By Olukayode Crown
People have maliciously accused me of being against believers gathering. But we must appreciate that people gather all the time. In the office, at home etc. So it does not add up to say I am against believers gathering. That statement is made by those who worship the denominations, whose saviour is the denomination and not Jesus. So, they need to repent and believe the gospel.
In this piece I want to address those who are genuine in their concern about “gathering” implications of our anti denominational stance. They already embrace the anti-denominational message to an extent, but they are wondering about passages like, “do not forsake the assembling (gathering) of yourselves together”. And they have questions like: “how can we worship God?”
This piece is directed at such people. So please if you worship the denominations and not God, don’t read further for your own good.
So, let’s go.
God is not freaked about gatherings. Who did the thief on the right hand of Jesus gather with before going to heaven? Faith in Jesus is everything we need and nothing more. Each of us will individually stand before the judgement seat of Christ. It will be an individual matter then.
The first gathering at Babel was a gathering of rebellion, man building a kingdom to himself. And that exactly is what we have with denominationalism now. Man building his kingdoms. So, let no one be so enamored by the gathering that we begin to think that the gathering is the truth.
People gathered to ask that Jesus be crucified. People gathered for good or for bad. So, to say “it has to be gathering by any means, and if it is under the denomination, so be it”, is to be very blind as every denominational slave is.
So, what about worship? We have confused the worship of God with that of Sango, Oya, Osun or Amadioha, where it is about gathering at shrines specially designated for such worship and at special times too, festival times etc, inclusive of a special priest class.
Take note that the apostate church which fixates on buildings built specially for the purpose of worshipping God are worshipping another god.
This is clear from the words of Jesus who told the Samaritan woman that associating the worship of God with locations is over.
Because if you really want to worship God in locations, should it not be where the ark of the covenant rested, which is the temple or the place where the fire of the very presence of God was seen on mount Sinai, places where Jesus said worship will no longer be identified with (John 4:20-24)?
Please let us recover our sound minds and realise that the worship of God has moved from events taking place at locations. This understanding has been totally eroded from our collective consciousness as a church, because of century after century of false worship. It means you think it (the supposed worship) is reaching God, but it is not. That is what makes it false. Jesus defined true worshippers very clearly. He said the true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and in truth.
That was a reality brought to light through the death and resurrection of Jesus. There were gatherings before Jesus died, so gathering is nothing special. Even animals gather. It is worship in spirit and in truth that is special, something beyond the bound of time, of any earthly location, being the perpetual reality of those who walk with God.
And gathering in the name of Jesus could even be for WORSE, talkless of what you do in the denomination where you gather in another name different from the name of Jesus. This is the truth, except you want to deceive yourself.
Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together NOT for the better, but FOR THE WORSE.
Did you see that? That was gathering in the name of Jesus. And that gathering Paul said is for THE WORSE. It means that it is better they don’t even gather because when you leave the gathering, you are worse off than when you came in. Is it not better to be stagnant than to depreciate?
But what do we have now? We are gathered in other names. We have a preponderance of names all over the place now in the name of gathering as church.
Let it be clear that that is pure travesty and deception, those names are attempts to deceive people that such is church, when it is not. The church is born by the will of God (and has one head/lord), but the denominations are born by the will of man, through which he subjects other believers to himself.
It is the establishment of his (man) own kingdom, where others become his slaves. But that is not the focus of this discuss (the dominion of one over another), what we are talking about is “gatherings.” Let it be clear in your mind that Jesus said where two or three are gathered together in his name, there he is in their midst. He made that a guarantee. He did not even give himself an option in that matter.
“In his name” means “based on his will.” But we know that the will of man (not the will of God) is what is expressed in the denominations, otherwise why are they all so different, even contradictory? In this matter ehn, we need to recover our sound minds. Jesus Christ is not divided. He does not have a multitude of wills.
In view of this, it is clear that Jesus does not go to church. He goes to where two or three are gathered together in his name, but once it involves another name, identity, which claims itself to be church be sure he (Jesus) is not there.
Just be sure of that and stop arguing. You may be confused about who you are, but Jesus is not confused about who he is. He knows he is not divided. He knows he is alive. He can’t be alive and be divided at the same time.
But what confuses people is why then do miracles etc happen in some of those places? You forget that the gifts of God are without repentance. You forget that Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock. After that, did the water flow or not? And also it was not only Moses who could perform miracles, the sorcerers of Pharaoh could do something too.
If how you want to gauge whether Christ is somewhere or not is in the spectacular that you see, you prove yourself to be carnal, judging like mere men and very prone to deceptions.
Others are taken in by the bells and whistles which mark the denominational gathering, what we call effizi. It’s purely erroneous and a corruption of your sense of judgement.
“In my name” means “in my authority”, and none of the denominations have the authority of Christ because God won’t be the author of confusion and Christ is not divided. He won’t participate in the division of his own body. He is not schizophrenic, as those who accuse us of being against believers gathering obviously are.
So, your gathering in the denominations, which some want to cut my head for saying people should desist from being involved in IS NOT IN THE NAME OF JESUS, so he is not there. He won’t be an appendage to any human agenda.
You might proclaim him as Lord there, sing songs like, I love you Jesus, but you are singing to yourself, he does not hear you, because in what matters, he is not there.
And the implication of his not being there is that you are not beholding him and are therefore not being transformed into his image. You are beholding a man in his denominational construction and that becomes your confining and enslaving reality. There is nothing as freeing in that like beholding Christ.
That is why Jesus is going to say to those who put their trust in the denominational construction of things: depart from me, I know you not, you workers of iniquity. He said I KNOW YOU NOT, though he is fully God. Do you now understand what I am saying that Christ is not there if the gathering is not in his name? He does not put his stamp of approval on any denominational meeting. Understand this.
Let’s delve a little deeper into this concept of gathering.
People who accuse me of saying believers should not gather, have embraced a false denominational construct of what gathering is.
In this their construction, the gathering must be
2. Routine in time
3. Routine in location
4. Routine in speaker
5. Routine in order of programme
6. Routine in money donation
7. Routine in the select people you gather with.
8. Routine length of time.
Let’s start with the routine of time. Must gathering be three hours? What is wrong with a gathering of three minutes, like a small bible chat on the side walk? Gatherings is just gathering. It does not have to be one hour, two hours etc, or with any bell or whistle.
The denominational construction is “the more the merrier”, but Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered”. He even specified the number. So, if someone is not holding the mic and talking to an audience, does that mean that it is not a gathering. If it is not pre-planned, does that mean it is not a gathering?
If it is not physical, face to face, does that mean it is not a gathering? What about social media? Are we not gathering together there?
Let me share with you this verse from Paul to support virtual gathering.
For I verily, as absent in body, but PRESENT in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present,concerning him that hath so done this deed, note
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are GATHERED TOGETHER, and my SPIRIT, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,.
Paul said that he is absent in the body but still gathered together with the people. So why would some who are claiming “holier than thou” be hinting that social media “gathering” which is ubiquitous, unplanned and undenominational is less prestigious than the denominational gathering?
The truth is that everything of the denominations are accursed things, because God will destroy those (and things) who destroy (cut apart) his temple, which we are.
Back to other items on the false denominational concept of gathering. We need to ask, “Do I have to gather together with the same set of people, under the same denominational lord for years?”
So, if it is fluid, without any prior plan or pretty arrangement and following a defined and predictable schedule of program, does that mean it is not gathering?
Maybe denominational lords should write a new dictionary, where they will define gathering as something well planned, and routine with specific time, place, speaker, order of programme, money donation, duration, and select people in attendance. It’s such a disgusting thing.
That is such a stiff definition of gathering, which is not a true definition. It is therefore a false gathering. Let’s understand that. When it comes to the order of programme for the gathering, must it have a false worship session, where you sing, when worship has nothing to do with singing; or a false prayer session, when Jesus said God hates praying for show and would prefer individual private prayers?
Must it have an “offering’ time all the time when we have no such thing in the scriptures, but the demonic mammon preachers have, as it were, defined money as central to worship, their twisted conception of worship, where they create, worship and serve a cash-filial god? In truth, their god is their belly and that is who the denominational service is geared towards, serviced in the regular so called services where money takes centre stage.
See, are you going to vote for truth or for the tradition of the elders? It cannot be the two at the same time. But the denominational definition of reality says all the above is compulsory. Some think the gathering is not complete without the choir singing, something that we don’t find in scriptures and it is purely a waste of time of everyone’s time especially those who have spent hours rehearsing the songs. It’s an emotional trip that takes you nowhere.
Must the gatherings be in a special location among strangers? Can’t it be among friends and families (two or three), gathering in informal setting, with no prior planning of message to preach, just flowing as the conversations/words leads?
Can’t it be among workers as they take the same taxi home at the close of work? Can’t it be un-programmed and un-patterned? And even not repetitive in the people involved and completely unscheduled?
Must the gathering be club-like, with a lot of entertainment, and regular donation to keep the show going?
Can’t the gathering be seven times a day (hypothetical speaking) with time ranging from 3 minutes to 30minutes, all un-programmed and un-patterned, and flowing along with your daily routine, anywhere and everywhere? We need to recover our sound minds and stop thinking God likes programmes because we do.
Why must it be very rigid and having only to do with specific location and routine of hearing the same man speak almost all the time, being the denominational definition of gathering?
People say let us enter God’s gates with thanksgiving. But where do we now enter, when God has entered into us in Christ Jesus?
That is why I say denominationalism calls up down and down up. It makes incomplete what Christ has completed.
See this is not the space to highlight to the fullest the falsehood expressed as the denominations gather in what they do routinely.
But let it suffice now for me to say that
LET THE LAST TIME YOU WENT TO CHURCH BE THE LAST
BREAK AWAY FROM THE DENOMINATIONAL CONCEPTION OF WHAT CONSTITUTES A GATHERING AND EMBRACE THE TRUTH THAT GATHERING DOES NOT HAVE TO BE IN SUCH STRUCTURED FORMAT THAT YOU WOULD NEED A SLAVERY ARRANGEMENT CALLED DENOMINATIONALISM TO KEEP IT GOING.
Even at that, let’s note that gathering is not worship. Even gathering together in the name of Jesus (without denominationalism) is not worship, neither is it service. We need to recover our sound minds. Worship has nothing to do with gathering or not gathering together.
And note that God does not want you gathering with the denominations, through which you participate in the division of the body of Christ along “us versus them” lines, rather than all being servants rather than lords. Gather in whatever context, except the denominational context.
It is for your own good.
Readers rejoinder are welcome and will be published.