Neil Girrard
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Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Mt. 6:10 π Mt. 13:25 π Mt. 13:38 π Mt. 13:43 π Mt. 13:47 π Mt. 15:24 π Mt. 16:18 π Mt. 18:20 π Mt. 20:25-26 π Mt. 28:19 π Mk. 10:42-43 π Jn. 10:10 π Jn. 13:34-35 π Acts 1:11 π Acts 2:38 π Acts 7:48 π Acts 17:24 π Acts 19:6 π Acts 20:7 π Acts 20:9 π Acts 20:30 π Acts 26:18 π Rom. 1:17 π Rom. 8:7 π 1 Cor. 3:4 π 1 Cor. 3:9 π 1 Cor. 3:17 π 1 Cor. 12:25 π 1 Cor. 12:28 π 1 Cor. 16:2 π 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1 π Gal. 5:20-21 π Eph. 4:11 π Eph. 4:12 π Eph. 4:14 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 1 Tim. 4:1 π Jas. 1:27 π 1 Pet. 5:1-3 π 2 Pet. 1:3 π 2 Pet. 2:5 π Jude 3 π Rev. 17:5; 2nd

Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Heresies, Sectshairesis – [139] π Divisions, Dissensionsdichostasia – [1370] π Assembly, “Church” (KJV)ekklesia – [1577] π Overseer, “Bishop” (KJV)episkopos – [1985] π Contentionseris – [2054] π Lot, Partkleros – [2819] π Elderspresbuteros – [4245] π Division, Schismschisma – [4978]

There are some who are promoting the idea of “multi-denominationalism.” There is indeed great merit in the idea but, as we shall see, there are also inherent dangers. Consider:

All these truths as restored by God to His people must be amalgamated and embraced in order for multi-denominationalism to have any real spiritual value. But what equally must not be overlooked is that the simple restoration of truths is not enough for our day – any more than was the first reformation a complete work by restoring the truth of justification by faith. The original Catholic sect incorporated practices that are simply and deceptively antagonistic to spiritual life in Christ – practices far too effective and sophisticated to be anything but demonic. ( 1 Tim. 4:1 ) These practices have been retained within each of the denominations that have been formed over the years. As each denomination formed into its own separate sect and hardened into an old wineskin, they simply became the daughters of their mother. (Again see Rev. 17:5 ) This does not negate the truth that was given by God at each stage of development but it does show how Satan and the demonic have resisted all forms of what is derided now in certain circles as “restorationist theology.” And it clearly shows the dual streams of power that have attended all revivals, renewals and moves of God. Every move of God, every revival, every outpouring of His Spirit has devolved into a schism (Greek schisma [ 4978 ]), sect or heresy (hairesis [ 139 ]), a dissension (dichostasia [ 1370 ]), and/or a contention (eris [ 2054 ]), etc. – and usually as the expression for someone’s incomplete or twisted version of “the faith.” And each of these things are contrary to the body of Christ ( 1 Cor. 12:25 ) and keep us from experiencing and inheriting the kingdom of God. ( Gal. 5:20-21; top )

These practices are so subliminally and subconsciously engrained and programmed into most believer’s thinking that there is simply no possibility of dislodging these deceptions. It is often even virtually impossible to speak about the deceptions because both sides of the argument use the same word. Of course, the arguments against the word “church” are never addressed at “church” and even when the truth is presented to a “church”-ite, most are so spiritually numb or dead that they cannot see it, even when it is plainly presented to them.

Yet it is true that the word “church” has several meanings that simply are not appropriate for the Greek word it translates. The English word “church” is used to translate the Greek word ekklesia [ 1577 ], a word which refers only to people, specifically those people called out of the darkness of this world in order to attend to Christ’s kingdom of light. The word “church,” as can be found in any worthwhile dictionary, refers to the “Christian” 1) building, 2) clergy, 3) religion, and, finally, 4) people. The contrast between “church” and ekklesia is presented very well in this discrepancy – three parts deception with one part truth. And, if we can at the least see this linguistic discrepancy, it gives us a basis to begin to differentiate and communicate about what was originally in the New Testament and what was added by the Catholic sect and by human tradition and demonic deception over the centuries. We can use ekklesia for the original and “church” for any add-ons or corruptions.

There are many “church” practices that simply have no place in the New Testament. Yet many of them stand as a very centerpiece and core symbol of “Christianity.” Consider:

What we should take away from all this is that we can indeed embrace all the truths that the Lord has restored in the various movements over the centuries but we must be careful not to become yet another hardened wineskin formed around some peculiar doctrine or practice. And even above all this, we must take care that we do not perpetuate the practices of the Great Prostitute Babylon which were foolishly incorporated by the Catholic “church” and perpetuated throughout all of church history in the various daughter denominations. Nothing – absolutely nothing – of either Babylon or Egypt will be welcome in the New Jerusalem. The finished work of Christ on the cross included nothing from either of these two very religious places and no such defilements will ever be included in any real expression of following Him. Anything that cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament, God’s “manifesto” (His intentions, agendas and methods) for His kingdom, has no true place in His precious promises regarding genuine life and godliness in Christ Jesus ( 2 Pet. 1:3 ) and will instead only be something of the flesh or religious idolatry that must be left behind so that we might truly be His sons and daughters. ( 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1; top )

Jesus said that He brought abundant life for His followers – not abundant religion. ( Jn. 10:10 ) James wrote, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” ( Jas. 1:27 ) And the corruptions added in by the Catholic sect certainly are pollutions from this world as the Roman empire was the primary example that was copied and emulated. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ( Jn. 13:34-35; top )

We must remove our dark glasses (the “church” paradigm) and see again the pure light of Christ. We must forsake all the elements of darkness that have been designed to keep us from being the sons of the kingdom of God. It is most instructive to realize that Christ never used the word “church.” Aside from it being an English word (which completely precludes any possibility that Christ ever used it!), the Greek word it translates is not likely to have been used by Jesus either. It was a Greek word – Jesus was sent “only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” ( Mt. 15:24; top ) – and Greek studies were simply not likely to be on His list of studies! It is much more likely that Matthew, writing much later when the usage of the Greek word ekklesia was more prevalent and, in tune with the understanding that the people were the temple and body of Christ and God, simply inserted the Greek word into Jesus’ teachings.

Since Jesus didn’t talk about what we call the “church” today, what did He talk about? The kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is that realm where Christ and God are the literal and actual King. Even among men today, this is how the kingdom comes into our midst – we obey Him however He leads and directs. But we must notice too that we cannot initiate or simply install the kingdom of God – we can only bring the kingdom of God into our midst by hearing and obeying God. ( Mt. 6:10; top )

As far back as the 1960s, in what came to be known as his “valedictorian address” because it was written shortly before his death, A.W. Tozer wrote about the waning authority of Christ in the “churches.” Tozer clearly recognized that Christ the nominal but not literal “Head of the Church is respectfully silent while the real rulers take over.” (God Tells the Man Who Cares, “The Waning Authority of Christ in the Churches,” p. 210) Fifty years has not – as surely as two thousand years of “church” deception have not – improved the overall situation. We must take care that we are not perpetuators of the apostasy, the “church,” the great falling away from the faith that occurs before Christ’s return ( 2 Ths. 2:3 ), and we must take care that we are truly members of His genuine ekklesia. This is the difference between a wheat and a tare. The wheat, because it is a genuine crop, is weighed down with the weight of its fruit when it is ready to harvest – symbolic of genuine humility and productiveness. The tare, because it is a bastard weed – truly a son of the devil ( Mt. 13:38 ) – stands proudly erect with its worthless head of seed waving about in the winds of deceptive “doctrines.” (also see Eph. 4:14 ) The time to choose which we will be – wheat or tare – is now. If we would be genuine wheat, we must submit our “doctrinal” and “theological” knowledge back to God so that He can restore to us what is completely truth, remove from us what is completely error and purify and clarify what is some contaminated and corrupted mixture of the two. Only in this way will we truly walk only in light and truth and be the sons of God who shine in the kingdom of our Father. ( Mt. 13:43; top )

Let he who has ears hear.

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