of the Word "church"
By Andy Zoppelt
This all has come about because we understand ekklesia to be a building and therefore we conduct all our affairs in a building.
Division has become a way of life for us. Competition and church growth has put a wedge between the people of the Lord in our cities.
What does the bible say about our apostles and pastors today?
Jude 17-19, "But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, 'In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.' These are the men who divide you [who are the men who are dividing us in these last days?], who follow mere natural instincts [success, dynamic messages, enticing words of men’s wisdom, worldly programs, etc.] and do not have the Spirit." NIV
To our leader Paul says, "…. take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves [the building and numbering of people around men and not the head]. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:28-31, NKJ)
A savage wolf will tear the carcass apart, that is what we see today: the body being tore apart.
We as believers are commanded: “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:3)
We are to “ Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned .” (Titus 3:10-11)
Paul’s apostolic word for us today, “Now I beseech (urge) you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned [they learned unity Jn 17]; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ [his concerns], but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches [good sermons] deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom 16:17,18)
How do they deceive us - with “good words” and “fair speeches”? Just look at what divides us; it is men with good teachings who are capable of holding us to their apron strings.
How can one preach the scripture while ignoring Jesus, His apostles and the scriptures? Leadership has divided us and we have rallied around them.
“Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ (Jn 17) does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [it make no difference how good it sounds], do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (II Jn 1:8-11)
These are very strong words; I am not suggesting we mark all leaders. I think many are sincere and are trying their best to do God’s will. I just believe a cloak has been thrown over all of our eyes and we are all to blame… especially me! It is only now many are seeing the scriptures without men’s interpretations and translations. The cloak is being removed and God is working in many of the third world nations in power and in the reality of the body. It is now time for us to discuss these issues and pray and go from here.
“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions (no denomination, no networks, no non-denominations…no divisions) among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul ,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’ Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor 1:10-13)
Paul uses the strongest exhortation through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ… there can be no stronger exhortation. Where do we stand?
The doctrine and teaching of Christ :
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21)
I never heard of the Jesus denomination or the Father denomination…. Did you? It is because the Father and the Son are one… let’s dare to be one as they are one!
It is sad that the people who divide us the most are our leaders; they have the most to lose by unity. They are the ones we have trusted. God is shaking and when He is done, what is at the top will come down and what is at the bottom will come up.
If we continue to mistranslate ekklesia as a building, we are forced to use programs, buildings, offices and men excursive authority over other men. Let’s get back to Jesus and His body. Let’s get back to unity and body ministry. Let those who are leaders, lead the people into their ministry to one another and rescue the millions who are falling through the cracks. Let us stop the competition and in infighting. Let us go on to maturity and become like Jesus.
God bless you
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