Seeing, But Not Seeing

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Thursday, August 14, 2014, 7:00 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind the song “His Tender Mercies.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Matthew 24:1-35 (NASB). I will quote only some sections of this passage as it is quite long.

    Do You Not See?

    Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” ~ vv. 1-2​

    The temple of God today is the Body of Christ, the church. Yet, mostly it meets in edifices built by human hands throughout the world, but particularly here in America. Using the term “church” in our culture today can be somewhat confusing, because most people associate church with a physical building, or a denomination, or a specific not-for-profit corporation of the federal government of the U.S.A., or with a social and religious organizational structure called “church.” Yet, the body of Christ is not a physical entity but a spiritual one. God does not dwell in buildings built by human hands. Those buildings are therefore not the house of God. Our Lord dwells in the hearts and lives of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives, so there is a distinct difference between the true church, the Body of Christ, and the institutional church built by human beings.

    In one, Christ is the head. In the other, human beings and the government are the head. One is being built by Jesus Christ. The other is being built by human beings. One is spiritual, the other is physical. One is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,” with “Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (See Eph. 2:20-21). The other is built on the foundation of the teachings and philosophies of human beings, with human business marketing schemes leading the way in how to grow their churches (i.e. businesses).

    Notice with me that it was the disciples who were pointing out the physical structure of the temple to Jesus. Yet, also notice with me here that Jesus then responded by saying to them, “Do you not see all these things?” Obviously the disciples could see the temple with their physical eyes, but obviously, as well, they were missing something. There was something about the temple Jesus wanted them to see that they were not seeing. I believe that is true of his temple, the church, today, only also including these physical structures and business organizations of humans called “church.” He wants his followers to see that there is a distinction and a huge difference between what God calls church and what humans call church. He wants his followers to see that those man-made structures, with their physical buildings and organizations, are not of God. He is not in them. This is not to say that his true church does not meet with them, but that he is not in these man-made organizations and buildings which are being built on human standards, philosophies and teachings.

    Going along with that, not only does he want his followers to see that not all that is called “church” is really church; and that many, many of these “churches” are being founded in and run, directed and led by humanistic teachings, philosophies and marketing schemes; and that he is not in these; but he wants his followers to see that they need to be discerning about what is of him and what is not of him.

    So many professing Christians do not bother to check out what they hear and see, either within the institutional church, or in the news media, or in what is coming from the mouths of our government leaders. They are like blinded sheep being led to the slaughter because they lack discernment, good common sense and reason, and because they refuse or just don’t bother to test what they hear, read and see, and because they fail to call upon God in prayer asking him to show them what is true and what is false.

    The disciples were looking only on the surface of things. They only saw how things were presented outwardly. They were looking at appearance only, it seems. Yet, Jesus wanted them to see beyond what lies on the surface to what lies underneath. He wanted them to see the heart of the issue he had with institutional religion of that time. He wanted them to see that not everything is what it appears to be. Many are deceived. And, that is what he went on to talk about as recorded in this chapter. He told his disciples about deception and of false christs and of fake miracles, signs and wonders.

    Don’t Be Misled

    And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

    “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. ~ vv. 4-14​

    All throughout the New Testament we are warned against deception and manipulation of truth. We are also warned against antichrists and wolves in sheep’s clothing. We are instructed to test everything, to hold on to the good and to forsake the bad. So, why do so many Christians today just believe everything they hear and see coming from the media, from our government, and from the institutional church? Just because someone says it is true does not make it true. Just because we see it on TV does not mean it is real or that it really happened or that it happened the way that they said it did. They can fake anything. As well, just because someone wrote a book does not mean what they are teaching is true. Just because someone stands behind a podium or a stand of some kind in a church meeting and implies they are teaching scripture does not mean they are teaching scripture.

    Have you ever tried to interfere in a relationship difficulty or conflict in someone’s marriage relationship based upon hearing only one side? Not a good idea, is it? Why? Because you don’t live with those people, for one, so you don’t really know what goes on in their home or in their relationship. You are not party to their conversations. You can’t see their body language when they talk. A husband or a wife, if trying to gain sympathy from others, can present whatever picture they want, which may or may not be accurate or fair. And, it is the same thing within the church, the media and the government. They can present whatever image they want to present, and they are good at manipulating emotions to get people to support them, to believe them, and to even come alongside them against the other party, i.e. whom they are portraying as “the enemy.” And, the sad reality is that the “enemy” is often those who are truly following Jesus Christ, and who are sharing the true gospel.

    Much of today’s institutional church today has gone the way of the world. They work hard at attracting the world to their organizations. They present an image for themselves of love, acceptance, tolerance, fun, pleasure, and an improvement over the old church system. Yet, they often dilute the gospel message, making it more appealing, acceptable and palatable to the world so as not to offend, not to make anyone uncomfortable, and not to judge anyone. As well, many of these churches also work hard to characterize the true gospel of salvation as works-based, intolerant, unloving, unkind and judgmental, as well as they do the same for its messengers. Many church leaders and Christian authors downplay scripture and describe those who hold to its truths as being fanatical and out-of-touch with reality and with today’s culture. They try to make you believe that those who preach the true gospel of salvation, as taught by Christ and the apostles, are not interested in what is best for you, but that they just want to pass judgment on you. We are the “meanies” while they are the “good guys.”

    The Abomination

    “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains… For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.” ~ vv. 15-25​

    There are many opinions as to what or who this “abomination” is. Yet, let me point this one thing out here which I believe will help us with the interpretation. The “holy place” is no longer physical Jerusalem. The temple of God no longer dwells there. The “holy place” is in the hearts of believers in Jesus Christ. It is his church; his temple; the Body of Christ. Physical Jerusalem is of Hagar, the slave woman. To stand means to take a stance, or to present and/or to hold to a particular attitude, viewpoint, and/or belief, etc. An abomination is an outrage, disgrace, atrocity and is detestable and disgusting to God Almighty.

    This is taking place right now within the church. The true church is being consumed by the institutional church, which is in turn being consumed by the values, morals, culture, philosophies and teachings of this sinful world. The lies of our enemy Satan are taking their stand within the church of today so that what is false is advancing at a much faster rate than what is truth, i.e. the true gospel of salvation. As a result, judgment will come upon the institutional church of today, or most assuredly will take place here in America. And, God is asking us and is warning us to flee “Babylon” so that we do not share in any of her sins. He is saying to us, “Come out from her and be separate.”

    Yet, I believe this coming judgment of God against man-made religion within his church, which denies Christ and his gospel in favor of teachings and marketing schemes of humans, will be his mercy come running to his church in order to revive her, renew and restore her to fellowship with him. The temple of Jesus’ time was destroyed as a judgment of God on man-made religion, which rejected Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior in exchange for accepting the philosophies of human rules and regulations. And, I believe he is going to destroy all these lies and deceptions now standing in his holy place, too, in order to rescue his people whom he loves greatly.

    His Tender Mercies / An Original Work / January 26, 2014

    Fear not! I’m with you.
    Be not dismayed!
    God watches o’er you.
    Trust Him today.
    He’ll lead and guide you;
    Give you His aid.
    He’ll love and keep you
    With Him always.

    Walk in His footsteps.
    He’ll lead the way.
    Trust in His love;
    Believe that He cares.
    He will not leave you.
    Faithful He’ll be.
    His tender mercies
    Now you will see.

    Fellowship with Him
    Throughout the day.
    Tell Him your heartaches.
    He’ll heal always.
    Rest in His comfort.
    He is your friend.
    Your faith He’ll strengthen,
    True to the end.
    CCW95A likes this.
  2. We must remember that Jesus - the Messiah of Israel himself ordained meeting in Assemblies (Churches).....

    Remember his promise Matt 18:20 - where two or three meet in My name - I am there in the midst of them.... This is not a promise when you are alone....

    Let's look at Matt 13:31-32... The parable of the mustard seed.....
    Notice mustard - the herb - is not a large tree.... Growing into a huge tree is an abnormal condition, not the desired condition...

    It's also short lived - not useful for birds to nest in for long periods of time....

    Apparently, the same is true of the "Assembly" when it grows into some gigantic, abnormal thing that persists long past it's "Season"....

    Then - what happens... The Birds of the Air tabernacle in it.... Birds of the Air is a consistent metaphor for the Minions of Satan.... and from our own experience - every single one here can testify that's what happens... When our churches grow huge and top heavy and they grow Old over many generations -- We come back to find that the Wonderful, Powerful churches that were STRONG in the word of God turn into places full of all sorts of evil, lawlessness, uncleanliness, apostasy, and mush....

    So... It's not that the Assembly/Church is a BAD thing... In fact, it's not.. It's REQUIRED.. Matt 18:20.....

    We could also look at the parable of the Leaven - Matt 13:33...
    3 measures of meal was the Fellowship offering.... It was NEVER leavened!
    You put leaven it *GASP*.... Leaven is consistently a metaphor for Sin and the doctrines of Man....
    and the whole lump becomes leavened..... Puffed up by "Corruption"...... and full of gas - not substance....

    You introduce Sin and doctrines of Man into your assembly... They corrupt the assembly by "Puffing up".... Pride and self righteousness destroys from the Inside out - and adds no substance at all.... Makes you look large and important when you are really empty....

    It's also pretty tasty when baked... but we won't go there and ruin our metaphor... ;)
  3. John, of course we must assemble together. That is not in question here. Yet, it is not just the larger or older assemblies which are vulnerable to the things talked about here. This is like a cancer that is spreading throughout the body of Christ in congregations of many sizes. Many new works are founded on human teachings and philosophies which are in direct opposition to the word of God, because they are following some movement of some kind, much of which is part of the emergent church, and which incorporates middle eastern mysticism into their teachings. This is from the beginnings of churches all the way up to the mega churches where they have the wrong foundation and where they are following men over God, and the teachings of humans over the word of God. And so many Christians don't know to, or don't bother to, or even refuse to test what is being taught and practiced against the word of God, so sin goes on unchecked, as does false teaching. I believe Jesus is saying the same thing to his followers today as he said to his disciples here. "Do you not see all these things?" (Referring to the temple structure)
  4. Eph 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
    Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
    Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
    Eph 4:14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

    Going to Church (a physical building) and assembling together with other believers is so we can "learn". There is a time in which one goes from a baby Christian to a full grown adult, who can then never be tossed to and fro by every kind of wind of doctrine of men. In other words you don't stay in school your entire life until you die! Notice verse 3 says, " until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God," Surely we grow up at some point in time.
    The true Church does not assemble in a physical building but a spiritual building that is located on top of mount Zion the city of the living God, where all of God's children have come. Baby Christians do not understand this and need to be taught exactly what has happened to them in the new birth, and in how God has translated them into the Kingdom of his Son.

    Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
    Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

    This is not a someday event!!! It has already happened in the spirit. Opening our eyes to see what and where we are requires faith in the Word of God, that needs to be taught and believed on before anyone can experience them. I do not know any denomination teaching these things, because those in authority there don't even know it or believe it. We have to come out from among them to find these things out, as you will not get them there. Do not look at the things seen with your physical eyes for they are just temporary. Only look at and see the things that are not seen by the eyes of your heart were Christ, and His Church have been assembled together by the Spirit of God. This is where our joy is everlasting.
    SueJLove likes this.
  5. Thank you for sharing this.
  6. The cancer has been in the faithful since they turned away from The Holy Spirit ordination and went back to the Levitical one of man granting ordination.

    It is the return to a priesthood that is a career choice and not a calling. This is an aberration.
  7. It's been a lot longer than that my friend.....

    The difference is that now - we are not CHAINED to ONE Edifice and one Administration..... The Jews WERE chained to the temple and they were chained to the sons of Aaron and to the Levites.... and so Satan didn't have to focus on all of Jewish society - only the temple... Only the Levites and to the lineage of Aaron through Phineas...

    The irony is that just like we hate and are suspicious of the Freedom in Christ... We also are suspicious and hate the "Mustard seed" church.... We don't realize the Freedom we are given with the ability to just go somewhere else.... That if Satan infests one church and destroys it - we just let it atrophy and go start a new one.....

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