Jesus Christ started His New Testament church after prophesying the very destruction of His physical temple! Yet today most Christians are busy spending their money and time building more new temples!
In the New Testament Christ made it clear that His only building program was going to be His church, but “church” in Greek, “ekklesia”, was not a building! The Greek word “ekklesia” is defined only as a group of people. Furthermore, God once and for all abandoned His Old Testament physical building program the moment Christ died on the cross… “At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51). At that moment the “Spirit of God… tore” out of the temple! Never to return! Yet 325 years later Constantine and his mother Helena started the unbiblical precedent of building temples again for God’s people! And the Christian clergy/priests have been promoting Constantine and his mother’s unbiblical precedent ever since!
“The woman said to Him, Sir, I perceive you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship?’ Jesus replied… ‘The time is coming – indeed it’s here now – when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way” John 4:19-23
In the Old Testament God was to be identified with and in a building, the holy temple in Jerusalem. But Jesus made clear in the New Testament that worship was no longer to be identified with or in a “place of worship”… but rather “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” And then Jesus made clear, “The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way!”
With the new covenant the Spirit of God left the physical temple and started a new building program, a “spiritual temple” (1 Peter 2:5). No longer would the Spirit of God reside in any temple or church building. No longer does the Spirit of God want to be identified with any religious or church building. Now the Spirit of God resides only with and in His people, Christ’s new “ekklesia”, Christ’s group ꟷ “All of you together are the temple of God!”
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16
The only “building program” in the New Testament is the building of men and women up in Jesus Christ. In the New Testament God did not reinstitute a new physical building program as He did in the Old Testament. God sovereignly destroyed the only physical building in the world that had any reflection of Him!
When Christians deserted the house churches and met in large pagan temples, all they could do then was, as they continue to do today, sit in rows and listen to a sermon from some clergy/priest. This was contrary to what all believers did in house churches for over 300 years from the time of Christ and His apostles.
The church dramatically changed from being a participatory gathering to a spectator gathering. The church was now completely transformed into a whole different foreign and unbiblical “church” format and structure. It was nothing like what they had been instructed to do as described in the Book of Acts.
As might be expected, most clergy do not refer to such church history or such Scripture violated by it. However, there are a few unbiased Christian leaders that have written about some of this. Frank Viola and George Barna are two that have documented much of the pagan church tradition in their book Pagan Christianity.
This post is an extract from Jim McCotter’s book. Want more, can I suggest you purchase his ebook.