I remember going to an interview for an associate pastor’s position of a larger church when I was all of twenty-five years old. Green behind the ears does not even begin to describe how naïve and unprepared I was for this position. To prepare for the interview, I thought it might be wise to have some understanding of the church. Lo and behold, I visited a local Christian bookstore and bought a book, “The Purpose of the Church”. How exciting, I’m interviewing for a church leadership position and trying to read an entire book to understand the purpose of the church on the nine hour drive to the interview-my wife was driving by the way. I did get the job mainly because the leadership of the church was just as clueless to the purpose of the ecclesia (church) as a legislative governmental agency of the Kingdom of Christ with the five-fold leadership of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers equipping the people for ministry.
Recently, the Holy Spirit has been drawing my attention to the Old Testament family that was to become a nation that would glorify Yahweh and draw all nations to serve Him. Yes, Abraham, the father of Israel, began as a father of a family. If we miss this amazing fact that whatever Yahweh is accomplishing in the earth, He always begins with a father that will begat sons. Marriage and family are the building blocks of every ecclesia (church) and helps us to understand the enemy’s bombardment of these holy institutions.
Consequently, we can’t possibly arrive at the purpose of the church until we understand the progression by which Yahweh formed Israel. Initially, Israel began with patriarchs, fathers-Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. This patriarchal stage of development is generally about the lordship of Christ delegated through fathers and the governmental order of the Kingdom.
Secondly, the law was given by Yahweh to Moses. Now don’t get hung up on the fact that I’m introducing the law as a necessary element of the churches’ construction. Yes the Old Testament law was focused only on the flesh with performance and legalism as its primary qualities. However, understanding that the primary definition of law is how something works, then there are New Testament laws just as in the old. The New Testament laws are the law of Christ, the law of faith and the law of the Spirit, a life in Christ Yahshua. It is simply how this new covenant works, which is by the Spirit. The Old Testament law operated by the flesh, produced a curse and led to frustration and futility, setting the stage for grace and truth to come through Yahshua the Christ.
Finally, in the Old Testament there was the prophetic. Mainly, however, because the Old Testament was characterized by external human effort and fleshly desires, the prophetic focused on correction and negative judgment, only speaking of a better day that would come. The prophet Joel indicated that there would be a pouring out of Yahweh’s Spirit in those [futuristic] days.
Yahshua came bringing grace, the internal empowerment of the Holy Spirit as a dynamo, producing perpetual power and revelation of the Kingdom. Today, we no longer operate by the flesh, but now by the Spirit. The spiritual kingdom of Christ continues to operate by the fathers, by spiritual laws and the prophetic. But thanks be unto Christ, we have the Spirit so that the father’s hearts are turned toward the children, the law of Christ has been written on our good and honest hearts by the Spirit and we see prophetically, by the Spirit, the purposes and plans of Yahshua, our elder brother, our Lord of lords, our reigning King of kings.
I’m sure if I went back and read the book explaining the purpose of the church from yesteryear, I would be embarrassed at the notion that we could have been so far off from what Yahshua had in mind for His body and future bride. Let us go on!!!