CHURCH  TRUTH   -  Bible Counsel  -  Section C    
 
 

 A  CENTER CIRCLE
For saints who value
Bible-Only
 SOME FEATURE  PAGES
CHRISTIAN  EXPERIENCE

 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.
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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
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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
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A Beginning Testimony

A FOUNDATION GUIDE FOR THE ASSEMBLY
By R. DeWitt, 2007; rev. 03/17

[Some understanding of the scriptural assembly locally and worldwide, and in testimony as shown in the revival of 1827 AD which first met in a home, and is now in many cities and countries worldwide.] 

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 yielded to God's Word, and that is what the fellowship from circa 1800 is about. A few thoughts are here from other papers to help Christians, who have never heard of the revival of AD 1827, and were not reared within a scriptural assembly. 

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 denominate: take a name, have a hierarchy of leaders, follow rituals, ceremonies and rules, may embrace worldly ways, have entertainment and activities, programs, innovations, etc. Others form independent gatherings in homes and do whatever they all agree to do in the name of Christianity; yet also fail to bow to Bible-only.  

While many intended scriptural assemblies begin in homes until they grow larger, they need to do it in fellowship with the universal Church as God established for some help, rather than independency which is divisive (1Cor. 12:25); and certainly not to be exalting certain men among them. There are various ideas developed to please man, 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 in "unity of the faith" as God ordained, and as a local expression of that, or just 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, for unity with the revival of 1827 after the biblical order. It endeavors to hold to Bible-only for universal unity. Reception is not dependent on knowing all the Scripture, and one should come simply in faith as a learner. One should come with the thought of "one accord" as shown 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. Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IL is a sound source of church history and ministry.

The Assembly Life concerns Christian love, happy fellowship, and the various Bible meetings and function as in Acts 2:41-42 and the Epistles ---a Godly spirit, and the care and fellowship for all the saints. Some small gatherings in homes grow to need a larger building in time for the assembly. 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 are not scriptural. A seeker ought to learn such as the ground of gathering, the history of the gathering, the form of gathering, the functions of the gathering, the priesthood of the gathering, etc.; all to know if God is honored, the Bible is followed, and there is liberty of spirit.

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 for others.  

The Order And Government Of God speaks of the scriptural form of the collective gatherings, unity worldwide, a Godly spirit, correction of waywardness, and honor to God; and God's mind and purposes for His testimony from the beginning of the church. This is by sharing of all the gathered saints and some guidance by elders. The saints worldwide should be essentially of one mind before God. 

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

The Collective Worship And Ministry speaks of communion at the Lord's Table and the Supper, as worship in both a collective and personal way by the working of the Spirit (Matt. 18:20), and the ministry shared in Bible studies and in messages delivered among the saints needs to be sound and esteemed; and those visitors in the "room (place) of the unlearned" can profit from it, as God says (note 1 Cor. 14:16) .  

[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 can learn more about such a fellowship at the site: www.biblecounsel.homestead.com and ask questions there. One cannot speak for others, and surely each child of God ought to pray earnestly to find God's mind for one's pathway.]   – RLD: CF15   

CHURCH  FORM  AND   FUNCTION
By R. L. DeWitt, 2009; add: 05/17
Some fundamental Bible truths listed, which can be studied more fully by inquiry at sources shown here below.     

The simple and general truth about the church --the ecclesia (God's called out assembly in the world), is that it encompasses all true believers in Christ everywhere, and the expression of that needs to be fully scriptural everywhere without the innovations of men, according to the intent of God. These statements here might be accepted as a principle by some believers, but sadly it is not embraced and held by most Christians in the world, which tend to seek after new and modern ways to express their personal beliefs ---thus the universal testimony is denied generally by man:

*  In the sight of God the Church is "one body" (Rom.12; 1 Cor.12; Eph.4; etc.) and should be in unity with "no schism in the body" (1 Cor. 12:25), for there is no such thing in the Word of God as "the church of your choice", as many Christians like to say.
[Body truth shown in the Holy Bible is an indictment against all the various sects men have formed outside of Scripture, and it speaks here of that recovery of God in the early 1800's for His testimony for unity and truth. One can see Church history at the sources shown below.]

* The Church has existed since the beginning at the day of Pentecost as shown in Acts 2:41-42 and the Epistles thereafter, and it should be "of one accord" (Phil.2:2) in both the local gatherings in a geographical place and the collective testimony worldwide ---not sectarian. 
[God's true testimony continues, and the rationale of men to explain their separations into various sects cannot be justified before God.]
* History shows that after the Apostolic times church truth was lost for ages, and Christians wandered in ignorance of the Word and were bound by tyranny of apostates for many years (circa 300-1500 A D.) ---often called "the dark ages".
[This refers mostly to that tyranny of the Roman Catholic Religion (500-1500 AD), but surely one should take note of times of apostasy before and after, including the "daughters" of Protestant sectarianism ---that came out of her, which shall also be judged. [Rev. 2:22-23; Rev. 17:1-18.]
* The gospel message was revived in a public way by God in about 1500 A. D. with the so-called "protestant reformation", though it had begun to be preached more boldly and broadly from about 1300 A. D. as more saints became literate, and more so as printing developed.
[Many fundamental Christians accept this recovery, though there remains voices speaking contrary things today by liberal church organizations.]
* In the early 1800's God began a revival of church truth and set forth His intent for His saints everywhere as "one body in Christ", and with understanding of the priesthood of all believers, and to show what the church is and believers' part in it.
[While most denominational Christians do not know this, and some reject it, it is especially sad to see that it is denied by even some who claim to hold to that revival of AD 1827, and who continue with innovations to pervert that good work of recovery by God for unity, rather than esteem it.]
* That faithful testimony in recovery of Church Truth began specifically in AD 1827, with a small gathering of saints in Ireland and then in England, and began to spread worldwide; and Satan soon found willing agents of men to begin dividing the testimony to please themselves, as the Apostles had warned; and today it is being corrupted everywhere by modern religionists who are deceiving many people with innovations and various heresies.
[We can allow for ignorance of this, but our concern today is about the rebellion, and the heresy of those Christians who should know better, as we see what is occurring ---Acts 20:30; 1 Cor. 1:10. It is lamentable and disgraceful before the Lord.]

Let us now speak briefly of God's testimony today to continue what He set forth and intended for faithful saints. Other papers we have speak in greater detail of this. There is a form and order for the church given in God's Word, and His purpose for His honor and glory, the testimony, and our good. Believers need to be in conformity to it, else they will be found opposing God's purposes and dishonoring Him before the world and the heavenly host, and will forfeit much and be held to account for that at "the judgment seat of Christ" in Heaven. Sincere readers can contact Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IL for much ministry on history and church truth; and see also related ministry at the internet site: Biblecounsel.homestead.com.

This does not imply mergers or starting something new, but holding to God's revival of circa 1800's for unity. Believers need to see that church truth goes beyond redemption, and the saints are not saved to just go forth and live as they choose, for we are God's children, "bought with a price" and belong to God (see 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 John 5:1). We need to hold to the Holy Word of Truth in God's house and bow to His government, rather than doing "every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes" (Deut. 12:8). 

Having shared all this, one must say: we should be thankful for every true "born again" believer in Christ, and can allow for ignorance of the scriptural ground of gathering; but also that every saint should want to be the kind of testimony God shows us to honor Him as "unity of the Faith". – RLD