Foundation: A deed done to support a way of life.
The place at which every disciple of Jesus Christ should begin spiritual life is at that point of pursuing truth regarding the foundations of the Kingdom of God. But, for most of us, the foundations of the Gospel have remained something of an elusive mystery. We've been taught a great deal about church, its history, its culture and its activities, yet we have remained poverty stricken in our knowledge of the spiritual foundational truths that are the Gospel.
When I use the word gospel I mean THE GOSPEL!
THE GOSPEL which is the very LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST, THE GOSPEL which the Apostles of the first Century modelled and preached, THE GOSPEL which fills the pages of the Old & New Testaments, that very same GOSPEL which rarely, if ever, finds its way into the everyday life of those people (including myself) in our communities who stand up and declare themselves to be "Christians".
It is Christ Himself who is the Cornerstone of THE GOSPEL. And the Christian life should be all about being in relationship with Christ as our Foundation Stone.
In Hebrews 11:8-10 we read:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Please take ever so careful note of the words: "for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
Abrahams’ main concern, his key focus, was with the foundations of the city for which he was waiting. What was the focal point of Abraham's attention barely warrants even passing attention in Christian circles today.
Foundations are the last thing that we want to think about. Foundations are filed in there with history. We like to know that history exists, as a point of reference, but we very much enjoy our luxury of not having to learn from it, thus we take it for granted. This is what we have done with the foundations of the Gospel!
If you buy, or build, a new home you know that the foundations are in place, because otherwise the house would already have fallen over! So, when you invite friends around to see your house you don’t issue them with a pair of overalls and bid them to inspect the foundations. No! Instead, you take them inside and go from room to room so that they might take in the decor, and the notable features of each room. Then you take them out into the garden, pointing out all the lovely external amenities of the house and the grounds. The foundations do not even warrant the least passing mention. Decor, aspect, furniture and views are top of the priority list. Who cares about the foundations? As long as the house is standing up who cares!
This same scenario is played out in the institutional church every day! Everyone assumes the existence of the foundations, but no one questions the foundations or shows any willingness to get “spiritually dirty” and crawl around and really check out the quality of the foundations of the Christian community they are part of, to see whether those foundations line up with the foundations outlined in the Scriptures. Instead, everyone is encouraged to remain enthralled by the decor, the furniture, the views and other unique features of the Christian community they are a part of.
When someone joins a church they are escorted from room to room and encouraged to take in the decor, furnishings and views. The introductory tour might have a commentary that runs something like this:
`This room is our New Converts Ministry, this room is our Children's Ministry, this room is our Young Marrieds’ Ministry, this room is our Singles Ministry, this room is our Youth Ministry, this room is our Prayer Ministry, this room is our Seniors Ministry and this is our Worship Ministry and here we have our Welfare Ministry….’ And so, the tour of inspection goes on without any mention whatsoever of the foundation (Christ) who should be underpinning the whole building.
Just as an aside, you may want to ponder the question: Would Jesus, who prayed that we all might be one as He and the Father are One, really want to be identified as the foundation of these “segregated” rooms?
During this tour of inspection the new believer is also led to understand how useful they can be in one or more of these areas of “ministry” and they are encouraged toward becoming involved in order to discover their “useful potential”!
So, not only can they enjoy the decor, furnishings and views offered by any of these areas of ministry, they might also enjoy the bonus of feeling useful and thus accepted.
The only event I know of that will bring our attention into focus regarding the foundations of our physical house, is an earthquake! Yet, we neglect the clear statements in the Word of God in respect to an unavoidable shaking that will shake everything, both physical and spiritual, in the last days.
Hebrews 12:25-26 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Have no doubt; God has ordained that there will be both a physical and spiritual shaking which will test the foundations of everything!
The extent of this shaking is expressed clearly in the Greek word “shake” used in the above verses and it means to rock, vibrate, propel sideways or to and fro i.e. to agitate (in any direction; cause to tremble); figuratively. to throw into a tremor (of fear or concern): --move, quake, shake.
Scientists have noted a change in the nature of earthquakes experienced around the globe over more recent years. Previously earthquakes operated on only one plane, but modern earthquakes are distinctive because they “agitate”. The movement is up and down and from side to side all at the one time.
Considering this, it is interesting to note that people are commenting on the fact that our modern society is being increasingly agitated in directions that are outside living memory. Is all of this building toward that shaking which will even unsettle the heavens?
If so, then we have every good reason to start checking the foundations we are relying upon, right now!
Abraham, who is referred to as "the father of faith", wasn't about to put his faith in anything unless the foundations had been designed and made by God. Abraham had no interest in the decor, furniture, views or features of the city he waited for. All he wanted to know about was the credentials, and the quality, of the foundations and whether these foundations could survive the last days shaking.
But we, who are supposed to share that same faith of Abraham, have placed our faith in so many things whose designer and maker is man, rather than God. We have placed our faith in things, both physical and spiritual, that will be destroyed by the shaking that God is going to bring upon both heaven and earth.
Sadly, denominations and movements have become the epitome of that which has been designed and built by man. There are virtually no spiritually-overall-clad people to be found there; only people who are in raptures over the existing decor, furniture, views and features of their Christian community. Or, those who are busy planning a complete renovation which will render the decor, furniture, views and features of their Christian community as far superior to any other church in the locality.
But what about the foundations? What about our being children of Abraham when it comes to the exercise and practice of our faith? Have we become tired of waiting and settled for something far, far, far short of that for which Abraham waited?
Why are foundations so important? Because it is the foundations, or the root, which will determine the quality of the fruit. When Jesus says in John 15 “I am the Vine” He means He is the root (foundation) as well.
Romans 11:16 For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Jesus also makes the connection between foundations and fruit in Matthew 7:15-27
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' "Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Compare with Ezekiel 13: 10-16)
The context of Jesus’ statement, about foundations and fruit, is ever so important for us to both note and understand. If we do not have the secure foundation (root) of Christ then we will be deceived by false prophets and easily led astray by their supernatural ability in the areas of prophecy, casting out demons and performing wonders.
These three things: i.e.. Prophecy, casting out demons and performing wonders, are at the forefront of Pentecostal and charismatic expressions of Christianity today. Yet, in the absence of sound and true foundations Jesus also imposes swift judgement upon these things.
Considering what Jesus has said are you willing to get into a pair of “spiritual overalls” and come and get dirty, scratched and confined in small lonely cavities in order to discover those foundations “whose builder and maker is God”? Are you willing, like Abraham, to go not knowing where you are going or what the cost of discovering the truth about the foundations of the Gospel will be, to you personally?
If, after careful consideration, your answer is yes, and you thus commit yourself to be a seeker after TRUTH, then we have much to discover together in the following pages.
ADDENDUM: The morning after I wrote what you have just read, I wandered into my study having a few spare minutes before having breakfast and heading out the door to work. I picked up Rick Joyner's book The Harvest, which I hadn't looked at in 12-18 months or maybe even longer. I flicked to the back of the book and this is what I read in the paragraph headed `We Have The Power':
The power He has given to the least of His little ones is greater than all of the power of the enemy-He has given us His Son. The whole creation does, and always will, marvel at what He has done for us, but we seem almost oblivious to it. It is time for us to awaken. It is time for us to come to know and abide in the One who dwells within us. He must become more real to us than all of the earth's problems or attractions. Once we see Him and the Kingdom He has given us, nothing on earth will again distract us.
When we see our King, all human pomp and position seems pitifully insignificant. When we see Him that which is eternal becomes more real to us than that which is passing away. In this way our lives are steered irresistibly towards the city which has foundations, the one whose Architect AND Builder is God.