the real
issue is true worship. By tradition, the Jews were used to relating to or
worshipping God according to times and places. While the focal place of their
worship was Jerusalem, their were more local places called Synagogues:

"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he
went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read."4.

"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in
synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing
in secret."5.

This is to say that it was Jewish custom, even the custom of Jesus in the
flesh, to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath. This is much the same as with
most Christians in our own day who "go to church on Sunday".

But in either case there is a problem. The problem is central to the discussion
of Jesus with the woman at the well. A change was to take place, and in fact
had already taken place, whereby worship would no longer be limited to
particular places and

1. ROM 1:16, 2. ROM 2:9-11, 3. JOH 4:20-24, 4. LUK 4:16, 5. JOH 18:20 - -2-

times, but would move from earth bound geography and program to "spirit and
truth".

Once again, according to Strong's, synagogue has more the sense of appointment
than building or place. That said then, and in the context of The New
Testament, the sense of Jesus response is that men were no longer to relate to
God or worship God by appointment, but rather by a new quality of life. The
Jews were into appointments, Jesus was into life.

"I know your afflictions and your poverty--yet you are rich! I know the slander
of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan."1.

"I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews
though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your
feet and acknowledge that I have loved you."2.

Here in Revelation then, we understand that there are those who claim to be
worshippers of God, but they are really only an appointment with the devil.
This is certainly a most serious indictment.

Going to those who relate to God by appointment rather than the life of Christ
can be a risky business:

"His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the
Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would
be put out of the synagogue."3.

"Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.But because
of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put
out of the synagogue;"4.

"They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone
who kills you will think he is offering a service to God."5.

"Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as
it was called)--Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of
Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen,"6.

"'Lord,' I replied, 'these men know that I went from one synagogue to another
to imprison and beat those who believe in you."7.

"Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I
tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to
foreign cities to persecute them."8.

"Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of
the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever."9.

Jesus, sending the twelve "to the lost sheep of Israel"10., had said, "I am
sending you

1. REV 2:9, 2. REV 3:9, 3. JOH 9:22 , 4. JOH 12:42, 5. JOH 16:2, 6. ACT 6:9, 7.
ACT 22:19, 8. ACT 26:11, 9. ACT 18:17, 10. MAT 10:6 - -3-

out like sheep among wolves... be on your guard against men; they will hand you
over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues."(Mat 10:16,17)
What great worship!

The ones that we are to go to first, are those who are attempting to relate to
God by appointment. So it was from the beginning:

"From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the
synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the
synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of
encouragement for the people, please speak."1.

"At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There
they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed."2.

"When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to
Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went
into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the
Scriptures,"3.

"As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On
arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue."4.

"So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as
well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there."5.

"Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and
Greeks."6.

"Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus,
a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household
believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and
were baptized. "7.

"They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went
into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews."8.

"He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard
him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more
adequately. "9.

"Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing
persuasively about the kingdom of God."10.

They did not go to synagogue as a place of worship, but as fishers of men.
Those who relate to God by appointment, need to be evangelized. And so it is
today. They did not go to buildings in order to worship God. They went there in
order to tell those who were looking for God, that "God does not live in
temples built by human hands..."11.

They did not try to turn synagogues into churches in the sense of places to
meet with God, Never the less, Christians of our own day are relating to God by
appointment, and in buildings built for that purpose. Just as in Paul's day, so
today, the need is not to convert the buildings into "New Testament churches",
the need is to preach the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

1. ACT 13:14,15, 2. ACT 14:1, 3. ACT 17:1,2, 4. ACT 17:10, 5. ACT 17:17, 6. ACT
18:4, 7. ACT 18:7,8, 8. ACT 18:19, 9. ACT 18:26, 10. ACT 19:8, 11. Act 7:48,49,
17:24,25

To be continued:


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