24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. NKJV
The above scripture is used by many to suggest that believers are required to attend 'church services' weekly and conform to a pattern of being docile sheep who need to be submitted to local church leadership and be willingly entertained and then fleeced at what purports to be 'worship'
Let us firstly examine what the scripture actually states...and what the clear teaching of the New Testament is about what church is....what ministry is supposed to be....and what worship is.
Those we should fellowship with are those who are EQUAL to 'ourselves' i.e. brethren as we are and not 'exalted leaders'
There is no suggestion of 'church' membership or attendance at Sunday 'services' involved...just not avoiding getting together with other like minded believers
The church is the family of God...those who are born again by His Spirit ...and NOT an organisation or a building we have to go to in order to meet with God.
The primary context of the text is that we gather together to consider one another....to stir up love and good works. This does not imply any suggestion of giving money to support the preacher or the institution.
The description of how this is to be done is confirmed in 1 Corinthians chapter 14
1 Cor 14:26-33
How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. NKJV
There is to be no exalted leader who does all the teaching.....EACH OF YOU has the freedom to bring something for edification
The pupose is for EDIFICATION and encouragement ...not indoctrination in the views of an organisation
There is to be no 'worship leader'.....EACH OF YOU can bring a psalm
We are not called to sit quietly and be taught and entertained...we are called to contribute equally and participate
We as believers are COMMANDED NOT to have anything to do with those who do not follow Paul's lifetime example of working and providing for himself....this is not a mere suggestion
2 Thess 3:6-9
But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. NKJV
Today we find almost all of the church worldwide is in direct disobedience to one of the strongest and clearest commands given to the New Testament believers. How is this possible?
AND most so called 'ministry' today is in direct contravention to most of the clear instructions given to them by Paul and Jesus about money.
Today believers are required by most 'churches' to listen silently and not question even wicked heresies ...
where 'so called servants (ie ministers) exalt themselves above their brethren
where 'elders' seek to be pre-emminent among and rule over their brethren
where legalistic deception is taught rather than grace and truth
where money is extorted with every wicked deception and manipulation of the scriptures imaginable
where we are told that worship is when believers listen to polished musicians performing...and sometimes are even be allowed to sing along
8 But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. NKJV
Titles are prohibited...this applies as much to 'Deacon', 'Elder' 'Pastor' 'Bishop' or any other title which we find in 'churches' today
We as God's children ARE ALL EQUAL...the use of titles indicates clearly that some men being exalted OVER their brethren!
25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." NKJV
Church leaders, what part of "IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU" can you not understand?
Leadership and ministry are ROLES OF SERVICE not titles or positions of authority ... it is LAYING YOUR LIFE DOWN and that not for money
Freely you have received, freely give. NKJV
13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." NKJV
According to Jesus ..if it is a 'paid position' then it is NOT SERVING GOD
2 Cor 11: 20
20 For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. NKJV
We as believers are told NOT TO PUT UP WITH ...
Those who seek to control believers by demanding submission (instead of being servants)
Those who teach 'tithing and offerings' from the Law and put God's children into BONDAGE
Those who devour us....they burn up believers and then discard them from their churches up rather than building us up (3 John 9-10)
Those who take from us...YES this refers to the endless deceptions about being required to give churches and ministers 'MONEY'
Those who exalt themselves ...by giving themselves titles and exercising authority over their brethren rather than serving (Mat 20:25-28)
Those who strike us on our faces...they INSULT us by treating God's children as cannon fodder for their visions ....rather than precious brethren who are to be nurtured and protected and assisted in fulfilling their own God given destiny (Eph 2:10, Eph 4:12)
The scriptures call ALL believers to stand up for TRUTH and reject wicked control systems where we encounter these in churches' today....
by withdrawing our financial support until change comes
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. NKJV
The YOKE of bondage refers to legalism and the religious control systems of men which are rife in 'churches' today