“He said, “If you had only known today what would bring you peace! But now it is hidden, so you cannot see it. The time will come when enemy armies will build a wall to surround you and close you in on every side. They will level you to the ground and kill your people. One stone will not be left on top of another, because you didn’t recognize the time when God came to help you.” Luke 19:42-44 (GW).
If only the people had known what could bring them peace, they could have been saved. But they could not see it because they did not believe the Word and that Jesus was the Son of God whom God had given to them as the cornerstone in the building, which is His Church. [The cornerstone at that time was the most important stone in the building, usually placed at the corner, to make sure the other stones were laid in the correct place.]
Jesus was given as the cornerstone, not of a physical building, but of the spiritual building of those who believe in Him as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God”. Matthew 16:15-18. But those who should have been the builders of this Church rejected Him.
The builders of that day
The spiritual “builders” of that day were the Pharisees and the scribes. They were responsible for educating the people and teaching the children. They taught the people the laws of Moses, but they themselves did not do what they taught. The building was not built rightly – it was not straight. Jesus came and He should have been made the cornerstone of the building; but when He came to make the building straight, it began to crack, and the builders panicked.
If we read the Sermon on the Mount, we see how Jesus was going to make the building straight. “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer.” “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5.)
“Therefore, everyone who hears what I say and obeys it will be like a wise person who built a house on rock. Rain poured, and floods came. Winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not collapse, because its foundation was on rock.” Matthew 7:24-25 (GW).
The builders did not want to admit that they had built wrongly, and therefore it was not possible to make the building straight. They rejected the Stone, Jesus, which was chosen of God and precious. So the house fell, and its fall was great. The Roman army came and surrounded Jerusalem. It became so bad that the people in Jerusalem ate their own children, and the temple – the pride of the builders – was burnt to the ground. Not one stone was left upon another.
Down through the ages many have tried to build in the same way. They have built up great earthly empires, but they rejected Jesus as the cornerstone and so they have all disappeared. Let us learn from this.
The new building
The apostles began to build a new building with Jesus as the cornerstone. They were not satisfied simply to hear His word. No, His word had to be done! Of course Satan didn’t like this, and so he sent the spirit of the Antichrist among them to stop their building. But the apostles could test the spirits, and so these “antichrists” had to go away from them. But these opposers did not give up just because of that. They started to build right next to the apostles; and they dishonoured the name of Jesus by the terrible things they did.
One of the “stones” they use most in their building is: “We can do nothing.” This sounds true enough, and the people gladly listen to these words. It is almost the same as the the words of Jesus, “Without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. But with Jesus’ words, the door to enter the building immediately becomes small because He has also said that if we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit.
Another building stone they use is: “The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin.” This is almost the same as the apostles’ stone: “If we walk in the light as He is in the light … the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. When the apostles lay their stone: “He who sins is of the devil,” the opposers are right there with their own stone: “Where sin increases, God's grace increases much more.” “He who is led by the Spirit is a child of God,” becomes “All those who believe in Jesus are God’s children.” “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires,” is replaced with “Come kneel at the foot of the cross.”
Can you hear the difference?
This is how they “build”. Many people cannot hear the difference. Don’t you see that the spirit in the apostles’ teachings is that Christ came with a human nature just like us but overcame all the sin that lived there, and that these antichrists want to explain that away? There is a wall between the two. One door is narrow and the other wide.
The building of the Antichrist is very big and many people enter through its door. But the door of the apostles’ house is narrow, and there are few who find it. Many times the disciples were worried and troubled because they were so alone, but Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear. He who is of the truth hears My voice.” Matthew 11:15. And John writes, “They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us.” 1 John 4:5-6.
Just see how the “world” is visible in the gatherings of the Antichrist. Their gatherings are pure entertainment and shows of greatness. The fact that they are not spiritual doesn’t matter for them at all. They truly are of the world; they speak of the world, and the world hears them. But they don’t talk about it that Christ should be revealed in us.
Hear the voice from heaven: “Come out of her, my people, so that you don't take part in her sins and don't receive any of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4 (CEB).