Aboutthechurchbody

topics of interest


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I Corinthians 15:1+2

The first and second verses say, “Now I would remind you brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word that I preached to you– unless you have believed in vain”.

1. ‘by which you are being saved’
2. ‘if you hold fast to the word that I preached to you’
3. ‘unless you have believed in vain’

This scripture and many others are examples given to us in the NT and the OT confirming this idea that we are in the process of being saved, even though we have been placed into the Body of Christ. There are conditions. We must hold fast to the word. The Bible says that the Jews in the time of Jesus and Paul were in error about what they believed. They believed that as long as they confessed that they were Abraham’s children they were fine. Jesus clarified to them that their father was the devil. Their deeds were disclosing their real situation and condition.

The Bible tells the parable of the wheat and the tares being together in the kingdom of God. Growing together until the harvest. The admonition in scripture that there are wolves among the sheep, that there are wicked men who feast on the people of God. In the OT we have the picture or type of God’s people not entering into the promised land. They were rebellious, disobedient, complaining, double minded people, people who looked back and wished they could return to slavery after they had been freed at great cost. They died in the desert. It was their children who entered the promised land.

How is it that religious leaders say that we only have to confess Christ and then our salvation is secure. Our sin doesn’t matter, our behaviors don’t matter.


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Character Deficiencies Within and Without the Church

We are seeing something today in the church and in our society at large that I have not previously witnessed to this extent in my lifetime. Deficiency in the character of people. Personality disorders are increasing in the general population. One of the main personality disorders arising in our time is narcissism. This occurrence is having a very adverse effect in our world and in the church. People with functional narcissism often seek positions of power and influence. They are found in greater numbers among CEO s, politicians, ministers of religion, and in other positions of decision making and authority. Scripture says that in the last days people will be given over to a reprobate mind because they will not accept the truth but prefer to believe a lie. I think that we are into those days now.
Narcissism is filtering down to the average person in our day from upper echelons. People are engrossing themselves in the culture and the often perverted teachings coming from places of higher authority in our lives. People do this seemingly unquestioning, even in the church. Christians are accepting of any book, any new thought, any teaching, as long as it has the ‘christian’ label.

People having narcissism personality disorder are looking for power, control, and ‘food’ to feed their need. This requires that they put on a false personality before others. What you see is not them. You see the false person. This person does not have normal human emotions. They mimic emotions that they have seen on other people’s faces for particular circumstances in their own lives. This narcissistic condition emerges in their very young years. Emotionally they remain very young and self-centered throughout their lives. They make extremely poor marriage partners because whoever marries them marries an emotional child. They can make the ‘hard’ decisions because they do not feel guilt or remorse for their actions. They cannot love as a normal person can. The main emotions that are real for them is anger and rage.
When we think of this type of person being a pastor, a government leader in a position of trust, a company manager or owner making decisions that affect hundreds maybe thousands of lives, we get a picture of the devastation that this personality disordered person makes on society. Church leaders with this condition are no exception. Many other church leaders are following them because these people may be successful by worldly standards.  Pastors who are their followers then lead their own flocks into error and possible destruction.
We are currently living in extremely precarious times as Christians. We are going to have to exercise judgment and discernment within and without the church. We have the authority to do so according to scripture. We must judge the spirits. We must look at the fruit. We must analyze the lives of our leaders to see if they are being true. To not do this is foolhardy in our day and time.


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Postmodern, Emerging Church?

My current understanding of the postmodern and emerging church is its desire to reject traditional Christianity and Christianity’s historic doctrines and teachings, even to the setting aside of biblical scripture, if necessary. The church services in the postmodern and Emerging Church are designed and intended for unbelievers. Places where people who don’t normally attend a church can come and be entertained and encouraged by self-help and self-esteem teachings and philosophies.

If Christianity was simply a belief system, where there is no true and living God, then it would have its place in our church systems. However, from my own experience of over thirty years of being a devout Christian, I can testify that Christianity is a transformation that comes about through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds. One of the main avenues for this transformation is the Bible scriptures. Christianity is about following Jesus Christ into eternity. Christianity is about being reconciled to God the Father through the Son by the perfect sacrificial atonement on the cross provided by the Son. His sacrifice releases the believer from the Mosaic Law of death, so that we can then live to God in newness of life. Christianity is the power provided by God to remove sin from our lives. To achieve a new creation in us that has been purposed by God through our obedience to him. Christianity is slaying the old man and his wickedness, and putting on the new man who is created in the image of Christ. Christianity is the embracing of light and love and the rejection of darkness and wickedness in our own lives and in our world. These are just some of the things that are taught in the Bible concerning Christianity.

The postmodern and Emerging Church teaches none of these things to any extent. The leaders of these churches criticize believers who want more in-depth teachings about their faith and what God requires. Believers are told that the church is not for them but for the unbeliever. This is untrue. Believers are the church. There is no church without believers who have been reborn by the Spirit of God. The postmodern and Emerging church is not a true church, but rather an organization that is doing business in the name of Christ. Based on the knowledge that I have at this time, I would say that there is nothing to fear from these leaders, and to leave these organizations who are impersonating Christianity in our day.


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The Modern Church and It’s Structure

In reading about the apostles and prophets in the New Testament,and how they taught about Jesus after his ascension, we see that they went to the synagogues outside of Jerusalem and initially to the temple itself in Jerusalem to proclaim their message and teach their understanding about Jesus. I think of Paul on his missionary journeys entering into the synagogues, standing up by invitation from the synagogue ruler, to speak openly to the assembly if he had something that he wanted to say. This custom or system provided a way for Paul and for others to speak to the Jewish people in the synagogues.

Our modern church does not have a good system or custom for those attending congregations (never mind visiting guests) to set forth their understanding of scripture openly to people, or to challenge leadership concerning their teaching. Today’s church leaders think of this provision as rebellion and division against them and against their organizations. We have very controlled religious establishments in North America today. Church is a highly structured and controlled event on Sundays and leaders are not open to having anyone other than select and chosen persons minister. The average believer cannot exercise their Holy Spirit gift under this kind of system.

Believers are truly under the control of these religious leaders whether they are good or bad. The system we have for churches in North America is a protective womb for cultist like errors and false teaching. People are now questioning more and more about how much ‘truth’ is actually being taught in our churches today.


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Two Covenants meaning Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:21 begins a teaching about the two sons of Abraham. The story in the OT of the two sons named Ishmael and Isaac tells of how Ishmael and his mother Hagar were sent away by Abraham. In Galatians the apostle Paul says that we can look figuratively at the mothers of Abraham’s sons as representing two covenants, one of the natural, and one of the promise through the power of the Spirit. Paul clearly teaches that the present Jerusalem is of Hagar. She will not share in the inheritance of God. Paul declares that there is a Jerusalem that is above and that she is the mother of those who are in Christ.
Today we have many teachers and preachers who make errors in dividing the word of truth. They teach one part of the Bible as full and complete truth, but when other parts of the Bible are read their teaching is contradicted by other Scriptures. This means there is error in what they are teaching.
The present church system that we know of in North America does not have checks and balances. There is alot of control implemented in the majority of churches. We can be certain that this type of control of people and of what we are being taught is not of God. We seem to have a mishmash of teachings related to both Hagar and Sarah. On the one hand we have freedom in Christ, on the other hand we are subjects and children to these church systems. The Hagars of our day.


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Antichrists

Let’s see if we can digest some of the important teachings in the book of 1 John.
Part of the exhortation in this book is ‘Do Not Love the World’.  The desires of the world, the lusts of the flesh of men,the boasting of the accomplishments of men, are not from God.  There is an admonition that antichrist(s) will come out from the church and lead some believers astray.
(The general teaching in the church today is that church leaders know what they are doing and we as God’s people must be obedient and not challenge them)

This book also states that the world does not know us because it did not know Jesus.
(The world does not recognize Christians as coming from God)

It states that sin is lawlessness.
(Even in our day)

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
No one who is born of God will continue to sin.
(The church today teaches that we will sin, there is nothing we can do about this, that we have to live with it and expect it)

In this book it states that we must love our brother. Do not be surprised if the world hates you.
(The world hates believers in our day. Christians are being systematically killed off in many nations)

Those who live in His commands live in Him, and He in them.
(This is contrary to the teaching of today’s church leaders, where we are told that we simply say a prayer and we have attained eternal life no matter what we do or how we live)

I John says if our hearts do not condemn us we have confidence with God.
(We are taught by Christian counselors that we need to ignore our heart. If our heart is condemning us then we can know that this is coming from the devil)

I John says the test to determine what is antichrist is ‘…every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.”
(Our world, our education,our science, our culture, does not acknowledge Jesus. This is the spirit of antichrist. We as believers are to have no part of it. We live in the world but we distance ourselves as believers from its pleasures, its temptations, its teachings, and its commandments.
We are taught in the church today that we must engage the world, that we must take part in it, that we must immerse ourselves in it to try to influence the world for Jesus. What’s happening today is that the Church as a whole is being overcome by the world)

Chapter 5 of I John goes on to say that we show our love for God by keeping his commands.
(The Church teaches us today that we do not need to keep the commands of God, that grace excuses us from this principle)ƒ

What can we conclude from our look at I John? A lot of what is being taught in the church today is false teaching coming from the systems of the world and not from God.