The Church – My Church; Part III


John 14:10-27, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Have you ever looked at the verses I repeated above and wondered to yourself, “why can’t I see these things taking place?” Have you ever wondered why it seems that the church that we have come to know today, seems to be without any spiritual power that was promised to us? I have thought of these things a lot over the last few decades and more so, much more so recently. I have questioned the Lord and I look for answers but it seems that what I get in return is the Lord questioning me back.

I have come to the conclusion since the Lord keeps asking me questions back, that it isn’t the Holy Spirit who has “let the ball drop,” so to speak, but rather, those of us who say and proclaim that we love Him. Noticed that I included myself by saying “we.”

opinion vs truthYou see, the Word of God is not just some historical manual as you who read this well know. It is a Book, a Living Book about relationship. The relationship between Father and Son and His sons and daughters! It is about the establishment AND relationship with the CHURCH He created and is continually creating!

I know there are a lot of denominations whose teachings are such that Jesus Christ and then the promised Holy Spirit accomplished those works to establish the early church and once established, “left us to our own devices,” more or less. That goes against everything the Bible teaches us in relationship to Christ Jesus and our relationship to the Father THROUGH Christ! It makes the actual words that Jesus spoke to the disciples, just before His death a lie! If that teaching were the case and true, then there would be no reason to continue on with the Apostle’s teachings either.

You see, it comes down to this; we either believe the WHOLE Bible as the inspired Word of God, or we believe none of it. You see, truth is all we have. We believe it to be completely, unequivocally the WHOLE authority on God, our Heavenly Father and His relationship with us or we believe none of it. There is no such a thing as a partial truth. It is like saying that it’s only a partial lie! Well even a partial lie is a whole lie and a partial truth might as well be a whole lie!!

There are two churches in the world today and I am not talking about denominations though denominations are a part of both churches. First, there is no denomination that is perfect. A good pastor friend of mine once told me that if there were any perfect denominations, as soon as any one person stepped in the door, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore! Man is flawed, he is corrupt, he is arrogant and prideful and without the Spirit of God to lead Him, he can only twist and deform what God intended!

The Apostle Paul made that clear when he stated in Romans 12:16a, “Be of the same mind toward one another.” Then again when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

When many of the Godly men of yesteryear put forth their teachings, it wasn’t with the intent of starting new denominations, but rather of furthering the truth of the Gospel to all men (many people were not exposed to the truth intentionally) for in reality the truth DOES set men free. I think many if alive today would be unpleasantly surprised to see what was done with their teachings.

Today, one church the man-made church that espouses religion is a grotesque caricature of what our Heavenly Father meant it to be. It is deformed with none of its members where they should be thus unable to meet the needs in service to others, but rather due to pride and ego is more concerned with just how big they can get and how much treasure they can amass! After all, they are the King’s Kids and their Father owns the cattle on a hundred hills and all the gold and silver under them!

This church calls to it people of like-mindedness. Why, you may ask? Because any worldly organization soon becomes a reflection of its leadership. You can find this in the business world, with both big and small businesses and you can find it in the churches that are scattered throughout the land, both big and small!

If you have leadership that exemplifies Christ’s teachings as written in the Holy Book and taught through the first disciples, you will experience a church that is interested in teaching others to do the work of the Lord in service to others so that others might grow and be edified or uplifted. These types of teachers are not afraid that someone might rise from the ranks of their teaching to go on to be used of the Holy Spirit in ways that may over-shadow themselves, their hearts are toward the Lord and to His children who need to be witness to the truth.

Sadly, there are leaders and more leading everyday who are concerned about their legacy and how growth and leadership make them look. Don’t doubt that this is true for in my years of learning, growing and serving I have had a couple, yes only a couple of leaders that I could honestly look back on and recognize the love they shared with me through their leadership and their hearts were more concerned for my growth than how many people they could count each Sunday Service.

You see, the principle that Christ taught is to teach a few and send them out and when each one of them teaches a few, the church will exponentially grow into what the Holy Spirit does concerning the giving of individual ministry and spiritual gifts. This is the concept behind the second church. The second church is created and “activated” by those members listening to the Head, which is Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit!

This is why relationship with Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, through the Son, Christ Jesus, our Redeemer and empowered by His Holy Spirit that He Himself promised to leave with all of us, is so important.

There are so many today who claim to know the Lord simply by believing and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and proclaiming their belief as if it’s like some magic incantation that mysteriously changes you from a sinner to a saint (or believer). Yes, it is true that the Apostle wrote in Romans 10:8-9, “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” But there’s more to this Scripture than just repeating words, AND you can’t base your WHOLE WALK on this for Paul also wrote in Philippians 2:12-13, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

I am however NOT saying that those who baptize themselves in the Blood of Jesus Christ that was spilled for us, as well as dying to themselves with Christ are not saved, I am only saying that is where the relationship with our Heavenly Father THROUGH Christ Jesus begins! As the Apostle is stating, you are saved for the will of the Heavenly Father and FOR His good pleasure; in other words, you are saved, redeemed to be a vessel of service for God Almighty!

Those who belong to the man-made church believe that all their good works, whether in the Name of Christ or not, is the showing of their faith. As James states, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” — James 2:14-24. (Paragraphs added by me for emphasis.)

Works are important, but the reverse can also be stated with James teaching, if “faith without works is dead,” then it stands to reason that works without faith also means nothing! It all comes back to relationship with our Lord and doing His will, NOT what we think is His will! James drives home the importance of relationship in verse 19, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!” The demons believe in God, but that does not make them saved or redeemed for they have turned their backs on a loving relationship with God, Almighty!

I have used the next Scripture before to emphasize the importance of relationship and I have to bring it forth here again to stress the magnitude of having a relationship with Christ Jesus and especially to the point of serving according to HIS will.

From Matthew chapter 7, one of the most misunderstood chapters concerning judging, Jesus tells us this, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” – Matthew 7:21-27.

Jesus didn’t cast them away because they weren’t doing good, but rather they were using His Name to accomplish what they wanted too without having the authority based on an intimately personal relationship with the One whose Name they were using!! These are those who are members of the man-made church.

You might be asking why I am teaching on subjects that I have definitely taught on before and it would be a good question. As I have been trying to cope with my chronic pain the last couple of months, trying to do research into natural things that might help give some modicum of relief and finding through my research that a lot of the major problems I suffered along with the pain, such as severe insomnia as well as other things, I found I was suffering in actuality due to the medications that were supposed to be helping with the problem! This in turn led me into checking on things (believe it or not) that is happening right now within the earth itself.

I was born and raised in Washington State and of course we get a lot of family updates and such and some of these are curious. All along the lower Alaskan coast, on to the Pacific Northwest past Oregon and into California and even the Baja area, the seismic activity is increasing almost exponentially. Mount Saint Helens which my wife and I lived through when it initially blew is active again and so is Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and even more. Mount Shasta has also been recording seismic activity. Much of this is cyclical reoccurring over many centuries, but usually individually and not grouped like it is.

Australia and New Zealand and upward toward the eastern coastline of India is also experiencing major seismic activity as is Sri Lanka and many other countries northward. I am not being an alarmist by any means, just observing and reading my Bible. The signs of upheaval in the earth is becoming more noticeable with tectonic plate movements, but the greatest signs of impending problems are the world conditions of mankind in general.

I believe with my whole heart that many of the signs predicted in the Bible for the end time and especially as it applies to the “man-made” church and the Church of Christ Jesus known as His Bride! I believe I am not the only one who feels the time is getting extremely short and yet it is evident the man-made church is asleep.

I do not, nor should any of you, trust in the world’s organizations to make things better for you. Our trust and our hope is and always has been in the Lord. It does not matter what takes place around us for the Lord has promised that nothing can pluck those that are truly His from His hands!

proverbs-19-21But, if we belong to the Bride of Christ, the true church, we must steel ourselves for service and we must trust that the Holy Spirit will make it known to us who have a relationship with Christ Jesus and our Heavenly Father through Him, what it is that His WILL is and proceed to do in FAITH that He will equip us to accomplish the tasks He sets before us.

There will be a lot who question and want to have proof, but as the Apostles taught in word and example, inspired by our Guide and Counselor, the Holy Spirit, He will accomplish the works necessary to lend authority to His Word for those who are seriously searching and questioning.

The time is now for the church of Christ Jesus, the Lord’s created true church, to come alive!!

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of intercessory prayer, encouragement and exhortation of the Word of God and author of the ministry blog, For The Love of God. I live in Delta, Colorado with my beautiful wife of 49+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom we affectionately call Bella.
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