Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Camps, Cars and Condos

John 2:13-22, "And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."

*Note: When the word church is rendered in all lower case letters, the author is referring to it as Christ's authentic, legitimate assembly. When rendered with as 'Church,' he is referring to it as our modern day, Business Entity, Entrepreneurial Institutional 'Church' of man's design.

Here in John 2 we see the Lord Jesus enforcing His first pastoral duty. After He turned water into wine at the marriage in Cana, He, His mother, brethren, and disciples went to Jerusalem for the Passover. After a few days He went to Herod's Temple. He sees the money changers (cashiers) and livestock (goods) to be sold and decides to clean house. He makes a small whip from cords and thrashes them out. He chases out the livestock, throws out the money and overthrows the change tables. He's not in the best of moods! Then He turns to the merchants and admonishes, "Take these things hence; make not my  Father's house an house of merchandise." Jesus didn't want to see His Father's house used as a K-Mart anymore. 

The Jews (religious crowd) wanted an explanation for Jesus' actions. He saw it as a challenge to His authority. He snapped back, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Of course, this answer went right over their heads, despite their high mindedness. They didn't realize that He was speaking of His own body (vs 21).

The Lord made a rather telling distinction here. He was actually Prophesying two things at once. There was a duality to His statement. Even though He didn't mean the building, indirectly, He mentions the temple being destroyed and then being raised in three days. The Jews couldn't comprehend what He was saying because they reasoned that it took forty-six years to build Herod's temple. But He was talking about the temple of His body. He was speaking of His resurrection. The building meant nothing as far as a permanent structure. He knew that was going to be destroyed soon. The temple of His body is what was to live forever. His and those that would follow after Him.

We are His true temples, if we are saved. We are not to be a house of merchandise. Neither did He intend his church to be either. Today, we have thousands of false 'Churches' all around the world set up like Walmart. I've been to Cologne, Germany where there stands one of the great cathedrals of mid-evil and modern times; 'the Dome in Cologne.' At first glance I noticed something strange. Showcased in one of it's ground floor windows was a display of wines and liquors for sale to the general public. This magnificent structure was actually a glorified liquor store! At the time I thought to myself, "Consider the source." But when I got back to America, I never noticed that the same thing had happened to our Protestant 'Churches' as well. They were just more subtle about it.

Even Baptist 'Churches' have gotten into the merchandise game. They have Bookstores where they sell books, Bibles, preaching tapes and music CD's. They have Nursery services for sale for people to drop off their kids while they go to work. They sell packages for kids to go to Summer Camps and Ski Trips. I know of a 'Church' that has had a raffle to give away luxury Cars! The pastor was quoted as saying that he hoped that would bring more people into the 'Church.' And just when I thought it couldn't get any lower, I found a Baptist 'Church' that sells Condominiums! Someone's making a buck off of 'Church!' These people are actually using His good name to Promote their wares! And it's not just the 'Church' but individual believers! They'll record and sell music CD's, write and publish books, and even make arts and crafts to sell. I wonder what the Lord would think of these business ventures in His house? Fortunately, it's not going on in His house, for those who are saved ARE His house, not some building! But it is truly a shame that these entrepreneurs are taking advantage of good people like you and me to make money just as the money changers did in John 2. The Lord made a statement about it back then, and so I am today.

He saw the temple in Jerusalem reduced to a flee market. His Father's name was attached to it for the world to see, and they had reduced it to a merchant's emporium. What eventually happened to it? It was destroyed in 70 AD. Not one stone was left upon another just as He Promised. He never intended for His assembly to meet in buildings. Not only would man come to worship them, they would make them a local center of commerce. 

He made a distinction that the temple was the body and not a building. His church is the people not a Property. His Word is to be shared, and not sold. Christ's church is not located at "Baptist Bible Temple, Main Street, USA." We don't have a specific address with a tax ID number. We are free from all of that. We have no Products to sell. There are no Camps, Cars or Condos to be bought with His name attached. We have no tithes to receive. We meet in homes just as He intended. We are free from running a business. He didn't want that for His people back then, and He doesn't want it for us today. We are not a part of the world's model for an Institutional 'Church' System. That's Satan's model. The organic home assembly is Jesus' model. Come and see how great it is! No charge. Thank you for visiting ChurchPros.


  1. While I agree with the not-making merchandise out of the Bible concept. How far do we take that with books? I.e. I have learned a ton of information from books, yet somehow the book has to be printed and that isn't free. I don't believe that free "e-books" are the best answer because from my experience, I retain more information from the printed word, than I do from an online article. Also, a printed book can easily be handed to somebody else to read once I'm done with it. I've been struggling with many of the same realizations you came to: I.e. we are supposed to meet for the Book, the Blood, and the Blessed Hope, but instead we spend most of our time listening to sermons on tithing, attendance, and not gossiping (with gossip sadly being defined as anybody who asks questions about what is going on).

    1. Thank you for visiting ChurchPros. I appreciate your comment on this particular article. No, really, I do. I hoped that the points I was making wasn't focusing in on making Bibles and books available to folks within Jesus' model for His assemblies. After all, His authentic assemblies are not today's Institutional business entity 'Church industry. They were never connected in anyway. How does a Biblical House Church engage in commerce? For a 'so-called 'Church' to be a store seems normal to those who have been indoctrinated to believe that it was Jesus' will to be His norm, except it's not. if that institution is not from the same DNA that Jesus provided for His assemblies then all we have is a retail business within a business entity. Jesus' churches aren't a retail entity but is alive. e are His lively-stones, not ones built by brick and morter. I also appreciate books, Bibles and Christian music, and have spent money on many within my visits to 'man's version of a 'Church.' I simply didn't know then what I know now. I reasoned that if there was a way to purchase books, Bible and music, I could always visit other channels of purchasing them. Do I think that it's evil to sell a Bible? No. I just believe that His assemblies weren't suited for that. To gain a deeper perspective o what Christ's churches are compared to mans and how traditions derailed His intent, may I suggest a free audio series called Beresford Job's Tradition Series found on Chigwell Christian Fellowship under the Audio Teachings. Scroll down until you see Traditions Series. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I think you'll find them most beneficial. Thank you again for your comments.