Hebrews 1 – 7
The writings of the book of Hebrews was specifically addressing the Jews and the different factions they represented – the believing and the non-believing. Some of them had converted from Judaism by responding positively to the message of the Gospel, as there had been a paradigm shift from what they used to know to what God’s plan was. On the contrary, many were still locked up in the establishment rather than pursing a relationship with God. From previous articles, we have discovered that the main reason why the High Priest had the office was to have access to God and to draw close to Him.
There is an unambiguous difference between having a RELATIONSHIP with God and joining an ESTABLISHMENT. The Jews were so much about the establishment than having a relationship with God and for this reason, they missed it all even till today. I fear that’s the same mistake the Church is also making. We are so caught-up in the ESTABLISHMENT at the expense of having a RELATIONSHIP with God. Even when the Temple was destroyed and there was no more a High Priest to offer sacrifices on behalf of the Nation, they still wouldn’t look ahead to what God had started to do amongst them. John said paraphrasically, “He came to His own and they rejected Him.”
What is the ESTABLISHMENT then?
The picture can be better painted when we look at the ESTABLISHMENT in the corporate world. It is a system where employees fulfill the goals, objectives and the mission statements of the Big Boss. The idea of the Big Boss is that there is a philosophy and the employees are made aware of the philosophy; coupled with this is the modus operandi and how they can retain their jobs with the ultimate purpose of making their employer happy through the value they add to ensure the company achieves its goals and make profits.
The idea is that if you do what we want, then you can be in our good books and if otherwise, there is some form of punishment in wait. The affection from the establishment is given to those who serve their interest and it is withheld from those who do not.
As long as you are making a positive impact in the ESTABLISHMENT, doing what your employers require of you, you will definitely be seen as one making a positive impact and playing by the rules. You are not expected to do your own thing, as in bringing in ideas that would be detrimental to the ESTABLISHMENT rather you must be seen to observe the laid down rules of engagement. Although there is nothing wrong with that but if you find that you are not happy with your employers, then you are free to resign and look for another job; that’s the system.
Coming back to the Jews, their RELATIONSHIP with God was not as important as the ESTABLISHMENT, even though God had established a New Covenant. Jesus, as He addressed Mary and Martha (Mary sat at His feet and Martha was bothered about hospitality) in the Book of John and Chapter 11, the picture painted here was more of someone who is engrossed with working in the Church (Martha) without knowing the Head of the Church (Jesus). As for Mary, who was been portrayed to her Master as one in the wrong, apparently made the right choice. She was about a RELATIONSHIP with the Master rather than joining the ESTABLISHMENT.
We have also gathered from recent articles that the main purpose for the redemption (the coming of God as incarnate to planet Earth, the slaughter of the only begotten of the Father and Him being hung on the cross), only pointed to one thing and that is, having access to our Father in RELATIONSHIP. What we lost in the Garden of Eden is now finally restored to us through the message of the Gospel. Coming to identify with the Lord Jesus is not and should not be about what we THINK God can do for us but having a RELATIONSHIP with Him, irrespective of the things we have or don’t have.
The Jews missed the whole point even when they had the warnings from the Prophets; they still decided to go for the ESTABLISHMENT (Judaism) rather than having a RELATIONSHIP with Him.
Every powerful movement especially in the Church today, has its viewpoint or ideology, which has absorbed the mind, fired the imagination and captured the devotion of its followers. The ESTABLISHMENT provides something more important than simply loving one another in the same way we have been loved by God. Once you build an establishment, you have to protect it and its assets so that the people can be good stewards. As long as the ESTABLISHMENT is doing fine, nothing else matters. No one cares about whether the followers have a good RELATIONSHIP with their God or not.
The idea is that the Pastor or the set man has a vision, supposedly one which has come from God and the expectation is to have followers who are not allowed to think or make any advancement towards knowing God personally. The people (like we have mentioned in the corporate world) must follow his/her vision and the moment one of the followers tries to think outside the box, they are labeled as rebellious and instantly there is a penalty of being excommunicated from the ESTABLISHMENT. Some of the said followers don’t go easy because they are labelled as being used of the Devil and ultimately the person is cursed by the set man, pastor or daddy like we typically represent them today.
We run the Church like we are running a corporate organization. Who cares about RELATIONSHIP!
Much of today’s messages emanating from our Churches are dominated by ideologies (things that we think people want and are lusting after) which, if not totally false, are alien to the message of the Gospel. We have become so afraid that we can’t make it without the ESTABLISHMENT; we also forfeit and forego subtly the real reason why we have God in our lives.
Jesus died so that we can have access to God, relating and worshipping. The Scriptures did not use the language of need when talking about the vital association God establishes between believers. What we need is Jesus. When we fail to establish a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, we make an idol of the ESTABLISHMENT we are associated with which ends in frustration because most times, we do not get the things we have been promised that God would do.
I will rather have a RELATIONSHIP with God than become part of an ESTABLISHMENT, which does not know if I truly have a relationship with God or not.
“Beware of a misty religion! Beware of that which is without form, for it is sure to be void! Beware of that which is undefined and undefinable, because there is nothing solid in it! Prophets may plant it with their pretended revelations, martyrs may water it with their blood, confessor after confessor may defend it with his learning and with his courage, time may endear it, literature may protect it, and kings may keep guard about it, but he that rules in the heavens, and cares not for human might, shall certainly grasp its trunk, and, pulling it up, even though it be strong as a cedar, shall hurl it into the fire, because he hath not planted it. Yes, every hoary system of superstition, every ancient form of idolatry, every venerable species of ill-worship, shall be certainly overturned, as God is true.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Keep it right here and be refreshed!