--by David Brandt Berg
JESUS NEVER SAID TO BUILD CHURCH BUILDINGS. He said to "love God and others and put God's Kingdom first, and forsake all, go, preach the good news." (Matt. 6:33, 22:37-39; Luke 14:33; Mark 16:15)
THE WORD "CHURCH" ITSELF COMES FROM THE GREEK WORD "ECCELESIA" AND LITERALLY MEANS THE "CALLED OUT ONES", or the "separate ones" the "set apart one"--or the dropouts! "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing (the System); and I will receive you." (2 Cor. 6:17)
THE TRUE CHURCH ARE THE GENUINE CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS in God who follow Jesus--the born again, saved Body of Christ--not a building or a denomination or a religion. God gave Jesus "to be the head over... the Church, which is His Body." (Eph. 1:22,23) So anyone who believes in Jesus is part of the Church! Anyone or anything else is not the Church!
WE DO NOT HATE THOSE WHO ARE NOT PART OF THE CHURCH, but we do hate the hypocrisy, self-righteousness, lies and deceitfulness of those who claim to be the Church but are not; and we hate the spiritual system of the Devil which is behind them.
JESUS EVEN COMMENDED THE EPHESIAN CHURCH for this, saying, "this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans (false apostles), which I also hate." (Rev. 2:6; see also Ps. 97:10)
I WAS SITTING IN "ANAHEIM DELUSION CENTER" (a big church building in California) and the Lord spoke as clearly to me as He ever had: "This is strong delusion!" Deceiving His people!
CHURCHIANITY IS EQUATED WITH GOD and the building with His service. The delusion has become so strong that today the name "church" no longer means anything but a building! The name "Christian" no longer means anything either! It usually means just some kind of hypocritical, self-righteous church person who goes to that building on Sunday!
THE CHURCH TODAY BEARS NO MORE RESEMBLANCE TO JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES AND EARLY CHRISTIANS THAN CAPITALISM DOES TO COMMUNISM. Yet the church says, "If you aren't going to church and following our way, then you're wrong." How can they be so deceived? Because they rejected the Truth!
WHY DO THEY REJECT THE TRUTH? Because they're unwilling to pay the price! "Because they received not the love of the truth... for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they might believe a lie." (2 Thess. 2:10,11)
THE MAIN LYING DELUSION behind the church system and the way of all false religions is that they are all dependent upon self--righteousness and their own way. Paul said about the Jews, the church system of his day, "They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness (through grace) and going about to establish their own righteousness (through religion) have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Ro. 10:2,3)
ALSO, THE CHURCHES HAVE NOT SHARED MUCH WITH THE POOR, but sucked and squeezed the last drop out of the poor to build their fancy cathedrals and idols and live in luxury.
THE COMMUNISTS ARE ONLY TOO RIGHT WHEN THEY SAY THAT RELIGION IS THE OPIATE OF THE PEOPLE. The kind of religion they have seen is exactly that--a horrible drug which puts them to sleep, makes them oblivious to the conditions around them, and lethargic and senseless to the needs of mankind.
BUT THE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM LIKES IT THIS WAY, since they can control their people better in this stupor. And the government prefers it this way, since they don't know any better anyhow, and the religious system keeps them in power.
BUT THE PITIFUL PART ABOUT IT IS THIS: That God says, "even My people love to have it so." The vast majority of Christians prefer it that way, pampered infants, spoiled children.
THE PROPHET JEREMIAH, IN A JUDGMENT UTTERED 2,500 YEARS AGO AGAINST WICKED ISRAEL, SEEMS TO PERFECTLY DESCRIBE THE CHURCH OF TODAY when God says through him: "Among My people are found wicked men... their houses (are) full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich, ... they judge not the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge...."
THE PROPHETS PROPHESY FALSELY and the priests bear rule by their means: and My people love to have it so.... Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?" (Jer. 5:26,31)
THE CHURCHIANITY SYSTEM IS ALREADY DEAD, but their corpse lies upon the ground, neither lamented nor buried! The Communists (or enemies of Christ) will bury the dead, even Khrushchev said so, adding, "God is with us!" They'll bury the dead as we go on with Jesus. It won't be long before those buildings are going to be closed and pastors liquidated, services banned and Bibles burned!
THOSE GOD-DAMNED CHURCH BUILDINGS, AND THEY ARE GOD-DAMNED, WILL BE DESTROYED like the Temple was, and for the same reason: to get the Church's eyes off her buildings and back on the Lord!
FOR "THE MOST HIGH DWELLETH NOT IN TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS (Acts 7:38)...God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) So "trust ye not in lying words saying the Temple of the Lord are these." (Jer. 7:4)
FOR ISRAEL (THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE GOD'S PEOPLE) HATH FORGOTTEN HIS MAKER, AND BUILDETH TEMPLES... but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof (those multi-million dollar churches)." (Ho. 8:14)
TOO MANY HAVE TRIED too many years to patch up the old.
THE TRULY GREAT REVOLUTIONARIES FROM NOAH TO CHRIST HAD TO TOTALLY DO AWAY WITH THE OLD AND START ANEW.
THE PHARISEES (THE EVANGELICALS OF JESUS' DAY) WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO SUBSIDISE JESUS and His great following if only He had been willing to work with them within the existing corrupt and rotten System of their hierarchy, and accept their name tag so that they could have gotten the credit for Him.
THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO HAVE SHARED THE LIMELIGHT of His popularity and used His power to their own ends--even at the cost of a little reformation to appease the people.
BUT HE REFUSED TO COMPROMISE WITH THEM, BUT RATHER WORKED TOTALLY OUTSIDE THE EXISTING SYSTEM AND ATTACKED IT head-on and ruthlessly exposed it, saying, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess... ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matt. 23:25,27) Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you!" (Matt. 21:31)
EVERY MODERN REVIVAL MOVEMENT HAS EVENTUALLY FAILED because, though they thought they were breaking away from the system of the denomination, or the thing they came out of, they never actually broke with the System--the Churchianity System for one thing, or the worldly System for another. They were just a new group following the same old plan.
THE DEVIL'S ANSWER (OR REACTION) TO GOD'S CHALLENGE (OR REVOLUTION) IS ALWAYS A SYSTEM-PRESERVING COMPROMISE!
GOD HAS NEVER BEEN FOR REFORMATION OF THE OLD rotten carcass, only for its total burial and resurrection of a completely new man.
FOR, "NO MAN PUTTETH A PIECE OF A NEW GARMENT UPON AN OLD; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old."
AND NO MAN PUTTETH NEW WINE INTO OLD BOTTLES; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved." (Luke 5:36-38)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family