C H U R C H R E F O R M S E R I E S
By Biblicism Institute
“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” Mark 7:8
To the well-versed a “church service” is in reality a show put together to entertain Christians. God never meant it to be so. The gathering of Christians is supposed to be an opportunity for believers to edify and encourage one another.
“…not neglecting to meet together… but encouraging one another…” Hebrews 10:25
How are Christians supposed to edify and encourage one another?
“When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the assembly may be built up… Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” 1 Corinthians 14: 26, 29-31
“When you come together… the Lord’s Supper… the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread… In the same way, after supper he took the cup…” 1 Corinthians 11: 20, 21, 25
Except for communion have you ever been to a congregation that puts all of these commands into practice? Some gatherings known as Bible Studies might be the closest to try but still fail. However, the above biblical commands are for any and all gathering of Christians. There is no distinction in the Bible between “Bible Studies” and “Church Services,” and that’s because neither one is mentioned. The only thing mentioned is, “When you come together.”
“…the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 14:37
Let’s examine these commandments closely.
And this is how we’ll proceed. We’ll use as our track the highlights from the When you come together verses quoted above.
1. COME TOGETHER 2. EACH OF YOU 3. WHEN SHOULD CHRISTIANS COME TOGETHER? 4. THE LORD’S SUPPER 5. CONCLUSION
We’ll now set out to reintroduce the biblical ways by which Christ’s disciples turned the world upside down in order to give birth to the Church Assembly for the glory of our Lord. In turn, this will expose the current unbiblical system that is paralyzing the body of Christ.
1. COME TOGETHER
Today, a gathering of Christians is known as Church.
Ecclesia or Ekklesia is the actual Greek word that is used in the New Testament. It originally meant a calling out or an assembly called out by a magistrate or legitimate authority. It was in that sense that the word was adopted and applied by the writers of the New Testament to the Christian congregation.
But who calls out the Christian assembly? And by whose authority?
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
Jesus through the Holy Spirit is the authority that calls out and commands the gathering or the assembly. And, as can be clearly seen, only a minimum of two people is needed to have church.
a) In that spirit, every individual family unit, or Church Family, can gather to have church on its own.
A Church Family has as its overseer the husband who must guide his family in the ways of the Lord. His is a church assembly at the micro level. It is being prepared to subsequently be revealed at the macro level.
The Church Family is the real training ground or the true seminary. Everything that takes place at the macro level should take place there first.
“If someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s assembly?” 1 Timothy 3:7
“For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the assembly, his body, and is himself its Savior.” Ephesians 5:23
The micro church level application is not unlike the application of the Mosaic Covenant God exercised with each individual ancient Hebrew and his family.
“On the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.” Exodus 12:3
“You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” Deuteronomy 11:19
Fathers, you are God’s designated “Youth Pastors” to your children, and your wives are your assigned helpmates. This means you are the ones to dedicate your newborns to the Lord, to lead them to Christ, to baptize them – water and Holy Spirit – upon the Holy Spirit prompting you of their readiness, to teach them God’s word, to partake of the Lord’s supper with them, and finally to marry them when the time comes. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.
God’s directive is for you to do what He’s commanded, and unless you’re dead no one else can fill your shoes. See The Family is God’s Plan.
“Fathers, do not anger your children, but rear them in the discipline and in the teaching of Our Lord.” Ephesians 6: 4
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your Father and Mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6: 1-3
b) When various Church Families congregate together, they receive encouragement and edification away from the travails of their own families and of their daily lives.
Furthermore, bonds and friendships with those of kindred spirit help them see God’s bigger picture. It is also an excellent opportunity for their progeny to meet the progeny of other believers, and thus possibly prepare the ground for future godly marriages. See The Biblical Marriage Blueprint.
However, when Church Families gather together as the macro Church, God has made room for an Overseer or Bishop to oversee these meetings and ensure proper order. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry.
“To the elders among you… shepherd the flock of God, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock….” 1 Peter 5: 2-4
As emphasized above, the Bishop or Overseer/Pastor or Shepherd/Elder is all one and the same. He is an older man (i.e., elder) who’s not a recent convert and who possesses godly wisdom and an impeccable reputation. Nowhere in the bible is such a man asked to be an expert theologian. Even most of the Apostles were not learned men. (See Addendum 1 for Overseer qualifications)
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled…” Acts 4:13
An Overseer is a regular man with his own godly Church Family who volunteers his service, not for sordid gain (i.e., he does it without valuable consideration or without receiving valuable compensation), but out of eagerness to please God who wants him to be a model that the congregation can relate to.
“…overseeing them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind…” 1 Peter 5:2
In other words, he’s a meeting overseer that God can use as an example to all. What kind of archetype would he be if he were working for God because of a paycheck? That’s why the Apostle Paul refrained from taking money so as to be the example he wanted us to follow in ministry, even though Apostles could exercise that right, but he knew others couldn’t. See Understanding the Duties of Ministry.
“On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. This we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3: 8-10
However, there are mammonists who will use the following passage to try to prove that Overseers can get paid:
“The elders who oversee the affairs of the assembly well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” 1 Timothy 5: 17,18
Here’s how Christ defined such wages.
“Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages… eat what is set before you…” Luke 10: 7,8
Wages = Food and/or free lodging. So much so that the Apostle Paul said this:
“…nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it.” 2 Thessalonians 3:8
When an ox is treading out the grain, it’s eating the very grain that is set before it to tread while it’s working. In the same manner, these wages or meals are given to God’s servant to sustain the body while doing God’s work. Biblical wages are not physical money. They are rewards for particular deeds.
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6: 23
Basically, because an Overseer is a regular man with a regular job, one of the ways he is compensated when he goes to a home to oversee a meeting – especially after a hard day’s work – is by the congregation preparing a great meal for him in order to thank him and show their gratitude. It is a form of what used to be famously known as Christian hospitality.
The Overseer makes sure the gathering runs smoothly according to the God-given guidelines (See Addendum 2), steps in with his wisdom and knowledge whenever the situation calls for it, and of course participates as much as the others, whether in teaching or singing or whatever else he’s led to do.
The gathering takes place in a home.
“To the assembly in your house.” Philippians 1:1
“When you go into a household, greet it.” Matthew 10:12
“Likewise greet the assembly that is in their house.” Romans 16:5
“He came to the house of Mary… where many were gathered together praying.” Acts 12:12
“…from house to house, testifying to Judahites, and also to Greeks…” Acts 20:20,21
“Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” Acts 28:30,31
It is a waste of valuable resources when a “church building” is bought or rented, because with the New Covenant the real building or temple is each individual Christian. The Old Covenant TEMPLE principle – with its altar and a Levite High Priest hovering over everyone – is no longer in effect. Christians themselves are now the new Temple, and Jesus their new High Priest.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14
Nowhere in the bible is the command given to buy or rent a building for gathering purposes. If a house is not available, then another appropriate location must be found. The key is not to pay for it. Jesus and the Apostles showed us how to go about getting it.
“Ask and it will be given to you…” Matthew 7:7
“Say to the owner of the house, the Teacher says, ‘Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ Mark 14:14
“There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.” Acts 20:8
Let God open a door where godly Church Families can gather. If the gathering is too big, split it. The smaller the group, the better for all to participate. That’s real ecclesia.
With subsequent gatherings, a mixing and matching of different Church Families can make for lively encounters. There are many responsible and potential Overseers within various Church Families who can volunteer their time to oversee such gatherings.
“Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.” 1 Timothy 3:1
Ultimately, the success of a Christian gathering requires the absence of a sardine-packing mentality of hundreds or thousands. Not only would biblical participation of each individual be impossible, money would also be wasted on big buildings while many in the flock go through hardship.
Ministry money is never supposed to buy buildings or properties, unless it directly helps the poor and needy. A gathering of Church Families needs no such artifice. See Ministry Money and the Tithe Lie.
The entirety of money received is always reserved to help the poor and needy whom Jesus guaranteed will always be amongst us. The Lord wants us to help them, especially the poor or struggling Christian brethren who are the real “buildings” or “temples” that God cares about.
” ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?‘ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ ” Matthew 25: 37-40
2. EACH OF YOU
When Christians COME TOGETHER it is not a “service” with a passive audience.
It is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to flow through each one present in order for all to be instructed and encouraged as the Body of Christ bonds together to glorify their Lord.
Each individual Christian is allowed to participate by using one of the following: hymns, instructions, teachings, revelations, tongues and their interpretations. Through these the congregants really COME TOGETHER to glorify Christ.
However, when any individual is teaching or expounding any instruction or revelation or interpretation, other individuals have the right to INTERJECT.
“If a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.” 1 Corinthians 14:30
The reason the first speaker stops talking is so he can learn to submit just like all of us must learn.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5: 21
Such a system is in place for 3 main reasons: a) we all know in part; b) every Christian is a PROPHET; and c) TO PREVENT ABUSES.
a) “…if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part…” 1 Corinthians 13:8,9
None of us is infallible and omniscient. Even when the Holy Spirit is working through us, the flesh will always try to have its way. Therefore, a checks and balances system is in place, and it includes every single Christian who takes part in the assembly.
b) Every Christian is a prophet because every true Christian possesses the Holy Spirit who’s constantly at work changing his life as a testimony to the glory of Jesus Christ.
“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10
That’s exactly what we Christians do when we COME TOGETHER. We testify through various spiritual gifts of the reality and of the presence of Jesus Christ’s Holy Spirit working in our lives.
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another mighty works, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of languages, and to still another the interpretation of languages. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11
That is why the Apostle Paul said the following:
“For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.” 1 Corinthians 14:31
A prophecy is a word from God. It can be a Word of Remembrance of God’s promises and commandments from the past, a Word of Instruction or Commandment for the present, or a Word of Foresight for the future. The bible is the ultimate book of prophecies, and as such is at the center of all teachings and prophecies.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3: 16
During every meeting, only two or three prophets or Christians should speak (possibly on one or more subjects).
“Let the prophets speak, two or three, and let the others judge.” 1 Corinthians 14: 29
As they speak, “the others weigh carefully what is said (1 Corinthians 14:39)”. In other words, they judge or speak their mind on what is shared. With subsequent gatherings, different prophets – two or three – can take turn while the others judge.
When receiving trustworthy visitors who speak a foreign language and wish to address the assembly, at least two of them and no more than three should speak, but only if there is someone who can translate in the congregation’s language so everyone can understand and be edified.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2
“If any speak in an unknown language, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret.” 1 Corinthians 14: 27
And why two or three?
“Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 2 Corinthians 13: 1
As to heavenly tongues they are God’s gifts to individual Christians for use in their personal prayers. However, they can only be spoken in an assembly if someone interprets. See Speaking in Tongues for an exposé.
“One who speaks in tongues edifies himself…” 1 Corinthians 14:4
“The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the assembly may be built up.” 1 Corinthians 14: 5
Yet, when Church Families are gathered together the only ones not allowed to speak are the following:
“Women should be silent during the assembly meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. ” 1 Corinthians 14: 34
“And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” 1 Timothy 2: 12
But in each individual Church Family micro gathering, women are allowed to speak.
“If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home.” 1 Corinthians 14: 3
If a woman has a prophetic word, she needs to relay it to her husband or her father who then will relay it to the macro gathering. Why? Because man is the head of woman, he is her covering.
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:3
“Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.” 1 Corinthians 5: 4,5
However, there is no biblical directive against women singing or dancing in a macro gathering.
“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.” Exodus 15:20
c) Presently, the Overseers have hijacked the Church. They have ascribed to themselves the roles of “authorities” and “leaders,” and therefore have summarily replaced Jesus and His Holy Spirit. Thus they are ABUSING their position.
“But you are not to be called ‘Teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called Leaders (or Masters), for you have one Leader (or Master), the Messiah.” Matthew 23:8-10
“Christ is also the head of the assembly, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.” Colossians 1: 18
Congregating is no longer a COMING TOGETHER. It is sadly a one-man show with opening acts.
When an Overseer or any man usurps the exclusive right to speak, while his fellow brothers sit passively on the sideline and are not able to biblically participate, that individual squarely places himself above all his brethren. In fact, he’s really telling the church that he’s infallible, omniscient, and the only one imbued with the Holy Spirit. He may not literally say it, but that’s the message he’s sending.
Hence such a man can manipulate the flock, and introduce whatever dogma he whimsically desires since no one can INTERJECT to stop his foolishness. But when the biblical gathering instructions are put into practice, these situations get nipped in the bud.
Here’s how Paul rebuked Peter in front of everyone when Peter tried to distance himself from the Gentiles.
“When Cephas (or Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned… When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, ‘You are a Judahite, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Judahite. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Judahite customs?'” Galatians 2: 11, 14
“Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20
“They shall raise their voices against the malicious ones…” Mark 16:17
However, today when such situations arise the only recourse Christians have is to walk out, and jump from one congregation to another only to find the same.
No wonder these church “leaders” are losing “their” flock, especially the men in “their” congregation. As expected, these “leaders” have a greater success in retaining an unusually preponderant female audience.
“… those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women…” 2 Timothy 3:6
Men are leaving their congregations in droves because the Holy Spirit is stirring their spirits. These men sense that something is amiss, but most of them can’t really put their fingers on it. They have been so brainwashed by the current unbiblical system that the resulting cacophony in their heads is drowning the voice of the Holy Spirit.
These preachers have mangled their capacity to understand the Word of God. They have turned them into passive lazies, who only go through the motion of “going to church” in order to be entertained by their “teachings,” while getting a few goosebumps during opening acts. They have thus stifled the Spiritual Gifts of these men by preventing them from biblically participating in the gathering as they should.
These men really need to be disconnected from their congregations in order to heal and learn to recognize the voice of their true Master, Jesus Christ. And so the Holy Spirit surgically removes them.
“Test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
3. WHEN SHOULD CHRISTIANS COME TOGETHER?
Every time Christians COME TOGETHER they must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Together they have to decide when to meet. There is no commandment in the New Testament that says Christians should meet every Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday. In the Old Testament there was the law of the Sabbath.
“…a day of Sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly….” Leviticus 23:3
The purpose of the Sabbath assembly in the Old Testament was to read the law and remind people of it.
“After the reading from the Law and the Prophets…” Acts 13:15
But today we all have a bible where we can read the law for ourselves, and most importantly we have been given greater gifts such as these:
“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Hebrews 10:16
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
After Pentecost Christians assembled whenever the Holy Spirit dictated, and a lot of these meetings weren’t even on the Sabbath.
“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.” Acts 20:7
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.” Acts 2: 46
The most used admonition by Christian “preachers” to prod the flock into assembling does not even mention when or how often:
“…not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…” Hebrews 10:25
So why, pray tell, with a better covenant that includes amazing spiritual gifts (and today the very Bible in our possession), do we Christians have to gather every Sunday only to listen to one man pontificate to no end while we can’t even exercise our biblical rights to participate? See Understanding the Duties of Ministry.
How often should the micro or macro Church congregate? As often or as little as the Holy Spirit leads each particular micro or macro congregation according to said congregation’s needs.
We have so much freedom with the New Covenant that many Christians have become scared of it. So they retreat to the Old One and into the arms of obsolete laws, away from the Spirit of Grace and Faith.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5: 13
Don’t be afraid of your freedom, bask in it.
“Now the Lord is that life, and where the life of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3: 17
4. THE LORD’S SUPPER
Part of the reason for the gathering of Christians is to partake of the Lord’s Supper (i.e., communion, with regular bread and wine just like Jesus had).
“The Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ ” 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
And how often is that supposed to happen?
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26
The answer is, as often as you are led by the Spirit to do so.
The husband can do it at home with his Church Family as often as he’s led to. The macro Church can have communion as often as the congregants and their Overseer are led to.
The HOLY SPIRIT is the One conducting the orchestra. Follow His lead.
“The Spirit of truth… he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears…” John 16:13
However, every Christian must privately judge himself, recognize his sins, and ask God and others whom he has offended for forgiveness before partaking of the Lord’s supper.
“But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.” 1 Corinthians 11:28-31
“Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matthew 5:22-24
The Church as it is today is very far from perfect.
It is full of imperfect people that a perfect God is patiently bringing into alignment with His word, even in the midst of the Church not fully applying the biblical gathering commands.
That’s because God’s primary focus is on individuals and their families, something He constantly proved during His earthly ministry. These are a few examples: 1. The rich young ruler 2. The woman at the well 3. Peter’s mother-in-law 4. The girl restored to life.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” Acts 16:31
But that doesn’t mean He’s not interested in the maturity of His Church as a whole. His goal is a perfect Church, not a partially perfect one.
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13: 10-13
So far God has taken His Church through infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Through such stages even an individual is controlled by his parents. In like manner, God has temporarily allowed His church to be taken in hand and controlled by the overseers. Because of said control we know that the Church has insofar experienced only these immature stages.
A similar principle was at work between law and faith.
“But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law… But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Galatians 3: 23-25
In addition, Jesus Himself guaranteed us that poisonous doctrines such as those being peddled by the overseeing hijackers – including the current principles of “Church Services” – would not hurt true believers.
“…if they imbibe any poisonous doctrine, it shall not hurt them…” Mark 16:17
Even though these dogmas are not hurting the eternal salvation of believers, they are however limiting the believers’ impact on the world, especially since their spiritual gifts are being stifled through the erroneous tenet of “Church Services.” That’s why Jesus said that true believers would raise their voices against the serpents that author and/or support such teachings.
“They shall raise their voices against the serpents (or malicious ones)…” Mark 16:17
These doctrines are causing immaturity in the church, and said immaturity is beginning to fester as evidenced by the lack of influence of modern Christians on society, and by the ever growing implosions of ministry and church governments as a result of the actions of sinful “leaders.”
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the assembly? Are you not to judge those inside?” 1 Corinthians 5: 12
Thus the time is dawning for the Church to fully evolve and mature. Such a development entails that the Church must come into alignment with the Word of God, and by implication with the biblical gathering commands.
“…keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11: 12
But this won’t happen unless YOU make it happen. It’s up to YOU. In order to grow up and mature, YOU have to let go of the bottle feeding that’s taking place week after week.
“For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature…” Hebrews 5: 12-14
YOU have to make a decision for maturity now, and then go and make the biblical gathering a reality.
“…just as Christ also loved the assembly and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the assembly in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5: 25-27
Qualifications For Overseers
THESE QUALIFICATIONS MUST ALL BE FULFILLED WITH NONE IGNORED
1 Timothy 3:
1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the assembly of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
THESE INSTRUCTIONS MUST ALL BE FULFILLED WITH NONE IGNORED
1 Corinthians 14:
26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
27 If any man speak in an unknown language, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the assembly; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all assemblies of the saints.
34 Let your women keep silence in the assemblies: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the assembly.
36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
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