Monday, April 28, 2008


In the book of Acts and the Epistles, we see how the Church began, and functioned for the first few centuries. There were no special "church buildings", the people met in homes, or in public buildings like Synagogues or parts of the Jewish temple. Remember for the first few years the Church was composed of Jewish converts, until the Lord led Peter to Cornelius, a Gentile who believed in God. (Acts 10:1-49). The original disciples of Jesus became the early apostles, who along with Paul and some of his associates, spread the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to much of the then known world. Their usual pattern was to go to a city and start preaching about Jesus in the Jewish Synagogue, then when certain people became believers they were organized into small groups that would meet in the home of one of these people. Elders were chosen and set in place by the apostles, to give leadership to this group of believers. There was always a plurality of elders in charge of each local church, who would be visited by the apostles periodically for teaching and encouragement. In this way the churches multiplied in spite of much persecution by the Roman Emperors. The last and most horrible persecution took place under the reign of Diocletian and his successors, from 303-310 AD. Then in 313 AD Emperor Constantine issued his famous "Edict of Toleration", which ended the persecution and made the Church a part of the Roman Empire. This ended Church as God planned it, and a new "Structural Church" replaced the "Spiritual Church", and the 1000 year period referred to as the "Dark Ages" of Church history began.

This period was definitely a time of "Deterioration" for the true Church! Constantine started building large Cathedral type church buildings, patterned after Pagan Temples, and introduced a system of worship that included a Priesthood which was a mixture of Jewish tradition and Pagan practices. By this time the churches in the larger cities had appointed Bishops, who were competing with each other to see who would be the chief leader. Gradually the Bishop of Rome became the recognized leader and took on the title of "Papa" (father), which became "Pope" once the church became the "Roman Catholic Church". The name catholic means "universal", and is a good description for the true universal Church that Jesus is building, but it took on a different meaning when the church became part of the Roman Empire and became "structural" instead of "spiritual"!

Sincerely submitted.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008


In part 1 we looked briefly at the real reason for Jesus' first coming to our planet to redeem from fallen humanity a "Bride", suitable to rule and reign with Him throughout eternity. This is a far greater purpose than the average Christian understands, because we have been taught to believe that Jesus will return at "any moment" to airlift us out of this sin cursed earth, to spend eternity with Him in glory, somewhere over yonder. The present condition of the church, especially in North America, is much too immature to qualify for the exalted position of the "Bride of Christ"! This teaching of an imminent rapture has done little to prepare people for the coming persecution, that will help bring us to maturity. The Bible has a lot to say about us believers coming to a place of maturity in Christ. (Heb 6:1-3), and (2 Peter 1:3-11). If we expect to be an"over comer" (Rev chapters 2 and 3), we need to spend much time in His Word!

The Church has always been part of God's eternal plans for His creation, Paul Billheimer, in his book "Destined for the Throne", makes this statement "The human race was created in the image and likeness of God for one purpose; to provide an eternal companion for the Son". This helps to put the Church in the proper perspective. Is it any wonder why Satan has tried so hard to destroy it from it's beginning? The Bible was written to the Church, for the purpose of edification, and should be read and studied carefully if we are to become mature Christians. Jesus said He would build His Church (Matt 16:18), for the purpose of having a "Body" to represent Him on planet earth, while He is in heaven with His Father. The physical body that Jesus received in the womb of the virgin Mary, He still has, although since His resurrection, it is now a supernatural "Resurrection Body" suitable for the life He now enjoys. The Church is called the "Body of Christ", but never the body of Jesus! Jesus still has, and will always have, His own Body, which is presently in heaven, but one day He will come back to our planet to be re-united with His "Bride/Church"! This is the one and only true Church that Jesus is building. I like a definition for this Church that comes from a book called "Christian Theology" written by Emery Bancroft "The Church is composed of all true Christian believers taken out of all nations, tribes, and tongues, and united with their living head, Jesus Christ, during the age from Pentecost to the rapture". This is sometimes referred to as the "Universal Church", to distinguish it from the many local churches in different locations!

Sincerely submitted


Friday, April 18, 2008


The first time I recall hearing this term was the title of a book written by Bill Hamon back in 1981. He gives an excellent summary of church history, from the early days of the book of Acts, up to the 1980's when he wrote it. He gives a very good description of the Church that Jesus has been in the process of building now for some 2000 years from His exalted place at Father's right hand. The place He left to become our promised Messiah, our Savior, Emmanuel (God with us), by dying on the cross in our place! He covers the original beginning of the church, it's early days of spreading into all the then known world, it's deterioration through the "dark ages", and it's restoration from the time of Luther to the 1980's. He gives close attention to the causes of the deterioration, and also the various restoration periods, when God was bringing back truth that had been lost during the dark ages. I'm not sure if the book is still available or not, but if you can find a copy, I suggest you purchase it and spent some time studying it's pages! In the past I have written several articles about the Church, and the churches that were formed in various localities, but decided to attempt to share in a series under this title, some of the truth contained in the book by Brother Hamon. I will acknowledge any direct quotes from him, but bear in mind that the basic outline of the truth presented will be my own understanding of these truths based on various sources over many years of studying God's Word.

Let me start with a direct quote from page 5 of the introduction "Jesus came to this earth for a specific purpose. It was not out of compulsion or constraint, but from compassion. He did not come just to save us from hell! He came to redeem us unto Himself. What He saved us for, supersedes anything He saved us from". Here is another quote from page 6 "Jesus is, was, and remains God's perfect Man, and man's perfect God". The greatest desire in the heart of Jesus is to return to our planet to receive His Bride, the Church, to rule and reign with Him for eternity! "He is not going to come for an underdeveloped little sister, nor a wrinkled, blemished, or worn out old woman. When Jesus returns for His bride She will be at the peak of Her beauty and performance". This book declares clearly that Jesus will remain in heaven at the Father's side "until" the Holy Spirit completes the process of restoring the Church to the necessary state of maturity to become His Bride! (Acts 3:21) We all know the church has a long way to go to reach this state of maturity!

Sincerely submitted.


Sunday, April 13, 2008


Have you ever thought of the tremendous miracle that we human beings enjoy every day, simply because Almighty God holds back His Omnipotent power from being directed against our casual attitude toward Him? Once you are familiar with the commands given in the Holy Scriptures, that God expects His children to follow, and realize how few believers actually obey them, this fact becomes a reality to us! Just take for example Peter's exhortation in (1 Peter 1:13-16) about being holy because God is holy! Or the words from Paul in (Phil 2:12-15) about being "shining lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people"! How well do you think you and I do on a daily basis toward keeping these commands?

Were it not for the mercy and grace of our loving Father, we would all be destroyed! Thank God that He holds to His decision to create us humans with a free will, and that He refuses to use His Omnipotent power to interfere with our choices, even when He knows they are wrong choices! What love! What grace! The supreme demonstration of this love is expressed in that familiar verse recorded by the Apostle John in (John 3:16) "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."

God allowed His Son Jesus Christ to become a human being, so that we might see what He really looks like. Paul said that Jesus was the visible image of the invisible God, "For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body" (Col 2:9). When we study the scriptures that describe the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus we get a realistic picture of the nature and character of God the Father. We see Jesus portrayed as the King of God's heavenly Kingdom, that He wishes to set up on planet earth for eternity. (Rev 21:1-3). When Jesus instructed His followers to pray that "the Father's Kingdom come to earth, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt 6:10), He was expressing God's desire for our planet!

I believe that God expects us as followers of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to exert our time and energy in helping this to become a reality. When the world sees what it would look like, to have God's will being done on earth, and believers living by the principles of His heavenly Kingdom, they might be more interested in becoming part of "God's Forever Family"!!

Sincerely submitted


Monday, April 7, 2008


There has been some confusion in the church between the meaning of the family of God, and the Kingdom of God. Personally I have always thought they were one and the same, but recently I see a distinction between the two. We are born into the family of God, by our new birth experience (John 3:3), or (2 Cor 5:17), but we are transferred into the Kingdom of God (Col 1:13), usually at some later time. There is a big difference between these two experiences. Salvation gives us the “right to become children of God” (John 1:12), and to “see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This is definitely a gift from God, and He never takes back a gift He has given. But to“enter the Kingdom of God” (John 3:5) seems to require something different.

We are all born naturally into our human family, for me it happened on July 26th1934, when I was born into the family of Barrett and Myrtle Jamer in Andover NB. As a boy I was often referred to as one of Barrett’s boys, to identify me from Randolph’s, who was dad’s younger brother. As long as I live I will always be a member of this family. Nothing can change that fact! My conduct might break relationship with some of my siblings by times, but they can never disown me as their brother.

We need to apply this same truth to our relationships in the church, the "Body of Christ", which is the family of God. If someone is “born again” into God’s family, they are my sibling, and I am connected to them for life. It matters not what denomination they are part of, or if we agree on every point of doctrine, we are still part of the same family because we have the same Father. We have all allowed various doctrines, or different interpretations of certain scriptures, to separate us from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to repent of our pride, in thinking we know more of God’s will and plans for His family than others do. We all “see through a glass darkly”, and only know in part. We can all learn something from others, if we are humble enough to realize that we don’t know it all, and even some of what we have been taught may not be correct.

When a Christian sins, they don’t lose their place in the family of God, but they may lose all or part of their inheritance in the Kingdom. Salvation is a gift, and God doesn’t take back His gifts, but our place in the Kingdom is determined by our conduct, and can be affected by our actions! (1 Cor 6:9-11) An understanding of this truth should give us a proper “fear of God” which should keep us from becoming snared into the world’s system, and lose the joy of our salvation, and possibly our inheritance in the Kingdom of God! This is serious matter that deserves our prayerful consideration, in my opinion!

Sincerely submitted.