'Not one stone upon another'
“Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, “not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:2
The disciples were marveling at the grandeur of the temple in Jerusalem when Jesus said to them that it would be completely torn down with not one stone upon another. Although the temple would in fact be torn down in the future, Jesus was also speaking of the old priesthood and its religious traditions being destroyed forever as the advent of the new covenant was about to be ratified by His death, burial and subsequent resurrection.
From the time of Moses and the appointment of Aaron as high priest, the law of commandments and the sacrifice of animals the old order continued until the arrival of the “Messiah,” the Lord Jesus Christ. A new and living way was about to be inaugurated by the death of the Lord Jesus and the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God. The old was to be replaced with the new by the complete sacrifice given for the salvation of all mankind.
Thousands of years of religious tradition and ritual were done away with as Jesus offered up His life on the cross, the law of God was fulfilled and the rules and regulations of the works of the flesh were destroyed forever along with the need for a human mediator. Jesus was planted in the earth as the first fruits given to God and rose from the grave as the “Head” of the church and Good Shepherd of God’s people. The old priesthood was eradicated once and for all by the tearing of the veil in the temple that separated man from God.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
HIGH PRIEST OF THE NEW COVENANT
And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:15
Jesus died on the cross and bled seven times to fulfill the law and to forgive sin making a way for all of mankind to come before God. He is the firstborn, the Chief Shepherd, the head of His church and High Priest according to the word of the living God.
There is no longer a need for a high priest to intercede for man because through the blood of the Christ we have been made priests of God, enabled with power and authority to come before the very throne of the living God. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and through the blood shed for us on the cross He has made a way for us back to God from Whom we have defected.
Mankind has received forgiveness for all of his sin: past, present and future and by confession and repentance can be washed and cleansed with the blood of Jesus by faith in His glorious name. The good news of the gospel is the fact that we have been delivered from the penalty of sin and the consequences being eternal damnation. Upon making Jesus Lord and turning away from a wicked and evil lifestyle one becomes born again, a new creation thus entering into the new covenant in His blood.
Keeping the law of commandments can’t save us, nor joining the church or baptism, only by making Jesus Lord and repenting of your sins by faith can one escape the sentence of hell and be freed from the bondage of eternal death. Life and liberty, peace and righteousness only by faith in the Christ and the finished works of the cross can save a man’s soul and make him a new man.
For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:-10
FREED FROM THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the un-circumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14
Paul gives warning to the church to beware of being cheated by the philosophy, deceit, traditions of men and following the principals of the world. He also warned against Jewish traditions such as circumcision and the keeping of feasts, festivals and sabbaths.
From the time of Pentecost and the birth of the new covenant church the devil has sought to resurrect the old priesthood complete with priest, temple and law bringing the people of God back under their former bondage. Even the apostles of Jesus tried to circumcise the newly saved Gentiles thus bringing them back under the traditions and law of Moses.
In Christ we have been delivered from the traditions and doctrines of men, Jewish laws and the harsh rules and principals of worldly men. We are priests of God and servants of the Most High able to come before His throne as sons and not beggars. Today the church is structured just as it was under the old priesthood, the building being the temple, the senior pastor being the priest and the doctrines and traditions of man being the law. This demonic pattern has continued for centuries uncontested and produces a dead and totally lifeless man-made organization.
The body of Christ becomes entombed within this sheep pen of good intentions being restrained by guilt and condemnation, unable to operate in their gifts and made to show up and shut up thus rendering a powerless sterile environment in which no one is saved, healed or delivered. With men standing in the “Headship of Christ” the entire body becomes paralyzed and begins to shut down and eventually dies completely from lack of use.
Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Colossians 2:18,19
THE VINEYARD OF THE LORD OF HOSTS
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I am him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
The body of Christ is likened to a vineyard in that it is totally organic in nature and grows with a growth that comes from God. Jesus is the vine, the root and the source of life from whom the whole body receives life and nourishment.
The works of the flesh and the good intentions of man make for a dead and lifeless assembly of people under the restraint of religion. Today’s church is dead because it tries to obtain spiritual life from man and not the vine. Through the ages the old priesthood and its demonically inspired design has been passed down through religious tradition and by the doctrine of demons.
The blueprint for life has been lost and replaced with ritual and mechanical repetition upheld and orchestrated by man. We are the very branches of the Lord Jesus Christ, King of all kings and Lord of all, why in the world would we want to huddle around a man and try to receive life from a human source when we can be plugged in to the Creator of all!
Jesus was planted in the ground as the root and sprung up from the earth to grow into a spiritual plant, a vineyard that would produce fruit and spread throughout the land spreading life and growth to all that would abide in the Vine. It is hard to imagine God wanting to plant this glorious vine in a pot that becomes starved for life because it consumes all its nutrition from the soil and eventually dies just as His people die locked away in their little buildings on every corner of the land.
“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
“Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” I Peter 2:6
The cornerstone is the stone laid first that all other stones are in line with, it is the “plumb line” of God in which the whole building aligns. Jesus is the firstborn, the Head and the cornerstone of His church, no other can stand in His place or else the whole building will be off center. We as His body are “living stones” that are fitted into a holy temple in the Lord.
The temple of God is the assembly of those washed in the blood of His Son, anointed with Holy Spirit’s fire and made to be priests to minister to the Almighty in His sanctuary. When God’s people come together each has a specific function and gifting necessary for the body to receive life from that which is shared in the assembly.
When the body of the living Christ meets to commune and worship it is a time of intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, Chief Priest and mediator bringing us before the very throne of the Most High through the veil of His flesh. Only blood bought saints, anointed and washed can come into the throne room of God, unbelievers are not allowed to enter, it is only reserved for those in covenant with God through the shed blood of His Son.
Tradition and doctrines of demons have polluted the sanctuary of the Most High inviting the world into the bed chamber of the “Bridegroom” thus defiling the whole assembly of the righteous. There is a time to invite the lost to gospel meetings but not when the bride is in the intimate place of worship with her husband. It would be like inviting the neighborhood over to watch you make love to your spouse, it would greatly dampen your lovemaking experience!
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:4,5
THE HEADSHIP OF CHRIST
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, ‘I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
Contrary to popular belief Jesus is not knocking on the door of ones heart in order to save them, He is knocking on the door of His church! Jesus is asking to be invited into His own assembly who have installed an earthly man, senior pastor, or if I may be so bold as to say a fleshly king to lead them. Just as the children of Israel clamored for a king so that they could be like the other nations, so the people of God today have wanted to be like the world.
Laodicea was a type of last days backslidden church, lukewarm for the things of God and rich with the things of the world, but spiritually bankrupt. Today in a world of science and medicine, abundant provision and wealth the church doesn’t need God anymore because they have gone after other gods to meet their needs. You can tell how spiritual a church is by the size of their prayer meetings compared to the attendance on Sundays.
The people of God, like Israel have gone after other gods and have sought the world’s provision rather than the Creator of all. They have fashioned their churches like the modern corporate model, a successful business designed to cater to the world, but devoid of real spiritual content. Open one day a week, millions throng to the “worship center” to feel good about helping God out for one hour, instead of laying down their lives in devotion for the One who died and rose again to give them life.
The true bride of Christ must shake off the dust of religion and once again seek the Lord Jesus Christ with all of their heart in order for the King of Glory to come back into their assemblies. The “Bridegroom” is coming and will appear with the blast of a trumpet announcing His return for His glorious bride, will you be ready?
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have that no one may take your crown.” Revelation 3:11
“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:13