COMPETING AGAINST THE LORD: “Churches” versus the Kingdom

         The Lord Jesus created one Church. It signifies the one Community of the Lord Jesus on the earth, composed of every real Christian. The word “church” is derived from the Greek Ekklesia and the Hebrew Qahal. The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is, of course, a spiritual kingdom. It has one King—the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the First and Last—YeHoshua HaMashiach.

        The moment a religious chartered institution, including an individual local “church,” is formally formed, it becomes a competing entity to the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. It creates a clergy-based leadership team almost always consisting of one man at the top of the pyramid who has been invested with the ultimate power to do whatever he deems appropriate within the bylaws. He usually has a church board, an elder staff, or a small committee of some sort that shares his power in a sense, but most of these are mere sycophants, or yes-man boards who do little more than support him, not much different at all from the way a pack of wolves will honor a single alpha male as pack leader and submit to him completely.

         When a man is invested with such power he is bound to fail the Lord’s commission, lead his people astray, and royally screw things up over time. It keeps happening over and over, but such Christians who support this format refuse to see that the set up is messed up and rather than change the faulty format they insist on forcing everyone to adhere to it as the ultimate “right thing to do.”

         In other words, a monster is created and rather than kill the monster they insist on supporting it regardless of cost or what it does to people, and whoever has a different opinion is run off or destroyed by said monster. The concept of spiritual peace and love as taught by the Master is thrown out the window and is used and referred to only in the abstract in order to save the man-made substitute.

         To illustrate the difference between religious institutions and the one Ekklesia, Qahal, or Community of the Lord, the Southern Baptist Convention is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. The Roman Catholic Church is not the Kingdom but a competing entity. A Pentecostal mega “church” is not the kingdom but a competing entity. These legal religious institutions may or may not have real Christians as members, but such members are often unclear on the concept of the Lord’s original intent and curriculum. Thus, they give too little honor to the Lord Jesus and too much honor to their chosen leaders, who are often compromised.        

JUDAS

         Judas would not last long in the vast majority of churches unless he made it to the leadership team. In fact, this is where Judas spirits usually end up. But rather than go after the leader as the original Judas did, the real Judas spirit, since it longs for power over people, wants to control the institution. In this sense it works with the leadership team over the congregation. All it needs to accomplish this is a willing leadership team.

         The very fact that the Lord Jesus instructed His real disciples to call no one the “leader” except Him, and that most Christians insist on doing otherwise, and that “pastors” love being called “leader” and revel in the authority it brings (though many will affect a faux humble attitude), proves that almost all Christians and Christian leaders insist on violating the following pure commands of the Lord:

           “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.

         “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

         “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. [Matthew 23:8-10]

         The preceding commands of the Lord Jesus in Matthew’s gospel are essentially no different than the first three of the Ten Commandments:

         Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” [Exodus 20:1-7]

         In the Matthew account the Lord Jesus clearly identifies Himself as (1) The only Teacher, (2) The only Father, and (3) The only Leader. In the Exodus account, YHWH Elohim clearly identifies Himself as the only God, which encapsulates everything that God is to His people, such as their loving Deliverer from bondage which always starts the process of salvation.

         But Christians in general are grossly confused by these clear facts. They are confused for a reason. They are confused because the very clear commands of the Lord Jesus regarding leadership and authority have been grossly violated. They refuse to see or even consider that He is indeed the only Teacher, Father, and Leader. As a result, they also grossly violate the first three of the Ten Commandments by making idols and worshipping them, and taking the Name of the Lord in vain:

         For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth… [Philippians 2:9-10]

         Because people have it stuck in their heads that an “idol” is a crude little ancient statue made of metal, wood, or stone representing some weird foreign deity and nothing else, they are blinded to the reality of what the Lord was teaching: The most fully evolved “idol” is a living human being. Hence—

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. [Matthew 23:8-10]

         We can add to this many other titles such as “reverend” and “pastor,” the latter of which is a pure corruption of a bad translation and appears only once in the NT. It should have been translated as shepherd. Most “pastors” love their title for obvious reasons, but are not true shepherds and in fact abhor the designation of shepherd due to its inferred lack of status, decorum, and authority. They do not want to be characterized as mere sheep herders off in a pasture somewhere with a stained robe and weathered stick.

         If Christians are waiting for reform in this area from the top, such reform will never arrive. We see by what happened to the Lord Jesus that challenging false leadership will be costly. They killed Him. In America, because we have laws against that sort of thing, false leadership resorts to chicken solutions like spreading false gossip and innuendo, blackballing, the use of supreme indifference, quiet hatred, and generally breaking every commandment of the Lord to attack His prophets and maintain personal power. All of this is done to prop up false leadership which proves further that it is false leadership, often infused with the power of a Judas spirit, which uses betrayal of the brethren as the means toward its highest goal: Power over them.

         “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” [Exodus 20:5-6] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Posted on October 15, 2016, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Tyndale is the only one who properly translated the word ekklesia.

    Matthew 16:18
    And I say also to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my congregation, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    This is from the Tyndale Bible

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Tony. Good word. Of course, most of that which makes up the King James Version of the Bible (1611) came from Tyndale’s original work before he was killed at the behest of Henry VIII in 1536. Tyndale gets little or no credit, but “The Last Will Be First.” Be Blessed.

      Like

    • Tony: thanks for the info. “Congregation” is a much better word than “church”.

      Upon the rock of revelation knowledge I will build my congregation. Satan HATES fresh revelation from God to man; the strategies of hell cannot overcome fresh revelation.

      The beautiful thing about the shed blood of Jesus is that individuals can go boldly to the throne of grace and He will hear us and strengthen us and give us wisdom. Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we could build big, expensive buildings that some people call churches and other people call sepulchers.

      White-washed walls (false Christians) love white-washed walls (tombs/idols of their own making).

      Like

      • 1 Corinthians 14:26
        Order in Church Meetings
        How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

        church /tʃəːtʃ /
        ▸ noun a building used for public Christian worship:
        the church was largely rebuilt at the end of the 15th century
        some people go to church every Sunday
        after church we went to a restaurant
        [in names] St Luke’s Church.
        ▪ (Church) a particular Christian organization with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines:
        the Church of England.
        ▪ (the Church) the hierarchy of clergy within a particular Christian Church:
        Isobel would enter the Church as a deacon.
        ▪ [mass noun] institutionalized religion as a political or social force:
        the separation of church and state.
        ▸ verb [with obj.] archaic take (a woman who has recently given birth) to church for a service of thanksgiving.
        – ORIGIN Old English cir(i)ce, cyr(i)ce, related to Dutch kerk and German Kirche, based on medieval Greek kurikon, from Greek kuriakon (dōma) ‘Lord’s (house)’, from kurios ‘master or lord’. Compare with kirk.g1577. 3

        ekklēsia; from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 25gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assemblyan assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating64; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): in— assembly, church.AV (118) – church 115, assembly 3;an

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was talking about this very thing with a young client who is feeling uncomfortable with his church’s emphasis on having something going on every single evening, and if you don’t show up at least three times during the week, you’re on the Bad Boy List. I told him he doesn’t have to be in constant motion in order to prove he loves God. Sometimes we just need to be still, and know.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amen Linda. Thank you for the comment. There is no doubt we have all felt put upon on occasion, or maybe many occasions, to prove our walk, not to the Lord but to others in the position of authority or seeming authority. It can get really confusing when we are doing our best to serve the Lord according to His teachings and commandments, only to be flummoxed by competing church teachings which are often not backed up by the NT, but mere tradition acquired over time. When confused or anxious, it is always best to go straight to the Word in general and to the teachings of the Lord in particular. He can set everything aright and give us peace in our hearts.

      Be blessed.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. This is a good exhortation and sorely needed.

    Like

    • Thanks David. We must always be aware that everything the Lord Jesus taught was not just for His disciples at that time but all of His disciples for all time regardless of era, location, or culture. His teachings are universal in that they apply equally everywhere to everyone.

      Christians get into great trouble when they begin thinking less of the Lord and more of their chosen leaders. Whoever seeks to or happens to “outshine” the Lord better get out of such a man-made spotlight immediately. People are just too dumb at times and far too easily led, and fall under the sway of big personalities in the pulpit or wherever. Even if a man is anointed of God, people have a tendency to see only the man and not God.

      The particular violation of the Lord’s commands referenced in this article has become greatly magnified and hugely problematic since the advent of television. The teachings of the Lord are designed to set us free to honor and worship HIM but Christians in general still fall for the ruse of worshipping those put before them instead, follow their teachings instead, and get incredibly bound and confused as a result. Many Christians do religion very, very well, and millions will partake again this very morning.

      Just watch who is in the forefront and the spotlight. Where is the Lord Jesus? HERE IS A TEST: Whenever we go to church, watch Christian television, or read some form of ministry-related literature, count the number of times the Name of the Lord Jesus is used and the context in which it is used. Is He honored as God? As the only Teacher, Father, and Leader? I have done this. It is often the case that the Name above every name is not mentioned a single time or in the proper context, or with the appropriate respect and honor. HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS PURCHASED OUR SALVATION AND HE DID IT WITH HIS OWN BLOOD. No one else qualifies. This reveals who Christians in general have appropriated as their leader(s). More often than not, it is not the Lord Jesus.

      Blessings to you.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is one of the most beautiful, powerful and revolutionary scriptures in the Bible:

    John 4: 24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

    It implies submission to the Lord God and worshiping (or living a lifestyle of worship or reverence to) the Lord God. This scripture is breathtakingly unshackled from anything man-made.

    Liked by 1 person

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