Jézus építi az Ő egyházát – Abonyi Sándor
You can download in PDF format here: Jesus is building His Church
Jesus was said to be many things amongst people in his time, but when he asked his disciples what they thought of him, Peter gave him the right answer:
„Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said onto him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it onto you, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also onto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give onto you keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:16-19.)
Jesus is speaking of His Church here, which he is constantly building. This Church has the following characteristics:
- Jesus is the Owner,
- He is building the Church according to his will and design,
- it is not built by flesh and blood, but by revelations,
- it has a strong (spiritual) foundation, based on the certainty of his declarations, so even the gates of hell can’t prevail against it,
- only those can take part in the building process, who received the same declaration of Christ by the Holy Spirit from the Father as Peter did once,
- His people have the power of bounding and loosening, because „whatsoever they shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever they shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
- The members of this Church are as „lively stones”, and are „built up to be a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2.5),
- His sheep hears his voice and He knows them, and they follow Him: and He give unto them eternal life; (John 10.27-28).
This means also that there exists another „church”, which is NOT built by Jesus but other people. Jesus is speaking about this in Revelations, where he is already staying outside the Laodicean church, naming them “lukewarm”, and spitting them (lukewarm Christians) out just as people spit out lukewarm water.
Jesus’ Church is not in buildings but in newborn people. We don’t need to go into the church building (gathering at the exact place regularly), but He goes to his people where they come together in His name; “two or three gather in HIS name.” (Mattew 18.20.)
We have to change our mindset radically regarding the Church!
„Be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom 12.2)
If two or three true believers come together in HIS name anywhere or anytime He is with them and this group IS HIS Church. In the Acts we see to appear the leading of the Holy Spirit everywhere:
- One time Peter went on his regular prayer meetings and heard the Lord’s voice, and he healed a lame person at the gate called Beautiful. This simple act started the first evangelism: 3000 people repent, without any previous organizing or propaganda. Finally the prayer meeting didn’t even take place that day, because God had better plans. How many would dare to eliminate the paying meeting today? They would think instead that it couldn’t be the Lord’s voice… What needs to happen for a spontaneous situation led by the Spirit?
- Later Philip was a leader of a successful evangelism in Samaria, where he preached Christ and many recovered and got set free. Philip didn’t celebrate, but he remained sensitive to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit such a situation too. The Lord puts an end to the situation and transfers Philip onto a road toward Gaza. There is only one Ethiopian person who gets saved and baptized by Philip, but later many gets saved via the Ethiopian person also.
- Paul wanted to carry the gospel into Ephesus, but the Holy Spirit didn’t allow it in that time and he got a vision (a Macedon man) and he changed his original plan and was convinced that the Lord sent him into Macedonia etc.
We can see from these situations that God’s plan is different from peoples will and church activities in many cases. The question is: in similar situations are we able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and allow HIM to work wonders or remain in the regular activity and our human plans instead of God’s will? In these cases we are NOT building Christ’s Church but another (man-made, human) church, which is outside of Jesus. This is the false church, called Babylon, or the „great harlot”, because this is a false (man-made) creation. The members of this false church are not walking in God’s will because they haven’t been born again or heard the voice of the Holy Spirit. They are not „living stones”, but carnal people (bricks), as materials to the tower of Babylon.
Nicodemus was a basically honest man and he was interested in God’s miracles as many people today are, who have been members of religious churches. Jesus told him the followings:
„Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say onto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said onto you, you must be born again.” (John 3:5-7).
From the Scripture we can see that religiousness without being born again has no worth! Everybody has to be born again, because only „living stones” can be parts of Jesus’s Church and can take part in God’s Kingdom.
God Himself didn’t change and He works similarly today as in the past. He directs the building of his Church by the Holy Spirit on spontaneous ways according to his will and not according to human plans.
„The wind blowout where it listed and thou headrest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it Goethe: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3.8)
From this it can be also seen that such churches which live their church life after previously decided plans of people and organizing programs from week to week and they are only concentrating on their Sunday morning activities, (living a kind of Sunday’s Christianity) gives little possibility to God to manifest Himself freely and spontaneously within such formal frames. Therefore the Church of Jesus mostly looses ground from the institutional „church” and separates itself from it – according to the direction of Holy Spirit. The true Church therefore lives her life in great freedom and in spontaneous ways.
We can see the same thing in the Gospels. Institutional religious Jewish people are living their strictly regulated lives according to their fatherly traditions and Jesus with his small group has always been an outsider to them. Jesus and His disciples had their own independent ways of living their common lives and doing ministries. All very spontaneously, led by the Spirit. Jesus gathered with his disciples in the most different places; within narrow bounds; in the presence of great publicity; in houses or on free places (field, beach etc.) but he had been moving in all cases according to the Father’s will, totally separating himself from the religious gatherings of edified and well organized Pharisees and Scribes. The Pharisees and Scribes knew the Scripture (the dead letters) very well but Jesus called them „whitewashed sepulchers” (spiritually dead), who didn’t discover the living Jesus, the Jesus who fulfilled the WORD, THE TRUTH by all of his activities.
How can people think that the activity in the Church of Jesus Christ can be limited to only few hours a week on a given place? God is much more powerful and versatile than that! The Church of Jesus Christ has been made by the work of The Holy Spirit and not by human thinking.
We need to break free from religion and “fatherly traditions” in order to be able to live in true Christianity each day by the leading of the Holy Spirit as we could see it in Church of the first generation.
Traditions, practices, humanly organized programs are resulting in weakness, but if God’s Spirit is working there, we can see freedom, life and power.
„Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition”. (Matthew 15:6).
„Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Cor. 3:16-17)
The newborn believers get also used to certain practices, religious life and they are unable to break free of it. If they find out and feel that many thing are not right, they may escape from that but just to find themselves in a similar religious system. They are unable to break the practices and they don’t dare to come out with Abraham’s faith into „nothing”, so they could be able to see invisible things and the heavenly town, which has been built by the Lord for those who love HIM.
Life in Babylon wasn’t any worse than present worldly church life, where Abraham was called out of, and was lead on a narrow road, where not many walked with them. Only three people (Abraham, Sarah and Lot, his nephew) were sharing this road with him, and that was the way of the faith. We know that it is impossible to be loved by God without faith! Faith lies on the confidence based on revelations we get from God, and this confidence is stronger than hope (Heb. 11.1). Faith doesn’t have any doubt and uncertainty though all visible things seem to be against it (for example Isaac was born when Abraham and Sarah were already old). Abraham’s faith was based on the words and revelations of God, and by being submissive to God, he could walk on the narrow road. The world may have not seen the greatness in that, but in God’s eyes this was precious. He didn’t see the fulfillment of the great promises God gave him, but God did fulfill it later in His chosen and separated people. There is no doubt that Abraham walked in God’s will. This is similar today. We need to walk with Abraham’s faith on our own way too. It is possible that we won’t see the fulfillment of God’s promises in our daily lives, but we can be assured that if we are faithful in small things, than God will bless us with many. This is one of God’s spiritual laws!
We need to start with Abraham’s faith and similarly to him we have to leave our Babylon back and start to walk on that way which God’s Spirit leads us, even if there is not many walking on it with us, or even if the road is strange, unknown, or it seems uncertain . God leads his people and builds HIS Church this way.
It demands courage and true commitment from His people to be able to walk His way. People who aren’t able to do this do not belong to Him. This is only the way of his people, reborn believers who hear his voice and obey Him.
There are only two ‘churches’ in existence today!
One which calls himself as a church but she is very carnal and divided (1 Cor. 1.10-13), therefore there are many of them, and many people to these churches because they are following their carnal desires. The Word calls this as broad way, and „great harlot” who is „thirsty for the blood of the saints.” This is a false Church; Cain’s Church. This sent a lot of true believers to death by fire, or else how, and persecuted them as heretics during centuries, only because they followed no religious acts, human practices but wanted to walk on the way of the faith and the truth.
„And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” (Rev. 17:6)
The other one is the true Church. This has been built by Jesus. They are few, mostly living in smaller groups around the world thrown all over the place. They don’t call themselves Church (they don’t bear any names), but the Holy Spirit gathers them and knows that each of them is walking on the narrow way. The Lord is really among them in these small communities and the Lord leads them and builds the relationships among them. This is not an organization, nor an institutional community, but a living organism. This is Jesus’s fiancée, whom he will come back for and he will take her with him. This Church is “Abel’s Church”, who is persecuted continuously by Cain, because the flesh persecutes the spirit in all times, because „which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3.6).
This is the glorious Church of persecuted, despised, outcast, mocked, embarrassed and many times martyred believers. They are all similar in this to Jesus, because they take part in Jesus’ death, resurrection and suffer because they picked up the cross and carried it in their whole lives.
God’s work is spiritual in nature, a supernatural work which is unable to be done by human power. If somebody tries to do that, it will end up being “Cain’s church”, the “Great Harlot”, which is a ’false Church’.
„Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zak. 4:6)
The Lord gave nine different supernatural, spiritual gifts to his saints (1 Cor. 12.4-11), and He also gave five ministers to HIS CHURCH, and they are accomplishing the building of the Church by supernatural gifts given by the Lord:
„And he (Jesus) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Eph. 4:11-13.)
God distributes his supernatural gifts how He wants. We can see that there are differences among the gifts, which is invisible in institutional churches, because regularly one people namely the pastor behaves as a handyman and tries to do everything (to pastor, to teach, to prophecy and even to preach the gospel too …), but God’s plan is totally different. When we stand into other ministries which we don’t have supernatural gifts for, it will be a carnal activity: for example if a person with pastoral gift starts to preach the gospel or an evangelist tries to teach etc.
God gave all gifts according to his purpose and each of the gifts are able to accomplish God’s supernatural plan.
For example we see in the Word that preaching the gospel is basically the task of apostles and evangelists (see. Peter and Paul apostles and Philip evangelist in Samaria).
According to God’s plan the apostles and the prophets are the fundamental ministries which lay down the foundations of God’s Church:
„And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:” (Eph. 2:20-21)
In the present „churches” the pastors and teachers are rather „the foundation” because they are the most important ministers but this is not God’s will.
In the building process God uses the apostle as a wise master builder and the prophet stands before the Lord and conveys God’s will to the Church. They are eyes of the Church, and that’s why they were called ‘seers’ a long time ago.
The ministry of the teacher and the pastor follows the apostles and prophets:
„I (Paul) have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. …. You are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” (1 Cor. 3:6-10)
Here can we see the differences in the function of gifts. Paul is a wise master builder, he lays the foundation, after that is coming the teacher and accomplishes a „buildeth thereon” – on the prepared foundation – according to his spiritual gift.
The pastoral gift has been given to local ministry exclusively to equip, encourage and comfort the saints ….
Jesus says from Church built on such way: the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!
Today a totally different building work is happening when building institutional churches (denominations) called by different names. This usually means a structure in authority pyramid system, where one man sits on the top, who calls himself „Vicar of Christ”. This is a Babylonian sample, which is very clearly forbidden by God (Luke 22.25-27).
Jesus gave a very simple model against this in 1 Peter 5.1-3. Here we can see that the apostle is a fellow, a partner on the same level as believers and elders: their position is amongst believers (and not over ruling them). This means they don’t rule over others but are servants and their life is an example to others. That is why we can say „all you are brethren.” (Matthew 23.8).
It isn’t possible to build on two different fundaments, as we are unable to walk on two different ways, and a way in the middle doesn’t exist! If somebody has been reborn he has to decide how he wants to live his life because flesh and a spirit are unable to be in community with each other. If someone doesn’t „run out” in the right time (Rev. 18.4), he will have part in the sin of „great harlot” and he will get the punishment of God. God reminds his Church in the last days. The question is: do we hear it or not? Do we submit ourselves to Him or not? Today it is still possible to “run out” but not for long.
If only the Lord would give confidence for everyone in this question! If we are walking in Faith of Abraham we have to step into “the nothing”, invisible and we shouldn’t be looking for other possibilities to go into other “churches” because this is a fleshly act. We are able to live in a saint community already with 2-3 people and the Lord will be there. If the Lord is there He fulfills his promises and there will be fullness. Who trusts in God and “runs out” from the false churches will avoid the punishment of sinners “in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21.8)
„He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. ….. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. ….. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev. 22:11-21)
The Lord will come back for His glorious fiancée. When He comes back he carries His Church with him into his kingdom. Who are keeping his will till the end and don’t refuse His name will get imperishable and glorious flesh and they will rule with Him through thousand years and they will be living with the Lord eternally.
Translated into English by Anna Török