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The Higher Liberty

Order the book The Higher Liberty

The Higher Liberty

by Gregory HHC, d
Minister of His Holy Church

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The Apostolic Church

 

A most controversial subject to address is the offices of the Church, the separation of Church clergy and laity – and whether there is an Apostolic body of the Church. There is not enough room in this book to cover these topics fairly but a glimpse at the early church will reveal differences from modern Churches.

Scholars, in their bias zeal, have stated that “presbyter and bishop, are identical in meaning.”230 That would be like saying son and brother are the same, since I am both. I am a father, son, husband, and brother. I am not all these things to all men. All bishops may be presbyters or elders, but not all elders are bishops or overseers.

“[T]he government of the Church was by presbyters”231 who were the elder of each family unit. All power of government comes from the people and the people come from families. The family, retains all right to choose over their possessions.

All ministers or servants of God are ordained by God. How do we know who is a minister of God? Is it by laying on of hands, proclamations and decrees, by diplomas and letters of investiture? Does flesh and blood reveal it? The natural man232 cannot know because they are spiritually discerned.

By their fruits ye shall know them which labor among you and you should establish who you know to be the ministers of God by two or more witnesses. This is the way the elders chose their ministers and the way the ministers chose their ministers.

A minister of ten ministers was an elder of his family, a minister or deacon to the minister he served, and the overseer to the congregations that minister served.

The daily or ongoing election of your personal minister was based on your voluntary support. What you gave according to his service.

When an offering was given to a minister of the Church for the purposes of Christ it was entirely given. The one who received it had all power over that offering because it was freely and completely given. If a minister did not do well with what was given the giver had the option of not giving again, and could choose another minister instead. In this way liberty remains with the people and the right vested by God within the family never diminishes.

It has been said “The ‘pastors’ or ‘shepherds’, with the two-fold function of oversight and of teaching”.233 That reasoning is the result of subtracting the Kingdom at hand from the “Gospel of the Kingdom”. The early church clearly had the mission of feeding the sheep, caring for the needy, and offering an alternative to praying to those men who called themselves benefactors but exercised authority one over the other, and snared, trapped and entangled the people into the bondage of the world.

The Kingdom of God is at hand in spirit and in truth. Since each family is autonomous and in possession of all their rights they cannot be a corpus except in spirit. The evidence of their union is their love. The world may require more visible proof and Jesus provided it.

The visible body of the kingdom was the “called out” men to whom he appointed “a kingdom”. Unlike other governments they could not exercise authority over men but only over what they freely gave. This representative Church is to serve God’s purposes by serving those who seek God and His kingdom of righteousness.

They must belong to God owning all things in common as a body in one accord. They are a representative government that exercises no authority over the people. They make no new laws, they force no contributions; they take away no rights; they make no treaties; they have no central treasury; maintain no standing armies; they depend on the Holy Spirit and the free will offerings of the people.

This body is composed of men and their families who conform to Christ in a common brotherhood. They are the ambassadors of Christ, the Apostolic Church appointed by Christ. They are dependent upon your witness and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

 

Footnotes:

230“words ‘presbyter,’ or elder, and ‘episcopos,’ or bishop, are quite identical in meaning.” “So evident is this that all great scholars of these subjects in our day admit that, in the New Testament, the two names, presbyter and bishop, are identical in meaning.” The Early Church, The Roman Claim; 1896, J. Lawrence Rentoul M.A., D.D.

231The Early Church, The Roman Claim; 1896, J. Lawrence Rentoul M.A., D.D.

2321 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.”

233The Early Church, The Roman Claim; 1896, J. Lawrence Rentoul M.A., D.D.

 

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Return to the Table of Contents, Alphabetical Index or purchase the book The Higher Liberty

Related Articles and Audio:

  • Romans 13 part 1
    http://www.hisholychurch.org/media/audio/rm/Romans131.ram
  • ROMANS 13 verse 1 the higher liberty
    Does God want us to be subject or to be free?
    http://www.hisholychurch.org/sermon/romans13.php

    Romans 13 and I Peter 2,13-14
    Is the Bible consistent about setting men free or does it contradict itself?
    http://www.hisholychurch.org/sermon/romanspeter.php

    Romans 13, NN Video Series:7-10 4:32
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SEMYx6affo

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