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The Church - Becoming The Devil's Playground.

Updated on August 29, 2018

Christianity's Billboard

Caution: Christian On Board??
Caution: Christian On Board?? | Source

A Personal Rant!

I personally dislike Christian license plate brackets and bumper stickers; not because they state anything unwholesome, but because all too often the person(s) on the inside of said vehicle act and drive so very un-Christ-like! When this occurs, it becomes one more reason for the lost to hate our Lord because of OUR actions. Granted, you may come up with some real instances of your traveling billboard being a door opener to someone who questions your belief, as I did myself years ago; BUT I began to ask myself; how many have I turned off to the Gospel due to those moments when I was driving according to the flesh? I got rid of my billboards and concentrated on living out my Christianity while at work, at play and when commuting to work.

Case in point:

I am a consultant and my current client is in the Seattle area, about 100 miles from my home. I spend a great deal of time in my car and I am very observant of other's driving habits. Last week, in the early morning rainy commute as I neared Seattle, traffic was moving or should I say oozing forward. An articulated-bus (very long) signaled to move out of the HOV lane and when it began to change lanes, the car besides me decided to race forward in an attempt to cut off the bus and not allow it to enter their lane ahead of them. It was then I saw the word "PRAYER" as the license plate "number" and the bracket said "God Loves You". I wonder how many people they have tried to impress with their personal righteousness and yet have brought distain upon God's people and His Word? If you have these traveling billboards upon your car or truck but have a problem driving Christ-like, I would suggest you remove them and work on other areas of your life.


Oh, So True!

Remember, Once You Were Among the Deceived
Remember, Once You Were Among the Deceived | Source

All Have Gone Astray - Being Deceived!

What an amazingly accurate quote: the world is eager to accept that which is not true (i.e.- evolution) and desperately wants the Truth to stay out of their lives. The world is perishing and yet they choose to remain upon the sinking ship though the lifeboats are standing by for their rescue. Why?

  • They ignore their need of a Savior though creation's testimony along with their own consciences tell them there is a day of reckoning coming.
  • They ignore the wooing of the Gospel, for to them it means having to give up life's greatest pleasures or so they think.
  • Their father, the Devil, puts no restrictions on their behavior and tells night-time fairy tales (lies) so they can actually get some sleep knowing that all will be well.
  • They love their personal sins and what would life be without them.
  • A man's flesh is bad enough even without Satan's interference.

Sadly, there is a day coming and may already have begun, when a massive deception shall come upon all who have no love of the Truth so they may be damned. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Our Local Whitewashed Sepulchers!

Filled With Dead Men's Bones
Filled With Dead Men's Bones | Source

Deception - The Real Tragedy!

The tragedy is the deception that is within the four walls of our local "churches" and within believer's lives. It raises it's ugly head in so many forms that it is difficult for any one believer to be fully aware of every deception and to be pure from all.

1 John 3:7 "...let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous."

The Word teaches us that FEW are saved and that not all who call Him Lord are saved. Yet we are eager to receive one into our fold by their word alone without first observing their walk. A true believer is a NEW creation, sin has become a hated enemy and you find yourself at war with your own flesh. A righteous act does not make one righteous but a lifestyle that pursues righteousness along with the personal failures that will accompany this pursuit testifies to ones standing in Christ. If anyone professes perfection this side of heaven, BEWARE, they are at best deceived but more likely a deceiving liar. As Hebrews 12 states, one who is never felt the rod of God's correction may very well be considered illegitimate.

1 Corinthians 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."

As the NASB puts it - "...bad company corrupts good morals." Notice it does not say good habits outweigh bad company's influences. I have yet to see one wearing clean clothes walk through a mud puddle and the puddle become cleaner. We are called to be different and to be about practicing pure religion (James 1:27). I can say it no better than 1 Corinthians 3:18 - "Let no man deceive HIMSELF. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise." We live in a world of family, neighbors and co-workers who know not our Lord but let us be wise as to show ourselves as wayfarers seeking a new home and looking to point the Way to others.

James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."

Do not be deceived, God has called you to serve; not to be served. Per Ephesians 2:10 we have been ordained to good works and we find so many that only give lip service. Too many try to glory in what they have done for Christ but so little in what He has done for them. We live within an economical "church" - we shy away if the cost is too high; whether it is our precious time, our goods or our presence they must be weighed against our personal priorities.

Galatians 6:7 " Do not be deceived: God is NOT mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

If the Word is not the center of your life, you already deceived - but not beyond remedy. We will give an answer for every act, thought, word and act of cowardice before the enemy. Many of us are feeling the heavy hand of our Lord upon our lives this very hour, but be of good cheer - our God, being the perfect Father will bring us through this trial for our eternal good and His eternal glory.

The Deceiver Loves a Good Laugh

I Wonder How Many Prayed For Their Powerball Ticket to Win?
I Wonder How Many Prayed For Their Powerball Ticket to Win? | Source

Do YOU Hear the Devil Laughing Now?

For Believers Only:

  • We blatantly invite unbelievers into our private worship assemblies thinking that the pastor will get them saved, when all along it was your call to present them with the Gospel, not to pollute our fellowships. The messages of our churches turns towards the lost and forsake the feeding and strengthening of the sheep of God's pasture.
  • We live a completely opposite lifestyle at home in front of lost family members and neighbors. Your co-workers have no clue that you are a Christian and your driving manners are abominable.
  • A local assembly discards the senior citizenry of their fellowship and all emphasis turns to the "education" of the youth. A perfect lie that is a major reason for the decline of the evangelistic community of churches. In fact, wisdom has been discarded and replaced with pragmatism. What is funny even to me is that pragmatism is based upon - "if it works, it must be right" and the evidence displays quite the opposite, it is NOT working at all.

I have a litany of deceptions I could continue to expound upon but my guess is that you could come up with enough of your own. It can be very discouraging except for one thing: God is in control and a shaking of His CHURCH has already begun here in America and elsewhere. Be of good cheer, we will be presented without spot or wrinkle before the Father with great joy.

Seek to give the Devil fewer opportunities for a laugh at our expense.

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    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      Do you realize how easy it is to imitate the sound of a sheep? Our "churches" are so full of baa-baaaaad apples it is no wonder the cider tastes so baaaaad. Great point and little humor concerning a very real and sad truth.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 years ago from Jamaica

      Not all who bleat are sheeps

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      You are right on target. I think actually Glych1 might really agree with you, but he was so absorbed in his "debate" that I think emotions ruled and caution was thrown to the wind. Also, we must remember that we have no idea where people have come from (i.e. -teaching, mentoring and being challenged ) and what makes up their life today. I classify myself as the proverbial mule, who required the occasional 2x4 across the bridge of my nose to get my attention. Your writing was very clear and concise; I appreciate that. May God bless.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      The70thweek- One of the most important subject the Jesus taught to Hi disciples is the sibjuct of the Kingdom Of God. And it was commanded by Christ to Hi s disciple to go out a spread this gospel of the Kingdom. My reason for bring this up now is to correct a comment made by glynch1 who made the following statement in one of his comments above.

      He stated; "Actually, the responsibilitay of the church is NOT to "share the gospel of the Kingdom of God", the gospel of the Kingdom was preach in the first centry to the Jewsish people with the hope that they might repent and believe on the Mesiah." This comment by glynch1 is strongly misleading and has falsehood.

      All disciples of Christ then and since are commanded to sread the gospel of the Kingdm of God. I now direct your attention to Matthew 28: 19-20 (NKJV) which states: 19 Go therefore and make DISCIPLE of ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 "teaching THEM to OBSERVE ALL THINGS THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the ago."

      So, now we must ask, what did Jesus COMMAND to TEACH to more DISCIPLES? I now refer to Matthew10: 5-7 (NKJV) which states: 5 The twelve Jesus SENT OUT and COMMANDED THEM, saying Do not go into the way of the gentiles, and do not enter the city of Samaritian, 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, "The KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND."

      At this point in time when Jesus spoke these word the Gospel did go to the Jews first. However, later Jesus was speaking to the Jesus Chief priest and the elders of the temple when He said in Matthew 21:4243 (NKJV) which states: 42 Jesus said to them, " Have you never read in Sdripturs: The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief conerstone. This was the Lord's doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes? 43 "Therefore I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.."

      In the following verse Paul is discribing what Philip had done in the city of Samaria which is noted in Act 8: 12 (NKJV) which states: 12 But when they believed Philip as he preach the things of the "Kingdom of God" and on the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were BAPTIZED.

      Then we have at least 11 parables mentioned by Jesus Christ that state: The Kingdom of Heaven is Like" which seven of these parable are found in Matthew chapter 13. In Mathew Chapter 25 mention two more Kingdom parables.Clearly glynch1 has no understanding of any of these parables or he would never have made his comment.

      If you research the Kingdom of God throughout the four Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John you will notice the Kingdom of God (heaven) is mentiond approximately 114 times. The Kingdom is mention far more than any other subject within the four gospels. Why, because it is one of the most important subject for disciples to learn about.

      Then we have Jesus statement in Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) which states: 33 BUT SEEK FIRST the KINGDOM OF GOD and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.

      ALL DISCIPLE should SEEK FIRST the KINGDOM of God. ALL.

      Finally I want to state, that without the knowledge and understanding of the Kingdom of God, then eternal life, salvation, redeemption and resurrection would seem to have no purpose.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      Well said. That is why I feel compelled to both write and teach for there are many within those "congregations" who are hungry for the meat of the Word, tho' few in number, the fellowship is real and the encouragement feeds the hungry soul. Life is hard enough for the true believer and only made worse when either alone or sitting among cold or should I say lukewarm "neighbors".

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 

      2 years ago

      ((("You should not forsake joining and participating in a local church whose pastor(s) still teach the truth. Christians in the first century (and beyond) belonged to local assemblies; by trying to go it alone, you are disobeying the New Testament.")))

      How many times have I heard this above statement from a denominational "church" member, or one of their hirelings assuming people are "lone-rangers" because they do not follow after their traditions.

      Here is Hebrews 10:24-25 in context.

      "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together (episunagōgē), as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

      What I find interesting is that episunagōgē means the above synagogue, the higher meeting, the highest assembly, and the higher-than-all-gatherings!

      Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered (episunagōgē ) together to him - 1 Thessalonians 2:1

      Both Scripture verses has absolutely nothing to with people attending man-named buildings under a denominational template worshipping God in the traditions of man led by those on a pay-roll.

      Episunagōgē can only be referenced in these two places in all of Scripture.

      The purpose of followers of Jesus Christ is to encourage one another in anticipation of the great gathering (the great Day) when Jesus Christ returns, not assembling into (501c3) man-made buildings and sitting passively in pews.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      They have also compounded the problems by assuming that they are to do "all" the work and the non-professionals are just supposed to be compliant sheep and learn to walk lockstep with the leadership. Ephesians makes it quite clear they are to be an equal tool with the rest of the believers working at equipping the saints to do the work Christ has ordained us to be about. The "church" hence has become a group that sadly really does not need one another. My daughter has traveled the world extensively as a missionary and others I have known and do know, say much the same thing: you cannot comprehend the depth of the fellowship in many countries due to persecution, for the saints love and need each other deeply. It may yet to come this in America and it will be incredibly painful for many. Both you and Glynch1 have a zeal, whether you two agree or not, that is lacking in the US assemblies. It will be the "zealots" for Christ that will stand out when and if that day comes. Remember, the Devil loves lukewarmness - keep the fires burning. May God bless!

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      The70thweek- Allow me to quote a verses in John 4:23-24 (NKJV) which states:23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshiper will worship the Father in Spirit and intruth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24God is Spirit, and those worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth."

      You will notice when Jesus spoke these words in these two verses there is no mention of "church". So what makes anyone think that worship "must" be within a church (building).

      It is the spirit part within each "believer" that collectively make up the ecclesia (the body of Christ) with Christ (who is Spirit) the Chief Conerstone. In spirit and truth we worship our Father in heaven. Notice, with Christ being the head of the ecclesia. And worship MUST "ALSO" BE IN TRUTH. And this is where "churches" miss the mark.

      What is "their" truth? What is their understanding of TRUTH. How can anyone find "truth in the hundreds, if not thousands, of false doctrines, in hundreds if not thousands of denominations. Each one pointing at the false doctrine of the other. And each church denomination have clergies who had theological "training". And yet they can not all agree. Hummmmm. Don't you find that amazing. But the worst part is how those with theological training (clergy) will teach others within "their church" thousands of different versions of "TRUTH" when they themselves have no idea what truth is.

      This the the MESS that ALL of those who have a degrees in theology have created.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      I just saw your last comment, I have nothing further to say to you either.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      Glynch1- For the record 12,000 hours of study is by far an underestimate, if I where to provide you with the actual amount of time, that would be boasting.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      I said I will go no further with this conversation, and I meant what I said.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      The game is afoot - remember we do NOT fight against flesh and blood and our enemy loves to take our eyes off of him.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      glynch1- And your profile on Hub pages is not boasting? Hummmm Your carnal mindedness is working overtime. Whatever righteousness I do have is a result of what Christ has done for me on the cross.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      The 70th week,

      Again, my "opponent" has not given me enough evidence to believe that she truly knows the Lord. So, I do not consider this exercise to have been a debate with a fellow believer. My concern is not winning a debate contest; my concern is setting forth the truth of the gospel. I have done what I can to help my adversary understand her/his error. I go no further.

      The word "apostle" literally means "sent-one" in the original language. This meaning is common knowledge, so I did not need to do research. (Again, I do not appreciate your cutting remarks.) So, this definition is part of Strong's findings, as you have pointed out. The idea of this sent-one being a messenger is actually an interpretation. I stand by my statement that the more accurate term for messenger is angel.

      You have actually counted that you have spent "well over 12,000 hours of study in the Bible guided by the Holy Spirit." My! what a fantastic boast about your own righteousness! Your last comment speaks for itself.

      I truly hope that you can find a good church and sit under a godly pastor's teaching of the word, so that the Spirit of God might open your eyes and that you might come to know the truth and repent of your sin.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      How ironic: I think I heard the Devil give a small chuckle.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      One thing we ALL need to remember, is that every one of us is at a different station in life and in our personal growth in Christ. I learned this the hard way by "out" debating fellow believers, thinking I had won the contest but yet I had only alienated myself. We have to give each other room to grow and digest what has been put on the table of discussion. A good debate is healthy but I remember from where I came: a lost soul, unwise, weak and a nothing of this world - a perfect match for the Kingdom of God. I need to continue growing just as much as any other saint. If I ever think that I have finally achieved anything remotely close to perfection, I would be a person most deceived. May God bless all who desire the Truth.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      Glynch1- If you look up the word APOSTLE in the Strong's Concordance in the Greek Dictionary number 652 you will notice it's meaning as follows: "messanger, he who is sent"... So clearly you haven't done your research. As for the rest of your comment towards me with regards to your doubts that I am " well read" , I don't need the degree in theology to understand God's word . However, I have well over 12,000 hours of study in the bible guided by the Holy Spirit. And I didn't have to pay for it. Unlike some who paid for their degree in"theology". I'm sure the Holy Spirit did not guide you into paying for your degree in "theology."

      Have a good day.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      Still, immersion pictures what happens in Spirit baptism. Just as being placed into the water symbolizes our identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, so does Spirit baptism spiritually place us into the body of Christ, the Church.

      The term ecclesia means "called out ones"; the universal Church is composed of those whom God has called out of the world to worship Christ. Local churches should be (but are almost never) composed of all regenerate believers.

      To be Spirit baptized (placed into the body of Christ(, a person need only repent and believe on Christ; immersion only pictures one's faith in Christ's work on one's behalf. Forgiveness of sins occurs because of one's faith in Christ alone. Laying on of hands is not necessary for salvation; this action neither infuses nor imparts the Holy Spirit into a new believer's life. It is only symbolic.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      Flpalermo- Bingo !!!When we are baptized by the Holy Spirit THEN we are of the ecclesia, not when we are baptized by water. Baptism by water and baptism by the Holy Spirit are TWO SEPERATE things that CAN happen seperately or at the same time. Paul is explaining in these verses you mentioned that it's in spirit we become part of the ecclesia. Remember Christ's body is SPIRIT. This is what 1Corinthians 12:13 is talking about.

      It was clear to me that someone was saying water baptism into the "church" which is an err.

      And the ecclesia and church are two different things.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      With respect, 70th week, I do not believe KingdomCome is well-read, though he/she is passionate. This person thinks she/he knows what she/he is talking about; frankly, she/he is theologically untaught. I find her/his arguments unconvincing, to say the least. Notice: in all of her/his lengthy spiels, he/she uses only one Scripture verse, and he/she misinterprets it.

      She/he also conveys a condescending tone in her/his rhetoric, and I find her/his attitude distasteful.

      I am not at all convinced that he/she truly knows the Lord, so I do not consider this conversation a case of "iron sharpening iron."

      KingdomCome,

      You again misquote me. I didn't say that people are baptized into a church; Scripture says that the Spirit baptizes believers into the body of Christ. The body of Christ is referred to as the Church (Eph. 1:22-23); the Church is a people "called-out" of the world to worship Christ. Please read 1 Corinthians 12:13, and try to understand it this time.

      The church in Jerusalem in Acts 2 came together daily for fellowship, and the early Church gathered for worship on the Lord's day (Sunday) in honor of the Resurrection. Today, believers can and do meet whenever and wherever they can, but most still maintain the good tradition of assembling on the Lord's day for worship and instruction. It is totally up to the individual churches when they want to meet; the imperative, however, is that they meet for prayer, fellowship and the teaching of the word of God.

      No one believer is above another, but God has so gifted the local church that pastor-teachers have the prominent role of expositing the Scriptures for the edification of the rest of the members. Every other believer can exercise his or her gifts to the glory of God and the benefit of the church. But God has specially gifted a smaller number in the assembly to handle the preaching and teaching of the word.

      I believe in the elder-led model of church governance. That is to say, the elders (who are specially gifted and called of God) lead and oversee the church in the various aspects of the ministry. No one person should be the CEO pastor; God designates the leaders of the church as elders and deacons who spiritually shepherd, guide and serve the rest.

      Actually, the word angel means "messenger"; the word apostle means "sent one."

      Actually, the responsibility of the Church is not to "share the gospel of the kingdom of God"; the gospel of the kingdom was preached in the first century to the Jewish people with the hope that they might repent and believe on the Messiah. This gospel will again be proclaimed during the 7oth week of Daniel in preparation for the millennial kingdom of God on the Earth. Today, the Church proclaims the gospel of Christ, the gospel of salvation, etc.

      True "converts" are sinners who have turned to Christ for salvation; "believers" trust in Christ alone for their salvation from sin; "disciples" are followers and "learners" of Christ who must first turn from their sin and self, be willing to die for Christ, and then imitate Him in their daily behavior. So, you see, these three terms speak about the same thing. They are all true Christians. I am not twisting anything.

      Local churches are organizations as well as organisms. In order to come under the discipline of the church as well as experience her nurturing ministries, individuals must show interest enough in the things of God to commit themselves to the others. Therefore, true believers will join themselves in fellowship with others.

      If you don't like the word "church," then use the term "congregation." That is what the Hebrew word qahal means. When Hebrew translators translated this word into Greek, they chose the word ekklesia. The English word "church" finds its nearest neighbor and sister in the Scotch kirk, and next to that its cousin in the German kirche. These words came from the Greek kuriakon. This word is the adjective neuter from kurios, "Lord," and means that which is the Lord's or the Lord's house. This adjective occurs in the New Testament, though not with reference to a place. In usage, the transition was easy from the building to the assembly which worshiped in the building. Thus the word "church" literally means the Lord's house or the Lord's place.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      We are the "called out" ones; whether one prefers to use "ecclesia" or in my case, I like to refer to myself as being baptized into "the" Church which is the Bride of Christ. I have no problem with either term as long as their is a distinction between what one means when one uses the word "church". The churches of today truly do not fully represent the Church and it becomes difficult to get my point across, so I have chosen to use the word assembly in a mixed crowd. Sometimes, semantics cause confusion, especially when everyone is basically saying the same thing. I like being stretched and you two are doing a great job.

    • flpalermo profile image

      flpalermo 

      2 years ago

      No one is baptized - “plunged” into” an assembly – the Ecclesia –the body of Christ?

      Let me see, I think I read something about this in the Bible.

      1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

      Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

      It seems that God is trying to tell us that when we repent and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands (Acts 2:38), THAT puts us in the body of Christ which is His Church – His Ecclesia of believers of the Kingdom of God.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      You both are well read and passionate. Keep it up and maybe we actually learn something new between us. We do serve the same Lord, have the same future and are presently saddled with this extremely contrary flesh. Remember, iron sharpens iron - mush sharpens nothing.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      glynch1- And that's where you have it wrong. No one is baptized INTO a CHURCH. No ONE. Based on faith and believe in the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ we are baptized in water. Show me anywhere in the bible that we are to be baptized INTO THE CHURCH. And if so, then which one?

      Scripture is inspired by God.

      I have no problem with fellowshipping with other like minded believers. "assembling together is good/great when possible. But Paul never said weekly at set times or at set places. Fellow believers (ecclesia) should gather when possible to FELLOWSHIP and SHARE Biblical truth as noted by Paul. But Jesus Christ and Paul NEVER said that one person should stand above the rest when doing so. But, that ALL who are assembled to SHARE with each other. Not one person to control everything. Remember Jesus Christ is the teacher, not you.

      I suggest you research the word Apostle, you will find that the meaning of it is merely a; messanger. Not teacher or pastor or clergy or pope. Just a messanger. Within the ecclesia we are ALL disciples and messangers. For us, there is only one teacher and that's Christ Jesus. In the ecclesia we all share. No one stands above the rest regardless of our level of understanding. There is but ONE doctrine and it's God's word. And with that we learn and are encourage to study for ourselves. As the ecclesia we do share the gospel of the Kingdom of God with anyone willing to hear it. If I get or have to chance to make disciples and baptize them I will and do.

      And where do you get this "Baptizing converts/believers/ disciples." You make it soundl like they're all the same. They are NOT the same thing. You twist this to make it sound as though a convert is something more then a two hours a week pew warmer christian with a baptizism "certificate". Unlike a disciple who follows daily the teaching of Christ. "Studies" daily the teachings of Christ and tries his/her best to seek the kingdom of God and learn the teaching of the Kingdom as Christ taught. And tries to follow the life of Christ and obey His commandments.

      The ecclesia is not something you "join". God draws you into the ecclesia. In more simple term; Called out or assembly.

      Assembly does not mean church. The first time the word church is "EVER"printed in the bible is in the Geneva New Testament printed in the year 1557 by William Whittingham. There is no direct word for church in the Greek text. It DOES NOT EXIST. There was policital reasons for this mistranslation of the word ecclesia into the word church in that time (1557) in history. I suggest you research this also. So, from 500 B.C.E. to the year 1557 (about 2000 years) ecclesia mean assembly or called out. But, suddenly starting in 1557 it means church. Hummmm.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      Spirit baptism did not occur in the OT; it occurred for the first time on the day of Pentecost, and occurs in the Church Age every time a true believer professes Christ as his Lord and Savior (1 Cor. 12:13). Spirit baptism places today's believers into the body of Christ, the Church.

      Immersion merely symbolizes a believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection; it provides no grace to live a holy life. The myriads you have seen water "baptized" to no effect were probably not Spirit baptized to begin with.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      Both of you have very valid points and our personal experiences will cause all of us some bias, one way or another. The fact remains that we are commanded NOT to forsake our assembling together, but that does not mean necessarily attending a specific denomination "church". The seminaries today produce a lot of well educated copies of their professors and well schooled in the traditions of men. It is a hard habit to break, but I know of several "pastors" who have left the traditional American congregations and have sought to re-establish a semblance of a believers only assembly to meet the desperate needs of the sheep along with taking the Gospel to where the people live and work. So often it must resemble the salmon runs as they fight upstream against the current. One day soon, the Hebrew's 12 shaking by God alone will clear the way for assemblies that cannot be shaken. As a personal note: most every Sunday I leave the main service frustrated in some form, yet when I meet with those seeking to know God's Word in purity and in depth, I am immediately re-energized, knowing that I am not alone and that God is very much in control. I understand both of your frustrations and the only answer I can come up with is to keep trusting and pray I see the day when the real "Church" will stand up and see the fruits of the everlasting Gospel. P.S. A little note. I have been baptized with water but I seen myriads in my life baptized to NO effect. The thief upon the cross was baptized, not with water but with the Spirit as were the majority of the O.T. saints. John the Baptist made the distinction: "I baptize with water, BUT HE shall......! I am always excited to see there are others out there who have a passion for our Lord and are working hard at doing right with knowledge learned to date. We must keep growing! May God richly bless.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      Let me first respond to a comment you made to 70th week. You quoted Jesus' "Great Commission" to the apostles--a commandment that specifically states that one of the things being a "learner" of Christ entails is being baptized (immersed in water), showing their identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Usually a pastor of a local church immerses a new believer (disciple) upon profession of faith in Christ, and then the newly baptized person becomes a member of that church and comes under the teaching of the Scriptures. Baptizing true converts/believers/disciples (all three words point to the same thing) is one of the very things Jesus commanded the apostles to do! For instance, when three thousand people believed and were baptized on the day of Pentecost, they were added to (became members of) the church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41-47). I agree with you that "churches" that are only interested in getting "converts" (that is, merely getting people to walk an aisle or say a prayer) have a wrong perspective toward what constitutes making disciples.

      I also agree with you that many churches and pastors are not seriously engaged in evangelism . . . but not all of them. You must not overgeneralize. Many churches are still faithful to reach out to their communities with the gospel.

      As for your comment to me:

      Do you agree that the Holy Spirit inspired Scripture? If you do, then you must also agree that what the writer to the Hebrews wrote (under the Spirit's guidance) about "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together" was meant to guide the behavior of Christians for all time. Of course, the Spirit will not lead you to join a church that espouses unbiblical traditions or doctrines. As I have said repeatedly, there are still many churches that teach the Bible faithfully and attempt to live by its doctrines. If you are a true follower of Christ, you must locate one in your area and become a faithful member of it in order to be obedient to the Spirit of God.

      The word "church" simply means "assembly." The Greek word "ecclesia" is a compound word composed of the preposition "ek" (meaning "out of") and a word derived from the verb kaleo, meaning "to call." So, the ekklesia refers to people who have been "called out of" the world to become followers of Christ. The Church, the body of Christ, did not come into existence until the day of Pentecost.

      My statement above did not imply nor did it suggest that doctrinal meat comes from the church. I wrote "church meetings" (which include the preaching and teaching of the Bible) should focus more on feeding the sheep rather than on evangelizing the lost.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      The70thweek-I surely misunderstood your article. I was of the understanding that you were against the idea of church by the way you worded your article. With that said, I believe I should mention at least one of the reasons why I'm against false church, which is just about all of them. And after I made my point you would have to agree to at least some point.

      The churches we see today are trying to make converts, not disciples. Once a convert is baptizes into "their" church then their expect to tithe and attend weekly service.So, here's the question; How is this "making disciple"?When was that last time you heard of a church baptizing a disciple? Here is the verse in Matthew 28:19 (NKJV) which states: 19 Go therefore and "MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS", BAPTIZING THEM ( DISCIPLE) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." So, I ask you again when was the last time you seen this happen? I have never seen it in today churches. Churches of today are to busy making converts. There is a huge difference between a disciple and a convert. Many who sit in churches today have NO idea that disciples of Christ exists today. They believe disciples existed only during christ ministry. Most "converts have no idea what the word Disciple even means.

      Once a convert is "baptized" what then? Attend church like a good member is expected. Grow in the body of Christ two hours a week. Act like what the rest of the church expects of the new convert. To follow the way of the Church and not the Kingdom of God. Do the converts then go out and spread the gospel of the Kingdom of God just as Jesus Christ instructing the "disciples" to do? For that matter does the clergy of the "church" spread the gospel of the Kingdom let alone the converts? No they don't.

      This is just one of the hundreds of reasons why I will not follow the false teachings of ANY churches doctrines out there. I'll still believe that you have made a few valid point the are negative about churches. But I will NOT follow any of them.

      glynch1- You have NO idea what you're talking about. The Holy Spirit will not guide anyone into the traditions of man. And that is exactly what institutional churches do. The Holy Spirit would NEVER guide a believer into churches that observe pagan Holidays which covers just about most of them. The Holy Spirit would NEVER guide anyone to be baptized into a denomination. And yet if you research baptismal Vows of many churches you would see this is what many false churches do once there converts are hooked.

      I also suggest to you that you research the word "church" and see where it comes from. If you try to tell me it comes from the word ecclesia, then I'll tell you to try again. The word ecclesia can be found in Greek text and manusrcript as far back as 500 B.C.E. And how about that. The "church" as you call it, did not even exist 500 years before the birth of Christ. So, you go ahead and keeep going to "church".

      And by the way, doctrinal meat come from God's word, not the church.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      I was not responding to you, Dave, but to KingdomCome. This individual does not seem to realize that by rejecting church attendance, he or she is not submitting to the Holy Spirit-inspired Scripture that admonishes believers not to forsake the assembling of themselves together (Heb. 10:24-25).

      Having said that, I agree with your comment. Church meetings should primarily equip the members with doctrinal meat, as you have rightly pointed out, so that they would be better able to do the work of the ministry (Eph. 4).

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      2 years ago from Winlock, Washington

      Do not get me wrong, I am faithful in my attendance to my local assembly, I am a teacher and I am a student. Saying that, I am NOT blind to the fact that our assemblies are filled with non-believers and the messages, though mainly biblically based are more geared to speaking to the unsaved rather than feeding the sheep. This is a major problem in most of the evangelical churches in America and for those of us who are concerned, we must be even more diligent in our personal study and enjoining with others who want the meat of the Word. If pastors as a whole preached to the saints to equip them for the work of the Gospel, we would see more newly saved individuals brought into our assemblies and less "lookie-loos" and "wannabes" for it is the Spirit that draws one to Christ, not the pastor. If you have a pastor who preaches the depth of the Word to his flock, praise God for such a blessing, for they are becoming a rare breed among those who fill our pulpits these days. Plus, we are NOT to go it alone for our testimony to the lost world is our love for one another and for our Savior. May God you in these last days.

    • glynch1 profile image

      glynch1 

      2 years ago

      Not all churches teach false doctrine. You should not forsake joining and participating in a local church whose pastor(s) still teach the truth. Christians in the first century (and beyond) belonged to local assemblies; by trying to go it alone, you are disobeying the New Testament.

    • profile image

      KingdomCome 

      2 years ago from those of the Ecclesia

      Much of what you have said is very true. After reading your profile, I like the fact that your have had a indepth study of the book of Revelation. I too have enjoyed read/study Revelation and others.

      With regards to this article relating to churches, I agree which is why I do not trust any of them. A lot of false teachings comes from those standing behind the pulpit. I'm a firm believer in study the word of God for yourself.

      God bless.

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