Posted by: SandreS | December 10, 2009

God’s Outsiders: The Called-Out Ones (A Biblical Look at God’s Ecclesia), Part 38

Stolen Identity

I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord (Psalm 122:1).

One of the fastest growing crimes in our day is identity theft. Larger and larger numbers are finding that their identity has been assumed by others. With this stolen identity professional thieves have been able to amass great wealth by fraud. Yet identity theft is nothing new for the church, the Body of Christ. Our true identity has been stolen from us. That’s right, human organizations and institutions, along with their brick and mortar structures, have assumed for themselves our identity “in Christ.”

The “Reformation” never did free the members of Christ’s Body from this type of religious fraud; and centuries later, in spite of all the truth to which the Body of Christ has been exposed, it is still common practice to simply surrender our true identity to the religious system:

  • “Remember that this is the Lord’s House.”
  • “Welcome to the House of God.”
  • “Be reverent when entering the sanctuary.”

Now, there was a time when these three phrases would have had legitimate meaning. Psalm 122:1, for example – “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord;” but to what was this passage referring, and to whom was this written?

First of all, we must realize that at the time this was written the Body of Christ did not, as yet, exist. If we rightly divide the Word of Truth (in accordance with II Timothy 2:15), we can understand that the audience of that particular Scripture was Israel, and it was a reference to a physical structure.

In time past, Israel had the Temple. It was God’s House in that day (c.f. II Chronicles 7:1-2, 5). It was the meeting place of God with Israel; but today, in the dispensation of grace, we – the members of Christ’s Body – are God’s house.

Yet how often have we heard Psalm 122:1 – “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” – used in reference to some man-made structure in the dispensation of grace? This takes the passage out of its dispensational context. It is an illegitimate use of the passage. The truth of the matter is that any physical building presented as “the house of the Lord” today is a fraud. We are the church. We are the house of God. God lives in us we’re His church building!

On an even sadder note, we have been party to all of this identity fraud. We have supported and helped build such a system – with our presence and with our money – and all the while it was taking our identity from us, and using it for ill-gotten gain!

When will we wake up and realize that our identity has been taken from us? When will we understand that we have even been aiding and abetting the Adversary in this serious crime? When will we reclaim our true identity and live in the fullness of who and what we are in Christ?

It is high time that this evil crime against the Body of Christ be reported. Let’s search the Scriptures and learn of our true identity as God’s church, God’s house. Then let’s report these truths to the saints. Let’s ask them if they know that there are those out there parading under the pretense of being us. Let’s encourage others to reclaim their identity and expose this scam.

One Church – One Body – One Membership,

or,

Two Churches – Two Bodies – Two Memberships

One of the lines above represents the truth of the dispensation of grace. The other represents the methods of man. Many believers claim membership in two churches. They are professing membership in two bodies.

A man will be a member of the First Community Church, for example, while also claiming membership in the church, which is His Body. This man holds membership in two “bodies.” Thus he professes two churches, two bodies, and two memberships; but in reality, by practice, he is denying the one church, one Body, and the one membership (Colossians 1:18).

Be and enjoy who and what you are in Christ!

Help lead others to this wonderful place!

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2000, 2009

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