The Early Church Revisited / Essay

Greetings Beloved friends, BY now I hope you have come to understand my Paradigm. If so, you should be an old hand at identifying “sacred cows”. So, come along side me now as I push the envelope yet again, and challenge your thinking as it applies to the early church compared to the 21st century practice called “church”. So, there you have it, just as planned by the God head from the corridors of eternities past. The Holy Spirit just had given birth for the second time in just over thirty years. First… the long awaited, much prophesied of Messiah the Lord Jesus. With his introduction on to planet Earth, the Kingdom of God in bodily form had just, at last, arrived. The heavenly host was ecstatic as the Hosannas echoed through out this place called Eternity. All the efforts of this Messiah over the next three plus years, would be foundational to the second birth of the Holy Spirit, which indeed was something called “Church”. In its infancy the only way to accurately describe it was that that it was an organic microcosm of what the Heavenly Kingdom of God was all about.  To put it yet another way, it was the fulfillment of a ancient prophecy which Isiah put forth in chapter forty when he made a declaration that “every valley must be lifted up, every mountain be made low, the rugged terrain, must become as the plain, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. This metaphor folks, spoke of the destruction of the man-made thing known as the chain of command, or mans status in the food chain of life. All of man’s efforts to climb up the ladder at any cost to be “greater than” was now officially annihilated. The new standard for the Kingdome of God was now… “let him who is the greatest, be the servant of all”. The foremost earmark of Jesus’s life is summed up in Philippians chapter two. “do nothing out of selfish ambition, or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourself, each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who being in the very nature or God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness? And being found in appearances A man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death”.  YA See folks, to be an active participant in this organism called church came with a price. Without paying this price you were a misfit, someone now worthy of this privilege.

From its inception this sacred thing called “church” was exclusively reserved for the blessed people who would become known as the “bride of Christ”. If you were completely honest, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the concept that the maker of the universe said in the highest example of a humble servant “I will go…I will set the example, I will pay the price. If I, the very creator does it, there will be no room for excuses”.  It would behoove us beloved at this point in all candor to set aside pride, and preconceived notions. This will enable us to identify our “sacred cows”, as it pertains to our 21st century church habits and paradigms. As we draw from scripture the realities of the early church that indeed made it, a living breathing organism as opposed to a tradition. At this juncture allow me to boldly proclaim that in these final days we will need as a matter of life and death to return to the practice of the early church. Treacherous times just over the horizon are not to be navigated alone but together shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm as one. Let us now take a look at a few things that the early church practiced and what sets them apart as overcomers that cast off the religious trappings that the scribes and pharisees held on to as if etched in stone. As Jesus stated “you can’t put new wine into old wineskins.

Acts 2:42 records “they devoted themselves to the Apostles teachings and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe and many wonderous and miraculous sign was done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet in the temple courts, they broke bread in their homes, and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all people. And the Lord added to there number daily those who were being saved”.

So my dear brothers and sisters… allow me to ask you a gut wrenching question… how many of you, all excuses aside, can honestly say that in reality there are very few of the early church practices that still exist in 21st century American practice of the church. Well dear people, unfortunately 21st century church to a large degree has become a spectator experience. How many come home turn on the boob tube and end up watching Christian TV, as apposed to gathering with the believers close to you and having church. Most church experience is summed up as a One too Two-hour block of time once a week at your local church spot/gathering. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think that it is wrong to gather in  a larger group once or twice a week to worship, but not to the exclusion  of the practices of the early church. Simply put early church believers were radically in love with their God and his people.  When was the last time that you gathered and confessed your sins, one to another? Or how many of us practice what is involved in “speaking the truth in Love”. Proverbs says, “rebuke a fool and he will despise you, rebuke a wise man and he will love you”. The fact is, we all have our blind spots, most of the time we are the last ones to see it. We are not called to be some gun slinging maverick, but in humility with grace, wisdom, and love we are called to throw a lifeline of love by speaking the truth in love.  Ephesians 4 proclaims this, and if you look closely, he couples this with our moving on to maturity. The early church was learning to walk with all humility, one with another, and as a result the Holy Spirit moved powerfully with miracles, and gifts of the spirit. And how About this one, the old testament standard called for a tithe or 10% or your increase. The new Testament practice went from 10% to 100% as they sold their possessions and gave to everyone who had need. AS stated from the beginning, I do not apologize for the content of this site, because I believe it to be an accurate reflection of the early church. I can also honestly say that as much as is possible, I try to walk these standards out in my life, with the people God has joined me to.

So… let me ask you a really loaded question, why do our spiritual leaders not teach the above? Answer… to do so would jeopardize their place in the community, their status on the ladder of success, as well as their livelihood.  Jesus gave his disciples their marching orders when he said, freely you have received freely give. Let me also say I do not think it’s wrong to supplement our faithful leaders, “a workman is worthy of his Hire”. Let me simply remind you that Paul, the apostle to the gentiles, made a good portion of his needs making tents.      During my early days as a writer I has aspiration of writing a book, a quite common aspiration to a writer. However, the following echoed in my spirit in the form of the following two questions. First, how does Jesus’s admonition to freely give fit in, and secondly, even if I did write a best seller, only 3 to 5 million people would access my writings, and what about the countless millions who would need it and love to hear it, but didn’t have the Book for whatever reason. Therefore, I chose my web site as the best way to let many more people hear it. It wasn’t until years later that I felt the release of the Holy spirit to offer my writings free, while offering my Poetry which is my craft for Reasonable offering. Not all, but there are many so-called servants that make an exorbitant amount of money in the name of Jesus. One of these so-called prophets was catching slack from his congregation for the purchase of a Lear jet, instead of coming to terms with his obvious sin, he turned it around and accused them of being jealous. I understand that my poem. “Jesus for hire” is a little out there, but I must admit I am also quite jealous. Not jealous of anyone’s belongings or status in life, but I am very jealous for the name of the Lord and his Kingdome which is blatantly misrepresented by clowns like this everyday of the week. Frankly, my blood boils to see theses misrepresentations of God.

Jesus always cutting through the bologna gave his definition of church when he said, “when two or more are gathered in my name, their I am in the mists of them”. There is a qualifying word in this declaration, it is “in my name”. when he used the words, “in my name” he was speaking of our “agenda” all to often when believers gather together the true agenda, although always hidden, is that of a self-serving nature. So my beloved, let me state for the record, to make it through these last of days, two things are absolutely necessary, First, we must be about the business of being an overcomer, you simple cannot say one day, “Jesus, I want to register as an overcomer”. These skills are like fine diamonds, you must dig them out of the Earth. In other words, there is a price to be paid to travel this path. In all humility I believe this web site is designed to aid you in doing what is necessary to learn the ways of the overcomer. The second is a radical return to the practice of the early church, this too I might add is something that comes with a price. Just study the life of the believers who hid in the catacombs, I believe we will revisit those days in the near future. Let’s be real folks, it’s easy to show up to an ivory tower called church, once a week and walk away with a false sense of fulfillment. While in reality, you’re only fooling yourself.

The battle which lies ahead dear family, is going to get more serious by the day, Covid 19 is just the beginning. Revelation states of the believers and in this hour in which we live “that they love not their lives even unto death”. Scripture does promise a measure of relief to his true believers in these troubled times. However, this relief is not a total shielding from what lies just ahead. Gods new normal or his agenda shall we say, is all about refining, purifying, and making spotless our wedding garments for the gala just beyond these days called Daniels 70th week. We must be strong not only for ourselves, but for the countless folk who will join ranks in these days of great tribulation. We must keep one eye on the prize… one thousand years of Jesus’s rule on earth after, that is, Mother Earth is purified.

Scripture records that Satan was cast to Earth as lightning, and is exceedingly angry, because he knows his time is short. He also is jealous of God and has been saving his best shot for last. He knows God as a father is a provider for his children. His last-ditch efforts are going to be an attempt to usurp God as a provider, this is where the mark of the beast comes in. Let’s face facts we all have to eat, right? I personally am prepared to offer my life in one form of another as a martyr, even if it means that I starve to death. I would consider it the least I could do for him who gave so much to include me in his family, as well as his Kingdome! How about you!

So there … in the beginning of this website, I extended an invitation to come along with me on a journey, undoubtedly some have fallen by the wayside, such is the nature of truth. However, if you have managed to hang in there with me, I commend you for your steadfast resolve, I’m sure at times it hasn’t been easy. Hopefully by God’s grace I have managed to provide you with enough solid food for you to continue on and complete this journey. Please never forget, freedom also is not free, it comes with a price. The price to be paid is the costly commodity called truth. Truth not as we see it but as God sees it. Remember it is truth that makes us free.

AS I begin to wind things down, I have chosen by the spirit of God to leave you with a quite a telling scripture, which reveals Gods heart as it pertains to his periodic need to bring affliction, and judgment to do its work with mankind. 2 chronicles 6:28 records, “when famine or plague come to the land, or plight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, or when enemies besiege them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people, each one aware of your afflictions and pains, and spreading out his hands towards the temple, there hear from heaven your dwelling place. Forgive, and deal with each man according to all that he does, since you know his heart, “for you alone know the hearts of man, so that they will fear you and walk in your ways all the time they live in the land, all the days you gave our fathers.

In conclusion beloved, “life is a gift”, a gift from our maker. He doesn’t take lightly this gift that he freely gives. The truth still stands unshaken, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, The fear or the Lord is pure and holy. One way to describe the deplorable condition the world is in is that we have cast off our anchor in a raging sea, when we cast aside the real fear of the lord as it pertains to Him.

If you have heard me dear family then as painful as it is, learn to cast off the folly of playing church, and learn what the true fear of the Lord is. Seek him diligently and trust me he will take you into his council chamber to learn of him and his kingdoms way. He does not wish to put you into the shackles of unneeded fear and phobias. However, the true fear of the Lord is a place of security and refuge… he will guide you through the minefields of life. Pray earnestly that he builds his church in your local, where you can meet as often as possible, as the day draws near. Keep your eye on the prize, an eternity with God. My number one prayer is that I want to hear those glorious words, “well done good and faithful servant, enter into my rest”. I will leave you my beloved, with one last poem entitled “Covid 19”. BY his grace we will bring the meaning of being overcomers to heights unknown.  Again, he is our refuge in the raging storm, farewell my beloved family in Christ as they say……. Meet you at the east Gate.

All my love and best wishes in Him.

Billy Bergeron Rask

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