Why we gather
Why we gather
People can come up with a million reasons to not gather together like the early Church.
The early Church did not just gather to obtain a feeling of fellowship and community but to practice a particular kind of fellowship that comes in a community with a common communion of thanksgiving in righteousness.
At the time when Jesus, who was the Christ, came preaching that the people should repent and seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, people were making excuses about having to do other things first and Jesus called them dead.
John the Baptist, as a voice in the wilderness, had been preaching this same Kingdom for years. He was telling the people to make straight the way of the Lord. Repenting meant thinking and acting a different way. It meant caring for one another with freewill offerings, or what the New Testament calls love and charity, rather than using force like the rulers of the other governments of the world who call themselves Benefactors but exercise authority one over the other. These rulers were the fathers of the earth who forced the offerings of the people and often decided what was good and evil for the people.
The reason we gather is to serve God by serving one another through charity which is also called love. This is what it means to "come in the name of the Lord". It is the voluntary practice of pure Religion rather than the covetous practices of the world which snare the mind and make the body merchandise of the mire.
Christ commanded that His disciples make the people sit down by groups of Tens linked together in ranks of hundreds and thousands so that they would be able to provide a daily ministration through love rather than lasciviousness; by faith rather than force. The righteousness of God flowing through the hearts and minds of a network formed by this pattern of Tens used by the early Church provided for Christians who followed The Way of Christ in a communion of fellowship even as Rome declined.
Because Christ came to serve through sacrifice.
We should come together so that others might be saved by our sacrifice because that is why Christ came.
To come in the name of Christ is to come in the character of Christ.
Christ did not come to feel good or hear the music or enjoy a good uplifting sermon.
He did not come to build really nice buildings in which to meet, or cathedrals to impress people.
He certainly did not come so that he would find a group of people he could count on to save him in his time of need.
He did not come to saints but to sinners, calling them to change their thinking.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)
Jesus and John preached the kingdom for years but there was a very limited network of people that were actually doing what Christ said. It was not until Pentecost that there was any real surge of repentance.
When the people were Baptized on Pentecost they had to start caring for each other with freewill offerings. They had to organize themselves and set up a daily ministration by charitable means, rather than the system of welfare offered by Herod or Rome with its free bread, so that the needy of their community and society would not be neglected.
Since the ministers of Christ are forbidden to exercise authority one over the other like the administrators of the world who call themselves Benefactors, it is up to the people to organize themselves into congregations of Tens to form that Living Network which is the Church.
Forming CORE groups and linking them together with consistent daily sacrifice in a system of social welfare based on charity is what seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is really all about.
Where Shall We Eat
Israel was in the same bondage we are in today.
This was not because of what governments do but what our fathers and our generations chose to do. The parents of those in bondage brought about that bondage generations before they found themselves enslaved.
So what did they do to obtain freedom?
What did Moses Say?
- They did not cry fraud.
- They did not attempt to rescind their bondage.
- They instead began to bind themselves with love and caring for one another in hard times so they survived and thrived during the plagues of Egypt which prepared them for the exodus.
The same is true for the early Christians who, because of their commitment to loving their neighbor, were better equipped to deal with occupation of foreign troops, economic dearths and depression, geological disasters, eventual destruction and forced migration.
We need to gather for the purpose of saving others, not saving ourselves. If we desire the protection of the Holy Spirit we will gather like the early Church seeking the righteousness of God.
The Church is not a building and the Greek word ekklesia translated "Church" clear means a "called out" group of people and biblically never refers to a building. These men called out by Christ were specifically told that they needed to be separate from what Jesus called the world. The habit of thinking of the Church as a building or a place you go to is not only dangerously misleading it is patently wrong.
- "There is no literary evidence nor archaeological indication that any such home was converted into an extant church building. Nor is there any extant church that certainly was built prior to Constantine. The first churches consistently met in homes. Until the year 300 we know of no buildings first built as churches." Graydon F. Snyder professor of New Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary.
So, if the Church is not a place or a building but men called out like the Levites to do the job prescribed by this other King, one Jesus, the Christ, according to His purpose those ministers of Christ must remain separate complying individually as joint heirs with the directives of Christ for His disciples about owning property.
The congregants who gathered with these called out were going to His Church. They practiced pure religion rather than public religion and cared for one another by freewill offerings rather than force according to all biblical teachings would be called Christians. These practices and positions imposed by Christ have sometimes created a Christian conflict with the legal systems of the world.
This called out group of men who acted in one accord as was one form of government bound society through congregations of the people who came together in small groups of tens but were networked by these ministers in a social welfare system of faith, hope, and charity rather than the covetous practices of the world that operated by fealty, fear. and force.
Many have begun to realize that the Church, as the Body of Christ, was first established by Christ, who was both high priest and king, should not be incorporated into or by a State. If any group does incorporate it can no longer honestly claim to be the corpus of Christ since it has become a part of the corporation of the State.
What is a house church?
The phrase "Home church" is used to describe having a church type gathering at someone's house and is a part of the modern house church movement which some acclaim as a rediscovery of the New Testament or first century Christian Church.
A House church group may be a part of a larger Christian body, such as a parish or network, but also may be independent groups that see the house church as the primary practice of the early Christian community. ut what was that early Church do and how did it function in the world?
Do we have a complete picture are we missing certain key elements of the local Christian community and the society of Christians who survived the decline and fall of the Roman empire and the degeneration of the Imperial Cult of Rome?
Is the home Church movement seeing clearly what the early home gatherings of the early Church were doing?
While there can be no doubt that early Christians gathered in small groups often meeting in homes rather than in special building like we see being done today it is important to look deeper into the function, purpose, and motivation of the early Christian community.
Why were they meeting at all?
What were they doing at these home gatherings and how did those gatherings relate to the activity of Paul and the other saints in the scriptures?
It is clear by what we see Paul and the apostles doing that the church was an international network of small but well-connected congregations that provided all welfare, aid, and provisions during social unrest, economic dearth and famine as Rome and the Empire began to fall into chaos and corruption.
- Where do you find the Daily ministration of the early Church, the Pure Religion of James and the Corban of Jesus?
- Are you following The Way through Love of one another or the way of the world and the Fathers of the earth?
- Do you seek the benefits of bankrupt nations, or do you forgive and seek the benefits of Christ's appointed Kingdom?
- Do you only gather for the comfort it gives you, or do you gather to benefit others?
- Christ came to serve, not be served. Do you desire to be served or are you coming in His name and according to His character to serve others?
If we do not Repent of our Covetous Practices and are not diligently gathering together in Free Assemblies of Love for all to provide for one another in Charity according to the Perfect law of liberty then we have nothing according to Paul. According to Luke 6:32 if we only love those who love us there is no "Grace". Christ also said if you do not Forgive neither will the Father forgive you.
It is not enough to hate the deeds of the workers of iniquity, but we must return to Thy first love and thy first work. To break the yoke we need to return to the ways of righteousness spoken of in Isaiah 58 which are the ways of Christ and the early Church. And His yoke is light for it is carried by our love of one another.
Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Christ all created Networks of charity to care for the true needy of society without force which is how they were able to help set people free. Do you gather with His Church to attend to the Weightier matters as Christ said?
- Are you gathering in a Network of righteousness?
- Do you come to love others or just be loved?
- Are your Congregations' gatherings fruitful enough so that no one has to pray to Benefactors who exercise authority one over the other?
- Does anyone in your Free Assemblies have to apply to the Fathers of the earth, or seek their many benefits?
Early Christians found themselves in conflict with these systems of social welfare because they made the word of God to none effect. Christians had repented of their covetous nature when they received the Baptism of Christ. They heard and became Doers of the word not hearers only.
We know that liberty under God is not for the covetous who are Biting one another but it is also not for the slothful. If we are not congregating together in free assemblies bound together in a broad network by faith, hope, and charity alone according to the perfect law of liberty then we are not truly seeking the Kingdom of God nor His righteousness.
Someone on the network got a visit from CPS.
You never know when such visits can turn into nightmares with the state abducting your children.
We have seen it for decades.
What the parents try to do when it happens is often too little and too late.
Eric Holder who said that Homeschooling is Not a Fundamental Right is resigning but no one should be fooled when it comes to a spirit that will violently oppose individual freedom to raise your children or even gather and live like early Christians.
As a shepherd on the high desert knows, lone sheep do not last long. They are easy prey for the predators of the desert. We can see some insight into the nature of the kingdom and kingdom seekers in the parable of the Goats and Sheep.
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
The Supreme Judge
A few days later after we heard that Eric Holder was resigning we also heard he was going to be a candidate for the Supreme Court of the United States. If he obtains that position as one of the Supreme Court judges he will have the power to decide good and evil for the People of the United States.
Over two decades ago we began publishing the book The Covenants of the gods. It tells us about the contractual nature of government.
In the ten commandments we are told to make no covenants or contracts with the inhabitants where we go.
We are also told not to covet our neighbor's goods or any thing that is our neighbor's.
We know that the ten commandments hinge upon two laws - love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.
Christ did not do away with that law of love but confirmed it with His blood.
The problems of the world today all stem from our neglect of that law of love and liberty.
In a Facebook conversation, "Michael B." somehow thinks we suggest that people should not pay taxes that they owe and he talks about Jesus giving us "permission" to pay taxes when He said, "give to Caesar what is Caesar's".
You not only have permission to pay taxes but most people have an obligation to pay taxes to make their yes, yes.
We are talking about coveting benefits from men who force the contributions of the people.
That is the mark of God, to live by faith in the ways of God rather than the ways of Cain, Nimrod, and the Mark of the Beast.
Do not eat at the table of kings, presidents, or prime ministers who "exercise authority one over the other" if you can avoid it.
"When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat." (Proverbs 23:1)
The very beginning of the thread on Facebook was about prohibition of sharing food in schools and a student who was suspended because they did. The whole message of the Bible is about sharing life by your love for one another which is the way of God of heaven. The way of Nimrod is to turn your neighbor into a human resource so you can have benefits for "free". Christ came to set men free and we should gather for that reason as well.
The modern Churches and the modern Christians who attend them are not doing what the early Church was doing but they are doing what the pagans did and what the Pharisees and Herodians did.
The Right to Choose
The conversation continued about Pelosi and Boehner and their bills to fund abortion, support ISIS and Obamacare. The common complaint was that we have no choice and must support them. That may be true but our comments have been about why you have no choice anymore.
Jesus and Paul talk about it all the time. But the Modern Christian does not have ears to hear. What has happened is false preachers have crept in and said it was okay to desire and covet benefits of men who exercise authority over your neighbor. Now since you and the generation before you looked to these benefactors you must fund abortion...
You must serve Pelosi and Boehner because you have sworn to obey them against the words of Christ. The headlines today is Pelosi Says Boehner Should Start War Debate in Congress. They will be able to take your sons and daughters because the Modern Christian, like in the days of Samuel, has "rejected" God.
Jesus and James say:
- To not take oaths.
- To only pray to the Father in heaven, not the "fathers upon the earth".
- To not covet what is your neighbors'.
- To give to God what is God's.
But modern Christians swear to, and pray to, the "fathers upon the earth". Coveting their neighbor's goods through the authority of those "fathers upon the earth" - those Benefactors who exercise authority - giving them authority like the Israelites did when they "rejected" God that he should not rule over them and elected Saul as their king/central authority.
History repeated when the Pharisees rejected God that Jesus should not be their King but Caesar. And again when people deny that Jesus preached a Way separate from the Benefactors who exercise authority one over the other and choose rather to bow down to serve Pelosi and Boehner. They then have no choice any more, because they say Lord, Lord but do not do what Christ said.
Whenever the fathers of the earth say give to us so we may kill the unborn you must now bow down and serve them. When they say give us your sons and daughters to make war and serve us you have no choice any more.
You have given to Caesar what you should have given to God - your endowed right to choose. Now Caesar can take and take and take and when you cry out God has said He will not hear you. For you have chosen a different Father.
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- Luke 9:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
- Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
- Psalms 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
- Matthew 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
- Matthew 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
- Mark 11:9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
- Mark 11:10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
- Luke 13:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
- Luke 19:38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
- John 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
- Matthew 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
- Mark 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
- Luke 20:38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.
- Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
- Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
- Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
- John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
- John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
- John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
- Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
- Hebrews 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
- Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
- Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
- 1997 ~ἐπισυναγωγή~ episunagoge \@ep-ee-soon-ag-o-gay’\@ from 1996; n f AV-gathering together 1, assembling together 1; 2 1) a gathering together in one place 2) the (religious) assembly (of Christians)1996 ~ἐπισυνάγω~ episunago \@ep-ee-soon-ag’-o\@ from 1909 and 4863; ; v AV-gather together 5, gather 2; 7 1) to gather together besides, to bring together to others already assembled 2) to gather together against 3) to gather together in one place
- Revisiting the U.S. CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS § 404.1023 - Ministers of churches and members of religious orders. The Free Church Report quotes these regulations to show how ministers may comply with the laws of the world while obeying Christ within a religious order that has come into one accord.
- Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.