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Assembly: The Believer Must Function
January 8, 2017 Tebeth (Mo 10) 10, 5777

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I touched upon the concept of the function of the believer in my last article, and it is a very simple image and thought process to engage in: that God created each of His believers to have a river of living water flowing through them. Now think about it: every river must have an outflow! You simply cannot have a continual supply of fresh water running into a place and it has nowhere to go. It must find a way out, or the water will stop flowing into it, the river will turn into a reservoir. The reservoir will turn into a dank swamp if no water ever goes over the dam.

We have considered in years past that before Jesus left this Earth, His own disciples were jockeying among themselves: arguing which of them was the greatest. Jesus put them in their proper place at that time. Then, some few years after Jesus' ascension, James was seated upon the throne of the church of Jerusalem. We know this to be true because his burial box was found, several years back, inscribed with that notation. Jesus had made it quite clear that His disciples were not to rule over or Lord over any one, but that did not slow the apostles down from doing just that with the half brother of Jesus, right there in Jerusalem. Then, several years later, John makes note in his third epistle of one Diotrephes, who desired the preeminence and would not even receive visiting ministers, even controlling others to the extent of casting people out of the church on his own single authority in violation of every precept Paul ever laid down regarding excommunication. And that merely covers the first century.

The predominant theme of the 19 centuries that followed the first century is one of a single man, put on a pedestal. He is expected to be God's man, part of a "priesthood" for Christians that Jesus never authorized. This single man does, on the apparent average, about 90% of the preaching. The other 10% is usually filled by ministers who are also single senior pastors who are traveling a repetitive circuit. With some variation depending upon place and denomination, down through time, this has described "pastoral function". There have been some brief moments where the charismatic gifts flourished, but even these are usually found to be functioning among the family of the senior pastor or among his approved inner circle of supporters. In short, everything you have been taught as a church member is that you are not EXPECTED to do anything in church unless someone in the pastor's office asks you to do something. Then, you may volunteer to teach Sunday school, or take part in the landscaping committee, or perhaps be on a church trustee council that pays the bills of the church and perhaps may be charged with hiring another priest if the present occupant of the pulpit is found to have gone AWOL. I have found it to be true, especially in the sixty short years of my lifetime, that most especially and more so every year, you are expected to part with your money. Laws have even been developed that require Christians to give specified amounts that Jesus never burdened His church with and Paul never mentioned as having anything to due with the practice of Church. In short, nothing you have participated in has really encouraged you to function or has trained you in how to function. Everything about your on the job training has discouraged you from finding any outflow for your very own, personal river of living water. Nothing has led you to believe that God requires you to do anything more than sit with mouth shut, listen and tithe. That is how you have understood "Church". However, God requires "Assembly" and "Assembly" requires so much more than "Church". Assembly requires you to do many things: you are required to function. In fact, the true Godly "Assembly" cannot survive without the function of every member of the body of Christ. Can your hand survive without your fingers? How will your mouth do without your brain? You have learned church in a "doomed to fail" system. Jesus Christ will destroy it himself. You had best depart from it and learn how to function as soon as possible. We at Watchmen Prophets Assembly are dedicated to promoting the maximum and efficient function of every member of the body of Christ.

This is not the case simply because I say so. Paul did not found or establish even one single church that was invested with only one solitary pastor or elder, yet that is what we find today. Paul always appointed a plurality of elders: more than one. Furthermore, there are specific signs that Jesus said would follow a Godly Assembly. These are the same signs that follow THOSE WHO BELIEVE, for they follow even more powerfully in a Godly Assembly. They are found in the sixteenth chapter of Mark. The signs are not said by Jesus to follow THE PASTOR. They are said to follow THOSE WHO BELIEVE. Are those signs following you? Those signs are important. John Baptist questioned the Godly identity of Jesus; was He the one they were to expect? Jesus answered the question by referring to the signs and the miracles that He had done. SIGNS ARE IMPORTANT! Are these signs following you? They are supposed to. They follow me. They follow my wife. They are supposed to follow this assembly. People are supposed to be healed when this assembly prays. Demons are supposed to flee. You are supposed to have more prayer authority when you are part of a Godly assembly, but when that Godly assembly fails to function, you are on your own, with only the authority in God that you possess. That is what it means to be a partaker and you are a partaker of a Godly Assembly, to the good, or a church, to the bad. One can chase a thousand. Two can chase ten thousand. Which are you, the ONE or the TWO? Hopefully, you are at least doing some chasing. And if two in agreement and function be powerful, then what might ten obtain? Yet if every individual grows silent and sleeps, the assembly ceases to function and all multiplication of power and authority is forfeited. How long will God allow this fruitless situation to persist? Have mercy Lord Jesus.

Stephen L. Bening

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