Listening for the Trumpet
The majority of today’s church will be devastated when they suddenly hear that trumpet but are left behind. Here are ten characteristics of a Bible church according to the Holy Bible. Nothing is acceptable to God but the Church that is modeled after the Book of Acts. Jesus Christ calls His Bride “Jewels” and they are precious to Him.
The Bride must be on fire with love for His kingdom and living in the power of His Spirit. Look what He said to the Laodicean church: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:15-17) Getting ready to be His Bride is the greatest joy on this earth.
“Come out of her or go into the Great Tribulation with her.” The church world is taking a giant leap into the bed of the One World Church. She has lost her joyous expectation for the Bridegroom to return for His Bride. The false prophets, false prophetesses, along with the post-millennialists and a-millennialists, have stolen the anticipation of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture from the church. It is one of the saddest chapters in the entire history of two thousand years of the church’s existence. The only comparable darkness was the fourth century takeover by the ecclesiastical system of Rome. But in every period of the church – even as far back as the first century – God has had a remnant to survive and to keep the Pilgrim Church alive with the Gospel.
The New Testament church must have a New Testament personality. Let’s try to discover what that personality is so we can get a proper view of what has been lost in the effeminate church world. There are two particular sections of the Bible that will help give you a pure perspective of Christ’s church. The entire New Testament is the one and only standard and pattern. There is no acceptable alternative or modern style. To substitute this standard is to destroy it. Especially, the Book of Acts, along with the seven letters to the church directly from Jesus Christ Himself, contains His appointed pattern. These seven letters in the Book of Revelation chapters two and three really stand out when combined with the Book of Acts. Anything else, except God’s Word, is blasphemy against the Lord of the church and His Father that appointed Him. Let’s look at the ten Biblical personality traits of the church as they are pictured in these two sources and the New Testament.
Strong, Masculine Authority and Absolute Truths
First, the church is a “strong, masculine authority” in leadership and style. The character of “masculinity” is apparent, both in the whole Scripture as it relates to God Himself and the leadership of His church. There is no provision or tolerance in God’s Bible for effeminate men. A bishop, elder, or deacon must be a godly man, only married once, unless he has chosen to be single or his previous wife has died. He must be a man that cannot be manipulated by a careless or an unfaithful wife or children. When Apostle Paul stated, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity,” (I Timothy 3:4-7) he was warning against men being controlled by their wife or children. He was not penalizing some Godly man that had a wife or child that refused to serve God. Some great bishops or elders in God’s church have been men whose wife departed in her godlessness, but the man devoted himself to his ordination and refused to ever marry again.
Nothing is destroying the work of God like the loss of masculine authority. Good Godly women find great comfort in both the home and the church when Godly men are in authority. Men that wear their hair like women are under the influence of a spirit that is foreign to Scripture. But, much greater than the appearance of femininity is the loss of a strong voice for the infallible Word of God. Most new versions of the Bible have either removed the masculine terms for God and Christ or have headed in that direction. A Bible that has destroyed God’s masculinity is the worst of abominations.
But, the strong voice of truth being heralded in God’s pulpits is the ultimate loss in the House of God. All the above effeminacy only serves to still the loud and uncompromising preaching against every sin named in the Holy Book. The church is called — set in a class of its own — and responsible to hold the entire world accountable to God. Conviction of sin starts in the pulpit. Every commandment of God is the joy and delight of a holy people preparing to meet the King. The pulpit and the declaration of truth is the central life of Christ’s church.
Cross-Centered Preaching and Living
The cross of Christ and His vicarious death is the one and only entrance into life for the Pilgrim Church or the world for that matter. Our total church personality is wrapped up in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and exalting Christ is our lifestyle. With absolute authority Apostle Paul proclaimed, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:31) He adds, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Cor. 2:2-5)
Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, He is the Lord of His body of believers, and He is the only Chief Shepherd. Every pastor is an undershepherd, and every elder or deacon is a part of that shepherding process in His church. If Jesus Christ is not Lord of the church, then it is not a church but is at best a club.
The message of a Pilgrim Church is death to self and life in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, every visitation of God was manifest upon a sacrifice. Abel’s offering in Genesis was a sacrifice where blood was offered and God accepted the offering. That truth literally fills the Old Testament. Do not look for the glory of the Lord until there is a sacrifice for the glory to rest upon. Our offering is finished in the cross but its manifestation is never revealed until someone offers himself in total sacrifice. The beauty of our Sacrifice is in the blood of Christ that sanctifies the flesh and prepares it for His Holy Ghost anointing.
Constant Declaration of Jesus Christ
His New Testament church is a soul-winning institution. Our message is “Whosoever will, let Him come.”We must be militant, marching, and missionary. The Gospel lives in the midst of hurting, wounded souls. The world has no answer for sin, but the true body of Jesus does. The Gospel message will ring continuously from a Christ-centered church. When the church loses the vision to win souls, the Holy Spirit will be withdrawn. The Father did not send His Spirit to create a picnic mentality but to give power to the Gospel. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
No Confidence In The Flesh
The next trait of the church is mistrust of the world’s system or answers to human problems. Psychology and sociology is the wisdom of the world – if you can even call it wisdom. To dilute the Gospel with human wisdom is to destroy the Gospel’s power to save. The Psalmist David warned us about the council of the ungodly. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
The church of Jesus Christ is a voice in the wilderness of the world; we never welcome the world to sit with us on an equal footing. We love the world just like Jesus loved the world and died for it. We are more than willing to carry the Gospel without fear of pain or death, but we never make the sinner comfortable in their sins. Our message is often offensive, but we refuse to extract that offence from that Gospel. We know that offence is the normal reaction of sinners until the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin. With tears we share the truth to wicked and corrupt men/women and never allow their anger to wound or destroy our love for them.
Complete Dependency On The Power of the Holy Ghost
Our confidence in the power of the Holy Ghost does not allow us to model His church after the powers of the world. The Spirit cannot operate in a mixed faith. We cannot trust the flesh and the Spirit in the same instance. Jesus promised, “…Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18b-19) Apostle Paul adds to this truth his word of instruction and assurance. “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” (I Corinthians 3:6-7) The Gospel will not return void when it is delivered in obedience and with power. The seeds we sow in His Gospel message are indestructible. We must learn to sow in faith and rest in His authority.
Satan’s primary attack is to convince the church that the world is not our enemy and that we can agree together. The world knows nothing about the Gospel and their cures are faulty and helpless. The very idea of the cross and the resurrection is a contrary and deplorable thought to the wisdom of the world. They can never agree together.
Strong Prayer Life
God the Father has instituted the weapon of prayer as the primary relationship between Him and His church. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (I Corinthians 3:9) Our refueling school is the school of prayer. Every great move of God was conceived between God and man in the closet of prayer. A church that does not pray is out of business and does not know it. The devil may fight a lot of things, but there is nothing he fights like he fights prayer. When you engage in soul-wrenching prayer, you move heaven and earth closer together. When you forget to pray or ignore prayer, you allow the voice of God to fade from your life. It is pray or perish.
Most prayer today is perfunctory. It is a waste of time. God has ordained that His Son’s flesh is a veil between the Godly saint and Himself. That veil is open day or night, but it cannot be entered until the soul has weathered the many hindrances of prayer. You do not just walk in because you want a new car or have a few minutes to offer. This prayer line is reserved for the saints that have set their hearts on God. Peter entered this prayer chamber as the servants of Cornelius made their way to his dwelling place. The Bible said that he fell into a trance. This trance was not what the present vernacular of this word means in today’s English. He was ecstatic or caught up in rapt attention in the very presence of God. He was having fellowship with the Father and receiving verbal direction. “And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance.” “And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:10, 10:13-15) Saints that learn this kind of prayer life will move Heaven and earth for the Kingdom of God. Without this personality trait, the church becomes nothing but a human organization and quickly turns to the world to survive.
Expectancy For The Supernatural
The church that prays will soon learn that they can expect the supernatural of God in their midst. Anything that happens in your prayer chamber will shortly occur in the House of God. You cannot separate the supernatural and prayer — they are part and lot of each other. There is no supernatural without prayer and no Holy Ghost praying without the supernatural. It is as natural for God to act supernatural, as it is natural for you and I to act natural. God cannot act contrary to His nature; and His nature is supernatural.
When the supernatural of God is expected and the price for such a visitation has been paid, then the Body of Christ becomes a temple and the Lord walks in our midst. Impossible needs are suddenly met. Hard sinners become convicted and bow at the anointed altar. It does not take long for the community of needs to learn that the House of God has become a House of mercy. This very atmosphere of the supernatural is the description of the church in the Book of Acts; it should be normal and not abnormal.
Music in God’s House was never planned to be entertainment. The creation of music was a divine act to give language to angels, and man’s praise to God. Everything about music is praise and worship. Whatever you sing about or to, you are worshipping. Music was ordained to be the language from within the spirit of either the angels or man. Music is bound to the spirit of the singer. That’s why the fool’s music makes a fool out of him. We are forbidden to sing the songs of fools as believers, especially in the House of God. “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:5).
Music is one of the greatest methods of memorization that exits. Whatever you sing with any degree of repetition, you will memorize. It’s the greatest method of teaching truth to the believer. We can learn the Word of God and then live in those words every time we sing. Mediating in Biblical principle for delighting in the Lord and singing is a wonderful tool. Music lights up our face, warms our heart, and delights our soul. Until this generation, the saints of God have always sung about Heaven. Now, the church music has become people-centered, flesh-centered, and even a tool of praise to the singers themselves. The worship of the Lord is being robbed from Him and given to the enemy.
Praise and Worship That Raises the Roof
Suddenly, the House of God becomes a cathedral of praise, thanksgiving, and continuous revival. Nothing should be more common in God’s House than a celebration of the glory of our God manifested in our midst. The church is ordained to be a Heavenly Jerusalem. The Word says, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, nd to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:22-24). His church will never be a dead place. It is impossible for a Holy Ghost-filled house to be less than “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” The Lord Jesus Christ Himself promised rivers of living waters. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39). The House of God is the pillar and ground of truth and its glory should set the world to be amazed and to envy the beauty of our fellowship.
Living Expectancy of the Return of Jesus Christ
The final personality trait of a Biblical church is hope or expectancy of Jesus Christ’s return. From the moment He ascended from the Mount of Olives, the saints have lived with their heartstrings tied to the joy of His returning. It was always intended by Jesus Christ for us to be so full of love for Him — not about Him, but love for Him – that we can hardly wait for His appearing. Our present world talks about the love of His name and His promise of their redemption, but somehow has separated this from the intimate love of Him as the person. His soon appearing is His actual and personal descent down from the Ivory Palaces to receive us personally unto Him. The Rapture is a personal event.
The Second Coming to set up His kingdom is absolutely breathtaking and He will establish a worldwide One World Order. This occurs after the Great Tribulation of seven years. The Rapture is before those seven years and is His receiving of His chosen Bride unto Himself. We can call the Second Coming a coming to the world, including His Jewish family, which will be grand. The Rapture is the personal event of leading His chosen saints to enter the Marriage Supper and receive the rewards of the coming Millennial Kingdom. The Second Coming will be glory for the Jewish people and their nation, but the Rapture is the glory of the great saints of the church.
The true church is setting on ready, looking for Him to return in the clouds. The Spirit said, “…Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28) Nothing reveals the deep problems and mistaken views in a local church body than the loss of the hope of His soon appearing. In a transformed heart, the Spirit Himself will witness the fact of Christ’s soon return.
You have read ten identifying characteristics of His true Pilgrim Church. We can never understand the false effeminate Jezebel church without first understanding the Biblical church. Please study these ten personality traits of the Biblical church model. Read and study the Book of Acts again, along with the seven letters to the Church in the Book of Revelation. Identify these Biblical traits as we have recorded. There is no perfect local body. There will be saints in your church; but there will also be the unconverted, the lukewarm, and the backslider. The Bible states, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (II Timothy 2:19-21)
If you detect that your church has compromised the truth and departed from the faith, you are duty bound to get out and find a Biblical church. You may need to connect to a church out of your local area until you find a Biblical place to worship. We welcome you to our church online and will pray with you for a church in your town. The Bible has warned us not to stay in a Jezebel church where all limits of truth have been compromised. The emerging church is headed into the One World Religion of Revelation chapter seventeen. If you are a part of one of those churches, you will pay the price of your compromise.