THE CHURCH THAT IS IN THEIR HOUSE

Welcome to an authentic New Testament church (Rom 16:5. 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2)

                                    THE CONTINUED RESTORATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
                                                                  IS SEEN IN THE HOUSE CHURCH


(Scripture Reading: 2 Ki 22:1-13)

Text: Jer 6:16-21
Jer 6:16 Thus saith Jehovah, 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: but they said, We will not walk therein. Jer 6:17 And I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet; but they said, We will not hearken. Jer 6:18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Jer 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. Jer 6:20 To what purpose cometh there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt-offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing unto me. Jer 6:21 Therefore thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will lay stumbling-blocks before this people; and the fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them; the neighbor and his friend shall perish.

When one restores something, the idea is to bring it back to its original form, in redoing an old piece of furniture we can repaint it and merely make it look better, but if we truly want to restore it we can strip off all the old finishes in order to bring it back to the way that piece of furniture looked as it was originally intended, and if it has some pieces missing maybe we can get our hands on an old catalogue that has a picture of it and we can remake those pieces in order that looks exactly like that pattern seen in said catalogue, at least to the best of our ability, and the finished product should look just like the one in that book. We also can be thankful that we have been given a book, not of men, but of God (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21), and this book, the bible contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3), therefore it should have everything that need to be complete in the eyes of God (2 Tim 3:17), and that includes the restoring of Christ’s church.

In the 1500’s there was a movement that began within and around the Catholic (apostate) church wherein certain men began to recognize the errors of their ways and seen that they had actually changed the church that Christ built (Mt 16:18) in the 1st century into something totally different, something not at all aligned with the NT of Jesus Christ, but actually something of men and not from heaven, we need to always ask the question concerning our religious practices and actually in all aspects of our lives (1 Pet 1:15), are they from heaven or men (Mt 21:25)? One leads to life (John 6:63; 14:6), the other to spiritual death (Pro 14:12; Jer 10:23).

Paul wrote to the evangelist Timothy and told him (2 Tim 1:13). . .

2Ti 1:13 Hold the pattern of sound words which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

We need to keep in mind that for a period of about 20-30 years the NT church was established, existed and was guided by the apostles and NT prophets alone, empowered by the Holy Spirit (3:5).

Eph 3:5 which in other generations was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

Christ promised to His apostles that they would be taught "all" things (John 14:26), guided into “all” the truth (John 16:13).

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.

Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.

There no more truth outside of “all”, and for the Christian, (one owned by Christ; Tit 2:14), this truth is only found in the NT, in fact by the time of the penning of the epistle of Jude (which very well may have been the last part of the NT that was written) the inspired penmen wrote this (Jude 3) . . .

Jud 1:3 Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints.

The word translated “once for all” is “hapax” in the Greek, and it literally means “once and for all” or “once for all time,” in other words that which Jesus promised in John 14:26; 16:13, that “all” things, "all" the truth would be revealed by the power of the Holy Spirit had taken place, the church was just like God had intended before the foundation of the world (Eph 3:11).

Eph 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

It was that perfect bride of Christ, a marriage actually purposed in heaven and brought to pass on the earth, she was pure, simple and just as God had intended, for God only intended for there to be but one faith, not many as we see today (Eph 4:4-6)

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

And there was to be no changing of her whatsoever, (1 Cor 4:6; Gal 1:6-9; Rev 22:18-19).

1Co 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; Gal 1:7 which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema.

But throughout the years men in their so called wisdom have attempted to help God and Christ by changing a number of things concerning the Holy Spirit revealed and confirmed church, the bride of Christ (Eph 5:26-32; 1 Cor 1:19-20, 25-28)

1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought. 1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1Co 1:26 For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 1Co 1:27 but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong; 1Co 1:28 and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are:

The reformation movement that began in the 1500’s took away a lot of the traditions and errors of men that were added to Christ’s bride, and the restoration movement in the 1800’s brought the church even closer to the original, but still it was not the original, the church was not restored to that which is seen the NT. There have been varying groups of individuals that may have been correct on this point or that point, but no group collectively has effectively restored Christ’s church to its pure, simple, original, God ordained and intended condition (2 Cor 11:3).

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward (“in” YLT) Christ.

Basically they have followed the same pattern in their attempts and that is where the problems arose, they look at where they are at, they make "a few adjustments," and they called it good enough. The making of just "a few adjustments" could also be seen in the 1st century, Christ’s church was established on that first Pentecost after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension, selected men were empowered by the Holy Spirit into all the truth, that once and for all time delivered faith, yet there were men among the Jews who believed who that they should stick to their old ways which they followed under Moses and only make "a few adjustments" (Acts 15:1, 5).

Act 15:1 And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved. Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying, It is needful to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.

The basic answer to this assertion was this (Acts 15:24).

Act 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard that certain who went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls; to whom we gave no commandment;

The gospel of Christ was a completely new system; this new wine was not to be put into the old wineskin of Moses (Mt 9:16-17). This attempting to use old wineskins was seen in the reformation movement in which they kept many of the tenants of Catholicism (clergy laity system, instrumental music, large, burdensome buildings of worship, ect), and also under the restoration movement (the keeping of unscriptural societies and organizations, unscriptural assemblies, along with the following of the latest innovations and conclusions of men (men's meetings, role reversal days, multiple cup systems [beginning in the early 1900’s] and grape juice [beginning in the late 1800’s] used in the observance of the Lord's supper), all the while continuing in unauthorized buildings of worship. We need to understand that God did not intend for the perfect bride of Christ to purchase buildings to worship in, nor to be burdened financially nor spiritually with them, the once and for all delivered faith had its members meeting in their own homes (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2),

Rom 16:5 and salute the church that is in their house. Salute Epaenetus my beloved, who is the first-fruits of Asia unto Christ.

1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Col 4:15 Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house.

Phm 1:2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:

And they continued to meet therein for hundreds of years (as confirmed by any and all reputable scholars), till the apostasy of the church was well under way, after the joining of church and state in AD 300’s under Constantine who declared Christianity the state Religion of Roman Empire, and citizens of empire to be members thereof, he confiscated the various pagan temple throughout the Empire and turned many of them into so called houses of worship, and therein the church began to meet, and continues to meet this day, surely this was not, and is not the plan of God for the perfect bride of Christ.

Consider this . . . (Jos 18:1)

Jos 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled themselves
together at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there: and the land was subdued before them.

After Ephraim and Manasseh had received their inheritance, Joshua brought the whole nation together at Shiloh. There the tabernacle was set up.

Shiloh was about 20 mi north of Jerusalem

This was the place that God had chosen for the tabernacle (Deut. 12:11; Jer 7:12), God stated repeatedly that He would choose the place where His people worshipped Him . . . Deu 12:5, Deu 12:14, Deu 12:18, Deu 12:21, Deu 12:26, Deu 14:23, Deu 15:20, Deu 16:2-8, Deu 17:8, Deu 18:6, Deu 23:16, Deu 26:2, Deu 31:11

Deu 12:11 then it shall come to pass that to the place which Jehovah your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you: your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave-offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto Jehovah.

Jer 7:12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I caused my name to dwell at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

"Shiloh" means “rest.” It typified the rest Christ has brought us (Gen. 49:10; Mt 11:29).

The tabernacle remained in Shiloh throughout the time of the judges

It was at some time moved to Nob (1 Sam. 21:1-6)

Then to Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4; 1 Chr. 1:3-6; 16:39).

Shiloh was eventually rejected by God Himself (Ps. 78:60,67-69).

By the time of Jeremiah it had become a by-word (Jer. 7:12,14; 26:6,9).

We must not forget that the rest that God provides for His people is available only through full obedience to His will (1 Sam. 15:22-23; Eccl. 12:13-14; Mt 7:21-23; Heb 4:1-11).

Jehovah our God has always specifically directed the worship of His people, and today is no different, the case of Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-2), Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), and the Corinthians (1 Cor 11:30-34) are everlasting examples to those that desire to worship according to their own wills instead of God's, notice the words of the Lord in (John 4:20-24) . . .

Joh 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Joh 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father. Joh 4:22 Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

Most look at this passage and state that there is no specific place where we are directed to assemble for worship today, I believe they err, because Christ did not say there would be no specific place, but rather that the specific places believed as God’s truth at that time would no longer be observed, Mt Gerizim nor the temple at Jerusalem would be the approved place (which was widely disputed between the Jews and the Samaritans), but in this case the Jews were correct (John 4:22), God through David and Solomon chose the temple at Jerusalem (1 Ki 8:18-19), but that was all going to change, it would still be Thy will, rather than my will be done, but the where, when and how would be changing, for to worship God in spirit and truth is to worship from one’s heart (Rom 2:29) . . .

Rom 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

. . . And according to the truth, God's word (John 17:17) . . .

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth.

And if God’s word directly specifies a place that Christians assembled for worship without any exceptions, then this would fall under what is commonly referred to as the “law of exclusion” in other words when God word reveals a certain thing along with no other exceptions on any given matter, it is binding, and this is true concerning the “where” of Christian worship, the Scriptures are clear on this matter, and it lines up with non-inspired early Christian writings and secular history, Christians that worship according to the Truth (John 17:17) assembled in their homes,

During the times of Jesus, for the time "now is” (John 4:23; Mt 2:11; 9:10-18; 10:11-13; 26:6, 18)

Mat 2:11 And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Mat 9:10 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples . . . Mat 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a ruler, and worshipped him...

Mat 10:11 And into whatsoever city or village ye shall enter, search out who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go forth. Mat 10:12 And as ye enter into the house, salute it. Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

Mat 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

Mat 26:18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Teacher saith, My time is at hand; I keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

The same can be seen after His resurrection (John 20:19, 26)

Joh 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors (of the house) were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Joh 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within (the house), and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Jesus said (Mt 8:20) . . .

Mat 8:20 . . .The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son
of man hath not where to lay his head.

Why didn't He have a place? Because He was at others houses! As He is also today!!

And during the apostlic times, we can see "the hour cometh" (John 4:23; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2)

Rom 16:5 and salute the church that is in their house. Salute Epaenetus my beloved, who is the first-fruits of Asia unto Christ.

1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Col 4:15 Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house.

Phm 1:2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:

At the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses all things are established (Deut 17:6; 19:15; Mt 18:16; 2 Cor 13:5; 1 Tim 5:19)

From the time of Jesus and forward Christians who were faithful unto God and His word would assemble together for worship throughout His entire world not in man ordered houses of worship, but rather in their own houses which He had given them (1 Cor 11:22; 1 Tim 3:12; Tit 1:11; 2 John 10)

Also when we think of the things we “do” concerning the church we need to keep in mind, its not your church or my church, but its Christ’s church, or its not, its as simple as that, and if it is Christ’s church, the one He promised to save, then He is head of all things to it (Eph 1:22-23; 5:23),

Eph 1:22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, Eph 1:23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body.

Christ’s exercises His headship, makes His followers “one” through the means of the words of the NT (John 17:8, 14, 20-21)

Joh 17:8 for the words which thou gavest me I have given unto them; and they received them, and knew of a truth that I came forth from thee, and they believed that thou didst
send me.

Joh 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Joh 17:20 Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; Joh 17:21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me.

And that headship extends to “where” it meets (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2),

Rom 16:5 and salute the church that is in their house. Salute Epaenetus my beloved, who is the first-fruits of Asia unto Christ.

1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Col 4:15 Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house.

Phm 1:2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:

The bible teaches that the things we “do” religiously need to be “authorized” (Col 3:17).

Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

To do something "in the name of the Lord Jesus" is to do something that He has authorized, this is similar to when a law enforcement officer would do something "in the name of the law," it is not something that that specific officer has concocted, but rather he invokes his authority from something higher, such as the bodies of individuals that legislate for the land, in like manner whenever we do something concerning the church it is to be done "in the name of the Lord Jesus," it refers to something He has legislated, remembering that Jesus has “all” authority (Mt 28:18)

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.

And we ascertain, apprehend authority in
3 basic ways . . .
1) By direct command
2) By approved apostilic example
3) And by necessary inference (or implication)

But in the NT we see no direct command stating “ye shall assemble in houses,” but neither is there a direct command concerning the partaking of the Lord’s Supper on the 1st day of the week such as “ye shall partake of the Lord’s supper on the first day of every week”

But we do see approved apostilic examples concerning the assembling in houses (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2)

Rom 16:5 and salute the church that is in their house. Salute Epaenetus my beloved, who is the first-fruits of Asia unto Christ.

1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Col 4:15 Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house.

Phm 1:2 and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:

They saluted, they gave their greeting, thus they approved (2 John 10) these house churches, but we see no direct command nor approved apostilic examples concerning the partaking of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of “every” week, just that they did it “once” on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), which implies every week, as also the keeping of the Sabbath day under Moses "implied" that it was to be kept every seventh day of the week (Ex 20:10).

Now concerning “necessary inference” (implication) we need to under stand that “inferences” or “implications” are only binding when there is necessity, in other words we have been given a command by God, and in order to fulfill that command properly we have to take an implication in the NT in order to do so. (Rom 1:20 teaches us that God considers implications binding).

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:

What this verse teaches us is that the Gentiles who fell away from God knowing full well what His will was for them are without excuse, even the following generations, because the fact of the inherent design seen in creation since the creation demands a Creator, thus they ought to seek out that Creator in order to know and do His will.

Now concerning the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said “this do” (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24-25).

Luk 22:19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1Co 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1Co 11:25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

Here we need to know the "how, why, when and where" concerning this command if they are pertinent, in this case we will just look at the "when." Many religious groups believe it doesn’t really matter “when” the Lord’s supper is observed, some do it monthly, quarterly, yearly, and others, whenever they see fit, maybe daily, yet the scriptures imply, infer that the church observed the Lord’s supper every 1st day of the week in Acts 20:7.

Act 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight.

And when we consider the command to lay by in store every first day of the week (YLT; NASB; ESV) concerning the collection for the saints in (1Cor 16:1-2), it implies that the saints held their common assembly every first day of the week, and helps add implicatory weight to Acts 20:7.

1Co 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 1Co 16:2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. (ESV)

And uninspired early Christian writings as well as historical records will confirm this to be the truth (Justin Martyr; AD 150; Pliny's letter to emperor Trajan), but as time went by men legislated for God and changed what God implied through the scriptures in order to fulfill His commands and followed the traditions of men instead, Jesus stated concerning the traditions of men (Mt 15:9).

Mat 15:9 But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.

Paul also warned concerning the traditions of men (Col 2:8).

Col 2:8 Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:

It is important to note that Acts 20:7 which is an implicatory command is observed, and considered binding by many who call upon the name of the Lord, but this is the only verse that implies such, there is no more, but none the less I believe it is binding, and Christians believed such in the 1st century and the centuries following.

Now concerning the assembling of our selves together in order to worship God, the command, again, is clearly given (Heb 10:25).

Heb 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.

But again, likened to the Lord’s supper, there are no particulars given, but it is written “not forsaking our own assembling together” thus we need to know the "how, why, when and where" concerning this command, if they are pertinent, in this case we will just look at the “where;” the “when” is covered in Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor 16:1-2.

Again, it is not stated “Ye shall meet only in houses when you assemble” but remember neither does it state, “ye shall only observe the Lord’s supper on the first day of the week” therefore if direct commands are not necessary for the “when” of our partaking of the Lord’s Supper, neither should they be concerning the “where” of the assembling of ourselves together

Now concerning the “inferences” (implications) concerning the meeting in houses for
assembly purposes are numerous (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 8:3; 12:12; 20:8, 20; 2 John 10)

Act 2:46 And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,

Act 5:42 And every day, in the temple and at home, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ.

Act 8:3 But Saul laid waste the church, entering into every house, and dragging men and women committed them to prison.

Act 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together and were praying.

Act 20:8 And there were many lights in the upper chamber (of a house; Thayer; Strong’s) where we were gathered together.

Act 20:20 how I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house,

2Jo 1:10 If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into
your house, and give him no greeting:

All these imply that the perfect bride of Christ met in member’s houses. But there are some that would assert that the church also assembled in the temple, thus houses are not binding. I would like you to consider that what the bible teaches the church did in the temple is the same thing that they did in the synagogues, they were attempting to evangelize the lost, those that refused to lay down the Law of Moses, and follow the Law of Christ (Gal 6:2; 1 Cor 9:21), there is no record of the church assembling in the temple or a synagogue on the first day of the week to observe the Lord’s Supper or taking up a collection for needy saints, and besides that, there is no longer a temple, God destroyed it according to the word of Christ in AD 70 (Mt 24, Mk 13, Luke 21), that is merely a smoke screen that is put up to confuse the unlearned.

Others may attempt to bring up Ja 2:2 in an attempt to find authority in the New Testament to meet in buildings, there we see the word “assembly” (KJV) “synagogue” (ASV) which is the Greek word “sunagoge” which Thayer defines as,

1) a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits), a contracting
2) in the NT, an assembling together of men, an assembly of men
3) a synagogue
3a) an assembly of Jews formally gathered together to offer prayers and listen to the reading and expositions of the scriptures; assemblies of that sort were held every sabbath and feast day, afterwards also on the second and fifth days of every week; name transferred to an assembly of Christians formally gathered together for religious
purposes
3b) the buildings where those solemn Jewish assemblies are held. Synagogues seem to date their origin from the Babylonian exile. In the times of Jesus and the apostles every town, not only in Palestine, but also among the Gentiles if it contained a considerable number of Jewish inhabitants, had at least one synagogue, the larger towns several or even many. These were also used for trials and inflicting punishment.”

Note in this definition it states under 3a “name transferred to an assembly of Christians formally gathered together for religious purposes”

Thayer is telling us here that this word was formerly used of an assembling of Jewish men together, and sometimes of “buildings where solemn Jewish assemblies were held” (3b), but the name (as seen in Ja 2:2) was “transferred to an assembly of Christians formally gathered together for religious purposes”

Therefore this refers to the assembly itself as it pertains to the Christian, not the building. Also when attempting to seek religious authority in a matter we cannot go back to Moses, to do so is to sever ourselves from Christ, fall from grace (Gal 5:4), Christ has "all authority" (Mt 28:18), while Moses has none (Mt 17:5). I think it is very interesting that website after website where the Title is ". . . church of Christ" that I look and lo and behold, there is no picture of the members, but rather of the building, the Bible plainly teaches "you ... are God's building" (1 Cor 3:9)

Some even attempt to ascertain authority from the passage that speaks of Paul teaching at the school of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9-10), as far as I tell conclude Paul was an inspired preacher sent by the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel from the church at Antioch, Syria, he is not a congregation, but rather a preacher, an apostle of the Holy Spirit in this case, and of Christ, the fact that “all heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks” implies that this included nonbelievers and thus is likened to a 2 year long gospel meeting, yet I believe it is likely that he worshipped with the church that he established at Ephesus on the first day of each week. I think it is interesting that concerning this school (which little is know about) Gill writes . . . “the word "tyrant", being formerly used for a king, a prince, or nobleman; and so the Arabic version renders it, "in the dwelling house of one of the great men"; the chief of Asia, that were his friends, (Acts 19:31).”

Again all the biblical scholars are in agreement “the church only met in houses in the 1st century” the epistles you read in the NT were sent to house churches, the 7 churches of Asia in the book of Revelation were house churches, (there may have been times that the church was forced into hiding in the first couple of centuries; e.g. the catacombs), but again, that is not binding, that is not recorded in the scriptures, whether it was right or wrong, I don’t know, God knows, and that’s His business, my business is to do His will (Mt 7:21), to the best of my ability (2 Pet 1:10; 3:14), and from the heart (Rom 6:17).

Just like God commanded the ark to be built out of gopherwood (Gen 6:14) that automatically excluded every other kind of wood, and when God implied that Christians met on the first day of the every week to partake of the Lord’s supper and take up a collection for needy saints, that excluded every other day, in like manner when God implied and approved of the fact that Christians assembled in houses (Acts 2:46; 8:3; 12:12; 2 John 10; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2) that excluded every other place.

We need to ask 3 questions concerning the assembling of ourselves in buildings as opposed to houses . . .

1) Why do you not want to do the will of the Lord and assemble in houses as seen in that NT pattern of teaching, is this beyond your ability?

2) Where do you get the authority to meet in a building, to pay for a building, to bear the physical burden of a building that is not part of God’s plan for the perfect bride of Christ as seen in the NT?

3) And lastly and most importantly, when you do meet in buildings, is there any other
part of God’s plan for Christ’s church that this effects, changes, in effect "makes void" the word of God? Christ stated (Mt 15:3b, 6b). . .

Mat 15:3b Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? Mat 15:6b And ye have made void the word of God because of your tradition.

a. Here is a list that I compiled concerning this question with the assembling in buildings (as not seen in the NT) as opposed to member's houses (as seen in the NT). . .

i. In the NT the thrust was not on the growth of congregations, but rather the establishing of individual congregations that met in houses, which for the most part more easily enabled the gospel to go throughout the families of individuals, which could not as easily take place if believing individuals within the family unit went away to a building to assemble, yet sadly, when meeting in a house wherein there was unbelievers, divisions would cut all the deeper within that house (Mt 10:34-36).

Mat 10:34 Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Mat 10:35 For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law: Mat 10:36 and a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

ii. Yet the house church as depicted in the NT promoted hospitality, friendliness, a closeness that is almost family like between its members, that cannot be realized in a cold formalized building which seems to be a buffer between one’s life as it is truly lived, and what kind of façade that may be worn while others are looking, in other words church buildings (which are not found in the NT) tend to promote hypocrisy among members (e.g. they dress up differently when they go to the church building than they would when they are at home).

iii. The house church as brought forth in the NT limits the size of congregations, the work they can do, and also the error that they can spread (could not an all knowing God foresee the problems with the apostate hierarchy system and thus limit congregational size and insure autonomy all the more by revealing the house church as God’s plan in the NT).

iv. In connection with the last point, the house church keeps an eldership right where they need to be, in the flock among them (1 Pet 5:2), of which I in my own limited experience have seen elders influence congregations (sometimes erroneously so) over which they should have no say or influence whatsoever.

v. Many congregations of the Lord’s church today can barely sustain themselves, even with a building that is paid for, there is expense and responsibility associated with the keeping of said doctrines of men, for the most part the only collection they take up for the saints (1 Cor 16:1-2) is for themselves to keep this idea of man afloat, while needy saints across the world are are victims of famine or drought even though God promised that which they needed would be given unto them (Mt 6:33; Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35).

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Act 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; Act 2:45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.

Act 4:34 For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, Act 4:35 and laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need.

vi. In the 1st century church the saints had extra lands and houses and they did not meet in them, instead they sold them in order that those in need had no lack (Acts 4:34-35), let us not forget that covetousness in idolatry (Col 3:5), and a person's life does not consist of his material possessions (Luke 12:15), but rather of what one does to please and demonstrate his love to God and others, in a house church every cent collected can be used to evangelize the lost (Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15-16), and to help those promised by God no lack (Mt 6:33).

vii. Because of the financial burden imposed by unauthorized buildings, many congregations have partaken in what is known as a 501c3 tax exempt status, in doing this the said congregation has basically taken an oath by signing a waiver not to influence any in matters that are in legislation (Title 26; 501 (c) (3), in other words, one has signed away their right to preach against abortion, sodomy, same sex marriages, and so forth, in doing such they have agreed not to preach the whole council of God (Acts 20:27), or they are preaching it and breaking the oath they made, either way this is a lose-lose situation, one has either lied to God, or lied to men, and without repentance and the fruit thereof will go where all liars ultimately do (Rev 21:8). They need to render to Caesar that which is Caesar's (pay your taxes on your buildings) and to God, that which is God's (faithfulness to all of God's commands; Mt 22:21). For more on this great problem click here

viii. Also for the sheer size alone, congregations that meet in buildings often see their members break into divisions when fellowshipping, it just is not possible to have 100 people conversing amongst themselves, therefore assembling in buildings tends to promote divisions, while meeting in the scriptural house church hinders such.

ix. The issue of using one cup in the observance of the Lord’s supper has been an issue that has caused divisions ever since the multi-cup system was invented and propagated by a Presbyterian minister in the late 1800's (Dr. John G. Thomas founder of Thomas Communion Service in 1894) and was soon after used by many religious bodies, the house church promotes the one cup system as seen the NT, while the meeting in unauthorized buildings which enables the congregations to be oftentimes extremely large hinders the keeping of this pattern as seen in the bible.

x. Another issue in the church has been whether or not a kitchen is authorized in the buildings of worship, likened unto the one cup problem, this issued is healed instantly with the assembling in houses, there were cooking areas in 1st century homes, there are cooking areas in most homes today, yet the inspired apostle does command that the assembly be not for the purpose of eating a common meal, but rather for the observing of the Lord's supper (1 Cor 11:34, 20).

xi. Also in the building situation there are oftentimes selected individuals that take it upon themselves to do the certain works needed in the maintaining of these unscriptural entities, if there is an eldership they appoint deacons to do such, maybe hard feelings erupt because it seems like always a select few always get "stuck" (privileged) doing the work, this would not take place in the scriptural house church, a person would never expect another to fulfill his responsibility in cutting his grass, cleaning his house, or buying supplies for such.

The bottom line to this is that God has set forth a plan, He purposed it before the foundation of the world (Eph 3:10-11), He has brought it to fruition in all its fulness and beauty in the 1st century, that perfect bride of Christ, the church, the faith, the way, the gospel, NT Christianity, and it was completely delivered (Jude 3), and it is “all” the truth (John 16:13), there is no more truth outside of “all,” and God’s revealed plan included the house church (Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; Phile 2), not some massive, expensive, multi-functional wisdom of men, but rather the wisdom that comes from above (Ja 3:14-17).

Jam 3:14 But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. Jam 3:15 This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. Jam 3:16 For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. Jam 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.

It was the house church that turned the world upside down in all its simplicity in the 1st century, not giant congregations, one may be silenced here or there, by those that saw it as a heresy, but because of the sheer numbers alone, and the smallness thereof, they continued to spread and flourish, and they will do and are doing the same today, if we continue to follow that pattern of sound teaching revealed in the NT (Rom 6:17; 2 Tim 1:13). But who will you follow, Christ, Paul and others like them (1 Cor 11:1) who opposed the religious traditions of men where they changed the word of God, or will you follow men, whose ways only lead to death (Pro 14:12; Jer 10:23).

Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death.

Jer 10:23 O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Who are you attempting to please God or men (Gal 1:10), you can't have it both ways (Mt 6:24), I suggest that you follow God, through the only way He directs today, according to the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.

The Father gave Christ the words (John 12:49), He gave them to the apostles and NT prophets (John 17:8, 14; Gal 1:12; Eph 3:3-5), and they gave them to us, and they are the word, the commands of God (1 Cor 14:37; 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Thess 3:14; 2 Pet 3:2), and the NT is that only standard under which we can be united as one, as Jesus prayed (John 17:20-21a).

Joh 17:20 Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on me through their word; Joh 17:21a that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us:

We can worship together, we can work together, we can love together according to that revealed pattern, in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.

Are you walking in the light of God’s word (1 Jn 1:7; Ps 119:105)? Or have you gone beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6), progressed beyond the doctrine, the teaching of Christ (2 John 9), it is the truth that makes us free, let us walk in it in every aspect possible (John 8:31-32).

Joh 8:31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; Joh 8:32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Will your answer be “speak Lord thy servant heareth” (1 Sam 3:10), or “we will not walk therein” (Jer 6:16), will it be "my will" or "Thy will be done?"

Jer 6:16a Thus saith Jehovah, 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: 



                                          For even more info on "house churches" click HERE




                        "That you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written" 1 Cor 4:6

Contact us:
Kenneth Windbiel
715-557-1126
kensanwind@yahoo.com

We teach publicly and from house to house (Acts 20:20),
therefore if you would like to set up a house teaching session
or meet in a public place to discuss the gospel of Christ,
please contact us through any of the options listed upon
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"Greet also the church in their house . . .
All the churches of Christ greet you"  Rom 16:5, 16


"If any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God" 1 Pet 4:11   


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