Archive for September 2016

We Can’t Go Back to the “Early Church”

September 30, 2016

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In the apostle’s [Paul] own lifetime the most spiritual of all the assemblies (Ephesus) “turned away from” him (II Timothy 1:15). Some used to tell us to go back to the first three centuries to find pure Christianity … But our answer is that we cannot go back to the first century; for the very assembly (Ephesus) which received his longest ministry (three years), “so that all they that dwell in Asia heard the words of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:10), were the first to turn away from him and his teaching.

EWB2E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913)
Foundations of Dispensational Truth, Bible Student’s Press™ (2011)
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On Assignment

September 25, 2016

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Being citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20), we are here on foreign soil – “on assignment.” If we were in our home country we would not be subject to any of the cares and sorrows of this life; but as ambassadors to a world that is currently at enmity with God, we are constantly faced with the burdens of such a divine “appointment.”

That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereto (I Thessalonians 3:3).

We are here to take our full share in the trials under which the “whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). Each of us is part of that of which Job spoke, “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7).

We suffer the perils of broken humanity “for His sake.”

As it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” (Romans 8:36).

Each day that He extends free grace to mankind is but another day of extension to our “tour of duty,” but He will surely make it up to us.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58).

As we find ourselves “in infirmities, in outrages, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake” (II Corinthians 12:10), let’s not forget “that we are appointed thereto” (I Thessalonians 3:3).

Be mindful of our honored appointment; we are on divine assignment!

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Resident Aliens

September 22, 2016

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Whatever country we may naturally belong to, Paul says, we are to remember always that our real citizenship is in heaven (cf. Philippians 3:20). Whatever opinions we have about how to solve society’s problems, we are to remember always that we cannot serve two masters (Luke 16:13).

Our allegiance, therefore, can never be to any version of the kingdom-of-the-world, however much better we may think it is than other versions of the kingdom-of-the-world. Our allegiance is to our heavenly Father, whose country we belong to and into whose family we’ve been adopted (Romans 8:29; Galatians 1:2; 6:10; Ephesians 1:4-5). We are to see ourselves as “alien residents.”

gregory-boydGregory A. Boyd
The Myth of a Christian Nation (2005) Page 70, 71
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God’s Property

September 10, 2016

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Immediately upon graduating from Prairie Bible Institute in 1950, I left Canada as a missionary to Japan. Finding out soon that my Bible training had geared me to submission to the will of men and loyalty to the religious machine rather than to submission to the will of God and loyalty to His revealed Word, I broke caste. On this plane, where I touched God in a brand new dimension, I did not have to depend upon men to find God’s will for me. My nerves of faith in God were no longer short circuited by domineering leaders. For the first time in my life I felt at perfect rest, knowing that now I was God’s property, no longer the tool of any man or group of men.

For the past thirteen years I have been in God’s wilderness. During this time I have been far enough away from the various Protestant branding corrals to elude their many different brands.

Marvin L. Fieldhouse (1927-2001)
The Modern Menace of Protestantism (1964)
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Every Moment Worship

September 8, 2016

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And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6).

When people talk of worshiping in some building on earth, and think of a ritualistic service as worship, and talk of worshiping God in music, it simply shows that they do not understand. In every moment of a believer’s life, he is sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. The place of our abiding is in the immediate presence of God with nothing between.

ha-ironsideHarry Ironside (1876-1951)
Charge That To My Account (1931), page 113
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Emancipation and Freedom

September 6, 2016

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The organization is not the ecclesia.[1] The denomination is not the ecclesia. If we see the ecclesia we will not be able to stay in the “church” long – it simply becomes an untenable position. An untenable position is one that you can not live with.

Someone who has seen the ecclesia and is paying the price to remain on that ground has found in his own personal life an emancipation and a freedom that he did not dream existed. The limitation, the smallness of Christianity and its conception of God’s purpose simply break forth into something limitless and expansive.

Floyd Police
The Great Mystery, pp. 3-4
(adapted)
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[1] [Editor:] Ecclesia is the Greek word often translated as “church” in most English versions. The word is a compound word meaning “called-out” (ek = “out”; kaleō = “called”). The ecclesia is God’s “called-out” ones. The ecclesia is not a building or denomination; not a meeting, or doctrinal creed; it is not somewhere we go, or something we do, it is who we as believers are. (Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.)


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