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The "Church" of God.
The text is from the King James Version, with modernised words.
.(This is not a criticism of any particular minister or any part of the church.
It is simply an attempt to see us through God's eyes.)
Just as the sanctuary was not His idea but was "forced" on Jesus by the people's choice, so with the "Church"! This principle is not new. In the days of the exodus the people decided to send in spies to search out the land which Jesus had already said was perfect for them. But He who does not accuse anyone took the blame upon Himself and bore their iniquity.
"And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, [You may] send you men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, every one a ruler among them".
Moses later said to the people,
"And you came near to me every one of you, and said, 'We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.' And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe ..."
In like manner, to have an earthly "Church" was not God's choice either!!!!
Especially one with a capital "C". .........
(We warned you this would be rough - read on ONLY if you want to know what God says.)
"Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem; Your birth and your nativity is of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite, and your mother an Hittite. [She was illegitimate and pagan - not God's child].
"And as for your nativity, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water to supple you; you were not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. No eye pitied you, to do any of these to you, to have compassion upon you; but you were cast out in the open field, to the loathing of your person, in the day that you were born".
Cast out and unwanted! What a challenge to Jesus! .......................................................................... He just HAD to do something about it.
"And when I passed by you, and saw you polluted in your own blood, I said to you when you were in your blood, Live; yes, I said to you when you were in your blood, Live".
"[Since then] I have caused you to multiply as the bud of the field, and you have increased and waxen great, and you are come to excellent ornaments: your breasts are fashioned, and your hair is grown, whereas you were naked and bare".
From the Garden of Eden through to Abraham's time, some 2,250 years, there was no suggestion of an organized earthly church, either from Jesus or from His people. However, when Nimrod set up the system of earthly organizations which came to be called "nations" or political entities, then Abraham made the mistake of keeping his converts with him and formed them into a denomi-nation.
"And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before [in front of and against] the LORD: wherefore it is said, 'Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD'."
"And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel [Babylon], and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land [he] went forth [to] Asshur [Assyria], and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city".
The story about Abraham and his great family.
"And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them to Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people".
Instead of sending his converts forth to work in, and with, their natural families once they had learned enough from him as Jesus did (Luke 8:38-39), Abraham built up an earthly "extended family" which soon saw itself in opposition to Nimrod's system. So God had to look after a "foster child".
God called Abraham to be a teacher of His word, He chose him to be the father of a great nation [remember the principle of Jesus working with His people?], because He saw that Abraham would instruct his children and his household in the principles of God's law. And that which gave power to Abraham's teaching was the influence of his own life. His great household consisted of more than a thousand souls, many of them heads of families, and not a few but newly converted from heathenism. Such a household required a firm hand at the helm. No weak, vacillating methods would suffice. Of Abraham God said, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him." Genesis 18:19. Yet his authority was exercised with such wisdom and tenderness that hearts were won. The testimony of the divine Watcher is, "They shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment." Genesis 18:19.
In the divine plan of education as adapted to man's condition after the Fall, Christ stands as the representative of the Father, the connecting link between God and man; He is the great teacher of mankind. And He ordained that men and women should be His representatives. The family was the school, and the parents were the teachers.
The education centering in the family was that which prevailed in the days of the patriarchs. For the schools thus established, God provided the conditions most favorable for the development of character. The people who were under His direction still pursued the plan of life that He had appointed in the beginning. Those who departed from God built for themselves cities [or great church centres] , and, congregating in them, gloried in the splendor, the luxury, and the vice that make the cities of today the world's pride and its curse. But the men who held fast God's principles of life dwelt among the fields and hills. They were tillers of the soil and keepers of flocks and herds, and in this free, independent life, with its opportunities for labor and study and meditation, they learned of God and taught their children of His works and ways.
This was the method of education that God desired to establish in Israel. But when brought out of Egypt there were among the Israelites few prepared to be workers together with Him in the training of their children. The parents themselves needed instruction and discipline. Victims of lifelong slavery, they were ignorant, untrained, degraded. They had little knowledge of God and little faith in Him. They were confused by false teaching and corrupted by their long contact with heathenism. God desired to lift them to a higher moral level, and to this end He sought to give them a knowledge of Himself.
"Now when I passed by you, and looked upon you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread My skirt over you, and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore to you, and entered into a [marriage] covenant with you, says the Lord GOD, and you became Mine".
"Then washed I you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with broidered work, and shod you with badgers' skin, and I girded you about with fine linen, and I covered you with silk. I decked you also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon your hands, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel on your forehead, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head. Thus were you decked with gold and silver; and your raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; you did eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and you were exceeding beautiful, and you did prosper into a kingdom. And your renown went forth among the heathen for your beauty: for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon you, says the LORD God".
Thus the "Church" became God's by marriage, and was known as the "church", because now she reflected His righteousness.
"In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness".
But, like the "Church" of old, the "church" of Christ became again the "Church" and followed any and every one in spiritual adultery.
"But you did trust in your own beauty, and played the harlot because of your renown, and poured out your fornications on every one that passed by; his it was".
"And of your garments you did take, and decked your high places with divers colours, and played the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so [again]. You have also taken your fair jewels of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made to yourself images of men, and did commit whoredom with them, and took your broidered garments, and covered them: and you have set My oil and My incense before them. My meat also which I gave you, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed you, you have even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, says the Lord GOD".
"Moreover, you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne unto Me, and these have you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Is this of your whoredoms a small matter, that you have slain My children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?"
"And in all your abominations and your whoredoms you have not remembered the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, and were polluted in your blood".
"And it came to pass after all your wickedness, (woe, woe to you! says the Lord GOD;) that you have also built unto you an eminent place, and have made you an high place [of pride] in every street. You have built your high place at every head of the way, and have made your beauty to be abhorred, and have opened your feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied your whoredoms. You have also committed fornication with the Egyptians your neighbours, great of flesh; and have increased your whoredoms, to provoke Me to anger."
"Behold, therefore I have stretched out My hand over you, and have diminished your ordinary food, and delivered you to the will of them that hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of your lewd way!"
Vol 1 Selected Messages pp 68-69
It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in "because of unbelief". (Hebrews 3:19). Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them.
For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient/ Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.
Thus saith the LORD. ................... Do you believe it?
And if so, what are you going to do about it?
Remember, God "adopted" the abandoned child and she became doubly His by "marriage". He has never left her, nor does He intend to do so in the future, and neither should we.
BUT, and its a big BUT... apart from innumerable "affairs", the church has left Him three times already.
And will do so once more.
Go on to the solution
To ancient SDA's ......... To "What's New?"