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Should We Put Our Trust in Man?
~ Carnal Ordinances, Part I ~
A GUIDE FOR BOTH MINISTER AND LAYMAN
Originally written in A.D. 2000;
Updated in January, A.D. 2006, 2015, 2017-18
Please click on desired chapter to read. Not all chapter titles are available on this webpage...
Introduction to the END NOTES
Chapter 2: Should We Put Our Trust in Man?
END NOTES for Chapter 2
Chapter 3: Give Us a King!
END NOTES for Chapter 3
Chapter 4: The Holy Bible ... The Great Equalizer!
END NOTES for Chapter 4
Chapter 5: The Five Offices of Recognition
END NOTES for Chapter 5
Chapter 6: Is the
END NOTES for Chapter 6
Chapter 7: God No Longer Dwells in Man-Made
END NOTES for Chapter 7
Chapter 8: Steadying the
END NOTES for Chapter 8
Chapter 9: Forgive, But Do NOT Forget!
END NOTES for Chapter 9
Chapter 10: Carnal Ordinances, Part I and Part II
END NOTES for Chapter 10
A Church is God between four walls.
– Victor Hugo.
I would like to begin with a special note, because I do not want to be misunderstood from the very start of my true intentions. I do believe that what may be termed as the 'modern Church' has been ordained by God. It, like many other things in Christendom, serves many good purposes. However, the modern church may best be viewed merely as a stepping stone toward a higher goal in God's spiritual kingdom; but, is certainly not the final goal. So saying, the actual, literal 'building' itself, of course, is not the true Church of God; it's not the true Temple of God; nor is it the true House of God; but, it's simply a gathering place for Christians to learn more about the Lord, and to not only help them grow in Christ, but can even serve as a way-station so that they can reenergize themselves for an upcoming harsh week. Unfortunately, a lot of Christian leaders cannot grasp that simple concept, which can certainly lead them (and has led them) to take things to a terrible level of ungodliness and greed. This book is an attempt to shine a light onto the true Ecclesia of Christ, which is not limited to four walls; and, of which, reaches beyond the limitations of a literal building. But, even so, I'm not here declaring that it's wrong for people to attend such services; we just simply must understand God's intentions and purposes for them.
At the same time, though, the modern church can rob so many of their opportunity of reaching that higher goal if the leadership therein holds the people down, stunting their growth in Christ; whilst, also, dipping them into the mud of church politics, and smothering them within man's governmental systems; which, truly, forms an ungodly backbone for so many churches in this world. However, and despite that, if done correctly, church services in a building can certainly be a blessed event – but, only when the Spirit of God directs its course, and washes the people to a grand degree. But, a lot of times (though, not every time), with an actual building comes the need to control the people and to lord over them by ministers who have gone astray, and who do not have a love for the people [John 10:12-13]. Therefore, when I speak about the church building in a negative light throughout this book, then know that I am speaking of these said leaders who have taken this wrong turn, who misinterpret the building's true purpose, and who have become power-hungry in the process. It must be understood that true, called leaders in Christ do have authority to help lead children to the Lord, and the respect that is due to them is that the children should listen to their words with reverence, and to consider and meditate upon those words – if those words truly connect with the Spirit of Christ. But, not only so, even if they don't seem to ring true with the scriptures (for, we ourselves may be wrong about the scriptures' true meanings at times), to at least give them a chance to explain their position on God's Word. That is, if the ministers even allow folks to question them at all! In fact, if they aren't allowing people to do so (with respect, of course), then they may be hiding something, and don't want to be called out on the carpet about it.
1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
As Christians, we all have the right – nay!, the duty – to question ministers; but, with utter kindness, and with love...
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
However, and at the same time (and, this is another point that will certainly be covered herein), these said ministers do not have free license to usurp authority over the heads of God's children, to where they become their lord and master. Ministers, instead, must take on the role of a spiritual parent, who will – with agape love – direct the child's steps toward Christ; but, not to keep a clamped hand upon them. They must allow and encourage the child to grow up into the full stature of Christ, and to actually deliver them on over to God once that child has become a spiritual adult themselves – instead of holding them back for fear of losing another financially supportive member; or, that they may see an empty seat in their audience.
This book is certainly not a battle cry to tear the Church building down; nor am I asking the ministry to resign; but, this is rather a plea for all Christians to understand what the building is really all about, and to see the need for church services to flow with the leading of God's Spirit instead of the spirit of man. The true ministry of Christ needs to step forward and to replace many false leaders who have nothing more than the spirit of a Pharisee! But, especially, this is a look beyond the literal Church building, and on into the spiritual world of Christ; and, of a spiritual walk with Him – which should be the ultimate goal for any true Christian.
Even though a lot of these things have already been said in my original edition of this writing from A.D. 2000 (as will be seen in the following pages), I felt that when updating this text that I should reestablish these thoughts stronger than I had previously . . . So, with all that being said, let's begin our quest.
– Ted Roberts; July, A.D. 2015
No Division Amongst God's People
To a great majority of Christians in this world – yet, not to all – a church building and a main pastor behind the helm is the only way of serving God. And, to even dare question such a notion, to many of these Christians, is the first step to heresy. Such questions, however, are being asked in this book . . . I truly declare that my goal in this life is to try with everything in my power to do God’s will, and to embrace His current work upon this earth – and, I won’t beat around the bush to declare this, either (even if I fall and stumble several times during my journey). However, I have found (during my own quest), that I completely agree with the current saying: “we must think outside the box!” For, I really believe that there's more to God than just what four walls can enclose. But, this will take some time for me to explain, and to assure my readers that I am not enemies to the attendees of these said church buildings, nor to their leaders. But, you'll certainly find some negative references herein concerning the "
But, as far as carnal flesh completely taking over as headship, please know that it could be very possible for any of us to be in danger of such a thing within the confines of an actual church building; or, of when a ministry is in charge – which is another subject that shall be covered herein . . . So, and because I had declared this, does it mean that all leaders in churches are bad? Of course I am not saying that; and, neither do I even believe such a thing. In any construct in life, though – whether it be in politics, religion, or even in the business world – you are going to have your bad apples in any bunch; therefore, it is to these bad apples (let’s admit it, they are amongst us) of who I am referring. On the other hand, please know that God did indeed have His hand in the construction of these said industries and rude leaders for one reason or another. Many of these reasons, however, I feel are not for a good outcome. Even when things are Godly ordained, there's still a balance of good and evil.*2
I have many brothers and sisters within the massive walls of these institutions – i.e. these organizational denominations. I care little of what 'denomination' that they may represent; for, those curtains called denominations are not thick enough on any side to deny their relationship with me. Being so the case, whether Baptist, Pentecostal, Oneness, or any other state, I want fellowship with all of them if they are willing to have it with me;*3 because, I know that the word denomination should not be a wall of separation between God’s true children. So, toward these precious individuals, who may find themselves enclosed within a building’s walls, I say nay a thing that may be cross; but, plenty I may convey about the religious 'systems' that they may find themselves in for one reason or another by the hand of the Lord. And, it's very possible, too, that there may be a time for many to make their way away from theses states to perhaps explore others areas of His grace. At God’s good time, and only if He chooses to, shall He pull some of His children out from within a governmental-structure that had been pitched by man; or, rather, He may wish to keep them in there as a guide to others who are a little less fortunate in quickly hearing the voice of the good Shepherd as others have done. Perhaps the deciding point on how quickly a move is (if, again, there is even a move) depends on the spirit of the minister of the groups. But, please know that I'm certainly not against pastorship; however, I have absolutely no use for dictators. God ordained pastors; but, many have taken on the form of a dictator – which is the spirit of a Pharisee – and, that's when we start having problems.
But, in all honestly, should there really be division amongst God’s true people?
1 Corinthians 1:10–13
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing [not in doctrine – but, in believing in Christ, and in love], and that there be no divisions among you [modern-day terms: no denominations]; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ [I’m Baptist; I’m Oneness; I’m Pentecostal; or any other Christian state]. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Also, I'm certainly not against the gathering together of God's elect – we must not deny ourselves this necessary thing. But, perhaps, the best way to describe what I'm saying is to express the need for fellowship amongst ALL true Christians without the burden of walls to separate them. The actual building itself means nothing, and people can gather there just fine (whether in a large one; or, as the early church members did, in their own homes). What's really important is to not make a small fleshly kingdom built upon the desires of men; and, to keep meetings simple, void of any 'Church Politics.'
'The Break of Day: The Life Story of William Sowders.' by O'neill*4
"Let me say this: God brought me through something, when I first started in the ministry that has been a great help to me. I have used many of those things down through the years. I look back to the time when we were having meetings and had no music, not even a guitar. I never did forget those days. We never had a guitar. I never heard any sweeter singing in my life than it was then, and I watched it. Not only did we not have a guitar, but we didn’t have a church house and we didn’t have seats to sit in. When we started the meetings they were the most powerful, richest, grandest meetings that you ever saw. Would you believe that all of these meetings I have come through these 40 years, that I can look back and say, they were the richest meetings I was ever in? When they built a church I told the saints right there, that settles the sweet spirit here in our meetings, they said, why Bro. Will? I said, here we are building a church house. We are taking it out of the humble home down there and we are moving it up here on the hill. We’re going to have church, and the church meetings we have to have a pastor and the pastor means that everything will be orderly. He will be proud and we won’t have it as common as we had it down there. When we started up there on the hill, it was just a battle day after day, battle after battle. Who was going to be the Pastor? Who is going to do this? Who is going to do that? Say, so and so wanted to sit here, so and so wanted to sit there? I saw a way back there before that happened that we were gone. We lost the sweetest thing that Pentecost ever had in that day, and I was plenty active. I was investigating around, finding out what this fellow was doing and that fellow and what they had, etc. I was attending their camp meetings. I wanted to go to a big gathering, but God rebuked me and wouldn’t let me go. I was doing all I could in the way of getting out among the people. But we lost the sweetest thing that we ever had back there.”
After reading this book, I truly hope to reveal that I'm not being judgmental of any particular individuals; but, we must all admit that there are 'systems' out there that have been pitched by the spirit of man; and, that these systems in question must not detour the free thoughts that God has allowed us to have in reviewing the sacred text of the Bible; or, to be free to follow God's leading when He speaks to us outside the box.
Or, continue scrolling down for Chapter 1's END NOTES...
No Division Amongst God's People
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THE END NOTES...
Even when many modern day churches say that they understand that the building itself isn't the true
1) The inerrancy of the Bible;
2) The literal nature of the biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ's miracles and the Creation account in Genesis;
3) The virgin birth of Christ;
4) The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ;
5) The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross.
Quoting a very similar list, the European-American Evangelistic Crusades from
"Those who disagree with any of the above doctrines are not Christians at all. Rather, they are the true heretics ... if some deny even one of the five fundamentals mentioned above, they have departed from the faith."
But, then, further down in the same document, they added this final statement to soften the blow:
"If you take offense to differences in lesser doctrines, don't think that we are condemning you as unbelievers or heretics. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Which, I personally found to be a complete contradiction to their earlier words ... Here is their own list of established doctrinal beliefs:
1). The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).
2). The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).
3). The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).
4). The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).
5). The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20).
Even though I find nothing wrong with any of these five things that the European-American Evangelistic Crusades had quoted (for, I actually – and strongly – agree with all five of their doctrinal beliefs!), I cannot, however, see how a struggling Christian, who hasn't come to see things similarly, could be considered a heretic. Any true Christian should know that we learn about things slowly over time, and that we never come to pure truth overnight. However, and at the same time, many denominations think that we, as sheep, should automatically accept their established doctrines immediately without question. I actually find, though, that a person who can think for themselves (outside the box) to be a better candidate for a continuing Christian, since no denomination can claim that once a person embraces their beliefs that they are completely immune to falling back into the ungodly world afterwards ... In fact, the same Bible that they claim is inerrant (which, I completely agree with, by the way!) says that there's only one sin that cannot be forgiven [Matthew 12:31; and 1st John 5:16b]; but, that didn't include not being in agreeance with all five 'established' fundamental beliefs ... As I mentioned already, not everybody can agree with what these five basic doctrinal beliefs even consist of. Here's another list from www.deceptioninthechurch.com/5doctrines. html:
1). The Trinity: God is one "What" and three "Whos" with each "Who" possessing all the attributes of Deity and personality.
2). The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity.
3). The Second Coming: Jesus Christ is coming bodily to earth to rule and judge.
4). Salvation: It is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
5). The Scripture: It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life.
And, in this last quoted list, there are a couple that even I disagree with! So, if everybody can't even agree with what five to push to the public forefront, then why have a list at all? ... But, like I also said, we don't want just anybody throwing just anything out there, and preaching strange doctrines in the churches of Jesus Christ. After all, there is a single truth, and God does have to personally ordain and send out ministers to preach His pure Word, and to establish that one truth ... So, for fun, I will forward my own list of requirements for any true Christian (at least, a view for what will initially establish a person into God's kingdom to begin with):
1) God alone has the right to call and ordain ministers and stewards of His infallible Word.
2) The Holy Ghost must speak through ministers; but, not the spirit of man. Basically, without the Spirit of Christ dwelling within any believer, we are none of His.
3) Jesus is the only way to salvation; and, the only doorway to the Father. By no other name or religion can mankind be saved.
4) God's Written Word is inerrant (not, however, any single translation); but, from the original languages. His Living Word leads to ultimate salvation. And, only by the Holy Ghost can we fully understand His Word.
5) Only with pure agape, Godly love toward one another and to God can we resurrect unto eternal life; that is, through the instructions of the Spirit of Truth, as commissioned and established through the unaltered words of Jesus Christ.
All other topics, folks, are up for healthy, friendly discussions; and, they should never be a separating factor if disagreements arise ... Now, it may seem a contradiction to the reader, but I am going to say further on this subject, and to declare boldly that I actually agree to the importance (and, more than anybody else's) of the European-American Evangelistic Crusades' five fundamental doctrinal beliefs; and, to say that, at the end of the day, any true Christian will ultimately see that these are concreted, established truths. My disagreement with that ministry was in saying that we cannot express boldly (because, we do not have that authority!) to say that whomever we meet that disagrees with any of those five statements is a true heretic and a non-believer (that is, of course, if I understood their meaning correctly); for, the point I was trying to make was that everybody is on a different learning level, and that it may take years for somebody to come to a truth, whereas it may have taken minutes for others. God alone is the final judge on whether somebody makes it to be with Him or not ... In my many years of serving God, I have met with a lot of folks who claim to have a love for God and His Word, but not all of them agreed to every one of those five statements that I and the European-American Evangelistic Crusades agree on. It never crossed my mind, though, that because of their 'unbelief,' that they couldn't be an elect of God; but, to the contrary, that they just still had much to learn. Jesus Himself said [Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13] that it is to those to whom will endure until the end that will be saved – not to those who got the pure truth immediately! So, unless a person curses God to our face with malicious joy, then we need not dismiss them from our minds or our prayers (but, even if they do, we can still pray for them! For, we never know whom God has chosen). People need our help and not our unrighteous judgments [John 7:24]. As the Apostle Paul had so plainly said, one plants, one waters, but only God can give the increase [1st Corinthians 3:6-7]. And, further, said that neither is he that plants any thing, nor he that waters; but, only God, who gives the increase. So, at the end of the day, it is God of whom will direct the steps of individuals unto salvation or unto damnation; but, we ourselves need to be careful of whom we dismiss out of the kingdom.
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
I had, in extensive detail, went over this position in a previous work in this 'Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Teaching Series,' in a book called: 'Blaming God! Is it really His fault?' Even if such a notion seems wrong or strange to mention, I fully believe this to be the case, and is very important in the understanding of how God's kingdom works. I will, herein, be showing examples of how corrupted ministers have entered into the church world; and that, even though evil in nature, people still got what they needed from God – as Jesus had so curiously pointed out in Matthew 7:22-23 – in that even though they were workers of iniquity, God's children still got prophesied to by these evil men; they further casted out devils; and even did wonderful works in the name of the Lord. Yet, they themselves never entered into the blessed kingdom. One may curiously ask why this is so, and why God even allows such men to flourish. Well, that's another thing that we will cover within these pages – such as in the fact that people want to latch onto a fleshly king when God Himself deserves that position. I don't want to give away too much here, for this certainly will be addressed in upcoming chapters ... Stay tuned!
Again, I don't want to be misunderstood here. I'm not boldly declaring that we should go running into established church buildings and yell out: "Come out of her, my people, and be not partakers of her sins!" For one thing, I do not believe that just because you have a church building, or that you have an organization, that it automatically places you into sin! As I've already stressed, God Himself has ordained the church building in its present form for one of several reasons; many, of which, are good; some, of which, are bad. But, I also believe that if God places a young man or woman into the hands of a caretaker, that the caretaker should be honored for their parental role ... And, with that loaded statement should come a host of explanations! In fact, one of the many purposes of this book is to address what a proper caretaker is, of what role they are to play, and of what kind of honor they should receive; for, certainly, honor to a caretaker can either be too light, or it can certainly go too far! But, back to what I was saying – if a Godly ordained minister has care over a person whilst that attendee is in their child years (not in actual human years, but in the fact that they are still children in understanding), then they do not need to be torn from that union prematurely; else confusion and damage could certainly set in. Not only so, but as the Apostle Paul suggested (concerning another man's servant), we aren't to judge any situation incorrectly.
Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
We need not necessarily look upon this situation as the world might see it. That is, concerning a servant, in this particular passage, and comparing that to an actual bought slave – even though Paul, in other areas of his writings, does address actual slavery. There are other places, though (such as this passage), where he addresses being a servant or a slave to certain church situations – especially since he spoke of this right smack-dab in the middle of talking about church issues [please read from verse 1 down to see]. Also, the Greek word used in Romans 14:4 doesn't even denote an actual 'slave,' but rather a sort of house servant. And, a church worker can certainly fall into that category.
Servant, Oiketēs, G3610, from Strong's Greek Dictionary (published 1890; public domain): From G3611; a fellow resident, that is, menial domestic: - (household) servant.
But, even if slave were meant in this passage (that is, slavery as we know it today), then it's not too far off base to say that we can be a slave to another person if we are in servitude toward them – even in a church! In fact, being in servitude to Christ, the original Greek word, Doulos (translated as servant in the King James Version), actually refers to us being God's 'slaves,' rather than just workers in His kingdom.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.
Servant/Slave, Doulos, G1401, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: From G1210; a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): - bond (-man), servant.
But, again, concerning Romans 14:4, Paul, like Jesus, was always in teaching form, and loved to use parables, allegories, figures and similes throughout his letters [please see my book called 'In the Beginning: It was Spiritual from the very start' for a more detailed explanation on this position]. And, here, we can see how that if a person is in servitude toward another person (even in a church situation between saint and pastor), then we aren't allowed to interfere or intervene into that relationship (even if we think the person's ready to come up to a higher position), unless God tells us to, or gives us permission to do so. I tell you of a truth, if the saint isn't ready to leave that relationship, they will defend their position with all of their might, even if they are in a terrible situation. But, and at the same time (and, if they are even called to do so), there will be a time when God's ready for that person to move away from their current position to explore other areas of His grace and kingdom, to get into a more advance position – that is, if the minister or pastor in question actually allows them to grow-up, or (if they felt led) to just simply leave that church in their due season. And, when ready, they will know it, and you will know it, if everybody is working within the confines of God's Spirit; and, at that time, fellowship will be more permissible and possible ... I, personally, do not believe in proselyting another person without God's will being enforced, or without His permission being granted. God alone is the one who can say when a person is ready to advance from any given situation; and, frankly, we may not be gifted enough to determine or judge anybody else's position [Matthew 7:1-5] ... But, like I had said, once a person is free (if they are ever granted to be so from God), is an adult, and if they are willing, then I want healthy fellowship with them – no matter their previous or present affiliation. But, nevertheless, all fellowship must be within the confines of what has been laid out in scripture ... At the same time, though, I'm not here suggesting that it's a preferable thing for a person to be in servitude to another person; but, and as I had explained in my book 'Blaming God! Is it really His fault?', God may send us through bad situations for our benefit, education and growth. So, the bottom line of what I'm meaning is for us not to judge unrighteously [St. John 7:24], and for us to be ever ready and prepared for if and when God needs us to help others to – not only come to Him to begin with – but, to plant and to water in due season so that God can give the proper increase.
This quote was from the actual words of William Sowders: noted as the founder and Apostle of the American movement called the 'School for the Prophets.' This small, rare yellow pamphlet has an unknown date.