Sitting Under the Willow Tree

I discovered a treasure hidden away in the midst of congested streets, traffic jams, stress, and rising blood pressure. Its been there for years and I never knew, it is so well hidden. Evidently few people have found it because every time I go there, it is void of people! I enjoy it all to myself. Whoever owns it must be always working and never able to enjoy his hidden treasure. It is as a Garden of Eden in the midst of a concrete jungle.

This place inspired me to start a second blog site. “Path Without End” has always been a place to go deep into God’s Word, and we’re about to start a series called “Covenant of Darkness”. However, the new site is meant to be more light-hearted and fun. A place about dreams, and for dreamers. It is meant to inspire a life full of the joy of the Lord, peace, and spirit. It has a subtitle of “Simplicity, Serenity, Spirit, – and growing older”.

One of my dreams is to travel America (on the cheap) and ride my bike in many places while visiting Salt Churches. I have a plan and it is already in operation. We write of these things on the other site I named: “Sitting Under the Willow Tree”. I hope you will visit under the willow tree. Here is a link to the site, followed by a few pictures:

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The wind still blows under the willow tree, but who today ever takes the time to sit and listen? Let us be one of the few.

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“Preparing a Place”

20180901_160730 “And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah…” (Gen. 6:12-13a)

“But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thou sons’ wives with thee.” (Gen. 6:18)

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It’s hard for a leader to lead if they don’t know where to go next.

Too many of our leaders today do not lead; they copy. They don’t have the visionary gift, so they copy whoever seems to have a successful formula. The business world operates the very same way. Companies become successful once someone has proven they have a winning product, winning formula, and then a whole lot of other people follow.

However, the Body of Christ is not a business. And the thumb is not meant to copy the foot. The brain is sending out signals but only a few in the body seem to have true leadership. A few hear God’s voice so plainly, they know what their assignment is, and they are not concerned about what any other part of the Body is doing. This is the only way the Body of Christ will ever function as a healthy Body. All the parts have separate assignments which come together at one point at the top! Like a Teepee! The Head of the Church, the mind of Christ, a vision of not “where we are”, but “where we are going”!

Our ability to get to that place depends on each part of the Body doing their particular assignment, without any regard, envy, concern, comparing of numbers, or money, or platform, or fame. Peter wanted to know what would happen to John, and Jesus said, What is that to you? Ouch!

But what do leaders do who have no vision? Are they truly leaders? Are they misplaced in the Body of Christ and doing harm? How is it they do not know where the cloud is moving? How is it they are stuck in yesterday’s glory, but the glory has moved on? The Shadow of the Most High is moving but they have built a mansion that cannot move. A monster that must be fed or it eats them. And in most cases, is already eating them.

I couldn’t live that way anymore. So I came out from among them and focused strictly on the one point of “Godwalking” like Enoch, and even his descendant, Noah. Now God has me building a place, because he wants to take a people there.

Today’s message from God is different, and it must have a different kind of place, a new wine skin. Leaders who lack vision fear days like these. End time days. Days of the forge and the purge. Days demanding change, motion, and direction. Days demanding ministry that is fluid, flexible, and consistent like water.

God has speeded up the clock on me, and brought more of my focus on the Teepee. It’s becoming more plain every day that Indianapolis is not the place I’m sent. I’m leaving this place faster and faster every day to live in another place. Could there still be groups in Indianapolis? For sure. But more and more of my focus and time is rapidly moving in the direction of Whitestown. God has provided a place for something to be built, and I have put my hammer to it.

My vision of it is a “Prayer Garden/ School in the Wilderness”. And by faith I believe I have books still to be published teaching these things. The writer in me still has not fulfilled his mission, but the place must come first, and from there I will write the books, and for all this to happen I must live at least a few more years. I must have the faith of an “old age” ministry, and we shall see if I hear God, or not.

20180901_160723 The place I prepare is for small groups, individual fellowship and teaching, a Prayer Garden, a Table of Fellowship, a place of simplicity, a place different. A place to get your center back, and hear God for yourself.

God has placed the timetable for this in the hands of my parents, now well into their eighties. They like their privacy. Currently, they still call the shots on how much this place becomes public, while I keep building. A few have access at this time. Some are taking advantage, and some are not. Maybe they never will. But when the floods begin to come, we will see who are ready? We will see who has oil in their lamps and a light shinning, or they are just a copy of some man-made program.

A case can be made from the Bible, that God is big on the power of a “name”. I think every minister should know his flock well enough, that he could give you a name that fits you more than you even know. He could actually change your name to something better. Like Saul, who thought he was Saul, but God said… PAUL! My Apostle born out of season!

We need true leaders in our day who hear the voice of God even through all the roar of a country going mad with pride, lust, perversion and sin. Hearing the voice of God is more than being able to teach his Word or preach a good sermon. It’s about knowing where the Body of Christ is going next. Good journey everybody. Because the Body of Christ is a Body of motion. We go places and do things. We fight battles and live lean, so we can move freely, like any good soldier of Christ should be able to do. Be not entangled. Live free.

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“What does it all mean?” Part II

Punching the Bible
The Passover Meal was the beginning of  “Tent Life” for the Jews. Think about it.

My deep mood, my spiritual contemplation continues. Do we have any New Testament scriptures to verify the “Tent Life” message the Lord’s Supper seems to connect with? Yes. Many actually. But at this moment the Apostle Paul instructing Timothy to not be entangled in the affairs of “this life” comes to my mind.

Tent Life? Does that really connect to the Lord’s Supper? I mean, aren’t we stretching things a bit? What about me living like a king?

Our modern church has such a different emphasis than the early church fathers. It is amazing to me how many ways I see the emphasis has been shifted to a different syllable of our Lord’s teaching, causing it to be slightly off from the truth. Ever so slightly, but enough. Is the Passover connected to a Tent Life? YES, it is. But how much of that emphasis have you heard on Easter Sunday? And what does it mean for us? Do we even realize the Lord’s Supper is the Passover fulfilled?

In the next few paragraphs I’m going to try and describe the way the disciples experienced the 3 days of our Lord’s crucifixion, compared to how you and I of the modern church have most likely experienced it. Some might call the changes small, but I think God would call them HUGE.

For the disciples and the early church, it all starts with a meal. It also marked the beginning of a New Year for them. The 14th of Nissan. This meal would happen on what we call “Good Friday”. Jesus had his Passover Meal on Thursday night, as a Jewish clock ran from sunset to sunset, and he would be dying on a cross later that day. But it was an intimate “meal”, with his close spiritual “family”, which then easily flowed into what we call the Communion, the bread and wine of his body and blood. Jesus establishing his body and blood as the payment for a perfect covenant with God the Father, ended that meal. This is what the disciples experienced on Good Friday, a meal full of, and overflowing with MUCH meaning.

Not only were the disciples thinking about New Years resolutions (perhaps). By this I mean perhaps they have the same desire as many of us at New Years, to do better, how can I do better this year? But the Passover Meal was the beginning of 7 Days of Unleavened Bread. In other words, their New Year began with a whole week of thinking about getting the sin out of their life for this New Year. Now does any of this compare to what we have experienced every Easter at our church?

You see, a big contention arose a little past 100 AD., and the Bishop of Rome wanted to make some small changes. Evidently, what we call “Lent” developed during this time, which includes some kind of fasting. This Lent, and this fasting, began to interfere with what the Apostle John and other Apostles had taught Bishop Polycarp to continue as the Passover meal. A Christian form of the Passover Meal I should specify. This began many years of church and doctrine battle, but around 300 AD, with the help of a heathen Emperor named Constantine, the Rome Bishops evidently finally got their way.

So after all these years, what we have today, has become something more like this: “Maybe” you are doing Lent. “Maybe” your church might do a special Friday service of some sort, possibly emphasizing prayer, and you “might” go. Or you might just have your normal Friday night at home. Or maybe you’re preparing for an Easter Egg hunt and sun worship. But for many, Friday night is really not all that different. Maybe you’re out shopping for a new dress, because a lot of people really “dress up” for Easter Sunday. But it is for sure you’re not likely having a Passover Meal as Jesus DID, and so DID the disciples, and so DID the early church fathers.

As a matter of fact, we are most likely preparing to cram everything into one big day on Sunday. And when Sunday comes we will not be thinking about 7 Days of Unleavened Bread. We will not be thinking about getting sin out of our life and the beginning of a New Year, spiritually speaking. And we will somehow give proper remembrance to the Lord’s “DEATH”, even as we somehow manage to celebrate his RESURRECTION, all in the same Sunday morning, which may include a Sunrise service you may have drug yourself out of bed for if you are the really dedicated.

Now there are many shifts of emphasis here, of which I can only target a few in any one article. But one I find very interesting, and is a perfect example of how slight these shifts seem to be in our own mind, and yet may be HUGE in the mind of God! Paul says this in I Corinthians 11: 26>

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s DEATH till he come.”

For many many years I never thought about this small statement of emphasis. Yes, I remembered the Lord’s death on Easter even as we were also rushing to his resurrection celebration. But as I study the early church fathers, the emphasis is totally on his death and the cross! For instance, on Sunday they would have also been still into the 7 Days of Unleavened Bread. Yes, they are happy the Lord has resurrected, without which we have no hope of real salvation! But remember, the early church fathers also did not preach once saved always saved. The Unleavened Bread they were eating was a constant reminder that if they continued in a life of sin, they would not receive that resurrection! It was not a “done deal”! He that endures to the end! That Unleavened Bread was a reminder of the “Tent Life” their forefathers were rescued out of Egypt (worldliness), and delivered into the wilderness to learn to die to self! A crossing and a cross! And carry what they learned in the wilderness, into the Promised Land! Have we forgotten?

Now consider this. What DID Jesus do on Sunday? Was he celebrating his resurrection? No! He was talking about SIN! Mary Magdalene discovers him in the garden and is ready to rush into a resurrection celebration and Jesus says: “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father: but go to…”

What is he ascending to the Father to do? PUT HIS BLOOD ON THE MERCY SEAT OF THE HEAVENLY TABERNACLE!

Touch me not! For I have not yet ascended and poured the blood of my sacrifice, for the forgiveness of your SINS, on the Ark of the Covenant in heaven!

Later that same day he appears to the disciples and breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit! And then says this >

“Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.”

Totally different emphasis than we see today. Of course, the Lord would have also been thinking about the 7 Days of Unleavened Bread, and of course we ARE NOT. We’re thinking about some eggs, or perhaps the after church Big Mac. And we’re not even at all aware that this is how we are starting our spiritual New Year. And we no longer have “Lord Supper Meals”, also called the Lord’s Welcoming Table, as such all year long. But we have the short-form bite of bread or wafer, and a thimble of juice. And we also do not realize if the colored eggs are combined with our church, we are in sun-worship. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, after the studies I have made, having an emphasis on resurrection and not his death, may in itself be a form of sun worship. Both Winter Solstice (Christmas), and Easter were Roman heathen festivals worshiping the “Rising” and “Unconquerable sun god”. Also a Prosperity god. Hhmmm. And if you see no danger in this, then once again I recommend reading Ezekiel 8, where God leaves Jerusalem, and is with the Exiles. Wow.

There is a big time gap in the knowledge of church history for most Christians. We have the “Missing Years”, the “Void”, of how we got from the description of the early church in Acts, to the description of church by Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 11, to a big leap around the time of Constantine and the Catholic church. Wow! What happened? Then we know of the “dark days” and the Protestants revolt against the Catholic which eventually got us to 2018. And this is how we have always done things. It must be alright. And yet we have no knowledge of what happened in those very important days of the early church fathers to whom the torch was passed directly from Apostles. And we have no curiosity? We have no passion to be concerned?

I can only say, whether I was a poor student, or ALL my Pastor’s were very poor teachers, if I had been given a test on those “Missing Years”, or even on a proper Lord’s Supper and Passover, I WOULD HAVE FLUNKED! BIG FAT “F”! And my understanding now, may only be at a D+ level. But I am now doing my best to make these things the template for what I call church. For me, church is about a TABLE, that the devil managed to shift us away from and back to stone temples. That TABLE goes VERY DEEP and affects many things. I’m still discovering new affects every day.

For example, there has been a new convert to Christ I’m trying to disciple; but so far it has been rather slow and difficult. Just yesterday I suddenly realized the best way to “show” this guy what it all really means, and get him on the right track quickly, IN HIS OWN HOME, is the LORD’S WELCOMING TABLE! Of which I plan to perform my first outreach in this particular way this coming up week. And I am SO excited! I can hardly wait.

So… “What’s it all mean?” As this series continues we will look deeper and deeper as to what did Jesus do? What did the early church do? And then each of us must decide if these details, these slight shifts of emphasis, are more important than we realize? In the meantime, keep praying, keep studying, stay involved with Christian fellowship, i.e. Church, and ask yourself, W.W.J.D.. And hopefully, what you understand as what Jesus WOULD do, will be in complete harmony with what Jesus DID do. Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it shall be given. Knock and it shall opened. Is that not what God hath said?

This has been brought to you by “Fellowship of the White Path” and Grandpa White Feather. More still to come.

Na8rinz

Choosing Your Friends

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You have an enemy! In this life of peace in Christ, I find there is a fight. I desire a life of peace, but I find there is a fight. The Children of Israel entered the Promised Land of milk and honey, and they found there was a fight…even giants.

There is a reason “birds of a feather flock together”.  It is impossible for someone of integrity to go along for long, with something they disagree. It will eat at the person of honor until they choose different. The pure heart must walk its own White Path. Birds not of a feather will not flock together for long, unless their feathers change.

My wife and I went on a spiritual quest with God and I came back from the Black Hills with a phrase echoing in my soul: “The Path of the White Feather”. I did not know what it meant, but it led me in becoming Grandpa White Feather to my family, and beginning to do Church a whole different way. The research, the answers, my journey, the reasons, and the prayerful decisions are all recorded in the archives of this site if you care to research. I found most of my answers in the early Church fathers and the Church they began, i.e. Pre-Catholic.

Jesus walked the Red Path (of his own righteous blood), so we could walk the White. Most every true Church teaches this, maybe not in these words, but the same message. And yet I found myself at odds with the modern Church on many different levels, and soon discovered my chosen friends were not as close as I thought they were. Our feathers proved to be different, and I was challenged to find a different flock.

We have an enemy, and how should he be fought?  (Read previous article for understanding the Christian “Vengeance Trail”, spoken of by Apostle Paul.) Who is the enemy? Where has all his tentacles reached? As we continue our “Infinity War / Eternity War” analogy, Captain America discovers the world he knew has changed, and the clothes he so boldly wears, his feathers, he no longer agrees with! What’s he going to do now? This “system” is requiring the heroes to all register with the government, but how is this the “Liberty” he has always fought for? A major fork in the road is before him, but not just Captain America; this fork is before every one of the Avengers and other heroes of the earth.

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I found myself at that very same fork in the road. Modern Church had become a “system” I was no longer comfortable with. It had become a “system”, not a family, not a fellowship. As I headed out into the unknown with God, I knew whatever I did, it had to be a “fellowship”. We don’t call what we do “Church” anymore, even though it fulfills what was original Church better than most Church systems today. I won’t say there are not exceptions to the rule, but let me tell you a “Tale of Two Tables”, and you decide for yourself.

First of all, I learned that in Jesus earthly ministry, one of his major changes was a shifting from the “Temple” to the “Table”. Now for the sake of regular readers, I won’t go through all the details of those previous articles, but think of “The Lord’s Supper”, a “Table”. Oh! We found so much there! Don’t forget how our Lord was constantly in trouble in the “Temples”, but was very popular at the “Tables” of the common people. He had a “Table Ministry” more than Temple.

Jesus spoke of a different temple. He said destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up. He told Zacchaeus to come down out of the tree, cause I’m coming to your house today! He sat at many tables in homes, and other places. The table of Matthew a tax collector, and his friends. The religious system at that time only found fault. The two men on the Road to Emaus. He ended up at their table, and he left them with “bread on the table”.  Even Stephen was preaching against the temple when they stoned him. But in my pursuit of the “table”, I have found there are “two”.

There is the table we might meet with someone like at a coffee shop, and there is the table in that person’s home. Here is a tale of two tables. We must not forsake assembling together, on this point scripture is plain. So as I went out looking for a new flock of birds, I found my wife and a friend named Jason willing to join me. We became a fellowship of 3. We fellowship very regularly and began reaching out to others. Now here is a strange thing. I’ve lived my whole life without being connected to any news events. So how is it, this little group of “3 nobodies”, ends up being led of God to 2 news events in our city? Never happened to me before! Suddenly, not one, but even 2? I am still stunned at this.

For privacy, I am not going to name names, but one news event involved a one year old girl who died when a car drove by a house at night and shot some 40 bullets into the place. I heard the news report and thought “how awful”. Later I got a call from someone informing me I knew the person who lived there, and she was Grandma to the little girl! I had worked with this lady! Talked to her many times, but only a little about God. She said she was a Christian and attended a Church.

Almost in the same week, I get another call. This one from my brother-in-law. Due to a hobby connection, he met a man about to have a complete heart transplant. Of course, this guy was in the hospital and had become a news topic. My brother-in-law began visiting the man on a regular basis. They became friends. The man eventually asked about how do you know if your saved? This guy knew he was not. He had been one bad dude. But he now said he wanted to be, and my brother-in-law led him to the Lord! And then he called me! This guy had just had a new heart transplant “spiritually”, and little did they know, a sudden unexpected tragedy for someone else, and he got a new heart “physically”! Wow! That kind of blows my mind! But why had God chosen my little group of 3 to connect to both these events? These are rare happenings.

I was at the hospital, (we’ll call him the “heart guy”), I was at the hospital when the heart guy succeeded in doing his 6 minute walk he had to do in order to be released. This was a big event for him, and my brother-in-law and I were the only two there.

As time has proceeded, I felt led to reach out to the Grandma of the little girl with a flower box I made myself. I talked to her on phone and we set a date to meet at a coffee shop, set at a “table” and talk.

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But when the day came to meet, she would not answer her phone, and we have yet to meet. We have not come together at a table, even though she needs to. I know she is hurting. There is healing in sharing. This flower box is full of healing, even though it may hurt a little now. It also has a message of “Slow Down, and Hear God.” Is she running from that message, or just the pain of her loss? I do not know. But if God is asking me to help her, then I know we must reach a table. Hopefully, not just a cafe table, but the table in her “home”.

I’m not interested in shallow ministry anymore. There are plenty of Churches that can do that. Our Lord was not about the shallow either. Our fellowship makes an offer, an invitation. The door either opens or not. We pray, we continue offering, but we don’t force, and we don’t respond to the shallow. The box might end up going to someone else, even though it had a different original destination. In the meantime, the flowers have been beautiful.

Now as to the heart guy, he is at home, and we are having regular Bible Study and prayer in his home. I know him better in just a couple of meetings, than I know 99.9% of the people in the Church I left. Including the Pastor. Funny thing on that. I actually helped build a very nice deck and flower patio on that Pastor’s house. But I had never been inside his home. Not long after that, he sold the house with the nice deck he was built, and bought a nicer place. (Wow.) Funny how things happen.

At any rate, Jesus has a “Table Ministry”. There are two tables, and the one in our homes is where we really get to know people. So how many people at your Church do you really know? How many have you sat at their table in their home, and they have sat at yours? The original Church operated in just this very way. I thought I was close to some people at the Church, but now that I have been involved in “Table Ministry”, I realize why I was so easily let go. God is all about “Meaning” with a capitol “M”! God is about “meaningful relationships” and “meaningful purpose” in your life. The lost think life is meaningless, but we know it is not. The soul desires meaning and purpose, even passion! Jesus was and is that kind of God.

A whole new world is opening up to the heart guy. He showed me a picture of the old heart they took out of his body. I took a picture of the picture. Are you ready for this? In this picture, call it a weird coincidence if you choose, but it looks like the face of a demon! No joke!

20180509_173303 That red thing is his old heart, and you see some kind of a heart pump at the bottom of the heart. He showed me a picture of the new heart too, and it was wonderful. Such a difference as night and day. I believe if we could see the spiritual heart transplant, we might see a very similar revelation. Wow.

So this has been my new Church life of walking with Christ seeking true fellowship. The heart guy and I are beginning to really know each other. When he is healthy enough someday, he will visit my place too. My best friend at the old Church has not visited me at my home in a year now. I’ve stopped in on him at least 3 times, but things just aren’t the same. He’s the only one from the Church that we have shared home tables, mostly because we go way back to high school days. We raised our families together before the Church ever came along. Other than that, cafe tables was as close as I got with a few members of that Church, including the Pastor. There is a Tale of Two Tables.

I believe our Lord loved “Table Ministry”. The early Church was built on it and many of the early Church fathers resisted the change, but were eventually overruled. I don’t usually go this long on words, but this is all so important.

In our movie, a few of the heroes eventually switch over to Steve Rogers, who has changed his name to Nomad, a wanderer. Black Widow and Black Panther now fight with Nomad. Evidently they realized Cap had a point. They saw the evil in the “system” for what it was. Thor has been separated from all of it, but I’m pretty sure which side he would land on.

The question becomes what kind of “disciples” are we developing? Are we functioning as Jesus would function in the earth, the way he did function? Are we comfortable in the feathers we are wearing? Of course, if things get bad enough, we will all fight together for the sake of the common cause, the blood of Christ still joins us. We are a family split on what it means to have Church. We are split on how we think the children should be raised. We are split on what our heart hungers for in a spiritual family, and meaningful relationship.

d63f973cdbe3eaa4fc0fca0517dbd1be Wakanda has become a place of fellowship for Nomad, and White Wolf. Wakanda is very different from the rest of the world, and has a very different perspective.

We have not forgotten the subject of “The Seven Deadly Sins”, nor our foundation scriptures of Romans 13: 8-14. There is a White Path of peace for us to walk with Christ, but there is also a fight. The heart guy readily attests to the deadliness of the deadly sins, and he has a very strange picture, be it coincidence or what. It does make you think. This is Grandpa White Feather signing off, exploring this path, until the next time.

Next article: “7 Deadly Sins & War Path!”

In a world that is cursed there is always a fight in the garden.

Signed: Grandpa White Feather.

“I’ve Seen Enough”

20171202_173614  All I can say is, I fully understand why so many people are leaving what has become the church “System” in groves and flocking to small home groups. A lot of true Believers are leaving the modern church in order to save their faith.

They are tired of the repetitious Sunday services that have grown so old. Tired of Pastors who do not really know their flock. Tired of being told they must “tithe” when our N.T. Covenant does not teach that. Tired of falling through so many cracks in the system because it lacks personal relationship. Tired of a Gospel that preaches to be family but fails to deliver. Tired of services more about super talent and entertainment than real Christianity. Tired of complexity from a religion claiming simplicity. This to name but a few reasons.

Can God be found there? Yes he can, and for many this is the “gathering together” we practice in faith. Can we grow there? Yes we can, but is it the same growth the Apostles cultivated in the early church?

Notice I started all this by specifying “true Believers”, because all those looking for a place of high entertainment and low commitment are perfectly happy with such a place. I almost felt guilty when I left my last church, but I held my judgement because I suspected my answers were hidden in the days of the early church fathers. I would seek out that information before judging the spirit in my gut that kept driving me out.

So I downloaded 5,000 pages of church library and also began much research on the Internet, other books, any source I could find, even the study of all those early Rome “Popes” who were not really “Popes”, but the title was back-dated to them whether they wanted it or not, including the Apostle Peter! Personally, I think Peter already had a much better title.

Because of recently retiring, I have been able to do a tremendous amount of study in a short time. Its been three months of much digging and questioning. A week or so ago I knew I had finally seen enough, and my path was plain. Our Christian Passover meal was very much a success, and a meeting with a handful of people this last Sunday, in the food court of a mall, has also led to an outreach we are about to begin involving gardens. There seems to be no end to this path God is showing us. It is full of life and possibilities!

I take it very seriously where our N.T. instructs us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Therefore, I have made an effort to reach out in fellowship in various ways from the beginning, and it has been happening, and with good results I might add. Something living is slowly developing in a very organic way. I fully expect it to produce living cells that multiply into other living cells, rather than a bigger and bigger building. A building so large that people begin falling through cracks, or hiding in the crowd.

After my studies of the early church, a few scriptures have become particularly precious to me. Before my studies, every time I read these verses I somehow thought I was reading about some kind of an early church Commune, and I couldn’t see any way it could fit today’s reality. But now, somehow, those verses no longer seem to be complicated, but have melted into the simplest of structures, and clearest of instructions for what Church is supposed to be.

Maybe it was the King James Version that made it sound so complicated. I do not know why it did, actually. I read it now and am amazed at the simplicity. And it was not a Commune. It could not have been. The early church did not even have any large buildings for such a thing, and it says they were breaking bread in their homes. Whose homes? Theirs! And once you see this, you begin to realize what you really have is a very simple set of instructions almost in list form!

Of course I’m speaking of Acts 2: 42-47. And you can read it for yourself, but I’m going to put it down in “list form” so you see what I’m referring to. I’m partial to the NLT Version, but most any version basically shows the same thing. Here is the list in the order given. Perhaps even the “order” is a clue to the “priority” of each item?

1.) Devoted to the Apostle’s teachings. (Which for us, is our N.T. Bible, and any early writings that are in harmony with the Apostles. In other words, study your Bible, know what it says, and live accordingly!)

2.) Fellowship! (Number 2 on list! #2 on the list! And also #3 and #7!)

3.) Share meals, including the Lord’s Supper! (Sounds like more fellowship to me. And I do believe the Lord’s Supper was actually a meal! Sounds like a lot more time spent at tables rather than temples!)

4.) Prayer! (Item number 4! Does this sound too hard or complicated to you? If Jesus said his house would be known as a house of prayer, look at the items that have been listed before prayer! Bible and fellowship!)

5.) They shared everything they had. They sold property and possessions to help those in need. (Okay, I admit this is one of the areas that originally scared me away. But we got to look at the whole picture. They are still meeting in homes, and these homes must belong to people in the body of Believers. Also, in chapter 5, Ananias and Sapphira lie to the Apostles, saying they had sold everything and given everything, when in truth they had kept some back. Peter tells them they are not in trouble for keeping some back. It is theirs to do as they wish, but they dropped dead because they lied about it. The more I look at the Book of Acts, I don’t see a Commune, but a people looking out for each other like family, and isn’t that what Jesus told us to do? Have you considered if you belong to a large church, you have a certain responsibility towards all those you are fellowshipping with? Be careful who you fellowship with. Not so to avoid giving, but people not truly saved could take advantage. Be harmless as sheep, and wise as serpents! And where would be the need for a teaching on tithing where all things are common?)

6.) They worshiped together at the temple, before getting kicked out. (After the first few years, the Jews denied them use of their temples.)

7.) Met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals. (Notice this is basically instructed TWICE!!! Not only are these things mentioned before prayer, but listed twice! How important is that?)

8.) They did all this in great joy and generosity while praising God and enjoying goodwill of all the people.

9.) And each day >the Lord< added to their >fellowship< those who were being saved. (Jesus himself will add to a group living this way. Sure, I need to live in such a way to shine the love of God, but I can’t save anybody, therefore, I just need to learn to live God’s love and the rest will happen.) (But think closely as to what is God’s love?)

So…I look at this list and I wonder why I thought it was too difficult before, and did not apply to today? Why did I think it had to be some kind of a Commune? Or the selling of every item I owned and a sure path to poverty?

So with new eyes I now turn to the modern church and I ask, are we practicing the family relationship the Apostles instructed? Well… we have “something”. And something is better than nothing. But a lot of people are now realizing the human heart hungers for something more, and only true and meaningful relationships fill that void. Not only relationship to “Our Father” in heaven, but also my family in Christ. Jesus said two things fulfilled all the law. Love upward and love outward!

People like to ask, “What would Jesus do?” But in this case maybe we should be asking, “What DID Jesus do?” Does your church look like what Jesus did? Did he constantly ask for money, or seek a fancy house, or large paycheck? Were his people materialistic, or their affections set on heaven? It seemed to me the materialistic did not last long with our Lord. Ever notice that?

My personal choice has become continuing this path of fellowship I am on, and that might also include a more traditional church setting eventually, but only if they have managed to capture a certain family feel to what they call church, a certain Acts 2: 42-47 way of doing things.

So Acts 2:42-47, some scriptures that use to confuse me, has now become one of my favorite verses and words for guidance. In our next article we will share another set that has become so very important in my walk with Christ, with my new understanding.

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