See Isaiah and Numbers regarding the reason for the atonement, and Luke Jesus did not die for willful sin done in the knowledge of the truth. See also Hebrews I am called to wake up the true church of God to this lie and to see that the opposite is true, which is that Jesus Christ died to prove us innocent to God by his blood. The idea of Jesus Christ dying as our substitute is completely foreign to the Bible and actually denies the main point of the gospel, because that idea establishes our guilt before God. Therefore it cannot reconcile us to God. This is the message of reconciliation.
This is the gospel which God revealed to me after being a Christian for a number of years. There are so very many Scriptures that verify all of this, as it is as soundly Biblical as one can get. Yet what I just said, you are sure never to have heard from anyone else. Here, there are only two destinies and two realities in the words of Jesus Christ. It is even literally stated here that Jesus Christ died to prove our innocence to God.
For how can a person be without blame to God if he has sinned at all in the past? Not because he stops sinning, for there must be a record of all his past sins against him, UNLESS, all his past sins can be shown to be acts of innocence to God and not true sins, because they were not willful , through Jesus Christ bearing them up to God in his body as something other than what they have appeared; namely, as righteousness to God in his offering himself up to God as our righteousness. Thus Jesus Christ turned the sin of ignorance which crucified him the well meaning sin of the people , into the offering of perfect righteousness to God.
This is the reconciliation of the world to God and the most wondrous act. Yet you hear the opposite of this preached everywhere in saying that we all deserve death and hell. There are no Bible verses saying that we all deserve death and hell, and that idea is certainly a denial of the good news. He rose again from the dead to do the same continually as our high priest. How is it possible that the entire church in the whole world has missed this truth when it is plainly stated in Scripture?
Because Satan is the preacher in the mouth of all the false ministers and they have filled the world with taking Scripture out of context. It does not mean to pay for sin, but it means to say that there is no sin to be found in us. In other words, although the law of Moses says the whole world is guilty of sin, God says that there is justification for sin through Jesus Christ.
Therefore people should respond to this in being reconciled to God also in their behaviour by the free gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the true grace of God which brings salvation. You, and I, and all, have the seed of sin within us. We cannot escape it. Jesus died to absolve us from ALL sin, past, present and future. God knows we are all sinners. Be humble and thankful that God sent Jesus to forgive us. But it takes faith in that fact. Praise God that you are still here to inspire me with the wisdom He gives you! You have influenced my thinking, probably more than you know, with your faith and experienced wisdom.
That is why we all are sinners and shall continue to sin, regardless of our will or good intentions. You are right, brother. JOHN And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Fessdo, beloved bro, if I read you right here, you are saying, in the scripture you quoted, that if one knows that Jesus is The Lord and denies that knowledge, it is The Unforgivable Sin, and I agree.
Fessdo, you are utterly clueless. It is God that you are rejecting in rejecting my words which are the true Scriptures, not me. There is only one true Bible, and I understand it and you most certainly do not understand the gospel. You are quoting not from the Bible. Son, I have been very clear in what I said.
If anyone rejects the gospel which I just declared they are not a Christian. If anyone says that Jesus did not die to prove our innocence, after reading what I wrote, they are condemning themselves as guilty. If you say that you are a true sinner then you are saying you cannot go to heaven.
There are many Scriptures that say this. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. God only forgives what is just to forgive, and it is only just to forgive the sin of ignorance and weakness of the flesh, which is unmeaning sin, but not just to forgive willful sin. Jim T, I follow God in the true Bible, not a bunch of humans as you said.
That is foolishness. And the verse you quoted is referring to God cleansing us from all sin in the flesh, not from willful sin. The literal blood of Jesus does not cleanse you like a soap on your body in a physical sense.
This is symbolic language. But I cannot prove anything to anyone who does not even believe in the actual words of Scripture. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. If anyone is really a sinner, and cannot be proven righteous indeed, you can fully expect to go to hell. If you think you can sin willfully and get away with it and do that sin, then you are going to go to hell.
You are reprobates if you believe so evilly, after what I declared clearly as the truth. Peace my friend. Richard, Let me help you here,Hebrews Living Bible If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior, If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior, If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior,,, by rejecting the Savior,,, by rejecting JESUS after knowing the truth of forgiveness. God decreed it and I believe it However, if it helps others to delve into every last little nuance of the scriptures, fine, let them indulge themselves. I would only advise that they beware lest they become a stumbling block for another believer with their insistence that they know better than anyone else.
Oh, and Carey, I truly appreciate you allowing me to participate on this forum. I do think you are doing the best you can, with a clear conscience, to serve God and inspire others to worship Him. I am a member of the body of Christ wherever they may be which is the true church , although I am alone.
I am alone because the said churches are not the church. They are not truly Christian. So my problem is in not being able to find genuine Christians because they do not pass the most basic test of being a true Christian. They will not fellowship or come into the true church of God. The church is me, which they deny having any fellowship with simply because I do in fact declare the truth. Speak freely of our glorious Lord Jesus to anyone and everyone, brother, as His Spirit may prompt you. Share Jesus with others.
Be thankful to Him and humble. Not God, I assure you. Jesus clearly stated that the Holy Spirit will guide you to all truth. Your verbal assaults on those who are simply sharing what is in their hearts is an indicator of your inner insecurity. You tweak the scriptures to fit what you desire them to say rather than allowing them to speak to you.
Case in point is your misrepresentation of Hebrews If you really take a sincere evaluation of your spiritual walk you will find that you are trying to add some old wine to the new wine…which is never good. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Jim T. What did Paul, Peter and John do when they woke up with a boner? Sin is inescapable. Jesus is The Solution to that enigma. No human will ever be perfect on this earth.
Excepting Jesus, of course. I am sorry if it appeared that way. At any rate I am absolutely in agreement with your view. Why would we even need a Savior if we had even the slightest capability of becoming sinless by our efforts? I accepted this belief because I found it impossible to be righteous continually and believed that all those people at the church could…. Of course, neither you or I view this as a license to sin.
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But those of true humility accept their sinful nature, are extremely grateful for the gift of a Savior, which causes us to desire sin less and less. I agree we will not be perfect while in our flesh. Amen, brother! As you and I agree, we are sinful by nature. Wonder where HE went? Hey, btw, this church I was attending for a while, the pastor started in, suddenly, beating the drum for donations of money.
I scrammed out of that church so fast you could hear the wind whistling amongst the pews, never to return. You taught me well, dear brother. Thanks again! It was August, As I was preparing to go on a mission to Ghana with 18 young souls, I was reading a letter from the pastor of a sister church there and the activities our group was going to engage in.
Preaching in various villages, worshiping, casting out demons, etc, etc. We arrived in Ghana and split in to groups of three and a guide for each group for translation. Ghana has a very distinct aroma and color. The area is lush green and the earth is a burnt orange. Vultures are in abundance like pigeons in a city. Termites create hills that are up to six feet high and the people smile and glow.
Sometimes when people greet each other and talk to one another they will hold hands for an extended time. The village we ended up in for the night had goats and chickens walking around, some huts were wood, some on the outskirts were clay with grass roofs. We set up to hold a service in the village school, a typical single-roomed wood building.
As the pastor of that village began to speak and the worship team began a guy playing a homemade drum and a girl with an angelic voice to sing to signal the start of the service. I was pacing and praying outside the building getting my being ready to be used. Off in the distance I could see a few women dancing in the moonlight to the worship music being played. They were not on their way to attend, they were just enjoying the moment by their hut, it was beautiful.
The service began and I preached about the power of prayer of a righteous man citing Elisha and how it is meant for everybody to have that power through the righteousness of Christ. As we ended the service, we started worshipping and the people lined up to be prayed over. One by one they came forward to receive prayer. At the end of the line was a teenage girl. When she made her way to the front and spoke with the pastor it was learned that she was full of demons, my spirit leapt, this was the very moment, the very reason I was to be on this mission trip. I told the people of that vision. I prayed, the music rang, I prayed and the people sang.
The service ended, I was elated and exhausted. We spent a few more days in the village walking from house to house, praying and preaching, I was never lost for the right words, reaching all sorts of souls, and seeing signs everywhere, for thus I know Christ is alive. I have seen people from all walks of life living a life of destruction and the Church reaching out to these people changing lives, reuniting families and these people becoming whole again, I know the Church saves. I have also seen many of people strung out from condemnation and guilt, broken and hurting deep inside from the constant pressure of trying to do what is right according to the preaching and teaching of those deemed as leaders of the Church.
I know the people are imperfect. Some responded with open arms and other responded with condemnation, no uniformity, it was very confused and confusing.
Unfortunately the president of the congregation I was attending announced from the pulpit as he was preaching that he would not live in a country where that allowed same sex marriage. I was like What? That stuck with me, and not in a good way. He was preaching hate and condemnation while supposed to be representing love and grace. Yes, the people are imperfect.
You wrote you can not separate Church from Christ, this is truth, but where it gets convoluted is when one needs to separate the people church from the Church. This is a main concept I have learned in my spiritual walk, follow Christ, not people. This will be and is the downfall of the Church. One must be able to separate the people of the Church from the Church itself. A man must work out his own salvation.
Follow me as I follow Christ.. The Church is built on the principle of salvation and Christ is the head. This Church shall not be overcome by anything for it resides in a realm beyond people. But the church, the people of this world with their several doctrines that conflict one another, the bingo parties and potlucks, out reaches and squabbles is not the same entity, though it carries the same name. It is not made up of Christ but people who elect to try and follow Christ to the best of their abilities. We must separate the Church from the church of people or call it something else, because it is two distinct and different entities.
One is man made, physical and completely flawed, while the other is devine and spiritual and one must be able to discern the difference for his or her own salvation and sanity. Know Christ, Know love and know the difference. I share from a heart of desiring all to have clarity regarding spiritual matters. There is no where in the New Covenant that commands the erection of buildings, whether great or quaint, in which an organized religious entity is housed. The assembly of believers mentioned within the scriptures refers to sincere believers in Christ coming together…wherever, whether in a home or in the park, on and on, and sharing from their personal experience with God and His Word under the primary guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Free from the lie! Do not take my word as gospel…ask God to reveal His truth and be open to receiving it. Your article is great in theory, but in my experience of 28 years of following Christ, most leadership is not open to any correction. Modern day churches model themselves after other churches and not the biblical church as prescribed in scripture.
Call it impractical to act out Acts , but my husband and I do this twice a week with groups of believers. We are accountable to each other to make sure the word of God is not misused. Never once do I see the Body referred to as a well-oiled machine, which disposable parts. Laity is looked down upon as not being capable of exegesis or discernment. I am the sixth of eight siblings. We ate and breathed church! It was much like the following:. Sunday Morning: Sunday School at a. Followed by Morning Worship at a. And if there was a special program planned with another church as the guest, then most likely we would eat dinner at the church and stay for the program until around p.
Or, we would return home and eat, and within an hour and a half, return to church. Friday Night: Church Service starting at p. Saturday Afternoon: Sunshine Band for the youngsters. By Saturday night, perhaps a District Meeting, a Musical Mid-night or another program , a dinner sale or special program. It could be several things planned for that night. Then start all over again on Sunday! And many times we were the guest church for other local churches, so we had to quickly eat dinner and then off to that local church or—in many cases—churches that took us out of the state.
The holidays were nonstop! There was Good Friday services around noon at the church. Then Resurrection Sunday, which was the custom. My mother would prepare Sunrise Breakfast for the members of the church on Sunday morning, and her daughters helped to prepare it prior to sunrise, around a. After that, change clothes for Sunday School and church service for the entire day. My mother also hosted Christmas dinners for the church members—preparing food and entertainment.
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Christmas programs included plays, readings, and poems that meant the PKs had to participate in a big way. Also, my siblings and I were singers and instrumentalist with our own singing group. We occasionally went out of town to sing and perform on the weekends, BUT, we had to be back in time for Sunday Morning church, no matter how late we arrived home. Though I was attending a university in my hometown, there was little to no time to work on my school curriculum.
I was burnt OUT! Did I have a healthy respect for Jesus Christ and the things of God? I was a decent person from the viewpoint of being moral. No way! I was well aware that if I had died in my sins, hell would be my eternal home. I started reminiscing about Good Friday services and missing my family. So, I turned on the radio there was no Facebook, YouTube, etc. The channel had several preachers on the station, and I listened to what I had been taught all my life, but never wanted to accept.
Then, I saw what appeared to a vision—a cloudlike type of vision as though it had materialized in my bedroom! The scene was extremely bright but cloudy. But it was Jesus hanging on the cross in my bedroom! His entire body hung stretched and He seemed to be breathing out His last breaths. So, I turned my face away, crying profusely in shame and unworthiness.
The church isn’t even biblical, is it?
Those words hit me like a bolt of lightning! My husband then accepted Jesus as his Savior that following May. My husband and I did find a church that had taught us well. Unfortunately, that pastor and wife divorced a couple of years later. But my husband and I found ourselves too busy again! I was the church secretary, also in the choir, and on the Anniversary Committee and working part-time in a secular job while trying to balance it all.
It was program after program after program again. Eventually, my husband was given PCS orders to another state. We were given a letter of commendation for our church attendance and a letter to take with us with a plaque extolling our dedication from the pastor. That was in The pastor had reunited with his wife before his passing to glory. Though we do drop in to visit one specific church in our area, we have not joined a membership.
We are approaching sixty-years-old now. Though the pastors would mention the Rapture, they never went into detail about it, and rarely taught from the book of Revelation not that I could remember. So, one day I met a Catholic apologist online in a Christian forum. For nearly two years he put me in a position to defend the reason why I believed in salvation in Jesus Christ through faith in grace alone, and to prove solo scripture as sound doctrine outside of oral tradition relating to Catholic dogma.
That was around I researched, learned, and grew in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. I learned outside the organized church. YouTube is a treasure-trove of learning about eschatology I believe the Pre-tribulation viewpoint, btw. I have a true love especially for eschatology. I am yet learning and enjoying working for Jesus, and have started using a PowerPoint program as an animation-like presentation on YouTube about eschatology, starting with the Rapture. It is time-consuming, but I am enjoying the work I was given to do by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I was brought up as a Catholic. However it can get a bit grating after years of attending and know one including the priest will even make eye contact with you. So I tried other churches I am very interested in the reformed and protestant teaching. It was like being interrogated. In the end I persuaded her to come with me. Also they where obsessed with interviewing criminals on the stage, they were treated like rock stars and the ordinary parishioners especially the older ones, totally ignored, terrible.
And then theres t5he ecstaticism with the hand waving and once people falling down in a form of mass hypnotic hysteria. It kills my faith, so I prefer to study my bible and pray and have a close relationship with the lord and thats better for me. Sad but there it is. You are right, Mick. Worship, commune with and love Jesus in the quiet and peace of your soul, in private meditation and contemplation. The church wants your money. You are of no use to the church except to provide money to them. What I hear through these posts is a constant whining about the faults of church.
Jesus is perfect, the church not so much. As this topic is obviously coming from disappointments and wounds of the past then I suggest the constrictive response is to do 2 things. Ask Jesus to reveal the deep source of your discontent and obey what he shows you to do in your life, and secondly speak life and blessings into bad situations and be part of the solution.
That is the point. Man will never be able to create or possess a church without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish. So why are we trying to build the church for the Lord when He said He was the one who would build it? He will present to Himself a pure and spotless bride. They are not the same!!! This will be the reason for the downfall of modern churches.. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. The Bible does not instruct us to have a different church on every corner. For they that are such serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. However, according to the Bible, the most traveled route is not the way to life. Eternal life through Christ. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. They are of the world, and the world heareth them. Modern day churches want your money.
Look at filthy rich Joel Osteen. Every pastor wishes they were Joel Osteen. Many are called, but few are chosen. So, among the scripture quotes which you have chosen to display, one would think this one above would help you see that the statement is not literal. Of course there remains before and after the time of Jesus on Earth both male and female, and other beliefs, creeds, nationalities and conditions…but the Church of Christ asks us to co-exist as if these differences matter not. The shepherds are mostly wolves and their said flock become wolves themselves through dedicating themselves to them.
God wants to unite the true church, however, the said churches are in the way, hindering and stopping that from happening. But church is a place to work, not to rest. Demand, demand, demand. Not at am sharp on their only day off. Just let them come and be still and know that God is God, and that He loves them for them, not for what He can get out of them.
If they want to leave right after the service, let them go. Again, awesome site! I love my church and what it does for our church community, our neighborhoods, and the world. I find that we do a lot more together than I can accomplish on my own. I see lives changed week after week. I wonder how much time we waste debating about these matters…with time we are to steward? Are you sleeping, are you sleeping? Brother Fessdo, Brother Fessdo?
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing Ding ding dong, ding ding dong. I just find it hard to imagine that as Jesus hung on the cross He cried because He knew His sacrifice would not be sufficient to save me from myself. To save someone that played the game, knew the game, and manipulated the game of this thing we call church. And now that I am tired of playing my entire existence in eternity is to be condemned to a fiery hell?
There is sure to be people that will disagree and will accept nothing less than total allegiance to the system but I refuse to bow. It took me 36 years in the institution we call the modern-day church to find out I did not know the God I said I served. I only found Him walking down a lonely road to Golgotha. If we truly believe that the current structure of what was a construct of Constantine is the true church then I must ask the questions, is it without spot or wrinkle, or any such blemish.
Any honest man would say no. That is because the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ is about individuals who have gone into a holy bed chamber and had intimate time with Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim. It is made up of the portable tabernacles that have made Him their habitation and not a group of people that have put the name Jesus on the sign of their church.
That sign is only an indication of where those people have stopped in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. As individual churches or habitations of the Most High, definitely. If they have that true 3rd dimensional relationship, then most certainly so. But those people would know that going to a building and singing, hearing a preacher, and giving money does not define their salvation nor is it a testimony of their spirituality.
Their hope, faith, trust, and lives are hidden with Christ in God. The mentality of it being all about my church or your church is where we have truly missed it. Even the word itself is an incrimination of that which the all worship. With each new church that arises after a split, or a new denomination that is added to the, now more than ones registered, we lay yet another fist to the face of Christ where He is marred to the point that no one can see who He truly is. The allegiance to denomination rather than obedience to Him is at the heart of the illusion.
First, we divided over liturgy or the manner or order of worship, then by doctrine, and ultimately by religion. The Father must be truly confused or we would have the church that He promised. Instead look at what the church, that is more the leadership, has been doing in the shadows and it is Ezekiel Chapter 8 all over again.
We moved out of the shadow of what was a type and moved into the light. The construct of what it is to be is all in Him, by Him, and through Him. This was much more to be desired than a humble and giving form of relationship with the Father and with their fellow man. And this is what we call the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I weep because so many have been bewitched into believing that they will never have any more of God than the pastor will allow. The princes of the pulpits that have no understanding beyond the elementary principles of Christ are somehow thought of as seasoned men of the word because they wear the three piece suit just right, and the handkerchief is held with the grip of a master mason.
All of these are styling cues that are paraded as their bona fides of spirituality. It seems that we all worship that which we do not understand. How did this whole thing begin? All we did was take an ear from here, and nose from there, an eye from that and then called it God and told the world to bow down and worship it.
We created something to be sure, a graven image. The truth? Man wants the control over the masses. What they say, where they go, what they believe. Self-preservation is the first instinct of man. My friend and brother Fessdo where are you, ole buddy? If going to church brings one peace, how can that be a bad thing?
He told us that if we believe in Him, we will be given eternal life. I believe Him. John Amen, we have been conditioned to attached the completed work of Christ to our ability to join a church and show up for every service. It is interesting to me that Jesus Himself never preached a gospel that was church attending centric. He continually spoke about the secrets of the Kingdom of God. Do not be mistaken I believe that it is both good and pleasant that we live together in unity but that does not imply that we having to meet at a specific location with a steeple and choir. Some of the most enlightening and glorious times that I have had in my communion with the Father has been in the middle of nowhere with a roaring campfire.
Sometimes alone and sometimes with a few others. It is such a contrast to what I had been a part of for 36yrs. Though it may be a personal indictment about me I often tell people that I was a professional Christian. Now I am a nobody to that world but have found solace in the shadows of the almighty and would never go back.
I am so humbled by His presence. At times, I think that the highest form of worship is utter and complete silence. It might sound crazy but the loudest sound in the world is silence before the Father. We are always too busy talking, singing, shouting, dancing, laughing, of which all are good at the right time, but being quiet and still as He rises from within you becomes a crescendo of sound unlike anything ever heard.
That is because glory never comes down but rather it goes up. It is diametrically opposed to what I call pseudo evangelism propagated by the system. They made us believe that making converts and saving souls were up to us but that is not the case. Winning souls simply means that we are to sow the seed of Christ, then another waters, but He gives the increase. What we are to be about doing is making disciples. But that that is not something that happens for 1 hour at 5pm on Sunday evenings. It is the pouring of your life in Christ into another person. At the end of it all only those whom He knows will be welcomed to share in the Kingdom of God that has been prepared for them.
It so wonderful to know that a person that He does not know can never be saved and a person He does know can never be lost. That is why He is the only Lord of the universe. Everything happens for His pleasure, all things are naked before Him, He is the beginning and the end at the same time. So, we can take our rest in knowing that no person will ever go to hell because we failed to witness to them.
There is a much deeper revelation here but not for this time. Thank you for your words of life brother they have brought peace and comfort to me. I appreciate you indulging me. This truly is all that I have left in the world, to continue my search for the height, width, and breadth of Him and His love, and to speak with others of His goodness and mercy as well all cry Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.
Thank you for being a part of bringing glory to Him by your beautiful words. Amen, brother Todd. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. That was beautiful and blsssed, what you said and how you said it. Count me in among the church quitters. Faithfully attended church and served for many years. Churches are full of imperfect people. I get it. Do imperfect people have free reign to be appalling in their behavior? When I see things from the pastor and his wife that would never fly even in the most secular business office, what am I supposed to think?
Why should I attend every Sunday to hear kindergarden teaching from a baby Christian behind the pulpit who slapped together a sermon from internet blogs? We complain and complain about this, but it falls on deaf ears. Counting the number of donuts people take? Watching their children like a hawk when they go to a bathroom? How many times do we have to see this junk, and how many times do we have to complain, before pastors get the message??
And then with the music. Just ditch the worship team and play iTiunes from the stage already. It would certainly save the church a lot of time and money. Or maybe choose some less ambitious songs for their ability to induce real worship. I have a group of Spirit-filled friends who join me in fellowship all throughout the week.
We have Bible study, prayer meetings, counseling, everything the church is supposed to be. We financially assist those in need. We support ministries we believe in. We witness to people and pray for healings and stimulate each other to good works. Why is it that my complaints are always dismissed? Why has a pastor never once called on me to explain why I disappeared? Why are there so many blogs like this that misrepresent us?
I want nothing more than to find a group of nice people who study the Bible together with no egos or agendas. Why is that too much to ask??? Welcome to this blog and hope you can contribute through His Spirit. I wonder if the churches at Galatia or Corinth, at Laodicea or in Thyatira, or any of them were better than they are today. When Jesus saw sin, he did not remain quiet, but called it out. Yet, still, he loved and died for his Church; he did not abandon it. In Thyatira, where Jezebel encouraged its members into sexual perversion, what did Jesus say?
Did he tell his followers to leave? We have become grumblers and complainers. It only took three days after the Red Sea was parted that thousands resumed grumbling—except for two: Joshua and Caleb. They were the only ones to make it. Are we only joyful when circumstances please us?
No, I am not any greater than you. But I am twice as old, and by virtue of the fact I had to wait to get there, I am that much more patient. You see things you do not see when you are half as old. You experience things I would not dare have dreamt when I was young, like you. If you have been given wisdom from God, share it with those who are without it. If you do not sin, cast the first stone. God will exalt the humble. Jesus paid it all so that you could have what he deserved.
Stu, that all sounds great. Let me share with you my experience with the church I just quit. When I first began attending, about two months ago, I felt edified by the pastor and his sermons, comfortable with the welcoming, warm and friendly congregation and a sense of satisfaction when I left a service.
I had met him while attending a study group session that he led. I sent him a text, asking him to please call me. That was the final straw. That was his approach. Gimme aa bucket for that bs. Thank you, dear, blessed, holy Lord Jesus, for never leaving or forsaking me and for always walking right beside me as I and my brethren in the Grace of Your Spilled Blood patiently, eagerly await your return to make everything right.
Come soon, Lord! I remember one church where we attended weeknight Bible study led by the pastor. I humbly offered an answer. I saw the room light up including the pastor when they realized I was right. The pastor never spoke to me directly again. There was no follow-up to that conversation, not one person in the room asking me out for coffee afterward. Not that I care to be popular, but there was no curiosity to see what else I knew. In churches these days you are punished if you display knowledge or maturity above the leadership team. You are marked as a know-it-all.
If you want to get along with people, you have to play dumb. Amen, you hit the mark! The prince in the pulpit saw a king and was embarrassed. I can bet after that you became a threat to him. To use a worldly metaphor, the emperor had no clothes not because you told everyone he was naked but you showed everyone he was by being clothed. Well done. The whole of the earth groans and travails as a woman in labor.
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Index of Cults and Religions
The groans and travails of the earth are not because of sin, wickedness, evil, or any other such force or action, not even the devil is the cause. The reason for the earths groaning and travailing is that it is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God, Romans The sons that are to be birthed out in the latter days to follow the one and only Son of God and they are be the light in this world, the bridge builders of His kingdom, dare I say it, the Melchizedek Priesthood for the end times.
The church of Ephesus self-destructed due to ravenous wolves in leadership. None of the 7 churches in Revelation exist today.. Jesus overturned the tables in the temple — then He spoke eight woes over Jersusalem, called the Pharisees children of the devil, and sent His church to the Gentiles. There are only so many times you can overturn the tables. You think pastors want to hear my wisdom? My chair-setting and floor-mopping skills are in high demand, but not my opinions.
Why ask for my home address if you will literally never visit my house? So my choices are either to sit in the back reading my Bible while no one cares to engage me after puzzlingly interrogating me on my background , or stay home in my pajamas and fellowship with real friends.
Instead of browbeating us to undertake heroic Jericho efforts, perhaps, just perhaps, the shepherds over the sheep should do their job. We are the Church! There are more like you out there, Take some comfort in knowing that others also feel what you feel and see what you see. There is a remnant people that He the Lord has set aside for these latter times. This that have been hidden away in the house of God eating and drinking the substance of Christ. They are those that hunger and thirst for Him more than their daily bread.
We have no Father but God. There are no men, no institution or denomination that can lay claim to us as being their sons. It is the reason that you leave that building feeling the way you do. There is a priesthood that is being but already has been built that will show forth the praises of Him who called us out of the dark into His marvelous light. This priesthood is the reflection of the Father and the Son and it will be the counter balance to evil in these last days. I believe that you are on the right path dear brother.
Keep pressing, keep pushing, keep tapping into that 3rd dimension and when the time comes you will do the works of your Father. Thank you Todd. I continually grow as I learn more about our Savior. He is truly our light in the darkness! Oh how desperately we need Him. Amen, brother. What would we do without Jesus?
Thank you, Jesus, for coming to save us and thank you, Father, for giving us your own begotten Son Jesus! We have no life without Him because we are dead and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. So the only true way to know who you are is to know who He is because you find your true life and identity in Him. You are so dead on, we need Him more than ever. That being said the Father purposely chose to need us to complete himself. He emptied out different parts of His personality and nature and then put it in His sons, i. So when the God part you have connects with the God part I have He is connecting Himself to Himself thus fulfilling the high priestly prayer of Christ in John Chapter 17, Father make them one even as we are one.
So there are none outside the ONE. All those that the Father gave to Him He kept. What a beautiful savior we have and what a glorious privilege it is to know Him and those that carry a part of Him inside their temple. These are the true riches of Christ, to love one another as He has loved us is greater than all of the prosperity of all the churches, denomination, religions, and ministries combined. Interesting that money has denominations as well.
Just a thought. All one has to do is look at the demographics data and see that there are alot more grey hairs than younguns in the seats and that trend is not about to reverse any time soon. And its not just a matter of location, either. Congregations are stagnating and dying in better populated areas just as they are in rural small towns. I live in an urban sprawl with plenty of young people, highscool, college age, young families.
But I look around at our church and even on the busiest of Sundays, well over 70 percent in attendance is 55 or much older. It is dying in the West because it is indeed an institution in which many degenerates hide themselves, and where these princes of the pulpit, as you say, come to craft a career that most often requires little to no education. They often gain the status of CEO immediately, as they are not required to work their way up the ladder to get what they want. And it shows. The message is always the same recycled themes, and none of them are inspiring.
It feels like showing up to a banquet hall expecting a sumptuous feast for that is what church touts itself to be, spiritual nourishment only to be served up dry toast. But whatever. It needs to be said. Its a marketing ploy to get people who show up to nice restaraunts in ripped jeans, sandals, and refusing to take their ball caps off, to see church as more relatable to them. Just another fall in standards, as you said. I realize not everyone has a suit and tie or fancy dress, but anyone can do a bit better than bermuda shorts and spaghetti straps!
Blessings to you and your small body of believers who are doing exactly what the early Christians did! It does indeed seem like the barbarians crashed the gate. Church is mostly a big party with a vaguely inspirational message to entertain the hordes of carnal prosperity seekers. Then the responsible Christians are left to pay the tab. No thanks. During the Gulf War when all the oil wells were lit ablaze I was attacked by a demon on three separate occasions all at night. This is what happened. While I slept a demon flew through my window and attack me. The spirit inside me fought this demon briefly until I awoke.
Then it made me take over. I leaped out of bed trying to defend myself. This demon was horrid and spun circles around me thrashing through my soul with its hands, then it left as fast as it came. The demon radiated from the pains associated with the abyss. He was like a coal pulled from the fire, with the pains of the abyss Rev 9, 3. This attack happened on three separate occasions as I have stated.
The third time it attacked me however was different from the rest. As before the demon attacked me, but this time I had enough since to command it to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. What happened next is even more amazing. After commanding this demon to leave in the name of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit delivered me outside my bedroom into the hallway. The demon followed. We were brought into the presence of the Lord. When he was 12, Mark became suspicious of a local Witness named Louis Ongsingco, a flight attendant who would bring home Toblerone bars for the local Witness kids and invite them to his apartment to act out religious plays.
Mark noticed Ongsingco touching young girls in a way that made him uncomfortable. He told an elder about his concerns. But rather than take action against Ongsingco, the elder told him what Mark had said. Days later, Ongsingco pulled Mark aside and scolded him. The cases were settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Ongsingco died in To Mark, the lesson was that for all the emphasis the elders placed on moral purity, there was no greater sin than speaking out against other Witnesses.
By the time Mark was in high school, in the early s, had come and gone, but Watchtower had a new prediction for the apocalypse. It said that the world would end before the passing of the generation that was alive in At the time, the youngest members of that generation were 70, so the new prediction created a sense of urgency. At 17, despite having a year of college credit and a guidance counselor imploring him to apply, he decided to settle for a high-school diploma.
He was baptized and later started his exercise-equipment repair company. The business provided enough flexibility for him to perform 50 hours of field service for the Witnesses a month, which qualified him for the rank of auxiliary pioneer. Though many Witnesses left the religion after , membership was on the upswing by the s, and the organization was building new Kingdom Halls. Mark was installing a sound system in a new hall in Baltimore in the fall of when a young woman named Kimmy Weber asked to borrow his ladder.
At 20, Kimmy was putting in more than 90 hours of field service a month, making her a full-fledged pioneer. Mark was drawn to her drive and intensity. He tracked down her email address; they flirted over AOL Instant Messenger and were married within eight months. They wanted to start a family, but decided to wait until after the arrival of paradise on Earth, when they, and their children, would be perfect.
In the meantime, Kimmy began opening their home to abused and abandoned cats. When he and Kimmy had saved enough money to buy the house across the street as a rental property, they filled its three units with other Witnesses. There were ski vacations, softball games, dinner parties, and game nights—always with friends who shared their faith.
It felt less like intimacy and more like a self-imposed bubble. These frustrations eventually grew into suspicions about Watchtower itself. Nobody would stand out there and hold a sign that says An Elder Molested Me unless it really happened. No way. Watchtower adjusted its estimates for the apocalypse several more times. In , it introduced the Overlapping Generations theory, which claims that the end will come before the death of everyone who was alive at the same time as anyone who was alive in Mark found these revised predictions difficult to accept.
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In late , Mark had an extreme reaction to an antibiotic and was confined to his couch for several weeks, away from the meetings and Bible studies. Left alone with his thoughts, he began to admit to himself that he no longer believed Armageddon was imminent. And here he was, 45 years old and facing a health crisis. How much more of his life was he willing to waste inside the bubble? He never attended another meeting. Though Kimmy kept going to meetings, her Witness friends pressured her to leave her marriage.
Kimmy already had a routine of evening strolls, and he began to join her. Their walks got longer, eventually reaching eight or 10 miles a night. He also started watching YouTube videos by Lloyd Evans, a former British elder who has amassed a dedicated following with his anti-Watchtower arguments. Instead, he shared small pieces of information to challenge what Kimmy had been taught, such as the truth about the doomsday prediction. Kimmy had grown up believing that overzealous Witnesses, not Watchtower, had chosen that date.
But Mark, who rarely threw away anything, encouraged her to read the Watchtower articles exhorting members of the faith to sell their homes. When she was 9, the elders in her congregation paired her with a man named Jonathan Kendrick for Saturday-morning field service. Instead of going door-to-door to preach the word of God, Kendrick would take Conti to his house and molest her, she says. She estimates this went on for about two years. When she went back to the elders in her former congregation to tell them about the abuse, she was rebuffed by something called the two-witness rule.
Critics say this rule has helped turn Witness communities into havens for child molesters, who rarely commit crimes in the presence of bystanders. The elders told Conti that without a second witness to the molestation, there was nothing they could do. Conti asked the elders to consider a plan she had devised for tracking child molesters within the organization. When they refused, she sued Watchtower, her former congregation, and Kendrick. Others had come forward with accusations against Watchtower before, but Conti refused to take a settlement, and the trial, with its blockbuster monetary award, became a major news story.
When Campos assaulted Lopez in a La Jolla, California, home in , the boy told his mother, who immediately reported Campos to the elders. They said they would handle the situation, and told her not to call the police. Yet Campos continued to rise in the organization, eventually becoming an elder. In , he fled to Mexico, where he later confessed in a deposition to molesting Lopez and several other young boys.
Lopez filed a lawsuit against Watchtower in When his lawyer, Irwin Zalkin, requested that Watchtower turn over all documents related to Campos and other known molesters, the organization at first refused, saying it lacked the resources to locate and sort all the information. But a senior official for Watchtower later testified that all the information had, in fact, been scanned and stored in a Microsoft SharePoint database.
Zalkin introduced a software expert who testified that Watchtower should be able to produce the documents in as little as two days using simple search terms. Still, Watchtower did not comply. An appellate court overturned the ruling, saying the judge should have sanctioned Watchtower incrementally; the case was settled for an undisclosed sum in January Exactly how many alleged pedophiles are named in the database has been the source of wide-ranging speculation.
In , one former elder said the number was 23, Watchtower would not comment on the number at the time except to say that it was considerably lower. During the Lopez trial, a Watchtower attorney estimated that the organization had received blue envelopes from to , but did not say how many it had received since then. Perhaps most tellingly, in , an Australian investigation found that the perpetrators listed in the database represented 1.
Assuming the percentage is comparable in the U. In , the U. Last year, in the Netherlands, then—Justice Minister Sander Dekker urged Watchtower to conduct an independent investigation into hundreds of abuse allegations received via a special hotline. Watchtower declined. By the time Mark told Kimmy about the Conti trial, in August , she was starting to see things differently, too—enough that she decided to read the trial transcript. Now she began to open up. She told Mark about how her mother would lock her and her two siblings in their bedrooms or the basement for days with no food and only a litter box for a toilet.
How she would keep them up all night by banging on pots and pans, then send them to school delirious and malnourished. But Kimmy did tell. As a year-old, she went to the elders in her congregation for help. They discouraged her from seeking counseling, because a therapist might blame the religion or get the authorities involved. Finally, the elders asked Kimmy a question: If her mother did end up killing her, could that prevent Jehovah from resurrecting her at Armageddon?
This time, the elders said they would need a second eyewitness before they could intervene. Years later, she would learn that her brother had already reported the abuse to the same elders. When she read the transcript of the Conti trial, she discovered that it was Watchtower doctrine and had been used for decades to prevent other abused children from getting help. Soon, both she and Mark would leave the organization for good. Close friends stared at their feet when Kimmy ran into them at Walmart. His business faltered. He and Kimmy had some savings to fall back on and would find other tenants.
Mark told Evans his story and thanked him for the work he was doing. To his surprise, Evans wrote back, suggesting some online ex-Witness groups he should join. As he connected with ex-Witnesses around the world, he was struck by how similar their accounts were to his own. He began writing about his experiences on Facebook.
His posts spurred conversations among former Witnesses, giving him a new sense of purpose. By a strange twist of fate, one member, Geoffrey Jackson, was in Australia at the time, tending to his sick father. Watchtower had managed to avoid a subpoena by claiming that the Governing Body was strictly advisory and played no role in creating policy. Stewart used the manual to subpoena Jackson. It was an emotional moment for those whose abuse Watchtower had denied.
Perhaps, Mark thought, his extensive collection of Watchtower ephemera and his encyclopedic knowledge of the religion could be used for something other than recruiting. The conference marked the first time that Mark used his real name as an activist, figuring the Witnesses he knew in Baltimore were unlikely to hear about the small overseas gathering. In , a PIMO man and his girlfriend began walking into Kingdom Halls in Massachusetts, opening locked file cabinets with a set of stolen keys, and removing or making copies of sealed documents.
They had heard chatter about Watchtower covering up child abuse and, at first, simply wanted to see the evidence themselves. Most of the documents they took were letters between local elders and Watchtower headquarters, or from one congregation to another, discussing the alleged sins of individual congregants. A woman was disfellowshipped for having sex with her ex-husband when he came over to plow her driveway during a snowstorm. In total, 12 individuals are named as suspected child molesters, though missing documents make it difficult to piece together some of the stories.
Just five sentences long, the letter informed Watchtower that a ministerial servant had admitted to physically and mentally abusing his wife for years. No mention was made of involving police or taking steps to protect the wife. Judas had blacked out the names of the couple and the congregation, but not the date. Jason Wynne saw the letter and sent Judas a private message, warning him that he could be exposing himself and others to legal trouble or harassment by posting sensitive documents online.
Judas replied, asking for advice on how to release his other documents. He also used secure channels to send scanned copies to Mark and Wynne. Though they wanted to eventually leak redacted versions of every document involving a criminal act, they decided to start with one big story: the case of a Witness man from the Palmer Congregation in Brimfield, Massachusetts, who allegedly abused his two daughters and another young girl.
The story plays out across 33 letters—69 pages in all—between the congregation and Watchtower headquarters. He allegedly took one of his daughters into the woods and showed her where he would bury each of her body parts if she told. At first, the elders took only nominal action because one of the sisters refused to accuse her father in person. In , the elders finally disfellowshipped the man after he confessed to molesting one daughter.
But he was reinstated a year later, partly because the daughter who had accused him of years of rape refused to answer new questions from the elders, who expressed disapproval in the letters that she and her husband had alerted civil authorities. Mark and Wynne, nervous about trafficking in stolen documents, wanted to create another layer of protection for Judas and themselves.