The GOAL and aim of most messages today heard coming from “Christian” leaders does not have Christ as it’s Grand Subject. This makes it more than obvious that God’s Word is not being preached and that the numerous prophetic warnings from Christ and His apostles are being fulfilled. Jesus Christ is the Grand Subject of all Scripture and even when men use Scripture to teach and yet refuse to uphold, elevate, and expound upon the divine Person of Jesus Christ, apostasy has invaded!
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14
The apostle Paul’s life and ministry were all about Jesus. Such is an almost impossible thing to find today among those who claim to be followers of Jesus.
“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
As was foretold, there are untold wolves today who “mind earthly things” instead of minding the things of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:18-21).
God sent His only begotten Son to save us and for this reason alone, He alone is worthy to be elevated, extolled, exalted, and glorified! When a true disciple becomes enamored with Christ, that person will cease being impressed by or with any mere man (Psalms 39:4-5).
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
The Bible is the story of God’s redemption of His fallen race. He worked through and “was in Christ reconciling (uniting again) the world unto himself.” (2 Corinthians 5:19) The Father gave His sinless only begotten Son “to be sin for us, who knew no sin” so we could be brought back into relationship with Him, that is, made righteous, justified, and cleared of any sin debt by way of the One who bore all our sins on that tree (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Jesus Christ bridged the gap between God who is “Holy, holy, holy” and His fallen race (mankind). (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8)
Jesus “bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Beloved, we have been reconciled to God by the highest price that has ever or ever will be paid (1 Corinthians 6:9-20). We are not our own and we belong to no man (1 Corinthians 7:23). The LORD will share His glory with no man (Isaiah 42:8). Yet today, a whole priesthood of hirelings has intercepted the worship of the people that is due only to the One who won our salvation with His own blood (Colossians 2).
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth (exhibited) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Romans 5:7-11
God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son in order to save us and to clear the way for sinful human beings (His fallen race) to be reconnected with Him and to truly be blessed to worship Him (John 3:16-17; Ephesians, Colossians, etc.).
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:12-14
In the very next chapter, Colossians 2, the apostle goes on to warn the body of Christ about those who would “beguile you” in order to cheat you out of that relationship Christ died to provide in bringing us back to the Father (Colossians 2:4). Paul says in this passage that He preached, warned, and taught in order to prepare the body of Christ to be ready to meet Jesus (Colossians 1:28). Remaining in Christ would mean that deceivers would have to be marked, avoided and overcome. Jesus must be kept as our “first love” which means the absence of any idol (Romans 16:17-18; Revelation 2:4-5). As we uphold Christ as the only “Head” of His body, we shall continue to receive His “nourishment.” (Colossians 2:18-19). So we must be on guard.
God sent us His Son to be the very bread from Heaven that nourishes our souls. Jesus is our Bread of life! (John 6) We must have Him to be saved, and we must abide in Him daily to remain nourished. (John 15:1-6). Heaven’s Nourishment!
Are you being nourished? Are you upholding Jesus Christ in your daily life? When you gather with other Christians, is Jesus truly being exalted through His written Word and in the power of the Holy Spirit?
You see, Jesus Christ is Heaven’s “nourishment.” That is exactly what the apostle is conveying in Colossians 2!
Being aware of and guarding against wolves is not being anti-church or against any kind of organization. Those who think so have been duped by the very leaders of the system they are defending and are still under that cloud of darkness. They can’t imagine walking with Christ without that organization of men. They have no life with Christ in the Spirit or the what they have is shallow just yet. These church-goers only relate to a physical building, elders or a pastor, and a certain meeting place as their authority and headquarters. Their lives are compartmentalized for the purpose of serving their leaders instead of being one contiguous stream of pure worship of Christ. They are being groomed and steeped by mere men who are not teaching them to “worship the Father in spirit and in truth” daily and no matter where they are as Jesus taught (Luke 9:23-24; John 4:23-24).
At this point, some might wonder: “But brother, I guess that means you don’t believe in gathering with other Christians?”
The question is not whether or not to gather but rather just what pattern are we following and who is truly being elevated? Is it Christ?
People have been so brainwashed that they can’t imagine that across the globe and for 2,000 years now, Christians have been gathering in homes with little structure except the praise, worship, and glorify Jesus Christ by reading His Word together, having fellowship, breaking bread together, and praying together (Acts 2:42-47; Colossians 3:16). That’s exactly what the earliest disciples of Jesus did when the church was born and no deception or wolves yet had time to do their evil work (Acts 2:42-47). It wasn’t till later centuries that the separate “church building” concept came into play along with the institution of various other pagan ideas and concepts integrated in their structures and organizations. Is there any wonder that true disciples in this late hour have given up trying to “find a church” and are now just being God’s people, following the simple pattern given us in the latter verses of Acts 2?
The great apostle of Jesus warns us to beware of certain things and also to keep Jesus raised and elevated as the most high Creator God and Savior, LORD, and “Head” that He is to His people:
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:6-10
The modern day church-goers who meet in physical “church buildings” all across America, are following traditions in their structures that were never instituted or intended by Christ for His people. A whole lot of traditions of mere men that are not biblical are in place. In most cases the pastors don’t even know the origins of those things they are doing but are simply following the traditions of men they were taught. In most cases, they have never stopped to examine and put to the biblical acid test those things they are carrying along and perpetrating on yet another generation. On this note, a book of recent notes:
“All of these pathologies find their root in the history of the pastorate. It is ‘lonely at the top’ because God never intended for anyone to be at the top – except His Son! In effect, the present-day pastor tries to should the fifty-eight New Testament ‘one another’ exhortations all by himself. It is no wonder that many of them get crushed under the weight.” Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity, p. 140
It’s biblical to gather to fellowship and so are elders among us and yet, we must test all things against the perfect standard of Holy Scripture (Acts 2:42-47; 14:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Titus 1:5; Hebrews 10:24-25, etc.) Yes, the Bible sure does speak about elders among the believers and yet, the place of prominence they take in the modern church world is far more over reaching than was intended by the LORD. It has become a den of thieves where men are hired into a professional position as a “pastor” and they perform in order to earn a salary. This is not biblical and circumvents the every-member-functioning of Christ’s body that He intended for His people and as is seen in the book of Acts, 1 Corinthians 12, 14, and Ephesians 4. In fact, Ephesians 4:11-14 tells us that those elders who are truly serving Christ are divinely called-out to mature and equip His saints to do “the work of the ministry.” So, those elders today who are following Jesus are not doing everything for everyone as if that’s what they are getting paid to do. Eldership is a calling and not a professional position or vocation. Those truly called out by the LORD and prepared to serve Him by serving His people, don’t need a physical building to perform in. They live unto the LORD daily, praying for, feeding, nurturing, correcting, and ministering to Jesus’ beloved sheep (1 Peter 5:1-6).
“Not Holding the Head”
In all our getting, we had better be getting more and more of Jesus or we have lost all!
The problem is not gathering in a “church building” so much as the problem is that Christ is not truly being upheld and glorified when those people gather. There is therefore no virtue or “nourishment” being “ministered” to those people from the LORD Jesus who is the only “Head” of His true body. This is the simple reason why so many church-goers are either not even saved, have back slid and are lost again, or are still babes. They don’t win anyone to Jesus. In fact, they can’t even muster up the courage to put a Gospel tract out there. They don’t have 5 Bible verses memorized, and are not learning the daily cross Jesus repeatedly commanded.
We must ask: Who’s really being elevated in our gatherings? When Jesus, the only “Head” of His body is lifted up, His divine virtue flows into each member gathered in worship of Him. Watch this: “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” (Colossians 2:18-19)
May there be no “idol shepherds” among us! (Zechariah 11:17) May we be blessed to worship Him “in spirit and in truth” according to the pattern He gave us in His Word (John 4:23-24).
The Holy Spirit inspired prayer of the apostle Paul clearly reveals several things, including that it is God’s will that His beloved people “might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21
May our God bless each of us to seek His holy face as David, the man after the LORD’s own heart did! May unite our hearts to fear His holy name and to want more and more of Him and to denounce and to be delivered from every idol of the heart (Ezekiel 14:3).
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Psalms 42:1-2
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. … 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Psalms 27:4, 8
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