December 1, 2006

A Prayer
of Jesus

I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise
and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.

The Builder
Part IV - The Perfect Fit

By Edgar Jones


Prior parts of this series have shown that the Lord Is a builder and that he is building his Ekklesia, but that he is not building a church or churches on the earth.  He is now preparing the building stones on the earth and assembling them in Hades, from which he will call them forth to stand before him on the Last Day.  They will then appear as his Ekklesia, which will be his assembly of called out persons and they will inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world.  In the Greco-Roman world of the First Century, the Ekklesia consisted of the gathering of citizens of a city having been called out by their ruler to assemble and attend to public matters.  Jesus chose to use this well understood and familiar First Century governmental institution as the pattern for the government of the consummate kingdom of God.

The Lord Jesus, as a builder, was careful to state the specifications for his materials of construction and the prior Part III listed some of these specs and showed, by comparison with the Christian Church (or churches) that it fails to conform to a single one.  It is therefore The Perfect Misfit and cannot be the Ekklesia of the Lord.  Here we will see that there is now on the earth, not an ekklesia and not an assembly, but a dispersion of the building stones that the Lord is preparing for his Ekklesia. 

We will also see that these building stones, dispersed as they are, nevertheless constitute a distinct entity on the earth even now.  It is not according to the pattern of the Ekklesia, but to that of a flock hearing and following the shepherd..

The focus on the perfect fit below will shift at times from the collective perfect fit to the individual perfect fit. You should not be confused by this because the distinction is not significant.  If you are seeking such a fit, your will probably first seek it in terms of a collective entity, a church or assembly, where you will find persons gathered.  Not finding it there, you will normally reduce your quest to search only for an individual. In either case, the specifications of the Builder are the same.  All qualifications for the perfect fit are applied on the individual basis; then should there be more than one fit in a location, you may find them joined together in their service and worship.  

Please read on!

The Builders Specifications

Here for your reference are the builders specs as listed in Part III.

1. Their numbers are few.

Mt.7:13 Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road leading to destruction, and many are those entering through it. 14 And confined is the way leading to zoe-life, and few are those finding it.

Their obedience is to the Lord.

Jn.14:15 If you agape-love me, you will keep my commandments.

3. They do not war.

Mt.5:38 You have heard that it was said: Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. 39 But I say to you not to oppose wickedness, but whoever strikes the right [side] of your cheek, turn to him the other also.

4. Their pastor is one.

Jn.10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this sheep-pen, and I must lead [these], and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd (or pastor -- poimen, ποιμήν).

5. They have no hierarchy.
Lk.6:46 Why do you call me 'lord lord', and not do what I say? 47 Everyone coming to me and hearing my words and doing, I will show you what he is like. 48 He is like [a] man building [a] house, who dug and deepened and placed [the] foundation upon the rock. But when flood came to pass, the river dashed against that house, and it was unable to shake it because it was well built. 49 But the [one] having heard and not having done is like [a] man building [a] house upon the ground without [a] foundation, against which the river dashed, and it was straightway shaken, and great was the fall of that house.

6. They are not of the world.

Jn.15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it has first hated me. 19 If you were of the world, the world was philia-loving its own. But because you [are] not of this world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

7. Their salvation is his Word.
Jn.5:24 Truly truly I say to you that the [one] hearing my word and believing the [one] having sent me has eternal zoe-life, and does not come into judgment, but is moved out of death into zoe-life.

8. They have no temples.

Jn.14:22 Judas says to him: not the Iscariot, Lord, and what has happened that you are [about] to reveal yourself to us and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered and said to him: If anyone agape-loves me, he will keep my word, and my father will agape-love him, and we will come to him, and we will make our dwelling-place with him.

9. They love one another.

Jn.13:35 By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have agape-love for one another.

10.  Their gatherings are small.

Mt.18:20 For when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.

Yes, I have added No. 9 and No.10 to the list in Part III.  The specs are numerous and this is only a sampling.  Each time I go to the gospels to check, I find yet more specs.  They are all of a kind, however, and listing more will not change the fact that the Christian Church with its many members is, collectively,  the perfect misfit.  The Church as an institution is a perfect misfit, and its members are perfect misfits individually.  The rare individual exception is miserable within the Church and wants only to find the perfect fit that he or she might enter in and become one with other disciples and with the Lord.  This paper is to assist you in recognizing this perfect fit

Identifying the Perfect Fit

Let's examine the specifications once more to see if we can identify the perfect fit by reference to each.

Part III examined them to show how the Christian Church fails to conform to any of them, thus coming to a negative conclusion.  But now we seek a positive conclusion by defining that association of individuals that is the perfect fit.

1. Their numbers are few. 

This specification goes lock step with No. 10, "Their gatherings are small."  This must inevitably be the case with few numbers.  At any one place and any one time, there may be none or only one or, at most, two or three, perhaps a dozen.  This does not result from the efforts of the few to keep the numbers small, but rather from the strict specifications that the Lord has established in the Logos -- that and the Lord's dispersal of his disciples.  To the contrary, the genuine few, like Jesus their Lord, look out upon the world and its religious institutions with great concern and reach out to the multitudes with the Logos in every way.  They grieve for the world and for the multitudes of churchmen that ignore the Logos and go merrily on the broad way that leads to destruction for the many, just as their Lord grieved for Jerusalem.  His lament for that doomed city is appropriate and perfectly applicable to the world and its religious institutions that, like old Jerusalem, is doomed.

Lk.13:34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the [city] that kills the prophets and stones those sent to it. How often would I have gathered your children together as [a] hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken.

Lk.19:41 And as he drew near, seeing the city he wept over it, 42 saying: If you [only] knew in this day the [things] towards peace - but now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For [the] days will come upon you and your enemies will cast up stakes for you and will surround you and attack you from all directions. 44 And they will dash to the ground you and your children in you, and they will not leave stone upon stone in you, for you did not know the opportune-time [of your] visitation.

Therefore, the perfect fit is always identified by the fact that they are few.  They are not identifiable by  congregations of numerous persons, because there are none.  So is it now, and so has it ever been and so will it ever be.  Even summing all those that, individually, have been a perfect fit through the centuries, in all times and in all places, they yet remain relatively few.  The many prefer the consolation of the multitude that readily and easily receives them, rather than the striving required of the few that enter the strait gate and persevere on the narrow way.

Lk.13:24 Be striving to enter through the narrow door, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be strong enough.

One cannot find the perfect fit by church hopping, but rather by seeking out those unique individuals that live by feasting on the Living Bread, which is the Logos of God enshrined in the Words of Jesus.  

2. Their obedience is to the Lord.

In 1947 when I became a disciple of Jesus and joined a Southern Baptist congregation, I recall being troubled because of church-wide disobedience to the Lord, but they were a caring people (they still are) and they had explanations for this disobedience.  So, not knowing what else to do, I further abused my spirit by hunkering down and attempting to be a good Baptist.  Big mistake!

One of the explanations for their disobedience, put forth to me in those days, goes something like this:

The commandments of the Lord that are set forth in the gospels, and in particular in the Sermon on the Mount, are so strict that it is impossible to obey them.  The Lord delivered them to reveal the perfection that the Father requires of everyone that is to be acceptable on the basis of personal righteousness through obedience.  Having revealed the impossible standard set before us, the Lord Jesus, himself perfectly obedient, then gave himself as a sacrifice in our behalf after which he sent Paul to explain the gospel of salvation by faith through grace to all men, which only requires that we believe that Jesus bore our sins on the cross that we may have his perfect righteousness imputed to us and so be saved.  We  obey whenever possible, but our sins are not reckoned when we fail, as we inevitably do.

This was convincing for a while but I could not forget that I had come to Jesus in quest of peace and deliverance from the wars of nations and this did not do it.  Neither would I evade or suppress the working of the Word within me that brought me back to the gospels and the utterances of the Lord as the basis of salvation.  More and more I was seeing that Paul grossly contradicted Jesus.  Would the Lord send someone after himself that would contradict him?  The Baptists soon rejected me and I became a "church hopper" for years, thinking I would find fellowship with like minded disciples in some other church.  The "peace churches" seemed the obvious goal of my quest, yet when I examined them they also failed to satisfy my desire to find conformity with the gospel of the Kingdom as preached by Jesus. 

All explanations advanced to justify Paul's gospel were shattered by this utterance of the Lord, together with the Parable of the Builders given at the close of Luke's rendering of the Sermon on the Mount:

Lk.6:46 Why do you call me 'lord lord', and not do what I say?

This is the iceberg that sinks Paul's Titanic gospel.  

Finding the perfect fit means seeking out those that are obedient.  One does not find them as a church but only as solitary disciples, leavening the earth.  The Christian Church appears to be the creation of Paul and his disciples.  It is based on Greek and Hebrew antecedents that have no place in the Word of Truth.  When we find a perfect fit, we have found a disciple indeed, one that loves the Lord.

Jn.14:15 If you agape-love me, you will keep my commandments.

The Lord's love and his example inspires true disciples in all they do.  Loving him, they resolve to obey him and qualify as perfect fits.

3. They do not war.

Having just read an essay reviewing the history of Christian non violence, I am once more confirmed in the basis of the non violence of valid disciples of the Lord, in the spurious and erroneous nature of Christian polemics justifying war, and of the apostasy of Christianity.  The polemicists go astray the instant they begin to appeal to Christian writers, early and late, to explain the non violence of Jesus and the violence of the Church.  They also stray the instant they begin to rationalize violence in the modern world.  For every one that is a disciple in Truth, the issue was settled forever when the Lord Jesus commanded Simon:

Jn.18:10 Simon Peter therefore having [a] sword drew it out and struck the chief-priest's slave and cut off his right ear. Now the slave's name was Malchus. 11 Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put the sword in the sheath. The cup that the father has given me, will I not drink it?

Mt.26:51 And behold one of those with Jesus stretching forth his hand drew out his sword and when struck the slave of the chief priest he cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus says to him: Put away your sword from this place, for all who take the sword are destroyed by the sword.

Mt.5:43 You have heard that it was said: You shall agape-love your neighbor, and you shall hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, be agape-loving your enemies and be praying for those persecuting you, 45 in order that you become sons of your father in [the] heavens.

Jesus and his good news of the Kingdom, framed in his Words that constitute the Holy Logos of the Father, were once planted and have never passed away nor will they while the heavens and the earth endure.  He exemplified the will of the Father that applies to all His sons, beginning with Jesus who is our Teacher, Leader and Exemplar.  Whoever would be a son of the Father follows only Jesus so as to become a son.

If you would find the perfect fit, therefore, you must look for those that do not war.

4. Their pastor is one.

This is one of the Builder's clearest specifications:

And I have other sheep that are not of this sheep-pen, and I must lead [these], and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.

Who is the one shepherd?  Again, the identification is clear:

Jn.10:14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me,

Jesus is the only good shepherd, and as we learned in Part III, "shepherd" is the same as "pastor."  As Pastor, or Shepherd, Jesus has only one flock, for he has said clearly,  

They will become one flock.

Now, what must one do to meet the specifications for admittance into the flock?

Look at the core text again and listen:

Jn.10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this sheep-pen, and I must lead [these], and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.
There are two clear specifications.  They are:

. . . I must lead [these] and,
. . . they will hear my voice

These specs are not independent, for it is by hearing his voice that the sheep follow his lead.  The shepherd leads the sheep and they follow him by following his spoken Word.  This same chapter of the Fourth Gospel contains repetitive assertions of these things by way of confirming what are already perfectly clear statements.  For example, concerning both the hearing of his voice and the leading:

Jn.10:3 The gatekeeper opens [the gate] to this [one], and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice.

Jesus is the Good Pastor, of which there is only one that is good.  One of his functions as Good Pastor, or Good Shepherd, is to lead the sheep.  It follows therefore, that the one flock has only one leader!  We go now to Matthew for confirmation:

Mt.23:10 neither be called leaders, for your leader is one, the Christ.

We have already seen that one of the specifications (No. 2 above) for anyone that would qualify as a building stone in the Ekklesia that he is building is obedience.  The sheep obey the shepherd.  Matthew 23:10 contains a simple and clear commandment:

. . . neither be called leaders, . . .

It follows, obviously, that anyone that accepts the designation "leader" is disobedient to the Lord and does not meet the specs.  Just as obvious is this: no one qualifies as a building stone for his Ekklesia who calls anyone other than Jesus their leader or shepherd (pastor).

Those of us that have tried to follow other leaders from among the multitudes that Christendom provides and have furthermore listened to their voices and followed them while also attempting to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd have entered into great confusion. The Lord has explained:

Jn.10:5 They will not follow [the voice belonging] to [a] stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.

The collective perfect fit is identifiable by the fact that it has only one Shepherd  (Pastor).  All others -- leaders, pastors, shepherds -- are strangers.  His sheep will know no peace until they flee from them.

5. They have no hierarchy.

We have just explained that the sheep of the Lord's flock listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and only to his voice for their guidance. There are absolutely no intermediate authorities between the Good Shepherd and his sheep.  Consequently there is no hierarchy such as we find in catholic, orthodox and protestant churches.  His sheep not only listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd, they also flee the voices of the myriad strangers that mislead all Christendom.  We discern his voice in the gospels exclusively, as enlightened for us by the Holy Spirit within.  It follows that there are no gradations within the Flock.  Every disciple is of equal rank with every other one, according to this announcement of our Good Shepherd:

Mt.23:8 But do not be called Rabbi, for one is your teacher, and all [of] you are brothers.

The sole authority for all the sheep of the flock is one -- the Lord.  The sheep discern his will in every case by listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd.  Some may suppose this creates a condition whereby there is disagreement within the flock due to the sheep not being able to arrive at a unified response to a question that is before them.  In practice it will not take this route, provided all parties continue to listen to the Good Shepherd.  

Should not the elder exercise some authority over the younger?

No! No! A thousand times No!

It is good for the younger to consider the counsel of the elder, for there are cases where the resolutions of differences depends on a prolonged exposure to the Logos.  But  there are other cases wherein the elder, through long attachment to favored convictions, will not only err but will have much less flexibility for the correction of the error. The elder brother or sister will need to consider the counsel of the younger also. The bottom line is always the same: the Lord has put all of his sheep (disciples) on an equal status that never changes.  We are all brothers (including those men call "sisters." None of us can qualify to teach or correct another.  We have but one Teacher specified by the Lord, and that is the Lord himself.

This is hard to hear for churchmen accustomed, as they are, to numerous teachers and authorities in their churches. Indeed, it is impossible while one remains loyal to his church or congregation with its established hierarchy, shepherds, teachers, leaders and other intermediate authorities.

Some will advance an objection to this by assuming the position that everything (all the Teaching of the Lord Jesus) preserved in the gospels was given only to a select few -- the first apostles and disciples that heard the Word directly from the his lips.  We easily counter this position by -- as usual -- listening to the Good Shepherd as he says:

Jn.10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this sheep-pen, and I must lead [these], and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.

The quest of the perfect fit will not reach its goal within an ecclesiastical institution.  Those are -- every one -- built by men with no participation by the Lord.  When one finds a person that listens only to the Words of Jesus (the Logos) in quest of Light, one has found the perfect fit with regard to hierarchy.

6. They are not of this world.

The perfect fit, not being of this world, abides within it as alien and strange.  The neighbors will not understand this and will persist in making their claims, which the perfect fit will ultimately reject.  There is one indicator above all that will mark the perfect fit, and the Lord revealed it when he was responding to Pontius Pilate:

Jn.18:37 All those being from the truth hear my voice.

This may very well be the first indicator, to the one that is of the Truth, of one's status in the world, of being not of the world.  That one discovers, at some point in life -- usually early, the experience of being drawn to his Word.  This is the Logos, which consists of the utterances of Jesus that is the Word of Truth.  Then they will hear his voice.  If such a one has joined a church, that one will discover that he is continually being drawn back to the Word of Jesus when discoursing on religion as they do in churches.  Be it in the Women's Bible Class, the Men's Bible Class, Sunday School, the pastor's sermon or elsewhere in the church there will be this frequent distinction.  Then, when such a one brings forth the Word of Jesus to apply to a particular subject, it will often be rejected by the others.  Should the subject of the discussion or study be a statement by Jesus, such a one often finds that the simplicity and obvious meaning of the Word is lost on the group, where they appear to be advancing interpretations that are vague or simply erroneous.

Here is an example of a misinterpretation of the Word that I heard in churches:

Jn.10:10 The thief does not come except in order that he steal and slaughter and destroy ; I came in order that they have zoe-life and have [it] exceedingly.

This excellent translation from the Faithful New Testament specifies the life of which he speaks as zoe (Greek)Other English translations do not do this, and leave the question open as to what kind of life is meant -- life in this world or life in the Spirit -- temporal or eternal.  Here is the KJV reading of the statement:

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

I early understood this not to mean the Lord came to give us a more abundant life in terms of life in this world -- of earthly blessings and pleasures, of happiness here and now and of assured success in our worldly endeavors. Yet the common conviction was that the Lord came that we might have abundant life in this world. Finally I understood that the church members were in love with life in this world and that it was impossible that they understand the Word of Truth.  They were not of the Truth, and so could not hear his voice.  Being of the Truth is the alternative to being of the World.  

The Lord's response to Pilate, more fully, is as follows:

Jn.18:33 Pilate therefore went in again into the Praetorium and called Jesus and said to him: Are you the king of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered: Do you say this from yourself or did others tell you concerning me? 35 Pilate answered: Am I [a] Jew? Your nation and chief-priests have delivered you up to me. What did you do? 36 Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my officers would have fought in order that I not be delivered up to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from here. 37 Pilate therefore said to him: So are you [a] king? Jesus answered: You say that I am king. I am born for this and am come into the world for this, in order that I witness to the truth. All those being from the truth hear my voice.

This illustrates, if you can see it, how hearing his voice depends on being of the Truth.  Pilate was greatly concerned, for good reason, with the expectation of the Jewish messiah that was disturbing his domain. This expected king was to sweep away the Roman dominion and deliver the Jews from the Romans.  Was Jesus this king?  If so, Pilate must see to it that he be quickly put to death to terminate his threat to the Roman dominion.  The Lord's response defused this threat by the assertion that his kingdom is not of this world and its subjects do not resort to violence against the established authorities.  Further, his purpose in coming into the world is not to destroy the Roman dominion.  It was, as he said, in order that I witness to the truth. 

All that hear his voice understand themselves to be citizens of a kingdom that is not of this world and they are therefore aliens within the world whose coming into the world is exactly the same as that of their Lord and King, in order that I witness to the truth.  They appear rather odd to others and if they have been called to give their testimony during a time of national crisis they may experience extreme hostility.  In any case the most obvious marker of their status is their lack of interest in or participation in the affairs of the world and of their nation, state and city. The gospel provides this story as the exemplary confrontation between the kingdom of the world and the kingdom not of this world.  It follows that the perfect fit for the kingdom of God is the perfect misfit in the world with its kingdoms, nations and cities.

I write this on election day in the United States -- Nov. 7, 2006.  I find that my interest is not drawn to affairs of vital interests to the person of the world and that my place on such a day, as always, is that of an alien. Consequently, even though I might exercise the vote, Truth disqualifies me and I do not do so.  I would if I were of the world.

One is able to identify the perfect fit by observation of lack of interest and or participation in the politics of the world.  One may at first identify oneself as such by asking how it is that, in spite of all the political uproar leading up to an election, one is not interested. There are other markers, but this one is basic.  It identifies one as being of the Truth and not of this world.  

7. Their salvation is his Word.

Your mind may be clouded by the doctrines of the Christians, which will obstruct the simple truth of the Logos concerning eternal salvation. Christians have at least three primary salvation doctrines depending on the denomination.  In the Catholic, Orthodox and some Protestant disciplines they will hang salvation onto a relationship with the church. Most Protestant disciplines will resort to Paul's teaching of salvation by faith through grace, with some specific inclusions such as Baptism. Then there are the relatively few, including those from Quaker and Anabaptist roots, that will hang personal salvation on works of obedience to the commandments of Jesus.  Church, faith or works -- all err!

Eternal salvation hangs not on your church, your faith, or your works, but on your will.  Your will is the bottom line, after which faith and works (not Church) line up as vital and important but secondary elements. We readily see that your will is the bottom line by hearing, if you can, the Truth in this Word from the Logos:

Lk.9:24 For whoever wishes to save his psyche-life will lose it, but whoever loses his psyche-life because of me, this [one] will save it.

You will find other statements of the Lord's Great Principle here.  The psyche is the NT Greek word for the life in the flesh, which is the temporal life we possess in this world.  It is obvious that the will is the key, because it depends upon what you will or wish concerning your life. Other statements of the Great Principle explain that save it means to keep it for eternal life, which is eternal salvation.

The perfect fit finds salvation in the Word because it is only by going to the Word that one learns this simple but difficult Truth concerning the essence of salvation.  Therefore the Lord points to your will and his Word as its essence.

Jn.5:24 Truly truly I say to you that the [one] hearing my word and believing the [one] having sent me has eternal zoe-life, and does not come into judgment, but is moved out of death into zoe-life.

Belief (faith) enters in because it is effected by your will.  Also works but only as they apply to the Logos. To believe the Logos is to believe God the Father for he is the one that sent Jesus -- and the Word is His.

Works also play a part because the perfect fit loves the Lord and obeys his commandments through love. There are two things in the list that Christians trust for salvation that play no part whatever -- Church and grace.  The perfect fit learns through hearing the Word that whatever goes by the name of "church" is a monstrous deception, as is whatever salvation doctrine one finds there.  One also learns that salvation springs not from grace but from the Father's mercy.  One identifies the perfect fit by this marker: having received and believed the Logos of God, the perfect fit trusts in it for salvation.

8. They have no temples.

Whenever Christian individuals undertake to find a new place of worship -- a new church -- one of the things they do is to check out the buildings or, as we are calling it here, the temples.  Just moved to town?  "Let's drive by all the churches in town and see what is available."  A temple gives human credibility and substance to a congregation; it advertises their services and provides a place to congregate.  But, if one seeks a perfect fit to the specifications of the Builder, one must look elsewhere and differently.  Yes, the Lord is busy at the task of building his Ekklesia, but he is not building houses of worship or other temples. Those that fit the specs simply do not have buildings or even a need for a house of worship.  Had I only given greater care to listening to the Good Shepherd from the beginning of my quest -- what great waste of time and effort I would have avoided!

First, the numbers of those that fit the specs are always few in any one place as we have already seen, so that they do not need to provide a meeting place.  Any home will do.

Second, those that fit the specs and are themselves striving to be perfect fits will listen to the Lord to see what he has to say about temples and gatherings and worship.  Fact is, he has never taught his disciples to build a house of worship.  He attended the synagogues until he was thrown out.  Sometimes his disciples did also, but never did they set about purchasing or building a place of worship where they could invite others to join them.  He has never taught us to build temples and his early disciples did not undertake to build them.

When we consider the gatherings, we have already pointed to the utterance that puts the focus on the few:

Mt.18:20 For when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.

That's it.  You will search the Logos  in vain for an utterance that prescribes a larger gathering of disciples for worship.  I do not mean to say that he has specified no more than three, but to indicate that the gatherings in his name are always small.  

When we look for his specifications for worship, we find this:

Jn.4:19 The woman says to him: Lord, I perceive that you are [a] prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in these mountains, and you [people] say that in Jerusalem is the place where [one] must be worshipping. 21 Jesus says to her: Be believing me, lady, that [an] hour comes when neither in these mountains nor in Jerusalem will you [people] worship the father. 22 You [people] worship what you do not know, we worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour comes and now is when the true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and truth, for indeed the father seeks such [to be] his worshipping [ones]. 24 God is spirit, and [his] worshipping [ones] must be worshipping in spirit and truth.

True and acceptable worship does not occur in a temple -- not even in that august temple in Jerusalem. Note carefully vs. 23: The hour "now is" when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth  Do you hear it?  Not in a church in the mountains but in Spirit; not in a temple but in Truth.  Then vs. 24 repeats this for emphasis and states the reason: God is spirit.  

What is the meaning of this?  He has rejected the concept of a place of worship and has said in effect that the Father does not look in any physical place for worshippers.  Where does he look?  He looks in Spirit and in Truth.  

What is the meaning of this "in spirit and in Truth?"

Jn.6:63 The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are zoe-life.

Jn.17:17 Make them holy in the truth; your word is truth.

His Word is both Spirit and Truth!  Therefore, to be worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth is to be worshiping him in his Word.  It is also evident that his Word, which is the Word of the Father, consists of The words that I have spoken to you (6:63).     

Are you seeking the perfect fit, either to find one or to be one?  Look into the words that I have spoken to you.  That is the only temple where you will find it, and once there you will discover to your great delight that it is Spirit and Truth, and that the Lord, the Holy Spirit and the Father are there looking for you.  It is indeed a holy place, where you also will be made holy, which is to be sanctified.  

Jn.17:17 Make them holy in the truth; your word is truth.
18 Just as you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world. 19 And in their behalf do I make myself holy, in order that they also be made holy in [the] truth.

Read more on this specification here:

9. They love one another.

Jn.13:34 [A] new commandment I give to you, that you be agape-loving one another; just as I agape-loved you, be agape-loving one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have agape-love for one another.

Jn.17:22 And the glory that you have given to me I have given to them, in order that they be one [thing] just as we are one [thing], 23 I in them and you in me, in order that they be completed into one [thing], in order that the world know you sent me and [that] you agape-loved them just as you agape-loved me.

Here is a revelation of the necessity of love.  It is one of the Builder's specifications and it is advanced in two ways: first, in John 13, by a new commandment that is in addition to the First and Second Commandments.  Then, in John 17, it is a prayer of the Builder.  Obeying this commandment will produce a unity of disciples that can never be destroyed.  As with all the other specifications, this comes from abiding in the Word.

Loving one another produces unity among disciples.  Therefore the Lord states that all will know that we are his disciples.  And how will they know?  Surely by the unity that this love produces.  The world will see the unity and thereby know the love; hence it is by this that that the world know that the Father has sent His son into the world.  

The perfect fit is known by the love of each for the other, and the manifestation of that love is their unity.   Their love binds them together.

When one has found the perfect fit, one knows it by the unity that their love, the one for the other, has produced.  A look at the fractious nature of Christians throughout Christendom quickly betrays them.  They are not the perfect fit.

10.  Their gatherings are small.

This spec set forth by the Builder has already received our attention and has been examined in the light of other specs.  We do not need to expand on it here, but to show how it illustrates the fact that all the specs are of the whole.  As we go through them one by one, we necessarily discover that the specifications are intimately associated with one another and, wherever we start, we find each one attached to the other. We could go back through the list of specs again and discover yet other specifications of the Builder that define the perfect fit.  Do you yet see? You will not find the perfect fit in the numerous congregants of Christendom's millions of congregations.  It may be you will find there some rare individual that is miserable, troubled, confused and desperately but vainly seeking a perfect fit in the church or denomination.  You will not get closer than that.

The Dispersion

The Lord's Ekklesia is, by definition, an assembly of individuals.  The Word does not contain examples of this existing as such on the earth and in history.  What we find there is defined by a different word -- flock; and more specifically the Small Flock:

Lk.12:32 Be not fearing, O small flock for your father delights to give to you the kingdom.

Even as a small flock, the one flock of the one Shepherd, it is not to be found gathered into one physical assembly on the earth because it has been and continues to be dispersed through both space and time.  This dispersion begins, and yet continues, with the Lord's interpretation of prophecy (Zechariah 13:7):

Mt.26:31 Then Jesus says to them: You will all be stumbled in me in this night. For it is written: I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.

Once I erroneously believed that their scattering was for a brief time, and ended when the Lord gathered the first disciples for his final teaching after the Resurrection.  Then he gave them his final instructions. They were to remain in Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit; he then left them with this Great Commission:

Mt.28:18 And having come Jesus spoke to them saying: All authority in heaven and on [the] earth has been given me. 19 Having gone therefore, make disciples of all nations, . . ..

Thus we see that he dispersed them again, sending them out to take the Word to all nations of the earth. This Commission continues even now because it is to last until the completion of the age.  It follows that the dispersion also continues.  His disciples -- the sheep of the Little Flock -- continue to be dispersed such that there is no Ekklesia, either local or global.

We that hear the voice of the Good Shepherd should not be surprised to find ourselves physically alone wherever we are.  And yet, we constitute a flock, having joined together to hear and follow Him. Our togetherness as a flock is spiritual, not physical  This is as it must be if we are to be found in him for, as we have learned, the Father does not look in a physical "place" for those that worship him; He seeks in Spirit and in Truth.  It is there, in Spirit and in Truth, that we who yet abide in the world gather into one flock following one shepherd.  

How so?

The Lord has stated that his Word is Spirit and Life; he has also stated that the Word is Truth.  It follows, then, that those that abide continually in his Word are abiding in Spirit and Truth and have eternal life (zoe). Now add this to what he has already taught us concerning our togetherness in him as sheep of his flock:

Jn.14:18 I will not leave you orphans, I come to you. 19 Yet [a] little [while] and the world no longer beholds me, but you behold me, because I zoe-live and you will zoe-live. 20 In that day you will know that I [am] in my father and you in me and I in you. 21 The [one] having my commandments and keeping them, that is the [one] agape-loving me; and the [one] agape-loving me will be agape-loved by my father, and I will agape-love him and reveal myself to him. 22 Judas says to him: not the Iscariot, Lord, and what has happened that you are [about] to reveal yourself to us and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered and said to him: If anyone agape-loves me, he will keep my word, and my father will agape-love him, and we will come to him, and we will make our dwelling-place with him. 24 The [one] not agape-loving me does not keep to my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but of the father having sent me.

Jn.15:4 Dwell in me, and I in you. Just as the branch is not able to be bearing fruit from itself if it does not dwell in the vine, thus you neither if you do not "dwell in me."  5 I am the vine, you are the branches. The [one] dwelling in me and I in him, this [one] bears much fruit, because apart from me you are able to be doing nothing. 6 If anyone be not dwelling in me, he was thrown out like the branch and was withered, and they gather them and throw [them] into the fire and it is burned. 7 If you dwell in me and my words dwell in you, ask whatever you want, and it will come to pass to you.

Jn.17:22 And the glory that you have given to me I have given to them, in order that they be one [thing] just as we are one [thing], 23 I in them and you in me, in order that they be completed into one [thing], in order that the world know you sent me and [that] you agape-loved them just as you agape-loved me.

John 15:7 says it all: If you dwell in me and my words dwell in you. One does not listen to the strange shepherds that have convinced most of the world that "my words" means the Bible.  Only the glorious Words uttered by Jesus of Nazareth, which he heard from the Father, can mediate the perfect unity for which the Lord prayed.  The Word has made us one in Him, though physically dispersed through space and time; and in that Word he gathers his small flock unto himself to be in Spirit and in Truth.


The builder's material of construction consists of building stones that he is preparing in the world to be built into his Ekklesia. He will call it forth on the last day to assemble before Him. Simon was the first of these and he is preparing others and dispersing them throughout the earth where they are his witnesses or, if they have shed their flesh, they are comforted in Hades while awaiting the Master's call.  The specifications for his building stones are precise and exacting such that they are few that fit them.  Christians generally fail utterly to fit his specifications and therefore have no place in his Ekklesia.  It is a rare, exceptional member of a church that is attempting to conform to the specifications and is therefore, in the Church, an unhappy misfit.  All that are of the Truth will, hearing the Shepherd's voice, come out from the church to become one of the building stones, which is their salvation.  Hear what the Lord has said:

Jn.10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow [the voice belonging] to [a] stranger, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.

There is to be one more part to this series to deal with questions resulting from this and the other prior parts. We will present further confirmation of these things from the voice of our Shepherd.  He has given more Light on the subject to enlighten all that strive to conform to the builders specifications.