Most of us are familiar with the song that goes something like this: Build your church Lord, make us strong Lord, Join our hearts Lord ... make us ONE Lord, Build your body in the Kingdom of your Son...
Great words, great lyrics, great song!!
But how many of us really believe in it? and
practise it in life, and doctrine?
Ive had to examine myself as of late, and ask myself the same pertinent questions :-o
When so much emphasis today is placed on "kingdom living" and "kingdom principles" out there in "christendom" then i venture to say it would seem pretty important to know what is being taught AND SAID. And to get it right - with the eyes of our understanding!
Over in the book of Acts we find a scenario where Stephen is falsely accused on a "charge of blasphemy" from them of the synagogue of the libertines, and they of Asia. And If one reads the whole account through in relation to stephen's defence before the council, we find a sentence - where stephen tells them plainly that God does NOT dwell in temples made by men's hands. THEN THE NEXT THING YOU READ IS, THEY ARE ALL REACHING FOR STONES - TO KILL HIM.
But paul utters similiar things to them of mars hill and to the philosophers who IGNORANTLY worshipped the God of heaven saying "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of Heaven and earth, Dwelleth NOT in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands ... as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all LIFE, and breath, and all things" " And has made of ONE blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth" Acts17:22-26
And yet again over in the book of hebrews incredibly the same words and theme are recurring
"Christ became that more perfect tabernacle...
NOT MADE WITH HANDS, that is to say NOT of this building" Heb 9:11
And still On this same note and page we find the author explaining that the first covenant had thus
** Ordinances of
** Divine service (rendered and performed)
** And a WORLDLY sanctuary (made with hands)
He then goes into very great detail articulating some of those divine services rendered - which stood only in washings and carnal things decreed unto them, being imposed on them, until reformation time. ( The new testament ) no doubt.
That the second covenant was based upon better conditions and better promises. Thus Supercdeding the first covenant. With Christ now become a minister of the sanctuary and of the TRUE TABERNACLE ( notice the next part)...
Which the Lord PITCHED, And NOT man.
Notice we see that recurrant theme again!
God pitching, true tabernacle, no mens hands!
And if i might so say...had the Roman catholic church had better understood the principles of the book of Hebrews - they might well have Not continued with aspects of the levitical priesthood - and office of priest!
( For instance ) consider the following things...
~~ If PERFECTION were BY the levitical priesthood
~~ For the priesthood being CHANGED
~~ For the law made NOTHING perfect
Those things served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things ... being a figure for the TIME then PRESENT. But as we (well know) none of those things could make the comers perfect in matters pertaining to the conscience.
For the law had a (shadow) of good things to come.
Those things served as PATTERNS of what existed already ...in the heavenly demension (hebs 9:23)
Understaning then the finished work of the cross we now continue " For Christ is NOT entered into the holy places MADE WITH HANDS (THERES THAT EXPRESSION AGAIN) which were the figures of the true.
But A man might still say: But david desired to build him a house and solomon his son did build a temple, and the Jews spent forty and six years building and rearing up there temple. So how do we then reconcile these two issues? By answering it with what i just said and quoted to you from that same book of Hebrews. That was a shadow of better things to come. But as touching the David issue. David wanted more than just a tent for the almighty! being the great worshipper and warrior that he was! And it was most assuredly a gesture from the heart of a worshipper to build him (God) a great house. ( and not just a tent, though for a season that served it's purpose ) And not only that but It was necessary that the priesthood and high priest have a "most holy place" to enter in beyond the veil. Both Serving the people and the priesthood! Offering gifts and sacrifices for sins
But when Christ died the veil was rent from top to bottom! This signifying then "change" and the introduction of a "new and living way" ... giving all believers (NOW) and not just the high priest or the (Aaronic priesthood) ACCESS to the holy of holies. (Glory)
Remembering how in olden times in Israel how that when people wanted to know what the word of the Lord was... they went and sought out the seers and prophets - to know his mind.
( Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to ENQUIRE of God, thus he spoke, come and let us go to the seer) 1 Samuel 9:9
So just how precious then is this access to the heart of God and throne room? which access Christ hath consecrated for us, through the veil. That is to say - through the veil of his flesh? Hmmm.
Over in the last chapter of this majestic book of hebrews - we find the author continuing on this same vein, saying, " We have NOW an altar ... whereof they have no right to eat ... which SERVE the tabernacle" Now To my way of thinking the author is highlighting to the new testament believer - that the Jew resisted this change! And did not wish to move forward in God - nor accept changes to the priesthood (Levi) But rather still continued on with the WORLDLY sanctuary, and the tabernacle of witness. Hmmm.
And if your following this article and where it is all going? Then drop down with me to passage no. 14 (same chapter) And we find more incredible words in light of all of the "kingdom come" message being preached today from the beacons of most churches! And we read: ( For here we have no continuing city, but seek one TO COME ) KEEPING WHAT YOU HAVE JUST READ IN MIND! WE ALSO SEE THAT BOTH in Galations chapter four and Hebrews 12:22 they talk about that city (to come) being the heavenly jerusalem - Galations saying this ( BUT Jerusalem which is above is free, WHICH IS MOTHER OF US ALL)
What did the samiritan woman @ the well say to Jesus? Our fathers said AND TAUGHT, that (in Jerusalem is the PLACE where men ought to WORSHIP)
THE RESPONSE WAS? Woman i tell you assuredly that neither in Jerusalem nor in this mountian "Is" the place where men will worship in future. But will worship the father in spirit and in truth. God is a spirit and they that WORSHIP him must worship him in spirit, and in truth.
Notice how that "in" Jerusalem on the day of pentecost was where all the devout people lived and gathered for worship! It was kinda a "spiritual mecca" if i can say it that way! But when peter stood up and preached he called them all - what?
"He called them builders"... builders in fact who rejected the chief cornerstone himself. (Christ)
This is that same Peter who in his last days writes and tells the scattered believers that WE are NOW the lively stones BUILT up a spiritual house. And we are NOW the collective holy priesthood. And not just in (Aaron or in Levi)
You are become the temple of the living God And his holy ghost dwells in you, you are that spiritual house and lively stone (built up). For the temple of God is Holy, which TEMPLE ye are!
2 cor 6:16 says " Ye are temple of the living God: As God hath said, I will dwell in them; And i will walk in them; And i will be their God and they shall be my people" indeed That New covenant promise of God residing in living temples
God is not worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything! Seeing he is Lord of all both in heaven and in earth, and filleth all in all!
Let me try and wrap this thing up and bring it to a close. Briefly cast your mind back to Genesis and Nimrod who was the founding father of all kingdom building, and the building of principal cities. With Genesis 10:10 bearing this out in full. Nimrod went on to build four principal cities! With Babel being the renowned of them all! With a tower that attempted to reach into heaven. And for it's ensuing result of confounded language. Holding that thought again and fast tracking over to the book of exodus we see pharaoh up to the same thing - as nimrod. With pharaoh using God's people to build him treasure cities (pithom and rammses) hold that thought yet again we cross over to Acts again - and find the synagogue of the libertines feeling very much threatened by the changes they heard about new covenant, new testament, changes to law, changes to the customs of moses. Etc. And so the end result is - they put stephen to death. With Paul also being accused of similiar things by the jews saying "Men of Israel, help, this is the man, that teacheth all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this PLACE: Thou seest brother how many thousands of jews there are which believe? and they are all zealous of the law: And they are well informed of you, that you teach jews amongst the gentiles to forsake Moses, and tell them not to bother circumcising there children. Nor to walk after the jewish customs. What doest thou paul? James enquires of him! You see At that early stage of the church - paul already had the new testament message and the revelation of it ( at least in principal he did) and was bringing snippets of it - to the people. But of course they resisted change. Even though it was already foretold in the OLD TESTAMENT. HAD THEY HAD KNOWN THIS - THEN PAUL WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN OSTRACISED OR SHUNTED, OR FORCED TO RETURN BACK TO TEMPLE FOR PURIFYING DEEDS ACTS 21:26-27
And now i finish with my concluding comments and remarks concerning kingdom living and advancement.
Years ago i never thought i had to give a lot of thought to what the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven meant! Nor did i think i needed to place a lot of thoughts on or about the topic. Ive since learned ... that it is virtually taught by all the assemblies and churches out there in (yonder church land)! And so out comes the concordance and (sof) is busy studying out all of the references pertaining to the "kingdom of God message" And because they "out there" are teaching the buiding and establishing of the kingdom of God in the earth (NOW)! I began to wonder what do they have? or what am i not seeing or getting... that i now have to review, revise , and rethink, all this talk and teaching going on!
And that is why i said, all ive said, thus far in this article and where it was all heading!
So it's Either we build with them, establish the kingdom of God with them (now) on the earth! Or we say "wait a minute" your ahead of me here... Don't i even have the right or opportunity to take all this in, and weigh it up in light of scripture? Because when charismatic and pentecostal leaders feel they have a new revelation - they just simply run with it and we are expected to embrace it, and run with it or miss out - and be left out! And in the dark as it were!
So like nimrod we can grow upwardly and outwardly purchasing more assets, acquiring more wealth, building principal cities/communities, seek to reign in government. Establish politicol parties, build schools, campusues, colleges, hospitals, old age homes etc etc. Literally Establish a kingdom with a power shift towards the church which is in power and has dominion (reigning in the world) - or we wait, we wait for a city whose builder and maker is God!! hmmm.
As Here we have no continuing city... as taught and illiterated in the book of hebrews! I want to finish by quoting from luke's gospel who when the jews came to jesus demanding of him WHEN the kingdom of heaven should come? The reply they got was not what they expected, nor what they wanted to hear! " The kingdom of God cometh NOT with OBSERVATION...saying lo here it is or lo there it is... for behold the kingdom of God is "WITH-IN" you. Tell that though to the promoters and advocates of the "kingdom is Now generation of believers" Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world in Johns gospel. If it were from whence, then would have my servants have fought
Jesus told his own disciples that is was NOT for them to KNOW the times and seasons that God hath put in his power. ( you see they had just asked him Jesus, when he would restore the KINGDOM of God to israel)
That movement then - which says the kingdom is here and now! must know something we and the other apostles didn't know? when the (physical) kingdom of God will be restored - to the believer.
Bear in mind also that The jews didn't have the complete revelation of the gentiles also being grafted into the vine, so they only thought in terms of israel (exclusively) in relation to kingdom things!
So then having said all this thus far: Maybe they have changed the lyrics to that classic praise song i alluded to at the start of this article> which might now say something like this... "Build our name Lord, build our programme Lord, make us one lord, build your denomination lord, join our hearts Lord, make us one language again, lord, that the earth may be as one lord, in the kingdom of nimrod and the city of his ...babel