18. The In-part ChurchHaving looked briefly at a Jezebel "Church," we now want to know God's purpose for the present time of an in-part Church. It is God who has set the seasons of the human experience on this earth, and He has set two days or two thousand years for an in-part Church that knows Jesus a little bit, but will not believe in Him enough to enter into all that God speaks.
It is inside this in-part Church that God forms His sons. Thus we will look at the Church we have known first as she is by appearance, second as she is by substance, and third as she is by the Kingdom.
Lesson 18.1 By Appearance begins with the obvious, that by appearance, the Church of Jesus Christ is a prostitute. Yet you and I have lived our Christian lives inside this outward appearance of a Christianity married to Jesus, yet giving herself to everything in this world. Yet God has enormous purpose in placing you and me inside this constant dilemma.
Lesson 18.2 By Substance shows that, in spite of the outward appearance of the Church, this is God's workshop, His place designed perfectly for the development of His sons. God appears in His creation in the manner shown by the formation of the Mercy Seat, the ekenosis, an endless hammering of the gold. We come to know the Father as we call Him forth out of invisibility in the midst of the difficulties of walking together with our brethren. God is forming His heart inside of us.
Lesson 18.3 By the Kingdom places the present day Church inside of the arising of the Kingdom of God. There is no rapture; every step in God must be a step of faith receiving word. God has one order for His Church, the order of the wineskin - whatever structure is useful for one season in any local gathering of believers, must be thrown out for the new season God would send.