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While Yahusha/JESUS was alive, He prayed to His Father: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  John 17:15 (KJV)

Yahusha/JESUS gave signs of what must happen before His Return:  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:"  Matt. 24:29 (KJV)


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On "PASTORS" today, and "PREACHING" from the pulpits...look how far we have come!


FOR FAIR USE AND EDUCATION AND DISCUSSION PURPOSES




What does preaching do for us today? Are we any better for it after it is all said and done? The QUALITY and QUANTITY of a Pastor's preaching a sermon behind the pulpit, today, seems to be equivalent to the end result in the amount in the collection plate.

And then, out of sight, out of mind. (Yawn!) "Will dinner be ready by the time the ballgame begins, Dear?" "I think I'll take a nap before dinner." "It's nice to have a day off once church is over...now we can relax!" Or, for the younger generation, "Let's go to the beach today after church. We can wear our new bikinis and check out the 'hotties' (good-looking, well-built young men, according to today's vernacular).

I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT BECAUSE I HAVE LIVED IT!! And with friends I had way back then, it was the same "picture" of a perfect "Christian" life!

And, I don't believe it has changed, except for the dialog now. People are no longer getting married...they are "shacking up". It's fine to be homosexual (Oops! "Gay" is what we have to say now), so we just have to understand their "alternative life style". "What's wrong with giving our daughters birth-control pills because at least they are protected from pregnancy!" (What DOESN'T seem important any more is that our daughters are getting spewed with filth...inside and out).

The outside of the "cup" seems to be sparkling clean....but the inside is rotten, putrid, and it smells to high heaven!! see Matthew 23:27. And the guy behind the pulpit making such great-sounding sermons is NO DIFFERENT FROM YOU!! Who knows what is going on inside the "man"??

But the BOOK is pure white and clean....and it washes the inside stains day by day. Jesus tells us to get "washed by the water of the word"...Ephesians 5:26. That is the ONLY way to get clean in God's eyes. There are no "showers" in the churches today. What we get is each pastor's opinion of what he feels he should say to get a proper reaction....and the more "emotional" reaction is produced, the better the profit. So, "Good Prophet" is equal to "good profit".....

You will NEVER hear this message in church for obvious reasons...



Below is a small piece of an article I read today. It's from a site that has specific doctrines that people may (or may not) hold to. But, I didn't want the article spoiled by only considering the source. What it says is perfectly true. (But don't ask your Pastor's opinion...that would be fruitless except to make him/her angry).....

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What does "Preach" mean?

Believers are to Preach God's Word (2 Timothy 4:2; Acts 20:7-9; 1 Timothy 4:6-16). Also mentioned is "exhort" and "teach" in these verses. Far more significant, however, is the entire notion of "preaching". There were no one-man lectures (monologues) in the early Church until Greek philosophy was imported into the Church. The traveling philosophers (peripatetics) were popular in the Greco-Roman world, and were too easily imitated among Believers. What passes for "preaching" in our day has absolutely no Biblical warrant. Nowhere in the New Testament is there an example of a "sermon" in the Christ's assemblies.

We need to emphasize this point. If the Apostle Paul were invited into one of our meetings and saw only one man give an oration patterned after the Greek philosophers of his day, with absolutely no interaction with the "laymen," Paul would demand to know "What's going on here?" This modern pattern bears no resemblance to the New Testament pattern, although it is unwittingly patterned after ancient Greek itinerant moralists. The "sermon" is an unscriptural tradition, imported from Greco-Roman paganism. Some preachers, of course, fail to meet even the standards of the Greek philosophers. Their "preaching" is pure entertainment.

Acts 20 is used to establish many modern practices of the church, and yet it supports none of them. Consider "preaching." The Greek word for "preach" in Acts 20:7,9 is word #1256, dialegomai: it's a "dialogue" not a "monologue." Dialegomai means "to converse, discourse with one, argue, discuss". It comes from the word "di" which means "a combining form meaning 'two', 'double'." We do not have "dialogue and discussion" in most "churches," and therefore do not obey Acts 20:7. Does the church really believe that Paul gave an uninterrupted lecture -- for twelve hours?!? Dialegomai is also translated as "reasoned" in Acts 17:2, where Paul "reasoned" in the synagogue out of the scriptures. Paul "reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath" (Acts 18:4,19). In church, the preacher doesn't "reason" with anybody, but simply talks with no chance of interaction with those in the audience. Dialegomai is also translated as "disputed" in Acts 17:17, where Paul "disputed he in the synagogue", and in Acts 19:8 where he was "disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God." In Church, the pastor does not give anyone the chance to "dispute" or "question" him. Is this biblical?

For now, note the inescapable fact that there simply was no "preaching" or "sermon" as we popularly conceive it today. When we proclaim the Gospel to our neighbor, we engage in "official and professional instruction" as priest-kings of Christ! The gates of hell are assaulted and overcome by our "informal discussion". Modern churches have replaced the discussion and animated conversation of the New Testament with "sermons," an invention of the Greeks, and a man-made tradition.

As a result, I cannot obey the Scriptural commands as cited in 1 Corinthians 14:26,31 when I "attend church"; I cannot edify and prophesy. Neither can I obey 1 Timothy 4:13 and 2 Timothy 4:2 when I "attend church"; I cannot exhort, I cannot "teach", except through hymns (but not of my choosing). Only one person exhorts in a "church"; the whole congregation violates Hebrews 10:24-25, at least when they are "attending church." Perhaps they obey these commands later in the afternoon, when in colloquial discussion they bring all thoughts captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), but certainly not during Church services.


Who is a Pastor or a Priest?

While the Apostle could claim to be a "steward of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1), we wonder what Churches mean when they claim the same thing for themselves, after the age of the Apostles, and denying the duty to all other ("non-ordained") believers. Perhaps they dispense mysteries only when speaking ex cathedra. No, surely whenever any believer shares the Word of God with another, he dispenses mysteries in the same sense as the churchmen might legitimately claim for themselves.

It seems that church preachers are sometimes not as interested in exalting the Apostles or the Gospel as much as their own ecclesiastical power. This seems to be a fairly significant issue, one that underlies the issue of preaching and this entire article: The ecclesiocrat works to "mystify" his "office." He wants a "mystique" to surround his position. He seeks not to exalt the Word of God so much as to intimidate and impress the "laity." Many are unable to think of the work of the elder as attainable, practical, or understandable, because it is invested with an aura of mystery. The every-day function of nurturing younger believers and watching over them, concerned for their Spiritual growth, is converted into a high and lofty ecclesiastical "office" resembling an inscrutable, occultic link between god and man. Rather than rooted in Biblical Law and practical competence therein, this ecclesiocentric authority is esoteric, shrouded in mystery.

In the Priesthood of All Believers, all believers can strive to be mature, wise, and Godly. In denominational churches, the "uninitiated" can never be "mysterious." They are qualitatively (not just quantitatively) inferior. "Religion" is thus removed, and the rest of us must read Ann Landers for "practical" guidance the rest of the week.

In sharp contrast to this mentality, the Bible wants us to think of every believer as one who must dispense divine mysteries (Isaiah 61:6; 66:20-23; 1 Peter 2:9). In fact, the "mystery" which was hidden in the Old Covenant is the fact that all men shall be a part of God's Kingdom of priests, and they shall function fully, obediently, and spontaneously (Ephesians 2, Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Hebrews 8:8-12) without the rigors of the Old Covenant ceremonial priesthood (Colossians 1:26-27; Ephesians 1:9-10; 3:5-6; Galatians 3:19 - 4:11) and without fear of the principalities and powers which held sway over the nations during the Old Covenant (Revelation 20:1-3). Everyone engages in an extremely significant and special act when they bring the Word of God to bear on a neighbor's problems. The New Testament tells us that this conversation has cosmic significance; the very gates of hell itself are pulled down and Christ's Kingship extended (2 Corinthians 10:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:24-25). By virtue of our priestly and kingly office, it is an act of official and professional instruction, and yet this shepherding of another believer or this preaching to an unsaved neighbor should be an "ordinary," every-day occurrence. The hocus-pocus of a clerical religionist is not demanded.

The Godly father does not dangle fatherhood over his son's head as an unattainable "mystery." He seeks to display and explain fatherhood, helping his son to become a Godly father. The Godly "Pastor" does not mystify himself or an ecclesiastical position of power. He models a life of service and obedience to Biblical Law in a practical way, demystifying competence and Godliness so that it might be imitated by all (1 Peter 5:1-3).


Conclusion

To say that we are violating Scripture unless we also "attend church" in the building of an ecclesiastical corporation with a credentialed seminary graduate in the spotlight, is simply preposterous, a remnant of Roman Catholic teaching. There is not a shred of evidence to support such an ecclesiastical requirement, and the whole of Scripture seems to go against it. The movement in the Bible is away from ceremony and limited special priesthood, and toward decentralization, an every-believer priesthood, and a return to direct communication with God through His Spirit.

Our failure as believers to implement this truth comes from our friendship with the world, and conformity thereto (Romans 12:1-2; James 4:4). It seems strange to us to think of a household communion. In our culture, Grandparents live in their own house, Aunts and Uncles are likewise separated from their Nieces and Nephews, and it is "trendy" for children to move out of their parents' house as soon as they possibly can. In our day "the Family" has been described as one or two working parents and (maybe) 2.2 children (recently down to 1.8).

If we were to take a first-century believer (or even a modern-day member of a number of non-western cultures) up into an airplane over Southern California, and showed them city after city of single-family dwellings, all packed in like sardines, row after row, with parents in one house, children in another, grandparents in another, aunts and uncles in still another, and the poor and homeless wasting away in the abandoned section of industrial parks and urban ghettoes (where the suburban dwellers have coercively zoned them) our passenger would cry. Then he might become enraged: "This is sick! This is an abomination! I could never have imagined such atomism and selfish isolationism!" Little does he know that even among those houses where parents and children dwell together, it is little more than a motel, with students and commuters simply dropping in to sleep at night. In this land there is no property -- genuine property -- over which fruitful, honest dominion can be exercised unhindered by banks or landlords. It is a nation of slaves. Where in our land is an Abraham, with hundreds of adopted children, hundreds of domestic apprentices, hundreds of the poor and needy receiving shelter, hundreds of illiterate orphans being educated and brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and several generations of Family in blessed contact and harmonious community? Well, if we believe the churchmen, that ideal is clearly unattainable: we live in the New Covenant, and we do not have the Spiritual resources which Abraham had under the Old Covenant. Right?

Does Ephesians 5:19 - 6:24 command anything that cannot be fulfilled in "informal" Family-gatherings? The idea of Family communion is in our (atomistic, self-centered) day rightly ridiculed. We are not Patriarchs; we are children. How we cherish the churchmen, who only require us to "worship" in their church one day each week, and then dismiss us to watch our TV's in isolated silence.

We should always be conscious of Christ's Presence "where two or three are gathered in My Name." Whenever we obey the command to assemble together for praising God, Scripture reading and study, exhortation and comfort, prayer and singing, and remembering the Lord's death in the communal meal, we are clearly engaging in a very special activity.

Remember, the "Church" does not save anybody, only our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can save us (John 3:17; 10:9, Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:31, Romans 10:9,13).


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Good article!

Arlene