Monday, February 10, 2014

Father, Forgive THEM; For THEY Know Not What THEY Do

Luke 9:20-22, "He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. 21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."

Luke 23:33-34a, "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there [they] crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34a Then said Jesus, Father, forgive [them]; for [they] know not what [they] do..."

*Note: When the author renders the word 'Church' as shown here, he is referring to our modern day, Main Stream, Man Made, Business Entity, Institutional 'Church.' When he renders the word church in all lower case lettering, he is referring to Christ's model of His true, Authentic Biblical House church, which He created and continues to build.

Hopefully, the thoughts presented here will steer the reader into a self-examining mode. I hope that what is written helps open the eyes of those within the Institutional 'Church' model. May the Lord's will be done.

The initial question is, "Who are THEY?" I'll get to that in a moment in case you haven't figured it out as yet. Please allow me to start at the beginning. When I first left the Institutional 'Church' back in 2009, I wasn't leaving it over an argument or because the people that belonged to that 'Church' were hypercritical. These were my friends. They were my 'Church' family. I looked forward to seeing them every week. To this day, I miss them and long to fellowship with them once more. I didn't leave over a disagreement with the Pastor or because I didn't receive a position I coveted. As a matter of fact, it wasn't even over tithing. Most people think it was, but it wasn't. The reason why I left is because the 'Church' model I found myself in was contrary to what the Bible teaches it should be. I had finally had my eyes opened. My surroundings became crystal clear. I saw the 'Church' model I was in as it really was for the first time ever. The truth I'm about to expose is the same truth I discovered for myself.

First off, allow me to say that the people within this 'Church' System were fine. They're all good upstanding folks, and I still count them as my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I have no grievances on account with any of them and I still desire to be friendly with them and be a part of their lives as I was before. Not once have I removed myself from their friendships. I just had hoped that none would reject me because I left. Sadly, and for the most part, this is not the case. Many have shunned me and few have remained my friends. For that, I don't blame them. I blame the nature of the beast. The Institutional setting isn't exactly the place where one would gain sympathy by it's members when one chooses to leave it. People become suspicious or tend to listen to those who think they know what had happened. Again, the only thing I removed myself from was the Institutional 'Church' setting. I saw that there was a difference between the people and the pulpit. Sadly not all share my ability to divide the two. The only thing I could come to grips with at the time was that I realized that if Christ didn't build this Organization (as I clearly began to see it as), I as His child was not to participate in it. As far as I was concerned, I would've liked to still be friends with these people on an organic level. I just no longer could count myself as a member within that organization.

So, here I had a Problem that shook me to my core. What will I do? Do I leave my 'Church' family over a silly doctrine, or do I leave well enough alone and continue playing 'Church?' At the time of my departure, I wasn't even able to verbalize what I had discovered. Where would I begin? Where would it make sense to those around me? What answers could I offer them? I was at a loss and only knew that if I were to offer any answers in the future, I had better get to studying God's Word in earnest. But for now, I had only come to the conclusion that after fifty plus years in an Institutional 'Church' System, we didn't know what we were doing! What I had been doing all of that time was following man's traditions. Believe it or not, man's traditions exists in every traditional Institutional 'Church.' It doesn't matter what name they give it. It doesn't have to be called a Catholic 'Church,' either! The same traditions apply in Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Calvinist, Wesleyan and all camps of Baptist 'Churches' around the world. Every one of them, including the major cults, are driven by man's traditional ideas as to what God wants or says about His assembly.

This is true today, and it was even truer in Jesus' day. He had to contend with the religious establishment's traditions more than we do. When He was hanging on the cross and cried, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do," I believe He was referring to every religious minded person that ever existed. In particular, He was referring to the scribes, chief priests and elders who surrounded Him. These are the one's who put Him on the cross. These are the ones who were so threatened by having their traditions exposed and forsaken that they conspired to murder Him. Not everyone shared in this conspiracy though. The majority of the religious establishment had no ulterior motives. They actually believed that they were doing God a service by defending their traditions. What Christ cried aloud on the cross has sadly gone in one ear and out of the other throughout our generations. He said, "Father, forgive THEM; for THEY know not what THEY do." With all of the education and tutoring received from infancy, why was it they didn't know what they were doing? Looking at it now seems to offer an easy answer. What they failed to do was to check the Scriptures to see if the traditions they were enforcing lined up with what God actually said. Even today, in ALL Institutional 'Churches,' they know not what THEY do! How could the elders, scribes and chief priests (a.k.a. THEY) have missed interpreting something so simple? Easy! THEY spent more time listening to the priests, elders and scribes that lived before them than what God was saying. You know what? It's still going on today in Israel!

This doesn't only happen there; it also happens in our western religious establishments. Catholic 'Churches,' where the followers of Rome bow down to a pope and his cronies are among the largest offenders of observing man-made traditions. But, it doesn't stop there! It happens in our Independent Fundamental Baptist 'Churches' (IFBC), along with all of the Protestant denominations as well. The so-called 'senior pastors' of these Institutions are to blame for sure, but more of the blame should be placed on each individual believer for not searching out the Scriptures to see if what's being taught from their pulpits is even true. The traditions of the elders in Jesus' day were vast and wide. They taught all sorts of made up doctrines and statutes. Even today, the traditions of men have become more important than the things of God.

Just as an example, one such tradition we observe in today's Institutional 'Churches' (as innocent as it may sound), is the practice of having an "altar call." What's wrong with that? Simple! There's no such thing as an "altar call" or an "invitation" in the Bible. There aren't even any examples of an altar call in the Bible! Man just gave Scriptural sounding names to things in our present day that aren't in the Bible. An altar in the Bible speaks about a platform where blood sacrifices were made. The steps in front of a stage we see today has been given the name, "altar" to make it sound like a special place. The only place there is an 'altar' currently recognized by God is in Heaven. The bloody sacrificial altars here on Earth were permanently done away with 2000 years ago! The altar we know today in our 'Church' buildings is just a Product of the traditions of men! And this is only one of many traditions that have warped our sense of discernment as to what's real and what's fictional.

The same can be said for the non-existence (or misuse) of the terms, "Under Shepherd," "Senior Pastor," "Clergy," "Laity," "Liturgy," "Church Service," "Sermon," "Aisles," "Pews," "Altar," "Church Bells & Chimes," "Church Steeples," "Deacon & Trustee Boards," "Faith Promise Missions," and "Income Tithes." Christ's assembly is not something we're supposed to decorate with ornate window dressings such as positions of prestige and title. "Senior pastor," "Missionary Board," "Ladies Auxiliary" and the like are just window dressings to make the Organization appear spiritual and dignified. Who are they trying to kid? The answer to that is obvious: EVERYBODY! All of these are gross misrepresentations of what Christ intended His church to embrace. No command by Him or the Apostles are mentioned to acknowledge or implement ANY of them in the New Testament. They are all made-up traditions. If we do them, we know not what we do! As a matter of fact, whenever we do them just shows us that we don't even know where we are! Christ's church is the people; not the steeple. The things practiced in the Institutional 'Church' system aren't related to what Christ created for His church to be. If this is true (and it is), then how can we call the Institutional model (and system) His? We can't! Some might say, "Bobby, what you're saying is your opinion. Where's your proof?" Just open up your Bibles and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. Lets ask Him specifically about these concerns and be honest with ourselves while we do it. Omit the 'pulpiteer' as your tutor for a change and learn to trust God instead.

Christ didn't build an organization that handles vast amounts of money to build buildings and pay Professional ministers to administer over them. Instead, He continues to build a fellowship of like-minded believers in local settings. Today, most believers have been swayed into believing distorted doctrines just as the elders and priests did regarding the hedge laws (Talmud) written by mortal men 2,000 years before them. Listen to **Beresford Job's audio series on, 'The Tradition of the Elders' on his site,, or read his book, 'Biblical Church' for more on this. Job explains that the word tradition simply means, "established practice." There are established practices that are ordained by God, and then there are those conjured up and embraced by man. In 2Thessalonians 2:15 and 3:6 we see Paul writing in favour of observing God's ordained traditions:

 2Thes 2:15, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." Epistle equals God's Word; that's our Bible. But that's not the only side of the coin. Listen to this:

2Thes 3:6, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." I'd like to interject a very brief thought for a moment... I have an article entitled, 'Withdraw Yourselves' for more on why we as believers in Christ are to withdraw ourselves from other believers who follow after man's traditions. This is the basis for leaving an Institutional 'Church' System. In the church, there were those who held to the traditions of the Apostles (who received them directly from Jesus), and then there were those who followed after the traditions of the elders who didn't receive them from God at all. At the time 2Thessalonians 2 & 3 were written, the traditions of the elders were sneaking their way into the newly formed church of Jesus Christ. Paul was entreating those who witnessed this happening to withdraw themselves from those who brought these imposed ordinances in. It didn't matter if they were brought in from a brother from another mother or not. Paul said, by command, that if we are witnessing false, unrepentant teaching, withdraw yourselves from them.

Just because a brother who is teaching these traditions is a child of God doesn't mean he is teaching the right things. There is a definite difference between God's traditions and mans. Apparently, these brethren who brought in the tradition of the elders were carry-overs from the religious establishment of the Jews. Today, in Biblical house church, we'll occasionally see a brother step out from among the Institutional 'Church' system, company with us and eventually bring to light a tradition he learned from the Institute as if it were a normal, everyday and accepted belief. To his surprise, he is shown that the doctrine he is teaching isn't one accepted or recognize by Jesus or the apostles. Even with his vast education, he may think that what he is teaching is on the up and up. But, when shown from the Scriptures that he keeps missing the mark, hopefully he'll take stock in himself and think before he reacts in defense of whatever it was he's been teaching.

He may come to understand that he's merely regurgitating a doctrine he learned from another falsely taught brother. This goes on everyday. If he's smart, he'll realize that he's accountable to God for what he teaches, swallow his PHD pride and be humble enough to allow himself to be taught again. Vast education and God's Word don't always go hand in hand; am I right? There is another scenario that happens more times than not. There are those who will be stubborn and continue on with their false traditions and damage the church. Or, the church will recognize what's happening and try to teach, correct, admonish, and rebuke the false teacher, or withdraw themselves from the unrepentant brother altogether. This action may seem a little harsh, but according to 2Thes 3:6, it's a command from Paul and the other apostles in the name our Lord and Head, Jesus Christ.

Back when Jesus walked the earth, the elders and priests were leaders of the religious establishment. What they taught was the Talmud, also known as, 'hedge or fence laws.' It was a set of imposed laws added to the Mosaic Law. They were designed by the elders of old to be a sort of boundary. The thought was, if one were to observe them, then they wouldn't transgress against God's actual Laws. The Problem was, they got carried away! It became the normal and accepted practice among the Jews before Christ's church was fully commissioned. The priests and elders in Judaism were so wrapped-up in following their own established practices/traditions (hedge laws), they began equating them with the Mosaic Law itself! The Mosaic Law had only 613 laws in it, and these were the established practices ordained by God. The added on 1500+ hedge laws were written by men to prevent them from stepping over the line. Their intent was good, but their follow through wasn't. Their mistake was that they believed their own press! They focused so much on these added laws and traditions, they forgot all about God's Law. In other words, God's actual Laws became secondary to their own! When God's Law and theirs conflicted, THEY stood in favor of what THEY wrote. The most important thing in the priests, scribes and elder's laws was observing the sabbath. The sabbath became the focal point of their religion. God became an accessory to the sabbath. What a shame; but, that's what happened. The really sad part is, this same train of thought has carried over into the Institutional 'Church' today!

How in the world did the elders in Jesus' day get so turned around? How were they persuaded to turn away from God's Word so easily? Simple; they were taught from the time they were a child to observe the traditions of men rather than the Laws of God. This practice became habitual from one generation to the next. They were reared in it. When one generation after another reinforces these stories, it's difficult for the person being taught to ignore it; especially when they were taught these things from the time they could comprehend language. And, that's what's happening in today's Institutional 'Churches.' The people within them are so used to believing made-up terms and customs that THEY forgo the weightier matters of Scripture. They don't even think to question or find out what they mean. Why should they? Aren't these the same things Grandma and Grandpa taught them? Can't they be trusted? And what about their pastors and Sunday School teachers? How could everyone we know have it so wrong?

The Lord may have been calling out to His Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him, but I also believe that it would be good for us to know why they crucified Him in the first place! The religious establishment didn't want their traditions, which morphed into a business entity, to end. The best way to keep their little empires from being dissolved was to eliminate the Problem. There were many who believed as they did, but only one of Him. Remove Him and everything will be back to smooth sailing. Problem solved, right? Wrong! They didn't count on the Problem snow-balling after He died and then rising. Today, we see the same thing. Irradiation seems to be the normal prescription when dealing with a perceived threat to one's traditions that help feed their wallet. Pastors today don't like me very much. What's on this blog is a major threat to their livelihoods. Why would a sensitive, loving, compassionate fella such as a pastor lash out at someone like me? That's easy! I'm a threat to their Profession. So, what do they do? They try to discredit me and others like me. Well, they're just doing what the elders, chief priests and scribes did to Jesus and Paul. I've got it easy compared to those two!

Anyhow, Jesus was their Problem! His followers mouths had to be stopped if the elders, chief priests and scribes were to continue ruling the people. They saw that Christ's death, burial and resurrection actually stimulated others into taking action and having a voice. Paul was one such man. The zealots killed Paul three times, but God wasn't done using him after the first two. Paul just kept on going until they cut his head off. Throughout the early stages of the spreading of the Gospel, one miracle followed after another to substantiate this new belief in God Almighty and the grace He bestowed upon all those who believe on His Son. It seems that the only ones against this were those in power.

Wouldn't you say that local pastors today wield a lot of influential power in their areas? Do we actually believe that they're going to give up that power without a fight? I don't think so! When Christ arose, His disciples embraced a new found boldness. That's when the persecutions came. Guess what? They're still coming. Institutional pastors today are verbally persecuting those in house churches who dare share a voice in favor of Christ's authentic church model. But, you know what? Those who have begun to voice this truth have discovered the same new found boldness and are speaking up. Why not? After realizing that Jesus meant for His church to be a fellowship and not a business enterprise run by entrepreneurs, why not share in this great truth? That's one reason why me and so many others who have woken-up have their videos and articles posted around the world for all to see.

Those in 'Church' leadership positions at every level are not all bad. They have a genuine desire to do good. They just do not know what they're doing! The issue isn't their motives. It's their understanding as they lead others. The clergy want nothing more than to stomp out the message of the freedom that is within Christ's house church, for not to act against us would inevitably reduce their business entity 'Churches' into bankruptcy. They call house church a movement. They say that we don't meet in numbers. They say that we don't employ a legitimate pastor as it's head. In that regard, they're right. We don't have pastors as our head. Jesus is our Head. Senior pastors just aren't mentioned in the Bible ~ ANYWHERE! It's high time they learn that. What's more, we aren't a movement, but we are on the move. We're growing; and we're growing in numbers.

THEY are afraid of the same things their predecessors were afraid of; that their flocks will wake up and search the Scriptures for themselves to see if what we're saying is true. The elders of Jesus' day didn't want new wine poured into their old bottles. Well, times haven't changed much. If people today left the Institution in favor of Christ's model of house church, what would become of their Profession? It'd be dropped like a bad habit, that's what! The sad thing is, most in today's clergy were reared in their traditions just as the scribes, elders and chief priests were raised in theirs. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. If a lamb is raised as a dog, he'll act just as a dog will. Where does the cycle end?

It stops when the individual believer opens their eyes and begins to question all of the pet-doctrines and customs bellowed from their pulpits and what they read from like-minded men who publish and sell their literature. There's nothing wrong with reading good books on the Bible, but we should be aware of the fallacies that can creep into them. That's where some good, old fashioned, knuckle-bust'n study comes in. Go on and read the books, but read them side-by-side with the Bible to see if what's being taught lines up with Scripture. Do the same thing with audio messages as well. Don't take anything for granted as the elders, chief priests and scribes did so long ago. Yes, the elders in Christ's day were evil men. They sought to kill Him on several occasions to preserve their business enterprise. They finally succeeded, but their plan backfired on them. Christ's church grew as a result. The church He gave His life for is organic, physical and local, but every believer is not involved in it. Many are still in a place He never died for. They're in a place that has labeled itself His 'Church' but isn't. Why? Because THEY know not what THEY do. Do you know what you're doing in light of this new information? I hope so. I pray that every believer who reads this will begin to question what they've been taught from infancy to see if it lines up with Scripture.

In case you haven't figured out who 'THEY' are yet, let me uncover the mystery. 'THEY' are us. More specifically, 'THEY" are all those who reject Christ's teachings of the Bible in favor of the religious establishment's teachings. When a believer rejects God's Word on how God wants things done in favor of man's traditions, we become the 'THEY' that needs forgiveness; for we know not what we do. Thanks for visiting.

**To all of us who adhere to the King James Bible, I want you to know that Mr. Job references and quotes from the NIV. I suggest that one might want to employ using their King James Bibles as they listen to the audio presentation on his site. Although no distortions are made when quoting these verses within the context of the lesson, some might feel more comfortable reading along in their KJBs. The lesson series is beneficial and offers great insights nonetheless.


  1. Very good Bobby! I was wondering what drew you away from the corporate Church! I could imagine many things but the fact that it's not God's will should enough to cause any believer to walk away from it once they are aware! I'm glad you had the courage to do so, and go about sharing the knowledge you have gained from the Bible with others!

    1. Thank you Alyssa. I thought it was important to share this with others. How could I not? The fact that Christ died for His church should be enough to change anyone's mind toward what He wants for us. We're supposed to follow Him, not a knock-off. Institutional 'Churches' may have many saved believers as members, but that doesn't mean that is where He wants His sheep to be. I think what is lacking is that most of the saints in the Western world do not realize that what they're in is NOT of Christ. Awareness begins with hearing a voice. If I can be one of those voices, I feel that I am at least doing something for people and Him. Thanks for the comment.