16 November 2021
I believe the biggest mistake early church leaders made was losing the otherworldly focus of the gospel. Very early after the last Apostle died, his successors lost track of the Hebrew mystical outlook, replacing it with human reason, little by little. The mission of the church changed from saving souls to saving lives. Those are two very different things.
Worse, the definition of "saving souls" was corrupted to mean "saving lives". Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this world. Church leadership has redefined the meaning of following Christ to mean creating a covenant nation, something that the Bible flatly says died on the Cross. In summary, the Judaizers infected the early church with this worldly focus so that the true power of the gospel could be blunted to nothing more than a subsidiary failure of their own nation. If Jews couldn't have the Kingdom of Heaven on their preferred terms, no one could have it. Jehovah was supposed to be their slave, and He wasn't allowed to call any other nation into Covenant.
Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God. He gave His nation a chance to understand the true nature of the Covenant of Moses. They rejected it; they preferred their own corrupted worldly version. So Christ ended that covenant and translated the offer into another Covenant in His Blood. He seeks a Kingdom of Hearts, not bodies. What He did and what He taught transcends human politics. The second generation of church leadership promptly began pulling it back down into human politics. Within a couple more centuries, it was the Harlot Church riding the Beast of human government, as the Last Apostle foresaw.
Today, the brightest and best minds of Christian religion remain devoted to the task of securing political liberty. Church organization itself reflects this orientation, as does the whole range of theological inquiry. Even when church leadership speaks and writes of saving souls, they still are clearly captive of the assumption that the mission of the churches is to save the world by changing the human situation.
They will keep chasing this goal through the coming tribulation into the very end of civilization. Because their a priori assumption is that the church is the engine of civilization, they will be a complete loss when that ends. They do not grasp how this is the hand of God breaking them from their fixed false orientation. So it was in the days of Noah, when mankind was totally off track and utterly incapable of redemption, about the only way the Lord can crush this pernicious lie of our times is by destroying everything built on that lie.
Church History is not a tale of great victories, but of God's people becoming increasingly more lost and more deeply fixed in that loss.
How can we build a new church history that follows a better path after His wrath crushes everything we see now? We cannot get lost chasing yet another new Covenant Nation on this earth. We must be sure to restrict the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven to just that bare minimum it takes to accomplish the real mission: Build the life of a covenant family household of faith. If we can establish and build up the faith infrastructure now, it will outlive the coming micro-nova of the sun.
This is the kind of thing Malachi was trying to indicate in his prophecy to those who returned from exile. He set forth the vision of what God wanted to do, and most certainly would do, if they would only embrace the vision of the Covenant. Inherent in his message was the viewpoint of seeing themselves as a small step, a single stone on a very long path stretching off in both directions, past and future. It's not that the Temple and City were destroyed and in need of rebuilding. It was the much older ruins of the Covenant that needed restoration.
Like any physical infrastructure used by a human civilization, the Kingdom of Heaven requires a moral infrastructure. It requires building an orientation, a culture that points to something far greater than any single generation. It requires the kind of commitment to invest all you have for a return seen only by future generations. The early churches began that investment, but the second generation abandoned it. So today, we stand in the moral ruins again, like the folks who journeyed back from Babylon. If all we can see is the destruction on the human fleshly level, we are blind. This is our one chance to restore what God intended for His people. We have to build something to can weather the coming wrath against sin.
I cannot make you see that with my words. All I can do is help awaken what's already in you by the Holy Spirit. If you don't see it, just forget what I write and move on with your life. But if any of this calls to you, follow my example by digging into it on your own. Start building toward a Kingdom of Hearts, not any kingdom of human existence. We cannot compel future generations to do it right, but our mission is to play the role given us in getting things started in the right direction.
This document is public domain; spread the message.