Jesus doesn’t keep His sheep in a barn, nor does He feed them straw.
Jesus came to give life. He leads His sheep into pastures that are green.
For centuries, many of God’s sheep have been held in captivity by the traditions of men. Such sheep are forced to eat straw. Some of this straw comes in the form of the sheep being told that the building in which they are assembled is actually “God’s house.”
Once a flock falls under this delusion, it is then coerced into paying for the building, its furnishings and all associated expenses. Coercion is achieved as men whip God’s sheep into action with sermons on “financial stewardship.” Of course, this building-focused religion with Jesus’ name tagged onto it is not the Gospel of the New Testament. Jesus never told His followers to go into all nations and build temples. Early Christians met wherever they could, and their offerings went to poor believers and those who preached the truth.
Generally, where building-focused religion supplants New Testament Christianity, the gifts of the Spirit are replaced by temple duties and activities. And where true worship inspired by the Holy Spirit is missing, substitutes are performed on stage as a means of stirring the congregation.
Read what young Stephen, an early Church deacon, said about the temple in Jerusalem just before his accusers dragged him out of the city and stoned him to death:
“...the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is my footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Has my hand not made all these things?’ “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you” (Acts 7:48-51).
Those who claim that a box with a cross on it is “God’s house” are, in effect, resisting the Holy Spirit. Jesus said anywhere two or more believers gather together in His name, there He is in the midst of them. ...
It has become quite common for believers to drag themselves to a temple, drop money in an offering plate and choke down straw simply because “Reverend So-and-so” is “God’s man” and “he needs our support.” This manner of assembly is nothing like the one prescribed for believers. ....
God will intervene. The 34th chapter of Ezekiel promises that God will call His sheep out from the shepherds who have been feeding themselves. And He Himself will feed His sheep – from a good pasture.
Verses 15 and 16 read, “I will feed my flock, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken, and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”
Remember that temple in Jerusalem, the one that Stephen was preaching against? Well, it was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the armies of Rome.
Sadly enough, those who insisted it was “God’s house” died with it.