x291.....The Romans Built buildings in order to rule
The Roman empire had a way of establishing their rulership in places that they had conquered. They had a system---After they conquered an area, one of the first things they would do, would be to build a large structure--a fortress--a castle--a fortified place from which they would rule. this structure represented their authority in the earth--their authority over the people whom they had conquered.
they made these buildings imposing--castle-like--fortified and built to represent fear to the people whom they had conquered.
Now, in the times after the Bible--when the church was combined with this same Roman empire, the church--the organized group at called itself the church--took on this same concept for their church building. the idea of conquering was combined with the concept of spreading the Gospel (but it wasn't really the Gosple anymore--since the freedom was lost!)--with the idea of conquering people---and the establishment of this kingdom (not Gods' kingdom--which is of the Spirit) was outwardly represented by the building of buildings--cathedrals--castle-like--fortress-like buildings--which represented the authority of the church--to rule over people--to control people with authority over them--to rule--supposedly by Gods mandate!
these buildings were very similar to the castles that the kings of Europe built--and they were built for the same reasons of rulership and authority over others. the same concept stood in the church even after the times of the reformation--the kings of Europe continued to claim to have the Godly biblical mandate from God to rule over people--they used out-of context quotes from the Bible to try to claim that they had the God-given right to rule others--to be kings and queens--and to rule Christian nations---they used the vehicle of the church in the same way the Roman church and the Roman empire had done--to rule over people--to govern--and these ideas lead to wars which sometimes lasted hundreds of years!
Jesus never built a building--nor did He give any command to do this. the church which is described in the New Testament Bible did not build any buildings--they met in their homes ("the house of God which is the church--the pillar and ground of truth"--1Timothy 3:15)--and rightly so--since they understood that they were the temple of the Holy Spirit--that they only needed for 2 or 3 to be in agreement together that Jesus Christ is Lord--for the presence of God to come--they realized that when the veil of the temple in Jerusalem was torn in two as Jesus was crucified--that the presence of God in the temple of Jerusalem was no longer needed--there realized what it meant when the New Testament Bible says that we are all made "kings and priests" under the New Covenant.
In the Old Covenant it was necessary to build buildings to house Gods presence--it was necessary to build altars to make sacrifice of animals and grain--as sin offerings to God--again they realized that these Old Covenant things were no longer needed. Jesus had clearly stood against the temple and the Levitical priesthood--in fact He prophecied the temple' destruction. He made it clear that He was the sacrifice of the new covenant----the bread and the meat and the blood. He invited all to partake of Him as bread and meat---a clear reference to the priesthood of every believer.
But as we see, after the times of the bible--the church took on the Roman empires' concept of building buildings to rule and conquer people.
And to this day, a church is not recognized as such unless they build a building! To this day we still carry on after the roman empires ideas of conquering by building--we still have the idea that we must have a building of rulership in order to please God--in order to rule people--in order to have a "real church". but the New Testament Bible refers to the "house of God"--the homes of Christians who met together in these homes--as the "pillar and ground of truth. You see, somewhere in time between the writing of the Bible 2,000 years ago and today, the concept that the "big building downtown" as the house of God has been firmly implanted in all our minds.
(the church got the idea of meeting in their homes and outside in an assembly from a good source--Jesus! He held meetings of His followers in homes--and outside---there was no new testmaent "holy place"---people were the holy place of God now!)
IN the new testament Bible there were 2 types of meetings which were held--they met on a daily basis--- they had ongoing meetings of prayer, teaching, feeding the poor, apostolic and evangelical functions--all the ministries functioned in homes of people, on a daily basis. people who could meet the qualifications to be a servant of God--a minister (a "deacon--as stated in 1Timothy 3) had meetings in their homes--and were quick to find the gifts and anoitings which were to serve God from among the beleivers
this church faced the worse persecution that any church ever faced (the attack of the Roman empire!)--and was winning--with this system of quickly creating ministers--servant of God--and meeting in their homes daily
(not everyone met together every day--there was no rules about these things because the church was Spirit-lead in their church attendance--whereas we are law lead in our concept of church attendance. People held these meetings as the Spirit lead--they functioned the gifts that they had together--some houses were houses of evangelism--some where houses of prayer--houses of praise and worship--some were houses of feeding the poor--some of teaching--all the ministries were then quickly represented in an area--and the Gospel was spread rapidly by this system, and every Christian that was able was used in their gifts and ministry and could learn about the Lord quickly--and begin to function quickly.)
Now, they also were told not to forsake the assembling of themselves together. This "assembling of themselves--was what we would call a revival--a meeting which might go on for days--and at these meetings, large numbers of Christians assembled themselves--worshiped God--and were all filled with the Holy spirit--empowered by God to spread the Gospel-and to function as servants of God together. But it was the "house of God" which was the central meeting place of Christians--the central place of function and ministry.
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE, THESE TWO SEPARATE MEETING PLACES WERE COMBINED AND THUS LIMITED IN THEIR SCOPE and FUNCTION. ONE BUILDING "THE ASSEMBLY HALL" BECAME "THE HOUSE OF GOD" AS WELL AS THE PLACE OF CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY. AND THE MEETINGS OF CHRISTIAN WERE THEN LIMITED TO A CHRISTIAN SABBATH DAY (SUNDAY) IN A PLACE WHICH WAS NOW BOTH THE ASSEMBLING PLACE AND THE HOUSE OF GOD.
The Roman empire decided these things, almost 1700 years ago--not the Bible church. And central to these things became the Roman concept of conquering people and building buildings "for God"--as a structure which represented to people their rulership and authority in the earth.
To this day we still carry on with these concepts. We still fuse the "house of God" and the assembling place--we still carry on with the concept of the Christian sabbath day as being our day of meeting, and we still carry on the prerogative of building church buildings as a representation of authority and rulership in the earth.
Certainly every church does a certain amount of "outreach". The problem is: what percent of our time, effort and money, goes into building and operating a building, and what amount of our time, effort and money, goes toward the purposes of Christ--to feed the poor, preach the Gospel, pray for the sick, bring deliverance to those in need--and freely release all apostolically ? (see Luke 4:18)
The church in the Bible, was ALL "outreach and release". Jesus' ministry was ALL "outreach and release".
What's our excuse?