... Jerusalem ... 22 Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure ... Isaiah 66 (GNT), 18 ... Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and its PALACE restored. Jeremiah 30:18 (GNT)

22
February
2011

Daniel 2: The Kingdom of God on earth? Part 1 of 2 - The institution: Church

The institution: Church

Is there anything to say about the institution called the Church? Not individual Christians in general. Remember God Almighty already made his choices. He chose the land, the city, the place (the Temple in Jerusalem) and the people through whom he would bless other peoples and their nations. He also put his set times in his feasts, some are pilgrimage feasts.  Leviticus 23, amongst other passages in biblical scripture, speaks of these. The book of Revelation tells us that John received massages from God to give to congregations, assemblies, communities of believers and worshipers of God Almighty. Not for an institution called Church.

And the people of Israel were also referred to as an assembly congregation (according to the King James Version of the bible). Exodus 12 verse 6 says:
… and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall …
.
And Psalm 74 verse 2 tells us:
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

Joel 2 verse 16 says:
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

And Yeshua Messiah always talked about his followers. He and his followers went to synagogues and to the Temple. Some Israelites rejected him but not all of them. Cornelius, who was a Roman, worshiped God Almighty with his entire house hold, before he sent for Peter (Acts 10: 1, 2). Where was the place to worship God in those days? It was the Temple in Jerusalem. The book of Acts doesn't speak of the institution Church. So where did this institution come from?

The Roman Emperor Constantine the first convened a conference of Christian leaders in Nicea in AD 325. At this first Council of Nicea they decided that all Christians should basically let go of their ties to the Jewish faith. Instead of keeping pace with the weekly Shabbat, which was partly on Saturday, they decided to have a rest day on Sunday (by the way there are also Shabbats on other days). Certain feasts would be celebrated on different dates than God's feasts given to the Israelites. In fact all this, amongst others, resulted in not using the Jewish moon-calendar anymore, so not to depend on them anymore. The Church as an institution that has started to replace all that God Almighty already provided was borne. It even resulted in replacing the country, city and Temple where God already had chosen for him self to be worshiped.

Nowadays at least three cities, countries, where there are religious institutions doing this can be mentioned. They became an image, a substitution, just an imitation of what is real, that which God already had provided for. I believe this is a process that has been going on for centuries. And that it will reach its boiling point in the future, as described in biblical scripture, for example in the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelation. The image mentioned in the passage of Revelation 13 verse 15 does come to mind. There are also events in recent history. An example of such an event: what happened to the Israelites at the time of the Second World War, while certain religious institutions did not speak out to help them? But by God's grace there were people, also individual Christians, who did put their lives at risk to help them.

Did this process of creating an image and a substitution for God Almighty and what he has provided happen before? Yes, Jeroboam did the same thing hundreds of years before Constantine. We can read about how God made Jeroboam king over the 10 tribes of Israel in the book of 1 Kings chapter 11 verses 26 to 40. And in 1 Kings chapter 12 verses 25 to 33 we can read how Jeroboam brought changes contrary to God's wishes. He even replaced God Almighty for another god. Why? Because in his disobedience to God he wanted to stay in power and gain more of it. Was this also Constantine's reason? There is at least one more leader who did the same thing. He also changed the character of God completely by stating that God Almighty does not have a son and there for he is not a father. In doing so, he rejected and replaced God the Father who does care for his children. Another modern day version of someone setting up a religion is Adolf Hitler: Hitler's occult religion.

I believe that whatever anyone does or believe, God Almighty will keep all his promises to his people, the Israelites, so they can continue to be a blessing to others. So He will bring his Kingdom to earth. He wants to dwell amongst his people. As written in Psalm 46, notice verse 4:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

Author: © Mrs A. vd Laan-LeitoPosted in: Recommended