Do you like to get presents or gifts?? I know i do. In America, most gifts come in a box. Although, if you want to give something too big to fit in a box, (like a car) you don’t have to use a box, But, even then, people will still find boxes for a gift even that size (in the event that you do want to give away a car I’ll give you my address…lol). Then, we cover the boxes with pretty wrappings, bows, ribbons, ornaments, confetti, etc. We want that box to be as pretty and magnificent as we can, so the receiver will be excited about the gift…thus, making the gift more fun to give.
When you open a gift, it is customary or polite, to show that you really like what was in the box (even if you really didn’t like it). We take out the gift, and show the giver how much we enjoy what was in the box. We try it on, or play with it, or eat it, or what ever the type of gift requires. We show our gratitude. The box, however, is long since forgotten. It lays on the floor surrounded by all the pretty wrappings, and ornamentation. Now ready for the garbage can, or a long forgotten area of the closet, full of other wrappings that although well intended, will probably never actually be used. That box won’t be wasted, however, if the gift recipient is a young child, as that is what they will end up playing with while the gift itself sits on the floor.
In the same way, we have described the gift and the box, so could we also describe the Church age. We have spent 2000 years both building and becoming a gift. The Word of God, and the Holy Spirit have been building a people full of faith and power. A people who love God more than their own lives. Their hearts are full of the testimony of the the love and power of Jesus; these people are the gift (yes I do know they are the minority of what has come out of the Church).
The funny thing is that we have been trying to stick this gift in a box for over 2000 years, thinking that the box itself was a church. (I’ll just tell you with all certainty that you can poke air holes in that box all you want….but that kind of gift will die in that box anyway). Despite the attempts of men to contain the work of God in a box, Jesus always creates a people full of faith and power that rise up and blow away the previous work of the box with faith and love for Jesus.
Men will put all kinds of ornamentation and wrappings and ribbons on this box……they will have new styles of worship (what are they worshiping?), new ways to pray, new programs, new rules, new “freedoms”. But, I notice that their “freedom” only works when they are trapped in a box. They will even physically dress up the box, with new building projects, new paint jobs, new pews, new music equipment and sound systems. But, I notice that people don’t get healed from cancer any faster when you can hear the message better than you could with the old sound system.
In these last days, the Church age is ending. In other words, God is about to open this gift, and the wrapping, and the box will be thrown away forever,…but the gift will also remain forever.
The church age has been used to reproduce a people after Gods own heart, patterned after Jesus himself, these people have been given everything they needed including the box…..That’s Right! The box did have a purpose. Just like the temple had a purpose in Jesus’ day, so has been the church of our day. Just like Caiaphas, and the Pharisees had a purpose in Jesus day,…So the religious box-loving crowd has a purpose in our day.
The box has been the breeding ground for religious devils of every kind (which way outnumber the lovers of Jesus crowd), and there has been a war inside this box for a long time.
The war has been between the ‘right thinking’ crowd, and the ‘believing’ crowd, but in this season that war will literally become a civil war like the church has never seen before. But for right now, it is important to know that God himself is unwrapping this gift that has been in the making for 2000 years …. inside the box is a faithful, spotless, blemishless, bride …. she is the the bride that the Father has chosen for His own Son, and she will not be defiled by any corruption….especially the corruption to be found in the religious death that owns both the temple and the box (It was given to them).
In parting, I will just say …. please, do not be like the small child who throws the gift on the floor, so he can play with that ol’ box until it is tattered shreds ….. Receive the work of Jesus with all joy …then, ….become a part of the gift, by completely relinquishing all rights to your own life. Take up your cross, and “follow Him” for the rest of your days. Completely give yourself to Jesus, without reservation …. You will not be disappointed.
In His Service,