January 19, 2017

7 reasons worshipers need the church

by Jesse Johnson

 

old-white-church-shirley-helton

Recently I heard someone say that they love to worship, but they don’t love the church. They don’t see why a worshiper needs the church at all. After all, can’t we just worship as individuals? Here is my response:  

While it is true that everything a redeemed person does should be done with both an attitude of worship and with the goal of glorifying God, there remains a special and specific role for the gatherings of the local church.

For example, Paul tells Felix that while he used to worship by “going to Jerusalem,” now he worships “according to the Way, which some call a sect” (Acts 24:11, 17).  In other words, Paul’s worship was in his heart, but in tune with the worship of other Christians.

This is exactly what was described earlier in Acts, when the church first started. Thousands were saved, and immediately became worshipers of the true God. That worship was evident in the fact that they “were continually devoting themselves” to meeting together  (Acts 2:42). Acts 2:46 describes how this wonder and worship continued as they left the Lord’s Day gathering, but was fostered by their repeated meeting together (“in the temple” and “house to house”). Verse 47 describes how these meetings were marked by them “praising God.”

So how is a Christians’ worship fostered specifically in the gathered church? Clearly the Lord’s Day gatherings of the congregation are the focal point of corporate worship. The structure of the Pastoral Epistles highlights this. Worship is seen in the corporate gatherings because there, under the authority and leadership of the elders, the church takes on a life of prayer (1 Tim 2:8), work (v. 10), and instruction (v. 11). This is where the preaching of the word happens (1 Tim 5:17, 6:2; 2 Tim 4:2). In that context, the elders lead the corporate gatherings which gives rise to the Lord’s Day worship service.

Scripture gives seven basic components of this corporate worship gathering (fellowship, the ordinances, Scripture reading, giving, prayer, singing, and most notably preaching). But it is assumed that all of these happen under the leadership of the elders, and together make up the corporate worship of the church.

  1. Fellowship as corporate worship

The early church had their corporate worship service marked by fellowship (Acts 2:42). This fellowship grew out of the preaching of the “teaching of the word,” and was seen in the acts of the ordinances and prayer. When a congregation strives for holiness, their weekly gatherings for worship are marked by this “fellowship of light” (2 Cor 6:14). In fact, this corporate fellowship is an act of worship because it flows out of the union each individual Christian has with members of the trinity  (Phil 2:1; 1 John 1:3 also ties this Trinitarian fellowship to the preaching of the word: “We proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”)

This fellowship is seen when likeminded believers, united in the pursuit of holiness, join together to celebrate what God is doing in their lives (1 John 1:6-7). It is in this context that the commands to mutually edifying speech become practical in how they create an atmosphere of worship (Rom 12:16, Col 3:9, Jas 4:11, 5:9).

  1. Ordinances as corporate worship

Acts presents baptisms happening both in a gathered service (Acts 2:38, 41) and outside of one (8:36). But because of the image that baptism presents of being joined to the body of Christ, it is a powerful act of worship when it happens at the gathered body of believers.

While there is gray area about how baptism relates to the corporate gathering of the church, that ambiguity is set aside in dealing with communion. Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 10-11 is a strong indication that he saw communion as being practiced in the corporate gathering of the church. In fact, he expressly says that communion should be practiced when the congregation “comes together” (1 Cor 11:17, and again in v. 18). He then goes on to lament the practice of having different parts of the church take communion independently of the rest of the body. While having three worship services (where everyone takes communion simultaneously, but three different times) seems to comply with the heart of Paul’s command, taking communion in ABF’s or in meetings under the leadership of only a section of the church seems to be practicing the very thing that Paul wanted to avoid with communion.

  1. Scripture reading as corporate worship

Paul tells Timothy that when the church is gathered, they need to give attention to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Tim 4:13). The context of 1 Timothy reveals that Paul viewed this kind of reading as connected to, but nevertheless different from, the teaching and preaching of God’s word.

Paul’s command is likely modeled off of the example of Ezra in the courtyard of the temple: “Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.  Then Ezra blessed Yahweh the great God. And all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen!’ while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped Yahweh with their faces to the ground” (Neh 8:5-6). That passage, which is preceded by similar events in the life of Israel’s kings, shows the noteworthy connection between scripture reading and worship.

I think of Scripture reading as the reading of the Word without explanation or exposition. This accomplishes the following:

  • It highlights the authority of God’s Word, and that the congregation (including the elders and leaders) are under it.
  • It highlights the perspicuity and clarity of God’s Word, by having it read clearly and without explanation, and seeing the force that it brings.
  • It uses Scripture as much of it was intended (such as the Psalms, for example); namely, for public worship.
  • This has been the practice of the church since its inception, and was also the practice of the Jews of Jesus’ time. It is practiced in most liturgical churches, and in much of the Reformation, Puritan, and Reformed traditions.

Let me be quick to grant that all of these positives don’t mandate that it be done every week. But they do argue strongly for it being the norm. Let me likewise be quick to grant that they don’t eliminate the possibility of responsive readings by/with the congregation.

  1. Giving as corporate worship

Christians are called to be faithfully supporting the church that they worship in. Paul commands that if a Christian sits under the teaching of God’s word, they should be helping to support that pastor financially (1 Timothy 5:17-18). This command takes giving out of the realm of preference, and makes it a Christian obligation.

Elsewhere, Paul explains how that giving should happen as a part of corporate worship. Paul viewed his support as a missionary as a gift not from individuals, but from the church in Philippi as a whole (Phil 4:15). He describes the offering he is asking for from the Roman church as one that can be received when he comes to visit the church (Rom 16:24-27).

Paul describes how this offering should be gathered on “the first day of the week” (1 Cor 16:2). In fact, the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 9 describes the joy of giving when the church gathers, and how that corporate giving works as an act of worship to God, in that if it is collected properly it is “producing thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor 9:11). As the church gathers and gives, it causes a desire to hear the news of how God is using the offering to take the gospel to the world. This leads to an increase in “prayer on behalf” of missionaries (v. 14), which has the effect of causing the congregation to say “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift” (v. 15).

  1. Prayer as corporate worship

In describing the corporate worship gatherings of the church, Paul says “first of all, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim 2:1-2). In fact, Paul says that as the church gathers, it needs to model the power of “sound doctrine” seen through preaching, along with the power of “prayer” (1 Tim 4:5-6).

While certainly there should be congregational prayer involved in corporate worship (Acts 1:14, 2:42, among countless others), the Scripture also puts an emphasis on the prayers of the elders (Acts 6:4).

  1. Preaching as corporate worship

Congregational singing, prayer, music, giving, scripture reading, and fellowship are all expressions of worship that are seen in the gathered church. But when the congregation turns to the word of God, the preaching time becomes the most intense act of worship. By the sheer humility and faith expressed in being reliant upon the Word for instruction, God is honored and worshiped. As his people come together and demonstrate their reliance on teaching from the Word to supply knowledge for living, they are manifesting that their direction comes from God. When the teaching exposes gospel truths to the Lord’s people, the worship revolves around the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This shared experience is what guides the congregation as they scatter throughout the week to do the work of the ministry (Acts 2:42, Col 3:16, 1 Cor 16:2, 1 Tim 5:17, etc.).

Preaching is the tool that the elders use when the body is gathered to equip the people to do the work of the ministry (Eph 4:11-12). Preaching is how the Bible is taught to the congregation, so that the entire body has a shared experience in the word. The Bible is what the Spirit uses to sanctify believers, and preaching is the means in which God exposes believers to His word (Titus 1:3).  Thus, the more clear and expositional the message, the more powerful the sanctifying effect of preaching (John 17:17). And because presenting our bodies as sanctified sacrifices to God is our spiritual act of worship, then preaching is the fuel for worship.

In other words, if worship that flows from a sanctified heart can only be based on right information about God, and if preaching is the tool God uses to convict people of sin and turn them to Christ, then preaching that is clear and convicting becomes the catalyst for powerful worship. If an individual’s worship will not rise above their level of knowledge, than a congregation’s worship cannot rise above the level of the pulpit.

  1. Singing as corporate worship

If the preaching time is the loftiest form of corporate worship, the singing can be the most personal. As people sing songs with sound theology, they often sing words with better theology than they know. As the truth of the lyrics echo in their souls, God is worshiped. When singers set their minds on the things above, and proclaim them with joy, it is a public demonstration of the worth of God. They then can be used by God to direct and lead the congregation into their own acts or worship.

Thus singing is an essential part of the corporate worship service. It is commanded by Paul in Ephesians 5:19 and modeled by the Psalms. While certainly Christians don’t have to be in a congregational worship service to sing (think Christian radio, or jail—but I repeat myself; Acts 16:25), the function of a body as a whole lifting up voices to God glorifies him in a unique way. This is why we are not only commanded to sing, but to sing “to one-another” (Col 3:16).

In light of all this, it is simply impossible for a person to love God, but not worship. And it is difficult to imagine how a person could love worship, but not the church; after all, God has designed at least 7 ways of worship that can only be done with the congregation.

Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He also leads The Master's Seminary Washington DC location.
  • LeeRaleigh

    Please expand this post into a book or booklet, Jesse.

    • Alex

      Seven Marks of a Healthy Church Service? Sounds catchy!

      • Might run into copyright issues, but the people at 9 Marks wouldn’t sue another christian, would they?

        • Alex

          It’s probably safe to assume Mark Dever has read 1 Corinthians 6.

  • Greg Pinkard

    With all of the electronic giving means we have, how does that translate into giving in a service? I’ve been sending gifts throuhg

    • I don’t think the point is that you physically have to give in a gathered assembly, but rather that our giving honors Christ when we are giving to his bride, and specifically to the local church to which we belong.

      • bs

        Jesse, you say “Paul commands that if a Christian sits under the teaching of God’s word,
        they should be helping to support that pastor financially (1 Timothy 1:17-18). This command takes giving out of the realm of preference, and makes it a Christian obligation.”
        Are you really saying that because the verses in 1 Timothy mention “charge” and “wage” that this is a command about finance?
        Peace

        • Hah. That has to be on the short list of the most awesome typos. I’m pretty sure Jesse meant 1 Timothy 5:17-18, not 1:17-18. 🙂

          • bs

            Mike, what about the other instances of scripture being cited which do not seem to have any connection to what is being claimed? Are they also “on the short list of the most awesome typos”?

            Peace

          • I see you’re as pleasant and brotherly as ever, Bruce.

            If you have questions concerning the way Jesse handles particular passages of Scripture, pose them to him, and he’ll answer if he thinks profitable. Do the work of honestly interacting with what he’s written, and I imagine you’ll get honest answers. Don’t, and you won’t.

          • bs

            As are you Mike 😉
            Ok then, Jesse, you suggest a benefit of being involved in a weekly service of corporate worship is fellowship. This may be the case, but does the New Testament actually make that link. You refer to Acts 2:42, but isn’t fellowship more general there? Where is a weekly (or twice-weekly) event referred to or implied in Acts 2? Is “fellowship” actually only seen in “ordinances and prayer” (as you say)? Where in 2 Cor 6 are “weekly gatherings” talked about or implied?
            How does “the union of each individual Christian with _members_ of the trinity” (my emphasis — does the trinity have _members_?) work? Are Paul (in Phil 2:1) and John (in 1 John 1:3) actually talking about the trinity? And is John talking about “preaching the word” as you say or is he talking about writing a letter?
            Jesse, (under point 5) where in 1 Timothy does Paul give any indication at all that he is “describing the corporate worship gatherings of the church”?
            You say, “In fact, Paul says that as the church gathers, it needs to model the
            power of “sound doctrine” seen through preaching, along with the power
            of “prayer” (1 Tim 4:5-6)” In fact, Paul doesn’t say anything about the church gathering there. In fact the context shows Paul had a much wider setting in mind than the church gathering.
            I am questioning whether your emphasis on “corporate worship” and a “weekly service” derives from what we find in the New Testament or are we looking to find verses to simply affirm what our practices already are? As I have frequently asked of Cripplegate people — what do you mean by saying these practices/doctrines are biblical?
            Peace

          • Well, that’s funny. Good catch BS, and thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt 🙂

        • Think about it!

          bs: you should read: pagan christianity by frank viola (green cover) so you haven’t researched a matter regarding tithe. Do you just take what the men in the pulpit say as truth? No pastor should make a living off the church, they should all hold jobs! God, Jesus, Holy Spirit doesn’t get a dime, nor the homeless, poor, single parents, widows for the most part. All the men found a way to make a living without having to work!
          Read your Bible, about tithing and book mentioned. Have you ever researched what your 501c3 Church owns like Real Estate, Businesses, Camps, Property, Cars, etc.? All Pastor’s should hold jobs and the money going to humanity, charity, social and education. If, the people in the world saw this, maybe then they would come to Jesus because finally the Church is living true gospel. Luke 14:all/Matthew 25:31-end, Sermon on Mount/Beatitudes.

  • Greg Pinkard

    Sorry, through bill pay for years on payday so that my giving was a “first fruits” approach. Just wondering how that effects what you’ve written. Thanks.

  • Jason

    Jesse, this is a great list of the benefits of the body gathering together.

    However, I’m not sure I follow your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11. The context seems to be about divisiveness in the body during the Lord’s supper, specifically the wealthy not breaking bread with the poor who are also present.

    Communion practiced at any gathering of believers seems fine in that context, so long as they’re doing it in remembrance of their unity with one another in Christ and not because they see themselves as a fellowship apart from the larger body of Christ or while excluding some members of the body who are present as “unworthy”.

    I’ve personally only seen Communion practiced on Sunday services. However, I think it presents a wrong view of the body of Christ to limit such an expression of the faith to only the largest of gatherings.

    • Sure thing Jason. My point is that it is practiced through the church–not just among friends. If a church takes in through their small groups, I won’t complain.

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  • Kermos

    In Acts 24:11-17, we find something wonderful, the worship of God in Spirit and Truth, but it is not church, nor local church, and the careful study of the Word of God reveals that church, as defined by you, is absent from the Word of God.

    It is prudent to quote Acts 2:42-47 here (NASB):

    They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    In Acts 2:42-47, we do not find “meetings” in the sense that you portray, rather, we find community in the Kingdom of God, “breaking bread from house to house”, “taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart”, “praising God”, and the Word does not specify whether the brothers and sisters were proclaiming the Name above all Names, Jesus the Christ, to the Jews in the temple, yet it makes perfect sense with the passage preceding. I tell you, I do not see “they left the Lord’s Day gathering” anywhere in the passage. I see adding to the assembly of God, but no leaving as you appear to be applying to the “local church” doctrine of a Sunday meeting. In opposition to your assertion, I see DAILY gatherings of the saints. This is holy/wholly prescribed by God!

    You asserted “So how is a Christians’ worship fostered specifically in the gathered church? Clearly the Lord’s Day gatherings of the congregation are the focal point of corporate worship.” in the succeeding paragraph. Now, you continue building on your assertion of “Lord’s Day gatherings” upon the concept of “local church”, then you extend into that concept of “corporate worship” as a “focal point”. King Jesus did NOT talk about “corporate worship”; on the other hand, Master Jesus said “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). You will not find “corporate worship” in the New Testament – particularly in the form you specify. Then, you apply a term, the “Pastoral Epistles” where no such identification occurs in the Word of God. You use the word “authority” with a verse (1 Timothy 2:8) that DOES NOT indicate such a thing. Do not be deceived, where two or more are gathered in the Lord Jesus Christ’s Name, there He is (Matthew 18:20)! In 1 Timothy 2:9-11, that sure appears to be applying to women – not men. So, you appear to be ascribing that which is not in the passage, men in submission to the authority of men, in this passage. You use the word “preaching” that leads to confusion because you smash two concepts into a single word: (1) proclaim the risen Lord Jesus Christ to the lost, and (2) dialog among the saints (the closest translation to “local church” doctrine would call be to say “the pastor preaches to the local church during the Lord’s Day meeting”; although, this translation is far from the Word of God). So, what’s the local church pastor to do when a person enter that he does not recognize? Is he going to proclaim or go on with the regular sermon? See that preach is ambiguous. Not so in the word, where we find dialog and talk among the saints and we find proclaim and herald to the lost. Now, you have constructed a context that has people in pews with the pastor at the pulpit in a certain orderly fashion defined by you, but the Apostle Paul wrote “But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent” (1 Corinthians 14:30) then Paul continues “For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted” (1 Corinthians 14:31). Behold that “you can all prophesy one by one”, that sure does not sound like your specification of “In that context, the elders lead the corporate gatherings which gives rise to the Lord’s Day worship service”. According to the orderly rules of conduct in the local church service, the people in the pews are to stand, when told to in order to sing or pray, and to sit to listen to the pastor’s sermon; on the other hand, Paul’s decription sounds dissimilar to that local church service.

    Focusing on the word local and the word church is crucial because it gives rise to something that is NOT God’s specifiation for His gathered people. The word local in English is the word topikos in Greek. The word topikos is not in the New Testament, so that word is illegitimate. Behold the English word church, which is kuriakon in Greek; on the other hand, the Greek word ecclesia which translates to the English word assembly has been translated to the word church in the KJV and far too frequently church in the NASB and ESV. That mistranslation of wording changes the meaning such that church includes a building that people go to in order to worship, but more importantly, it leads to something foreign to the assembly of God as specified by the Creator of heaven and earth. This essay carefully examines that which man has fabricated as compared to that which God creates:

    http://JesusDelivers.Faith/ChristianWritings/OneSpiritAndOneHeartInGod/

    With this all being written, your introduction starts off with “Recently I heard someone say that they love to worship, but they don’t love the church”, but I love the people that go to church. I love to worship God rightly, that is, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love to gather with the saints, and that we do daily. I am not that person whom you heard, but, if the Lord wills, then I would like to talk with the person because I would like to tell the person to NOT confuse the assembly of God with the church.

    You tied each of the seven basic components to “corporate worship”, and that is broken from the very start, in your introduction. You have an authoritarian structure, and that is foreign to the assembly of God.

    These are clearly part of God’s desire for the assembled saints:

    worship = YES
    fellowship = YES
    devotion to the Word of God = YES
    breaking of bread = YES
    sharing = YES
    prayer = YES
    singing = YES
    dialog = YES
    gathering in houses = YES

    There is much I would like to address as I read through your seven points. Perhaps as individual comments, let’s see what God has in store.

    May the Lord Jesus embrace you in the purity and goodness of His holy ones!

    • Kermos, if you have a question, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it. That comment is more than I can wade through right now.

      • Kermos

        God bless you Jesse,

        I do have a couple of questions for you, just two.

        Is it ever “poor timing” to discuss the Word of God?

        I had to write a little program yesterday before I made the post that starts with “For your convenience”. You see, I wanted to improve the Every Occurrence of Poimen webpage by adding a link to BibleHub.com directly to each verse identified as containing “poim”. So, now each verse reference contains the Textus Receptus interlinear with the KJV integrated on the right margin, one link to BibleGateway.com for the whole chapter (for context), and a second link to see the verse in parallel on BibleHub.com (which in turn has links to lexicon/another interlinear near the top of the page). It was a bit tricky, programmatically speaking, so it took some time yesterday, on the first day of the week, but I know it was worthwhile to spontaneously take the time to complete the task. In all things, God has His purpose.

        God did have me take the time to compose that first comment (starts with “In Acts 24:11-17, we find something wonderful”), so here is the second question:

        Please, will you read the comment?

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  • Think about it!

    Hmm, People are the Church=NOT A BUILDING. Pastor’s are mentioned 8 times in the Old and once in the New Testament. So, when you talk about the Church with all the brainwashing and dumbing down the false church/leadership has done gathering people to themselves and HOW MUCH IS God, Jesus, Holy Spirit talked about and the Bible=Word going forth like rivers of living water rather than new age, feel good B.S. that most pastors/leaders shovel as they’re very unhealed themselves* as we see in: Don’t Call Me Brother by Austin Miles, Losing My Religion by William Lobdell, Pagan Christianity (Green Cover) by Frank Viola, “Exploiting the Need to Belong” & Ungodly Fear by Stephen Parsons, 10 Lies the Church Tells Women & Lies Men Believe etc. by J. Lee Grady, “Christian Brainwashing” by Dick Sutphen, Toxic Faith by Stephen Arterburn, Churches That Abuse by Ron Enroth, Leader Lies by Matt Wade, Restoring the Kingdom by Andrew Walker, Combating Cult Mind Control/Releasing the Bonds/Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People and Beliefs by Steve Hassan, Minirith Meier Group, Cloud & Townsend, Gary Smalley, David Stoop, to name a few. Then you have Susan Forward, Herb Goldberg, Dr. Laura, David Elkind, Victoria Secunda etc., all these people are sitting in the CHURCH not getting healed up because they’re giving us their new age, feel good rhetoric and have the Napoleon/Hitler complex themselves. Is your Church operating like what Leonard Ravenhill and Art (Aaron, Arthur, Arthur Aaron) Katz; Jerry Leonard’s book “That’s No Problem For the Lord” by Jerry Leonard.
    *Those who start churches, what’s your early childhood background and did you get offended at your Church/Pastor/Leaders that biblically modeled wrong/false church to you and then your making the people twice the sons of hell as yourselves. Model is the Bible and God, Jesus, Holy Spirit NOT man. Worship everywhere, Church is everywhere, in the Marketplace. What was Jesus model for the Church? For the most part, all we have is these used religion, snake oil, false shepherds, wolves, hirelings, charlatans selling what they serve up. God doesn’t get a dime and or a penny. What about Matthew 25:31-end; Luke 14: entire Chapter. Jesus didn’t make anyone a Member of a Church=NOT SCRIPTURAL. If, teaching out of NIV it’s missing over 126 verses (Revelations 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6). How much is your Church helping the poor, fatherless, widow, alien, stranger, homeless, single parents and their children and how healthy are your families? All we have to do is google: Scandal, Negative Feedback, Abused by and Controversial Articles? Jesus NEVER sent anyone to modern babylon fuller cemetery all these degrees and we have MEN dying by degrees. “As the Church goes, so goes the World”; if the World is corrupt it’s because the church is and how do you explain “Why Revival Tarries and America is Too Young to Die” by L. Ravenhill and could you live like “True Fellowship by Art Katz and how come Apostolic Foundations is NOT modeled and the “Picture of A Prophet” in majority of false churches.
    How many of these churches/pastor’s fit: Jezebel Spirit teaching (not book) by John Paul Jackson and Noel Alexander and Tim Davis (ahab/Jezebel)-tape/cd. It would be interesting to see how many of you/churches fit the profile? How are all your control issues? To all you pastor’s on this Blog/Churches explain how the Marketing of Evil/How Evil Works/Snapping of the American Mind by David Kupelian and Battle Hymn (your part) by John Scura/Dane Phillips, and Our Stolen Future by Theo Colburn, Plague by Judy Mikovits, Seeds of Deception by J. Smith Dumbing Down Us by J. Gatto and Dumbing Down Our Kids etc., by Charles Sykes and “Waiting for Superman”-DVD happened and got allowed if the church is so effectual? We do not have HOLY MEN in our Churches and Leadership and Ravenhill/Katz is great Standard!
    *

    • I’d say “pastors” are mentioned zero times in the OT, but like 30 times in the NT, so we must be looking for different terms. Also, I hope i didn’t say that the church was a building. If I did, I obviously didn’t mean that.

      • Think about it!
        • Well, its even easier if you just search for the term “pastor” in a Bible program. To spare you, it is zero in the OT. In the NT:
          “pastors” (Eph 4:11; which is the word for shepherd).
          “elders” (27xs; not counting Revelation). Most of those are in the church, but a handful are outside of the church. Another 12 times in Revelation, btw, but I don’t count those because I suppose you could argue that they represent the Apostles (not my view, but hey, I suppose it is a reasonable view). I’m curious where you got your 8 in the old and zero in the new from?

      • Think about it!

        Jesse Johnson: where did Jesus build a building a make a living off the church? such the prostituting and the whoring of God, Jesus, Holy Spirit it’s all to keep you in your business and lifestyle=so sad “exploiting the need to belong”. drive by churches now and think what a bunch of drips, saps and suckers to get their brains, money and time sucked out from one who grew up in “don’t call me brother” by austin miles movement and foursquare cult. it’s a business. and God, Jesus, Holy Spirit didn’t send anyone to modern babylon, fuller cemetery. what about Leader Lies by Matt Wade and 10 Lies The Church Tells Women, Lies Men Believe, 25 Tough Questions About Women by J. Lee Grady. I think Pagan Christianity (green cover) explains all the lies well by frank viola. all you guys know is being used car salesmen selling your dead rhetoric that’s been modeled to you for years=so sad. People don’t get the Bible=Word. Wonder if we wrote out all your sermons how much is God, Jesus, Holy Spirit talked about and Bible going forth like rivers of living water vs. guilt, condemnation, criticism and belittling. Feel sorry for all your congregants. It’s like no different than mormonism. It’s like all these yuppy NEW AGE guru’s dead men walking/talking serving up their dead rhetoric. How much is going to help fatherless, widow, orphans, homeless, poor, single parents and their children? Where did Jesus make any one a member of a church? and can you imagine Jesus saying being a member, per Leonard Ravenhill no, no, no a thousand times no. we don’t have men like him in our pulpits 1-27-1991 message on net. also why revival tarries, and america is too young to die. Only teaching what fits your needs out of the Bible rather than the full gospel. How healthy are your congregants? Also, have you ever prayed for anyone to die and or thought about it and or cursed anyone to death (like lose their job to come to Jesus or to attend the church=type of cult)*. Can you people in your movements, regimes, business born and died in the movement and will you go through the complete entire Bible completely once? Wonder how healthy are your people? Look at Steve Hassan books and subject and how much will be written about all of you in the years to come?
        *Did you know Paul/Jan crouch were praying people die and cursing them with cancer that came against their ministry of people who were correcting and holding accountable for stealing manuscripts and making them into movies and taking pride that 4 people died trying to hold them accountable. & encouraging their employees to do the same and where was accountability like the scandal with tullian tchividjian whose correcting that and holding accountable? Be interesting to see who started all of you and the agenda? How come Apostolic Foundations by Art Katz and Reality, the Hope of Glory by Aaron Katz (Art) is never talked about or modeled from pulpits. How come we don’t see Humility, Holiness, Righteousness, REPENTANCE, Reverence, PRAYER (instead of PREYING on the people and mind control and brainwashing that goes on? Dick Suphen’s article. The Bible Prophets of OLD wouldn’t make your Membership Charter. I learned 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Class from the Church. Much like “Brother Son, Sister Moon DVD. Did you know Luciferian Regimes funded churches to get off the ground and seminaries. Have you read: Battle Hymn by John Scura/Dane Phillips and churches/leaders part and or The Marketing of Evil/How Evil Works. How come you will NEVER hear about “Prophetic Call” by Katz or “Picture of A Prophet” Leonard Ravenhill. What about “Ungodly Fear” by Parson’s how much will all that be written about all of you in the future because whose Kingdom are you really building, your’s or Jesus Christ? How much time do you spend in Prayer? Have you seen Heaven, Hell and God’s Glory and ever experienced? I include this for myself, how come we are NOT doing what Jesus did, healing of the sick and the raising of the dead? What did you learn in seminary=cemetery. By the way you all should work in a Mortuary for a year, Cemetery and a Crematory and for a Pathologist=that’s seminary training getting in the trenches where they’re battered and bloodied. How many of you have served in 3rd world countries in Orphanages, here orphanages in U.S., serving poor, building houses for habitat for humanity etc., Have you read James Lloyd’s book how chuck smith sr. created over 40 business empire and “father, son and holy rift” los angeles times. Google: Scandals on TBN, that applies to anyone? How much Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by Johnson/Van Vonderan is written about all of you on this website?
        cc: (7-8) people for accountability as iron sharpens iron

        ——————————————–

      • Kermos

        For your convenience, this links to every occurrence of the Greek sequence of characters “poim” case insenstively within the New Testament, so that poimanei (SHALL BE SHEPHERDING – verb – see Matthew 2:6) as well as poimEn (SHEPHERD, PASTOR – noun – see John 10:16). Within the interlinear, the actual Greek letters for “poim” are highlighted in yellow (the first occurrence within a verse is the only one highlighted).

        The statistics are:
        18 of the occurrences of poimen
        32 of the occurrences of poim

        http://JesusDelivers.Faith/ChristianWritings/OneSpiritAndOneHeartInGod/OneSpiritAndOneHeartInGod.EveryOccurenceOfTheGreekWordPoimenInTheNewTestament.html

        Please, take careful examination of John 10:16 in the table, because it is here recorded, by the Apostle John, that Lord Jesus said “they shall become one flock with One Pastor”. Behold, the Lord Jesus reserved the title of Pastor which is Shepherd which is Poimen to Himself.

        For any person to call a man “pastor” is applying the title to a second actor. Lord Jesus said “One Pastor”, not two nor more. Lord Jesus also said “”No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). That mammon is “treasure” or “treasure a person trusts in”.

        It is divided loyalty, and if you doubt that it is divided loyalty, try to find the exaltation of the Lord Jesus in this video from a Grace Community Church member titled “John MacArthur Confronted By a False Prophet at Grace Community Church, CA 8-16-2015” https://disq.us/url?url=https://www.youtube.com/watch/v=ZVHBz06bJTw at 3 minutes and 35 seconds into the video, it is quite telling.

  • Think about it!

    Explain: all the church scandals of tithe money going to molest, rape, sodomize and murder children and all the adultery, pastoral scandals that people are tithing and giving their gifts, alms, offerings and time to build your empires because of “kingdom of self and god players by earl jabay?

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