The church is a place of relationship. It is a place of hearing the voice of the Father and of bringing heaven’s influence into the earth. The gates of the realm of the dead cannot prevail against the church. The church is the gat of heaven in the earth and the influences of death are not more powerful than heaven’s influence of life. The enemy seeks to kill what is alive so that it is no longer a threat to the realm of the dead. I want to be a part of the church. I want to be joined to the Father and I want to be joined to others in the body in the most powerful way possible. My connection cannot just be as a prophet or some anointed minister. It cannot just be in becoming like Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Our place in the body is not just a demonstration of power that makes us the church. It is a testimony of relationship with the power of Christ that makes us the church.
My relationship with the Father and my relationship in the church as a member in a body is huge! It is the huge rock Jesus refereed to. By myself I can be a little rock, like Peter (GS4074. Πέτρος – Petros; a rock or a stone). Only in relationship with God and one another can I be a part of the huge rock: (GS4073. πέτρα petra; a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively), a huge rock. That rock is the mountain of God that is destined to fill the whole earth. It is the place of God growing and increasing influence in the earth. It is not just me and Jesus. It is me as a part of the body of Christ.
In the book of Ephesians, we find some significant truth concerning the church. Paul was writing about being the body of Christ. Paul began in the chapter one by talking about the blessings that are ours from the Father. Then in beginning in verse 18 we see some words of Paul’s prayer for the church.
Ephesians 1:18 …the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Traditionally, the church lost the point, the plot, and the purpose of being the church. Even saints were redefined. Whether it be the Orthodox church, the Catholic, or some other form the traditionally structured church, something was lost in being the church and a called out member of that church. You could not be a saint until after you died. But the word saint means, set apart one. A saint is a believer who is joined to God. A saint is someone who is one with God. They are joined to Him and set apart for His purpose and His will in the world. Only living people can be saints. You must be alive to be a saint. You must be a saint before you die to be a saint after you die. You have to be joined to the living while alive so that death cannot destroy you when you die. Paul was praying about this revelation in the hearts of each believer in the church. He was praying that each member of the corporate influencing place of heaven would know the hope of Christ’s calling. It is not the hope of an individual’s calling. It’s not the dreams of people, but the Father’s dream in life. When God looks at the nations. what is He thinking? What does He desire? What does He want to happen? What is His plan? What is our Father’s plan for such a time as this in the earth? What is our Father’s plan for the church? What is His inheritance in the saints? What does His inheritance look like in the nations in the family of God? What does His inheritance look like in the family of God? It is a corporate place. We cannot discover it on our own. We can’t discover this place of influence by ourselves. The enemy knows this. The last thing the enemy wants is for the church to have a revelation of who she really is. He seeks to deceive, devour, and destroy the threat of life known as the church – the ekklisea of God. He seeks to destroy the church, the place where the realm of life from heaven is made manifest in the earth as the body of Christ. The enemy seeks to destroy the place of life that has the destiny to influence the world with life.
We are part of the greatest influence in all the world. We are members of the church and principalities, powers, thrones, dominions, and names are under the feet of our corporate standing. We stand to possess the ground upon which we stand and give to God the glory due His name. Wherever the soles of the feet of the church walk it is part of the inheritance of God for purpose of His will.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson