Lesson 86

Church of the Living God

"So. .. you may know how you ought to conduct yourself
in the house of God, which is the church of the living God,
the pillar and foundation of the truth."

1 Timothy 3:15 (Lamsa Translation)

Throughout the Middle Ages there were many church movements and many leaders who influenced the people in varying degrees.

As early as 330 A.D. there was rivalry between the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Greek Orthodox Churches. The final split between them came in 869 A.D. Because the East refused to recognize the authority of the pope, the schism (division) has never healed (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 903).

The Greek church held back the Islam religion from "flooding" western Europe. There have been many martyrs among the Greek church—they were willing to suffer and die for their faith.

Great temples or cathedrals have been erected throughout the civilized world. It was most often the people who were very poor who donated the money for building and keeping them in good repair.

In Jesus’ day it was not considered "Christian work" to raise money for church purposes, while today money-raising is taught to be the ideal work for Jesus. The Apostles taught that the real work of the church of Christ is not to build churches (which are usually so costly that it puts them in debt), but to build themselves up in the most holy faith (Jude 20).

God’s people are like living stones, being shaped and polished by their experiences for places in the spiritual temple. This temple is not a church of stone or brick; it is, rather, made up of those who follow in Jesus’ footsteps in the service of the Truth during the Gospel Age. These will "do good unto all men as they have opportunity..." (Galatians 6:10).

The fellowship of the brethren is very important (Hebrews 10:25). Gathering together to study and pray and sing praises will help the footstep followers keep themselves in "the light" of God’s word and to let that light shine out to others. (This can be done anywhere, not just in a church building.)

Some brethren do not have any opportunity at all to meet with others of "like, precious faith," yet they are very clear in their knowledge of the Truth and have a deep appreciation of God’s plan because they have done so much reading and studying. So the Lord provides for all those who wish to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and become "living stones" which will make up the temple of Jehovah God!

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