Jesus said: Making the Word of God of none effect by your tradition, which ye have delivered and many such like things do ye.
The Title?

Lost! NT Realities Made of None Effect due to the Traditions of Men


Finally! The Lord has laid this tasking on my heart for awhile now. But I have been clueless as to how to begin until now. You see, this is mostly an article on the positive side of the New Testament. However, I must also cry out with everything in me against these traditions of men as some of them are actually sin as there are a few of them that contradict some of the very commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. These are common practices today! This article (eventually becoming a full scale book) is also about wonderful mysteries that have been for the most part hidden from our view as modern Christians today. For sure, I will allude to the traditions of men which clog the channel of God's blessings to us. But the main subject will be upon the riches of Christ!

It was in my morning prayer today, while pray-reading Acts 17:23 which reads:   For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; ... As I pray-read these words, I began to weep! Ah!! Here is the romance of it all!! Now I see why this web site has had an appeal to many. I had not looked at the statistics for this site in awhile. I was surprised to see what traffic I've been getting. Believers today are hungry for "that something missing" due to the emptiness of present day Christianity and its empty forms.

This is somewhat similar to falling in love with a beautiful woman, not just because of her beauty but because of an unnamable mysteriousness which she keeps as an air about her. Finally she allows herself to be deeply known by one particular man, but always maintains the unknowable, the mysterious and further prospects of even more adventures in getting to know her. The wise woman will take this to heart and maintain this even after marriage. This is just one of the factors, of course, in keeping love alive in a marriage.

No matter how well you think you know the Lord, you have only barely scratched the surface!! He is still somewhat the UNKNOWN GOD to you!! This is why once you've gotten started on this pathway, its so easy to fall head over heels in love with Him! There are seasons of growth where He is revealed as so full of surprises!

The Traditions of the Apostles

You see, although I write about assembly life and the life of the living, breathing Body of Christ, I do realize and admit that I am unqualified and unworthy to write this article as true "church-life" or assembly life as I like to call it is extremely difficult to come by in this shallow age. Since my situation warrants that I must live so far away from those whom I would rather live right next to in daily fellowship, I am writing about things that I have only seen through a glass darkly form across a large room. So why would God pick me? Well, I guess it will have to be HIM! I do not know what to expect next!

1. The Gospel

For instance, let's talk about the subject of this introduction. Positive traditions! If you noticed the list of traditions of men on the left frame which I believe proceed from the source of the flesh, not out of the Spirit of Christ, you may come to the conclusion that I do not believe in tradition: period!! But if I did not then I would not believe in the Bible. It is in II Thessalonians 2 Paul alludes to the traditions of the envoys or sent ones. I avoid the word "apostles" as it is a Greek transliteration not a translation into the meaning of the Greek word "apostolos" in English. Here's the passage: "13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work."
Whatever these traditions were that came from the Lord to these men to the new believers, its obvious, they led these believers in "belief of the truth and sanctification of the Spirit." One of Paul's traditions, obviously, is the proclamation of the gospel which he mentions over and over and over in his writings. It is THE GOSPEL that Paul had been called UNTO in his unique calling. So is this something other than the Lord Himself? No way! If you study carefully the 1st chapter of Galatians (Paul's 1st letter) it will be revealed that Paul's gospel was Christ! (+proclamation of Him through certain facts of His history = HIS + story)  It was not just the historical message of His death and resurrection, although that mention of His cross is an absolutely necessary mention.  (see I Cor. 15:1-3 for Paul's "dictionary" definition: yes, of course it is also a spoken message!) But when Paul opened his mouth, the Lord Jesus Christ proceeded forth! Would to God it were the same with every minister (or "so-called minister") of the so-called "gospel" today! Surely this (or HE!) is where the early disciples started! Where else CAN you start??

BUT .... there are still elements of what Paul taught those early Christians that I'm not sure of what it was. Just what did he teach those early saints that so imbibed them with Christ? What was it that brought them into such a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus and one another? THESE traditions are important!

Thank God that at least somewhat the true gospel is being preached today and that some are beginning in the Spirit. But the words of Paul in Galatians 3:3 are being fulfilled for the most part in the majority of God's children: "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Most of us were born again by the seed of the gospel in some form, but how do we continue on? I live in the wrong age which is surrounded and soaked dripping wet with the wrong practices and traditions so it's hard to guess what they were in the 1st century exactly.  Well, I'm struggling to guess what the sent ones' traditions were, but I'll give it a shot.

2. Baptism

Although I do not believe in "sacerdotalism" which is mainly a Catholic doctrine, I do believe in the sacraments. Sacerdotalism is the belief that special grace is communicated through the sacraments. In other words, when some physical rite is performed, it conveys a dispensing of grace into your soul. This is false! The Bible says that grace is through Jesus Christ.

However, baptism was a definite NT practice and grace through Jesus Christ IS experienced not through the rite but as a result of following our conscience in obedience to Christ. (I Pet. 3: 21 which figure also now saves you, [even] baptism, not a putting away of [the] filth of flesh, but [the] demand as before God of a good conscience, by [the] resurrection of Jesus Christ,) Though it is involved in salvation, it is still "The like figure" of resurrection. Not Resurrection Himself! HE is also BAPTISM Himself! This is why although I include it in this list, Paul actually shied away from being the physical baptizer in I Cor. 1 & 2 and said rather God sent him not to baptize but to preach the gospel. The gospel is what brings you to the Reality of baptism into His actual death. Certainly this is how we must begin the Christian life: the Lord already terminated our hopeless carcasses in His permanent burial! Only Christ can come forth from THAT termination!

3. The Lord's Supper

Here's another physical rite or ceremony. It was the first Sent One Who enjoined this tradition upon all of His children. But still I would say "it" is not grace in itself, rather, it is the reality of breaking the true Bread of Life while breaking the physical bread and eating together that conveys to us the grace of God. the act of sharing the symbol of His body and His blood means we share HIM with one another.

I do have some experience with this reality as I was with a group of believers who met in a home and believed in the breaking of bread daily from house to house as a daily communion. So we broke bread and passed the cup of the vine around every day. At that time we had some heart searching going on. We also practiced David's words from Psalm 116:12&13: "12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? 13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD." So we called upon His Name as we passed the cup. Surely we experienced grace and changed lives as a result!

4. Working for a Living

OK, this may not seem very spiritual, but Paul thought it was so important, it became one of the reasons he worked for a living. As it is written in II Thess. 3:6-15: Now we enjoin you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the instruction which he received from us.
7 For ye know yourselves how ye ought to imitate us, because we have not walked disorderly among you; 3:8 nor have we eaten bread from any one without cost; but in toil and hardship working night and day not to be chargeable to any one of you: 3:9 not that we have not the right, but that we might give ourselves as an example to you, in order to your imitating us. 3:10 For also when we were with you we enjoined you this, that if any man does not like to work, neither let him eat. 3:11 For we hear that [there are] some walking among you disorderly, not working at all, but busybodies. 3:12 Now such we enjoin and exhort in [the] Lord Jesus Christ, that working quietly they eat their own bread. 3:13 But *ye*, brethren, do not faint in well-doing. 3:14 But if any one obey not our word by the letter, mark that man, and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed of himself; 3:15 and do not esteem him as an enemy, but admonish [him] as a brother.
If you check Philippians 2 Paul speaks of Christ as being a servant and this is the pattern for His life and we need to be conformed to this pattern. The real life of Jesus flowing within causes you to want to be productive. It is a matter of the heart.

5. Prayer

Paul enjoins prayer through Timothy as being the FIRST practice that believers should be engaged in for the Mediatory purposes of our holy priesthood in I Tim. 2. The main subject of their prayer was to be the prosperity of the gospel so God could move in this manner. He then spoke of how women should be in the assembly.

All I know is: it is safe to follow Paul of Tarsus who said: "follow mw as I follow Christ." And he put himself and his life as a patern for all to follow in the book of I Timothy. There may be more traditions of the envoys than these five but since I did not live back then, I am not sure what they were. I don't believe anyone can be.  If we are really walking according to the Spirit we will automatically do the things above out of the springs of our innermost being springing up like a fountain without being told!  However Paul knew that young brothers, not too well developed yet in the life of Christ needed some traditions as a yardstick to follow. The main yardstick having been the life of Paul himself as he walked and lived Christ in their midst. If you are convicted by law, it is so you can through the law be brought to the cross NOT so you can live by it or under it. The Christian life has ONE rule according to Paul who said we must begin by the Spirit and continue by the Spirit and that rule is the new creation. ( For [in Christ Jesus] neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision; but new creation. 6:16 And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace upon them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.  see Galatians 6:7-13 )You are not under law! But neither can you make it on your own! You have BEEN crucified with Him but must be brought to an acknowledgement of the fact as Paul was in Gal. 2:19: For *I*, through law, have died to law, that I may live to God. This is a window to how he practically experienced the power of Christ's resurrection. The NT commandments are real commandments. However, they are not something we are under even as John said in I John:   For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous. Emphasis mine See  I John 2:3-8 & ch. 5: 1-5. These are not rules to live BY. We live BY the spirit but they are yardsticks to show us where we are and expose us as to whether we walk by the Spirit or by the flesh and to bring us to the Lord that we may buy the holy Spirit oil, which anointing John says we all have. we just need to take advantage of it.

Chapter 2: The CLERGY-LAITY

1. The Clergy Laity System

Here is where the main subject will be dealt with - not what these human traditions are, how bad they are and where did they come from, but rather: what are the realities being held back by these things? There are others who are dealing with these subjects in a thorough way so it is not my object here. For a thorough discussion of the origins of present day practices see Gene Edwards: Beyond Radical. And now a VERY thorough work on the subject from Frank Viola, hot off the press: Pagan Christianity which contains  for the very first time in the history of the world actual documented evidence of just where, when and why our present day practices started!!!! Awesome! There is one thing I'm not too sure of however and that is if he covers all the Catholic traditions in that book. I think his subject is mainly on the Protestant. To this date I have not even had a chance to read it yet myself as it is so new.

I will say something more than I planned about this clergy laity tradition in the negative sense than I had planned because I believe it BOTHERS Christ to the uttermost so much so that it is one of the only ones on my list clearly mentioned in the scripture and that spoken of directly by the resurrected Lord Himself. In Rev. 2:6 He speaks to Ephesus saying: this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitanes, which *I* also hate.  Here He says He actually hates something. The Nicolaitanes are not mentioned in any history of the 1st century but the name really does mean something. "Nico" means a "ruling class" and "laitanes" means "over the common people." Here the Lord speaks of their works but as time went on He addresses what most scholars believe is a later time period in 2:15 ( So thou also hast those who hold the doctrine of Nicolaitanes in like manner. ) and this time it is the doctrines. This is how things develop: 1st it is a practice and later becomes a doctrine. The term "laymen" was never known in the first century but became a doctrine later on. There are a whole class of doctrines on this now deep rooted practice. This deeply grieves Christ as He is the same God Who was also rejected in the OT from being King over Israel in I Sam. 8:4-22. If you read that passage, you will see the same pattern of rejection and same resulting consequences have been placed upon the Lord by His dear children in NT times. It is evident that the elders of Israel did not care very much about their future generations even after the Lord had warned about what would happen to them as a result of their laziness and trying to shift their responsibilities for war and national security onto a King. For a book which lays the ax to the root on this matter please see the free online work: Men Who Would Be Kings by John Bland. I highly recommend this work.

There is one more passage spoken by the Lord Himself concerning this matter and that BEFORE the resurrection. It was straight to the men which people today think are the guys who had THE greatest authority!!! The sent ones whom Jesus sent with His message, His love and His passion to the lost world which He so loved. It was to these men who were the leaders (but not by authority, rather by example) that He said: But Jesus having called them to [him], says to them, Ye know that those who are esteemed to rule over the nations exercise lordship over them; and their great men exercise authority over them; but it is not thus among you; but whosoever would be great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first of you shall be bondman of all.  (Mark 10:42-44) This is amazing! If anything the OTHER BELIEVERS maybe had authority over what we call "the apostles" but of course Paul disproved that theory by the way he went in life even disregarding Holy Spirt prophecies made over his life! Anyway, the above verses  fly in the face of almost every Christian group on the face of this earth! They think that if they let this go everything will fall apart because "they" (whoever they are) will lose control. But THAT is just it! What? THAT concept: that there's a "them" and a :us" meaning "us ministers and 'them' laymen and it is so deep rooted the depth of the roots cannot even be found. Even in me!!!! I know it! But there is really no such thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO SUCH THING!!!! JESUS said so.

There is another passage which this article is based on and I have dealt with it in The Revelation of the Lost Keys chapter 8 and here I will repeat it:

"Do you really think that our Protestant and Catholic rituals can be clearly seen in the pages of the New Testament? What in this world or any other world do such boring traditions have to do with the organic divine DNA of the building up of this dear Bride of the Lamb of God??? Our present day concepts and sameness of over and over again ritualistic practices when seen in the light of God's goal are utterly ridiculous! YES. And stupid, too!!!! And I think you are finally getting it. There's a 95% chance or better in these 00's 10s or 20s of the 21st century that I am insulting you !!! That's right! I am probably insulting you!!! WAKE UP!!! To you of my generation I say as Jesus said to His generation: full well you make the Word of God of none effect by your traditions or to use Darby's translation as a direct quote: "making void the word of God by your traditional teaching which ye have delivered; and many such like things ye do." What a way to make friends and influence people! To amplify this thought His word spoken to their ways of doing things in the previous verses are: "washings of vessels and cups, and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said to them, Well do ye set aside the commandment of God, that ye may observe what is delivered by yourselves [to keep]."

Now: did you notice He said "many such like things ye do"? Well if you read that passage (Mark 7:5-23), the "many such like things" phrase is used more than once. He starts out calling them hypocrites and later on after He left the crowd and went inside the house with His own disciples whom He loved more than His Own life He told them: "Are ye thus also unintelligent?" Another version translates: without understanding. Another one says, "are you also so dull". This is not a compliment to his own disciples even. Nor is it meant to be a compliment, so don't get your feelings hurt and quit reading just because you're not perfect! It's OK! If the shoe fits, you don't have to wear it! Half of this stuff (at least!) is not your fault. Can we help it that we were born twice in an environment that we couldn't help: twisted and literally soaked with the traditions of smelly Babylon? No, it is not your fault. But still I insult you because I choose to follow the faithful lover of us all Who insulted those of His generation."

To this I will add: if you go near someone from a fishing village who has been eating fish day in and day out for only three months (maybe less!) they will reek and smell like fish but will have been around it so much they are desensitized and do not smell. To those of you in these traditions: I must be honest: YOU STINK!!! You really need more than to be just washed, you need to soak in a bath! Go ahead. Jump in here!! The water is not really too hot! But again, listen to me: washing is not enough for your odor: you also need a change of diet!!!!!!!!

Not Holding the Head

Now we will come to some of the NT realities that are all but non-existent in this dark stupid age due to the traditions of men. In Col. 2:19  Paul says: and not holding fast the head, from whom all the body, ministered to and united together by the joints and bands, increases with the increase of God.  When there are those who would be kings such as today's "ministers" and when there are those who would have kings set up over them as many of today's Christians require, the normal life flow of the Body is stopped. Oh! What riches we have missed! Oh! How the DNA growth of divine life in us has been thwarted! AND HERE is the subject matter at hand.

Christ as Head is the Source of grace, rivers of living waters and literally ALL the riches of wisdom and knowledge combined! It has been said that nearly 95% and sometimes even more % of believers were illiterate in the first century and yet, how could it be that they seemed wiser than we? It must have been their connection to Christ as Head.

This of course inter relates to a REAL Body relationship!! How can you be connected to the HEAD without being a living integral and functioning member of the Body in the proper function and place that's proper for you? From this HEAD there is nourishment "FROM WHOM ALL THE BODY"!!! You cannot have it outside of the real situation of His Body BUT TODAY THIS WORD IS BEING MADE OF NONE EFFECT!! How? By one man speaking in a lecture type lecture hall and the rest sitting staring ahead silently.


IAW with the above passage unity is also a result. Without the system it almost easy as pie to experience  united together by the joints and bands. From where? From the increase of God. Notice that there are different functions (NOT positions!) of joints bands and other kinds of members. But in a Body its not only OK to be different and STILL be one, its even normal and necessary! There is no such thing as true unity without respecting the wonderful marvelous differences between various brothers and their various gifts given by Our Wonderful Head Christ to our dear brothers and sisters!

The Increase of God

God increasing? THAT would be something new and strange in today's Christianity!! Exciting too! But what is it? It is us partaking of Christ's very nature and very life to the point that Christ GROWS WITH IN US!! Of course the more He increases, the more self decreases. Also this is not an individual matter as this passage was not even written to an individual. It works in the organism of His Body and if you try to get it alone, chances are it won't work.

2. Ordaining Ministers

Here is an aspect of the clergy laity system that seems to lay a "spiritual aura" upon some Christians but not upon others. As you'll see later the enemy Satan built upon this.

Each One Part

We simply must come back to a holy priesthood where each one knows his responsibility to the Lord, one another and the world. IAW Eph. 4:16 ( from whom the whole body, fitted together, and connected by every joint of supply, according to [the] working in [its] measure of each one part, works for itself the increase of the body to its self-building up in love. ) the Body increases with the love of Christ "through each one part" EACH one part? Oh! Where have we been? Of course we can't force these things - it must become a matter of life, not something we try to make happen. A good start would be to drop man-made traditions and maybe some of this stuff would almost automatically start happening just as a channel connected to water would flow out water if only it were unblocked and not stuffed with a bunch of junk!

Grow UP TO Him in All Things

All things? TO Him? Do we know what this means? I really think that today in this dark age the majority of Christians are lost and clueless as to what half of the NT means simply because they have no experience of it! And it's not usually their fault. It is because we have been surrounded by Babylonian practices and don't know any better. Still, it is  crying shame!

Fitted Together - connected

This is hard when you think there are special folks for "ministry" and its not ALL Christians who are priests. What is fitted together and connected mean? Would we really rejoice with them that rejoice and weep with those who weep? Would we really love one another AS ourselves? I'm getting convicted just writing about this! How we need this to be reality!

Speaking the Word of God

It's so easy to feel like you cannot speak in today's poor poor Christianity! The majority of Christians have been muzzled! The problem is when new babes in Christ get saved and receive grace, it is thwarted because sometimes there are things within them such as revelations and exhortations imparted to them by the Lord but because they have not "been ordained" the gift is frustrated and it not only stunts their function and growth but damages and neglects the other believers who should have received the feeding through their word. In I Cor 14 Paul encourages ALL to prophesy.

The Development of Certain Types of Gifts

How about Paul's mention of " them who exhort?" Hmmm, where is this guy today? If a gift of the Spirit is not used it grows dormant and this is why so many are dying on the vine. too many feel that they cannot do anything unless they get "ordained into the ministry." And the definition of what that means is not even agreed upon and is made mysterious and out of reach to the "common brother" or laity as if being ordained gives you some kind of special grace.

3. The Priesthood

A Holy Priesthood

What is a priest? He was someone who would offer sacrifices to God on behalf of men and then return from God back to man with any feedback he received from the Lord. In other words, he was an intercessor or a go between. In the old covenant this relationship broke down but in the new covenant all Christians are priests automatically. So why does the Catholic church call only some believers priests? And other Christians? Do they offer sacrifices or do you have to be ordained first? It is interesting that priest is a fart more acceptable NT term and mentioned more often in the NT than the term pastor and yet you can ask any Protestant believer if they think that the practice of the Catholic priest as far as his words, deeds and traditions is scriptural or non-scriptural and the answer will of course be no! But what about "pastor" ??? The KJV mentions the word once and the concept is hardly spoken of. But did you know that the original Protestant pastors were not called pastors at first? They were men who came to join Martin Luther and they were first called "Protestant priests!!!!!"

However if you look at I Peter 2:4-9 it is obvious that Christians have been designated by the Lord as a universal holy priesthood including all believers. There are no special classes denoted in this passage. This "go between" capability is not just each one of us but also all of us and is a corporate privilege which works better corporately! Wonderful!

Living Stones Built Together

Obviously the corporate priesthood is the way to build together us as living stones. who even knows today what the riches of being built into the house of God together entails. For one thing, when the building of the tabernacle was finished IAW (in accordance with) the blueprint given by God to Moses on the mount, there was quite a heavenly reaction to this obedience!!! God descended and filled that building with the cloud of His glory and no flesh could even stand up!! Uncrucified flesh could not enter! This is glorious!! Oh! For some of that blessedness today! How purifying and electrifyingly life giving that would be!!! This would be beyond revival because the actual NT covenant building is according to a different kind of glory than Moses had and does not fade away! I have experienced a little bit of this and I tell you this is something eternal and if you experience it you will never forget it and you will never be the same again.

To Whom Coming

This priesthood is a living of coming to Him. ONLY in this situation where believers are together a lot praying according to Paul's tradition as handed down to Timothy etc. etc. does it come easy to come to the Original Precious Living Stone. The habit is formed much easier in this situation and becomes just like breathing.

Setting Forth Excellencies

This is the glory: God being expressed through His children. It is much more seen by believers than unbelievers but God will sometimes even shine into darkness. Wonderful light is mentioned here also. When you see in this light what you see becomes yours! You can not only enjoy it but be filled with it to overflowing and spill over like a cup running over as His testimony! "The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy."

4. Organization

Organization (a word not found in the New Testament) is an offshoot of the clergy-laity trunk. It seems as if almost all of these things are! This developed amongst God's people as a result of the influence of the political friendship of Rome through the Emperor Constantine. Organization means to systematize things according to a set of rules like a machine making the Kingdom of God like a robot instead of an organism or a living breathing Body. After all, isn't that what Satan is really after? In the first century he attacked the Body of Christ (which is the only force that can actually defeat him) by distracting the members from the Head (this was done by law, philosophy, materialism, even good doctrines and even gifts of the Spirit!) So he successfully distracted the believers from Christ causing them to leave their first love and thus cut the Head off from the Body. Then he used the clergy laity system to dysfunction the majority of the Body's members. After this, down through the ages he divided this dysfunctional Body into pieces through division. Christians today do not want to hear this! But we need to admit its true and we are in a mess before we can see what to do next! The cancer IS there, it goes deep and it needs to be cut out! Forget it! I have tried it! Do not try to change the organized church! It is beyond repair. I do not say that the people of god who are there are beyond repair but there needs to be a starting all over again and this is not clearly seen today.

An organization needs a system and a system needs fuel and it is a high cost machine. When men left their first love as the Lord spoke to the 1st ecclesia in Revelation, there was the need for more labor in order to get the same outward "results." So the hired help began. this added to the need for "ministry professionals to do the job." It began with Constantine so the system was a Roman system as upon which most of the governments and organizations of the whole world are also based. Actually, this chain of command system with its hierarchical authority structure in the church today is not such a big hidden secret? Is not the Catholic Church called the Roman Catholic Church? And she is now a nation, a real nation on real territory! Of course this was the antitype of the tower of Babel in the OT. And what did God do to stop this building up? Division! He confused their tongues. So the denominational (notice that word national in there?) divisions were not totally of Satan. God had His hand in it too to stop the big tower that was getting too big. And boy is the theology language confused today!

Men Given as Gifts

This is one of things lost, not totally but for the most part. Why? Because HE  the HEAD of the Body gave gifts to men. These gifts were not to rule OVER His people but to serve them and equipping them to "do the work of the ministry." WHO does the work of the ministry ??? Not the gifted gifts? NO! ALL of us Christians are to do it and those guys equip us to do it. WOW!!!!! Is that why "IT" is not getting done? (by the way "what" is the work of the ministry? Building up the Body!) Why am I getting on this point? BECAUSE THE ORGANISM AND LIVING IN THE ORGANISM (NOT THE ORGANIZATION) DEVELOPS THESE GIFTED GIFTS!! That is the Lord's way.

Ascension and Descension

I believe that the riches of Christ's ascension and descension can only be known in the true BODY relationship of His Organism. 1st He descended through incarnation bringing God into man and taking on flesh to be God's tabernacle. Then He descended through the death of the cross into hades cleansing all things and terminating the whole old creation including ALL of Adam and everything from Adam. Then He ascended in His resurrection and a man was born as God's Son bringing a man actually into God. He ascended further putting a man on God's throne! Then He descended as the Life Giving Spirit with the old man terminating, new man germinating and one new man enthroning life of the God-Man as both inner Breath for our daily walk and life and outer Wind for our empowerment and service!! These are just some of the riches that are "to the ecclesia" according to Eph 1:19-21!!!! It is the experience of THIS Christ in His Body which develops the men who are the gifts for perfecting and equipping who are the various joints and bands of supply.

Unity of the Faith

I have seen children fighting with each other. Usually, it is when they are fussy because they have not been well fed! Not always, but do you see? When there is a supply in the Body causing happiness, fruit and growth there shall be less strife and division in the Body and the unity of the faith will be based on seeking the livibg Christ --- not pet doctrines!

Arriving at the Knowledge of the Son of God

This does not seem to be THE aim of Christians today but Paul said "that I might know Him!" When the true envoys and other gifts develop they will express Christ and perfect others to grow up into Christ and to gain His increase till He just overflows in expression out through His Body and exposingly puts His enemy to shame!! Of course this is not just mental knowledge but a personal intimate heart to heart knowledge that is not just personal and individual but corporate. Does anyone even know what I am talking about? Do I???

At a Full Grown Man

What is this? Or Who is this? Well since the Body according to Paul in I Cor 12:12 IS Christ and the Head of the Body is Christ, then the One new man consisting of Christ the Head and Christ (joined with us) as the Body is the One New Man. The "full grown man" is of course the absolute maturity of the development of His Life through all His members for His complete expression (until we all arrive at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, at [the] full-grown man, at [the] measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ;). Then shall that which was spoken by Paul come to pass: "He that hath begun a good work in you shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." I believe he is talking about far more than we realize.

Increase of the Body

Do you begin to see what riches organization has hidden fro our eyes? I am barely scratching the surface!!!! Paul says from whom the whole body, fitted together, and connected by every joint of supply, according to [the] working in [its] measure of each one part, works for itself the increase of the body to its self-building up in love.  (Eph. 4:16) This means that the expression of Christ's life is expressed by love and a corporate living of love for one another will be the result. THIS would be the evangelization of the world!! Is this not what Jesus said? That the world would know the Father had sent Him because we had love for one another? This would not only result in the increase of the Body by doing all things from growing up into Christ in all things together but in the increase by adding more members to His Body. Christ expressing Himself through His Body is THE GREATEST EVANGELIST EARTH COULD EVER SEE!!!

One Anothering

Instead of clergy doing the ministering and Christians being distracted and separated by organizations the NT speaks much concerning "one another" .... take a minute here to consider the riches of the constant Body-life flowing of one anothering as presented in the rich pages of our wonderful new covenant and you will see that you have hardly experienced even 1% of the provisions God has provided for you in His plan for His people through His assembly. Take a look: I John 1:7: fellowship with one another , I John 3:11: love one another:, I Peter 4:10: as he has received a gift, ministering it to one another,   I Peter 5:5: bind on humility towards one another, I Thess. 5:11 Wherefore encourage one another, and build up each one the other, Col. 3:13 forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,  Eph. 5:21 submitting yourselves to one another in [the] fear of Christ. Heb. 10:24 and let us consider one another for provoking to love and good works; 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom [is] with some; but encouraging [one another], and by so much the more as ye see the day drawing near. Rom. 12:10 as to brotherly love, kindly affectioned towards one another: as to honour, each taking the lead in paying it to the other: ; Rom. 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, according as the Christ also has received you to [the] glory of God.
Rom. 14:13 Let us no longer therefore judge
one another; but judge ye this rather, not to put a stumbling-block or a fall-trap before his brother. Rom. 15:14 But I am persuaded, my brethren, I myself also, concerning you, that yourselves also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.  These are just some of the texts concerning "one another."

5. Monasticism

Monasticism is the result desire of some to feel special and came about as the result of the clergy-laity paradigm that there are "classes" in the sight of God and there are certain things you can "do" to "get" more grace from God.

Deep Things of God

There was something positive about monasticism in that it kept the community life of believers living in close proximity to each other for all that "one anothering" to take place. This is why some of these Catholics who lived in convents and monasteries found very deep intimacy with the Lord. This was one of the factors of the 1st century believers experiencing such depths of Christ. The problem was they kept too much isolation in their own cells. Also there were other negative factors making a big difference between them and the 1st century believers such as a set of rules to live by which had too much of the element of asceticism. Also, the theory that one had to "get away from it all and escape the world and live isolated from it" was a far cry from the 1st century reality of being the salt of the earth. There was another subtle problem as well: you were made to feel that you had to join this special class of believers and do their "celibacy thing", etc. ion order to "earn the privilege" of experiencing the deep things of God. By inference, to get into union with God or this deep experience was made harder and harder and something that could only happen to a few chosen ones after years of a set of mystical stages. The feeling was of course that the "depths" weren't for everybody. and that just isn't true.

6. Vestal Virgins Ritual

There sure are tons of web sites on the vestal virgins these days! But its really nothing to get excited about. It may be hard to see how this ritual which was from a completely different non-Christian religion had anything to do with Christianity. But it became a factor of the convent/monastery thing later on in that the religious feeling and deception prevailed that if you tortured yourself with celibacy (not to mention whipping oneself, crawling on broken glass on your knees and other various self-tortures) you would somehow merit more love from God. What a bunch of nonsense!

The Freedom of Grace

In Galatians we learn that if we trust in any other gospel than Paul of Tarsus gospel we are accursed. Paul's gospel was that we are totally 100% FREE FROM LAW period!!!! PERIOD!!!!!!! How does that stack up with earning brownie buttons by burning instead of marrying? In Eph. 1:4   What? Too good to be true? But that's the nature of the good news of Christ! It really IS good news! When you believe in Jesus you are FREE! FREE INDEED! This does not mean God will not deal with you as sons and chasten you, train you etc. but the matter of forgiveness and salvation is settled FOREVER. To say that the blood of Jesus has not done this through faith is to put it back on your poor little weak works to "earn your own way to heaven." Well if that's your belief you might as well jump into hell if you're going to stubbornly persist on any righteousness in yourself as a foundation of acceptance with God.

8. Ranks

Was it not Christ Who said "it shall not be so among you??" I think we have forgotten this. Actually to be honest about what I REALLY think: I don't think many Christians have even realized our Lord's words on this subject. We are dull of hearing today. Wow! This is a strange thing when most of Christianity today is built on the practice of the lecture hall type paradigm of Christian meeting with a guy preaching endless boring sermons at you Sunday after Sunday. What? You weren't listening? Or was the preacher not willing to preach on this subject due to the nature of it? Hmmmm ... maybe he was afraid he'd lose his job.

It seems almost impossible today to get away from this chain of command system paradigm. It is in all governments, all military systems and for well over ten centuries it has been in nearly all expressions of the Christian faith. Jesus said "those who are esteemed to rule over the nations exercise lordship over them; and their great men exercise authority over them; 10:43 but it is not thus among you; but whosoever would be great among you, shall be your minister; ... Did you notice the word lordship? Or did you notice the word authority?  Wow! It is not supposed to be amongst us as Christians according to Jesus Christ!! But IT IS amongst almost all Christians today! 

Where did we get this? Again, if you'll check Ephesians ch. 1 and Colossians ch. 1, you will see a chain of command system of principalities, powers etc. amongst the angelic hosts of the spiritual realm. The origination of this chain of command system was God Himself. He invented this system for the benefit of the angels as it fits them well. However, this system was not made for man. According to Jesus Christ there is only one Lord and we are brothers. Human beings as they were originally created are family oriented. In a family there is only supposed to be one father and the children, although not totally equal in all things, are still on the same level. They are brothers and sisters. It was the fallen angels who imposed THEIR system on fallen mankind and because of the fall there is actually a Satanic element and seed implanted in humankind (excuse me but I have to tell you the truth) that actually goes along with this hierarchical chain of command system and some folks even like it (especially if they are in a higher ruling class!). But JESUS said "it shall not be so among you." But we are to call one another brethren.

Let me talk to you pastors for a minute. (Hek! You priests and rabbi's can get in on this too if you want to!) The Lord said in this passage to call no man Rabbi. Matthew 23:5-12 is a parallel passage speaking of these very things: (And all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders [of their garments], 23:6 and love the chief place in feasts and the first seats in the synagogues, 23:7 and salutations in the market-places, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 23:8 But *ye*, be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your instructor, and all *ye* are brethren. 23:9 And call not [any one] your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, he who is in the heavens. 23:10 Neither be called instructors, for one is your instructor, the Christ. 23:11 But the greatest of you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and whoever shall humble himself shall be exalted. ) OK, so why do you expect your fellow believers to call you "pastor"?? Some of you pastors even take pride in your congregation calling you pastor and SOME of you even get offended (!!!!) if a brother dares call you something else or forgets to pay you the proper (choke!!!! cough! cough!) "respect" due your highness's position! Shame on you!!! DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT WHEN YOU ARE THUSLY ADDRESSED, YOU ARE BEING PUT DOWN???!!!!!!!!! Of course, what I'm about to say only applies to you if you are born again and truly a Christian brother in the Lord Jesus Christ. When brothers who call each other "brother" and "sister" call you "pastor," they are calling you by a term not even half as wonderful as the term brother. And some of them are even intimidated by your presence and even feel they should ask the Lord to forgive them (!!!!) if they forget to call you "pastor" because you're to them the "holy grandiose pastor reverend" and they actually fear you! (again: shame, shame shame on you! You ought to be ashamed of yourselves: ALL OF YOU!!!!) I'm calling on all of you pharisaical hypocrites to repent!!! DON'T YOU KNOW YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!!!!! YOU ARE HIS OFFSPRING!!!! CAN YOU GET ANY HEAVIER THAN THAT???? You have the very DNA and life of God Himself in you. You have his very life and nature and you could not be any higher or more loved by God than you are right now!!! Neither can you do a single thing to make yourself more accepted in the Beloved than you already are in Christ forever! And yet you would rather your fellow believers call you a "pastor" than a brother??? Let me ask you a serious question? Have you lost your marbles???

It seems to me that not even the "holy pastors" know who they really are in Jesus Christ! Much less the congregations who hear them preach. The content of most sermons is just too poor. Too lame. Obviously the system does not work. What have we been losing as a result?

Intimacy with the Lord

When Christians are made to feel they are secondhand citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven instead of who they really are it tends to distance them from the Lord. Even those of us (me too! yeah! I'm still affected by these things!) who are outside of the organized church are STILL being affected by condemnation from the past, feeling unworthy instead of boldly approaching the throne of grace, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum. Paul wrote the following to the Christians of his day: Eph 1:3-6: God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ; 1:4 according as he has chosen us in him before [the] world's foundation, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love; 1:5 having marked us out beforehand for adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 1:6 to [the] praise of [the] glory of his grace, wherein he has taken us into favour in the Beloved:   ... but we don't think it true because we were told there are a better class of Christians than we are and we're not good enough! I really don't think there are very many people who know the extent of what I'm talking about or understand just how serious this is and how much damage has really been done!!!

Initiative to Go and Get It!! (with repentance!)

When Paul wrote the Corinthians back after they had taken action as an assembly against the man living in fornication, he was addressing a state that they lived in due to having realized they had power with God as His children and could even command evil spirits and kick butt to make things happen for righteousness sake. They found out they had the same authority as Paul!! (not OVER Paul or UNDER Paul or even OVER the brother in fornication but it was authority concerning spiritual forces under the Headship of Christ which has been given the assemblies of God in Christ in heavenly places under His Lordship and movement of course, which they discovered) They had Christ in them as authority to do something about the situation in Corinth!

The state the Corinthians were in when Paul addressed them was no longer a lethargically lazy state of mind! They were suddenly on fire!!!! They suddenly had NO lack of initiative. It was the rebuke of the Holy Spirit through Paul that produced this condition:   The Corinthians were surely ready for anything and were, thank God (thank Paul too for being obedient) more in love with the Lord Jesus than ever! Well, why not! They had just dealt with the serious leaven in their midst and had been cleansed from a debilitating leprous disease in their midst, which had been making them almost become like a family! This is exactly what most believers are like in their so called "church-life" today and of course it spills over into their family life. Here's the passage from II Cor. 7: 7:4 Great [is] my boldness towards you, great my exulting in respect of you; I am filled with encouragement; I overabound in joy under all our affliction.   ......   .......  7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye have been grieved, but that ye have been grieved to repentance; for ye have been grieved according to God, that in nothing ye might be injured by us. 7:10 For grief according to God works repentance to salvation, never to be regretted; but the grief of the world works death. 7:11 For, behold, this same thing, your being grieved according to God, how much diligence it wrought in *you*, but [what] excusing [of yourselves], but [what] indignation, but [what] fear, but [what] ardent desire, but [what] zeal, but [what] vengeance: in every way ye have proved yourselves to be pure in the matter. 7:12 So then, if also I wrote to you, [it was] not for the sake of him that injured, nor for the sake of him that was injured, but for the sake of our diligent zeal for you being manifested to you before GodThe emphasis is mine. What riches of Christ are here, I'm afraid, most believers will never find in this generation. How sad indeed. Some will never even have a clue. This is not exciting folks. Our very neighbors and even friends are perishing and dying right in front of our eyes and we are too blind, lazy and asleep to even care BECAUSE WE DO NOT THINK WE CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT CAUSE OF "RANK". Do you see this? YOU CAN do something about it!!!