The ABC of Scattering
Part 15
Church Travels from Luther's Time to Today

John Plunkett
December 24, 2016

We have talked over the last couple of episodes of this series about the Waldenses.  But what happened to them? 

They are actually still around; but I will talk a little bit more about that later on.  But why don’t we consider them as Church of God brothers and sisters any more?  We are going to answer those questions today.

Last time, in Part 14, we left the churches – both the true and the false – in the Middle Ages.  But today, I want us to speed forward to the Sixteenth Century.  

Why?  Because, from all that I have read on this, the Sixteenth Century was when the next big departure from "the faith once delivered" came about.  Also, perhaps surprisingly, this major departure appears to have come about as a result of the Protestant Reformation, which Martin Luther began in Germany in 1519.

Luther’s exit from the Roman Catholic church was followed just fifteen years later in 1534 by what I think of as “Brexit I” – the official  separation of England from the Roman Catholic church under King Henry VIII and his setting up of the Church of England.

Before going into the effects of the Protestant Reformation on the true Church of God, I first need to say something about Henry VIII, Martin Luther and the very beginnings of their almost parallel Protestant movements.

Let’s get Henry out of the way first.  I'm sure that we all know a little about Henry VIII; and that, unlike Luther, he didn’t split off from the Roman Catholic church for anything like pious or sincere doctrinal reasons or differences.  He was peeved – and rightly so – at his British subjects being ruled to a great extent by a bunch of misogynists who lived nine hundred miles away in Rome.  

But the bottom line for Henry was that he just wanted to dump an unproductive wife in favour of another… and another… and another!  But the Pope and his cronies wouldn’t let Henry do it.  So, Henry merely removed the barriers to his personal desires and went ahead with what he wanted to do.

Now what about Luther?  Luther was perhaps more significant to the scattering of the true Church of God.  The first thing for us to remember about Martin Luther is that, prior to the Reformation, he was a Roman Catholic priest and monk.  He apparently had no idea of exactly what he was going to do, or of the huge impact that his actions were going to have.  As far as we know, he didn’t have any idea that he was going to actually break away from the Roman Catholic church and form a new sub-religion.  Apparently, he just wanted to reform it.  So that is why we use the word "reformation."

Like me, you’ve probably heard of Luther's famous “Ninety-Five Theses” which he wrote out and nailed up on the door of his church building in Wittenberg, Germany.  But how many of us have actually read them?  I hadn’t until a couple of weeks ago, when I found an English version of them on the Internet and printed them out.  I was quite surprised by what they actually said.  

I’m not going to take the time to read through them today.  I’ll leave you to do so yourselves, if you are so inclined.

Just like Luther’s Protestant theology generally, his Ninety-Five Theses do contain a few points that are somewhat in agreement with God’s Word; but they contain so much more that is not scriptural – much more that sticks to Luther’s old Roman Catholic tenets – much more that Jesus Christ and His true spiritual brothers and sisters would not agree with.  It is important for us to remember this as we continue.

The subsequent Lutheran churches that came about from the Reformation, and the other Protestant churches, including Henry’s Church of England, hung on to many of the old Roman Catholic errors and abominations.  And still do to this very day!

If you ever have the opportunity take a peek inside one of their church buildings, I think you'd find it to be really interesting. I don’t want to go into any more detail on this; but because they hung on to their former Roman Catholic errors and abominations, they can rightly be thought of as the harlot daughters of Babylon the Great mentioned in Revelation 17:5.

Please keep all of this in mind as we read what Dugger and Dodd had to say about the effects that the Reformation had on the true Church of God:

Luther himself, while it is said {I’m not sure by whom!} believed in and practiced the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, did not prescribe it in his articles of faith for his followers, in the copies that we now have access to. 

However, it has been said {I’m not sure by whom!} that in his original thesis, Luther advocated the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath; but that his colleagues objected on the grounds that it was an unpopular doctrine, which would have a tendency to repulse supporters of the Reformation who were not as pious as they should have been; but were of great assistance against the usurpations of the papacy. 

Luther in his works has written of his belief in the Sabbath as follows: 

The Sabbath was before the Law of Moses came, and has existed from the beginning of the world.  Especially have the devout, who have preserved the true faith, met together and called upon God on this day.

Not really very convincing or supportive!  One would think that, if he really did believe in the keeping of the true, seventh-day Sabbath, he would have had much more to say and write about it than this tiny, weak-willed, insipid, and watered-down paragraph.

Back to Dugger and Dodd now.  And this is a very important and historical statement:

As the Reformation became a success {Huh?}, many from among the ancient Waldensian churches of God were drawn over to the bodies of believers coming out of Rome's system under the Reformers, and left the main tenets of the faith held so dear by the Waldensian churches… 

There’s the break right there!  That is the departure from "the faith once delivered"!  

So, if you are wondering where the Waldenses are today, and why we don’t consider them as brethren, there it is!  There is the reason!

I find this departure to be very sad and more than sad, because all that their forefathers had endured, it is almost unbelievable!  It reminds me of the scriptures foretelling the Gog and Magog apostasy at the end of the Millennium.  Just think that these people stuck with the truth for so long.  They knew that it was right.  But they threw it all in!

Still, some – although we don’t know how many – rejected this protective fellowship with the Lutherans and stayed with the truth of the Bible.  Back now to Dugger and Dodd:

But the Church of God itself, made up of the faithful who knew and practiced the truths maintained at the price of the lives of their fore-parents in past centuries, kept the true gospel free from the corruptions that crept into doctrines of the new {Protestant} sects through the Reformers who came from among the Roman clergy. 

The Baptist Encyclopedia (1881), states: 

In 1530, according to Du Pin, the Waldenses united with Reformers, and were persuaded to renounce certain peculiarities which heretofore they held, and to receive doctrines which till then had been foreign to their creed… 

Here is a somewhat doctrinally lax quote from Wylie’s “History of the Waldenses”: 

In the middle of the sixteenth century the breath of Protestantism from the north {Germany} began to move over these Italian colonies... 

Wylie called it "the breath of Protestantism."  I would call it "the bad breath of Protestantism."

The pastors who visited them told them of the synod {council meeting} which had been held in Angrogna in 1532, and which had been as ‘the beginning of months’ to the ancient church of the valleys…

“As the beginning of months”!  Now there’s a phrase that should jump right out at us after our recent calendar studies!  A very interesting turn of phrase quoted from Exodus 12:2.  I wonder why he would have written this!  But as I’m not really sure, let’s continue with Wylie’s words.  Perhaps unsurprisingly (as he was a Presbyterian), Wylie is actually speaking up here for the departure of the Waldenses from the true faith.  But look what he calls its replacement!:

More glorious tidings still did they communicate to the Christians of Calabria … 

Wylie here refers to the Waldenses getting tied up with the Lutherans as "glorious tidings"!

Let me calm down and continue with what he says:

In Germany, in France, in Switzerland, and in Denmark the old gospel had blazed forth in a splendour unknown to it for ages.  The Lamp of the Alps was no longer the one solitary light in the world: around it was a circle of mighty torches whose rays, blending with those of the old luminary, were combining to dispel the night from Christendom. 

But Wylie was wrong!  They weren’t doing anything of the sort!  Rather, by this blending and combining, they were allowing the Lutherans’ pseudo-Roman-Catholic darkness to quench the truly brilliant light that so many true believers had died for! 

Yes, they were blending and combining all right; but what they were actually doing was that they were falling for the old adage: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  And in doing this, the Waldensians unwisely linked themselves with the Lutheran Protestants.  Also, in doing so, they were hoodwinked by Satan into blending and combining with one of his newly-born daughters of the Roman Catholic harlot!

The Presbyterian Wylie was implying here that it would have been acceptable to God for “the one solitary light” of “the old gospel” (the "faith once delivered" and preached by the Waldensians, the Albigenses, the Anabaptists and the Cathari) to be blended and combined with these new, mighty, encircling “torches” – these pseudo-Roman-Catholic torches!

Torches?  What kind of spiritual light could these pseudo-Roman-Catholic, so-called torches give off?  Let Jesus – the primary Light of the World (John 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46), the Head of the Body of the Church of God – answer this question:

Matthew 6:
22:  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light.
23:  But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Please apply these words of Jesus to the Waldenses as they were affected by the Protestant Reformation.  Wylie looked at this as light!  But Jesus overrules him and says that "If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness"!

Earlier we read that Dugger and Dodd referring to the "success" of the Reformation.  Let's be clear on two points:  First that, the Reformation was only a partial "success" in that it did not totally envelop all of God's true peoples.  Secondly that it was Satan’s (partial) success – certainly not God's, nor His peoples'.

Although I can’t speak for those Waldenses who succumbed to the Reformation, I can’t speak against them either; because for some of those brethren who had been through so much, they might have already exceeded their own very last straw; and this opportunity (seemingly such) of joining with the Protestant Reformers may have appeared as a God-given solution to their persecutions.  Maybe many of them just couldn’t take it anymore, and perhaps they excused themselves by thinking that, as the Lutherans were partially like-minded (at least as far as opposition to the Pope and the Roman Catholic church was concerned), that was near enough.  They also may have thought that, by joining forces with the Lutherans, they would have strength in numbers and, hence, the possibility for a little more protection.  But again, I can’t speak for them.

Moving along now into the Seventeenth Century, we see that teaming up with the Lutherans did not give the Waldenses who did so the protection that they might have expected.  Certainly not right away although things did improve for them later on.

The Pope and his supporters did not take too kindly to the Reformation.  Of course not!  A couple of wars were fought over it – the best known being the Thirty Years’ War which raged from 1618 to 1648.  I wonder whether the resultant scatterings that came about from these wars were similar to the punishments that God sent on ancient Israel and Judah because of their backsliding and their faithless alliances with Gentile enemies.

The Thirty Years’ War was ended by a treaty called “The Peace of Westphalia.”  But although the mainstream Protestant groups and the Waldensians who had joined them were protected in that treaty, the true remaining Church of God groups were not.  Those who stuck to "the faith once delivered" were not protected.

The Waldensians who had not joined with the Lutherans but who were hanging onto the truth for dear life – for dear eternal life! – did suffer some more severe persecutions from the Roman Catholic armies in the Seventeenth Century.

Many of their former brethren who had joined the Protestant Reformers, in so doing, renounced many of their former true beliefs – to the eventual point – quite a recent point, actually – that this happened.  Quoting from Wikipedia:

The main denomination within the movement was the Waldensian Evangelical Church, the original church in Italy… in 1975… merged with the Methodist Evangelical Church to form the Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches. 

The modern Waldenses have a community in the town of Valdese, North Carolina.  Earlier this year (2016), prior to our interesting – but doctrinally disappointing – visit to the Waldensian valleys in the Italian Alps, I talked with some of their North Carolina people and I briefly questioned one lady at their Waldensian Museum as to whether or not the Waldensians had ever kept the seventh day Sabbath.  She didn’t seem to know anything about it. She didn’t want to talk about it.  Evidently it was of no importance to her!

I later found out that this North American branch of the Waldenses have joined with the Presbyterian Church!  I'll leave you to research Methodist and Presbyterian doctrines for yourselves; but, in a nutshell, they are basically the same as most professing Christian organizations.  They are not true Christians!

We enjoyed the trip to the Italian Alpine "Waldensian" Valleys; but we were disappointed that, although the modern Waldensians are very well respected in their communities and seem to be doing lots of “good works,” to a great extent, they seem to be relying on the well-documented history of their former persecutions.  But from the Seventeenth Century on, as a group, they lost most of what they had been persecuted for!  Even the knowledge of it!  In effect, they have become homogenized into mainstream Protestantism!  And we need to take care that this doesn’t happen to us!

But continuing now back in the Seventeenth Century, after this partial "success" of Satan getting many Waldensian, Anabaptist and Cathari brethren to join forces with one of his harlot daughter churches, he now "had them in his pocket," so he left them alone.

He then went after the remnant who hung on to the truth. That could possibly have been one early fulfillment of:

Revelation 12:17:
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

This could be applied to those faithful brethren who stuck with the truth. Satan had no further interest in those who had gone over to the Lutherans, so he concentrated on the faithful who remained.

More now from Dugger and Dodd, and this statement seems to be referring to those who hung on to the truth:

The seventeenth century marks the crisis of persecution against the true people of God.  In the ancient nations of Europe, the saints of God were scattered, preserving the true faith, keeping the commandments of God, and living exemplary lives in the valleys and hills of the continent. 

But, as we have seen, by that time, many of their brethren had renounced some of the commandments and the true faith!

The time came, however, when the land became more thickly settled, and the enemies of the truth were pressed against the settlements of the true children of God, and persecutions became more intense.  The result was that these saints were driven from nation to nation, but finding no lasting asylum as the hordes of Rome followed them. 

More and more scattering.  But I’m wondering, again, if there is a possibility that this round of persecution and scattering of the Waldenses was similar to the calamities that God sent upon ancient Israel and Judah – as punishments for their backsliding!  Here is a very well known and very important statement from Jesus:

Matthew 16:18: 
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades will not prevail against it. 

We are going to come back to this verse again and study it in more detail in a future sermon; but for now, just taking that last phrase – "the gates of hades will not prevail against it" – we can be absolutely sure that the true Church of God did not die out.  And would never die out.  There would always be at least one representative, commandment-keeping group, however small, that would be the true spiritual children of God the Father and the true spiritual brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. 

But now, as we’ve seen that the majority of the Waldensians had basically “dropped the ball” in order to cow-tow to the Lutherans, we need to start looking elsewhere for the light of truth.  Again, there must still have been faithful brethren who were hanging on to the truth. 

Still in the Seventeenth Century, Dugger and Dodd mention a book that was dated 1662.  It was written by a London Church of God member by the unusual name of Vavasor Powell, and it was addressed to some faithful brethren in Wales:

This faithful brother and writer {Powell} died in prison for the true faith, and while in this confinement wrote a book called, “The Chirpings of a Bird in a Cage,” evidently referring to himself.  He addressed this book to “The Churches of God and the Scattered Saints Throughout All of Wales.” 

Also, another document – a report dated 1668 – mentions some Church of God groups in England, and now also, for the first time, in the fledgling United States of America:

In the year 1668 there were at least nine Sabbatarian churches in England, according to a letter written from London by Dr. Edward Stennett of the Bell Lane Church to the Sabbath-keeping brethren in Rhode Island.  We quote: 

Here are, in England, about nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath, besides many scattered disciples, who have been eminently preserved in this tottering day, when many once eminent churches have been shattered to pieces. (Dated February 2, 1668, at Abingdon, Berkshire). 

Referring back again to the Italian Piedmont valleys and the extermination of the churches there, a later, 19th Century, church historian by the name of Jones wrote:

I professed to give the history of the churches of Piedmont and other places commonly designated as Waldenses and Albigenses, not of individuals; and as I considered these churches to have been utterly dispersed and scattered by a series of persecutions which terminated in the year 1686… 

Back to Dugger and Dodd:

This persecution was following the year 1600, and it was during this very same period that the Pilgrims were coming to America to escape persecution, and when according to the Revelation of Jesus, chapter 12:16, that "The earth helped the woman," the church.  It was to America, the land of religious freedom, that the people known to the world as Waldenses, Puritans, Anabaptists, Lollards, etc., were fleeing from persecution, and who were in general known by the scriptural name, "The Church of God." 

So now we are seeing accounts of some of God’s people fleeing Europe and travelling over to “the New World.”

The "New World" had been opened up to emigrants from Europe for colonization, and the persecuted saints known by various names in history, fled to America for a haven of safety.  The Pilgrims, the Puritans, the Quakers, had scattered among them the true Church of God, and carried with them to the shores of the New World the faith once delivered unto the saints, and preserved by their fore-parents by the price of blood in the wildernesses of Europe. 

Dugger and Dodd imply that these pioneering immigrants were not all true Church of God members; but that they included Church of God members who adhered to the true biblical tenets. 

Still, I can’t help wondering how pure – or how tainted – were the doctrines that these people – or at least some of them – brought to the New World.  For example, did these Pilgrims, Puritans and Quakers mentioned here by Dugger and Dodd ever keep the seventh-day Sabbath or did they ever keep God’s Holy Days?

Wylie’s “History of the Waldenses” mentions that Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) – was a devout Puritan – and that he participated in some of the “international” support for the Waldensians – or perhaps more accurately, against their Roman Catholic persecutors.  I have a very interesting book of Cromwell’s speeches and letters which contain some of his supportive mentions of the Sabbath. 

But still with Dugger and Dodd:

The Church of God wandered from country to country, seeking that freedom of worship which the human heart craves, and had come at last to America, a scattered remnant.  These humble servants established themselves in small congregations throughout the eastern states. 

So right away, once they came to North America, we read of the continuing pattern for the Church of God – the pattern of their wanderings and scatterings.

During these early colonial days congregations were at first isolated because of distance and a lack of means of travel with no roads between them. 

Thus being isolated from fellowship with one another, we find companies
{congregations} in one place called the Church of Christ, and the Church of God, while in other communities they were simply called "Sabbatarian Congregations," but the belief was practically the same. 

They stood for the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, observing the true Sabbath, keeping the Lord's Supper yearly on the 14th of the first month, with other tenets of faith in harmony with the true faith today. 

Owing to the isolation of these scattered companies {congregations} they were known by different names which evidently gives rise to the Scriptural statement relative to the Sardis period, "I know thy works, that thou hast a NAME" (Revelation 3:1). 

That church “name” was important to those people.  And still is –  or should be – to us today.  And the name was – and still is – the Church of God.

Church Scatterings in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries

Skipping over the 18th Century, which was relatively uneventful as far as the  scatterings of the church is concerned, we will jump over to the church scatterings in the Nineteenth and the early Twentieth Centuries.

Back to Britain and here we have Dugger and Dodd quoting from "The History of the Seventh Day Baptists": 

After being dispossessed of their Mill Yard property in 1885, they met for worship in the Commercial Street Baptist Church until 1892, and then in the Welsh Baptist Church in Eldon Street, where once worshiped a Calvinistic Seventh Day Baptist Church, which became extinct about 1840. 

For some time since 1900, the congregation assembled in private houses and, to accommodate the widely scattered flock, two separate meetings were held -- one at the residence of Lt. Col. Thomas W. Richardson, and the other either at the home of the church secretary, or at the home of the deacon.  On the 4th of April 1903, this church began to hold services in St. Thomas' Hall, Gillespie Road, Highbury Vale.

And back over again to the USA:

State associations were formed and functioning in Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and in several of the southern states.  Two gospel tents were paid for and in operation in the state of Iowa, and the other state associations had purchased tents, which were in use, and churches and isolated brethren were scattered from one end of the country to the other. 

Once again, we see that the Anglicized name of the church was very important to these early American brethren:

That the church name at this time was "The Church of God" is evident from the early writings and experiences and views by the wife of James White, editor of the church paper…  She wrote numerous volumes… in which she frequently mentioned the name "Church of God."  Also the first songbook published by these people is dedicated to "The Church of God scattered abroad." 

Finally, in the early 20th Century, we read of the congregation that met in the tiny village of Wilbur, West Virginia.  I believe that this was written in 1936:

Church of God ministers at Wilbur have ever had to defend the word of truth, and three debates have been held with those who wish to know the truth of the Scriptures… The truth has ever been verified in these discussions, and the Church of God has continued to stand with it. 

Today {1936?} the Wilbur church does not stand alone; but other companies {i.e. congregations} and scattered members hold aloft the true faith over the state.  Not only so, but the headquarters for the work in the United States is located at Salem, West Virginia, and from there the "faith once delivered unto the saints" is going rapidly to those who have not heard. 

That's about it from Dugger and Dodd’s Church of God history.  Now, as we move into the later 20th Century, we move beyond Dugger and Dodd.  I’m not going to go into all the detail of the recent histories of the various Church of God groups.  For now, I just want to continue with story of the scatterings of God’s Church and to bring us up to date to our day today. 

I’ll just give you a very brief listing of some of the major Church of God groups that I am aware of, and in something of a time order.  There are, of course, lots of other splinter groups that I won’t list here.  But here are some of the main ones.  My purpose here is to show you the approximate dates, and how the scattering continued.

Initially, Dugger and Dodd were Seventh Day Baptist; but later became Church of God - Seventh Day.  The Seventh Day Adventists were in there, as well; but understanding has gone backwards and forwards as to whether it was believed that they were true brethren or not.  But that is not my judgment to make.

The Church of God - Seventh Day – which still exists today – was officially started by a man named Gilbert Cranmer in approximately 1852. 

Herbert W. Armstrong attended with them for a while; but split with them in 1934 when he started the Radio Church of God. He changed the name to the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) in 1946.  There is a lot of history behind this which was well documented by Herbert Armstrong in his autobiographies and in other documents.  Various splits were going on back then; but as they do not seem to be very well documented, I won’t go into them today.

However, one of the major splits occurred in 1978 when Herbert Armstrong's son, Garner Ted, left WCG and started Church of God International (CGI).

After Herbert Armstrong died in 1986, huge turmoil ensued and one of the first ones to leave WCG after the beginning of WCG's "Tkach era" was John Ritenbaugh who started the Church of the Great God in 1992 at the approximate time of the beginning of the Global Church of God by Roderick Meredith.  

Despite many subsequent splits, the Global Church of God still exists in the UK, and is now closely associated with another group called the Church of the Eternal God.

Literally thousands of members left WCG in late 1994 and early 1995 when the United Church of God (UCG) was formed.

In that same year, Ronald Dart formed the Christian Education Ministries (CEM).

All was not well with the Global Church of God quite a lot of different groups split off from them, the best-known being the Living Church of God (LCG) which was incorporated in 1998, also under Roderick Meredith.

Also in 1998, David Hulme parted company with UCG and formed Church of God an International Community (CoG-aIC) and Garner Ted Armstrong parted company with CGI and formed an organization called the Intercontinental Church of God (ICoG).

When WCG turned away from the truth to Protestantism, many thought that they had to change their name from being a "Church of God."  Eventually, in 2009, they did, when they changed it to Grace Community International (GCI).

And so the scattering continues over the years.  In 2010 there was a huge exodus from UCG, which produced Church of God - a Worldwide Association (CoGWA).

Over and over, split, split, split!  The most recent that I'm aware of was in 2014 when Brian Orchard and Stephen Andrews left David Hulme’s CoG-aIC and formed Church of God - the Father’s Call. 

There have probably more splits over the last two years since then; but I don’t know about them.  But again, we see major scattering!  There is one listing of them that is over four hundred, and I have seen another listing that is probably over six hundred! 

We might think of all of these splits in the Church of God as a very modern phenomenon; but they are not. We can go back to the Church of God - Seventh Day and read about all kinds of splits there.  Also, during the so-called "golden years" of WCG when most of us may have thought that everything was quite stable.  But no!  Now we find out that it was not!  There were many ministers leaving and starting their own church groups.  And as a result, we now have literally hundreds of Church of God splinter groups as well as countless "living room groups" just like our own.

Loose Ends

So, we have now basically completed the history of the scattering of God’s people. We have gone all of the way from Adam and Eve, through the time of the patriarchs, Israel, the early church, and right up to the Church of God today in the 21st Century.

We could leave it right there; but I feel that I can’t finish off this series without going into a couple of important "loose ends" that need to be tied up before we complete this study series.

First of all, how does all this scattering, all this separating, all this travelling – both physical and doctrinal of the patriarchs, the Old Covenant Israelites, Jesus and His disciples and the early church – how does it all apply practically to you, me and all of God’s people today?

Does Jesus want us all to quit our jobs, sell our homes, and hit the road just as they did?  I don’t believe so.

But in a spiritual way, just like when God first called Abram, so it was with all of us.  When God the Father first called us into His church and we accepted His call, He started us on a journey – effectively to follow His Son on the gospel-preaching travels that He had begun in his earthly ministry.

Seventeen times in the gospel accounts, we read of Jesus saying, “Follow me.”  This one, repeated phrase implies the need for movement and travel. Sometimes physically. Sometimes spiritually.  Cutting into a thought, here we find Jesus and His disciples on the move – again:

Luke 9:
56b: … And they went to another village.
57:  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.”
58: And Jesus said unto him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has not anywhere to lay His head…

Just like Abraham, Jesus and His disciples forsook their permanent homes in order to go out “on the road.”  Like the travelling salesmen of Herbert Armstrong’s early life, Jesus and His disciples were permanently on the move – from town to town, from village to village.  Basically, Jesus was saying, “If you really want to follow me, that’s great; but I feel that I should warn you that you’ll be living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle.”

59:  And He said unto another, “Follow me.”  But he said, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.”
60:  Jesus said unto him, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go you and preach the Kingdom of God.”
61: And another also said, “Lord, I will follow you; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.”
62: And Jesus said unto him, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

It is totally impossible for a farmer to plough his fields standing still in the same place.  He has to keep moving… forward!

Once the Father called us and chose us, we effectively started to move.  We too “hit the road” following His Son, Jesus, in order to do our part with and under Him in the preaching of the gospel of His Kingdom.

This being so, we too must adopt a kind of nomadic lifestyle – having no desire for the “permanence” and trappings of this world and human life.  I think that we all know by now, that these things are not permanent!  The physical trappings of the world are merely smoke and mirrors.  They might seem solid; but they are just groups of electrons orbiting other groups of electrons.

Although Satan has almost the whole world convinced to the contrary, the spiritual is what is actually the true reality!