“But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, 5 “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? 6 “For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. 7 “Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?””2 Samuel 7:4-7.
Jesus tells us again and again that we are the Church, His body, that is made up of many different members. And yet many still have the mistaken notion that ‘going’ to church, a building, is what is required of them. Many dress up and put on their Sunday best clothes, to go and sit in a pew time after time, to hear the same preacher tell them things that come from one man, the pastor, or head of that particular church building. Many go thinking that they are fulfilling their duty as such to go and ‘hear’ the required message, leave, and then think that they have done what Jesus has required of them.
Why are we continually telling some to ‘go to church’ when what we should really be doing is to point them to Jesus? Instead, we should tell them about the importance of knowing Him, spending time with Him, and studying His word, the bible.
These mistaken procedures and notions have gone on so long that many don’t know the truth from tradition. Actually, most of the problems that many face today, is that some are blinded by the traditions of man that have infiltrated the church for hundreds of years.
I’m not saying here that we shouldn’t meet together to encourage one another and to share the things of God — we should. But when our buildings and our agendas take precedence over meeting together, then we are following the wrong set of guide lines. When the sermon is preached from designated guidelines, and when the pastor is the only one who preaches Sunday after Sunday, then we have strayed from God’s original plan.
When there is such a chain of command that many don’t have the liberty of the Spirit to act, then perhaps our churches have become very much like the businesses we see in the world around us. The church has taken on the characteristics of the world. One man is the CEO and one man pulls the strings.
Many of us glorify the pastor. We think that he or she is the one with all the answers. We should honor them but we treat many of them like demi-gods. And they are given all or most of the control within the walls of these buildings.
Who is the head of the church? Who is the one who we should ultimately defer to? Who is the Chief Cornerstone, who is the one who has laid the foundation? Do we look to Him or to man? There isn’t a scripture that points to a one-man leadership; instead there is only one head, and that is the Lord Jesus. Apostles are also not meant to be the sole leadership of a church, for they are foundational builders, not the head of a particular church.
“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues”1 Corinthians 12:28.
It is not a one-man leadership but it is through the apostle, prophet, and teacher team where they work together for a common purpose. It is a plurality of leadership, not one man. We see this throughout scripture even in the Old Testament as prophet, priest and king worked together.
Are we not His body? Do we not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us? If so then, why do we think that going to this particular building has the Holy Spirit dwelling in it?
Jesus met in various homes, as did His disciples. They didn’t have lush tapestries and carpets. They didn’t have a guest speaker that they paid money to fly them in to have a speaking engagement. They didn’t have a building fund or many of the other types of expenditures that many have in our churches (buildings) do today.
They also didn’t have the seminaries that we have today. For these men and women had been chosen by the Lord Jesus himself. They were appointed by the Spirit, and not by man. And yet these men and women were filled with so much power and wisdom that no one could refute them.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong”1 Corinthians 1:27.
What will happen when many of the beautiful churches and synagogues collapse? Will we still hold onto the same old structure, or will we look back to the original apostles and see how they laid their lives down for each other, breaking bread together, and sharing with others a common thread of leadership and servanthood?
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?