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imperfection

 

Dear Connections,

 

What follows is a further refinement of my views on the inspiration of the scriptures.  For the record, I believe that all of the Old Testament is inspired right down to, as Jesus said, the jots and tittles.  I also believe that this holds true for the four gospels plus the book of revelation, since they deal with Christ.  However, what follows is, I believe, a more accurate view of how God spoke through the apostles in the New Testament.

Sincerely,

Michael King

 

Theopneustos and the New Testament

 

The first century Christians didn’t equate the writings of Paul and the other apostles with scripture.  When the first Christians spoke about scripture they referred to the Old Testament law and prophets.  Only much later, around the 3rd or 4th century AD, did the epistles become canon. The four Gospels and the book of Revelation are inspired to the same degree as the Old Testament.  However,  I do not believe that the apostolic epistles reach that level of Theopneustos (θεοπνευστος – God breathed) inspiration.  Here is a stunning truth,
 

 “Elevating the epistles of the Apostles to the same status as Holy Writ prevents the church from maturing into the fulness and stature of Christ.”

 
Letters, which were meant to inform and instruct the members of the first century church, were first and foremost relevant to those whom the apostles wrote too.  They addressed issues and questions that were germane to a certain time and culture.  We even have one book, Philemon, that addresses the practice of slavery directly, something which is very uncommon today.

Paul, in the first book of Corinthians, gives advice on marriage “in view of the present distress”.  Evidently, Paul also believed that the “time was short” referring to an imminent return of Jesus Christ.  In the first case, we do not generally have the type of distress that Paul speaks about, and in the second case, it has been over 1900 years since Paul mentioned Christ’s imminent return.
 

God never intended the epistles to become Scripture

 
God never intended the apostolic epistles be ranked together with the writings of Moses and the prophets.  While holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, the apostles enjoyed more of a “partnership” with God through the in-filling of the Holy Spirit.  Apostles spoke to their generation under our Father’s anointing, but as Paul admitted, they looked “through a glass darkly”.
 

The Apostle says,

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

Therefore, if you copy imperfection, you will be imperfect at best. Thus, God never meant the imperfection of the first church to be a template for the entire gentile church age.

Though God was in the process of moving His Elect towards the fulness and stature of Christ, they never reached that destination.  There were problems with the Galatians going back to the law and some members of the church in Corinth fell into gross immorality.  Love feasts occurred, but judging by the problems Paul spoke of,  I doubt if they really knew what was going on yet.  About the time God’s people started to move into the perfection of the saints, Satan began persecuting them in earnest under Rome.
 

The first church was not perfect

 

Therefore, God never completed the perfecting of the saints for the work of His ministry during the first century.  The Devil forced the first believers underground (literally) through violent persecution  The catacombs became a refuge for those who practiced “the way”  and the church virtually disappeared from normal everyday life.  Christians worshipped, loved, and lived underground for centuries, only coming out at night under cover of darkness.

When the Catholic Church rose to power, amongst the ruins of the Roman Empire, they canonized the apostles writings, declaring them to be scripture.  Peter became the Pope’s claim to absolute authority.  Therefore, the the Catholic church institutionalized the apostles imperfection.  Much like the Holy Roman church declared people to be saints, they simply declared that the writings of Paul, John, James, Peter to be holy scripture.

This then led to horrendous abuses under the universal church as men tried to apply the writings of the first church leaders to their day and age.  The whole monastic movement that led countless men and women leading celibate lives originated from applying first century scriptures to medieval life.  The inquisitions were an attempt by Satan to prevent God’s people from moving forward into Tabernacles.  Every time God would introduce further revelation, which threatened to upset the status quo, Satan would kill them through other Christians. Instead of receiving revelation for their day and age, the church chained itself to epistles never written to them in the first place.

 

Trying to be like the first church is bondage

 

This leads, inextricably, to bondage in the church of our day.  Many dream of going back to the book of Acts as if it is some sort of holy grail.  However, we need to go beyond the first churches imperfection.  We must go on to what God desires for His people for today and that is Tabernacles.  The truth is this,
 

“Christians find themselves the imperfections of first church, therefore Tabernacles languishes.  This is so because people assume the apostolic writings are Holy Writ.”

 

(Holy Writ: writings or sayings of unchallenged authority – Google).”

 

In other words, there is little place for the move of Tabernacles in the New Testament church, because we follow people who never fully came into the Tabernacle Experience themselves.  We cannot simultaneously emulate first century doctrine faithful and go beyond their writings at the same time.

 

If  you copy imperfection, the best you can be is imperfect

 

God anointed first century teachings and they are supremely relevant for their day and age.  However, that historical church you idolize was full of imperfection.  Furthermore, it is proper to glean general insights into how our Father works with His people.  However, God does not mandate we copy the first church,  because they, themselves, were deeply flawed.   Moreover, not everything they said or did, even in their time, was correct or even anointed.  When Paul asks for his coat and parchments that he left at Troas, he simply means he forgot some stuff; nothing more.

In conclusion, stop demanding we be like someone 19 centuries ago because you mistakenly think they wrote scripture.  That was really only true of the words of Jesus Christ himself, because he is literally the son of God.  The book of revelation is also spoken by the glorified son of God and that is scripture too.  However, do not exalt the writings of a newly birthed church to the status of scripture.  Elevating the first churches imperfection to the status of Holy Writ,  we bind ourselves to that same imperfection.

 

Stop living in Peter’s shadow

 

Finally, begin to stand up and stop hiding in the shadow of Peter, John, James, and Paul.  Have the guts to hear God for yourself today. Do the works of the Holy Spirit through revelation God speaks to you.  Stop shirking your responsibility to hear the voice of God by copying what someone else did two millennia ago.  It is time to be no more children and take up our responsibility to do the current word of God.  This is our day, our world, and it is up to us to manifest God in our flesh.
 

 


 

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