14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.
15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.
17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.
18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
When I read this considering the “strange woman” as discussed in recent writings, this passage feels like a calling back to the faithfulness of the original Christian church. In so doing, we will find blessing. In so doing, we will be filled with the Living Waters of Jesus Christ. This sounds like a refreshing, revival, or renewal by His Spirit.
I believe this will happen, at least in part, for a remnant of Jesus’s people who strive to keep His commandments and testimony faithfully. I also believe that the “strange woman” will rise up against this refreshing when she takes power with the beast and false prophet in fullness.
I’m not sure how this will take place, when, or what exactly this Christian renewal will look like—but I have a lot of ideas.
What does it mean to get back to the faithfulness of the original Christian church? Is this Catholicism? No, that’s not what is meant. Though, this is not an attack against Catholicism or any other Christian sect in particular.
Here are my thoughts, as of now, about what a renewed Christian church would look like:
The main focus on being a Christian is living a life that takes the teachings of Jesus to heart, as opposed to pursuing the faith intellectually through a set of dogmatic doctrines or legalistic regulations which leads to hypocrisy, strife, division, stagnant growth, and exaltation of our favored groups above others.
There would be a return to sound doctrine by considering the spirit of what the scriptures say, with honest weighing of what is to be taken literally and what is to be taken metaphorically or spiritually. There should be allowance for differences of opinion within the general assembly of believers without the need for strife and division, so long as Christ and Him crucified is preached without the abuse of His blood.
Christians will trust the Holy Spirit in all things to convict the hearts of all believers, allowing each individual to grow and learn at a pace that is most beneficial to them. So, to that end, we will not have church assemblies that preach one message to an entire congregation based on ridged dogma and doctrine which you must adhere to in order to be accepted of the church.
The Spirit will convict in matters of liberty, such as teaching of secondary doctrines, manner of dressing, praise preferences, holidays, food and drink consumption, and all matters of conscience rather than the regulations of man which are often oppressive and do not change the heart of a person.
Believers would seek their own gifts of the Spirit, so that the church can come together and help each person reach their fullest potential. Jesus is the head, not man. No person is higher than the other, but all are important. Those who are weakest in the faith are given the most attention, and those who have serious struggles with sin are loved and supported. These receive the greatest honor.
Leaders such as teachers, pastors, prophets, and those who disperse to the poor are appointed based on actual qualifications given by God and not based on completion of a man-made seminary program.
They should be elders, who can lead uprightly and who value truth above their own ideas or favorite doctrines. They should favor furthering the Kingdom of God instead of loyalty to this world. They should live a life in Spirit, forsaking all else in this life. Leaders are held to high standards, not praised, but servants of all just as Jesus was servant of all, so as to make the position one that no man would covet for the sake of praise of man, power, and money. Only a person who truly loved the Lord would consider such a position, and the elders of the church would thoroughly vet any who considered such a position.
Christianity would be less concerned with the politics and policies of this world and more concerned with furthering the Kingdom soon to come. Christianity would be less concerned with the sins of the world and instead focus on their own sins and growth, thereby being a good example of Jesus to the unbelieving world and therewith convert some.
Christianity would love and support the unbelievers by caring for the truly destitute including the widows, the orphaned, the elderly, the handicap, and those whose lives are so overrun with sin that they cannot support themselves, such as the drug addicted or those ensnared by ungodly culture, thereby healing and converting some.
Christianity would be the welfare state, with no interference and robbery from government or concerns about tax breaks because treasure in heaven is what matters most. Funds are gathered willingly and of a joyful heart and made abundant because they are not wasted on extravagant church buildings and unnecessary programs, nor do they make pastors and prophets so-called rich. All are encouraged to work if they are able. Freeloading is not rewarded, but compassion is given where compassion is due.
Jesus is at the head of all things. Each individual pursues Him with his or her whole heart, and each individual is rewarded in Spirit according to the measure of faith and grace given to them. Love for Jesus and for others is the focal point of all things done within and by the Christian church.
That is my vision of a faithful church. I’m sure it is imperfect and lacking in nuances, but I do believe this is a general format that is pleasing to God, and I would love for such churches to rise. How would such churches rise if our current churches remain in power? That is something to think about.
God’s will is done in all things, and anything that needs to be thrown down will be thrown down at the hands of our enemies, as mentioned in the previous writing. We do not attack churches or Christianity, but love our brethren and hope that they can see the errors of their ways. If enough were to simply walk away and turn to Jesus more fully, that would also be sufficient.
However, I do not expect that to be the case. I expect chastisement from God to be the case, and I expect a renewal to come from such a time—a renewal that is later squashed by the “strange woman” and beast who feels as if their power is being taken away. However, we rejoice always in the Kingdom of Heaven to come! We do not fully know what that Kingdom will look like, but we know it will be ruled perfectly by He who is Holy and True!
Could I be wrong about my ideas about the church and the things I write in general? Absolutely. I could be wrong about a lot of things. I hear no booming voice from the heavens. I read scripture and study, I observe the world and the church, and I ask Jesus what His perfect and pleasing will is. I also try to see what God is doing in the midst of the chaos in this World. I try to listen to His response in Spirit.
I believe we hear Him more clearly the less we hear this world and the more our hearts are filled with Him. I also know that the heart is deceitful above all things. So, I keep seeking to be filled more fully, and I keep seeking a better understanding.
Take what I write in this regard. When I write these things, I sit down first thing in the morning and I look at the scripture that immediately comes next, and in that moment, I try to hear what Jesus is saying or what lessons He is calling into remembrance. It usually begins with a single thought, then it is as if a thread is pulled and the writing unravels.
That is the process, and these writings are thoughts. How much these writings are my thoughts and how much they are of the Spirit we will have to judge. I think that is how we should handle such things, and I should have made this clear from the beginning.