Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Congregation, The Club, and The Church

Below is a message from Pastor Zac Poonen's church from a conference called "New Wine in New Windeskins".  The full listing of messages may be found on their video page.

The Congregation, The Club, and The Church
  • The old wineskin is like layers of an onion.  This can deceive many into thinking they have reached new wineskin, while they have actually simply been through a few layers of the old wineskin.
  • The new wineskin is a narrow way.
  • The joy set before Jesus - which propelled Him to the death of the cross - was the joy of being in submission to the Father's commands because He loved the Father (John 14:30-31; Hebrews 12:2).
  • The love for the Father must come first in our lives if we are to love others and lay our lives down for them.  
  • All Christian work (including the building of His church) must come from a love for the Father for that is what allows us to hear His commands and obey Him. 
  • Every day of His life, Jesus determined to have His life directed by His love for the Father and then His relationship and compassion for others.  This is what it means to carry a cross; the bigger crossbeam being the vertical one, signifying our commitment to and relationship with the Father first before we can have relationship with others.
  • The definition of a disciple is one who carries the cross (Luke 9:23).  This is the only type of Christian that there is.
  • The sole desire of a Christian must be, "I do not want to do what I want to do.  I only do what the Father wants me to do."
  • Our vertical relationship with the Father is 100% in secret.  The old wineskin was based in outer appearances (devotion to God is external, Exodus 40; language is religious, Psalm 40:9-10; worship is soulish, Psalm 149:1).  The new wineskin is a hidden, inner work (Colossians 3:3).
  • A Congregation is a gathering of vertical beams.  They may be interested in spiritual things, but cannot build fellowship with others...especially those who rub them the wrong way.  These are lone rangers and isolationists who love to do things for God in a show of false religion, but do not submit to Godly authority around them.  Many times, because there is no true fellowship here, the size of members can be in the thousands.
  • A Club is a gathering of horizontal beams.  The people become "cookie cutter" impressions of one another.  The environment is very "cliquish" and one's devotion to God is based primarily upon one's loyalty to men and their doctrines/rules.  In the "club", one's security is found in man's acceptance rather than in God, so one is easily offended by the correction of others.
  • The Church has the vertical beam and the horizontal beam.  The immediate consequence the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was that the believers devoted themselves to fellowship (Acts 2:42).  The Church is the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27).  Love for God and then others comes from the inner dwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Unity in spirit among believers comes through the cross.  The time when the Church is built up the most is when we are away from each other; it is the things we do in secret devotion to God which permits fellowship with other believers.  We cannot build fellowship or knit ourselves together (Colossians 2:2, 19).  The Holy Spirit will knit together the hearts of those who are dying to themselves in their personal time.  Anything less is just friendship, not fellowship.
  • Once we understand these truths, we will no longer wonder or complain about "Where are the people who will build the church?" If we go to the ground and die, then that will draw the people (John 12:32).  The issue is not that the people aren't present or aren't joining the church; the issue is that death is not working in those who claim to belong to the Church (2 Corinthians 4:12).
  • You know you have come to the Church when you find shepherds after God's own heart (Jeremiah 3:15).


  1. Amazing post, sister. The Lord bless you.

  2. "Latter Days Ministry" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.


  3. Hi FishHawk,

    Thank you for stopping by. I hope that people are edified by what they read here and are compelled to draw closer to the Lord.

    God Bless!


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