His Truth Endureth To All Generations
J. N. Runner
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This is a study for One God Apostolic Jesus Name Pentecostals. Of course, all are certainly welcome to read this, and I hope they do. But it is unapologetically and unequivocally for Apostolics, to know and understand our heritage.
This is a message I preached at the P.A.T.H. (Preserving Apostolic Truth and Holiness) Conference in Madera, California, on August 9, 2019. My thanks Elder Dennis Garza, who gave me the opportunity and the liberty to preach my heart at this conference. Added to this message are bits and pieces that were omitted because of time restraints, but they belong in this study, and very candidly I admit I cleaned up a few areas that are just better off scrubbed.
I dedicate this work to three individuals:
Elder Bill Garrett and his late wife Ruth, obscure from worldly prominence but are the quintessential embodiment of the faithful saints of the ages, a true man and a true woman of God, hard working, pillars of who raised their family with respect for the pastor in their lives, and in the fear of God.
Elder Vaughn Morton, without a doubt the most influential person in my life, and the main inspiration for this book.
To Elder Morton: I feel so blessed that you are in my life - in our lives, as your influence is not just me alone but our entire generation.
And this study, this message, is a generational thing.
His Truth Endureth To All Generations
Psalms 100:1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
His Truth Endureth To All Generations
Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
I am not preaching opinion today. Instead, I wish to preach one of the deepest convictions that I have, a justified belief, a revelation. I marvel at this truth. It is a revelation of our Apostolic heritage.
I wish to go far beyond our four walls, our known fellowship, the recent generations, and what we don’t know through lack of historical facts, we turn to scripture.
I wish to emphasize today what I am going to preach, I believe is a key component to preserving the one God Apostolic Acts 2:38 truth.
Besides what paltry possessions I might leave behind - this is my living legacy, as this subject fills my heart and my mind constantly. Perhaps presumptuous to say it is OUR legacy, Apostolics, but that is for you to say, after you have concluded this book.
This to me, is a key component that helps me make sense out of this topsy turvy world that we live in and reinforces the Apostolic doctrine as the only way that makes sense. I believe this is woven into the fabric of the Apostolic message.
This December (2019) marks 50 years since I first walked into Truth Tabernacle in Fresno. I was 19 years of age.
“When I think back where the Lord has brought me from
It’s such a mighty long way from where I used to be
For my soul was lost in sin and misery
And I’m singing this song
‘Cause I know just where he brought me from”
As a 19 year old confused kid fresh out of the hippie counter culture, Elder Bill Garrett (present at the PATH Conference) opened up his house and his heart to me; he spoke plain to me about the Gospel - the Death, burial & resurrection, the Acts 2:38 message: repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus, the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues; one God, and holiness within and without - without which no one shall see the Lord: separation from the world!!!
I am thankful for all the benefits, the blessings and fellowship. I appreciate the fellowship so very much. But beyond the benefits I sought God because I wanted answers - I wanted to be able to make sense out of this world around me.
The Apostolic truth was (and is) the Treasure hid in a field. I bought that field.
In the short time that I have today I cannot relate to you how, when and where I received these Apostolic revelations but I do wish to relate a few events that impacted me greatly.
Many people may remember Brother Mark Tracy from Truth Tabernacle. We were high school buddies in the ‘60’s. Went to the same high school (until I got booted out) and came into the church in Fresno at the same time. Brother Tracy was a faithful saint of God who was called home in April, 2016. There was another individual - a very good friend of Bro Tracy and myself. As Brother Tracy and I were sorting things out in our minds, we discussed that our other friend was not receiving this truth. I recall very vividly the time, the place, the moment that I realized that I had to make a choice - the two of us could no longer walk together with the same friendship. I remember the moment that I determined I would cast my lot with the people of Truth Tabernacle. They say when you die your whole life flashes in front of you. That was the moment I had - it was a death to self, and to my past. For me there was no turning back. From that moment I’ve never looked back. This does not mean that over 50 years I have not had my struggles and my challenges, and times that I needed to seriously pray through and conquer. I have fought my giants. But there’s been no looking back - no turning back.
And knowing God, was our chief joy. One God, Acts 2:38, and separation from the world.
From that moment I started straightening out my life. Got a job! My first job was at Sambo’s Restaurant on Van Ness, downtown Fresno making $1.35 an hour. Then got hired at Fresno Community Hospital laundry making a whole dollar an hour more, with a nickel an hour raise every year. I jumped on the ‘married’ bandwagon at the age of 22, in 1972. Took the leap and joined the Laborers Union and started making the ‘big’ money ($7.00 something an hour!). Got my first job hiring out out of the union hall to work on Ave. 17 in Madera, then on to work with Brothers in the Lord Dennis Ashlock and Jim Estes in road construction. Had our first child in ‘74. Felt a call to the ministry, and had the honor of a lifetime to be Elder Morton’s first assistant, in ‘74 to 1980.
Then in 73 or ‘74, (I don’t exactly remember when) a crucial - vital seed was planted.
It is my prayer that this same seed can be planted today, some 45 years later in the hearts of this new generation.
It was an event that happened at a Fellowship meeting in Fresno - the present prayer room. Some of you were there. Others have heard the story. At this fellowship meeting a very celebrated renown speaker was preaching. The building was filled with people. All seemed normal and well until he got on the subject of church history and began to preach that for centuries the church only existed in the dead saints and that for centuries there was no living truth in the world.
I remember there was no amen. There was a pause - and a deathly silence.
Then Elder Morton - not in his mid ‘60’s or ‘70’s - not as the elder statesman that he is today —- but a young man in his mid ‘30’s - stood up & took the microphone and declared, “since Pentecost to this day, there has always been a people on this earth, baptized in Jesus Name and filled with the Holy Ghost.”
This event and subsequent study has driven this conviction deep into me.
Elder, I’ve come here today with the goods - book chapter & verse, as well as the backdrop of history & fulfillment of prophecies to back that up.
This truth, and this study reinforces my conviction of the apostolic message and faith.
HIS TRUTH ENDURETH TO ALL GENERATIONS
I have studied it from all angles and I come up with this fact:
There is only one narrative - backed up by scripture and fulfillment of prophecies that is true. In preserving Apostolic truth and holiness and separation from the world - I feel this knowledge and conviction of this truth is vital!
I want to put it in the hearts of the younger generation!
The common narrative:
People get this idea of a narrative without studying the book! Some think Romeo & Juliet is a love story, a romance—- right? Wrong. It’s the story of a three day relationship between a 13 year old and a 17 year old that resulted in six deaths. It’s not a romance, it’s a tragedy! But people rarely read the book to get the narrative right.
The common denominal narrative - the point of view from the world - is that the “‘early church’ is what they call ‘the primitive’ church - an underdeveloped embryo- and that truth was mysteriously encrypted in scripture and needed a “magisterium” of learned scholars over centuries to develop and mature. This way the “proper” understanding of the godhead (and other doctrines) were finally revealed... “after all the apostles were unlearned and ignorant men”. And the ‘triune’ nature of God was a mystery not only to the Apostles and the early church, but the Old Testament patriarchs”.
Ba! How convoluted can you get? But this is the narrative! If you don’t believe they believe in three separate distinct persons look at their artwork! On the ceiling of the celebrated Sistine chapel there’s Adam being created: there’s “God the Father” with his arm around Jesus who is looking over his shoulder and a fat cherub - the the Holy Ghost! How convoluted is that!
There’s the “Dogmatic Sarcophagus” that was carved sometime in the 5th century that ‘proves’ the ancient ‘dogma’ (5th century? Hey - that’s hundreds of years after the Apostles... That’s like walking around the Delaware or Potomac River today and finding a tennis shoe and thinking it belonged to George Washington!
Three separate and distance PERSONS.... THIS IS NOT APOSTOLIC!
What’s wrong with this picture!!!
And this ‘maturing church’ became the great military power and might of the Western world.... supplanting the power, might and majesty of the Roman emperor!
Instituting prayer for the dead, prayer TO the dead, a priesthood with pomp and circumstances, Mary the mother of God, who would become the ‘mediatrix of the human race’, after all.... you’re wasting your time going to an angry Jesus.... when his mother can listen tenderly then approach her son with the softness - he won’t listen to you but he’ll listen to his mother.... notwithstanding, the scripture plainly declares:
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Penance, instead of repentance, Auricular confession, through a priest, yet the scripture plainly declares:
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Indulgences! Buy your way out of a purgatory that is a fabricated fable, and on and on....
Then in the second decade of the 16th century, 1517 to be exact, a priest by the name of Martin Luther got fed up with all the corruption, nailed his 95 objections to the door of the church in Wittenberg Germany, in essence setting fire to the Protestant reformation.
And a few years after that, Henry the VIII (called the ‘defender of the faith’ because of his resistance in fighting off Martin Luther) petitioned the pope to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon because she failed to give him a male heir (notwithstanding they already had a daughter, who years later would for a short time become queen of England, known as Mary I, the Catholic queen known as ‘Bloody Mary’). After his petition was denied by the pope, he decides, “if a lowly priest can have a beef with the pope and separate, so can I”, and decides that no one on earth should tell him, the king, what to do.... so he breaks away from Rome, establishing the Church of England, of which today, the royal family, (Queen Elizabeth, and soon to be Prince CHARLES) is head of.....
And after that, things began to split like a rotten watermelon: John Calvin, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Puritans.... on and on.... ‘protested’.
And the belief is, through these centuries, “the church ‘matured’, and in its maturity, and I might add, corruption of this ‘mother church’, multiple denominations sprung out, including...... a little insignificant offshoot called Pentecostalism..... a quirky bunch of backwater bumpkins in Topeka Kansas, then in Los Angeles, Azusa St., came this strange cult called the Pentecostals......
That is the common narrative. As much as this may come as a shock to some of us - this is what the denominations that sprung out of the ‘Protestant Reformation’ as well as Catholics believe. And those who disagree with this narrative do not fitting into the “order of the world” - the rudiments - and they at you like you fell out of a tree....
I am here today to declare to this generation that that narrative is false!!!!
The church - was NOT underdeveloped! Solomon wrote that God made man upright - man was not some underdeveloped infant in the Garden of Eden... I think I understand the wisdom of God & why he did it that way (can you imagine Adam in diapers?)
God made man fully developed! The church was born upright!!! Complete! On the day the church was born - the Day of Pentecost - the Apostle Peter had it right:
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, [the preaching of the Apostle Peter] they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
There you have it - the pure, plain and simple Gospel - the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled in our lives through repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost!
We didn’t come out of Rome! Roman Catholicism is not our mother! We did not hatch like maggots from that nasty fly!
The church was complete - from the get-go:
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
And then let me dispel the false notion that shortly after the death of the last apostle, the church was annihilated in the 2nd or 3rd century and existed only in the hearts of the dead believers.... only to be resurrected again in Topeka and Azusa St., as was falsely said at that fellowship meeting already mentioned!
I’ve come, loaded for bear today, With a deep revelation that I wish to impart to this generation the truth, and refute these false narratives, and to earnestly contend that as Elder Morton declared, 45 years ago,
“Since Pentecost to this day, there has always been a people on this earth, baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost”!!!!
Now mind you, I believe there’s validity to the teaching of an early rain and a latter rain - over the centuries there have been great revivals - but revivals or no revivals, since Pentecost to this day, there has always been a people - someone, somewhere - on this earth, baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost. AND MAY I ADD, WHO BELIEVED THERE IS ONE GOD, and his name is JESUS!
Jesus is the Father,
Jesus is the Son
Jesus is the Holy Ghost,
And all these three are one!
We are Pentecostal, We are not ashamed
Just read the book of Acts, we are still the same
We worship only one God, Jesus is his name
We are Apostolic in every way
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
THE CHURCH WAS NOT ANNIHILATED
Elder, you taught me well.... here are SCRIPTURES!
Psalms 33:11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psalms 48:12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
Psalms 71:17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
This is what I am doing today!
Psalms 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born;
who should arise and declare them to their children:
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
This is generational! Preserving Apostolic Truth and Holiness!!
Psalms 145:3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
Psalms 45:17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.
Hey hey.... NOT ANNIHILATED!
Psalms 72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
As far as I know, the sun & moon still endure!
Psalms 89:1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
Psalms 102:11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass.
12 But thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.
89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.
90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations:
Psalms 135:13 Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O Lord, throughout all generations.
7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law;
fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
In every generation there has always been someone who persevered who carries the torch to the next generation!
Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
Genesis 7:1 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
And only eight souls saved, but HIS TRUTH ENDURETH TO ALL GENERATIONS
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb
Acts 13:36 David served his generation
Esther - down to the wire
And thousands of years later - after 400 years of silence - and surrounded by apostasy - but God planted HIS TRUTH into the hearts of someone:
Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel:
Verse 36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
They persevered - SOMEONE IMPARTED THAT FAITHFULNESS TO THEM, and they kept it.
Mary said in Luke 1:50 “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
The church was never annihilated! And we’re not an offshoot: And let me dispel this notion - the church was not hijacked...
The gates of hell have never prevailed against the church!!!
It doesn’t matter that I cannot trace a “golden chain” back to the apostles
Their Claim to fame Is a Golden chain - instead it’s a fraud and a shame
I find it quite presumptuous - that those who made it their business to destroy the memory of the ones who opposed them in bonfires and torture chambers of the inquisition have the audacity to take us to task about our links back to the apostles!
They say we’re illegitimate because we have no ‘pedigree’.
Let me tell you about an individual that lived in the 16th century: Scipione Rebiba (3 February 1504 – 23 July 1577) was an Italian cardinal of Roman Catholicism. With the full support of the head of the Inquisition in Rome, Rebiba introduced the Roman Inquisition into Naples and was granted the office of Commissary of the Roman Inquisition. Cardinal Scipione Rebiba died in Rome on 23 July 1577, and was interred in the Church of S. Silvestro on the Quirinal. His memorial monument lauds him as HAERETICAE PRAVITATIS INQUISITORI SUMMO FIDEI ORTHODOXAE ACERRIMO PROPUGNATORI ('Inquisitor into heretical depravity, a most fierce fighter for the orthodox faith').
- corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit —-
He is of particular significance since more than 95% of all living Catholic bishops trace their episcopal lineage back to him. Today, more than 95% of the New World's and more than 5,200 Catholic bishops alive today, including Jorge Bergolio (better known as Pope Francis), trace their episcopal lineage back to Rebiba.
Yes, the golden chain is their claim to fame....
The article goes on to say, “However, no one is sure who consecrated him because no supporting documentation has been found”
So much for Catholic claim to a golden chain! Apostolic succession is just another one of their false doctrines.
I may not be able to tell you who the pastor of the pastor of the pastor of Brother Rode (who was Elder Morton’s Pastor) - but I have faith today that the scriptures are true, and that he that doeth truth cometh to the light - from generation to generation!
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.
This is not just bold supposition, this is scripture!
John the Baptist....
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Somebody’s going to worship him!
Luke 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
SOMEONE is going to praise Him! Even if they were ‘born out of due time’ as the Apostle Paul was... in some obscure prayer closet hidden from the fanfare of this world, but known by the Almighty, because His Truth Endureth to all generations!
We have a link to Jesus anyway and it’s not in flesh and blood - it’s the infilling of the Holy Ghost - Christ in us the hope of glory!!!
Jesus told the Samaritan woman:
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth
Not all worship is true.
Someone may say, “Well they’re worshipping God in their own way” - there’s no truth to that!
HIS TRUTH ENDURETH TO ALL GENERATIONS
Personal opinion does not count. HIS truth is what counts!
What must means: it is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something; it is incumbent on ——- a requirement
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
The word ‘behoove’ is the same Greek word where we get the same word MUST - it is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something; it is incumbent; not an option; a requirement!
Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
... of necessity! There’s no option. There is no plan B, There is no other plan.
In a legal contract, MUST MEANS MUST
In Matthew Mark Luke John, he doubles down.... ‘must needs’....
- Suffer many things
Acts 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
In a legal contract, THE WORD “MAY” is permissive, the word “shall” is mandatory.
True worshipers MUST worship him in spirit and in truth!
ERROR ISN'T WORSHIP, False doctrine is not worship.
It’s the devil’s business to flip the order of things, good for evil and evil for good
We know the warnings and prophecies by Jesus and the apostles... we know them by heart....
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ
Fables have become the rudiments of the world! Man made traditions that have taken the place of the pure word of God! Apparitions, visions of the dead. The ‘Assumption’, imagine that. Reminds me of the shell trick, or 3 card monte. If you’re not on your toes, you might think the word is ‘Ascension’. That’s what Jesus did, and we can only ‘assume’ Mary ascended, so they all it the Assumption! You can’t make this stuff up!
Matthew 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Paul spoke specifically of perversion, of the gospel - metastrephō; to turn across, i.e. transmute or (figuratively) corrupt: — pervert, turn.
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious [insidious harm or ruin;] ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
That is what I’m doing today!
Somewhere - in every generation, someone, like Paul, born out of due time, is getting the One God revelation! While the rest of the world was swallowing the old Egyptian and Babylonian triune godhead... Somebody somewhere was having revival! Someone was fulfilling the scriptures “from generation to generation”, getting a revelation of one God, and receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost and being baptized in Jesus name!!!
No, the church was not hijacked! Straight is the gate narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.
In every generation.... someone, somewhere possessed the treasure of truth in an earthen vessel of flesh and blood, for His Truth Endureth to all Generations.
Habakkuk 3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
2 O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Somebody might be falling away.... but revival of truth is happening somewhere!
Paul tells Timothy that all things must be done lawfully!!!
2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
In other words, lying, deceit, fraud, politics and power have no place in our personal lives, and particularly in the church of the living God, which is the sad epithet of the apostates that have the erroneous doctrine that it is impossible to forfeit their position or authority.
It is possible to forfeit.
NO one or religious body has impunity!
We have no proprietary ownership of God’s church and no else does either!
No one has a monopoly
We don’t own this thing
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
We do it HIS way or he takes the candlestick and will give it to another!
Somewhere some time there was a tipping point - the last straw (as my dad used to say)...
Gradual, one at a time. A tipping point when a group or body ceases to be the church, and their Candlestick is removed.
In the 2nd & 3rd centuries (the 100's and the 200's) pagan influence began to infiltrate the congregations. Philosophy, vain deceit, as Paul warned the church about.
When weights change, there is a moment of time when the balance on a scale tips from one side to another. In church history, the actual time the majority finally tipped to apostasy is lost in antiquity, known only to God.
In our lifetime, in our generation, we experienced the excruciating pain of separation from an organization. For years we had a Golden Age of fellowship under the leadership of Elder Paul Price. Many of us have such fond memories of that era. But the scale tipped. At PSR / West Coast Conference, Elder Morton, overwhelmed with emotion made an announcement and took a stand to preserve apostolic truth and holiness. And I say this not to denigrate in any way any of our good brethren who chose to remain. But our elders sensed a danger was creeping in. They felt it needful to withdraw for the preservation of Apostolic truth and holiness! Organizations are not the Church, but is only as good as the Holy Ghost believers within it. Like a bicycle or a vehicle for efficiency. But if and when it no longer reflects Apostolic truth, it is no longer useful.
Some time after the apostolic era as Christianity became popular, the converted heathen brought their customs with them, instead of abandoning them. You can’t drag those worldly things with you into the church!
I believe that tipping point came within the first half of the third century - around 225AD - 125 years after the last apostle (John).
It was then that Christianity became 'popular' and floods of pagans began to join the Christian ranks and there was a flood of pagan customs that came flowing into the assemblies. Prayer for the dead, prayer TO the dead, Mariology, Gnosticism, and Trinitarianism (Tertullian)
But there were those who they chose the straight way, the narrow way.
In my mind’s eye.... I see an elder returning home from a meeting.... and took a stand....
“We can no longer walk with them- their words regarding the godhead has become too treacherous”.
As worldliness and false doctrines crept in.... godly men and women began to take a stand, and they separated themselves from the popular way.
Tertullian admits in his writing ‘Against Praxis’ that the contemporary viewpoint in his day was as indicated above - a simple, pure oneness of the Godhead.
(quote) "The simple, indeed, (I will not call them unwise and unlearned, ) who always constitute the majority of believers, are startled at the dispensation (of the Three in One), on the ground that their very rule of faith withdraws them from the world's plurality of gods to the one only true God;" - (end of quote) - -
You better believe it Mr. Tertullian, true Apostolics reject that garbage!
But his concept of a triune godhead - God in three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost would gain popularity in a world steeped in pagan traditions, on their road to perdition...
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Brethren- apostolics are not going to embrace a triune Godhead... They don’t today and they didn’t then...
I don’t know who... I do not know the names... but I know SOMEONE took a stand. Why? Because HIS truth endureth to all generations. I leave the research of those brave and pure hearted saints of God to another time.
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low:
and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together:
for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
400 years - Simeon waited for the hope - the ‘consolation’ of Israel;
It has now been over 2,000 years - five times as long since apostolic times
8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Psalms 100:5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.