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http://www.spiritualwarbiblestudies.com/index.php?topic=181.msg207#msg207
 

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Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:21:06 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

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Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:19:58 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

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Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:18:57 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:57:00 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians!  :)

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:56:30 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what

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Author Topic: 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 1st Study  (Read 78 times)

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Hidden In Him

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1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 1st Study
« on: December 02, 2022, 07:47:59 PM »
Excommunication: A Work Of The Spirit, Or Mere Flesh And Blood?

     At some point in the church's history, excommunication became the sole responsibility of church leadership, and wiithin Protestantism this responsibility is today usually carried out by a board of elders. As we're about to see in this next passage, however, during New Testament times it was not a matter of simply leaving this responsibility to men. A closer look suggests that in reality it was the Spirit of God Himself who was excommunicating sinners from the churches, and there are very important reasons why this still needs to be so today.
     The opening passage to 1st Corinthians 5 thus reads as follows:

      Sexual immorality is commonly being reported among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, such as for one to have sex with [his] father's wife. And here you are having become inflated with pride, and rather did not mourn because the one having done this deed might [soon] be removed from your midst!  For, indeed, I being absent in the body but present in the Spirit have already judged regarding the one having done this thing as being present: In the name of the Lord Jesus, when you have been gathered together in the power of the Lord Jesus, and with my spirit, you are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved on the Day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)

    Notice Paul didn't say, "Whenever you get this letter, excommunicate him immediately." Rather, his exact wording was, "in the name of our Lord Jesus, when you and my spirit have been gathered together with the power of the Lord Jesus, you are to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh." They were to act when they were gathered together in the power of the Lord. This expression was consistently used in scripture to refer to the supernatural power of God, which means they were to wait until the Presence of God Himself was manifest among them in a service, and then the Spirit of God Himself would excommunicate the man. This is because the Lord is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart, and all things are naked before His eyes (Hebrews 4:12-13). When it came to mere men, the Lord's commandment was, "Judge not lest you be judged," because for one thing they do not know the true intentions of men's hearts, and for another they cannot always be counted on to make a just judgment even when they do. The latter was a serious problem during Old Testament times, and as we shall see it is still a problem today.
     The above passage also implied that the Spirit Himself was to make the declaration as well, through some form of divine utterance within the congregation, whether it be through prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues, or some other form of Spirit-breathed, Spirit-uttered declaration. It was so the sinner would understand he was not being disciplined by mere men but by the Spirit of God Himself, and that He should repent before the judgment being spoken against Him came to pass. Again, if it had simply been the apostle's decision alone to make or merely been a decision for the elders to take care of, Paul would not have said to wait until the power of Jesus was present among them. He would have simply told the Corinthians to do it immediately upon receiving the letter.
     So why then was it important who does the excommunicating? For one thing, as the apostle Paul himself stated, no one likes being disciplined. It is a difficult thing to endure, and many often resent it. This is why he warned about not despising the discipline of the Lord:

      You have not yet resisted unto blood in wrestling against sin, and you have become forgetful of the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons, saying, “My son, do not disregard the Lord’s discipline, nor faint when He reproves you, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and whips every son whom He receives.”
     Therefore, endure discipline. God is dealing with you as with sons. For who is the son whom his father does not discipline? And if you do not receive the discipline which all have become partakers of then you are illegitimate, and not sons. Moreover, we have all had fathers in the flesh as disciplinarians, and we respected them. How much more should we be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live! For they indeed disciplined us for a few days as seemed good to them; but this is for our benefit, in order to partake of His holiness. And no discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but grievous. But afterwards, it renders the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:4-11)


     This passage was about enduring the Lord's chastisements and judgments, with excommunication being included if necessary. But while discipline is hard enough to take when it is truly from the Lord, the typical believer's resistance to it is multiplied many times over if they suspect the ruling is coming down from fleshly men with fleshly motives rather than the Spirit of God Himself, and unfortunately there are numerous cases where this has turned out to be the case, especially in churches where the leadership has a habit of being controlling and manipulative.
     Having been excommunicated for simply seeking to leave Grace Fellowship Church in Davenport, Iowa, the following writer shares a not-all-that-uncommon story, and how grievous spiritual harm can come to Christian families when excommunication is used in an attempt to shame them into spiritual bondage:

     [This] biblical doctrine is being abused, misused, and misapplied for one reason, to control people. Control and misapplication through excommunication are what most cults or cult-like churches do to wield control, and GFC has mastered these techniques... Excommunication is designed to be a tool, in proper biblical churches, to draw people back to fellowship, not to punish them for leaving the church.
     The elders have extensive rule and authority over the church. When their authority is threatened or challenged, they will find a way to get back; ultimately, it is an impossible situation to leave. The truth is that the only way to leave GFC is either by death or excommunication, but never in ten plus years of the life of the church, has anyone left in a manner worthy of mutual agreement.
     The heavy hand of authoritarianism and legalistic preaching and tendencies... is a burden for the children and for those that truly have a desire to serve the Lord, and leads them into great confusion... Most likely, I will never have the opportunity to stand before the congregation and bring witnesses to rebuke a sinning elder or three sinning elders, and therefore, my only hope is that this can be exposed that nobody will ever be hurt again by this misuse of church power and unqualified leadership. (Excommunication - The Abuse Of A Biblical Doctrine. Uncommon Faith)

https://uncommonfaith.org/2019/09/30/excommunication-the-abuse-of-biblical-doctrine/

     As another counsellor of the spiritually abused stated similarly in another article:

     I know of many accounts of wrongful church excommunications, some of them personally from people with whom I’ve spent hundreds of hours. But there are also scores of credible accounts available elsewhere... The stories bear an air of eerie similarity. The people without influence, often abuse victims, are excommunicated, while people with influence — even if they are abusers or abuse enablers — remain ensconced in the church or in a new church because they are friends with the pastor or they are wealthy donors or they did something else to ingratiate themselves with church leaders. The abused, on the other hand, or the people without influence, were punished, often for simply trying to get the elders to listen to truth and refusing to live any longer with lies. (The Problem of Excommunication: A Response to Desiring God. Here's The Joy)
https://heresthejoy.com/2017/08/the-problem-of-excommunication-a-response-to-desiring-god/

     Another problem with carnal, fleshly-led discipline is that, even should the party in question be sinning, if they feel like the proclamation of judgment is not truly coming from Lord, they may remain in rebellion and continue on in sin as a result. This appears to have been the case with the woman Jezebel in the church at Thyatira:

     And to the angel of the church at Thyatira write: "These things saith the Son of God… I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your endurance, and that your last works are more than [your] first. But I have against you that you suffer the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and misleads My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her time that she might repent of her sexual immorality, but she does not want to repent of it. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those who commit adultery with her into great affliction if they will not repent of their works. And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the reins and hearts, and will give to each of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:18-23)

     Notice the text says the Lord Himself repeatedly warned her several times that judgment was coming, but she did not repent. This suggests that even when the gifts are in manifestation and the Lord Jesus Himself is speaking, there will nevertheless be some who question if the utterances are truly from God. How much more so when the leadership of a church doesn't even  the gifts are for today, and thus never manifests the Lord Himself supernaturally during their services, yet expects the membership of their church to believe He is unquestionably the One acting and speaking through them to excommunicate a church member?   


What It Means To Speak "In Jesus' Name"

     Being absent in the body but present in the spirit, I have already judged concerning the one having done this thing as being present: In the name of the Lord Jesus, when you have been gathered together in the power of the Lord Jesus, and with my spirit, you are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved on the Day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5)

     Reading the passage again, Paul specifically stated that they were to deliver the man unto Satan "in the name of Jesus." The words "in the name of Jesus" are not some frivolous tag we are supposed to add to the end of our prayers just to make them sound Christian, nor are they to be used to put words in Jesus' mouth He hasn't actually spoken. Rather, believers during New Testament times spoke in the name of Jesus when they knew His will specifically in a matter, and thus were uttering out of their mouths what Jesus Himself was speaking over a matter, such as when the Spirit of God speaks through believers by means of divine utterance during services.
     It's similar to how an Ambassador speaks in the name of the President of his country unto other dignitaries. In such circumstances, he not dare simply utter anything he wishes, presuming it will carry authority. His hob is to speak only that which his President has specifically said concerning matters, and only then will it. The Faith Movement has done a great deal to corrupt the proper understanding of this practice, however, by presuming to know God's will automatically in many situations, such that you don't need to ask Him. According to their theology, it is always God's will to heal believers and always God's will to prosper them. There is no need to seek His specific will over situations any longer, all that is left is to "use the name of Jesus" on them. Unfortunately, this turns the name of Jesus into a magic formula of sorts, where the phrase is employed like "words of power" similar to what sorcerers do to accomplish self-serving ends. It is what the seven sons of Sceva were doing with the name of Jesus in Acts 19, but that eventually got them beaten up and left bloodied and bruised after a demon would not honor their use of the name like some sort of magic talisman.
     Nevertheless, Faith Teaching today urges believers to "use" the name of Jesus, as if it is merely a tool to an end:
 
     There are many incorrect teachings that have kept people from enjoying the divine health and healing that Jesus purchased for us on the cross. The gospel of Jesus Christ makes it clear that it is always God’s will to heal. Not only that, He has given every believer the same ability to minister healing... Jesus has taken all of the authority of the enemy away and has given believers the authority to use Jesus’ name. John 14:12-14 says, “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. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”  The word “ask” in this scripture means to require or demand.  When you require or demand a sick person to “be healed” in the name of Jesus, Jesus will do it. These signs are evidence that the gospel of Jesus Christ is real. In summary, it is always God’s will to heal. (It Is Always God’s Will to Heal, Freedom Ministries).
https://freedomministries.org/it-is-always-gods-will-to-heal/

     For starters, the notion that it is always God's will to heal is patently false according to scripture. In New Testament times, when members of a congregation involved themselves in especially egregious sins, the apostles made it abundantly clear that it was NOT always God's will to heal but rather to bring judgment against them until they repented, specifically in the form of sicknesses and diseases:

     So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep (i.e. have died). But if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. Nevertheless, when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:27-32)

     Is anyone suffering hardships? Let him pray. Is anyone encouraged? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, having anointed him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, the Lord shall raise him up. And if he may have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. Confess, therefore, your sins to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed. (James 5:13-16)

     In both these passages, sickness is specifically mentioned, and in the second the elders are told to pray and ask for the Lord to heal a brother caught up in sin. But in Faith Teaching, it becomes the believer who "demands" his healing by "using" the name of Jesus like a magical invocation. Yet in the very passage they quoted, Jesus stated, "whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." The Son is glorified because the Son does the work through the believer, speaking thru him after He has determined He will indeed do a work after being asked to. It is never the believer who does the work simply by "using" Jesus name when Jesus has not truly spoken.
      Again, the driving theme here is that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself must be the One who both speaks and acts through us or our words will carry no power and authority, and this is especially true in matters of judgment which are to be pronounced and carried out over believers engaging in especially grievous sins. In the case of excommunication, resentments often arise to it as Satan tries to entice sinners into rebellion, making it all the more important that God Himself be the One doing the excommunicating if any communicating is to be done.


Sin: Always A Serious Matter To The Lord

     When left to the leadership of men, churches are usually sin-ridden, sometimes because there is an overemphasis on "grace," and sometimes because those among the leadership are sinning themselves and therefore lenient on the sin in others. The latter appears to have been the case in Corinth, as it appears the sin this man was committing was of no great consequence to them. Was he related to someone of importance in the church? Possibly, for the same is often true today. If a sinner should happen to be related to the leadership, or a significant source of income to the church, or of some special other benefit to it, the sinned against will be told, "You need to be more forgiving, brother. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." But if the one being sinned against is among the favored class, and God forbid one of the pastor's children, suddenly their sin is a "very serious matter before the Lord."
     This is how the judgments of men are often slanted, and favoritism is shown towards some but not others just as during Old Testament times. But when the Spirit of God Himself judges, there will be no respect of persons and He will not overlook sin. Instead He will be stern in executing judgments upon sinners, especially if they are in leadership, in order to turn them back from their sins. As scripture states, the Lord disciplines those He loves, and in some cases He will bring severe judgments on those corrupting His people, such as was the case with Ananias and Saphirra, with Jezebel who called herself a prophetess and was leading some into fornication, and here with the sinner in Corinth who had to be dealt over his sexual immorality with his father's wife. As Paul said, in the name of Jesus, when the power of the Lord was present, this man was to be delivered into the hands of Satan for the destruction of his flesh, indicating that while it might not have been serious enough in the eyes of the Corinthians, it was a serious sin in the eyes of God.
     Do we treat sin as seriously in the churches today? In most cases, no, and the reason is simple: Jesus is currently now outside the church looking to get back in, as is stated in the book of Revelation:

     Unto the angel of the church in Laodicea write: "The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Ruler of God’s creation, says these words [to you]: 'I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would have you [either] be cold or hot. Therefore, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of My mouth, for you say, "I am rich. I have acquired wealth, and have need of nothing," and do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you may be [truly] rich, and white garments, so that you may clothe yourself, and the shame of your nakedness not be made manifest, and eye salve to anoint your eyes with, so that you may see. As many as I love I rebuke and discipline. Be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone will hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. I will grant to the one who overcomes the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also overcame, and sat down with My Father on His throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'” (Revelation 3:14-22)

     As was prophetically revealed to the Spirit-filed church over 40 years ago, the Laodicean church runs a prophetic parallel with the modern church, and she has now become so steeped in sin and spiritual ignorance that the Spirit has been completely quenched, and the Lord is now outside the church knocking to get back in. And when He does finally enter back into the churches in earnest, He is going to return to executing judgments upon those engaging in gross sin. This is what the warning, "I will spit you out of my mouth" means. When He enters into intimacy with the church once again (as typified by the dinner setting), He will find their idea of "worship" very distasteful, and thus reject it openly. There will be judgments again as there were during the first century, and He will execute excommunications and judgments against sinners in an effort to purify His bride. But resentments of these things will arise again as well, which is why it will again become imperative that the true church gather again in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and speak only what He has truly spoken when they speak in the name of Jesus. As a result, all will once again know that He Himself is the One who is executing judgments against sinners, in hopes of turning them from their sin and restoring them to right fellowship with both God and His people.




« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 03:37:27 AM by Hidden In Him »