SHOULD WE PUT OUR TRUST IN MAN?
Examining the Five-Fold Ministry
SHOULD WE PUT OUR TRUST INTO A
(DO THESE ELEMENTS COMPOSE
THE TRUE ECCLESIA OF CHRIST?)
Originally written in A.D. 2000;
Updated both in January, A.D. 2006, and A.D. 2015
by: Ted Roberts
Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Ministries, Houston, TX
©copyright 2015 by Ted Roberts
NOTE: All Scriptural quotes are from The King James Version, unless otherwise noted. The passages or words are sometimes in CAPITALS or BOLDING for emphasis. Words in italics, however, within quoted scriptures, are not for emphasis, but were placed within by the King James editors, who 'added' these words for sentence flow, which were not in the original autographs. Text [within brackets] are the authors own thoughts inserted into the biblical text for teaching purposes.
(Click on Chapter of choice. Some Chapters not available)
Chapter 2: Should we Put Our Trust in Man?
Chapter 3: Let Us Have a King!
Chapter 4: The Organized Church, And the Five Offices of Recognition
Chapter 5: Jesus Within, Battling the Old Man Without
Chapter 6: What Do True Leaders Do?
Chapter 7: Do Men Give Bad Rules that are Grievous to Follow?
Chapter 8: The Destruction of the Jewish
Chapter 9: The
A Church is God between four walls.
– Victor Hugo.
I would like to begin this writing with a special note, because I do not want to be misunderstood from the start of my true intentions: I believe that what might be termed as the 'modern church' has been ordained by God. It, like many things in God's kingdom, serves many good purposes. However, the 'modern church' may best be viewed as a stepping stone toward a higher goal in the spiritual world. The actual 'building' itself is not, of course, the true church of God – it is not the true Temple of God – it is simply a gathering place for Christians to come together to learn more about Him [as I will presently explain in full detail]. But, a lot of Christian leaders cannot grasp that simple concept, and they take things to a level of ungodliness, and greed. This writing is an attempt to show a light onto the true church of God, which is not limited by four walls [as Victor Hugo has so sarcastically stated], and which reaches beyond the limitations of the literal building (even if people still gather in a building – which, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!) .... I also believe that the modern church, a lot of times, robs so many people of an opportunity of reaching that higher goal, while dipping them instead into the mud of 'church politics' and ungodly 'governmental systems.' If done correctly, though, church services in a building can be a blessed event, especially when the Spirit of God comes in, and washes the people to a grand degree .... But, with a building, a lot of times (not every time) comes the need to control 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 writing, know that I am speaking of 'leaderships' who have taken a wrong turn, who misinterpret the building's true usage, and who have become power-hungry in the process.
At the same time, however, and it must be understood, that 'true' called leaders in Christ do have authority to help lead the 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 their words – if those words truly connect with the spirit of Christ. Again, I believe that every minister should be listened to (they deserves that respect), if their words ring true with the scriptures. But not only so, but even if they don't seem to ring true with the scriptures, at least give them a chance to explain; we ourselves may be wrong about the scriptures true meaning. That is, if the ministers even allow you to question them at all! In fact, if they aren't allowed to be questioned (with respect, that is), then they may be hiding something, and don't want to be called 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 (and duty!) to question things; but, with utter kindness....
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
This writing is not a battle cry to tear the church building down, but is a plea for all Christians to understand what the building is really about, and of helping the church services flow with the leading of the Spirit of God! But, too, it's a look beyond the Church building, and into a Spiritual walk with Christ - which should be our ultimate goal.
If you don't like what a minister is saying, you can simply leave their assembly, without contention, and move on to better waters (but, please pray diligently about it first!) ....
Even though a lot of these things have already been said in my original edition of this writing from A.D. 2000, I felt that in this update, I should establish these thoughts stronger than I had done previously.
So, with all that being said, let's begin our quest....
July, A.D. 2015
An Explanation of My Curious Title
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. These questions, however, are being asked in this writing. I truly declare that my goal in this life is to try 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. However, and as the current saying goes, “We must think outside the box!” For I really believe that there is 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. For, even though you will find references in this Writing concerning the "
So, does that mean that all leaders in organized churches are bad? Of course I am not saying that, and neither do I believe such a thing. In any construct in life, whether it be in politics, religion, or even in a certain race of men and women, you are going to have your bad apples in any bunch; so, it is to these bad apples (let’s admit, 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 – whether it be directly or indirectly – and it was for more than one reason or other. But many of these reasons, however, I feel are not for a good outcome. Even when things are Godly ordained, there is still a balance of good and evil.
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, for 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 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. For, as I've said, I believe there to be a time, for many, to make their way away from these states, to perhaps explore other 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 an organization; 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 may do. Perhaps the deciding point on how quickly the move is depends on the spirit of the “guide” of the groups. If a “guide” is kind and wise enough, the move may be slower, if at all – for I am not against “Pastors,” but I have no use for “Dictators!” God ordained “Pastors,” but many take on the form of a “Dictator” – and that is the spirit of a Pharisee, and that is when we start having problems.
Should there really be division to divide God’s 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?
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 am saying is to express the need for fellowship amongst ALL of God’s children without the burden of walls to separate them. Does that mean that we must meet each other outside in the rain? To meet without a building? My explanations are not of such; for the building 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 is important is to not make a small fleshly kingdom, built upon the desires of a man; and to keep meetings simple – void of any “Church Politics.”
<"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 the 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."
- quoted from “The Break of Day: The Life Story of William Sowders.” 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.” Established A.D. 1914.>
After reading this writing, I hope to reveal that I am not trying to be 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 texts.
More to Come...