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Introduction Wim Vierbergen

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willemv:
Hi Folks
My name is Wim Vierbergen and I am a new member. I am a 1940 model , so real vintage. I live in the Western Cape province of South Africa.I grew up in a very conservative reformed house and attended a real Christian Primary school where Bible classes were seriously taken and was a reckognised subject for which you actually got marks as well.Must say I am still gratefull for that as it gave me at least apart from childlike faith a solid bible knowledge.When I left high school it was "customary" to be 'confirmed" in your church as a "full "member. I did not do this as I was honest enough to say as was not ready for this . Actually I was quite naughty like  on Sunday mornings just as church service started , I would slip out the back door , hot-wire my eldest brother's V8 and tour around town visiting non-church going friends.I was never caught and I did this regularly but eventually turned back from what I surely knew was not right ,although I did not consider it a crime or a serious sin. I went through confirmation in my in my early twenties when I became quit involved in church activities , became a deacan , organised the youth which was only sometimes for fun but mostly quite serious.
I became an elder at the age of 31 and if I think back I would say I did not have that much life skills but was outstanding in my service and dedication. Because I had quite a carreer I did not do much Bible study myself but relied on the pastor to fill in the gaps. It was much later when I retired at 55 to start my own business that I became really serious about finding the God and saviour I had served for already more than 30 years. I started my personal Bible study and not too long after that I came up with all sorts of questions which made life difficult for my then minister as most of the time he could not think out of the box.This went on for a long time ,at one stage the church considered to excommunicate me . Eventually I "came out of her "to quote Revelatons.
This happened only about three and a half years ago . I am very patient !
Since then I have been looking for the true Church of Christ and I have studied the doctrines of many churches who all made that claim . But I had learned to be very carefull by now and in this process of evaluating all these church doctrines measuring them up against the Word of God I gained a lot of Scriptural knowledge . But something was still lacking and that is the most important ie the living in Christ and Christ living in me.Somehow I had this feeling of emptiness and I think(knew is a better word ) I lacked the gift of real Love.And then out of nowhere the teachings of L Ray Smith appeared on my computer screen about 3 months ago.At first I was almost shocked but I could not let it go and up to now have read (and checked with Strongs and my Hebrew and Greek dictionaries)many of his lectures some of them up to three times and made up a notebook (literal) with important notes.What can I say ...it changed my attitude to people generally I can even honestly say that where I felt empathy for all sorts of deprived people it is rapidly changing to a loving attitude -- it seems easier to love people when you realise they are all saved in the end and it is a lot easier to hate people if you think they are lost for ever in any case. You may criticise me on this statement but that's how I feel.
I know by now that the true Church of Christ is not to be found in any earthly church institute. I actually attend sometimes the church my wife is attending which is a conservative Baptist church , very small congregation , American pastor. The other day I asked him (because I know he is a serious Christian ) if he was prepared to baptise me ,but outside his church's involvement because I do not subscribe to all his church' doctrines  , well quess what ....he is not. Nothing new , how do I solve this or do I just forget about it , Ray Smith had no strong feelings about it, neither had the Apostle Paul.
I am not saying I take everything Ray Smith has put forward as absolute truth but sofar so good, his lifetime work has been an enormous blessing for me thus far. He could have shortened his stand on the so-called Rapture somewhat because there is so much info there and I will have to go through that again .
Last question :Do you really think a forum like this can be the answer to Heb 10:25 to assemble as brothers and sisters in Christ ?
Kindest greetings from your brother in Christ, Wim 

Extol:
Hi Wim,

Welcome to the forum.

Here's a section from Part 11 of The Lake of Fire:

In Hebrews 10:25 were are admonished as follows:

    "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching."

That this is speaking of believers congregating together to worship and study Godís Word, there can be no doubt. However, there is a much deeper meaning to this "assembling" that few have ever seen. I never saw it myself until I read a paper by J. Preston Eby, entitled: "FORSAKE NOT THE ASSEMBLING."

I will quote an excerpt or two from his paper:

    "The Greek word for Ďassemblingí is EPISUNAGOGE. The word, literally, is a verb meaning to synagogue. It is a compound of the Greek prefix EPI with the word SUNAGOGE from which we get our transliterated English word Synagogue. EPI means super Ė imposition Ė that which is above, higher than, highest, upon. SUNAGOGE means a meeting, assembly, or gathering. Putting these two words together, EPI-SUNAGOGE means THE ABOVE SYNAGOGUE, THE HIGHER MEETING, THE HIGHEST ASSEMBLY, THE HIGHER-THAN-ALL-GATHERINGS!

    It bespeaks of something far greater than merely collecting so many breathing bodies together in one place.

    It is a meeting in a higher realm, on a higher plane, in the high places of the Spirit, and in the heights of Truth. It is a gathering together in a dimension above. It indicates an assembling IN THE SPIRITÖ"

(All Caps belong to Mr. Eby).

This Greek word episunagoge is used only one other time in Scripture, and that is in II Thes. 2:1:

    "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together [Gk: episunagoge] unto Him."

In Hebrews 10 we are admonished to "assemble" in an high meeting, a meeting in the SPIRIT! In II Thes. 2 this meeting in the Spirit will become a literal meeting with our Lord.

And so, back to our question once more: Which denomination should we join? Where should we go to Church? Where should we "forsake not the assembling of ourselves together?" In a physical building of some physical denomination? No. WE are to episunagoge (assemble) on a higher plane, in a higher realm, in a spiritual assembly, IN THE SPIRIT!

This is not something new. This is exactly what Jesus Christ taught regarding where and how we are to (go to church) worship God.

    "The woman said unto Him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye [all the Jews] say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus said unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour comes, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the TRUE worshippers shall worship the Father in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST worship in SPIRIT AND TRUTH" (John 4:19:24).

We have got to get out of the depths of Satan if we are to worship God in Spirit and Truth. The Church is filled with the depths of Satan. That is not the place to go to worship God in spirit and truth. Did Jesus go to the synagogues to worship His God?

    "And when He [Jesus] had sent the multitudes away, He went up into a mountain apart [Gk: Ďby Himselfí] to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone" (Matt. 14:23).

Amazing, isnít it. Jesus "assembled [Gk: episunagoge]" with His Father BY HIMSELF, ALONE. We can do the same. Not just on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening, with a crowd, in a building, but on every day of the week, and we can do it while we are ALONE.

How often church buildings and temples are referred to as "The House of God." This is nonsense. God does NOT dwell in houses, buildings, churches, or temples made with hands.

    "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells NOT in temples made with hands."

And

    "Howbeit the Most High dwells NOT in temples made with hands" (Acts 17:24 & 7:48).

How often Jerusalem is called, "The Holy City." People want to visit Jerusalem because they think it is HOLY GROUND. There is nothing holy about it. Constantly Satanís ministers refer to Jerusalem as the Holy City, and how we should pray for "the peace of Jerusalem." Let me assure you that all of those prayers are going to go unanswered because, "Öfor the son of the bondwoman [Jerusalem that now is--under bondage] shall not be heir with the son of the free woman [Jerusalem which is above and free]" (Gal. 4:30b).

http://bible-truths.com/lake11.html

Kat:

Hi Wim, I'm glad you have joined us  :)
I hope you will find we are all students of Scripture here and studying together can really help. Join in the discussions or start you own and ask questions, somebody here should be able to help you or at least we'll try. There is so much to learn and unlearn from our church days, hope you can find this a good place to fellowship.

About your seeking baptism, Ray did have quite a bit to say about that. Here are a couple places that he spoke on that.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,3108.0.html ----

    Yes, baptism is a symbol. How in the world could being immersed into water be anything but a symbol OF SOMETHING ELSE.  People are immersed in water every time they go swimming. What does THAT accomplish in their spiritual life?  Immersion in water SYMBOLIZED a persons desire to bury his old self and be washed clean of sin. Just performing the ritual of being baptized in water will not, however, accomplish this. Only if you are baptized IN HEART AND SPIRIT is it of any value. All the males of Israel were circumcised the 8th day for centuries. Did that ritual convert a single Jew?  No, of course not. It SYMBOLIZED something that can only be accomplished in one's heart and mind and spirit.

    Baptism pictures something: "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism INTO DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO we also should walk in NEWNESS OF LIFE" (Rom. 6:1-4).  Baptism is OF THE HEART AND SPIRIT, or it is worthless and is no baptism at all.  Hope this helps your understanding.


http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php?topic=6142.0 ----------------

IN CHRIST  - IN SPIRIT

Col 2:10  And you are complete in Christ, who is the Head of all principality and power,

This is talking to the Colossians here, these are Gentiles, these are people who are trying to be the kingdom of the heavens.

Col 2:11  in whom also ye (all of you) are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands (no more physical rituals, talking about the real stuff now, in your heart - in your mind - in your soul - in your spirit), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,

People will say, Ďso Ray you are saying that we donít need to be baptized anymore?í Oh I never said that. I never said we donít have to be baptized anymore. We have to be baptized, we have to be circumcised, we have to partake in the foot washing, we have to keep the Sabbath, we have to partake of the bread and the wineÖ  IN SPIRIT. 

If you donít do it in spirit, then forget it. When you go down dry, youíll come up wet... you will loose some skin and some blood and thatís all. Youíll eat a little piece of wafer and youíll drink a little grape juice and thatís all. This is the real thing, SPIRITUALLY.

Spiritually you must be circumcised, you must have the foreskin of your heart, that flesh cut off. You must be baptized with Christ, that means you have to die. Thatís not too popular, that you have to die to the flesh... the flesh doesnít want to die. The flesh says, here I am look at me, donít let me die, pay attention to me, puff me up, make me great, make me important. Itís flesh flesh flesh. 

We have to be crucified with Christ!

Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave Himself for me.

But this next verse is...

Col 2:12  buried with Him in baptismÖ

It doesnít say buried in water. Where do you see buried in water there? I donít see buried in water, I see "buried with Him in baptism."

Col 2:12 Öin which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

I donít see anything about water there. You say, Ďwell thatís what itís all about isnít it?í Paul said in the first chapter of Corinthians, Christ has NOT called me to baptize.

1Cor 1:17  For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,

He said thatís not my calling, He called me to preach the gospel.
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mercy, peace and love
Kat

Rene:

--- Quote from: willemv on March 05, 2016, 05:56:02 PM ---
Last question :Do you really think a forum like this can be the answer to Heb 10:25 to assemble as brothers and sisters in Christ ?


--- End quote ---

Welcome to the forum Wim, and thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself.  :)

The forum certainly provides a place for like-minded believers to come together from anywhere on earth.  I live in the United States and you live in South Africa, yet we can still study scripture together and encourage one another on this spiritual journey.  However, I do believe "assembling together" is first and foremost a spiritual experience.  After all, Jesus said that the "real worshippers" worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23).

Renť

Dave in Tenn:
"What can I say ...it changed my attitude to people generally I can even honestly say that where I felt empathy for all sorts of deprived people it is rapidly changing to a loving attitude -- it seems easier to love people when you realise they are all saved in the end and it is a lot easier to hate people if you think they are lost for ever in any case. You may criticise me on this statement but that's how I feel."

I've found this to be the most common reaction to having the light of the full power of the gospel shine in our hearts. 

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