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The Church of the Living God is the hope of the nations. It is the Body of Christ on the earth, and the Body must be connected to the Head in Heaven – Jesus. I believe that God is using this unusual time in history to powerfully realign His Body and reconnect it with heaven because He wants it to usher in a new move of God on the earth.

God’s heart, intention and purpose for the Church is powerful. My previous blog touched on the hidden mystery of the Church. Ephesians 3:10-11 tells us that His intention for the Church is to make known the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in the  heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus. The Bible warns us we have an adversary, the devil, who seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). When we look around at the unrest, tension and hostility in the nations at the moment, it is easy to feel as if the plans of the enemy are prevailing. But God is going to display the Church before every evil power as His chosen company to dispense throughout the earth what has already been accomplished through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension (Eph 3:10-11). Just as Jesus was made manifest to destroy the work of the evil one, the Church of the Living God exists to complete His work. This is the only hope for the nations.

 

“God is going to display the Church before every evil power as His chosen company to dispense throughout the earth what has already been accomplished through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension.”

 

Below are six powerful Biblical features of the Church of the Living God:

  1. Revelation is the foundation stone:

The Church is built on the revelation that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. This was first revealed to the disciple Peter in Matthew 16:13.

When first questioned by Jesus, Peter echoed others’ opinions of who He was. Some said a teacher, others said a prophet, others said Elijah. Then Jesus zeroes in on Peter and asks ‘but who do you say that I am?’

Everyone has an opinion of who Jesus is, but every individual during their lifetime must answer this question for themselves. Peter’s final answer did not reflect the opinion of man but the truth of God. When he gave the answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”, Jesus blessed Peter.

Prior to this encounter Peter’s name was Simon, but this revelation was such a significant turning point in his life that His name was changed by Jesus Himself as an outward sign of the internal transformation that took place. Simon in its original Greek means wavering reed – it is something that can be swayed with opinions of man, false doctrines and teaching. But Peter is the opposite. It means rock. It cannot be moved. This is the foundation His unstoppable Church is built on. Not even that gates of hell can prevail against a Church built like this. (You can read more about the transformation of Simon Peter here).

The modern church can make the mistake of building around the pastor, his personality, charisma or skills; or programs, presentation and entertainment. This puts the Church in a position where it can become like a wavering reed in times of challenge and uncertainty and under the pressure of a hostile culture. We cannot negotiate on our supernatural foundations. If you receive the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God, His Spirit draws you to connect with others and shapes you together. The Bible calls us living stones, handcrafted by God Himself into precision-made bricks that are placed alongside each other, joined together under the powerful revelation of Jesus Christ. This is how He builds His Church (1 Peter 2:5).

I would urge every single person to seek and find out who this Man really is, because if He is who He says He is, it will change your life.

 

“The Spirit of God draws you to connect with others, shapes you together as living stones handcrafted by God Himself, joined together under the powerful revelation of Jesus Christ. This is how He builds His Church.”

 

2. There is always a people:

The Church is not the building, it’s the people. We made a significant investment into our church building. But the greater investment is in the people, because God made the biggest investment into us. It was His own life and blood. He showed us what was most precious.

There is no Church if there are no people. You can have a building, but no church. During this second period of lockdown we aren’t gathering in our building, but we are still the Church. The courageous believers in China are running to the House of God, but church buildings are being shut down. The people find a way to gather underground and continue steadfastly in the faith. They are unstoppable! This is the Church of the Living God! Chinese officials are concerned because if the revival keeps going, by the year 2030 China will be the most Christian nation on earth.

There is a pattern throughout history that continues to this day, of elitist leaders and corrupted power attempting to shut down the Church. In Acts 4 the religious leaders of the day forbade the disciples from sharing the gospel after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. One of the wise leaders, Gamileal, instructed them to leave the disciples alone, asserting that if this was of God, it couldn’t be stopped. If it wasn’t, it would fade out.

When God determines He is going to build His Church in a particular city, firstly He brings the leadership, then He brings the people. Despite the opposition that comes against it, that Church will prevail if it is built by Him. If it is built on human wisdom it will fade away.

When God builds His Church in a community His heart is the same for every locality – that none should perish but that all would have everlasting life through Him (2 Peter 3:9). In the days ahead there will be a rush to God. I can see people questioning and seeking, receiving dreams and visions, and churches being filled with people finding God for the first time. God is using this season in history to stir something in the hearts of men and women everywhere because He wants them to be reconciled to Him.

3. There is a revealed purpose: 

In 1 Samuel 17:28 David was serving his brothers in the battlefield when he saw Goliath. He wanted to know why this uncircumcised Philistine was standing there threatening the armies of Israel and no one had taken his head off yet. He poses the question to his brothers ‘is there not a cause?’ These are powerful words for a 17 year old.

There is a Goliath of cultural insanity in the nation, but God is raising up Davids. In recent weeks our politicians have made some significant assertions. During the launch of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update on July 1, our Prime Minister stated that in the future the nation would be much poorer and the regional order was breaking down in a way very similar to the lead up to World War 2. Federal MP for Dawson George Christensen in his recent podcast said it was too late for Western culture to be saved and that we must get ready to rebuild.

It pains me to see an intimidated Church cowering in the corners of society, desperately avoiding the cultural giants. This is not what the Church is called to be. We have a Goliath in front of us and we are called to be Davids. My question to the Church is – is there not a cause? Is there not an adventure to be had, a challenge to be met, a mountain to be conquered, a giant to be defeated?

Samuel anointed David to rise up as king of the nation. The same spirit is on you. David emboldened the whole of the Israeli army when he stood up. They were frightened and intimidated, but all it took was one shepherd boy to rally the troops. When the Davids rise up it will turn this nation around.

 

“It pains me to see an intimidated Church cowering in the corners of society, desperately avoiding the cultural giants. We have a Goliath in front of us and we are called to be Davids.”

 

4. There is an assignment:

For this purpose was the Son of God made manifest, that He may destroy the work of the evil one (1 John 3:8). Jesus began this work and we are called to finish it on the earth. To carry this out, God has given us the same spirit and the same anointing that was on Jesus (Luke 4:18). It is the anointing to bring healing, salvation and liberty. I believe that when we begin to operate under this anointing we will see a break out of the miraculous.

The worldly church is people just gathering, listening, observing, thinking but never doing. Jesus warned against this (Mark 4:12). We are not called to be observers but partakers of the kingdom of God and become participants of His assignment on the earth. Before Jesus ascended to heaven He gave a mandate to go into all the world, preach the gospel and disciple the nations, teaching them to obey (Matt 28:26). This is the mandate for the Church. But as we begin to walk with God our unique assignment within that mandate begins to unfold. This is the most exciting dimension of our journey with God. Our unique individual assignment feeds into the corporate mandate and as we come together in agreement under that vision with Christ as our banner, it releases an incredible synergy on the earth. You have a mountain to take, a business to build, a school to lead, a family to raise, a message to speak. You’ve got something to offer. You have things God has put in your hand. David had a few rocks. Moses had a staff. Joseph had a dream. They used what was in their hands to fulfil the purposes of God. When the Church rises to complete its assignment in the city, everything begins to change.

 

“Our unique, individual assignment feeds into the corporate mandate and as we come together in agreement it releases an incredible synergy on the earth.”

 

5. There is an empowerment

It happened in the upper room in Acts 2. There was a sound from heaven as of a mighty, rushing wind. Divided tongues of fire sat on the heads of the 120 believers gathered. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. This is where the Church was born. What an amazing day that was.

A lot of people think the baptism of the Holy Spirit was something that happened back there, 2000 years ago. But God started the Church the way He wanted it, now He wants it back the way He started it. The Church began so powerfully – full of the Holy Spirit and spreading like wildfire across the known world. Then it was taken over by the Roman Empire and split into denominationalism. But in this season God is doing something fresh in the Church because He wants to unite it and restore it to its origins.

Jesus gave us an incredible mandate to go into all the world, preach the gospel, make disciples of the nations teaching them to obey. He didn’t just give us a job with no power. Do you know how hard it is to get one person to obey all He has told us, let alone an entire nation? Jesus empowers us with His great Holy Spirit.

I wasn’t in the upper room during the first outpouring 2000 years ago. But 40 years ago in Bendigo a group of young people prayed for me and I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He filled me and became so real to me. He wants to do that for every single person. He hasn’t left us as orphans, He wants His Spirit to fill you, lead you and empower you. I would encourage you to pray for it, look for it and begin to receive it by faith. You may have already had that experience, but you can have a refilling, a fresh outpouring.

6. There are possibilities of faith: 

The impossible can happen in the Church of the Living God. One of the greatest impossibilities was the incarnation – God Himself becoming flesh and dwelling among us. When the angel delivered the prophecy to Mary, her response was understandable: “how can this be, since I do not know a man” (Luke 1:34). The angel responded “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you …” With God nothing is impossible.

Don’t ever think what you are asking for is impossible. God sent me into this city and said “I want you to build my church…” I am His co-labourer. I felt it was so hard and at times, even impossible. But when we connect with God, partner with Him and receive His word, His Holy Spirit overshadows us and nothing is impossible. It is possible that the Church of the Living God can be restored and reconcile this nation to God. It is possible that where we see death, destruction and decay in our society, we will see life, healing and transformation.

Just as Jesus turned Saul the persecutor of the Church around to become Paul the Apostle of the Church, so He can turn a nation. With God, all things become possible.

 

“When we receive God’s word His Holy Spirit overshadows us and nothing is impossible. Where we see death, destruction and decay in our society, we can see life, healing and transformation.”

 

If you would like to take the step of inviting Jesus into your heart and receive an unshakeable foundation in your life, I would encourage you to pray the following prayer and make contact with our church, or a local church near you that can help you on your journey.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in prayer asking for the forgiveness of my sins. I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son, and that He died on the cross of Calvary that I might be forgiven and have eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. 

Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and I ask you right now to come into my life and be my personal Lord and Saviour. I repent of my sins and will worship you all the days of my life. Because Your word is truth I confess with my mouth that I am born again and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

THIS BLOG IS BASED ON PS BRIAN HEATH’S MESSAGE ‘CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, PART 1

Pastors Brian and Lynne Heath have been married for 40 years and served as the senior leaders of City Builders Church (formerly COC) at Sale, in the heart of Gippsland, for the past 27 years.

Brian is one of the longest serving pastors in the Gippsland region and has become a true father to many spiritual sons and daughters and a valued mentor to younger ministers and community leaders.

Brian has a strong prophetic dimension to his life and carries the apostolic grace to build strong churches and to teach, train, impart and prepare the Church for the last day’s harvest. Brian believes the church of the future will not only carry the grace to win souls, but to impact and influence every domain of society.

Brian is also part of an apostolic team that travels regionally and throughout the Pacific. He is also working with ministry partners to build an alliance of like-minded ministries, churches, individuals and organisations that desire to rediscover and rebuild the Christian foundations that this great nation was built upon.