To review PART ONE, just the following points:
1. Jesus Christ resurrected: The Highest Authority
After His resurrection, Jesus proclaimed that all authority in heaven and on earth was given Him (Mt 28:18). God gave man authority on earth (Gen 1:26-28; Ps 115:16), but man (Adam) gave it away (Js 4:7). Only Jesus Christ could win that back as Man (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:45). As we have seen earlier, we have to listen to Jesus Christ, rather than men [contradicting Him] – Rom 3:4; Num 23:19; Ps 51:4; Ez 13:6; Jn 14:2; Mt 17:5; Jn 5:21-23. Jesus repeatedly said, “… it is written, but I say unto you…”
2. Jesus Christ resurrected: The Head of His church, that cannot be “de-nominated”
Col 1:18; 2:19; Eph 1:22; 4:3-6,15; 5:23; 1 Cor 3:11,17-23; Heb 3; 11:10; 1 Pet 2:4-10
3. The church: us in whom He dwells (not buildings made by man)
Rom 12;5; Eph 1:22,23; 2:18-22; 4:12; 5:32; Col 1:24; 1 Tim 3:15; 1Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:9,16; 6:19-20; 1 Jn 3:24; 4:16; Acts 7:48-53 (Is 66:1-2); 17:24-25! Also Is 60:14b with Mt 5:14; Ps 102:16; 1 Pet 2:4-10; Eph 1:22-3:6,18-21; Rev 21; 1 Cor 3:9,16; and so on). You are already a citizen of heaven – Eph 2:19; Heb 12:23; 1 Cor 2:13-16; 2 Cor 10:5; 1 Jn 4:17; 5:4-5; Jn 16:33 – if reborn (Jn 3:3; Acts 2:38; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Cor 5:15-29; Eph 5:5; 1 Pet 1:23)!
4. The deity of Jesus Christ
Refer to the paper “Who is Jesus Christ?”. Jesus was not sent to be a religious leader (Mt 12:6) or a political leader (Jn 6:15); He was sent by the Father God (Ps 43:3; 57:3; Jn 3:16-21,36; 5:22,23; 6:46; 8:18; 17:18; Mt 11:27; Js 1:17). Peruse the following Scriptures: Is 9:6; Lk 2:11; Eph 1:17; 3:15; Mt 28:18; Jn 1:18; 6:46; 8:23;10:30; 14:9; 20:28; Acts 4:12; 5:31; 7:59; 10:42; Tit 2:3; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15,17; 2:9; Heb 1:1-5; 12:9 (Jn 1:1-5; Col 1:15-17); 1 Jn 5:20; 1 Cor 8:6; to name a few…
5. His city, set on [Golgotha] a hill
Gen 11:4-7; acts 2:1-6; Rev 21:1,2,24; Heb 11:10,13,16; 12:22; 11:39,40 (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; 1 Pet 2:4-10; Heb 3).
6. Jesus Christ is the foundation of His Church
The Prophets and Apostles laid it in the OT and it is a done deal. (Heb 1:1-3; 9:16-18; ). Today we are living stones in the same building/city/body that He is the [only] Head
Cautiously consider Mt 15:6-8 (Is 66:3-5), for that matter also Mt 7:21-24; and then read on. (Refer also to the paper “The Gospel”).
Individually we (our bodies) should be His temple; collectively we (His Body/Church) should be His City on earth.
Jesus gave His Spirit, Christ [the Anointed] died [paid] for us (Rom 5:6,8) – the omnipresent Spirit and power of God Who indwells us, His ecclesia, His Church, His Bride, His heavenly Jerusalem, the True Israel (Jn 1:12; Eph 2:19; 3:5-6; Heb 12:22; Mt 21:43; Rom 9:7-9; Gal 4:25-31) – on earth. He is resurrected and thus overcame death on our behalf because He forgave all our sin. He died in the flesh so we can overcome flesh [carnal mindedness] in Him alone (also Mt 6:33). 1 Cor 15 give eyewitness accounts, and also the gospels. To not believe Jesus Christ physically [truly] rose on the third day, is to not believe Jesus Himself.
Reading the book of Romans (especially chapter eight), three words emerge that help to show us what Jesus accomplished with that exchange on His cross for us:
1. Justified. A courtroom word. In Christ we are acquitted by God – once for all (Heb 10:10-14).
2. Redemption. A slavery word. Jesus paid to set us free [from futile attempts at self-righteousness].
3. Propitiation. A priestly word. Jesus offered Himself as sacrifice acceptable to God by His Blood. The Lamb that became the Shepherd. The Master that sets us free to become His friends, bringing many sons (brothers, Heb 2:8-17; children, Gal 3:28; Jn 1:12) to God (Rom 8:19!..). Consume Rom 8:30… connect it to Jn 1:1-4,17; 11:26; 17:3-5,15-26; Heb 2:10; Col 1:13-15; Is 9:6 (Is 5:13; Hos 4:6)! Jesus is Lord (Jn 14:6).
The four Gospels [the nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news of Jesus Christ], are supplementary to each other, not contradictory. They provide a message for every one, with [collective] deeper insight into the Word that became flesh, the revelation, power, glory, Light, Life and wisdom of God: Jesus Christ. They show Jesus Christ [the anointed One, the Messiah, Light, Truth, glory and power], to a problematic world. Only He could reconcile us [back] to a Perfect Father, the Source of righteousness. Only Jesus Christ perfectly represented man [-kind] whilst simultaneously perfectly representing [the true nature and character of] God as our everlasting heavenly Father of Life. He brought Light, Life and Love whilst the best that man could come up with [in 4 000 years, in the “fullness of time”] fell dismally short in efforts filled with self.
(Ez 21:27; Gal 3:16,29; Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:45).
We find that…
- The [Roman] political or military power proved insufficient to bring real peace;
- The [Greek] culture, sophistication and philosophy lacked real answers and wisdom (see Rom 1:18-22; 9:19-21; 1 Cor 1:18-21; 2:6-8,13,14; 3:18-20; 2 Cor 4:3, et cetera)
- The [rabbinical] law did not satisfy the [Jewish] heart. It remained external, only religion – tradition, ceremony and rituals; and not the internal relationship our God of promise and good will wants as a Father [in our consistent thought-life] continuously. He wants us to seek Him [first], not only His kingdom [perks]. To abhor sin (no law changes the secret desires of your inner man, the potential to sin). He wants us to ask His opinion, not only His things (Ps 24:1; Rom 8:17). He wants a habitual, continuous, everlasting relationship. He never changes, that is why we can trust Him. He is Holy, so we must be holy [consecrated, set apart for Him].He is genuine, are we? But because of our inherited old nature [inability in self], we were made holy by the Blood of Jesus Christ (Heb 10:12-14). He, by His grace and mercy and loving kindness, came to us and laid down His perfect holy Life for us, and was buried so we could legally inherit what we could never earn. So His perfect salvation plan offers infinitely more than just being saved – it has provided everything we could possibly need to have an abundant life, right here on earth. This is called God’s kingdom of Light (Col 1:12-23). So what our perfect Father is looking for, is only the trust in Him, to rely on Him [not man, mankind, self], and to accept [gratefully appropriate, humbly take, accept, believe, trust] His Word. This is why we repent [acknowledge, admit, submit] and ask. Not to earn [through repentance], but because we show we understand [accept] His provision. Our repentance is for our conscience, His Blood washed our sins away (Is 1:18; Heb 8:12. Note your sins have been washed away at His cross, you are saved once you confess this and submit to Jesus Christ). Consider Heb 4:12-16.
The provision has been made by God [His grace, not works of man, not by following law or self], we must just believe Him to receive more than we can even think, dream or imagine (Eph 3:20; 1 Cor 2:9). So this, rather, is the “believe” God has in mind: our trust in-, rely on-, and cling to Him. We must come to terms with our Father, with infinite Love. Nothing is more humbling than this discovery: His Love for us is infinitely more than our feeble idea of “self” shrouded by own emotion, own intellect, own will, own religion – still numb to the Holy Spirit of God. “Saved” is not “re-born” (Acts 8:12-17).
Note. The following is not compiled in arrogance (Rom 3:23), but illustrates what happens when men are lifted up, instead of Jesus Christ. For that matter, whatever or whoever we put ahead/above Jesus Christ, whether ethnic groups or man, but mainly our “self” [opinion]. (Also read Rom 3:24-27; 8:29-39)…
A glimpse at early church history
As somebody has said, History is His story. God is the Creator of time and matter. History is time past and we can see the dealings of the Lord in the affairs of mankind (truly understanding Is 5:18-21…). “Universe” is compiled by “uni” (“one), and “verse” (a spoken sentence)… so, in the beginning God said…
The Book of Revelations (specifically the seven churches of chapters 2 and 3) is used by some as a guideline to the restoration process in the church of Jesus Christ. This is, however, controversial and very possibly not Scripturally accurate and outside our scope for now, so for the purpose of this discussion, we will just briefly highlight a few landmark events and some aspects of church leadership as instated by man.
The first century church did not tolerate false apostles (seen in the writings of the apostle Paul), and accordingly, neither their false teachings. Jesus pointed out that this early church (Ephesus) was zealous in their good works, in their labour and in their patience; but one negative feature is mentioned – they lost their first love. How could this be? Were they not the first generation church?
The book of Hebrews shows that Christians had become weary, they had fallen from their place of faith through persecution, they had to be stirred up. The Thessalonians became discouraged because Jesus had not yet returned as they thought He would have by then (but perhaps forgetting Mt 18:19,20; or Heb 1:13; 10:13 with 1 Cor 15:45 – like church still today…). Paul had to point out that many things had yet to be fulfilled. These could have been reasons that the church of that time had lost their first love.
Isaiah 60:1,2 aptly describes the period when Jesus came to earth. He came at a time when there was a great deal of decadence, at a time of darkness, ignorance and deep depression, with helplessness in Israel – God had not revealed Himself through a prophet for over 400 years (the religious killed them all – Acts 7:51-54; Mt 21:33-46). They must have been wondering like Gideon that if the Lord be God, where be all His miracles? There were terrible trials at the hands of the invading gentile kingdoms, firstly, of Assyria, then of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and then, finally, of Rome. Then Jesus came, and the Jews (as a nation) did not recognize Him (for them it was as a thief in the night – unannounced? Or were they dull of hearing despite the old news of Jer 5:21,22; Ez 12:2; 40:4; 44:5 and Jesus’ words in Mt 11:25-30; 13:14-17? Is 6:8-9 with Is 32:4 (v 15 with Acts 2:2-4); shows a resemblance to people who even today accurately repeat Jesus’ teaching but are backwardly rejected as heretics! (Jn 15:18,19; as Jn 1:9-13, points more to Jesus’ repeated clashes with the religious play-actors’ thought-life than what we think of as “the world”; and should perhaps rather be understood as “wordly” – consider Jn 1:17; 9:22, 28,34,39-41; Mt 6:5; 23:6;1 Jn 2:4). We’ll cover this point again as we continue this discussion in this paper, as well as the other papers on this website.
The beginnings of the church were to prove the right time and circumstances for the gospel to be preached. If God calls it “the fullness of time” [for prophecies], why does it surprise us?
The opportune time
- Travel. The road and sea travel in the Roman Empire were the best in the world
- Language. Greek was universal, after their rule, even many Jews could only speak Greek – to such an extent that the Bible had to be written and parts translated from Hebrew [first] into this language.
- Culture. Many ethnic groups freely intermingled, breaking down the reliance people had on their religion, which in this case was paganism. Dogmatism and bigotry were destroyed.
- Mood. Morale was low because of the decadence and low moral standards and hypocrisy. The general mood of the people was depressed (due to self-reliance and apostasy).
As mentioned earlier, we will avoid much detail here and only note a few major aspects. When the gospel was preached (by Philip, for example), major revival took place with miracles and signs always following. The apostle Paul called this the full gospel. Compare this with the general association of most “churches” with its dead rituals and ceremony today. Signs and miracles were the proof of the message (Mk 16:16-20). In Mt 28:20 Jesus promised to be with His messengers all the days, always, perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion, to the very consummation of the age – when they make disciples of men [to follow Jesus], not proselytes (Mt 23:15!). Jesus said “I AM”, implying ever present, not time bound or withdrawing (Heb 13:5b). Today still, wherever His full message of grace and mercy and life is preached – not law (Hebrews 8:13; 9:8), making room for Holy Spirit to manifest – signs, miracles and wonders are following. Are you following signs or are they following you (Mk 16:16-20; Jn 17:15-20)? Are they lasting and real [of God]?
A major shift of persecution, from Jewish-on-Christian to Rome-on-Christian took place in the period of the persecuted church around 100 – 313 A.D. The Emperor Diocletian’s dream was to root out this “Christian superstition”. Christians were found everywhere, including the very household of the Emperor himself, his servants, his children and even his wife. Christ Jesus, the humble servant, born in a manger of artisan parents, shamefully crucified naked and considered dead by unbelievers, was a threat to the Emperor and the Empire. Followers of Jesus Christ were put to death, tortured, humiliated and made a public spectacle by Rome. But, as Tertullian has said, the martyrs were the seeds of the church. The more Christians perished, the more unbelievers came to Christ!
So, the household of one of the last emperors of Rome, Diocletian, were all Christians. This really irritated him and he made it his lifetime ambition to destroy the church, Christians and anything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. Diocletian issued four decrees.
- The confiscation of Christian books
- The dismissal of Christian servants
- The destruction of Christian buildings
- The imprisonment of Christian ministers.
Later he issued a fifth decree which was that Christians be sacrificed to pagan idols. At the end of his reign he declared haughtily that there was no Christian person, church or literature in existence.
Yet, within ten years of this declaration, Constantine succeeded his father Constantius, and came into power and outlawed paganism and legalized Christianity. This was the first Christian Emperor. Constantius was one of four rulers who were set up by Diocletian to rule over the Roman Empire which he divided into four regions. (The four rulers were Diocletian, Galerius, Maximian and Constantius whose jurisdiction was Gaul, Britain and Spain). In 305 Constantius and Galerus took over from Maxiian and Diocletian, who abdicated and retired to his farm. The following year Constantius died. This brought about a power struggle with Constantine being the main contender. He marched on the forces of Maximian whom he defended at the battle of Mivian Bridge in the autumn of 312.
Bored? Don’t loose your will to live! Just a little more patience please, we are going somewhere…
Constantine had a dream during which time Christ was said to have appeared to him showing him a cross with the words “Conquer By This” (1 Cor 1:21-2:2). It was actually the Chi-Rho sign, which was the first two letters, “Ch” and “r” in Christ, in Greek. Constantine had all the shields of his armies bedecked with this sign. His co-emperor was Licinius.
In March the following year they issued a decree of toleration toward the Church of Jesus Christ restoring all the properties that were confiscated during the years of persecution.
Eleven years later, Constantine conquered his co-emperor (!) at the battle of Adrianople and became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. He soon became inflated with all the power he wielded (perhaps trust was not as high). He loved to be arrayed in magnificent garments. He presented the bishop of Rome with a set of garments of great splendour, usually worn by pagan priests. He also continued with the title of “pontifex maximus”, a title used by the high priest of the pagans. He considered himself to be the “defender of faith”. He took personally all the schisms that existed in the church at the time and arranged the council of Nicea to try and bring reconciliation between the various factions of the church. Six councils followed, with the last also in Nicea in 787.
Constantine effectively overnight made a declaration that his high state officials must be Christians. Of course this was not too much to ask of politicians who promptly started to attend church meetings and professed to be Christians (by being “practicing members”). In this way pagan rituals [from Babylonian times] were entering the church of Christ. Religion, however, is a dismal far cry from a [continual, habitual] personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can attend meetings (like any pagan or non-religious organization), and never even know what it means to be reborn.
Jesus Christ said in Jn 3:3, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God”. Jesus (referring to Himself as the good Shepherd), said in Jn 10:27, “ The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me”. Rom 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Holy Spirit of God are Sons of God.” Jesus said in Jn 14:26, “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strenthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will sent in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall everything I have told you.” In Mt 7:22,23 Jesus said, “Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and drive out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly, I never knew you; depart from Me, you act wickedly [not following My teachings, precepts].”
The Church is paganised.
The church structure moved away from the original pattern. The fivefold ministry gifts [given by Jesus Christ to His Church – Eph 4:11] was the first to be attacked and changed and slowly apostles, prophets and teachers – and their teachings [foundation, Who is Christ] – began to be replaced by bishops, presbyters and deacons. The pastors of churches were replaced by priests, a term also used of pagan religious leaders. The prophets who pointed/foretold Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1-3) and the apostles who testified as eye-witnesses about Jesus Christ (Acts 1:22), have laid the foundation. This Foundation is the Head of His Church and Cornerstone – Jesus Christ. There can be no other foundation (1 Cor 3:11). It is a done deal, in past tense.
The church [the service or ceremony and rituals, instead of the One the service (worship) is supposed to be for] became the religion of the known world either willingly or by force. Kings and princes were crowned by the Pontifex Maximus, the high priest in Rome. The clergy were given more and more power until it became totally corrupt. Simony (the buying of a church position of authority) became widespread. It was unacceptable to possess or even read a Bible. To do so was punishable by death. Yet clergy professed to preach salvation and forgiveness from the very same Bible. They concocted their own set of rules [dogma].
The church began to accept papers other than the recognized canon of scripture. Church traditions instated by the untouchable high order of church leadership were recognized as having equal authority as the Bible while many contradictions were obvious to the “laymen” and outsiders alike. New disciples were started to be taught from catechisms and these doctrines are still being defended arduously and stubbornly today.
An official Roman Catholic Bible
The Official Roman Catholic Bible, the Doway English Translation, is a good translation [literally], but from the corrupt Latin Vulgate Translation. The Alexandrian Bible by Origen in 240 A.D., from the Egypt Alexandrian cult (Acts 6:9), was used as the main source for the Latin Vulgate.
After Martin Luther and the break of the Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church, the R.C. Church, in reaction, came up with their own Bible, declaring the Apocrypha to be canon at the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563) to legitimise their doctrines.
The Apocrypha is rejected as canon by the following:
- The Jews (for Apocrypha not being in the Hebrew Old Testament)
- Jesus and His disciples (never referred to, or acknowledged Apocrypha)
- Protestants (who wanted to follow the teachings of Jesus, rather than man – Gal 1:6-9)
- Peshitta (Syriac Bible of 2nd century did not contain Apocrypha)
Reasons why the Apocrypha is rejected as canon:
- Unbiblical teaching such as praying for the dead. II Maccabees 12:45-46 directly apposes Jesus in Luke 16:25,26; Mt 22:32; also Hebrews 7:25; 9:27,28; Is 8:19-22; Ex 20:3; Dt 5:6,7; taking special note of 1 Sam 28:7-11 with 1 Chron 10:13,14
- Judith 9:10,13 claims God to assist Judith in a lie, contradicting Scriptures such as Numbers 23:19; Rom 3:4; 1 Sam 15:29; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:17,18; Is 55:8,9
- Errors such as Tobit supposedly being alive when Jerobeam staged his revolt in 931 B.C. and was still living at the time of the Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C. Yet the book of Tobit says he lived only 158 years (Tobit 1:3-5; 14:11)
- There are no claims of divine inspiration of these books. Reading them alongside the Bible shows a vast difference.
As an amazing and beautiful prophetic clue, Isaiah reads like a “miniature Bible”:
- Isaiah has 66 chapters, the Bible (without the Apocrypha), 66 Books
- The first 39 chapters of Isaiah captures the essence of the 39 O.T. Books
- The last 27 chapters of Isaiah captures the essence of the 27 N.T. Books
- The opening verses of chapter 40 of Isaiah, prophecies the beginning of the N.T. with the coming of John the Baptist – this corresponds with the Book of Matthew.
1. Celebrating the Birth of Christ
Pagans celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th of December. This was celebrated by sun-worshippers. Prior to this they celebrated a winter festival called Saturnalia where merriment, exchanging of gifts and the lighting of candles took place. For the first five centuries, many Christians would bow to the sun before entering a church building (on Sun-day, following Saturn-day; then moon-day), and then go and worship Jesus Christ (or even Mary!) in the “church”! The use of candles, the burning of incense and the use of garlands were all practices borrowed directly from paganism. See the paper called “A short Christmas Message”; also the short discussion on the birth of Jesus Christ in the paper “Who is Jesus Christ?” that will show that the early church focussed on the accomplishment at the cross of Jesus Christ not His birth (1 Cor 1:17-2:2). Even “Christian jewellery” today correctly reflects a Christian’s banner – Jesus on His cross – not a baby in a crib. We’re probably missing the true intent/meaning of communion (1 Cor 11:30) and the lasting glory that is supposed to manifest in a true Christian’s life in a NT…
2. The adoration or veneration of Mary
This was borrowed directly from the worship of the Roman goddess, Artemis, and the Greek goddess, Diana. Both had Juno or Hera, The Egyptians had Isis with her son Horus with whom she had an incestuous relationship in order to produce other gods in the universe. Hindu paganism has Shakti; Babylonian paganism had Asherah. These goddesses were called “Great Virgin”, or “Mother of God”, and “Queen of Heaven”. All these titles are used of Mary the mother of Jesus, for those who elevate her to deity. The council of Ephesus declared that Mary was “Theotokos”, “Mother of God”. Since then the cult of Mary has been growing.
Carefully consider Col 1:15. It states that Jesus is the Firstborn of all creation. Hence was Mary not God’s ancestor giving life to Jesus [God]. Jesus is the Truth, way and Life (Jn 14:6); nobody else (including Mary, with her human ancestors, Rom 3:20,23) is the Giver of Life. See Jn 1:1-4; Col 1:16-17. Verse 18 continues to say Jesus Christ is the Head of The Church (not a pope). Mary therefore clearly did not give us God, she was the human means to present God sent in human form so that God [in Jesus Christ] could legally represent mankind to free us from futile attempts at self-righteousness – The Law. (The Covenant and The Law is expanded on in that paper on www.gospel-truth.co.za. Perhaps also consider the paper entitled “Who is Jesus Christ”). Jesus Christ is the door (Jn 10:9-11; Rev 3:8; 4:1; 22:14), not Mary. Mary also had a mother and a grandmother and great-grandmother… and eventually she was from Eve. Jesus created Eve (Col 1:17; Jn 1:1-4).
To go even as far as to teach people to pray to Mary, is directly contrary [opposite] to the Good News [Gospel] of Jesus Christ and such preachers comes under the scrutiny in Hos 4:4-9 – refer also to just 1 Tim 2:5; Jn 14:6; Heb 4:7-16. Note also 1 Jn 2:4 with Jn 14:6 and 16:9! Note also how Jesus taught us to pray [Who to address in prayer] in Mt 6:9; Jn 14:12-15; 15:1-7. At any rate, how on earth can any sins be forgiven [be paid] by reciting a few “Hail Mary’s”?? This is utter nonsense since the Blood of Jesus Christ on His cross alone paid for all our sins once for all – Heb 10:10-14! For Mary being blessed, see the note at Lk 1:28 below. No [departed, dead] human can receive any veneration as becomes only God [Father, Jesus, Spirit]; and none other than Jesus Christ can be our mediator.
“Christian” festivals such as the Annunciation on March 25 are held in her honour. By the end of the sixth century people were worshipping Mary and offering prayers to her. The RC pictures that pretend to be of Mary and babe Jesus is actually Isis and Tammus. See who all the bystanders in those pictures adore [look at, pay homage to, crown] – “Jesus” or “Mary”? Dare to research for yourself all the Babylonian signs, symbols and images – in the RCC – discovered by archaeologists, that point to none other than sun worshipping. Even the cockerel on the tower (male organ) that acknowledges the sun as it rises, or all the freemasonry portrayed in all their architecture. Find out why all the elephants, squares and circles. Why the mitre (symbol of a fish head with open mouth) are worn by the Vatican (transliterated from “soothsaying serpent”). What is it with all the ceremonial clothing (Rom 13:14)? Even the star and halfmoon of the Muslims that symbolizes re-incarnation (Baal-Hadad, the solar deity birthed in the moon). Try the internet, and research the mythology behind the false trinity of heathens (Isis-Horus-Sep). Nimro, the wine of Babylon, the waters of the Euphrates (in a woman called Isis or Astarte or Beltis, the queen of heaven who as mediator had an incestuous relationship with her son who used to be her husband! The myth says that when her husband died, she took all his parts to represent it to the sun god, but could find all except his penis – this she formed by hand. The husband was then re-incarnated through the water as her son. Research it and see why the fish head (“mitre”) was portrayed. In Egypt they are called Isis and Osiris/Horus; in India Isis and Iswara; in China and Japan Shing Moo – holy mother and son; in Greece Ceres or Irene and Plutus; in Rome Venus and Adonis or Fortuna and Jupitor-punar; in Scandanavia Frigge and Balder; in Babilonica Istar and Tammus; in Venicia Astoret and Baäl; and so on. All nations incorporated some form of Babylonian paganism. These ideas have infiltrated the church of Jesus Christ! Why else would focus and power turn to man? Research for yourself whether this is so and whether it originated from Babylonian times. Reconsider Gal 1:6-12; Rom 12:2-3; Heb 12:2…
Note at Lk 1:28: Mary was surely blessed among women to be chosen to be the mother of Jesus (Lk 1:28,42,45,48). However, (a) she was a sinner herself and needed a Savior (Rom 3:23-27) and thus was not more blessed than all other woman. This is in cursive in the Amplified Bible (so put by men/woman not God. Jesus was deity, even though He was born of a woman who was not deity, because God Himself was the Father (see note at Lk 1:27 below). When a woman stood among the multitude and began to bless Mary, Jesus said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Lk. 11:27- 28; Mt 7:26), thereby placing a greater blessing on the followers of Christ than on the mother of the Christ. Compare this with the blessing placed on Jael in Judges 5:24. (b) Also note Jesus [declared] on the cross, saying [you are a] woman, not a “mother of God”, I AM not your Son, but the Son of God, Lord of lords, from now on for all eternity – Jn 19:25-27.
Note at Lk 1:27: The virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is a pivotal truth on which the whole claim to deity hinges. Medical science has discovered that a child inherits his blood from the father. Since Leviticus 17:11,14 reveals that the life of all flesh is the blood. If Joseph had been Jesus’ father, Jesus would have had sinful, mortal life in Him. Since God was His father, physically and spiritually, Jesus had the eternal life of God flowing through His veins. Mary simply supplied the body for deity to inhabit. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh (2 Tim. 3:16). If Mary was a deity, the Bible would have said so (1 Tim 3:16,17), she had a mother and grandmother and a normal family that could (can) be verified (and has been verified) by scholars.
Neither was Mary an “eternal virgin”. Jesus had brothers and sisters after His virgin birth, thus showing that Mary did not stay a virgin [after Jesus was born]. Those half brothers and sisters of Jesus (they were not born of God like Jesus, Lk 1:35) are listed in Scripture as James, Joseph, Simon and Judas, and also at least two sisters (Mt 13:55,56; Mk 6:3; Jn 7:5). This same James later became an apostle (Acts 1:14; 1 Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19; 2:9,12), and the leader of the church in Jerusalem (James, the brother of John, one of the sons of Zebedee) had already been martyred then. This James (Mk 6:3) is the author of the Book by his name (penned A.D. 48)
3. The cult of saints and martyrs
By the fourth century churches began to be build over the corpses of Christians who were venerated to privileged positions of sainthood, a title that actually belongs to all believers in the Lord Jesus (Lev 11:45,46; Rom 8:29-39; 1 Pet 1:14-16; Phil 2:15; Heb 8:12,13; 9:13-15; 10:1-14; Rev 4:8). Soon the saints and martyrs were appealed to as mediators and intercessors, claiming they could go to the Father on our behalf and pray for us (forgetting 1 Tim 2:5; Rom 8:26,27; Heb 4:16; 7:25; Jn 14:6). This was a copy of the pagan practice of appealing to the lesser gods for special favours from the greater gods.
4. The importance of relics
These are parts of garments or parts of the cross, that they believed had special powers to bring special favours, healings and answers to prayers (contradicting Jesus in Jn 14:10-16; Mk 11:24). This practice is to be found amongst the tribes of the heathen of darkest Africa. It was no doubt a practice of the pagan of that day.
5. The Lord’s Supper
Hebrews 10:12 says “Whereas this One [Christ], after He had offered a single sacrifice for our sins [that shall avail] for all time, sat down at the right hand of God”. Vers 14: “For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy”. These alone clearly shows that Christ cannot become a literal sacrifice every week at mass. Doctrines of man now changed Jesus’ sacrifice – Jesus Christ was no longer sacrificed once and for all; He was re-sacrificed every week! Re-sacrificing is not what 1 Cor 11:18-34 is about, but our unity and remembrance with Him in us as a Spirit (Jn 4:24; Rom 8:11). We are to eat His flesh and drink His blood (Jn 6:47-68), in unity, but understand Jn 17:15-26. See the paper by this author entitled “The Lord’s Supper”, if you will. There is a fine line to cross when Spiritual Truth is turned into the bizarre or the occult and hides behind religion [which is not a relationship with Jesus Christ]
Somewhere under the earth, there is said (by man) to be a place where people go to be purged of their sins, which are purged by fire in a time of torment. Augustine was the originator of this doctrine. It was later accepted by Pope Gregory the Great and in 1439 was accepted as an article of faith by the council of Florence. Never minding what Jesus and the apostles and the Bible said.
Purgatory denies the Scriptural fact that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross alone is necessary for the purging of sinners from their sins. The Father placed on Jesus Christ all of our sins. It is the rejection of this fact that keep people in their sins. Heb 1:3. Also, Col 1:20-22 says: “And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross. And although you were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities, Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence”.
Then also, contemplate the scriptures such as Rom 5:9; 8:29-39; 1 Thess 5:9; Heb 7:25-28 (Jn 1:17); 10:10-17 to see that the RCC is not propagating here the teaching of Jesus Christ (Gal 1:6-9; 1 Jn 2:4).
Also consider the definition of sin Jesus gave in Jn 16:9, with His warning as in Mt 7:15-23; 15:6-9. The paper “ABC Myths legends, lies” in www.gospel-truth.co.za on page 18/30, expands on the popular erroneous statement “God hates sin but loves the sinner”. Read it? For now, just observe Scriptures such as Col 3:6; Heb 10:19-26 and 1 Jn 3:6-10…
7. The Pope
The Pope literally became the king of kings (apposing 1 Tim 1:17; 2:2-5; 6:15; Rev 15:3;17:14; to name a few). He claimed for himself position above all secular leaders as being placed there by God. He ruled as a king in a palace, amongst great riches and wealth, untouchable by ordinary human beings. He claimed for himself the title “Pontifex Maximus”, the High Priest of the church forgetting that all believers are priests and kings unto God (Rev 1:6; 5:10; et cetera). Also that Jesus Christ is forever the High Priest of His followers (His Church, His Body, His Bride, His City) – Read Hebrews 7 and 9. Note Heb 9:14 refers to dead works and lifeless observances. Note Heb 9:11; 10:14-23; and so on. (refer to the “brief review” on top of page one).
The riches that befell these church authorities, was obtained mainly through the outrageous practice of taking money for supposed forgiveness of sins (even prior to committing pre-planned acts), claiming to proportionately be reducing the time of agony in “purgatory”. Even “package deals” at discounted prices were available.
It is worth pointing out here that sin is greatly misunderstood. Acts [deeds] such as lying or stealing is not sin, it is the fruit [result] of sin! Just like Gal 5:22 lists the fruit (singular, not fruits, plural) of the Spirit. Jesus said in John 16:9 that sin is to not believe Him [the Word of God]. The result of not trusting in God’s provision [in God as Provider of life, abilities, opportunities for us to be useful], will cause someone to steal. To not trust Jesus, believing He has sent the perfect Counsellor, Guide and wisdom, will cause someone to tell a lie; and so on.
The Popes are a study on their own, but as an example, see this: Innocent III was Pope from 1198 – 1216 A.D. It was under his leadership that the papacy achieved the peak of its authority and influence. It was the period when the dark ages reached its darkest hour. Innocent was born into aristocracy and together with his own personal talents in administration made him an able Cardinal. He had training in canon and civil law. As Pope he demonstrated great skill in apparently solving both religious and secular problems. Besides these abilities, Innocent was a diplomat. He used papal authority to an incredible degree throughout Christendom. He upheld papal authority in Italy at a time when it was threatened by the union of Sicily and the German Empire. One of his failures in this respect was the saving of King John of England from his rebellious barons.
He believed in the unique authority the pope held as the “vicar of Christ”, or “Vicarius Filii Deii”. The pope was Christ’s only representative on the earth? He was to say that Christ said, “Put away the sword, but I say, Take up the sword!” This was said in connection with the so-called crusades and the punishment of heretics, many of whom were put to death for questioning the authority the pope gave himself, irrespective whether they repeated the teaching/precepts of Jesus Christ.
When the pope proclaimed any laws or doctrines it was said that God Himself was proclaiming them. Thus we see it was a simple matter to establish “new” teachings. On the other hand it was a complicated matter to admit that those laws and doctrines were unscriptural and seriously wrong, for it would mean that “God” had made a mistake. More amazing, however, is the attitude of people defending, not God and His Word, but an obviously corrupt system of rituals, ceremony, and tradition (religion). Jesus asked in Mark 12:24 (also Mt 22:29), “Is not this where you wander out of the way and go wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” In Mt 15:6 Jesus said, “So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it to no effect]”.
“Father” who? Jesus says in Matthew 23:9, “And do not call anyone [in the church] on earth father, for you have one Father, Who is in heaven”.
Note at Mt 23:8,9: “Rabbi” primarily meant “master,” although it could sometimes be used to denote “doctor” or “teacher.” All of the ruling class of the Pharisees were called by this title, and it became a very vain thing for them (Mt 23:8). They used the term to signify fatherhood or authority; Jesus denounced this use, saying that God alone held that position. So the term “rabbi” primarily meant “master,” although it could refer to a doctor or teacher. Jesus’ statement that we should not call any man “master” (vv. 8 and 10) is not to be taken that we should not submit to those in authority over us [but only in anointment], for that would violate many scriptures in God’s Word (Rom 13:1-7; Eph 6:1-9; Col 3:20 – 4:1; 1 Pet 2:13-20). Eph 6:5,9 and Col 4:1 even use this terminology in referring to human relationships. Therefore, this must be speaking of making some man your master in the sense of Lordship and not of a social or civil situation/position.
Likewise, Jesus tells us not to call any man [on earth] in church “Father” (v. 9). This is not speaking of a physical, father- son relationship since the apostle Paul applied this term to people often (Rom 4:11-12,16; 1 Cor 5:1; Eph 5:31; 6:2; 1 Thess 2:11; 1 Tim 1:9; 5:1; Heb 7:3,10; 12:7; Js 1;27; 2:21). Paul even referred to himself as being a father to the believers in Corinth in a spiritual sense (1 Cor 4:15). However, Paul made it clear that the head of every man is Christ (1 Cor 11:3). Therefore, Paul was not emphasizing the sovereignty of a father but rather referring to the part he played in their spiritual birth. In both of these instances, the point that Jesus is clearly making is not to seek self-exaltation or recognition through titles. As Proverbs 27:2 so aptly puts it, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Trying to apply these statements with an unreasonable literalism could make us just like these Pharisees Jesus is rebuking who “strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel” (v.24). Also see Jesus’ names in Is 9:6,7!…
Incidentally, the Apostle Peter was married
Mt 8:14: “And when Jesus went into Peter’s house, He saw his (Peter’s) mother-in-law lying ill with fever…”
1 Cor 9:5: “Have we not the right also to take along with us a Christian sister as wife, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas (Peter)?”
For our non-Catholic readers, please contemplate 1 Cor 1:23-2:2,5; 3:11. Was the apostle Paul aware that Jesus was resurrected from the dead? Well, he wrote Eph 2:5-10,14-22; 1 Cor 15:1-8 (Gal 1:11-12), Rom 3:20,24-28; 5:9,21; and so on. See Rev 12:10 and how many times in the Book of Revelation we are reminded of the Blood of the Lamb and the [slain] Lamb of God. If you think Christ crucified means Christ overcome, you do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was not won [overcome by evil, and so crucified], Jesus Christ has won [willingly paid the ransom for us] – Col 1:13-22. Don’t be scared to accept the crucifix [a Christian’s banner]; but know that an idolised cross of a Roman Catholic Pope [free mason], with a bent-downwards crossbeam, is something completely different.
William Tyndale – a good example?
Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language. Tyndale was a true scholar and so fluent in eight languages that his associates said one would think any one of them to be his native tongue. He is frequently referred to as the “Architect of the English Language”, (even more so than William Shakespeare) as so many of the phrases Tyndale coined are still present in the English language today. Tyndale enrolled at Oxford in 1505, and grew up at the University. He received his Master’s Degree in 1515 at the age of twenty-one. He proved to be a genius and a gifted linguist.
On October the 06th 1536, William Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake for translating the Bible in English and for his efforts to remedy the ignorance of the clergy. Tyndale translated the Bible into an early form of Modern English. He was the first person to take advantage of Gutenberg’s movable-type press for the purpose of printing the scriptures in the English language. Besides translating the Bible, Tyndale also held and published views which were considered heretical, first by the Catholic Church, and later by the Church of England which was established by Henry VIII. His Bible translation also included notes and commentary promoting these views. Tyndale’s translation was banned by the authorities, and so Tyndale himself was condemned and burned at the instigation of agents of Henry VIII and the Anglican Church.
Around 1520, William Tyndale became a tutor in the family of Sir John Walsh, at Little Sodbury in Gloucestershire. Having become attached to the doctrines of the Reformation, and devoted himself to the study of the Scriptures, the open avowal of his sentiments in the house of Walsh, his disputes with Roman Catholic dignitaries there, and especially his preaching, excited much opposition, and led to his removal to London (about October 1523), where he began to preach, and made many friends among the laity, but none among church leaders.
A clergyman hopelessly entrenched in Roman Catholic dogma once taunted Tyndale with the statement, “We are better to be without God’s laws than the Pope’s”. Tyndale was infuriated by such Roman Catholic heresies, and he replied, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than you!” This reminds one of Scriptures such as Mt 11:25-30; 13:14-17-58 (Is 5:18-21; 6:9,10; Jer 5:21,22; Ez 12:2; 40:4; 44:5; Hos 4:4-11)…
The printing of the English New Testament in quarto was begun at Cologne in the summer of 1525, and completed at Worms, and there was likewise printed an octavo edition, both before the end of that year. William Tyndale’s Biblical translations appeared in the following order: New Testament, 1525-26; Pentateuch, 1530; Jonah, 1531. His literary activity during that interval was extraordinary. When he left England, his knowledge of Hebrew, if he had any, was of the most rudimentary nature; and yet he mastered that difficult tongue so as to produce from the original an admirable translation of the entire Pentateuch, the Books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, First Chronicles, contained in Matthew’s Bible of 1537, and of the Book of Jonah, so excellent, indeed, that his work is not only the basis of those portions of the Authorized King James Version of 1611, but constitutes nine-tenths of that translation, and very largely that of the English Revised Version of 1885.
In addition to these he produced the following works. His first original composition, A Pathway into the Holy Scripture, is really a reprint, slightly altered, of his Prologue to the quarto edition of his New Testament, and had appeared in separate form before 1532; The Parable of the Wicked Mammon (1527); and The Obedience of a Christian Man (1527-28). These several works drew out in 1529 Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue, etc. In 1530 appeared Tyndale’s Practyse of Prelates, and in 1531 his Answer to the Dialogue, his Exposition of the First Epistle of St. John, and the famous Prologue to Jonah; in 1532, An Exposition upon the V. VI. VII. Chapters of Matthew; and in 1536, A Brief Declaration of the Sacraments, etc., which seems to be a posthumous publication. Joshua-Second Chronicles also was published after his death.
An example of ignorance among the clergy?
In the paper “A Short Easter message”, this author briefly touches on the idea behind Jewish feasts and also Acts 12:4 with the question whether there is a difference between the words “Easter” and “Passover” and which one would be correct. There is a drastic difference. The quote is supposedly from the Greek (G3957) πάσχα, paschquotes. What is at stake here is the following sequence of events: Passover on the eve of April (Nisan) 14, followed by seven days of unleavened bread (no sin); then the pagan festival of Astart (Ishtar or “Easter”) followed. This is in fact what Herod (Eusau’s descendant) was celebrating here – the fertility idea of [the heathen’s “mother”] earth “regenerating itself”, using symbols such as rabbits and eggs that you seek out and consume. But God wants us to consume His body and His blood (Jn 6:56-58; Ex 12; Gen 3:22; with Rev 2:7; 3:21-22; 1 Cor 11…). William Tyndale first translated “pascha” to “passover” in English, but correctly used the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4 (KJV). The other has it wrong and misses completely this important point. The same goes for their understanding of God’s grace. See the papers by this author entitled “Mixing Old and New”, “The Covenant and the Law”, and others, on this website. For example, the next topic…
The confession of sin
From the paper “The Gospel” on www.gospel-truth.co.za, the following excerpt and note on 1 Jn 1:9-10:
What about 1 Jn 1:9? This is very important to understand [correctly]. We do not have to confess sin in order to remain saved, but to come back into agreement with God and out of agreement with the devil. The confession, then, is aimed at killing all double-mindedness (Js 1:5-8; Jn 10:27), not to pay for that sin. Jesus paid – once for all – for all sin of all mankind on His cross at Calvary – it is done (Heb 9:12-15; 10:10-14; 12:23; even 1 Thess 5:9)!
Confessing [admitting] sin stops Satan [a defeated foe, Col 2:15!] from dominating us via our own choices [thought-life] through that sin (Jn 16:9) and we admit [submit to God’s grace] that we draw the forgiveness as a done deal at Calvary, and thus the purity of Jesus Christ, that is already in our born-again spirits. We get out of our flesh [unrenewed way of thinking, Rom 8:6-15; 10:1-4; 12:1-3,21; Js 4:6-7]. We so stop giving the devil access and inroad to our soul [thought-life – Rom 6:16; Is 5:18-20], and rather get in Christ when He is in us. If we genuinely love Jesus, we will hate what He hates (Rom 12:9, and especially falsity – Jer 23:10-14; Prov 8:13; 11:20-21; 12:17,22,28; hence Jn 8:32,36; 14:6), and follow Him [His teaching, Spirit-Words that is Life continually and habitually with joy because we see results on prayer and prophecy]. We clothe ourselves again with the Righteousness of God – Rom 13:14; Phil 3:9.
Unfortunately, most Christians are not taking advantage of [believing!] these provisions, and merely exist with unrenewed minds, and they still don’t understand that we are also redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13). The average N.T. believer (?) is still trying to get God to respond to them based on their own performance and try to pay their own way [out of sin] by inflicting their own “suffering” through guilt if they fail to comply with rules, laws, steps, or ceremonial rituals [to impress Him]. This ignores what Jesus Christ has over-paid. Why? Because they do not know [believe] the performance covenant of the O.T. law is over. We are – if we believe unto Jesus – under the N.T. ministry of grace and faith (2 Cor 3:6-8; Rom 6:1-11; 5:17-21; 10:4; 11:6; Heb 7:12,18; 8:13). Those who were outside the commonwealth, is now in Christ part of it (1 Pet 2:1-10). A shocking fresh meaning now is revealed in 2 Cor 6:14-16. Unbelievers are also those who still try to follow law [Moses, attempts at self-righteousness], ignoring that Jesus instituted a N.T. of grace!
The shocking realization is how many unbelievers heat the pews Sunday after Sunday, with “but’s”!
Remember that 1 Jn 1:9,10 is followed by 2:1 (it is one continuous, flowing letter written by John, the chapter and verse references were added much later for referencing purposes)! It says that, if you have made a mistake (sinned), Jesus is your Advocate – free of charge – and He successfully handles your case with Father because of His price He has paid for all of our sins [past and future] with His Blood! It is a done deal!
It is not the confession of sin that saves you, but your faith in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ with His blood on His cross. The confession is (i) an open statement that shows you believe [trust] Jn 3:16-20 to be true; and (ii) show your intent to stop doing what is wrong (Lk 15:10; 12:8-12; Heb 10:26-28).
Why all the denominations and compartmentalized organizations, all calling themselves Christians? The Bible says in 1 Cor 10:17, “For we [no matter how] numerous we are, are one body, because we all partake of the one Bread [the One Whom the communion bread represents]” (Jn 6). Please go and carefully contemplate 1 Jn 3 and Gal 5:4,18-20. We are supposed to be recognized as followers of Christ, by the world out there as well as fellow followers, by our unity and love for each other and above all the Truth and Life [Jesus Christ], for our unfeigned and absolute love for Jesus Christ. God = Love, and if we be children of God, we better have something to show for it, lest we lie and have a dead religion (1 Cor 4:20; 13:1-3; Jn 14:6-15,21-27). God is all power, wisdom, love, and more we can ever know. It stands to reason therefore, that as His children as co-inheritors and rulers in His kingdom here on earth (Eph 2:6-7; Gal 3:29; Rom 8:17), we should manifest His power, His Love and His authority in and around us – that is Christ… Who is Life everlasting…
Why the identity crises, you in your de-nomination? Eph 4:5; Rom 8 (especially vs 14-19); 2 Pet 1:3. Do you know God the Father nominated a Church [His Body, City] with Christ the Head before He made the earth? Dou you know the foundation of the world (Ps 11:3; 104:5; Heb 11:10; 1 Pet 2:1-10)? 1 Cor 3:11!
We talk after a heathen world, of a “church-life”, a “home-life”, and so on; while the Bible teaches we have to have God’s Holy Spirit inside of us, taking Him where ever we go, influencing all around us. If anything outside overwhelms us, it was greater than what we had inside – meaning it was not God dwelling inside (1 Jn 4:4). Perhaps religion, yes, or just a philosophy (of dedication to-, and hyper awareness of “self”, even emotional group meetings). We spend such little time talking with Him, we know not His voice. We do not even blush anymore for atrocious things that are an abomination to our Creator-Father Who knows what is best for us (Rom 12:9). We adopted a ridiculous “mosaic-Christian” religion, mixing paganism, Eastern mysticism, empty philosophies and what not – no wonder there is no power, no deliverance, no lasting healing, no love. No wonder we see these struggles for position of power amongst men that cannot but fall.
All resent revivals have started by making room for Holy Spirit to have His way, and ended the moment men institutionalised, organized and “doctrinized” our Father Who gave us the biggest gift of all – His Son. When will we wake up and realize our utter helplessness to save ourselves through works [of any kind], and believe [trust] Abba Father that He really left us a Testament through the blood [and burial] of Jesus Christ (Heb 9:16-18; 8:13; 9:8; 10:10-14). It is Who He is, What He has done. Jesus Christ has already paid for-, Father has already provided absolutely all we can ever need. Now Give Holy Spirit [of God, that rose Jesus from the dead], a chance in you… continually and habitually out of unfeigned love (Rom 8:11; 12:9)…
Be born again, from above. Ask Jesus to dwell inside of you. Live His authority, His anointing, His grace, His mercy, His power, His glory. Be His Light, the salt to the earth. Be a star that shines Him to the world.
Why go to a place and call it “church” when we are supposed to be the Church [continuously, eternally]?
We confess an omnipresent, omnipotent, Triune Godhead, a Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is one God, revealed to us in three Persons. If Holy Spirit does not manifest in His power and glory where you worship Him, something is amiss. And don’t shrink God into a box that thinks worship is only singing songs [that stimulates your own emotion, or beg of God things He provided long ago – Eph 1:3]. We probably underestimate the worship in a silent, intense acknowledgement when looking at something beautiful that was made by God and saying [thinking, realizing], “wow, Jesus, thank You – that is awesome!” Col 1:10-20.
The grace and mercy of our perfect Father exceeds our grasp. We cannot comprehend how infinitely great His love [for us] is. Do not be so brazen as to reduce His [agape] Love to the self-centred emotions the “self” is limited to, and call it praise or worship or church or love. Do not belittle our Almighty, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Creator-Father in your mind. Change your mind! He will always be the same – all creative, all powerful, in control [but not all-controlling!]. Choose now. Humbly repent. For creation waits expectantly for the manifestations of the sons [children] of God – Rom 8:19; Jn 1:12-13.
Let us move back to our first Love, Jesus Christ – The Son of Man, the Son of God. The government is upon His shoulder. His name is Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of eternity], Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. (Is 9:6, between man and God, not believers and religious unbelievers)
Man cannot “de-nominate” what God ordained [“nominated”] in Christ Jesus. Again carefully contemplate 1 Cor 3; 1 Pet 2;1-10; Eph 1:17-23; 4:4-6 and 1 Jn 3 [Ampl]; Ps 11:1-4. There is only one saving faith. Only one saves you from yourself and offers a package deal right now.
You can not “go” to church, you are supposed to be the church [of Jesus Christ] continuously in Truth.
Peace and joy to you – in Jesus Christ!
 He that had no sin was made sin for us; but forgave us all and so had no sin to stay in hell with, so Love escaped hell!
 See the paper entitled “The gospels” that supplements the paper called “The gospel” by the same author
 See the paper entitled “Revelation the book” and “Rapture raptured” by the same author
 The church, or body [corporate] of Christ Jesus is also explained – as a building/city – 1 Pet 2:4-10; Eph 1:21-23.
 1 Cor 6:17-20.