x318.......The Sunday Morning Whipping
In the times of the Bible in the early church, the people met together as the Spirit lead!
One of the places the Spirit lead them to meet in were their homes--
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15, KJV).
In "assembling themselves" in a large group--
Ac 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Also they met in the Jewish temple---
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (ACTS 2:46-47)
In the Bible, the meeting places and times were 100% lead of the Spirit. They based the operation of the church upon the apostolic concept that Jesus had demonstrated to them. They operated by the fact that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in Jesus' name, He would be present. They were totally interested in carryong on His minsitry--His purposes--just as He had done--in small groups--bodies of Christ. Christ, the Head, and they the body, carrying out His commands.
In our day and age, the tradition of "Sunday services" claims to be and to fulfill all of these meeting places in form and function. But if we were to study these places and their purpose we would find that this is simply not the case.
The "house of God" referred to is the Godly home----a Christian home--not a large building or meeting place. The "pillar and ground of truth" is meant to be the daily operationl place of Christians--which is their homes. A home is a great place to pray and receieve words from God, and quickly be able to carry out His will. It's a great place to teach the word--in an atmosphere where questions can be asked--and learning can be direct to the needs of the pupil. A home is a great place to pray and serve others--whether it's feeding those in need, or praying for sickness. The ministry in a home would be quick, direct and effective.
The "assembling of yourselves"
Heb 10:25 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.
This scripture is always used in reference to the Sunday church meeting--but again this is simply not the case in Bible times. "Assembling" in the Bible ususally referred to the meeting of Christians for days, until everyone was completely filled with the Holy Ghost to overflowing, as in the day of Pentecost. Believers were filled with the purpose of the Holy Spirit--
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. (Acts 1:8, KJV).
But the term "assembling of yourselves" is also a general term which refers to all types of Christian meetings. When the Bible says to "not forsake assembling" it is not saying "dont' miss church on Sunday"! The people in the Bible did not meet exclusively on Sundays or have a sabbath rule of meeting where all were under a law of mandatory attendance. The Bible is saying that we ought to meet together as often as possible--in our homes--in the streets---wherever the Spirit leads.
After the large asssemblies, they all went forth and witnessed the Gospel in the world. The large assemblies always resulted in many people being added to the church.
The "temple" which is referred to as a meeting place for early Christians--was not a temple that they built themselves--but rather the jewish temple--this clearly represents Christians meeting in the world--in the enemies camp--not in a temple that was built by them. These were the same Jews --the pharisees and priests who had just convinced the Roman government to crucify Jesus--the same who had persecuted Jesus when He disobeyed their Sabbath day and healed the sick.
But our tradition of Sunday services claims to be all of these things. The truth is that in the 4th century Ad the Roman emperor Theodosious decreed that Christianity was the state religion of Rome. He made it illegal to be anything else but a Christian. (He imposed Sunday as the "official" day of Christian worship). He made Christian membership compulsory--bringing in the spirit of Roman rule into the church--with it's rules and forced uniformity--rather than the unity of the Spirit of God. (see Halley's Bible handbook p 760)
This spirit of the Roman empire to this day whips Christians into the "obedience of Sunday services"--which is in fact the limiting of God to one day a week and into serving God by tradition--by ritual--by repetition--by a "format" which is followed after--rather than by all the people functioning in their anointing and gift fully on a common level.
The "Roman shepherding"--the Roman pastoral authority--herds Christians into a format which limits God to an hour or two on one day a week. The enemy has effectively limited the move of God in the lives of most Christians by our strict obedience to the Roman rule and authority--which exalts individuals over the functioning of a body in Christ. It acts out a performance of ministerial authority--rather than allowing for all to function in their gift and anointing together on a common level.
Most churches and moves of God begin authentically in homes or places of business--etc. But the enemy has put up a huge neon sign--the incredibly attractive format and tradition that says "church Sunday 10 am--Wednesday 7pm." He has prepared by tradition a multitude of "sheep"--Christians who are raised by tradition and demand tradition (which makes them lazy and gives them a easy form of being a Christian)--who are ready and willing to pay their tithe and support someone else to do the ministry. So the move of God which begins in obedience, ends up in traction--by the pulling of tradition--the demand of the "sheep Christian"--and the ego of what we call "ministry".
A recent survey showed that over 85% of church-goers attended a particular church becasue they had been invited (or perhaps forced!) by a relative. The majority of Chrisitans attend the church of their particular nationality---their family tradition. Many of us who authentically "meet Jesus" tend to leave the church of our family or ethnic tradition--yet since (nearly) all churches have the same rules of attendance and operation, we in effect cling to the tradition of man, rather than the word of God in the Bible. We attend church, as is man's tradition---rather than "become" the church, as is Bible example.
When people get together in their homes they can see what the actual body of Christ is meant to look like in the earth--the moving of the Spirit through the anointing of a body--a group of people who all are functioning in their ministry and their gifts.
Now, many Christians are today meeting in their homes --and there are many places in which "revival" has broken out. These things are certainly the Spirit of God pulling Gods people to the Bible obedience.
The Roman empire whipped the body of Jesus Christ when He was in the earth--and this same spirit has been whipping the body of Christ in the earth with functionless format and tradition and the limiting of the anointing and the gifts.
The devil saw the early church defeating him when they were meeting in the places where the Spirit of God lead. They were meeting daily in their homes--learning the word of God and their function in God quickly and efficiently. They were meeting in large assemblies--being filled to the utmost with the Spirit of God and His function. And then they were carrying out this function by meeting in the temple--by gain and attacking the devil in his own camp. In every possible way they were carrying the Gospel to the world around them. They met in the Jewish temple and had a specific result--
Ac 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Dakes study Bible states that this is one of the greatest miracles of the early church which is often overlooked.
Paul met with his apostles in the Greek temples and the Jewish synagogues--He understood the power of God which was meant to be witnessed and to be used to attack the enemy.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (romans 10:14-15)
How shall the people in the world hear the Gospel unless "they be sent" (apostello) unless someone carries the message outside the boundary of the church and carries it out with their feet. the Bible church was doing this very effectively---But the enemy had a plan--which was to usurped the authority of God in the church, and replace it with the rulership of man. "the church made over into the image of the Roman empire" (Halley's Bible handbook).
When we have accepted the "organization" of the church--when we have accepted "Sunday services" as being the fulfillment of all the possible meeting places that the Lord might lead us to, we have severely limited God's movement and plan for destroying the works of the devil in the earth.
But this is why many Christians love to meet in their homes-- they travel to revivals and retreats--they pray every day. Many Christians have radical meetings with the Lord--outside the walls of the church--and are often belittled, or told that it is not really offical--not really as important as the "real ministry" of the leaders of the church. But the thing the devil really is worried about is if Christians would get so full of the Spirit and the purpose of God that they would go out and destroy his temples in the world--The meeting of the early church in the Jewish temple is similar to us holding a meeting the kingdom hall of Jehovah's witness--or having a Saturday night meeting at a bar downtown--or holding a meeting in a vacant lot in a bad section of town----carrying out the Gospel to the world all together in a group. WE certainly would be dangerous to the devil if we did this!
The result is the "image" OF WHAT THE CHURCH OUGHT TO BE--RATHER THAN THE FUNCTIONING OF WHAT THE CHURCH IS DESCRIBED AS IN THE BIBLE.
What if the enemy has planted powerful traditions in Christianity, about the places where we ought to meet?