Could it Be What We Consider “Normal Christianity” Is Not of Christ?

Have you ever looked around what calls itself “church” today, then looked for it in the New Testament and wondered what happened to that simple faith the saints of old once practiced? For instance, nowhere in the sacred writings will you find a paid clergy. Those who ministered in Christ did so as humble servants among the faithful and did so without begging for or demanding a salary in order to perform. In fact, in his final words to the elders of the church of Ephesus, Paul described his work among them as something quite opposite of what is the accepted norm today.

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:32-35, ESV2011)

Yes, there were those who donated to the work of Christ from time to time, but that was not his focus. If anything Paul worked not only to support himself, but those who ministered with him and those who dear saints who were poor or too weak to support themselves. In this he was an example to those who were leaders, the elders of the church. And, no, there was no such thing as “the chief elder” in these churches. Jesus made it clear to the disciples what leadership in the churches should be… it should be just like Him.

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45, ESV2011)

No, there was no mandatory tithing because that was of the Old Testament law. They were of the New Covenant, where the Holy Spirit led those who had been given a NEW heart and a NEW mind, the mind of Christ (see Hebrews ch. 8). You will also note that Paul in the above quote from Acts commended them over “to God and the word of His grace,” not some well educated pastor to expound his knowledge to them each Sunday (this is why Jesus said he would send the Spirit after He arose and that He would lead us into all truth). It is from this heart and inspiration that Paul was speaking to these Ephesian elders in his final farewell. The sign of true leadership in the church is unbound generosity, doing whatever the love of Christ compels.

Another thing we do not see in the New Testament Church is “churches!” Yes, there were no church buildings to be found in the New Testament. That came much later, after those who knew the teachings of the apostles had died off. These early saints met together in their homes after persecution forbade them to do so in a public forum like Solomon’s Porch. The fact that they had no temples like the pagan worshipers made them suspect among the populous. These non-believers even called them “pagans” because of this! How can a person worship their god without a temple or building and a priest system to lead their worship? Sound familiar?

No, there were no churches, no tithing, and no paid professional clergy, those things so foundational to Christianity today. You might be wondering where the system we see today known as “the churches” came from and why Christianity as we know it is so weak and ineffective compared to the early church who were accused of “turning the world upside down” (see Acts 17:6). We can thank Emperor Constantine for that as he took power over the the Roman Empire and every aspect of leadership in it. This week I got a new laptop, and while moving all my files and apps over to it, I had to reinstall my favorite Bible program, The Word. While doing so, I found an extensive book on this subject titled, Miller’s Church History from which I quote the following:

The reign of Constantine the Great forms a most important epoch in the history of the church. Both his father Constantius and his mother Helena were religiously inclined, and always favourable to the Christians. Some years of Constantine’s youth were spent at the court of Diocletian and Galerius in the character of a hostage. He witnessed the publication of the persecuting edict at Nicomedia in 303, and the horrors which followed. Having effected his escape, he joined his father in Britain. In 306 Constantius died at York. He had nominated as his successor his son Constantine, who was accordingly saluted Augustus by the army. He continued and extended the toleration which his father had bestowed on the Christians.

There were now six pretenders to the sovereignty of the empire — Galerius, Licinius, Maximian, Maxentius, Maximin and Constantine. A scene of contention followed, scarcely paralleled in the annals of Rome. Among these rivals, Constantine possessed a decided superiority in prudence and abilities, both military and political. In the year 312 Constantine entered Rome victorious. In 313 a new edict was issued, by which the persecuting edicts of Diocletian were repealed, the Christians encouraged, their teachers honoured, and the professors of Christianity advanced to places of trust and influence in the state. This [brought about a] great change in the history of the church… 1

What was this great change? This is where “the wheels fell of the wagon.” The church under Constantine’s favor soon went from being a persecuted, worldly weak, but spiritually effective entity, to being spiritually weak and preeminent part of the Roman Empire. Quoting from Jesus’ corrective word to the seven churches in Revelation Miller continues:

epa04173136 Russian Orthodox Church bishop Panteleimon (R) spreads incense during a cross procession, while celebrating Easter Day at the Church of Christ’s Resurrection in Moscow, Russia, early 20 April 2014. EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

In Ephesus we see the first point of departure, leaving their “first love” — the heart slipping away from Christ, and from the enjoyment of His love. In Smyrna the Lord allowed the saints to be cast into the furnace, that the progress of declension might be stayed. They were persecuted by the heathen. By means of these trials Christianity revived, the gold was purified, the saints held fast the name and the faith of Christ. Thus was Satan defeated; and the Lord so ruled that the emperors, one after the other, in the most humiliating and mortifying circumstances, publicly confessed their defeat. But in Pergamos the enemy changes his tactics. In place of persecution from without, there is seduction from within. Under Diocletian he was the roaring lion, under Constantine he is the deceiving serpent. Pergamos is the scene of Satan’s flattering power; he is within the church. Nicolaitanism is the corruption of grace — the flesh acting in the church of God. In Smyrna he is outside as an adversary, in Pergamos he is inside as a seducer. This was exactly what took place under Constantine.

Historically, it was when the violence of persecution had spent itself — when men had grown weary of their own rage, and when they saw that their efforts were to no purpose that the sufferers ceased to care for the things of the world, and became more devoted to Christianity; while even the numbers of the Christians seemed to increase; Satan tries another and an old artifice, once so successful against Israel. (Num. 25) When he could not obtain the Lord’s permission to curse His people Israel, he allured them to their ruin, by unlawful alliances with the daughters of Moab. As a false prophet he was now in the church at Pergamos, seducing the saints into unlawful alliance with the world — the place of his throne and authority. The world ceases to persecute; great advantages are held out to Christians by the civil establishment of Christianity; Constantine professes to be converted, and ascribes his triumphs to the virtues of the cross. The snare alas! is successful, the church is flattered by his patronage, shakes hands with the world, and sinks into its position — “even where Satan’s seat is.” All was now lost as to her corporate and proper testimony, and the way to popery laid open. Every worldly advantage was no doubt gained; but alas! alas! it was at the cost of the honour and glory of her heavenly Lord and Saviour. 1

Miller tells of the changes in great detail this “benevolent” dictator made in the church itself. To save time and text, I would like to quote from a booklet that George Davis and I wrote, “Falling Away from the Simple Faith,” that sums up what happened to the church under the reign of Constantine.

Many Roman Emperors heavily persecuted the Christians in the first three centuries and the Church flourished and grew rapidly. After the last ditch efforts of Diocletian to wipe out the Church by force, Satan had to come up with a new idea. He found a willing adherent to this new plan in the emperor Constantine. The story of how this monarch became a “Christian” is quite involved, but the upshot was a new age of tolerance toward both Christians and pagans. This worked well for him; Constantine maintained his title of “pontifex maximus.” He was still the chief priest of the pagan state cult and retained his position as the official Roman god as well as taking control of the Church. He also took to himself the title of “The Thirteenth Apostle,” becoming in effect the first pope.

Under him the Church clergy gained a tax-exempt status that only pagan priests had enjoyed before. Soon there was a flood of rich Romans into the priesthood, taking advantage of this great tax loophole. With all these powerful Romans as leaders, the Church soon gained political power that was only wielded by the Roman government itself up until this time. Soon the “Christian” Sunday and special feast days honoring Christian martyrs were observed along with the pagan holidays. Bishops were given the right to hear and settle lawsuits in their courts. Jews were forbidden to stone Jews who became Christians. Christian clergy and bishops became a regular part of the emperor’s court. Next, Constantine started a massive public works program building churches and cathedrals throughout the area [Rome] for his newfound faith.

He also forbade the repair and construction of pagan temples and Christians were no longer forced to participate in their rituals. Eventually, pagan rituals were totally abolished in Rome and their temples closed. By becoming a Christian, a person could gain official favor of the emperor and even new opportunities for wealth. Anyone who was under the employ of the Roman government was required to be a Christian and to sweeten the pot, Constantine offered a reward of thirteen pieces of gold and a new white garment to anyone who would be baptized into his faith. As you can imagine, the lines were long.

Paganism never was totally wiped out. Many pagan holidays were incorporated into Christian holidays. Pagan priests found their place in this new religion, and they brought their idolatrous ways in with them, instituting Christian ritual. Satan had won a great victory. He drew in his train not only a third of the hosts of heaven, but the very bride of Christ. Authority delegated by the Emperor himself to this new priesthood all but replaced God’s spirit-led authority in His precious bride. 2

So, my dear saints, who no longer feel at home in the church system we see all around us today, there is a reason for this, neither does Jesus or His Spirit. The Kingdom of God is pure and ruled in love by His Spirit in truth, not by worldly minded men. This is why Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst [within] of you.” (Luke 17:20-21, ESV2011) There is a reason why when we are asked, “What church do you go to?” we are counted as pagans by the pagan church when we tell them we don’t go to Sunday services anymore. Jesus told the woman at the well when she asked Him where was the right place to worship God,

“Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain [Jeroboam’s high place and altar] nor in Jerusalem [the temple] will you worship the Father… But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:21-24, ESV2011)

There is a reason for what we feel when two of us who walk by the Spirit come together and our hearts are filled with joy… “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matt 18:20, ESV2011). We are not alone, IT’S HIM and no buildings are needed for this.

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32, ESV2011)

1 https://www.theword.net/index.php?article.download

2 http://awildernessvoice.com/FallingAway.html

23 comments on “Could it Be What We Consider “Normal Christianity” Is Not of Christ?

  1. Scarlett says:

    Thank you and may God bless you so much dear brother for expounding on the history of Christianity so eloquently and truthfully.
    It’s all in the Bible…”hidden in plain sight” to those who skip right over it without even a backward glance….all because of their “church” habit. But like my mom used to say, “if it was a snake it would have bit you”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Scarlett. Yes, it amazes me how blind I was for years as long as my heart was seeking to become a someone in that system instead of being ONE IN Christ and the Father.

      “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,” (John 17:20-22, ESV2011)

      Yet, all that time I was thinking it was what God wanted and that it was His kingdom and I was fulfilling Christ’s command,

      “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33, ESV2011)

      But in reality I was seeking the kingdoms of men, as system set in motion by Constantine. The Protestant Reformation never went far enough for it kept in place that delusional hierarchic system, only giving an honorable mention to Jesus instead of His place as the ONLY Head of His Church.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Scarlett says:

        What you are inserting about yourself in this narrative, is the story of your journey through the maze of the organized, Nicolaitan clergy/laity system. There does seem to be a minority of Christians who managed….. with heartfelt searching for the REAL, to somehow find their way out into the Light of Truth in Jesus Christ.
        I stumbled out of the mess of the Southern Baptist Denom, back in the day as a young woman. Unfortunately, I threw the baby out with the bathwater, and went back into the world and a lot of very painful years until the Holy Spirit took me by the collar and delivered me.
        All that said, I’ve often wondered WHY does the Lord seem to make it so hard…..or, is it some sort of human frailty that we “just don’t get it”? ……since, the majority of Church going Christians seem to be locked into the Nicolaitan mindset, and are so entrenched in their doctrines and traditions that you couldn’t blow it out of them with a stick of dynamite.
        Still, I believe as we continue on into the last days, the Sovereign God is going to reinstall an Acts. Chapter 2 ecclesia before the return of Jesus Christ for His Body/Bride.
        Praise the Living God…I want to be there!
        Lord Jesus Bless you Michael, wishing you and yours a multitude of grace and mercy in these very strange times.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Scarlett, my family on my father’s side were all Baptist. He and his siblings were raised to be “Hard Shell Southern Baptists.” The kids were so beaten down by that religion that five out of the six of them turned away from Protestantism altogether, much less being Baptists. My dad’s oldest sister became a Presbyterian and my dad became a Catholic when he married my mom. He was a strict disciplinarian and that carried over in to my Catholic upbringing. “Religion, religion everywhere and not a drop of Living Water” to quench my thirsty soul. Thank God He finally captured me gave me that Living Water that I might never thirst or have to go to the wells of men again.

        Why does the Lord make it so hard? I think He only makes it as hard as He needs to with those who have hard heads like us. We have a lot in common with Paul in that respect…

        And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ (Acts 26:14, ESV2011)

        Scarlett, I think that those who actually saw Jesus as a man had a disadvantage because those Jews were knowing Him after the flesh and not after the Spirit as those of us who are filled with His Spirit have opportunity today. I believe that those whom He is calling in this final hour of history, as we know it, will go beyond what was the Church in seed form in the Book of Acts for it is written, “And of the increase of His kingdom there will be no end.” And again, “When He appears we will be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”

        Like Paul prayed, may He open the eyes of our hearts that we might see and understand the riches of glory that are ours IN Christ Jesus and walk accordingly.
        Michael

        Liked by 3 people

      • yellowyarrow says:

        I became a Christian in adulthood but after a bit found the Christian institutions bewildering..Many things didn’t seem quite tight to me. But like you say, I began to try and find a place or be a ‘someone’ withni the institution but that also wasn’t right it seemed to me.
        Eventually I became, rightly or wrongly, extremely restless and events caused me to have to leave the church I went to anyhow, because we moved several times. I also decided that the main thing is to seek Christ and become one with Him as He is in the Father etc…as in Jesus’ prayer for the church. I also became strongly convinced that for all the remaining ‘End Times’ things in the Bible to happen, then we had to keep praying for it and believing that these things will happen…not just think, oh it probably won’t happen for hundreds or thousands of years. I was put off by the seeming negativity of some in the church (not that I’m not quite often negative myself 😦 ). I felt that we had to wrestle with, argue with God…point out to Him what the Word states (as if He doesn’t know!).
        A lot of years ago, I also had a…vision, is too strong a word for it, I call it a picture…of a church building basically devoid of life and broken down. But I really do believe that God is shaking everything and everybody up, whether they be non-believers, Christians, church institutions or whatever.
        Not of course that individuals within Churches aren’t close to Christ necessarily or that Churches get everything wrong all of the time..but in many ways the work of the Holy Spirit in my opinion is hampered within them quite often. But still God has His ways of working with and through people regardless.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Michael says:

        Dear Y.Y.,
        I think that coming to Christ in our adulthood could be an advantage in that we have not had our susceptible young minds warped by false teachers. I was baptized into Christianity (Catholicism) as an infant and was whisked off into parochial schools from the beginning of my education (indoctrination). So when I started to feel the pull of the Holy Spirit on me in young adulthood and had that itch that the Catholic system could not scratch, what did I do? I went to a Protestant Fundamental type church, not knowing where else to go. It took me the many years after that and a lot of church abuse (always thinking, “maybe the NEXT church will be the right one”) to get me free of church legalism and submitting to that Nicolaitan system (literal Greek meaning: to rule over the people). Through all those trials I was forced from necessity and hunger for God to dig into the scriptures for myself, for any system that exalts a man over the place that only belongs to Christ is blind to its own folly. I always wondered why it was when the Holy Spirit tried to get a word in edgewise or the Spirit of true worship started to arise, Pastor Wonderful had to grab the microphone and announce the need to get on with his foreordained show! Finally, one Sunday while I was sitting in the congregation I heard the Lord say, “WHY DO YOU KEEP SEEKING THE LIVING AMONG THE DEAD?” I finally got the message. Once I got out of that anti-christ system He led me to find individual Christians who had much the same experience I had and had come to many of the same conclusions. Yes, they are few and far between, but like God told Elijah, “I have reserved to myself 7,000 others who have not bowed down the knee to Baal nor kissed him,” and you are one of them.

        As far as end-times things are concerned, the apostle wrote that they were already upon the church even back then. “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1John 2:18, ESV2011). Antichrist in the Greek antichristos not only means “against Christ, but “instead of Christ.” Many antichrists have already come in the form of those who rise up and rule over those who believe in Christ and Constantine kicked it into high gear and founded the Catholic church with him as its first pope, “Pontifis Maximumus.”

        So, I am glad to see that you have “come out of her” and are no longer “partaking of her sins.”

        It was good to hear from you and about your journey into the kingdom of heaven and out of Babylon the Great and her harlots.
        Michael

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Louwrens says:

    There is one piece that I really enjoy pointing people to, which is an old cowboys and crooks comparison of the church. I have it as a link on my website at http://shamaministries.org.za/wp/blog/2013/01/24/settlers-and-the-pioneers/ This is not to detract people, but I believe will only strengthen your interpretation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Lou. I agree with a lot of this guy’s analogy, but the “pioneer” in me has taken me beyond settler bestowed titles like “pastor” and “bishop.” Jesus who made it clear that HE is the Good Shephard has left the building, for sure. He made that clear on His final trip out of Jerusalem prophesying that temples final destruction. Thanks for this encouraging word,
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  3. pat orr says:

    I thank God that you are a lover of the truth. I pray that I and other would be a lover of the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ken Sheck says:

    Isaiah 33 tells us Jesus did NO Violence. This is the witness of God we can see through Christ. Without peace and holiness, no one will see {understand, be like} God. Chronicles tells us we are to humble OUR selves, turn away from our evil works, and PRAY, and God said he would hear from heaven and HEAL OUR LAND. [Two lands, the nation, and our bodies {of dust}.

    Christians, in ignorance, have used the methods of man all the time since Jesus’ time in Israel fighting wars, and greed for power to control, and riches, etc, and in that way, we have all through history had the ways of the man of sin, natural Adam, mixed in with some of the ways of Christ once in a while, showing Christianity has been in the state of a little child and was acting on the milk and not the meat of the word. {1 Cor. 3:1-5} Children.

    Also, trying to make people who are not Christians and do not believe in the bible do thing that Christians are supposed to be doing, like no abortion, and LGBT, etc, is really unwise and dictatorial. The bible is for Christians to do, and we are not to try to make non Christians do what many Christians only do themselves as obedience, periodically No Violence is the witness of Jesus, as well as forgiving all who do not know what they are doing, etc. I could say more, but will leave it here. The DAY {wisdom, clear spiritual understanding, etc} of the scriptures is what the Day of the Lord is and comes from revelation from the Lord appearing to us IN US. Ken

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Ken, Jesus made it clear that His kingdom is not of this world. This world system is under a curse and will be shaken until only the UNSHAKEABLE ONE remains. If we are resting in Him, we will not be soon shaken like those around us. This is the witness of His kingdom abiding in us. He is to become our ALL in all or we have not entered into His kingdom or His rest. All to many Christians confuse the kingdoms of men and their man-made churches and governments with true Faith and rest in Christ and the Father. Because we are not of their kingdoms we are persecuted and hated just as Jesus said we would be,

      “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt 10:21-22, ESV2011)

      The church in America and most of the so-called “free world” is an ungodly mixture because it has avoided persecution as all cost and God has always hated a mixture. Yet, God uses persecution to purify and strengthen the Church as He did in its first 300 years until Satan caught onto the fact that he was being used. So he decided to kill that unstoppable force that was turning the world upside-down with kindness… enter Constantine. The church has been a mixture of the kingdoms of men and that of God ever since and the time has come for His purifying fires to begin here as we see it happening to the persecuted Church all over the world. By the way, the kingdom of heaven is not about church buildings, stain glass windows, icons and Christian statues, either. This is why I can’t get excited about these thing being burned and torn down or shut down by fear of the Corona virus. God is allowing all that is of that pagan apostate system to be destroyed, but at the same time His Bride to be made ready and purified in the process.

      As for Christians, “doing the Bible,” apart from Christ doing the will of His Father in us we can do nothing. The carnal mind cannot do the will of God. “What would Jesus do?” He did not pack around the scrolls of the Old Testament to read and find out nor did He copy the High Priest’s manner of living. He listened to the Father and obeyed and this got Him in trouble with the “Bible toters” of that day and as we obey Him we will go cross-ways of those of today as well for they know only the letter of the Law and not the Spirit. This is why they crucified God’s Anointed.

      “…through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,” (Acts 4:25-27, ESV2011)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You are so right, Michael. The church has become too worldly. The marriage of spirituality w/ governmental power during and after Constantine’s reign was a grave error. I fear it will be repeated in our lifetime.

    Blessings,

    A. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      It is being repeated, dear Anna, in the apostate churches which have taken to themselves the form of the governments of men, complete with their lust for money, garish buildings, heirachy, legalism, ritual, pomp and circumstance… everything that Jesus and the primitive Church is an was not.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Don says:

    Michael, would you please define the words “nico” and “laety”? It would seem important to me that if our Father “hates” nicolaety we should learn to recognize it and avoid it. If I don’t miss it by too much it is the ruling of the clergy over the people in the pews, the ruling of the scribes and pharisees over the children of Israel, the ruling of the popes over the masses. And it follows that it is still alive and well in all groups that have their roots in that old roman way of “doing church”, one main leader at the front and supporting clergy and finally the masses to bring in the funds to keep it all going. When I look at what is meant by “reformed” I still see a lot of people following the way that Constantine instituted and I do not really see very much that was changed. The names and the faces have all been changed to include all the guilty. Is this not what they mean by “planting churches”? They establish a group of people all just coming once a week to get directions for how to “do church” in their way, then that group relates back to the larger association of groups that all do it the same way. Reading Isaiah 58 I see a list of activities that any local body of Christians should be involved in and what Father will do for them if they do, does this not look like what Jesus was doing during the days of His ministry, is this not the measure of the Body of Christ, is this not the activity of the Kingdom of God.

    I once googled “the origin of the sunday worship services” and the responses led me to the same info that you wrote above. Constantine taught the Christians of his day that they would not be persecuted anymore if they would just join all the pagans in worshiping on their day, sunday, and abandon the Sabbath. This is a direct abandonment of the fourth command to keep the Sabbath Holy of course, another deception of the devil to cause God to punish His own people. Big time (and even small time) cleargy and teachers today agree that Saturday is the real Sabbath but the “Christian” Sabbath is Sunday because of one verse in Revelation, which is only giving us a bit of historical window into the life of John (and that is misinterpreted as well) not intended for a doctrinal statement enough to change the fourth command with/for. This whole sunday controversy seems to be the sum total purpose of these churches and groups.

    As I thought of John I saw a true follower of Christ committed to pleasing the Father in all his ways and as much as possible. He knew what Isaiah 58 said I’m sure. Isaiah 58 and verse 13 clearly states that the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day and I believe then that John was “in the Spirit” on the Sabbath not sunday. John did not write it down that way as if he was teaching all men everywhere to do “church” on the first day of the week and it was not even the first day of the week, it was the Day of Rest, the Seventh day, the Sabbath Day, The Lord’s Day, the day that Father uses to pour into His people. He spent the day pouring into John and because he wrote it all down Father thus pours into us through John.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Don, you have well defined Nicolaitan, Nico- to conquer and laitan- the people. It is the spirit that reigns over church leadership to this day and God hates it. “Submit! Submit!” they cry out. Someone pointed out that to be a modern day “pastor” you have to be the last one standing in any argument. Intimidation! Jesus is the ONLY “Good Shepherd” and He said,

      “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30, ESV2011)

      Show me a “pastor” that walks this out among the faithful. In this age of “church planting” and “church growth” philosophy church leaders have become task masters at best. Sorry, but Jesus made it clear that HE would build His church.

      As for this argument over Sabbath keeping. I have opted out. The Old Covenant was one of the written law and the Sabbath was narrowed down to one day a week. But in the New Covenant we have an entirely NEW dispensation because we who are HIS are led by the Holy Spirit. The Old one was defendant on carnal hearts in carnal men to obey and they miserably failed. The New one is one in which we have been given new hearts in which the Spirit abides and HE leads us into all truth just as Jesus promised. “The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life”

      “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:31-34, ESV2011)

      The whole Old Testament is a shadow of better things to come and Jesus was the one casting that shadow. We can be so focused on the shadow that we miss the Substance.

      Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. (Col 2:16-17, ESV2011)

      Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:28-29, ESV2011)

      Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest… (Heb 4:1-3, ESV2011)

      May the Holy Spirit open the eyes of your heart to see this.
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  7. yellowyarrow says:

    Michael: Thank you for your further reply. My mother got inerested in Roman Catholicism when I was coming up to seven. (She couldn’;t become a Catholic because she had been divorced and they would only allow her to become one if she stopped ‘sleeping’ with my dad. That wasnrt about to happen! She has six children altogether).
    Anyhow I and two fo my younger siblings were baptised and confirmed in the RC church and changed to a RC primary school I was seven so could say the words though I didn’t really understand them. But in the back of my mind I was questioning certain things. Then I went to a Catholic secondary school. Fortunatly neither of these schools were really over the top with their teachings. When i was eleven or twelve I stopped going to church apart from school stuff. But I do believe God was seeking me and guiding me from the beginning…and certainly, when in my early thirties I began to earnestly find out whether God did indeed exist or which religion or none was right and I began to read some books and so forth, many scriptures that I’d heard in my early years at church came flooding back to me…and started to make sense! I could go on about various Christians and many other things that helped me (musn’t leave out the Holy Spirit of course!) but it would take forever!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Y.Y., I know what you mean about not understanding the R.C. words… I had to learn the Latin mass responses perfectly as an altar boy and never had a clue what I was saying. Never mind that for the priests believe that the “magic” was in saying the right incantations.
      I could not bring myself in my search to tossing out the Baby with the bathwater. I figured that if there was that much horse manure scattered all over, there had to be a “Pony” somewhere! I am glad that He captured you in His loving arms, brought to mind the scriptures you had been exposed to and lifted you up unto Himself. May He continue to draw you ever deeper into His wonderful heart,
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  8. This is so true…sad but true. Christianity as we know it today has lost its first love. The church as we know it seems to be more of a religious political organization void of the love and power of God. The true Church is made up of people. The Spirit lives within us, not in a building. It is sad how the religion led by man has overtaken what being a Christian (being Christ-like) was meant to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, my brother, but the warning is still going out to those who have spiritual ears to hear, “Come out of her my people…” and “Come up here and I will show you things…” In my case God let the devil attack me through those in submission to that system (regardless of which church I attended). Until I got the message that THAT highly visible thing was NOT the Church of Jesus Christ, I was going to miserable. I had to get my focus off of “church” fellowship and seek HIM first and then let Him add human fellowship to that relationship as HE wills. When Jesus told Peter, “I will build MY Church,” He meant exactly that and He does it on stone at a time.

      Good to hear from you again,
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  9. sooner8728 says:

    I enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Sooner, I went to your blog and left a couple of comments. I am glad to see that you are a seeker and not locked into a dead religion. My father’s family also were raised Baptists and he and all his siblings bailed out of it early on. It seems that the more rigid a religion is the better atheists it produces. It is the love of God that leads us to repentance, not law.

      Liked by 1 person

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