7 Ultimate Conclusions

(Arrived at from Studying Church History)

by William D. Pratney



Ultimate Conclusion #1

We Must be Willing to Challenge Our Presuppositions.

Building on false presupposition can form terrible theology.


We must be willing to challenge all of our presuppositions.   Especially those passed down to us, picked up and inherited from our Church culture.

We’ve been endoctrinated by our religious Church culture, and it may not all be correct doctrine. Our presuppositions are the premises with which we approach a subject, the “what” we go into an area of learning, believing. Some of them are true, and some of them are false. False presuppositions, left unchallenged, can become platforms on which false conclusions may be formed, even though correct logic, reason, means and methods of study have been employed. False theologies have stood (in some cases for many hundreds of years) on the false presuppositions originally held by those (often of good intention) that built them. Unchallenged, those theologies and the presuppositions that they were built on have not only been allowed to remain, but in some cases have come to be heralded as irrefutable truth.


Ultimate Conclusion #2

The Christian Life is Marked by Truth, Righteousness and Love. 

What does the Christian life look like? Truth, righteousness, and love. What elements are they to which Christians hold most dearly? Truth, righteousness, and love.

It is for truth, righteousness, and love:
– That we live our Christian lives.
– That we do what we do.
– And that we lay our lives down.

The Christian life is about truth, righteousness, and love. It steers itself in these. At the heart of God’s Kingdom is truth, righteousness and love. What is God like? Truthful, righteous, and loving.
What does He expect of us? Truth, righteousness, and love.
How does He want us to talk? In truth, righteousness, and love.
How does He want us to live? In truth, righteousness, and love.
How does He want us to behave? In truth, righteousness, and love.
How does He want us to think? In truth, righteousness, and love.
Apply these any way you want.  At the goal of the Christian life, are these three things.


Ultimate Conclusion #3 

In Light of Judgment Day, What We Do Matters.

What we do, matters. 

Judgment Day is easily forgotten. It was a consistent theme throughout history in the Church. Starting, actually, long before the establishment of the Church, Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of a day in which the world would be judged. Christ confirmed Enoch’s prophesy. Paul and Peter further confirmed the fact that Jesus Christ would be the Elect One coming to judge the whole world, the living and the dead included.   Hardly any one seems to preach this anymore. It is one of the most stirring doctrines, because it puts all of our mortal life in eternal perspective. Trivial things once held fast no longer seem important. The knowledge that an account will be required of us, of all that we do and say–all our actions, all our words–can truly awaken a slumbering soul in the stupor of sin to the realities of an inevitable eternity. It seems all but lost from our preaching today. No wonder there is “no fear of God before their faces.” No one believes they’ll have anyone to answer to, let alone anything to answer for!

The 2nd coming must be preached!

  Judgment Day, that none are exempt, Christian or heathen, pagan or Jew, sinner and saint, all must give an account and will be judged according to their deeds done and words said, is a theme that needs to be re-emphasized today. Both our works and we ourselves will be judged. The preaching of Judgment Day is one of the primary tools used by the saints to awaken the sinful to a holy fear of God and is instrumental in bringing them to a point of repentance from sin. The knowledge of truth, righteousness and an impending day of judgment on which men will have to account for their lives has been biblically and historically used to awaken the sinful to a conscious realization of their sins.

The preaching of Christ’s Return and of Judgment Day must be revived!


Ultimate Conclusion #4

Truth Will Win in the End.

Truth will ultimately win.  Or, truth is king.

Though not all are subject to it. Though not all know it. Though those in power may oppose it. Truth is greater than authority, or fashion (including worldly and religious culture and popularity), or imagination (including philosophical reasonings, speculations, theories). i.e. “Well, I think that…” It doesn’t matter what you think, only what actually is. We should live our lives according to the truth. According to the truth instead of the dictates of authority, fashion and imagination. According to real reality. Not according to imaginings. Not according to the culture of the present collapsing world-system. Not according to the mere declarations of men in authority sometimes made contrary to the truth by those who would have us believe that truth may be changed on a whim. Truth is greater than the mere word or declarations of one in authority. Truth isn’t necessarily “what I say it is.” Truth is what is. Someone in authority cannot overthrow or annul what is true by virtue of their authority. They may lie, cheat, disregard the truth or ignore it, but there is nothing that they can do to nullify the authority that truth holds. Certain realities may be altered, but never purely by the whims of those in positions of authority.

  Ex. The king of a nation may declare the color once called “blue” in his nation to now be “red.” The color blue has not changed, only the name by which it is referred to. The reality of blue has not changed, but the language by which it is called. The king has not changed the truth of the color in his kingdom once referred to as “blue,” but, by virtue of his authority, he has changed blue into red by a change of his kingdom’s language. They used to understand blue perfectly, but now some use “blue” and others “red.” The reality he has altered is the language used to describe the color, and not the color itself. His nation’s understanding may have shifted, but the nature of the color remains the same. So it is with truth. The king cannot, by virtue of his authority, “make” “blue” “red.” The reality he can change, by virtue of his authority, is what blue will be called in his kingdom. But he can NEVER actually make blue, red. 

 Truth shall have it’s day! Truth ultimately prevails against all else. Those who stand with Him will also ultimately prevail. Therefore, to remain in the truth, and on the side of the truth, is to stay on the winning side, and those who do so will prove victorious in the end. Liars, deceivers, cheats and swindlers, basically all that love lies and make them, will have their part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). We should never have to resort to craftiness in presenting the truth of the Gospel. Truth is greater than authority, or fashion (including culture and popularity), or imagination (including philosophical reasonings, speculations, theories).


Ultimate Conclusion #5

The Cloistered Life Continually Perpetuated Falls Short of God’s Ideal for His Sons and Daughters. 

Retreats or times alone with God are good, but these should only be for a time or a season. Our ultimate purpose can only be fulfilled and realized in the presence of others. So time alone with God can be useful, but ultimately our purposes cannot be fully realized while cut-off from community. God’s ideal plan for the Church is community, family and expanding His Kingdom. Cloistered life (life cut off from the external world/other people) continued in perpetually, falls short of God’s ideal. It has its place in the lives of those seeking to isolate themselves from the world and better seek the heart and face of God, but it is a means to an end, and not properly an end in itself. It is, due to its nature, not only personally limiting to the one engaging in it, but also to that person’s availability to be used by God to touch the world. Put differently, it can be self-centered.

  Cloistered life is not properly an end in itself, but a means to an end. It is an intermission, a pause, however long it be, for reflection, meditation, contemplation, prayer, supplication, intercession, revelation and greater clarity. It’s end being the place from whence one can move forward, be it spiritually, morally, mentally, emotionally, etc. If that place is arrived at, and one does not move forward, how can that person be said to be in obedience to Christ’s command to “Go! (into all the world and preach the Gospel)?”

Therefore, ultimately, the cloistered life continually perpetuated falls short of God’s ideal for His sons and daughters.  

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) Also see Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Peter 2:9-10, 12, 15-17; 3:1-6 (you can be married and holy!)


Ultimate Conclusion #6

Humility – Recognizing that Praises Given to us as Ministers is Really Praise Being Given to God.

We must recognize that as gifts of Christ to men*, all true praises given to us as ministers of Christ and His Gospel, are really praises being given to God. Because every ounce of good we can do, we can only do, by His Spirit, grace and power. In short, by HIM. Our ministry is by Him, for Him, and not without Him. Therefore, recognizing that we are merely heralds of His Kingdom, vessels containing His glory, and mirrors reflecting His image, and that we can, of our own selves, do nothing, we may rightly and humbly defer all glory, honor and praises given to us back to God.

  * Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-14

In times past I often wondered how to deal with the honor and praises given me by others when used in notable, visible places of ministry. I found myself pendulum swinging between either allowing the praises to inflate me with pride, thinking myself worthy of them, or (which is almost, if not just as bad) putting on a false humility by refusing to acknowledge that I had even done anything worthy of praise, thereby failing to recognize the good work God had done (albeit, through me), and thus likewise failing to glorify Him through that acknowledgment. I had not yet learned this secret of recognizing the praises as being given to God, and of receiving them with that knowledge on His behalf, thereby allowing Him to be glorified through me, an ambassador and representative of Him. All I needed was a little knowledge – now that I have this, I need neither run from praises, nor accept them on my own behalf. (For those were the only two options, in my blinded pride, that I could see before…I was very proud) But now I can rather accept these praises on God’s behalf, allowing all the glory to go to Him. For it truly is pride, to do the work of God, by the Spirit and power and grace of God, and then when praises are given you, to think yourself worthy of them.


Ultimate Conclusion #7

A Church is Not a Building, but a Group of People that Love and Believe in Jesus Christ. 

God does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Acts 7:47-49; Acts 17:24
The establishing of a physical building as a place of worship was set up under the Old (Mosaic) Covenant. Exodus 25:1-2, 8-9 (basically chapters 25-40); 2 Chronicles 2:1, 3:1, 5:1-14
God has put an end to the Mosaic Covenant (i.e. “The Law”), including the Levitical Priesthood, and established a New Covenant.
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:7-9:11, 24, Galatians 3;13, 24-25
The “house of God” or Church is a spiritual household, made up of people – “living stones.”
Hebrews 10:21; 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 4:17; 1 Peter 2:5

  A physical building for worshipers to meet in is not an essential part of the New Covenant (i.e. Christian religion) – only a helpful facilitator for those people that wish to meet together.
We who love and believe in Jesus are now considered God’s temple(s), (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 John 3:24; 4:12, 15-16; Galatians 2:20) and our bodies and (metaphorical) hearts are mentioned as specific places where God now dwells. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 3:17; Romans 8:9-11

  Therefore, a church is not a building made with hands! Churches are not buildings. Individual “churches” are actually specific groups of people that love and believe in Jesus. Whenever the words “church” or “churches” are used in the Bible, they always refer to specific groupings of people.



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