Monday, October 12, 2015

Here We Go Again - Halloween

     Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Well it is 2015 and some people have been contacting me to ask my views on Halloween.  Some even have asked whether I believe what I believe still on the subject.  The Answer is "NO",my views have changed.  That is right.  I have changed extremely.  I was against Halloween but now I am so grossed out by it I can not even imagine the filthy, wickedness and witchcraft that is associated with that day.  What makes me even more repulsed is the fact that I hear of Christians celebrating that holiday.  What in Heaven's name are people thinking?  It does not take a rocket scientist to know there is something wrong about that day no matter how much you soften it up.
     Let me say it this way and please excuse me for the illustration.  If a wife is walking in the park holding another man's hand, does it make it any better?  Is it excusable?  Is it permissible?  Of course not.  So why would we think dressing our children up as angels, cowboys or some princess for fun on that holiday would be alright with God?  Why would allowing people to come to the door and say "trick or treat" and you hand them candy and a tract be alright with God?  I mean when a Jehovah Witness or Mormon come to your door, do you invite them in?  Do you give them a glass of water, a tract, and talk about your faith?  Have you suddenly become an evangelist on Halloween?
      Christians are called to be in the world but not of the world.  Unless you are Holy Spirit lacking, it is very evident that Halloween is a worldly holiday that exalts and promotes evil.  God calls Christians at this time to be a light Not to be a strobe light by amusing the world with your prince and princess costumes and your pathetic tracts.  When you do such things you are nothing less than a LUKEWARM Christian.
      Repent of this evil.  Save the costumes and the candy for another day and have nothing to do with such filth.  In case you are super ignorant, stubborn, and stiffnecked, may I be granted to provide you with such...

1 Corinthians 10:19-23  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?  (20)  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.  (21)  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.  (22)  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?  (23)  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

The apostle Paul knew that an idol is NOTHING.  We know that Halloween is also NOTHING.  That gentiles or the wicked sacrifice to idols.  We know that during Halloween there are those who celebrate this Holiday.  Though the Apostle Paul knew that an idol is nothing and the sacrifice to such is nothing, he still commands Christians to NOT HAVE FELLOWSHIP with such.  Not to eat their food, not to sit at there table, or drink their drink.  Shall we not also conclude that God would tell us not to have anything to do with Halloween.  Not to eat their candy, dress in their clothes, or partake of their table, even if we believe Halloween is just for fun.  

He concludes...You can not drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils.  You can not partake of the table of the Lord and the table of devils.  Remember the Word declares that the cup and table are nothing and associates idols as for devils.  So also folks you may think Halloween is nothing and empty but you can not partake of both the Lord's Table and Halloween.  

     So think what you want to think and do what you want to do.  He who does not serve the Lord is not of God or His Christ.

Bishop Michael Salman

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Godhead Explained and Understood!

  Grace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. 
     If you have a desire to know about the Godhead then I pray this will bless you as it has blessed me.  There is nothing so wonderful than the study of the Godhead.  It is both complex and simple at the same time.  It slowly unfolds and continues to unfold with no end.  Nonetheless God is so good that He who seeks Him will be found of Him and those who desire to know more God will give to them. 
     I want to believe that I am a simple person who tries to analyze every aspect of study and tries to  figure out how and what is the best way to explain a subject.  I believe the following analogy as revealed to me by God gives me a picture of the Godhead.  From this analogy I will work this study.  This analogy was presented to me only after I had extensively mauled over this subject.  Like I said I pray this blesses you as it has blessed me. 

Imagine an ocean.  One of the things that makes an Ocean is Water.  As a matter of fact if you remove the water from the Ocean it ceases to become an Ocean.  If I were to dip my hands into the ocean and take some of the water I could say I have water but I could not say I have the Ocean.  Now imagine putting the water into a red cup.  Even though the cup has water in it, it does not become the Ocean either.  It is only a cup of water.  Yet the water in the cup and the water in the Ocean are the same.  Now imagine the cup becoming transparent.  You are now able to see the water that is in the cup clearly.  Now take this cup and place this cup of water into the Ocean.  You would no longer say you have a cup of water in the ocean.  You would only say you have a cup in the Ocean.  The water that is in the cup would become part of the ocean.  The cup meanwhile would be distinct.  The cup being clear would blend into the ocean but it would still be there.  Now if I wanted to get some of the water from the Ocean I would have to use the clear cup.  When I drink from the cup, I have the water in me.  I do not have the cup in me and I do not have the ocean in me, I only have the water.

In this analogy I used water.  Water is the analogy for God.    We know that God is Spirit and that He created the heavens and the earth.  When God speaks imagine the water leaving the ocean and pouring out.  The water leaving the ocean is still God but it is His Spirit, the Word, the Spirit of God that creates.   

Genesis 1:1-2  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  (2)  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

John 4:23-24  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  (24)  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Psalms 33:6  By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

Job 33:4  The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

2 Corinthians 3:15-17  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.  (16)  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.  (17)  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
We do not know so much how the Spirit of the Lord is but we can see that the Spirit of the Lord is the Lord and that it is separate and yet Himself.  In the illustration I presented, the Water is God and yet His Spirit or the Spirit of God is also God.  In the next few pages you will see this revelation slowly unfold.

God the Father

God is identified as the Father in many places.  We do not really see this until the New Testament.  We see just a handful of times when God is called the Father in the Old Testament and over 300 times in the New Testament.  Here is a few versus that we see God being called the Father in the New Testament.

Mat 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Mat 18:14  Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Mar 11:26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Luke 11:2  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

John 12:28  Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

If you remember in the illustration.  If the water is God, then the Ocean is God in Heaven as the Father.  When we reference God the Father it is very evident that God is the Father and ALWAYS refers to God in Heaven.  NEVER at any time is God referred to as the Father in humanity or in the incarnation.   Just as if I can not take some water from the Ocean and say it is the ocean.  At the same time the water in the Ocean is what makes it an ocean.  God cannot be called the Father in the Body of Jesus Christ because God referenced as the Father is ONLY a reference to Him in Heaven.  When referring to God outside of heaven He is referred to as the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit, etc.

God is also referenced to as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  When God overshadowed Mary He was the Holy Ghost because the conception occurred on earth. 

Matthew 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Ephesians_1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Colosians_1:3  We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

Hebrews 1:5-6  For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?  (6)  And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

So we see in what we read, God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Father filled Mary with His Spirit.  Since the Holy Spirit is God what is said is accurate.  There is not two spirits but 1 Spirit.  Called the Father in heaven and the Holy Spirit on earth.  Remember the analogy, the water is God, God is Spirit and the water in the Ocean is the Father in heaven.  When you take the water from the ocean, the water is no longer the ocean but still water.  The process was described in the following:

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:”

   This is a direct correlation to what happened.  God poured his Spirit upon Mary as He overshadowed Her from above.  The picture can be seen and imagined as if an ocean was above you and the shadow of this ocean was overshadowing you.  Then the ocean pours the water that is in it upon you and fills you.  This is what happened at the conception of the Son of God.  The Father in Heaven pour His Spirit upon Mary as to have her conceive a child.  It is still God and Father but it is His Spirit.  They are one and the same.  Same water but two different places.  That is why it states that God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and that which is conceived of her is of the Holy Ghost.  They are not two persons but 1.  Jesus did not have 2 Fathers but 1.  They are both correct because it is 1 spirit in different places and references:

We see also see this separation at the Baptism of Jesus:

Matthew 3:16-17  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  (17)  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

God the Father in Heaven sent His Spirit to descend upon Jesus.  Notice it does not say the Father descended.  In the analogy imagine the ocean pouring down, the water pouring down from the ocean is not the Ocean yet it is still water.  It is not an unfathomable that God could be in more than one place and that He could be in Heaven and on Earth and In the Son of God.  Nevertheless, when referring to God in Heaven He is always the Father.  When referring to God’s presences in the earthly, He is either the Holy Ghost, etc. or in the Flesh as the Son of God but never the Father.  

The Son of God

When God takes on Flesh He becomes the Son of God.  God in the flesh is always the Son of God.  In the illustration the water that is taken out of the ocean and placed into the red cup would represent God being in the flesh.  When the scriptures refers to God in Heaven He is the Father and when it refers to God in the Flesh He is the Son of God. 

John 1:1-3  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (2)  The same was in the beginning with God.  (3)  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1 Timothy 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1 Corinthians 15:46-47  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  (47)  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Romans 9:5  Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Colossians 1:15-19  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  (16)  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  (17)  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  (18)  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  (19)  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

    So we see that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, the image of God.  While the Spirit that was in Jesus Christ is God his body was not.  In the illustration the red cup is not the water and the water is not the red cup.  So also it is with the Son of God, the body is not God and God is not the body of Jesus.  This makes sense since when Jesus Christ died, God did not die only the body.  Nowhere in scripture does it ever indicate that God died for you.  It always refers the death to the Son, Christ or Jesus only.  With that said because the body of Jesus was God in the Flesh He was still 100% man and 100% God. 
      Just because Jesus Christ was 100% God it did not make Him the Father.  If you remember in the illustration, just because the red cup had water it did not make it the ocean.  In the same token the water that is in the ocean and that is in the cup is the same.  This is indicated in the following scriptures:

John 10:30  I and my Father are one.

John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

The water which is God is the Father and the Son.  When seeing God in the Flesh you see what is of the Father in the Son.  The water is both in the ocean and when you look into what is in the cup you see what is in the ocean.

This is one of the greatest mysteries and yet we see it in our life and in the scriptures.  In the illustration the red cup becomes clear.  This represents the glorification of Jesus Christ after he was risen.  When the clear cup of water is placed back into the ocean that which is in the cup becomes one with the ocean.   This represents Jesus Christ being glorified and ascending into heaven and merging with the Father.  Even though Jesus is merged with the Father there is still the cup.  This is clearly seen in the following texts:     

Revelation 5:6-7  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  (7)  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

Revelation 7:17  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Revelation 7:9-10  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;  (10)  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Revelation 22:1  And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Revelation 1:8-18  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.  (9)  I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.  (10)  I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,  (11)  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.  (12)  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;  (13)  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  (14)  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  (15)  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  (16)  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.  (17)  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:  (18)  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

When we pray we pray to Our Father, God in Heaven.  In Heaven the Father and the glorified and risen Christ are one and the same.  While we see the Lamb on the throne which is in Heaven, that which is in Him, is and is of the Father.   There is not 2 Alpha and Omega’s.  There is not 2 First and Last’s.  There is not 2 Almighty’s, There is only 1.  What John is seeing is God in His Glory and the Glorified Son of God.  One Spirit, One God in two different manifestations.  Just as the cup is in the ocean, 1 cup, 1 ocean but same water.  The water in the cup and the water in the ocean is the same.  The cup merging from the ocean filled with the water is the Lamb.  The ocean that holds and keeps the cup is the Father. 

This is a beautiful picture of the unity and yet separation of manifestations of God in Heaven. 
The Comforter
When we refer to God in humanity we see Him as the Comforter “Para-kletos”.  He is also called the Holy Ghost, Spirit of God, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of Truth, The Spirit, His Spirit, the Spirit of His Son, and other titles.  He is never referred to as the Son of God in the flesh.  In the illustration it is the water poured from the ocean and that is in the cup.  The comforter is not the ocean neither is He the cup but He is what the ocean and the cup have.  Just as if I were to take my hands and dip it into the ocean to draw some water.  I would not have the ocean in my hands, I would have the water.  If I were to also take water out of the cup.  I would not have the cup in my hands but the water.  The water in my hands from the cup and the water in my hands from the ocean is the same water. 

John 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  (17)  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

It is very clear that the Holy Spirit is God.  If we were to look at the Holy Spirit in the illustration we would see a wonderful thing.  The water is God, the Ocean is the Father and the Cup is Jesus.  Imagine taking the ocean and being able to pour the water that is in the ocean, out.  This is what you will find the Holy Spirit is.  It is the Father pouring His Spirit upon humanity.  The water in the ocean and the water being poured out is the same water but identified differently.  It is not 2 spirits or 2 persons, it is 1.    

The Comforter and the Son
So far we have learned that God who is Spirit in Heaven is the Father, God who is the Spirit in the Flesh is Jesus Christ and God who is Spirit being poured out upon humanity is the Comforter, etc.  When we come to understand that it is all 1 and the same Spirit we can understand why the scriptures seem to interchange identities. 

God in Heaven is the Father.  God in the Flesh is the Son of God.  God in Humanity is the Comforter.  Comforter in humanity comes from heaven and is given to us by Jesus Christ that dwells in heaven.  The Comforter that dwelt in Jesus Christ, now dwells in us. 

The water in a large mass is the Ocean.  Water in a cup is a cup of water.  Water in humanity is water.  Water in humanity is being poured out by the Ocean using the Cup that now dwells in the Ocean.  The same water that is poured on us is the same water that was in the cup.      

Here is a fantastic text that illustrates the unity and yet separation of the Father, the Son of God Flesh and the Comforter the Holy Spirit that dwelt in Christ. 

Romans 8:9-11  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  (10)  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  (11)  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

We also see,

Galation_1:1  Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

These texts declare says:  1 – The Spirit of God dwells in you.   2-  The Spirit of Christ is in us.  3-  That the same Spirit raised up Christ (The Body) dwells in us.  4- We know that the Comforter dwells in us.  Do we then have 3 spirits living in us?   NO!
This makes absolutely no sense unless you apply the Godhead and the separation between the Body and Spirit of the Son of God.  We also see the Spirit that dwelt in Christ is the Comforter, the Holy Spirit and are one and the same. 

Here is an accurate Paraphrase using this theology.  The Holy Spirit dwells in you, He who does not have the Holy Spirit does not have God.  If the Holy Spirit is in you, your body is dead because of sin and you have life and righteousness.  If the Holy Spirit that raised up the Body of Jesus from the dead lives in you than God the Father who raised the body of Jesus Christ from the dead will also give your body life by the Holy Spirit dwelling in you.  
Here is another:

Romans 8:14-15  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  (15)  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.


Galatians 4:6  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Here is more text to show the interchanging:

1 Peter 1:10-12  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:  (11)  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, ...(11b) when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, (THE BODY) and the glory that should follow.  (12)  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

2 Peter 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.  

Notice how the Spirit of Christ was in them and how the Holy Ghost moved them.  This is the same Spirit.  The Spirit moved them to write in reference to God becoming flesh and dying on the cross.

In conclusion, The illustration that the theology of the Godhead as described above gives us a great glimpse of the who God is and explains to us how Jesus could be God, the Sprit of God is God and how and why God is called the Father.  In the illustration we see water which is represented as God, the Ocean as the Father, the water pouring form the ocean as the Spirit of God and the Cup which represents the body of Jesus.  The glass which represents the risen Christ.

We see clearly in scripture God who is Spirit in heaven as the Father pours Himself on the earth as the Spirit of God and this God conceives a Son, named Jesus.  Jesus is the Son of God.  The body of Jesus did not have the Spirit of God but rather the Spirit of God took on flesh as the Son of God.    His flesh is human but that which is in the flesh is the Spirit of  God.  This is why Jesus Christ is 100% Human and 100% God.  Jesus is the Christ promised by God to come and save humanity.  It is God himself in the flesh.  This is why God declares:

Isaiah 43:10-11  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.  (11)  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

That is why Jesus is not a god but God himself.  He is not a savior but THE SAVIOUR.  He is God in the Flesh.  When Jesus Christ dies His body is glorified.  He is changed and ascends into heaven.  In heaven Jesus Christ becomes one with the Father.   The Spirit that is in Christ merges with the God in heaven.  Yet, the glorified body of Jesus Christ is still present.  When we look into heaven we see the Glory of God and the Lamb seated in the midst, in power and authority.  When referencing Christ it states He is seated at the right hand of God and never right hand of the Father.  The Father and Jesus Christ is no longer different.    When Jesus is seen in heaven He is seen in the glorified body of Jesus Christ as God, the Almighty. 

1 John 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

There is Only 1 and that is why this scripture makes sense:

Ephesians 4:4-6  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  (5)  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  (6)  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

ON EARTH - There is the Church, The Spirit of God and the Salvation we have. 

IN FAITH - There is the Lord Jesus Christ and Faith in Jesus Christ and Baptism in Him.

IN HEAVEN - There is One God and creator of all, who is all powerful, all present and all knowing.


Colossians 1:15-19  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  (16)  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  (17)  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  (18)  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  (19)  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Colossians 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

This text is a wonderful and yet complex text without understanding the Godhead.  Jesus who is the image of the Invisible God is the Christ the Spirit of God in the Flesh.  The flesh of the Son of God was the first born by God and not made or created as other creatures.  For by, The Spirit of God in flesh, all things made.  For Him and through Him.  He is before all things and by him all things consist.  He is the head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning, the first who was born to be resurrected, and by His bodily life and resurrection he is made first.  For it pleased God that in the Son of God (The Flesh) that all the fullness of God dwells. 

There is a great interchange between the pre-incarnation of God and the Life, death and resurrection of the Body of Jesus Christ.  We know God the Father created all things and yet it says that Jesus Christ created all things.  Who is correct?  Both.  Jesus Christ prior to his incarnation was the Spirit of God, it was the Spirit of God poured down from heaven described as the “Word” by John that created all.  “The Word was God and the Word was made Flesh.”  It is obvious that the Son of God who was born could not have created everything prior to His birth unless He was something prior to Him being the Son of God.  What God was in the flesh was the His Spirit as Jesus.  That is why in Him all things consist = All things are held together.    

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Reminder That Can Change Your Purpose....

     While driving down down road this morning, completing my morning errands, I was presented an opportunity that I normal would not have considered. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted an older lady sitting on the side of a building with a couple of suitcases and a bag.  She looked like she may have just woke up from sleeping on the side of the street.  I continued on my journey and then I began to wonder if anyone had ever told this lady that there is hope in Christ and asked her if she needed any help.  I did not want to think about it anymore since I was kind of in a little hurry to get back to my base.  Then something spoke and said, "Why not you?"  I immediately knew it was the Holy Spirit and I responded by slowing down and pulling into a plaza to turn around and see how I can help.  I pulled to the side of the road (it was a side street so no traffic) and began to talk to this lady.  I began by saying, "You look down and out?"  She responded with a Yes.  I asked her if she had gone to any places for help.  She responded with, "it would not do any good,  since every where I go my family seems to ruin it for me."  My curiosity moved me to wonder why she would say that.  She then claimed that I knew her family.  Even more curious, I asked her if they were in the news lately or popular and why would I know them.  She then began to claim that they sent me.  I of course said, I had no idea what she was talking about and told her I was a man of God a servant of Christ here to tell you that there is hope in Christ.  She then began to cuss me out and told me to get lost and here is the kicker, she called me "Weirdo."  I then said, O.K. well Jesus Loves You.  Yeah yeah he loves you too.  I left.
     As I left I began to talk to the Lord.  I said, O.K. God I don't know what that was all about.  I heard a small giggle in my heart as if the Spirit was smiling and said, "Son, it is not the success I care about it is the obedience."  I then felt had a huge smile appear across my face.  It made me truly realize something that I need to remember and remind others.
     In this life we are given all kinds of tasks.  These tasks vary.  Sometimes they are obvious and sometimes not so.  From raising children to keeping a job to holding a marriage there are challenges for everyone.  Sometimes these tasks and how we do them is measured by whether or not we are successful, using the results.  Maybe you are parent and find it hard to raise a child.  They are rebellious and do not listen and maybe they are not happy that you require them to go to church, read the bible and to pray.  You keep them away from certain friends, you say not to them about certain movies, music and other entertainment and they do not like it.  You are only doing your best trying to raise the child in the ways of the Lord but you do not see any success because your child is not happy and it seems like you are only fighting with them all the time over Godly things.  While you measure your success by whether or not your child is happy, God measures your success by whether or not you are obedient and raising the child the right way.
     Maybe you are in a marriage.  As a wife or husband you want to serve the Lord.  Maybe your spouse does not.  So you go to church, you tithe of your finances, you volunteer and you respect and love your spouse according to the Lord, but your spouse is not happy.  You feel like a total failure, but you are not.  You see God does not measure your marriage based on someone else's obedience or actions but on your obedience.
     If we were to measure Moses based on results, he was not always successful when he went to Pharoah to have the people of God let go.  As a matter of fact Pharoah said, "NO!" at least 10 times. Was Moses a failure?  NO!  He was successful every time.  Every time Moses did what God told him to do, no matter what the results were, Moses was successful.
     In Conclusion, God measures your success not based on how many people you have in your Church, how many people you brought to Christ, how happy your kids are, how much money you have, how great your marriage is, or any of those outside signs.  NO!  God measures your success on whether or not you are obedient to Him and do as He tells you despite what the results may be.  That is why, "those who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children of God."  Romans 8:14.

Pastor Michael Salman  


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Heresy of Dispensationalism

    This article is on the heretical teaching of dispensationalism. Now I understand that there are those who feel that the word heresy may be a little strong for those who believe in dispensationalism, yet I assure you that after this article you can come to understand why I feel that such a teaching is heretical.

Many people in Christianity do not understand the teaching of dispensation and that due to their ignorance they feel that not knowing or being part of a church that teaches such and not knowing makes them safe. This folks is nothing less than an illusion and a safe house to make such a people secure in their ignorance and acceptance of a church that teaches such. Since many people who belong to certain churches do not belong to them because of what they teach but rather because of the people and the sense of community. That is why people remain in Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witness and other churches. That is why people will still go to a church that teaches the rapture, particular judgement, dispensationalism, prosperity gospel and calvinism, even knowing such is wrong, yet will remain due to the people.  This is wrong and this is a problem.

The fact is people do not care about doctrine anymore and for me as a Pastor and Teacher of the Word of God am not surprised, Christ foretold it. So you as a reader must make a decision also. So let us get to the subject matter.

What is dispensationalism? Here is the definition fond in Wiki-Pedia:

Dispensationalism is an evangelical, futurist, Biblical interpretation that understands God to have related to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants in a series of "dispensations," or periods in history.

As a system, dispensationalism is expounded in the writings of John Nelson Darby (1800–82) and the Plymouth Brethren movement,[1]:10 and propagated through works such as Cyrus Scofield's Scofield Reference Bible. The theology of dispensationalism consists of a distinctive eschatological end times perspective, as all dispensationalists hold to premillennialism and most hold to a pretribulation rapture. Dispensationalists believe that the nation of Israel is distinct from the Christian Church,[2]:322 and that God has yet to fulfill his promises to national Israel. These promises include the land promises, which in the future world to come result in a millennial kingdom and Third Temple where Christ, upon his return, will rule the world from Jerusalem[3] for a thousand years. In other areas of theology, dispensationalists hold to a wide range of beliefs within the evangelical and fundamentalist spectrum

     There is a lot of things wrong with such a teaching and yet so many churches throughout the world teach this false doctrine. Note that this was not taught by the Early Church. This teaching began as late as 1800's. How can a teaching that is less than 200 years old find its way in 80% of churches in America? It is just amazing and yet so many people are taught this.

So what makes this teaching heretical? Well, the eschatology of this doctrine or any doctrine is not the main problem here. While it is a problem it is not THEE problem. Many people can assume what is going to happen at the end but it does not make them a heretic. The problem with this doctrine is the issue of the "Nation of Israel is distinct from the Christian Church." and I would like to add, EQUAL.

People like John Hagee and others have taken dispensationalism to the extreme. Even some claiming that the Jews do not need Jesus Christ to be saved. That the Jews are the people of God. That Jews are our brothers and that Rabbi's are our teachers. While I love all people including the Jewish people I believe that such teachings are false.

Dispensationalist believe that God has 2 covenants. One with the Church and the other with Israel. That these two covenants are currently in operation and they are both honored by God presently. They believe that the Church is the people of God and that the Jews are the people of God. That God works with these two entities in two separate ways. This is where the problem occurs.

The Bible makes it very clear that when Christ came to the earth and died on the cross something happened. Not only were our sins washed away but the way Christ saw the earth and people became different. Everything that God had spoken to the prophets was being fulfilled in Christ life, death, burial and resurrection. These include but not limited to the prophesies given to Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Jeremiah, Isaiah and more.

Further, it is very clear that in the bible the prophesies being fulfilled was explained in Romans 2 (A Jew is one who has been circumcised inwardly.), Romans 10 (Jews who do not have faith in Christ have missed righteousness), Romans 11 (Those who did not believe in Christ have been Broken off), Book of Hebrews (There is a NEW COVENANT and the old has been done away with) (The Only Sacrifice is that in Christ). Ephesians (There is only 1 body and that is in Christ) (The wall that made 2 -Jew and Gentile has been removed and now there is one new man, those in Christ) Galatians (Those who have faith in Christ are the children of Abraham) and much much more.

Those who believe in dispensationalism take everything that God has done and said on the matter and unwind it and undo the work of the cross. For me to believe that God still deals with the Jews and the Church differently is heresy. That the Jews are saved because of their covenant with God is heresy. That God still seeks and desire an earthly Israel Nation is preposterous. When Christ came to the earth He made it very clear, my Kingdom is not of this world. Why now after he was crucified, buried and resurrected should we assume otherwise? The work of the cross can not be undone and believing otherwise takes what God has said and teaches otherwise.

Some may ask, How do I know if I belong to a Church that teaches dispensationalism? Here are some clues.

1) The pre-trib rapture doctrine, also a James Darby Doctrine, is taught in the church.

2) There is an Israeli flag in the Sanctuary.

3) The church believes that supporting Israeli they also will be blessed.

4) They use a lot of Old Testament to explain the Nation of Israel and its role now.

5) They call Rabbi's and Jews, brothers or teachers of God's word.

It is important to point that while I do not believe in dispensationalism, I do believe that God will and has a work among the Jewish people. This work is no different than that among any other people. God is patient wanting no one to perish. It is also very important to note, that I do not believe that the Jews killed Jesus, Jesus laid down His life and the only blame for Jesus's death is our sins. So in no way am I antisemitic.

What I believe is in Covenant Theology. That the Law and the Call of the Jewish Nation was fulfilled in Christ Jesus. That a Jew and Israel is not an earthly but a Spiritual people. That while there is an earthly nation that has a role in history, it is not as the dispensationalist believe. That there is only ONE covenant which is in Christ Jesus only. There is no Jew or Gentile

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (27) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (29) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
There are a lot more resources out there that if included in this post will only be redundant. Please take time to view the following for further study:

Romans 2, 10 & 11

Ephesians 2

Book of Hebrews

Galatians 3 & 4

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Bishop Michael Salman

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ken Ham and Bill Nye Debate Creation

     Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.  I thought I would take the time to write on the debate that aired on February 4th, 2014 with Ken Ham and Bill Nye.  I watched the debate from beginning to end.  I first of all commend Ken Ham for his courage to stand against those who claim that there is no God.  While I do not exactly believe as Ken Ham does in all matters there are a few things that I would note.  As I watched the debate, I found Ken Ham's speech a little too fast and hard to understand.  All through out the time that I was listening to him I was wishing with all my heart that Kent Hovind was up there instead.  Dr. Kent Hovind would have ran circles around Bill Nye.  Not to take away any credit from Ken Ham but public speaking as I well know can be difficult.  Nonetheless, the debate went very well and I believe Ken Ham made as many points that can be made clear enough.  
     Now for Pat Robertson.  Pat Robertson complained about the debate telling Ken Ham to stop with this 6000 year old world issue.  (SEE VIDEO BELOW)  Claiming that we look stupid when we debate a 6000 year old world.  Yet, what Pat Robertson is failing to remember is that the debate was not only the 6000 year old creation but in various times Bill Nye mocked the flood.  Which if you are a Christian know that the mocking of the flood is a sign of perdition. 

 2 Peter 3:3-6  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  (4)  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.  (5)  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:  (6)  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

      Those who mock the creation story more than likely mock the flood story.  What I want to ask Pat Robertson is, does he believe in a world wide flood that killed all of life except those on the boat?  Bill Nye claims that such a story is ridiculous.  He claims there is no way unskilled boat makers could have made such a boat.  That there is no way the 16 million species we have now could have come from only 7000 from the boat.  So with all of creation aside Pat Robertson, what do you say about Noah's Ark?  

     As a Bishop of the Church I can assure you there is clear explanations that clarify in Scripture all of creation, the flood and any questions found in geological finds.  So here is what the scripture clearly teach.

  1)   The Lord formed the earth in 6 days.  The sign of the sun and moon are clear indications of that.  "There was morning and there was evening the first day."  

2)  The dating of 6000 years from Adams years are correct.  It does not take a mathematician to add the years found in the bible to say that from Adam to now is about 6000 years.

3)  The world being many of years old is also correct.  What we fail to remember is a few things. 

A.  God created the heavens and the earth and the spirit hovered over the waters.  The earth was created and laid under the waters.  What we do not know is for how long was it like that before God said LET THERE BE LIGHT.  Remember the scriptures say   Genesis 1:1-2  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  (2)  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Thousands, Millions, Billions???

B.  God created Adam first and then Male and Female and then Eve.  Adam and Eve and all of man dwelt on the earth for a long time.  While we have Adam's Earthly Years what we do not know is how long did Adam and Eve live prior to being kicked out of the garden to die?  What we seem to think is that Adam and Eve were created and immediately they sinned.  I believe it was not for many of years before they sinned.  The age of Adam was not his pre-fallen age but his post fallen age.

4)  The story of Noah is accurate.  Everything on the earth died except for 7000 or so kind.  What people fail to remember is that after the flood there was nothing stopping God from creating again. Yes, he could have created 11 new species every day.  This is the same God who created a Fish large enough to swallow Jonah without notice.  Further while Noah may have been an unskilled boat maker with God's help anything is possible, even the impossible.  We are also talking about a God who split the Red Sea and freed 2 million + Israelite s from the grasps of a super world power using a man named Moses and a Rod.

     In Conclusion, I found this debate to be very enlightening.  To understand that the world, the earth and all of creation to have been around for thousands, millions or even billions of years is not a denial of faith.  God can use whatever He wants to use to make whatever He wants to make.  I leave you with a lasting story to understand the concept.  

Bill wanted a bike.  So instead of purchasing one he decide to go to yard sales and find the bike that he wanted.  During that time he could not find the perfect one so instead decided to build one from old bike parts.  He found tires, forks, a frame, handle bars, cranks and other accessories and he put the bike together.  Finally he had the perfect bike.  Jim his friend saw Bill riding the bike and asked him when did he get that.  He said just recently.  Jim then began to say that Bill has a new Bike. Bill will even claim he has a new bike.  Chris on the other hand is a bike expert and after looking at Bill's bike claims that there is no way that is a new bike because the forks that are on that bike are 5 years old and the seat which they do not make anymore is an antique over 30 years old.  Chris will claim that the bike has to be at least 30 years old.  Can Bill have a NEW BIKE made up of OLD PARTS?  

There is nothing impossible with God.

Bishop Michael Salman
Alethian Christian Church      

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Struggling Christians say, "Don't Do Me A Favor Please."

     Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.  In this article I want to be candid with you and request that you open your heart and mind to understand the struggles that Christians encounter every day and the actions of those in Christendom who do us no favors. 
     I would like to open this up by using an analogy.  When a person is a child they eat and drink whatever they desire.  There is nothing that stops them from eating or drinking what they want or whenever they are hungry.  When a child grows up they begin to notice changes in the body and the pressures of society force some to adhere and caution their eating and drinking habits.  Whatever the reason or influence both good or bad, many go on the journey of losing weight.  Many struggle to keep this weight off.  There are those who are in this type of world who tell people that the only way for them to lose the weight is through a change of lifestyle, this includes eating differently and exercise.  There are also those who advise that a person should be on a certain diet.  While there are others who say that a person does not need to be on a diet or exercise all they need to do is take a certain pill, drink or wear a certain apparatus and the weight will fall off, it's that easy.  While of course there are those who have just given up and have resorted to just wearing clothing to cover their weight. 
     I would at this time like to add another analogy.  A person is raised in an environment that makes them adopt certain bad behaviors and addictions.  These addictions disturb, disrupt and ruin a persons life and those around them.  There comes a time when a person realizes that such addictions are hurting themselves and those they love, so they go on a journey to stop it.  There are those who stop cold turkey and have no problems ever going back.  While there are those who join a group such as AA, CA, GA, or some Recovery to help them stop.  These support groups encourage a person to attend regularly, to have a sponsor or mentor and to avoid any environment or people who may drag them back into the life.  We accept their advice.  While there are those who try and try and then ultimately give up and just live in their addictions no matter what the circumstances are.
     Now I had said all that to say this.  People have been raised and been born into a sinful state.  There comes a time when a person comes to Christ and is called out of this life.  They realize that their life needs to change and that if they continue in the way they are at they will either end up in Hell at judgment day or end up living like it is Hell now.  So a person comes to Christ and is encountered by a lot of advice and teachings.  There are those who advise a person to live a holy life.  To stop sinning and obey God.  To form their life around good works and separate themselves from sinners and others who follow sin.  To abhor and hate sin and hate anything that has any part of sin.  That if such a person does sin, they are to repent and get back up and ask God to give them the strength to endure.  These people demand if not require the believer in Christ to have a set of standards including involvement in the Church, Prayer and Reading the Bible.  The Christian struggles, falls and gets back up again.  They do this all their life.  They struggle, fall and get back up again.  Then they continue to be the best servant and yet they struggle, fall but they get back up again.  Even though they know it is a struggle they never give up fighting.
     Then there are those who come in and give the advice that all they need is grace.  That Christianity is not about do's and don'ts and that God forgives and his grace covers our sins.  That we are not to worry about our salvation but rather to love Jesus and love those around us.  That sinners are our friends and that we should accept and love everyone as Jesus did.  That while they do not advocate sin, they do not instruct on any type of holy lifestyle separate of sin and the sinner.  They teach that works has no part of our salvation.  That all we need is faith and love and that our Faith in Christ is sufficient. 
     As a Christian I have struggled in my life in Christ.  I have had to battle many demons and skeletons in my closet as do many in Christianity.  I have been involved in Churches and Teachings that have taught under both spectrums and in between.  From those who teach holiness and separation and from those who teach grace and everything is surrounded and covered in grace and love.  So here is what I have to say those who teach about grace and that Christianity is not about do's and don'ts, PLEASE DO NOT DO ME ANY FAVORS.  You do not help me in my walk in Christ.  As a matter of fact you put a stumbling block in front of me.  You think that teaching that God has nothing but love and grace and no chastisement or punishment for me is doing me a favor, well it does not.  I need to have a form of fear and life of holiness.  I know that God loves me, I know that God has saved me by His love and only by His grace, I know it is not anything I have done that saves me, but now that I am saved I do not want to sin no more.  You telling me that God loves me no matter what is not helping me.  That God has forgiven all my sins, past, present and future is not helping me.  As a matter of fact this type of teaching only makes me not care when I sin.  It does not give me any form of consideration to others or have a spirit of holiness or desire to continue in a life of holiness.  Please do not get me wrong.  I know what God has done for me and I know what God is doing in me and what God will be doing through me but I do not need someone to tell me my bad actions mean nothing and my good actions mean nothing.  Your talk of God loves me and your instructions that Christianity is not about works is not helping me.  So please stop. 
     Reminding people of the love of God is good and thank you. Reminding people of the punishment of God is good also. There must be a balance. Warning Labels on products and foods serve a purpose. We demand them and require them. The nutritional and ingredent labels are necessary. They tell us what we are eating and how much of what we are eating. They protect us and we never complain about any label no matter how ridiculous they may seem. Like this package of peanuts may contain peanuts.
     If the Church is the Bride of Christ and I am a child, I need to know that Dad is coming home soon and He better find me on my best behavior.  I need to struggle with my sin when it appears.  I need to be tough on myself.  I need to hate my sin.  I need to hate sin.  I need to be told to do my chorus and to make sure they are done right.  I need to be held accountable and spanked when I do wrong.  I need to be told what to do and how to do it. I know that whatever I do has not saved me, but I also know that whatever I do or do not do may save me from myself and others.
     Thank you for telling me that God had died for me and that God has forgiven me and that God has saved me, but please tell me to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!!  Please tell me to RUN THE RACE!!   AND PLEASE also tell me TO GO AND SIN NO MORE!!

- Bishop & Pastor Michael Salman
Harvest Christian Fellowship - Alethian Christian Church

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Believers and The Local Church

     Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  In this article I would like to address the heresy and teaching that states:  That believers do not have to go or belong to a local body of believers and an incomplete thought that believers of Jesus Christ are part of a universal church.
     Let me begin with the latter part of the issue.  There is no doubt there is a universal Church.  A church that is NOT set up by buildings or any material structure.  The word of God makes reference by saying such:

Ephesians 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.

1 Peter 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:19-22  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  (20)  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  (21)  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  (22)  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

     Provided the scriptures above it is already clear that while we as individuals make up part of the universal church, there is a strong indication that even we as individuals are bound together to make up a larger purpose.  

     So yes, we as believers enter a universal church bound together by Jesus Christ but scriptures make it very clear that we as individuals are called to part of a local body of believers (FITLY JOINED TOGETHER).  Let us consider the following:

     No Christian that ever came to Christ was an individual unto themselves.  In other words the bible makes it clear that Christians who came to Christ were baptized and then added to the Church.

Acts 2:41-47  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  

Someone had to baptize them into the Church and someone had to do the counting.  Also note that they were ADDED UNTO "THEM."  This is a strong declarative sentence that there was some form of close possession or group.   They were added to a tangible, material and visual group.  

Those who also were added continued in the apostles TEACHING and FELLOWSHIP.

(42)  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  (43)  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  

     There were teachers who instructed, guided and taught the believers.  They belonged to a community of believers that shared and fellow shipped with one another.  They were not alone but a group.
     They also were TOGETHER and shared with one another.

(44)  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  (45)  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  (46)  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  

     They were TOGETHER and continued daily in ONE ACCORD in SINGLENESS of heart.

People saw them together and the works that were happening because of their unity.

(47)  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

     There was ADDITION to the Church DAILY.  Those that were saved were ADDED to the Church.  Not just some universal invisible group but a real tangible group of believers who shared, cared, taught and ministered together.     

     The text above gives us a clear EXAMPLE of what every believer should be doing when they come to Christ.  This example was placed to show us what Christ intended all believers to do and be.  Why then are people taught differently when we have such a clear and clean example of what believers did?  Why do people believe that being part of a local body of believers is not a NECESSARY part of the Christian Faith?  Where do people get the idea that God is OK with a believer not belonging to a local body of believers? 

Could you imagine if the scriptures said this:  Those who believe were baptized and then they went home.  They never met together, or gathered for fellowship.  They did not get taught anything for they relied on the Holy Spirit to teach them.  When someone was in need they had to figure it out.  They ate their meals by themselves and God kept bringing people to Christ to be just like them.

Of course not.  Such a story would be ludicrous and yet we have people teaching and preaching that that such a life in Christ is fine and permissible.  They believe that those who believe in Christ are part of a universal Church and do not have to be part of a local body of believers.  Such a teaching is false and has never ever been taught or even shown in scripture or even in the life of an early believer.  The Early Church held to the belief that anyone separate of the local body of believers has no part of God.

Cyprian of Carthage (240 A.D.) wrote:
   6. The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church. The Lord warns, saying, He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathers not with me scatters. Matthew 12:30 He who breaks the peace and the concord of Christ, does so in opposition to Christ; he who gathers elsewhere than in the Church, scatters the Church of Christ. The Lord says, I and the Father are one; John 10:30 and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy SpiritAnd these three are one. 1 John 5:7 And does any one believe that this unity which thus comes from the divine strength and coheres in celestial sacraments, can be divided in the Church, and can be separated by the parting asunder of opposing wills? He who does not hold this unity does not hold God's law, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation.

     These thoughts and doctrines were taught throughout the scripture.  The apostles, bishops and church fathers knew that a Christian can in no way practice the Christian Faith outside the Local body of Believers.  Lets move on to other examples.

     One important point is to note that every epistle was written to Churches and/or the affairs of the Church.  Not universal church but individual churches.  If people were not part of the local church, how would they have gotten such instruction.  How would they have heard what God wanted of them? That is why when the Apostle wrote letters he wrote them to the Church because that is where all believers were.  Those who did not belong to the Church were not considered Christians.  Let us look at how the Apostles and Bishops began their letters in the Bible:  

Romans 1:7  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 5:13  The church that is at Babylon "ROME", elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.)  ROME HAD A CHURCH.

1 Corinthians 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, 

2 Corinthians 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

Galatians 1:2  And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

Ephesians 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
(Revelation 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;) EPHESUS HAD A CHURCH

Philippians 1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:  (bishops and deacons were the leaders)

Colossians 1:2  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (WHAT MADE THEM FAITHFUL?)

1 Thessalonians 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:


Revelation 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

Revelation 2:8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Revelation 2:12  And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Revelation 2:18  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

Revelation 3:1  And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Revelation 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Revelation 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

     It is very clear that the letters written by the Apostles and Bishops were written to CHURCHES.  Instructions were given to groups of people.  These instructions were then taught to the people by Bishops, Pastors, Teachers, Deacons and such.  Instructions like, dwell in unity, love one another, provoke one another in love, encourage one another, sing with one another, pray for one another, submit to one another and many other ONE ANOTHER's.  How could this possibly happen if one is not part of a Local Body of Believers?

     The Bible also calls believers to be accountable saying things like:  Submit to those who have rule over you, to honor the elders who serve in the church, among other things.  If one does not belong to a local body, how can they be accountable?  Who do they answer to?  How are they taught?  How do they serve?  Who do they give to?  When they do good and help others the next questions I have is who are they glorifying?  Who are they truly helping?  How are they helping the work of Christ?  If I do not belong to a Church and lets say, I am a good person, believer in Christ and have a sincere love for God and I help someone.  How does my helping glorify God?  If such a person likes what I am doing and saying and then receives Christ as their Lord and savior, what are they to do now?  How am I to instruct such a person?  Do we then tell them just read the bible?  Do we tell them to just do good?  Where do they get fed, how are they taught and how do they grow without the Church?  Our work becomes VAIN and all a person has done is birthed something only to destroy it due to malnutrition.  Matthew 13 (Parable of Sower)

     I will not exhaust this any further but provide you a couple more scriptures:

         Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  (25)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

     How can one be obedient to Hebrews 10:25 if they do not belong to a local body of believers?  Have they not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together?  Does one have communion by themselves, does one baptize themselves, does one give to themselves, does one love themselves?  A person who does not assemble under the Church can not truly follow the teachings of Christ and even fulfill what is written in Hebrews 10:25.

Again listen to what Jude writes about they who are dis joined,

Jude 1:19-20  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  (20)  But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

THE WORD SEPARATE THEMSELVES - apodiorizō - ap-od-ee-or-id'-zo means to disjoin (by a boundary, figuratively a party): - separate.

And again the apostle John writes,

1 John 2:19  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

     In Conclusion,

     Many people will argue that there are a lot of problems in the Church.  That just because a person goes to church does not mean they are saved.  While much may be true, we do not throw out the baby with the bath water.  We have problems in our schools, in our work places and in our country but it never stops people from being taught or working or even staying in this country.

     God gave us each other because He knew that it is in the Church there is safety.  In numbers we can be held accountable, love, encourage and keep each other up.  God never intended believers to be alone or not be part of a local body of believers.  

Ephesians 4:11-13  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  (12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  (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 of Christ:

     God has a body.  This body is made up of many members.  These members are led by Pastors, Teachers and leaders.  These leaders bring the members in the Body into Unity.  A body that has members in unity to one another become a perfect man and receive the fullness found in Christ.  

     ANALOGY:  Christ is the TREE, The Branches on this TREE is the CHURCH.  The leaves on each branch are the MEMBERS in the CHURCH.  These separate branches are connected to the Same TREE.  A leaf by themselves can not survive and a leaf connected straight to the tree with no apparent branch is called a sucker branch.  They may take the nutrients from the Tree but truly produce or multiple no real fruit.  Such a branch is usually broken and removed from the tree so that the branches produce fruit.  

What fruit is produced from a person who does not belong to a Church?  A person who belongs to a Church can produce fruit and multiple 30, 60 and 100 fold.  

- Pastor Michael Salman
Bishop of the Alethian Christian Church     

*  P.S.  If you believe this article to be inaccurate please let me know how and what is inaccurate about it.  So that we may truly discuss any exceptions that I may have overlooked.  Going to Church does not save you, Christ does but he saved you to bring you into the Church so that you may remain saved and produce fruit and grow.  Unless you are on your death bed reading this nothing should stop you from being part of a local body of believers.  Be obedient and do the right thing.