It is time to conclude this series. For me, it has served its purpose in that God has shown me that keeping it simple is essential for a true walk with Him. It started out as a project designed to deconstruct the things the church does in order to identify why we are not seeing the kind of signs and wonders which are recorded in the book of Acts. However, it has become a lesson in self-destruction. For me, at least.
I had intended to continue on with the history of the church, visiting the time of Constantine, and then the time of the Reformation, before bringing it all up to the modern age. I had wanted to expose the teachings of today, which have their roots in paganism, but God has shown me that I am simply intellectualizing these things. There really is no need to do so. It only serves to add to the chaos.
Instead, I am going to leave it here and say that what those early disciples had, which we lack, is a simple trust of God. They didn’t need explanations for why God works in the way He does. They didn’t stop and ask how miracles worked. They accepted that the Kingdom of God is filled to the brim with mystery. If it wasn’t, there would be no need for faith. If everything was revealed, then we would all understand. If we all understand, then we have no need for faith. If we have no need for faith, then what purpose is there in believing in God?
Those early disciples, right up into the 2nd and 3rd centuries, simply accepted what God said. Whether He spoke through the pages of the Old Testament or through the person of Yeshua and His Holy Spirit, they just believed and accepted it all. The gospel was simple. It still is. It hasn’t changed. The only thing that has changed is the church, and its need to rationalize everything. The truth is, that need didn’t originate in the church. It is worldly thinking. The church just adopted it. It is the way of the world to want to understand everything and break it all down into bite size morsels so that everyone can get it. In doing so, the world has no need for God. If the mystery is removed from the things which we don’t have a rational explanation for, then we have become like God.
And if that sounds familiar, then you should recall it as being the line which the serpent used on Eve back in the garden. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil stood in the centre of the garden and God told Adam that if he ate from it he would die. Because he ate from it, today we ask why was the tree there in the first place. The knowledge of good and evil has caused us to question everything and demand an answer for all. Adam didn’t ask why the tree was there. He simply trusted what God had said, and told Eve not to eat from the tree. No questions asked. Simple faith that what God had said was true. It was the serpent who made Eve question what God had said. It is the same trick he uses today.
Somehow, Yeshua managed to teach His disciples to get back to simply trusting what He said. It took a while for it to stick with them. At least three years by anyone’s reckoning. It has taken me a while to even see it. Or rather, to remember it. At least twenty eight years by my reckoning. When I first believed, I didn’t question any of it. I simply accepted it and soaked it up. Then I fell away and started to question everything. Even since I have found my way back to God, I have continued to question everything. It has taken writing this series, all 70,000 words of it, for me to finally see what I already knew.
The church is divided. There is no question about it. With thousands upon thousands of different denominations all divided by what they don’t agree upon, it is impossible to say that the body of Christ is one. It is worldly to question the things of God which we don’t understand. That is what the world did all along. The purpose of the church was always to remain in the same place – the place of unquestioning faith that what God says is the absolute and final truth. The church was deceived into thinking that if we were more like the world then we would win more converts. That was a lie, and one which we swallowed, just as Eve did in the garden.
The only way back to the Narrow Path, for me, is to do what I did at first – to simply believe. To not believe is to lack faith. God calls a lack of faith, un-faith-ful. Just as He called Isra’el an unfaithful wife, so too He calls His church.
There is no formula for revival. Reform must come first. And reform must start in the hearts of each and every one of us. Writing this series has made me realise just how arrogant I have become. I was prepared to fish the splinter out of the eye of the church. But, I couldn’t see it clearly because of the great big log in my own eye. Yes, the church needs to reform. But the church is made up of the people who are called by God before the very foundation of the world to come out of the world and be separate. On the turban of the High Priest were two words – Kodesh Yehovah. It is translated as Holiness to the LORD in many bibles, but it really means what each and every believer should be – separated to Yehovah. That is what we have all been called to be. Separate from the world and for His purposes alone.
If we continue to be a part of this world and not be separate, then we will continue to question the mysteries of God. I am choosing today to start over. I am choosing to believe what God has said, and to actively put my trust in that. It means my actions in day to day life will start to reflect what I believe. The Hebrews of old used to take a vow each year to signify that they accepted God’s word and were prepared to follow Him, no matter what. I am going to make my own vow before Yehovah, in just the same way. I suspect there will be times when I take my eyes off what He says and sink like a stone. But I know He will pick me up and set me right every time. I am going to purpose to be simple in my faith and not to question what He says. I am going to endeavour to not anticipate how He will answer my prayers. I am going to be determined to not intervene when I think I know a better way. In other words, I am going to be like-minded to the disciples and accept His plan. In doing so, I will empty myself and allow Him to work through me.
God is good to those who put their trust in Him.