Understanding church and kingdom, part 1

the_kingdom_of_godProverbs 4:7 strongly encourages us to get an understanding in all that we do. And it can be said that much of our problems stem from a lack of understanding. Sometimes that understanding is because we just havent walked into yet, sometimes it is because we reject it when it comes. Thus, this post on understanding the Church and the Kingdom. I will try to keep it as simple as possible. Hopefully, it can clear up some misunderstandings you have had, if at all and consequently help you better understand certain situations and circumstances happening around us. Many times we question how can these things happen in the church? It is confusing and distressing. Why? Because we do not have a proper biblical perspective of church and kingdom.

There are a lot of religious people who are employing the word “kingdom” as a new buzzword of sorts. It gives the appearance that such people are in tune with God, but on closer examination some are simply playing a word shell game. To the unsuspecting, it can be a deadly one, both spiritually and naturally.

One very important distinction to remember is that Jesus said the kingdom of God ( per Romans 14:17 love, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost) is within you and eternal. Conversely, the kingdom of man (buildings, money, fame, positions, sexual desires) is external and temporal. Most people see the church as a building ( i.e. New Joy Church 1500 West Adams Street). A building can be called a church but it is not the church.  The reason is because buildings can be destroyed and/or used for altogether different purposes, even evil. Changing your thinking paradigm about the church versus a church will significantly enhance your ability to endure when the sinful excesses in the building conflict with the purity of the kingdom of God.

While the terms “church” and “kingdom” are generally used  interchangeably by people,  in scripture there are distinct differences in the two. Both are present expressions of The Lord Jesus Christ, yet one has not reached its perfection. (Eph 4:11-15).

Let’s deal with the kingdom first. In simple terms a kingdom is the domain or residence under authority of a king. When applied to God, David said it best in Psalms 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Thus it is clear that God’s kingdom comprises both heaven and earth. Heaven is under control, but earth is still in transition. As Jesus prayed:  “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

One theologian described the kingdom of God like this:

In today’s parlance the equivalent of the Kingdom of God would be something like the Presidency of God rather than the Nation-State of God; or the Episcopacy of God rather than the Diocese of God. This Divine Regime or Presidency which operates by gracious mercy (because of God’s love) and righteous justice (because of God’s holiness) is unlimited, eternal, spiritual, and sovereign over all. Since Christ came in grace and in the flesh and began His earthly ministry, the inward earnest of the Kingdom life became accessible as a present mediatory EXPERIENCE for whosoever believes in Christ. The full outward manifestation of the Kingdom is a future vindicatory EXPECTATION when Christ comes again in judgment (Eph 1:7-14).

The Kingdom (of God, of Heaven) are also used interchangeably in scripture. Jesus did in several places but there are differences that should be noted. Both the “kingdoms” are ruled by God. The main difference is time. The kingdom of God is within us now, while the kingdom of heaven has not yet come.   (Matthew 16:19,Luke 17:20,21)

The Kingdom of God is physically represented by the earthly Church of Christ (this is not the denomination of the same name).

The tale of two churches

As with many situations in the bible paradoxes exist and quite frankly appear to the undiscerning eye to be contradictory. Such is the case with what I will call the church triumphant and the church universal.

The church triumphant is triumphant (victorious) both now and forever. It has both corporate and individual applications. I take that from 1 Cor 2:14. The CT isnt defined as a denomination. Nor is it a nondenominational, interdenominational or independent religious body.  It is understood to be comprised of those out of every kindred and nation, every tongue and tribe, who have been washed in the blood of the lamb and whose names are written in the lamb’s book of life. The church triumphant has formed and is forming daily as the Lord adds to the church. It is the church which, according to Matthew 16:18, is indestructible, built on the Rock. It is this church-bride which will be presented in that day: pure, holy, blameless, faultless before the presence of God (Jude 24,25). While the church triumphant is universal, the church universal is not necessarily triumphant.

The church universal is universal because it worldwide in terms of its logistical placement and membership. Thus, it is comprised of those who are joined to the physical church of Christ. It is a consortium of the denominations, nondenominations, interdenominations, et al. The church universal includes the wheat and the tare, the hypocrite and the saint, the open homosexual and the downlow choir leader, the sheep and the goats. It is from this church which will come those who find out that their good works are useless because they feigned relationship with Christ or had none at all. They will discover that they will be rejected because they added or detracted from the words of the Lord causing others to be lost. The church universal is in essence a snapshot of the doctrine of inclusion pre-judgment day. All are included, but the day of separation has not come (see Matt 25:31-46).

The church has “membership” rolls and on any given Sunday whether  a person is redeemed or not, they can step out into the aisle, walk up front, shake the pastor’s hand and become a member. Even if they never confess Christ and are never born again and filled with the Spirit, they can remain “members” of the church. Even become “leaders”.

But not so in the kingdom of God.

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:9-11

The entrance requirements are set not by the will of man, but by God. Only those who are redeemed, washed in the blood of the Lamb and sanctified by the spirit of Christ will come in. There’s no hand to shake , no secretary to see, no new members class to attend, no St Peter at the gate, just a change of heart and lifestyle. That’s not the gospel of inclusion, its the gospel of exclusion. And its 100% the will of God.


26 thoughts on “Understanding church and kingdom, part 1

  1. Very good piece, gcmwatch. Lots of clarity.

    This may sound a bit anal, but I’ve always thought that it would be better to describe churches (the gathering of people inside four walls) as “congregations”, rather than “churches”, so as not to confuse the gathering of people with the actual Church.
    So instead of a place being known as “New Joy Church”, it would be called “New Joy Congregation” at 1500 West Adams street, to use your example. And it woudn’t be “Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church”, but rather “Mt. Zion A.M.E. Congregation”.
    I think in this way the correct definition of the word “Church” wouldn’t be misconstrued.
    I use the word “congregation” more often than I do “church” in both writing and in conversation, so as to consciously make a distinction between the two.

    That’s just me, though.

  2. Powerful Pastor Foster!! The church on the corner is not the body of believers. But the body of true believers are the true church. The Kingdom of Heaven (right now) is the Holy Spirit living inside of us. And when Jesus returns in all power the Kingdom of Heaven will be here on earth.

    Paul wrote to the Ephesians:

    Ephesians 5:25-27 (King James Version)

    25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

    27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    Now He was speaking to us husbands concerning loving our wife’s but he also gave us a powerful statement. The true church will be presented to Him as “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

    These churches here with homosexuals and false doctrine and false teachers are not God’s church, but a mere fake that will be dealt with and remove upon the return of Christ!! This is a powerful word, I might have to preach it lol

  3. Sound on the ground “teaching” I tell ya! I’m going to print this out for future reference to share with other’s. Thank you for this rich and insightful post. It truly blessed and uplifted my spirit in lieu of all that’s going on in the “universal church” (which unfortunately is what the “world” measures christianity by).

  4. Godly soldier, thats it. The world has no concept of the church as a triumphant organism and they judge it by what they see because they are unspiritual. But there are many who are just as unspiritually discerning in the pews who come to the same false conclusions about church and by extension God. That’s EXACTLY what we see being played out now with the EL situation.

    Thank you Angela, you make a great point. People getting together is congregating/congregation. Reference Hebrews 10:25. There exists no requirement to congregate in a “church building” the requirement is fellowship and that can take place where ever we sanctify for God (within reason).

    Brdavision, have at it! Preach it! Be in season and out cause it looks like we are definitely out of season right now.

  5. Amen, Pastor Foster!

    I’m looking forward to more from you on this subject. It is a great reminder that we are to be loyal to Jesus Christ alone. One can be deceived by some Pastors into thinking that their congregations are the Church when in reality some of these places have nothing to do with Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

    Thanks for such a straight forward, logical article.

  6. This is a good introduction but one thing stand out to me and has been a worry to me for nearly 30 years. Church Membership!

    This is merely a tool that the current church ueses to control and the people and with that the people’s resources!

    And this is one of the biggest problems facing the church, not The Body of Christ but the various institutions with ambitions of grandier to become world empires, with vast amounts of wealth, controlled by the favoured few who dictate to the sheeple how they should think, how highly the leadership should be held in the minds of the people, what decisions the people should make even if it is detrimental to the people themselves and their families as long as the church gets it desired wish!

  7. I have been following your blog for some months now. When I first started reading your articles I would say I decided to step cautiously because Christian culture had always said “Do not judge.” However, prior to stumbling into gcmwatch, something had occurred to me. It was that there was something terribly wrong in what is popularly referred to as the Body of Christ. With every week it has become clearer and clearer to me that something has indeed gone awry. It is not even that people lose their way and make bad choices. It is the very fact that there is almost a total absence of a “broken spirit and a contrite heart.”

    Today one of my facebook friends in Africa (I am African), made a statement in his status that he was 100% behind E.L regardless of whether or not he was guilty. A bevy of concurring opinions followed. I responded to the post with a position contrary to this pool of celebrity worshippers (sorry to say), though applauding his decision to love the Bishop through this, stating however, that we cannot afford to give a blind eye to debauchery in the church. I was taken aback by his response which was somewhat curt. He went on to say that he could back up his opinion with scripture (which I am sure he cannot) and he is sure I could too. The bottomline is that it was not open for discussion. It made me realise the times in which we live. People with whom we had fellowship in growing up will not give up their worship of big name preachers. I was thinking to myself. This guy has never been to E.L’s church but he would lay his life down for the man’s image to continue to come through the TV screen. Never mind the corrupting of the Word of God. Never mind those that would fall away from the faith due to the tarnished testimony of this guy.

  8. Brosi, thank you so much for reading and taking heed to the Word of the Lord for yourself. We are in the midst of a great crisis of identity in the church. The bride is a whore and we must call her back to cleanse herself with tears and repentance. A whore has no contriteness, only lust to lust. That is the spirit of the enemy who is seated in powerful places in the church. But we must raise our voices in prayer and lift our swords with passion and declare the glory of God, his rule and his reign.
    Too many are hesitant to confront brothers and sisters in error because they have weilded effective weapons of silence and intimidation. But do not be afraid to declare the Lord’s counsel. If they turn away from you, count yourself blessed that you did not deny his name.

    For you and any others who feel like you:
    I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
    Rev 3:8

  9. @servant man

    The idea of church membership has been on my heart for some time, along with what some call having a “church home.” I have a much younger teen brother who sings and one Sunday he was invited to a church to sing at their morning service. When he came back to my then church for an evening service, one of the youth leaders told him to “make his home church first priority.” My brother DID make his church a priority–the body of Christ that is!

    Anyway, I cannot for the life of me see the purpose of having an official church member roll. As far as I’m concerned my membership began when I repented and became a child of God, not when I stood in front of a church to “join” it. This confuses people and one of the reasons why the above post is so on point.

    This isn’t to say I don’t understand the practicality in keeping some kind of record of who comes and goes, only that I don’t agree with what it has become.

    The cliche “home is where the heart is so applicable here!

  10. @servant man and @Alexia

    Of late, I have been doing extensive study on the history of the Christian “church”. The etymology of the word is quite interesting; King James was quite an interesting character. I have also found that most of what is done in institutional churches comes from man-made traditions that started with Constantine around 320 A.D. The emblems of churches, where the “spectators” sit, the worship leader, the pastor, the ushers, the “taking” of an offering (oxymoron), etc., all stem from the traditions of men. And we know what the traditions of men do for God’s word.

    I am finding it harder and harder to attend church “services”. I watched the video clip of the audience of EL’s church cheer for him when he was making his non-statement before them. They acted like he was God instead of a mere human being! It made me sick, quite frankly, only because I use to attend a similar church, and I was just like those poor souls who blindly follow the leader without question.

    I am seeking God on how His church ought to function. It appears to me that the church is an organism and not an organization. Organizations have a tendency to forget that real people are involved. The church of Jesus Christ is, as the saying goes, alive and well and living in the suburbs (and many other places), but the church as an organization today is quite a pitiful sight.

    Traditional churches hire a pastor to tell them what to do, and because he is hired, he has no interest in telling the people anything of real substance for fear of getting fired from his job as a hireling.

    Some men start their own modern churches, then dictate to God’s people what they can and cannot do. They make up all sorts of heretical doctrines and twist scriptures to justify their teaching. “Members” are told not to question those in authority, just be obedient. I dare say that this whole structure is problematic. Church leaders disobey scripture that admonishes them not to lord over the people.

    I could go on, but I just wanted to let you know that what you are feeling about church is something to seriously seek God about. I believe God is speaking to those who have a heart and desire to know him intimately and proclaim him unashamedly, not just go through the motions of traditional churchianity.

    To the author, thank you for the article. It has encouraged me to study more. I do apologize for the rant.

  11. I am finding it harder and harder to attend church “services”. I watched the video clip of the audience of EL’s church cheer for him when he was making his non-statement before them. They acted like he was God instead of a mere human being! It made me sick, quite frankly, only because I use to attend a similar church, and I was just like those poor souls who blindly follow the leader without question.

    Jsnazzi, you hit it. The man made functions of the church has led it into man worship. I have been in churches where if you ask people to praise Jesus you will get a tepid response at best, but when the “passa” and first lady walk in, they cheer like someone just told them they were getting a million dollars. Frankly its embarrassing, insulting to Christ and disgusting to behold.

    Like you, I hate going in and being subjected to all the stuff that has overcast the worship of the true God.

    Too many churches remind me of clubs I used to attend. The language, the dancing, the music, the attitude (church divas and playas). Christ seems to be more of a prop when useful which is squeezed somewhere in between all the taking offerings, extended music remixes and all the incessant announcements about plays, parties, programs,dinners,picnics, cruises, ceremonies, celebrations, balls, breakfastes, outings, rallies, ad naseum.

    Thanks for that history lesson. We need to know because we have wandered far off the old path of worship and devotion to the true and living God.

    That’s why I no longer recommend “church” to struggling people. I only recommend Jesus. I dont know what kind of conundrum of insanity they will be subjected to in church, but my recommendation of Jesus comes with 20 years of faithful experience with him and a 100% guaruntee in the faithfulness of God to perform as he has so spoken in the scriptures.

  12. @jsnazzi-wow thank you for that information. And Pastor Foster you are sooooo right. You say “Praise the Lord!!” in church and you might get a small amount of people to say it back. But let a prophet or guest speaker come in and omgosh they lose their minds!

    Two years ago I taught the Morning Sunday School class in front of the whole Church of God in Christ Texas Southwest Jurisdiction! (that’s like thousands of people) I got some of the kids to publicly declare that they would Give their lives to Christ, and the church folk just sat there looking at me like I was lost.

    Later during the service Pastor Derick Hutchins came in and said: “I see the bishops, and the Elders, and the missionaries, but where is the praise section?” When he said that the whole auditorium went into a frenize!

    I’m sitting in my seat like wow! All these young people have given their lives to Christ and they couldn’t even say amen?!?! Let’s just say I was frustrated….

  13. Also I would like to say that there are some churches that are in accordance to the Word of God. Not all Churches are bad. But as far as deliverance and salvation, yeah no church can provide that Only Jesus!!! Man I feel like preaching….. lol There’s a God somewhere….lol Touch ya Neighbor and say Jesus….lol let me stop…….

  14. This is a long one
    Being born, raised and saved in COGIC, I have seen a fair few things, some of which leave a most foul taste in my mouth and I have also been on the end of some of the most brutal behaviour from so-called Christians. Some of the things I have seen and can prove
    1. A deacon in the church was known for his involvement with witchcraft, not just rebellion to God’s Truth but the actual invoking of the spirit of the dead to interfere with folk and consulting with ‘obeah’ practitioners to hurt people especially those that he didn’t like, those who went against him or those he felt threatened by. Although people knew of his sin and it was clear that he wasn’t right, his involvement in the dark arts was overlooked because he helped to buy the building and was one of the founding members of that particular COGIC church. He was the deacon who would pray on the single women in the church to exploit them in whatever way suited him but he would then tell people that he would pray about whatever he has done and that God had to forgive him. Not only that but he encouraged, yes encouraged people to have liberal sexual relations but told them after they had sinned, they must go to God and ask for forgiveness. Needless to say that this deacon died like a pig (squealing) and confessed on his death bed about all the people he had messed with, including some who have had mental issues as a consequence of his sin.
    2. A gay minister, who brought his partner to the church as an alleged new convert that he had met, but this was a rouse to hide his sin. The pastor then suggested to a sister in the church that she should marry this gay man (convince her it was The Lord’s doing), with the hope that the minister and his partner both being gay could continue the relationship undercover because both were seen as married. Suffice to say, that the week before the wedding, this gay man told the intended victim, that he didn’t love her and that his only love was the minister, not God but the minister. And when the minister should have been dealt with, his mother covered up the truth and persecuted anyone who dare speak out against her son.  
    3. It was well known that ministers were taking inordinate amounts of money out of the church to pay for all manner of expenses, whether it be mistresses, offshore accounts, private business, share options, second, third and forth  properties. One minister took money and his justification for this was, I need to build on my house, just in case my brethren come there and need space to be comfortable.  
    4. Some ministers would pay for their wives (1st ladies) excessive shopping habits out of the church funds, as one woman put it, “I asked my husband could I touch the (church) credit card? And he told me I could, and so I just spend, spend, spend because I love to shop. I never go to convention with an outfit that I have worn previously. I just love all those new outfits that I have to wear to convention or to take to assembly! ” When challenged on this ungodly behaviour, it was said it was their right to take what the people toiled and sweat for because it was their blessing to enjoy and that it was a perk of the office. Folk who didn’t like what they did and vocalised the displeasure, were threatened that you would be discredited, destroyed and that folk would find a way to make sure that no one believes your testimony, so you had better shut up.
    5. I recall an event that to this day it causes my stomach to reverberate. There was a day when certain members were being honoured for being in the church for a certain number of years, strangely only those from certain families. Many of whom were being honoured didn’t demonstrate an ounce of Christ like behaviour but were folk who stayed in the church because they liked the culture and flava of the church (the singing, the charismatic worship, and the asthmatic preaching that uses politics to appeal to the black community) but lived as if God wasn’t real. However the policy of finance was circumvented to take thousands upon thousands of pounds out of the treasury to buy their favourites gifts, while the truly faithful, who worked in the office, do home visits, did mission, taught the children, took care of the widows and orphans were told “don’t be jealous because you are not being blessed, this is about our people who we like being looked after.” One of the genuine members of the church who I can testify of their true faith and integrity, they worked hard and was faithful in service for over 10 years but as they didn’t come from one of the principle families within the church was not considered worthy of honour, this member complained about what was done was unjust and not appropriate. The response to her compliant was, “Shut your mouth or you will get licked down! We are honouring our faithful, whether you consider them faithful or not, they have been here for years and we think it is right to honour them and if you don’t like, keep your mouth shut because this doesn’t concern you!”
    6. However the worst financial issues were around ministers using their status to manipulate the church. Often there was an insistence that the members use the businesses that the church or its ministers had, claiming that such was advancing The Kingdom. People were told that they would be cursed if they used business outside of the church when their pastor had the same business. Other scenarios were when ministers knew when members came into money and they were targeted for financial exploitation. One sister after receiving her divorce settlement, was told “If you love your pastor, you will give him that settlement to invest for you, because when you sow that seed, God was going to supernaturally increase  it and cause it to multiply.” She handed over the money and when she asked for it back, was told that no money was owed to her, even though she had a receipt to prove that the money had been handed over.  
    7. There was a situation where the pastor of the church asked a member to commission a project. The member followed the pastor’s instructions but then the pastor tried to influence key elements of the project. The longs and shorts of it was that the member who did nothing wrong was accused of trying to do a private deal with the contractor to make money on the side, when it was the pastor who was complicit to the fact (I am not guessing or making this up, I have seen the paperwork). The member complained that they had not done anything such wrong and had the evidence to prove it, however the member was brought before a disciplinary committee (The Ministry) for a beat down and a “you had better not expose us and we will not allow an accusation against an Elder!” During this disciplinary the member stated that they had an audit trail to prove such. The member was told that the church does not believe in proving what is true or investigating matters where a minister’s word is challenged. This member stated that the pastor had been informed as to all of the events but the pastor said he knew nothing of the events and even stated that the member was dishonest. Here is the shocker, when the member was bought before the church for that member to be publicly disgraced, the same pastor stated that the member claimed to have evidence about the matter but that if anyone in the church dares to check the evidence (audit trail) that this member had or conversed with the disgraced member that they too would be disciplined. For proving what is true? Yes disciplined for proving what was true! The pastor’s rationale was that the members had to believe whatever The Ministry had told them, to the point that members were held against their wishes until they pledge allegiance to go along with the lie. And I quote, “We are not leaving here until you tell us that you agree!”
    8. A youth pastor (married man) was having an affair with the choir director (single female) and they did their best to cover this affair. Someone found out about the affair and this couple feared that their secret may become public knowledge. So they hatched a plan to accuse a brother of gossiping about them, to deflect attention away from the real issue. They deliberately chose the one person in the church (quite and unassuming) knowing that the brother would not be believed and so the suggestion was that the brother was trying to destroy the ministries of these two highly charismatic and popular members of the church and that he needed to be dealt with as hurt had been deeply impacting. The brother didn’t stand a chance and he was summarily kicked out of the church, his name was blackened throughout the COGIC community where he resided, told that he was hated and that the church would rejoice when they hear of the news that he has gone mental and lost his mind. I watched minister jumping for joy at the prospect of the destruction of another’s life and I was sick at the very thought that people were sitting in anticipation at the prospect of someone’s mind failing. I was appalled beyond repulsed. However 12 years later, after 3 abortions and on her 4th pregnancy for the youth pastor, the choir director confessed to the years of sin. The choir director wanted to keep the child as she was told that if she had another abortion she would never be able to have children in the future, so she kept the child. For her sin, the choir director too was driven away from the church because the youth pastor who had been elevated to church evangelist therefore his reputation was considered more important than truth or justice. And the brother who was driven away, falsely accused and publicly disgraced, didn’t lose his mind as was predicted, but I have heard his testimony as to the pain that he had to deal with but he has never been issued with any sort of apology for the wrong done to him. And The Bible teaches us to submit one to another!
    9. A minister was of the opinion that the church has a right intervene in people’s private lives. A bother bought a new car and the first Sunday he drove the car to church, the sermon went something like, “You buy a new car and you didn’t ask the parson. Who dare you to buy a car without the parson’s permission? You should have consulted us to make sure that the car meets our needs, therefore thieves are going to break into your car and steal it and then you will know not to do anything without our permission.” A sister bought a house and she did not ask the church if could she could proceed with this purchase, the sermon went something like, “You know that it is the tradition of this church that whenever you buy a house, that you must ask our permission because we need to know where you live and whether your house fits the needs of the people! We are going to watch your house burn down because you buy a house without our say so! You house is going to burn down because it hasn’t been blessed by us!” People were told who to marry or who not to marry and even when people had made plans to marry, if the pastor didn’t approve, the church would break up the engagement. When in a situation where the wife was being beaten by one of the church’s popular sons’ the wife was told to keep quiet and never to expose her husband and if she did so it would be a sign of her wickedness for which there was no repentance. She either shut her mouth
    10. One Christmas day, the pastor in his sermon, told the congregation, “You see this church, it is my ship and if you don’t go the way that the captain says that you should go, then get off of my ship. I am the key holder and if you don’t do as I say, then get off of my ship!” Simply because some of the members had been questioning some of his teachings, that were clearly not biblical, such as “when a woman is on her cycle, she is not fit to touch me because I am too holy for that and she is not allowed near my righteousness, not even to touching my bible!”
    And I could go on and on and that is just in one area that I know of. And this is not some independent cult or some break away one man show (many of which are a more accurate reflection of the church), I am talking COGIC, with it pyramid system of leadership and its dignitaries that are all about the top down view, a church that is proud about its heritage, loves to boast about its involvement with civil rights and never stops telling the world about how Charles Mason was one of the pioneer of the modern church but yet, has many ministers that don’t do justice to the title of Servant of Jehovah, The True and Living God.
    I do have a very strong view on God’s Truth (having studied with the Rabbins rather than go to seminary), I recognise that the church today is as different as black is from white (the reflection and reception of light is what distinguishes them…………………) as The Church that Jesus said he would build, in truth the church the institution has become somewhat of stink both on the nose of Jehovah and in the nose of people (in and outside of the church)

  15. GCM, YOU hit it this morning in your summation of what “church” has become. It’s become a glorified show (however tasteless) where Jesus is but a pathetic after-thought, if any, at all in these assemblies.

    The time for man-worship and [sub-par] music talent is over!

    brdavision, what you mentioned at that event is but a reflection of the heart of the people–conditioned by those “in charge” to reactin such a manner. They will be judged accordingly.

  16. Ken, your story is quite astounding.

    Frankly, for any church/organization, or whatever the heck you want to call this, to do such a thing needs to be torched and burned to the ground!

  17. These things sadly have become ‘the norm’ because the broad way and the wide gate fraternity rule, as I was told, “scandals have always been in the church but the fact that we are still here says something. There are so many things that go on that most people never find out about, so what is the big deal with the odd scandal or two?”

    This careless and lax attitude is a reason why the traditions are making the preaching ineffective, as one person says, the Sun melts ice but hardens soil – same sun but dependant on the character and nature of the heart, The Word has differing impacts!

  18. @N’Catina-you’re right it is a reflection….A heart that is away from God and fasten onto man. It’s really quite sad….

  19. This article came at the right time, recently I’ve been hearing people saying that God is no longer using the church to save people, and that if your in the church get out, to avoid facing God’s judgement. Is there any truth to this? can somebody give me some clarity?

  20. Rac, to be clear Im not saying “God is no longer using the church to save people”. Im not sure I agree with the statement because its problematic to say that God is not doing something anymore. Too much finality in that.

    What we are saying is that the church is not Christ and a building is not the cross. We should never forget that it is faith in him which saves, not church attendance, not walking down the aisle, not paying tithes, not anything else.

    I am also not advocating mass exodus out of church buildings. I am saying that those who are faithful to God should reconsider sitting quietly while demons, wolves and false prophets crow in the church and devastate the flock. Either get up and speak out or leave (and take your money with you).

  21. Rac: God will never stop using his people aka, the church, to do perform acts of reconciliation. We are ambassadors and as such we are commissioned to introduce others to the King.
    However, the sign of Ichabod can be on some congregations for their adamant refusal to acknowledge the reign and rule of God.
    Churches can go apostate by their continued refusal to submit to the rule of the Word of God and by compromising Biblical principles so as to be more in line with the whims of the world.
    Just because a building says church or fellowship or assembly or congregation or any other name, does not, ipso facto, mean that they are kingdom dwellers according to Biblical principles.
    As we can discern with the different “churches” in the Book of
    Revelation, Jesus has to discipline and correct a large spectrum
    of behavior that was not in synch with his principles.
    Unless pastors and elders are willing to make bold decisions to
    follow the written word, compromise is every at the door beckoning the people with its baubles and trinkets.
    Just Say No is more than a Nike ad slogan!
    Of course if your church is in flagrant sin and refuses to repent, leave and go elsewhere.
    If your church is lukewarm, stay and fight the good fight of faith and contend for the faith and be an example so that others will not falter.
    Mature Christians can withstand a little scorching at their fellowship if they are the butt of ridicule for their stance on righteousness and faith issues.
    So what? They spoke of the prophets and apostles worse than that so why can you not take a little rubbing for the sake of the kingdom?

  22. Thank you for the clarity, I think the group of people who have been making these claims are a cult. I live in NYC and they come on the train and preach the gospel, (which I think is incredible) but many of them have made reference to the fact the Chruch is in judgement and that God is no longer using the Church to save people, and that if you are in the Church, get out or you will face God’s judgement. The reason why I gave any credibility to their claims was because everything else they preached was on the money.

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