Jesus, the Word, has answers:
"He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God." Revelation19,13 NIV
We pray for each and every eternal soul- that all would be saved and live with our Lord Jesus forever!
Revelation3,7 (the last prophetic word about keys):
"To the church in Philadelphia write: these are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, what he shuts, no one can open." NIV
Index of Questions:
1. "Father?"; 2. Infant or adult faith baptism?; 3. Mandatory Celibacy?; 4. Clerical Collars?; 5. Sitting on tradition or standing on the Word?; 6. Local church bible governance model or imperial-political-provincial-territorial model?; 7. Is or was any church the Kingdom of God? 8. How did the Vatican state church become so political?; 9. Is the Vatican church going through a rough patch or is its set up biblically flawed?; 10. Should you, or I, come home to the Roman "mass" or home to Word of God and a biblically revived Lord's supper led by all baptized Christians?; 11. What are the milestones of a bible based salvation?; 12. Does the biblically revived Lord's Supper of ZPM have some aspects of what Roman catholics call the "real presence?" 13. Got salvation?
1. Calling priests "father"?
Why would we humans give over our God given Holy Ghost agency and power- a gift of Jesus' blood on Calvary- to any human and or fellow believer? Thus, Jesus said "call no man father." Mt.23,9.
2. Infant or adult baptism?
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians5,1. NIV
Here in Galatians 5 Paul is cautioning the Non Jewish or "gentile" adult believers there in Galatia- who were getting circumcized at the urging of their already circumcised Jewish-Christian brethren- to not, via circumcision, take on again the burden of the whole law of Moses. This question of gentile circumcision also was definitively answered in the negative at the Jerusalem council according to Acts15,19 where the local apostle James, after listening to all the stakeholders, and having the apostolic and pastoral jurisdiction in Jerusalem, ruled that adult gentiles, let alone infants, did not have to be circumcized, ie become Jewish to be Christians.
Nowadays most gentile Christians receive circumcision as infants- not for any faith reason- but for hygiene.
But Paul's warning to non Jewish Galatian gentile adults not to be circumcized is comparable to the Vatican State Church which obligates the parents and godparents to subsequently teach a person baptized as an infant to follow Catholic denominational teaching (Catechism of The Catholic Church, CCC section 1255, at least during his or her youth). This infant baptism also obligates the infant to follow this same denominational path as he or she matures, an obligation that assumes the infant is helped in this task by the automatically granted rebirth-regeneration, and grace and faith too (cf CCC section1254) at infant baptism (CCC section 1250), as if the infant actually had a bible based personal repentant adult faith at that baptism.
But we know from Romans5,1-2, and the entire New Testament, that a personal saving faith, and its subsequent rebirth and regeneration, can only be demonstrated and given to someone who knows he or she is a sinner and repents to our one Lord and savior Jesus, ie by "adults" ie those who know what they are doing:
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." NIV
The Catechism of the Catholic Church also teaches that baptism is required for salvation (CCC1257 citing John3,5 and Matthew16,16) and the aforementioned CCC section 1250 assumes that the grace of rebirth and regeneration is automatically given to the recipient regardless of personal faith or not.
But Jesus' command at Matthew28,19 was to make disciples [ie adult folks who have personally heard and understood the gospel and personally accepted Jesus as savior, savior from their sin] of all nations, [only then] baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
The worry here is that some (or many?) adherents to the Vatican State Church, among their 1.4 billion precious and eternal souls, could merely be relying on the assumed automatic grace of infant baptism for their salvation, without a personally repentant, actually saving, actually born again faith expressed and gained as an adult (John3,5), ie without a biblically based adult baptism per Matthew16,16 and Matthew28,19.
Thus, to the mind of fully bible based Christians, the real possibility exists that a "good" Catholic one by one, or as part of a group, could very well go through life, by working at his or her denominational faith, by more or less fulfilling its many rules, several hundred dogmas and teachings, laws, decrees and customs of their denomination since infant baptism but not be saved according to the gospel Word of the New Testament (just as Israel, one by one, tried to gain eternal life by trying to fulfill its vast religious law and teachings, from infant circumcision, cf the rich young man of Matthew19):
"For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith- and not from yourselves, it is a gift of God- not by works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians2,8 NIV
Remember the ingratiating rich young ruler or 'rich young man'? He was sort of boasting about his devotion to the law from his youth! And he wanted Jesus to tell him some extra special wisdom or work to gain eternal life (Matthew19,16-22). Jesus told him if he wanted to be perfect, and enjoy the treasures of heaven-kingdom, to give away his belongings to those in need and "come follow me," neither of which he was willing to do!
So we know from the New Testament, and the lived life of our one Christian church, that even the most religiously devoted humans, of whatever Christian stripe and flavor, among all humanity, even the best of the best and most devoted denominational based Christians, can fall into the trap of a worksiness righteousness and or a self righteousness and or a vain and impossible law keeping righteousness like the rich young man, and thereby risk falling short of gaining eternal life!
Oh my- so what's the wisest solution for all of us?
The wisest solution is not to be too attached or proud of our works of goodness and our ability to live religious laws, and not too attached to riches whether we are poor or rich, and to always be ready to alter what we think we know about the revelation of God. And instead we should be ready and eager to actually follow God, on his terms, according to the new Word of His New Testament, which is decidedly not legalistic, but does include a grace based, personal, adult decision of repentant faith to follow Jesus.
So the wisest solution for all of us is a personal, saving, bible based repentant faith, embracing the whole counsel of God, the whole gospel, which firstly includes some discipleship of some duration, and then calling on the name of Jesus for salvation and adult baptism. This is what it means to fully follow Jesus.
And this is for everybody!
As Ananias told the Apostle Paul, Acts22,16, as the personally faithful and repentant Paul later tells it in Acts, just after he received back his sight, just before he had to escape Jerusalem: "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name." NIV
3. Mandatory Priestly Celibacy?
The following article from John MacArthur is not for the faint of heart:http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-264/the-scandal-of-the-catholic-priesthood
http://www.zionpentecostmission.com/nicolaitans-deeds-doctrines.html see numbers 5,11, and 12
Letter by Charles N. Valenti submitted to New Oxford Review July 2003:
Conclusion N. 3 of Lollards (AD 1394, Inspired by English Reformer John Wycliffe):
Mandatory Celibacy Is Not God's Public Policy https://youtube.com/watch?v=95I99UKSggA
I never thought I would go back to blessing the bread and wine at the table, or preaching about celibacy, but then again as God's spokespeople we are just called to do and preach what He wants, His Word in season and out.
It's always a surprise to me what the Lord wants me to preach next. Today is no different, just another surprise. It is like Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith show, "Surprise, surprise, surprise."
Preaching is always a surprise, to me, and then perhaps for you who have the faith courage to tune into 'The Preaching Hour.'
There's a concept in the law that if a contract or agreement is against public policy, it won't be enforced in a court of law. No court is going to hold a person to a contract that is outside the operative laws and rules of a society. As a society, as a faith "nation", Christianity has public policies from both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament. Some churches might dispute that to a degree, but generally speaking, most Christian churches would agree that we should not ask fellow Christians to enter into contracts that are against the public policy of the Word and the Spirit of God.
And you might say well only one Christian major denomination adheres to mandatory celibacy for its leaders- "so its no big deal." In a sense that's true. We can do what we want, but the Lord Jesus our God is sovereign and so is His Word in biblical based Christianity.
And yes we live in our own local nation, and town, and have our own local church, but the fact is we also live in a global age, and global village to use a now trite phrase, where we are more and more seeing the interconnectedness of all human endeavors, especially within like minded institutions, or institutions in the same line of work, and thus in churches too.
Sports and banking and church are all global endeavors, more now than ever, and rules that change or don't change in each of these lines of work have a real effect on the "playing field" of all three. All sports leagues and all banks and all churches, not just inside one's own systems and preferred institutions are effected by change or not change, inside and outside their own governing structure.
So if the largest banking system (changes or doesn't change its rules, or the English Premier "Soccer" League) changes or doesn't change its rules, or the largest church changes or doesn't change mandatory celibacy, it effects all the other banking systems, all the other soccer leagues, and all the other churches. For better or worse.
And situations arise in any institution or endeavor or line of work and just seems rules need to be changed, to make the particular institution, better and the whole global industry better. For example, baseball has been slow to change its rules (wouldn't it be a better, speeded up game, if three balls was a walk?), whereas NFL and NHL have been quicker to make the game better, with rules that favor scoring and offense, and rules against the clutch and grab in the hockey game that really slow things down.
What do I know? I would say NFL and NHL are today in better spot than the more "traditional" baseball.
Likewise in Christianity, it's better for all Christians if all churches make changes, or not, according to the public policy of the Word and the Spirit of God. And when churches do this, the whole of Christianity itself is further blessed, all churches are blessed, because Christianity is more and more honoring the Word, as its actual public policy, rather than trotted out in bits and pieces to try and support traditonal denominational customs, rules, laws and cultures.
By the Word and the Spirit, mandatory celibacy is a rule crying out for a change that will bless the long term interests of all Christian churches.
We saw this better for the whole church view in the beginning of the pandemic. It was as if the secular world might and even occasionally tried to literally shut down all Christian houses of worship. And what happened? Many serious Christians realized, oh my perhaps for the first time, that we all need to also look out for the best interests of all our brother and sister churches, not just our own.
I am going now proceed to go onto the main body of this bible based message against mandatory celibacy, but I wanted to open with a valid rationale as to why changing this rule will bless all Christianity.
I trust this rationale and this preaching both come from the Lord, from His Word and Spirit.
As is my custom, in the mode of prophetic gospel preaching, I'll leave that to your discernment. You can take it or leave it, in freedom, just as I have to preach the bible WORD the Lord gives me.
4. Clerical Collars?
5. Sitting On Tradition Or Standing On The Word?
6. Is the church governance model of the New Testament a local or Roman imperial model, ie centered in Rome-political, man-ordained priesthood, hierarchical, territorial, and provincial?
The Local church model in contrast is born and built on the Pentecost Model: folks pray that the promised Holy Spirit would come down to a local place. (Acts1,8; cf Acts2,28). It does and Holy Ghost Baptism leads to the language ability to spread the gospel, cleansed speech so to speak, followed by adult full immersion water baptism (Acts2).
Then this Holy Ghost God ordained priesthood of all the faithful, living stones in God's House, offer spiritual sacrifices (1Peter2) such as spreading the gospel like the "priestly" service of the apostle Paul (Romans15,16, who definately got to Rome) and celebrating the Lord's Supper (MT26,26 etc) and ministering the whole gospel like the Apostle Paul in a local place, such as Ephesus (Acts20,27), or to local places like the Prophet John the Revelator to the local churches of Asia Minor per Revelation1-2.
This local ministry and the gospel message for each local church is brought by Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor-teachers and all manner of folks with adminstrative and ministerial gifts even occasionally miraculous gifts- who all share- to a degree- in the edifying governance of the local church- according to the conciliar non hierarchical model of our Eastern Prophet and Lord Jesus Christ- with the local pastor making necessary juridical rulings such as James did in the local church at Jerusalem regarding his decision, after conciliar consensus with all, that gentiles did not have to get circumcized to become Christians. Ephesian4,10-11; 1Corinthians12; Acts15.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=euNahWig All Church Is Local (1)
Yes Jesus set up a universal plan to get His gospel message to all the world (Mt.28,19). But his plan was that this was going to happen at the local scale, by local congregations, by local churches, one by one sprouting up with the universal message, and governed locally.
At the local level is where the vitality of politics is found- the change, the passion, the movement- likewise in the church.
The farther politics get from the local level the more detached the people are, the more distracted we get. So, likewise in the church, the farther away church governance gets from within the local community the more detached the people are from it, and the further away from Jesus.
We have studied before on 'The Preaching Hour' the 1945 novel by Carlo Levi "Christo Si E Fermato a Eboli" Christ Stopped at Eboli. I think we were talking about the Nicolaitans, the controlling church leaders with controlling deeds and then doctrines per Revelation2,6 and 15. Levi's book showed that the territorial and hierarchical institutional empire got there, but Jesus didn't. So the dear souls were left with their own local customs, but not Jesus.
We live in an age where local communities often feel like we are just subjects of hierchical powers, of the federal government, of the bureucratic state, both imposing thier ways and means, and so called plans and "bigger and better" solutions. But then, if the past be our guide, not so much actual help and change filters down to the actual needs and wants of the local community.
Something very similar can happen in denominations that are run with a top down traditional far away dogmatic-business-political model.
And the people are left to wonder "Well nothing much changes, but I hope they send us a good one next time."
And the good one, that would be a gospel one, a bible based one, comes in or doesn't. If a good one is there for awhile, the local vitality of the local congregation migth be felt, but then the worldly top down church business model system, by design, just asserts itself once again.
Real life, real church and real blessings and faith growth take place at the local level. Or not. As I said, and I think you migth agree, it's very similar in politics, and the politics of social welfare. In Aprill 2020 a WSJ reporter Lauren Sandler wrote a book "This Is All I Got- A New Mother Searches For A Home." It's a real life story about a Dominican American woman, Camilla, who is homeless, but the New York City social welfare system for the homeless is so burdened, with a varying city homeless population of between about 50,000-100,000 in recent years it's not really getting any results helping Camilla, who does everything right, but is left in a hard spot and not too many good choices.
The impression I took away from this telling book was that New York city is so big, over eight million people, that the very system's scale and the scale of the problems makes it too big to be "local" and help a whole lot. In contrast Vermont (a most liberal and most conservative place, or the most conservative liberal place I have ever been), a state I know a little about, it seems the social welfare system blessedly still has a local scale, with its only 600,000 residents, with its small "cities." So, the social welfare system works better, than New York and Connecticut because its scale is still local and the scope of the problems are still in some sense local and manageable. But what do I know.
When Jesus brought salvation to all, it was salvation coming through his local people, Israel (John4,22). He set up His church from the ground up, thinking to spread the local to the universal (Matthew28,19), not try to make a top down universal church, not a Western religious-political model based on the Roman religious-imperial model, with a hierarchical universal Pontifex ruling over a man made territorial provincial priesthood model. This is more or less followed by both Catholic and Protestant Christendom even up to this day. It's a model that tempts all churches- even good local churches- to make a franchise and a hierarchy and leave the local governance teaching of the bible.
But Jesus at the beginning of his ministry at Matthew10,5-6 Jesus sends out his twelve disciples on a "local" scale, not as part of a state church, or a political church, but firstly to Israel geographically to gather them and introduce them to their new shepherd, the promised prophet messiah [Jesus, Genesis49,24, Dt18,15-18; Acts2,30). He and they by extension were Word bound to gather up the Jews scattered (Jeremiah31,10) in the Greco Roman world: "Do not go among the gentiles [they are still unclean, not to the "nations"] or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go preach the message of the kingdom [promised first to Israel] of heaven is near." His disciples mostly came from a local place too, from around Gallilee.
At Matthew10,23 Jesus says the gospel message of the kingdom in Israel is so important that there's no time for being territorial, just gather as many of our any of the brothers and sisters you can. Without territoriality, there's no reason for hierarchy (and also the tedious and distracting answer to the question who is the greatest among earthly religious leaders).
This non territoriality in Jesus' plan is also important because being territorial, even in Israel, where Christ knows he is going to be largely rejected (in these early days anyway) would require not only non biblical hierarchy, but sooner or later some sort of illicit force. But Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers they shall be called sons of God." Teritoriality goes against Jesus' gospel and kingdom plan, his local church plan. Stay local and and peaceful unto the worldwide establishment of the salvation message. And from that local plan the universal message there would be the foundation of local congregations sprouting up first in Israel and later all around the world. Territoriality (and its built in need for force) doesn't jibe with Jesus' peaceful bible based establishment of the gospel.
So we have Matthew10,23: "When you are persecuted in in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."
Mark9,38-40 also is strictly non territorial and non hierarchical. And it's still in the general context of getting the kingdom message to local Israel, and also in the specific context of a willingness of Jesus' first Jewish disciples (and also us gentile later disciples) to accept other gospel disciples who are not in own local group or church:
"Teacher" said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us. 39 "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment can say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us."
Let's keep going on this local thing. It reveals and unlocks a key understanding of God's Hebrew and New Testament revelation.
Revelation1,11-12 depicts the risen Jesus giving a message to the prophet John the Revelator. John the Revelator was not a territorial or hierarchical pastor, but when there are no pastors, or the pastors are not pastoring, or some real important teachings need to be established, or re-established well the prophets become sort of like pastors, by their teachings, like Daniel did when Israel was in Babylonian exile. See Amos3,7 God does nothing without revealing it to his pastors.
Both Jesus and John are in a sense via the Book of Revelation prophetically pastoring the churches, throughout church history. John was the prophet who heard the messages from the supreme prophet pastor Jesus for the seven local churches in Asia Minor. This was a crucial part of the world and the true message of salvation in Jesus for the local churches (and the church all through its future history) had to get out to the local churches and then be maintained amidst difficulties and various persecutions then and there (and throughout the church age until Jesus comes back to a local place Zion, to Israel and judges Israel and gethers her, and reigns for a thousand years with her and all the holy ones. Zechariah14,5 and Rev.19,14).
Verse 12-14 of Revelation1 depicts Jesus as the 'Son of man", messiah of Israel, the promised prophet, eternal high priest High Priest, dressed in a white robe with a golden sash around his chest, and as God himself with his head and hair white like wool. And he's standing among the seven lampstands, ie the seven local churches. John the Revelator was doing his best to give these churches his prophecies, get the message of God to the local churches.
The messages came from the one who is standing in the midst of his local communities. Pastors of these churches are not mentioned, as if Jesus wanted to get his message- as head of every church- directly to each, without any fleshly or wordly questions about the Word being stifled. These urgent letters are addressed to the angel of each local church, God's messenger, with God's local message to God's local church, not addressed to the pastor. This prophetic imperative of the Word is fitting and normative for Jesus knows exactly what going on in each local church and he not only stands in their midst, he also 'walks among the seven golden lampstands." Rev2,1
So these messages are delivered obediently by both the angel or "star" of each local church, but also written by the obedient Prophet John (1,19)
This is all to say Jesus and his message, and his local church and his "church" and a worldwide collection of local churches (not a territorial hierarchy.), his Christianity, and bible Christianity om general has no mediators and ultimate rulers other than He himself. 1Tm2,5. The message for the salvation of each local church, and the gentiles and Israel can't be destroyed, even by men, not when Jesus has a willing prophet like Moses, or Jesus, or John, to whom He tells his plan (Amos3,7). And his plan in Revelation is firstly local, and then the universality of local churches (not the universality of a denomination) and He is and has been sending messages to each local church throughout church history, and that is still happening even now.
Prophets like these keep the Spirit moving, and the Word teaching, and Jesus is still chief shepherd of his church, ie his local churches.
The first generation of disciples and apostles kept moving with his message of salvation, first to Israel, then to scattered locally in the nations, then to the mixed Jewish and gentile churches and later to then primarily gentile church. That's the pattern in the New Testament.
Timothy, Paul's faith son, was a second generation Apostle and he apparently stayed in Ephesus teaching and evangelizing because it was so important that the gospel and the local church there got rooted in that region. But generally speaking the first evangelists and Apostles kept moving, and then local pastors would later become the norm as the message was planted and then pastors would administer each local church.
The Apostle Paul kept moving and was involved catalyzing and localizing something like twenty churches, making them come alive with the gospel, teaching how they should teach and get rooted, get stronger. He even got to Rome according to the Book of Acts, at Acts28,11ff, which was just another Jewish based local church.
We don't know if Peter got to Rome. (That tradition is likely built upon a misunderstanding of Matthew16,13-20, the passage about Peter correctly answering the question Jesus asked all the Apostles: "Who do you say I am?" We'll break down that important passage next time.) But we know Paul did get to Rome because Acts28,11ff tells us so. And we know Paul wrote Romans before voyaging to there to the local Roman church because he wanted to impart some spiritual gift [further apostolic teaching] "to make you strong" and "mutual encouragement " (Romans1,11-12)
If Peter was involved with the foundation of the local church there, Paul would not have likely even shown up there because Paul at Romans15,20 makes a sort of curious but efficient and logical point about his ministry: "It has always been my ambition to preach where he [Jesus] was not known, so I would not be building on someone else's foundation."
Peter and the ordinary course apostles were told to go to the lost sheep of Israel, beginning in physical Israel and that's very likely what they did (Mt 10 and Mt 15,24 Jesus even says He likewise was sent on this local mission to Israel's lost sheep).
Paul in contrast was given a specific mission from the risen Jesus directly, prophetically: "to carry the name of Jesus to the gentiles, non Jews per Acts22,21. So Paul's gospel mission culminated with his letter and then his visit to the local chuch at Rome, mostly Jewish in origin, but which Paul knew would need his apostolic teaching to stay rooted, especially as it became more gentile as it grew. I believe Paul knew this as Apostle to the gentiles, and Rome being the center of the Greco Roman gentile world.
Before Jesus ascended the apsotles were told at Matthew28,19 to take the good news message, all Jesus' teachings, including adult water baptism, and 'go make disciples of all the nations" with the promise that he as chief shepherd-prophet would be with them until the end of the gospel age.
And after this gospel age of local churches all around the world, the nations, then there's the kingdom age, with Jesus going back to the local kingdom place of Israel. As Joel 3,17 says "The Lord your God dwells in Zion." Zion, God's faith hill in Jerusalem, and it is a local place, that one day will contain the final particular and local people, both Jew and gentile faithers. And Jesus is coming back to this local Zion, with his now localized ie gathered people, who want to be there, want to be local, ie in the Zion kingdom. Revelation19,14ff, Zechariah14,5.
Yes his fulfilled priestly people of Exodus19,6 and1Peter2,5 and 9, ie all his holy ones, Jew and gentile, will then be in the same local place, and will enjoy the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom promised to Israel, a local and fruitful place, designated for the chosen since God's prophecies to Abraham in Genesis 12, fruit of faith of local congregations all around the world.
We know the apostle Paul was used to go to the gentiles so as to broaden the base of the church. The church at Rome epitomized Paul's particular missionary charge from Jesus to the gentiles, so he wanted to go there, center of the Greco Roman world, without fail, come what may. The local church in Rome was possibly or even likely founded by the Jewish married couple Prisca and Aquila, to whom Paul pays "mad respect" or much respect (as the young people say about someone who has done something challenging). Accordingly, at Romans16,3-4 Paul writes: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches [local] of the gentiles are grateful to them."
Again "mad respect" for this couple at the end of 1Corinthians16,19. Paul is writing from Ephesus, and Prisca and Aquila, tentmakers there like Paul, have been run out of Rome in 51 or 52 AD with the whole Jewish community by the emperor Claudius (Acts181-2). And now this super evangelistic and hospitable and courageous couple is hosting the emerging church, emerging out of the synagogue, at their house- nothing more local than that! "The church in the province of Asia send you their greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the the church that meets at their house."
Acts18,24-28 tells us Prisca and Aquila were still welcome in the local synagogue there, still welcoming Jewish believers in Jesus. So Prisca and Aquila invited Apollos, also a messianic Jewish believer, from Alexandria in Egypt, to their home "and explained to him the way of God more adequately." (v.26) This was done in compassion and strategically because Apollos was a fiery teacher as he attempted to bring His fellow Jews in the local synangogue to faith in Jesus as their messiah.
So we're seeing that the base of church is the congregation which was always expected to be founded and rooted in a local place, within a local community, and it was also uiniversal in the sense that it had one message, one faith, one Lord, one baptism, ie one message that Jesus is messiah and savior first of Israel, in the local church(es) there, and then in the nations.
We can also see that the view of the church per Matthew28,19, and the appointment of Paul as Apostle to the gentiles that the "church" itself can be seen as a collection of local churches, all spread out in the Greco Roman world, but should not be seen in a territorial or hierchical way with doctrines fashioned by non biblical sources and traditions. That the church has a universal message doesn't mean it is ever ruled and governed from far away way that is foreign to the scriptures. That is, while the church can and does always have a universal message, its biblically based goverance model remains local.
The message of Jesus to his apostles, and the amazing apsotolic work of Paul and the amazing evangelizing by Prisca and Aquila in so may local churches shows us that all church is local. All church derives form the Jewish idea of the local congregation, the "minyan", a local community of 10 (cf Oxford Dictionary Of Jewish Religion, perhaps based on the ten spies that scouted the promised land) what we would call in the secular sense a "quorom"- a minimum number of the faithfull to carry out the business of the people of God.
Jesus was even more generous and said "wherever two or three are gathered in my name there I am in their midst." Matthew18,20.
This fits with the fact that Jesus was in the midst of the local churches in Asia Minor. Revelation1,12 He still is amidst us. He walked among the seven local churches. Revelation2,1.
He walks among his local churches today. And starts up church wherever faithful folks gather in his name.
Alll church is local. It was first local in Israel with the local ordinary course apostles.Then local in the Jewish communities scatterred in the gentile Greco Roman world, such as in the local churches in Rome, in Corinth, and in Ephesus, which were set up very similarly to the Jewish synagogue system. And them became mixed with gentiles, and then more and more gentile as the Christian movement expanded (and also sadly distanced itself from its local Jewish roots).
A synagogue, a church, a congregation is not about the building but about the local congregation, the community, because salvation is of the Jews (John4,22), a local group, a local people chosen for salvation, a particular group that belongs to a called out, a set apart people, a local people and local peoples that have heard and accepted the universal biblical message of salvation;
https://youtube.com/watch?v=6PWcGtCCLI All Church Is Local (2)
We're continuing our teaching on the centrality of the gospel message in a local place, for a local community, built on the Jewish synagogue model, and the fact that salvation comes from the Jews (John4,22), from their prophetic scriptures like Isaiah and from their biblical tradition. So this means "All church is local" or better said, all church is governed locally.
A collection of churches might be considered 'the church' but Church is still comprised of local churches, not a Rome based, territorial, provincial, hierarchical political-religious system, based on secular and then religious empire.
"Church" is about the one true salvation message getting planted in a local place, among a local community. This is where the church meets and where the church is governed, and most importantly where the Spirit comes down locally, and then the gospel message comes in, and creates that local church, as demonstrated by the first feast of Pentecost, local to Jerusalem.
What is the gospel, the precious message that founds local churches? We could describe it in many ways, I particularly like the 1Peter2,9, addressed to both Jews and gentiles because it's all about declaring the message and declaring the miracles of Jesus: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."
But since we are teaching about local church governance, local supremacy, in the church, we'll biblically assess Peter's right confession of who Jesus is at Matthew16,18- Jesus as Son of God, the messiah of the Jews. This message came first to Peter locally, in Israel. And He sent locally to the 'Lost Sheep of the house of Israel." Matthew10,6. We know he fulfilled this local mission from Galatians1,18 in that we are told by Paul that he visited Peter in Jerusalem three years after his conversion, and Galatians2,1-9 says Paul went up to Jerusalem again, and met with James, Cephas, and John, the acknowledged local church "pillars." Notice that in keeping with our theme- Paul refers to James, Peter and John, in that order, at Galatians2,9, with James the local pastor, Peter the message planter Apostle in Jerusalem, and John the prophet-evangelist.
So, as the local pastor James, brother of Jesus, ruled at Acts15 that gentiles did not have to be circumcized to become followers of Jesus
Peter in His Christ given ministry focused primarily and locally in Jerusalem, and also locally in Israel, and then locally in Antioch just north of Israel, to the lost sheep of house of Israel. Yes, in all his known ministry, Peter was still focused on the responsibility given to him to take the message to Jewish folks, lost sheep of Israel. In keeping this responsibility, a strange thing happened when Peter would not eat with gentiles, or non Jews, Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, rebuked him. Galatians2,11.
So when we look at the famous and often misunderstood Matthew16,18 we don't forget that Jesus gave Peter the charge to go to the lost sheep of Israel. Matthew10,6. And we don't forget that Peter is going to still carry out that job, doing it well, staying close in Jerusalem and Israel for about 15 years, planting the local message in the local church there.
So when Jesus commends Peter at Matthew16,18 he's doing so because Peter, little Rocky, a chip off the block of the real rock, the rock of ages, knows the right revealed message of who Jesus is. So we read at v. 18 "You are Peter and on this rock [of your faith in the right "local" message, first to the lost sheep of Israel] I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. "
Jesus did not say the church was Peter's, or Peter was the rock, or that he would go to Rome and be the first "Pope" or that the church would become a religious empire and take a secular empire's administrative provincial structure and territoriality. He was saying "I am the rock, I am the cornerstone of my church, and I am the the one who followed Israel and gave them food and drink in the dessert." cf 1Corinthians10,3-4.
Jesus was saying "I am the rock. I am the message. And Peter, little Rocky, you now got the right message!" And what does one do with the local message- plant it locally, ie in local churches, local synagogues, local ecclesias, so to speak, as the local gospel Word and Spirit came down on each local place and local people.
7. Biblically speaking- is any Christian church the Kingdom of God as Augustine argued in the 5th century?
Since we gentile Christians were grafted into Israel's olive tree, their salvation root (salvation being of the Jews Romans11,17 and John4,22), the thousand year reign of Jesus, with his faithful Israel (Zechariah12,10, Israel will hear gospel and Romans11,26: "All Israel will be saved.") is primarily the unfinished prophetic promise to God's Israel, and then to us gentile believers who are also among his "Holy Ones" of Zechariah14,5 ( cf Revelation19,14):
"You will flee [Israel facing seven year tribulation and all Armageddon nations against it] as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah King of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come , and all the holy ones with him;" NIV
The literal Kingdom of God is primarily about the sovereign promise of God to Israel:
Jeremiah30,9: "instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them;"
Psalm2,6-9: " 'I myself have installed my kingdom Zion, my Holy hill.' 7 The king says, 'I will announce the Lord's decree. He said to me: 'You are my son. This very day I have become your father. 8 Ask me, and I will give you [messiah-king of Israel] the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth [the gentile nations] as your personal property.' "
Revelation.20,6: "Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ [fulfilling Exodus19,6] and will reign with him for a thousand years." NIV
See also Ezekiel37,24.
Psalm37,29: "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever."
Matthew6,10: "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth..."
For a full and prophetic look at salvation history and the rediscovery by gentile Christians of the literal Kingdom of God from this biblical perspective see:
Videos: ZPM And Our Prophetic Hebrew Scriptural Roots:
For a biblical refocus from heaven bound to Zion bound:
8. How did the Vatican state church become so political?
(especially numbers 3,4,6 and 8)
The following quote from E.G. White helps answer this question N. 8 and N. 9.
If we can understand her insight into the entirety of church history it is easy to see how churches get led astray into politics and non biblical hierarchical models and institution building at the expense of the biblical model of the local gospel based church with non hierarchical servant-offices (Ephesians4,10ff) and the free use of Holy Spirit gifts by all.
Whereas the Roman model was gained by one historical acrretion, one non biblical addition at a time, until it became a church state unity, in 325 AD and then the Holy Roman Empire in the late 5th century with universal and territorial and provincial authority that it was never meant to have.
Remember what Jesus said "Give to Caesar what belongs to Casear and give to God what belongs to him." Mark12,17 NLT
Jesus taught a separation of church (or Temple in His case) and state (which at that time was the ruling Roman empire).
It was as if the Roman church throughout its history has been trying to help God exercise His authority hear on earth (as if somehow God has ever or could ever need such help). But the effect of this has been to supplement, again and again the claimed authority of the church itself.
"The very beginning of the great apostasy was in seeking to supplement the authority of God [ie HIs SPIRIT, WORD-LAW, HIS KINGDOM] by that of the church." The Great Controversy, Better Living Publications, 2002, 159.
For example, here is a brief list of the ways the Roman church in effect devalued the authority of God and, by seeking to improve on His Word, and so built up its own authority.
1. First Century: The tradition that the Apostle Peter actually pastored in Rome when there is no historical or biblical proof of this.
The Roman church adopts Peter as its patron, and a building in His name as their ongoing focal point of worship, and the local pastor of Rome, at the expense of all the other local churches of the New Testament biblical model.
This is to supplement the Roman church's authority over God's authority and His Word. There's power and authority in the Name of Jesus, not in a building, however beautiful, or a man's life, however exemplary, or in a mere man's name, or in any pastor's name, or in a religious tradition.
2. Second through Fifth Century AD: Per Anglican scholar Allen Brent (now Catholic) the Roman Church- from very early on- learns from and competes with the Roman Empire for political, religious, and cultural power.
The competition and gamemanship mostly ends in 325 AD when the empire made peace with the church, and the church and empire became unified. This unity clearly defied Jesus to keep church and state separate ("Render unto Caesar that which belongs to Ceasar and to God what belongs to God." Mark12,17)
By this competition and gamemaship the church wins more authority for itself, and God and his Word lose authority.
Later, as the secular Roman Empire falls in 476AD, so rises the Holy Roman Empire, which again transgresses Jesus' separation of church and state. This church based empire rules in the "Dark Ages" for 1000 years, building up its own authority.
This history of mutual gamemanship between church and state is seen as early as the seven letters and the traditional written hagiography of the early second century martyr Ignatius. According to the Ignatius of the seven letters (I, and many others like John Calvin, don't think they are in any way historical- ie from the second century but rather much later) local bishops like Him are seen not only worthy of pre-eminance in local churches, but also worthy of territorial and hierarchical Christian rule.
The seven letters purport to be to the seven churches on his martyrific trek to Rome. They show Iganatius in control and that in the contest with secular Rome, the church and her hierarchical bishops and their doctrine will win out.
Brent's mutual gamemanship point fits in perfectly with E.G. White's insight about the Roman church supplementing its authority of at the expense of the authority of God and HIS WORD and HIS Spirit and HIS kingdom.
The seven letters of Ignatius- with their sacharrine hierarchical hyperbole- such as the total unity with the Bishop to partake of the eucharist- coupled with the later traditional idea that Peter was the leader of the universal ruling church at Rome (and therefore Roman catholic posterity might understandably think this Galilean Jewish Apostle was or became a Roman priest?). These traditional-hiearchical-customary assumptions and beliefs clearly supplement the authority and revelation of the Word of God, and the book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul, who describes Rome as another local church, a local community, called out of the world, meant to separate from poltical power, and to worship Jesus, to follow in his footsteps rather than the Roman hagiography of mere men such as Peter and Ignatius or any later succession of Roman priesthood based pastors who progressively- over hundreds of years- claimed and sought Roman universal jurisdiction to rule Christianity. Whereas, the bible based model is 'all church is local', that is all church is jurisdictionally governed at the local level. See Question 6. Above
3. Infant Baptism becomes the norm in the Fourth and Fifth Century
After the union of church and the Western Empire in 325 AD, infant baptism becomes the Roman church norm, despite the clear NT revelation that the Christian faith begins with a repentant personal adult faith.
Infant baptism supplements the church's authority because now baptism is a two-fer: One, it denotes your birthright citizenenship of the Roman Empire ( https://www.daretoventure.org/the-difference/the-origins-of-infant-baptism/ ). And two, by man's decree and getting wet as a baby you become a Christian!
Because 'the church' says so!
Infant baptism was a colossal supplement to the church's authority. Augustine's pre-occcupation with the original sin of infants also made infant baptism attractive to parents who were now made afraid for the eternal salvation of their children. Infant baptism relieves this fear.
There is nothing in the history of Christianity and Christendom- even up to the present day- that has supplemented the authority of the church more than infant baptism. It is the grand and broad way of non biblical Christianity. Now God's people are not defined by personal faith or the Word of God, but by the performance of a good citizenship act on behalf of infant souls who have no personal saving faith at all.
4. Fifth Century: Augustine claims and teaches the Roman Church is the Kingdom Of God
We all see the clear trend already in even this brief list. The authority of Scripture is ignored and the church authority is increased- again and again.
This "Church as KOG" doctrine was the RCC doctrine up until recently. Thank God a Catholic scholar in the 1960's realized that this doctrine didn't square with the revived nation of Israel, born again in a day in 1948, just as scripture prophesied (Isaiah66,7-8; Ezekiel37,21-22)
The church as KOG has been modified and tweaked of late and very much toned down, but the church as the KOG doctrine still resonates among many Christians of different stripes who have not yet caught on to the prophetic biiblical reality that the God of Israel is not done blessing His nation of Israel, and preparing HIS Kingdom of God there in Israel, in Zion, a kingdom first and foremost promised to them and for them.
While most of Christianity has discarded the Christendom's Kingdom of God doctrine, this teaching still leaves a legacy of many Christian churches supplementing their own authority at their will and whim, and at every difficult juncture by some non biblical claim to a heightened sense of institutional importance.
This doctrine also clearly informed such errant church causes as the crusades and inquisitions, which were in and of themselves further attempts, violent ones at that, to increase the authority of the church.
5. Holy Land Crusades 1095-1291.
6. 12th century Inquisitions which continued for hundreds of years.
7. 1560 The Counter Reformation Council of Trent codified Roman doctrine into hundreds of dogmatic laws. This act again minimizes the pressing need for the scriptures in the hands of all God's people and again magnifies instead the church and her authority.
To this day the church remains Counter Reformational in approach and culture, ie very attached to the flying dogmatic buttresses of its supplemental institutionalism.
The big daddy of all Counter Reformation dogma is "transubstantiation," a neologism dogma, that weakly builds not on scripture or the nature of a biblical blessing (or the biblical fact that there were consecrated utensils and the consecrated 12 loaves as key parts of the biblical Jewish Temple cult), but on Greek philosophy.
This transubstantiation is of course reserved only for the Roman clerics.
This was the church's way of saving its ever expansive authority amidst the exodus of the Protestant Reformation.
But, 1Peter2,5 and 9 says something new and biblical. We are all priests. And that's what we are! This begins to fulfills God will per Exodus19,6 that his entire people would be a kingdom priesthood! cf Isaiah66,21 which clearly hints that both Jews and gentiles- as priests- will celebrate the millennial Kingdom cult in Zion!
And 1Corinthians10,16 says "the cup of blessing which we [all] bless." There was no dogmatic clericalism at the Last Seder-First Supper that Jesus conducted. Or at Corinth where the Apostle Paul taught about it and said "we" bless.
8. 1870 The Roman Church doctrinally and politically doubles down against European Modernism and declares itself, and its Pope, and its teachings infallible, in response to losing much of its territorial political power in Europe.
9. Late 20th Century into 21st Cenury: Global Papal Events, Vatican vigorously defends the church's varied interests around the world, multiplication of and shortened waiting periods for canonizations (before much of the historical dust has settled).
So, the Roman church (as all churches are tempted to do) throughout its history- clearly and repeatedly supplemented its own claimed religious and political authority, again and again and again, leaving itself a powerful but wordly institution, far afield from the local biblical model of the Christian church.
So many good hearts and souls in the RCC are searching to hear the gospel of Jesus. So many seek that their church would make the necessary reforms to turn the church to the Word and the gospel of Jesus. We love them and we pray for them!
9. Is the Roman Catholic church just going through an unhealthy period or is its set up biblically flawed?
see Questions and answers to 6, 7 and 8 above and this long intro at:
10. Should I "come home" to the "mass" or home to the Word of God and a biblical revival of the Lord's Supper?
Biblical Revival Of Lord's Supper: Neither Clerical Dogma Or Symbolic Breeziness https://youtube.com/watch?v=-1FnPtBwM1s&t=33s
As I have said before, I never thought I would be back to actually blessing bread and wine again. But 1Corinthians10,16 kept coming back to me. Here Paul goes out of his way to emphasize that the whole local church extends hands and blesses the cup unto communion with the blood of Christ- actual Spiritual fellowship with the risen blood, ie the risen Jesus.
Here from 1Corinthians10,16 we are firstly talking about what all priests sacrificially do.They bless! Actually bless, not just say a blessing thanking God for a meal. And since we as the whole local church are a holy priesthood, according to 1Peter2,5, we all bless- and we all take the cup and we all have a real Spiritual communion thereby.
And we all break the bread, after it's blessed, that is, we all rightly eat it, as our priestly portion, of all Christians, all the anointed ones, all the adult baptized, a cultic memorial meal, a spiritual sacrifice that fulfills God's desire of Exodus19,6 that all his people would be a holy priesthood, which we are now (1Peter2,5).
Exodus19,6: "And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak unto the children of Israel." And as such, we exercise our faith by actually extending all our hands over the bread and the cup in personal faith and thereby we experience actual fellowship with our God who is Spirit! And with each other.
Oh glory! The Lord- about 12 years ago- unmistakably brought me back to actually blessing the bread and wine, back to this very important ordinance given by Jesus to us all: "do this" living- Spiritual memorial of him,in memory of Calvary. Yes our blessing and our personal faith calls down the very presence of God into the bread and wine- physical things. You are a physcial thing and I am a physical thing, and we are blessed by the "hands" of God, by our personal faith, by our Holy Ghost baptismal consecration, so how can the bread and wine be just symbols after we all, and Jesus too, have blessed them with His Spirit?
In fact why bless them at all if they are just symbols? A blessed and eaten symbol is no better symbol than an unblessed and eaten symbol. As soon as we bless them they are way more than symbols. Thus, "Unless you eat my flesh [flesh can be risen flesh 1Corinthians15,40] and drink my blood [blessed wine at the table, risen blood] you have no [eternal] life in you." John6,53
And there's also the question of how can these blessings be reserved only for folks ordained by men when 1Peter 2,5 calls us all a Holy priesthood and 1Corinthians10,16 says "we" [all] bless the cup?
Some of you keen folks may be thinking right now that Br. Tobin apparently doesn't know that at the Seder meal, the Pesah yearly memorial "passover" meal of the Jews, commemorating their deliverance out of Egyptian slavery, upon which the Lord's supper is built, that the blessing of the four or five cups (the fifth being the cup of Elijah's prophetic presence, his faith vigil for the messiah) was not a blessing of the contents of the cups and the bread. I agree, and we will go into it a bit deeper in a bit or another day on this topic.
But what I am saying and teaching here is that Paul at 1Corinthians10 (as did Jesus at Matthew26,26, about blessing the bread, cf Luke9,16, miraculous blessing both loaves and fish) goes out of his way to show that in the pagan atmosphere of Corinth, far from the holiness of Israel, with pagan altars set up for actual fellowship with demons (vv14, 18, 21), that our actual Spiritual fellowship, a priestly fellowship of all the faithful and adult baptized, requires actual priestly blessings (as distinct from the home based seder).
These blessings, our blessings, the blessing of all the baptized, render the bread and wine, consecrated, unto Jesus as risen bread, as risen blood. (cf John19,34, a vision of the everflowing water and Spiritual blood of God.)
Not transubstantiated bread, not transubstantiated into his physical body, a body that decidedly and undisputably no longer exists. Or transubstantiated wine into his pre-Calvary physical blood, that likewise no longer exists, but blessed bread becoming by our mutual blessing with God the risen bread-the risen Spiritual body of Jesus, blessed wine by our blessing becoming new risen wine- Spiritual blood of Jesus, overflowing our cup of faith, our cup of the new covenant, that we all bless, and that we all grasp! That we all drink from!
And these priestly blessings, and the partaking of this risen body and risen blood and personal faith, effectuate our actual communion with the risen Jesus.
This is living bread come down from heaven upon the table. By eating it, we personally ratify our new covenant with Jesus. This is living wine- Jesus ever flowing Spiritual blood cf the vision of John19,34), which by drinking, we ratify our new personal covenant with Jesus, just as Abraham ratified his covenant his personal and corporate covenant with God by walking between the broken or split sacrificial animals of Genesis 15, which was correspondingly confirmed by God's miraculous blazing fire that passed through the space between the split sacrificial animals (15,17), the broken bread space so to speak of the Lord's Supper..
We also know in the begining of the church age the supper was celebrated and described as "the breaking of bread." That is, it was part of an agape, love fills us and compels us, meal. We know this from Acts2,42, and from fresco paintings from Roman catacombs, and from 1Corinthians11,34 which was about some folks arriving late not getting enough to eat.
You know how it is when food becomes too big a part of your family gatherings? Trying to get everbody to the one table at one time! And one is way too hungry to wait and wants to eat at the scheduled time and not wait for those who are late. So at1Corinthians11,34 Paul says "So then my brothers [and sisters], when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If anyone is hungry, he sould eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment [judgment from forgetting about the well being of the one body]."
We know as local churches got bigger and time went on the agape meal part of the Lord's supper waned, probably because it was just too much work to prepare and feed larger crowds because of all the logistics. It waned and then was scrapped based Paul's admonition at 1Corinthians11,34.
But there are some real important egalitarian underlying principles here at 1Corinthians10,16 and 1Corinthians11,34, cf Luke9,16 and Acts2,42, and as shown throughout 1Corinthians chapters 10 and 11 and 12. (cf 1Corinthians12,11, Holy Spirit gifts to each).
1. Everyone at the supper is important- and must be treated fairly and the same- ie must get the meal and partake of it and the supper with true faith (as a memorial ratification of the covenant offered by Jesus), ie worthily, with an aware and full faith- that is a personal, repentant, loving and generous;
2. Everyone at the supper blesses the cup (v.16), ie everyone is a holy priest (1Peter2,5), the priesthood of Holiness, of our Baptism in the Spirit, might be considered, one of the egalitarian Holy Spirit gifts given to each of us 1Corinthians12,11) ;
3. The supper is a spiritual sacrifice led by all, not a physical sacrifice led by a priesthood ordained by men (1Peter2,5);
4. The blessing of the bread and wine (by God too) makes them more than symbols, and makes them sacred, ie consecrated, with Jesus' risen presence in them;
5. The blessing of the faithful and God makes the bread and wine miraculous (cf Luke9,16, blessed loaves and fish), bread from heaven, just as the manna and the water in the desert were miraculous;
6. The blessing of the faitfhul and God makes the bread and wine, real food, real "spiritual food," real drink, real "spiritual drink", ie miraculously sacred in that it was provided
by the rock, Christ, in the desert that accompanied them (1Corinthians10,4);
and from the lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation13,8 who had spiritual "body" and "blood" in his pre incarnation "body");
and from in his post resurrection risen "body" or flesh Revelation5,6);
and from the prophesied risen "flesh" of Jesus at John6,53: "Unless you eat my flesh..."
7. The blessed bread is bread from heaven (Exodus16,4), but also better than the manna given in the desert in that it is bread come doown from heaven that gives to those who feed on it eternal life. (John6,51 and 6,27)
This is bible teaching that is both of great faith gravity and glorious egalitarian joy for all of us. It is empowering and gives honor and does justice for all God's blood bought people, the church He shepherds. Oh Glory for our One Lord, for our one faith, for our one baptism, for our one supper and one table and one Holy Ghost gift of priesthood, for one people hungry and thirsty for the freedom and salvation and for the righteousness that is ours by our personal covenantal and corporate faith in Christ Jesus that is once and again ratified by us and supernaturally confirmed by God at the table.
11. What are the milestones of a bible based salvation?
12. Do some non-catholics have the "real presence" from blessing the bread and wine at the bible based revived Lord's Supper at the table?
Yes- not a real or Spiritual presence of his human physical body pre Calvary, not his body on Calvary presence (His physical body no longer exists because per 1Corinthians15,51 physical beings can't be in heaven). That physical body of Jesus no longer exists. Thus, no matter what is said or done over the bread and cup- Christ's physical presence is not again manifested, but by the priestly blessing of His priestly people the "real presence" of his risen body and ever the flowing Spiritual blood of the lamb slain before the foundation of the world is manifested.
A blessing is a blessing, is a blessing, and is also an actual consecration unto His real- risen Godly presence- in the bread and wine.
God is Spirit! (John4,24) And as the pre-incarnate lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation13,8), His "body" was Spiritual both before and after his resurrection too. Jesus' blood- whether Spirtual prior to his incarnation, or physical in the incarnation and body that was sacrificed on Calvary, or Spiritual once again post resurrection, was and is always at the ready to save, cleanse and redeem both before, during and after his incarnation and upon his resurrection!
But the incarnate Jesus, upoon his death and resurrection, and His physical body and blood are now gone now in favor of the risen-God-man whose risen body-bread presence and risen blood-cup-wine-presence (God is Spirit!) are still manifested by the supernatural blessing of His entire priesthood of the the bread and the cup.
Yes a supernatural blessing done with personal faith by born again Christian (all priests 1Peter2,5 and 9) is a consecration just like all the physical cultic objects in the temple were rendered physically consecrated by a priestly blessing (Leviticus8,10).
So also the bread and wine are blessed-consecrated unto "real food" and "real drink", John6,55, ie Spiritual food and drink, 1Corinthians10,3-4. See also the grain offering of Leviticus 2,1- brushed by the priests with olive oil and with incense put on it. This prefigures our mutual priestly holy Ghost blessing- with the Spirit ratifying our blessings with His blessing, His acceptance, and His presence at the Lord's table- and in the Spiritual ie risen food and drink at His table.
Thus, there is no need for the non biblical counter Reformation dogma of hierarchical-clerical "transubstantiation" in 1563- because all born again Christians are priests (1Peter2,5 and 9). As followers of Jesus we all bless the bread when we we follow Jesus actions at Matthew26,26-27: "Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it.." nkj
And as followers of the Word, according to 1Corinthians10,16, and the Apostles Paul's teaching we all bless the cup: "the cup of belss which we [all] bless..."
Thus we all are priests and offer our offer priestly cultic acts, of blessing the bread and cup. We do this because we are "offering" a spiritual sacrifice "acceptable to God through Jesus" 1Peter2,5. That is, the entire priestly community present blesses the bread and the cup, and therefore a mere physical thing is blessed, consecrated, imbued with the risen presence of Jesus, just as we Christians are physical things and consecrated, blessed, set apart unto holy use, and communion with God and each other, by our baptism in the Spirit. Acts2,36-39.
Bonus: "A Primer On The Vatican Bank" Eileen P. Flynn May 2015
Focus Scripture And Prayer For all God's people
Psalm60,2-4: "You have shaken the land and torn it open; mend its fractures, for it is quaking. 3 You have shown your people desparate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger. 4 But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow." NIV
May all of us, all God's children, be protected and loved in life by Jesus, and be always ready to meet Him when he comes back to reign in Zion- and ready also whenever the time comes for each of us to meet him at death and face our personal judgment.
13. Got Salvation?
Have you made a personal, public, covenantal, repentant faith decision to follow Jesus as your only Lord and savior?
My biblical advice would be to make this faith decision ASAP. Like today is the day of your salvation! You won't regret it. Jesus will redeem you, take you out of the ditch on the side of the road, and free you forever from the state of sin, put you into the state of grace, unto eternal salvation. Oh glory!
Don't we all love Jesus? Well then it's time to live our faith the way the bible says!
Don't we all Love Jesus?
Both now and forever! Praise His Holy Name!
If you have further questions, and or would like to visit further about the bible basics of salvation, or get adult water baptized, or would like to learn how to celebrate for yourselves, as priests, as church, a revised and biblically based Lord's Supper, or would like to invite Br. Tobin to speak to your group or church, please contact us.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...