Neil Girrard

Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Dt. 5:27 π Isa. 1:13 π Mt. 18:20 π Mt. 20:25-26 π Mk. 4:11 π Jn. 6:48 π Rom. 8:29 π 1 Cor. 5:10-11 π 1 Cor. 6:15 π 2 Cor. 4:2 π 2 Cor. 6:17 π Eph. 1:6 π Eph. 2:10 π Eph. 4:16 π 2 Tim. 4:3-4 π Tit. 2:14 π Heb. 2:14 π Heb. 8:2 π 1 Pet. 5:3 π 1 Jn. 3:8 π Rev. 2:4 π Rev. 17:5 π Rev. 18:4
Greek Words Mentioned in This Article
Lawlessness, “Iniquity” (KJV) anomia – [458] π Assembly, “Church” (KJV)Ekklesia – [1577] π Overseer, “Bishop” (KJV)episkope – [1984] π Public Servant, Administratorleitourgos – [3011] π Collect, Convenesunago – [4863]

Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!” ( 1 Cor. 6:15 ) When we come to an understanding that the modern denominational “church” (of which the house “church” is too often just one more denominational variety) is simply the prostitute (religion for profit) daughter of the mother of all prostitutes and abominations (the Catholic “church” – see Rev. 17:5; top ), we find that what Paul said must not happen is precisely what did happen in church history. The members of Christ were made into members of a prostitute.

In stealth, the demonic – which most people falsely believe to be only involved in blatant evil and visible destruction (like drug abuse or Satan worship) but which traffics most in the subtle “white” lies that make us feel better about ourselves, particularly that subtle “white” lie called “church” - lured the people of Christ to ignorantly step away from the true way of following Christ and take up some fleshly or demonic substitute. We must now pick apart what practices we have acquired from that mother and seek the Lord for a new and fresh revelation as to what practices we still carry on that keep us from the fullness of what He has for His people.

The call of the Lord at this time is to “Come out from the midst of her” (Mystery Babylon and/or her prostitute daughters - Rev. 18:4 ) and to “Come out from among them” (the “Christian” idolaters who in truth follow a false religion as is evidenced by their sinful deeds – 2 Cor. 6:17 , 1 Cor. 5:10-11; top ) so that we do not become like them and share in her judgments.

We can easily find the historical insertion of the aberrant practice of the “church” building in the 2nd and 3rd centuries – which has no place in the New Testament but which comes from the traditions of men and the pagan practices of worshiping false, manmade gods. We can easily find the historical insertion of the aberrant practice of exalting the bishop (Greek episkopos [ 1984 ], most often called the “pastor” today) over the other elders and all the people in the 1st and 2nd centuries in spite of the Lord’s clear directives to not have lords over the flock. ( Mt. 20:25-26 , 1 Pet. 5:3 , etc.) We can even rather easily see that the simple substitution of rules and standards (like the Didache which has survived but there were others in use that did not) in the place of the unique and only Minister (Officer, Administrator, Head – Greek leitorgous [ 3011 ], English “liturgy”) of the Sanctuary (the body, the people of Christ) caused the first century followers of Christ to depart from their first love ( Rev. 2:4 ) and progressively rendered the leading of the Holy Spirit inoperative. This position – which is said to belong only to Christ in the New Testament ( Heb. 8:2; top ) – was overtaken by a list of rules and procedures and “wisdom.” In short, the leading of the Holy Spirit was replaced by a piece of paper. From all these abominable practices we have not yet fully recovered.

But there is even yet one more abomination we acquired from the mother that is still commonly practiced today that is perhaps the hardest of all addictions to overcome – the “meeting.” There are no “meetings” held in the pages of the New Testament. The word is not used even once. What we find is a word that is most often rendered “gather” (sunago [ 4863 ]) and it is a word that implies coming together with a purpose. It is not just haphazard gatherings of whoever happens to be in the area – it is the calling together of certain kinds of people to attend to a certain task. And even by simply counting this word – it is used just over 60 times – and even when added to the usage of ekklesia ([ 1577 ], English “church” or “assembly” which is used some 115 times), we find that there are less than 200 references to “gatherings” and “assemblies” and such throughout the whole of the New Testament. The writers of the New Testament simply did not consider it a subject of great importance yet we, as we do with the “pastor” and the pulpit (neither of which have a genuine place in the New Testament), have made the “meeting” a central sacred cow to our modern churchianity.

What was the original purpose the people were called to gather around? Was it so that one man (the “pastor” or “teacher”) could demonstrate his superior knowledge and ability to speak eloquently? No, that is what sermons and sermonizing devolved into over the centuries until now today we have countless thousands of ear-scratching, ear-soothing teachers heaped up and putting forth their teachings in every possible manner and sound (solid, wise, true) teachings are discarded and replaced with fables about Christ and God. (see 2 Tim. 4:3-4; top ) Was the original purpose to bring along a group of people who would financially and emotionally support the “man of God” up front as he did all the work of serving the needs of the poor, the orphans and the widows and being salt and light to the world? No, though this too is one of the things the “church” has also devolved into – and it all has ceased being salt and light as a result.

The purpose of our gathering together is – and must always be – to carry out the purposes of Christ and God. The primary purpose of God is to have a family and to re-make us over again into the likeness of the oldest brother, Christ Jesus. ( Rom. 8:29 ) To do this, He must destroy the works of the devil ( Heb. 2:14 , 1 Jn. 3:8 ) and redeem for Himself from all lawlessness (Greek, anomia [ 458 ] – what is right in one’s own eyes) a unique people zealous to do the good works He has preplanned for us to routinely accomplish. ( Tit. 2:14 , Eph. 2:10; top )

To accomplish His purpose to have a family, He must purge lawlessness and wickedness first from our own hearts. To do this we must first desire God’s will above our own. If God has not led or grown or brought each individual to a point where God’s will is their first priority individually, by what insanity would we think that we can come together as a group and seek God’s will as a first priority corporately? And if we’re not coming together to seek God’s will, whose will are we seeking? The man’s – the man who runs the show, holds the meeting or the one who from behind the scenes directs the flow and direction of the group – that is whose will is pursued even if only in a subtle way. This has been the consistent pattern of “church” history, the building up of yet another abomination.

If we fail to purge the wickedness and lawlessness out of our own individual lives, then in our meetings we simply bring our lawlessness together into one place and, in effect, shove it up God’s nose, demanding that He receive us as we are and even approve of and bless what we do in His name. God said through the prophet Isaiah, “Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.” ( Isa. 1:13; top )

In addition to the Lord’s call to “Come out,” there is also a call to shut down and stop calling together “meetings” that only serve to reinforce our obedience to those things that are right in our own eyes. If there is any purpose to call a meeting, it must be a purpose initiated and stirred up by the Lord or the meeting can only be an expression of lawlessness. If there is no shared life between the people involved which raises up a common purpose upon which to call a meeting, meeting just to meet and “have fellowship” (especially in a mixed multitude where no real fellowship of the Spirit of God can truly occur) is just another lie. Those who would call a “church” styled “meeting” in hopes to sound the call to “Come out” to those who are quite content in their various “churches” should take great care that by using a method of the “church” they have not simply become yet another form of “church” and in truth are handling the word of God dishonestly. (see 2 Cor. 4:2; top ) Those who have come out must truly come out and be something different (which will result in different goals and thus different activities and agendas from those of the “church”) or else they have not truly come out.

Some look to the multitudes that Jesus taught as the basis for having “meetings” and they fail to see how before the Holy Spirit was poured out, Jesus was the only teacher who spoke and taught the will of God. No one else was filled as He was and no one else was able to speak forth the hidden counsels of God, particular about His coming death and resurrection and the life that would ensue for any and all believers – He was the unique and only Bread of life come down from heaven! ( Jn. 6:48 ) We should also note well that He often hid Himself from the crowds and chased the crowds away so that He might get alone and pray or speak privately to His few disciples, to whom alone were the meanings behind the parables revealed. ( Mk. 4:11 , etc.) We should also recognize that the crowds who pursued Jesus did so for their own purpose (personal healing, deliverance, freedom from Rome, etc.) but the disciples who followed Him closely were there to learn to walk in God’s ways, forsaking their own desires, agendas, and even families at times.

The “meeting” is a natural but fleshly growth that occurs whenever people come together apart from the will of God. The routine meeting is a lie – it is a place where one can make one’s appearance, do nothing to fundamentally change one’s life and yet walk away feeling like one has done one’s religious duties and that God is now pleased with us (at least for the week) so that we are now free to go and live our life as best we see fit. The “meeting” further serves to satisfy all the leader’s cravings for significance and acceptance, things that are supposed to be answered only in the Beloved ( Eph. 1:6; top ) and gives the leader a place to feel like he is serving God when in truth he is serving only his own hidden inner agenda. This is lawlessness in the name of Christ and it surely abounds – even in the house “churches.”

The “meeting” with an active clergy “teacher” and a passive, silent audience came about because there is in the human nature the propensity to let the “man of God” go up the “mountain of God” and find out the “word of God” so that the people can remain unchanged in their idolatrous, sinful ways and promise (in sincerity perhaps but in futility certainly) to obey all that God commands. (see Dt. 5:27 , etc.; top) But this is not the way of the Lord.

Paul wrote, “the whole body [is] joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” ( Eph. 4:16 - emphasis added; top) It is when every part is functioning that the body of Christ is built up. Calling “meetings” that provide places for lawless individuals to hide in and then presume themselves obedient to God is the modern abomination called “church.”

The “meeting” – especially once it was presided over by the bishop (who stood “in the place of God” according to Ignatius of Antioch) and proceeding according to the pre-written and prescribed liturgy and contained within the idolatrous shrine-house - replaced the encounters of each individual member. Christ promised, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there am I with them.” ( Mt. 18:20; top ) The “church” stole this promise and changed it to “two or more” but this is not what Christ said.

The “church’s” focus and emphasis is on the larger group first and Christ’s “two or three” thing doesn’t really matter if it happens or not. This is the scene of the crime right here. God’s focus is precisely on the “two or three” gatherings in His name (according to His purpose) and the larger meeting is the one that it doesn’t matter whether it ever happens or not. Where all the individuals are submitted and committed to the will of God, it doesn’t matter how many gather together in a sacred assembly because all are holy. When the “two or three” gatherings are not occurring according to His purpose, the body is not being built up and any “meeting” we call together will simply be a mixed multitude of holy and unholy individuals milling about according to their own preferences and desires, in a word, assembled in lawlessness. This is the abomination we have inherited from the mother “church.”

Let he who has ears hear.

I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!

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