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REFORMATION RUMBLINGS REFORMATION RUMBLINGS

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REFORMATION RUMBLINGS

Posted by: admin on Sun, May 13, 2012

sent by Bible loving Bill written by Buff Scott Jr.


Note: Usually the idea for my weekly e-mail comes after a few days of prayer from Wednesday through Thursday or Friday, but this time it came Monday evening after a frustrating day of very little spiritual thinking and doing. The Holy Spirit had me go to an e-mail account I rarely go to and read the first item below. Then that subject was confirmed during a unexpected phone call before I shared the just mentioned information. You have to admit that current Christianity has greatly changed since the First Century Christianity. Where is God-pleasing unity and true unselfish love now?

 

Reformation Rumblings

BUFF SCOTT, JR.

__________

 

What is Essential for Heavenly Deliverance?

 

A Christian evangelist journeys into the jungles of Tanzania and shares Jesus with the inhabitants. He preaches neither church nor denomination, but tells them simply the story of Jesus and nothing more, as evangelist Philip told the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39 two-thousand years ago.

Five-hundred of the inhabitants accept the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, welcome it, redirect their lives and, as per Jesus’ command, are immersed in water to confirm their acceptance of God’s Son-- as the Ethiopian eunuch did. They are born anew, saved, redeemed, delivered, and now commence their newly-found spiritual pilgrimage.

Tell me, of which church or denomination are they members? Are they Baptists? Are they Methodists? Are they Lutherans? Are they Evangelicals or Roman Catholics? Are they aligned with the a cappella Church of Christ? Are they of the Church of God Sect? How could they be members of any of these religious parties when they are totally unaware of their existence?

If the Lord added them to whatever they needed to be members or citizens of the moment they experienced the new birth, and He did, why join any church? They are already citizens of God’s heavenly colony. They may now meet corporately and praise God collectively, thus enjoying all spiritual benefits derived from their acceptance of Jesus.

What more do they need? If God added them to His family, and He did, why should they join any of the numerous churches that are scattered upon the hills and in the valleys of “Churchianity,” none of which are remotely referred to in the scriptures? The Lord does the adding, not man (Acts 2:47).

If these new believers can reach God’s gloryland without joining any church or “placing their membership” with some denomination or hanging some kind of partisan sign over the entrance to their meeting places (their homes or in the open jungle), they can be saved without adopting “mad church disease.” To phrase it another way, if these new sheep are in the Lord’s fold and have a strong and ongoing relationship with a Man called Jesus, they have everything they could possibly need.

So, then, what did Jesus usher in? If He did not usher in any of the religious parties called “churches,” what did He inaugurate? He founded a new people, a new Israel (not National Israel, but spiritual Israel), a new household, a new kingdom or reign, a new congregation or community, a new assembly. The new people He founded are dispersed among most all of our modern-day sects.

One reader inquired, “Where is the bride of Jesus today?” Jesus’ bride is not a sect or faction or denomination. Jesus’ bride is composed of those who have accepted Him as Lord and King and are striving, as best they can, to respond to His grace, wherever they are found. This is the bride of Christ! Then where is she? What is her location? She is spread throughout most sects and churches and denominations. She’s in exile, just as old Israel was.

Unless reformation becomes the order of the day, spiritual Israel will remain in exile while contemporary “Christianity” becomes just another secular component of world events. All the red flags are up.

 

 

Question: When the Second Coming of Jesus Christ happens, which could be very soon, how many denominations will there be? What is the invisible Church right now?

 

Marvin's blog post about denominationalism

 

The church was in existence prior to any denomination, whether it be catholic or any other, and in so being has no extra-Biblical or anti-Biblical teaching of its own as each of the denominations do (c.f., Galatians 1:8-9). We are not one, nor are we like them. What we do is speak where the Bible speaks, and are silent where the Bible is silent. All we do is give you the scriptures about a subject, and demonstrate how they relate to all other scriptures on that subject, with comments to show their correlation or applicability.

There has been much thought given to political correctness. It has been declared that there is no one church with all the truth. It has been declared that there is no one church that is the only or correct church. Let me warn you, right here. This BLOG entry will either convict or offend many. It is probably one of the least politically correct topics I can cover. All I can do is speak as the oracles of God, and let the chips fall where they may. Please remember, I do not say these things to deride anyone's religion. I say them out of a genuine love and concern for the soul of every man, woman, and child on the face of this planet.

What are the differences between first century evangelism and that of the twenty-first century? The message has not changed. Jesus has not changed. I think I know the reason. Today, I wish to present it to you for your consideration. Understand, I am not saying this applies to any of you, as individuals. Nevertheless, I am going to give some tools for evangelism that have proven highly effective in my own work as a preacher of the gospel. These tools are not only great for sermons, but also for personal work.

This morning, as we deal with the topic of evangelism, the Great Commission will serve as our main, lesson text.

Now Hear Ye the Word of the Lord as recorded in Matthew 28:19-20:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Emphasis mine, MRH)

According to this passage, the Apostles were to be teachers to the whole world. They were to teach two distinct things. First, they were to teach people how to become Christians. Second, they were to teach people how to stay Christians. We have it recorded; this is exactly what they did.

Romans 10:17-18, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.”

In John 1:1 & 14, we find that Jesus is the Word. In Paul’s day, we find the Word of God already carried to the entire world (Romans 1:8). The remainder of the New Testament consists of the recorded teachings of the Apostles, as they gave instruction to new Christians.

However, let’s take a deeper look at the Great Commission, for I see an inference within that cannot be ignored. Part of teaching the things needed to remain a Christian requires that the Apostles teach people what and how to teach! I want each of you to get a good handle on this concept. Part of that which Jesus taught His Apostles to do was to teach. They, in turn, were to teach everything Jesus commanded them. Necessarily, this includes teaching. This, my brethren, is evangelism. There can only be one conclusion drawn here. If you are a Christian, you are required to teach others. Oh, yes, I do remember the parable of the talents. Each person is to do in accordance with their several abilities. Does this mean that no one has to teach except the teachers? The answer is an emphatic, “No!” All that this means is that some are going to be expected to teach more than others. Some people may be able to do nothing more than bring people to other teachers. Nevertheless, all are expected to teach.

I want us to look at Peter’s first sermon; the birth of the church. I am not going to quote the whole thing. I think each of us knows it well enough that we can take some salient points from it. If you wish to study it later, it is found in the second chapter of Acts, verses fourteen through thirty-six. Yes, I understand the invitation was given in verse thirty-eight. However, we are already familiar with this. It is the general content of the sermon, itself, which concerns us today. Peter took the death of Jesus, and used it to charge the people listening with the crime of murder. No, it was not just any murder, but the murder of the only begotten Son of God. What were the results?

Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Three thousand people responded to the invitation on Pentecost.

Acts 4:4, “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.”

Just two chapters later, we find the number of men responding to be 5,000. This doesn’t even count the women. Nor does it count children old enough to believe, likely under the age of 20.

Acts 6:1 & 7, “And in those days, when the number of the disciples were multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration… And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

In Acts chapters two and four, with 3,000 and 5,000 responding, the Holy Spirit refers to the phenomenon as “adding.” By the time we get to chapter six, membership in the church is no longer just adding. Neither is it just multiplying, but rather, it is multiplying greatly, I dare say exponentially. Nothing is said regarding the number in the audience, so I cannot even speculate at percentages. Nevertheless, today, a preacher would faint at the thought of that. Why is that? What is the difference between the teaching and preaching of today and that of the first century? Peter was not politically correct. He pulled no punches as do the preachers of today. He loved his audience enough to tell them the truth, rather than what they wanted to hear. People have, according to prophecy, heaped unto themselves preachers that say what they want to hear; they have itching ears.

Remember, Peter was taught directly by the master teacher, Jesus. Before we can point out the difference, we need to look at the methods of the Master.

In the bulk of Jesus’ teachings, the parables, Jesus used every day events and circumstances. He drew analogies from them to make spiritual applications. It seems one of Jesus’ favorite analogies was that of construction. This is not surprising since Jesus was a carpenter, and the supposed son of a carpenter. Jesus compared the difference between building on rock and sand in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27). Jesus built the church upon a rock (Matthew 16:18). In Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, and Luke 20:17, Jesus spoke of Himself, prophetically, as the cornerstone. In Acts 4:11, Peter quotes Jesus, using the same analogy.

I know, today, many of us are not builders. Nevertheless, unless we have no sense at all, there are a few principles of building which are not foreign to us. I wish to focus the remainder of the lesson on one such principle, along with some examples of it, for I see it to be the main difference between the results of first century preaching, and that of today.

Imagine if you will each of you owns a small plot of land. On this land, there stands a very old, unusable house. In fact, this building stands condemned. You wish to have a new house built, that you may live there. You wish to have a house that is strong enough to withstand the wind and rain that are inevitably coming. So, what is the first thing that needs doing? Do you just go in there with the lumber and begin building? Remember, something is already built there. Before you can begin using your new lumber, before you can lay the cornerstone of your foundation, you must tear down the preexisting construct. You must completely raze the building that already exists prior to the creation of a new building.

With that thought in mind, look towards the spiritual implications carried here. The first century Jews believed Messiah would raise a physical kingdom on the site of David’s throne. This interpretation was contrary to scripture. Nevertheless, it was taught widely. It was not the Word of God that this would happen. Neither has it become so today, but that is a different subject. Their belief did not come from God. Their belief was vain. It was empty of meaning. It carried no truth. It was worthless.

Mark 7:6-7, “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

The teaching of men, when contrary to God, is vain. Every denomination has teachings which are contrary to God. Therefore, every denomination is vain, or meaningless. The teaching of men, when contrary to God, shows the location of man’s heart. Every denomination has a collective heart far from God, even though many within have a desire to be close, and some actually believe that they are. Amos 3:3 tells us we cannot walk with someone and not agree with them. Likewise, if we don’t agree with them, we cannot walk with them. If we walk with (or fellowship) a denomination, and they disagree with God (and they all do), then they are not walking with God, and neither are we. If we accept them as Christians, we are as guilty as they, and will not see Heaven.

Today, we have many striving for preeminence. Confused by false doctrine, there are many empty promises of salvation existing today. According to the Great Commission, we are to take the real promises, the true promises, to the entire world. In order to build these promises in the hearts of the masses, we must first tear down the foundations of the false doctrine. We must raze the false hopes, or new hopes (more perfect hopes based on the promises of Jesus) cannot be built. If you will allow me this expression, we must absolutely rip to shreds and throw in the trash any religious falsehood we may find. To sit back and say nothing does not show love. We are not speaking the truth in love. In fact, we are showing hatred towards our fellow man, believing them lost and not trying to change their destination. Every denomination is religious falsehood.

Oh, I know there are many sincere people out there. I know many people there believe they are going to Heaven either because of their sincerity, their lack of education and logic, or their indifference. Don’t be fooled! One of the most sincere religious people of the Bible counted himself the chiefest of sinners because he learned his sincerity went against God. I am speaking of Saul of Tarsus. Once he learned his sincerity counted for nothing when arrayed against God’s Word, he converted. He became the great Apostle Paul. His murdering of apostates would have been authorized in his day IF the victims were really apostates. God once winked at a lack of education (Acts 17:30 & 2nd Timothy 2:15), and will vomit up those who are indifferent (Revelation 3:16). Remember, if the Word can be handled correctly, it can also be handled incorrectly.

 

 

***Church History

“Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise.” -Sam Pascoe I have been very disappointed with the current Christianity that I have seen directly and via TV, heard via radio, and read about in the regular sources. There is so much division in “the body of Christ”, spiritual arrogance, and spiritual prejudices mostly because of non-Salvation issues. But Jesus Christ said that the world would know His disciples by their unselfish agape love for one another. I have mostly seen superficial love in churches. So how can we help encourage the unity indicated by that and Philippians 2:1-5 and Ephesians 4:11-16 one by one? We cannot share what we don’t have.

 

I wrote the following many years ago:

***Our world is getting worse and worse because more and more are forsaking God and the Ten Commandments and the Gospel. So true Christians need to unite in sharing God's wonderful truths more and more instead of misunderstanding and fighting against each other. Right now the Christian army is not doing very well because of wrong divisions due to selfishness and arrogance about denominational distinctives and spiritual theories. Someone said that it is the only army that wounds and kills its own. This happens so much in churches and in marriages. Such are tragedies. They may not cause physical death, but they cause a lot of spiritual deaths. I am 62 years old and I have grieved many times because of such (witnessing others being hurt and being a victim). But why is such happening. A major reason is because the Jesus Christ and New Testament commandments are not being taught and discussed in 99% of the Christian churches and home groups. How can we become more Christ-like without such information? Most preachers don't want to share such because especially the commandments would drive away their followers. But a major theme in the Bible is confession and repentance towards righteousness which is God-pleasing. Ephesians and Philippians indicate what should be the purposes for true Christians. What do you think those are?

 

***God has had me exposed to many different kinds of churches so that I could be sympathetic during my Internet ministries that I began in December of 2003. Most of my life I mostly went to church to minister to others. Most churches I have been to didn't have Bible teaching pastors and elders. Jesus Christ was not emphasized either and probably He and Apostle Paul would not be welcome. I have not seen a Philippians 2:1-5, Ephesians 4:11-16, and Titus 2 church yet. The best Bible teaching I received was in USA Baptist and Bible churches and some home groups. The best worship I experienced was in some charismatic churches and a Wednesday Church of Christ home group meeting. Then there are those preachers who focus on denominational distinctives and prophecy theories. The former is wrong because of what Ephesians 4:1-16 indicates about proper unity. And emphasizing End Times prophecy theories goes against a major theme (emphasis) of the Bible which indicates that our focus should be on using the time that God allows us to have for repenting from bad habits and sins towards doing what the Bible and Holy Spirit urge in becoming more Christ-like. The main lesson from the C. S. Lewis book “Screwtape Letters” I learned was that the spiritual enemy wants Christians to dwell on the past (because of bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness) or dwell on the hopes for the future instead of focusing on doing the best with the current day's what should be precious time. Jesus Christ is coming back of a purified Bride. The spiritual enemy is doing all they can to delay that by tempting Christians to live as if they are still under the Old Testament legalism which the Pharisees promoted and required of the Jews. Believing in Jesus Christ sets us free from such. The Bible and the Holy Spirit are the best guides and counselors for whoever trusts God and wants to do the predestined unselfish good works He has planned for each of His adopted children to live.

 

***And arguments do not bear fruit; good discussions do bear fruit when participants want to learn. The word “opinion” is found only 3 times in the KJV Bible, all in Job 32 in one of Job's friend's exhortation speeches. And modern media (especially the talk shows) and gossip times (especially in Christian churches) are mostly negative opinions. Also, feelings and opinions can be from either the Holy Spirit or the spiritual enemy or selfishness. We need enough knowledge of the Bible (mostly what is in the New Testament, especially what is in red in most translations) in order discern properly about feelings and opinions. But most “Christian preachers” and “Christian writers” are adding or/and subtracting from the Bible's teachings. That is why my Bible study tools are Scripture passages compilations or Scripture chapters or books logically formatted (some with thought provoking questions) with no commentary.

And God said,

“So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth:

it shall not return unto Me void,

but it shall accomplish that which I please,

and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” [Isaiah 55:11]
“Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God,

a workman [or workwoman] who does not need to be ashamed,

rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15]

“Whom shall He teach knowledge?

And whom shall He make to understand doctrine?

They who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts.

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept;

line upon line, line upon line;

here a little, and there a little.” [Isaiah 28:9-10]

 

***I have encouraged thousands to join or form Bible study groups. I have suggested using and of my free Bible study tools. Subject studies are ok if contexts of verses used are referred to show that they are appropriate for today. Many of my Bible studies are subject ones. My main suggestion to possible home group Bible study leaders is to choose a New Testament epistle for going verse by verse in. For each verse, the primary goal for each one in the group should be to determine “does it say something I believe in already” or “does it indicate something I need to change in my life?”

 

My new sorting project of the Bible study tools (mostly created in the past 8 years resulted in the following that I uploaded in my new free 5 GM store and share box.com account:

My Bible study tools-- http://www.box.com/s/b5e77263893659cd0b28

0a) Recent Bible study tools-- http://www.box.com/s/5133920dd67afc3d214b

0b) ordered for possible courses-- http://www.box.com/s/5422ac27ce09ee2d5553

1) Deity-- http://www.box.com/s/0c65ace42d66daee72a7

2) Salvation Doctrine-- http://www.box.com/s/437e21742fbd5793b0bd

3) Sanctification Doctrine-- http://www.box.com/s/9547296bda68723f949c

(a) Old Testament holy living-- http://www.box.com/s/50bca86060cc7d85487e

(b) conversion-- http://www.box.com/s/749c79318f13e2a75fb0

(c) New Testament principles and examples-- http://www.box.com/s/00ebaf9a45d0641d3842

(d) true Christian living-- http://www.box.com/s/3fa1e2f78b56f435832f

(e) current concerns-- http://www.box.com/s/92e135ef23317185833e

(1) for positive changes & (2) common fallen nature negative and solutions

4) Future-- http://www.box.com/s/be6c113da8094837cd21

0c) ordered by size-- http://www.box.com/s/1e2de22601b9b3516a42

 

***I want to find other Internet ministries and Christian denominations which would share my Bible study tools for encouraging others to personally study and respond to God's wonderful truths. We seem to be in the ending of the Age of Grace. Jesus Christ is coming back for a purified Bride, and most of the purification will have been done before that wonderful Day. A major theme in the Bible is repentance to righteousness. We are either living for God or ourselves, being unselfish or selfish, being Holy Spirit led for becoming more Christ-like or being selfish feelings led for humanism. God's love and grace and the Christian Gospel are wonderful, but there is responsibility expected of the adopted children of God. And what did Jesus Christ say would prove that His disciples love Him? But most church goers I have seen do not manifest “the fruit of the Spirit”. I highly recommend Bob Chapman's book, “Extreme Lives for Extreme Times-- Living for Jesus in the 21st Century”. I have encouraged thousands to live Philippians 2:1-5, Proverbs 3:5-6, and Jude 20-23.

 

***I also developed several MS Word documents to put in frequent or/and good information quotes to use in my e-mail and blogging ministries. The “0-- Personal Information” document has even my address and phone number, even though I share such to close friends. Then I have other MS Word documents titled as follows: “0-- miscellaneous frequent quotes”, “0-- miscellaneous spiritual quotes”, “0-- miscellaneous secular sayings”.

***You also might sign up for the free account of yola.com. Tips about yola.com software: You can only use one theme (page background) for each of the free websites (in other words 5 themes). I am working on my fourth one. But you can use different sizes and colors of fonts, shades behind the words, and photos in order to make the pages look different. Sometimes when pasting a large amount, some of it will be in different font sizes. So proof all that you paste. I think the rest of the software is easy to figure out. You will need to sign in within 30 days or your account will be deleted. You can even use your sites for business adventures, but so many people need God’s wonderful truths in order to make better decisions in relating with others in their family, churches, and other places.

 

Living for God,

Bible lover Bill

Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:4-8, & Proverbs 3:5-6

My Bible study tools-- https://www.4shared.com/folder/udJCReRj/1a__My_Bible_study_tools.html

http://right-focus.yolasite.com/

http://for-healthy-thinking.yolasite.com

http://thoughts-beliefs.yolasite.com

http://possibilities-in-future.yolasite.com

http://www.ourchurch.com/member/f/fortruth/index.php

https://www.4shared.com/folder/Aw1e5PLD/_online.html

http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/BibleloverBill?ref=profile

 


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