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Galatians 3

Posted on by John Chiarello

GALATIANS 3

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 1

https://youtu.be/hhA-O_mb3Y8 Galatians 3

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/1-3-17-galatians-3.zip

ON VIDEO

.Abrahamic covenant

.Fulfilled thru Christ

.Law [covenant] came later

.1st promise stands

.Law revealed sin

.Faith in Christ justifies

.Began in Spirit [faith] don’t go back to law [works]

.Christ took the curse of the law on the Cross [tree]

.Law was tutor- to bring us to truth

.Jesus is the Truth

.No more need for the tutor

.Father of many nations

.Legal and actual justification

.Luther- Trent [16th century]

.Legal fiction?

.Mercy seat

NOTE [new stuff below].

Today [1-9-17] I found out that a good friend of mine died.

His name was Huey Martin.

I saw Huey about 10 days ago- the first time in about 7 months.

As he pulled up to Timons [mission] he beeped the horn- and waved for me to come over. I didn’t recognize him- the car window was tinted. So- I sat there and ignored him.

I noticed he kept waving for me to come over- like he thought ‘maybe John is mad- in one of his moods’.

Yes- the guys know me- and this has happened before.

As I walked away- I heard someone yell ‘John- John’.

I walked over to the car window- and realized it was Huey.

I could tell he felt bad- like I was ignoring him.

But I told him I didn’t realize it was him- and I talked with him for around 15 minutes.

I could see he was not doing well- I put my hand on his shoulder- like a brother- and told him I would pray for him.

I see his older brother- David Martin- every week.

I just visit with David- fellowship- and pray with him.

All 3 brothers are like family to me- Andy- David and Huey.

I have had people ask me why I ‘hang out’ with some of the guys- because of their lifestyles.

Over the years I had good talks with Huey- we laughed- he spent 3 days at the house once when he broke a rib.

And yes- we talked about God and life.

I will indeed miss Huey-

He was my friend.

Here’s a video I did about 2 years ago- Huey is in it https://youtu.be/R0ZNzDkvphc

NEW-

Paul makes the argument that God promised Abraham that he would bless [save- justify] the whole world thru one of his sons.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Ultimately that Son was Jesus- who came down the line- from the offspring of Abraham-

Galatians 3:16

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

 

Then Paul says -

The law [10 commandments and entire Old Covenant system] came 430 years after God gave Abraham this promise-

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

Paul says ‘the scripture foresaw that God would justify the heathen thru faith- preaching the gospel beforehand’-

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Meaning- if the Galatians were going to revert to the law [get circumcised and put themselves under the Old Covenant] thinking that would make them pleasing to God.

Then the first promise [to Abraham] wasn’t true-

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

It’s a simple argument- saying God already promised that he would save the world someday- thru Jesus.

And if the law- which was given later- could also justify man- then basically God would have lied.

God is not a man that he should lie-

Numbers 23:19

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

 

Then the question is ‘why did God then give the law’?

Good question- and I taught it when we covered the book of Romans- and in this chapter Paul teaches it again.

The law was given till the seed [Son] would come to whom the promise was made-

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

But after that Son [seed] has come- there is no longer any need for the law [covenant- which includes circumcision]-

Paul teaches that the law was our tutor- to bring us to the time of Christ- but after the true teacher has come- there is no more need for a tutor-

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The law simply revealed to man his sin until the time of Christ-

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

The law is holy- just and good-

But men are sinful.

Therefore the law could never justify us.

Its purpose has been fulfilled- to reveal to man that he is a sinner- unable to keep it-

Romans 3:20

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

 

Then- when this purpose is fulfilled- we see the need for Christ- and the true purpose of the law is now accomplished-

Romans 3:31

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Simple.

The law cannot save us- was never intended to save us-

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

And now that Jesus has come-

The only one who ever fulfilled all the law-

Hebrews 4:15

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

He himself saves us because he took all the transgressions that were held against man- and nailed them to his Cross-

Jesus took away the 'handwriting of ordinances’ that was against us- and nailed them to his Cross-

Colossians 2:14

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

 

Paul concludes that we are justified by faith- that Jesus ‘hung on a tree’ [the Cross] and became a curse for us-

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

He quotes Habakkuk showing that the just shall live by faith-

Habakkuk 2:4

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Galatians 3:11

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

 

And the law is not faith- but the ‘man that does them- lives under them’-

Galatians 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

The quotes Paul uses in this chapter are from Deuteronomy- the ‘law’ and they show us the gospel itself-

Deuteronomy 21:22

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:

Deuteronomy 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

He warns the gentile believers- if you go back to that system- you are 'falling from grace’-

Galatians 5:4

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

 

We are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ-

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Amen.

 

PAST TEACHING I DID THAT RELATES-

GALATIANS [Links]

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/26/galatians-1/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/30/2nd-samuel-3-homeless-friends/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/01/02/galatians-2/

 

https://ccoutreach87.com/hebrews-updated-2015/

https://ccoutreach87.com/justification-by-faith/

https://ccoutreach87.com/romans-updated-2015/

 

https://ccoutreach87.com/protestant-reformation-luther/

VERSES

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Galatians 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.


 

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Genesis 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Romans 3:25

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

1 John 2:2

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

1 John 4:10

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 1

Hebrews 9:14

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

 

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Note- Please do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on- Thanks- John.#

 

 

See comments

Part of the 3rd book I wrote [find rest on ccoutreach87]

Posted on by John Chiarello

[BOOK]

‘FURTHER TALKS ON CHURCH AND MINISTRY’

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

 

CHAPTER ONE

HOLY SITES AND HOLY PLACES.

 

CHAPTER TWO

AUTHORITY IN THE KINGDOM, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

 

CHAPTER THREE

KINGDOM BUILDING OR LEGACY BUILDING?

 

CHAPTER FOUR

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE UNDER THE LOCAL CHURCH?

 

CHAPTER FIVE

BUILDING THE CHURCH AROUND THE PERSONA OF CHRIST, NOT MEN!

 

CHAPTER SIX

ORDINATION AND THE BIBLICAL MODEL OF ACCOUNTABILITY.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

EXAMPLES FROM PASTORS AND BELIEVERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

ARE CHURCH BUILDINGS EVIL? [OR THE GUY WHO WANTED TO CAST DEMONS OUT OF ME!]

 

CHAPTER NINE

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS ‘THE LOCAL CHURCH’?

 

CHAPTER TEN

THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION IN THE MODERN CHURCH.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

GODS PEOPLE ARE NOT SIMPLY ASSETS TO AN ORGANIZATION.

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

WHAT MODEL OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT DO I ESPOUSE?

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE CAT CHAPTER. [I DID THIS FOR MY KIDS!]

CONCLUSION

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Welcome back! I hope those of you who are reading this booklet have read our other 2 books first. Though it’s not necessary in order to understand this book, I prefer to think of these little booklets as an on going conversation with our friends in the kingdom. Those of you who are familiar with our ministry know that we view ‘ministry’ and ‘church’ in an unconventional way. I see church as the people of God who are gathered together by Christ in various and unique ways. I see the people that we associate with and minister to as a legitimate expression of church. Therefore those of you who have been in conversation with us through our various areas of ministry [radio,outreach,etc.]are a unique and vital expression of Christ’s body. Our goal is to simply relate to you in such a way that the end result would be for you to be built up in Christ and to find fulfillment in him. In this book I hope to share a lot of personal thoughts that the lord has communicated to me over a period of time. I feel that if I can simply communicate to you the biblical idea of church/ministry and how we all fit into this picture, that I will have in some small way accomplished the goal of writing this third little ‘letter’ to the ‘churches’ that the lord has called us to speak into.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

HOLY SITES AND HOLY PLACES

 

I recently have been studying and speaking on the issue of church and ministry as seen in the New Testament, as opposed to the way we as 21st century believers view it. In this ongoing conversation [primarily through radio] I have been talking about our tendency as believers to fall into a pattern of seeing ourselves as spectators/funders of the work of professionals. We settle into roles that relegate us into a nonfunctioning position of hearers of truth. We generally believe that if we attend the church meeting on Sunday and give financially to the church that somehow this has fulfilled our Christian obligation and that we are free to do as we please with our time and resources the other six days of the week. In this conversation there are those who feel this whole ritual of Sunday church is wrong and should be totally abolished, but there are others who are not quite that extreme but still see a need for a radical rethinking of this whole process. I consider myself to be in the more moderate class.

 

I personally don’t find anything inherently wrong with ‘going to church on Sunday’ but the general theme of New Testament Christianity is against the idea of believers simply being hearers of the word only. Because of our limited understanding of the word ‘church’ [ecclesia] in the New Testament we usually do not view ourselves as Christians in a proper way. One of the main themes in the New Testament is the idea of the church as community. That God intended for there to be a body of people who would actually be the place where God would dwell. He really lives inside the people who believe in Christ. Because of this the old idea of God manifesting himself only at a certain location [like the temple] is done away in Christ. If you remember the conversation Jesus had with the Samaritan woman [John 4] she asked Jesus about the legitimacy of the religious locations of her day. She wanted him to speak to the issue of which physical location is the proper one in which people should go to worship. Jesus reply was there is going to be a change in the whole system of so-called ‘holy sites’. He tells her that the true worshipers of God will be accessing him in spirit and truth. He is looking forward to the reality of the body of Christ being a living temple of people who will be able to be in Gods presence all the time regardless of there physical location. While most Christians believe this truth, in practice we often deny it. We look to the religious activities that surround our church day as some how being a more spiritual site or day of worship. We gear up for religious meeting and then experience ‘coming down’ from the religious high point of our week.

 

Now this is where I take a more moderate view than some of my brothers. I too enjoy the day of worship and fellowship that takes place on Sunday; I just wish that we could break the mindset that sees the doing of this as the primary role for Christians. I wish we could see that God is really with us on a daily basis as we interact as believers with each other. There are many times in our focus of going to church on Sunday that we unconsciously transfer the mindset of the Samaritan woman into the present day. We tend to view both the place and the day of church as taking place at a set location at a certain day. Jesus specifically told her that the day was coming that true worship would take place at a temple in a set location, but that temple would be the corporate people of God and that place would be wherever 2 or more are gathered together in his name!

 

CHAPTER 2

 

AUTHORITY IN THE KINGDOM, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

 

Not only are we hindered in our thinking by seeing church as something we go to on a special day, but the whole idea of ministry being some kind of a corporation that exists as a 501 c3 entity. Over the years of ministry I have personally come to rethink this whole issue. I’ve come to view ministry primarily as the kingdom works that God produces through his people when they are in right relationship with him. If you think about it this goes right to the heart of the issue of church being a living society of people. A functioning nation of Christ followers. When Jesus commissioned his followers to go out into the world and be witnesses for him, he told them to do kingdom works and to say to the people that the kingdom of God has come near to them. The actual presence of Christ in his people carrying out his works is true ministry. Later in the book of acts the Spirit falls on a bunch of people and they go forth both speaking and doing things in the name of Jesus. Ministry is primarily a function of God working through his people while bypassing all the technical loopholes of religion. There are certain basic standards that Christians who want to serve God should live by, but the whole idea of ministry being this 501c3 entity that exists as a separate thing is really unscriptural. Jesus not only challenged the idea of holy-sites being a special place, but also the idea of God’s authority/legitimacy existing in certain religious offices or institutions of his day.

 

The religious class challenged the authority of Jesus. They were saying you have no right to function as the Son of God. Who gave you this authority? Jesus answered in an interesting way. He asked them who gave John the Baptist the authority to do the things he did. Was it from heaven or of men? Well the Pharisee’s didn’t answer. But Jesus showed us that there where 2 types of authority, or ways of being legitimate in what you do. One way is that God directly gives you the right to function as a kingdom person, or you derive your authority from other people. You somehow seek legitimacy by going through the procedures of men. One of the main truths of the New Testament is the incarnation. God becoming man in the person of Christ. The very fact that Jesus was sent by his father, and being God incarnate in planet earth was all the legitimacy that anyone would ever need to do ‘ministry’. Any attempt from the religious mind to try and denigrate his character, or de-legitimize his right to function was directly challenged by the fact that he was sent by God. The works themselves were proof that he was legitimate! Now when we in the church seek to become legitimate, or to derive authority to do ministry through all sorts of natural procedures, we are in essence saying ‘we get our authority through man’. Its o.k. to become a 501c3 organization if it’s simply a matter of necessity [you need it to accomplish mission] but if it becomes a means whereby we feel ‘more legitimate’then we’ve simply jumped thru a hoop that will become a hindrance down the road.

 

The pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost was more than an event by which the church would enjoy charismatic gifts. In the Old Testament the Spirit of God would come upon certain individuals at certain times to give them authority to function in their offices [kings and prophets]. The fact that the Spirit came upon them was proof of their legitimacy to function in that office. The day of Pentecost was a ‘pouring out’ of the anointing on a whole body of people as opposed to a particular office. God was fulfilling the words of Jesus when he said ‘all authority is given to me go ye therefore’. Jesus was ‘legitimizing’ a whole society of people to go forth and do his works. No special class or office, but the whole body would now have this priestly/kingly anointing. If anyone would question their authority, or right to do what they were going to do, they would respond by saying we derive our authority through Jesus. They understood that their ordination came by the very fact that Christ poured out his Spirit upon them. Any challenge to who gave them the right to function was seen as a direct challenge to Christ’s authority. In the Old Testament when you challenged an emissary of the king you were directly challenging the king, so likewise when we question the legitimacy of fellow believers because they don’t seem to fit the ‘normal’ way of doing things, we’re unconsciously saying ‘who gave you this authority’. Now I am not saying that every Christian has the right to do anything he feels like doing, but there is a difference between seeking the legitimacy of man and simply doing the works of Jesus!

 

CHAPTER 3

 

KINGDOM BUILDING OR LEGACY BUILDING?

 

I just finished doing a teaching on the radio on the book of Exodus. We covered the story of the children of Israel as they progressed in time from a few people into a whole nation of people. If you remember your bible well, you can follow the original desire for God to have a family of people who would inhabit earth and live in fellowship with him. As man sinned and rebelled against God he became separated from God, but the desire to build and make a name for himself still existed within man. The story of the tower of Babel speaks of this. Men tried to come together as a corporate group, and even were willing to have unity [as opposed to ‘doing their own thing’] but it was for the purpose of building to the glory of man. It was ‘legacy building’. A desire that’s in all men to ‘leave a name for myself’. In the corporate world of business you find this mindset existing in a very strong way. In 21st century American society we call it ‘keeping up with the joneses’.

 

There is a popular commercial on TV at this time that shows an average Joe living high on the hog in order to keep up a certain image in the community. It shows ‘Joe’ as possessing a lot of things in order to live up to the image of the people around him. At the end of the commercial the question is asked ‘how does Joe manage to live like this?’. The answer is ‘he’s in debt up to his eyeballs’. This little commercial captures in a nutshell the attitude of trying to create an image of ourselves so others would think more highly of us, or so we can feel vindicated in the sight of our critics. Now many times in modern ministry and ‘church’ building we give in to this desire without even realizing it. We build facilities or large organizations in order to prove to those around us that we can really do this thing [tower building mentality]. We seem to loose sight of the great reality that Gods ‘institution’ or ‘organization’ which he uses to carry out his will is the church. It is a family of people [a holy nation, temple, city, body] that God freely dwells in, in order to advance his ‘cause’ throughout the earth.

 

When we unconsciously develop systems of ministry that we feel are the ‘church’, that is if we follow certain patterns and models of ministry and then begin to build these entities with the belief that these models are actually ‘the church’ then what we’ve done is transferred Gods true desire to build his kingdom [a rule in the earth that would give glory to his image] and replaced it unconsciously with a natural desire to build something that gives testimony to our image [i.e.: ‘look what I’ve done, look at the big legacy I will leave when I’m gone’]. Jesus warned the disciples that this desire to have authority and be ‘in charge’ of people would not be acceptable in true kingdom building. He was showing us that this desire for success was nothing different than what already exists in lost society. Many men sacrifice a lot in order to build institutions or businesses. People regularly sacrifice their time and resources in order to get their business going. Often times they even work in unity with many other people [staff, employees] to accomplish their goal. Now I'm not saying this is wrong in and of itself, there are many good businesses and institutions that have started this way. But when we transfer this mindset into the church we can confuse the energy and excitement that naturally comes with any true adventure and begin building ‘at all costs’. We can loose sight of the ‘entity’ that God is building and get caught up in the natural desire to ‘image’ build and become sidetracked.

 

In extreme cases this actually leads to abusive church situations where the leader[s] are so focused on building the ministry that they begin to unconsciously manipulate people in order to fulfill the vision. This is why it’s so important to see that the church exists as a community of people in the earth whom God lives in and interacts with in various ways in order to build his image in the earth. God wants the knowledge of the glory of ‘the lord’ to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. The ‘tower’ that all men will see is the ‘Cross’. God will draw all men to the image of his Son as opposed to some great edifice of man. Gods Spirit wars against the natural desire in man to ‘legacy’ build to his own image. We as believers need to reevaluate the motivations behind our outward enthusiasm to ‘press ahead’ at all costs. When we examine ourselves and make adjustments in our thinking I believe God will allow us to participate in great works for his name.

 

CHAPTER 4

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE UNDER THE LOCAL CHURCH?

 

Over the years of seeing the freedom that we have in Christ, especially as it pertains to functioning in church and ministry, I have met other believers who have seen and grown in the same understanding that the lord has given us. I believe this to be a natural process of the body of Christ coming to maturity. When the head [Jesus] is communicating with the body [the church] you often find different members seeing and functioning in the same truths, though they have never personally met each other. Some of these experiences are lessons for the whole church. Many times in trying to express truth there is a natural tendency for fellow believers to respond in a unified way in defense of a wrong [or misguided] way of seeing things. I remember sharing with a missionary family how the New Testament teaches a greater freedom for the functioning of missionaries/apostles than what we put on them today. I showed how Paul simply operated under the spirits guidance and practiced giving and receiving in a voluntary way with all the believers he was spending time with. I showed how even though Paul was an apostle sent out of the church at Antioch [acts 13] that this didn’t mean he was under some type of 501c3 entity at Antioch that he was sending his tithes to in order to be in obedience to the ‘New Testament pattern.’ If you read the story in acts all the apostles and believers functioned as citizens of a heavenly city and saw themselves all equally as part of this new community of Christ followers.

 

The idea that Paul [or any other New Testament minister] had some type of structural relationship with his ‘home church’ in the sense that he was sending tithes back to his ‘home church’ on a regular basis is simply reading 21st century American patterns into the story that doesn’t exist. You would think that the missionary family would have rejoiced to have seen this truth, as it would have given them freedom in moving forward in new ways in the kingdom. But contrary they were offended in a sense because they truly felt the role of tithing to a specific group of Christians who meet in a building in there area was a New Testament pattern that must be adhered to. While its ok to give to groups of Christians in this way, but to see this as a pattern that if violated would bring the curse in Malachi upon a person is ridiculous. These are ways that we confuse the spiritual temple of believers with the entity/501c3 structures that exist in ministry today. While the obtaining of the 501c3 status, or the purchasing of a building for believers to meet in is not inherently wrong [remember, if its needed for mission it’s o.k.] but to then view that as ‘local church’ which the missionary needs to tithe to in order to be in obedience to the ‘local church’ is confusing the spiritual entity of Christ’s body with the physical entity of American ministry.

 

When we view ‘ministry’ as a separate organization, we sacrifice the freedom to directly build into people. I was driving through town one day with a friend and as we passed by a certain business I mentioned that I needed to go in at a later time to purchase some equipment. My friend asked why I needed it and I explained I felt the Lord wanted me to buy it for a friend in order to help him in ministry. He questioned why I would spend money on someone who had no type of relationship with us, like a ‘part of our church/ministry’. I explained how believers should be willing to spend time and money for the benefit of others regardless of whether or not they are ‘part of our organization’ [by the way we have no ‘organization’ that someone ‘joins’]. I should mention that the person I wanted to spend the money on was one of our original friends/converts that we worked with in the early days of ministry. So the benefit would be purely spiritual, that is I would receive a reward from God in the sense that one of ‘our disciples’ would benefit directly from this purchase. Paul told the Corinthians that he would gladly spend and be spent for them. He said the fathers spend for the children, not the children for the fathers. He was showing the attitude of building people up for their sole benefit, not simply building staff or employees but giving yourself away solely for the benefit of ‘spiritual children’.

 

Many times people will unconsciously do the things I advocate, without realizing it! Recently there have been many examples of God working supernaturally in the area of finances. Many people who disagree with my teaching on grace giving have actually been blessed by doing it the way I teach it! People have been giving testimonies of how God would move on them to freely give [apart from the tithe concept] and how after they obeyed his voice to MEET THE NEED OF ANOTHER PERSON, versus ‘paying the tithe’ that the Lord would move supernaturally on their behalf by another person [not institution] being moved to give to them in return. I have been teaching this for years! How when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for ‘corban’ giving that he told them their mindset of dedicating money to the temple [institution] caused them to neglect giving directly to people [their parents]. So the recent breakthrough in giving that people are experiencing is what I have been saying all along. God wants us to give spontaneously to directly meet the needs of people! I realize this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also give regularly, but the point is sometimes we reject what a persons saying [like me!] without realizing that what their saying is right!

 

I should note something here; over the years I have consistently taught and believed in the concept of giving as God leads. There have been many times where the Lord would move on me to meet the needs of people. Just a few days ago one of my homeless friends asked me if I was still buying tents for people, I said sure. There was really no second thought or feeling of ‘I already gave the required amount this week, and this is going out of the way’. I simply felt it to be in keeping with the New Testament to give to someone in need. A few weeks back I ran into one of the original homeless friends that I met many years ago. The first thing he remembered and couldn’t stop talking about was how when I first met him I was giving away clothes in the winter to him and a bunch of other people. Theses simple acts of charity are in keeping with the teaching of Jesus on giving. The New Testament says ‘give to him that asks of thee’ ‘if you have the ability to help your brother and don’t how dwelleth the love of God in you’ ‘if someone comes to your door in need and you don’t help, it profits nothing’ ‘let him who is not working get a job so he MAY HAVE TO GIVE TO HIM THAT NEEDETH’.

 

All these verses [which I just paraphrased off the top of my head, you’ll have to look them up for yourself] speak clearly to the issue of God wanting us to give to meet the needs of others spontaneously and freely. No sense of ‘I already tithed this week to the church’. This legalistic mindset actually works against the spirit of New Testament giving. I am not saying Christians shouldn’t give regularly for the functioning of Christian ministry, I put aside money on a bi-weekly basis in order to fund Christian works. It is because of my priority of doing this that enables me to meet the needs of people when they come up.

 

I believe Christians should regularly give to the work of the kingdom, I also believe that many people would experience breakthrough in their giving if they truly practiced the New Testament doctrine of grace giving. All the communities of the New Testament [churches] gave this way. There simply was no tithing concept taught to the gentile believers. The scripture says the Corinthians gathered on the 1st day of the week and gave Paul an offering to BRING BACK TO THE POOR SAINTS AT JERUSALEM. Do you see this ‘THE POOR SAINTS’. They were giving to meet the needs of people here. We use these verses to tell Christians if you put in the required amount on Sunday then you’ve met your obligation. We distort scripture to fit into our way of seeing things. I believe its O.K. to put money in the offerings on Sunday, many times the work of ‘building based’ churches is good. Supporting missionaries, planting churches and many other good things. It’s just that we shouldn’t use this as an excuse to by pass all the other instructions in the New Testament to freely give to others in need!

 

I want to note something here, this is a good example of how are ‘seeing’ church as the Sunday meeting as opposed to the corporate group affects us. The issue of ‘how much should I put into the basket on Sunday’ was a NON ISSUE in the New Testament. There were times where all the believers in a community [the church] gave in a corporate way[ Acts 6, 1 Cor. 16] but there was no ‘Sunday church offering’ that all the ‘New Testament’ churches gave into. Why? Because the New Testament churches are all the believers in any given community. The focus wasn’t ‘going to church on Sunday’ that is our ‘thoughts’ or ways of seeing things [it’s O.K. to go to church on Sunday] but the focus was a community of people living and sharing on a daily basis. So when Paul writes these churches, or when Jesus tells us to give to him in need, they are addressing people directly. It’s not like the focus was on an institution. This is why ‘how much should we give, or should Christians tithe?’ is not seen in the New Testament like we see this question today. The bible speaks of ‘churches’ as communities of people; we speak about them in terms of ‘the church I go to on Sunday’. This basic misunderstanding of church causes us to hold onto a less than ideal view of Christian giving.

 

CHAPTER 5

 

BUILDING THE CHURCH AROUND THE PERSONA OF CHRIST, NOT MEN!

 

In the early days of ministry I remember listening to some tapes on apostles and how they build Gods church. Later I came to see ‘church planting’ as apostles [or evangelists, or just Christians] going to areas and simply preaching Christ to groups of people. After the people believed there was a natural development of family and

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My entire study on 1st Samuel

Posted on by John Chiarello

1st- 2nd Samuel- [video links included]

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/1st-2nd-samuel/ [Old commentary I wrote years ago]

VIDEO/POST LINKS-

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/every-cop-a-criminal/ [1-2 Samuel]

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/when-the-saints-go-marching-in-sam-3-john-2-4/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/just-a-box-samuel-4/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/would-you-be-isis/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/samuel-5-6/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/samuel-7-8/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/samuel-9/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/samuel-10/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/the-chapel/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/samuel-11-kings-n-priests/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/samuel-12-13/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/samuel-14/

https://youtu.be/iImxoD3cRfQ Samuel preview

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/john-12/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/samuel-15/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/samuel-john-hebrews-review/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/samuel-16/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/31/samuel-17/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/samuel-18/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/samuel-19/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/john-17/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/samuel-20/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/james-then-it-rained/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/samuel-21/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/samuel-23-24/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/11/14/samuel-25/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/11/16/jonah-revelation-samuel/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/11/24/samuel-26-eastern-star-2/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/11/29/samuel-27-28/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/06/samuel-29-30/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/12/samuel-31-conc/

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My complete study on John's gospel [text and video links]

Posted on by John Chiarello

JOHNS GOSPEL [Complete- Links added]

LINKS-

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/amos-5/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/jesus-christ/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/father-abraham/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/the-flood/ John 3

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/the-well-john-4/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/john-5/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/john-6/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/john-7/

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/8-10-15-john-14.zip

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/john-8/

https://youtu.be/f8VpxlYM_kU John 8- ‘who the Son sets free’

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/john-9/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/john-10/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/john-11-the-8th-sign/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/i-found-a-verse/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/john-12/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/samuel-john-hebrews-review/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/john-13/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/john-14/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/john-15/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/15/john-16/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/john-17/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/john-18/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/john-19/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/john-20/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/john-concl/

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Some teaching I did in New York City

Posted on by John Chiarello

NORTH BERGEN- NYC LINKS-

Every year I make a trip to North Bergen- NYC. I grew up in North Bergen- right across the Hudson river from Manhattan. Here are the links from those trips.

North Bergen/NYC [video links]

https://vimeo.com/178079925 North Bergen- 10-14 Jules, me n Ernie

https://vimeo.com/178083699 N.B. 10-14 Final word

https://vimeo.com/178087275 N.B. 10-14 me and Nick

North Bergen- 10- 2014- NYC videos

https://vimeo.com/173101615

https://vimeo.com/173102075

https://vimeo.com/173155715

https://vimeo.com/173157325

https://vimeo.com/173922515

https://vimeo.com/173927355

 

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/white-castle-2014.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/vid_20141012_115200.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/song-of-solomon.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/north-bergen-10-14-me-teaching-2.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/north-bergen-10-14-menickdanny-green-pumpkin-and-bobby-whistle.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/north-bergen-10-14-me-teaching-1.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/north-bergen-10-14-jules-me-and-ernie.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/north-nergen-10-14-me.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/north-bergen-10-14-final-word.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/me-and-danny-2014.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/me-and-jimmy-2014.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/me-and-billy-nb-2014.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/burger-king-2014.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/black-sabbath-2014.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/7-25-15-james-braddock-north-bergen-2015.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/7-23-15-3-brief-history-of-nyc.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-31-15-last-one.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-30-15-91st-nyc-skyline-davids-son.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-29-15-lifes-a-journey.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-29-15-kennedy-blvd-north-bergen-high-hudson-county-pk.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-27-15-the-rocks-the-keys-from-smith-ave.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-27-15-fatima-9-am.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-25-15-gary.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-25-15-gw-bridge.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-25-15-christmas-morning.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-24-15-work-of-art.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-24-15-danny-me-teaching.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-24-15-christmas-eve-incarnation.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/12-23-15-st-patricks.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/12-20-15-holy-savior.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/1-5-16-i-will-give-you-the-paintings-of-the-atheist.zip

 

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Last philosophy stuff for now

Posted on by John Chiarello

ARISTOTLE

 

Born in Northern Greece- in 384 BC.

The most famous student of Plato- attended Plato’s Academy for around 20 years.

 

His main disagreement with Plato was on his theory of Forms.

Plato believed that the ‘idea’ world contained the forms of all things we see in the physical realm.

 

Aristotle taught that substance itself was the main thing- that the forms of what we see in the natural realm come from matter itself.

 

He spoke about Potentiality and Actuality- that is the material things have in ‘seed’ form the final product.

 

The acorn has the Potential of becoming a tree- the fetus has the Potential of becoming a man- etc.

The form is already embedded in the thing itself- it does not exist in the ‘idea’ world of Plato.

 

Aristotle loved and admired his teacher- yet Plato had somewhat of a disdain for his most famous student.

Plato passed over Aristotle to head up the Academy- twice.

 

As things go- Aristotle went and started his own school- called the Lyceum.

 

Aristotle did not just teach Philosophy- but Biology- Logic- Ethics- Rhetoric.

Some refer to him as the first real scientist.

 

His development of the laws of Logic- Cause and Effect- play a key role in the Scientific Method till this day.

 

Aristotle taught that the main way we gain knowledge is thru sense perception and experiment.

 

As we study the natural order of things themselves- we gain understanding from them.

 

What we refer to as the Empirical method- knowledge gained thru the observation and experimentation of things.

 

He referred to God as the Final Cause- not the First Cause.

Why?

 

He believed in God [some debate this- Aristotle himself called him God in his work on Metaphysics] and called him the Prime Mover.

 

As I said before- a big thing with the early thinkers was the origin of Motion- who started the ball rolling- so to speak.

 

Aristotle credited the source of all motion to an ‘un- moved Mover’.

 

He gave the attributes of God to his Mover- said he had no beginning- was not material- an eternal and imperishable substance.

 

So- why the Final Cause?

He said God attracts all things to himself- so in his mind- motion started by attraction- not by a ‘push’ so to speak.

 

This is interesting indeed- in modern physics we see that the universe is undergoing a continual expansion- heading somewhere- of course we believe this somewhere is God himself- the source of all things.

 

Isaac Newton agreed with Aristotle on this point- he referred to it in his 3rd law of Physics.

 

The medieval Muslim thinkers called him ‘The First Teacher’- and Kant [who we will get to later in this study] credits him with the bulk of what we know today as the Laws of Logic.

 

Aristotle taught that the main activity of God was thought.

The bible says that thru Wisdom and Understanding God made things [‘Wisdom builds the house- Understanding establishes it- and thru Knowledge it’s rooms are filled with all pleasant and precious riches- Wisdom is profitable to direct- the words of the wise are like nails fastened by the masters of assemblies- as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation’- various bible verses found in Proverbs- Ecclesiastes and Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth] - in a way Aristotle was right.

 

One of his key contributions was the Syllogism- you start with a Logical argument- you engage in Deductive reasoning- and come to a Conclusion.

 

A famous example would be ‘All men are mortal- Plato is a man- Plato is mortal’.

 

Aristotle did not believe that something comes from nothing- a phrase that will come up a lot as we progress in this study is ‘ex nihilo nihil fit’- meaning Nothing comes from Nothing.

 

He was also what we refer to as a Teleolologist- he believed that there was design and purpose in the created order of things.

 

He saw design in the universe- world.

 

Many today embrace an idea that there is no purpose or design- that the design we see in the material world is by accident- and furthermore some say all that we see- CAME FROM NOTHING.

 

I can’t stress enough that this is simply not possible- I don’t say this from the Christian view point alone- but from a scientific one.

 

Science deals with the observation and testing of things- we look into the material world and come to certain conclusions based on what we see- observe.

 

One of the most fundamental observations that science SEES- is what I quoted above- NOTHING COMES FROM NOTHING.

 

That is- every effect has a cause.

 

This is important for our day- because many have capitulated to the view that all things CAME FROM CHANCE.

 

Not only is this statement illogical [chance is simply a word- this statement ascribes Ontological status to a word- which is impossible].

 

But it is scientifically not true.

 

Why?

 

Because science shows us that things do not ‘pop into existence’ without a cause- from nothing.

 

True science in no way contradicts belief in God- no- it backs it up.

 

Aristotle- as well as most of the great thinkers we shall cover- came to the conclusion that there had to be some immaterial thing [being] that was the cause of all other things.

 

Now- why did he argue for a PRIME MOVER?

 

Because he believed that the universe was eternal- if there ever came a time when science showed us that the universe had a beginning point- then the argument would be over.

 

The Theists [those that believe in God] would win.

 

Sure enough- in the 20th century that’s exactly what happened.

 

Today Physics teaches us that time- space- matter did indeed have a beginning point- what we refer to as the Big Bang Theory.

 

If the early thinkers had this knowledge- then the argument for a Prime Mover would be moot- because instead we would have a Prime Starter- see?

 

 

Aristotle is credited with writing the second greatest work on Ethics from the ancient period- called Ethics [the first one being Plato’s Republic].

 

He wrote on political theory- believed that Aristocracy [rule by the excellent] was the best form of government [sort of like Socrates Philosopher Kings].

Aristotle’s most famous student was Alexander the Great.

 

During Alexander’s conquests- he took a huge team of scientists with him- they collected all types of specimens from these conquests- and Alexander brought them back to Athens and they were used at the Lyceum for further study.

 

It has been said that this was the most expensive scientific enterprise up to the day of the modern space program.

 

He taught that the intellectual virtues can be taught directly- but the moral ones HAD TO BE LIVED FIRST.

 

The bible says ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom’.

 

I agree.

 

Proverbs 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Proverbs 3:20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

 

Unfinished study- will complete over time.

JOHN LOCKE- JESUS- AND MONEY.

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/5-22-15-john-locke-political-theory-and-jesus.zip

Today’s video [and post] is one of those ‘spur of the moment’ ones-

I made the video/post yesterday- ‘off the cuff’-

I’m at the ranch as I write- and have no WiFi out here- or I’d post it now- I also don’t have my on-line concordance- so I’ll try and remember exactly where some of the verses are and add them in [I do have my on-line bible saved to the drive!]

This video/post is in keeping with some of the stuff I’ve been recently teaching.

As Christians- we often look for the things we are supposed to do.

Which is fine- but what I have learned in my experience of doing ministry for many years- is many Pastors/ministers- learn a certain pattern/form- early on-

And as well-meaning as these men are- they often unconsciously do not realize they are violating scripture in their efforts to do the right thing.

When people feel God has called them ‘to preach’ [ called into ministry] most of the times they are taught that this means ‘starting a local church’.

In the American mindset- this means starting a nonprofit 501 c3- either renting or building some type of structure to meet in-

And then teaching a form of giving- usually called ‘the tithe’ [meaning 10 percent]-

And then saying ‘the local church is this place/501c3- the storehouse- and you will be cursed if you do not tithe to the storehouse’.

And without realizing it- in the more extreme cases- actually teaching people that they will fall under the curse of God- if they do not put 10% of their income into the ‘local church’.

This verse from Malachi is often used- Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 

And this basic idea of ‘church government’ is then propagated thru out the land.

I’ve discussed this recently- and for these short videos- I just want to note that the New Testament churches we read about in the bible- are talking about communities of believers living in your city/area.

The early Christians met in homes- and later on in church buildings-

I am not against any of these formats- but we need to be careful that we are not unconsciously telling people they will be under the curse of God if they do not ‘tithe to the storehouse’ [then applying the ‘storehouse’ to the building- and it’s 501c3 status- as- quote ‘the local church’].

The tithe was actually an income tax for the nation of Israel in the Old Testament- and it entailed more than simply putting goods/money into an ‘offering’ plate-

No- it was a system that supported 3 main things in the Jewish economy-

The Priests [who were forbidden to own property].

The poor [meeting their needs].

And for banquets-

So- in short- the churches we read about in the bible were communities of people who supported one another- and this included- yes- financial support for the minsters too-

That’s all ok-

But the balance about money in the New Testament is it is a tool to be used to help others-

And is never something we should seek after- sort of like ‘God has called me to become rich so I can fund ministries’ type thing. No- that ‘calling’ would violate many actual teachings in the bible- that warn against seeking to be rich- even for noble causes-

I’ve copied some of those verses the last few days-

So- as we continue to teach thru the bible in the next year- look at the relationship we see in these New Testament letters between giving and receiving-

How the early Christians viewed their roles in the church-

How the ministers related to the people-

The bible does give us guidelines about all of this- it actually makes it quite clear-

Ok- enjoy the video/post- talk to you soon.

1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Acts 20:18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,

Acts 20:19 Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:

Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Acts 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.

Acts 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.

Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

Acts 20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,

Acts 20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

Understand here- that Paul is speaking to the leaders of the church- and he told them that for the 3 years he was with them he worked- supported himself- and those that were with him.

He then says he did this for an example- to show them [the leaders] that they too are not in ministry for the people to support them-

But for the benefit of the people-

We do read later in the writings of Paul that the Christians should meet the needs of their spiritual leaders- that’s ok.

But here he is showing them- leaders- that ministry is not about collecting a bunch of money for ‘ministry projects’.

It’s giving your life for others.

1Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

1Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

1Corinthians 16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.

1Corinthians 16:4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

This is also a common verse to teach tithing-

Often times when ministers take offerings- they clap- do a sort of celebration-

But here Paul is saying ‘when I get there- I don't want to waste time making a big thing out of the offering- so take it up before I get there’.

This money was simply used as a charitable donation for the poor Christians living at Jerusalem- it was in no way a ‘tithe’ and it was not money for Paul.

1Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

1Corinthians 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

1Corinthians 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

1Corinthians 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?

1Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

1Corinthians 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

1Corinthians 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?

1Corinthians 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?

1Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

1Corinthians 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.

1Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

1Corinthians 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.

1Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

1Corinthians 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

1Corinthians 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.

1Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

1Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

1Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

Here Paul clearly teaches them that they should support their leaders- yet he then goes on to say he himself would not use ‘this right’-

And he used strong language- making it sound like he would be charging them for his services- which- to him- would be wrong.

 

I could give more examples- but what I want you to see is we never see a type of ‘tithe or you will be cursed’ mindset when the New Testament talks about giving.

The Storehouse verse has nothing to do with the Ecclesia- it was a room in the temple- not a spiritual community of people.

John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

John 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

John 13:6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

John 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

John 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

John 13:11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

John 13:12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

John 13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

 

JOHN LOCKE-

Locke taught that each man has individual rights- and he empowers government- an elected designated body- to have rule-

Yet- that government exists solely for the benefit of the people- and when/if that government ‘forgets’ this- the people have a right/duty to revolt.

Locke’s ideas were formed at a time when his own government experienced a sort of revolution [1600’s- England].

The people revolted against monarchy- and replaced it with a sort of Democratic Parliament-

Referred to as the bloodless revolution or the glorious revolution.

The king [or today- queen] would still play a role- like a figurehead- but the power was in the people- willingly given over to a Parliament.

The political ideas of Locke influenced our founding fathers- and our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are in parts almost word for word taken from the writings of Locke.

Locke believed in natural law- that morality was indeed a universal reality [some scholars/thinkers will say that Locke does not fully embrace the Christian concept of natural/moral law].

He taught that knowledge comes from man’s experience- the things he interacts with thru the 5 senses.

That man is not born with innate ideas [like the early Greek thinkers said] but his mind is a Tabula Rasa- or blank slate at birth.

This is an Empirical understanding of knowledge.

Locke also believed in the concept of the separation of church and state- this idea was not unique to our founding fathers- no- they got it right out of the writings of Locke [his parents were Puritans- and they obviously influenced their son].

Locke’s political views were-

Individualistic-

Egalitarian-

Contractual [social compact]-

These ideas differed from the early Greek thinkers [especially Aristotle] who held to a naturalistic view- meaning that nature itself ‘intended’ for certain individuals to have rule over others [the smarter should have rule over the ‘less smart’- and of course Aristotle saw himself in the more nobler crowd!]

Locke also believed in religious toleration- a view held by most in the Western world today.

He saw the Right to private property- as a natural right.

He believed that denial of the existence of God would lead to anarchy in the long run.

He believed that the cosmological argument for the existence of God was valid [called teleology].

DIOGENES-

I think I mentioned him on today’s video [I am writing this before I review the video and add the bullet points].

In the study of philosophy- he is not known for deep thought- or new ideas.

He lived in the 5th century B.C. - died in the 4th in the biblical city of Corinth.

Diogenes believed in ‘living with less’- he was known to have slept in a ceramic pot- he lived and ate on the streets- and was basically like many of my homeless friends.

Yet- he felt in doing this he was a sort of ‘prophetic’ sign to the world around him.

He is believed to be the first to refer to himself as a ‘cosmopolitan’- meaning a man of the world- and not identifying with any one city.

He was born at Sinope- [Modern day Turkey] traveled to Athens- the main center of wisdom/philosophy.

Attended the lectures of Plato- and interrupted them

He disputed Plato’s interpretation of his teacher- Socrates.

And had a memorable encounter with Alexander the Great.

The story goes [there are a few versions of it- maybe more along the line of myth] that Alexander wanted to meet with Diogenes- and he heard he was in town [Corinth] so Alexander went to meet him.

Upon arriving at the spot- he greeted Alexander and told him he would fulfill any request that the Cynic asked.

Diogenes replied ‘Move over- you’re standing in my sun light’.

It is said that as Alexander left- and made the statement ‘If I were not Alexander- I would be Diogenes’.

How true- well we will never know for sure.

He did live at a time- and in a place- where the famous philosophers would come from.

He believed rejecting wealth- and the comforts of life- were a statement against the society of his day.

He purposefully challenged the ‘normal’ way of life- by being different- and at times- vulgar.

It is said that he carried a cup- for drinking.

And he saw a young boy one day- drinking from the brook with his hands.

He then threw away the cup- realizing that ‘the god’s’ had given to men the basic things to survive- and he really did not need all the material things of life.

Like I said at the top - he is not known for his great thinking ability- but he was respected by the stoics-

 

 

 

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Some more of my past stuff

Posted on by John Chiarello

SOCRATES

Socrates was born around 469-470 BCE.

He is famous for introducing a way of learning that engaged the students in a dialogue- the question would be put on the table- and thru rigorous debate- you would come to an understanding thru the process of questioning.

 

This is referred to as the Socratic Method.

Socrates came on the scene during the famous Spartan wars.

 

The other day I watched the movie 300- which depicts the battle between the city state of Athens against the city/state of Sparta.

As you know- the Athenians suffered a great defeat at the hands of the Spartans.

The Spartans were outmanned by the Athenians- but their motto was ‘come back with your shields- or on them’.

 

They were a true warrior nation- trained to fight from their youth- and this defeat sent the people of Athens into a time of disillusionment.

 

They questioned the power of their gods- and a sort of malaise fell over Athens after the defeat.

 

This was when Socrates entered the fray- when the people had many questions about life.

 

He was called the Gadfly of Athens- a title that would also be given to the 19th century Danish father of existentialism- Soren Kierkegaard.

 

They were called Gadfly’s- because they were like flies that would pester you- and elicit a response.

 

The leadership of Athens saw Socrates as one that was stirring up the youth of his day- and creating discontent among the populace.

 

He rejected the many god’s of the day- but did have a belief in a single deity- he- like the Christians 4 centuries later- would be accused of atheism- because of his rejection of multiple god’s.

 

He was sentenced to death in 399 BCE- and his form of execution was drinking Hemlock.

 

His most famous student- Plato- spoke with him before his death.

 

Many were surprised at how willingly Socrates faced his demise- and this willingness had a great impact on those who witnessed it.

 

Socrates never wrote anything- but most of what we do know about him comes from the writing of others- most notably from Plato’s Dialogues.

Plato wrote down what Socrates taught- In his writings we see Socrates engaging in this method with various people- thus the name of Plato’s works- Dialogues.

 

There is a debate about how much of what was written about him was actually true- Plato did add his own ideas into these debates- and the controversy about this is so strong that we actually have a name for it- the ‘Socratic Problem’.

During the time of the disillusionment of the Athenians- there were a group of philosophers known as the Sophists.

 

The word comes from Sophia- meaning wisdom.

 

Philosophy itself means The Love of Wisdom.

In our day the words Sophomore- Sophistry and Sophisticated are derived from this root word.

 

The Sophists were the original Pragmatists.

 

Pragmatism is a form of belief that says ‘do what works- regardless of the ethical implications’.

We will get to Pragmatism at the end of this whole series on Philosophy.

 

But for now- we see the division between what Socrates taught- and the Sophists.

 

Socrates did indeed teach a form of Ethics- which contrasted with the Sophists.

He said that the pursuit of virtue was better than the pursuit of wealth- much like the words of Jesus ‘what does it profit a man if he gain the world- and lose his soul’.

 

His most famous saying is ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’.

 

He emphasized the importance of mind over body- which inspired Plato’s philosophy of dividing reality into 2 separate realms- the world of senses and the world of ideas.

 

Socrates actually challenged the Democratic process- he believed it better for the wise men- the Philosopher Kings- to run the show.

Athens did have a form of Democracy at the time- and because of the rise of the Sophists- and the itinerant teachers- you had sort of an election process- much like in our day- where those who would attain office were those who spoke the best- and made the best public argument.

 

We elect judges and stuff in our day- and even presidents- not because they are the most capable- but because they ran the best campaign.

 

So- in a way I agree with Socrates- at times I think we need a better process of electing those to higher office- then the one we have now.

 

It’s important to note that even though we started this study with Thales- and in the study of Western philosophy it’s commonly understood to have started with Thales.

 

Yet- Socrates seems to be the Father of philosophy in many ways.

He probably has had the most influence in the field philosophy- and the 2 great philosophers that we’ll get to next come right out from the heels of Socrates [Plato and Aristotle].

 

Why is this important to note?

As we progress in this study- and get closer to the 19th/20th century philosophers- we will see a trend- away from the idea that there are actually any ethical values- moral virtues- or ‘right or wrong’.

 

These philosophers dabbled with the idea that values themselves are the cause of man’s problems [Freud].

 

So- keep in mind- one of the main streams of thought in the early stages of philosophy was that values were indeed the main thing- Socrates challenged the Sophists of his day- he said that moral virtue was very important- that to live life with the values of courage- honesty- self-denial- these were the things that made men good- noble.

 

The bible says ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ ‘those that seek the Lord understand all things’.

 

Christian tradition would agree with Socrates in many ways- Jesus showed us that the virtue of service to others- to love your fellow man- to honor God- that these were indeed the heart of the matter.

 

Socrates feared the loss of virtue in society- that if we simply lived for the present time- with no higher values [a form of hedonism] then the foundations of society will erode.

He also believed that it was good to question things- not to simply believe a thing for the sake of believing.

 

Over time- thru debate and the discourse of other people- he believed you would get to the truth.

 

The bible says ‘in the multitude of counselors there is safety’.

 

Yeah- as people have a conversation- as they dialogue- often times they themselves come up with the answer to the question.

 

The apostle Paul penned the letter to young Timothy- he said ‘preach the word- in doing this you will save yourself- and those that hear you’.

 

Yeah- when you engage- and even try and teach others- this will have an effect on you too- the actual act of engaging- of teaching- often brings more insight to the one doing the communicating- then the ones who hear.

 

Yeah- I like Socrates- he believed in what he taught- he drank the Hemlock- knowing full well that his life would pass- but he had belief- faith- that after death man would pass over into another realm- a much better one.

 

No- he was not ‘Christian’ in the traditional sense of the word- but he was about as close as you could get- for his time.

 

 

 

 

PLATO

 

Plato was born in 427 BC- he was the most famous student of Socrates.

 

He is best known for his theory of Ideas/Forms.

 

He believed that the material world was an imperfect copy of the Idea world.

That is he believed that Ideas exist apart from the construct of the human mind- that they were the perfect forms of the things we see in the material realm.

 

He could also be referred to as a Realist- because he believed these Ideas actually existed [for real]. Where did he get this from?

As we study Philosophy- each one that comes down the line has been influenced in some way by those that preceded them.

 

There was a famous thinker- Pythagoras [his followers were the Pythagoreans] who taught a concept called the Transmigration of the Soul [a sort of Reincarnation].

They believed that the soul of man went thru various stages- and existed independently of the body.

 

In Greek thought the soul is immortal- it exists before the body.

In Christian teaching the Soul [mind- Spirit] comes into existence when God creates man [the bible says ‘and man BECAME a living soul’- referring to the creation of Adam].

 

The Greeks saw the soul as preexisting before the natural life.

 

In the mind of Plato- the body was a receptacle- in this life we recollect the knowledge that comes from the Idea world.

 

He ascribed Ontological status to ideas themselves.

 

In Philosophy there are 2 basic ways knowledge comes [we study this in Epistemology- an offshoot of Philosophy- which deals with how we know things].

 

A Priori knowledge is knowledge obtained independent of experience.

A Posteriori is knowledge obtained thru the senses- what we call Empirical evidence.

 

In Plato’s schema he believed that the knowledge that comes to us from the Formal world [ideas- forms] was A Priori knowledge- that the human mind recalls- and in the present material world- knowledge comes to us from the perfect idea world.

 

The Greeks believed that all matter was flawed- that the Body was an imperfect vessel- and after death we are released into the perfect world- and free from the material realm.

 

Christian Tradition does not hold to this view.

The Church teaches that the created world is good- not evil.

Among Christians there is some confusion about this- because the older versions of the bible [King James] seem to teach that matter [world, flesh] is evil.

 

Why?

 

Paul the apostle talks about no good thing being in The Flesh- he talks about the Carnal mind- the apostle John says ‘all that is in the World- the lust of the flesh- the pride of life- is not of the Father but is of the world’.

 

There are many references like this in the bible- but they are speaking about the sinful nature of man [the flesh] and not about the human body itself [For instance Paul says in Romans ‘present your BODIES as living sacrifices unto God- Holy and acceptable’ in Corinthians ‘your BODY is the temple of the Holy Spirit’- there are many references in scripture that speak of the Body as Holy.

 

When the bible says ‘satan is the god of this world’ it is not speaking of the earth- which God created- and calls GOOD- but it is speaking of the ‘world’ system- an age of wickedness.

 

So- at times Christians have confused this- and have held a sort of Dualistic view of matter- that is not the biblical view- but a Gnostic view- that all matter is evil.

 

Plato saw the unseen world of Ideas as the perfect- pure world.

 

He taught that in this life we obtain the knowledge of the pure- by reason of recollection- that these pure ideas come to us ‘are recalled’ in this life.

 

He is famous for founding the first Philosophical school- it was called The Academy- named after a man by the name of Academus.

 

The land was donated for the school- it was previously used as an Olive Grove- and in honor of the donation- Plato named the school after the donor.

 

This is why we use the phrase ‘The Groves of Academia’ today.

 

Plato was actually a nick name- he wrestled in Athens- in a sort of precursor to what would later become the Olympic games- and he was broad shouldered- that’s where his name comes from- Plato means broad shouldered.

 

So- to sum up- Plato believed that Forms [ideas] were eternal, the cause of all that is.

He believed we are born with innate ideas- these are not learned thru sense experience- but exist independently of the mind- and in this bodily life we retrieve [the body is a receptacle] these ideas.

 

Does the bible teach anything along these lines?

 

Not exactly.

 

Christians believe that God himself is infinite- without beginning or end.

That wisdom- ideas- ‘forms’ of things do indeed exist- prior to our own life.

 

But these ideas are not without a Mind- God is Spirit- and he is everywhere [Omnipresent] he knows all tings [Omniscient] - so- in a way- there are indeed ideas- forms- but they come from the ultimate Mind of God.

 

A good example would be the building of the Tabernacle- and later the Temple- under Moses and King David [his son Solomon actually built it].

 

God told Moses ‘see that you build it after the Pattern shown to thee in the mount’.

In the book of Hebrews we read that the earthly Tabernacle [Temple] was simply an image- a symbol- of heavenly realities.

 

That God himself had the ‘form’ in his mind- indeed- like Plato taught- the heavenly form is perfect- the earthly expression imperfect.

 

But these patterns- forms- ideas- are from the Mind of God- they are not Innate in the soul of man- nor does the soul of man exist before his birth.

In the past few months I have had several Christian friends tell me that they feel like they existed before this life- a type of reincarnation.

 

I explained to them that in the Christian faith we do not hold to this view.

 

But- the bible does tell us that God had a purpose for us- Predetermined- before the ‘foundation of the world’.

 

Meaning that yes- in the Mind of God- in a way- we did exist- but we did not have actual being [called Ontological status in the field of Philosophy] until we were created by God.

 

God’s purpose for us was already in the Mind of God before our birth.

 

The bible says that Christ is made unto us wisdom- we are not Receptacles in the sense that Plato taught.

 

But yes- in time God reveals to us this Hidden Wisdom- about his love and purpose for us.

 

And in this life we act out- we fulfil this eternal purpose.

 

Man [or woman] can never find true happiness- true meaning- until they tap into this purpose.

We were created by the hand of God- to bring glory and honor to him- and we in this life can ever find true fulfilment- until we make it back to God.

 

1Chronicles 28:10 Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

1Chronicles 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,

1Chronicles 28:12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:

1Chronicles 28:19 All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.

Exodus 25:9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

Exodus 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

 

Ecclesiastes 7:12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Ecclesiastes 7:19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city.

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

Ecclesiastes 7:26 And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some of my philosophy teaching

Posted on by John Chiarello

OVERVIEW OF PHILOSOPHY [updated 12-16]

 

THALES AND THE PRE-SOCRATICS

Ok- let me do a little teaching- maybe finish it tonight.

 

Christianity is not simply ‘made up stories’ from some bible.

 

No- the history of Western Thought- Philosophy- ideas- all of the various World Views are imbedded with God- our concepts of God- and ask the ultimate question ‘where did all this come from- and why are we here’.

 

We usually trace the beginning of Ancient Philosophy to the 6th century BCE.

 

A thinker by the name of Thales sought to find ways to describe natural phenomena without the use of Greek Mythology.

 

Even though Philosophy deals with Metaphysics [things beyond the natural- physical realm- Physics] yet Thales wanted to find explanations for existence- without leaning on Myth.

 

He is considered a ‘Pre Socratic’ thinker [before Socrates] and espoused an idea that water was the key source of all things.

 

These guys were looking for a singular thing to explain stuff.

Sometimes referred to as a unified theory- the same thing that Einstein was seeking to find some 2 Millennia later.

 

So- Thales surmised that water was the key thing.

 

There are various ideas of why he came to this conclusion- but one reason might have been the idea of motion.

 

Many Geek thinkers were looking for the source of motion- where did it come from?

 

And to the natural eye- if you observe the ocean- rivers- etc. - there does seem to be no cause for the moving of water- so to these guys it seemed like water itself was the source- motion came from water.

 

Now- there were other religions who taught a sort of idea along these lines.

 

Some pagan religions said that the ‘god’s’ moved upon the water- and life came that way.

 

If you read the Christian account of creation in Genesis- you will notice that God did move upon the waters- and the account in Genesis does indeed say that he brought forth life from the water.

 

Thales came from for Miletus- in Asia Minor.

 

He was famous for the prediction of a Solar Eclipse that occurred on May 28th- 585 BCE.

 

The earliest account of this is found in the writings of Herodotus.

Thales is considered one of the 7 sages of the time.

 

Christianity was born at a time where Greek thought/ideas were a big part of society.

 

We do find the early apostles using the language/ideas of the Greek philosophers when describing the reality of Christ.

 

The apostle John refers to Christ as THE LOGOS- The word Logos- is a Greek word for ‘word’.

 

Jesus is called ‘the word of God’.

 

Now- the Greek thinkers were in fact seeking for the Logos- they used this term to describe the ultimate answer to all tings.

They were on a search for some Divine principle that could explain things.

 

So- the writers of the New Testament were in a way saying ‘look- we have found the Logos- the thing that you guys are looking for- it is Christ- the Divine Logos’.

 

We also see the apostle Paul debating with the Greek thinkers in the city of Athens [the seat of Geek philosophy- the city/state where Socrates was forced to drink cyanide].

 

In Acts chapter 17 he is preaching to these guys on Mar’s Hill- he says ‘In him we live AND MOVE and have our being’.

Now- today as we read this- we don’t get the full import of what he was doing.

 

But- to the Greek mind- the source of motion was a big thing.

 

Paul was a smart guy- and he was saying ‘in him we move’ showing that yes- the ‘source of motion’ [Thales water] is not found in the natural world [Physics] but the source comes from the Metaphysical world [God].

 

He also says ‘when I was walking thru your town- I saw one of your altars- to the unknown god’.

 

At the time many believed in a Pantheon of gods- and to cover their bases- they had an altar for any god they might have missed- smart thinking!

 

So Paul says ‘him I declare unto you’.

Notice how Paul was able to debate- converse with them- and at the end actually use their own ideas- to present the gospel.

In this chapter- Acts 17- we read of the only 2 groups of philosophers mentioned in the bible.

 

The Epicureans and the Stoics.

 

The Epicureans were an early form of what we call Hedonism today- the idea that pleasure is the principle purpose of man.

 

The Stoics believed in ‘stoicism’ that man should have no emotional response to pain or pleasure- that’s why we call people today ‘Stoics’- when they seem to not be moved by anything.

 

Ok- that’s it for now- might make some comments tonight- but I’m getting ready to fly out soon- and trying to wind down before I leave.

If I don’t write tonight- I’ll talk again when in North Bergen- God bless you all.

 

1Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1Corinthians 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

1Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1Corinthians 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

1Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1Corinthians 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

1Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1Corinthians 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

 


1Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

1Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

1Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.

 

See? Paul the apostle had the intellectual capacity to engage with the best of them- but he knew that the core issue- was sin. That is those who reject Christianity on the basis of ‘it’s a religion of foolishness’- in reality- even if you win the intellectual argument- yet for the most part people will still not believe. In the end it is always a matter of true repentance- being honest with ourselves- and others. So- Paul didn’t rely on the ‘wisdom of men’ but the power of the Cross. When needed- he would ‘use it’ [men’s wisdom- Acts 17- Mars Hill] but he closed his argument by declaring Christ.

 

 

THE 5TH ELEMENT.

 

Ok- let’s talk philosophy today- the last post on this subject I traced what we normally refer to as the beginning of Greek philosophy- a man by the name of Thales- 6th century BCE.

 

We said that Thales had an idea that water was the principle element- water seemed to have the ability to move [motion] by itself- so Walla- maybe water is the principle thing.

 

He was what we refer to as a Monist.

 

Monists believed that there was one principle element- responsible for all other things.

 

Now- the pre Socratic philosophers debated about this- some said it was air- others earth- some said fire- as a matter of fact- some said all 4 of these elements were responsible for existence.

 

Now- some sought a 5th element- some yet to be discovered thing that would explain it all.

 

A man by the name of Anaximander described it as ‘the boundless’- something that has no origin- he said it was ‘both unborn- and immortal’ ahh- you can already see the attributes of God in this [boundless- what Theologians call omnipresent- God having no limits- he is everywhere [but not everything- get to that in a moment] and ‘unborn’ that is he himself has no beginning].

 

Ok- this 5th element [some called it Ether- or Aether- a sort of wave theory- that light travels along this ether- this idea lasted till the day of Einstein- who showed us that Ether does not exist [in this way] but that light itself is made up of particles- photons- this was one of the major breakthroughs of modern physics].

 

A few years ago the movie ‘the 5th Element’- Bruce Willis- hit on this theme- sort of like the ‘God particle’- that is they were in search for some type of being that was eternal – self existent.

 

The term Quintessence [quint- 5] came to be defined as this 5th element- and today we use the word Quintessential to describe the pure essence of a thing- the perfect embodiment of something.

 

Over time the Greek thinkers would arrive at the idea that yes indeed- there was one main thing- Monism- that could be the source of all other things.

It is interesting to note that the Jewish prophets- and wisdom literature- which predates these guys- already started from the standpoint of Monotheism- one God.

 

Now- Monism is not Monotheism.

 

Monism is really a form of what we call Pantheism [in the study of religion].

 

Pantheism says that God is ‘everything’- some eastern religions hold to this concept.

 

The Christian view is that God is separate from creation- that he is indeed the original source of creation- but not the creation itself.

 

The Geek philosophers even described this 5th element as ‘The One’- see- they were getting close.

 

In today’s debates- some espouse an idea that there was no beginning point- that the universe is either eternal [something Einstein disproved with the Big Bang theory] or that there is a sort of infinite regress- that there is no one starting point- but that there have been a never ending [or beginning] series of ‘big bangs’ that go on forever.

 

This defies the laws of logic- and math.

 

Math?

Yeah- many of the great physicists were also great mathematicians [like Einstein- and Max Plank- who was first a mathematician].

 

If there was no beginning point- mathematically it doesn’t ‘work’.

 

You would never be able to arrive at the present time- if there was no starting point to measure from [I know this might sound strange- but this is indeed a proof- that there had to be a starting point].

 

What these thinkers show us is that even thru the ancient field of Philosophy- you still arrive at some type of ‘thing’ that is responsible for all other things.

 

Some Christians reject the Big Bang theory- but in my view it gave the Christian apologist the greatest tool to argue for the existence of God.

 

For many centuries it was believed that the universe was eternal- and if that was true- then indeed you did not have to have an outside source that was responsible for it.

 

But Einstein showed us that there was a beginning point- that the universe is in a continual expansion mode- and if it is getting ‘bigger’ by the second- then yes- it did have a starting point.

 

Many today think that it ‘popped’ into existence on its own- this is both scientifically and logically impossible- it violates the law of Cause and Effect [every effect has to have a cause also ‘out of nothing- nothing comes’].

 

There was a famous Christian who abandoned the faith- Bertrand Russell- he said ‘if everything has to have a cause- then God must have one too- and if God needs a cause- then why not see the universe as the cause’.

Tough Russell was a good man- he made a mistake here.

The laws of logic do not say that everything has to have a cause- but every effect has to have one.

 

In essence- somewhere along the line- going back to the beginning- there must be an initial cause- that has no beginning- Anaximander’s Boundless One.

 

Ok- I won’t do too many of these posts in a row- because as you can see- this takes time- and you lose people along the way.

 

But- over the next few weeks I’ll slip a post like this in- it helps when dealing with those who have sincere objections to the faith- and it also debunks some common misconceptions.

 

 

HERACLITUS- Ok- lets pick up on my philosophy stuff.

Heraclitus lived in the 6th/5th century BC. - He was from Ephesus and his key thought was Ever Present Change.

 

That is he saw everything as being in a state of continual flux- one of his famous sayings was ‘No man ever steps into the same river twice’.

 

He is called the Weeping Philosopher- sort of like the prophet Jeremiah in the bible- also called the Weeping Prophet.

 

Heraclitus is known for his concept of the Logos- the Word- or thought/reason.

 

Now- this aspect of his thought plays a role in the development of the Christian understanding of Christ himself- in our New Testaments [written in Greek] Jesus is indeed referred to as the Logos- or Word of God.

 

The Greek philosophers understanding of the Logos was not the same as the Christian view- mainly expressed thru the writings of John [The gospel- the 3 epistles- and Revelation].

But- some see the Greek view as a precursor to Christ.

 

In the work of one of the early church fathers- Hippolytus ‘The Refutation of all Heresies’ he attacks Heraclitus view of the Logos as an early form of heresy.

 

The apologist Justin Martyr is more gracious- he [Like Ulrich Zwingli- the great Swiss reformer of the 16th century] viewed the early Geek thinkers as ‘pre- Christian’ or ‘Christians before Christ’.

 

Though many reject this view- yet there is some scripture to back it up.

The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans that if the Gentiles [non-Jews] do by nature the things contained in the law- then they are justified in God’s sight.

 

Of course these things are debatable- but I add this to show you that some great Christian thinkers did indeed view the early Greek thinkers- who did live by a moral code- as being right in God’s eyes.

 

And the bible does teach a theme that we will be judged according to the amount of light [understanding] that we had at the time.

 

I should note that Plato [one of the 3 titans that arose after Heraclitus- from the city/state of Athens] disagreed with Heraclitus on all things being in a state of constant change.

 

When [if?] we get to Socrates- Plato and Aristotle- I’ll try and cover the ways they advanced- built upon- the thought of the pre Socratic thinkers.

 

As a side note- the most famous student of Aristotle- who was the most famous student of Plato- who was the most famous student of Socrates- was Alexander the Great.

 

This goes to show you how great an influence Greek philosophy had on the ancient world.

 

A few nuggets from Heraclitus- ‘all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos’ ‘follow the common’ ‘not having their own judgment’.

 

Recently I covered Acts chapter 2- and we see some of these ideas in the early Christian movement.

The first Christians did ‘follow the common’ they sold their goods- and had ‘all things common’ [communal lifestyle].

 

The apostle Paul teaches the early church to all ‘speak the same thing- that there be no divisions among you’.

And the New Testament also says the scripture should not be given to Private Interpretation- meaning- ‘not having your own personal judgment’.

 

All in all- we do indeed see a sort of pre Christian thought in the pre Socratic thinkers- they did indeed speak of the Divine- God- though there understanding of him was not the same as the Christian church.

 

In a sense- Heraclitus idea that in life- the only ‘constant’ is the fact that there is no constant- that life itself is made up of an ongoing journey- we live day by day- not ever knowing what ‘the next day will bring forth’- Jesus.

 

Yeah- the man had some good points- the later Stoics would consider Heraclitus as the father of their movement.

And in the study of Philosophy- the Stoics- who had a good run from a few years before the Common Era- were overtaken in the 4th century [as the main influential philosophy of the time] by some new and lasting philosophy- started by a man named Jesus Christ- who his followers claimed rose from the dead.

Yeah- this New Way was called Christianity- and this philosophy has endured now for over 2 thousand years.

See comments

Part of a book I wrote years ago [the rest is on my blogs]

Posted on by John Chiarello

-[BOOK]

 

 

 

'HOUSE OF PRAYER, OR DEN OF THIEVES'

a critical look at the modern prosperity gospel.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

CHAPTER 1 ‘YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON’

 

CHAPTER 2 ‘TWISTING THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER’

 

CHAPTER 3 ‘WHAT IS THE ABRAHAMIC BLESSING ?’

 

CHAPTER 4 ‘WHAT DID JAMES SAY ?’

 

CHAPTER 5 ‘WHOSE MINISTRY, JESUS OR OURS ?’

 

CHAPTER 6 ‘1 TIMOTHY 6’

 

CHAPTER 7 ‘WERE JESUS AND THE DISCIPLES RICH ?’

 

CHAPTER 8 ‘COVENANT THEOLOGY’

 

CHAPTER 9 ‘SOWING INTO GOOD SOIL’

 

CHAPTER 10 ‘IS THERE HOPE FOR FALSE PROPHETS ?’

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

It all started a few years back when I was regularly listening to certain ministries who taught the prosperity gospel. Over the years I subscribed to a few of these ministry magazines and truly enjoyed their teaching, but every now and then while reading through the bible I would come across certain passages of scripture that seemed to contradict the themes of the prosperity movement. I also found it strange the way they interpreted certain passages of scripture, it was almost as if when they were done explaining them, that these passages meant the exact opposite of what they were plainly teaching.

 

During this season of learning, while the Lord was dealing with me about these various doctrines, I would find myself at times saying 'something needs to be done about the extreme teaching coming from this camp'. I would also deal with some of the unbalanced teaching through the small avenues of influence I had through a local radio program and various speaking opportunities. I would even go through stages where I was so upset over some of the more extreme elements of this teaching, that I would avoid dealing with it at all because of the emotional baggage that comes with having to disagree with a brother in Christ.

 

Then why write this book? Each time I would determine to drop the whole matter and never deal with this issue again, something would happen, or be said on Christian television or radio, or be written in a new book, that was so off base that I would ask the Lord again if He wanted me to do more in bringing about a more balanced view of biblical prosperity. The most recent incident was while watching Christian TV one night, the preacher who was speaking is a well-known prosperity preacher. Before he preached he invited another prosperity preacher to share a 'special' revelatory word the Lord had given him, as the preacher came to the pulpit he began to lead the people in a series of confessions/actions that he told the audience to imitate in order for them to experience breakthrough in their finances. As he stood on the stage he then went through the motions of pulling down an imaginary lever on a slot machine while confessing in a very loud voice the words 'MONEY COMING'. He did this three times while the audience followed. When they got to the last shout, the preacher emphasized the importance of this last shout, and as he led them in the pulling down of the lever they all shouted at the top of their lungs 'MONEY COMING TO ME'

 

Well to say the least this was another one of those 'incidents' that caused me to ask the Lord if I should do more about such obvious abuse in the church. A few days later, while driving to work one morning, I remembered this incident and asked the Lord if he wanted me to write a book on this subject. Later on in the day during a lunch break, while reading through the bible during a regular devotional time, I just happened to be reading through the book of revelation, and when I came to revelation 1:19 where Jesus tells John to 'write the things which thou hast seen', it hit me like a ton of bricks. So here I am today, believing that this book will serve a definite purpose in the Body of Christ and cause us to return to a more balanced view of the 'things of this world'.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1 'YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON'

 

 

 

It has been said that the best way to spot a counterfeit is to know the real. So let’s begin with a biblical look at true prosperity. In the past, while trying to deal with this subject, I would often find people responding in defense of the prosperity gospel by saying things like 'oh, but you don't know how good the Lord is' or 'you don't know how much God wants to meet our needs' or, 'the bible doesn’t say money is evil, but the love of money'. To which I would reply 'AMEN', I agree with you. But the bible also gives us many warnings against materialism, seeking to be rich, and living for material things.

 

So while trying to deal with the false prosperity gospel, I would like first of all to establish the truth that God is good, he does want to meet our needs and give us the desires of our heart, and yes, he even wants to bless us financially and materially. God promises not only 'heavenly' or 'spiritual' blessings, but also earthly or material blessings as well. If you go through the bible from Genesis to Revelation you will find instances of Gods people being rich, prosperous and blessed in every way. You will find many promises of Gods provisions for us, not only spiritual but also financial and material. There is no doubt that God can, and does bless His children in all areas of life if they are obedient to Him.

 

We also know that there are many warnings in the N.T. against seeking to be rich, living for material wealth, and the like. So how do we harmonize these two truths?

 

Let’s look at the overall purpose of God for his church. We are commissioned by Jesus to tell the whole world about His love for us, so we can make disciples of all nations. The message from our lips, [and hearts] is to overflow with who Jesus is and what He’s done for us. As a matter of fact, Jesus tells us that as we proclaim and talk about Him, and seek first His kingdom, that He will take care of all the other less important things. MATHEW 6:19-24 ' LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL: BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NIETHER MOTH NOR RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL: FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO........ NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: FOR EITHER HE WILL HATE THE ONE, AND LOVE THE OTHER; OR ELSE HE WILL HOLD TO THE ONE AND DESPISE THE OTHER. YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON. THEREFORE I SAY UNTO YOU, TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, WHAT YE SHALL EAT, OR WHAT YE SHALL DRINK; NOR YET FOR YOUR BODY, WHAT YE SHALL PUT ON. IS NOT THE LIFE MORE THAN MEAT, AND THE BODY MORE THAN RAIMENT? BEHOLD THE FOWLS OF THE AIR: FOR THEY SOW NOT, NIETHER DO THEY REAP, NOR GATHER INTO BARNS; YET YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER FEEDETH THEM. ARE YE NOT MUCH BETTER THAN THEY? ...... THEREFORE TAKE NO THOUGHT, SAYING WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, WHEREWITHALL SHALL WE BE CLOTHED? [FOR AFTER ALL THESE THINGS DO THE GENTILES SEEK;] FOR YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KHNOWETH THAT YE HAVE NEED OF ALL THESE THINGS. BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THES THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU. TAKE THEREFORE NO THOUGHT FOR THE MORROW: FOR THE MORROW SHALL TAKE THOUGHT FOR THE THINGS OF ITSELF. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF' Jesus is making a distinction between material things and the kingdom of God. He is saying if we seek first His kingdom, then all these material needs will be met. If the kingdom is about material things, then Jesus contradicted himself. The plain meaning and thought of this passage is that if we put God first, He will take care of us. Now say if the disciples took this to mean that the primary message of the gospel was 'God will add all these things unto you'. And say if they went around teaching all nations to quote 'all these things shall be added unto you'. And then all over Jerusalem and Judaea and unto the uttermost parts of the earth they had people quoting 'all these things shall be added unto you'. And after a lifetime of ministry they taught the people how God would give them things if they kept quoting and meditating on the passages of scripture that speak about material wealth. What do you suppose Jesus would say when He comes back? First of all the plain teaching of Jesus in this passage is to get their focus [meditation, confession] off of material things. He plainly says that the 'gentiles seek these things', and that the disciples are not to be thinking about these things all the time like the gentiles. He tells us to focus on the kingdom as opposed to focusing on material things. He tells us that as we go forth by faith to proclaim his gospel, that he in turn will meet our needs. After all, the disciples left their jobs in order to follow Christ, and he was reassuring them that they would be taken care of materially if they forsook all to follow him.

 

I find it troubling that some teachers use this very passage in order to justify materialism, while the plain meaning of Jesus words are the opposite. Jesus says you cannot serve God and money. So we must take our minds and thoughts and meditations and focus them on God, not worldly things!

 

So true prosperity can be defined as God meeting all the needs of his children as they proclaim him in all nations. True prosperity is God meeting our needs while our focus is on him [not on our needs being met!]. True prosperity is being able to preach the word of God without a covetous motive [1 PETER:5:2].

 

I should make note that there are some who teach that this passage of scripture [MATT. 6:19-24] actually teaches that we have a bank account in heaven with real money credited to our account! And every time we sow [give into] the kingdom of God, that we are actually building a fund in this account. And that by faith you can claim a withdrawal on your account and receive your financial harvest now. But if this is what Jesus was teaching then the entire passage is twisted into turning our attention towards money once again! Jesus plainly warned us against focusing our thoughts on the material things in life, he told us not to be like the unbelievers who have all their possessions in this life only. Jesus told us to build up treasures in heaven, which meant a life lived for eternal purposes as opposed to temporary rewards. I believe that if we get our priorities right, that God will meet our needs, and we will be so excited about God and his kingdom that we wont even have time to think about serving mammon!

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2 'TWISTING THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER'

 

 

 

While a new Christian, enjoying that early honeymoon period with the Lord, I’ll never forget the joy I experienced while learning the bible for the first time. The clarity, pureness and unity of scripture were a sure foundation for a long road ahead. While working as a house painter and listening to Christian radio all day long, it was an early introduction to the various 'streams' of teaching that were being produced in the church. One day my job foreman, who often heard me listening to Christian radio, thought I would enjoy listening to a new tape series that he had just been given. So I popped the cassettes into my radio and listened with the excitement of a new believer in Christ. The cassettes were a new teaching on the parable of the sower. MATTHEW 13:1-9, 18-23 ' THE SAME DAY WENT JESUS OUT OF THE HOUSE, AND SAT BY THE SEASIDE. AND GREAT MULTITUDES WERE GATHERED TOGETHER UNTO HIM, SO THAT HE WENT INTO A SHIP, AND SAT; AND THE WHOLE MULTITUDE STOOD ON THE SHORE. AND HE SPAKE MANY THINGS UNTO THEM IN PARABLES, SAYING, BEHOLD, A SOWER WENT FORTH TO SOW; AND WHEN HE SOWED, SOME SEEDS FELL BY THE WAY SIDE, AND THE FOWLS CAME AND DEVOURED THEM UP: SOME FELL UPON STONY PLACES, WHERE THEY HAD NOT MUCH EARTH: AND FORTHWITH THEY SPRUNG UP, BECAUSE THEY HAD NO DEEPNESS OF EARTH: AND WHEN THE SUN WAS UP THEY WERE SCORCHED; AND BECAUSE THEY HAD NO ROOT THEY WITHERED AWAY. AND SOME FELL AMONG THORNS; AND THE THORNS SPRUNG UP, AND CHOKED THEM; BUT OTHER FELL INTO GOOD GROUND, AND BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTYFOLD, SOME THIRTYFOLD. WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR LET HIM HEAR.........HEAR YE THEREFORE THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER. WHEN ANYONE HEARETH THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT NOT, THEN COMETH THE WICKED ONE, AND CATCHETH AWAY THAT WHICH WAS SOWN IN HIS HEART. THIS IS HE WHICH RECIEVED SEED BY THE WAYSIDE. BUT HE THAT RECIEVED THE SEED INTO STONY PLACES, THE SAME IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND ANON WITH JOY RECIEVETH IT; YET HATH HE NOT ROOT IN HIMSELF, BUT DURETH FOR A WHILE: FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH BECAUSE OF THE WORD, BY AND BY HE IS OFFENDED. HE ALSO THAT RECIEVED SEED AMONG THE THORNS IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD; AND THE CARE OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULLNESS OF RICHES, CHOKE THE WORD AND HE BECOMETH UNFRUITFULL. BUT HE THAT RECIEVED SEED INTO GOOD GROUND IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT; WHICH ALSO BEARETH FRUIT, AND BRINGETH FORTH, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD SOME SIXTY SND SOME THIRTY'. As the teacher taught through the parable he explained how Jesus was teaching us how to plant [sow] the word [scriptures] in our hearts [through confession, meditation, etc.] in order to receive a thirty, sixty, or hundredfold return. He then applied the entire teaching to reaping an hundredfold return of MONEY! He taught how that at each stage of the parable the devil tries to steal the word so we don’t receive our harvest. He then got to the part where Jesus says 'THE DECIETFULLNESS OF RICHES CHOKE THE WORD', I couldn’t understand how Jesus could be teaching us about reaping a financial harvest, and then say this! It almost seemed like a contradiction. Well the teacher then began to sound uncomfortable as he explained how the deceitfulness of riches was actually that old traditional teaching that says you cant be rich [or something to that effect]! Even as a new believer in Christ I just couldn’t accept this explanation, it was almost as if the teacher was trying to make Jesus words say the opposite of what he meant.

 

The basic plain meaning of the parable is self-explanatory. There are always obstacles and enemies of the gospel. Ultimately those who overcome these obstacles will bear good Christian fruit in varying degrees [30,60 or 100 fold]. The various hindrances to the word of God include the 'cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches'. If you want to produce fruit for God you cant get caught up in the materialistic pursuits of the world [2 TIMOTHY 2:4].

 

Many times in connection with this parable is the doctrine of sowing for a harvest taught. Jesus often uses planting [sowing] and harvesting [reaping] illustrations in his teachings. The main focus is usually dealing with the spreading of the kingdom of God and the message of Christ to the nations. Sometimes the seed refers to believers themselves, and other times the actual message preached [MATT. 13: 20,38]. Sowing and reaping also refer to the works we do, as well as the money we give into the kingdom [1COR. 9:11, GAL. 6:8]. While there are many ways you can apply sowing for a harvest, I find it disturbing that some in the church have focused the entire teaching towards financial and material gain. This type of preoccupation with money is in direct opposition to the warning that Jesus gave in this parable, he told us that the deceitfulness of riches could derail us from being fruitful, and the distorted teaching that applies this entire parable to money is in itself a fulfillment of the warning that 'the deceitfulness of riches' can deceive you, because it denies the very warning of Christ and makes him say something that he never said!

 

 

 

CHAPTER 3 'WHAT IS THE ABRAHAMIC BLESSING'

 

 

 

I must admit that out of all the various portions of scripture used to teach a false prosperity gospel, this is one of the most deceptive. In order for us to fully grasp the concept of the abrahamic blessing, we must do a little history.

 

In GALATIANS 3, the apostle Paul makes one of the greatest N.T. arguments for justification by faith versus law. I personally believe this doctrine to be one of the foundational doctrines in the N.T.

 

The heresy that Paul is fighting against in Galatians is the heresy of legalism that was taught by the judiazers. The judiazers were the Jewish/Christian sect that taught that gentile believers needed to be circumcised and brought under the law in order to be saved. The main argument that Paul uses to refute this doctrine is in Galatians 3. In this chapter we find Paul going back to the O.T. books in order to show that God established, by covenant, the basis of justifying man by faith without the deeds of the law. The main argument Paul uses is 'the abrahamic blessing'. Paul traces Gods promise to Abraham, made before the law was given, where God says 'in thee shall all nations be blessed' [GEN. 12:3, GAL. 3:8]. This meaning that God would bless [save] all nations through the promised child of Abraham [which would eventually be Jesus]. Paul’s point is to show that God already promised to bless all people through Abraham’s offspring [the abrahamic blessing], and not through the law. The abrahamic blessing referring to justifying the world by faith and giving us 'the promise of the Spirit by faith' [GALATIANS 3:8-14], this argument is also used in Romans 4.

 

Now here comes the tricky part, some teach that God covenants to make us rich trough the abrahamic blessing [or covenant]. They use this chapter to teach that Christ died so we can receive the abrahamic blessing. They then define the abrahamic blessing as the 'things' that Abraham had. But once again the abrahamic blessing as defined in Galatians 3 is referring to God justifying us by faith as opposed to the law. Paul was in no way teaching the Galatians that God was going to make them rich! He was battling for their very souls! The plain text of this passage shows us that Paul was dealing with the issue of justification, and not finances. And it would make absolutely no sense for Paul to begin to address money issues in the middle of this chapter.

 

Each time I came across this type of distorted interpretation, I honestly couldn’t understand how so many different teachers could so consistently apply the same passage in the wrong way. It almost reminds me of the O.T. passage that speaks of a conspiracy of the prophets [EZEK. 22:25]. A sort of network of false/distorted interpretations of the scripture that exist among certain groups of believers, and these same false opinions are then propagated again and again until after you hear them long enough they seem to become accepted truth in the church at large. We need to re-examine some of these doctrines and receive correction and make the proper adjustments in our thinking and acting [repentance!], so we don’t continue to spread these false opinions in the church.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4 'WHAT DID JAMES SAY'

 

 

 

One of the strongest books in the N.T. dealing with poverty and riches is the book of James. Simply reading this book in context would give the modern prosperity gospel a strong rebuke! James contrasts both rich and poor, he says that God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom of God. The context also implies that these poor Christians will remain poor in this life! [JAMES 2:5] The prosperity message teaches that if you have faith in God that you will not be poor. It’s obvious that both James and the prosperity teachers of today have a difference of opinion!

 

Lets look at exactly what the word of God says; JAMES 2:1-6 'MY BRETHREN, HAVE NOT THE FAITH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE LORD OF GLORY, WITH RESPECT OF PERSONS. FOR IF THERE COME UNTO YOUR ASSEMBLY A MAN WITH A GOLD RING, IN GOODLY APPAREL, AND THERE COME IN ALSO A POOR MAN IN VILE RAIMENT; AND YE HAVE RESPECT TO HIM THAT WEARETH THE GAY CLOTHING, AND SAY UNTO HIM, SIT THOU HERE IN A GOOD PLACE; AND SAY TO THE POOR, STAND THOU HERE OR SIT HERE UNDER MY FOOTSTOOL: ARE YE NOT THEN PARTIAL IN YOURSELVES AND BECOME JUDGES OF EVIL THOUGHTS? HEARKEN, MY BELOVED BRETHREN, HATH NOT GOD CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD RICH IN FAITH, AND HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM WHICH HE HATH PROMISED TO THEM THAT LOVE HIM? BUT YE HAVE DESPISED THE POOR. DO NOT RICH MEN OPPRESS YOU, AND DRAW YOU BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEATS? How were they despising the poor and being prejudiced in their thoughts? They were treating poor people with contempt while showing honor to the rich. This is exactly what we do in the church, by teaching that poor Christians have little, or no faith, we unconsciously treat them with contempt. We teach that the poor are under a curse and are therefore not living up to all their benefits in Christ. We actually set up a cast system in the church. James says the poor have great faith! He doesn’t portray them as having small faith. He warns the rich not to trust in uncertain riches. The bible flatly teaches that financial abundance is not a measure of ones faith! We must stop teaching that if you would simply believe God you would have an abundance of money. This is not true in every case. Sometimes the abundant supply from God is the grace and patience that he gives to the believer in the face of severe trials or lack. The N.T. clearly teaches that there are believers with lots of faith who are poor! You can't deny the plain word of God. We should not suppose that a lack of financial abundance is a sign of weak faith!

 

Now to one of the most recent 'new revelations' that is being taught in the church. I first heard this from a very respected soul-winning evangelist. I then heard it taught from a variety of other teachers. As of this writing it seems to be accepted 'truth' in certain circles. Lets read JAMES 5:1-6 'GO TO NOW, YE RICH MEN, WEEP AND HOWL FOR YOUR MISERIES THAT SHALL COME UPON YOU. YOUR RICHES ARE CORRUPTED, AND YOUR GARMENTS ARE MOTHEATEN. YOUR GOLD AND SILVER IS CANKERED; AND THE RUST OF THEM SHALL BE A WITNESS AGAINST YOU, AND SHALL EAT YOUR FLESH AS IT WERE FIRE. YE HAVE HEAPED TREASURE TOGETHER FOR THE LAST DAYS. BEHOLD, THE HIRE OF THE LABOURERS WHO HAVE REAPED DOWN YOUR FIELDS, WHICH IS OF YOU KEPT BACK BY FRAUD, CRIETH: AND THE CRIES OF THEM WHICH HAVE REAPED ARE ENTERED INTO THE EARS OF THE LORD OF SABAOTH. YE HAVE LIVED IN PLEASURE ON THE EARTH, AND BEEN WANTON; YE HAVE NOURISHED YOUR HEARTS, AS IN A DAY OF SLAUGHTER. YE HAVE CONDEMNED AND KILLED THE JUST; AND HE DOTH NOT RESIST YOU. The first time I heard this 'new' truth, the preacher said that this passage was dealing with the end-time transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor. It was explained that in verse 3 'YE HAVE HEAPED TREASURE TOGETHER FOR THE LAST DAYS’ meant that the rich gathered together their wealth so it could be given to the church in the last days. While I have no problem with the idea of the world’s wealth being used for kingdom purposes, I do have a problem with distorting the word of God to prove our points! A simple reading of James 5:1-6 shows us that the reason the rich are being reproved is because they spent their lives building up financial fortunes without being rich toward God [LUKE 12:16-21]. This scripture also plainly says what is going to happen to their wealth. Is it going to be 'transferred' to us? Is it going to be given to the Christians in the last days? Is it going to be used at all? NO! It is going to canker, rust and corrupt! It is going to be destroyed! It will be of no help at all in the day of judgment [PRVB. 11:4]. It will be a witness against them for living covetous lives. The entire theme of James follows this line of thought. To read all the other things that James says about the rich and poor in this epistle, for us to then interpret this passage and say that James was now teaching the Christians that they would become rich through the end-time transfer of wealth, is ridiculous. Once again the plain meaning of scripture is being distorted in order to make it say the complete opposite of what it means.

 

One more thing before we leave James. The early Christian community did not equate poverty with being under a curse. They did not equate poverty with sin. There are many rebukes in the N.T. against sin in the church, but the poor in the church were praised, not rebuked! The very mindset of looking upon the poor as a lower class permeates this teaching. If the poor are cursed, not living up to their inheritance, don’t know how to apply faith principles or simply don’t know/believe the word concerning prosperity, then in essence we are despising the poor through our belief system. The N.T. plainly teaches that it is okay to be poor! We need to heed the warning from this N.T. epistle and stop despising the poor!

 

 

 

CHAPTER 5 'WHOSE MINISTRY, JESUS OR OURS?'

 

 

 

I'll never forget the time I was watching 'Christian' TV and saw a preacher holding up his Rolex watch and then teaching the people that this was an example of his faith in action! He then went on to explain that when we use our faith to obtain things, we can then show these things to people as a witness of our faith. If this is what it means to go witnessing for Christ, I think most people would be standing in line to sign up!

 

Over the years I have heard it taught that the only way the world would be saved is if the church becomes extremely rich financially so she could send the gospel to the world. That the world would see our extreme wealth and would ask 'where did you get all that money?' and we would then say 'from God', and the lost would then want what we have and get saved! Convenient isn’t it. But is this a biblical picture of the N.T. church and her witness in the earth?

 

In order to answer this question, we need first to look at what the N.T. church is. The church consists of communities of believers scattered throughout the world. All over planet earth, right now, there are believers thriving and testifying of Gods grace in all types of circumstances and situations. The community of believers that Jesus launched 2 thousand years ago is still going strong. She answers to no man or human govt. She has outlasted empires, persecutions, false religions and every other conceivable attack that can be imagined. The prophecy of Jesus has been fulfilled ‘THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST HER’ [MATT. 16:18].

 

As of today there has been no other single institution upon earth that has had more influence in the history of the world than the church! Now, if the church truly consists of believers [seeds], planted [sown] all over the world under the lordship of Christ, with various giftings [Apostles, Prophets, etc.] operating under the administration of the Holy Spirit, this ministry [the kingdom of God] already has the potential of a worldwide witness to all nations. As a matter of fact this worldwide gospel of Christ has been prevailing magnificently throughout the generations. This wonderful kingdom, under Christ’s rule, has been active. It has been supernaturally deploying ministers from day one [ACTS 13]. It has even witnessed for Jesus Christ when its main ministers were broke! [ACTS 3:6]. The witness of the gospel has done extremely well throughout the centuries and will continue to do so, whether or not we all become rich!

 

The reason I say this is because there is a mindset in the church [American mostly] that equates the witness of the gospel with the success of American charismatic entrepreneurial ministries. We have been deluded into believing that unless we all become rich, we will never be able to reach the world. The overall success of the kingdom of God has never been dependent on any budget of any ministry past or present! Most of the modern day proponents of the prosperity gospel usually head up American ministry organizations and equate the sowing of seed [finances], with giving money to help support their organizations. They then sincerely believe that unless their organization makes more and more money, they will never be able to fulfill the great commission of reaching the world.

 

The N.T. clearly teaches the principles of our witness for Christ, and the focus has never been extreme wealth. But on sacrificial living, loving each other unconditionally, a sharing caring community of people who are known for good deeds of charity. In the book of acts the early church had a powerful witness, and they weren’t rich financially, yet they did reach their world for Christ. How? Through great sacrificial living, through miraculous signs and wonders, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and through a bold proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not one sermon in the book of acts focused on anything else than Jesus Christ and his great work for us. Their hearts and lips flowed with the message of Christ, not money!

 

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Few more links to my teaching

Posted on by John Chiarello

MY RADIO LINKS-

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7R Kant, Hume, Sartre

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-6E Apologetics- Kant, Hume

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-62 Apologetics

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-6F DaVinci code

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7Q Something from nothing- Quantum Leap

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7O Multiverse

MY VIDEOS

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/10-18-15-nietzsches-twilight-of-the-idols.zip

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/10-28-15-jean-paul-sartre.zip

 

 

GALATIANS [Links]

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/26/galatians-1/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/12/30/2nd-samuel-3-homeless-friends/

 

JOHNS GOSPEL [Complete- Links added]

LINKS-

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/amos-5/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/jesus-christ/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/father-abraham/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/the-flood/ John 3

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/the-well-john-4/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/john-5/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/john-6/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/09/john-7/

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/8-10-15-john-14.zip

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/john-8/

https://youtu.be/f8VpxlYM_kU John 8- ‘who the Son sets free’

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/john-9/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/john-10/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/john-11-the-8th-sign/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/i-found-a-verse/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/john-12/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/samuel-john-hebrews-review/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/john-13/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/john-14/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/john-15/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/15/john-16/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/john-17/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/john-18/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/john-19/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/john-20/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/john-concl/

 

JONAH [links included]

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/jonah-1/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/11/09/jonah-2-3/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/11/16/jonah-revelation-samuel/

https://ccoutreach87.com/2016/11/21/jonah-4/

 

JUDGES, RUTH study [Radio n Video links included]

 

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-cD Gideon

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-cG Parable of trees

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-cN Jephthah

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-e1 Lightning crashes

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-ez Judges conc.

http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-ec Samson

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/05/gone-fishing-ruth-1/

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/6-1-16-beware-of-it.zip Ruth 2

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/ogopogo-ruth-3/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/over-the-rainbow-ruth-conc/

https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/king-david/

 

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