LOVE OF THE EARLY CHURCH
I COR. 16:1-2 ; Rom. 16:24-26
Love made a difference in the early church. They understood what love and sharing was at that time. The Bible today gives us their way of progress and it was found in the deep love they had among themselves.
There was a daily distribution of foods and food items in the early Church at Jerusalem. Such things do not exist again, yea not in today’s Church/s or not exactly as it was in the early church. For those who are practicing such things today, some have of them have gone Cultic in their practices. It is now a system of drawing people into serious cult, instead of what it stood for in the early Church.
SHARING IN COMMON (koinonia) THE TRUE FELLOWSHIP
MADE LOVE EASY TO FLOW
Not only that, there was sharing of amenities among them, but none of them over estimated his or her need. Those who had lands sold them and brought the money at the Apostles feet and sharing were made. This made the early Church peculiar. Such things are not seen again today, as individuals now own Churches and do as they wills.
But at that time the Churches were established by the Apostles who after establishing the churches would appoint Pastors to take charge at certain Churches and pastor them. The Church of Jesus Christ has only five fold ministry namely 1. Apostles, and 2. Prophets, 3 Evangelists, 4 Pastors and 5. Teachers. This is the way it was written in the Bible. These were the offices created by Jesus. The Bible said “when he ascended up he gave gifts to men and he gave some to be Apostles, and secondarily Prophets” etc Eph.4:8-11.
WHAT ABOUT BISHOPS?
The issue of Bishops in the Bible is a different case. The etymology of the word Bishop is the Greek “episcopos” meaning “Elder” in a local Church. Also in Latin it means “episcopus” also meaning nothing but “Elder” of a Church. Many people do not know how this office was established, including those who aspire to be ordained as Bishops and those already ordained.
It was not among the five fold ministry but was founded by the Apostles. Bishops were appointed by the Apostles to Churches where there was no Pastor to Pastor the Church. For example, Paul instructed Titus his son in the Lord to look inside his Church and discover men of unquestionable characters and ordain them as Bishops or Elders, just to help him, because Titus was the Pastor at the Cretian Church Titus 1:1-7.
He told him to checkout for men of unquestionable character in his Church and ordains them as Bishops or Elders of the Church. That’s the meaning of Bishop, just Elders. In a Church where there was no Pastor, Bishops or Elders were ordained to oversee the affairs of that Church. And they were ordained in groups, not one Bishop for a local Church, no. Then where there is a Pastor, Bishops were still ordained, but this ordination of Bishops in a local Church was to make the work easy for Pastors.
They did not intend to establish a superior office above the Pastors, how much more the Apostles. Also Pastor Timothy who was the Pastor of the Church in Ephesus, was given the same instructions by Paul. He said
“if anyone desires the office of a Bishop, he desired a good one, but that a Bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife. A Bishop must be able to teach and having his children under him with all gravity” I tim.3. He said a Bishop must not be “a novice” and “Must marry one wife”. Today Rome’s Bishops do not marry and it is contrary to Biblical instructions for Bishops. In that order even the Pastors are involved in marrying one wife. And today the so called Pentecostal Bishops are pursuing Rome’s pattern on bomber to bomber in titles, yet they go ahead to marry their own wives.
WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT THEIR LORDSHIP TO THE CHURCH?
The problem that brought Bishops to limelight above the Apostles of the Church of Christ today; is traceable to the Roman invasion of the Church and martyrdom of the early Apostles and disciples. Because of this invasion, the Bishops no longer obey the Apostles how much more the Pastors.
And Apostle Peter clearly warned the Elders or the Bishops not to lord over the inheritance of God I Pt. 5:3. What is happening today, are they not called “my lord Bishop”? In this regard even the Pentecostal Bishops do not respect Apostles of the Church, like the Roman Catholic Bishops, whose office/s have their domain in the sky. No Bishop both Pentecostal and Roman Catholic has the time to listen to a Pastor at any time.
We may ask, “Does it mean that Bishops are now above the Pastors in the Church of Jesus”? The answer is “By no means”. They are still where the Apostles kept them. They are nothing but Elders of the Church, not even Pastors. Don’t mind their ego, Pentecostal Bishops are following Rome’s setup, but they are nothing but Elders of the Church who are still under the Pastors in God’s settings. I’m talking about Pentecostal Bishops who are following the Roman’s standard, because the Bible Bishops are still Elders till tomorrow. We just want to highlight this very well. We have digressed much let’s continue with the daily distribution in the early Church.
IN THOSE CHURCHES:
There was serious love flowing for each other, both at the headquarters at Jerusalem and at the Gentiles Churches. Love flowed much among them contrary to what we are seeing today. In the early Church the daily distribution however was evil spoken of by the Grecians who turned to Christ, that their women were neglected Acts. 6:1. This made the early Church to select men of unquestionable characters to manage that office, among whom was Brother and Evang. Stephen, who was martyred by the Jews Acts. 7. But his death did not stop the early church from their daily ministration, they continued. It came to the time when Paul gave his life to Christ. He was on his way to arrest and to imprison the saints both men and women Acts. 9. But after his conversion then Apostle Paul was appointed an Apostle to the Gentiles by Jesus Rom. 11:13 etc.
Paul from that idea that happened in Acts 6 instructed the Church at Corinth to make provision for the saints at Jerusalem on the first day, so that when he came, there would be no collection again I Cor. 16:1-2. He would just collect the collections from them and move to the headquarters at Jerusalem. This is where some people are teaching that it is the reference of Sabbath change by Paul. What Paul did was in agreement with what the headquarters were doing at that time. The Sabbath day was not changed instead the first day (SUNDAY) was used for “breaking of Bread” by the early Church Acts 20:7. On this day (Sunday) was the Holy Communion taken and he was allowed to preach to them. Even at this time Paul was in his second missionary journey, so he was fully aware of what the headquarters were doing and he was doing the same.
But Paul as an Apostle could not change the Sabbath doctrine of God. The Sabbath day worship “is a doctrine” which even Jesus did not change but amended it, how? In the Law of Moses, there was no work done on the day of Sabbath, that’s where Jesus made an amendment. After teaching in the Temple on the Sabbath day, he worked and healed many people on the Sabbath day, which made the people to question his ministry as one who came from heaven, see Jon 5; 8; and 9. The Corinthian Church was not the only Church which Paul instructed to provide the things for the Jerusalem Church. He also instructed the Spanish Church to do the same Rom.15:24-29.
The Church at Macedonia and at Achaia desired to send their gifts to Jerusalem through Paul. This collection would be done on the first day, not on the Sabbath day. The Sabbath day was exclusively for God’s worship. But the Apostles designated the first day for Holy Communion, but they did not change the day of Sabbath.
COULD PAUL CONTRADICT HIMSELF?
No is the answer. Yet I discovered that the writings of Paul have been misunderstood badly by the Christian Community. In the book of Rapture I described this misunderstanding as the “three misses” in chapter 24. This misunderstanding however was not from him, but from the interpreters of his letter. When he commanded the Corinthian Church to provide their contribution to the saints at Jerusalem on the first day, they said he has changed the Sabbath day with that first day instruction I Cor.16:2. Paul in all his days was worshipping on the Sabbath days. From his first missionary journey with Apostle Barnabas Acts. 13:42-44 he was invited to come back on the next Sabbath to explain more of the word of God. The tone of the invitation indicated that the day was a Sabbath day. This was his first missionary journey.
Even the day the Holy Ghost commanded that Paul and Barnabas should be separated to do the work he had called them was on the Sabbath day Acts.13. It was the day known to every Dick, Tom and Harry in Jerusalem where the Church started. Even the day of Jesus’ resurrection was the first day and it could not cause the effect of the change of Sabbath. Even if the day was on the fourth; fifth and sixth day or the second day, Jesus would rise in it. But there was no commandment from either God; Jesus or the Apostles on that day for the change. The Apostles on their own called it “The day of the Lord” and that was correct for the rise Rev.1:10. Yes after giving him that day of his resurrection, they continued with the Sabbath commandment of God. Neither did the Holy Spirit command anywhere to change it for any reason whatsoever. And this change would not to be done with a suggestion or an assumption, but it must be a definite command from God, Jesus or his Apostles.
Paul during his first missionary journey entered into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day Acts. 13:5. Even the day the Holy Spirit commanded to separate Paul and Barnabas was a Sabbath day. In his second missionary journey, he did not deviate in any way. And during his second missionary journey the Bible said he reasoned on very Sabbath, according to Acts. 18:1-4. In fact, I can’t see where the so called Pentecostal Revds; Bishops and Drs saw the Sabbath change in the Bible. If the Apostles used the first day to honour Jesus for rising on it, does it mean a change of Sabbath? They said Paul changed it. Paul could not on his own change the Sabbath day. Do you know that Paul was even on check during his ministry to the Gentiles? He encountered the “Judaizers” at Antioch and was sent to Jerusalem for settlement; you can read about it in Acts. 15. Why couldn’t he settle that problem on his own at the Church at Antioch?
You may be confused of the word “Judaizers”. The religion which was on even before the birth of Christ in Israel or nay with the Jews was Judaism. Jesus also met it but did not use it during his time. Of cause he started calling his own disciples one after the other. Actually he operated in the Temple but did not make use of Judaism as way of life. So at the time Paul became a Christian Apostle to the Gentiles, he met them in his ministry.
When he was at Antioch, those people who formally worshipped that religion of Judaism left it and joined the Church. And they still held that concept and they were called Judaizers. They repented and joined the Church at Jerusalem and they came on a visit to Antioch, and taught the people in the presence of Paul and Barnabas saying “except they go through the Law of Moses, that they could not be saved” Acts. 15. On hearing this kind of teaching from those who were supposed to teach the truth, Paul and his companion Barnabas opposed that teaching immediately and there was much disputations or argument in the Church. And because of this argument, the Church sent Paul to the headquarters in Jerusalem for clearance and settlement. The Jerusalem Church therefore organized the Church council for this question, and after much deliberations by the Church council, the Pastor at that time ruled and said “My sentence is” Acts. 15. 19-22. It is important that we cite these passages for you to read.
Paul was there when the overall Pastor (James) ruled over the issue and he was satisfied. Even all the Apostles including Peter, and the rest of the Church council and elders were present. Do these people who preach and believe that Paul changed the Sabbath read the Bible at all? How could Paul who was sent to the Gentiles change what the headquarters were doing? If he had done so, they would have called him to order, and we shall see the records today in the Bible. He was subject to authorities even though he was an Apostle.
He was not standing alone and couldn’t give any negative commandment to the Church. Of course Jesus was with him and he always received instructions from him. On his arrest and persecution, he was going to Rome to defend himself and Jesus appeared to him and encouraged him, saying “as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so shall you testify about me at Rome” Acts. 23:11. So Paul was very careful in his days.
What Paul commanded the Church to do at Corinth was to collect their gifts on the first day, so that when he comes, there would be no more collections on his presence. He was desirous to minister to the poor saints at Jerusalem; so he liked to go with the collections from the Gentile Churches, which in turn opened their way back home and prospered them. This is why we ask you to always come to this blog site where the truth is displayed for all to read. And we can tell you that up till now the Sabbath day has not been changed. But Daniel prophesied that “the horn shall think to change times and law” Dan. 7:25. The horn is the same as the Beast or the Antichrist, which must come from Europe. And they have done according to the prophecy. They have changed the Sabbath day to Sun-day.
THE CHANGE CAME FROM ROME:
Everyone have been following Rome and their programs believing that they are the people which God had ordained to lead the Church, but we tell you that it is not true. Some people have come to this knowledge but they ask “where are we going to start from to change it again”? Well, the answer is “do your own work or what you are supposed to do and leave the rest to God”. Since it was under prophecy, it is not by power nor by might. You can do nothing to change it but you could teach to sensitize the Church on the truth and God would cause your work to germinate and increase. We are assuring you that the Sabbath change has not been commanded by God and would not be commanded even in the future. Do you want to know why we say this? Read on
Jesus was teaching his disciples about his second coming and he said “But pray ye that your flight be not on the winter, neither on the Sabbath day” Matt. 24:20. What does this statement mean? It means 1. That the Sabbath day has not been changed and that it would be on till the day of our flight. What does the day of our flight mean? 2. It means the day the Antichrist will command to kill all Christians from Israel to the whole world, just for failure to worship him Rev. 13:15. 3. Jesus said we should pray that this day should not be on the winter, why?
If we should run into the bush on the winter, cold would take hold on us badly and it may cause some people to denounce their faith in Christ. This goes ahead to tell us that God has not changed the Sabbath day till tomorrow. If there has been any change, the scriptures would tell us and not hide it. So Sabbath day has not been changed and Paul did not use I Cor. 16:2 to change the Sabbath day. It remains on the same seventh day.
So the assumption that Apostle Paul used his instruction to the Corinthian Church to change the Sabbath day is erroneous and not the truth in any way. These people that say these things are not teachable. If you confront them this way, they change to the other way.
When I confronted one about this question and when he could not defend himself further, do you know what he said? He said “Paul as an Apostle was sent to the Gentle world, not to Israel, so he was not taking instructions from Jerusalem”. You see it?
But did you see what at Antioch, a Gentle Church? How the Church sent Paul to Jerusalem for settlement? That problem and question was settled there at Jerusalem and the Church at Antioch was at rest. But because these people have no idea on what happened to the Sabbath day, they teach like Rome from where most of them came from. But we have the whole idea and what the prophecy is. Rome has actually fulfilled what the Bible said concerning her. She has changed the Sabbath as Daniel prophesied in Dan. 7:25.
Yet God, Jesus and his Apostles have not changed the Sabbath before, today and even till tomorrow. The daily ministration in the early Church was not used to change the seventh day.