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Archive for March, 2010

“The LORD is my light & my salvation; whom shall I fear; the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27.1 KJV
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Funny thing about being a leader, you have to lead … leaders lead whether they like it or not: good or bad, they are still leaders.

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“My House is not the Church”
By Dave Doc Rogers
©20100315

Don’t throw stones just yet! I’m not a heretic! I just want you to stop and consider for a moment the quote. If your initial reaction was offense then to look for stones, I would not surprised by some. If your initial reaction was a question – where is he going with this – good. If your initial reaction was ‘good, someone is talking about it’, I am a bit surprised. In the last millennium of the Church the greatest influences seem to have come from Europe and Eurasia. Among the archbishops and popes came the institution of the church; or the church as an institution or over-government. The dilution of the strength of the concept around the word church did not happen overnight. The Church was not, is not the building. The Church is more than that. The building was something altogether different in the eyes of God.

“My House shall be a house of prayer.” – Matthew 21.13

Jesus took this moment to remind everyone in the Temple that day and for weeks to come that this house was not set aside as a market place. It was special, therefore holy, to God.

Solomon saying, “But who is able to build Him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then that I should build Him house, save only to burn sacrifice before Him?”
– II Chronicles 2.6

God saying, “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice … Now My eyes shall be open and my ears attent to the prayer that is made in this place.”
– II Chronicles 7.12,15

God chose this place as a place of meeting for Him and His people. It was to be a place where He could come to meet with His people, receive their sacrifices, hear their petitions, and provide an answer to them, the people of God.

David, Solomon’s father, desired a place for God better than what David had.

“See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in curtained tents.”
– 2 Samuel 7.2

This was the same curtained tents that Moses had built according to the design of God, as pointed out in Exodus chapters 35 and 36. In Exodus chapter 40, Israel and Moses finish the tent, its curtains, its fixtures, it furniture, its everything, then Moses assembled it.

“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”
– Exodus 40. 34-38 KJV

In the King James Version, it is called the tent of the congregation. In the New King James Version and other English versions, it is called the tent of meeting. It was the place designated by GOD as the place where He would meet with Israel, His chosen people. The tabernacle was a point of connection, a demonstrative showing of His presence … cloud by day, fire by night. But, it was not the original plan or design.

Moses met God at a burning bush.

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said Moses, Moses. And he said, here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon you stand is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”
– Exodus 3.2-6

But the burning bush was not part of the original plan or design. God was after more than that.

In Genesis, we see the beginnings of God’s original intent. God made man, placed man in the garden in Eden, and walked with man in the garden. God named man Adam. God let Adam name everything else. And whatever Adam called it that is what God called it [Gen 2.19-20]. God said this was very good [Gen 1.31].

The intention here is that God and Man walk together, sharing in the work, the discovery, the problems, the successes, the joys, … sharing in everything, everyday. The place of meeting was where they were, in the garden, in the cool of the day, enjoying each other’s company. But that changed with the introduction of sin to Man [Gen 3]. Now Man could no longer come to God. The Adamses [Adam and Eve Adams] were cast out of the garden, cast out of God’s blessing and favor, and cast into seeking God and only finding Him when He came to them. They could no longer come to God. Jesus changed all that.

From Adam to Jesus, the children of God who followed after Him were always taught and thought they were ‘less than.’ Sin has a way of accomplishing that. Jesus taught and thought differently. Just out of the Bible they had at the time, Jesus taught them who would hear that they were the children of God and should not live as they do. Jesus taught them they were to be ekklesia; a body of equals and leaders called out to meet, hear a thing, judge it, and decide jointly. Jesus taught them that if they believed on him who God has sent they would be saved from the judgment to come, would be received as equals again in the House of God, and could have no separation from God ever again. If they choose to believe … act out as if real, living, now … they could have all these things. Jesus taught they were better than they believed, better than they conceived, and despite the insistence of a few, they were loved by God their Father. In three years of teaching this, of his family, only his mother believed. Those closest to him deserted him in his time of greatest need of them. He was even abandoned by His Father in Heaven.

“Eloi, Eloi! Lama sabachthani!” “Father, Father, why have you forsaken me!”
– Mark 15.34 KJV

 Jesus became separation from GOD the Father for us. At his death, when he gave up his spirit, the veil – the curtain of separation – was rent, was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. There was such a spiritual shift that the earth quaked. Jesus did say in Luke 19v40 that if they would not praise him the rocks would cry out. The rocks cried out.

After the conquest of death and the grave, after the resurrection to the flesh, after 40 days of testimony to 520, after the ascension in the clouds, after 10 more days of prayer, fasting, and waiting … God showed up in power, in fire, in wind, in anointing, and in testimony. There was now no separation of God and Man. And 3000 believed Peter’s testimony that day.

The Church is God’s elect, His ekklesia, His body of equals who come together to hear a thing, to weigh it, to judge it, and to decide on it.

The meeting places have changed over the years: a garden, an ark, a tent, an alter, a burning bush, a mountain top, a tabernacle, a temple, a synagogue, a cross, an empty grave, an empty mountain top, a shrine, a catacomb, a cathedral, a country one-room building with a bell, a store front across from a pie shop, someone’s front room or lounge room, or a converted office space that once was a police detectives’ office. The meeting places change. They are just places to meet. What does not change is who shows up at the meetings.

There is now no separation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is no separation from God for those who are in Christ Jesus. They are one in Him even as Jesus is one in Him. There is no separation, because of what Jesus did from the Mount of Olives, through the trials, through the mistreatment and false accusation, through the scourge and beatings, through jeers and the carrying of the instrument of his own sure death, through the pain of three nails and a cross, through the absence of His Father, through the willful death on a cross of wood, through the indignity of burial, through the conflict in death, to the triumphant resurrection, through the hurt of healing his own disciples, through the longing of his own heart at the ascension, through the sitting down at the right hand of the father. All these things, that there might be no separation between you and the Father.

Jesus said, “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my Word will remain.” [Mt 24.34]

If the Church were a building, it would pass away. No, it is not a building. The Church is the people, the most important part of creation to GOD. A tent, a house, a garden… these things are temporary. His house is where we choose to meet Him. His Church is His Children; a far more precious commodity than a building.

His House is not the Church. His House is for His Church.

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Character is the summation of life events and choices made. It is the character of some to be and leave a positive legacy. It is the character of others to gain all they can with the least amount of pain or effort. Life happens to both. One leads to a world bettered by their passing; the other leads to a world damaged by their passing. A true test of character is the evidence of the choices made. Will they rave or rue your passing?

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“Knowledge without purpose is pointless. It is the application of knowledge that wins the day.” – me

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