Coaches & Facilitators – BT11

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Christian “leadership” is completely different-in-kind than the world’s models!

 

 

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We’ve already seen in the previous BLOG Topics the gentle, fatherly care and education oflittle children” that elders were to have toward those they were proistemi “manage care-giving for”that is their Christian “leadership.”  But what about the uses of hegeomai in the NT as “chief-leaders?”  What about those who were to hegeomai “chief-lead” Christians that we should then “imitate the trusting-relying-faith of” in Hebrews 13:7 or “submit to” in Hebrews 13:17 because “they watch over our souls,” or the Hebrews 3:24 greetings to the hegeomai “chief-leader” and saints of the church, or Acts 14:12 where Paul is considered a hegeomai “chief-leader speaker,” or in Acts 15:22 where Judas and Silas are considered hegeomai “chief-leaders” in Antioch?  Aren’t these clear-cut cases of Church “leadership” to justify the way most churches today behave?  Let’s dive into this!

 

Well this same word hegeomai is also used for humbly esteeming others more significantly than yourselves” (i.e., chiefly esteeming others) in Philippians 2:3 to counteract the worldly “self-esteeming” “chiefs who seek to be esteemed more than others,” so-called “leaders” that was creeping into the Church.  Doesn’t this sound just like what Paul is trying to head off in Romans 12:3, 10 that “nobody should think more highly of themselves than they ought to . . . but outdo one another in showing honor?”  Yes, we are “to acknowledge them who labor among you and/coupled who are proistemi managing care-giving in the Lord and/coupled who are admonishing (a) you, and to esteem them most highly in unconditional-love because of their work” (b).  But you see Paul always speaking to the tendency for wanna-be “leaders” to “hog all the balls” – especially the esteem/honor ball!  <Notes> a) noutheteo: ‘placing in the mind of’ – urgent reasoning by instruction and warning, b) 1 Thessalonians 5:12,

 

Contrary to the way most “leaders” in the Church behave, the dominant use of hegeomai in the NT is NOT to “rule over others with authority, to command with official authority, or govern” as too many translations imply and that “leaders” preach.  This is actually the world’s definition!  Once again, The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church is being built by picking up stones from the world!  The limited times hegeomai is used for a Christian leader, it is always in relation to the character of Christ, just as the more prevalent use of hegeomai is of “esteeming others as a servant” (a).  Jesus was our ultimate example of a godly leader, a managed-caregiver (b), a servant that esteemed others more than His own self-interests, and certainly not for financial gain! <Notes> a) Philippians 3:7-8; 1 Timothy 1:12, 6:1; Hebrews 10:29, 11:11, 26; 2 Peter 1:13, 2:13, 3:9, 3:15; 2 Corinthians 9:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:15; James 1:2; Acts 26:2, b) proistemi.

 

In light of all this, we have to be careful to correctly translate hegeomai in Hebrews 13:7, “Remember those ongoingly hegeomai chief-leading you – any that have spoken the logos gospel message of God, whom you should ongoingly reflect on the result of their lifestyle – imitating their trusting-relying-faith,” just as they were to “greet all those hegeomai chief-leading you and/coupled ALL the saints” (a), like Judas-Barsabbas and Silas who “were ongoingly hegeomai chief-leading among the brethren, [who were] to be sent to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas” (b). Thus the difficult passage of Hebrews 13:17 should be better translated:  “Ongoingly be persuaded by [to trust and yield to] those hegeomai chief-leading you and/coupled ongoingly voluntarily yield, for they keep attentive watch over (c) your souls and will give an account for their own work. So let them do this with joy and/coupled not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you.”  <Notes> a) Hebrews 13:24, b) Acts 15:22, c) the exact description of a bishop-overseer and pastor-shepherd.

 

Jesus certainly has the final word in Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 10:35-45, and Luke 22:24-30:  He rebuked His disciples for thinking about leadership like the world does in terms of a top-down hierarchy, and instead turns the “organizational chart” upside down by telling us that the real “firsts” or “greats,” the ones that will sit at His right and left, aren’t the “firsts” or “greats” or “greatest among you” as the world defines them, and unfortunately as the disciples were thinking at the time, but actually are the “lasts” or “youngest” or “lowest” or “least among you” who are “servants and even slaves.”  They don’t boss anybody around, but they exist to take order from others.  Jesus came to be such as these and to serve as our example.  This absolutely destroys the world’s concept of self-motivated, ambitious, hired for money, professional leaders that want to exercise authority over others under them, who most definitely “think more highly of themselves as they ought to” who certainly are not trying to “outdo one another in showing honor.”  These kind of people could never serve as a slave in their churches without pay.  Never!  See the Donations page!

 

As Christian musicians, are we seeking to be “chief-leaders” when Jesus sought to be a servant-slave?  Are we looking for honor/esteem from others, even “pay-for-play” ministry, or are you eager to show it to others without any reciprocation expected?  The world’s definitions of leadership may well be tainting how you see every scripture about leadership.  Do you really understand the NT terms and examples or are you simply conforming to the world’s views?

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT20

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Body-of-Christ ministry supernaturally happens in the presence of God.

 

 

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Now everything we need from God for life and ministry is found “in Christ,” but the only way to actually experience a grace-gift is to welcome it (a) and receive it (b), and that takes trusting-relying-faith (c). The only way to naturally overflow from your life into others through serving, giving, and witnessing/evangelism is to first be filled to completion (d) of wisdom and knowledge, filled to completion with the fruit of righteousness, filled to completion with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and understanding, and ALL of this by simply routinely being filled to completion by the means of the Holy Spirit with all the fullness (e) (f). This is the KEY to Spirit-power living – see Spirit-Baptism (h). <Notes> a) dechomai, b) lambano: not passively, but actively grabbing a hold of for one’s own possession, c) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, d) pleroo, e) pleroma: abundance, f) Romans 15:14; Ephesians 3:19, 5:18; Philippians 1:11; Colossians 1:9, 2:10, h) Luke 1:15, 41, 67; Acts 2:4, 4:8, 31, 5:3, 9:17, 13:9, 52.

 

In fact, Paul strongly urges (using the imperative case) Christians to “be routinely filled (a) by the means of the Spirit” instead of “getting drunk with wine for this is debauchery” (b). The Lord gave me a dream once where He showed me that every time I filled myself up with wine or beer, I was choosing to fill myself up with “spirits sold here” instead of the Holy Spirit. Boy that was hard to swallow!  I wanted to “party” but the Lord had a different “party” intended for me.  Instead the Holy Spirit is the “means or instrument” (dative case) by which Christians can genuinely and “routinely be filled,” just as every Christian should have been initially filled at conversion, though we have seen many instances where they weren’t (c), usually because of poor teaching on the matter. <Notes> a) passive for of pleroo: become filled to completion, b) Ephesians 5:18, c) Acts 8:13-19; 19:1-7.

 

As a passive verb of action done to us, all we can do is routinely ask for this “filling.” That’s why Paul earnestly proseuchomai conversationally-prays “on his knees” in Ephesians 3:14-19 that “you be strengthened/empowered with dunamis enabling-power thru-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit within your inner being, that is, Christ to dwell thru-the-realizing-channel-of The-trusting-relying-Faith in your hearts, by the means of unconditional-love.” Our trusting-relying-faith (a) in Christ starts the process, but the Spirit’s enabling-power of unconditional-love (b) dwelling in us is the means by which Christ continues to dwell/live in us. Can you see that coupling of trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love again? <Notes> a) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, b) Galatians 5:22; 1 John 4:8.

 

Now Paul clarifies these Christians had “already been, with ongoing results, rooted and/coupled already have been, with ongoing results, grounded” in this trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love. Yet he is here proseuchomai conversationally-praying for these “ongoing results” (a) “in order that you comprehend (b) with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth [i.e, the dimensions of] and/coupled to genuinely, experientially, relationally know (b) The unconditional-Love of Christ that ongoingly surpasses gnosis info-knowledge (c), in order that you may be filled to completion (d) with j) all the fullness (e) of God (i)” – this is the “super-abundant (f), genuine-life (g) that Christ came that we might have” (h). Can you see having the grace-gift of God’s infinite, unconditional-love of Christ given to us is a fact, whether we fully experience or not. This you can take by trusting-relying-faith, and that’s where a lot of churches stop!  But Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays they will have much more:  the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of this infinite, unconditional-love so we can grasp by a comprehension that far surpasses gnosis info-knowledge learned from books (even the bible) and teachers, in order that we can be filled with God’s fullness. This is the abundant life! <Notes> a) the perfect tense, b) grab down-from/according-to, c) gnosis:  there’s Paul’s disdain of mere info-knowledge again, d) pleroo, e) pleroma, f) perissos, g) zoe, h) John 10:10, i) Ephesians 3:19, j) ‘genitive case of content’:  You can receive less or more of the “fullness of God” many times, but you can’t receive less or more of the person of the Holy Spirit only 1 time!  Thus Ephesians 5:18 “be filled en the Spirit” should have the preposition en translated “dative of means/instrument.  Together it should read, “Filled to completion with the content of all the fullness of God . . . filled by the means of the Holy Spirit.”

 

That’s why we need to also continue proseuchomai conversationally-praying for the Spirit to empower us with trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love so that we too can ‘fully grasp from above’ Christ’s unconditional-love – which will far surpass any bible gnosis info-knowledge because this ginosko knowledge is instead experientially, relationally known. Only then can we be ‘filled to the brim’ with all the fullness of God! We need to experience more Spirit-power, not gain more bible intelligence, reasoning, logic, philosophy, doctrine, theology, etc.  It’s not WHAT you know that counts, but WHO you know!

 

Douglas Petrovich proved that en pneumati always means “by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit” (a), which then makes so many bibles once again very misleading. Although many scholars and commentators agree, I only found 5 bibles that were on target!  The Holy Spirit is the means/instrument of being repeatedly filled with (b) all the fullness of God! (c).  Only by this Spirit-power growing within us will we be able to intimately ‘grasp from above’ the dimensions of Christ’s unconditional-love, which far exceeds any bible gnosis info-knowledge, and only then can we intimately experience the fullness of God – see Knowledge. <Notes> a) the instrument view, correctly translating the preposition en followed by the dative of instrument as “by”, b) the genitive case of content, c) Ephesians 3:19, 5:18.

 

It is just as incorrect to think Christians can repeatedly be “filled WITH the content of the Spirit (a), because the Holy Spirit is a whole person that comes to dwell in a person, once and for all, sealed upon conversion (b)!  Again, if we don’t have “the Spirit of Christ,” we are then not “in the Spirit but still in the flesh” and therefore “do not belong to Christ” (c).  You are either “of the flesh” or “of the Spirit!”  The Spirit is not a Star War’s “force” that we can get more or less of.  The Spirit is not a quantity of “living water” or “light” or “electricity” or anything else that we can get more or less of.  The Spirit is a divine person, almost always in the masculine case!  However, if we refer to the enabling-power (d) or anointing (e) of the Holy Spirit, then we sometimes see the neuter case and can speak of varying quantities.  <Notes> a) the ‘Spirit-filled’ translational viewpoint, incorrectly translating the preposition en followed by the dative case as “with” as if it were the genitive of content used in Ephesians 3:19 of ‘the fullness of God’, b) Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; Galatians 4:6; Romans 5:5, c) Romans 8:9, d) Micah 3:8; Zechariah 4:6; Luke 1:35, 4:14; Acts 1:8, 10:38; Romans 1:4, 15:13, 19; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Ephesians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:7, e) 1 John 2:20, 27.

 

We can’t get more of a person, but we can get more of what they offer!  For example, we often see Paul proseuchomai conversationally-praying for Christians to get more “wisdom and revelation that Spirit alone possesses (a) by the means of genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Christ” (b). Christians have already been enlightened (c) when the Holy Spirit came into them, but Paul uses the perfect participle in Ephesians 1:18 to indicate:  “the eyes of your heart having been enlightened” with continuing lifestyle results! <Notes> a) and here is willing to share, b) Ephesians 1:16-20, c) Hebrews 6:4, 10:32.

 

You can be “filled” with more of the “fullness” or “abundance” or “the riches of the glory” of the content of God the Father, that is, to “become partakers” or “companion, fellowshipping sharers” (a) of “His eternal power and divine nature” (b), to experience more of Christ, who is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature” (c).  And you can get this “filling BY the means of the Spirit,” but we have to remember that Christ is still the agent – without Him, no grace-gift of the Holy Spirit nor His supernatural grace-gifts of ministry (d) would be given (e).  We owe everything to Christ!  <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:4, b) Romans 1:20, c) Hebrews 1:3, d) Romans 11:29, 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1; Hebrews 2:4, e) Ephesians 4:7-16.

 

Therefore, Paul is saying in Ephesians 5:18 something like this:  If you want a great ‘buzz’ worth seeking, seek after the “abundant, rich, glorious fullness of God, through the giver Christ, by the means of the Holy Spirit through devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, conversational-prayer instead of a seeking to ‘fill up’ with beer, wine, or any other unholy ‘spirit’ because getting drunk on these things IS a self-indulgent, reckless waste of your valuable time in this evil, dark work.  Focus your time on being more in the light by ‘filling up’ on God by the Holy Spirit!

 

I’ve mentioned this before but when it comes to the Triune God, the Lord has shown me repeatedly that the preposition en with the dative case following can actually be translated all 3 ways and it will be equally valid, though the context may lean one direction or another:  “in/inside the location or sphere of,” or “by the means/instrument of,” or “with the company of.”  We have to be careful to not put God in a box – the experts often are proven wrong later!

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT19

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Body-of-Christ ministry should ONLY be done by the means of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

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We’ve already seen that “The One Teacher” (a) is Christ now as the Holy Spirit.  On Pentecost, the Body-of-Christ began its ministry – all 120 of them from the upper room: “They were ALL filled by the means of the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (b) as the Spirit gave them plain enunciation (c)” (d).  Later on these same Christians were again “filled by the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the logos gospel message of God with boldness” (e).  Other Christians “began speaking in tongues and prophesying, after they were water-baptized and after Paul laid hands on them and the Holy Spirit came on them” (f). <Notes> a) Matthew 23:8 – see Teach One Another – BT10, b) glossa: languages, c) apophtheggomai: clear, dignified, and elevated discourse, d) Acts 2:4, e) Acts 4:31, f) Acts 19:6.

 

What the Body-of-Christ is supposed to preach/teach should be “of/belonging to the Spirit and not “of/belonging to the natural mind of man,” as Paul explains concerning his own intentions: “to preach the gospel, absolutely in fact not with logos messages of [human] wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its enabling-power (a)” (b).  That’s about content and this is about the method in vv. 2:1-16: “absolutely in fact not proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty (c) speech or [human] wisdom, for I decided to mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (d) absolutely in fact nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified . . . and my speech and my logos message were absolutely in fact not in plausible (persuasive) words of [human] wisdom, but instead in/by/with demonstrations/manifestations of the Spirit and/coupled of supernaturally enabling-power (a), so that your trusting-relying-faith (e) might absolutely not rest in the [human] wisdom of men but in the supernaturally enabling-power (a) of God . . . and/but we do impart [Spirit’s] wisdom, but absolutely not in possibility a wisdom of this age or of the firsts/chiefs (f) of this age, who are doomed to pass away, but we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God . . . God has prepared these [hidden] things for [ALL] those who unconditional-love Him which He has revealed to US (ALL) thru-the-realizing-channel-of the Spirit . . . Now WE (ALL) have received . . . the Spirit who is from God in order that WE (ALL) might [contingent on our choice] mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (d) the things freely given us by God, so we (Paul & Barnabas) impart this by logos messages absolutely in fact not taught by the means of man’s wisdom but taught by the means of the Spirit – interpreting/comparing/contrasting things [neuter: or people] of/belonging to the Spirit with things [neuter: or people] of/belonging to the Spirit.  The natural man does not welcome/take hold of (g) the things [neuter: or people] of/belonging to the Spirit of God for they are folly to him, and he is absolutely not able to experientially, relationally know (h) them because they [neuter: things or people] are Spirit-kind-of (i) discerned (j). . .However, WE (ALL) do have the mind of/belonging to Christ.”  Paul is talking about the human “power” of Zechariah 4:6’s “might and power” versus “in/by/with My Spirit.” <Notes> a) dunamis – see Spirit-power. b) 1 Corinthians 1:17, c) huperoche: elevated, excellent, authoritative-sounding, d) eido: the common word for prophetic visionary knowledge, e) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, f) archon, g) dechomai, h) ginosko, i) pneuma as adverb, j) anakrino: to judge/distinguish vigorously ‘down to up’ by closely, even forensically, examining, investigating, or interrogating, thus careful study or evaluation.

 

Paul and Barnabas aren’t reading bibles or other books to interpret/compare/contrast to “test” or discern” what they hear from God – they interpret/compare/contrast it or “weigh it” (a) with other prophecies of their own or from other prophets – see New Covenant Ways – BT16.  It’s clear that the Body-of-Christ teaching is referring to prophetic messages of wisdom and understanding from God that they got from “seeing” revelation.  This has nothing to do with well polished sermons crafted from much study! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 14:29.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT18

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Summary of BT13 – BT17!  

 

 

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The modern church is sure “reading, encouraging, teaching,” and doing stuff the early Church would never think of!   So you can see that “The reading, The exhortation, The teaching in 1 Timothy 4:13 that Timothy was to devote himself to until Paul got there had absolutely nothing to do with the entire OT bible, certainly nothing to do with the OT Law – which by nature makes up 94.7% of the OT.  Instead it has to do with the prophetic scriptures concerning saving trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ who is the absolute Truth about God (a).  It’s about Christ’s logos gospel message of The Truth about Himself and His completely-different and “better” New Covenant.  It’s about preaching this gospel that accords with true godliness, not rules and rituals that create an outward form/appearance of godliness but deny the actual enabling-power (c) of/belonging to godliness (b), which is the Spirit-power (c) that is serving, unconditional-love and self-control (d).  We see this “trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love” emphasis throughout Paul’s writings to Timothy (e).  He does this 18 more times in other letters!  1 John 3:23, 4:16, and 5:1 couple these 2 official entole commandments of the New Covenant, the only 2 commandments in the NT, into a single commandment from the Godhead!  If that is the case, why in the world is today’s churches focusing on the Torah Law of conditional-favor portions of scripture spread out through the entire OT, which only scribes and Pharisees would be interested in? <Notes> a) the living logos Word/Message of God, b) 2 Timothy 3:5, c) dunamis: enabling-power d) 2 Timothy 1:7, e) 1 Timothy 1:5, 14, 2:15, 4:12, 6:11; 2 Timothy 1:13, 2:22, 3:10.

 

The early Church focused on Christ’s logos gospel message of The Truth, Spirit-baptism and His grace-gifts to grow the Church instead of borrowing practices from the world around them that are actually the “stones” building The Great Wall that’s quenching the Holy Spirit.  Shouldn’t we follow their example, even invoking the Holy Spirit as 1 Timothy 4:13 and early Church records indicate?  They only had 2 official commandments to keep track of:  trusting-relying-faith (a) in Christ and unconditional-love for one another (b).  <Notes> a) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, b) 1 John 3:23.

 

They had Body-of-Christ ministry instead of ministry by a few “paid professionals,” and their so-called “leaders” acted more like servants (even slaves), coaches, and facilitators to help the “saints” be the “ministers,” so that everyone could use their charismata grace-gifts given to them solely by charis unconditional-favor-of-grace.  They understood that Christ was their “one leader” (a) and His Holy Spirit the “one teacher, and they were all brethren” (b).  Nobody was “hogging the ball” because they understood the Holy Spirittaught” through each of them, so it was a team effort – see Teach One Another.  The Holy Spirit wasn’t quenched as long as they were “discerning the Lord’s Body” and working together “to build up the Church.”  In fact, this is likely where they were Spirit-baptized!  That’s what happens if you invoke the Spirit! <Notes> a) Matthew 23:10 kathegetes:  “properly a leader, someone bringing others ‘down the road of learning’ by needed instruction, used by Dionysius, Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle as ‘educator-facilitator.”  This shouldn’t be simply treated “teacher” because Jesus already dealt with this “one teacher” issue in v. 23:8), b) Matthew 23:8 – see Teach One Another – BT10.

 

The Church was devoted to conversational-prayer with God and each other – this is how they “were taught by God,” devoted to the preaching of the logos gospel message of The Truth that they cried out for boldness to do, and to their koinonia fellowship around the dinner table and discerning together the Lord’s Body and blood – not just Jesus but each other!  These are God’s priorities and they were flowing with God’s “living water,” Spirit-baptized with boldness to preach, followed by signs & wonders!  Every person was expected to share their grace-gift, their testimony, and what God was prophetically directing them to do in their lives – that’s what made up their Christian fellowship!  They were encouraged to take turns so that they ALL could interact, learn, and be encouraged.  They brought instruments and songs, even spontaneously by the Spirit, teachings, prophecies, messages of wisdom and revelation, tongues, and interpretations to reciprocally share with one another!  They were encouraging/exhorting and admonishing (a) one another. <Notes> a) noutheteo: ‘placing in the mind of’ – urgent reasoning by instruction and warning.

 

There were supernatural expressions of trusting-relying-faith, healing, miracles, and discerning of spirits – see New Covenant Ways – BT16.  There were God-give organizers or managers to manage the care of others, and many who were inspired to serve and help others.  They were told to “let go and let God” by surrendering control of their grace-gifts, encouraged to all desire tongues, but especially to prophecy because prophecy is the distinct manner, the actual promise in the New Covenant of God directly-speaking prophetic rhema words to His servants for them to directly akouo hear to understand.  When there were Jews there, they read the OT prophecies about Jesus and the New Covenant that they were saved by.  Gentile churches never had the scriptures let alone read them!  They met in the natural setting of a home and a family – the house, not in artificially sterile environments borrowed from a pagan world that came much later.  This too is part of The Great Wall of “stones” borrowed from the world!  And when they faced decisions, they came together to discuss them, and get consensus with the Holy Spirit.  No wonder the world couldn’t stop them!  The Great Wall of clergy and laity wasn’t there to block the flow of the Spirit!

 

Our music ministry must not be from a select few on a stage or there will always be The Great Wall quenching the Spirit.  The entire Body-of-Christ must be “on that stage” expressing their hearts to God.  The “coaches and trainers” should only facilitate this – that’s their only job!  We must encourage everybody to play or sing by Spirit-power, even that “New Song by the Spirit,” that spontaneous music!  The early Church had very few priorities, and being laser focused they were very powerfully-enabling!  Let’s return to that powerfully-enabling simplicity!

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT17

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What else was the early Church devoted to doing together?

 

 

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According to Acts 2:42, the earliest Church “had been continuing steadfastly in the teaching/doctrine (a) of the apostles and/coupled the intimate/communal koinonia fellowship – the breaking of bread (b), and the prayers (c).” They were in unity because of this simplicity of devotion:  “routinely continuing with one accord devoting themselves to conversational-prayer (c)” (e).  Even the apostles had to make a choice of what to be devoted to:  “We will devote ourselves to proseuche conversational-prayer and to the service/ministry of the logos message.” Obviously, you have to hear from Jesus, the Logos Message, to preach His logos message!  Even husbands and wives need to do this (d).  In Acts 12:12, we find many gathered in a house proseuchomai conversationally-praying – that’s all they were doing, having a conversation with God together. <Notes> a) didache, b) this was the Lord’s Supper and the concurrent love feasts, c) proseuche: watching, listening, waiting conversational-prayer but since it’s plural, likely also includes deesis supplication-prayer, though often these are separated: Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:1, 5:5; Hebrews 5:7, d) 1 Corinthians 7:5, e) Acts 1:14.

 

Now later in Acts 2:7-12, we see that the reason for gathering on the 1st day of the week was for breaking bread, but Paul used it to say goodbye before his journey and he ended up rambling way too long, but the context makes it obvious that “prolonged speeches” weren’t the norm!  Oh, that the modern church would return to its roots!  Some churches today want to have one preacher after preacher all day, and they think that would be revival!  I heard a “revival expert” at a church say this!  But that’s not what you see in actual revivals, except maybe preaching the gospel from tree stump to tree stump, dock to dock, and tent to tent!  From Act 4:23-31, the congregations were begging God to give them boldness to speak the logos gospel message of The Truth while God brought signs & wonders – and they got this prayer answered because God shook the place and filled them by the Holy Spirit so they could continue to speak the logos gospel message of The Truth of God with boldness!  Maybe our churches are praying for the wrong things!

 

According to Hebrews 10:25 it was to “be routinely encouraging (b) [reciprocally one to another] and so much more greatly as you see ‘the Day’ [of Christ’s return] drawing near (a).”  Now that’s encouraging church koinonia fellowship!  In Acts 14:27, we see missionaries declaring to the congregation all that God had done with them.  I think in 40 years I’ve only seen this twice and they kept it short, because the so-called “leaders” had so much else to do in their schedule. <Notes> a) eggizo: approaching God to join or commune with Him, a common Hebrew idiom for prayerful worship – Hebrews 7:25; James 4:8, b) parakaleo.

 

How about finding consensus within the Body-of-Christ?  In Acts 15:1-29 you see a large gathering of the apostles and elders to discuss decisions to make, and this is where they listened to testimonies of God’s confirming actions, but then they made sure these decisions were “good with the whole church” and “good to the Holy Spirit” (a) before finalizing them.  When’s the last time you saw the whole church discuss issues, listen to testimonies, and consult the Holy Spirit so that everybody was “on board?”  We also see this “consensus or agreement” taught by Jesus in Matthew 18:19-20, “For where 2 or 3 are gathered in My name/authority, there am I among them, so if even 2 of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”  Finally, when is the last time you saw prophets taking turns giving their revelation and the rest of the Body-of-Christ “weighs (b) in what was said” so that “ALL may ongoingly learn/understand to be informed/understand (c) and/coupled ALL ongoingly are encouraged (d)” (e)? <Notes> a) that means they must have ALL asked and listened for the Spirit, b) diakrino: to judge thru-the-realizing-channel-of thoroughly, thus to investigate or discriminate thoroughly either rightly by close-reasoning or wrongly by going too far or vacillating back and forth, as determined by the context, c) manthano, d) parakaleo, e) 1 Corinthians 14:27-40.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT16

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More about what is NOT the “sound teaching/doctrine” for the Church.

 

 

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This teaching/doctrine is certainly NOT the “different teaching/doctrine certain persons [infiltrating the Church] . . . being charged [by Paul to] absolutely not to teach it” (c), who were the ones “desiring to be teachers of the Law” (d).  That would eliminate a lot of pastors I know of!  At one church, the pastor was teaching the 10 commandments because he said it worked for him while he was in prison!  He ruined that church and in a few months it was gone!  He wouldn’t listen to Spirit-guided men who warned him that this wasn’t the New Covenant Way. The Lord has shown me that the foundation of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church has always been “borrowing” from the old covenant. <Notes> a) didache, b) didaskalia, c) 1 Timothy 1:3, d) 1 Timothy 1:7.

 

Much of Paul’s letters were written to warn Christians against the “teachers of the Law,” and trying to undo their damage in the Church!  And remember, the Torah Law of conditional-favor only promises that “If you DO (a) ____, then God shall bless and love you this way ____,” and this conditionality is expressed throughout 97.4% of the OT scripture – see Logos Word of God – BT5a!  Jesus and the NT writers, as all Jews today believe that the entire OT is the Law of God!  There are only about 300 prophecies in the OT about Jesus, and the NT writers and early Church had only a limited number of OT prophecies they used.  Just do a search of “if you shall” and “if you will” in www.BibleGateway.com!  They are everywhere – not just in the first 5 books of Moses, because all the books are under the paradigm or dispensation called the old covenant even though there’s a few verses here and there about “good, heavenly things to come” (b).  If Paul attended most church services today he would scream “teachers of the Law!”  We’ve already seen above what Paul thought about the Law and its teachers! <Notes> a) ergon: work, b) Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5, 10:1.

 

Paul facetiously says about them: “For though you already have 10,000 school-escort-guardians (a) in/by Christ, you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel, so I urge you to be imitators of me [instead of them]. . . Some (a) are arrogant, . . . I will come to you soon . . . and I will find out about [this] – not the talk of these arrogant people but their dunamis enabling-power (their human ‘might and power’), for the kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of [actual Spirit] enabling-power” (b). <Notes> a) paidagogos:  hired servant that would insure minor-aged kids got to school and back safely.  cf. Galatians 3:24-25 ‘the Law was our padagogos UNTIL Christ came . . . but now that [justifying] trusting-relying-faith has come, we are no longer under a padogogus’, b) 1 Corinthians 4:15-20.

 

Paul also says to “avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called gnosisknowledge’ (a)” (b) – remember the scribes and Pharisees prided themselves in their scriptural knowledge (a), exactly as Paul says: “this info-knowledge (a) puffs up.  They were also supposed to avoid “irreverent babble that leads people into more and more ungodliness” (c), including the “controversies of the Jews” (d).  They are “puffed up with conceit and understand nothing, having an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words” (e).  “Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies . . . that they breed quarrels” (f). “Avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and/coupled quarrels about the Torah Law of conditional-favor, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” There are many other such verses, because the early Church was full of wanna-be leaders and teachers, some from the Gentile Gnostic religions but the bulk of the accusations are against those from the Jewish religion that dominated the Church until about 70AD.  These Jewish teachers were all “full of talk but lacking in the Spirit’s enabling-power, full of themselves but not full of the Spirit!” <Notes> a) gnosis: informational-knowledge whether religious or not, b) 1 Timothy 6:20, c) 2 Timothy 2:16, d) Acts 26:3, e) 1 Timothy 6:4, f) 2 Timothy 2:23.

 

The sound doctrine/teaching also has nothing to do with what the world teaches“The teachings of demons and deceitful spirits that some people in later times will be devoted to instead of The-trusting-relying-Faith” (a). Paul warns of “a time that is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and/coupled turn away from listening to The Truth but wander off into myths” (b). That “time” is already here!  So much of the preaching/teaching of today’s Church is how to improve your lives, “borrowing: from many of the same ideas that the world uses.  It seems a far cry from Paul’s approach to preaching:  “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (c).  Much of what is taught from the pulpit is just New Age and motivational self-help with a squeeze of Christianity in it. The entire “Health & Wealth Gospel” or “Prosperity Theology” or “Gospel of Success” as taught by Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagan, Oral Roberts, Creflo Dollar, and many others is just for “itching ears . . . teachers to suit their own passions.”  The Lord has shown me that the “stones” that people are using to build The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit are being “borrowed” from the world around them. <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 4:1, b) 2 Timothy 4:3-4, c) 1 Corinthians 2:2.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT15

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What is the “THE TEACHING” of 1 Timothy 4:13 referring to?

 

 

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Certainly the Coaches and Facilitators will be involved in this but absolutely not limited to this, because the grace-gift of teaching is distributed throughout the Body of Christ – see Teach One Another.  “The doctrine or teaching (a) that Paul tells Timothy to faithfully deliver until he gets there, was absolutely not the standard practice of the Jewish synagogue leaders who taught the commandments of men (b) or to expound on “the portion of scripture” that they read!  Paul is absolutely not expounding upon the Torah Law of conditional-favor, nor would he have Timothy ever do this!  He has already clearly defined what “sound teaching or doctrine” is to all his trainees as we will see below (c), and it’s completely different than that of the Jewish teachers! <Notes> a) didaskalia, b) Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:7; Colossians 2:22, c) 1 Timothy 1:10, 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:10, 4:3, 6; Titus 1:9-10, 13, 2:1-2.

 

“Sound doctrine/teaching” is that which is “in accordance with the gospel and that is “the teaching of God our Savior” that “agrees with the sound logos messages of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness,” instead of pandering to “itching ears that will accumulate teachers to suit their own passions,” but instead “follows the pattern of sound logos messages that you have heard from me (Paul), that is in/by/with trusting-relying-faith (a) and/coupled unconditional-love that are in Christ Jesus,” “having nourished yourself on the logos messages of The trusting-relying-Faith and of the good teaching that you have followed,” for “you have followed my teaching . . . my trusting-relying-faith . . .  my unconditional-love . . . ” and “holding firm to the trustworthy logos message as taught [by Paul], so that you may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also rebuke those who contradict it,” yes “rebuking them sharply so that they may be sound in The trusting-relying-Faith,” and “teaching only what accords with sound doctrine” to be “sound in The trusting-relying-Faith, in unconditional-love, and in steadfastness.”  Therefore, the “pas every of a kind of scripture” that was “useful/profitable for teaching” in 2 Timothy 3:16 sure wasn’t the Torah Law of conditional-favor, but ALL about trusting-relying-faith in Christ and unconditionally-loving one another, which are the only 2 commandments (b)! <Notes> a) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, b) entole.

 

Paul has already trained Timothy to know what the “sound teaching/doctrine” for Body-of-Christ ministry is.  Note the emphasis on trusting-relying-faith, The Truth who is Jesus, His logos gospel message of The Truth, and godly, unconditionally-loving service!  Paul did so as a “preacher, apostle, teacher . . . in The-trusting-relying-Faith and/coupled The Truth” (a), as fellow “elders who . . . labor in preaching and teaching” (b).  This “teaching/doctrine” must also “agree with the sound logos Messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (c) and/coupled the doctrine/teaching that accords with godliness” (d).  We know this “godliness” has to do with slaves being voluntarily obedient and honoring their masters (e), for these are “good works that are not hidden” but visibly “bondservants honoring masters, … being respectful . . . serving all the better.” <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 2:7, b) 1 Timothy 5:17, c) the living logos Word/Message of God: John 1:1, 1 John 1:1; Hebrews 4:12, d) 1 Timothy 6:3-4, e) 1 Timothy 6:1-2.

 

Paul continues to train Timothy about “the sound teaching/doctrine” for the Church.  Again, it certainly has to do with “The-trusting-relying-Faith” and “The Truth” (a) and the logos gospel message of The Truth to preach:  “Preach the logos gospel message . . . gently convince/correct/reprove, charge/urge/rebuke, and come-alongside-to-counsel/advise (b) . . . with absolute patience and doctrine/teaching (c)” (e).  The “things which you have heard from me (Paul). . . entrust to men of trusting-relying-faith, who are apt/skilled to teach others also. . . . unashamed workers, rightly-handling the logos gospel message of The Truth. . . . not like those [other teachers of the Law] who have swerved from The Truth . . . upsetting the trusting-relying-faith of some . . . but pursue righteousness, trusting-relying-faith, unconditional-love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord . . . but the Lord’s servants must . . . be kind to everyone, apt/skilled to teach, . . . correcting opponents with gentleness so that God may grant them repentance leading to a genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of The Truth” (d). <Notes> a) Jesus per John 14:6, b) parakaleo, c) didache, d) 2 Timothy 2:1-26, e) 2 Timothy 4:2.

 

Can you see the radical difference between bible gnosis info-knowledge about truth and genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing The Truth, who is Jesus?  Later Paul explains:  “In the last days . . . people will be . . . having the outward appearance (external form) of godliness, but denying the [Spirit’s] enabling-power (a) of it – avoid such people . . . some men (b) are always learning (c) but never able to arrive at the genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing of The Truth, . . . men who oppose The Truth (d), men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding The-trusting-relying-Faith . . . You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my trusting-relying-faith, my patience, my unconditional-love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, and sufferings” (e). <Notes> a) dunamis – see Spirit-power b) or the ‘weak women’ they taught, c) to increase rational gnosis knowledge or sunesis understanding, d) these were the teachers of the Law, e) 2 Timothy 3:10-11.

 

This logos gospel message is supposed to come with Spirit-power: “Your work of trusting-relying-faith (a) and (b) labor of unconditional-love (c) and (b) steadfastness of hope (d) (e) in our Lord Jesus Christ . . . because our gospel came to you NOT ONLY by logos gospel message BUT ALSO by enabling-power (f) and (b) in/by/with the Holy Spirit, . . . becoming imitators of us and (b) of the Lord, for you received the logos gospel message . . . with the joy of the Holy Spirit, becoming examples to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia” (g). <Notes> a) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, b) kai: coupled, c) there’s that ‘trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love’ connection Paul often makes, d) elpis: trusting-relying-faith in God’s future promises, e) Trusting-relying-faith, hope, and unconditional-love are integrally connected by kai (and) here and in 1 Corinthians 13:13 and 1 Thessalonians 5:8, f) dunamis: see Spirit-power g) 1 Thessalonians 1:2-7.

 

It seems that much of today’s preaching/teaching is stuck, not really understanding “NOT ONLY . . . BUT ALSO!”  They are trying to be masters of preaching/teaching the logos gospel Message (a), but they don’t read the many warnings about NOT ONLY doing this (b).  Much of the Church is stuck on the “NOT ONLY!”  That’s as far as their trusting-relying-faith has taken them!  They didn’t obey the NT messages that says that you must go onto “BUT ALSO.”  They have a partial gospel but not the “full gospel!”  Because of this, a large portion of the church services are just “outward appearance (c) of godliness” with their set form, programs, time schedules, rituals, and ceremonies, leaving little room for “the enabling-power (d) of godliness,” who is the Holy Spirit, to actually direct the services!  And many of these churches absolutely will not allow the Holy Spirit to speak reciprocally one to another through the Body-of-Christ during the church service through prophecy (e), tongues with interpretation, or even the teaching/doctrine or lesson of its members, even if done in an orderly, respectful fashion so that all can learn from one another and be encouraged and built up – despite all the NT instruction on how to do this (f)!  <Notes> a) if that’s even coming out of the pulpit on a regular basis: 1 Corinthians 2:2, b) 1 Corinthians 1:17-24, 2:1-5; Colossians 2:3-4; Acts 18:24, c) external forms, d) dunamis is dynamite-like Spirit-power, e) a revelation revealed, f) e.g., 1 Corinthians 14:26-31 – see Teach One Another.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT14

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What is “THE EXHORTATION” of 1 Timothy 4:13 referring to?

 

 

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“THE EXHORTATION” or te paraklesis actually may be ‘the personal calling, summoning, or invocation for the Holy Spirit ‘to come alongside’ the congregation.  Early Church history records show this “invocation for the Parakletos Holy Spirit” to be a standard way of opening a Christian public meeting, and this is still practiced in many churches today!   Since Paul is gone, Timothy will need to “invoke” the “One Teacher” (a) who will “guide them all into ALL truth” (b), who will “teach you ALL things” (c), the “anointing by the Holy One, so that you ALL already [with ongoing results] eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know” or “you already [with ongoing results] eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know  ALL things” (d),  the “anointing that you received from Him that abides in you, so you-ALL have absolutely no need for anyone else to teach you, for His anointing teaches you-ALL about everything and is trustworthy” (e).  Can you see how “the reading” of Paul’s previous letters or possibly the prophetic ‘portions of’ Messianic passages from the OT scriptures here in 1 Timothy 4:13 and also “the instruction” about these are directly linked to “the invoking” of the Parakletos Holy Spirit to come alongside to ultimately be our “One Teacher?”  None of this has to do with 97% of the scripture that is Law-based, but the 600 verses that are the “prophetic ‘portions of’ scripture that “make wise for salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ!” (f).  <Notes> a) Matthew 23:8 – see Teach One Another – BT10, b) John 16:13, c) John 14:26, d) 1 John 2:20, e) 1 John 2:27, f) 2 Timothy 3:15 – see Logos Word of God – BT7.

 

This invocation of the Parakletos Holy Spirit would naturally distinguish it, as the definite article te indicates, from the common meaning of paraklesis as “an exhortation, ‘an urging by someone close by,’ thus an intimate urging through motivation, inspiration, or encouragement.”  Certainly that is what Coaches and Facilitators also do for the Body-of-Christ!  Certainly this is the way Jesus and the Holy Spirit as our 2 Parakletos counsels, comforts, and encourages disciples.  In 1 Corinthians 14:3, Paul speaks of the edification, paraklesis encouragement, and comfort that Christians get from prophecy spoken in church – why wouldn’t today’s churches desire this?  But none of these have the definite article “the paraklesis.”  However, in Romans 15:4 Paul says: “Through the endurance and the paraklesis of the scriptures we might have hope (a),” but again in the immediate context Paul is not referring to “the whole/entirety of scripture” but “every of a portion of scripture” that is Messianic prophecy about Christ’s suffering, which Paul uses to encourage Christians to endure in their hope in Christ so they can endure in their “stronger” trusting-relying-faith, despite the judgments about Mosaic dietary laws they were embroiled in from “weaker” Jewish-Christians that Paul speaks about in Romans 14.  Paul encourages them to hold onto Christian unconditional-love that looks out for others instead of just their own “rights,” just as Paul quoted Christ doing!  <Notes> a) see Logos Word of God – BT9.

 

Yes, the pas every of a portion of” scripture from 2 Timothy 3:16 is the kind that speaks of trusting-relying-faith (a), that speaks of Christ, and that speaks of the New Covenant – these alone are “for our instruction, that through the endurance and encouragement” they give, “we might have hope” (b).  Paul is emphasizing “our instruction” because the “weak-in-The-trusting-relying-Faith” are using the OT scriptures to promote the Torah Law of conditional-favor, which Paul never stops speaking out against!  <Notes> a) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, b) Romans 15:4.

 

This Christian’s “hope” is nothing like “the hope of righteousness” from “the teachers of the Law!”  Paul speaks much about “the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (a), our “hope is in Christ” (b), “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (c), “through the Spirit, by trusting-relying-faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness” (d), not the righteousness through 613 commandments of the Torah Law of conditional-favor!  <Notes> a) Titus 2:13, b) Ephesians 1:12, c) Colossians 1:27, d) Galatians 5:5.

 

Paul consistently uses “every of a portion of” scripture (a) to parakaleo “reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching” many Jews that argue against his logos gospel message of The Truth, and so this is the exact advise he gives Timothy in order to follow in Paul’s footsteps (b).  So instead of the standard practice of synagogue leaders “exhorting” their listeners from the Law, once again Paul has redefined the standard Jewish terms and practices, in this case by encouraging the Jewish converts from their own Messianic scriptures!  “THE READING and THE EXHORTATION” have nothing to do with the Law, which makes up 94.7% of the OT. <Notes> a) Context clearly defines the “portion” as being the prophetic scriptures that made Timothy “wise unto salvation by trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ.”  Paul would never refer to the Torah Law of conditional-favor this way, b) 2 Timothy 4:2.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT13

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What is “THE READING” of 1 Timothy 4:13 that Paul tells Timothy to focus on?

 

 

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In 1 Timothy 4:13 Paul says:  “Until I come, I strongly urge you to ongoingly hold attention toward (a) the reading (b), the exhortation (c), the doctrine/teaching (d).”  The 3 “the” definite articles imply these are specific congregational practices that Timothy would be familiar with, which Paul would take back control of when he arrived.  Notice there are no conjunctions!  I believe they are not separate items in a list as the conjunction de would indicate but all related as kai would have conveyed, but Paul keeps it un-cluttered.  We know that Paul loves to leave words out, which can cause confusion!  <Notes> a) prosecho: ‘hold toward,’ set and keep a course toward, b) ana + gnosis = again knowing gnosis information, c) paraklesis: or from Church history: invocation, d) didaskalia.

 

THE READING in the immediate context and that of everything else Paul has written to his evangelist-in-training Timothy, has absolutely nothing to do with “the reading” of the books of Moses (a) because in the other single place that Paul uses this term in 2 Corinthians 3:14 says that “the reading of Moses” still brings a veil of darkness that still hides God’s glory and hardens the hearts of the hearers “to this very day!”  That was the practice of Jewish synagogue leaders (b), not Christians!  Paul spoke much about keeping “teachers of the Law” out of the Church!  <Notes> a) Torah Law of conditional-favor, aka old covenant, b) Acts 13:15.

 

It’s very possible Paul was simply referring to the “sound teaching(see below) he often wrote Timothy about to convey to others, such as “follow the pattern of the sound logos messages that you have already heard/listened-to-understand (a) from me” (b).  This actually may be the case, since in Acts 15:31 a letter from the Jerusalem church to the Gentiles was also read (c) to the congregation and they rejoiced because of its encouragement (d), the same word for “the exhortation.”  So both Acts 15:31 and Paul speak of “reading” and “encouragement/exhortation.”  We also know that many letters of Paul’s have been lost!  Therefore, Timothy’s “reading” could indeed simply be the things Paul wrote to him or left with him.  Well, regardless Paul instructs Timothy to do this UNTIL Paul arrives. <Notes> a) akouo, b) 2 Timothy 1:13, c) ana + ginosko, d) paraklesis.

 

However it’s much more likely that Paul was referring to a collection of Messianic prophetic passages from the OT scriptures that Paul and Barnabas (a) often quoted from to convert Jews to Christ, just as Timothy was converted by!  That’s because we know from 2 Timothy 3:14-16, that these were the “sacred writings, that is, the ones able to make you wise for salvation through trusting-relying-faith (b) in Christ Jesus” that Paul reminded Timothy that he had “learned from childhood.”  In context, these are actually the ‘every of a certain ‘portion of’ (c) scripture that is inspired by God and/thus profitable for teaching” – see Logos Word of God – BT7.  We also know from early Church writings that this list of prophetic “oracles/utterances of God” (d) existed in the predominantly Jewish Church to continue to encourage converts to stick with Christ and not be tempted by “the teachers of the Law,” which is a theme throughout Paul and Barnabas’ teaching since they travelled as an evangelistic team and would sound very much like each other. <Notes> a) likely the author of the book of Hebrews, b) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, c) pas is often translated this way instead of as ‘the whole/entirety of’, d) Acts 7:38; Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 4:11.

 

It’s shameful that 31 bible translators (a) have actually inserted the words “of scripture” or one bible inserted the “Word of God” (b) at the end of “UNTIL I come, devote yourself to the reading” phrase in 1 Timothy 4:13, based on pure conjecture, and often with no footnoting to justify their decision! This is abhorrent, especially when nothing in the immediate context would lead you to do this as we’ve clearly seen above and will see below!  Can you see how “winds of doctrine” get started in the Church!  Thank God 28 translations did NOT create such a crime! <Notes> a) including: AMP, CJB, CEV, ERV, ESV, EXB, GW, GNT, ICB, ISV, TLB, MSG, MOUNCE, NOG, NASB, NDV, NET, NIRV, NIV, NLT, NRSV, RSV, TLV, VOICE, b) NLV.

 

The context of 1 Timothy 4:13 actually proves that “THE READING of all scripture” is absolutely NOT what’s in mind!  We’ve already seen some of this!  From 1 Timothy 4:3, the “logos message (a) of God” and the “prayer of thanksgiving” that makes “everything God has created, which is good” now “ongoingly holy (b)” has absolutely nothing to do with the OT Law!  It was Jewish “teachers of the Law” that were “requiring abstinence from foods that God has created” (c)!  But Paul is telling Jewish-Christians otherwise: They should be “received with thanksgiving by those who have trusting-relying-faith and/coupled have already, with ongoing results, genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knew The Truth” (c).  But “we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior (Jesus) of all (d) people – particularly those belonging to trusting-relying-faith. Command and teach these things” (e).  Can you see what Paul is telling Timothy to relay UNTIL he arrives?  This is absolutely not the food Laws of the OT, which there are many! <Notes> a) logos in the NT in all must just a few cases refers to Jesus Christ or His gospel message, b) hagios: sanctified, consecrated, separated, dedicated, made ceremonially ‘clean’ or pure, c) 1 Timothy 4:3, d) pas: again ‘every of a kind,’ as is clear by the qualifying adverbial phrase following, e) 1 Timothy 4:10-11.

 

We also know THE READING does have something to do with Timothy’s grace-gift of preaching the gospel (a) that he should “practice, be immersed in” (b), and that he is to “carefully watch for himself and his teaching, persist in” (c). This absolutely cannot be ‘the whole/entirety of’ OT scripture because “by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (c).  The OT Scripture won’t save anybody, certainly not the Torah Law of conditional-favor that makes up 97.4% of it – see Logos Word of God – BT5a, no matter how much you read it!  We can’t forget:  “For if that first [OT] covenant had been not memphomai faulted-blameworthy-rejectable-condemnable, there would have been no occasion to look for a second [NT covenant]” (d) and “For on the one hand, a former [OT] commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness – for the Law made nothing perfect – but on the other hand, a better [NT] hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God” (e). <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 4:14, b) v. 15, c) v. 16, d) Hebrews 8:7, e) Hebrews 7:18-19.

 

We also know from Paul’s writings that “The Truth” (a) that these Christians “have already genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko known” sure isn’t gnosis info-knowledge about anything, not even OT scripture, but actually is Jesus Christ (b) and the “logos gospel message of The Truth of God of the Lord (c). “The logos gospel message of The Truth” that Timothy was to be devoted to “preach, teach, be immersed in, and persist in” is that which will ALONE “save him and his hearers,” thus certainly not the ‘whole/entirety of’ the OT scriptures and certainly not the Torah Law of conditional-favor that makes up 97.4% of it!  Then why would Paul tell Timothy to then “devote himself to THE READING” (d) of “the [OT] scriptures” as so many translations have erroneously inserted?  As we’ve seen Paul already had told Timothy what to be devoted to!  How could “READING the Law of the scriptures,” the very ones the teachers were using to enforce food laws, be “The Truth” that will “save both yourself and your hearers?” <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 4:3, b) Ephesians 4:21; Titus 1:1; 2 Corinthians 11:10, cf. John 14:6, c) Acts 8:25, 15:7; 1 Corinthians 1:17; Galatians 2:14; Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 1:5, e) 1 Timothy 4:13.

 

The “THE READING of [all] scripture” translators also ignore the context of Paul’s writings concerning “pas:  all of a kind of scripture,” particularly 2 Timothy 3:16 – see Logos Word of God – BT7.  They believe that pas means “the whole of scripture . . . is profitable for teaching,” but this doesn’t fit any of Paul’s use of pas and it seriously violates everything Paul says about the Law and teachers of the Law in the Church!  They believe Paul is including the Torah Law of conditional-favor based on obedience to 613 commandments, which are strewn throughout most of OT scriptures, making for 97.4% of the verses, but concentrated in the 5 books of Moses.  These seriously violates 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 where Paul criticizes people for listening to the Jewish teachers of the Law who continue to press Christians to “read Moses” or the old covenant.  Paul says “to this very day,” it causes the hearer’s hearts and minds to be hardened and blocked from seeing God’s glory that is alone in the face of Jesus Christ. Do you want this to happen to you? The way to metamorphic transformation is to turn your face, heart, and mind away from Moses to the Lord.  As we fix/gaze our wide-open eye on Jesus, then this “cocoon to butterfly” change can happen ONLY by the Spirit, who is the Lord!  Paul’s argument is that this will never come from reading the Torah Law of conditional-favor.  In fact, the exact opposite will happen, for “the enabling-power of sin is the Law” (a) because the “Law came in [time] to increase the trespass” (b).  It’s called “Law of sin and/coupled death” (c) for that very reason! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 15:56, b) Romans 5:20, c) Romans 8:2.

 

Reflection:

 

As Christian musicians, do we really want to keep taking verses out of context and ignoring their specific vocabulary from the original languages to prove our “pet doctrine” that churches should be reading from the entire OT scripture?  Exegesis is getting the meaning from the text to build our doctrine, not reading into the text our traditions to interpret the text to support them!  1 Timothy 4:13 “public readings” in predominantly Jewish-Christian church gatherings were once again likely the ‘portions of’ the OT scripture that are prophetic discussing the Messiah, His gospel logos message for salvation through trusting-relying-faith in Christ within the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant, and is the same 300-600 verses that the early Church used to convert Jews, which the NT writers use liberally  especially Paul and Barnabas.  This “reading” would never include the 5 books of Moses or old covenant, for much is written to prohibit this – see Logos Word of God – BT8.  It’s possible that Paul is asking Timothy to read portions of his “sound-doctrine/teaching” that he has already communicated to Timothy, but again much of this is based on Paul building arguments from these select prophetic verses.

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, thank You for keeping the Law out of our lives, because we died to the Law when we were water-baptized into Your death.  I pray that You will free other deceived Christians who still think that the ‘milk’ that is the scriptures, which “imprisoned everything under sin,” that was simply designed to bring the “child-like” Jewish people to mature sonship through trusting-relying-faith in You as their Messiah, still applies to them, even when most of these Christians are Gentiles!  Free them so they can move onto the ‘solid food’ of “discerning good and evil by the Holy Spirit” – see New Covenant Ways – BT16, which is the actual grace-gift “promise” You have for them – not reading old scripture with it rules and “shadows that are not the substance” or even ‘new scripture,’ as Catholic traditions erroneously named the NT writings.  Free us from the traditions of men, so that You alone become our One Teacher by Your Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT12

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Early church gatherings would put most of today’s churches to shame!

 

 

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Still with this limited list from Ephesians 5:11-21, Colossians 3:16-17, and 1 Corinthians 14:26 of what they were sharing, they would put most churches today to shame!  I’ve been at a lot of worldly “parties” and most of them are a whole lot more full of celebration than most churches experience!  Yet Paul was speaking of an incredible “party” that few of today’s churches experience.  Can you imagine going to a football or basketball game and being told to remain in your seats “decently and in order” while the team is winning and the cheerleaders are shouting?  “Keep you voice down while the coaches are talking!” And can you imagine the coaches going out onto the field to play the game instead of the actual players – that’s Ephesians 4:12 backwards!

 

However, after the 15 churches I’ve played worship music in to 1000s of blank faces, I am sure longing for this simplicity!  It’s sure clear to me that most of today’s churches are blocking the “rich dwelling of the logos gospel message” because they are quenching the Spirit’s wisdom of Body-of-Christ ministry through reciprocally teaching and admonishing one another, even through sharing music with one another.  In many churches the Worship-Team does most of the playing and singing.  The way you can tell is when they suddenly stop!  The congregation is barely singing and they certainly aren’t playing!  It’s certainly not a “reciprocal one another exchange!”

 

Heaven forbid someone in the congregation would suddenly stand up or raise their hand up and interact with the one speaking (b), whether the pastor or a prophet!  Heaven forbid that someone would start or join in on their own guitar, bongos, tambourine, or flute!  I’ve never seen this except in a home-group or on a mission trip I went on where we did this around the campfire.  Everybody in both situations agreed that this was more “church” than their weekly “church” routine!  Hmm, maybe many churches are following some model other than what was given in the NT (a)?  <Notes> a) Acts 5:42, 8:3, 20:20; Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2, cf. 1 Timothy 5:13, 2 John 1:10, b) 1 Corinthians 14:29.

 

You think?  After all, it was the pagan emperor Constantine that created the Catholic Church basilica “church building” from pagan temple designs, which is essentially the structure of many churches today with all the chairs facing forward toward a stage where all the so-called “special people” minister!  Did you know there is no archeological or writings about church buildings until 235 AD, and then it was just a large home with a wall knocked out?  And the scarcity of buildings wasn’t because they were being persecuted, because there were many 17-25 year periods of peace for Christians, plenty of time to build if they wanted to!  Dedicated buildings simply weren’t the model left for them.  Also the church was exploding through simple homes anyway, so why would they divert their limited resources toward something that wasn’t than necessary.

 

If you really do your early Church history homework, you will see that “building programs” are always started by 1 or 2 people that are NOT listening to the Spirit, flowing with the Spirit in outreach to the community already meeting in many places around them, and focused on their own flesh’s self-interests.  History records it over and over.  I have witnessed it time and time again – the Holy Spirit’s revival leaving as certain “leaders” try to make a name for themselves through their “building programs,” completely blind to the “plentiful harvest” (a) already ALL around them in parks, nursing homes, hospitals, rescue shelters, etc. – the “highways and hedges” Jesus spoke of (b).  Clergy blindness that want to lead the blind! <Notes> a) Matthew 9:37, b) Luke 14:23.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT11

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Christians loved to “party” in the 1st century, just like they do now!

 

 

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In Ephesians 5:11-21, Paul says they were even “taking part in the unfruitful works of darkness,” which certainly wasn’t “wise, making the best use of their time” because they were “getting drunk with wine, that is [or leads to further] debauchery (a).”  Remember their “agape love feasts” that they were getting drunk at (b)?  Christians often act perplexed what the “will of the Lord is.”  But here Paul tells them what it is, directly coupling (c) the following infinitive “to get drunk” as an extension of what he just said:  “What the will of the Lord is, that is (c) absolutely not in possibility ongoingly to get drunk by the means of wine, which is ongoingly debauchery (d), but instead routinely [passively] become filled (e) by the means of the Spirit, routinely conversationally speaking (f) to yourselves (reciprocally to one another) by the means of psalms (g) and/coupled hymns and/coupled Spirit-kind-of odes (h), routinely singing/praising and/coupled routinely psalming (g) in/by/with the hearts of yours in/by/with the Lord (Jesus), always routinely giving thanks in behalf of all things in/by/with the name/authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the God and Father, routinely submitting to (i) one another reciprocally, mutually in/by/with reverent awe of Christ.”  <Notes> a) abandoned, excessive, wasteful, unsaved living, b) Jude 1:12; 1 Corinthians 11:21, c) kai, d) abandoned, excessive, wasteful, unsaved living, e) pleroo: completely to overflowing, f) laleo: conversational words emphasizing the social aspect, g) psalmos, psallo is the verb: “hit, twanged, plucked, or twitched” out songs with/without singing, h) a general word for song, instrumentally-accompanied or not, of any subject, but the ‘Spirit’ adjective narrows it to spontaneous praise, i) voluntarily subordinating, being subject to.

 

Wow, God doesn’t want us “partying” like the world does in darkness, getting filled up by wine to become drunk and “loose as a goose and crazy,” but to get filled up by the Spirit.  One scholar notes that this is not “with the Spirit” because the dative case of en pneumati never translates that way, but as the “dative of means or instrument” so “by the means of,” and because we are “filled with the fullness (the genitive case of content) of God, the Father” in Ephesians 3:19, so these 2 verse go together!

 

But Paul doesn’t leave us hanging about what kind of radical new “party” this is with the Body-of-Christ, fellow Christians!  It is actually a “habit or lifestyle” of Body-of-Christ ministry to and from one another, reciprocally, not from 1 or 2 to an audience, through singing/playing sacred praise songs, and even those that come from the Spirit – this is exactly the anointed, prophetic, even spontaneous music we need to do with the Lord!  This Body “reciprocation” is also through routinely thanking the Father in the name/authority of Christ, and finally routinely subordinating ourselves to one another, reciprocally, as we look up to and at Christ as our “leader.”  In other words, there is not room for bosses or “one-man shows” here!

 

Can you honestly say that there is no invisible “Great Wall” between most churches “ministers” and the “audience,” between the clergy and the laity?  Have you really seen a “reciprocal exchange” between the stage and the seats in front of it?  And is there really a 2-way submission going on?  The fact that there is a stage and an audience betrays the facts of what’s really going on!  We want Spirit-baptism (or maybe we don’t) but are we willing to do the rest of the package deal!  That’s “The Great Wall” quenching the Holy Spirit that I saw at a church that was having a special speaker talking about revival of all things, but anytime we crack this “Great Wall” then the Holy Spirit is quick to burst through it and revive us!  Just think what would happen if we would just be brave enough to tear “The Great Wall” down entirely!

 

Colossians 3:16-17 is a very similar passage about Body-of-Christ ministry.  Paul talks to Christians about their new life in Christ, having a mind set on heavenly, not earthly things (vv. 1-2) because they are “in Christ,” so they need to starve to death their earthly behavior that is bringing God’s wrath on the world (vv. 5-9).  They have already “stripped off” their “old (worn out, useless) self” that had been motivating this fleshly behavior and that they had already put on [like clothes] their completely different-in-kind ‘new self,’ who is ongoingly ‘renovated, renewed, freshly strengthened’ to the extent (a) of [their] genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge [that is] down-from/according-to the image of Him that create him (the new self). . . but Christ is all and in all . . . Therefore, definitively/wholly put on (b) then, as God’s chosen ones . . . [a list of godly traits with relationships] . . . and above all these [put on] unconditional-love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony, and/coupled let the relational peace of Christ rule in your [plural] hearts – to which you were called in one Body [to], and/coupled be thankful.  I strongly urge you to ongoingly let the logos gospel message of Christ dwell in you [plural] richly by the means of all wisdom, routinely teaching and/coupled routinely admonishing (c) one another, reciprocally, in/by/with psalms (d), hymns, Spirit-kind-of odes (e) with unconditional-favor-of-grace (f) singing/praising in/by/with your hearts to God, and/thus whatever you do, in/by/with logos message or deed, do everything in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father thru-the-realizing-channel-of Him (Christ).” <Notes> a) eis, b) get those fresh clothes back on, c) ‘placing in mind’ by warning through reason or instruction, d) psalmos: “hit, twanged, plucked, or twitched” out songs with/without singing, e) spontaneous hymns or psalms rather than pre-composed, f) here we are to be aware of/recognize “grace in/by/with your hearts,” and naturally our response would be thanksgiving expressed through “singing/praising in/by/with” those same “grateful hearts!”

 

Paul is talking about relational peace and the gospel being the rule, instead of the exception, within the gathering of the Body-of-Christ.  This is not accomplished through church bible studies that simply accumulate gnosis info-knowledge, but by the means of “wisdom taught by the Spirit where Spirit-kind-of things/people [neuter: or their prophecies] are interpreted/compared/contrasted with [other] Spirit-kind-of things/people [neuter: or their prophecies]” (a), and this “Spirit-kind-of insightful wisdom (b) and/coupled connect-the-dots understanding (c) only comes directly from the Lord by being filled with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s will (d). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 2:13, cf. 12:8; Ephesians 1:17, b) sophia, c) sunesis, d) Colossians 1:9.

 

But how does this relational peace and logos gospel message through the Spirit’s wisdom rule in the Body’s meetings?  What does that look like?  By Body-of-Christ ministryteaching and admonishing one another reciprocally!  The early churches didn’t have 1 pastor/shepherd or 1 bishop-overseer wearing all the hats!  “It wasn’t until around 108 AD that Ignatius of Antioch started arguing for the mono-episcopacy or 1-bishop rule.  Prior to that time, each church was governed by groups of presbyteros elders or episcopos bishop-overseers as these terms were virtually synonymous.”  Later the Protestants churches just renamed the single-bishop ruler a “pastor” or “minister.”  Do you see how the traditions of men get started and how they evolve?

 

What’s the primary way Paul sees this “teaching and admonishing” happening to create a Christian “party?” It’s through gracious, heartfelt singing/praising to Father God of songs with/without accompaniment, which is anointed, prophetic, and even spontaneous music, so that whatever that is said or done is in the person/authority of Christ, giving thanks to the Father through Christ.  Again, this isn’t a complete list of what goes on in Body-of-Christ ministry, because in many other passages Paul includes much more than just music that is to be shared in koinonia fellowship.  We have to remember the context that limits Paul’s list of activities:  a Christian party, but not by getting drunk on wine!

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT10

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1 Corinthians 14:26 is NOT a complete list of “gathering” activities but has 2 main points.

 

 

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Paul’s never gives a complete list or description of anything in any of his writings, but only includes items/descriptions to illustrate the point he is making.  In 1 Corinthians 12-14 he has listed many “manifestations of the Spirit” (a) in the Church, but in v. 14:26 he is just picking out a few – and doesn’t even bother to include connectors, which is a dead give-away that it’s not a complete list:  “When you come together, each individually/separately ongoingly has psalms, ongoingly has teaching, ongoingly has revelation, ongoingly has tongue, ongoingly has interpretation.”  The 1st MAIN point based on sentence position is “each individually/separately” (b) should be bringing something to the church meeting!  That has been Paul’s emphasis all along – it’s absolutely not a “one-man show” where 1-2 people or even a “special group” (b) get to “hog the ball!”  It’s all about Body-of-Christ ministry!  But how?  That’s the 2nd MAIN point – ALL their interactions need to be based on agape unconditional-love toward the benefiting or edification of one another, the Church! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 12:7, 14:12, b) hekastos:  each individual unit viewed distinctly rather than severally as a group.

 

Would you say that modern churches have made either of these their MAIN points “when they come together?”  Have they promoted tongues, interpretations, and prophesy along with ALL the other “manifestations of the Spirit” or grace-gifts?  Or have they selectively “picked the low-hanging fruit” as to what they will allow in a service?  Have they allowed room in their carefully planned-out services for the Body-of-Christ to actually be the “ministers” in the room instead of just the “equipping coaches/facilitators” do so (a)?  Have they made room for the “saints” to interact with the prophets (b) or to be “addressing one another” (c) or “bringing some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching” (d) or “hymn, teaching, revelation, tongue, or interpretation” (e) so that as “each has received a grace-gift that differs down-from/according-to the unconditional-favor-of-grace given to us, so use them to serve one another” (f)?  <Notes> a) Ephesians 4:12, b) 1 Corinthians 14:31, c) Ephesians 5:19, d) 1 Corinthians 14:6, e) 1 Corinthians 14:26, f) Romans 12:6; 1 Peter 4:10.

 

Have they surrendered their control the Holy Spirit to flow unimpeded through the Body-of-Christ to minister to one another during the church service?  Or do the churches restrict that flow primarily to 1 or 2 paid “professionals” or a “special group” on stage?  Is the “ministry” only from the clergy?  Is the “greet your neighbor, ‘peace be with you’ handshake” or the chat around the coffee and donuts in the foyer the extent of the koinonia fellowship or sharing of one’s another’s grace-gifts?  Is the psalming (a) mostly one-directional:  The “special” band on stage with all the people listening to and watching them from the audience like at a concert?  I’ve played in 15 church bands to 1000s of people and in most cases it’s not much different than my secular concerts from 22 secular bands also to 1000s of people!  Where in the NT have you seen a stage and audience even hinted at?  Let’s see what else Paul speaks about “when you come together.” <Notes> a) psallo:  “hit, twang, pluck, or twitch” out a song with/without singing.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT9

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Church clergy is blind about what is supposed to occur when we gather together.

 

 

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There is a blindness in Church “leadership” about what the Church is actually supposed to do “when you come together” (a).  Is it to open up with a 2 minute prayer?  Is it to join in with a worship band for 4 songs or 20-30 minutes looking up at a screen?  Is it to listen to 1 person speak to an audience for the rest of the time?  Is it to end with a 2 minute blessing or prayer and finish the whole service up in an hour, so everybody can get to their favorite restaurant?  Or repeat the whole thing over for 3-4 services on Sundays?  I’ve played in 15 churches and that’s pretty much the routine!  <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 11:17-18, 20, 33-34, 14:26; cf. Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16.

 

Let’s see what the NT says!  In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Paul uses the phrase “when you come together” 5 times concerning the Lord’s Supper and their concurrent “agape love feast” – and based on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 that they should “discern or prefer” the Body-of-Christ and not to just look out for their own individual needs.  His 6th time is in 1 Corinthians 14:26 when he says: “What then is my conclusion, brethren?  Whenever you come together, each/every one ongoingly has a psalm (a), ongoingly has a teaching, ongoingly has a revelation, ongoingly has a tongue (b), ongoingly has an [Spirit-given] interpretation [of the tongue].  I strongly urge you to let ALL things for building up be ongoingly done,” and the parallel passages of this fellowship sharing are Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16.  When is the last time you went to a church like that?  But Paul is describing standard practice back then! <Notes> a) psalmos: “hit, twanged, plucked, or twitched” out songs with/without singing, b) glossa: supernatural Spirit-given language – see Grace-Gifts.

 

The order of my English translation is exactly that of the Greek, which shows the emphasis Paul is placing – what is in the beginning of a sentence is emphasized – that “each/every one” of them were to be contributing to “whenever you come together!”  Paul is simply giving them some concluding action items for their standard gatherings after having talked much about a huge variety of the Spirit’s “appointed grace-gifts given into them, services through them, and effectual workings” earlier in 1 Corinthians 12:5 that is “for the common good” in v. 12:7.  These grace-gifts included “apostles, prophets, teachers, messages of wisdom, message of knowledge, trusting-relying-faith (c), healing, miracles, helping-services, managed care-giving, discerning spirits, tongues, and interpretation” (a), because “though many parts,” they are still “one Body in Christ” (b).  <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 12:28, b) 1 Corinthians 12:12, cf. Romans 12:5, c) pistis:  relational conviction of trusting reliance.

 

Certainly Paul wants them to “be well informed about the Spirit’s grace-gifts” (a), especially to “earnestly desire the more useful/advantageous/excellent (b) grace-gifts,” but sums up his urging:  “earnestly pursue/hunt-down an even more excellent (huperbole) path/road (c) – unconditional, no-strings-attached agape unconditional-love (d) and/coupled (kai) zealously pursue the Spirit’s grace-gifts, especially that you may prophesy” (e).  That’s Paul’s emphasis of Body-of-Christ interactions in 1 Corinthians 12-14!  He’s not even close to hinting in vv. 13:8-12 that any of the “grace-gifts, services, workings” will “pass away” (g) during the Church age as the Cessasionists claim but simply emphasizing that agape unconditional-love will “never end” (g) even after “the perfect (Christ) comes” (h), and so must remain the “greatest/larger/stronger (f) of these [faith, hope, and love]” (i) during our community interactions in the Church age meanwhile.  He’s not pitting the “pursuit of agape unconditional-love” against “earnestly desiring the Spirit’s grace-gifts, especially to prophesy!”  He couples earnest/zealous of these inseparably together with the conjunction kai (e)!  <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 12:1 – it’s pitiful so many churches want to remain ignorant, b) kreitton, c) v. 12:31, d) vv. 13:1-7, 13, 14:1, e) v. 14:1, f) meizon, g) v. 13:8, h) v. 13:10, i) v. 13:13.

 

The Cessationists, like the Church of Christ that I was saved in, the Baptists, Associate Reformed Presbyterians, and Presbyterian Church in America, don’t believe in the supernatural enabling-power and ongoing prophetic-rhema of the Holy Spirit.  They say that all of that died out with the apostles!  The say that the Continuationism of the Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, and Pentecostals is wrong, even though Tertullian’s writings around 200 AD attest to it flourishing, as do: Hippolytus between 170-236, Clement of Alexandria between 150-215, Origen between 185-254, Cyprian around 258 AD, Ephraem Syrus between 306–373), and Augustine before 430. The history of revival has also proved the Cessationists dead wrong!  Could this be why Paul even warned against the Church against such suppression (a), and strongly urged to “zealously desire to prophesy and/coupled in possibility do not forbid speaking in tongues” (b)? How can churches “cherry pick” what they want to obey out of the NT?  See also “Cessationism versus Continuationism” in www.wikipedia.org. <Notes> a) 1 Thessalonians 5:19, b) 1 Corinthians 14:39.

 

Paul does help clarify tongues versus prophesy to justify why prophecy is a “more useful/advantageous/excellent (d)” grace-gift (a) – exactly because prophecy builds the Church up, but tongues without interpretation only builds oneself up, being that it is private between you and God:  “proseuchomai conversationally-praying or singing and giving thanks well enough, a mystery to yourself and others” (b).  Because Paul “speaks in tongues more than them all” (c), he naturally “wants them ALL to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy because prophesying is greater/larger/stronger (d) than speaking in tongues unless interpreted so that the Church may be edified (built up)” (e) – see also Grace-Gifts and Prophetic-Rhema pages. <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 14:5, b) vv. 14:2-5, 14-17, c) v. 14:18, d) kreitton, e) v. 14:5.

 

Unconditional-love is ALL about “benefiting others” (a), so “since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit (as Paul certainly was), toward the building up of the Church I urge you to ongoingly seek that you [should] ongoingly super-abound [at this]” (b). Paul sure isn’t against speaking in tongues or prophesying as many churches practice, but actually encourages both.  But when it comes to people trying to communicate something to the church gathering, prophecy is preferable unless the tongues are interpreted.  It’s simply a matter of logistics – people have to be able to hear and understand in order to benefit.  That’s the context leading up to Paul’s concluding remarks of “What then is my conclusion, brethren?  Whenever you come together, . . .Let all things be done for building up” (c). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 14:6, b) v. 14:12, c) v. 14:26.

 

Take turns with tongues/interpretation and prophecy because God isn’t about confusion but peace.  Does that means shut up or stop the praxis function of these grace-gifts as many churches have over-reacted?  NO!  Paul advises:  “Let 2 or 3 prophets speak (a), and/coupled I strongly urge the others (b) ongoingly discriminate it (c).  But if to another [person] sitting, there is a revealing (via them prophesying) let the first [prophet] be silent, for you can ALL prophesy one by one in order that ALL may ongoingly learn (d) and/coupled ALL be ongoingly alongside-encouraged (e) (f).”  Prophetic interaction within the Body-of-Christ is what it’s all about!  These aren’t just “speakers on stages with audiences watching” as a lot of churches have treated them – the Body-of-Christ is supposed to interact with them! <Notes> a) remember the average house church held about 15-20 people max, b) in the house church, c) diakrino: to judge thru-the-realizing-channel-of thoroughly, thus to investigate or discriminate thoroughly either rightly by close-reasoning or wrongly by going too far or vacillating back and forth, as determined by the context, d) manthano: “increase one’s knowledge, be informed, or hear or learn from”, e) parakaleo: a term often used of the Holy Spirit’s counseling, f) vv. 14:27-31.

 

Paul sums it up in 1 Corinthians 14:39-40, “I strongly urge you to ongoingly zealously burn/covet to prophesy and/coupled I strongly urge you to ongoingly absolutely not in possibility to forbid/hinder ongoingly speaking with tongues.  But I strongly urge you that ALL things should be ongoingly done with good form (a) and/coupled down-from/according order [in arrangement].” Context has already defined “good form . . . order” as “without confusion, but one person after another,” so that ALL can benefit! <Notes> a) decorously becoming, respectably, honorably.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT8

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There is a blindness to the Body-of-Christ that Church clergy have.

 

 

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For example, hasn’t the focus of the Lord’s Supper been on the physical blood and body of Jesus Christ, but look at the passages that speak about this.  When Paul talks in 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 about eating and drinking at the table of the Lord and doing the same for idols, which are actually for the demons behind them, he says in v. 10:16, “The bread that we break:  Is it not a participation in the Body-of-Christ?”  If you were eating all alone, you could think he was talking only of the physical body, but v. 10:17 says: “Because there is One Bread, we who are many are one Body, for we all partake of the One Bread.”  Now he’s clearly talking about the Church eating from Jesus, the “Bread of Life,” who Jesus said He was (a).  <Notes> a) John 6:27, 32-35, 48.

 

Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, many believe that Paul is only talking about the Lord’s physical body in vv. 11:27-28, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.  Instead, let a person examine himself, and/thus in this manner eat of the bread and drink of the cup.”  But this “physical view” negates the entire context!  In v. 11:17 Paul is focused on what they are doing “when you come together,” saying it’s not “for the better but for the worse.”  He uses the Lord’s Supper as an example in v. 11:18, “In the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you.”  That is actually “the breaking of the Body – of Christ!  He explains in v. 11:20, “When you come together, it is NOT the Lord’s Supper that you eat.”  What?  Weren’t they physically doing just that?  Paul explains in v. 11:21, “For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal – one goes hungry while another gets drunk.  What!  Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in?”

 

They were blind as to what the “bread and wine” represented – and it wasn’t just Christ’s physical body and blood!  Sounds like many have repeated their mistake!  Do you see where Paul is going, or are you blind, too?  They were being self-centered, thinking of their own individual needs, instead of their fellow Christians.  We have to remember that this celebration was an agape love feast, not a ritual-only ceremony that the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches celebrate.  People could pig out and get drunk at them (a)!  Now here comes a real clue:  “Do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?”  <Notes> a) Jude 1:12; 2 Peter 2:13.

 

Now Paul gets into the ‘ceremony’ of the Lord’s Supper, reminding us what Jesus did say the night before He was crucified, recounted in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 “This is My body, which is for you.  Do this in remembrance of Me . . . This is My blood . . . Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  Is Jesus only talking about His physical body and blood that we are to be remembering, and that this “remembering” is what Paul means in v. 11:28 that “a person should examine himself” concerning?  That’s what I have always been taught.  But this is clearly out of context!  So, is the “eating and drinking . . . in an unworthy manner” of v. 11:27 to think this doesn’t refer to more than “remembering the physical body and blood” of Jesus?

 

Now 1 Corinthians 11:29 gives a serious warning: “For anyone who eats or drinks without discerning (a) the body eats and drinks judgment (b) on himself.”  Notice that Paul mysteriously leaves out a warning about not “discerning the blood,” and doesn’t even say “discerning the Lord’s body” but simply “discerning the body?”  To what is the definite-articled “the body” referring to?  Also, notice the play on Greek words for judgment:  Their lack of “preference/selection thru-the-realizing-channel-of the body” was bringing God’s “preference/selection on themselves!” <Notes> a) diakrino: to judge thru-the-realizing-channel-of thoroughly, thus to investigate or discriminate thoroughly either rightly by close-reasoning or wrongly by going too far or vacillating back and forth, as determined by the context, b) krima, the noun of krino.

 

It is obvious Paul’s “the body” isn’t talking about the Lord’s physical body!  In 1 Corinthians 11:30-32 he implies their sickness and even death were the result of not krino judging/critiquing themselves honestly – not “discerning the body!”  Paul summarizes in vv. 11:33-34, “When you come together to eat, wait for one another – if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home – so that when you come together it will not be for krima judgment/criticism.”  Clearly, in context, the “judgment on himself” in v. 11:29 wasn’t because someone didn’t remember the physical body of Christ, but because they weren’t “preferring or selecting” others in the Body-of-Christ over their own personal needs!  Paul is a lawyer who uses words very carefully, but many of our English bibles don’t help you to see this fact – see Bible Info!

 

Now can you see how many in the modern church are celebrating the Lord’s Supper, but actually blind to the meaning of “discerning the Lord’s Body” because it’s actually the Body-of-Christ, the Church, that many modern Christians could care less about being so absorbed in their own little worlds, more concerned about lunch at Denny’s with their family 5 minutes after church lets out.  So much error occurs in the churches due to poor translations (see Bible Info) and poor teaching (see Teach One Another).  I attended the Church of Christ from 1980-1983 and every week we had communion, and they had the standard traditional teaching about it, but as a starving college student I primarily attended because I couldn’t wait for their pot luck!  I went back for thirds without a clue about the real “discerning of the Lord’s Body!”

 

Let us instead “discern the Body-of-Christ,” especially during communion, which by definition means koinonia intimate fellowship with the Lord and the Body-of-Christ.  What experiences have had with this the Lord’s Supper, agape love feasts, traditions of men, and even the divine healing aspects of this practice?

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT7

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The NT warns about church “leadership” interfering with Body-of-Christ ministry.

 

 

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We’ve already seen Paul’s warning to those who want to be “leaders” in the world’s sense in Romans 12:2-10: “Do not be conformed to this world . . . I say to everyone among you not in possibility to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.”  But then how?  “Though many members, we are one Body in Christ, and so individually members belonging one of another.  Having grace-gifts that differ down-from/according-to the unconditional-favor-of-grace given to us, let us use them:  prophecy . . . teaching . . . proistemi leading  . . . unconditionally-love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.”  This is completely different than the world’s definitions of “teaching” and “leading.”  I bet if you look carefully at the Greek definitions of the other grace-gifts listed, these are completely different than the world’s meaning of these words that so many bibles carelessly translate!  This is in keeping with the chadash/kainos completely different-in-kind “New” Covenant.

 

We’ve already seen that today’s so-called “leaders” or “ministers” should actually be called coaches, trainers, and facilitators according to Ephesians 4:8-12, because they are absolutely not in fact the “players” but the ones that are supposed to be simply preparing, training, and enabling them!  “Christ gave grace-gifts to men . . . He gave [to the Church] these in fact:  the apostles, moreover the prophets, moreover the evangelists, moreover the shepherds and/coupled teachers, for the katartismos coaching of the saints for [singular] work of [singular] ministry, for [singular] building up of the Body-of-Christ.”  We also saw that being “followers of men” or having a “hierarchy of men” is the last thing any of the NT writers had in mind!  We are supposed to be listening to Jesus speak to us directly by the Holy Spirit and be His disciples, His followers.  Jesus would turn most church’s “leadership” chart upside down, saying that the “greatest” aren’t the ones on stage giving the orders, but the one who takes orders and serves even as slave.  We also saw that the Greek terms for “leaders” have more to do with “managed care-giving” and “humbly esteeming others more significantly than yourselves.”

 

We’ve also seen that “people, positions, offices, and titles” are often confused withgrace-gifts of the Spirit” and that hierarchal ranking of grace-gifts or people is foreign to the New Covenant, but that hasn’t stopped the modern church, especially with its “clergy versus laity” mindset.  We’ve also seen how misleading the term “teacher” can be, especially because of the world’s definition in comparison to NT use, where it doesn’t so much represent a person as it does a praxis functioning grace-gift of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus has the final word for the Body-of-Christ:  “There is only One Teacher, and the rest of you are brethren.”

 

Before Jesus taught even one person, it was Father God who “taughtthem and drew them to Christ (a).  While Jesus was on earth, it was right to call Him “Teacher and Lord, for so I am” (b), but once He left this planet to sit at the right hand of the Father, there is still only “One Teacher!”  Jesus comforted His worrying disciples about His departure: “Sorrow has filled your heart (c).  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Parakletos (d) will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send Him to you . . . When the Spirit of The Truth comes, He will guide you into all The Truth, for . . . whatever He hears He will speak . . . He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is Mine; therefore I said that He will take what is Mine and declare it to you” (e). <Notes> a) John 6:44-45, b) John 13:13, c) about Christ’s predicted departure, d) Parakletos: ‘Close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor, e) John 16:6-15.

 

The Holy Spirit is clearly the Lord Jesus as “the One Teacherhere on earth NOW for us.  In John 14:16-19 before Christ’s departure, He said:  “I will ask the Father and/thus He will give you another (a) Parakletos (b) to be with you forever, that is, the Spirit of The Truth (c), whom the world cannot receive, because it neither interestingly-looks-at (d) Him nor actually, ongoingly, experientially, relationally knows (e) Him.  You actually, ongoingly, experientially, relationally knows (e) Him, for He actually, ongoingly dwells beside-alongside you and/but/also shall actually, in the future, be in/by/with you.  I will not leave you as orphans – I am actually ongoingly coming to you.  Yet in a little while the world will see Me no more, but you are actually presently/ongoingly interestingly-looking-at (d) Me.  Because I live, you also shall actually, in the future, live.”  <Notes> a) Jesus was the 1st, b) ‘Close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor, c) Jesus, John 14:6, d) theoreo: as with carefully inspecting troops, e) ginosko.

 

The “One Teacher of The Truth” is the Spirit of Jesus Christ here NOW (a).  “The Spirit of The Truth” (b) is “the Spirit of Jesus” (c), exactly because Jesus said He was “The Truth” (d), as “The Truth is in Jesus” (e).  The “Spirit of The Truth has come and He does guide us into all The Truth” (f) and “He will teach you ALL things” (g).  Is there anything left for any so-called “teacher” in the modern church to teach us?  That’s why the apostle John confidently declared:  “But you have been anointed by the Holy One (h), and/thus you [plural] ALL mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (i) . . . But the anointing (j) that you have received from Him abides/lives in you, and/thus you have absolutely in fact no need that anyone should teach you.  . . . His anointing actually, ongoingly teaches you about ALL things, and is trustworthy.”  <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Revelations 22:6; Acts 5:9, 8:39, b) John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13; 1 John 4:6, c) Acts 16:7; Philippians 1:19, d) John 14:6, e) Ephesians 4:21, f) John 16:13, g) John 14:26, h) Jesus: Acts 3:14, i) eido, j) the Holy Spirit of the Holy One.

 

Therefore, we need to be very careful about the term “teacher” when it comes to mere human beings.  I think we should instead consider ourselves “equipping coaches and facilitators” as Ephesians 4:12 describes “shepherds and/coupled teachers” (i.e., shepherds who are teaching), simply helping to make it easier for people to listen to Jesus be the “One Teacher” by the Holy Spirit to them!

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT6

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New Covenant Kingdom “leadership” structure is upside down!

 

 

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It certainly is from the business/government model of the world – see The Great WallIn 1 Thessalonians 5:12 Paul says, “We ask you, brethren, to mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (a) those who labor among you and/coupled keep standing before [you] to proistemi maintain [your] care in the Lord and/coupled admonish (b) you.”  Remember that this “admonishing” is something ALL of us should be doing to “one another” (c) as we would “a brother” (d).  It’s also quite misleading for bibles to translate proistemi as “rule over,” because the prevalent meaning of the word is to “keep standing before or maintaining the care of” through devotion (e). However, the idea of “being set or placed before” others by appointment also comes into place from the histemi and similar tithemi root words, but these also often emphasize the “maintaining” aspect. The prefix pros doesn’t have to mean “before others,” but just as easily can mean “before in time” as with prosbuteros elders who are simply “earlier in The trusting-relying-Faith who keep standing before [you] to proistemi maintain care well, let [them] be counted worthy of double honor” (f). Again, the proistemi emphasis is on the “managed care-giving” function just as parents do (g), thus the qualification of God’s household overseers (i) and deacons/servants (h). <Notes> a) eido, b) noutheteo: ‘placing in the mind of’ – urgent reasoning by instruction and warning, c) Colossians 3:16, d) 2 Thessalonians 3:15, e) Titus 3:8, 14, f) 1 Timothy 5:17, g) 1 Timothy 3:4-5, 12, h) 1 Timothy 3:2, 8, i) episcopos.

 

This “managed care-giving” function (a) is only one of many grace-gifts in Paul’s Romans 12:4-8 list: “Not all have the same function (a), so we, though many, are one Body in Christ, and/thus individually members of/belonging to one another.  Having grace-gifts that differ down-from/according-to the unconditional-favor-of-grace given to us, let us use them:  if prophecy [then use] down-from/according in/by/with [your] proportion (b) [of the grace-gift] of/belonging to The-trusting-relying-Faith, OR if service [then use down-from/according-to your proportion of the grace-gift of The-trusting-relying-Faith] in/by/with the service, [OR if] to teach [then use . . . of The-trusting-relying-Faith] in/by/with the teaching, OR if the alongside-counseling/exhortation (c) [then use . . . of The-trusting-relying-Faith] in/by/with the alongside-counseling/exhortation, [OR if] giving/sharing/imparting [then use . . . of The-trusting-relying-Faith] in singleness/simplicity/honesty; [OR if] the proistemi managed caregiving [then use . . . of The-trusting-relying-Faith] in/by/with speedy earnestness/diligence (d), [OR if] the showing of mercy/compassion/pity [then use . . . of The-trusting-relying-Faith] in/by/with ready cheerfulness.”  Paul loves to leave words out to save space, but I’ve had to put them back in with [brackets] so that you can understand what he is really saying!  It’s amazing that churches still insist these grace-gifts aren’t praxis functions, but somehow individual people, offices, positions, or titles!  It’s imperative that “EVERYONE AMONG YOU absolutely in fact not think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (e)!  That’s how Paul starts this paragraph!  Paul is certainly targeting those who would desire to be “leaders, rulers, greater ones, arche firsts, and megas greats,” but explaining that it’s just “not about you” but about Body-of-Christ Ministry! <Notes> a) praxis: functions, sustained activities, deeds, and/or responsibilities, b) analogia: analogous comparison, proportion c) parakaleo, d) spoude, e) Romans 12:3.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT5

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Everybody wants to be a “leader” in today’s Church instead of just “little children.”

 

 

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The idea of a spiritual “boss-man” is actually “borrowed” either from the OT priesthood, which makes it a faulty foundation, or borrowed from the world as if picking up stones to place to build the walls of the Church.  Either way, this builds The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit from moving in the Church.  It’s simply not what Jesus taught but the exact opposite!  See also Coaches and Facilitators.

 

Jesus taught that “exercising authority over others . . . shall absolutely not in fact be so among you, for whoever would/desire to be great (a) among you must become a servant (b) . . . [even] a slave, just as the Son of Man came absolutely not in fact to be served but to serve” (c).  The Luke 22:26 version says, “Let the greater (d) among you become as the youngest (e), and the leader/chief (f) as one who serves,” which is parallel to Matthew 23:11, “The greater (d) among you (g) shall actually be your servant.”  The question about who would become “greater (d) among them” was exactly what the disciples were foolishly arguing about once before (h), but Jesus corrected them: “If anyone would be first (i), he must be last (j) of all and a servant of all.  And He took a little child and put him in the midst of them” (k) to illustrate the very point!  <Notes> a) mega, b) they don’t give orders, but take them, c) Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45, d) meizon, e) neos: recently born, f) hegeomai, g) within God’s Kingdom order, h) Mark 9:34; Luke 9:46, i) protos: chief, j) eschatos: lowest.  See Body-of-Christ Ministry, k) Mark 9:35-36.

 

In Luke 9:48, Jesus says: “He who is least among you all is the one who is actually great (a).”  They even questioned Jesus: “Who is the greater (b) in the kingdom of Heaven?” He answered, “Whoever lowers himself like this little child is greater (b) in the kingdom of Heaven” (c).  Remember who the New Covenant promise of “experientially, relationally knowing (d) by mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know (e) Yahweh” now goes to?  “From the least of them to the greatest” (f)!   That’s because Jesus said, “Father, . . . you have kept hidden these things from the wise and learned but revealed them to little children . . . no one genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knows the Father except . . . to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (g), and in context this was His simple disciples, for in Luke 8:10 Jesus said, “To you it has been given to experientially, relationally know (d) the secrets/mysteries of the Kingdom of God.”  <Notes> a) megas, b) meizon, c) Matthew 18:1, 4, d) ginosko, e) eido, f) Hebrews 8:11 citing Jeremiah 31:34, g) Matthew 11:25, 27, Luke 10:21-22. See the Knowledge, Obedient Steps of Faith, and Body-of-Christ Ministry pages.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT4

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Where do the preachers fit in?   They are supposed to be the evangelists!

 

 

We also see a link between the evangelist-preacher (a), apostles, teachers (b), and even prophets (i), especially in 2 Timothy 4:2 where Paul encourages Timothy, the evangelist to “preach the logos gospel message . . . to gently convince/correct (c), charge/urge/rebuke, and parakaleo come-alongside-to-counsel . . . with absolute patience and doctrine (d)” and “strongly urge and teach these things (e) . . . devoting yourself to the . . . the invocation (f), and the teaching. Do not neglect your grace-gift [of evangelism/preaching he received by the laying on of hands] . . . practice these things, immerse yourself in them . . . Keep a close watch on (g) yourself and on the teaching (h).  Persist in this, for by so doing you save (rescue/heal) both yourself and your hearers.” <Notes> a) kerux:  preacher, announcer, herald, town-crier proclaiming critical news for the public to know.  1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11; 2 Peter 2:5; from the verb kerusso:  25 occurrences of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ:  Luke 9:6, 20:1; Acts 8:25, 40, 14:7, 21, 16:10; Romans 1:15, 15:20, 16:25, 1 Corinthians 1:17, 9:16, 18, 15:1; 2 Corinthians 2:12, 8:18, 10:16, 11:7; Galatians 1:8, 9, 11, 3:8, 4:13; 2 Timothy 2:8; 1 Peter 4:6, b) 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11 – see Coaches and Facilitators and Teach One Another, c) reprove, d) didache: the teaching, e) 1 Timothy 4:11, cf. 6:2, f) 1 Timothy 4:13:  paraklesis from parakaleo:  the “calling to be close-beside” the congregation is the “invocation” of the Holy Spirit was still an early Church tradition per Hippolytus of Rome in 200 AD, g) ep + echo: hold upon – that’s a function of an overseer too, h) as specific kind of teaching – the “sound doctrine” Paul taught him of Jesus’ sound words: 1 Timothy 1:10, 6:3; 2 Timothy 4:3, i) Acts 13:1.

 

That should make many of you wonder who that person up there talking to you every Sunday thinks they are?  If they are speaking the logos gospel message then they are preachers or evangelists, but then you have to ask:  “Are there any unsaved people in the congregation that they are preaching to in order to save them?”  Maybe there IS some regular church-goers that really aren’t saved?  But if they aren’t speaking the gospel, they really aren’t preachers, but simply one of many teachers in the Body-of-Christ that should be using their grace-gift of teaching!

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT3

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Elders, Bishop-Overseers, and Shepherd-Pastors are the same group functions!

 

 

 

The term “bishop” comes from the Greek noun episcope that commonly means “visitation, investigation, or inspection of troops” (a).  Peter uses it in Acts 1:20 citing Psalms 109:8 in the Greek LXX for “a place of leadership” (NIV), “position of responsibility” (NET), “office” (NASB), “post” (MSG), or “bishopric” (KJV) regarding the replacement of the apostle Judas after he hung himself. Again, the religion of special people, positions, offices, and titles is often seen in many bible translations.  How sad!  The term “bishop” was created in 1800’s Old English for “a senior member of the Christian clergy, typically in charge of a diocese and empowered to confer holy orders.” Another “tradition of men!”  Why is the modern church “borrowing” from the OT when the New Covenant Ways are completely different-in-kind by definition (b) – this is part of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church. <Notes> a) Luke 19:44, 1 Peter 2:12, b) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.

 

The Greek word episcope can also mean “charge or function of an elder who looks into/over others, thus a superintendent.” The corresponding OT Hebrew pyquddah generally means “visitation, inspection of troops, oversight, custody, or care of” but can also mean “charge over,” even though Brown-Dryer-Brigg suggests in this regard it refers to “charge over one’s possessions.”  The only other place episcope is used is by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:1-2 where he says:  “If a man reaches out for episope he desires a good work.  The episkopos (overseer) must be above reproach, husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, apt/skillful in teaching, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (a).  We know from 1 Peter 2:25 that the shepherd (b) and episkopos overseer were the same person – caring for the flock by simply sitting on a hill watching over the sheep. <Notes> a) “Lord’s servant … teaching” 2 Timothy 2:24, b) poimen.

 

Regardless of the flawed doctrines of many churches, the overseers are simply “elders (a) . . . above reproach, the husband of one wife, his children believers who are not open to debauchery or insubordination.  For the one who oversees (b) as God’s steward, must be above reproach, not be arrogant, quick-tempered, drunkard, violent, greedy for gain, hospitable, lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined . . . holding firm to the trustworthy logos gospel message (c) as has been taught, so that he may be able to give alongside-counselling, advising, encouraging, comforting (d) by/with sound/healthy teaching and/coupled to correct/refute the gainsayers (e)” (f). <Notes> a) presbuteros: older in The trusting-relying-Faith b) episkopos, c) logos, d) parakaleo, e) those who speak against the trustworthy message, f) Titus 1:5-9.

 

Elders, bishop-overseers, and pastors are the same people!  Acts 20:17-28 tells the “elders (a) of the church of Ephesus who came to him in Miletus . . . Pay careful attention (b) to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers (d) to shepherd (c) the church of God.” Also 1 Peter 5:1-2 says: “I urge the elders (a) among you, who I am also an elder (a) , . . . shepherd (c) the flock of God among you, overseeing (d), not by constraint but voluntarily, not for gain but willingly” – see Donations page. <Notes> a) presbuteros, b) pros + echo: hold toward/near is a description of overseeing c) poimaino is the common verb form, the noun is used only once of Christians, d) episkopeo: the verb overseeing – Hebrews 12:15.

 

Paul simply divides the Church into 3 groups: “all the saints, bishop-overseers, and deacons” (a).  But as we’ve seen above the “bishop-overseers” are the elders, who are also the shepherds, so Paul could have said “all the saints, bishop-overseers/elders/shepherds, and deacons.”  Paul only “set in front” or “set in place” (b) elders in every church (c), which obviously then are the “bishop-overseers/shepherds!”  This same group Paul describes as:  “God’s servants who are apt/skilled to teach” (d).  They are the “overseers who are apt/skilled to teach” (e) who Paul encourages Christians to “let the elders that keep standing before [you] to maintain care (f) well be counted worthy of double honor, chiefly those laboring wearily by the means of the logos gospel message (g) and/coupled are teaching [it]” (h) – see Donations page.  We also knows from Ephesians 4:11 that the coaching/facilitating function of the poimen shepherd grace-gift to the Church from Christ “for the saints to actually do the work of the ministry so that the Body-of-Christ may be build up” – not the shepherd – in the Greek structure: “tous-the apostles, de-moreover tous-the prophets, de-moreover tous-the evangelists, de-moreover tous-the poimenas-shepherds kai-coupled/also didaskalous-teachers” couples together “moreover the shepherd and/also teacher” all after 1 “de-moreover tous-the” connector phrase, thus meaning “shepherd who is also a teacher” – just as the above passages say.  The modern church has not followed the NT model for church structure at all, that’s because they either don’t know their bible or more likely prefer “the traditions of men.”  <Notes> a) Philippians 1:1, b) histemi or tithemi – see Coaches and Facilitators, c) Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23, d) 2 Timothy 2:24 – see Coaches and Facilitators and Teach One Another, e) 1 Timothy 3:1-2, f) proistemi – see Coaches and Facilitators, g) logos, h) 1 Timothy 5:17.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT2

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Grace-gifts are functions, not people, positions, offices, or titles

 

 

 

Countering this fleshly tendency, Paul explains that the Spirit’s grace-gifts are simply “functions, sustained activities, deeds, and/or responsibilities” (a) – not “special” people, positions, offices, or titles.  In Ephesians 4:4-16 Paul says that “Christ gave grace-gifts to men . . . He gave these [grace-gifts] apostles, these [grace-gifts] prophets (b), these [grace-gifts] evangelists (c), these [grace-gifts] shepherds (d) and teachers (e).”  These are all verbal-nouns describing functioning [grace-gifts], thus given by Christ based on unconditional-favor-of-grace.  They aren’t simply nouns identifying people, positions, offices, or titles.  <Notes> a) praxis:  Romans 12:4, b) see the Prophetic page, c) euaggelistes, d) poimen, e) didaskalos – see the Coaches and Facilitators and Teach One Another pages.

 

Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, “There are varieties of grace-gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services/ministries, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of energized, working resultant-effects (a), but it is the same God who Spirit-empowers them ALL in every one. TO EACH is given the manifestation/demonstration of the Spirit for the common good.”  The grace-gift a person functions with is a manifestation of the Spirit. <Notes> a) “activities or operations” are poor translations.

 

The fact that they are functions is clear from a parallel passage in Romans 12:3-5, “I say to EVERYONE among you that you are not in possibility to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think, but instead to think with a temperate/sound mind (a), each down-from/according-to the measuring-cup (b) of/belonging to trusting-relying-faith (c) that God has already measured out into portions (d).  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function (e) so we, though many, are one Body in Christ, and individually members [of] one of another.  Having grace-gifts that differ [only] down-from/according-to the unconditional-favor-of-grace given to us, I strongly urge: let US use them.” Paul lists prophecy, serving, teaching, alongside counseling-advising-encouraging-comforting (f), giving, “in-front” managed care-giving (g), and mercy. We know from Paul’s lists in other places, this wasn’t meant to be a complete list, only to illustrate his main point of everyone using their grace-gifts for the betterment of the whole Church.  It’s not supposed to be a one-man show or even that of a so-called “ministry staff!”  They don’t “differ” in the quantity of trusting-relying-faith or unconditional-favor-of-grace or skill or anything else, by definition of metron (b) and merizo (d), but “differ” in “varieties” as “manifestation of the Spirit” simply because of their praxis function (e) in Body-of-Christ ministry!  <Notes> a) sophroneo, b) metron:  measures out a set, equal amount of a substance to insure fair trade, c) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, d) merizo: from metron and the non-partial character of God, these would be equal, fair, just portions, e) praxis: sustained activities, deeds, and/or responsibilities, f) parakaleo, g) proistemi – see Coaches and Facilitators.

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry

Body Ministry – BT1

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Positions, offices, and titles are the last thing the NT had in mind!

 

 

 

We know from Matthew 23:7-10 that Jesus absolutely prohibits the use of positions, offices, and titles, which only elevate some brethren above others. That’s because there is only One Head over all men (a) and certainly over all brethren of the Church (b) and thus only One Master (c) who has ALL rule, authority and preeminence (d), and this is Jesus Christ!  That means absolutely nobody else should be a “head over, preeminent, master, or a lord who rules or exercises authority” over anybody else! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 11:3, b) Ephesians 1:22, 4:15, 5:23; Colossians 1:18, 2:19, c) Matthew 23:10, d) Matthew 28:18; Colossians 1:18, 2:10.

 

In fact, Jesus strongly corrected His disciples more than once who were jockeying for “leadership positions,” saying: “You all know that the rulers (a) of the world’s peoples (b) exercise dominion down upon (c) them and their [delegated underling] bosses/governors (d) exercise authority over (e) others, BUT THIS ABSOLUTELY IN FACT SHALL NOT be so among you, for whoever would [desire] to be great (d) (f) among you must become a [little, lowly, no-orders-giving] servant . . . [even] a slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (g). This is a radical diversion from the OT structure of ministry and leadership (h), which was clearly “from the greatest to the least.” That’s exactly why the completely different-in-kind New (k) Covenant Way  of the “knowledge of God” is “absolutely not in possibility or in fact [such] that each one be teaching his neighbor or his brethren,” but now by “mentally ‘seeing’ to perceive/know (i) Yahweh from the least of them to the greatest” (j)! <Notes> a) archon: firsts, b) ethnos, c) katakurieuo: ‘lord/master down upon,’ thus subjugate or control, d) megas: greats, e) katexousiazo: act as masters: having or wielding privilege, might and power, will, authority, or control over or down upon, f) Luke 22:24-27 says hegeomai: leader/chief, g) Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45, h) see Coaches and Facilitators, i) eido, j) Hebrews 8:11 citing Jeremiah 31:34, k) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.

 

Titles go hand in hand with offices and positions for today’s religious ministries:  I counted 51 for Jews, 51 for Islam, 8 for Mormons, 61 for Buddhism, 33 for Hinduism, 25 for Roman Catholicism, and 29 for Eastern Orthodox, including “president, high priest, arch-priests, arch-bishops, lord-bishops, arch-deacons, fathers, and mother superiors,” even though Jesus uses some of these very words in strong prohibition, but this doesn’t stop religion!  What’s worse is the air of “authority” these titles convey, which Jesus gave even stronger lectures against!

 

What do you think about that position, office, and title, called the “worship leader” – see Coaches and Facilitators?

 

 

 

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Categories: Body Ministry