63 - 1 Corinthians 12

Not only do we look into God's word to see what something is, we often look into the bible to see what something is not. Understanding what something is not helps us to understand what it is. It is always the word that is important, not what men say or do. We must never set our standards by men, rather, the word must always be our standard for truth.

In the last session we took an in-depth look into religion to understand what a home church is not to be. Now that we know what a home church is not, it's time to go to the word to see exactly what it is and how we should conduct church meetings in our homes.

As we already know, the word church, the Greek word ekklēsia encompasses any group of people called out for any purpose. In Acts 19:32, a confused and emotionally unstable mob is called an ekklēsia, a church, while in verse 39, a lawful assembly, a group of legal representatives called together to sort out a legal complaint is called an ekklēsia, a church.

Acts 19:32,39
Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly [ekklēsia] was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly [ekklēsia].

In studying the word church in the bible, it is of paramount importance that we remember that it always refers to people, without exception. This of course means that ekklēsia cannot be used to mean a church building, a religion, a ministry, or any ecclesiastical structure or religious organisation of any kind. It is absolutely impossible for anyone to go to church. Why? Because people are the church not that stupid stained glass building they go to every week.

The same is true of home church meetings. A home church consists of the people that come to your home. It is not your living room, understand? The church of God is people, not a collection of living rooms or any man made ministry. Whenever and wherever we meet together for any reason, whether it's in someone's home or not, we are the church of God, not the building or ministry or religious organisation we may happen to be a part of. If we go to the movies together, we are the church of God at the movies. If we go for a walk in the countryside, we are the church of God in the countryside. If we have a meeting in someone's home, we are the church of God in that living room.

So how do we conduct church meetings in our homes? What mechanics are involved? If you think it is just about one person leading a meeting once or twice a week, singing a few congregational songs, having a 'season' of prayer, going through the motions of manifestations, then listening to someone read a boring bible script that's been prepared for weeks, you either have no experiential understanding of the power of God or you've forgotten what it's like to walk by the spirit. Consider this in Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 14:26
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Paul is confronting the Corinthian believers here because the home church meetings were not edifying. The verse however does clearly indicate what they were doing in their home churches. For example, it is evident that these home church meetings were not led by a single person who controlled everything. If that were the case, then only those who had been asked to do anything would have prepared for the meetings and everyone else would have turned up, sat down, shut up and listened. So what can we learn from this? Well, home church meetings are not to be led by a single person who nominates who does what. If a church meeting, whether in the home, in a stained glass building, or at the headquarters of some ministry constructed by men is led by a single person while everyone else sits and watches, it is nothing more than a religious horseshit ceremony.

Those believers in Corinth turned up at their home church meetings and everyone wanted to sing a song, play their musical instruments, manifest tongues with interpretation and prophecy, tell everyone what God was doing for them, and teach. They were all excited and everyone wanted to give. In other words, there was absolutely no preparation beforehand other than getting the house ready. Think about that, selah. No one had been selected by the home church leader to teach, no one had been asked beforehand to prepare songs or anything else. Their home church meetings were not ceremonies prepared in advance. The believers walked by the spirit and were going to their meetings bubbling over with real life stuff to share about how God was moving in their lives. They were living the present truth.

2 Peter 1:12
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know
them, and be established in the present truth.

Do you understand what the word present means? Here's a dictionary definition.

The period of time that is happening now, not the past or the future.

If someone reads a script prepared months in advance as a teaching, by sheer definition how can it possibly be present truth? When Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost, did he have his teaching prepared beforehand? He probably didn't have a clue what he was going to teach until he stood up and God gave him his first scripture. And what a teaching! It was current, fresh and alive because Peter walked by the spirit and God energised in him to will and to do of his good pleasure.

When Peter taught in the temple in Acts 3 after healing the man born lame, did he pull out a teaching he'd prepared weeks earlier? How ridiculous, he couldn't possibly have known what was going to happen that morning when he went to the temple.

When Peter opened his mouth and taught the word to Cornelius and his household in Acts 10, did he pull out the notes on a teaching he'd been putting together for months? He couldn't possibly have known the gentiles were about to manifest the power of God by speaking in tongues, so his teaching was entirely inspirational, made up on the spur of the moment as he was going along, a bit like how this class is coming together. He walked by the spirit, just as I am doing with this class, and God was there energising within him as he does with me and will do with you if you walk by the spirit.

People, wake up, get the religious sleep out of your eyes, either we're walking by the spirit or we're walking by the senses, make up your mind. If you have a problem with this, take it up with God, I didn't write the bible.

Mark 13:11
But when they shall lead
you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost [holy spirit].

If we walk by the spirit, then we are living in the present truth. If we're following men and preparing teachings weeks and months and even years in advance, we're walking by the flesh, we're following men, it's that simple, and I don't give a fuck what the pope says to the contrary. He can worship Lucifer if he wants, that's his business, but we don't have to. People, it's time to come out of all those temples made with hands, all those religions, churches and ministries constructed by men. It's time to stop following men and make Christ our head. It's time to walk by the spirit and demonstrate the power of God.

Now of course, there are times when preparing a teaching in advance is appropriate and right. God may inspire you to teach on a subject you're not entirely comfortable or familiar with and you may need to sit down and study it. God may inspire you to teach a class over a period of days or weeks, so yes, you will have time to prepare. The point is, you're still walking by the spirit. God has given you the time to prepare because he knows you need it. And this brings us to a critically important key to walking by the spirit - God may only give revelation at the very moment you need it.

The world knows this principle. Everyone from military commanders to police chiefs to business executives to politicians only give information on a need to know basis. To the world, it's common sense. Well, what about God? He's smarter than anyone else on the planet surely? Haven't you ever noticed that more often than not you only get revelation at the last minute, on a need to know basis? I'd say that the majority of revelation I get is last minute stuff. Why is that? Why does God keep the majority of revelation information from us until the last minute? It's to keep us protected. If we don't know what he's about to do, then the devil doesn't know either so he doesn't have time to muster his forces and lay ambushes. It comes out of the blue at him. If I have no idea what the next session of this class is going to be about, then nor does any devil spirit. They don't know what's coming next because I don't and I'm writing the class.

Doesn't this make sense now you understand it? I used to wonder why God kept stuff from me until the very moment I needed it, but no longer, not now that I understand why. This, of course, means you need to be tuned in spiritually all the time so you don't miss stuff. Walking by the spirit isn't something you only turn on once or twice a week to try to impress people when you sit through a meeting.

If you're a home church leader and you're walking by the spirit and moving the word, very often God will show you what's going on in your area and inspire you to teach on a specific subject just hours before a home church meeting. Don't worry though, he always gives you enough time to prepare if you need it. It was back in 1998 that God first told me to buy a word processor and start writing. I had to learn from scratch and teach myself how to write. I had absolutely no idea where it was all going then, but I understand it now.

Even if you've had time to prepare a teaching beforehand, God can and does interrupt you while you're actually teaching with scriptures and stuff that needs to be handled. Learn to listen and teach what God wants taught, and you can't do that if you're mindlessly reading a stupid script. Expect God to give you revelation while you're teaching and follow his lead because he knows what he's doing. It might only be a ten minute teaching, so what? Your home churches might be more fun if three or four people taught inspirational present truth for ten minutes each rather than one person droning on for forty minutes.

Back in Corinthians, we can clearly see that the believers were not preparing teachings for their home churches months in advance, in fact it's more than likely no one knew who would be teaching what until they all showed up.

1 Corinthians 14:26
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Those whom God inspired sang songs, taught present truth, manifested, and shared what God had been revealing to them that week. The problem was they were all jumping up at the same time and clamouring to be heard. There's plenty of time folks, just enjoy your home church meetings and let everyone do their thing, by course, in order so it's edifying. That's when the word will be fresh and alive and the word will move. Who the fuck wants to sit through boring lifeless horseshit religious ceremonies?

I mean really, that is all churches and ministries offer today - boring religious ceremonies. How do I know? I've sat through thousands of the damn things, from Roman Catholic, Methodist, Free church and Hare Krishna services to home church meetings. If a home church leader is following a teaching curriculum prepared months in advance by counsels of men, they are not walking by the spirit, they are walking by the senses. Christ is not their head, their trust is in the flesh. This is not a patriarchal administration and God no longer has anything to do with temples made with hands.

When you think home church, don't think religious service, think family. How does a family work? Does mom sit there and tell each child when they can speak and when they can't? Home churches are not to be cold and religious, they are to be families, warm places where children can thrive and flourish. The home church leaders are not there to control everyone like some little dictator, they are there to oversee and be an example to God's kids as they learn to walk by the spirit for themselves.

1 Peter 5:2,3
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

We're examples over God's heritage like parents are with their children. This isn't about everyone going to a service and listening to some prick prattle on for hours about what he thinks we should be doing, this is about living life as a family with those God has given us to look after. What child isn't excited and comes running home to share the good news when something wonderful happens? Of course we should be running to our home churches with amazing stories of deliverance, and want to teach and manifest, sing songs and read poems. Yes, everything is to be done unto edifying, and that is the home church leader's responsibility, but the other extreme when no one gets to share anything and everyone sits in silence through a prearranged religious ceremony is far worse.

This verse we've been looking at in Corinthians is set within the context of running a home church and the proper operation of the manifestations of the gift of holy spirit, so we will now take the time to see how God wants home family church meetings to be conducted.

1 Corinthians 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, [pneumatikos - spiritual matters] brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Concerning things of the spirit, spiritual matters, God does not want us ignorant. How simple is that to understand? I mean, if God wanted us stupid, all he had to do was tell Moses and all the others to shut up and not write the bible. It would have been quite easy for God to keep us ignorant, if that's what he wanted. God doesn't want us ignorant. He had the bible written so we could understand spiritual matters. All we have to do is read it and study it. We don't have to be ignorant of spiritual matters if we don't want to be. How wise we are spiritually is up to us, not God. He wants us wise. Whether you read and study the bible or not is entirely up to you.

1 Corinthians 12:2
Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

No one goes beyond what they're taught. Did you know the Hare Krishnas grew pig tails because they were taught that God would take them to heaven by grabbing their hair and that if they didn't have a pig tail his hand might slip off their heads and they would be left behind. You can laugh, but really, religion turns people into idiots. Are your beliefs any better? Do you believe Jesus Christ is God? That's just as ridiculous as pig tails. So is believing that when you die you're not really dead you just go somewhere else. It's all pig tails.

Roman Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is God because that's what they are taught. Protestants walk around in fear wondering if God is going to make them sick or kill them because that's what they're taught. The world leads people to these dumb idols. Dumb idols include religious ceremonies conducted by people who walk by the senses and not by the spirit of God. Just because people pray, sing together, and teach from a bible means absolutely nothing. It's all pig tails and dumb idols if people are not walking by the spirit.

When I first started reading the bible, I was clueless. All I had was religious horseshit in my head that I'd picked up from the stupid churches my mother sent me to as a child. One day I was doing something and suddenly realised it was sunday. I thought God was going to kill me for breaking the sabbath and I skulked home cowering beneath the clouds waiting for a lightning bolt to hit me. That's what religion does to you. Christianity is not religion, it's about family, it's about the way of a father with his children. Do parents kill their children for making mistakes? God is my father and he isn't looking for excuses to kill me or make me sick. When I make mistakes, he just smiles, teaches me his word, and on we go again.

I learned later of course that the sabbath isn't sunday anyway, it's saturday, and that in this Administration of Grace we're freed from the law so working the sabbath is no longer an issue. As Jesus Christ taught, the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Religion is horseshit that we must scrub from our minds if we're going to enjoy any kind of relationship with our heavenly father.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can [dunamai] say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost [pneuma hagion].

God gives us to understand. God doesn't withhold understanding, he gives it, therefore if people have no understanding it isn't God's fault. People who do not read and study the bible have no understanding. That isn't God's fault. Bibles are readily available and anyone can pick one up and start reading it. If we don't, whose fault is that?

Hosea 4:6a
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:

God's people are destroyed because they walk away from him. It isn't God who walks away, it is people who walk away from him. We do that by rejecting the knowledge in the bible and walking by the senses instead. God gives us to understand, he wants us to be wise. One thing God does not want us ignorant of is that no man who speaks in tongues is cursing Jesus Christ. Paul brought this up by revelation because that was what was circulating through the home churches at that time. People were teaching that when you spoke in tongues you could be cursing Jesus Christ. The devil will try anything to stop people manifesting holy spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can [dunamai] say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost [pneuma hagion].

Not only is it impossible to curse Jesus Christ when you speak in tongues, Paul states very clearly that it is in fact the ONLY way you can say that Jesus is the Lord. The word can is the Greek word dunamai from dunamis, which is inherent potential power. Holy Ghost should have been translated holy spirit, and it refers to the gift of holy spirit we receive at the time of the new birth. Without having holy spirit no one has the potential power to say that Jesus is their Lord. Speaking in tongues is the only way to do it. If you want to say Jesus is your Lord, the only way to do it is by holy spirit, which is to speak in tongues. That's what the word says and that's what it means. So all the talk out there about how much people love Jesus is religious horseshit if they do not speak in tongues. The only way anyone can say that Jesus is their lord is by holy spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6
Now there are diversities [diairesis - differences, distinctions] of gifts [charismata], but the same Spirit.

And there are differences [diairesis] of administrations [diakonia], but the same Lord.

And there are diversities [diairesis] of operations [energēma], but it is the same God which worketh [energēo] all in all.

These verses seem quite complicated at first, but they're really quite easy to understand. The context is spiritual matters, pneumatikos, so these all refer to spiritual matters. The gifts of verse 4 is the Greek word charisma referring to gifts of God's grace. All the gifts we receive by God's grace are listed in scripture, and there are differences between them. The new birth is a gift and so are the five gift ministries, and clearly there are differences between them. However, there is only one God who gives these gifts.

The Greek word for administrations in verse 5 is diakonia not oikonomia and should be translated ministries or services. There are different ways we can serve and minister in the body of Christ, but we only have one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Greek word for operations in verse 6 is energēma from which we get such English words as energy and energise. The operations of verse 6 are energisings of spiritual power within the body of Christ, of which there are many, such as speaking in tongues and healing people. There may be differences between the available energisings of holy spirit, but there is only one God who energises in all of us, as it clearly states in Philippians.

Philippians 2:13
For it is God which worketh [energēo - energises] in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Paul is building the context here in preparation for teaching about the body of Christ before launching into how to conduct home church meetings, so sit up and pay attention. Follow the logic because it will help you to understand what's coming.

1 Corinthians 12:7-10
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

To another faith [believing] by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

These verses we have already covered in some depth. Each of us has the potential to energise all nine of these manifestations as we choose to believe. Each manifestation has a unique and distinct profit. As we grow in our believing, we will energise more of these manifestations more frequently, and therefore we will enjoy more of the benefits. Verse 11 again emphasises what verses 4-6 teach, that there is only one God who energises in each of us.

1 Corinthians 12:11
But all these worketh [energēo - energises] that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally [idios - his own] as he [the man] will.

Now let's look at the body of Christ.

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

This figure of speech regarding the body of Christ is a fabulous truth when you understand it. When Christ was here on earth, the bible refers to Israel as his bride. The bride of Christ is entirely different to the body of Christ. Those who confuse the two lack understanding. The bride of Christ is not the body of Christ and the body of Christ has nothing whatsoever to do with the bride of Christ. During the Christ administration while Jesus Christ was alive on earth, his entire ministry was to Israel who are referred to as the bride. However, Israel had Jesus Christ murdered by the Romans, so I guess that's reasonable grounds for divorce. Since the day of Pentecost, in this Administration of Grace, the church of God is no longer referred to as the bride of Christ, it is referred to as the body of Christ. What's the difference? Track with me here, because there is some sensational new light on the way.

I hear people today wish they'd been with Jesus while he was alive. Man, those people are ignorant. If folks understood the difference between the bride of Christ and the body of Christ they wouldn't wish for such things. If they were somehow granted their wish and went back in time, Jesus Christ would have had fuck all to do with them unless they were a Judean.

Matthew 15:22-28
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.

And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith [believing]: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

If you think this is horrible, you have no understanding of what the mystery really means to us in this Administration. Back in the old testament and during the gospels, us gentiles were dogs, and God's people would have nothing to do with us. We were animals to be avoided. Yes, you could become a proselyte if you gave up everything including your culture, your family, your friends, and your country, but it wasn't an easy thing to do. If you doubt me, go and read the book of Ruth. That woman became a proselyte and you can clearly see what it cost her. So don't waste your life wishing you'd been with Jesus, he would have had nothing to do with you and his disciples would have sent you away.

Romans 15:8
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of [to] the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

Perhaps now you might be a little more thankful for what God accomplished for us in Jesus Christ when he raised him from the dead.

Ephesians 2:11-15
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

When God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, us Gentiles were reconciled to God in one body with the Israelites. Christ is our peace who abolished the enmity between us and brought us into the presence of God. Since the day of Pentecost, even us Gentiles can be born again and be a part of the body of Christ. How amazing is that?

Before I started writing this session of the class, I became more than a little concerned because I saw I was going to have to handle this subject of the bride and the body of Christ. I was concerned because I didn't really understand the difference between the two figures of speech. I mean, a bride? All that figure of speech put in my head was a silly picture of Jesus walking around with a woman in a long white dress. A figure of speech is supposed to give us mind pictures to emphasise spiritual truths, but in my heart I knew that wasn't the picture God intended. This concerned me so much, I decided not to teach it. Then one morning while preparing for this session, I saw that there was no way to avoid it.

A couple of pages into this teaching, plodding towards the bride and the body with some reluctance, I found myself one afternoon listening to an old teaching by Dr Wierwille entitled The Bride and the Bridegroom. At first, I didn't realise how timely it was. I'd been working through all his old live audio teachings and this just happened to be the next one. A few minutes into the teaching, I suddenly realised where we were and my mind sat up and paid attention. Maybe, I thought, I'd learn something.

Now don't get me wrong. I've studied this topic hundreds of times and know as much about it as anyone else on the planet. I know all about the differences in administrations, Christ's ministry being to Israel, and about Christ in us the hope of glory. The thing I didn't understand was why God chose those two figures of speech depicting the church of Israel as a bride and the church of grace as a body. Why use a bride and a body? What has a woman in a white dress got to do with Christ? What is God talking about? I knew it had to be deeper than I understood it.

About half way through the teaching, God showed me a picture in a moment of time that cleared it all up. He showed me a blackboard with chalk drawings on it, just like in a classroom at school. On one side was a small chalk circle representing Christ with a line drawn to a big chalk circle filled with little chalk marks representing the people of Israel. On the other side of the blackboard was a small circle representing Christ with loads of small circles below him all with a single chalk mark within representing a single believer. The image below shows you what God showed me.

This picture was only in my mind for a split second, but that was all it took to show me the difference between the bride of Christ and the body of Christ. Israel were all inside one big circle and Christ was their bridegroom - he married the whole bunch of them as one unit. We all have Christ in us and so he is joined to each one of us individually, and we are all joined to him in one body. We all make up the body of Christ as individuals, not as one huge group. By the way, this is an excellent example of how revelation manifestations energise within us.

The revelation manifestations are word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits. God communicates with us by revelation. His word is revelation so we are expected to know that first. When you know the word, God can and will show you additional things by sight, by hearing, by smell, by taste, or by touch. He will communicate with you personally, and as you walk by the spirit and develop your abilities you will learn to recognise when God is telling you something. He regularly tells me things by revelation. While I'm writing these class sessions he always lets me know when the first draft is complete by filling me with a deep peaceful feeling inside. That's his way of letting me know the session is complete and it's time to knock it into shape and sort it out for publishing. That deep peaceful feeling inside is his way of telling me a job is done. When I'm ministering for example I keep going until I get that peace.

Another example of revelation is when I feel sick inside. It's God's way of letting me know something is wrong and I need to speak in tongues. I don't know what the problem is or what it is I'm praying for, but I speak in tongues and pray perfectly until the sick feeling goes away.

Another way he gives revelation is with compassion that wells up inside us. That's often the green light to get involved in situations and help someone. Without that compassion welling up inside me, I don't minister the gift of holy spirit. Neither did Jesus Christ for that matter. When God welled up that compassion within him, he moved and he ministered. That was his green light to feed the five thousand and heal the leper. Without that green light he would not have moved, understand?

Matthew 15:32
Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

Mark 1:40-42
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

Compassion, peace, and feeling sick inside are also normal human emotions. God doesn't work outside the framework of the senses realm, he works within it otherwise we wouldn't have a clue what he was saying. What we have to learn when we begin to walk by the spirit is to differentiate between our emotions and when God is giving us revelation. It isn't difficult, but it isn't automatic. We have to learn to walk by the spirit. We take the steps and as we stumble forwards we learn how to keep our balance and eventually we learn how to run the race with patience.

Hebrews 5:13,14
For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews  12:1
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

God will talk to you on your level and communicate with you in ways you will understand. Revelation is very personal, it's the way of a father with his children. Ah, and there's the peaceful feeling inside letting me know that's enough on revelation for the time being and it's time to move on. Now read the following verses in Corinthians regarding the body of Christ in this new light.

1 Corinthians 12:13-27
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews [Judeans] or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

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

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

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

And if they were all one member, where were the body?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

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

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

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

For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Remember, the body of Christ is not some man made religious structure, so this is absolutely not referring to positions of administration or prominence within any organisation or ministry of any kind. According to verse 13, the body of Christ comprises individuals who have the gift of holy spirit and have been called out from among both Judeans and Gentiles, bond or free (a reference to Roman social class distinctions). The functioning body of Christ is those of us who walk by the spirit with Christ as our head, it is not some religious organisation run by men who walk by their senses.

If Christ is our head, then it does not matter if I don't know you and you don't know me as Christ knows both of us. You may live in Africa and I in Scotland, but as we both walk by the spirit with Christ as our head we are like minded, and we are edifying the body of Christ together, in one accord. We don't have to be part of some man made ministry in order to be in one accord. Being like minded has nothing whatsoever to do with getting along with everyone in some crappy temple made with hands. Getting along with people is a senses ability and there is nothing spiritual about it. I don't get along with very many people at all. When you've spent the majority of your ministering life confronting God's people with the word because they're full of fucking religious horseshit, it doesn't tend to make you very popular and I'm extremely comfortable with that.

Bearing all this in mind, read the next verses very carefully, noting that the context now specifically deals with in the church.

1 Corinthians 12:28-31
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

As the context of these verses is clearly marked as in the church, they cannot be taken out of that context. In the church means exactly what it says, in the church. These verses are referring to church meetings. As the church of God comprises people who are born again, called out from among both Judeans and Gentiles and as such are part of the body of Christ, these verses exclusively deal with how we conduct church meetings when we get together. We are now dealing specifically with how to conduct church meetings in our homes.

No ministry or religion or organisation constructed by men can claim to be the church of God because ekklēsia cannot be used in that context. This means, of course, that the Roman Catholic church, the Way International, the Methodist church, the Baptist church, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Anglicans, the Salvation Army and every other religious organisation on earth are not the church of God. When people who are born again go to these places they are not going to church, they are the church wasting their lives attending broken cisterns.

As an aside here, did you know that the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth was a 33rd degree freemason who was financed by the Rothschilds? The Rothschilds are the vatican bankers. In essence, Booth was financed by the vatican to found and establish the Salvation Army in 1865. But why? The Salvation Army sends out old women in silly uniforms with begging bowls and so its income can't be tracked because on paper it's all voluntary contributions. The Salvation Army is a criminal front set up as a charity that was originally used to launder vatican drug money being landed in London by the East India Company. Drug money went in with all the charitable contributions and came out the other side laundered and clean. Most charities today are in fact nothing more than money laundering schemes run by criminals. And people actually send money to the fuckers. Can you believe that?

These verses in Corinthians simply can't be used by any organisation to teach that God places people in administrative roles within their ministry because they are the body of Christ. God has nothing whatsoever to do with placing people in jobs within any religious organisations. They advertise, they hold interviews, they read CVs, they conduct meetings, and then they select the people best suited for the available jobs. That is walking by the senses. Just because they pray and ask God for guidance doesn't turn walking by the senses into walking by the spirit. Sure, God can give you revelation regarding employing someone if you need it, but don't confuse walking by the senses with walking by the spirit.

No ministry anywhere on earth can claim to be the church of God or the body of Christ. To take these scriptures and teach that a man made temple is the body of Christ and that everyone in their organisation is there because God placed them in the body where it pleased him is criminal misrepresentation of scripture. Come out from among them and be ye separate saith God, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you. Come out of the world's religious dungeons and be free again, let living waters flow from you and walk as a son or daughter of God. Back to the church.

1 Corinthians 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles [dunamis], then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

This verse had me baffled for decades and it was only while working this session that I understood what it's talking about. I mean, how can apostles be more important than prophets, and prophets be more important than teachers? And why is there no mention of evangelists or pastors? This never made any sense to me until I finally realised the context, that we are in the church. We are dealing with how we conduct churches in our homes. This isn't God playing favourites because God is no respecter of persons and all the gift ministries are just as important as any others. So what's it talking about? This isn't about importance, it's about progression. This is the order in which we are to run our home church meetings.

An apostle is someone who has been given a gift ministry. It isn't a gift to the man, it is a gift to the body. As such, it is a spiritual thing which means that when an apostle is energised there is flowing of living waters from him. The context of the chapter was set in verse one as spiritual matters so we are still discussing spiritual matters. The energising of a gift ministry is a spiritual matter. Specifically though, the context has tuned in to home church meetings. We are concerning ourselves now with spiritual matters as they relate to the running of home churches.

So, what is the first thing we should be doing at our home church meetings? Praying? Manifestations? Singing? Announcements? We don't have to guess, the word tells us. The word says apostles who have new light teach first. This is how we open a home church meeting. New light is taught first. Now, isn't it amazing and refreshing to realise that the teaching of the word is to be first in our home church meetings, not last.

Now although apostles bring new light to their generation, this does not mean that it always has to be new light to the world. Remember, there were new believers turning up every week at those home churches in Corinth, so new light would have needed to be taught every week to them. It wouldn't have been new light to the disciples necessarily, but it would certainly have been new light to the new believers. What were they teaching? Scripts prepared months earlier at the headquarters of man-made temples? Don't be ridiculous, they taught what needed to be taught as God energised within them to will and to do of his good pleasure.

As new believers turned up every week, the needs would have been constantly changing. That's why we must be in the present truth and be walking by the spirit. When you have a counsel of men mandating what is to be taught for the next year throughout their entire ministry, you are not walking by the spirit and living in the present truth, you're walking by the senses and putting your trust in men. We teach what God wants taught and quite often you won't know what that is until it's time to teach, just as Peter didn't know what he was going to teach later that day when he got up early on Pentecost and was stuffing his face with breakfast. What we teach will obviously vary from home church to home church depending on the need. We move with God, not counsels of men.

Once any new light has been taught, then the prophets get their turn. If there is stuff that needs confronting and sorting out, that comes next. With new people constantly coming through the doors with all their bad habits and crappy thoughts, this is perhaps more important than you might at first think. Another thing, home churches were not there to cater to disciples who turned up every week full of shit that needed sorting out because they were too fucking lazy to keep themselves in the word. The disciples were going there strong in the Lord ready to help the new believers. If you want to be a disciple, get out of those horseshit temples you hold so dear, establish a church in your home, and teach and minister.

After the apostles and prophets have done their thing, then comes teaching. New believers would require much teaching. Remember, none of this has been prearranged by anyone. Christ is the head over all things to the church and it is God who energises all in all. Whoever God has inspired to teach, they take the floor next. In Corinth every home church began with a number of exciting, relevant teachings.

Why aren't evangelists mentioned? Well, evangelists don't go to a home church to evangelise, they do that out in the world. A home church meeting is not the place to witness to new people! See how beautifully this all fits together? Why are pastors not mentioned? Sit up and pay attention, because this is mind blowing. Pastors take care of disciples who have been beaten up in the spiritual competition. Figuratively speaking, they patch up hurt disciples and care for them until they're fit to get back out into the fight. So why are they not mentioned here? Well, brace yourself, it's because home church meetings are not the place for pastors to do their thing. Home church meetings are where the children learn the word and learn how to walk by the spirit.

Adults are to take care of their stuff away from the kids. If you're beat up and discouraged and feeling hurt because you've been taking the world on and it's dumped shit all over you, that's okay, it happens, we're human, God still loves you, go and find a pastor, someone who can help you get sorted out behind the scenes. Don't let the kids see you like that.

As parents and adults do we go to our kids with our problems and dump it on them? No, of course not, it wouldn't be profitable for them. See how this works? That's why pastors are not mentioned here. And one more thing, a home church meeting is not the place for fucked up disciples who are too lazy to keep themselves in the word. If that's all your life is, don't come to my home church or I'll kick you out the fucking door. If you're a disciple and come to my home church, you come prepared and ready to give, you come ready to help me look after the kids and help me teach them to walk by the spirit by being an example.

1 Corinthians 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles [dunamis], then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

After the word had been taught, the home churches moved into miracles and healings. Miracles is the Greek word dunamis which means power, inherent potential power. What is this talking about? It's talking about manifestations of holy spirit.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power [dunamis], after that the Holy Ghost [pneuma hagion] 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 10:38
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [pneuma hagion] and with power [dunamis]: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Romans 15:19
Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power [dunamis] of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

This power obviously includes speaking in tongues with interpretation and prophecy. So, right after the teaching of the word you have manifestations. When I went to home churches in the past, I sometimes used to struggle to get myself into the right frame of mind to manifest. More often than not I simply was not in the right frame of mind and I had to work my mind beforehand so I was ready. The word was always last in those meetings. Now that it's first, I find that after hearing the word I'm fired up and ready by the time we get to manifestations. It is at this point in a home church meeting that the believers manifested tongues with interpretation and prophecy, and operated revelation and power manifestations to help people who needed it. This all followed the teaching of the word.

Why do you think God gave us nine manifestations? They are there so we can minister the power of God to those who need it. New people coming through the doors means problem after problem coming through the doors as people escape from the world. What are you going to do? Tell them to sign up for a class and make them wait weeks or months thinking a stupid class is going to help them? Get in there and minister, get that gift of holy spirit energised and go and have some fun in life. Let's get the word moving again.

Okay, people need ministering to, so who does the ministering? People nominated by the home church leader? Or those inspired by God? Is Christ our head or is our home church leader our head? We follow the direction of our home church leaders, yes, but they are not our head. When it comes to manifestations and walking by the spirit, Christ is our head, not men. We don't wait for our home church leaders to tell us what to do, we walk by the spirit with Christ as our head. If you're at a home church meeting and you see someone with a need and God moves compassion within you to help them, that's your green light, never mind the home church leaders, go and minister.

Who sent Ananias to go see Paul? His home church leader or Jesus Christ? Ananias would not even have checked with his home church leader before heading over to the street called Straight.

Acts 9:10-12,17
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Do you think Ananias' home church leader would have been pissed off with him for not checking through him first before heading over to see Paul? Had Ananias been so religious and stupid, I think Christ might have found someone else to send.

1 Corinthians 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Helps refers to support. This is where singing songs and reading poems would be beneficial. Have you ever noticed how a song sung on the lips of a believer can be healing? This is where folks can play their guitars and minister the healing power of God through music.

1 Samuel 16:23
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Support would also include taking care of any pressing needs any disciples or new believers might have, like jobs and making sure everyone is taken care of. This is where the home church leader might use some of the tithe money to help someone through a difficult time. We have to learn to take care of people and have all things common or the word will never move. The home churches have to learn to look after each other so everyone always has all their need met.

Acts 2:44-47
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

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,

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

This doesn't mean we carry lazy people, it means we walk by the spirit and every situation will be different. Only by walking by the spirit can this be accomplished. Walking by the senses will lead you into ditches filled with the blind. We're not here to start another welfare system. Compassion can help us to understand this.

1 John 3:17
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

If God moves your bowels he is filling you with compassion to help someone. If you don't do it, how dwells the love of God in you? This isn't about being stupid and giving all your money away, it's about walking by the spirit. Manifesting the love of God isn't about being religious, sweet and sickly with everyone you meet, it's about walking by the spirit and doing what God wants done. This can only work if we all walk by the spirit with Christ as our head. One day God may fill you with compassion to buy a family a week's groceries. If you are filled with compassion, you have the money, you see the need but you decide to keep the money for yourself, how dwells the love of God in you? God wants you to help that family but you're so greedy you want to keep all your money for yourself? How dwells the love of God in you? However, if there is no compassion yet you give all your money away, you're just being religious and stupid. Another time he may tell you to buy someone new clothes so they will be presentable at a job interview. Another time he may tell you to confront someone in the home church for lying and they might drop dead right there in front of you.

Acts 5:8-11
And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

And great fear [awe and respect] came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

If we don't walk by the spirit, this whole church of the body thing simply will not work. Running a home church isn't something we can make rules about or they will turn into religious ceremonies filled with sweet plastic smiles. We must all walk by the spirit and learn to keep the grievous wolves who want to control everything away from us and our people.

Terminology has a great deal to do with this as well. For example, what is fellowship? This may seem like a silly question, but do you know what fellowship actually is? What comes into your mind when you hear the word fellowship spoken or see it written? What does the word convey to you? Is it a place where you go to get into the word with other believers? If so, your perceptions of the word are absolutely wrong. Not once anywhere in the church epistles or in the book of Acts is a home church referred to as a home fellowship. Home churches are home churches, they are not home fellowships. Why is this distinction important? Well, let's take a look at it.

1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Is fellowship somewhere you go twice a week? Is fellowship somewhere you go to congregate with other believers? Not according to the bible it isn't. Fellowship is our relationship with God our father and with his son Jesus Christ. Fellowship isn't somewhere you go to, it's something you live everyday with your father. If you are a disciple walking by the spirit you are in fellowship. We go to a home church not to have fellowship, but to help new believers learn how to have fellowship every day with their father just as we do. Our purpose in life isn't to go to a home fellowship twice a week and sit through a ceremony, it is to have fellowship with God and his son Jesus Christ all day every day.

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ is walking by the spirit every moment of every day. It is having fellowship with God and with Jesus Christ. We don't go anywhere to have fellowship, it is a way of life. We have to start calling our home churches what the bible calls them and stop calling them fellowships. The church of God who walk by the spirit are in fellowship with God, they live in fellowship with God every day. Note also that not only do we have daily fellowship with God, but we also have daily fellowship with his son Jesus Christ. Keep this in mind, because it's going to be coming up later.

1 Corinthians 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Governments refers to leadership stuff, where the church leaders keep folks informed of what's going on in their area. You know, announcements. With so many believers coming and going, and so many new believers turning up every week, it was important for the churches in Corinth to keep everyone up to date with home church activities. If day trips were planned it would require planning and preparation so everyone knew where to meet up and at what time and had an idea of what to bring with them. If they were all going to meet up at the amphitheatre for a show, folks would need to know the details. If special teachings or classes were planned, venues and times would need to be sorted out so everyone was happy. It is at this juncture in a home church meeting that all this stuff is discussed.

To close the meetings, they had diversity of tongues. Why isn't interpretation mentioned? God didn't want it mentioned because this isn't talking about tongues with interpretation, it's talking about diversity of tongues. We've already had manifestations earlier in the meeting, remember? So what's this talking about? Remember all those new believers who had come to their first meeting and had just heard the most amazing word of God taught and had seen the power of God in manifestation? Well, now it was their turn. Leading new believers into speaking in tongues is to be a part of every home church meeting. Practice sessions to get them fluent with speaking in tongues is a big part of this. That's what diversities of tongues refers to here. People need to practice speaking in tongues together, and the home churches are the places to do it. When new believers come, we are to lead them into speaking in tongues before everyone leaves.

Reading these verses I get the impression that home church meetings were perhaps a little bigger than we're used to. Sure, in our living rooms perhaps we can only fit in up to a dozen people, but back in the middle east in the 1st Century a lot of homes surrounded a central courtyard, so it leads me to think that their home churches may have had in the region of 20-40 disciples or more, plus all their new believers. With new people turning up all the time, there would have been a great need to keep splitting home churches to keep things manageable. Again, walking by the spirit is the key but I think we should raise our sights and perhaps believe for bigger living rooms. This isn't about one person controlling everything, it's about God giving gift ministries where they are needed so the word will live. Perhaps it's time to buy a few stacks of comfortable chairs so we can pack people in and make a real joyful noise.

Now remember, none of this is to be religious or ceremonious in nature. Keeping religion out of a home church is the home church leader's responsibility. Keep things vibrant, fresh and alive and the word will live. And isn't it remarkable to note that churches all over the world today do things backwards and put the word last after all their ceremonial horseshit. I guess we have the vatican to thank for that, as usual.

1 Corinthians 12:29-31
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Not everyone is an apostle or a prophet, are they? In our home churches does every single person there speak in tongues and interpret? If you had forty people there you'd be at it all night. No, not everyone speaks in tongues and interprets at a home church meeting even though everyone there who was instructed in the manifestations of holy spirit could, see it? Another thing, it's those who are inspired at the time who are given the opportunity to manifest, not a few picked out a day earlier by the home church leader when he was putting his little ceremony together. Christ is our head, not men, don't ever forget that.

Chapter 64 - The Council of Acts 15