It's been almost a year since last I posted - and much has transpired in that time. I have spent the last 11 months pouring over scripture, the four Gospels and Acts to be specific. I have focused intently on the words and actions of Christ in context to really understand what His heart was as far as His followers and then the founding and inception of the first Church in Jerusalem - you know, the one Jesus He would build based on faith like unto that which Peter displayed when he proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. THAT Church. I believe I now have a greater understanding of why God did some of the things He did - mainly because they accomplished His purpose and not necessarily the desires of man.
Man's desire is to be in control. Unfortunately, we are not qualified to effectively take on this role and do it in a manner that honors God. God is, however, well qualified and has a great deal of experience at being in control as He created all that is and holds all things together. Truth is, God did not create man to be in control, but rather to bring glory to Him. But, just as Satan managed to deceive 1/3 of the angels in heaven to rebel against God and deceived Adam and Eve into rebelling against God, he has also managed to deceive mankind that the church is an institutional organization that one must obtain membership into and be voted upon to gain "member status". I do not find this in scripture anywhere! How could the church have gotten so far off track? How have we, who call ourselves His children allowed this farce to propagate as long as it has? It is past time to give control of the church back to God and allow Him to reform, transform and make it uniform so that the Bride of Christ may present herself pure before Him when he returns for the Marriage Feast. It is time for the body to return to the commonism that created community in the first church which resulted in thousands upon thousands being added to the church - the body of Christ - on a daily basis.
Can the institution be reformed? I do not know. Jesus dealt with much the same situation in His day with the Jewish religion. It had disintegrated into a mere image of ehat God intended and become corrupt to the point that they plotted and carried out the assassination of their founder - Jesus. (I am pretty sure that was nowhere in the law of Moses!) The religious leaders saw their livelyhood threatened by the teachings of Jesus and went to extremes to make certain (they mistakenly thought) that the threat was neutralized. Will the institution of today see this movement to rebirth the church as the same threat? If so, what extremes will it go to to see this "threat" neutralized? For years I have waited for the persecution of the church to start from the government. What if the persecution we read about in the Word is not from the government but from organized religions that see "The Way" as a threat to the power and financial security of their system? Yes, there are governments out there on the other side of the world that are persecuting christians, inprisoning them and even taking their lives for their stand for Christ. And while this persecuted church may worship in secret merely to preserve their lives and those of their families, the governments would not be killing them if they were denouncing Jesus under pressure. They willingly go to their deaths holding to the name of Jesus. If given a choice between dying because I am an employee of ABC Company or quitting my job with ABC Company and having my life spared - what do you think I am going to do? My life is certainly more important than my position in the company - right? Exactly! I am going to bale, denouncing any affiliation with ABC Company so that my life would be spared. That position is not one i am willing to die for. OK, in the same light, will a member of a church institution under threat of certain death due to that affiliation be more likely to die for that affiliation or will they more likely than not renounce that membership in order to live? In that same light, would a bride sacrifice her life for that of her Husband that she truly loved? Absolutely! She would, of course, do this because her Husband set the example - He laid down His life to ensure the bride would be saved!
I think it is safe to say that it is relationships, not memberships, that bring people together and bind us in unity together. My hope, prayer and goal is to see the Church, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ come together in the unity of this relationship, forged in the blood of Christ and become what God intended us to be.
There is a movement of the Spirit already among the true church. That Spirit lives in me and is moving me - and I cannot and will not fight this move. May God be honored in my life as we begin this journey.