The Church View:
A church is a building
that is used for assembly of members of that church, which teaches
and practices doctrines, generally determined, and enforced by a
master religious organization. The function of the individual church
varies according to the edicts of the controlling religious leaders,
but follows general guidelines. The indoctrination of the membership
in the beliefs of the master religion is a prime function, with
absolute loyalty strongly emphasized. This is accomplished with
weekly meetings during which the membership is indoctrinated in and
conditioned to follow the rules of the religion by a leader
variously called a pastor, priest, or minister.
Members are expected to pay a certain percentage of their
income to maintain the church building, pay the salaries and living
expenses of the church employees, and other costs related to the
promotion and functions of the master religion. Seldom is even a
small percentage of church income and effort used to serve the
community in which the church is situated, or the world in general.
Most civic projects are done to present a token image of charity,
which is aimed at attracting new members to increase the power of
the church in size and financial holdings.
The Bible View:
A group of like-minded
people who live in a communal setting and sacrifice all physical
belongings to support a work totally devoted to charity. There is a
staff, whose job is to feed and clothe the poor and infirmed, and
many have the power to perform miracles. One basic law, love for one
another, is the guiding principle. Pompous appearance, righteous
pronouncements, and the advertising of charitable acts are
condemned. There is no command to support any building based
organization whose purpose is to serve only the interests of those
members accepted into the membership. Pastors, pulpits, and pews
were not mentioned, and neither weekly meetings, nor any other
scheduled meetings were held or commanded. Those called out of
society and into the first church donated all their earthly goods to
the group as a whole and it was clearly stated none of the called
were in need of anything.
Virtually nothing, which is accepted practice in the modern
church, can either be found or supported in scripture, from the
building the church is located in to the methods used to support
that church. Neither the collection plate, the enforced gathering on
Sunday, the open prayer, the support for political candidates, the
party behind the pulpit, nor the pulpit itself bear any resemblance
to the practice of the first church. Miracles, prophecy, and healing
were common amongst the members of the first church.
For such are
false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the
apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed
as the ministers of righteousness;
whose end shall be according to their works.
What Is Religion?
The word religion appears only 4
times in the Bible, three of those times in direct reference to the
religion of the Jews. The one time it refers to religion in general
is in this verse:
♦ "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is
this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to
keep himself unspotted from the world." (James
What is the Church?
Does the above verse sound like the standard practice of
today’s Christian churches or does it sound more like this verse?
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and
offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid
them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but
their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the
hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17)
What Was Peter's Commission?
After the resurrection,
Jesus confronted Peter, and with triple emphasis, gave him a very
simple and specific command, to feed the people.
John 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself
to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. 15 So when
they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas,
lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou
knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16 He
saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He
saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17 He saith unto him the third time,
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he
said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him,
Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus
saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
The word "feed" is taken from two different words in these
verses. In verses 15 and 17 the word translated is bosko,
pronounced bos'-ko; to pasture; by extension to, fodder;
reflexively, to graze. In verse 16 it is taken from poimaino,
pronounced poy-mah'-ee-no; to tend as a shepherd of (figuratively,
supervisor). Therefore, the commission is to feed and lead, with
double emphasis on the directive to literally feed the followers.
Does this not clearly indicate that Jesus clearly chose Peter as the
founder of the first church, and is it not obvious that this would
also be the focus of the church?
Helping the poor and indigent is at the very core of the first
church’s focus and practices.
The First Church
The first chapter of Acts, which is
actually the second part of the Book of Luke, details the first
actions of the first church. Jesus began the formation of the first
church before his crucifixion as can be well established from the
gospels. The beginning of Acts shows that this book is details the
final actions of Jesus until he was taken up:
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of
all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which
he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given
commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also
he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs,
being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining
to the kingdom of God:
The next verses refer to the directive that the apostles and
disciples were to wait for a special transfer of spiritual energy to
be imparted to them after his ascension:
Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded
them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the
promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5. For
John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the
Holy Ghost not many days hence.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying,
Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the
seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall
receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye
shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
In the next three verses Jesus is
beamed aboard a cloud as the apostles have a very close encounter
and are told that Jesus would return in the same cloud he just
Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken
these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud
received him out of their sight. 10. And while they looked
stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by
them in white apparel; 11. Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why
stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up
from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen
him go into heaven.
After the ascension, the group returns to wait for the
Acts 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the
mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's
journey. 13. And when they were come in, they went up into
an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and
Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son
of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
The Spirit of God Enters Mankind
and the Miracles Begin:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one
accord in one place. 2. And suddenly there came a sound from
heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house
where they were sitting. 3. And there appeared unto them cloven
tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4. And they
were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5. And there were
dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and
were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own
The Church Part 2
The Communal Church
Bible of the Church
Lost Books of the Bible
Old Testament Apocryphal Writings
The Real New
The Radical Religious Right
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