CHURCH  TRUTH   -  Bible Counsel  -  Section C    

For saints who value

By R. DeWitt, '07; rev. 09/10

[A few thoughts here from other papers to help Christians, who have never heard of the revival of 1827, and were not reared within a scriptural assembly.  Some Christians are associated with so-called High Churches who have a formal hierarchy of priestly men and many rituals, with their doctrines, rules, and form;  some believers are at the other extreme with various independent, casual, and open sects who follow varied innovations to make them appealing and popular with men;  and many Christian groups are somewhere between these.  We need, rather, to endeavor to be pleasing to God and yielded to His Word, and that is what this fellowship from 1827 is about.

The Gathering Place according to the scriptural order for the church, is probably not like anything one has known from the various Christian gatherings they have seen in the world, who often take a name, have a hierarchy of leaders, follow rituals, ceremonies and rules, may embrace worldly ways, have entertainment and activities, programs, innovations, etc.  That is man's ideas to please men, rather than true to the Word of God.  One needs to decide if they want to be a part of a scriptural assembly as a worldwide fellowship, and as a local expression of that, or follow traditions and the popular ideas of men.  A true believer ought to seek to know church truth, church history, talk with the elders associated with the gathering, be baptized, pray much, and be an observer for a time before asking to be received into that scriptural fellowship from 1827.  Reception is not dependent on knowing all the Scripture, but one should come simply in faith as a learner.  One should come with the thought of "unity of the faith" and in truth.  Certainly, we do not expect perfection with any saints, but God has preserved the testimony and pathway that He ordained.

The Word Of God  should be our only authority for the Christian faith, not rules, creeds, the reasoning of various men and personal preferences.  One should study the Word, seek some counsel from sound Bible teachers, and pray earnestly.

The Assembly Life  concerns Christian love, happy fellowship, and the various meetings and function as in Acts 2:41-42 and the Epistles, a Godly spirit, and the care and fellowship for all the saints.  One should stand apart from various sects and appreciate the truth of expressing the "one body of Christ” as given for the church, rather than the independent ways or mergers of the various religious sects of men.  Mergers is not scriptural.

The Holy And Royal Priesthood (1 Pet. 2) is a precious truth given all saints, and something different than one will find in the various sects and systems, where the liberty and gifts of God's calling and participation is not allowed.  One should study this and value the priesthood of the saints.  Men are not called to make rules.

The Order And Government Of God  speaks of the scriptural form of the collective gatherings, unity worldwide, a Godly spirit, correction and discipline, and honor to God;  and God's mind and purposes for His testimony from the beginning of the church.

The Honor And Glory Of The Lord  ought to be paramount among the saints in our personal life and the assembly, rather than pleasing men with their religious ideas.

The Collective Worship And Ministry  speaks of the Lord's table and the supper as worship in both a collective and personal way;  and the ministry shared in Bible studies and in messages delivered among the saints.  

[It is important to appreciate that in all this it is speaking of God's standards and testimony in the world after His order. There is no such thing in the Holy Scriptures as  "a church of your choice", so one ought to seek to find what God intended for the church, rather than look for a popular place of convenience and our preference.  One cannot speak for others, and surely each child of God ought to pray earnestly to find God's mind for one's pathway.  - from a paper: CF15.   - RLD ] 


 There seems to be three great spheres of Christian experience:  Redemption Way,  Church Truth, &
Spiritual Life  (John 14:6).  Most believers can ap-preciate redemption way and spiritual growth, but church truth seems to be much neglected.  We need to take "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).
It is not required by God to be gathered in a scriptural assembly, but there is a blessing for saints to meet on that ground and be a part of a collective testimony, as God intended for His church, and by His revival of 1827 AD.  Faithful readers here can gain some understanding of such fellowship, and may desire to be associated to also express the "one body in Christ", embrace "all the counsel of God", and show forth "unity of the faith" by the Word of Truth.  There is no such thing in the Bible as going to "the church of your choice", as many believers say.  Write to the Site Manager for further understanding and to find a Scriptural fellowship.
CHURCH TRUTH  is about faithful compliance and conformity to what God intended in Acts 2: 41- 42 at the beginning of the church, and then the Epistles.  It speaks of obeying and honoring God collectively without innovations. One who is saved (Jn.3: 16) ought to follow the Word (see Jn.14:23-24; Jn.17:17; Titus 1:9; Phil. 2:2);  including baptism, the gathering locally, the collective testimony in the world; and obedience to the Word, a Godly walk, the Lord's glory and honor, etc.  A local gathering in accord with Scripture may be near to one to visit, if interested.

From time to time papers will be set forth here and on the Feature Pages herein, concerning various aspects of this truth.  We ought to love all saints everywhere and be a help, even if we cannot walk with all.    - RLD
NOTE: When we speak of a scriptural assembly we need to be prepared to show what it is biblically, and what it is not by the innovations of men. This writer feels free to invite inquiry on each issue or order of Scripture ---and distinguish between what men have invented (and often prefer), and what some of us are holding as true to God's Word and that recovery of circa 1800 AD. One might disagree, and that is a choice, but Scripture is quite plain as to what God has intended for His testimony in the world. One can write for help herein to find such a fellowship.
 - RLD 08/15
Sabbath And First Day
[The difference in a collective worship time in this age, between the biblical reference to Sabbath and the First Day of the week, can be understood by studying the Word of God in whole, I believe, which may help in viewing these special days. The following notations are also some statements from several sources. - R. L. DeWitt] 

> The essential difference for Christians on this subject is found in understanding first that the Church is the "Bride" of Christ by a spiritual new birth (note John 3:29; Rom. 7:4; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-32; Rev. 19:7-8; Rev. 22:17), and not by religious works and ordinances as the Old Testament religion of Israel; and this is firmly based on the truth of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, who rescued real believers from eternal condemnation by rising on the first day of the week ---a new beginning; a holy day; a time set for worship and thanksgiving for what He accomplished by His sacrifice.

> Faithful Christians have always referred to the first day for collective worship as "the Lord's Day" for the first day of the week ---since "Sunday" is a pagan name (designation); and we are to be worshipping "in spirit and in truth" on that day (Jn 4:24; Acts 20:7). The apostle John spoke of the "the Lord's Day", and said that he was "in the Spirit on the Lord's Day" (Rev 1:10).

> Since Christ rose on the first day of the week, it is the Lord's Day for the Church (Bride of Christ) and commemorates His resurrection --- that great event in the history of mankind for hope and assurance (Mt 28:1; Mk 16:2; Lk 24:1; 1 Cor. 15:17-20). It is a designation of THE NEW BEGINNING from the original beginning in Genesis, and a new beginning after the Flood (AD 2448) and the days of the Israelites which followed. The first church gatherings after the dispensation (administration) of grace in circa AD 33 (Acts 2: 41-42) met on "the first day of the week" to "break bread" (Acts 20:7). The "Breaking of bread" is another term for the Lord's Supper. This was therefore a weekly remembrance time or collective communion at the Lord's Table (1 Cor 11: 23-34).

> The apostolic churches brought their offerings to God on "the first day of the week" (1 Cor. 16:2). Thus the Lord's Day ---the first day of the week, was the day of Christian worship in apostolic churches, and is also reportedly confirmed by Justin Martyr who lived in the first century and wrote about it. 

> The Day of Pentecost was called "the morrow after the Sabbath". The Holy Spirit was sent down from Heaven on the day of Pentecost and about 3,000 souls were saved on "the first day of the week" (Acts 2). Thus it is also a day of Gospel preaching for the salvation of souls. 

> Christ was worshipped on the first day of the week when He appeared to Thomas and showed him His hands and His feet (Jn 20:19-29). Thus this is also the day not only to remember His one great sacrifice for sins for ever, but to worship Him as our Lord and our God. 

> Because of Christ's finished work of redemption, saints have entered into His eternal Sabbath (rest) ---NEW BEGINNING (Heb 4:9-11). Therefore the Sabbath is no longer to be observed on earth (Col 2:16,17) because the Jewish Sabbath was in regard to the creation beginning, and only a "shadow" of Christ's eternal rest.
> When a decision had to be made regarding the observance of the Law of Moses by Christians, there were just four commandments which were to be observed by Gentiles, and the sabbath was not one of those commandments (Acts 15:1-31). This was a decision of the Holy Spirit. 

> It is sad to see that evangelical and fundamentalist churches generally do not teach on the reasons why Christians worship on the Lord's Day, or why it should be called "the Lord's Day" and not "Sunday". It is to be primarily a day of worship, but also a day for godly works such as preaching the Gospel message. Christ did good works on the sabbath days, and our good works are really His good works through us (note Luke 6:1-5).

> Some thoughts to add: is the Sabbath (seventh day) for collective worship or is the Resurrection day for worship --victory?; 1 Cor. 16:2; Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:2 and Mk. 2:27-28; Lk. 24:1. Sabbath was a day of rest for Israel; and they worshipped and sacrificed on certain days as given --not the Sabbath. It is worthy to note: we can see all of the principles of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament are found in the New Testament for standards (not as law) to be kept, except the Sabbath, which was only for Israel ---which they were to keep to remember God's creation beginnning at creation time. Thank God we have now a NEW BEGINNING in Christ for the Church universal.    -RLD: GB27