Your place in the Kingdom depends on it.
Unity in Community by all believers in Yeshua (proper given name of Jesus) as one Body is the mandate of Scripture and the Apostolic writings. Salvation and eternal life is about being “called out” from the world and from false doctrines and their seat of power - Catholicism and the Protestant Denominational system, called Babylon in Scripture.
Why do pastors and theologians tell people they need to become Christians to be saved? No where in Scripture is this stated or taught. Did Yeshua build this system based on pragmatism, a monstrosity called Christianity? No! Christianity is built by man and will be judged as such. Hillsong debacle at the moment is just a shot across the bow of what is coming to all kingdoms built by man and not by God. (See Daniel 2:31-35,44-45,7:23-28, Hebrews 10:26-31; 12:25-29.)
Christianity is not the Kingdom of Elohim (Hebrew for God). We are not told to become Christians but disciples and followers of Yeshua. And He said, repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Yeshua is building a Messianic Community, or a Kahal in the Hebrew, not the “Church” as falsely claimed by translators and teachers, (See Matthew 16:16-20. TLV.)
So we must answer the question, how is it to be built?
1 Corinthians 3:1-16.
Paul is talking to the whole Community of Messiah, His believers in the city of Corinth in Greece. He says that collectively they are the Temple, the dwelling place of Elohim Ruach. If anyone destroys Elohim’s Temple then they themselves will be destroyed by Elohim. (v16-17)
The context here is that strife, contention, debate, jealousy, envy, being over zealous can be destructive to the Body of Believers in Corinth. He also is saying that division into groups that are antagonistic to one another, or who have divided loyalties to a name or teaching style or message is not of God. This is the message of unity, oneness in faith, practice, and relationships, that all speak the same thing and have the same care toward one another. Unity of heart and mind.
Both Paul and Peter also reminds us that no Scripture is of private interpretation, but all that the prophets said of old must be followed, and Israel is our example of coming judgement.
(See 1 Corinthians 10:1-12.)
The strength of Messiah’s Community, that is the Kahal, or Miqra or Ecclesia in the Greek, meaning 'the called out ones' is their unity. They had or were taught the importance of the unity of the faith and the unity of the Ruach (Spirit). (Ephesians 4:2,13.)
This unity was visible and demonstrated in the way they came together as members one of another in worship, friendship and support. Nothing was to divide or separate them. (See Ephesians 1:10-17) The city Kahal was a powerful demonstration of Yeshua as the Messiah, and His Kingdom and the truth of the Scriptures.
The terms “Christ”, (should be Messiah) “Christian” (Messianic Believer) and “Church” (Community) are very misleading and deceptive, based on Roman Catholic tradition and dogma. As Scripture is read, these terms focus the reader on the Denomination they are a part of and their teachings as if it is of God when mostly it isn’t. The Christian Denominational structures and their different cultures and teachings isolate them from one another and are not a true representation of the Body of Messiah and His Kingdom in the city. They have a form of godliness, but deny the strength, power, authority, health of a true united Body in the world today. They are a Corinthian disaster. 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Build According To The Pattern:
But Paul is also emphasising here the absolute importance of building the Kahal, the Community of Believers, this Temple in strict obedience to the rules, commands, plans, pattern of Scripture, as commanded. Otherwise we will destroy what is of Elohim. Make no mistake, what we build will be tested by fires of tribulation. (See 3:1-23) We just can’t do what we want how we want!
Noah: Genesis 6:13-15, 22.
Noah built exactly as Y’Hovah commanded him.
Moses: Exodus 39:1-7, 40:16
Moses did everything just as Y’Hovah commanded him.
David: 1 Chronicles 28:10-13, 19-21.
David put in writing what Y’Hovah gave him regarding the plan for the building of the Temple. Solomon followed it.
The success of all these men was their obedience to the plans as they were given to them by El Elyon, and Paul stresses the same thing to Corinth above and Ephasis. Ephesians 2:17-22
The Transition From The Temple To The House:
As we look at the first four apostolic Good News writers and into the Book of Acts, we see how the early Messianic believers in Yeshua changed how and where they gathered for their Shabbat services and regular coming together.
Their leadership structures and their reasons for coming together and how they fellowshipped radically changed. Yeshua and His disciples went regularly to the Temple and to the Synagogues to worship or pray, teach and keep the festivals. But as you follow through the Book of Acts and the apostles writings, this all changed as they had less and less in common with the Temple, its priesthood and hierarchical structures of leadership and control.
Acts 2:1-6, 46-47; 5:40-42; 20:17-21.
The Temple was a public place with large courtyards where hundreds to thousands would gather. The early Messianic believers would go there to pray, teach, witness and celebrate the festivals. They often got arrested and thrown into prison, flogged and threatened and put to death because of the Name they preached in and believed in as being Israels Messiah.
The problem with the larger public type meeting places like the Temple and the Synagogues, they had become or were places of idolatrous religious systems of worship and belief. They were places that were symbols of power, authority, wealth and control. They were corrupt, highly political and apostate. In the end the Temple was demolished because of it and so will all of mankind's religious systems of today, where they conflict with Scripture and Elohim’s will.
Where the large public Christian Church format and function is the predominant manner of gathering, as it is today, there is always the growth of hierarchical structures with the “them and us” mentality. There are various levels of idolatry, kingdom building, politicising and even corrupt behaviour and increasing apostasy. This is always destructive to the Scriptural pattern and Elohim’s Kingdom and brings disgrace to Elohim and the True Kahal as mandated by Yeshua and the apostles.
The True Ecclesia Or Kahal:
The strength of the Kahal that Yeshua said He would build, and which we call a Messianic Community, is found in its decentralised form. This is seen in the Acts and the Epistles, where Gathering in the homes under a city-wide Eldership becomes the primary place of focus and meeting.
Romans 16:1-5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Titus 1:5.
It is more natural, more conducive to the maturity of the Body and its function and for true love and koinonia (meaning fellowship, partnership or sharing in common) in community to form and function. It is administratively easier to develop and is more genuinely a true believer priesthood in function.
It is more natural for repentance and forgiveness, and for accountability to happen.
The True Kahal doesn’t have a name that separates you from others. It has relationships that bind. Our Households may have names - HTTN, Shekem, Sela, Hebron, Tikvah; but that’s just for expediency or identification, and that’s all. We are all parts one of another in true connection and fellowship. Each Kahal in the home is part of the larger Kahal or Community in the City or district. Corporately we are one.
The development of the Kahal as a Community in koinonia must be real, genuine and of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Y’Hovah Elohim is bringing us together as living stones, making us into a building suitable for His habitation, a kadosh (holy) dwelling place wherein He can reveal Himself and His greatness and fulfill His purposes in the earth.
The Messianic Community or Believers in Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah, gathered regularly in homes or other places. That’s where the main shepherding and teaching and fellowshipping would have taken place. The apostles, prophets, teachers, elders moved around the various homes where the people met. Paul also speaks of collective public gatherings at times when he came into an area or city. He hired a hall in one place to give a series of teachings to the whole Community together.
In Revelation 1 and 2, we find that Yeshua is speaking by revelation to John about the seven Messianic Communities in Asia.
The first one is the Kahal or Community in Ephesus. There may have been hundreds of Household Kahals in Ephesus that made up the Kahal in the city. Paul also writes to the Kedoshim (set apart ones) as a whole in Ephesus. To address one Messianic Fellowship is to address all. It’s the same in all his letters, we read in Philippians 1:1.
"Paul and Timothy, slaves of Messiah Yeshua. To all the kedoshim in Messiah Yeshua who are in Philippi with the overseers (elders) and servant-leaders (deacons)." (TLV)
He addresses all those set apart, separated ones from the pagan world and false religious world around them as one group of people in a city or in a region. But they would have all met in many different places, but combined they made up the Kahal or Community of Messiah Yeshua in that city.
One home group or small Messianic Community was no different from any other group. No Gathering of Believers had their own structures, beliefs or systems and leaders that were in conflict with or which brought division to the whole Body in the city. Yeshua, the foundation of their message and faith and His Kingdom as taught by the apostles and administered through overseers or shepherds, that is the elders, kept them all on the same narrow path of truth as found in the Torah and the prophets. If it didn’t, as was close to happening in Corinth, Paul soon put it straight and pulled them into line. He did the same with Galatia when false teachers came in to divide and take over as many as they could. Paul instructed Timothy and Titus to be strong in keeping things on track from the false among them.
Wrong teachings and stuctures was condemned then and is still condemned today and is to be judged by fire at the second coming of Yeshua. As we see in Revelation, the message is not to individual “Churches” or Denominational Church groups or independent minded people, but to cities and regions as a whole. If it is of Elohim, their will be true unity of the faith at every level.
The apostle John who was living in Ephesus and the region of Asia, was very open about the troubles of his time and the city Communities he felt responsible for. He is around 90 to 100 at this stage of his life.
1 John 2:18-19, 4:1.
In his day many false prophets and anti-messiah's apposing the message of John and those who were the recipients of the later messages of John in the Revelation.
2 John 1-13.
John writes to the chosen lady and her children. This is undoubtedly the Messianic Community of maybe a city close by and all the fellowships meeting in their homes. He warns them not to let any false teachers who do not remain in Messiah’s teaching into your homes. Smaller home Kahals would be much easier targets for these deceivers.
3 John 1-15.
Here John writes to a friend who had some influence in this Community of Believers. And once again the warning is there that there are those running some home gatherings that are not of the same spirit and are very anti the Messianic Community. This Diotrephes would not submit his leadership to John, or his visiting ministries as endorsed by him or to the other elders.
Then in Revelation, warning is given to seven of these city wide Messianic Communities and that if change didn’t come then they would be dealt with severely and even removed, that is shut down and disowned by Yeshua.
"Unless Y’Hovah builds the house the builders labour in vain. Unless Y’Hovah watches over the city, the watchman stands guard in vain." Psalm 127:1
1 Chronicles 28:1-7; 2 Chronicles 2:3-5.
Y’Hovah chooses who are His anointed, who will build a House suitable for Him, how it is to be built and that which will be acceptable, suitable and fitting as a place of worship for one so great and awesome as Y’Hovah Elohim.
Matthew 15:12-14, Matthew 16:16-19.
Here we have Yeshua, who is the antitype of Solomon, who has come to lay the foundation, to be the corner stone of the Community, the Kahal that He is going to build. And if it is built by Him, then satan and the gates of death will not be able to over power it. It will stand forever. But if we build in defiance to what Yeshua says He wants built then only destruction awaits.
Daniel 2:44-45, 7:8-14.
His Kingdom, built by His hand is going to crush and destroy every other kingdom built by man and not Elohim. His Kingdom, established as the Millennial reign, will fill the whole earth and will be the only Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven established here on earth, ruled over by Yeshua Messiah and His Bride or chosen remnant for the next 1,000 years. Then the second resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgement will begin of all others on the earth or raised from the dead at that time. Matthew 6:9-10; Revelation 20.
But be warned, Elohim of Israel, our God, is a consuming fire.