Before we can see the next move of God we will have to surrender our Idols. Most Christians in the 21st century say they understand the word of God but with their mouth the defile His House on a daily basis. The main problem is that we have been doing it for so long that is has now become a part of our regular speech. So with the same mouth that we worship Him, we also celebrate our prideful idols. Nowhere can this be better illustrated than with the carnal Christians demonic fascination today with church buildings. This is what the Lord says; Acts 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. NKJV What breaks my heart the most is that mature leaders perpetuate the idolatrous ignorance. Have you ever heard things like?
Church Building Idolatry
1. I am going to church– Really…YOU are the church- you mean you are going to a building!
2. His presence is in this place- Not unless you or another Christian spent the night there last night!
3. The pulpit is a sacred thing – No, at best it’s a piece of wood or Plexiglas I had a call from one of my spiritual daughters today telling me one of the young ministers she is discipling was taught that he could not get near the pulpit in his “home church”. How “good” do you have to be to draw near to wood?
4. Come to front of the Altar– No it’s the front area of a building- no more Glory there than in the bathrooms unless you are in it.
5. The Podium is the Holy of Holies only ordained clergy can sit up there. Well first you have to explain to God when you see Him what an ordained clergy is because in the New Testament there is no such thing. All really born again Christians are ministers and there is no hierarchy in God.
I will never forget one of the mature deaconesses in our congregation who came from a very legalistic Hispanic church culture taping this verse below to the entrance. Needless to say it never had the intended effect!
Hab 2:20 “The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.“ NKJV
6. Finally, the most popular has to be calling the building where we meet God’s House. The Bible says;
1 Cor 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Cor 3:17 For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,
2 Cor 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them.
I know I can hear you already, “I know these things, I say them but God knows my heart I am not trying to be Idolatrous. It’s just the way we talk today.” When we ascribe spiritual attributes to concrete, wood and steel we are profaning that which is the Real Thing. Also, this type of talk continues to perpetuate the life of the on and off Christian. We help them live the life of hypocrites in the building and act like something else when they are away. God is building a building. It’s called His church. We are the church that He is building. He is the chief cornerstone and all the divided ones will have to align to Him. He is not going to align with them. When God speaks of unity of His Body he is not only talking about how those in your particular congregation get along but He sees His One Church. That means no names, no denominations, no buildings and no little kingdoms. Please don’t offend the Lord by telling Him where your church membership is at. He will not know what you are talking about!
Eph 2:19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Eph 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
It is human nature to want to see something but what is the difference between any other religion that puts food before their Gods to appease him and what we do Sunday after Sunday. Does God need a service or a (Culto) in Spanish? Did His Son not say it is finished? Is your God an idol that needs you to light a candle? Or maybe He needs our performance to treat us nice the rest of the week? Don’t we stand before Him righteous because of what Christ did or do we need to add something to His Son’s perfect sacrifice?
7. We are building this building to God’s Glory! So tell me preacher how does that mega-building bring Glory to our God? Isn’t that what you said when you were begging for the funds to build it? Why weren’t you honest and confessed to us that the only way we could attract the masses of shallow Christians in this generation was to build something they could be proud of (An Arrogant Spirit of Pride & Elitism) and with all the comforts of the modern world. God forbid we only give them folding chairs so we can send the other money to help struggling congregations overseas. We better get used to no buildings because I hear that for all Eternity there will be no need for fake sounds, fake lights, fake smoke, fake smells, fake costumes and generally the fake atmosphere. While we are here we better learn how to take His presence wherever our feet take us because when you shake Christianity free of all the rituals and the idols this is all that will remain.
Rev 21:22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. NKJV
For the Record China cries for us and so do the rest of the developing nations. American Christianity is today considered the lowest and most the unholy. It wasn’t always this way people! If it wasn’t for the money we can send overseas they simply would have no time for us. Let’s get with our Lord, repent of our wicked way and seek Him without all the Pomp and Circumstance.
Hear my heart please!
We don’t need another building. We don’t need another monument to our divisiveness, self-centeredness, greed and failure to work out our disagreements in love. We need to be One before a watching needy world.
I challenge you my brethren in Christ to be careful what you say and how you say it. We all want to see revival, reformation, transformation and/or a revolution in His Church but we will not accomplish this until every believer understands that Christ in us is the hope of Glory. Creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God not the construction of yet another building.
May the Holy Spirit rebuke us every time we say or do something religious and may we instead choose to be built up in Him!
2 Cor 3:3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Listen to me dear preacher. Having a building will not authenticate and affirm your ministry. Your calling and anointing will make a way for you! Do not succumb to the people’s whine and build another golden calf. God called you to bring the people back not to be moved by their fleshly wants. There is another way! It’s Gods way!
I do not judge you. I pray that as the Good Lord was patient with me He would also be with you. For those of you who know better, Remember! Every Word will be judged on the Day.
Special Thanks to Dave Yuebanks for the Church History below:
Christians did not engage in the practice of building temples because such was unanimously considered idolatry; the very practice of pagans. This is 100% documented fact! The following quotations are excerpts from early Christian writings:
“The Word, prohibiting all sacrifices and the building of temples, indicates that the Almighty is not contained in anything.” – Clement of Alexandria (195 A.D.)
“We refuse to build lifeless temples to the Giver of all life… Our bodies are the temple of God. If anyone defiles the temple of God by lust or sin, he will himself be destroyed for acting impiously towards the true temple. Of all the temples spoken of in this sense, the best and most excellent was the pure and holy body of our Savior Jesus Christ… He said to them, ‘destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it again. This He said of the temple of His body.’… When they reproach us for not deeming it necessary to worship the divine Being by raising lifeless temples, we set before them our temples.” (meaning, of course, the “temple” of their bodies) – Origen (248 A.D.)
“You mistakenly think we conceal what we worship since we have no temples or altars. Yet how can anyone make an image of God? Man himself is the image of God. How can anyone build a temple to Him, when the whole world can’t contain Him? Even I, a mere human, travel far and wide. So how can anyone shut up the majesty of so great a Person within one small building? Isn’t it better for Him to be dedicated in our minds and consecrated in our innermost hearts – rather than in a building?” – Mark Felix in “Octavius” (2nd Century A.D.)
“You say that we build no temples [to the gods] and do not worship their images… Well, what greater honor or dignity could we ascribe to them than that we put them in the same position as the Head and Lord of the universe! …Do we honor Him with shrines and by building temples?” – Arnobius (305 A.D.)
“It remains for me to tell you about the temple, how these wretched men who had been deceived put their trust in the building, as though it were God’s house, and not in God who made them. For almost like the gentiles they ‘made him holy’ in the temple. But know what the Lord said in nullifying the temple: ‘Who has measured the sky with a span, or the land with his hand? Haven’t I?,’ says Yahweh. ‘The sky is my throne and the land is the footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build for me? Or what will be my resting place?’ Know that their hope is worthless… Now let’s ask whether there is any temple of God. There is, in the place where he himself declares to make and complete it. For it is written, ‘And it will happen, when the week is complete, that God’s temple will be built gloriously in the name of Yahweh.’ Therefore, I find that there is a temple. So how will it be built in the name of Yahweh? Know that before we trusted in God, the dwellings of our hearts were corrupt and weak, like ‘a temple truly built by hands.’ For it was full of idolatry and was a house of spirit beings, because we did whatever was opposed to God. But it will be built in the name of Yahweh. So pay attention that the temple of Yahweh will be built gloriously, and know by what means that will be. In receiving the forgiveness of our sins and trusting in the name of the Lord we became new, created again, as from the beginning. For this reason God lives truly in our houses within us. How? The message of his trust, the calling of his promise, the wisdom of the tenets, the precepts of the teaching, he himself prophesies in us, he himself lives in us, opening the door of the temple for us who had been in bondage to death. This is the mouth of wisdom, having given us repentance, leading us to the incorruptible temple… This is the spiritual temple of the Lord.” – The Letter of Barnabas; Chapter 16 (96-100 A.D.)
“(You) being stones of the temple of the Father, prepared for the building of God the Father, and drawn up on high by the instrument of Jesus Christ, which is the cross, making use of the Holy Spirit as a rope, while your faith was the means by which you ascended, and your love the way which led up to God. Ye, therefore, as well as all your fellow-travelers, are God-bearers, temple-bearers, Christ-bearers, bearers of holiness, adorned in all respects with the commandments of Jesus Christ, in whom also I exult that I have been thought worthy, by means of this Epistle, to converse and rejoice with you, because with respect to your Christian life ye love nothing but God only.” – The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians; Chapter 9 (30-107 A.D.).
“Let us therefore do all things as those who have Him dwelling in us, that we may be His temples, and He may be in us as our God, which indeed He is, and will manifest Himself before our faces. Wherefore we justly love Him.” – The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians; Chapter 15 (30-107 A.D.).
“Rusticus, the perfect, said, ‘Where do you assemble?’ Justin Martyr replied, ‘Where each one chooses and is able. Do you imagine that we all meet in the very same place?’” – Martyrdom of the Holy Martyrs (160 A.D.)
“We assemble together with the same quietness with which we live as individuals.” – Mark Minucius Felix (200 A.D.)
“For where there are three persons – even if they are laity – there is a church.” – Tertullian (212 A.D.)
[Pagan Antagonist:] “They [the Christians] despise the temples as dead houses… They laugh at sacred things.” – Mark Minucius Felix (200 A.D.) NOTE: Felix was a Roman lawyer that converted to Christianity and wrote one of the finest apologies of early Christianity in the form of a dialogue between a Christian and a pagan; hence, this quote is intended to be a pagan’s expressed agitation with the Christian’s perspective on things.
Thanks to the influence of the Greeks and the Romans (and eventually the Roman Catholic Church), we now have church buildings and they have become so adopted as a part of our religious culture that we actually have deceived ourselves to think they are necessary and biblical. We falsely presume that true spiritual growth and fellowship cannot transpire without one of these “churches.” We even end up presuming that our religiously dedicated “church” buildings and programs are equivalent to the Church Christ shed His blood for! In fact, we treat both as one and the same!
I cannot tell you the times I’ve heard preachers and pastors remark how that (they say) “many people today claim Christ and yet do not even attend church even though Jesus Christ purchased it with his own blood!” Do you see the confusion in that concept; the mixing of attendance to a religious building and/or meeting with the spiritual idea of the body of Christ? To the religious church-goer, both are essentially the same thing; if you don’t attend religious meetings at a physical “church building” then you are somehow rejecting (or at least minimalizing) the Church that Jesus gave His life for! Essentially, you have preachers and pastors who are telling people that Jesus shed His blood for a religious organization and a man made building! This is an amazing deception! We might ask ourselves, “if the early ecclesia thrived and spread like wild fire throughout the world without church buildings and programs, how is it we have come to believe that we can now do nothing without them?”
Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) says, “There is no clear instance of its (ecclesia) being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning.”
Ecclesia, by stark contrast, bears no connotation whatsoever of an earthy building, temple or shrine. In the 16th Century, men of God like William Tyndale (Greek scholar and translator of the first printed English Bible) knew it and did not translate “ekklesia” as “church”… They (the religious leaders of his day) called him a heretic and burned him at the stake all because he translated the Scriptures straight from Greek and Hebrew into terms that more closely identified with their original meanings.
Jose is considered a resource and a spiritual father to many leaders in the city and in the 54 nations where the Lord has sent him to serve. Originally born in Cuba, Jose has resided in Jacksonville since 1966.
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