mark7v9

Mark 7 : 9 '…You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.' (NASB)

Month: December, 2012

Deja Vu DRIVE: the perils of meeting Anne T. Nomian or Dr Calvinia Tulip.

(POST No. 5) Mark 7:9 ‘… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.’ (NASB) Please take note: talks, articles and books that deal with Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism, are to be found in POST No.2.

In ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ and ‘Perseverence of the Saints’ (OSAS and POTS), I believe the Body has been fed a DEJA VU case of denying the consequences of disobedience (and consequent strengthening of hands to sin): in Eden, God said ‘you will surely die’ – Satan DENIED it (Genesis 2:16-17 and Genesis 3:4); to Israel,God spoke of calamity that He would bring for disobedience – the false prophets DENIED it (Deuteronomy 28:15, 47-50, Jeremiah 14:13-14 and Jeremiah 23:14-17); to Roman disciples Paul said that SAVED Gentiles will not be spared – in many Western ‘pulpits’ men DENY it. Indeed, the key question that seems to frame the OSAS, POTS error is as follows : will God spare genuinely SAVED, grafted Gentile branches (Romans 11:11, 17-22)? Authentic salvation is the CONTEXT (v11); and ‘NO’ is Paul’s God-breathed answer! (v21-22) Many disciples today have fallen for this deja vu error; I believe many hands have been strengthened over the last 500 years.

Deja Vu Drive is one of the most pernicious roads on the face of the earth ; two homes in particular must never be entered. Figuratively speaking, the problem with both Anne T. Nomian and her more ‘scholarly’ cousin Dr Calvinia Tulip, is that their lips drip with (sin-friendly) honey : Anne’s honey being ever so sweet to those who want a license to sin; Calvinia’s to those who want intellectual assurance against Gehenna. Both kisses lead to stone deafness; deafness to the warnings of Messiah Jesus. As if that wasn’t serious enough, Anne and Calvinia each have two muscular guards to prevent victims from leaving their inviting homes: PRIDE and SELF-INTEREST.

Having entered the house of (and begun a relationship with) either Anne or Calvinia, if the person concerned ever glances toward the front door,the two guards are quick to spring into action : PRIDE will simply remind the captive how embarassing and humbling it will be to have to admit to oneself and others than one has been deceived; SELF-INTEREST will ask the captive to dwell on the loss of denominational and social approval – yes, even ostracization.

If the person happens to be a ‘pastor,’ the mental WINESKinCARCERATION is even more intense: PRIDE may turn the heat up a notch or two, and point out that admitting to oneself and others that one had been deceived would be embarassing and humbling enough, but to have to face up to admitting one had passed the deception on to others would be unbearable; SELF-INTEREST will certainly reach into its back pocket and pull out the ‘trump card’ (i.e. SELF-INTEREST will make it clear that to walk back to Inn Tegrity could mean the loss of clerical STATUS and SALARY). Both guards will then block the doorway; flex their biceps once or twice; and grin.

Yes indeed, be under no illusion; the girls and the guards are playing for keeps! (In such a situation, who needs unseen ememies?!) In either case, perhaps one might say ‘Once kissed, rarely retrieved!’ (I wish Spurgeon well – may he be in the new Jerusalem – but he is a classic example of someone who never escaped Calvinia’s clutches; the same can be said for thousands or even millions of others.) Although R. Minian is a noble woman, let it be readily stated that those who listen to her, have (like ‘Calvinists’), also failed to learn the lesson of 1 Corinthians 3:4.

The saying ‘prevention is better [and much easier!] than cure’ is very VERY true here. Infants need vaccinating against deadly diseases they can pick up from the world; alas, infants in Messiah need vaccinating against deadly doctrines they can pick up from the ‘pulpit.’

(Please take note : talks,articles and books that deal with Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism, are to be found in POST No.2.)

Three RELATED Pieces: ‘The ANTIDOTE’; ‘PASTOR-Wonderland’; ‘Antioch HOTHOUSES.’

(POST No. 4) Mark 7 : 9 ‘… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.’ (NASB) Please take note: talks, articles and books that deal with Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism, are to be found in POST No.2.

The ANTIDOTE :

The ANTIDOTE:

Would it not be silly to expect a boat to stop sinking because you rearranged a few deckchairs? Would it not be audacious to look to God for revival while doggedly maintaining and defending the very leadership and teaching that keeps lasting fruit at bay? The root problem among MAINSTREAM ‘Evangelicals’ (especially those of a ‘Reformed’ persuasion) is that they are mis-EVANGELIZED, mis-SHEPHERDED and misTAUGHT: they are pastor-centered instead of Messiah-centered; Jesus is eclipsed instead of echoed – His recipe (promises, commands, eschatology and warnings) has been shelved in favor of candy (promises, promises, promises and promises). Men have been misenthroned; those under their charge are seriously malnourished – hymn sandwiches on Sunday are not enough to equip disciples for life on the narrow Way.

A serious ANTIDOTE is needed, in order that as many Western disciples as possible be rescued from the pernicious, hollow, ticklish teaching of our day (See 2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Different men bring different expertise to the table. Potentially and figuratively speaking, a few key guys each bring different and complementary ANTIDOTE ingredients. All taken together, these men offer the Body a root ‘n’ branch remedy to the mis-EVANGELISM, mis-SHEPHERDING and misTEACHING that so dogs and disables the Western contingent of the Bride. 1) Michael L Brown is perhaps the Body’s leading denouncer of ‘Replacement Theology’ and Gentile-ized ‘Christianity.’ The Way is a New, Better, SECOND COVENANT with Israel; not a new Gentile RELIGION called ‘Christianity.’ In fact, ‘CHURCHianiTree’/’ChristianiTREE’ may be more appropriate titles for what some Gentile disciples have done to the narrow Way. Instead of the Second Covenant with Israel (who are the Olive Tree), into which Gentiles can be grafted in among the natural Jewish branches, we now (courtesy of the distorted Augustinian ‘Covenant of [TULIP] Grace’) have ChristianiTREE, which is a complete reversal of ‘Romans 11’ narrow Way dynamics: as if it is the JEWISH people who are the WILD branches; and that if a Jewish person puts their faith in Christ, they are then grafted in among the natural GENTILE branches of the ChristianiTREE! Michael seeks to (non-legalistically) introduce Gentile disciples to the Jewish roots of the Way; and, he scripturally declares that Israel’s salvation actually paves the way for Messiah’s return. (Also, Michael has a very strong grasp of practical, daily holiness – see his book, ‘Go And Sin No More’). 2) David Pawson (one of the finest servant-teachers since the apostles), calls the Body back to evangelism that is scriptural (vs sentimental), apostolic (vs non-apostolic), and truly trinitarian (vs – in effect – binitarian); he also calls the Body back to a scriptural stance on GENDER, as well as MARRIAGE; and in a day when many Western Evangelicals are chronically malnourished, he delivers teaching for Messiah’s disciples that is both WEIGHTY and DIGESTIBLE. 3) Alexander Strauch (who, while perhaps being influenced by both Cessationism and Calvinism; and, who has gone to far in his views on women), is well aware of the pernicious and seriously detrimental effect of ‘first among equals’ clericalism (as we have it today; and no matter what label it goes under: ‘priest’; ‘pastor’; ‘reverend’; ‘vicar’; ‘minister’; ‘pulpit minsiter’ etc.). Some men (having seen that the pastor-CEO man-centered system is unbiblical) seem to have gone to the other extreme: to a sort of happy-go-luckyness, where the elders do NOT peroperly nourish and protect the flock (and even – along with the entire flock – put people out of fellowship on occassion, if need be). But Alexander on the other hand (and while also possibly into the “church building” error), has an excellent understanding of the need for strong (but caring) plural elder leadership. 4) David Bercot is a specialist on the soteriological beliefs of the Pre-Wrench Body-history – that is to say, pre Constantine and Augustine, who each threw a huge wrench into the works. Note: Pre-Wrench Body-history was NOT perfect; Licentious Grace, Replacement/Fulfillment Theology, and well as false ideas about “levels” of elderhood, did come into the Body very very early on.). Bercot also has a very sharp eye on the pitfall of ACADEMICALLY STUDYING the Bible, rather than ACTIVELY FOLLOWING Messiah Jesus. 5) Teryl Hebert has understood that 24/7 home-based “RELATIONAL Church (or Body-FAMILYHOOD as I would call it ; and vs shallow pleasantries on a Sunday), is at the epicenter of God’s heart; and, he has also seen that the “church buildings” (that dot the Western landscape) are rooted in the (sincere or insincere) IDEAS of Constantine, rather than being the INTENTION of God.

Flocks today should actually be ‘pastor-less.’ When I say that, I am refering to the ‘pastor’ as we have him today (sometimes even her!). In Ephesians 4:11 (in keeping with everywhere else in Greek-to-English Bibles),POIMENAS should be translated as ‘shepherds’; not ‘pastors.’ Using what is (in effect) a one-off curve-ball rendering (i.e. ‘pastors’), has obscured the shepherding-elder-overseer thread running through Acts 20:17-38, 1 Peter 5:1-5 and Ephesians 4:1-16. A thread in which we discover that the ‘pastor’ is not ONE OF the elders (as even some of the finest Bible teachers want to claim); but, and in actual fact, the ordinary ELDERS (ALL of them) ARE THE PASTORS. Shepherding/pastoring/oversight is NOT the specific task of an elder who is especially strong at teaching; teaching is actually a prerequisite for ordinary elderhood. Furthermore, shepherding/pastoring/oversight/teaching is a PLURAL responsibility in Holy Scripture. Evangelicals have failed to adhere to 1 Corinthians 4:6, and gone WAYYYYY beyond 1 Timothy 5:17 and Galatians 6:6. Evangelicals have also overlooked the CONTEXT of 1 Corinthians 9:1-18: Paul is there discussing ITINERANT servants (of Messiah Jesus); not RESIDENTIAL. The result? Evangelicals have produced a salaried residential character known as the ‘pastor,’ who has been taken out of the workplace and put in an ivory tower; and the shepherding/oversight responsibility of a team has been put on one set of shoulders. Consequence? Flocks are man-centered rather than Messiah-centered; dependent rather than interdependent; and (small wonder!), these misenthroned ‘pastors’ are known for being liable to ‘burnout.’ How about translating Ephesians 4:11 properly? Thankfully, in the World English Bible (WEB; which is an updated version of the 1901 American Standard Version; ASV), POIMENAS has been translated as it should be (‘shepherds’). How about putting the responsibility for leadership onto a team,where it belongs? And how about a proactive, interdependent set of brothers and sisters salting the community all through the week; rather than a dependent audience, listening to a misenthroned man on Sundays?

It would be marvellous to see Michael, Pawson, Alexander, Bercot and Teryl working together. If each guy would humbly listen to the others, they could bring each other to a slightly more accurate understanding of the Way; they enhance the insight of each other. Because no one teacher is infallible, the full antidote would at first taste rather vile even to all of them (let alone the rest of the Body!); each of them has to not only PRESENT iconoclastic boat-rocking truth to others,but also be willing to HUMBLY LISTEN to iconoclatic boat-rocking truth as well.

Even the finest Bible teachers can be rather fraustrating creatures (!); indeed, I have yet to find a teacher who is not WINESKinCARCERATED in at least one important aspect of the narrow Way. If one could represent different aspects of the narrow Way as alphabet letters – A, D, C, D, E and so on – what you find is that one teacher has A, B, C and D sorted, but holds strange ideas about E; meanwhile, another teacher is OK on A, C, D and E, but not B; another is OK on A, B, D and E, but not C. Michael, for instance, needs to listen to Alexander and Teryl in regard to leadership; to Teryl in regard to “church buildings”; and to Pawson in regard to gender, marriage and evangelism. Alexander needs to listen to Michael about Israel and Gentile-ized Christianity; to Teryl about “church buildings”; to Bercot about Pre-Wrench soteriology; and to Pawson about salvation, gender, marriage, evangelism and God’s Covenants. Pawson needs to listen to Alexander on leadership; and to Teryl on “church buildings” (and as for listening to Michael, I believe Pawson and Michael could actually sharpen each other, in regard to Israel and the COVENANT framework of Holy Scripture. Bercot needs to Michael about Israel and Gentile-ized Christianity; to Teryl about “church buildings”; to Alexander about leadership; and to Pawson about salvation, gender, marriage, evangelism and God’s Covenants. Teryl needs to listen to Michael about Israel and Gentile-ized Christianity; to Pawson about salvation, evangelism and God’s Covenants; and to Alexander about leadership. And a typical Western disciple needs to humbly listen to all five! .

Given our personal fallibility and constant tendency to veer away from plumb truth (to one side or the other), books by these five men need to be read SYNOPTICALLY; carefully and objectively winnowing away the chaff (penned by us all; yes, including me) and coming to a considered (but still fallible) understanding of apostolic evangelism, leadership and teaching. The expertise that Michael, Pawson, Alexander, Bercot and Teryl bring to the table on those root matters, is not a complete remedy for all the problems among Evangelicals; but, if these areas were dealt with, it would go a long way toward returning Western disciples to apostolic doctrine; in order that congregations would genuinely adorn the teaching of God the Savior in their locality, rather than bringing the Way into disrepute.

Henry Varley said to D L Moody ‘the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him.’ Well, I believe Westerners today have yet to see what God will do with a group of people willing to forsake the approval of men, personal pride and all mischerished doctrinal errors – in order that Messiah Jesus be truly EXALTED, and authentic, effective disciples truly MADE.

(Take note: Eastern disciples of Messiah Jesus have no diplomas on the wall or marketplace titles of respect before their names; but they bear the brandmarks of Messiah Jesus on their bodies and serve Him in humble, fearless authenticity – see Paul Hattaway’s CHALLENGING, HEARTENING, SUPERB, MARVELOUS, TREMENDOUS book, Back To Jerusalem. When it comes to RUDDER-hits-the-road books, it is one of the most important works outside of Holy Scripture, that a Western believer could possibly read – period!)

Yes, God has brought revival in times past: he has used sincere people with wrong views about Israel; worked through binitarian evangelism; and worked through non-apostolic clerical pastors – but to echo something Keith Green said (in his peice on evangelism), I believe He (in His mercy) has done so IN SPITE OF, not because of, such beliefs and practices.

Let me try and put the complementary expertise of Michael, Pawson, Alexander, Bercot and Teryl in a nutshell: Michael’s teaching serves to RECONNECT the Bride to her Jewish roots (moving her away from the mistaken notion of a new Gentile religion called ‘Christianity’; back to the new,better SECOND Covenant with the physical descendents of Jacob/Israel); David’s teaching serves to REINSTATE truly apostolic, trinitarian evangelism – furthermore (and in addition), David’s teaching serves to RE-EQUIP reconnected soldiers with the authentic companionship of the Holy Spirit Himself, as well as the nine tool-gifts provided by the Holy Spirit; Alexander’s teaching serves to put strong leadership in place, making sure a reconnected and equipped flock is not only nourished, but kept on track; Bercot’s teaching serves to bring the Body back to soteriological views that match those held by not only the Scripture writers, but also the fluent Koin Greek disciples of the next 200 years (before Constantine and Augustine did such damage), and also to keep disciples focused on following Jesus, rather than wallowing in academinc study; Teryl RECOMMISSIONS the Bride 24/7, moving her away from inactive pastor-dependent Sunday spectatorship in the ‘pews,’ to proactive interdependent familyhood in ordinary homes.

Harnessing the expertise of those five men could produce a dream team; PROVIDED that is, that Michael, Pawson, Alexander, Bercot and Terly were each willing to unlearn as well as learn, and be willing to let go of any mischerished error that runs counter to an objective, two-sided appraisal of Holy Scripture; and provided that they were – in effect – each willing to humbly take a leaf out of Apollos’s book (Acts 18:28-24: before meeting Priscilla and Aquila, perhaps one might say that in listening to his tutors, Apollos had gained a DIPLOMA on the wall; but in humbly listening to tentmakers, he finally had a DIP in HOLY Spirit). In the absence of such a co-harness, one can at least stock one’s library with the books that contain each of their particular areas of expertise.

Here’s hoping Michael, Pawson, Alexander, Bercot and Teryl get into co-harness (ASAP); humbly mix their complementary ingredients together; brace themselves; and then (for the sake of themselves as well as the Western contingent of the Body),each take a spoonful!

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PASTOR-Wonderland

Whilst the West can of course sport many evangelists and ‘pastors’ who are sincere and dedicated (and whilst, yes indeed, the living God has worked through such), I put this comment forth as the very root of the problem.

Note: I use the term ‘Pastor-Wonderland’ here, not to offend, but in an attempt to somehow bring Evangelicals face-to-face with their unscriptural and COUNTERPRODUCTIVE leadership structure. Without intending to, I think there may actually be Evangelicals out there who are following their ‘pastor’ rather than Messiah Jesus: I have heard that after Spurgeon died, the Metropolitan Tabernacle went into decline; that does not surprise me. I would contend that if a congregation has truly scriptural leadership and teaching, the death of any one man in the leadership would have no significant bearing on the future robustness of the flock; though the entire leadership team may change hands from one decade to the next (due to a variety of factors: death; flock discipline; job relocation; flock-funded move to intinerancy, etc.) the individual changes in the team should have been seamless all the way. Yes, some men are particularly skillful at teaching; but teaching is actually a God-breathed prerequisite for ordinary team-based elderhood – see 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

Now for the ROOT PROBLEMS:

Sincere though many be, the typical evangelical has been caught in a binitarian dragnet; guided down an Ephesians 4:11 rabbit hole to Pastor-Wonderland; and fed distorted truth.

First the dragnet:

When it comes to evangelism, the ‘Jesus loves you,’ ‘Receive Jesus’ message is standard evangelical fare; there is of course solid truth in both of those, but not the whole truth. Truly trinitarian evangelism (and the elementaries – see Hebrews 6:1-2) is in a different league.

Now leadership:

In translating POIMENAS (Strong’s Concordance no. 4166) in Ephesians 4:11 as ‘pastors’ instead of ‘shepherds’ (as it has been translated elsewhere in Scripture), Ephesians 4:11 has become a rabbit hole to ‘Pastor-Wonderland.’ I would call this ‘a cart before the horse’ situation: first, men (sincerely or insincerely) produce unscriptural forms of leadership, then they put a curveball word translation into Holy Scripture, in order to facilitate and perpetuate the error (the leadership error being the cart/HEAD; and God-breathed Holy Scripture leadership being the horse/TAIL). The KJV kicked off this ‘Protestant’ practice, with their rendering of ‘overseer’ as ‘bishop’; another rabbit hole phenomenon.

Quite a few years ago, Jewish observational comedian Jackie Mason made the comical remark that people have trouble eating ‘snails,’ but if you change the word to ‘escargot’ they seem to find it easier! In other words, he illustrated the way a change of word can affect our thinking. The translation ‘pastors’ has enabled a solo, sourced, salaried, presiding shepherd and teacher to be READ INTO Holy Scripture; has enabled a false connotation and man-made tradition to be read INTO the POIMENAS word; it has obscured the PLURAL leadership thread running through Acts 20:17-38, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 (not to mention James 5:14); the word ‘pastor’ has become an OVERCOAT for a naked (and non-apostolic) emperor.

The ‘pastor’ as we have him today is a non-apostolic and post-apostolic character; furthermore, a COUNTERPRODUCTIVE character who actually hinders the maturation of the congregation that has tragically misenthroned him. In no-nonsense REALITY, flock leadership is male, homegrown, diploma-less, untitled, plural and non-clerical; but in Pastor-Wonderland, leadership is gender-neutral (sometimes), sourced, diploma-dolatrous, titled, solo and clerical. In Pastor-Wonderland, ‘Biblical Eldership’ by Alexander Strauch may prove to be something of a holiness-ometer: it may bring to the surface the aversion to personal responsibility of some in the ‘PEWS’; it may bring to the surface the self-interest and pride of some in the ‘PULPIT.’ (The consequences of erroneously putting the responsibilities of a team onto the shoulders of one person are of course summed up in one word: ‘burnout.’)

Now distorted teaching:

Having been guided to Pastor-Wonderland, many new converts are planted with distorted truth (probably a mixture of one or more types); the particular distortion dependent on the particular Pastor-Wonderland camp in which they pitch their tent (so to speak). Some are planted with Calvinism (C); some Dispensationalism (D); some Arminianism; and then there are TWO multi-camp distortions: Clericalism (Cl) and Cessationism (Ce). As a result, citizens of Pastor-Wonderland have various ideas planted into their heads; things which take root all too quickly. (Tom, for example, may be planted with Cl, Ce, C; Dick with Cl, A, D; Harry with Cl, C, D.) Because none of these is pure God-breathed truth, all Pastor-Wonderland camps are – in effect – built on sand (in some cases, bloody sand); they are all a ‘house of cards’ – as the winds of the great tribulation may reveal all-too-clearly. The serious discrepancies go relatively unnoticed and unchallenged in the current Western climate; but, the closer we get to the 42 month warfare of the beast, the more those distortions will take their toll; the closer we get, the shortchanged, ill-equipped condition of many Western believers will become more and more untenable.

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‘Antioch HOTHOUSES’

America, Britain, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand need nine-yard ANTIOCH-HOTHOUSES:

Do English-speaking nations (ESNs) need any more capital-intensive ‘church buildings’ (complete with pulpit-STAGE for the salaried ‘pastor’ and pew-BLEACHERS for the disenfranchised, decommissioned, perpetually infant-like, ‘Sunday-Christian,’ clergy-sponsoring, lip-serving spectators!)? Haven’t ESNs got enough already?! Such buildings are Constantinian Temples in all but name (see my post above).

Yes granted, ESNs are dotted with congregations of disciples who are serious about being different, and about making a difference; but what ESNs need is networks of nine-yard, Antioch humdingers who meet in FAMILY HOMES. Not that Antioch was perfect and totally free of problems: from day one of the Body, even if the message is spread in truly stellar fashion, it will still gather disciples from stony ground and from among thorns (not merely those from good soil); Holy Scripture cannot be broken.

What ESNs need is a network of HOME-BASED scriptural FACTORYS and AGAPE-HOTHOUSES. When I say that, I mean more than just a HOME-BASED network that resembles the Antioch HUB of Paul (if one can say he had a HUB), I mean a congregation that yes, certainly DOES warmly welcome disciples (indeed, brothers and sisters) who sincerely hold a wrong doctrinal idea here ‘n’ there; yet at the same time, a congregation having zero tolerance for dogged, one-sided subjectivity, on any aspect of the narrow Way (and any teaching that – in effect – undermines Messiah’s call to DAILY holiness and readiness); a congregation that turns Acts 2:42-47/4:32-37/5:12-16 from INK on paper, into a REALITY in their locality and nation; a congregation that scripturally covets, receives and uses all nine tool-gifts of the Spirit; perhaps ABOVE ALL, a congregation of disciples who are truly closer to one another, than to their biological brothers and sisters. Try telling me America is dotted with congregations like that; and yet I believe that should be the NORM. Should it not? How does yours fare? (Note: In Acts, we find that each location like Ephesus had one “church”; but, it consisted of a network of congregations who met in family homes.)

Furthermore, home-based congregations where a team of (scripturally qualified, homegrown, unsalaried) elders nourish, ring-fence and yes, even winnow (purge) the enfranchaised, proactive, Messiah-commissioned flock (in love). A veritable chrysalis of UPWARD God-honoring change: bringing the toughest guys in the locality to their knees, and the weakest guys to their feet; changing local prima donnas into humble maidservants of the Lord, and wallflowers into warriors of the Lion of Judah (KITTENIZING lions and LIONIZING kittens by the transforming capabilities of the Holy Spirit). A congregation where men and women get out of bed every day to humbly serve and REPRESENT the Lord (rather than themselves); whether as His faithful servant, or martyr. A place where a former prostitute residing in the True Vine is as pure as any virgin (in the eyes of not only Almighty God, but also fellow brothers and sisters in Messiah); and where self-righteous visitors (in their own eyes), become all-too-aware of their behavioral FILTH.

ESNs need home-based factories where fearless and selfless disciples (agape-soldiers) of Messiah Jesus are MADE, EQUIPPED and VACCINATED. Those home-based congregations should be agape-hothouses; (figuratively speaking), a place where unbelievers living in a cold, self-centered, cliquey and hateful world, gaze through the glass from outside, and see clique-less brothers and sisters basking in the love of God, while interdependently and selflessly caring for one another – regardless of (and without any barriers of) age, background,’ class’ or color; an exhibition of what life is supposed to be like; a hothouse exhibition that speaks ever so much louder than words; a hothouse exhibition that in itself is a form of evangelism that could have unbelievers jumping into the dragnet.

“Agape Hothouses/Factories” from where the Holy Spirit (not man, or a ‘Seminary’) SENDS out EMPOWERED and COMPETENT evangelists (in PAIRS) to cast a humble, bold, Messiah-exalting, scriptural, weighty, truly trinitarian dragnet over towns and cities all across America (and overseas). That these evangelists would heal the sick and raise the dead; not in a corner, but right in front of evolutionists, hedonists and those entrenched in whatever religion (yes, even ‘Sunday Churchianity’). That these evangelists would duplicate the hothouse from which they were sent; establishing ‘MAKING and SENDING home-based factories’ in each of these new locations; and, that they would revisit each location from time to time, in order to ‘strengthen the disciples’ until a team of local elders can be appointed.

Two thousand years ago, and without a daily newspaper (let alone the mobile internet !), when the likes of Philip came go town ‘all heaven broke loose’ (The Kingdom of God was truly at hand); and everyone in the community got to HEAR what was being done in the name of Messiah Jesus.

But at the moment (and despite the incredible advances in communication technology), where is news of that Western Antioch? And where are competent Western evangelists? At the moment in the West, we have Temple-based clusters of disciples deceived by Calvinism, Dispensationalism and/or Cessationism – right,left and center. (With doctrines like those, who needs unseen enemies?) And – with due regard for exceptions – is the ‘temperature’ in a typical Temple meeting notably warmer than what can be achieved in a social club of reasonably pleasant, like-minded, UNINDWELLED outsiders?

Even if one finds a Temple-based congregation not deceived by such man-made (and seriously counterproductive) doctrines, in all likelihood, they do not properly contend for what is actually true (in effect, putting unity BEFORE truth – rather than ALONGSIDE); furthermore, the sick in their locality are NOT healed, and the dead are NOT raised. (‘All tradition broke loose’ centuries ago – and STILL holds sway! Alas, the anaemic, self-defeating kingdom of man is at hand; even within the Body.) As a rule, is this not true? (Is a spade no longer a spade?)

And as for evangelism, the dragnets being cast are sentimental (instead of scriptural), binitarian (instead of truly trinitarian) – and basically, SERIOUSLY INADEQUATE in nature.

ESNs need networks of Antioch-HUBS; places of apostolic, no-nonsense-TRUTH; of agape-WARMTH; of character-TRANSFORMED Holy Spirit FRUIT; of Holy Spirit works of power. America and Britain both need MAKING and SENDING factories – agape-hothouses and works-of-POWER-houses/hubs. Only one is needed to get the ball rolling.

The Antioch-ometer by which to guage any given congregation in America might go something like this:

Are disciples being properly brought to the Lord? Have they been fully equipped and vaccinated? Is scriptural leadership in place? And what is the yardstick for elderhood qualification, is it really Holy Scripture? Is both the SWEET and SOUR side of the Bible coin declared? Are SWEET-only doctrines boldly refuted (in love)? Do meetings genuinely resemble 1 Corinthians 11-14; notably 14:26? Is every single disciple getting excellent teaching from the team of elders? (Or are the ‘keen ones’ sent to some “seminary” to get “quality” food?!) Are disciples genuinely maturing from year to year? Are disciples laying excess personal proceeds at the feet of the elders, or at the feet of their stockbroker? Are Holy Spirit-selected evangelists being produced and sent (in pairs)? Does the congregation polarize the community by virtue of its loving but no-nonsense stand against unholiness? Are those in the congregation who bring the Way into disrepute purged if need be? Are burning coals of practical kindness being heaped on unholy heads of local enemies, whenever the ‘opportunity’ arises? Bearing in mind that God’s power and willingness to heal have NOT changed at all, when was the last time Tom, Dick and Harriet Neighbor heard about anyone being healed in the locality? Are deaf ears and blind eyes being opened in the locality? Are people being raised from the dead?

Note:

‘These signs will accompany those who believe,’ said Jesus – Mark 16:17; not THOSE in leadership alone; not THOSE with man-made diplomas, glory-titles or clerical regalia alone; and, not THOSE on the far side of some unmapped jungle alone (!). Oh no dear reader, these signs are SUPPOSED to accompany diploma-less, “Mom ‘n’ Pop” BELIEVERS from San Diego USA to Sydney Australia. (So says Jesus; the Man who is God and Truth.)

That being so, is expectation of spectacular ‘works of power’ in our day and our very backyard unrealistic? Was Jesus kidding around on such things? Did He (after all, and alas) only mean healings could occur on the far side of Timbuktu, and nowhere near Manhattan? Did He ever say more than His Father was really prepared to do? Was He over-enthused on occasion?! Or is more than a mustard seed of faith required for such things these days? And (by way of rhetorical conclusion), based on the fact that – as a rule – Tom, Dick and Harriet Westerner have NOT seen people healed or raised in their midst, are Jesus’s discussions of ‘works of power’ to be swept under the rug, by a brush inscribed with ‘pesky sign-seekers?!’

How long must anaemic and unscriptural CESSATIONISM rule the roost? Yes indeed, ESNs need HOME-BASED networks truly comparable to Antioch; networks which holds fast to apostolic doctrine. (Non-English speaking nations need Antiochs too; especially strategic cities around the world like Shanghai, New Delhi, Berlin, Paris, Rome and Sao Paulo for instance). But alas, TEMPLE-based WINESKinCARCERATION is rife …

(Please take note: talks, articles and books that deal with Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism, are to be found above – in POST No.2)

Introducing ‘Homer Truth’ and his amazing INTEGRITY TIME MACHINE.

(POST No. 3) Mark 7 : 9 ‘… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.’ (NASB) Please take note: talks, articles and books that deal with Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism, are to be found in POST No.2.

Imagine if ‘Homer Truth’ pulled over, outside a congregation near you; offering evangelicals a FREE ride all the way back in time to the reality check that is Luke 14:25-35; the chance to actually stand before Messiah Jesus and hear Him utter those very words. Can you imagine the initial stampede?!

Thing is, before letting them on board, Homer tells them that the ride is free, but CONDITIONAL: as they go further and further back through the centuries, they would have to let go of any man-made errrors that ceased to exist! Yes, said Homer, if at any point the heat of INTEGRITY KITCHEN gets too unbearable,they can go back to the present day, and recollect their man-made errors and props outside the time machine exit.

I wonder how many evangelicals would step on board after hearing that condition? I wonder how many would still be on board by the time the machine went back to Luke 14?!

By the time they travel back through the last two hundreds years or so, the “sinner’s prayer” for being His ‘Christian’ would be gone (compared to the Luke 14:25-35 YARDSTICK for being His DISCIPLE; although the first step of disciplehood is indeed often in the form of prayer, perhaps one might say that shallow “Sinner’s Prayer Evangelism” is the salvation equivalent of a drive-thru restaurant?!); so would the comforting idea of a PRE-TRIB rapture (propogated by Darby around 1830 and then Schofield). Those two losses alone may be too much for many!

By the time six hundred years have been retraced, the sacrosanct distorted TULIP version of PREDESTINATION enshrined in ‘The Institutes’ would have vanished too; deary me, the heat in the integrity kitchen gets real hot at that point; losing the PRE-Trib rapture was bad enough; but to then lose their ‘predestined-ticket-to-heaven!’ Not to mention the man-made denominations (‘Baptist’; ‘Anglican’; ‘Methodist.’ What happened to ‘one new man’ in Messiah?! Note Ephesians 2:11-3:7 especially 2:16); or the diplomas and ‘marketplace titles of respect’ so treasured by some (‘Reverend’; ‘Doctor.’ What happened to Matthew 23:8? Mark 12:38-40? Luke 6:26? John 12:43? 1 Corinthians 4:9?)

And yes, sincere though many such institutions may indeed be, as they got closer and closer to apostolic days on their journey back, venerated (but WINESKinCARCERATED) Bible seminarys/schools/colleges would all vanish; one by one. Is it not sad that some disciples feel they have to go to a Bible ‘seminary’/’school’/’college’ to get WEIGHTY teaching? And what does that say about the teaching they had in their congregation? It is actually the task of the local congregation’s group of elders to make sure the congregation itself is steeped in sound doctrine; indeed, the ability to provide quality teaching is a prerequisite for elderhood ; see Titus. Each congregation should be a ‘School of Tyrannus.’ Furthermore, the Bible is a Holy Scripture FACULTY in itself; beginning with Moses, then Joshua, right through to Jude and John; THE Teacher of course being the Carpenter who made the mount (before teaching on it untold years later): Messiah Jesus. Just think about a faculty member or two: Peter, a rugged, rustic fisherman who physically walked with the Man who is God; and Paul, the unsurpassed Second Covenant Bible teacher; indeed, the faculty members are actually the very individuals through whom came the God-breathed TRUTH; they actually PENNED PURE sound doctrine; how’s THAT for a ‘seminary!’

After 1700 years had been retraced, every last Constantinian Temple would be gone too! Those still on board would have re-entered the period where disciples met in family homes; and where meetings actually resembled 1 Corinthians 11-14.

Any dogged evangelicals still on board after almost 1900 years or so had been retraced, could be forgiven for thinking nothing further could be taken from them, no MAJOR PROP; what a suprise to find that it is at this point that someone so dearly beloved vanishes away: the ‘pastor’ as we have him today! (An unscriptural idea that got into the Body very early on; first in the form of a “bishop”/overseer over a network of churches (nowadays still held to by some); but nowawdays commonly reduced to being a “pastor”/ overseer over a single flock. Ignatious being one of the guys who brought in the one-man-leadership error.) Can you imagine the tears of any evangelicals that remain?! And not long now before they stand in the crowd and actually hear Messiah Jesus give them the biggest wake-up call of their entire lives; what it really takes to be His DISCIPLE …

(Please take note: talks, articles and books that deal with Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism, are to be found in POST No.2.)

Talks, Articles and Books about Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism; PLUS other matters.

(POST No. 2) Mark 7 : 9 ‘… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.’ (NASB)

Are you a bit weary of me? Do you think I might be trying to lead you astray?! No problem; and I understand and welcome your caution. Then let’s not beat around the bush; let’s bring in some witnesses: read these Amazon reviews of David’s autobiography, “Not As Bad As The Truth”; read them HERE.

Do listen to at least one or two of these VIDEO or AUDIO talks; if you feel I have not led you to the table of an EXCEPTIONAL teaching banquet, then of course, waste no more time. On the other hand, if you see that I have brought you to an exceptional banquet, do feed heartily.

www.davidpawson.org is something of a ‘2K7 website’ (see 2 Kings 7 especially verse 9; also note John 6:12); it is one of the very finest edification banquets on the internet. If you click on BOOKS at the top of his website, you can watch brief video adverts for various books he has written. A typical evangelical in Britain and America is seriously MALNOURISHED; thanks to internet technology (and whether you live in San Diego, Seattle, Boston, Miami, Edinburgh or London; or anywhere in between), one of the very very finest edification banquets is only a few mouse clicks away.

That is not an ideal situation (to put it mildly!), for what Britian and America need are teams of competent elders in every city and town; teams who jointly and humbly lead (SHEPHERD), guard (OVERSEE) and feed (TEACH) ONE UNIFIED, interdependent congregation in their locality (who gather in FAMILY HOMES, not Constantinian Temples; who meet according to the PATTERN: Hebrews 8:5; Acts 1-28!; 1 Corinthians 11-14). In the horrendous absence of such leadership and unity, David’s 2K7 website ‘parachutes in’ (so to speak) nutricious meals; for any who hunger for industrial-strength teaching.

My Amazon REVIEWS of books addressing these man-made errors.

CESSATIONISM (and SUBSTANDARD evangelism in general):

One of Pawson’s major burdens, is the sentimental (instead of scriptural) and binitarian (in effect; and instead of truly trinitarian) nature, and overall serious inadequacy of modern evangelism.

The True God and the True Gospel A talk given at a Bible College graduation ceremony on the sentimental nature of modern evangelism. Very important content; and emotive. (Watch online or download on MP3; WO, OD.)

The Normal Christian Birth In association with his book of the same title, here is a six-part video of TREMENDOUS importance. WO,OD.

The Goodness and Severity of God An AUDIO talk on the sentimental (instead of scriptural) nature of modern evangelism. Listen online, or download; LO, OD)

We Need to receive the Holy Spirit Includes David’s personal testimony. An AUDIO talk about the binitarian nature of modernevenagelism. Very very important talk. LO, OD.

He will baptise you in Holy Spirit Another AUDIO talk on receiving the Holy Spirit. LO, OD.

Free ARTICLES

Todays “UNSAVED” Church ; by Andrew Strom. This is an article that will only take a few minutes to read. It is very very disappointing to see that David Pawson stands almost alone in calling for scriptural, truly trunitarian, industrial-strength evangelism. Almost alone I say, but not quite; how fantastic to see that Andrew has a similar burden. This article is very important; do read it now.

What’s wrong with the Gospel? Part 1 and Part 2 Keith Green wrote a two-part piece about the inadequacy of modern evangelism; three decades or so later, is the situation anything but even worse ? Do read this.

There are four books by David Pawson on this PRIMARY matter:

‘Is John 3:16 the Gospel ?’; on the SENTIMENTAL (instead of scriptural) nature of modern evangelism.
‘Jesus Baptises in one Holy Spirit’ ; on the BINITARIAN (in effect ; and instead of truly trinitarian nature of modern evangelism.

The Normal Christian Birth The MOST IMPORTANT book David Pawson has ever written.

‘Word and Spirit Together’ ; on the tragic POLARIZATION beneath the evangelical umbrella (my phrase).

Avoiding both WEIRDNESS and DRYNESS:

In regard to bizarre manifestations that cannot be regarded as one of the nine EQUIPPING,EDIFYING gifts of the HOLY Spirit, the answer to WEIRD manifestations is not DRY FORMALITY; neither WEIRDNESS or DRYNESS resemble 1 Corinthians 14:26-33. Read this important article by Andrew Strom on ‘The “Toronto” Controversy – Disturbing New Facts from History.’

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CLERICALISM (non-apostolic leadership STRUCTURE):

Free ARTICLES

Aggressive Christianity Perhaps Catherine Booth did not fully realise the importance of her own home-truth, when she said that the harmony between the local church and society was a sign something was very very wrong.

There are two key books on Clericalism: they each need to be carefully SIFTED and not swallowed hook, line and sinker. It is very nice indeed to see Beresford and Teryl speaking out; but, just because they are right to denounce certain things about leadership, it does NOT follow that everything else they believe is accurate. Furthermore, folk are prone to OVERREACT against something; so be careful; the answer to one-man leadership is NOT (in effect) NO strong leadership. Scriptural leadership consists of a team of scripturally qualified elders.

The Biblical Church by Beresford Job; Augustinian/OSAS toxin aside, it is the BEST book on Body congregation and leadership I have found.

The Biblical Church by Teryl Hebert is available free in PDF format (at the moment anyway); it is also available for a small price in Kindle form at Amazon.

It is not enough to sort out leadership STRUCTURE; leadership GENDER needs to be scripture-based too.

‘Leadership is Male’ ; by David Pawson; foreworded by Elisabeth Elliot no less.

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CALVINISM (basically revamped Augustinianism; a superstructure built on a DISTORTED version of PREDESTINATION):

First off, here are two SUPERRRB talks on Youtube, regarding the horrendously distorted teaching of Augustine; a talk given by Jesse Morrell. Jesse does an excellent job of presenting the case politely and concisely; perhaps only those who are doggedly determined to hold onto the toxic TULIP will be able to carry on listening to the tragic Augustinian/Reformed “school of thought” after hearing the talk, such is the skill of Jesse’s delivery. Better still, the talk is VERY HEAVILY peppered with quotes from the 200 year period from when the apostles died to the time of Constantine and Augustine; in other words, quotes from men who were FLUENT in the Greek in which Scripture was written, and who did NOT find the TULIP tenets that stem from the teaching of Greek INEXPERT Augustine. Watch the talk; put it into your faves; get as many people as you can to watch it in your own community, and around the world.

Next, my Amazon Booklist “TULIP Vaccine” is HERE. It contains nine books that collectively inform readers about the BLOODY method by which the TULIP took form hold of the Western contingent of the Body; make mention of Augustine’s Greek INEXPERTISE; and discusses the FALSE CONCEPT on which the TULIP is based (namely, Augustine’s grossly distorted understanding of election and predestination).

Two EXCELLENT FREE audio talks by David on this matter:

Can Believers Lose their Inheritance ? Calvinists say no; but what did Messiah Jesus say? Audio talk; LO, OD.

Why Would Anyone be Afraid of God ? Given the content, I think it would be better titled ‘Why should disciples fear God?’ David discusses the catastrophic damage done by the misteaching ‘Once Saved, Always Saved.’ AUDIO talk, LO, OD.

With Calvinism comes ‘Replacement’ and/or ‘Fulfilment’ Theology: the idea that the Church has now replaced the physical descendents of Jacob/Israel; and thinking the Church is the ‘New Israel.’

The Five Covenants of God Excellent three-part video talk by David which helps people understand the Bible. Click WATCH VIDEO; watch online.

A Biblical Understanding of Israel Nice nutshell AUDIO talk on Israel; LO, OD.

Romans Part 1 and Romans Part 2 Two video talks (WO, OD); around 40 mins each. Excellent overview of the book of ‘Romans.’

The Church and Israel in the Last Days A general video talk where David shows his love for Israel; the Jewish people. Watch online.

Why Israel’s Salvation Matters Scroll down to this AUDIO talk of Michael L Brown (LO, OD).

Free ARTICLE on John Calvin; by Daniel Corner. Many evangelicals who believe OSAS and/or POTS do not realise that Calvinism was established with the use of violence (note Zechariah 4:6); Michael Servetus was only one of a number of people who were put to death.

Free article on the way Calvinists basically MISHANDLE Holy Scripture in order to maintain Calvinism; an excerpt from ‘Life in the Son’ by Robert Shank; article itself by Steve Noel.

There are a number of books that VACCINATE (and hopefully CURE) Calvinism.

‘The Reformers and their Stepchildren’ ; by Leonard Verduin. I wonder how many ‘Calvinists’ realise what they believe was established with the aid of violence. How awful. A book of TREMENDOUS importance.
‘God’s Strategy in Human History’ by Roger Forster and Paul Marston. Predestination is scriptural; the Augustinian distorted version on which Calvinism is built is not. Very meaty book. Due out in KINDLE version I believe; keep a lookout.
‘The Road to Hell’ by David Pawson; evangelicals fail to recognize the warnings given by Messiah Jesus were spoken TO and ABOUT His regenerate disciples; Gehenna is for non-ABIDING disciples (not JUST outsiders).
‘Once Saved, Always Saved ?’ by David Pawson; OSAS has done tremendous damage to the Bride.

Replacement Theology in dealt with in these three books, and one talk:

‘Our Hands Are Stained With Blood’ by Michael L Brown; very important addition to an evangelical’s library this one. Indeed, of all the books Michael has written, this is one of the key two.

Israel in the New Testament by David Pawson; a collection of talks given in Jerusalem over a number of years; the crowning chapter/talk being the one on Paul’s letter known as “Romans” (Rome being the seedbed of Replacement Theology).

‘Defending Christian Zionisnm’ by David Pawson; a book written in response to sincere but seriously misguided teaching on Israel (not only by Calvinists, but also Dispensationalists; see below).

Applying Old Testament Prophecies to Church and Nation Today. This is a two-part AUDIO talk on how and how NOT to regard the prophetic words of the First Covenant prophets (such as Jeremiah). LO, OD.

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DISPENSATIONALISM (the book of ‘Revelation’ was given by Messish Jesus ; PRE-Trib rapture by DARBY):

Will Christians Escape by Secret Rapture? Around 1900 years ago Messiah Jesus warned of the TRIBULATION to come; less than 190 years ago Darby said (albeit sincerely) that the Church would not be here. David discusses the origin of this comforting modern teaching. AUDIO talk; LO, OD.

Dispensational Theology – Too Pro-Israel. This talk discusses the perils of ‘DEDUCTIVE’ theology (i.e. putting 2 and 2 together to make 5; rather than ‘INDUCTIVE’ Theology which builds its stance on clear statements of Holy Scripture; or in other words, reading things INTO Holy Scripture, rather than things FROM). David also discusses the differences between ‘Dispensational [DEDUCTIVE, read INTO] Zionism’ and ‘Covenantal [INDUCTIVE, read FROM] Zionism. ‘Very highly concentrated talk this one; needs to be heard more than once to harvest all the information. AUDIO talk; LO, OD.

There are two books that address Dispensationalism:

‘When Jesus Returns’ by David Pawson. Tragically, some see the ‘PRE/POST-trib’ debate as a side issue. Actually, Messiah Jesus gave the revelation to John in order to call the Bride to PURITY through the 42 month warfare of the beast, and to PREPARATION for the wedding; that’s no side issue to Messiah Jesus. Furthermore, the Hebrews 6 eelementaries INCLUDE end time instruction. Dispensationalism is addressed in the book.

Defending Christian Zionism by David Pawson (this book is already mentioned above in relation to Calvinism).

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OTHER ASSORTED LINKS :

Three of Michael L Brown:

Michael L Brown’s personal testimony; video lasts around 23 minutes.

AHARIT; a Hebrew word similar to English word ‘CONSEQUENCES’; MLB video lasts around 24 minutes.

What the success preachers NEVER mention ; MLB video; around 10 minutes; Holy Scripture is both sweet and SOUR; key video about the danger of sweet-ONLY distorted teaching.

Some by David Pawson:

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First, here are FIVE practical, RUDDER-hits-the-road talks by David:

Men for God ; a four-part video series (can be freely downloaded on MP3) about the PRACTICAL aide of DISCIPLEHOOD; and a call for male disciples to meet together regularly. WO, OD; LO, OD.

Being (and the COST of being) SALT and LIGHT. Living differently impacts the community. AUDIO talk. LO, OD.

Four Marks of the True Church. On the NORMALITY of PERSECUTION; the Lord’s call to UNITY; the need for PERSEVERANCE; and, the need for INTERDEPENDENCE with brothers and sisters in Messiah. AUDIO talk. LO, OD.

Communicating the Gospel. In WORD, DEED, and SIGN (Romans 15:18-19; Mark 16:15-20): DECLARING a two-sided, apostolic message; LIVING it out oneself; God CONFIRMING the message with SIGNS following. AUDIO talk. LO, OD.

Keep Monday Special. Are Gentile disciples of Messiah Jesus commanded to keep the Sabbath? How about anyone in the book of Genesis from Adam to Joseph; were any of them told to keep the Sabbath?! AUDIO talk. LO, OD.

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The Letters of Jesus to His Churches Do you realise Jesus sent seven letters? Here is a nine-part talk by David on those seven letters in the book of Revelation (watch online or download; WO, OD)).

The Uniqueness of Christ A six-part talk (WO,OD) that really makes it clear why the narrow Way is not just one faith among many.

Divorce and Remarriage What did Jesus say? David Pawson was once pinned to a wall by a ‘pastor’ for faithfully echoing the teacher of his Master. Watch ONLINE. He has now brought out a book on the subject.

Charismatics and Evangelicals When David says ‘Evengelicals’ here, he basically means Cessationists. There is a tragic polarization beneath the evangelical unbrealla today: some emphasize the Holy Spirit but neglect Holy Scripture, and some vice versa. This six-part talk addresses the problem (Note: the talks are mislabled, but all six talks are there; WO, OD)

Cults and Sects A series of eight AUDIO talks including one on Jehovah’s Witnesses ; listen online,or download.

Both Saviour and Lord One of Messiah Jesus’s first commands is to be immersed in water; if this is delayed, is His Lordship being honored?

What is the Church for ? The Church is about loving God; about loving one’s neighbor; and about loving fellow disciples.

Luke 14 :25-35. Messiah’s YARDSTICK; Messiah’s terms and condistions for being His DISCIPLE.

Prophetic Christian Witness. Here David points out the unscriptural lack of interest in (and suspicion cast upon) the prophetic aspect of the narrow Way; as compared to Paul’s exhortation to covet spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. There is a great need for genuine prophets in the West; indeed, David here says a prophet’s job is to TILL the soil, THEN evangelists are able to PLANT. Audio talk; LO, OD.

Christ is Risen. After an unbeliever hears your presentation of the Good News, do they think of Messiah Jesus as a risen, exalted and appointed Lord,Savior and Judge; and do they realize there is actually no one in better health than the risen Messiah? Do you think of Messiah Jesus, and present Him to others, as a VICTIM on a Cross; or as a VICTOR on a Throne? Does your ‘Gospel’ end where the apostolic message actually begins (i.e. at Golgotha)?!

Four NUTRICIOUS additions to your personal library:

‘Not As Bad As The Truth’ by David Pawson. This is David’s autobiography. Alas, there are so so few Bible teachers of his caliber. This is an excellent introduction to the man behind the stellar teaching.

‘Back to Jerusalem’ by Paul Hawttaway. In the West some disciples have DIPLOMAS on the wall; in the East,some have brand-marks on their bodies. This is one of the most important books a Western disciple could get.

‘Lost Heritage’ by Kim Tan; the best PRIMER on Bosy-history I know of. This book is both NUTRICIOUS and UNSUNG. (At time of posting this, there was no cheap new or used version showing up at Amazon.com).

‘The Jubilee Gospel’ by Kim Tan. Another unsung book by Kim Tan on God’s SHARING, CARING character.

Deja Vu WINESKINS ; and WINESKinCARCERATION.

(POST No. 1) Mark 7:9 ‘… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.’ (NASB) Please take note: talks, articles and books that deal with Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism, are to be found in POST No.2.

General comment:

Hello, I’m Mark Phillips; I am only an UNREGENERATE Gentile. Therefore, it may seem very strange indeed to say that just as some people collect rare artefacts, I ‘collect’ rare Bible teachers. I do happen to know a spade is a spade, as well as a thing or two about what HAS been, and what IS going on, within the Body of Messiah ; this introductory post will only take a few minutes to read; please, indulge me.

Mark 7v9 blog has a twin PURPOSE: firstly, to provide a helpful hyperlinks HUB to some of the very finest FREE articles and FREE talks (audio and/or video), as well as drawing attention to some of the best books available outside of Holy Scripture; secondly, that this information would VACCINATE as many disciples as possible (against various errors/misteaching), in order that they would not be shortchanged and/or deceived. (Once someone has been mistaught, self-interest and pride can soon make a change of mind near impossible; prevention is much easier than cure).

Noting John 6:12 and 2 Kings 7 (especially v 9), if you come to increasingly appreciate these talks (and articles), do share the fantastic edification banquet with others: consider encouraging others in your local congregation (as well as in other congregations around the USA and overseas), to hear these talks individually (whether online, or by downloading them on MP3 and playing them in the car, or while walking the dog, or on a plane or train); or to hear them collectively (on a big screen or audio system, in an auditorium; or television screen in a regular home); and if you have a site of your own, consider putting the same links there. As for the books, some are available in ebook form (as well as paperback), so if your have a Kindle (or a free Kindle App on your computer, tablet, smartphone or other gadget), do at the least, download a free sample. You can get a free Kindle App here (USA), or here (UK).

Just as the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’s day made their erroneous TRADITIONS into the HEAD, and Holy Scripture the TAIL, so too today (during this new, better, SECOND, Messianic Covenant),m any who call Jesus ‘Lord’ have made various errors the HEAD (e.g. Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism, Dispensationalism; yes, even Arminianism) and Holy Scripture the TAIL.

NO TEACHER IS INFALLIBLE, all can get subjective on one aspect or another of the narrow Way. (In ‘Acts,’ Paul refers to the faith as the ‘Way’; and Messiah Jesus said the Way is NARROW. Changing the name of the faith from the ‘Way’ to ‘Christianity’ has actually facilitated and perpetuated the pernicious idea that the narrow Way is a new Gentile RELIGION; in actual fact, it is a new, better, SECOND COVENANT with the house of Israel and the house of Judah – see Hebrews 8 and Jeremiah 31).

Alas, ‘Christianity’ is only one of a number of words that (albeit unintentionally) serve to confuse evangelicals rather than edify them; others include ‘Christian’ (instead of DISCIPLE – see Acts 11:26; which has led to the catastrophic idea one can be His ‘Christian’ based on a one-minute ‘sinner’s prayer,’ as opposed to the Lord’s YARDSTICK for being His DISCIPLE – Luke 14:25-35), ‘bishop’ (instead of OVERSEER – which is an aspect of ordinary elderhood, not a distinct regional ‘office’; see Acts 20, 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1), ‘pastors’ (instead of SHEPHERDS – shepherding is another aspect of ordinary elderhood, it is not a solo, salaried leader of a local flock; see Acts 20 and 1 Peter 5) and ‘church’ (Instead of CONGREGATION – in Holy Scripture, the CONGREGATION means local and global LIVING STONE members of Messiah’s Body/Bride; those who are genuinely CONNECTED to Him, the HEAD; it does not mean a stone building with a ‘pulpit’ and ‘pews.’ Because the ‘Magisterial Reformers’ originally populated their ‘pews’ by COERCION instead of CONVERSION – in partnership with the WORLD/STATE/MAGISTRATE – and because the ‘Reformed’ camp persist in saying the wheat and the tares are in the church – despite Jesus saying it was in the world – they developed the unscriptural and seriously pernicious concept of ‘Visible/Invisible church.’)

Rare Teachers:

The best two teachers I have found are Michael L Brown and David Pawson. I regard Michael as one of the finest teachers in America; David as one of the finest since the APOSTLES!

Michael has written numerous books,two key ones being ‘Go And Sin No More’ and ‘Our Hands Are Stained With Blood.’

David’s two key books are ‘Unlocking the Bible’ and ‘The Normal Christian Birth.’

Kim Tan is someone else to look out for; he has written two (largely UNSUNG) books; I do hope he writes more in due course. (Two books by Kim are included in my Amazon Reviews).

When it comes to the very serious (and subtle) problem of Clericalism, I have had to look to other men in order to find people who will FALLIBLY say what needs to be said – namely Beresford Job and Teryl Hebert.

Closing general comment:

We live in very, very serious times; society is MIS-MECHANIZED. Because most people live for themselves and not for God, the planet is stocked with haves and have-nots; some in the world live in luxury, while some even struggle to find clean drinking water. In the West, many men and women are leopards who are attracted to, date, and marry their own kind; problem is, while they cannot change their own spots, they often expect their spouses to. Consequently, many marriages are a house of cards from day one; for they were not built on firm foundations ; when the novelty is worn away, many divorce. Instead of a stable home for children to mature in,homes can be battlegrounds. As for small children in the West,at the first they are amused with simple nursery rhymes ; but by the time they reach twenty years of age many have developed a taste for the filthier things in life: many have moved on to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes ; an even greater percentage habitually swear, watch immoral sitcoms and films, and listen to immoral lyrics (they do not realise that from a young age, they have been led down a road of personal defilement and RUINATION). Each generation of parents tries (but fails) to prevent their teenage children from stubbornly walking down the wrong path; in time-honored fashion, each generation of teenage children stubbornly ignore the guidance and concern of their parents.

Given the state of play in the world (especially in the West), it is therefore a cause for great dismay to see that (due to having heard and been taught a seriously unbalanced and flesh-friendly version of the narrow Way) many who call Jesus ‘Lord’ behave in much the same way; a cause for great dismay to see that even WITHIN the Body of Messiah,men and women behave with pride and self-interest; and behave as Pharisees (putting error above Holy Scripture). Given 2 Timothy 4:3-4 this is no surprise; but it is a disgrace nonetheless.

Adherence to man-made denominational systems (i.e WINESKINS) is nothing new; it is a deja vu TRAGEDY. Chapter and verses in Holy Scripture are UNINSPIRED; they can be a serious HINDRANCE to understanding God’s message. That said, what Messiah Jesus said in ‘Mark 7:9’ goes to the very ROOT of the problem not just in His day; but also in ours: some today have become (seemingly unknowingly ?) experts at MISHANDLING the word of truth, in order to keep hold of Cessationism; others to keep hold of Clericalism (whether it be the Catholic or Anglican PRIEST, or the Evangelical PASTOR; such men – and women – may indeed be sincere and dedicated to the Lord; and yes, such folk may be found in your local town; but, did you find any in your God-breathed Bible?); others Calvinism (including ‘Replacement Theology’) ; others Dispensationalism (in particular, the idea of a PRE-Tribulation rapture) ; and, others (even though it is perhaps the noblest of the man-made truth-and-error blends) Arminianism. Each camp/denomination is quick to spot a speck of teaching READ INTO Scripture of another camp, but oblivious to the log of teaching READ INTO Scripture in their own camp; each camp is prone to be OBJECTIVE on – and overemphasize – ONE SIDE of the Bible coin, while being SUBJECTIVE on – and underemphasizing – the other side; such treatment of Holy Scripture is a well-trodden road to – and recipe for – a distorted blend of truth and error. Such folk are sincere, but WINESKinCARCERATED. Perhaps one might say that while Messiah Jesus (who is the TRUTH), came to set the captives free and LIBERATE them; misteachers, alas (with their truth-and-error blends; mental wineskins; TRADTIONS), have come to reshackle them again (and/or LICENSE them).

Undoing the damage of narrow Way distortion is an enormous endeavor: multi-millions outside the Body have been directly or indirectly fed ‘Universalism’; millions within the Body have been fed ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ (OSAS) or ‘Perseverence Of The Saints’ (POTS). Messiah Jesus – the spotless Lamb – gave Himself for the FILTH of all, in order that all would put their TRUST in Him and take His PURITY in exchange for their filth. He gave Himself for the materisistic, hedonistic, antagonistic and idolatrous filth of all; in order that those who PERMANENTLY turn from such (materialism,hedonism,antagonism and idolatry), could spend eternity with Himself and His Father in the new Jerusalem (a place where nothing UNCLEAN and no one who practices abomination and lying will ever enter). In response, many who call Messiah Jesus ‘Lord’ have been busy handing out – in effect – ‘tickets to heaven’ and ‘filth insurance policies’: some ‘clergy’ ‘Christen’ babies and tell the unbelieving parents their child is now covered; some ‘clergy’ bury unbelieving parents and tell the unbelieving children their parent is now ‘in heaven.’ That such a horrendous distortion of our real situation before Almighty God has been able to continue for centuries, is an incredible testimony both to wishful-thinking, as well as to the fact that people have never bothered to objectively check out for themselves what Messiah Jesus actually said.

Consequently, although some parts of the world have yet to hear the truth for the first time, the West has been fed a pernicious blend of truth and error for so long,that they are almost innoculated against the real NINE-YARD disciplehood call of Messiah Jesus (see Luke 14:25-35).

Is Jesus really 24/7 ‘Lord’ of your life? Or, truth be told, is it some distorted WINESKIN that BINDS and/or LICENSES your daily behavior?

In POST No.2 ‘Talks, Articles and Books…’, I have put a series of links for articles, talks and books that address Cessationism, Clericalism, Calvinism and Dispensationalism. I have also posted something to illustrate how uncomfortable many evangelicals may be, if they were stripped of man-made post-apostolic props and beliefs, and then brought face-to-face with Messiah Jesus (POST No.3 : ‘Introducing ‘Homer Truth’ and his amazing INTEGRITY TIME MACHINE.’).

Be EDIFIED; do get those four books mentioned above.