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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A word about who we are (and were)

About us as we are about Him.

Rory Moore came to the Lord in 1979 at the age of 28.  He married Linda in 1983 and they have three children: daughter Savanah, sons Jetrey and Dustin.

For 24 years Linda and I were in our churches "inner circledoing almost everything you can do in a church without turning "pro".  In 24 years I served as an Assistant Pastor, Youth Leader, licensed minister, Elder, Board member, preacher, teacher,  fund raiser, altar worker, deacon, building maintenance, counselor, visitation minister and we were financial pillars to the church in every way via tithing, offerings, fund raisers and more.
Our personal service works included building cleaning and maintenance, construction, visitation, and much more.  I guess we might be called the typical, average loyal church supporters. 

We also worked closely with all of our pastors and leadership and had many friends in ministry, in the local church scene, and with other fellowship circles. -long before the internet. 

Linda was Choir Director for 7 years, a "special" singer, Sunday School teacher, church secretary treasurer, fund-raiser worker, and did many "helps". We were faithful attendees of almost every service and function of the church. For two decades we were among the first to arrive and were among the very last to leave church services and were often there 2-4 hours on those days, plus staff meetings. 

 As the years went by, we did not notice the progressive decline away from the scriptures and prayer as we stayed busy with church programs, activities, and the routine of church life. This decline occurred as our church transitioned from a denominational Pentecostal church into a non-denominational Evangelical Christian community church

In 2004 in the wake of two events, a family crisis and the passing of my dad, in my grief and sorrow, I sought the Lord fervently and returned to regular and prayerful study of the Bible. After "praying through" to a spiritual renewal, I asked the Lord for deeper understanding about our tithe doctrine after noticing a verse in Nehemiah 13:5 that said the "singers" were given tithes! 

When I showed that to Pastor, he looked at me with a funny expression on his face and mumbled a few words I do not recall. It struck me as strange singers and doorkeepers were to receive tithes. So I asked the Lord to show me the truth about this, and the Lord spoke to me clearly "start reading the New Testament."

A few weeks later it came as a shock when I realized there was no direct instruction to any Christians or churches that they were to pay tithes!  (this was before I later discovered that Biblical tithes were never paid in money).

I literally thought I was losing my mind. How could everyone I knew be wrong? But I simply could not find monetary tithing given to any church or saint in scripture as New Testament! 

Mentioning this to a few others about my questions only brought an attempt to "correct" us in the form of a surprise visit from the pastor and other elders one Monday night. When I attempted to question tithing in front of the elders, the subject was immediately shut down by Pastor and no questioning church would be permitted in front of us elders.

We never dreamed of leaving our church but on Sept. 29, 2004, after an agonizing decision, we walked away from the church we helped to start in 1993 as founding members.
We fit the typical middle-of-the-road Christian role models of the sincere church going family for 24 years but we realized we had to leave the church in order to find a renewed relationship with God all over again.
So after more than 3,500 church services, staff meetings, revivals, and related gatherings, we walked out into unknown territory.   
It was very difficult, as not once had we left the church before. But The Lord began to also confirm these things in a multitude of dreams and the Scripture began to open up and we saw things right there in the Word that nobody ever taught or mentioned, as The Lord God became our shepherd. 

As He revealed more of Himself to me, the Lord told me to "Write" and we now minister to far more people through writing and ministering the Word of God in order to serve others.  -And we are glad to do so freely. 

Writing the book, "The Tithe That Binds"  was the off-shoot of our personal study and questioning the Lord on the subject of tithing. When the book was in the writing stage, at one point I sought the Lord for the title as I wanted HIM to name it.  For three days we prayed for a title and on the third day, He gave us the name of it, and He also provided a Christian publisher who worked and gave of her time to us freely in order to publish it.

A second revised edition is forthcoming, expanded and further building on the truths regarding what the scripture does or does not say about monetary tithing.

At this point, we are 10 years out of "Institutional" Christianity and enjoying fellowship with other ministers and saints who have also come out of the system. It took us two years of "de-churching" and un-learning what we had  been taught from men, in order to learn and be taught from God's Word. In order to learn from God we had to be willing to unlearn what we learned from men.

The Bible is a wonderful and amazing book and has become a beacon of truth to us as we seek to do what it says rather than what others say it says...

Flattering Titles, Sacred Cows, High Horses

Flattering Titles, Sacred Cows, High Horses
and by-passing sacred scripture

"Good morning and welcome everyone one, God bless you!
I am the the Senior Pastor, Dr. V.A. Nity.   We are honored and privileged today to have as our special guest speaker, Bishop C.M. Proud,  D.D./PhD, Chief Apostle and President of the Worldwide Association of Mainstream Ministries."  

-"Thank you Dr. Nity, it is a great honor to be with you, your staff, and the congregation today .... Your Music Pastor Ken Olie and Choral Director Bobbie-Jo, did a wonderful job in the Song Service and we want to compliment Deacon Jones who worked to provide us with such generous hospitality." 

What you just read takes place in an unlimited number of variations, depending upon who the players are, in pulpits around the world every Sunday morning.  How quickly and easily these typical flowery introductions go in one ear and out the other of the typical pew-sitter.
Incredibly, that nice introduction and response by-passed the very words of the Bible those eloquent men desire to represent.

We mind-numbed church goers just smiled, clapped, and nodded at smiling men in suits up there on the platform, some wishing deep inside they could be up there getting the accolades too.
We all watched with anticipation what stirring words of profound wisdom might be forthcoming from our Titled speaker. 

Little did we or anyone in the auditorium realize we had just steam-"roled" right over some admonishments of scripture!

1.  Job 32:21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person,
                     neither let me give flattering titles unto man
2.  Job 32:22 For I know not to give flattering titles
                     in so doing my maker would soon take me away

Now that is a pretty stiff uppercut to the Doctor of Divinity Bible College mills, Para-Church Ministries, card-carrying "Apostles", and Denominational hierarchies. 

Do you think a man like the apostle Paul may have had those scripture verses in mind when he wrote in 1 Thess 2:5 

"For neither at any time used we flattering words,
as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness".  

As we searched for the meaning of "flattering", we found in the Hebrew, kânâh; to address by an additional name;
 hence, to eulogize: - give flattering titles, surname

According to scripture, in lauding and titling ourselves and others, we have brought harm and hurt to the Body of Christ. 
Prov. 29:5 says  A man that flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his steps. 

This simply means that the lifting up of men (and women) with titles(surnames and additions to their name) causes them to trip, i.e. stumble over God's Word.
Have you seen how Jesus taught on this same subject in Matt. 23?

Rather than seeking to please the crowds, inflate their own ego, or meet their own self-esteem needs, both Jesus and the disciples utterly forsook the ego-centric outward appearances of success so common in today's church world.

Not only did we toss honorific flattering titles and positions around our churches, but we had our  own well-paid prophets come around call forth great "visions" for our future to go with them. 

In prophesying to old Israel we find a repeating in our day in Christianity. There seems to be no shortage of Prosperity Prophets who envision bigger barns for the church folks and bigger ministries for the titled clergy.
We had ours too, and we recall the stirring prophecies foretelling us how we would soon be moving to a new building, bigger crowds, and destined for greatness.
Most of it was ear-tickling and flesh-pleasing that appealed to our sense of achievement and desire for success.

"But we must "HONOR" them that labor" among us, the Bible says...... "  
Are you ready once again to have your mind changed and your theology tweaked?

"Honor" is used in several forms often in the New Testament, none of which legitimatize the use of flattering titles which tend to puff up egos and enhance the perception carnal authority:

Here is a little word study from the Lexicon.
G1784    valued,: - dear, more honorable, precious, in reputation.
 fix the value 
 to honour, to have in honour, to revere, venerate

G5092    a value, that is, money paid, valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself: - honour, precious, price, some. to prize, that is, fix a valuation upon;  by implication to revere: - honor, value

Now you can "plug-in" the actual meaning with the general term "honor" in the verses below.

 Eph 6:2  Honor g5091 thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise),
 Phil 2:29  Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; and hold such in honorg1784
 1Thes 4:4   that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, g5092
 1Timothy 1:17   Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor g5092 and glory forever and ever. Amen.
 1Tim 5:3   Honor  g5091 widows that are widows indeed.

To "honor"  has everything to do with "to prize, value, consider precious, dear", etc. in the context of Christian love, than it does to flattering titles and flowery speeches and financial reward! 

If your Bible is to be believed and followed, "flattering titles" have a role in causing God's people to stumble.The fact that New Testament writers and Jesus Himself never sought "glory from men", or had "respect of persons" testifies to yet another area where visible Christianity has fallen away from the humility of the Gospel. 

We are not making "sin" out of the wearing of church titles. We are pointing out some scriptures that address the Titles and the motives for them. Again, read what Jesus taught about them in Matthew 23 in addition to what is here, and you will understand why some have chosen not to take titles as we minister. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Who Is Qualified To Oversee A Church?

Who is qualified?

1Timothy 3:1 Faithful is the saying, If a man seeks the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.
A "bishop" is defined by the scriptures as an "overseer", and is one who watches over the "called out ones".
The modern church has perverted the term "bishop" into a titled position in an ecclesiastical structure unknown in scripture. The apostles never ordained solo pastors or a priest over the churches. 
A "bishop" is not a pastor overseeing other pastors in a pyramid shaped organizational structure. He was an elder and most often supported himself as he ministered..

We will look at who and how God calls and qualifies with the responsibility of an overseer; that is, to watch over and tend the flock of God.  1Tim. 3:1-7

      1  Faithful is the saying, If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.     (bishop means simply  "overseer" and is not a pastor over pastors)
2  The bishop therefore must be without reproachthe husband of one wifetemperate, sober-minded, orderlygiven to hospitalityapt to teach;
3   no brawlerno striker; but gentlenot contentiousno lover of money
4   one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjectionwith all gravity;
5   (but if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6   not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 
7   Moreover he must have good testimony from them that are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil

In Titus 1, he wrote a second time regarding elders:

 Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every cityas I had appointed thee: 
Here are the qualifications for those elders that are to be "overseers" of the churches:
      6)  if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having children that believe, who are not accused of riot or unruly.
7) For the bishop must be blameless, as God`s stewardnot self-willednot soon angry, no brawler, no strikernot greedy of filthy lucre;
8)) but given to hospitality, as lover of goodsober-mindedjust,holyself-controlled;
9)  holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict the opposers.

Did you notice the ordained "elders" in "every city" are called "bishop? 

1Peter 5
1)   The elders among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2)   *Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversightnot of constraint, but willinglyaccording to the will of Godnor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind (*tend means "feed")
3)   neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock.

Although this may upset a few people, the most often repeated qualification begins with the nouns "man" and "he", a total of 14 times. 11 in 1Timothy and 3 more in Titus.  

Masculine nouns are used repeatedly in multiple verses and is the first qualification specified and is referenced 14x times. The office itself "bishop", Greek "episkopos", is also a masculine noun. (Strongs 1985). 

 So when the Scriptures speak in terms of the office of an overseer and the elders that rule, it always does so with men. Even the word "pastor" (poimen in Greek), is a masculine noun, and there is no such thing as a wife being "co-pastor" or "pastor" over an assembly.

Having swallowed some "meat" from the Word, let us look at the points Paul gave in 1Timothy 3.
In our 24 years of church involvement and leadership, we never heard these taught or reviewed in regard to the people who were appointed or put in places of leadership.

This is a good example of how the church departs from scriptures as church leaders are usually those who demonstrate loyalty, financial support, natural gifts for speaking, or a willingness to support and volunteer.

We also see that among the scriptural elders that ministered, no one office such as the pastor, prophet, or apostle, is given pre-eminence above the rest.

Nor are Formal Titles are mentioned for those exercising oversight of the churches in these qualifications which apply equally to all ministries and the elders.

In 1Timothy 3

1.   without reproach:
      not open to censure, irreproachable. He is honest and his word and motive is good. He is not hiding any sin.  
2.   Husband of one wife
      He is a "husband" of one wife. He does not divorce and remarry another, unless the first wife committed adultery,  or she died.
3.   temperate; 
      sober, not given to alcoholic drinks and not a food glutton.

4.   sober-minded: 
      curbing one's desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate, prudent , sensible
5    orderly:  
      well arranged, seemly, modest. This speaks of his life not being disorderly or out of control.  
6.   given to hospitality:  
      He is hospitable and generous to guests. Their home is made comfortable to others and they are made to feel welcome.

7.   able to teach: 
      He is apt and skilled in teaching in order to benefit and spiritualy mature others in the Scriptures.
8.   not a brawler: 
      Not ready for a blow, not a pugnacious, contentious, or quarrelsome person. "Not" means not. Contentious means argumentative. He is peaceable.
9.   no striker: He does not hit others, nor his wife, nor his children. seemingly, suitable
equitable, fair, mild, gentle

10.  gentle:   
      He is reasonable, listens and considers the words of others. He is equitable, fair, mild, and gentle. He is not over-powering, a bully, overbearing, stubborn, or hard.   
11. not contentious:
       Right after "gentle" comes not contentious again.
That is posturing as not to be withstood, acting as invincible, and abstaining from fighting whether it be with WORDS or ACTIONS
12. not greedy of money
      He is free from the love of money, and not given to deals and scams.

13.  one that rules well his own house
      He manages over, superintends, presides over, provides for, and is a protector or guardian
14. children in subjection with all gravity
      His (not adult) children  are under control, obedient, in subjection, submissive.   With dignity: the characteristic of a thing or person which entitles to reverence and respect, dignity, majesty, sanctity,honour, purity.
15. not a novice:
      He is not newly planted, a new convert, or neophyte (one who has recently become a Christian. -No matter how gifted they are, sincere, or giving of financial support.

16. Lest he be puffed up
      An immature overseer will try to meet his ego needs through the church. he will imagine himself to be above others, he will think those who disagree are going over his head, he will feel threatened easily.  He will see himself as being something he is not and entitled to things by reason of his position or title.
17. having a good testimony from outsiders:
     His bills are paid, his word is known to be good, he has a good name and reputation for honesty. 

In Titus 1:
18. blameless:
      He cannot be called into account, unreproveable, unaccused, blameless. What if he sins? If he is walking in repentence and forgiveness, he is blameless.  Except from the devil.
19. husband of one wife:  
      He is once married unless widowed, and did not divorce for any cause other than adultery by his ex-wife.
20. children that believe and are not riotous
      His children believe in the Lord and are not those that cannot be subjected to control, disobedient, unruly. His children are not in rebellion.

21. not self-willed:
     He is not self-pleasing, self-willed, arrogant.
22. not quickly angry:
      He is not prone to anger, irascible, hot-headed, fiery, hot tempered. 
23. not given to wine
      He is not a drunkard, given to wine, or drunken.

24. no striker:
      Not ready for a blow, not a pugnacious, contentious, or quarrelsome person. "Not" means not. Contentious means argumentative. He is peacable.
25. not greedy of lucre: 
      He is free from the love of gain, desire for wealth and substance, eager for base gain, or greedy for money.   
26. given to hospitality:
      He is hospitable and generous to guests.

27.  as lover of good
      He is of a sound mind, sane, in one's senses,
curbing one's desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate
28. sober-minded: 
      He is safe (sound) in mind, that is, self controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion): - discreet, sober, temperate.
29.  just: 
      In a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God
of those who seem to themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves to be righteous, who pride themselves in their virtues, whether real or imagined
innocent, faultless, guiltless

30. holy: undefiled by sin, free from wickedness, religiously observing every moral obligation, pure holy, pious.
30.self-controlledstrong, robust, having power over, possessed of (a thing) mastering, controlling, curbing, restraining, controlling one's self, temperate. He can control his apetite.
31. holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching:  He cleaves hard to the Word, the sayings of God, not just in head knowledge, but in action. He speaks as an oracle of God.
32. able to exhort in the sound doctrine:  To refute, comfort, establish, correct, reprove, to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort

In 1Peter 5:1
"The elders among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder",  the elders are to:
33. tend the flockto feed, to tend a flock, to rule, govern, shepherd
of rulers (overseers)
to furnish pasture for food
to nourish
to cherish one's body, to serve the body
to supply the requisites for the soul's need
34. exercising the oversightto look upon, inspect, oversee, look after, take care of the church which rested upon the elders, to look carefully after, beware in regard to protect 
35. not by constraint:
      not to shepherd and tend by using compulsion or force of title or position. (carnal authority)
36. willingly
      of one's own accord, voluntarily. -not as a hireling, but as a volunteer.

37. according to the will of God
     As a man sent from God, according to and from the Will of God, not by men or a Bible College Certificate.
38. nor yet for filthy lucre
     To do so NOT for gain, i.e. money. How plain that is. No tithes or salary
39. of a ready mind
     eagerness, willingly. Ready to help, work, and of the faith, fully persuaded.

40. neither as lording it
      Not as to lord against, that is, control,subjugate: - exercise dominion over (lordship), be lord over, overcome.
41. ensamples to the flock
      an example to be imitated, of men worthy of imitation.

 In 1Tim 3, Paul also brings up deacon qualifications and likens them to those of the elders. 8 Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not      greedy of filthy lucre; 9   holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.10  And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless.11  Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.12  Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13  For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 Can you imagine the typical church reading these scriptures from the pulpit?
Deacons were not the titled, name tagged folks with offering plates in the original church. They were more typically the hosts of the people who met in their homes and they were servants to the church. 

Do you want to see a deacon's role model?  You have the church selecting seven of them in Acts 6, one of whom was Stephen.

"seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wisdom",
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch;
And Stephen, full of grace and power, wrought great wonders and signs among the people.
Now there's some real deacons, full of FAITH and the Holy Ghost. No wonder the early church did not go to doctors.  

In Summary: we have given the direct instructions and meanings from the scriptures for those holding "positions" in the church. It is very convicting to realize how far our old churches had departed from God's Word on this. Do you realize a pastor is not above correction? Pastors were only one ministry among God's people, they were not singled out as the head of the church.

What is presented here should make it obvious that the church structure around us is hopelessly departed from the Word of God. It is as it was at the time of Christ when Jesus called His sheep out from the sheepfolds of the false shepherds.. 

Does this list sound like what any elders do that you know?
This is not a life of managing, giving orders, adjusting the thermostat, making announcements, governing, CEO'ing ... as many of our brothers practice today.
If we set aside the traditions we learned and look just at scripture, we can see an elder as a vigilant, self-sacrificing, humble, giving, working servant of the flock. He might be an apostle, he might be a prophet, he might be a teacher, he might be a pastor. He might just be an older seasoned  veteran in life and spiritual experience.
These older ones could recognize a wolf even when it looked like another shepherd. These older ones knew how to love, to care for and to feed God's sheep. It was not a job for the power-hungry or for those who like to manage others nor those who crave the pre-eminence.

The church at Ephesus Paul spoke to in Acts 20, was overseen by elders, not men ruling as "kings". Elders-bishops who were told to work and help the weak and needy.
 The pre-eminent pastors and Nicolaitanes Paul warned about would come later.
He called them "wolves", they would do the very things Paul and Jesus told them not to do.
Elders should serve not as a hired church official, but serve and protect the people. They should never plunder  for gain and building their own kingdoms called "ministries" seeking name recognition and the outward appearance of success..

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Elders are pastors?

Elders are pastors?

According to scripture, is the typical church to be a One Man Show? -or were "elders" to "pastor"?

  • Can one man really Pastor a congregation?
  • Did Paul start churches and move on putting them into the hands of one pastor, priest, or bishop?
  • Did any apostle establish a church board or turn a church over to a family to run it?
  • Were any of the church epistles sent to one man, i.e., to  Pastor XYZ?

After many churched years of functioning inside the system as an "elder", but not as an "Elder" , we see according to scripture, elders are  pastors.

Not a Pastor, or The Pastor, but simply as a shepherds, servants, and elders with the responsibility to serve, attend to, and feed God's people much as fathers who watch and care for a family.
 -Not as a sole authority ( .."lords"), but as one among others with various ministries, gifts, and callings in God's kingdom.
All of the so-called "five-fold" gifts of ministries are elders, but not all elders are "five-fold" ministers.

How did all this become evident?

For the past couple of years, I have been reading, studying, and re-reading the book of Acts, in order to learn and understand what form of church government was observed, and what was preached, taught, and ministered, and the manner in which the disciples carried out the commands of Jesus.

We saw how the Lord gave examples from Acts 20:28 in which Paul told the elders, the "overseers" (i.e. the bishops) of the church at Ephesus, to "take heed to yourselves, and all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you (plural) overseers, to feed (other versions read "tend") the flock of God which he has purchased with His own blood".

Let's notice the Holy Ghost made them overseers, not via ordination certificate, voting them in as Pastor, Bible College or Seminary, a denominational franchise, or a home missions board.  (see How To Answer A Call From God)

Whoops!, there we just wiped out the organizational flow-chart, church hierarchy, and staff diagram with the Pastor at the top of the pyramid..
You mean the Holy Spirit calls people, qualifies them, and puts them in as overseers WITHOUT sending them to Bible School?

How in the name of the "Nicolaitane" clergy can that be?

When the Holy Spirit does so, He does not put ONE man in charge over the rest of the ministries like the Nicolaitanes do.  (If you  do not know what a Nicolaitane is, please refer to the articles on this site.  God knew when He put that term in the scripture and said He "hates" it.)

What about those apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, and evangelists?
They were all there at the church at Ephesus and not a one was painted with a title, salaried, collected  tithes, or in charge of a building program. No robed "Bishop", pope, Superintendent, Board, or frocked cardinal was seen in the entire church. -Quite a contrast to the local church scene, isn't it?

So we have found ourselves as functioning elders and helpers of the faith for many, feeding others from the Word itself, tending and caring for them, encouraging them, and even doing the work of an evangelist as we sow the seed of God's Word in many places. We are untitled servants of the Lord, not building own kingdom nor looking with expectation of financial gain from those we minister to.
God will see to it that our needs are met as He always has done as He told us in His Word.

We also find ourselves in the company of many others who have left Institutionalized Christianity.

These other elders function in their giftings and ministries as teachers, prophets, etc., and there are even a few apostles found, but the real ones don't sport titles, take tithes, or promote themselves.

1 Peter 5:1-3 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

 Elders who [are] among you, I exhort, who [am] a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of the Christ, and of the glory about to be revealed a partaker,feed the flock of God that [is] among you, overseeing not by force, but willingly, neither for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind,
3  neither as exercising lordship over (God's) heritages, but examples for the flock,

1Peter 5:1 (in the ASV)
The elders among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder (Peter), and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
 2 Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint (by controlling), but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
 3 neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves ensamples to the flock.

We are to feed, not force feed; tend to and not be served by; give to and not take from; serve willingly and not for the expectation of a hireling.
In order to understand this, we had to leave the Institutional Church System and the unscriptural hierarchies that support it. We had to learn from the Lord what it is to serve others without the props of programs and a leaders "vision", which was most often his own and not Gods'.

Maybe you should pray for God to assemble you with others according to His Will, and if you are walking in the "bond of love", seeking His righteousness in overcoming the world and sin, our prayer and desire is to help equip you to be a Holy Spirit sent minister and equipping others to do likewise.

We are not about owning a bigger church barn, taking ownership of people, or being a "lord" over God's heritage. (1Peter 5:4)

We are no-name, no-bodies, called of God to feed, tend, and care for others that God has allotted us. Some of us work hard to get other sheep out of the mouths (those captured by their words) of the wolves behind many a pulpit.
  Jesus is Chief Shepherd according to 1st Peter 5:4, and Psalm 23. "The Lord is my Shepherd (PASTOR) I shall not want".
If the Lord is your Shepherd, you will recognize His shepherdship in those untitled, unpaid servants He is raising up.

Pray for us elders that His love and tenderness will flow through us as we die to self and become vessels through which He manifests His Shepherdship.

Scripture Summary:   Elders are pastors:

Acts 14:23 (NLT) Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church

23 And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord (ASV)

Acts 15:2 ... Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Acts 15:4 ... they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
Acts 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Acts 15:23 ... The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
Acts 16:4 ...they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

"feed the flock of God over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers"  

1 Tim 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Leadership in the Early Church
1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness
"elder":  presbeteros Strongs 4245
elder, of age,
 the elder of two people
 advanced in life, an elder, a senior
 a term of rank or office
 among the Jews
 members of the great council or Sanhedrin (because in early times the rulers of the people, judges, etc., were selected from elderly men)
 of those who in separate cities managed public affairs and administered justice
 among the Christians, those who presided over the assemblies (or churches) The NT uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably

Friday, September 28, 2012

What Jesus Taught a Minister Is

Jesus taught us what a minister is.

You do not know many of them, and chances are the hired pastor or priest is a far cry from what Jesus taught a minister to the church was to be.
- He was not to be a hired, Titled, administrator with an organizational flow chart, himself at the top, served by Assistant pastors, Associate pastors, deacons, Elders, Church Boards, and the recipient of tithes, a salary, parsonage, benefits, etc.
- He was never to be a CEO of a business recognized by the State as a "non-profit" organization.

What follows is a shocking breakdown of what Jesus taught His disciples as it related to position and authority in God's kingdom.

Mark 10:42:  (ASV)
42 And Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they who are accounted
        to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great ones exercise authority over them.

Three words in that verse are worth examining as to what the church is NOT to imitate:

rule        757     a primary verb; to be first   (in political rank or power): - reign (rule) over.
lord        2634    to lord against, that is control, to subjugate: - exercise dominion over (lordship)
                                  be lord over, overcome.
authority 2715   to have (wield) full privilege over: - exercise authority.

He described first how the world exercises authority,
and next He instructs the apostles who would bring us the Christian Covenant: 

43 But it is *not so among you: whosoever would become great among you, shall be your
44 and whosoever would be first among you, shall be ***servant of all.

Let's see if Jesus minces words here, and define those terms:
*     "NOT":    3756    absolutely negative; no, not: neither, never, none, nothing special
**   "MINISTER":      1249 diakonos:  to run on errands; an attendant, that is, as a waiter (at table or other menial duties); a Christian teacher and pastor (technically a deacon or deaconess): - deacon, minister, servant.
***  "SERVANT":     1401 doulos:   a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): - bond (-man), servant.

Matthew 20:

25 Jesus called them to him, and said, Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over  them,  and their great ones exercise authority over them.
26 Not so shall it be among you:  but whosoever would become great among you shall be your minister;
            "not so among you":    the absolutely negative, no or not: neither, never, none,  nothing, + special,
27 and whosoever would be * first among you  shall be your   **servant
     *first:   4413: protos,  foremost (in time, place, order or importance): -before, beginning, best, chief first (of all), former.
** servant:  a slave   (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily;   frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): - bond -man, servant.

even as (just like)  the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,
        but to minister, and to give his life  (to "give", not sell or exchange for a price)

 "their  "GREAT ones"

Strong's Number: 3173 mevgaß, Megas   (it is where we get "MEGA")
great,  the external form or appearance of things (or of persons) 
of number and quantity: numerous, large, abundant 
of age: the elder  violent, mighty, strong ==> predicated of rank,
as belonging to persons, eminent for ability, virtue, authority, power 
things esteemed highly for their importance: of great moment, of great weight, importance 

a thing to be highly esteemed for its excellence: excellent
of God's preeminent blessings 
of things which overstep the province of a created being, proud (presumptuous) things, full of arrogance, derogatory to the majesty of God

Used in King James- Total: 195: as great 150, loud 33, miscellaneous 12

Now shake off the notion of a man with a Title behind the pulpit ruling and exercising power and authority over God's people, and farming them for personal gain and support.  Read again what Jesus taught and let us wake up to the fact that the modern clergy system does exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught. The "system" does what He "hates" in Revelation 2:6 and 15..

Jesus did not promote His Ministry, build cathedrals, raise funds, sell religious trinkets or " God-stuff"...

No bake sales, he did not develop a staff, hire bodyguards, preach for pay..., give flowery homage to the leaders of Denominational Judaism, He did *not* minister for tithes or accolades... He did not wear Italian suits or Papal robes...
Chances are you have not seen many, if any, who are really like Him. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jesus Reveals a Last Days Rapture Revelation

 Could it be Jesus experienced the tribulation as an example and pattern for what would follow during the great tribulation?

His week of tribulation shows us when He will gather His Saints, and the week of Jesus' Tribulation week begins as He returned to Jerusalem to keep the third Passover in His ministry. 

That momentous week of tribulation as Jesus lived it,  will show us the soon coming tribulation and the "rapture".
(We use "rapture" as is commonly spoken of in churches, as the word "rapture" is not given in scripture, but is more accurately "our gathering unto Him", and a "catching away". )

As Jesus went up to Jerusalem to keep the Passover and offer Himself as the Lamb, He was not only walking out a fulfillment of what had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier, He was also walking out a prophecy that would repeat in our day.
Jesus, The true Passover Lamb would be taken into the household of Israel, into the city of Jerusalem, to minister in the temple for 3 days. 
In doing so, He was examined for spot and blemish by the priests. -Which was according to a "type and shadow" fulfillment of Exodus 12 regarding the offering of the Passover lamb as required by the Old Testament law.
He, being found without any leaven as the Living Bread, was also the lamb without any blemish of sin. Even the Governor Pilate witnessed in 
Lk 23:4 And Pilate said unto the chief priests and the multitudes, I find no fault in this man

Let's see what happened in the time frame of seven days..

1. Two witnesses were sent ahead of Him.
 On the 10th day of the month, Jesus came into Jerusalem, the "house" of Israel. All the disciples accompanied Jesus into Jerusalem including Judas. As He was coming to Jerusalem, two witnesses were sent ahead. Mark 11:1 And when they draw nigh unto Jerusalem, ...unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth two of his disciples
 (Bethphage means "house of unripe figs", "Bethany means "house of misery", spiritually symbolic names for where Jesus was going.) 

In tribulation the two witness are sent forth and prophesy for 3.5 years. 
     Rev. 11:3 And I will give to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy
                      a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
                  :4 These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks, standing before the
                       Lord of the earth 

2. Jesus entered physically INTO the physical temple:
    a. As a parable and foreshadowing two times of Him coming INTO His temple as a life-
        giving Spirit, to those who are "watching and praying":
        Mat. 21:12 And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that
                            sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of he money-
                           changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves;
He will again cast out the modern "money-changers" those who are in the NT temple plundering and merchandising God's people by exchanging the freely given gospel for the reward of a hireling. 

SUDDENLY, Jesus will come INTO His NT temple in NEW JERUSALEM at the beginning of the tribulation 
     Mal. 3:1 Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:
                   and the Lord,  whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple
                                                                (again, a dual prophecy)
     The NT temple is His Body of people (aka the church). He will come forth IN His people before He comes FOR His church.  -As He did in Acts 2. "and SUDDENLY there came a sound..." as Jesus came INTO His Temple (His people) as the Life-giving Spirit. 
At the beginning of the 7 years, the Tribulation, Jesus Spiritually comes again to the saints in "New Jerusalem" in the form of the "latter rain" and anoints His witnesses and disciples..
      Hos. 6:3... and he will come to us as the rain, as the latter rain that waters the earth.
This is the sudden fulfillment as He comes forth IN His people at the appointed time.
      Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and did hear; and keep it,
                   and repent.   If therefore you will not watch, I will come as a thief,
                   and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you
    1Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord
                                           so comes as a thief in the night

Notice this amazing prophecy:
       Jeremiah 5:24...Let us now fear the LORD our God, that gives rain,
                                    both the former and the latter, in its season;
                                   that preserves to us the appointed weeks of the harvest

Jesus came as the "former rain" on the Day of Pentecost, according to Peter in Acts 2:17, and He comes again at the time of the "latter rain" at the time of "harvest", the last days of the church-elect-saints.
b. When the "70th week" begins, Christ's disciples also begin to spiritually "keep" the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  
ALL leaven (tradition, sin, false teaching) must be put out as the church begins to feast on the scriptures only
NO manmade definitions, explanations, commentaries, doctrinal lists or statements are acceptable to God.
The saints MUST feast on the Word alone as Jesus is the WORD of God, and He is the bread come down from heaven".
       John 6: 35 Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall
                         not hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst.)

Please also see 
for a list of things leavened into the church as we know it. 
     Ex. 13: 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days;
                       and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee....   

               :8 And you shall tell thy son in that day, saying, It is because of that which The LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt. 
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord."
see Ex. 13:6-7, Lev.23:6, Deut 16:3-4. 

Now God put the timing of the this FEAST for a reason, and for our learning.  
The tribulation finally causes God's people to separate from the world and its' systems. In order to separate His people from the body of the harlot church and the world, those that abide in the ark of Christ, i.e. His Word, the real disciples of Jesus  will partake of His Word without the leaven of tradition, sin, church law, and human church government. 

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord. 
Here is a double prophecy is seen regarding the "7th day", the 7th 1,000 year "day", which is also the "third day" since Christ's first coming. 
     Hos.6:2 After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up,
                  and we shall live before  him. 
                 :3 .... to know the LORD: his going forth is sure as the morning; and
                          he will come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth. 

3.  For 3.5 days Jesus testified and gave witness in the temple, doing signs and healing
Mat. 21:14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. 

For three and a half years, Jesus powerfully manifests Himself in a corporate body (His "temple") as the two witnesses, as His disciples do signs and miracles

     Rev. 11:6 These have the power to shut the heaven, that it rain not during the days of their prophecy:  and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they shall desire.

Their Word (free from the leavened doctrines and deeds of the apostate church) is confirmed by power, signs, and wonders. 
-Just as it was in Acts, for those that made themselves ready.
  Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed.. 

These were not pew-sitting, pastor-idolizing, church building pseudo-saints. They manifested the character, nature, and name of Jesus Christ, and their words were confirmed by truthful signs and wonders by the Lord, as written.  Therefore we have a great expectation and reason for rejoicing in anticipation of a repetition of Acts. Let each of us "prepare His way" and everyone having this hope "purify himself".

4.  He declared the harlot, the body of apostate Israel desolate
     Mat 23:38 Behold, your house (the temple building and unregenerated Israel) is left to you desolate
He was taking the kingdom away from the apostasy of Israel and giving it to a worldwide body of people made up of both Jew and gentile, the "holy nation" called (spiritually) "ALL Israel".

 In the tribulation, the harlot church, a worldwide body and her offspring are reprobated. The churches who are of "the seed of men" are the daughters of the harlot of Christianity.
 And in Rev.13, this is what the mark signifies as the apostate body of the harlot, those who do not have the "seal of God in their foreheads", take the mark and are reprobated.
-the abomination that makes desolate.
     Rev. 14: 9 And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice,
                           If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on
                           his forehead,  or upon his hand

                  :10 he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God 

5. The "Midst" of the "week".
This is where it becomes extremely interesting!
      Luke 22:7 And the day came, on which the Passover must be sacrificed. 

In the "midst (middle) of the week" that ended with Resurrection:
The second 3.5 days of Jesus "week" begins His great tribulation:
It began in the garden:
  Mat 26:37..he took the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and sore troubled

Judas the antichrist, was revealed to be the Son of Perdition who had been "hidden" in the corporate body of Christ.
At the middle of that week, Satan entered into Judas:
  Luke 22:3 And Satan entered into Judas (the spirit of antichrist entered Judas ), and was revealed:
     Mat 26:47 And while he yet spoke,.. Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priest and elders of the people. 

Likewise in the midst of the 7 tribulation years, comes the abomination of desolation as the anti-christ body of people is also revealed. 

     Dan 9:27 And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he  shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease
(exactly what happened with Jesus in the garden as His sacrifice of service and the fruit of His lips ceased from prayer ) 

              ... and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that makes desolate; and even  unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate.

At that time, the spirit of antichrist hidden in a body of professing Christians turns against the true disciples. "and brother shall betray brother..." 

      Mark 13:12   And brother shall deliver up brother to death.
      Matthew 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another,
                                  and shall hate one another.

6. Jesus was betrayed and delivered up to the harlot (Israel) and the beast (Rome).
      Mark 14:43 And straightway, while he yet spoke, came Judas, one of the twelve,
                            and with him a  multitude with swords and clubs,
                            from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 

In tribulation, the saints are betrayed and delivered up to the harlot of Christinity and the NWO "beast".
         Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints,
                        and with the blood of the  martyrs of Jesus.
      Matt 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another,
                           and shall hate one another...

7.  At the arrest of Jesus, the disciples fled. 
      Mark 14:50 And they all left him, and fled. 

In tribulation the church (the woman) flees into the wilderness.
Here is where "He who restrains will be taken out of the way
         Rev 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place 
                         prepared of God,  that there they may nourish her
                         a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (3.5 years)
        Mat 24:16 then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains :
                       :20 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath: 
                       :21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the
                              beginning of the world   until now, no, nor ever shall be (see Dan. 12:1) 

 8.  The harlot and beast "tread down" Jesus Christ as His own "great tribulation" begins

              Mat 27:2 and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up
                               to Pilate the governor.
              Luke 23:7 And when he knew that he was of Herod's jurisdiction,
                                 he sent him unto Herod,
-Herod was the Roman "beast kingdom" governor. 

As the two witness finish their 3.5 year ministry, the harlot of Christianity and the NWO beast put many saints to death
(the two witnesses are two identifiable groups of people, called the two olive trees. We develop this in another post)

      Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that cometh up
                        out of the abyss shall make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them.
      Rev 17:6   And I saw the woman (the harlot of Christianity) drunken with the blood of the saints,
                          and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. 

At the end of their prophesying, they are martyred, as Jesus was in the middle of His "tribulation" week.
In other words, the corporate body of Jesus begins to die worldwide from persecution by the beast and harlot. 

Their bodies lie in the open for for 3.5 years and then they are "caught up" into heaven.
      Revelation 11:   And after the three days and a half (3.5 years) the breath of life from God
                                   entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell
                                   upon them that beheld them. 
                                12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them,
                                      Come up hither.  And they went up into heaven in the cloud;
                                      and their enemies beheld them. 

"Middle of the week" continued.
9. When Jesus had finished His ministry, the "beast" put Him to death

Luke 24:20 and how the chief priests (the harlot: apostate Judaism) and our rulers (the Romans) delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 

The beast is given power to make war against the saints

Tribulation saints are persecuted (Christ in His people) and scattered (given flight )..
Many go into captivity.
     Rev 13:10 If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth:
                           if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed.
                           Here is the patience and the faith of the saints 

The "son of perdition" is revealed as a corporate body within the body (temple) of Christ
          2Thess. 2:4 he that opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God
                              or that is worshipped; so that he sits in *the temple of God,
                              setting himself forth as God. 
        2Thess 2:3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away
                            come first, 
and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition 
      Matthew 24:15 When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place  (let him that reads understand). 

What is there to understand? Is it that the temple is not made with hands out of stone?

* Ephesians 2:19 ...but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,
                          21 in whom each several building, fitly framed together,

grows into a holy temple in the Lord

In Acts 15: the church said there is no difference between Jew and gentile:
     Acts 15:9 and he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. -i.e., the saints.
This and many other scriptures demonstrate that there is ONE body of Christ, one church, in which there is neither Jew nor Greek. In other words, there will be no division from a gentile church being raptured so God can turn back to the Jew. 

And both of these groups form the "holy temple" in the Lord. These are the "two olive trees".

When Jesus was arrested, the disciples fled.
      Matthew 26:56 But all this is come to pass, that the scriptures of the prophets might be
                                  fulfilled.  then all the disciples left him, and fled.

The scattered saints go into 3.5 years of Great Tribulation
 Many saints die, lose their heads, are taken captive, but they overcome the beast and the harlot in doing so

     Dan 8:13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one
                     who spoke,  How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt-offering,
                      and the transgression that makes desolate, to give both
                     the sanctuary   and the host to be trodden under foo

     Dan 7:25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out
                     the saints
of the Most High
; and he shall think to change the times and the
                     law; and they shall be given  into his hand until a
                     time and times and half a time
     Rev 12:14  And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she
     might fly into  the wilderness unto her place, where she is nourished for *a time, and
     times, and half a time
, from the face of the serpent. 
* is a figure for 3.5 years.

     Mat. 24: 20 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath: 
                     21  for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning
                             of the world  until now, no, nor ever shall be 

11.  When Jesus was crucified, His body was broken.  Jesus died- HIS Great Tribulation.....  
        Jonah 3:2     Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, And thou heardest my voice.
sa. 53:10    Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou 
                             shalt make his soul an offering for sin 

In tribulation, the "body of Christ" suffers again, corporately.
The persecuted saints, the "lively stones" of the temple (the church) are also "thrown down" as the saints flee, scattered, and persecuted.
       Rev 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their  testimony; 
     and they loved not their life even unto death

However the gospel is preached in power and worldwide:
        Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a
                          testimony unto  all the nations; and then shall the end come.
      Rev 14:6    And I saw another angel flying in mid heaven, having eternal good tidings to
                          proclaim unto them that dwell on the earth,
                          and unto every nation and tribe and tongue and people..
       Rev 11:6  These have the power to shut the heaven, that it rain not during the days of
                          their prophecy
:  and they have power over the waters to turn them
                          into blood, and to smite the earth with  every plague, as often as
                          they shall desire

12. Jesus died "outside the gates" according to the Law:
      Deut 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates 
      Rev 11:8 And their dead body lie in the street of the great city,
which spiritually is called Sodom and Egyptwhere also their Lord was crucified.

Jesus was not crucified INSIDE the city of Jerusalem, but in the world.

The saints also are given to suffer "outside the camp":
      Heb 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood,
                          suffered without the gate.
         Rev. 18:4   another voice saying, Come forth, my people, out of her that ye have no
                               fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues:
Rev  11:8 And their dead body lie in the street of the great city,
                                which spiritually  called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord
                                was crucified.

The two witnesses, which we believe are the "two olive trees" of the church and a remnant of natural Jews grafted back into the tree called "all Israel".  As a corporate body, their dead body lies in the streets of the world wide city spiritually called Sodom and Egypt.
"Egypt" was a "type" of the world when ancient Israel came out from them 3,600 years ago.

13. Jesus overcame death : 
          Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy
                          Holy One to  see corruption. 
          Acts 2:31 he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that
                            neither was he left unto Hades 
          Rev 1:18 and the Living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore,
                             and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 

Likewise the saints overcome the devil, the beast, the harlot, and their own flesh
        1John 5:4  For that who is begotten of God overcomes the world: and
                                     this is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 
        Rev 12:11      And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb,
                                   and because of the word of their testimony;  and they loved not their life even unto death. 

14. After the Resurrection ... 

He appeared for 40 days to His disciples.
        Acts 1:3 ..he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs,
                         appearing to them  by the space of forty days
, and speaking the
                         things concerning the kingdom of God

So we see in the acts of Jesus, after 7 days of personal tribulation and 40 days He went up . 
       Acts 1:3 ..appearing to them by the span of forty days
                  :9 And when he had said these things,   as they were looking, he was taken up;
                           and a cloud received him out of their sight

After 7 days abiding in the ark, and 40 days on the ark during judgment, Noah also was lifted up. 
After the 7 years and 40 days, the church goes up

Noah's days: 7 x 365 + 40 = 2595  to a "raising up" above the earth. 

Jesus' week of tribulation in a summary:

Began the 7 days in which He came to the city of Jerusalem.
For 3.5 days He ministered in the temple of God..
The son of perdition was revealed, and He was put on trial before the harlot and the beast, and was killed.
For 3.5 days He was in great tribulation beginning with His arrest, crucifixtion, and death..
At the end of the 7th day, He was alive and appeared for 40 Days comforting His disciples, and then >>>>>>>> the body of Jesus went UP. 

After 7 years and 40 days, the body of Christ goes up a a cloud out of sight. 
     1Thess 4: 17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up
                       in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

Jesus shows the way. 

My testimony.
 I was praying asking the Lord if the tribulation was shown to us by Jesus in another way besides the obvious prophecies.