Seems that a clairification was in order


[QUOTE]The manner in which the early church assembled had everything to do with cultural and historical factors. As far as divine decrees go, the Bible simply gives the command for believers to “gather together”. [/QUOTE]

No, no, my friend!

It had nothing to do with these factors you mention: “cultural or historical factors“. That is why there many Jews as well as non-Jews in the early church.

The Was and remains:

One God

Who Had and HAS just one set of Faith beliefs

& and only One chosen people [Jews in the OT], and Christian/ Catholics in the NT even to the present times.

Eph. 4: 1-7  “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

John.10: 16And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd”

Eph. 2:19-20 “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [Singular] built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstonein whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple [Singular] in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

Eph. 3: 9-10“And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in  God who created all things;  that through the church [singular] the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,

 

Col. 3:11-15 “Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all. Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: [13] Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:  And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.”

Because God is One, Good and Perfect and does not change: Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, and I change not” Yahweh choose only one people to guide and protect over and above ALL others. Exodus 6:7 “And I will take you to myself for my people, I will be your God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the work prison of the Egyptians.”  Because God is “One” : John 10:30 “I and the Father are one,” and because Jesus must follow the choice and Tradition of the OT. He too must choose ‘One Chosen People”

Both biblically and historically, Jesus did exactly that: Note is each of the passages that follow; Jesus is speaking directly and EXCLUSIVELY to His Apostles with these actions, commands and mandates.

Mt. 10:1-8 “And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them [HIS] power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying: Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not.  But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give.”

Mt. 16: 16-19 ““Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

PLEASE: let us not digress into the senseless and unsupportable argument of “pebble and rock”. Christ spoke Aramaic, which ONLY translates into “rock.”  Eph. 2:20-22  “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the house of God, [Singular] Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into an holy temple [Singular] in the Lord. In whom you also are built together into an habitation of God in the Spirit.”

Mt. 18: 16-18 ” And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. The same authority first given to Peter is now passed onto all of the Apostles THROUGH Peter.

How can we KNOW this seems a reasonable question. One Christ foresaw and fully answered.

John 14: 16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.”

John 20:21-22 “He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. [THIS MEANS WITH GOD’S OWN POWERS AND AUTHORITY] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”

And then our Good and Perfect God takes it a step further and literally gives Himself as a personal warranty of this FACT.

John 17:14-20 “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth.  [AND AGAIN] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me”

Then shortly before Christ ascends back into heaven He changes the mandate of Matt. 10:1-8, and makes it precisely clear what HE commands to whom this obligation is imposed. It is expanded to the “entire world,” and specifically and exclusively to His Apostles and those that follow Peter and them.

Mark 16:14-15 “At length he appeared to the eleven as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go yeinto the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Matthew 28: 26-20 “And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them.  And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. [AGAIN stating that He God gives to THEN His Own Powers and Authority] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

So dear friend in Christ, the bible, our God and even history simply do not support your position. There is a GREAT deal more I could share, but if this fails to make the truth apparent to you, nothing short of prayers for your right understanding will. And ALL of this took place more that One Thousand Years before your new man made faith / church was formed.

God Bless you,

Patrick

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