Paul's Passing Thoughts

Maturing in Sanctification

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on January 11, 2016

“Prove all things;
 – hold fast that which is good.
 – Abstain from all appearance of evil.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

The word translated “appearance” is the Greek word ειδος (ei-dos), and it refers to a view or a form. In this sense, “appearance” does not imply, “something that seems to be”, as if one might say, “that appears to be evil”, or, “that seems to be evil”, as if one were making a speculation. Rather it implies something that manifests itself as such.

We are commanded to test (prove) all things. As a result, we should be able to discern good from evil. Having properly discerned, we are further commanded to take action. Hold fast (seize onto, secure tightly) the good things, and hold off from (stay away, avoid) everything that proves to be evil.

God wants his people to exercise discernment. It is a skill that must be learned and perfected (matured).  This implies growth.  Spiritual growth – part of the sanctification process.

“And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.” ~ Leviticus 10:10-11

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy (distinct) and profane (common or ordinary), and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” ~ Ezekiel 44:23

Conversely, God strongly rebuked His people and their leaders when they at the very least failed to teach discernment, let alone practiced a laundry list of spiritual abuses against their own people. Consider the entire chapter of Ezekiel 22. Notice the parallels between Israel and its religious leaders and the contemporary religious establishment of Protestantism:

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood. In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow. Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness. In thee have they discovered their fathers’ nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour’s wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hahumbled th his sister, his father’s daughter. In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.

“Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it. And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.”

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you. “

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, “Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

“Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.” ~ Ezekiel 22:1-31

This ought to be a stern warning to those in the institutional church – judgment begins at the house of God! (1 Peter 4:17)

Andy

Why a Massive Return to the First Century Home Fellowship Model is Inevitable

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 21, 2015

HF Potters House (2)Where there are true Christians, there is a love for the truth. Among true Christians, truth will prevail.

The problem with religious academia follows: it uses authority and caste to restrict free interpretation of the Bible and academic traditions fill the void. The first century church was fundamentally a laity movement. The apostles continually warned the saints against putting themselves under the authority of religious academia. Every Christian is sealed and indwelled by the mighty counselor, and as John wrote, “you have no need for anyone to teach you.”

John wasn’t excluding teachers as necessary helpers who have a valid gift, he was refuting the idea that the average Christian does not have direct, and plenary access to knowledge. The average Christian is charged with evaluating for themselves what they are being taught, and have been given the ability to do so. People are individually culpable before God.

In the institutional church, what we have is authority without representation. We are told what to believe, but these same academic authoritarians will not be representing us before God—there is only one representative, Christ. God told us to “hear ye Him.” The Hebrew writer stated that God has spoken to us in this last age by His Son—not religious experts.

In the final analysis, the big two that make up the institutional church, Protestantism and Catholicism, propagate a progressive justification and this is a matter of simple theological math. When true believers see the errant math coupled with the fruit, they will begin to look much closer at how “church” should be done.

Somehow, Westerners think of themselves as being above the kind of en masse cultural deception that we see in the East, but of course, this is a fallacy and denies the facts of history.

A massive return to home fellowships while rejecting all aspects of the institutional church is inevitable. The first century model reveals that a cooperative effort that aligns with ONE authority is possible when believers are truly born again and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It’s a joint effort of one body under one head. It’s a priesthood of all believers, not believers under priesthood by proxy.

Institutions and their splendid temples convey authority, while true believers meet in homes because their very bodies are the temple of God. The very existence of purpose built institutional buildings denies the priesthood of believers—these buildings deny that the individual’s body is God’s temple. The same denies that true worship exists wherever that body functions and is not restricted by bricks and mortar or the dictates of mere men.

Christians will also recognize that you don’t need an institution to be organized. Institutions hinder the activation of organized gifts and sink monetary assets into useless infrastructure that only glorifies the authority of men. When the first century assembly of Christ turned the whole world upside down, what was the essence and location of their gargantuan institution? Where was the central headquarters, and how many seminaries did they have?

How will Protestantism survive this massive exodus that is already taking place? It’s presumption, but they will probably reunite with the Catholic Church which has always been honest about their salvation by institution from it’s very beginning. I believe this will lead to a very interesting political environment and perhaps a return to church states. It’s fairly obvious that the book of Revelation describes the mother of all church states operating in the latter days.

If the home fellowship movement then suffers a severe persecution at the hands of the institutional church, that would be history repeating itself in our day.

paul

The Ten Pillars of Contrast: God’s Prescribed Home Fellowships Versus the Institutional Church

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 23, 2015

As I catch up on reader homework, church drama is truly overwhelming. I find the information sent to me astounding. I was tempted to write five posts and I do not have time to do so—not even close. So, here are ten pillars (see Revised Twelve Pillars) that I believe are at the crux of what we see in the mega-soap opera called “church.” Come out from among them and be separate—let the dead bury their own dead.

I. God’s Kingdom is NOT on Earth

This paves the way for dominion theology and the marriage of faith and force. It also causes misplaced priorities among God’s people.

II. Focus on Individual Sanctification NOT Collectivism

In case anybody hasn’t noticed, the institutional church has no answers for victorious Christian living. In fact, the concept is openly mocked. The focus is the success of the institution as a salvation vessel. Ministry success is measured by the growth of infrastructure, not individuals.

III. Priesthood of Believers

Vertical aspect: One authority being Christ and His word as the one mediator between God and man. Horizontal aspect: fellowship and gifts, NOT authority and spiritual caste.

IV. Salvation is Finished

Justification is complete when the believer passes from death to life via the new birth.

V. The Judgment

Christians will not stand with unbelievers in a final judgment to determine justification. All people who stand in the final judgment are already condemned. Christians will stand in a separate judgment to determine rewards.

VI. Meeting Financial Need, NOT Institutional Taxes

New Testament tithing is according to meeting needs. Tithing to an institution is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.

VII. God’s Prescribed Model by Default

It is clear that the beginning of the “church” took place in homes; yet, the idea that this model was transitional or a contrary institutional model is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.

VIII. The Church Discipline Myth

The New Testament prescribes “self-discipline” and the “Lord’s discipline” but nowhere speaks of a discipline performed by the church. Fellowship is based on active fellowship and NOT authority. Eldership is a gift, NOT the authority of God by proxy. Elders are to use their gift of teaching to persuade God’s people for their own benefit and the building up of the body of Christ to God’s glory.

IX. Salvation is of the Jews

Gentiles did not replace Israel, but are made partakers of the commonwealth of Israel through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

X. Rejection of Gospel Centrality

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are tri-equals in Justification and sanctification. We baptize in the name of all three. IF there is a centrality, and we do not believe there is, it would the Holy Spirit and not Christ. He is the promise to mankind and Christ.

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