Who We Are
By: Richard Anthony - ecclesia.org/truth
Who are we? We are who our Heavenly Father says we are. We are ambassadors, ministers, and bondservants of Creator God. We agree unconditionally with God's Word in the Holy Scriptures, even when we don't like it. If the Word of God shatters cherished beliefs then we are willing to be shattered, no matter how painful it is. God's truth is more important to us than personal belief, and loyalty to that truth more important than loyalty to traditions and the commandments of men. We do not cling to personal interpretations when they are discovered to be such. Once a matter is clearly revealed to us, then we change as fast as possible, relying solely upon the Holy Spirit.
We serve the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We love our Interdemensional Creator and His Liberty that is given us by Him. We do not seek any security or benefits "granted" by man. We know who gives us security, for He is our Rock, our Fortress, our Buckler, our Shield and our High Hill, and all the "benefits" (His gifts) are known to us as "Blessings." We seek no quarrel with any man, and we owe no man anything but to love him.
In sharing these Truths, if one is offended, we wish that they will forgive us. The Lord's prophets of old were always misunderstood and rejected by the people of their day, and the same fate awaits any who would be prophets today. But the true measure of a man's worth is not always the number of his friends but sometimes the number of his foes. Every man who seeks to do the Father's Will and live in His Righteousness is sure to be misunderstood and often persecuted. Therefore, we must expect to be unpopular, often to stand alone, even to be maligned, perhaps to be bitterly and falsely assailed and driven `without the camp' even of the religious world.
Christian leaders and preachers in our day are no longer like the apostles in the old days, who were "made as the filth of the world" (1 Corinthians 4:13). Let us remember that greatness in man's eyes does not always mean greatness in God's eyes (Luke 16:15). Christ-like leaders are servants, not celebrities. Their task is not so much to bless people as to lead them to the One who can really bless them. Their joy is not in reaching inaccessible heights, but in making those heights accessible to everyone.
Articles, Creeds, and Confessions of Faith
What are our Articles, Creeds, and Confessions of Faith? We have none, and we do not follow any. Articles, Creeds, and Confessions of Faith alike fail to give us this full knowledge of God which is so essential to our faith and walk. They are only man’s impressions, inferences, and conclusions drawn from Scripture; and have themselves to be judged by Scripture. Whatever of truth there may be in them, or however useful, they can never take the place of the Word of God. Only the Living Word, and in the pages of the written Word, can we get to know God.
The articles on our website reflect our faith and belief in God. Therein is contained our "Articles, Creeds, and Confessions of Faith."
What kind of ministry do we have? Well, it's not our ministry, it's Christ's ministry. We don't do anything in and of ourselves, it's all done through Him. It's not a private ministry like most of the ministries out there, which are done for "filthy lucre's sake" (Titus 1:11). We do not preach a "health and wealth gospel" either. We are very similar to the original house assemblies of the first and second century. That's where we need to get back to because;Jeremiah 6:16, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls."
Therefore, we strive to go back to the way the early ecclesia of scripture (translated "church" in most bibles) did things. We seek to be self-governing men and women under God. We are not anti-government, because we know that government exists to keep the 'low and lawless forms of humanity' from doing violence to all, including themselves.
We continually seek to apply God's Law to our everyday lives. We continually direct others to use the Scripture as a Law book, because it is. We desire for others to see it as a Law book and hope they will use it as a Law book. That's what God intended it to be, otherwise he would not have called it His ordinances, His statutes, His judgments, His precepts, His commandments, His Law. All these are Law termsJohn 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Christ did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfil it, and we are to fulfil God's Law as well. Grace and Mercy are gifts dispensed by God, but too many "Christians" believe and act today as if the Law was done away with and they can conform their lives with the images of the world and become more like the world instead of conforming to the image of Christ. Not so for us! We are men and women who are governed by Jesus, the Christ, for the government is upon His shoulder (Isaiah 9:6-7). We bend no knee to any government of man, for we do not worship at their altars.
The real problem has nothing to do with law, but with ones god, as George Washington said in his farewell address:"One's god dictates the kind of law one implements and also controls the application and development of that law over time. Given enough time, all non-Christian systems of law self-destruct in a fit of tyranny."
And remember, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
What school (seminary) did we go to, and what degrees do we have? Well, there's only one school mentioned in scripture, and that was a school of a tyrant (Acts 19:9). And a "degree" is a Masonic concept, not a scriptural one. Our response to this inquiry is this: in John 7:14-16, the same question was asked among those to whom Christ Jesus was preaching. Notice that Jesus did not attend any school of human understanding of the Word of God.John 7:14-16, "...Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me."
The Jewish learning consisted in the knowledge of their own scriptures, and the traditions of their elders. In this learning our blessed Lord excelled. As these branches of learning were taught at the Jewish schools, and our Lord had never attended there, they were astonished to find him excelling in that sort of learning, of which they themselves professed to be the sole teachers. These rulers knew well enough that He had not studied under any human teacher--an important admission against ancient and modern attempts to trace our Lord's wisdom to human sources. He has never been instructed by doctors of the law. The Jews taught their law and tradition in celebrated schools. As Jesus had not been instructed in those schools, they were amazed at his learning.
This is not an argument against education, but it takes more than education to make a real man.
Our brother Paul says "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Corinthians 2:5). We are not at all concerned about certificates of recognition from "recognized" seminaries. Having a certificate does not mean that one is more qualified than one who knows the same thing (or more) without a certificate. In the end it is the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding given by God and how we apply it, which qualifies us - not a piece of paper saying "I passed the test of men."
Proud men of degrees are, too often, a detriment to Christ and His assembly, because they introduce leaven into God's Word, so as to make it more palatable. God's Word has largely been lost to those who continue to partake of modern watered-down Christianity. So, if you are a proud man of degrees and schooling, know that God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11), and therefore, your degrees mean nothing to Him, and mean nothing to His servants. What is written on your heart and in your mind is more important than what's written on a man-made document.
We fall into error when we praise men for their adherence to the ways of God, rather than praise God for the work he does in and through men. He shows his Mighty Works through his people.
Truth and Error
What are we advocating? We are advocating, first, a humility concerning our knowledge of God's Truth, and second, a serious and continuous search for God's Truth. God's Truth is one, but the mind of man is not capable of totally comprehending it. This means that each of us should remain humble. The existence of God's Truth does not mean that we can know it; admitting our limitations does not mean that we have abandoned the value of Truth itself. Admitting that we will change if new Truths are found doesn't indicate a lack of confidence in God's Truth; it means, rather, that we are open to new Truths as they are found.
The known and willful support or perpetuation of an error is a crime against man and a sin against Him who is Truth. To cling to error, or defend error, when one has reason to suspect it may be error, reveals a heart that does not fully love the truth for the truth's sake. To strenuously support and shield from scrutiny what we believe when we are aware that its truth is questionable reveals a heart that is not completely candid. To be afraid to shine light upon what we believe shows a love still for darkness. That is why fellowship with others is so important.
We point out errors of man's ways, not because we are self-righteous, but because we are charged by our Lord to bring the Truth to bear against non-truth. When you're walking in accordance with the true spirit of the Word of God, you are standing in God's Truth and doing everything in Love. Regardless of what man may say, God has instructed His servants, through His Spirit, to judge all things by His Word; because:Isaiah 8:20, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
People sometimes say, "Don't you have anything good to say?" It makes it look like we just want to bad mouth everybody. The only time we bring anything up, as far as error goes, is when it is based upon the Word of God. It's not us that's doing the criticism, it's God himself. Therefore, when you do bring up and point out errors, it is not you that's doing the criticism, it's God's Word. And you always have to go to His Word for the Truth, because if it's coming from just your own opinion, it's not the truth.
Additionally, we're not criticizing out of a mean spirit. In Truth you have Love. As long as you're doing everything from the Word of God, you are standing in God's Truth and doing everything in Love.
In reply to the plea that people should avoid controversial issues, "all vital issues are controversial issues." The only way to avoid controversial issues is to avoid vital issues. God's people stand in constant need of criticism as well as prayer if her fellowship is to be vital.
How much do we charge for material? We do not charge any prices. This website and our CD is freely available for all people; we do not place the burden of a price upon those who seek the Truth.
Why do we not charge prices? Well, firstly because we are not to sell the truth to others:Proverbs 23:23, "Buy the truth, and sell it not."
Matthew 10:8, "...freely ye have received, freely give."
1 Corinthians 9:18, "What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel."
2 Corinthians 11:7, "...I have preached to you the gospel of God freely."
Secondly, we are servants of Christ. We put it in the hands of the Lord to direct others as to what we're worth. Our Master determines our worth, not us. We'll put it into the hands of the Lord to determine our worth. We allow you to give as the Lord directs your heart to give. A slave cannot determine his own worth.
The workman is worthy of his hire (Matthew 10:10, Luke 10:7), but who does the workman belong to? We are the Lord's workman. Therefore, it is the Lord that determines what our value is, not ourselves. We cannot put a price on ourselves. And therefore, we do not say, "I'll give you access to our website and CD if you give me this much money." What we say is, "I'll do this work as the Lord gives me the ability to do it and there is no price on it. Whatever the Lord directs you to give me, that will be sufficient."
And as long as the Lord provides, which He always does, there's no point in us putting a price on anything. This website, our CD, and our labour for the Lord, are supported as He directs your heart to give (2 Corinthians 11:9, Philippians 4:15-16). Those who have it written on their heart to give will give (2 Corinthians 9:7). If you are not able to give, please do not feel guilty, as the Lord will continue to supply our needs through those who are able to give. Those who pay more than enough, make up for those who pay less than enough. All are welcome to everything on this website and our CD, freely and without charge.
For those who are moved by the Spirit to give an offering of support, you may Click Here.
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