Spiritual perception of the eternal church of Christ...
An extraction from the book “The Mystical Church of Christ and her journey to immortality”
Written by Mordecai and Catherine Uka Dike
© Copyright 2011—Kingdom Gospel Campaign. All rights reserved.
This article can be freely reproduced or quoted in whole or in part, in print or electronically, under the conditions that prominent credit is given to the author and the article not be reproduced for commercial purposes. The word of God is free, freely you receive and freely you must give (Matthew 10:8).
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (1Corinthians2:11).
ot many people have actually seen the Church of Christ, because the Body can only be seen through the eyes of the Spirit. What most of us “Christians” have seen as the church (Christ Body) are different denominational bodies such as Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, ZCC, Assemblies of God, Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh day Adventist, Latter day saints etc. For that reason, many believe that the Body of Christ is divided, due to not comprehending accurately what the true Church is. It is the ultimate aim of the enemy Satan to keep us in the dark; he does not want us believers to see the original church, so that we will continue to subcome to religion instead of revealing the eternal life that God has purposed for us in Christ. The church of God has a great spiritual destiny that can’t be compared to anything, and because of that the host of darkness is fighting hard to cause as many as possible to chase after the shadow instead of the reality. There is a shadow church “false Body of Christ” and the real Church “True Body of Christ”…
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John3:6).
The enemy has planted the natural church beside the spiritual church of Christ to lure people into religion, to stop people from seeing and walking in the sacred eternal pathway of life that Jesus Christ revealed to us. Without comprehending the true meaning of Church you cannot live the inner life of Christ. It is very important for the truth seekers to comprehend what the church entails in order to not be misled by the shadows erected by Satan. The counterfeit church is growing side by side with the mystical church of Jesus Christ. It is my desire for us to receive more light in this article concerning the true bride of Christ and the harlot bride.
DIFFERENTIATING CHURCH FROM SYNAGOGUE
t is obvious that most people have not been able to differentiate between Church and Synagogue. For example, some Sabbaterian believers consider church and synagogue to have a similar meaning because the scriptures teach of people going to the synagogue to reason with the scriptures. (Luke4:14-20) The Sabbaterians Christian religious groups often quote scriptures where Jesus Christ or Paul the apostle went into the synagogue to minister on the Sabbath day as a cornerstone to support their belief in observing the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday. However, synagogue and Church aren’t similar in meaning at all; the word “SYNAGOGUE” means assembly of people, which is a congregation that accumulates different characters, a hybrid assembly. Synagogue is a congregation where people do not operate in one mind or one same spirit but claim that they are in fellowship with one another. During Christ’s earthy ministry, the groups of people that gathered in the synagogues were the Sadducees the Pharisees, the Scribes the Zealots the Gentiles proselyte and other Jewish sects. This explains why there was no true spiritual fellowship or agreement in the synagogue, because the people were never on one accord. Synagogue was a confused religious meeting where light and darkness joined in fellowship, a place where people had a divided focus but pretended to be one…..
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan (Revelation2:9).
Synagogue of Satan signifies an assembly where people profess to know God but deny him by their character, “a Christians gathering without manifestation of the true love of Jesus Christ”. Because of the level of hypocrisy in the synagogues, Jesus Christ was preaching against the synagogue gathering (Luke 4:44 read the original Greek Translation). John Chrysostom, one of the early church leaders known as "The Golden Mouthed” once said that the synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ, a house worse than a drinking shop, a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition (John Chrysostom...344-407 A.D). Now, The Synagogue of old foreshadows the present day organizational church system. The church natural is a hybrid congregation; a combination of half-way regenerated and unregenerated people. It is possible to see homosexuals, lesbians, child molesters, fornicators, robbers, fraudsters etc not only in the congregation, but even in the leadership position of the religious organizational structures called the Churches.
MYSTICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE CHURCH
he word "CHURCH” is the translation from the Greek word EKKLĒSIA which is made up of two Greek words; EK which means "out, out of” and KLĒSIS meaning, "a calling”. The two words combined mean "The calling out”, which is pointing to an elected people different from an ordinary gathering neither of religious people nor to a physical building. In ancient Greece, an EKKLĒSIA had no resemblance to what Jesus Christ and His early Jewish apostles meant by church. Ekklesia was used to interpret a civil congress in Athens even before the documentation of the New Testament scriptures. The translation of the word “church” from “Ecclesia” has misinformed many people; most people see church today as just a common gathering of people who believe in Christ, but the church is beyond ordinary assembling together of believers. An accurate revelation of what church means can be found in the term “called out” from the Hebrew perspective because The New Testament scriptures were written by the Jewish apostles of Christ and most were documented in Hebrew, the evidence of this is apparent in the writings of the early centuries Christian leaders and writers…
Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, 150 A.D. said: "Matthew put down the words of the Lord in the Hebrew language and others have translated them, each as best he could."
Irenaeus “Bishop of Lions, France” (120-202 A.D) said: "Matthew, indeed, produced his Gospel written among the Hebrews in their own dialect."
Origen said: "The first Gospel composed in the Hebrew language, was written by Matthew...for those who came to faith from Judaism." (225 A.D.)
Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (325 A.D.) quoted Papias of Hierapolis: Matthew had first preached to the Hebrews, and when he was about to go to others also, he transmitted his Gospel in writing in his native language" (Ecclesiastical History III 24, 6)
Jerome, one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church (347- 420) in his “De Viris Illustribus” wrote the following: Mathew, also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Caesarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes of Beroea, a city of Syria, who use it. In this it is to be noted that wherever the Evangelist, whether on his own account or in the person of our Lord the Savior quotes the testimony of the Old Testament he does not follow the authority of the tranlators of the Septuagint but the Hebrew. Wherefore these two forms exist Out of Egypt have I called my son, and for he shall be called a Nazarene.
Epiphaneus and Clement of Alexandria also said the same. Since the New Testament Scriptures were written in Hebrew, it must be interpreted in the Hebrew mindset. The word, which has equal meaning with “Called Out” in Hebrew, is the word “kadosh, kedushah” meaning “HOLY, HOLINESS” commonly interpreted to indicate “separation”, but to achieve a profound understanding of what Holiness actually entails, we must look at the word from its English root. Holiness is derived from the word “wholeness” which means completeness or perfectness (Mathew5:48). When something is considered to be complete or perfect, it means that the thing has no faults or it is ideal in every way. Now, there are two main aspects of perfection in God, sinless and permanent perfection. To attain these levels of perfection, one must undergo total sanctification, which includes- spiritual, emotional and physical separation and inward purification “cleansing” by the word of God (Ephesians 5:25-27).
In the ancient Israel, which is the shadow of the real Church, one was proclaimed holy only when that person had been separated, cleansed from sin (purified) and dedicated fully to God. A holy one is one who no longer lives for himself but lives totally for God (1Samuel 1:11-28). This means that the perception of church among the Hebrews entails people who have undergone spiritual, emotional and physical separation with internal cleansing and have dedicated their entire life to perform God’s divine will on earth (1Peter2:9). Now, in the real sense of it, Jesus Christ is the only one who has achieved God’s eternal standard of holiness and righteousness on earth and is qualified alone to be the church of God. However, when Jesus promised that He would build his church, He was not referring to forming a religious organization on earth. What Christ meant was that He would call people out spiritually from the sin nature and gradually guide them into the sinless nature of God unto immortalization through the power of the Holy Spirit, in this regard the real Church are the spiritually called out people who are departing daily following the leading of the Holy from the nature of sin to achieve the complete sinless nature of God. The true Church exists inside of Christ; Jesus Christ is the Perfect Tabernacle of God on earth and we all Christians are just individual spiritual temples in Him connected by the Holy Spirit. Whenever God sees His Church on earth, He does not see different religious organizations, but one perfect Jesus Christ and the saints worshiping in Him by one Spirit. Oh! May we all come to full realization that the church is nothing less than Jesus Christ and the saints who have spiritually baptized (immersed completely) into Him (Galatians3:27, 1Corinthians12:13) by coming out of sin and self and spiritually growing to arrive into the sinless nature of God through the power of the eternal Spirit! Church has nothing to do with the organizations of men or physical buildings; it is different from Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Jehovah witnesses, Adventist and so forth. You need a discerning spirit to see the true church (1Corinthians11:29).
NAMES OF THE CHURCH AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
hen Jesus mentioned that he will build his church, he did not tell us that His Church would be called the Roman Catholics church, Orthodox, Anglican (Church of England), Episcopal, Lutheran, Mennonites, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostals, Charismatic, Latter-day Saints, Seventh-day Adventist, Salvation Army, Jehovah's Witnesses, Holiness, Apostolic, Assemblies of God, Nazarene, ZCC, UCKG, Foursquare, Nazarene, Worldwide Church of God, cherubim and seraphim, Celestial Church of Christ, Baptism church international, Bible Revival, Kingdom ministries and so forth. Now, most think that naming their own religious organization “The church of Christ or the Church of God” will disclude them from being an organized religion; however, what separates the true Church of Christ from human arranged structures is not just name and doctrine but the demonstration of Christ’s love and compassion towards the hurting world. Satan also can clothes his own members with the name Church of God, but the differentiating factor is the character of the people; Ye shall know them by their fruits “not by their names” (Mathew7:16, 20). It is important for us to understand that the names given to the members of the Church in the scriptures have spiritual revelations for instance, the church members were called “the disciples” because they are disciplined students of Jesus Christ (Acts 6:1). They are known as “the way” because they reveal the true way of sinlessness and eternal life through their character, teaching, and preaching of the word of God (Act 9:2, 22:4). They are called “saints” because they are sanctified and purified by the blood of Jesus Christ and dedicated to the service of God (1 Corinthians 1:2). They are called a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, because they are separated and will never unite again with the world (1 Peter 2:9). They are called the “Christians” because they are anointed like Christ (Act11:26), they are called “the Sons of God” because they are born of the spirit and have represented Jesus Christ on earth (1John3:1). They are called brothers “brethren” because they are from one father and have Christ love towards one another, among them there is no president and founder, they are all equal ministers of Christ(Matthew23:8-12). There is no structural church mentioned in the scriptures bearing the name of any apostle of Jesus Christ such as St. Andrew, St. Peter, or St. Paul, neither is there a Church of faith, or Miracle Church International. Naming a physical structure means nothing to God, neither Jesus nor the apostles named any church; the local assemblies in the scriptures were called according to their geographical location, for example, the church in Jerusalem, the church in Corinthian, the church in Ephesus, the church in Colossian and so forth. Now I am not suggesting that we should follow that pattern to name the present day local Christian gathering. As we should know already, church means a called out people, which is more than a name, it’s a lifestyle. Christians don’t require a name or government registration of this world to operate as church, all that is needed is to live Christ. The spiritual church of Christ is registered in heaven not in the earthly book of the government of this world (Hebrews12:22-23).
THE SPIRITUAL DESTINY OF THE CHURCH
he called out people (Church) spiritually represents the Hebrews, which is derived from the Root word Abar “Eber” meaning “To Cross Over” or “people in constant migration”. There is a divine race set before the church…
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God(Hebrews12:1-2).
The same way that the natural Israelites were called out of Egypt and the people gradually journeyed and entered the Promised Land, so the church (spiritual Hebrews) is gradually migrating to the eternal land of promise which is why we are known as the called out people. God has brought us out from the world to bring us in to Himself to give us the land that he promised on oath to our ancestors… (Deut, 6:23). The spiritual destiny of the Church is total conformity to the full image of Christ (Romans8:29). We are to exit spiritually from mortal to Immortality, gradually cleansing the nature of sin within us on daily basis by the word of God…
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2Corinthians7:1).
This spiritual journey (race) started from the beginning “the eternity past”(Ephesians1:4). Currently we are in the present age, which is also called the mortal age and are striving to reach the future age, which is immortality or the perfect age. Just as we started from the beginning, we must pass through mortality to reach immortality which is why the scriptures teach us that this world is not our home, we are all strangers and pilgrims on earth (1 Peter 2:11). As the natural men are busy forming religious organizations, the mystical Church of Jesus Christ is spiritually advancing to arrive at God’s predetermined state of perfection and readiness; to conform completely to God’s nature and character. The spiritual movement of the Church to immortality is similar to a relay marathon…
Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God (Psalm84:5-7).
The Church of Christ is growing from one level of revelation (faith) to another level in order to achieve complete perfection and achieve immortality in God. It is important for every Christians to look beyond earthly religious institutions “denominational structures” to fix our eyes on Christ, in order to attain total perfection in Him.
TRUE CLASSIFICATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
he real Church of Jesus Christ does not exist in denominations such as Roman Catholic, Protestant, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Worldwide church of God, Assemblies of God, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and so forth. Denominationalism is an antichrist system, which represents the image of the beast referred to in the book of revelation. All denominational churches combined is what most people assume to be the body of Christ, but is nothing but a lifeless statue, an image that physically looks like the body of Christ but denies the nature and character of Him. This is what the scripture means where it states, “It has two horns like the lamb but spoke like the dragon”. The only thing manifesting in denominational churches is division, politics, criticism, exploitation, dominion and control, which is the true nature of Satan. This shows that denominational churches do not belong to Jesus Christ but to the antichrist, for that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that born of the spirit is spirit (John3:6). Denominationalism is created by human wisdom; Christ is not in it, if He were, His life (which is love) would be seen in the center of it instead of hatred, division and competition. Satan has blindfolded people not to see that segregation is sin. Out of foolishness, one will say, “I belong to the Catholic Church”, not realizing that every true Christian is a Catholic Church member, which means the universal church, (not Roman Catholics) and every Christian is also a protestant because we all are protesting against the wickedness of Satan in the world. The church of Jesus Christ is a spiritual apostolic community of people without walls, because Jesus has already broken the middle wall of partitions (Ephesians2:16) and the church cannot be divided because the spirit that binds the people of God together is so strong that no force of darkness can divide it. The saints are baptized into one body by one spirit (1Corintians 12:13). When a Christian encounters another Christian, regardless of their race, skin color or where they meet, the spirit of Jesus Christ in them will bear witness and they will flow in the spirit, love each other and share fellowship together without questioning the denomination that each one belongs to. It is obvious that most professed Christians have never seen the church, which is why when they see the schisms in the apostate body they will agree that the church is divided but the true church cannot be divided, only organized religious groups. The true denomination of the Church of Jesus Christ is as follows:
Collective meeting of the saints
INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIAN AS CHURCH
n individual Christian is the 1st denomination of the church, scripture teaches us that every born again child of God, as an individual is a temple of God. God lives in each one of us. The best place to hear God’s voice is within us. We should learn to seek the Lord who is living in us than to seek for someone else to tell us what God is saying. God is speaking to us every minute but we are not hearing because we have never come to full realization that we are His holiest sanctuary. The false teachings of the organized religious church structures have made us to believe that we can’t hear from God until we become a member of one religious local church and submit unto a bishop. One thing that most of us don’t know is that one single Christian can change a nation without joining any religious church group, all that is needed is to consider ourselves as God’s Holy temple, then deal with the outward and uttermost man, stay focused, dedicated and committed to whatever God has revealed to us. People get confused when they join religious institutions because they are taught how to be submissive to church doctrines and constitutions instead of developing their spirit to be in tune with God. Anything that the word of God says concerning the church is first directed to us individually before the cooperate assembly of the saints. For example, scripture teaches that the judgment of God will first begin in the house of God (which means within us), not just the local gathering of Christians or a physical building. We are God’s tabernacle; the spirit of God is the candle of the Lord that searches the inward part of the belly… (Proverb 20:17). Read also the following scriptures:
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:16-17).
Should a Christian find himself in place where there are no other believers to fellowship with, (example; in a Muslim dominated town or village) that Christian should not quit, but continue and consider himself to be “God’s church” and carry out all of the commandments given to the church in the scriptures. That person should start making disciples for Christ without waiting for any human ordination or commissioning. God has already chosen us individually, and ordained us to go and make disciples.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.(John15:16)
God called Abraham alone and blessed him, and increased him (Isaiah 51:2). He called us alone just as he did Abraham there is no group salvation. Each individual Christian should work out his or her own salvation with fear and trembling (Philip2:12).
CHRISTIAN FAMILY AS A CHURCH
he 2nd denomination of the church is the Christian family. In a Christian home, the husband is the bishop of the house, the wife is the elder and the children are the congregation. The bible says that if a man cannot take care of his own house how he can take care of the local assembly, which is the collective meeting of the saints (1Timothy3:4-5). Husbands must disciple his own house; it is the will of God that every home functions as an independent local church. In other words, Christian families should represent the kingdom of God on earth. Our problem today is that we have been taught to forget our families and focus our attention in building religious structures that will never reveal Gods character. What we should know is that if we cannot build up perfect homes, then we will never present a perfect church. May the Lord help us to consider our families as a great church of the Lord and build it up unto perfection!
COLLECTIVE MEETING OF THE SAINTS
ow the 3rd denomination of the church is the collective meeting of the saints, Jesus assured us that where two or three Christians meet in his name, he is right there in their midst…
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20).
The meeting of different Spirit filled born again Christians in one place does not need a separate cathedral, special name, signboard or registration to be considered a church. Wherever we meet together for the purpose of edifying one another and to win souls for Christ there is God’s Church. Two or three born again Christians can make up a local church. God is more interested in the spiritual maturity of a few people than the gathering of multitudes. What can be accomplished through thousands of people, can be achieved by one person through Christ.
THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST
ost envision the universal body of Christ to be all of the different Christian organizational bodies worldwide combined, but the truth is that the Body of Christ is different from denominational churches. The true Body of Christ is mystical; united hearts of true Christians that has not physically emerged. Spiritually Christ is the only true tabernacle of the Most High God standing on earth, while we born again Christians are just little temples in Him connected with the Holy Spirit. That means when God sees the Body of Christ, what He beholds is Jesus Christ standing as a perfect temple and we residing in Him…
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe (Proverb18:10). For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians2:10).
God does not see Roman Catholics, Protestants, Methodists, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Charismatic’s, Adventists and all of the others. religious organization is not in God’s eternal agenda! The true believers who make up the mystical Body of Christ will physically emerge on the arrival of Jesus Christ, when the Son of man will appear in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. He will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew24:30:31). I believe that there are still true sanctified and dedicated believers in every denominational church, and those are among the remnant seed of the kingdom that God will call out and bring together to physically form the glorious, perfect church without walls.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE BODY
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (John10:1).
The sheepfold represents the Church “The Mystical Body of Christ” for the psalmist says…
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture (Psalm100:3).
The shepherd of the sheep is Christ…
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John10:11).
WHY THE CHURCH IS COMPARED TO A SHEEPFOLD
he sheep symbolizes disciplined and obedient followers. The church is the spiritual body of disciplined followers of Jesus Christ, in other words, one who is not separated, dedicated and committed to Christ’s teachings and strictly follows the principles of his life is not a member of his body. The body of Christ can never be a mixed up assembly; I mean the Church of Christ is not where the light and darkness join in fellowship (Act2:47). The body is comprised of only the saints not joined together with unregenerated souls, which is why it is compared to a sheepfold….
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2Corithians6:14-18).
THE DOOR INTO THE SHEEPFOLD
he door to the sheepfold represents the way into the Body of Christ. Now not every believer knows that joining a denominational church is very different from becoming a member of the Body of Christ. No one can enter into the Church by submitting membership forms and obtaining water baptismal certificates and so forth. It is possible that a person can be whole-heartedly dedicated and committed in observing all religious rituals in organizational churches and yet not be a member of the Body of Christ. Jesus is the only way into the sheepfold (John10:2), meaning that without passing through Him one can never enter the sheepfold. Passing through Jesus Christ means to accept him as Lord and Savior which involves genuine repentance and forsaking of one’s sins, and then undergo immersion and Holy Ghost baptisms…
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Act2:38).
It is only by one Spirit that one can baptize into one Body of Christ (1Corinthians12:13). It is sad that many who claim to be Christian have just only succeeded in baptizing into religious organizations, which is why some professed Christians, cannot show forth the fruits of repentance. One who has baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit must produce good fruits; genuine repentance must have righteous fruits to show forth. John the Baptist asked the Jewish religious leaders to bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance (Matthew3:8).
BUILDING THE CHURCH
esus Christ made mention of building a church in the early stage of His service with God on earth (Matthew16:18), but throughout His entire ministry there is no place that it is recorded in the scriptures that Jesus raised “building funds” to construct a cathedral for the disciples to congregate to worship God. Based on the teaching of Christ, building a church means to convert sinners making them saints through accurate preaching, teaching and physical demonstration of the word of God. It should be remembered that the Church are the people who have genuinely repented and forsaken their sins, and are embarking on the internal journey of perfection. What makes them a church is the indwelling of Christ, this “church” is developing daily by crucifying the flesh to posses the fruits of the Holy Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Scripture teaches us that we should make every effort to add to our faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. If we possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2peter1:5-8). This is what church building is all about; the bricks for building the church are the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galathians5:22). As the converted people are daily adding these spiritual values into their lives, they are building up to conform to the full image of Christ. Jesus Christ is the accurate pattern of the church, God’s desire is for His Church (the People) to grow spiritually to the point of achieving sinless perfection and immortalization of the mortal body. The early apostles were building the church members to conform to the image of Christ….
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (Galatians4:19).
Without changing the lives of people daily from sin to righteousness means that we are not building Church, for the beauty of the Church is the Character of the people. It is foolish to spend billions of dollars building physical structures while the people are dying in their sins and going hell, offerings of the people should be spent to transform lives, not to build physical houses. Many nations exist where people must see the light, and the Christians must be developed into full maturity and released into the field to impart Christ to the lost souls, that is the true church building. No matter how well a local church may organize, if the believers are not growing spiritually becoming like Christ, the leader is not laboring with Christ and building according to God’s pattern. Building according to the pattern means developing people after Christ, Jesus Christ is our only role model. God presented Christ and said "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased (Mathew3:16). God is only delighted to see his children becoming like Christ.
TRUE HEADQUARTERS AND BRANCHES OF THE CHURCH
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:1-6).
esus Christ is the true vine (the spiritual tree of life) and we individual Christians are branches in Him. Now since there are no different branches of Churches, there shouldn’t be anything physical called the “church headquarters” or “general overseer”. The Christians headquarters is heavenly; the throne of God and Jesus Christ is the Church’s general overseer. The local meetings of the Christians mentioned in the scriptures are autonomous because Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. If Christ be in the midst of people who gathered in his name what need do they have to travel for miles to consult with the headquarters branch in order to receive vision, directions and a message. Jesus is standing in the center of the church to direct his church, not a man. The denominational order of the church came from Satan since Jesus Christ did not institute it. Satan uses the denominational system to rob nations; for example, there was a time that all of the “braches” of the Roman Catholic Church in the world would gather their tithes and offerings and send it to the Vatican City in Rome, other denominations practice the same; they rob the poor countries to develop rich nations. May the Lord help us to see that there is no mention in the Holy Scriptures of “church branches” such as Jerusalem church in Antioch or Olive branch of Jerusalem church in Africa; it is an abomination to have an “American Episcopal Church in Africa”, “Church of England in Asia” or “African Church in America”. Christ is the true vine, and believers must remain true branches in Him. It is wrong for a pastor to send out missionaries and expect them to start the “branches” of his church wherever they go, every Christian should be trained and released into their own specific assignments (as led by God, not of themselves or their pastors)and as they go they should proclaim Christ, making disciples for Him and represent Him.
The church grows in two different aspects, first is quality, the second is quantity. The church is internally groaning and advancing spiritually to conform fully to the divine nature and character of God; this is the first growth of the church and the most important, because it is the positive character of the Christians that will draw sinners to Christ. It is wrong to assume that Church growth means gathering crowds to fill auditoriums, and then using them to raise offerings to pay for television and radio broadcasts. The first thing to be considered when thinking of church growth is the spiritual maturity of the members, not the number of people gathered. It is often heard in the structural church gatherings “we had a full church last Sunday”, which sounds foolish, having a full church is when the people have come to the full measure of the stature of the fullness of Jesus Christ; God needs mature sons not multitudes…
God looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. (Ezekiel22:30)
Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. (Jeremiah 5:1)
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, multitudes always gathered around Him to hear the message of the kingdom, but Christ never attempted to train them at the same time. Instead, from the multitudes, He chose 120, and from the 120 disciples, He chose 12 apostles and from the 12 apostles, he set apart 3 apostles Peter, James, and John and made John the closest apostle among all. Jesus administered training in different ways according to their levels to bring them into a perfect union with the Father. It is important for the Christian leaders to realize that Spiritual maturity is the major aspect of church growth
THE TRUE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH
Worship in Hebrew “shahsha”, and worship in Greek “proskineo” means to prostrate; bowing down in showing respect to a person in a higher authority. Physically bowing down before someone “a king” for example, is a symbol that shows an outward demonstration of the inward total submission. In this regards, worship means “total surrender” or “perfect submission” and to worship God means total submission to the will of God. True worship of the church is to submit totally to the will of God, which is beyond singing and dancing in the local Christian gathering.
UNDERSTANDING THE WILL OF GOD
There are three different aspects of God’s will:
The general will God - is that His Kingdom should come on earth so that the earth is filled with righteousness just as the water covers the sea (Number14:21).
The specific will of God - means that every Christian has a unique assignment to accomplish to facilitate the coming of the kingdom (Ephesians4:11-13).
Seasonal will of God - means that God’s assignment for us eventually becomes clearer. When we accomplish what He reveals today he can give a new assignment, and everything must be done according to divine timing (Eccl3:1,11).
TO RENDER GOD WORSHIP
ach Christian must discover what his personal assignment is, and must fulfill it by the leading of the Holy Spirit. As we are working with Christ to accomplish our external assignment which involves reaching out to sinners and so forth. We “the church” God’s called out people must fulfill our internal mission, which is to cleanse ourselves from everything (sin) that can defile our body and spirit, in order to achieve total conformity to the image of God. Let us always keep in mind that our daily worship to God is to cleanse ourselves from everything (sin) that can defile our body and spirit, to work toward complete holiness, and to show forth the love and compassion of Jesus Christ to entire people of the world (2corinthians7:1). Worshiping God should not be limited to singing and praising God with our mouths and clapping hands on Sundays. The real worship begins when everyone in the assembly discovers their specific will of God, and dedicates their lives to accomplish it like the men and woman of the scriptures. We should note that Abraham, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Job, Anna etc. are called God’s worshipers, not because they were church goers and good praise singers, they were all committed doers of the will of God. There is nothing wrong with singing and dancing for God, but it is more important to be sure that we are accomplishing His divine plan and purpose on earth. Every believer is called to accomplish a specific assignment. You can become a worshiper when you discover and begin to fulfill your divine calling as lead by the Spirit.
THE PLACE OF WORSHIP
ome relocate from one denomination to another in search of the right church to worship God, but the truth is that there is no right denominational church, because Jesus did not form one, and neither did His apostles. There is no scripture indicating that Christ and the early apostles initiated any religious movement or a denominational church. God never authorized any apostle, pastor, prophet, evangelist or teacher to form any organization where people should come and worship him. In the sight of God, denominational church systems don’t exist, it is the blind people “false church leaders” that name their structures a place of worship for all nations. Under the Old Testament, God commanded that the Israelites only worship him where He chooses to place His name (Deut11:12, 16:1-4). In this present dispensation, there is no physical structure where God chooses to place His name; the holy name of God is not placed in any denominational church. God has placed his name in his Son Jesus Christ; is the right place of worship. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth (John4:23-24). Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and Life (John14:6). To worship God in truth and spirit means to abide in Christ and to be led by the Holy Spirit instead of fabricated philosophies. The scriptures teach us to continue to live our lives in him, to be rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as we were taught by the apostles(Colossians2:6-7). To relocate from one denominational church to another will not solve our problems, because they are all the same. As mentioned earlier, the only right place of worship provided by God is the word of God “Jesus Christ,” He says; if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John15:7). When a believer abides in the word of God, rooted and grounded in the word and matured in it, he or she can then congregate in any Christian assembly as led by the spirit, not just to be seated, as a mere spectator, that person should contribute in helping others to know God and become mature in Christ. We should become the right church by daily purifying ourselves from everything that contaminates our bodies and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. For those who claim to worship God in organizations such as Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostals, Charismatic and others are false worshipers, because Jesus says that the true worshippers worship God in Spirit and Truth. We must carry out the revealed will of God for our lives everywhere we go, while ensuring that whatever we do in this life we are led by the Holy Spirit. Finally, as long as we remain God’s temple, there is no need looking for the right denominational church, let us individually become the right church of God on earth by seeking to know Jesus Christ through His word and by prayer and to fellowship with one another in the Lord!
TRUE MEANING OF CHURCH SERVICE
It is obvious that many believers have been deceived by Satan and don’t know the real meaning of service. Even the pastors and bishops in the Pentecostal congregations have limited service to mean Sunday and mid-week meetings of the Christians. Oftentimes one can hear blind pastors boasting that they were “having one service before but now they are having three services” on Sunday. Oh! What blindness! Church service is not coming together on Sundays or weekdays, the word service has the notion of ministry, and the ministry given to the church is beyond gathering under a preacher to hear sermons, singing, praying and giving monetary offerings; true service of the church involves reconciling sinners back to God…
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God (2Corinthians5:18-20).
If the structural church were operating properly, sinners would not be found inside it’s four walls; therefore, we should go wherever they are and minister to them in order to win them back to God, that is “church service”. North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia as a whole need the gospel, as the church we should go there and service. Any Christian assembly that is boasting of having many services on Sunday is not making progress; a successful local church is a church where people are discipled and released into their individual assignments. Effective local assemblies should function similar to patrol stations where motor vehicles come to refuel. The Roman Catholic religion introduced the false idea of Sunday service, they call it service because they serve people with bread and wine each Sunday. May we all serve God like Jesus Christ who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil (Act10:38).