Building With Good Materials
What is a Church and a Christian?
A true Church made of living stones that Jesus looks at and loves must be made of good materials.
The Bible teaches that God does not dwell in houses built by men’s hands. Ephesians 2 and many other Bible passages say that we are the dwelling place or the habitation of God by the Spirit—the Church. When you walk or drive down the road, you can usually identify a religious building because it looks like a religious building. But, since a true Church is made out of people, and is not a building, then what does it really look like? How would you recognize the difference between a true Church and a false one?
In the “church” of the Old Testament, you became a member because of who your parents were (Jews). If you basically believed the right thing and your parents were part of this church, and you “attended church” regularly and tithed, then you were a member of the “church.” In the New Testament Church of Jesus, this is not true—you must give your heart to God. The prophecy about the New Testament said that the Church God builds (Jer. 31, Heb. 8, Heb. 10) is the true Church, and from the least to the greatest ALL its members will know the Living God. The Church can ONLY be understood in this way. Anything less may be well-meaning and do-gooding and religious (with some Saved people involved), but it is NOT the Church of Jesus Christ, a local Lampstand, if it is just people “attending” something scheduled on the calendar with no daily intertwined Life-together (1 Cor. 12).
A true Church made of living stones that Jesus looks at and loves must be made of good materials. If any building is built out of faulty materials, you know that it will fall. If the wood that holds up the roof is rotten, it will fall down. Bricks that are soft, improperly made, or made from the wrong materials cannot support weight and will fall down. Likewise, if we try to build God’s house out of faulty materials, it too will fall. If a person does not truly know God, they cannot be a member of Jesus’ Church. If the House that God is making out of men and women is going to be able to stand, it must not have bad stones in it (1 Cor. 3-5).
Must the Church, or its individuals, then, be perfect? Of course that is not possible (1 John 1). But according to the Word of God, what IS required is this: One hundred percent of the members...“love the Light” and “love the Truth” and have genuinely experienced God Himself in a way that “flesh and blood has not revealed.” YES, this is required (Matt. 16:16-18, John 3:19-21, 1 John 1-3, Eze. 11:19, Eze. 36:26, Jer. 31:34). That’s what Jesus said He would build HIS Church upon, if it was to be HIS Church. Anything else would be like building a house with soft brick or rotten wood. The House that Jesus makes is the best house in the world, and Jesus will only use true and good materials to build His House.
Once again, this does NOT mean that every person is perfect. But, it does mean that every person wants to love and obey Jesus and doesn’t despise help from others who want to help them love and obey Jesus; they want that help. Good building material for God’s House is when a person “loves the light,” according to Jesus Himself. Bad building material, like rotten wood, is someone who does not want that help. That person says, “Don’t judge me. Mind your own business.” They say defensively, “Get the log out of your own eye.” That is bad building material, which God said is unacceptable in His House. Jesus will not build His house that way. That is rotten wood and will be completely cut off from among the people (Acts 3:23, Matt. 18, 1 Cor. 5). In a True church, a person who acts that way is not welcome. It doesn’t matter how much money they have or how well they know their Bible. They might even be a “leader,” but if they don’t respond softly to the teachings of Jesus, then they cannot be a part of Jesus’ true Church that is made in the Spirit. If they resist love and pleading, wisdom, help and patience, then to allow them to continue amongst God’s People would be for us to defy Jesus also by ignoring His commands.
If someone is saved, they WILL have the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9, Gal. 3, Eph. 1). And the PROOF that they have the Holy Spirit in them (no matter how many times they tell you a great “testimony” and say, “Lord, Lord!” Matthew 7) is that they love to obey. They are new creations and now love the Light, and love the Truth (2 Thess. 2:10), and “like newborn babies” they “crave” the Word of God to be applied in their lives (1 Peter 2). If a person has the Holy Spirit, they will love the Light and love the Truth...and then their behavior will begin to change. They repent of how they treat their husband or their wife, and they change. They repent of how they treat their coworkers, or their children, or their neighbors, and they change. They repent of their past sins and wicked habits, and they change and become more mature.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the deposit that guarantees their inheritance. “This is the verdict,” says Jesus, in John 3. This is what separates innocent from guilty. Not that everyone is perfect, but the ones who have their sins forgiven ALL “love the Light.” They have the gift of the Spirit that they didn’t have before. Now, from deep inside, their hearts of stone have become soft hearts of flesh. From deep inside, God is causing them to keep His commands and decrees. From deep inside, they care about Jesus’ words about their behavior. The sheep know the Shepherd’s voice because they have the Spirit of Jesus. The sheep say, “I want to follow Jesus! Lead me that way.” The goats say, “Leave me alone! I can do miracles! I can give my money to the poor! I know things. I’m better than you, and I don’t care what you say.”
A Christian, a partaker of the New Covenant, loves the Truth (2Thes. 2:10) and loves the Light (Jn. 3:19-21), and is now a “partaker of the DIVINE nature” (2Pet. 1:4, Rom. 6:1-14). That’s the proof that the Spirit lives in them or in any of us. We don’t have to just take everyone’s word for it just because they say, “Lord! Lord!” ONLY a person who has abandoned their self and life to Jesus, and have thus been Touched by Heaven and Indwelt by the Creator of the Galaxies is truly saved, and a “member” of His local Church (Rom. 8:9-11, Lk. 9:57-62, Jn. 1:12-13, 3:16-21, 1Jn. 3:8-10, 5:18-20).
A True Lampstand, an authentic Church, is LIMITED TO (as in 100% of the “members”!) those who have had a revelation of the Son “that flesh and blood did not reveal, but the Father in Heaven Himself revealed to them.” It’s not about proximity or knowledge or “commitment” or upbringing. It’s about a personal Encounter with Father God, in the Person of His Son, where death produces God kind of Life, Zoe Life, out of nothing (Jn. 3:5-8, Jn. 12:24, Rom. 6:1-14, Gal. 6:14-17). Of course there are a few who need “special modesty” and others who are deciding in their “one more year” (John 13:8-9, John 15, 1 John 2:19, Jude 11-25).
We either have SUPERnatural Life with Him and with one another, or it’s NOT Biblical Christianity and NOT a legitimate Church. Surely there are some Saved people “attending” organizations that are not truly Churches, though they call themselves churches. That’s a different topic. We’re simply saying that we won’t touch His Throne (we’ll only touch our “psuche” warm fuzzy emotions) if we do not live together in daily Together-ZOE Life—moment by moment connected to the Head and one another! A “service” ceremony that is “done in His honor,” or to learn facts about Him, or to call down emotion from Heaven with our music—historically, these have changed very few lives into the Image of the Son. We are either sharing in the Substance of the GodHead together daily, or it is not Eternal Life, nor a Lampstand and Church, as God means it to be. “A little leaven leavens the WHOLE batch.”
We must not be just babies who say the right things, but don’t live like Jesus. And, the Church is not a collection of counterfeit Christians who say the right things but don’t have the Spirit of Jesus living inside of them, as a Person. Jesus is a great Builder. He will not build with soft stones or rotten wood. He wants to build a Glorious House to live in—one that’s fitting for the King that He is. So the building materials in God’s House must be of the best quality. A true Church that is made by God, not by man’s hands, is made out of living stones—true Christians—as opposed to dead stones, bricks or straw. Jesus will only build with good building materials. If we have married Him in Covenant and Oath, turned from all other loves, been Born twice, have soft hearts, love His teachings, truly want to change the things in our lives that need to change, and turn our face to Him in moments of adversity or difficulty, asking Him and our brothers and sisters to help us, then we are beautiful living stones for the House that Jesus dwells in. We can be and will be a glorious Bride for Jesus. This is the Good News of the Kingdom of God.