Tag Archive | bible

Jesus was not against organized religion according to the Bible

church 4”Organized religion” could be a church gathering with certain basic rules

Sometimes believers try to justify their separation from other Christians, as well as church meetings, with the idea that Jesus was against organized religion. The Bible says no such thing.

During the time of the apostles Christians often met in their homes, which makes sense since they could not always take over Jewish synagogues and start having assemblies there (but sometimes they did). The climate is usually very warm in the Middle East and this means that people often could gather outside, like on top of their buildings to make room for more people. Where I live (Sweden) it is a totally different matter, and it is a huge advantage if Christians have access to a large building in order to assemble several families who can worship together in a practical way. Hence, the idea of a large building with the very suitable name ”church” – since the building is supposed to be a place where Christian believers assemble. ἐκκλησία (ekklesia, Strong’s 1577) is often translated church and could mean an ”assembly of believers”. (An assembly of Christian believers or a church building are not necessarily Babylon ….)

Naturally a certain amount of rules must be implemented in order for everyone to have a pleasant time together in their worship. The Bible (particularly the book of Acts), gives us some details how such meetings could work out and why they are even needed. A church meeting (an assembly with Christians) provides a chance for everyone to hear sermons (from a pastor), to sing worship songs together, to hear prophesies, to get healed, to edify each other, etc. These things must logically be made in a certain order to avoid total chaos.

It is true that Christ is in our midst if 2-3 persons gather in his name, but 1) let us at least do that, and 2) this does not diminish the importance of having Christian assemblies with even more believers.

Matt. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them

1 Cor. 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Some Bible verses about gathering with Christians under structured conditions

It may not be a salvational matter to assemble with other Christians (and sometimes it is not even possible or preferable for various reasons), but it can be very edifying both for you and others. Maybe you believe that you know best anyway so why let some pastors speak and hold sermons you might disagree with? In that case, maybe you can enlighten fellow lost believers (like after the sermon in order to not disturb the peace). Or perhaps you are the one who needs to be enlightened after all. If you are only willing to attend a church meeting where you agree with the pastor about everything, then you will have to continue spending your Sundays alone. A church meeting is not solely there due to the sermons, but in order to have fellowship with other Christians, to sing worship songs together, etc.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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  

Below we get advice for church meetings:

Ja. 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool

Ja. 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The ”laying on of hands” means to officially confirm a qualified person as an elder, which is an important task done by another elder. This is indeed ”organized religion”, and if everyone had obeyed Paul’s advice in selecting elders all would be well. Unfortunately Paul himself knew that there would be believers who would deviate from his teaching rather soon.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:—7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;—9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 

1 Tim. 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Below we can read about ”organized religion” in the book of Acts. 

Acts 2:41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and FELLOWSHIP, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles44And all that believed WERE TOGETHER, and had all things COMMON; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46And 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, 47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

We can see above that Christians had fellowship with each other in the same place. Notice that 3000 people were saved and added to them the day in question. Baptism and breaking bread with others could not be possible unless Christians assembled together. Neither would signs and wonders have a large impact on people unless they were seen by others. Christians did not abandon the temple, even though they could of course assemble also in their homes.

When Paul was out travelling, he knew there were Christian assemblies that he could meet up with. We can see below that believers met together during a certain day and time, were taught in the temple and in homes, we can read about structured purifications and offerings,

Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the TEMPLE at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

Acts 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the TEMPLE, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Acts 4:19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20Go, stand and speak in the TEMPLE to the people all the words of this life.

Acts 4:42 And daily in the TEMPLE, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Acts 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20And straightway he preached Christ in the SYNAGOGES, that he is the Son of God.— 26And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 

Acts 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the SYNAGOGES of the Jews: and they had also JOHN TO THEIR MINISTER.-–14But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the SYNAGOGUE on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15And after the reading of the law and the prophets the RULERS of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and BRETHREN, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.–

Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the SYNAGOGUE, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium that together they both went into the SYNAGOGUE of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude of both the Jews and also of the GREEKS believed.

Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the SYNAGOGUE every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the GREEKS.— 7And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God,whose house joined hard to the synagogue.8And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a SYNAGOGUE of the Jews:2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,—10And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.—-17Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Acts 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the SYNAGOGUE, and reasoned with the Jews. —22And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.— 26And he began to speak boldly in the SYNAGOGUE: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.27And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,—8And he went into the SYNAGOGUE, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.— 

Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the TEMPLE, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. 27And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the TEMPLE, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the TEMPLE, I was in a trance;18And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every SYNAGOGUE them that believed on thee:

Acts 24:11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. 12And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:—18Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the TEMPLE, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

church9Church (ekklesia) is sometimes used in CONTRAST to a group of individual believers!

1 Tim. 5:3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. — 9Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man. 10Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. 11But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;—16If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church (ekklesia) be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed. 17Let the ELDERS (presbyteroi) that rule well be counted worthy of DOUBLE HONOUR, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.—19Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses20Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Above, Paul gives instructions to the assembly of christians (the church) concerning the treatment of widows, and he advised them to preferably take care of their own family members (like widows) rather than having the church providing for them. In that way the church could focus on those with the most urgent needs. Apparently taking care of widows was one of many functions that the church had during this time. Paul also provided regulations concerning treatments of church elders, again indicating that christian meetings were ”organized”.

3 John 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: — 9I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

The man Diotrephes refused to receive the brethren and he even cast them out of the CHURCH. So the true brethren are mentioned in contrast with the Church. The wicked person (in the church) cast them out of the church.

Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church (ekklesian), and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.—

If we can never say ”I’m going to church” because we as christians are always the church wherever we go, then neither does the above verse make any sense. Here we can read that Paul, Barnabas etc were ”received” by the church. It is better to receive godly men into church, instead of casting them out as Diotrephes did.

1 Cor. 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.2Now I praise you, brethren,that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. —4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.—16But if any man seem to be contentious, WE have no such custom, NEITHER the churches of God. 17Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18For first of all, when ye come together in the churchI hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifestamong you20When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.—30For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.—33Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34And if any man hunger, let him eat at homethat ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Above Paul contrasts (differentiates) ”we” with ”the church”. He is also talking about ”when ye come together in the Church”, which sounds like a physical place. Paul takes for granted that we are going away when we ”come together in the church” because he complains about people who take the chance to eat a lot of food while being in the church. Paul asks ”have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?” and ”if any man hunger, let him eat AT HOME”.

1 Cor. 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 34Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands AT HOME: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Paul says above women should be silent in a teaching situation in church (not when it comes to singing, making prophesies, translating tongues, etc) and in this instance he is speaking of a certain place (away from home) and not a metaphor for believing people because he then gives permission for them to speak at home.

1 Cor.16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.— 15I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. 17I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 18For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.19The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 

2 Cor 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.—  19And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:— 

We are supposed to be the body of Christ, which means many members with many gifts and talents. God has set some in the church (the body of Christian members) to be apostles, prophets, teachers, etc. Paul speaks about the importance to use the spiritual gifts in a certain order – in an organized way.

1 Cor. 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.— 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.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor. 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.— So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.— 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. —16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.—  23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.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.27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.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 churches of the saints. 

Here is a similar article about the same topic.

PLANETS in the creation account, wandering STARS, fallen angels – Jude 13

amos 5”Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; WANDERING STARS, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 13)

”Wandering” derives from the Greek word πλανήτης (planétés, Strong’s 4107), and is only used in the Bible in Jude 1:13, where we can read about wandering stars. About this word we can read in Biblehub that it derives from the verb πλανάω (Strong’s 4105) with the meaning of leading astray, deceive, wander or cause to wander. It can signify a star that is wandering (a planet), and in a figurative sense it could mean a false teacher exploiting other aimless people leading them to go astray.

This is naturally where the English word ”planet” is taken from, and is a word which we can also recognize in numerous other languages (with minor differences in spelling).

Many have asked why planets are not mentioned in the Bible, but only the earth, the sun and the moon. Should they not get a mention? If the planets are included in ”stars” they are already mentioned. The Bible seems to refer to the planets as wandering stars in Jude 13. Most stars are not wandering at all but are fixed in their places (many of them existing in certain star constellations which can be seen throughout the earth), but certain stars are considered to be wandering.

Apart from the earth (which is naturally described by itself in the creation account) the planets (the wandering stars) are seven in number.

Amos 5:8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name:

The above could of course signify an open star cluster called the Pleiades (the seven sisters), in the constellation of Taurus. It is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the sky. Orion is, like Taurus, a star constellation. Maybe it could also refer to the seven wandering stars.

Gen. 1:1 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.—14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Fallen angels

The Bible mentions angels which kept not their first estate but left their own habitation. Jude also compared with the unnatural way that the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha lived their life with sexual perversion (homosexuality):

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Jude refers to Enoch as ”seventh from Adam”, showing that he understood the history in Genesis as being literal (Enoch is indeed the seventh generation from Adam). Jude had no reason to doubt that the description of the sons of God (angels) was literal as well:

Gen. 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Also the book of Enoch and the book of Jasher confirm this story and provide even more details.

The sun (or the stars) were not needed to illuminate the earth the first 3 days (the sun was created on Day 4), and we know from the book of Revelation that the lamb of God (Jesus) will be the one to give us light in the new Jerusalem.

Satan, a beautiful star

Satan, a beautiful star, fell from heaven due to his rebellion. Now he walks about trying to deceive people.

Luke 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, WALKETH ABOUT, seeking whom he may devour

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. (also Job 2:1-2) 

The prince of Tyrus and the prince of the air (Satan) show a similar life pattern as can be seen below. Satan was a bright star:

Ez. 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:—  12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

According to Christian flat earth supporters, they believe the stars are smaller and closer to earth, placed in (not above) the firmament. If the stars were larger, they could not have fallen down to earth but would have caused the earth to burn up long before approaching:

Rev: 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Rev. 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Ps. 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

Here is how Venus looks like. Just like the other planes, it looks like a star:

Saturn (the rest of the stars look similar):

 

The pre-existence of Jesus with his Father before the foundation of the world

trinity 4The Alpha and Omega, the first and the last – a name claimed by both Jesus and GOD

Jesus claims to be the first, but surely God is the very first? This indicates that Jesus rightfully claims to be God, rather than being someone who confuses innocent Bible readers by apparently taking the role of someone he is not.

The son of God, Jesus Christ, was born in flesh by virgin Mary about 2000 years ago, but it was his own prior choice and he had previously pre existed in a former state. Jesus pre existed before he became a man and walked upon the earth.

John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.— 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Sometimes the trinity is compared with an egg, consisting of the yolk, the white and the shell, where each part could be regarded as God the Father, God the son and God the holy Spirit. The weakness with this illustration is that each part is about 33% of the egg, whereas each person in the trinity (apart from being a separate part of the trinity) is each 100% God and definitely no half-gods. Maybe a better analogy might be one pile of sand split into three piles of sand. Each pile is 100% sand which is the original substance – even though there are even more original substance in existence. It is possible to start with one pile of sand, split it into more piles, and join the pile back together again. Maybe this analogy helps when reading poetic expressions about the son going forth from God which is the original starting point. This does not mean that Jesus started to exist in the moment he took the shape of a human being. Another analogy might be water being split into three puddles, or fire where you to take a lit candle and lit two more candles with it.

Maybe a business company can also help as an illustration. The ONE company might consist of three owners/employees who have mutually decided which role each one of them should have in the company. They might even decide which one of them that should take on the ”greater” role, and be the company’s official frontage. They might start out together on location but decide to let one of them make some business travelling in order to promote the company and get more customers. Another one might be responsible for the administration and the third one might be responsible for practical needs such as food supply and maintenance. We are still talking about ONE company.

Bible verses showing Jesus in the godheadonly god

The below verses are rather self-explanatory. Jesus existed before all things and by him were all things created, both visible and invisible. Is God something? Can he be filed under visible or invisible? Yes, so he could not have existed before Jesus, since Jesus was before all things and was first. If we understand Jesus to be God, however, there are no contradictions. God is eternal and has always existed before all things.

Col. 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (4416) 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 (4416) from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence

So Jesus is the one who created all things with his own hands, and yet Jahve is said to have done the same thing (and that no one was with him). Again either we have a contradiction or Jesus is part of the trinity:

Hebr. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Is. 42:5 Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

Is 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.-— 18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.

Jesus existence before came to earth as God in flesh:

Daniel 3:25 Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.

The Jews certainly understood what Jesus meant with the claim that he had seen Abraham (despite that Abraham lived before Jesus) and when Jesus used God’s name ”I am” on himself. They immediately took up stones to kill him, just like the Jewish law prescribes concerning those who blaspheme God:

John 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Jesus prayed to his Father and asked him to glorify him (Jesus) with the glory which he had with his Father before the existence of the world. It is interesting that Jahve does not share his glory with anyone, and yet Jesus requests to share his precise glory – which he is granted. The only way to solve this is through the trinity. It is further illogical to love someone if he is only an idea or a plan.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.— 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Is. 42:8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Hebr 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;Who being the brightness of HIS GLORY, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high

John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

Jesus is the word3Jesus is said to have made the decision to become a servant on earth and to be made in the likeness of men. God is also stated to having sent his son, which is not a contradiction since Jesus is part of the godhead:

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the GLORY of God the Father.

Below is more about the divine GLORY that Jesus had, despite that Jahve explicitly does not share his glory with anyone. Jesus was also the WORD, and this word was in the beginning with God. Not only that, but the word was God! This word (Jesus) became flesh. This is something that God the Father never did, but Jesus certainly did:

John 1:1 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.— 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. 

Jesus is called the first and the last, Alpha and Omega. Just like God calls himself. Either Jesus is blaspheming God and confuses the innocent Bible readers, or God is part of the godhead:

Rev. 1:And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.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.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.

Isa. 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.12 Hearken unto me, O Jacoband Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

Isa 44:Thus saith the Lord the King of Israeland his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 

Jesus was described as the spiritual rock that followed the Israelites through the Exodus:

1 Cord. 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

When it comes to the Angel of the Lord (not a created messenger), you can read this post. The Angel of the Lord communicated with God in heaven, despite calling himself God.

Psalms and proverbs mirror the reality, so we must be careful to not automatically understand all poetical expressions and songs as being literal in all details. We can often read about the son being the first-born, only begotten, was brought forth, etc, and they are description of the word that became flesh.

Jesus prayed to his Father and communicated with himJesus birth

Jesus is not the same person as his Father, and Jesus frequently prayed and communicated with his Father – showing they are different persons in the same godhead. God is naturally ONE (a very clear teaching in the Bible and very central  teaching for both Jews and Christians), but this one God consists of three persons and dimensions.

Jesus will sit at the right hand side of God (God the Father), and even if taken symbolically this clearly shows the two are not the same person but different ones in the godhead. The lamb of God, which is Jesus, walked up to him who sat on the throne to take the book with the seven seals:

Rev. 5:6 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.

When Jesus was as a child he grew and became strong in spirit, indicating he is a different person from his Father who always had full spiritual capabilities and knowledge:

Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.— 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Jesus, as man on earth, did not know the time of the last days, but he claims that his Father knows:

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Jesus made a difference between his Father’s will and his own will. Naturally Jesus came to earth to fulfill a task and he was always willing to do that – until death. If Jesus communicated with himself and asking himself about what was possible, it would be highly confusing.

Matt. 26:39 39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

John 4:34 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Jesus counts himself as one witness and his Father as another witness – thus two witnesses. Jesus even says that his own witness is not true if he only bears witness of himself. Fortunately his Father makes up another witness, confirming what Jesus was saying. On top of that, Jesus says he did not come to do his own will but the will (another will) of the Father that sent him:

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

John 8:13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

Jesus communicated with his Father on the cross. It was not the entire trinity who died on the cross, but Jesus Christ, the son of God:

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

The voice of the Father came from heaven, at the same time as Jesus was on earth and prayed to his Father. They are clearly distinct persons, but in the same godhead:

John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

Acts 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

More examples where Jesus makes a distinction between himself and his Father:

Matt 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.—42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.30 I and my Father are one.31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, BEING A MAN, makest thyself GOD.— 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

John 18:11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

1 Cor. 8: 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Hebr. 1:1 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.5 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.7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.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, Show us the Father?10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;— 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. — 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. — 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. — 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.— 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.— 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.—16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. –— 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

jesus 2John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:— .8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.— 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.1 — 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  — 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world

Spiritual gifts are in use today, but watch out for false spirits

Misunderstanding of the spiritual gifts

The evangelist Torben Søndergaard explains that the spiritual gifts are still valid today and very much in use by born again Christians. Unfortunately, he must also warn against false spirits among us in our churches, like those involved in new age and eastern religions with yoga practices such as kundalini.

The fact that someone gets healed does not necessarily mean that the person who heals him (i.e. someone with the gift of healing) can automatically be assumed to be right with God and someone who always lives a holy life. God is the perfect one who is the great Healer, and he gives authority to all Christians to receive the gift of healing (as well as other gifts). All Christians are not necessarily perfect even though they have the opportunity to be so. A person with the gift of healing can therefore not automatically be assumed to live a more righteous life than others, and might choose to go different paths in life – like into a much closer relationship with God or become consumed with the powerful gifts and subsequent fame (if we are perhaps talking about a TV evangelist) that he/she becomes worldly. You never know, but we should test all spirits and also judge people by their fruit.

Christians sometimes fall into one of two ditches:

  • Those who believe that NO spiritual gifts are still valid today (unless God would decide to zap a unknowing person on the street and make him/her possess one or more gifts) due to the possibility that fake instances of the gifts can be detected and due to their misunderstanding of the Bible text. Since they are basically cessationists (believing the spiritual gifts have ceased), they therefore assume that people claiming to speak in tongues (or with other types of spiritual gifts) are either lying (a sin), or are demonic (a sin) and are therefore not real Christians. For these people speaking in tongues is a sign that the speaker is NOT a Christian. (Compare with Mark. 16:17 where tongues are said to follow those who believe.)
  • Those who believe that a person with one or more of the gifts – particularly with the gift of healing – must be particularly loved by God and have a particularly advanced Bible knowledge. An authoritative Christian closer to God than others and who should be obeyed over others due to having such fantastic gifts.

We should have a more balanced view. Evidence of fake money is no evidence that all money is fake. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that the gifts of the holy Spirit were old news and should be forgotten even shortly after the New Testament was written. There are unfortunately Christians who totally misunderstand the spiritual gifts and believe such manifestations were only a sign for the unbelieving Jews (see here why this is not Scriptural).

It is not always the case that a healed person will automatically become close to God and interested in living a righteous life. In one occasion, Jesus healed ten lepers and only one of them returned to give glory to God (Luke 17:18). However, there is a great chance that people will indeed seek the true Healer after having been wonderfully healed themselves. It is wise to seek the one responsible for the miracles and find out what he requires from us (a holy life with love to Him and to others).

Maybe you have watched youtube videos showing people who have been healed, and who are so surprised over what just happened to them that they burst out in a curse word – probably because this is the language they normally use. If the evangelist team (or the person with the gift of healing) takes the chance to share the gospel with the healed person and welcome him/her into a Christian gathering there is a great chance that he/she will choose the right way. Those who produce such films might not include the entire communication because it is time-consuming, so do not be too quick to assume that the issue of repentance is not being taught.

Some healers might not be interested in sharing the gospel or explain the urgent call for repentance and if that is the case there is a problem. People do not get saved by getting healed (although it might sometimes be the first step that makes a person interested in finding out more about God), but by repenting for past sins and walking with the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not possible to assume that the healing must be fake because the Healer has shown to not always live a righteous life. Again, God is the Healer and according to the Bible faith often has a lot to do with the success of getting healed. Nevertheless, a person with the gift of healing is naturally expected to live a holy life, just like those he/she heals. If you do not see an eagerness for repentance, but just a lot of empty manifestations which might even be disorderly done, there is a good chance that there are false spirits involved.

Be careful about those preachers who claim that the gifts of the holy Spirit have ceased (which is just what the devil wants you to believe), and be careful about those preachers who focus on the gifts, fame, money and worldly living.

Mark. 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues

1 Cor. 14:1 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for NO MAN understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

How globe earthers should not communicate with flat earth believers

FE”Always be ready to give a DEFENSE to everyone WHO ASKS you a reason for the hope that is in you, with MEEKNESS and fear” 1 Pet. 3:15  (NKJV)

The flat earth movement is getting increasingly more popular, and this means that it is logical to take an interest in the subject – to find out why people believe in a flat earth. (Whereas others for some reason get angry at people who do so.) Especially if there is someone out there who believes flat earthers are not even saved due to their incorrect view of the shape of the earth. Unfortunately many globe earthers engage in flat earth discussions with the completely wrong attitude, which leads to that they are wasting their time and make the flat earthers even more confident that they are on the right track. Why else would the globe earthers make so little effort to prove their arguments wrong but resort to demeaning remarks? Is that all they can do? The only way to convince the flat earthers that they are in error, is to study what they believe and debunk those arguments. If you are not able to do so (because you only superficially understand their model and make the wrong assumptions) then it is a lot wiser to remain as a person just asking questions. You will not gain anything by raising up straw man arguments – debating something that no one believes.

Please do not get mad at people who honestly believe something! Sure, they might be in error, but if they have investigated something and are TRULY convinced that it is true, why being upset about it? Would it be better if they lied and denied what they believe, like saying one thing with their mouths and another thing in their hearts? Do you want to scare them into silence? If you manage to scare them into silence, then you will of course not help them out of their errors, but they will continue to believe as before but they will not share their thoughts with you. If they are wrong, is it not better to have a mature conversation about it and get them on the right track? Would Jesus Christ really ridicule and patronize people who honestly believed something is true? Would that behavior convince them that they are wrong? Jesus took the time to explain why the pharisees were in error. When Jesus met the woman at the well, he did not get mad, or raise his voice, or jump up and down, but he explained to her how she could turn her life around for the better. Paul had many discussions with misinformed people.

There are two common reasons to be interested in the flat earth movement that I have noticed. I can say from the start that I belong to the first group:

  1. Since the flat earth idea has become so popular, it is interesting to find out how the flat earth model works and which arguments flat earthers use to support their theories (and which arguments they use to disregard the globe earth). For example, how do they explain the fact that it is possible to circumnavigate the earth? If I have plans to make claims that the flat earth theory does not work, then it would be dishonest if I did not first made sure to understand the theory I am complaining about. I would like to treat others they way I would like to be treated myself. If I do not even know how their theory works, I lack enough knowledge to debunk them.
  2. The other alternative: Since the flat earth theory (which I know almost nothing about) is wrong, I would like to explain to the lost person why it is easily debunked. I will therefore not waste my time by watching flat earth videos, but rather videos which debunk the flat earth (from their opponents). IF I choose to watch a flat earth video, it better be short and I would make sure to have pen and paper handy in order to list things I am about to debunk. That would be my only reason for watching it, and to be able to say ”Yes, I’ve watched flat earth videos, and I therefore know all about their model”. What is presented about the flat earth model in those videos (from the opponents), that IS what the flat earthers believe! Of course I can trust the flat earthers’ opponents to get it right.

The four seasons occur when the sun’s rotations over the earth follow circular paths, going from tighter to wider. This will explain both the constant tropical climate and the midnight sun.

Below are some common mistakes which globe earthers make in their discussions:

Demeaning and patronizing remarksearth 7  

Globe earthers do not seem to understand that all flat earthers used to be globe earthers. As globe earthers, they had the exact same sentiments and used the same arguments which present day globe earthers use. It is therefore a total waste of time to use excessive descriptions about how ignorant, fooled and deceived those are who believe in a flat earth. They already know this is how you feel! They used to feel the same way! They used to have the very same arguments! It would not help in the least if you compared them with mormons, Jehovah’s witnesses, muslims, etc and spent time explaining in detail how easily fooled they are. Again, they already know this is how you feel! You can write page after page with explanations about how deceived and confused they are, because you will still get nowhere. Your information is not new to them. They would only say ”been there, done that”. Adjectives such as ridiculous, absurd, insane, horrid, stupid, foolish, awful, laughable, childish, preposterous, unbelievable, etc, mean nothing to them even if you add several exclamation marks, add several ”lol:s”  and scream tin-foil hats and kooks after them. You are wasting your time. Please note that many (or most, or maybe even all …) of them started to check out flat earth videos in order to debunk them and get examples of  how deceived flat earthers are, and instead they were converted themselves. Not because they like conspiracy theories (they might hate them), but because they felt the facts point to a flat earth and away from a globe earth.

”The flat earthers know better”!

Maybe the most important thing to remember about the flat earthers is this:
They TRULY believe the earth is flat! People might say that they of course already know this, but the same people might still claim that the flat earthers ”know better” than believing in their theory and ”deep in their hearts they know they are wrong”. So make up your mind now. Do you believe that the flat earthers truly believe in the flat earth model, or do you believe that they do not truly believe it after all? Does it matter? Yes, it matters a great deal, because the first option means they still deserve respect, and the other option means the opposite. The first option means that the flat earthers speak the truth about what they believe, and the other option means they are liars and purposely spread falsehood. If you purposely spread a theory which you KNOW is erroneous and fake, this is indeed to cause confusion – as in lying. How then can such a person be a saved Christian? Does not this mean that you cannot be a flat earther and a Christian at the same time? Surely God would have told us in the Bible that it is not enough to repent, believe in Jesus Christ and follow his commandments, but that you must also believe in the correct form of the earth in order to be saved?

If a globe earther does not believe that flat earthers believe in their own theory, he/she is deeply mistaken. Flat earthers (unless they claim otherwise) are convinced about their theory and TRULY believe it is true. It is rather disrespectful to not even trust that people  believe whatever they claim they believe in. Why the doubt? This does not mean they are right about their model, but it means that they likely know better than you do what they themselves believe and why they believe it. If they are wrong, then just explain why by using proper facts and arguments. Can you do this without understanding their model? If you make false assumptions about their model, the conversation might deteriorate because of you. Flat earthers will not be persuaded by patronizing remarks, but they might be persuaded by facts.

”Conspiracy theorists are intentionally LOOKING for ways to turn an official story into a conspiracy theory and are PLEASED to find conspiracies. They are NOT interested in looking for ways to see if the official story might work!”

A statement like the above is a great way to close doors for communication and obstruct a meaningful conversation. I personally know a lot of conspiracy theorists (truth seekers), but I know of no one who is looking for conspiracies. I find that the complete OPPOSITE is true. They absolutely H A T E conspiracies, and the first step they take is to see if they can find ways to save the official story – in order to not end up with yet another government story that does not fit the evidence. Non-conspiracists might reason: ”Since these people believe in multiple conspiracy theories and refuse to budge, this means they love to turn official stories into conspiracy theories just for the joy of it”. What about the opposite alternative, that they do everything they can to save the official story but fail to do so since the facts refuse to cooperate?

If a story does not work due to anomalies (like steel beams turning into dust for no reason) and strange coincidences (like the coroner’s presence at the Sandy Hook school hours before the arrival of the shooter), then unfortunately a person will naturally start to believe that the official story is a lie and that there is a conspiracy. He might investigate the matter even further and find even more anomalies, impossibilities and lies. What is stupid about siding with the facts?

Could it be the Globe earthers who are far more interested in debunking the flat earth theory, than understanding the theory?

Many globe earthers are way more interested in DEBUNKING the flat earth theory than DOING RESEARCH about the flat earth theory to see how it works. This means that the globe earthers have not made their homework and it will be extremely difficult to have a conversation. The flat earther knows about BOTH theories, and the globe earther only knows about ONE theory. The confusion deepens when the globe earther does not even understand his/her lack of knowledge.

A conversation could still run smoothly if the globe earther chooses to ask questions, because no previous knowledge is required for asking questions. Unfortunately many globe earthers work in the exact opposite way. They start off sticking their chins out by making brave claims that they know ”everything there is to know” about the flat earth, or that they know it ”very well”, or that they have ”studied it thoroughly for years”, or similar. Still, many might not even know how a flat earth map looks like! They want to debunk the theory and think they can do this convincingly without studying it.

Learning about the flat earth model through their opponents

Globe earthers often link to videos which supposedly debunk the flat earth, but since the globe earthers avoid flat earth videos as the plague, they do not detect the straw man arguments presented in the globe earth videos. This will make a discussion hard to follow since the flat earther must take his/her time to explain their model to the globe earther who has not done his homework. You can lead the horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink. The safest way to avoid misrepresentations of a model, is to go the source of those who are proponents to that model. Not their enemies! 

Globe earthers often assume that they are the ones with the wider knowledge about the topic (the shape of the earth), but if they have not studied the flat earth model they only know ONE side of the argument and not TWO sides as the flat earthers.

NASA – ”Never A Straight Answer”earth 6

Just about all information about the moon landings and the flat earth comes from NASA. This is ONE source and it is not an objective source. NASA receives billions of dollars every year from American tax payers (like 19,3 billion dollars for the year 2017), and would of course like to display great success in order to continue getting a steady stream of money. It is a good thing to be skeptic about information from NASA because they have proven to be liars, cheaters and green screen lovers. You will also find military and/or free masons in the very top. There are lots of flat earth believers, but there are even more people (me included) who believe the moon landings are fake. Bart Sibrel’s (a Christian man) movie ”A funny thing happened on the way to the moon”, proves that NASA faked half way to the moon and this website shows that the photographs are fake. I can also recommend Jarrah White’s video channel ”Moonfaker” .

Globe earthers should try to understand why flat earthers will not accept NASA as a source.  Not all flat earth arguments must involve NASA, so it is probably easier to focus on those arguments if you want to debunk the flat earth.

Why has no one been to the edge? 

Because they have been to the edge. The edge = Antarctica. Globe earthers would save a lot of time if they read about the Antarctic treaty and about admiral Richard Byrd as well as his expeditions to Antarctica. No one is allowed to go anywhere near Antarctica without authorized company, and if anyone tries he/she will be shot.

How could all NASA employees and other millions of people keep such a secret?

This is a very common question, and if the globe earthers had studied the flat earth, they would know that the flat earthers do not believe that a lot of NASA employees are aware of either a faked moon landing or a flat earth (particularly not the latter). They rather believe that only a few people in the very top of certain affected organisations would know about it, and they are likely tied to the military (or CIA) and have signed secrecy agreements. For example, think about the famous films/pictures of the control center i Houston, in 1969, where loads of people can be seen in front of their screens (or elsewhere) screaming and shouting. How many of them would know that the moon landing was a hoax? None of them would have to know.

Why would not some of the insiders disclose their findings? Likely because they are military and/or free masons, but some do disclose it. But who would they really tell, and who would believe them and spread it further? A newspaper? And the reporters on that newspaper would immediately start to write about it? Of course not. Others have spread the news, or intended to spread the news, and suddenly died very young in suicides or sudden accidents.

The flat earth theory highlights a trustworthy Bible which means what it saysfootstool

Some globe earthers claim the flat earth theory is of Satan because it is causing confusion and deception. I am not afraid of the flat earth theory at all, because it promotes a trustworthy Bible – which Satan would never do. The flat earthers often highlight that the the Bible means what it says when it comes to the creation order (the earth before the sun), the description of the sun, moon, stars and the firmament, but also the various details provided about the earth. The earth is described as being stationary (does not move…), placed on pillars, having four corners earth 8.jpgand with a dome over it like a tent – where we are living under and inside the firmament/tent. The earth is also described as being God’s footstool. Naturally it would not be a literal footstool but if the earth looked like a ball, the analogy would not make any sense whatsoever. On the other hand, a flat earth, with four pillars beneath it and four corners, would look precisely as a footstool. There is a Hebrew word for ”ball” which is not used in the Bible when it comes to describing the earth, but the word for ”circle” is used. Joshua’s long day, where both the sun and the moon are claimed to stand still, does not make any sense in a heliocentric model, but makes perfect sense in a geocentric model. Again, flat earthers often point out that we can trust the Bible exactly as it says, from beginning to end, and this is the opposite of what Satan would do. Satan would try to lead us away from the Bible by fooling us to believe that the Bible contains multiple anomalies and things that do not fit the reality. Satan is responsible for popularizing the Evolution theory, and there are still Christians (old earth creationists) who try to combine a billions of years old earth with the Bible.

The other day I happened to see a person (Person 1 below) who entered a flat earth thread on Facebook and spent several posts in describing how important it was to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He explained that it was his discovery of the flat earth which made him think harder and realized that the earth is way too unique to not have a creator, etc. Even if the concept of a flat earth is naturally not the only reason for believing in God, for some people it can still be the catalyst to think twice about the big bang, Evolution, billions of years, earth being a tiny speck in the vast universe, life on other planets, etc.

Person 1: when I finally found it it blew my being to pieces and shattered all my preconceived ideas. But it took a personal encounter and I had to get to the end of myself to be willing to give it a go. That was way way back in time but I havent walked away from it since…..

Person 2: when I found out about the flat earth that was a rollercoaster ride for me mentality lol going from a atheist to believing a creator, I definitely don’t rule out the bible not at all, it’s early days for me iv only been a flat earther for a year

Person 3: i was atheist before coming to FE

I have seen many similar confessions, and that is why I am not at all afraid of the flat earth movement. The devil would not help out promoting a trustworthy Bible nor move us closer to a Creator, but he would do the exact opposite.

”They have answers for everything!”mark twain.jpg

When it comes to conspiracy theories in general, it is actually the official story believers who always have answers (excuses) for everything. They are ready to excuse lie after lie coming from the government (or NASA), and they will excuse any anomaly there is even if they really have no valid solution to a known problem. Just like a muslim who is ready to defend their prophet no matter what he has done. Why did WTC7 decide to fall at free fall speed for no reason? How come the fall was announced 22 minutes before it fell? Why did the plane at Pentagon and the one in Pennsylvania leave any trace of either luggage och passengers? Why so many cell phone calls from the planes, when such connections have proven to be absolutely impossible? The excuses might go:

”There simply must be a valid reason even if it is not known … The government wouldn’t lie to us … That would be just too absurd …”, etc

conspiracyIf you do not even believe the moon landings are fake, or that 9/11 is an inside job, you will likely not be able to understand flat earthers

You would be too far apart. If you believe man has been on the moon, it is better that you start with this issue before you engage yourself in a flat earth discussion.

Can you explain why portable toilets and refreshments were ordered to the Sandy Hook school before the day of the shooting? You might ask ”What are you talking about? I’ve never heard of that!”, and that is the point. Always remember that the conspiracy theorist knows about TWO sides of the story (the official one and the conspiracy) whereas you only know about the official one. YOU lack in knowledge. Not the conspiracy theorist.

There are too many false flag events to study in depth, but I have studied numerous by reading books, articles and watched/listened to youtube films. Some might claim it is a waste of valuable time, but I have managed to cover a lot of information through listening to my ipod when I am out running, and my night shift job also enables me to study. On the other hand I do not wast my time watching football …

I have encountered Christians who are upset (angry) when they understand that I do not swallow the official story of 9/11 (for example) and they lack in patience. They might on one hand ask me to prove a conspiracy, but on the other hand refuse to go through any of information/links I provide which can provide answers. It is like they want me to prove a conspiracy in five sentences and if I am not able to do that then they ”won” and my view is deemed as incorrect. I certainly do not open all links myself that I receive from others, but I would if I am the one starting out with the claim that there is no proof for something.

The Bible about SHUNNING sinners / heretics who cause division in church – excommunication

2 cor 2But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called A BROTHER be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (1 Cor. 5:11)

There are sadly pastors and entire congregations who have completely misunderstood what the Bible says about brothers and sisters who have wandered off from the truth, resulting in a treatment which will not aid the lost persons at all.

There is one Biblical case which stands out in the Bible when it comes to ”shunning” someone, and that is when Paul criticizes the Corinthian church for not reacting despite one of their members living in a deep sin.

One sin makes you a sinner, but all sins are not of the same degree. Some sins are for example an ”abomination” before God, and we can also read about a sin ”not unto death”. Surely there is a difference between murdering an innocent person in cold blood vs being in an unexpected situation where a white lie is used in order to not reveal a nice birthday surprise? In the case of the Corinthian church, the sin in question concerned a man engaged in sexual immorality together with his father’s wife, which Paul considered was so detestable that it was ”not even named among the gentiles”. 

1 Cor. 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person. (NKJV)

Paul refers to a previous letter, and he clarifies that he did not advise the Corinthians to not keep company with all sinners in the whole world because then they could no longer live in the world. What he meant was that they should not keep company with anyone called a brother (which means a Christian brother or sister) who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Those listed sins are rather serious, and Paul tells the Corinthians to not even eat with such a person (other people might get the idea that we are supporting them in their sins or that we are just the same). Jesus of course ate with sinners, but not all his company would be regarded as his ”brothers”.

We should not try to add to Paul’s words – or withdraw. For instance, he does not say we must not talk to such people or not even say hello. Surely it would be awesome if such sinners returned to the Lord, and what better means do we have to our disposal than talking to them and try to persuade them to repent?:

Ja 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

It is hard to convert someone from his sins if we are not even allowed to have a dialogue with him. The man in 1 Cor. 5 was engaged in a serious sin (an ongoing sin not repented of), so clearly he should not have been allowed to stay in that church gathering considering that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  It is quite possible that the man in 1 Cor. 5 is again mentioned in Paul’s subsequent letter. In this letter Paul says that the punishment was sufficient for the man, and: you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.” (NASB). 

2 Cor. 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. (NKJV)

So on the one hand Paul makes no room for a person engaged in sexual immorality (or other severe sins which he gives examples of), but on the other hand he provides a way back also for an ardent sinner provided that the person repents and leaves all sins behind. One can easily imagine that a man might be totally swallowed up with sorrow, if friends and family suddenly cease talking to him and pretend that he is nothing more than air. After a period with such a treatment, maybe the person claims to be sorry and openly repents, but can the church really trust that he has truly repented and that it is not rather a case of someone feeling lonely and wanting to return to his family and friends? God cannot be fooled.

Paul never tells us to cease having conversations with Christians even if they live in sin (it is possible to have conversations outside of a church gathering) and particularly not if they are family members. We are also told to not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. So we should react when people sin, but think about how we phrase ourselves and how we treat them. The goal is to see them return to the truth, so a condescending and patronizing attitude might not work.

1 Tim. 5:1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers,—8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

More verses about shunning and influencing a person to repent (KJV)2 Pet

Matt. 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

If a man goes astray God would certainly like to see him back on track, so we too should seek out the lost person and try to influence him to repent for his sins and return to the fold. The prodigal son did just that – he confessed his sins, repented and returned to his Father. If a brother sins against us (or perhaps sins against a whole church gathering), then Jesus tells us to first speak to him alone. It is of course essential that the person understands in what way he has sinned so that he also understands the point we are trying to make. Just saying ”I hereby rebuke you, you evil heretic!” is not enough if the person does not understand exactly what he did wrong, plus it is questionable if it is the smartest way to express oneself.

It is of course a possibility that a church leader reacts to something that is no sin at all (but rather a case of misunderstanding or twisting someone’s speech), and then it is hard to repent for something that the accused person does not see as a sin. If the case is that it was truly a sin and if the accused person refuses to listen or repent, then two or three witnesses are needed to establish the case. If the accused person is still unwilling to listen or repent, then the whole church should be told. If the accused person is still unwilling to turn around, then he must be regarded as a heathen – but note that it is still possible to have friendly and polite conversations with heathens! We are not told to ignore heathens and treat them as they do not exist, and note that it does not say that we should treat them WORSE than heathens. Surely it is possible to treat also heathens with kindness and love?

Where in the Bible can we read that also all the children (small children and teenagers) of an excommunicated person must be excommunicated as well, and no longer have any contact with the church members? (Nowhere.) The children might have been really good friends with other youngsters in a church for many years, and does God really suggest that they are no longer allowed to play or socialize with each other any more?

We should also add the risk for that the witnesses blindly obey the church leader (especially in a cult environment) who in his turn might not be entirely obedient to the Scriptures. The opposite is also true, that the church leader might blindly believe the witnesses’ description of a case. The instructions from Paul of course only work if the whole chain is unbroken – and not if the church leader is in error and makes unfair judgments. That is also why Paul told both Timothy and Titus to not be too quick with the ”laying on of hands” (selecting a person to become a church leader), because then the whole church gathering will risk to be off course.

A charged person certainly has the right to defend himself (this is true even in a secular court room), particularly in a church gathering that is not in all circumstances based on the word of God (like in a cult). If the pastor requests that a person must repent, and does not even give him a chance to defend himself or correct misunderstandings, then something is utterly wrong.

Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE which ye have learned; and avoid them.18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Above we can read Paul saying that the brethren should ”mark them… and avoid them” if it concerns people who cause divisions contrary to God’s words. He does not clarify to what extent they should be avoided (avoiding does not necessarily mean that we cannot even walk on the same street as the person in question), but it evidently concerns people who continuously cause division in church contrary to God’s words. If such a person repents and ceases to cause division there is always a way back, but if he refuses to cease sinning Paul’s advice should be followed.

To ”mark” them does not mean that this marking must be repeated, and that the person can be verbally attacked as soon as you meet him. It is enough to do the marking once. However, if we continue to spend time with a trouble maker, eat with him and socialize with him (as in not avoiding him), then there is a risk that other people will interpret our undisturbed friendship as though we condone his actions. That is why Paul requests to see a change in our attitude towards a clear trouble maker. Paul does not necessarily tell us to stir up a huge drama scene as soon as there are minor differences of opinions about insignificant matters. I believe Paul is talking about clear cases of sin where a person is a trouble maker and/or causes a division in church over rather essential matters while refusing to back off.

Rom. 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.—8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;—16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Above we can see how important it is to be of one body, but also how important it is to show love and respect.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Paul gives instructions for a church leader, and if the church leader is subject to the word of God then it is a lot easier for the members to be subject to the church leader. However, we must always do as the Bereans (Acts 17:11) – to compare what we hear with Scriptures in order to know if what we hear is true. A church leader should speak evil of no man, be gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men, etc.  Since we too have been guilty of many sins, we could choose a wise way to influence people to repent. God has shown kindness and love to us, so we too should show the same to others. Not as in accepting their sin, but by consider the way we treat them and try to make them turn around.

Paul goes on to say a man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject. This advice must also be understood correctly and with caution. It takes some serious sins in order to qualify as an heretic (someone who clearly rejects the word of God and refuses to repent), so we should not cause an inflation of the word by spreading out admonitions left and right as soon as someone has some minor disagreements and asks valid questions. Neither should we fall into the other ditch and be so ”generous” that we choose not to react even if people in our congregation are proud of their sins.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Someone who refuses to accept the deity of Jesus, that he has come in the flesh, is labelled as a deceiver and even an antichrist. To accept Jesus as God is very central for the Christian faith. It is not certain that we should not allow anyone into our homes unless he/she shares our precise faith (particularly not if they are family members or relatives), but if someone wants to ”bring” an ”antichrist message” into our homes – like a former brother who would like to convert you and your family – then we should not accept him. I believe it is another matter if we invite lost people with the aim to convert them. Remember again that Jesus ate with sinners who did not view him as the Messiah.

Gal. 1:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

Paul tells us to ”restore” a person who is overtaken in a fault ”in the spirit of meekness” . Once again love and respect are taught here.

2 Thess. 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

We are told to ”withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us”, and the context here is about working and to not be a burden to others. ”For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies”. In such cases we are told ”them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread”. We are also told if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed” but also Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother”. If we are to admonish him as a brother, we think about how we phrase ourselves and we do not ridicule him, repeatedly call him an heretic (once is often enough) etc.

There are certain rules about elders:

1 Tim. 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.