As this age comes to an end; we should not be surprised that many who are seeking and longing for an authentic church and Body leave the church they grew up in and find a home that depicts very few attributes of these denominational churches. Often meeting in unlikely places like a warehouse, office or re-purposed facility. This is because the law cannot alone represent God and by the Spirit, many are maturing into the fundamentals of Christ; the Word and the Faith by works that Salvation promises and demands for God; as stated, “To show His Glory” - Ex. 33:18. For isn’t that the reason we gather as the Body of Christ and rightly divide the Word?
Flush it Out! - Jesus; the reason for it all.
Paul got it but many within the church have missed it referring to themselves only as a pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet or apostle spitting their responsibilities with a single hair’s precision. Where is wholeness; Shalom in that! Some say this is their gifting. But did not the Word say, "Have the mind of Christ" - 1 Cor. 2:16. What takes precedence and priority? An Earthly gift or the Spirit of Christ? And with Christ; am I not able to do all things? With matured Faith; there are no limits. And if Jesus is God manifested in the flesh for Righteousness sake then how can any Christian not take up all these offices as the Spirit leads them and is required based on the scenario that’s presented to them. Did Jesus or any of the apostles tell those who came to them for the Good News, healings or deliverances that they weren’t Anointed for that role and they would have to wait for another? No! They all were whole in presenting and demonstrating the Power of God’s Glory. The church is not some stagnant brick and mortar but active to be fruitful and multiply God’s Kingdom. Anyone who farms for a living will tell you it's better to rotate your crops and have several fields of seed planting for a good harvest. If God wanted to be this far off Supreme Being that demanded prostrating fearful slaves; He would have had Jesus demonstrate that in Rome. For this is where the early church began digressing into several Tower of Babel around the world.
There are many churches that model after Jesus but many also who only take pieces of Him. God sent is entire Son so that we would no longer remain broken but restored to the complete state of body, mind, and spirit He intended. Without recognizing that the redemption plan is a part but the entire Word; the authority of the various churches has parceled out Jesus as stated, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet. They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots” - Matt. 27:35. This was done by the Roman soldiers that crucified Jesus but is it not more appropriate to the many different denominations that have by their own motives separated the Body or rather the Spirit of the Body into divisions. As one of the major religion; Christianity has yet to deliver as promised with the Blood of Jesus and that is as stated; “And He (God) has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ; as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in Heaven and on Earth together in Christ.
Deconstructing the church.
The Body of Christ is not of this world but is to be in it. In the Old Testament; strangers or immigrants were often referred to as an alien but were allowed to remain as long as they observed the way, truth, and life of their surroundings. They respected it out of fear. Yet, Jesus who was born into Jewish tradition breaks from it to become the New Testament for those who would come after Him. These so-called aliens brought with them new, better and more efficient methods of living, commerce, and even philosophies. We can all learn from those who are not of our tradition, culture or family. And as long as it points to Jesus, within the foundations and framework of God’s Kingdom; it should at least be examined for embracement. God uses history for our benefit of coming to the realization of what is required to come into His Kingdom.
Now; to be practical you do need buildings for God’s people to gather and with the city and municipal laws on the gathering of crowds it is prudent to conform to the needs of the body, mind, and spirit. But what is the example? The general rule of housing crowds for an assembly based on building codes is that the more you want to house; the larger the requirement for the movement of these crowds, especially as it concerns safety, health and evacuations. So what is a church to do when their congregation is growing exponential? Here again, the Bible is quite clear. In the Old Testament, the Jews had to establish a tabernacle for the appeasement and worship of God. Why? Primarily because of the fall. When disobedience reigned; the habitation of God’s Spirit became limited due to the corruptness of man. This does not mean God was unable to stand in the presence of evil. But without a level of Faith in Him, it was not beneficial and desired. These tabernacles although done with good intent eventually degraded into monuments of those authorized with their Sanctification. We see this today as more of these larger church buildings are gradually being abandoned. This is because; they became more of an Earthy treasure rather than a bridge to God’s Throne by the Spirit and the Righteousness of their patrons. This is part of the reason why Jesus was sent. In the New Covenant at age twelve Jesus is in the temple mesmerizing the Rabbis with His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of not only the Torah but God’s Kingdom.
Now, under the Jewish tradition; at this age, He is on His journey to become a man. This is why the story is inspired to be in the Bible. To begin to establish His own identity which He receives at His Baptism with the Anointing. This continues in the practical way of preaching the Good News as stated, “Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom” - Matt. 4:23. Do you see the Revelation? Jesus broke the tradition of blind obedience to a law where He taught the Rabbis, leaving the temple and returning to empower the same after the Anointing came and worked through Him. Some say; that’s because Jesus was an evangelist but pastors require an established place to tend to the flocks. Who is greater; Jesus or Paul? Jesus never distinguished or separated the fivefold ministry that Paul used to organize the modern church. Don’t we think if this was critical; Jesus would have dealt with it during His ministry? The preaching of the Good News by how Jesus demonstrated it has to be our prime example of how those in authority and those of the Body conduct God’s business. What did Jesus demonstrate? That all the five-fold offices are really the same and the Good News and church flocks are met at their respective locations. Jesus went to various synagogues (churches) to reveal God and His Kingdom rather than have people come to a single location. So rather than build one large church building; build many manageable churches within the community. Here’s the Revelation. The church is not a Body of people that gathers but is the Spirit of God in motion to unify across boundaries. One message; one Savior; one practice of Salvation.
Establishing the church was really Adam’s mandate to be fruitful and to multiply. To get out of the garden and plant more gardens as he migrated from the East to the West. The garden was that place where God and man would commune as the ground was taken from satan and revered to be Holy and Sanctified. Adam and Eve’s religion was really the image of God put into them and would have continued to guide them along their personal journey in becoming true Sons and Daughters of His Kingdom. So where did this idea of building a trophy onto men to reach God come from? As stated, “And they said one to another; let us make brick, and burn them to build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name” - Gen. 11:3-4. If God wanted the man to have monuments that stood above the ground; He would have put one in the garden for Adam and Eve to worship from. Consider the metaphors in man’s unity to build a towering monument. They came together and counseled among themselves, rather than acknowledging God. They used their technology, thinking, and methods; not the Spirit to determine how they would accomplish the goal of reaching Heaven. They wanted to build a tower to ascend up to Heaven by their own efforts. And they did it for a common name that they would coin and establish. Is that not what most of the traditional and new denominations have done and seek to do? Is God flesh or is He Spirit? So why would anyone who once burdened with the flesh of things purposely look to these same things to be with God?
With centuries of poor and selfish workmanship; the task seems impossible and in some respects, many in the church authority have decided to continue with the issues that divide the Body, protect their tuft and only fuel confusion within the world. There are innumerous Christian denominations worldwide and more continue to form, often doing more harm and being destructive to Christ’s cause of “making disciples” - Matt. 28:19. Jesus was not talking about followers of religious orders but applicators of God’s Righteousness; His Throne and Kingdom. Many have used the name of Jesus to build their own version of His Faith and obedience ignoring the Revelation that He, Jesus; has addressed the attitudes and attributes of these quasi christian churches known as the seven lampstands in the Book of Revelation - Rev. 1:11.
Now to be clear; Jesus made and called the church; the Bodies of Christ. Which are the temples of God which are those of us who have received Salvation and claim to be saved and the physical churches are only the gatherings of the Bodies of Christ. We are the lampstands. No matter what your perspective; this Revelation is as sharp as a two-edged sword and as the Body, we have no defense; for Christ ensured His judgment of us would be unchallenged. We all are; from those behind the pulpit to those who are standing and sitting in the sanctuary of these buildings are and is responsible for the Divine Truth of God, Jesus and the Word. To think and accept that we are to be followers, students, and imitators of a pastor, priest or any church leader; is to miss what Christ did and as stated, “And they ought not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all will know Me (God), from the least to the greatest” - Heb. 8:11. Now, this is a sensitive topic but what is a Christian to do but seek the Kingdom of God and not that of any man or for that matter; a woman. If the denomination you are attending tells you or prevent you from “rightly dividing the Word” which is your right and responsibility; then maybe it’s time to check from the chest up. There is no denomination in Heaven and did not Jesus’ Blood rid us of any mark of slavery; physically and mentally; and is it not ironic that in the last days; it will be a mark that distinguishes those lost to the world, its deceptions, and darkness.
The Body needs to wake up and become fundamental in their wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of what it is to be a Christian. Jesus did not practice as a traditional Jew and did He not criticize as well as change and demonstrate to fulfill the original intent of God with some of the laws of the Old Covenant such as, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” - Mk. 2:27. John the Baptist was also not a traditional Jew and so then the apostles and disciples that followed. There is only one Faith and that is of Christ! They were Christ followers and not of organizations. The challenge with denominations is that they have no choice but to do what the Old Covenant did. They put a rod (the law) over their members and often with the message of fear and eternal damnation they coerce their congregation into lip service not realizing the very rules they implement for Holiness is very thing that is deconstructing it. Any church that claims Christianity cannot choose what they take and use from the Bible, and that is the entire Bible! But some say there are contradictions between the Old and New Testaments. Jesus addressed this in His ministry when some of His disciples told Him of those who were using His name but weren’t a part of His foundations to which Jesus states, “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us” - Lk. 9:50. Jesus never challenged other religions of the day but only presented His Truth. Jesus and God are practical to their ministry and purpose. They are basically saying, “We will take any report that points to Jesus saying, “(Jesus) is the Way, the Truth and the Life” - Jn. 14:6.
Consider that Lucifer wanted to ascend above God establishing his own glory and deity. And that Rome represented satan’s influence in the world not only during Jesus’ ministry but years after as the dominant world power. It shouldn’t be surprising that Rome saw religion as a way of influencing its politics to the masses. Of establishing a single world religion called Christianity where church and government would operate with a common agenda. Now, before as a denomination, we start pointing a finger to that citadel of hierarchy examine the three pointing right back at yourself. Many broke away from this ancient church but did they do what this church often failed to do, which is to bring unity among the world’s Christians. And even with Jesus as the common pillar; often arguing and creating dissension among the brethren, with arguments whether His mother did not see death and by Grace, God took her to Heaven? Or that a woman’s place is behind her husband and should not draw attention to herself? What did Jesus, the Anointed Messiah say? If they are for Me; then leave them alone. The statement is both practical and also Spiritual.
Who is Jesus? As stated, “The Word became flesh” - Jn. 1:14. We can say; He is spirit, mind, and body. The beginning to the end. He is God manifested with the Trinity in operation. He is whole as in Shalom. If the church leads with the Spirit using their mind for God’s Glory; then the Body will align with all things of God’s Kingdom. It was the Spirit that conceived Jesus and by His words He caused many to receive Salvation and become God’s temple of the flesh. This is often the problem with theology because it is really men attempting to think for God. When He gave us a simple roadmap that presents the main tenets and pillars of His Throne consistently from beginning to the end; written over centuries which history proves with tangible evidence that it must be the inspired Word of God. Where at the end of this age; only individuals will face personal judgment and not a group of people with a common theology. For every man and woman is a temple of God for a specific Revelation of Heavenly pillars that can never be altered just for their appeasement.
To seek is to abandon what we were taught for something that proves itself better and prospers regardless of time, destruction and insecurity. To come full circle to what it means to be a right standing child and heir of God’s Kingdom. Abram; a non-Jew was told to leave his familiar surroundings for a land yet to be revealed with the promise of a Covenant. The Exodus Jews were told to abandon the comforts of slavery for a promise of their own identity. Jesus completes this circle by advancing and completing what it means to be God’s very image in the world but not of it. Jesus established or rather revealed God’s identity in us and finalized the Covenant between Him and man. Adam’s prime directive. For we are created in God’s image to be His reflection for His purpose. Where the lawlessness of the garden demanded laws to reestablish a Covenant relationship; to the umbrella of Grace that governs all lawlessness as well as the law. The Jews representing the law for the most part never matured into Grace, which manifested through the Gentiles or rather the church. For God knew Adam and Eve would be in disobedience failing to prove their love for Him. And if so; then don’t we think and know that by God’s Grace; forgiveness would be available if only they asked for it? Some say; God wanted them to sin. Isn’t that the reason laws are put in place? To convict the offender of the offense. The tree represents the ultimate law and that is God and not man. God did as any person of vision does to their potential followers, stating, “That you might walk worthy of the Lord” - Col. 1:10. Without the test by God, we do not have the opportunity to demonstrate our love for Him. For by Grace they could have sought the laws of God represented by the tree of knowledge. The other; the tree of life is represented by Jesus who completed the Garden’s purpose; where both trees are available to us. For is this not the New Covenant that Jesus propitiates for us every day. God doesn’t start something He is not intending to finish. But more than that; He is not using a “knock-off” version to do it. And as stated, “Is not the Kingdom more than food, drink and (what we wear)” - Rm. 14:17. We can say, “God is more than superficial things”.
Yet, churches everywhere have made things as stated, “treasures on the Earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” - Matt. 6:19. In my walk it irks me to hear about pastors whose intent is to build Earthly glorious churches for God; filled with all manner of precious metals, woods, and manufacturing. That the value of the building and its fixtures outweigh the priceless souls that occupy it. I was told recently by a brother of a church which is being built with a thousand plus seating and there was disagreement on the type and quality of the seating. So much so; one of the people involved walked out of the discussion. Now, I am not opposed to God’s people gathering but I wonder if this is not the very same thing that some of these denominations criticized more traditional established churches for doing wrong. Where is it written under the New Covenant to build physical monuments to God and Jesus? And are we really going to pat ourselves on the back for buildings that become hollow, silent and unprofitable spiritually for most of the week and year? I mentioned to my brother to be prudent but for me, a church should be of quality and not of quantity which is best with a congregation that can maintain relationships and reflects the intimacy of God and His Kingdom. Interestingly, our conversation also included church members seeing newcomers off to the side after service because no one from the Sunday service takes the time to welcome them. A problem that becomes exponential as the congregation grows. A church today without the Spirit of God and the New Covenant may have some maturing to do as well as keep things in perspective as to their ambitions. We are all one Body of Christ but if we forget and don’t attend to the least part of the Body; we should not be surprised when things are not in health and actually affects other parts of the Body as well. This is why Paul uses the body as the metaphor of a healthy church. As said the health of any church is just as the strength of a chain’s weakest link.
ChristnMe @ 2013