Fellowship of the White Path 1/12/19!

20190112_090409 This is the winter view from my recliner as I enjoy a peaceful morning watching snow fall in Indianapolis Indiana. Our first real snowfall this year, and our Colts play a big game in Kansas this evening. So much good stuff to enjoy.

This is Grandpa White Feather here just to do a shout out and remind people that Jesus is about a “Table”, not a “Stone Temple”; and a “body”, not a building. The history of all my research concerning these things is deep within the archives of this site, but now we do Journal Writings. It’s been a month since my last one, so here we go: (Oh! And welcome to the New Year!)

Journal 1/12/19 > I find myself thinking about the “ability”, “skill”, “talent”, “gift”, “willingness”, “attitude”, “mind set”, to ADAPT.

“Adapt-ability”. Some people excel at it, but many do not. And as far as Christians go… they “should be” among those who excel, but are they? Has the “modern Christian” lost this ability? And does God plan to test it? Hhmmm.

I have found adaptability also includes a person’s skill at thinking “outside the box”. We get stuck in “normal”, the accepted, and then something comes along that upsets our apple cart and we feel as if everybody is looking! Now we got to somehow get our life back into the “accepted” as quickly as possible! But maybe God is wanting us to break the mold, escape the box, birth something new, different, and creative into the earth? And this is our opportunity, not our bad luck or disadvantage.

Adaptability…the ability to cope with change, or respond well to change. Life can change very suddenly. The ability to adapt is a survivor skill. If you don’t want to be a survivor, if you just want to roll over and die, then discard adaptability. You don’t need it. But if you want to be a survivor and thriver. If you want to be “happy”. I’m just saying.

And why should Christians excel in this? Because we walk in “spirit”, not flesh, right? Like water, spirit is very adaptable because we are not hung up on physical things, right? We use physical things, but they don’t use us. We possess physical things, but they don’t possess us. Material possessions are our slaves, not vice-versa. Right? Be not entangled.

A lot of people panic and lose who they are in the change. We see the change as a crises, and maybe it is, or maybe it’s not, but we panic instead of staying in faith. The change we hate the most are those we see as threatening who we want to be. Anything threatening our dreams, vision, desires, can send us into fear, stress, panic, depression, and some even suicide. We’re too entangled into something we think we cannot live without, and we do not even know where this new path might be taking us? Perhaps we only need to wake up from our dream and be able to see the new possibilities.

We don’t have to lose who we are, if we’re truly adaptable, because that is part of who we are, a visionary, able to see outside the box of what everyone says is the normal, the accepted. God is supernatural, not something called normal. He is creative. If the old box isn’t working anymore? Create a new box!

Many people today are discovering materialism does not lead to happiness. Some discover this in time to adapt, make changes, and live a whole new way that does lead to happiness. Others are so in dept by the time they realize, so entangled, they see no way out. They fail to think outside the box. They only know they are not happy, and instead of finding a new path, they lead lives of quiet desperation pretending to be happy, so they fool others, or maybe they even give up the pretense, but they are lost. They have lost themself and don’t know what else to do. Their stuck. Living in a gold bird cage and no longer free to fly. They want to soar, but materialism has caged them in fool’s gold.

Our world today is in love with the idea of magic and sorcery. People know there is something mystical, it is real, and it works, if they can only figure it out and tap into it. Moses faced the magicians of Pharaoh, and Noah faced fallen angels and giants. Jesus said it would be as in the days of Noah. You see…you don’t have to be a Christian to tap into “faith”, or the “supernatural”.

The Bible says the measure of faith has been given to EVERY person. Faith is the substance God created the universe from. In other words, it is the material our universe, all things physical is made from. What if ungodly people get better at using faith than the godly people are? Faith is free for all. It is how we tap into salvation if we so choose. It is the material of all creation. Any person powerful in faith can affect that material, cause changes, both good and bad.

Faith is increased in a few ways. One is by studying ancient texts, both good and bad. The Christian loves their Bible, but the world hates it. Another is surrender to the “will of God”, and this is our biggest advantage if we are faithful to it. But another is the sheer unity of numbers. Even as the ungodly were building a tower of Babel, and God had to divide them, or nothing would be impossible to them, because they were of one language and in unity.

The Church is very divided as to the will of God. You study Jesus judging those seven churches in Revelation and you might understand why I have left our modern American church. So I am a division myself. But the world? They seek to be a “one world” again, a global community. And as good as that sounds? It also offers a unity the world has not known since the days of Noah.

For the Christian, our lack of surrender to what Jesus actually DID causes our faith to be focused in many wrong directions. Pharaoh resisted Moses by forcing the Children of Israel to keep making bricks, but he took away their straw, forcing them to scatter, and work harder, longer, seeking for the straw, so they could still make just as many bricks for Pharaoh, or be in fear of what might happen. Do we see anything like that today? Does a bear live in the woods? But there was a TABLE coming, a Passover Meal, and we would be wise to get our eyes back on what really matters, such as family, and a table, His Table. He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. He prepares a table.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

So ends the journal thoughts of Grandpa White Feather this day, as the snow gently falls and everything is covered in white. My big black dog loves running in the white snow. I’m rooting for the Colts today, but we shall see. Win or lose, the really important stuff still goes on. Nothing changes for me, because I walk in what is not seen, rather than the seen. The invisible is eternal. It does not cease, therefore, neither do I, and neither do I lose who I am in Christ. Amen. This is supernatural.

 

Grandpa White Feather / 12-13-18

20181102_114913 I can’t believe its been 2 months since my last entry already, and during that time many good things and much progress has been made. The purpose of this blog site is now two-fold. 1.) It is historical information concerning church history and how we left a “Table relationship” which Christ established, and returned to more of a “Temple relationship”, a relationship I decided I would do my best to leave, and thus was created “Fellowship of the White Path”, a church different. This site is a record of my personal journey to this discovery if you are industrious enough to study it for yourself. The articles are already written, plenty of them, and I do not need to write more. One must simply be willing to dig deeper into this site. But the journey with the Teepee continues, and I will occasionally give updates.

2.) Since the history is already written, and those who want to really know the truth about “Temple or Table” will be willing to search, I have recently been inspired to simply share short excerpts from my journals. I constantly journal. These will simply be spiritual and philosophical type thoughts that I feel worth sharing.

So…perhaps it is “3” fold. 1.) Historical records and personal journey already written. 2.) Quick updates as to the progress of Teepee and spiritual retreat. 3.) Thoughts from the journals of Grandpa White Feather.

And since “thoughts from my journals is the new thing, I will start with that, written just today, and I will leave you with some pictures and a few quick update comments. Assuming anyone is interested in these things I do, we will continue to do this, probably on a very irregular basis, as the Spirit inspires. Here’s my journal for today:

What is the least amount we can be the most happy with? (This question, this thought occurred to me today, worded in just this way.) That amount is worth fighting for. But there is the “Law of Diminishing Return”, and most people fail to heed the wisdom of that Law.

What is the least amount that makes me the most happy? Where is my level of contentment? Am I ever simply content? 

With God, less becomes more. Poverty becomes rich. Jesus told a rich church they were actually poor, and ready to be spewed out of his mouth. He also told a poor church they were actually rich.

God’s Word says godliness with contentment is great gain.

Journal Ends

I spent 2 weeks actually living in the Teepee as very bad November weather rushed in. We even had fifty mile an hour winds one day! But we now have a working wood stove. The bedroom chamber has made progress with floor laid and a swinging hatch door on inside wall to enter it, but I did fail to get it ready soon enough. It’s still not able to be used. And without a nice warm sleeping place, two weeks in the Teepee was enough for now.

I came home to the city house and cut it in half! It’s not a big house to begin with, but with a little innovation, I saw I could save on our utility bills by creating a Murphy bed in our living room. This was an interesting challenge. It’s been very successful. And now I can slowly turn the back half of house into a studio apartment. Completion of this project is way down the road, but for now, just saving on utilities is a big blessing, and I’m actually really enjoying the new set-up.

I end with pictures of teepee and house;  and yes, the pictures will fall off the shelves if I don’t remove them before lowering bed, but it only takes like one minute, and since I’m retired now, it’s certainly not a problem.

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New Garden – 5/5/18

Today is a Saturday and the plan for Grandpa White Feather is to start a new garden here> (That’s my 82 year old mom in the picture. The garden is for her.)

 

We start with a deck. Turtle Gardens Forever! (TGF) Slow down and hear God.

If we succeed more pictures will follow. Garden going very well here at our house. It is already popping with new beauty and life even though there is so much yet to go. It’s amazing how much beauty even just a little garden can offer.

 

Don’t forget to check out our previous articles of “Infinity War” if you like a trip down a spiritual rabbit hole! In the meantime our Tipi Retreat, which is where today’s garden starts, is still developing.

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Walking the White Path

cropped-cropped-20171021_162320.jpg The Seven Deadly Sins? 

It’s not easy walking a white path in an extremely muddy world. A world growing muddier all the time, with a new generation growing up filled with all the violence and horror of video games and etc. What is this fascination we now have with Zombies? The “Walking Dead”? Could there be any truer picture of our coming times and the spiritual condition of man? Infinity Wars have begun!

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Jesus washed the feet of the disciples at the last supper. Peter tried to deny allowing the Lord to wash his feet. Feeling unworthy I suppose. And then he wanted to be washed all over, not just his feet, but Jesus said it was just the feet needing washed. (John 13:6-10) Is it possible to walk a white path in this muddy world of carnal pleasures?

In another place Jesus said in the “last days” it would be as the days of Noah. (Matt. 24:37) And we find in the book of Genesis a description of those days which reads as:

“The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was constantly and totally evil?” (Genesis 6:5) Are we there yet?

I don’t know about you, but the Apostle Paul told Timothy that “in the last days perilous times would come”, and I’m not so sure Paul was referring so much to physical peril as spiritual! The Seven Deadly Sins are not called “deadly” for no reason!

If Satan’s demons have sunk their poisonous fangs into us, then we have a real battle on our hands. And I’m not preaching this from an ivory tower. I’ve had my own demons to fight, and it’s part of the reason I chose the name “Fellowship of the White Path”, because that is what God is calling us to, and I want to be there! Praise God I found his Word to be true and there is a white path to be walked.

Jesus says: “Walk with me.”

God says: “Learn my ways.”

Holy Spirit says: “I will teach and empower you!”

I watched a documentary on Elvis Presley last night, and if ever there was a man blessed of God with so much talent, and yet constantly presented with so much pleasures of the flesh, like so many of the superstars; but Elvis knew too much to ignore the spiritual battle within him. As the documentary ended, and I saw his condition in his very last concert right here in Indianapolis, and then he was buried with his mom, dad, and brother, as if alone, without family, without wife and children. I felt a tremendous sadness, and the very real peril of the deadly sins. These pleasures had so destroyed the life of such a gifted man at such an early age.

Elvis continues to be admired by millions of fans today, but if he could speak to us now, I wonder what he would say, and what he would sing? He has the title “King of Rock and Roll”, but once again, the king has no clothes. This is the world we live in. In this world God’s love and truth comes shining through, but will we choose it? And how do we live in a world whose imagination is more and more constantly evil, and not end up in mud from head to toe, not just on our feet?

For each of us we must find that white path. Am I talking going to a holiness church? Hhmmm, I’ve had many experiences with churches, as you know, and my experience in that denomination  at least 25 years ago, did not go well either. But what I have found is the holiness God speaks of is a result of LOVE. Not “love”, but real “LOVE”. Not a building full of rules and judging.

When we truly LOVE God and LOVE people, then the power of the Holy Spirit in us causes us to not want to be a stumbling block to any person, or hurt them in any way. In this, through this kind of LOVE, we fulfill all God’s laws, even though law is not the motivation driving us, but a life of LOVING God drives us.

I want to speak more of the Seven Deadly Sins in the next article. We could even call them the Seven Forbidden Pleasures. They each have their own attraction of pleasure to us, and they are very addicting to our flesh, this body of death. Once bitten, the battle is on!

However, in this article I want to emphasis the “LOVE debt” we have entered into. Jesus delivered us out of a “SIN debt” and into a “LOVE debt”. LOVE held him to that cross for US. He walked the Red Path so that by the power of his Holy Spirit we could walk the White. He paid the price for our sins, and when we accept that, we are transferred from a “SIN debt” into a “LOVE debt”. We now owe more LOVE than we can ever repay, but praise God, it is a real JOY in the trying.

“Owe nothing to anyone — except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.” (Rom. 13:8)

I highly recommend reading all six verses from verse 8 to 14. “Six Living Verses” of God’s Word to combat the “Seven Deadly Sins”.

Greed…Gluttony…Envy…Slothfulness…Wrath…Pride…Lust.

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As a quick update, our garden is going very well. Progress being made on a daily basis. Ground is being broken up. Dead trees and limbs cut with a chainsaw. More pictures coming soon, but let us not forget the spiritual garden within, and a Table God waits for us to attend. In Jesus name,be blessed. Slow down, and hear God. Turtle Gardens Forever.

2081

“Death of the Old Man”

20170430_132246 It has been my hope that I’m not taking this journey alone. It has been my hope that when others would see strong evidence, provided by the early church fathers, and confirmed in our Bible, that there would be those stirred from our modern comforts of mediocrity to join in this journey. Jesus walked the Red Path so we could walk the White! Do we feel that? Do we identify and embrace it for ourself? Do we show our love for Him in the same way He showed it for us, by our cross? Are we Americans “blue light special christians”? (small “c” intentional.) Is that good enough for us? Is that what we want to be as we embrace the pleasures of this world?

Why is it so important that Polycarp stood up against the change Rome wanted to bring to the “Christian Passover Supper”? Why is all of this so important? Do we not care that we’ve been sold a weak and sickly cow, instead of a strong and healthy bull? We’ve been told, “Buy into this! This will make you strong in the Lord!” But like Jesus said to the church of Laodicea: “…and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

I did not know I would discover a “Master Key”. God in his wisdom provided a Master Key, and he made it the Lord’s Supper! (How incredibly like God!) Once I saw the change of emphasis that for some reason Polycarp seemed to be so intense and distraught about, everything else began to unfold. I had explored some false rabbit trails that wasted my time, twisted my mind, left me near ready to give up; but when I began trying to understand what Polycarp was so upset about, the MAZE started opening!

The Cross! “By faith Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt…” (!)

And God chose “THIS MAN” (Moses!), to be the one through which the Passover Meal would come about! The choice Moses made, before he was then chosen, is symbolic of everything we are talking about. This is the choice we made at the altar that day we got saved! A choice to leave this world for the greater values of the Kingdom of God! But are we indeed doing this, or have we like so many others… slid with the slight-of-hand?

Let me show you this same shift in another way. It is amazing how many ways this “slight of the devil’s hand” has permeated everything. As in our short-form Lord’s Supper, which as we celebrate the Lord’s Meal, the Passover, has become a Resurrection service on Sunday, we call Easter. In most churches even Peter Rabbit comes to church on that particular Sunday, but that is not the item I’m talking about. Keep your eyes on “the shift”, the slight of hand. (Peter rabbit is just  by-product of the magician’s show.)

Did you REALLY understand the supernatural event your Baptism symbolized and testified to the world on that day? Assuming you were even told how important it was for you to get Baptized, and assuming you knew that meant complete immersion in water. I’m sure many of today’s Pastors would argue with me on this, because of the way we have been raised to think, the slight-of-hand; but the emphasis of that Baptism is the DEATH OF THE OLD MAN! Once again, the emphasis is meant to be DEATH! And why is that so important?

You may have been sold the sickly cow of “once saved, always saved”, but that simply is not true. If we thought we were being baptized into an easy ride to heaven, that simply is not true! If we don’t make the same choice Moses made, that resurrection is not yet ours! And this is all vividly shown in the Christian Passover Meal. What we have right now is that cross! The resurrection is future! He that endures to the end shall have it. And yes, nothing will separate us from God’s love. He will always love us even if we prove to be the sinner he has to judge on judgement day. He loves every person alive on this earth, and proved it on that cross when he died for the sins of “the world”! But we show our love for him through a death also, a death to our old man, and a life of sin, a life spent on SELF.

The DEATH is the important thing, because if the DEATH happens, the walking in the NEWNESS of LIFE will be automatic! (By that I don’t mean “easy”, just that it is sure to happen. A good tree will bear good fruit. Agape love.God’s love.) But God knows who we are, and our continual need to embrace a cross, and this only happens through the power of the Holy Spirit. Satan knows he’s got to divert our eyes from the cross, if he is going to pull off his evil magic show. The master of illusion, sucking us in.

ROMANS 6:3 > “Know ye not, that so many of us that were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

I was baptized at age of twelve, and even at that age, I wish I had been required to sit down with the Pastor and been taught “in detail” what that Baptism was supposed to mean to me, other than an escape hatch from hell. The scriptures go on to say we were baptized into his DEATH, “so that” we could be raised into a “walk” (present tense), that the world would say…Wow! Look at the change! Can you believe Moses has actually left us? He left all the pleasures we Egyptians gave him? He’d rather suffer with those stupid Israelites, who claim to be the people of God? Look at them! How stupid! Obviously our Gods are much more powerful than whoever their God is. Who would want to live like that? He deserves whatever he gets! After we were so good to him!

However…as they say…it is not he who starts a race well…but he who finishes well. I got to say…Egyptians are not known for finishing well in the Bible. And I guess they convieniently would not consider how evil they were being to God’s people, as they were being good to Moses. I’m so glad Moses had a heart to see the truth, and not serve self, even when his personal cost was so high! He lost everything but his life, and barely kept that.

I need to add one more thing before we close. As the Israelites were rushed out of Egypt that Passover night, God was not finished painting US his picture. That painting even goes into the Promised Land and unto David. But the first thing we see is the Israelites trapped against the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in hot pursuit! As I hope you know, the Red Sea became a picture of Baptism immediately following salvation. (As immediate as possible.) But it is a Baptism of DEATH!

Pharaoh and his armies die there, but also the Israelites are not delivered into the Promised Land on the other side, but into the WILDERNESS, where they will receive the LAW! And remember this, because they failed to “die to self” and trust God, the “OLDER GENERATION”, or “THE OLD MAN”, all died in the wilderness! (Except for the 2 who successfully died to self.) The wilderness is a picture of the old man dying! And then there is another “CROSS”-ing, (a 2nd CROSS), a picture of complete surrender, maturity, fullness of Holy Spirit, into the Promised Land. Wow! What a painting! But what has Satan done in his slight-of-hand?

Today…many people think you can skip the wilderness, not die to self, and jump right into the Promised Land, which they picture as a place where they live in milk and honey. (Have you ever studied their life in the Promised Land??? Maybe we need to study in detail, God’s version of milk and honey?)

In Satan’s painting, a perverted image of the real, the wilderness is belittled and lost in all the talk of the Promised Land. Because Satan knows, if he can keep our eyes looking back to Egypt, we will be judged in that wilderness, and never make that second “CROSS”ing. Can it be any more plain?

I really wish more people would comment on how they feel about our modern version of Church. I’m looking more and more at Home Church, Micro-Church. This is a movement that doesn’t seem to be going away, and is growing stronger day by day. I will likely write about what I learn eventually, but my journey still has a lot of “checking” to do. I recently read a whole book on the “Church of Christ”. It did cause me to get a little stronger in defending my faith. But in the end, I still did not see what I’m looking for. (Not that they don’t have something to offer, as today’s churches go, but it still don’t fit what I believe is out there…somewhere!)

I know I’m not the only one having these thoughts about our modern church. But how many of us are actually making an effort to “change”? Learn, seek, and find. I do not know. If the amount of comments I receive on this site is any indication, then I would guess not many. Most are content in our modern mediocrity, or see no real problem. The sickly cow must be blind also. How convienient for the devil. If this article seems hard to you, compare it to our Lord’s words to Laodicea. You’ll find I’m a kitty-cat compared to HIM. Selah.

My journey continues. I think I got a long ways to go, but I’m not giving up, and I’m very excited about the progress I’ve made so far! I’ve seen so much I never saw before. We are doing a Christian Passover Meal at our house this 30th of March, starting at sundown and running to midnight. So far I’m having trouble finding anyone to do it with us. Some of my friends no longer trust me because I left “their” church, and since I have not found another yet. And then other people I know, don’t like the idea of being up so late with their children, and for something they don’t see the importance of anyway. I’m not discouraged because this is my first year doing this, a year for learning, and once I do find a church, it will be with a people who do see the value of such a thing, or I won’t be going there. Next year will likely be different.

I have done much research, study, and writing of all these things in previous articles. So if you have questions about how I got to the place I currently am, I have detailed pretty much every step of the journey. It’s all here if you have a desire to know. Our Lord willing…more to come soon…including our experience in the Lord’s Passover Supper. The Jews believe that night is the most powerful night of all year to be set free from something. Well…I know the name of Jesus is always FULLY powerful…but if something in that night increases my own faith, humility, and obedience? Well, who’s to say?

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“Fellowship of the White Path” / Grandpa White Feather.

Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness before his baptism in the River Jordan, the same 2nd River Israel had to cross. The Jews spent 40 years! Hhmmmm? (And then a dove decended, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. Wow! What a picture!)

 

Church History & The MAZE

1694 I have been on such a journey. If you don’t understand the title of “Church History & The MAZE”, please read previous article. If you read several previous articles you will find a growing vision of “The Cross”, as I have read these early church fathers, of which I just downloaded today another 2,000 pages! This last week, Billy Graham himself, gave us another reminder of the Cross. And oddly enough, even a movie “Maze Runner 3” left us hanging as to what would “you” do if your blood could save the world? Do you give yourself to it so others can live, but your life becomes a continual sacrifice?

A lot of odd things going on for those who have eyes to see. I asked my wife the other day, (after reading some “David Platt”); I asked her, “Why is it if a Muslim decides to receive Christ as his Lord, he has to pay such a high price, whereas, we have had to pay so little, such a low price?” And then I asked, “Have we REALLY been asked to pay a low price, or have we been asked the same price, but just have not paid it?”

Now I know what you are saying, “Salvation is free, you idiot! Don’t you know that!” Ahem…well yes I do. BUT…maybe I should have said “to live out the salvation we have freely received.” (Better?)

After all, if we do not live it out…does it do us any good to have it? Are we not one of the bad grounds in which the seed never lived? And as I have read these early church fathers, and stories of Christians in countries where they cut out your tongue for speaking the name of Jesus, I realize what a low price I have paid. Did I just happen to hit a “SALE”, a Blue Light special on Jesus? Did I find him at the Goodwill store. (Well, in a way you could say that, it was a place of good will and good news.)

But…our conversation continued:  “I personally pay nothing for salvation and yet it is supposed to cost me everything, per Romans 12:1-2 and many many many other scriptures. The early church fathers knew this…and Polycarp knew this when he took a stand about how the Bishop of Rome was wanting to change Easter, or Passover. We have not gotten into this yet, but we will…and it is very very very rich!

What salvation actually cost me is “my surrender”. How much have I surrendered? How much is a Blue Light special surrender worth? They say you get what you pay for. Scripture says he who gives little will receive little, and he who gives much will receive much. My Blue Light special Jesus?

Our surrender is a call to crucify the monster we were born and embrace real love. This can only happen by the power of God as we care enough to SEEK HIM and show we really want it, followed by OBEDIENCE. Our surrender looks strangely enough like a cross.

You see, the CROSS is not only a picture of God’s love for us, but also a picture of our love for him. How’s your picture looking these days?

In my searching I have been almost blinded by the light of a revelation of Jesus shifting everything from cold hard Temples, to a relationship developed at warm and loving Tables. From there, the “Dove”, the “Cross”, and “Love” have become a template by which I can measure every action I still choose to commit and every path I choose to walk.

I have reached a point where I am convinced the Lord’s Supper is the “KEY” to everything. I am convinced that Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, probably even the Bishop in charge when Jesus gave them a report card in Revelation, he probably knew it was the Key too, and also the Apostle John, whom he learned under. But evidently some Bishops of Rome did not agree on this, and in this I see a fork in the road revealing all. I have been amazed at the mystery of history unfolding in the evidence I have examined.

So…let me start here. The first “Christian Mystic” we looked at was Origen, and we did an article on him that is dated as Feb. 15, 2018, if you want to examine it. He will be spoken of more as time goes by, as well as other Christian Mystics. But for today it is time we introduce what are considered some of the early church father “SUPERSTARS”. At this point I would group them as Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Polycarp of Smyrna. All three these guys became Bishops appointed by Apostles. (Some say Bishop Linus was the first Bishop of Rome, who was oddly enough connected to Paul, more than Peter. The order of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bishops of Rome are a little foggy, but no serious problem.)

I call these guys “Superstars” because their testimonies are above reproach, which makes them very valuable as far as whether to trust their leadership on “issues” that arise. These men not only were discipled directly by Apostles, but proved themselves so faithful, and able to fulfill the role of Bishop, that Apostles appointed them as Bishops over churches. They went on to fulfill those roles even unto a martyrs death! You can examine these three as much as you want, but they were all highly regarded even by those who would follow them, of whom more of their writings have survived.

I’ve read and examined Polycarp’s letter to the Philippians and find it awe inspiring, scripture confirming in every way, enlightening in unexpected ways, and just what I would expect from a disciple of the Apostle John. One of his biggest and dearest points was maintaining UNITY in the church!

So…when I show you that Polycarp got into a big contention with the Bishops of Rome, concerning the Passover, believe me this is no small thing! It is weird the way I actually begin to see something that seems a little different, a little odd, starting with the 6th Bishop of Rome! (6, as in the number of man/flesh/sin/etc.) Very odd, I know. But anyway, be that as it may…Polycarp would not have taken this stand unless he felt very strong about this.

He lived to be very old before being martyred. A lot of these early guys did not. Perhaps God kept him around for this very reason. Perhaps he got something from the Apostle John. Whatever the case, if you examine him, you will find nothing but a very humble Superstar for God and the church. He ran his race and served faithfully through all kinds of circumstances most of us will never see. (I hope.)

The Table is now set for us to get into the meat of this in the next article. I hope you realize how important these early church decisions are. After all, compare it to trying to send a rocket to the moon. You may be off by only a teeny tiny bit from the earth on your trajectory course, but by the time you get to the moon, you’re going to be LOST IN SPACE! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

So in the meantime, ponder the Cross, our cross, our price. Pray for our fellow believers in hostile countries. Remember the Dove, the Cross, and Love. Think about how the Lord’s Supper and the Passover relates to all this. Don’t forget Billy Graham’s funeral this last week and his reminder of the Cross. And I might add, I had no vision of all this when I painted the Cross big, bold, and bright upon my Teepee. (More coming soon.)

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“Christian Mystic & Church History” P-5

20171021_171413 And so the plot thickens and the mystery continues. As I have been self-educating on this subject of Church History, a couple of questions have caught my curiosity, and this also pertains to Christian Mystics. As I have said, as I studied the Mystics I saw a need for knowledge of the history. It all ties together.

Question #1.) Why have none of my Protestant churches educated me on early church history, especially those first 200 years when transition from the Apostles, who actually walked with Christ, was changing to those who had only walked with the Apostles, and then to those who had not even had that privilege. In my humble opinion, this would be an extremely important time period of the evolution of the church. After all, if these early church fathers changed things from what Christ had started, then why? And would Christ have been in agreement with such a change? And how does the church of that first 200 years compare to what I experience today? (Hhmmm.)

And if this is as important as I think it is, then why haven’t I been taught of it? Are they trying to hide something? I’m not saying our preachers never mention the early church and give an impression of teaching the subject, but in my experience, very little details have ever been given. Is it a subject only for Bible College? I think not. It’s too important! It’s foundational! It reveals if we have been faithful to the early church fathers, OR NOT.

Question #2.) The main church history book I was using, was written by a Catholic Priest, but it was supposed to cover from Pentecost to the year 2000. Well, it sort of did, and it sort of did not. As I searched other sources I began to notice 3 names not mentioned in my book. Upon further examination, I discover these 3 Bishops were of “major” importance during those first 200 years! Why would such important Bishops fail to be mentioned by this Catholic Priest? Was not the church one church at that time? Would they not be a part of the history leading to the Roman Catholic Church? How do you miss speaking of : Bishop Clement of Rome, Bishop Ignatius of Antioch, and Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna? Three major players! Again, is someone trying to hide something? A personal agenda? A personal bias?

Well, I don’t know yet, but I have bought more books and am studying like crazy. One book is aprox 1,350 pages long! Thank God for Amazon! But we need to look at our first Mystic! Believe me, more will be said on these other guys when I have a little better handle on this. Little by little it is coming. I’m like a spiritual hound dog on a hot trail! I’m a Retriever trying to “bring back” (fetch) something hidden in time, but not lost!

Our first Mystic I have chosen is a man known as, “Origen”. He lived aprox A.D. 185-254, and he is an amazing story. But I want to give you a juicy part first, so you will want to know him. In Origen, I see the heart of a Christian Mystic. We ask our self, “Just what makes a Christian Mystic?” I’m looking for the “simple” answer to that, and I think, without knowing it, Origen may have expressed it when he was explaining the 3 different levels of meaning to scripture.

Origen was the first Christian translator of the Old Testament Book: “Song of Song” (Solomon). He used it to explain these three different levels of meaning to any given scripture. He explained, on the first level the Song of Songs is simply a wedding poem showing the intimate love between a rustic bride and a royal bridegroom. On the second level it represents Christ’s love for his church. On the third, mystical, level it expresses the deep yearning of the soul to be made one with the divine Word. (WOW!)

My simple understanding of a C.M. is someone who is totally in love with Christ, the church, and his Word! Origen’s example of level 3 is such an expression of such a person. The Mystic is a Mary, not a Martha. But most Mystics also believed their private contemplations in solitude should also lead to godly actions in public. Most Mystics were not hermits hiding in a cave somewhere. They may have had their cave moments, and trips into the desert, but those deep places with God were meant to also bear fruit in the physical world of hurting mankind.

Mystics have a deep love for all things Spirit, and as such they often lived ascetic lives which simply means “self-denial for spiritual reasons”. Fasting would be an example of such. Putting a brother before yourself. Keeping things simple, to be non-materialistic. (Of course, there are different levels of such things.) One might think of our Lord’s words when he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24 NLT)

Asceticism is sometimes referred to as spiritual training, or to be a spiritual athlete. Christian Mystics pursued such paths, but again, the training was supposed to also bear fruit that would bring glory to God, hence, not just a hermit sitting in a cave. I believe the goal was to be more like Christ.

How far down this road a person must go to be considered a Christian Mystic would be hard to define. I’m sure in most of our lives it is a growing process. Most of us do not leave everything behind, become a monk and run for that mark, but if we are a C.M. in our heart, we can still get there, even with all the responsibilities of family and work. We can still fall so in love with our Lord, that everything we do, even washing the dishes becomes an act of worship to God. There is so much to say here, but I must control myself, so here are some quick facts on Origen, and if you want to know more, it can be found.

He was born to Christian parents in Alexandria, Egypt. His father was beheaded during the persecution under Roman Emperor Lucius Severus (193-211), when Origen was about twelve. The beginnings of Christian Mysticism began second century, in North Africa, of which Alexandria was a city of, and part of the thriving culture of Rome. An important Catechetical  school was developed there, and Origen became a student of Clement of Alexandria. It should be noted this teacher was also influenced by Greek philosophy; Platonist in orientation. What effect that had on scripture, I’m not sure, but Origen eventually became the head of the school.

Origen became a great teacher, wrote a lot of stuff, and was sometimes described as a “Master Mystic”. He learned Hebrew and became a translator of Hebrew scripture, such as Song of Songs. He also traveled about preaching and teaching. He had a great influence on church doctrine in his day. About 250 A.D., he was imprisoned and tortured. He survived and was released in 251, but was so weakened physically that he died shortly thereafter, in 254. There is much more to his story and material he wrote to be read if you so desire to research.

I don’t know how many Christian Mystics we will look at, or which ones, but Origen has been our first, and don’t forget his teaching concerning that third level: The deep yearning of the soul to be made one with the divine Word. May we all aspire to such things.

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Until the next time…