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The Revelation of the Lost Keys
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The most important revelation ever given by
God to a man during the 20th century!







Addendum III

PROPER PRACTICES; PROPER CONTAINERS


The only answer I've found is not in any concept or in any thought I could ever tell you or anyone else. The answer is in a living Person and knowing Him and maybe your relationship based on who you are, your position in life, your unique relationships with others and society ect., ect., will determine what course you must take to bring His smile not just His presence. What it boils down to really is that only God can help you through being in fellowship with the Lord closely.

So anyway what have I written this addendum for? To share some things why I believe today's ways that Christians do for the most part doesn't work. Maybe (not really maybe but definitely, I'll explain why in the next addendum) this is not the best time to write these things but there are some things I believe and you have a right to know so I will share them. And yes many of these things are in accordance to the standing of the house-church movement (which by the way there are a few things I don't agree with.).

Most of this article is based upon truths as talked about in the book "Toward a House Church Theology" by Steve Atkerson and many other writers. Although I do not agree with some of the things in that book (let me say before ANYTHING ELSE I don't agree with their standing towards the place and function of sisters in God's New Testament economy) this article concerns the things I DO agree with plus some of my ideas added and I think you'll be surprised at my conclusion of the whole matter. I'll give you a hint: consider the background image of this web page and I'll explain the true meaning at the end of this article.

1st, it was a heathen practice to have distinction between clergy and laity because according to I Pet 2 all of us are preists. It was a heathen practice to have the preists dress up in special garb while the common people didn't dress up so much.

The "Lord's supper" was originally a full meal (see I Cor. 11) and all shared not only food but the Lord with one another. Now they pass around crackers(yes in the local church too) so instead of the Lord's supper it is the Lord's snack. And it is not practiced.

What about the term "worship service"? I never liked it cause it sounds too religious and "stuffy." Anyway, you can't find it in the Bible. It suggests that the main and most important thing to Christians and the most important goal of meeting together is to worship the Lord and praise Him. Although I would place worship high and very high on my list it was not the GOAL of a meeting according to Paul. God's goal is to build. I Cor. 14:26. To build up the Body of Christ that Christ may be glorified or made known or testified or revealed however you want to word it. It all means the same thing. That the assembly would be a light set on a hill shining the light of God not by word only but by Christ in us overflowing to the world. That He might be glorified by us built as His Body so He can express Himself: that is God's goal. I'm not talking about my goal or your goal. If we put HIS goal 1st then I believe He will be blessing us as never before. Of course I Cor. 14 talks about worship as one of the necessary elements of this goal.

2nd, it seems in Paul's chapter about church meetings there is open sharing by ALL Christians because all the saints are ministers according to the Bible (Eph. 4). So I Cor. 14:26 says whoever has a toungue, or teaching or word or song... this means all the brothers or sisters can minister as they really have something from God. He goes on to say let all be done unto "edifying" that means building.

There are lots of things I could say about this chapter. It brings up lots of subjects. Its obvious their meetings were conducted differently than today's. But I would mention that there were many problems in the meetings due to the Corinthians immaturity and emphasizing the use of the more Pentecostal, showy type gifts rather than the gifts of prophesy, wisdom and knowledge which would bring revelation (I COR. 14:30)which is what builds( Matt. 16:17,18). Anyway in dealing with the problem in their meetings he did not not take the meeting out of the hands of all the saints and put it into the hands of leaders. In fact in a book which deals with such stunning and awesome problems as they had he DID NOT MENTION LEADERS, ELDERS OR PASTORS EVEN ONCE!!!!! He did not even have such a concept in his brain. HE was their leader and it was the letter of an itinerant traveling extra-local apostle which was to deal with their problem and he just didn't even think in the minister-centered way of thinking like we do. In fact it was a necessity of life that an apostle should raise up an assembly and LEAVE that assembly on their own so that all the brothers would learn to function (learn to crawl 1st!)as ministering members of Body which has joints and bands and ministers a supply of the Spirit to one another. Another point: PREACHING DID NOT DOMINATE THEIR NEW TESTAMENT MEETINGS!! That "everyone" could potentially teach, prophesy, exhort, admonish, preach and share a word of wisdom, song, prayer or thanksgiving etc., shows that no teaching was pre-scheduled, but rather the Holy Spirit was in control of those meetings through all the members of His Body. Maybe we would like to argue with these things but to do it another way is not "fitting"! (I Cor. 14:40) God does not give us an option as to how to do it. Paul says this way is the commandment of God (see I Cor. 14:36)and if we ignore it we will be ignored! (Wow! Maybe THIS is why "churches" are so dead today) Too,too, too ,too many customs have come in to take the place of this way but any way it is said "custom without truth is error grown old" and our customs today are so old we just take it for granted that it must be right cause it was that way before we were born but in reality we are the most pitifully disregarding of the truth that any generation that has ever been. In every other century you could not fault the people so much for their blind acceptance of the customs cause in every other century besides this one the majority of people were illiterate and the Bible was not even available to them. So they accepted the Catholic and Protestant traditions most of the time and by the way many of our Protestant traditions we inherited from the Catholics. Contrary to the mere supposition of many: Martin Luther did not make a clean break from Catholicism and he even admitted to this in so many words. Even if he did make a clean break: was it according to the Spirit of God and the scriptures? This we must answer. I answer now! Today's customs are not according to the Word of God!

3rd, I Cor. 16:19 quote: "the church that meets at their house" There is no mention of church buildings. It is easy for people to say what is wrong with meeting at a building? Or what difference does it make or this is a good thing for "the preaching of the Word" etc. but most of then money Christians have given is NOT to itinerate church planters to go evangelize and plant churches but to church buildings.

It is the Catholics who have justified throughout the centuries and (since most church history came from them or was written through them through their religious concept and brain)said that church buildings came from Jewish synagogues and temples so its not so bad. Well archeology only in the past 12 years have undermined this age old lie (which most people have forgotten and don't even know about anyway much less care about). They started from Constantine and there were none before that except houses where they met. To this date countless millions have been wasted on these buildings instead of the souls and bodies of men. How outrageous! Should we really put up with this?

4th, What about pastors? This guy is mentioned once in the entire New Testament and the concept is not defined. So what was a first century pastor really like? What position did he hold? And what did he really do for a living or in the church? I DON'T KNOW. Neither does anyone else who is alive today! But it SURE ain't what we see today cause there is nothing about such a guy preaching endless "eternal" boring sermons (which is another thing in the book of Acts you can't find) to people sitting in rows in a building. The "pastor" is not only not mentioned at all in the whole New Testament story (including Acts), there is no mention of such a man in ALL of first century literature (2nd century, 3rd, 4th, 5th ect. ect. until the 16th century: we are such geniuses!). Martin Luther invented the pastor cause to his mind mental knowledge and doctrine concerning the Bible were the most important thing. And head knowledge is just about most of the emphasis today not heart knowledge of Christ. And if heart knowledge is talked about....talked about... what about.......... I'll leave that sentence for you to finish. What scares me is I don't how you would finish that sentence. Do you REALLY think there's very many people who know the Lord Jesus very well these days? Are there really any who know Him like John and Peter knew Him?

5th, Then what about the "authority" of the pastors. I got to say this right or I may offend you. The way it seems to be right now I may offend you anyhow no matter what I say. So anyhow, all people agree (who believe the Bible, that is) that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church but how does it flow down from there? Hmmmm ...Well in Acts 20:17: Paul says "the Holy Spirit has made you overseers" to a group of elders who he had ordained (not just one man nor was there one head man among these men, but a group of men in Ephesus)at some earlier date by the laying on of his hands. By the way the house church movement does not always see the necessity but it is in the Bible that an extra-local traveling apostle who never stays at one place for more than 2 or 3 years HAS to actually physically lay hands on and ordain them or it is not I.A.W. the scripture. As to this point I think the Bible makes this clear and explicitly tells us we must do things according to the apostolic examples, patterns and traditions: I Cor. 4:16,17; 11:1,2; Phil. 3:17; 4:9; II Thess. 2:15.

I think everyone agrees that the kingdom of God is a theocracy ruled by Christ through His written word and the influence of the Holy Spirit: JN. 14:25-27; 16:12-15; Acts 2:42; Eph. 2:19-22; I Tim. 3:14-15. But who are the leaders under Christ? Well, of course the scripture says in I Cor. 14 that Christ has set apostles 1st in the church. Secondarily, prophets. In Acts 14:23 the apostles returned to each church in the Galatia province(notice that those churches were without human leaders of an official kind until the apostles returned to their city 2-4 years later. They ALWAYS did it that way. So should we. They always LEFT those churches. So should we.)to ordain elders "in every assembly." In Titus 1:5 Paul told his fellow sent one to ordain elders in every city. It was always a plurality of men not just one man in charge. One man in charge is man's tradition.

So what about their authority? Recently in America alot of people have been hurt by the so-called "authoritarian movement." Now I don't know everything about it but they used certain scriptures to say that leaders have authority even over your dress and certain mundane things of common ordinary life, ect. On the contrary Jesus said that the one who rules among us has got to be as the youngest and as the lowest servant. This is not supposed to be the way we think. In other words they are not there to tell people what to do but to be an example of humble serving. Interestingly enough the word "authority" in Greek which means absolute authority over others is "exousia" It is only used of those who also really have "dunamis" which means power. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels and demons. The list of those who have authority extends to certain other individuals who may or may not have 'dunamis' power: police, government officials and parents. In addition believers (who have 'dunamis power') have authority over demons and evil angels. Also believers are said to have authority over diseases and various facets of their lives such as eating, drinking and being married (I Cor. 11:10--I know you don't need scriptures over the other things) BUT there is not a single scripture that uses the word exousia concerning one believer having authority over another believer! Even more striking than this: there is not anything concerning such a concept in the whole N.T.! The word is only used of Paul in II Cor. 10:8 & 13:10 in giving him authority to build up not (hopefully) to tear down. Of course we ought to listen to such a one and the Lord's authority passes through such a one but Paul's authority was not something "over" other believer's rather it was "for" a purpose or rather to do something concerning them. Now what about us obeying church leaders? Well the scripture tells us to obey government (of course if faced with a choice of obeying that or God in case of a contradiction we must obey God, yet even then with a submissive attitude towards government)and it tells children to obey their parents but if we as believers are to "obey" church leaders (who by the way were told by Peter in I Pet 5 not to be lords over the flock but rather examples: proper examples)then the Bible studiously avoids saying so!!!!! The word hupakouo which is the Greek for obey is used however to obey God, the gospel of God (Rom. 10:16) and the teaching of the apostles(Phil 2:12; II Thes. 3:14 - the teaching of today's "apostles" had better be according to the scriptures or it should NOT be obeyed!) and of course that includes the whole N.T. which has NOTHING about obeying church leaders!!! So what about Heb. 13:17 and the word translated into our English word obey? Well this word and its true Greek(peitho) meaning is "let yourself be persuaded by" or "have confidence in" so we are to let ourselves be persuaded by our leaders. This of course means they should be respected by us and the respect is something earned because they have earned it by having more experience of life and Christ than most of us. Of course "persuaded" in the Greek means a two way conversation where you throw things back and forth and it doesn't mean absolute obedience to them but rather that we would lean to listening to them and taking counsel into serious consideration. It is not mindless acceptance but based on listening entering into discussion with them. The other word "submit" in the same verse is not the usual word usually used in Greek (hupotassomai) which means to get under an organization or person and is used in Rom. 13:1 of government (also Col 3:18 & I Pet. 2:13,18) etc. but rather the word is hupeitko which is used only in this verse! And it connotes not a structure to which one submits but a battle after which one yields! The image and real meaning conveyed is one of serious discussion and interchange after which one party gives way. This goes perfectly along with the other word in the same verse about letting ourselves be persuaded by. This is not mindless and you can't say that leaders are always right in each case. So anyway they have to constantly earn their respect. This is probably the reason why James said there should not be many teachers and you shouldn't desire to be one because not many know what the heck they are talking about and James said they will receive greater condemnation. This is true or it should be true. I don't believe that this is only condemnation from God but from people who will be watching such a one and checking him out and judging his teaching etc. Of course the persuasive power (and that's all they got) depends on truth and truth only.

So say we start changing our ways and ideas IAW what I've been writing here? Wouldn't this be more pleasing to the Lord and in accordance with what I wrote in the Lost Keys Trek about taking a shower before spiritual activity in the rack? OK, sure ... but ... then what? To have the concept that the things I have just written of is the NT wineskin is to put our Christian life in a basket. So now hear the mystery of the background of this web page: TO MERELY CHANGE OUTWARD PRACTICES TO SO-CALLED "NEW TESTAMENT" PRACTICES IS NOT GOING TO EVEN HOLD WATER MUCH LESS THE WINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! It is like merely changing the old wineskin for a basket. To see the missing ingredient, read my next article in addendum 4 on "The Crux of the NT" which asks the question: are you sure you're on the right train??? The new wine skin is not merely NT practices but the REAL NT fellowship and reality of Christ! Now, it IS true that the OLD formal and dead practice of today's Christianity will kill the NT reality but to begin with I have found there may be more of that NT reality in the hearts of those within that tradition than among those in the house church movement of today. May the Lord have mercy on us.


Addendum 2to: Home PageAddendum 4

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The Revelation of the Lost Keys