To many, it seems that the church is not fulfilling its purpose. The reason Christians are leaving many church organizations is because there is no scriptural way provided by which they may grow to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, which is spoken of in the Scripture. Yet, the Bible plainly lays out the way. The churches, in many cases, prefer man-made ways to the Bible. That means that those who hunger for a deeper walk with God are not fed. The ones who do see a vision for higher heights and deeper depths often feel that their church is not seeing that vision or is trying to use man-made methods to attain the goal. For many organizations, there is not even any sense that there are higher heights and deeper depths. The Christians who desire a deeper walk either give up attending or fall prey to neo-paganism, a la The Da Vinci Code. Had they been allowed to partake of real spiritual meat, they would never have been tempted toward the occult. And the pattern in Scripture is very plain and simple. A man, though he were a fool, would not err therein.
Churches can become spiritually dead. Many have fallen into this spiritual deadness.
Are churches commercial institutions rather than institutions of faith?
Unfortunately, it is true that some churches are merely commercial institutions. The denominational system is prophetically the great Babylon of confusion.
God has been restoring the Church since the great falling away that brought on the dark ages when the Church began to change the orders that God had established.
The Church government was a theocracy. Christ ruled over the Church. Every service was led by the Holy Spirit. Apostles were appointed by the indication of the Holy Spirit to the existing apostles. Elders and deacons were appointed by the indication of the Holy Spirit to the apostles. Every member had a ministry and was a ministry. It was understood that the ministry was Christ in them, and was distinct and separate from the fleshly nature. Every ministry was set in place by prophecy and the laying on of hands of the presbytery. Paul mentions that he was part of the presbytery that set Timothy into his ministry. Timothy was a traveling deacon, an apostle. Paul was a traveling elder, an apostle who directed the work of traveling deacons such as Timothy and Titus. There was no chief elder in the local Churches, nor was there a salary for local elders. Paul mentioned the order that a local elder receives a double-measure of honor. In another place, Paul mentions that he, as a traveling elder is entitled to his living, though he would never take it.
These are just a few examples of the Church that God built. How different it is today!
By the second century, the Church had changed drastically. The elders were also called bishops, meaning overseers. They changed that and made the bishop kind of a chief elder. Then they gave the bishop a salary. Later, they became priests. And the traveling elders stopped traveling and took over cities. Finally, the Roman bishop grew in power and eventually became the Pope. Later, the Pope claimed to be infallible, something the original apostles never claimed. In fact, the Bible tells of their fallibility. The Church became a worldly government that was corrupt in many ways. Eventually, they ended up selling salvation for money and murdering any who opposed them.
Then, God began to restore. Hess, Luther, Zwingli, the Wesleys, and more. The move of the Spirit at the end of the 19th Century restoring the infilling of the holy Spirit. The move of the Spirit in 1948.
With every move of God, counterfeits also grew up like the tares in the parable that Jesus told.
From each move ended up going through a process and spawning denominations, divisions in the Church. The process is as follows. God gave a revelation. A person or several persons received the revelation and rejoiced. They became fearful that something would happen to the revelation and set up barriers to keep it from being distorted or defiled. There human-engineered methods did not allow the Holy Spirit to lead them any further. They got stuck. Refusing to follow the Holy Spirit is very serious, and the Holy Spirit lifted. Before several decades had passed, they no longer served Christ but followed the doctrine that came out of the revelation. Then, the organization grew and became a business. Eventually, the people followed the organization and the organization existed to bring more people into it and to bring more money into it.
So God is restoring. Each move of God restored something. God is still restoring the pattern of Scripture, and many Christian brothers and sisters oppose God's restoration. There are many counterfeits, some of which still have born-again believers in them and some of which are totally dead. In addition, there are many of the denominations that came out of genuine moves of God which are fighting to keep their doctrine pure. As part of the effort to keep themselves pure, these groups have sub-divided repeatedly. So, now you can find many denominations that have forgotten about even how to be born again. They are just businesses. Many have gone to a social gospel of human-generated works. They are more Secular Humanist than Christian. We are indeed looking at the great Babylon of the Book of Revelation. The Holy Spirit is calling, "Come out, come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sins."
Yet, God is working with a remnant. Yes. There are counterfeit apostles, but the true unity of the headship of the Church has been restored in a remnant. It is a glorious day in which to live. May the Saints keep pressing toward the mark. Amen!
Last updated: Sep, 2011
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