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Joe Spivy
(no login)


February 15 2006, 12:21 AM 


If I were mistaken about the membership of the Roman Catholic Church in the World Council of Churches I would concede it. I am not mistaken.

I will concede the World Council of Churches, in speaking of the "ecumenical movement’s major achievements over the past fifty years," states:
- The Roman Catholic Church is a full member of many national ecumenical and several regional ecumenical organizations and has a regular working relationship with the WCC.

Viewing the entire page ( allows the viewer to see this in the context of the WCC’s attempt to claim continued relevance and leadership in the “ecumenical” movement (I am neither a fan nor a supporter).

For the World Council of Churches to claim a "working relationship" is not the same as the Roman Catholic Church (not a sympathizer or apologist for the RCC either) placing "membership" with them. The WCC would love this but the RCC has never made this move. Read the Vatican's "Dominus Iesus" and the reaction of the "member" churches of the World Council of Churches and you'll understand why the RCC has little motivation to join the WCC.

If your "proof" for the membership of the others mentioned is based on the same type of “proof” as that for the RCC’s membership, then it would in fact be a waste of time. An instructor in Church History at Freed-Hardeman use to caution students concerning the claims of the Roman Catholic Church, "Saying it doesn't make it so."

Words have meaning. If they are as fluid as you suggest then truth is indiscernible. You claimed “Most of the ecumenical movement shakers today are members.” Therefore you, not I, have the responsibility to prove “working relationship” = “membership.”

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David Rhoades
(no login)

Re: Concede?

February 15 2006, 10:42 AM 


Like I have previously stated; "My original post should have said all of these organizations are connected in one way or the other, to achieve their ecumenical goals"

To save time I used the word "membership" which may not have been the best terminology.

As an example the United Nations has memberships. If I said that both the United States and the National Rifle association were members of the United Nations, I would be technically wrong or technically correct, depending on how you looked at it.

Technically, the United Nations only has memberships for countries, however they do have what they call NGO (Non Governmental Organizations) that can be members (a different kind of members)as well.

Those that have studied the organizational charts of these various groups realize that there is not a clear organizational structure, even though they are all connected.

It's mean't to be obscure.

If you can't agree that the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches are together in their ecumenical goals in some sort of relationship, then we can't take this any futher.

By the way I never said The Church of Christ was a member of the WCC. All I was eluding to was that some Sunday School materials were coming from another church body that were members of the WCC, UNknowlingly by the Church of Christ.


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Joe Spivy
(no login)


February 15 2006, 12:32 PM 


To say the WCC and RCC have some similar goals in terms of ecumenism, though the means of acheiving it come from such vastly different perspective it is doubtful they will ever agree, OK, that I'll concede.

Though it may be best we not go much farther I should explain: I never thought you were implying that churches of Christ were a part of the WCC or sympathetic to the organization or its means of achieving "unity"

The confusion between "Christian Church (Disciples/Disciples of Christ)" and "Christian Church" is understandable. Just look at the names--it is easy to miss the "chalice" symbol or the word Disciples which is often to the side or underneath.

Just for the record, the materials sold by 21st Century Christian (in which I have no vested interested and which we don't use) are from the Christian Church/Churches of Christ (aka Independent Christian Church). They, like Churches of Christ, have a common history with the Christian Church/Disciples. It simply took them longer to recognize the liberal theological base of the Disciples and so it took them longer to recognize they could not enjoy fellowship with them (or even be considered a part of them).

The independents have no denominational structure, no headquarters, no governing body, etc. Each congregation is autonomous. Thus, the Christian Church referenced with a relationship with a Church of Christ publishing house is not the Christian Church whose membership is in the WCC.

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computer Geek
(Login mybiblestudies)

get ready for a lot of reading

February 12 2006, 3:26 AM 

The Law of God

Nothing is more important to the Christian (or to all humanity) than the Law of God. The Law of God ought to be held in the highest esteem by everyone in the world, and that should include all parts of the Law, not just sections that some people consider more significant than others. Indeed, the whole Law represents the foremost teaching of the Holy Scriptures. This is why the doctrines concerning the Law and its holiness are the most profound and meaningful in the Scriptures. Such doctrines reach this stature of importance because the Law is nothing less than the dictates and commands of God the Father. It is God who legislates the Law to govern and to educate humanity.

The type of attention by human beings to that Law (and the amount of obedience they show to its dictates) is the standard by which God the Father and His Son Christ Jesus will view humans on Judgment Day in all matters of rewards and blessings (or, alas, also in affairs dealing with punishments and curses.) Because of this, it is of utmost importance that Christians should know their legal positions before the Father in all factors relating to God’s holy Law. As a matter of fact, and in the simplest of terms, the Law of God is the vehicle by which sin is defined (1 John 3:4). It is the written code for conduct by which mankind will be judged at the divine tribunal of God the Father and of Christ Jesus. This means that the Law is a serious thing to consider. In this book, the Law is given continual respect and honor, and I hold it in the highest esteem. It is recognized as holy, just and good. In a word, it is sacrosanct.

Look at some essential aspects of the Law of God. The Scriptures speak about a particular “day” as important to God. To illustrate a point, let us for a moment look at that “day.” Without controversy, one of the most important segments of the Law is the command to obey the Sabbath day of God (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset). Among all the laws of the Bible, the Sabbath is one of the most significant and holy commandments that anyone can find.

It is time that all Christians (and all people in the world) understand just how important is the Sabbath day (along with all the other laws of God). These biblical laws should be acknowledged by mankind and strictly obeyed if they pertain to you and to me. Indeed, the Jews counted the number of laws that God gave to Moses and they came to 613 commands. All of them were God’s teaching to Israel to help them in their obedience to Him, and they all define what sin is (1 John 3:4). Since the Law is of such paramount issue, this book, of necessity, will pay utmost attention to all the divine faculties that comprise God’s holy Law, including matters about the Sabbath.

Permanence of the Law

How must Christians reckon the Law of God in their appraisals? Paul tells us in no uncertain terms how important and how holy, righteous, and good the Law of God is to all Christians. Paul’s teaching also extends to all humans on earth. So, let us fuse together from Paul’s writings in the Book of Romans a montage of facts on the permanence and use of the Law.

“Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law. ...
The Law has dominion over a man as long, as he lives. ...
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good. ...
for we know that the law is spiritual. ...
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. ...
So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God. ...
that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. ...
for the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
  • Romans 3:31; 7:1, 12,14:7, 22, 25; 8:4, 7

To the apostle Paul, the Law was at the highest pinnacle of worth and importance. It not only defined what sin is, it was also (as was well known at the time) the channel through which all mankind will be judged when mankind stands before the judgment seat of God. That’s right, the Law of God will be your judge.

A Deliberate, Yet Divine, Contradiction?

Yet in spite of these wonderful and true teachings about the holiness, righteousness, and permanence of the Law of God — and its effect over all humans until they die — the apostle Paul also taught that all Christians are no longer “under the Law.” By that negative statement, as we will see, he even meant under the Ten Commandments, as well as under the whole Law in the main context found in Romans chapters 6 through 8. Though Paul held the Law of God in utmost respect and esteem, he strangely appears to contradict (so it seems) those very teachings of the permanence, heedfulness, and holiness attached to the Law of God.

Look at another montage of texts. Starting in Romans 6:15 note how Paul said that Christians “are not under the Law, but under grace.”

“If the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband ... she is free from that Law ... wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the Law by the body of Christ.”

  • Romans 7:2–4

“But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held.”

  • Romans 7:6

And again:

“Knowing that a man is not justified [Greek: MADE RIGHTEOUS] by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ that we might be justified [Greek: MADE RIGHTEOUS] by the faith of Christ, and not by works of the Law: for by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified [Greek: MADE RIGHTEOUS]
  • Galatians 2:16 

“Is the Law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a Law which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the Law.”

  • Galatians 3:21

“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified [Greek: MADE RIGHTEOUS] by faith. But after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster [that is, no longer under the Law]

  • Galatians 3:24–25

“Tell me, you that desire to be under the Law, do you not hear the Law?”

  • Galatians 4:21

Paul continues in Galatians to cite an allegory to explain this negative aspect from the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Law. And, as if these references were not enough, Paul throws his last volley of negative comments with two verses about the Law. He states:

“Stand fast, therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage [the Law]

  • Galatians 5:1

This negative was followed by another: “But if you be led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law” (Galatians 5:18). These negative comments by Paul confuse some students of the Bible. They look to be so contradictory to what he stringently said before.

On the surface one might imagine that the profound differences in emphasis by the apostle Paul in the above paragraphs (when compared to one another) are in utter contradiction to teachings by the same apostle. They seem so diametrically opposite in meaning from one another. How can he be so negative about the Law of God when formerly he was so positive by saying it was holy, righteous, and good? Paul also said the Law was the very instrument by which sin is determined. But then he turns around and states with dogmatism — Christians are no more under that Law!

We need to understand why Paul insisted on such negative judgments concerning the relevance of the Law of God for those who are Christians. The answer is simple and plain if one takes a common sense view of the whole issue that the apostle Paul presents. We will see that there is not the slightest contradiction in Paul’s teaching. Indeed, it is the most wonderful and logical instruction that could be presented to Israel and mankind. Let us see.

PRINCIPLE ONE: All Christians Have Died

Paul stated in the books of Romans and Galatians that if humans accept Christ in faith for the forgiveness of their sins, then God the Father reckons that they all died with Jesus Christ when He died on the tree of crucifixion. To Paul, Christ had become a substitute sacrifice for all Christians. Christ performed a special “dying” for other people when He died on their behalf. Paul said:

“For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me [that is, Christ died in Paul’s place]

  • Galatians 2:19–20

Paul looked on himself as one who already died. He believed all Christians also already died. The central doctrine he boldly presented was that the whole of the human race had already died; they were now all “dead to the Law” (Galatians 2:19).

In no way was Paul getting rid of the Law when he said that we were “dead to the Law.” He simply said that the circumstances by which God judged humans had now changed. Mankind had DIED! To Paul, the Law did not apply any longer in any factor regarding the Christian because the Christian was now reckoned to be dead “in Christ.” So, we Christians are like Paul’s illustration in the Book of Romans that if a husband dies, then the Law, that bound that husband and wife was no longer in force because the husband died. This meant that the wife was no longer married to the man.

“But if her husband be dead she is free from that Law. ... wherefore, my brethren, you are become dead to the Law by the body of Christ [when Christ died and became a substitute for us]. ... but now we are delivered from the Law that being dead wherein we were held.”

  • Romans 7:3

Paul stated that we had been legally in a marriage state, by being attached to Israel; but now the husband of that marriage had died and we were being called, collectively, a “widow.” The Old Covenant was such a marriage relationship between Israel and God, but when the “husband” (Christ) died, that death ended the Old Covenant between Israel and God. The nation of Israel is now considered “a widow.”

So look at PRINCIPLE ONE. There is utter simplicity in Paul’s meaning. Whereas the first marriage of the woman of Paul’s illustration was holy, righteous, and good, and lasted until the death of the husband, so too the Law of God that the Father gave to ancient Israel was a very holy thing. It was righteous and good, and lasted until Christ died for mankind. Yet, and in spite of the Law being holy, righteous, and good, the Law had some powerful and unwelcome negative aspects associated with it.

Negative aspects? That’s right. Paul in the Book of Romans spent considerable time rehearsing what were the negative factors in the Law of God, and they were very upsetting indeed. In fact, to get rid of these negative features surrounding the Law, Paul said that all Christians died in Christ when Christ died on the tree of crucifixion. This was the central core of Paul’s teaching.

Now, the apostle Paul did not consider anything wrong with the first marriage of the widow in his illustration, for while that marriage was in force, Christ had not yet died for the sins of the world. But there were negative factors associated with the Old Covenant because all people (including Israelites) were held in bondage to the consequences of breaking that Law of God that the Old Covenant demanded be kept. Paul knew that not only Israelites, but all in the world were condemned and headed for severe judgments and chastisements for their sins that they committed under that Law of God.

These were the principal negatives attached to the constitutional framework of the Law of God. There was no way to be saved from those negatives as long as the Law held a person captive to its holy and august requirements. Mere animal sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, or any other sin offerings, were not sufficient to solve the problem of recurrent sins (breaking God’s Law) that humans consistently found within their normal lives while they were “under Law.” After each sacrifice for sin, all knew (as Paul pointed out) that people kept on sinning and death sentences continued over each person who found him or herself breaking the Law.

What Was the Law of God to Paul?

It is important in a theological sense to know just what Paul considered to be the Law of God about which he wrote. To show this, in Galatians 4:21–31 Paul gave the illustration of Sarah and Hagar, the wife and concubine of Abraham mentioned in the Book of Genesis. It is interesting that Paul even called his illustration a teaching of the Law. In Jewish and biblical terminology the first book of the Bible is called the initial book of the Law. So, when Paul thought of the Law of God, he included laws given to Adam, other laws given to Noah, those given to Abraham and also all those given to Moses and Israel at the time of the Exodus. All these laws were commands that were good and right, but Paul found them impossible to keep in a perfect sense.

There were many negatives to human welfare associated with the earlier Law of God. This is what Paul indicated when he said:

“And the commandment, which was ordained unto life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it [the commandment] slew me.”

  • Romans 7:10–11

Indeed, everyone who lived under the Law of God (before the death of Christ on the tree of crucifixion), was utterly condemned by that very Law ordained to give life to those who would keep it perfectly. The word “perfectly” easily condemned all humans.

This was the profound negative attached to the Law. And, alas, no one was ever able to keep God’s commandments from the time of Adam to that of Christ. Paul stated a cardinal truth when he taught that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And there were no degrees in lawbreaking in the eyes of God. It was not that some laws were more important to God than others, or that some were reckoned by Him to be severe and others as mild in interpretation. In no way was that true. In God’s view, even a minor transgression of the Law meant that all the Law (in its entirety) had been broken (James 2:10).

Under the Law, man was in a hopeless state because he found himself consistently sinning, with perhaps a few brief periods of temporary relief. Unrelenting, the Law of God habitually reminded mankind of his degenerate and desperate state. The Law always revealed to man (in a negative sense) his sinning nature and that the Law issued a death warrant that continually loomed over man and awaited him (eventually) because of persistent sins. This disclosure to man of man’s unrighteousness by statements within the Law was a profound negative appraisal. It disturbed Paul (and other apostles) with remorse.

Keep PRINCIPLE ONE in mind. While the former “marriage” of the widow in Paul’s illustration was fine and holy and good, there was no way to get out from under the Law’s definition of sin and its negative consequences until the death of one of the parties to that former marriage relationship. So, when Jesus died on the tree of crucifixion, He took with Him all the sins of Israel and also all the sins of the world on His back (John 3:16–17). Christ died in place of all Israelites and all human beings as a substitute (on their behalf) so that all are now reckoned dead to that old relationship that humans had with God before Christ forgave humans of their sins. Paul sums up this teaching in an admirable way in 2 Corinthians 5:14–21. Note how Paul showed that all humans (not just Israelites) are reckoned to have died with Christ when He died on the tree of crucifixion.

“For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all then were all dead: and that he died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. ...

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [a new creation, not an old man], old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us [to the apostles] the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself [the whole of the world, not just Israelites alone], not imputing their [the world’s] trespasses unto them: and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation ...,

for He has made Him to be sin for us [He was a sin offering for all in the world], who knew no sin, that we might he made the righteousness of God in Him

  • 2 Corinthians 5:14–15, 17–19, 21

So, PRINCIPLE ONE tells us that Christ died for all humans or earth (including all Israelites). This means that God the Father no longer imputes to the world the sins and trespasses they were subjected to before Christ died for all in the world. Now, those who are in Christ are new creations of God. They are to live in newness of life — as though they died and been resurrected from the dead. They are no longer subject to the Law of God that pertained to their former lives before their “deaths” in Christ. They died to that particular Law with its negative aspects found in its judgments and curses. Paul said that humans have in a sense been “widowed” to that former Law because Christ (the “husband”) died. They are now subject to another Law that Paul mentioned in Galatians 6:2. “Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ It is now the LAW of Christ that governs them.

Paul taught that the whole world “died” to the former Law of God in order to accept another law that is better, the Law of Christ. Paul just said: “But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the Law [the former Law of bondage]” (Galatians 5:18). When Christ died, they also became “dead in Christ” to that old Law. This does not mean that Christians are abandoning law. No, they are not giving up law. They have simply paid their debt to the old law and are now under a new Law of Christ in which they perform the fruit of the Spirit. The Law of Christ is represented by those nine fruits (virtues or principles) of the Spirit which are so interlaced with one another in importance that they coalesce into being a single “fruit.” Paul said:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no Law

  • Galatians 5:22–23

Nor does any law or commandment define each of them. To discover what each of them means, you have to become “one” with the Father and with Christ Jesus who made them for us to walk in.

These nine principles of the Spirit are not “against” (or they do not “contradict”) any law no matter what it is. These nine principles are the very embodiment of all laws that come from the hand of God. Indeed, no proper laws can exist without the adoption of these nine spiritual virtues or principles. And notice this important point, each of those principles is NOT defined with written legislation like the written Ten Commandments or the other written codes of Moses. Not one of those principles is thoroughly defined in dictionary format or in a written legal code-form within the Holy Scriptures (though scores of examples illustrating them are given). These are the UNWRITTEN virtues or principles that represent the Law of Christ. That Law is “written” on the heart, not on tables of stone, or even written as laws that thoroughly explain each principle written in a book (even in the Scriptures).

Fruits of the Spirit Supersede the Law of Moses

The nine fruits of the Spirit in action in a person’s life supersede the necessity of having written laws (any written laws), no matter what they are or were. No law ever made (even the holiest) is against these nine principles of life that should be manifested within each Christian. As I have said, these nine fruits now represent “the Law of Christ” (Galatians 6:21). All should keep that Law of Christ. Paul said that even living in the fashion of the Gentiles, who walked without the Law of God mentioned in the Scriptures, those Gentiles could still be said to be “under [or, within] the Law to Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:21) when they observe the nine fruits of the Spirit. Paul fully believed that he and the Gentiles were living “within the Law to Christ” even when Paul himself was walking after the manner of the Gentiles and not acting like a Jew under the Old Covenant.

“To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law. To them that are without law [that is, to those outside the pale of Judaism, and those who are non-Israelites], as [living] without law, [but] being not without law to God, but [living within or] under the law to Christ
  • 1 Corinthians 9:20–21

This “Law of Christ” is one motivated in the heart, and not in written words on external tables of stone where Moses had placed the constitution of Israel.

“You [Gentile Corinthians] are our epistle [like an outward letter] written in our hearts, known and read of all men. Forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ [but like an open letter from Christ himself] ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God not in tables of stone but in fleshly tables of the heart. ...

Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament [the New Covenant]; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

  • 2 Corinthians 3:2–3, 6

What does Paul mean when he said that the written Law engraved in alphabetic letters on two tables of stone was a Law that “kills”? This is simple because this fact was its chief negative aspect. Recall that Paul told the Roman Gentiles that the

“commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.”
  • Romans 7:10–11

That’s right. The commandments of God (no matter how good and holy they were) revealed to Paul that he was a sinner and one without a Savior before the death of Christ for all mankind. This was a profound negative aspect associated with the Law of God. Indeed, the Law actually “kills” a person even though it was ordained by God to give life.

To overcome this negative feature of the Law, Paul went on in 2 Corinthians 3:7 with the following deduction.

“But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministry of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation [the Law which killed people] be glory, much more does the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory ...

For if that which is done away was glorious ... the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that [glory] which is abolished. But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail [that covered the glory] untaken away in the reading of the old testament [the Old Covenant]; which vail was done away [being done away] in Christ

  • 2 Corinthians 3:7–9, 11, 13–14

Thus, the “ministration of death and condemnation” which was the Old Covenant and its glory (with many negative aspects), has been replaced by a more glorious relationship with God through Christ. The negative features of the Law were abolished and were replaced with highly positive attributes and promises. Matters of the heart (based on faith) governed the New Covenant, not laws on two stone tablets. The exercise of faith in Christ (or, the faith of Christ), which was the reliance on the efficacy of Christ’s death, resurrection, and salvation power, brought in a New Covenant relationship to Israel. This was the establishing of a new Law. Paul said that showing a faith in Christ meant “we establish the Law Paul said that Christians actually establish a law based on faith (not a Law that is carved on stones and one that remains external to the human heart). The law that Christians now establish is a “Law of Faith” (Romans 3:31).

Paul said virtually the same thing in the Book of Hebrews. The old Law had become no longer applicable to Christians.

“Now has he [Christ] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
For finding fault with them [the weaknesses of the Israelites who could not keep any part of the Law properly and the Law became death to them], he says,
‘Behold, the days come,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not,’ says the Lord. ‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ says the Lord; ‘I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. ...
In that he says, a new covenant, he [God] has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to vanish away.’”
  • Hebrews 8:6–10, 13 (quoting Jeremiah 31:31–34)

Paul said that the Old Covenant had not yet vanished away for most of the Israelites because they were still under its banner and they were not yet accepting Christ and His death on the tree of crucifixion for the forgiveness of their sins. But it was ready to vanish away. This means that the Old Covenant will remain in force for all people who do not wish to accept the terms of the unwritten “Law of the heart” (the “Law of Faith”), the “Law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Only when people, including the Israelites and Jews, accept the death of Christ and His forgiveness of their sins (which banishes the negative consequences of the Law of God embedded within the Old Covenant legislation) will they be granted a new relationship with God through what God calls the New Covenant.

[Later I will show how Paul reckoned it was necessary for the Gentiles to join Israel to take part in the New Covenant promises, because the New Covenant was made only with the nations of Israel and Judah.]

The New Covenant for all Israel will only be made with them when Christ returns. But for a few “spiritual Israelites” it can be ordained now if they express faith in Christ and agree to partake of the Lord’s Supper (which was designed as a precursor ritual symbolizing the enactment of a “pre-New Covenant” relationship that God now has with those of spiritual Israel). Christians, however, through Christ, can now enter the New Covenant relationship that Israel will obtain when Christ returns. Even now for “spiritual Israelites,” Christ Jesus is the mediator of a New Covenant. As Paul said,

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [eonian, age-lasting] Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he [Christ] is the mediator of the new testament [the New Covenant], that by means of death, for the redemption for the transgressions that were under the first testament, they that are called might receive the promise of eternal [age-lasting] inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.”

  • Hebrews 9:14–17

So, when Christ died on the tree of crucifixion for all of us, Paul reckoned that all of us died with Him.

“For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead

  • 2 Corinthians 5:14

In simple terms, the Old Covenant relationship which was found in the Law of God, that had as its constitution the written commandments on the two Tables of Stone, is no longer applicable in having a proper and holy relationship with God the Father. This is because Christians have “died” to that Law and its requirements when they embraced Christ. They are NOT under any of that Law any longer. They are now widowed to their former marriage relationship. That particular Law (that God gave to Moses) is thoroughly abolished for the Christian.

Still, the Old Covenant Remains

But let us not think that the Old Covenant has yet been done away for all people. Why, the Jewish people still want to be under it, as do Christian people in denominations that demand that the works and rules of the Old Covenant are still adhered to. So Paul did not unilaterally dismiss the earlier “Law.” He did show how mature Christians are no longer under that earlier Law (no matter how good it was) because all Christians have now died in Christ to that Law and its negative consequences. They are now “widowed” to it. This means that spiritual Israelites are no longer “married” as stated by that Law. Paul was showing how God was substituting another unwritten “Law” (the Law of Christ) for the earlier one because the old one had no means of salvation associated with it (which represents a very negative demerit). But Christ now provides a positive alternative that bequeaths to mankind an unvarnished salvation and hope.

This brings us to PRINCIPLE TWO. Paul used another illustration besides a husband dying and the wife now being free because that Law of marriage ended with the husband’s death (or our “dying” to the Law with our own “deaths” that occurred when Christ “died” for us). Paul continued in Galatians to explain why Christians are no longer under the earlier Law of God that existed before the crucifixion of Christ. This other illustration is that we Christians are now grown up spiritually and we are no longer children in the faith. Paul reckoned that all people in the generations before the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ were reckoned by God to be children and under the Law that was then in force.

“Before faith came we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster [as an adult educator who educates a child] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified [Greek: made righteous] by faith. But after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster [the earlier Law of God]. ...
Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until such time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the Law [also that Christ could die for us] to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons [that is, to be full grown and mature sons]
  • Galatians 3:23–25; 4:1–5

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Ken Sublett
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The MOUNT SINAI musical idolatry must be considered?

February 12 2006, 12:12 PM 

Why did you STOP and NOT quote THE meaning of the Covenant of Grace given by the promise of the Spirit of Christ in order to be a true ISRAELITE and NOT a Jews under the Law of Moses as a curse?
    Gal 3:26 FOR ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

    Gal 3:27 FOR as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Abraham lived under a COVENANT OF GRACE: he was justified by faith because he obeyed God's laws and commands.
    God brought Israel out of Egypt and gave them a restatement of that called The Book of the Covenant.

    The people repudiated Grace by rising up to PLAY in musical worship of the trinity. The Law of Moses to legislate for the lawless was BECAUSE OF MUSICAL IDOLATRY.

    God saw this as their PRAYER to return to paganism. Therefore, Stephen and many others say that God TURNED THEM OVER TO WORSHIP THE STARRY HOSTS.

    The Book of the Covenant was revoked, the tablets broken and restated to fit the Jew's new PAGANISM.

    The SABBATH never meant A DAY OF WORSHIP: both some FIRST DAYS and later all "one out of seven" days was to hold a Holy Convocation. That meant to REST and READ or REHEARSE the Word which any APT elder could do from memory.

    This was to QUARANTINE the Isralites FROM the SABBATH day "worship" which was BABYLONIAN as was the TITHE. The Babylonian worship was--like modern churchianity--where the people SERVED the gods by serving the AGENTS of the "gods" with food, drink, singing, dancing and sexual and homosexual pleasures.

    The SABBATH meant REST just as Jesus died to give us REST from the burdens laded on by the self-serving clergy. REST in the literature means: "Stop the singing, stop the instruments, stop the rhetoric and just REST." SABBATH outlaws "sending out ministers" and "speaking your own words."
Ezek 20:6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them,
    to bring them forth of the land of Egypt
    into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey,
    which is the glory of all lands:
Ezek 20:7 Then said I unto them,
    Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes,
    and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt:
    I am the Lord your God.
    Shiqquwc (h8251) shik-koots'; or shiqquc shik-koots'; from 8262; disgusting, i. e. filthy; espec. idolatrous or (concr.) an idol: - abominable filth (idol, -ation), detestable (thing)
Ezek 20:8 But they rebelled against me,
    and would not hearken unto me:
    they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes,
    neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said,
    I will pour out my fury upon them,
    to accomplish my anger against them
    in the midst of the land of Egypt.
Ezek 20:9 But I wrought for my names sake,
    that it should not be polluted before the heathen,
    among whom they were, in whose sight
    I made myself known unto them,
    in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
Ezek 20:10 Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt,
    and brought them into the wilderness.
God gave the ten words and the oral version of The Book of The Covenant.

This directly connects the promise made to Abraham and Jesus as the SEED. We become HEIRS of the promise by being baptized into Christ.
Ezek 20:11 And I gave them my statutes,
    and shewed them my judgments,
    which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
Ezek 20:12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths,
    to be a sign between me and them,
    that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.
Ezek 20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness:
    they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments,
    which if a man do, he shall even live in them;
    and my sabbaths they greatly polluted:
    then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
Ezek 20:14 But I wrought for my names sake,
    that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.
The righteous decision would be to leave Israel in the wilderness. Again, god had to protect His people to protect His Name:

Ezek 20:15 Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness,
    that I would NOT bring them into the land which I had given them,
    flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
Ezek 20:16 Because they despised my judgments,
    and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths:
    for their heart went after their idols.
The word POLLUTED is the same word defining how Lucifer was CAST OUT of heaven and how Jesus CAST OUT the musical ministrels--like one ejects dung:
    Chalal (h2490) khaw-lal'; to wound, to dissolve; fig. to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); denom. (from 2485) to play (the flute) - defile, * eat (as common things), * first, * gather the grape thereof, * take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.

    "The triumphal hymn of Moses had unquestionably a religious character about it; but the employment of music in religious services, though idolatrous, is more distinctly marked in the festivities which attended the erection of the golden calf." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, Music, p. 589).

    "In the New Testament there is nowhere any emphasis laid on the MUSICAL form of the hymns; and in particular none on instrumental accompaniment whereas this is significantly paganism." (Delling, Gerhard, Worship in the New Testament, trans. Percy Scott Phil. Westminster press, 1962, p. 86).

Ezek 20:17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them,
    neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
Ezek 20:18 But I said unto their children in the wilderness,
    Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers,
    either observe their judgments,
    nor defile yourselves with their idols:
Ezek 20:19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;

Ezek 20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they
    shall be a SIGN between me and you [ISRAELITES], that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.
Ezek 20:21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me:
    they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them,
    which if a man do, he shall even live in them;
    they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them,
    to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
Ezek 20:22 Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand,
    and wrought for my names sake,
    that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen,
    in whose sight I brought them forth.

    The idolatrous worship of Apis at Mount Sinai sentenced Israel to captivity and almost total destruction -- then and there -- because they would always be unfaithful to God. Therefore, He gave them a law which could not give life (as the Covenant could have) and helped them on their way to destruction when they "fired" Him and demanded a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations:
Ezek 20:23 I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness,
    that I would scatter them among the heathen,
    and disperse them through the countries;
Ezek 20:24 Because they had not executed my judgments,
    but had despised my statutes,
    and had polluted my sabbaths,
    and their eyes were after their fathers idols.
Ezek 20:25 Wherefore
    I gave them also statutes that were not good,
    and judgments whereby they should not live;
Ezek 20:26 And I polluted them in their own gifts,
    in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb,
    that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.

    Ac.7:42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?
Stephen alludes to the writings of Amos which ILLUSTRATES the musical, idolatrous worship of the nation of Israel including the APIS bulls. When you REJECT God's Word He sends you strong delusions.

Again: the Sabbath was for REST. That QUARANTINED them from being able to travel to the CANAANITE or BABYLON "Sabbath Day Worship" rituals which--like most of Christianism--is for entertainment at a HIGH PRICE. The only WORSHIP word which they performed and used by Paul for the EKKLESIA or "school of the Bible" was to GIVE HEED to "that which is written" or "Scripture." That is the SAME restriction as the Holy Convocation.

At the time of Christ the THREAT was SUN worship in which all "musical worship" speaks of pleasuring, sexuality, homosexuality and TAKING AWAY MONEY. Therefore, as the FIRST day was the BEGINNING of creation and the EIGHTH DAY was the beginning again of activity, the Lord's Day was to QUARANTINE Christians FROM religious worship rituals. Jesus still DID NOT call it a DAY OF WORSHIP but a DAY OF REST. Clergy makes it certain that SUNDAY is the most ANXIETY CREATING, wearing day of the weak. It is OK to remember the Sabbath and keep it HOLY but it is NOT ok and was NEVER ok to make it a DAY OF WORSHIP where the CLERGY gets PAID for LADING BURDENS.


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(no login)

Enough already...

April 25 2006, 6:03 PM 

Wow. I don't usually follow these kinds of online blogs. They lead exactly nowhere. They are an end unto themselves and have very little if any redeeming value or even collateral spirituality. This one is no different. I'm going to have my one say and then I won't post again. All of this smacks of prideful, vain self-promotion. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. You are writing daily "books" of information that has no hope of saving a single lost soul or encouraging a single hurting heart. If you spent have the energy on the "weightier" matters, heaven would be singing joyfully over the lost souls that have been redeemed. You sound like a bunch of Pharisees trying to see who has the biggest and best refence Bible. Paul understood what was really important and told the church at Colasse as much as a preface to combatting heresy in that church:

I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. (Col. 2:1-4)

There are a lot of "fine sounding arguments" here that emphasise style over substance and form over function. Please, gentlemen, I pray that you can get over yourselves and get back to the real work of the church - Seeking and saving the lost; not an endless search for the truth. God has already cornered the market on that one.

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Ken Sublett
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Not NEARLY enough.

April 25 2006, 10:43 PM 

This is not a BLOG which is reserved for disfunctional women and underemployed males. This is a Viper Defense Forum.

Good! pull the pigtail and run, hey? The seven SPIRITS which would rest on Messiah or the Branch were ALL forms of Divine knowledge. (see Isaiah 11:1f for the first time). These are prefigured by the LAMPS of the Menorah in the Holy Place. This is the type of the church of Christ which has the SOLE TASK of making the wisdom of God known to mankind and to supernatural beings. This is to prove that the WORD of God can defeat the rituals of Satan which appeal to the FLESH.
    Col 2:1 FOR I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

    Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

    Col 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Both Paul and Peter warn us to speak that which has been delivered to us because it was delivered by eye and ear witnesses and given the supernatural memory to write us a MEMORY. That left us a MARKER so that anyone who teaches otherwise is a FALSE TEACHER. You may remember that the SERPENT who wholly seduced Eve is identified as a Musical Enchanter.
    Col 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should BEGUILE you with enticing words.
Now, if you stop TOO SOON everyone will know that you may be a SEDUCER and just don't want people to know the REST OF THE STORY?
    Col 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

    Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

To be IN CHRIST one must be BAPTIZED INTO Christ. Now, one of the SEDUCTIONS we are fighting against is the denial of the need for baptism. You seem to suggest some mystical union with the SPIRIT Christ and not the SUFFERING SERVANT who will only be found OUTSIDE of the crows suffering reproaches.

To receive Christ is to receive THE FAITH and THE FAITH is taught and not caught.
    Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye HAVE BEEN TAUGHT , abounding THEREIN with thanksgiving.

    Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

The "trinity" is never seen as THREE PEOPLE with the "holy spirit person" left over to let people CHANGE to fit the CULTURE.
    Psalms 33:6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

    The WORD is the LOGOS or Hebrew DABAR.
    The LORD is Jehovah and Jesus in prophecy is JEHOVAH- SAVES while the FATHER is Jehovah- Righted.
    The BREATH is the word SPIRIT.
    DANGER, Will Robinson, DANGER

That means that the OPERATIVE CONFESSION is that you must believe that CHRIST came fully in the FLESH. The CHRIST OF GOD is 100% God who has momentarily LAID ASIDE His full glory and majesty.



If you deny BAPTISM then you cannot have A holy spirit (not a twin) or A good conscience: that is you cannot be a Disciple meaning a Christian.

Paul is speaking to BELIEVERS which by definition means one who COMPLIES
    Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    Col 2:10 And ye are complete IN him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Paul says that salvation by FAITH means being BAPTIZED INTO Christ or His Body. You cannot get INTO the body by just believing in the body.
    Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

    Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

A person who is dead in sins does not mean unconsious.
    1Ti.5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

    Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

The SABBATH was to give REST and not do ceremonial legalism. I will stop here but you THESIS is proven wrong the more you read Paul's OUTLAWING even discussing personal diversities in Romans 14 and then went DIRECTLY into Romans 15 where he defined the SYNAGOGUE or school of the Bible. The FIRST thing he outlaws is the PERSONAL PLEASING one another. This means to AROUSE people into an excited state of mind. The METHOD was alsays arousal singing--called enchantment or sorcery--and instruments. This was THE MEANING of heresy where someone with a VESTED interest LIFTS YOU UP with music to CARRY YOU AWAY for their own uses. The word KLEPTOMAI is closely related. In the Old Testament prophecies literally fulfilled they would AROUSE Jesus to REPROACH Him which was to expose his nakedness. Now, surely you don't believe that is a LIBERTY or "bull's eye thing?"

Sorry, fella, but you will NEVER find the LUSTED WORD Psallo which does NOT point to older males plucking a harp in order to get the "hair pluched" boy minister ready for the MOST IMPORTANT act of "worship."

I suppose that if we BUY INTO the "Just Jesus heresy" that will leave the hucksters free to fill in the blanks. I assuredly feel the pain when the "back pews" who have ALWAYS been silenced by professionals get their TONGUE and a pulpit. However, you need to become a teacher "of that which has been taught" and a "singer" of "that which is written" meaning "scripture" as the only way to edify or educate, glorify God and KEEP THE UNITY.

The cat is out of the bag and there is NO TURNING BACK: Jesus has been unchained and for the first time in history honest teachers can do an end run around truth squelchers and GO into the whole world and preach the gospel which has ALWAYS been an offense.

You may have disappeared but hundreds of others will know that you thought that you could throw a little sand into the gears and the MAD MACHINE would grind to a halt.

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Jack Mann
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Re: get ready for a lot of reading

February 13 2006, 2:03 PM 

Computer Geek,
Since I am a Christian saved by "Grace," the law of Moses
and the Decalogue that you cling to, I find were nailed to the cross in Colossians 2:14. Now, before you
commence your argument please turn to 11 Corinthians 3, where Paul speaks of the "law" (Torah, or Old Testament), as the "letter of death," and the "spirit" (New Testament), as the "letter of life."

Paul would say in vs. 7: "But if the ministration of death (the law), written and engraved in stones ("stones," that friend, is the 10 Commandments, Please read Ex. 34:1, 28-30; De. 10:1; Ro. 7:10), so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory WAS TO BE DONE AWAY."
By the way, the word "glory" translates from the Greek into the English as "character."

Now, either Jesus "blotted out the ordinances that was against us, and took it OUT OF THE WAY, NAILING IT TO HIS CROSS," or, He did not! I know, there are are those today who believe by "Keeping the Sabbath," or "Fest Days," or the "Dietary Law" stands them in good stead with God.

I ask how can this be, since Paul wrote that the "law was death and nailed to His cross.?".. To try and keep the law, means that you have not excepted the death of Jesus as a "substitute, sacrifice" for your sins.
If not Jesus, just what do you have to sacrifice to God for your sins? The Hebrew writer would say: "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.".....Again, just what do you have to offer God in the way of a sacrifice?....The Law?... Think about it!

Like so many, you are not aware of Paul's teaching on "Justification through the Atoning Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ."
By the time you wade through the "thou shall not's" of the "Anties" on this forum, you may find it easier to keep the Law's of Moses.... all 113.....
Jack Mann

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Donnie Cruz
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In Review—the “Worship Leader”

October 16 2006, 4:44 AM 

I was just re-reading the initial message at the top—what a painful reminder!!!!! How far certain congregations have gone and arrived at this venture at the expense of the saints’ collection? Can someone honestly search the Scripture and identify the true purpose for letting one “lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come”?

What about I Corinthians 16:

    [1] Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
    [2] Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
    [3] And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

Indeed, one of the signs of the Church Growth Movement is the presence of a “Worship Leader.”

It is no secret that at Madison, the “Worship Leader” is:

    ”… responsible for planning all areas of the worship service and then presenting these plans to the worship committee. This includes the Lord’s Supper, giving, prayers, and the reading of the Lord’s Word as well as the song service.”

Note from the preceding list that all aspects of the “worship service” are included, with the exception of the sermon delivery. Yeah, right, it justifies the full-time employment of a “worship leader”—a very significant “staff” member in the assembly of the saints. Really!?! This sounds more like some kind of a spiritual disease. Don’t I hear “staff infection”?

This past Sunday, Madison’s “Worship Leader” returned after a two-week absence. Someone or something must have prompted him to defend his “spiritual” task that “musical worship”— the way of “leading the congregants into God’s holy presence” —is not entertainment at all. But, you see, “entertainment” is a broad term. But, then, according to the church growth guru, Rick Warren, contemporary-charismatic music [especially with instruments and the band] is the methodology for attracting or demanding the attention of the “un-churched.” Well, call it “holy entertainment” or “redemptive entertainment” or “eternal entertainment” or whatever.

The “Worship Leader” also reminded the congregation that the non-Church-of-Christ professors at Abilene Christian University are impressed with the non-instrumental “congregational” singing in churches of Christ. [Wow! Was that really new news? I thought our congregations were known for “congregational” singing all along. He also compared Madison [his worship-leading congregation … Atta-Boy!] with other congregations who have somewhat departed from the 4-part harmony --- like, hmmm, whose fault is that?

Well, whose fault is that? Let me just very briefly state what has really happened since the advent of the “worship leader” thingy and the “Praise Team” thingy and contemporary-charismatic 7-11 praise music that has rendered the hymns almost extinct, along with the big screen that displays words ONLY, etc.?


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...........................THE BOOK

What Happened at the Madison Church of Christ?

There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

This book is only about one of those churches. It's about the Madison Church Of Christ. By studying the methods used here along with the resource references you might be able to inoculate your church. At the very least you will recognize the signs early on.

Many of the current members of the Madison Church of Christ still don't know what happened.
Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill in some of the timeline.

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Here is the list of players;

5 Godly Elders
10 Not so Godly Elders
120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
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Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)

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