New Testament Church Theory

 What Are Dead Works?

Heb 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

 Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The law as in the OT is our trying to please God by our own efforts.  Grace and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is God doing everything in us as we cooperate with the Spirit.

Dead works entail false compassion, soulish burdens, guilt and condemnation, good ideas and good programs if done outside the voice of the Spirit. The devil will give us the very good so that the church misses the excellent.

 2Co 3:7  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of  Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away ((useless and idle)

A glory is energized within dead works, but it is a glory that is reduced as useless, idle, and inoperative.

 All activities being done outside of the voice of God in our spirits will manifest the blessings and the glory of God temporarily! This is the problem with many churches.

 The ministry of death must be done away. Many of these works are accomplished out of our logic and intellect, fleshly compassion, earthly or soulish desires of what appears to be right, noble, and charitable, instead upon strict reliance to the voice of God. 

To walk in the Spirit entails complete adherence and reliance upon the still, small voice.

8  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

Much more abounds the office or ministration of the Spirit in glory?

9  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

10  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

For all things done outside of the Spirit of God (dead works) that have been glorified by the church indeed are not glorified in the eyes of God because much greater is the glory through the ministry of the Spirit.

11  For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

For if the thing being done away was done (dead works) through the intermediate agency of glory, the things of the Spirit abide permanently in the sphere of glory.

The Function of the Blessed Church (Or Why Has the Church Been Blessed?)

 Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed  (or funneled into) us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

 Eph 1:19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to ( funneled into) us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

 Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

All of these spiritual blessings in verse 3 have been given to bring the glory of the Lord in the local assemblies

The church is viewed as a receptacle into which all the blessings of God, the presence of God, and God’s inheritance, is funneled into, and manifested by.

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, ( according to the riches of his grace;

The riches of God are the unreachable and unsearchable dispositions and arrangements of God.

His riches then are known instrumentally by the church, and are located within the church itself, since the church is the funneling ground for all that God is, has and wants to do. The church through its spiritual gifts energizes out with visibility what God has invisibly put into it.

All of these riches are brought forth by the hope of each saint’s or local assembly’s hope of their calling.

Eph 1:23  Which is his body, the fulness <4138> of him that filleth all in all.

Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness <4138> of God.

Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness <4138> of Christ:

Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness <4138> dwell;

Col 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness <4138> of the Godhead bodily.

God from His fullness fills all believers’ with all blessings, which belong to their being and welfare.  If Christ filled the universe, so the church is filled with all. This is because the church is the funneling ground for God’s fullness, and the one who energizes to a lost and dying world God’s fullness in a visible fashion.

The body of Christ will be filled with Christ’s fullness as, and when, it grows up into the fullness of Christ.  The more is the maturity and obedience of every believer, and the more that each believer fulfills his or her calling, the more will be the fullness or the very essence of the Lord in that local body.

The church then is a society that is in vital connection with the Lord, sustained by His power, and it is the instrument by which our Lord works.

It is by filling every person in a local church with His Spirit through their obedience, and by becoming Lord of every aspect of each person’s life, that Christ becomes all and in all.  His glory becomes fully manifested or energized in that local body, and He draws all men unto Himself through the power of God bringing a subsequent revival.

This church then is filled with Christ’s fullness or pleroma or with all that makes up the very Christ Himself.  The analogy of Christ’s pleroma (fullness) is simple.  What is a bottle of coca cola filled with?  Coca cola, of course!  What is Christ filled with then?  Christ Himself of course!  This is the pleroma of Christ.  A local body in a state of total maturity is the treasure bearer of Christ’s pleroma!

Eph1:12 That we (the church) should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Glory, is that principle which makes the invisible Christ become visible in the church and throughout the world.  Glory is the invisible God’s visible mode of being.  The Lord’s mighty deeds, glorious interventions, the manifestation of His presence, and the activity of the invisible are all brought forth through His glory.  God’s glory then manifested through the church becomes the object of the world’s praise to God.  The more glory, the more praise.  The more glory, the more that Jesus Christ will be lifted up, and draw all men unto Him. The glory is the manifestation of the invisible fullness which God always funnels into the church.

The church makes the invisible God visible through the full participation of every member. This is called glory.

All activities in our churches must be done to bring the glory of God, and make the invisible God visible in the person of Jesus Christ.

God’s glory then, manifested through the local assembly becomes the object of the world’s praise to God. To the praise of the glory of his grace. 

The more glory, the more praise.  The more glory, the more that Jesus Christ will be lifted up, and draw all men unto Him. This is revival.

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, ( according to the riches of his grace;

8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;)

God has given us in great abundance.  He has excelled towards us; He has been affluent, rich, or dealt in excellence towards us. He has made to abound to or He has conferred to us this thing superabundantly.

This is God’s default mode of dealing with His saints .

The abundance of blessings however comes within the limitations of wisdom.

Wisdom then is performing all things in accordance to the will, dispositions, arrangements, and timing of God. It is the blueprints of God.

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;)

The superabundance that comes into our life is limited in proportion to doing all things in conformity to God’s will, and carrying them out step by step in His direction and His timing. This is what it means “toward us in all wisdom and prudence ;”)

This was the purpose of the revelation of the mystery of the God’s will in the first place; that Christ would be all and in all.  It shows us that our Christianity is not about things but about the revelation of the person of Jesus Christ and giving Him preeminence in all things.

10  that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

The more that Christ is revealed the more that the blessings of God will abound.  The blessings are given so that Christ can be revealed and become preeminent in all things. Where there is vision there is provision.

The hope of our calling becomes a reality through each saint’s obedient response to the call of God.  The hope of our calling is based then upon an effectual call; or to those to whom God’s call has come with effect.  It is the call of God to a believer or church that has been answered by a totally obedient response

Fit Together and Knit Together

 Eph 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Every member then, of a local body, must work to his or her peak spiritual performance through the use of spiritual gifts, callings, and ministries. There can be no “one-man show,” and no chronic pews sitters.

Every member must find his or her place in the body in terms of his or her ministry, giftings and callings and raised up in them.  This is the job of the fivefold ministry whom the local pastor heads.

Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

To fitly join or frame together causes the members of Christ’s body, as parts of a building are brought together.  Joining, cementing, and fitting and raising together a building with all of its parts must take place.

The church becomes this building and a Holy of Holies unto the Lord as all of its members perform to their peak efficiency by their callings, whether it would be active or inactive, ministries, giftings, in a sphere of obedience.  All is done to energize the glory of God through a local body and bring revival.

Every one must take part through obedience.

This holy temple is in actuality, a Holy of Holies for the Lord.

The great lie of the enemy has been to place the function of the church into the hands of the few, and encourage most others to be pew sitters, thus severely hampering the glory of God and the salvation of men.

Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Every believer individually and corporately also are being built up together with the object of constructing and abode or dwelling place for the Lord in the Spirit.

A dwelling place is an abode where God will feel totally at home, and will have full rights to do as He pleases.  This describes a totally yielded life for every believer and each local assembly.

Col 2:2  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

The knitting together comes after every member of the local church has been fit or framed together into a proper building for the Lord through the ministries and callings of every person.  The believers’ hearts are then knit together in affection.

This oneness, in combination with the effectiveness of every member’s ministries and spiritual gifts, will bring this local body into a full understanding of the correct knowledge of the mystery of the Godhead and Trinity.  This then is the fullness of the glory of God, which should be displayed to the world.

Thus the church can be seen as an entity that is in a continual process of being fitted together by every one’s ministry and gifts, being joined together in love and intimacy and growing in to God’s Holy of Holies to manifest His glory.

This fitting, joining, and growing to achieve spiritual growth continues as every member seize the head, which is Christ.

Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Joining, cementing, and fitting together to form a building must take place, so that the building can then be raised up.  The church accomplishes this, as all of its members perform to their peak efficiency by their callings, ministries, and giftings, in uncompromising obedience. Every one must take part!

The church is Christ’s body and should work along the same lines as the human body.  Our Christianity then cannot be an individual self-centered affair.  If it is then, it fails to realize, that Christ has called forth the church through the active participation of all of its members, to manifest Him and make Him complete.  If we cannot see this, we have misunderstood as to what the supreme purpose of the church is all about.

Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Another object of the church is that the numerous and multicolored wisdom or ways of God, so opposite to the world, might be known or be declared.  God desires that His arrangements, His will, and His works might be displayed to angels, demons, and men, by the church.  Basically the church’s job is to declare the ways of God, and to make the invisible God, visible in glory to the universe!

The Five Fold Ministry

Eph 4:9  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

10     And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

11     For the perfecting ( katartizo)  of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

 Katartizo:  to mend as mending the holes in a fisherman’s net.  To outfit, equip, repair.

He gave the five-fold ministry as gifts. To bring all the members of the church to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ so that we may come into the unity of the faith.

Through them all the members should be made capable of performing their several parts so that the whole church may be built up in its completeness.

For the purpose of furnishing every believer for their particular service and their particular contribution in building up Christ’s body.

It is the view to the full equipping of the saints.  Only then can the fullness of the glory of God be brought.

Restoring in a spiritual or disciplinary way.  The equipping is to put every believer into the particular work of his or her office or ministry.  This is the compacting or fitting together by the five-fold ministry.  The building up or edifying can then be the knitting together.

12     Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 

Until we arrive at, or attain to.  All members must come to their proper unity and maturity.

Christ and not things!!

Oneness of faith in Christ, and into a full and exact knowledge of the Son of God.  Everything is attaining to Christ and not things.

Participation and peak efficiency in ministry brings us into a mutual vision and understanding of our faith in Christ or the particulars of our walk with Christ.   Our comprehension and oneness in the particulars of our walk with Christ brings us into an oneness of revelation of the Christ.

As the fullness of Christ is revealed and we come to know and understand, we all grow up into the maturity of God.  A perfect man is a full-grown man. The church as a full-grown man can fully bring forth the glory of God and subsequent revival.

The stature of Christ is an ideal that has magnitude.  It is the measure of the height of the perfection or maturity of the Christ. This measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ must the default goal of any local body.

The measure is of Christ and not of things.

We become one in believing Him and knowing Him. We become one in His revelation.

13  That we henceforth be no more children (Nepios), tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight ( the playing of dice) of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

That we may be no longer children.  A transformation must take place.

Nepios literally infants, and other minors that are immature and untaught.

Tossed to and fro dashing or surging waves.  In changefulness and agitation the nepio is carried about by every wind of or degree or doctrine.

The sleight of men is the element of an evil atmosphere.  It is the shooting of the dice to bring deception.  Instead of growing up into the revelatory knowledge of Christ, we make philosophies, or things (debt, miracles, being blessed) the main focus.

Man-made doctrines become divine truth.  Things, blessings, miracles, financial prosperity becomes the major instead of the minors.

Christian philosophies lead into a false way of Christian life that strays the nepio fatally from the truth. If we concentrate on things, we shall always be immature.  These philosophies of Christian “things” will not bring the revelation of Christ.

The church will not grow up into all things by Christ who is our all and in all. If our Christianity is about getting our miracles, being blessed, debt cancellation, we will always be infants.

14  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 “By thruthing it” into we grow into Christ in all things. Truth here is not a noun but a verb.

Confessing the truth may in love grow up into.

Confession is an outward expression of what is really part of us.

Col 2:19  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God

Only in relation to the Christ, and seizing the head; and through an efficient revelation of Him can the church grow up into Him in all things.

Of the revelation of The Christ must be the end and the object of all of our growth.

Christ is the object and goal to which our growth in its every stage must look to or be directed.

Because of this, in all points of our growth, in all the circumstances of our growth, it is Christ that fills all and in all.

The 1 Corinthians 12 Church

1Cor 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 

Paul’s confirms what we have already stated.  The human body, and the body of Christ as His church, should function alike.

1cor 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.

The Greek makes use of the “absolute negative” for the word “not”.

Literally defined, we are told that under no circumstance, should a congregation be made up of a few active members.  This argument hits at the very core of “a great church deception.”

One pastor that literally controls the governing life of a church makes for all intents and purposes, the body of Christ into a “non body”.  Likewise, parishioners who fail to discern, and fulfill their ministries, forcing pastors and ministers into positions of control, make the church into a non body.

Whether in ministry or in waiting every one must be operating in total obedience to the will of God.

1Cor 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

1Cor12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

What an incredible dependency we must have for each other.  An independent spirit towards the Lord Jesus, or towards one other, will stunt our process of growth.  Every member is called to sharpen each other, through their callings and ministries.

 1Cor 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  

The fewer the number of members being actively discipled, serving and or ministering within a local body, the fewer will be the giftings, callings and ministries available to it and the revelation of the person of Christ.

This particular congregation will be greatly hindered in its discernment of demonic infiltration; such as if the gift of discernment is not active.

1Cor14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort

There will be a deficiency in the prophetic that administers guidance, exhortation, and encouragement, and the confirmation and direction of God’s will.

1Cor3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder( ARCHITECT), I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

There will be an absence of the apostolic for the church to be building aright on the revelatory foundation of the person of Jesus Christ.

If the apostolic ministries are deficient, how will the right foundation be laid?  A church without the revelation of Jesus through the apostolic witness of the risen Christ will build lopsided.

Many churches have been unable to discern the presence of wolves, gross sin, and major doctrinal error, blatantly obvious in its midst.  In due time God has always exposed these forces. Considerable damage had been done to the flock however, or God has finally closed the congregations down.  Much of this has to do with the lack of commitment and participation of the church’s members to carry out their ministries, or the prohibition of spiritual gifts by the elders.  Since the gifts are not in operation true discernment and direction are not available to the church.

1Cor12: 18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

21  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

 Literally the Greek admonishes us, that not even of the weakest member can we say “I have no need of you” and not be lying!  The superior members are in desperate need of the inferior.

22  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary. 

The weakest members are indispensable.

23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

Literally “we place a wreath of exceeding honor upon the weaker more unseemly members.” says the Greek.

Our deformed, indecent, unseemly, and private parts always need special care.  That same type of care should be given to all weaker members within our congregations.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: “To temper” means That God has caused each part of His body to be melted and hammered together into an organic whole. 

If this melted and hammered together body has parts not in operation what is going to happen to this particular local body?

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