Introduction: A Relevant Question
Amidst all the individual lamentations, endless media malarkey and public posturing from politicians, billionaires and various other “dignitaries” about the very rapid burning-down of much of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, I want to ask a highly relevant question: What Would Jesus Think? In fact, I generally like to extend that question to say What Would Jesus & His Apostles Think? That’s because Jesus left it to His apostles to expand on His teaching and His desires for His church. This is a serious query; not only because Christ is the Head of the Church (as I will show below) but in all the media frenzy that I have observed since the conflagration occurred, I have not seen a single journalist pose it. (N.B. I use the term “journalist” very loosely here as there are very few genuine ones left!).
Identifying the True Church & its Foundation
My purpose here is not to join the chorus of civic sadness about the destruction of a manmade monument but to examine the true spiritual significance which lies behind this event. You see, when the Christ — that is, God manifested in the flesh — walked this earth, He did not come to initiate a religion. Neither did He come to inaugurate the building of vast edifices we now call “churches” or “cathedrals”; and He certainly did not come to generate a human organisation called The Vatican which would accrue immense wealth and material power and create a human hierarchy to enact priestcraft over the people who call themselves Christ’s disciples. When one of Christ’s initial disciples, Shimon (a Hebrew name of which the English equivalent is Simon, who Christ had renamed כֵּיפָא, Kepha, in Aramaic, which transliterates, via Greek, into Peter in English — which was all a play on the word “rock”) had confessed to Christ with the words: “You are the Christ [the Messiah], the Son of the living God”, Christ immediately said:
“You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, verses 16-18).
We can see there how recognising the true nature of the Christ as the Messiah and as God manifested in the flesh is revealed to people spiritually rather than through some intellectually-acquired knowledge. It is also revealed that Christ builds His church not only through the foundational ministry of Peter which began in Jerusalem some weeks after Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, but that the church’s true foundations are the fact that Christ is the Messiah sent by God for that very purpose, as confessed there by Peter. The apostle Peter was not the first Pope (as is claimed by the Roman Catholic institution), nor any Pope at all! For Christ never came to inaugurate a worldly organisation of wealth and power and an elite; but Peter and his confession of Christ as the true Messiah was the bedrock on which the church would be founded.
You may wonder why I am mentioning this in the context of an article about the burning-down of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. It is, as you will see, because I am questioning the very idea that vast edifices should represent the church which Christ has been building for the last couple of millennia. What the spiritual significance of this recent fire in Paris really hinges on is what Christ meant when He said, “I will build My church” and its true purpose. The Greek word traditionally translated as “church” there is ekklesia. This is actually a composite word consisting of two Greek words: ek, out from, and kaleo, to call. So the word ekklesia literally means “those who are called out from”. Called out from what? From the world! That is the real purpose and meaning of “church”. It is not a bunch of buildings, whether great or small, but a body of people called out of this corrupt and fallen world by Christ Himself to be the counterculture proclaiming spiritual Truth in the midst of all the corruption — not to be part of that corruption like the Vatican and all that it stands for, with its connections to the Mafia and Freemasonry and the accrual of wealth beyond anyone’s imaginings. There is no other church in this world than that invisible body of people who have faith in Christ as the divinely-appointed King of creation sent to restore the cosmos from its usurpation by the demonic realm of darkness being masterminded by the fallen archangel, Satan. The massive religious institutions on earth, with their vast cathedrals and human power-mongering, while claiming to represent Christ, are nothing more than satanic deceptions designed to distract people from true spirituality and a real relationship with Christ who is Head of the true church, the ekklesia.
God Doesn’t Reside in Manmade Buildings
It cannot be reiterated enough that Christ did not come to inaugurate these big religious institutions and their vast cathedrals. Right at the beginning of the church, when Stephen was defending himself eloquently against arrest by the Jewish Council as a result of some false testimony that he had blasphemed, one of the many things he said was: “The Most High does not live in houses made by human hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and earth is the footstool for my feet’” (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 7, verses 48-49). Again, Paul said to the people of Athens when he preached there publicly: “The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by human hands” (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 17, verse 24). Vast cathedrals, in spite of their architectural beauty, are not really dedicated to Christ but are merely symbols of the earthly power being wielded by secular organisations falsely posing as spiritual bodies which must surely have been established by Satan rather than by Christ. This is one of the reasons why so much paedophilia prevails in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. That is just the satanic tip of the iceberg. The invisible corruption in those hugely wealthy institutions far exceeds the corruption which can be seen so readily. (For your interest, the Vatican is worth between $10 billion and $15 billion, while the Church of England is worth around £8.3 billion GBP — nearly $11 billion USD). Furthermore, it is recorded that regarding the disciples of Christ in the early church,
“Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, so that no one can boast in His presence” (First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 26-29).
The ekklesia of Christ is meant to be made up of humble, unassuming disciples of Christ, not wannabe bigshots who set up huge institutions based on worldly power-structures and who build vast cathedrals. That is Satan’s idea of spirituality, in which visible human power is wielded rather than the invisible bounties of the Spirit diffused. But the disciples of Christ, through their humility and relative lowliness, put to shame and reveal the emptiness of human wisdom, human wealth and human might and power. For without the power of the Spirit of Christ — no matter how rich, smart or powerful we may be, we are pretty useless. In fact, one can say that the ultimate purpose of the creation of the cosmos, its fall and its salvation in Christ, is to demonstrate unequivocally that without Christ, we can accomplish nothing (cf. Gospel of John, chapter 15, verse 5).
Distinguishing Emotional Manipulation from Spiritual Epiphany
People are very easily fooled by their feelings when they walk into these grandiose buildings. The sense of awe they get from them is simply a trick of the mind because of the architecture and artworks. Huge organs, ethereal choirs and reverberating sound effects contribute to the false idea in one’s mind that one is in the presence of God. But it is just an effect. It is a singular fact that humans always have difficulty distinguishing between emotional manipulation and spiritual epiphany. So it is no wonder that this is one of the principal methods by which the demonic realm deceives people. The fact is that one is much more likely to come to know God by being “at the end of one’s tether” or being thrown into the darkest, dankest dungeon, rather than wandering into the affected glamour of a cathedral with its complex artwork, gold embossments, fancy furnishings, pseudo-pious ways of speaking, elaborate outfits, grandiose rituals and other mere accessories. This is because true spiritual awakening is much more associated with disillusionment with the material world and the denial of the self rather than with emotionally-induced piety and getting “blissed-out” on the mere trappings of religiosity, whether that involves attending a cathedral or a temple, or hanging out at Stonehenge, Glastonbury, or some other so-called “sacred site”! The engendered religious awe which people feel when entering a cathedral is just as illusory, whimsical and insubstantial as the “buzz” people get when they imagine themselves to be on some “leylines” or other alleged “spiritual” location. These kinds of feelings are very easy to manipulate in people and Satan knows it! From a spiritual standpoint, cathedrals, despite being admired architecturally by so many, are monuments to satanic power rather than godly authority.
Popes, Vicars, the False Church & the Queen of Heaven
The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is just another fabricated symbol of human power disguised as spirituality. Not only that, but its very name is a slap in the face of Christ. Notre Dame is French for “Our Lady”. If it has to be dedicated to anything, it should be to Christ or “Our Father” but not to the human mother of Christ (no matter what the feminists may think). To call Mary “the Queen of Heaven” (which is official Catholic teaching) is simply a throwback to the old Babylonian religion of goddesses; it is convenient syncretism rather than genuine spirituality. Furthermore, some of the most terrible atrocities have been committed at Notre Dame in the name of Christ (which is a blasphemy) and in the name of the false religion of manufactured “Christianity” (which is very different to being part of the true ekklesia in discipleship to Christ).
A major part of the apostasy of this age involves the satanic development of the false visible church (with its power-structures, popes, cardinals, archbishops, vast wealth, flamboyant robes and fancy buildings) which is secretly opposed to the invisible church of Christ (which is made up of humble disciples of Christ who have sincerely repented of their former folly and devoted their lives to His service). Is the Pope the head of the true church? No! Never! Of course, true to their deceptive form, they try to get around that by saying that Christ is the invisible head and the Pope is the visible head. Sorry, but there is no human head of the true church and the true church has no offices in Rome or Canterbury. The true church — that is, the ekklesia, the people who Christ is drawing to Himself — need no human head. Only the false church has human heads and “vicars” of Christ, popes, archbishops and bishops. (I do not include there genuine pastors cut from the same cloth as Timothy and Titus in the New Testament; but they are not “heads” of the church but humble servant pastors, teachers and evangelists and God knows that the true church needs more of them). The only intermediary between God and human beings is Christ. Period! End of! He Himself said: “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 6). The apostle Paul also said:
“For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at His appointed time” (First Letter to Timothy, chapter 2, verses 5-6).
Christ is the Only Head of the Church
The Bible also specifically states the words that “Christ is the Head of the Church” (Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5, verse 23). He is currently the invisible head of the true church and He will become the visible head at the end of this age at His return. Again, it is said:
“[Christ] Himself is before all things and all things are held together in Him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself may become first in all things” (Letter to the Colossians, chapter 1, verses 17-18).
We see here that the true church is described as a body. It is a body made up of people. It is not a body of wealthy organisations and worldly power-players. When one doesn’t recognise Christ alone as the head of the church, all kinds of spiritual delusions ensue. The apostle Paul shows very clearly that people who claim to have had spiritual experiences which are plainly bogus (e.g. affecting a false humility, worshipping angels, going on conceitedly about the amazing things they have “seen”, etc.) and thereby leading people astray, are simply “puffed up with empty notions”, having “not held fast to the head [Christ] from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God” (Letter to the Colossians, chapter 2, verses 18-19). For there is a huge link between failing to acknowledge Christ as the sole Head of the church and being taken for a ride by spiritual deceivers, of which there are very many today. When Christ is not one’s exclusive head, then one might as well believe in unicorns, dragons and ETs! As it is written:
“We are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. But practising the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the Head. From Him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body builds itself up in love” (Letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4, verses 14-16).
To claim that there is a human “visible” head of the church is to deny the presence of Christ as the true Head of it. One doesn’t need any human head for, even though He is technically invisible, the presence of Christ is real, as He clearly told His disciples:
“The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him… If anyone loves Me, he will obey My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and take up residence with him” (Gospel of John, chapter 14, verses 21-23).
Wow! What a promise? Who needs Popes, priests and vicars when Christ Himself takes up residence by His Holy Spirit in those who follow Him? This is what the true church is all about: A Spirit-filled people of God who shake up this world with their teachings and who need no fancy buildings such as cathedrals. In truth, they do not even really need ordinary church buildings, for just a home or a street corner or a marketplace will do, as it did in the early church. Neither do they need palaces where archbishops live, or other highfalutin edifices made with hands or deceptive impostor-officials to validate their spirituality.
Christ’s Reminder About the Ephemerality of All Things Material
There was one notable occasion when Christ made an interesting pronouncement about a fancy religious building. The disciples were gawping in admiration at the Jewish temple and they pointed it out to their Master:
As Jesus was going out of the temple courts, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look at these tremendous stones and buildings!” Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!” (Gospel of Mark, chapter 13, verses 1-2).
Christ was there prophesying about the coming (and spiritually necessary) destruction of the Jewish temple which would take place a few decades after His death, resurrection and ascension. For Israel as a nation was finished and the church age was beginning. If one reads further on into that speech which He gave on the Mount of Olives, it is clear that He was speaking on a double-level about both the destruction of the temple in AD.70 and the destruction of this world in judgement at the end of this present evil age (of which the temple-destruction was a “type” or forerunner), just before and at His return to bring in the new age (the true “new age” — the new heaven and new earth revealed in the Bible — not the fantasy counterfeit of the New Age Movement), to which one can look forward today.
One day, all the fancy buildings of the world will be thrown down with great vehemence when Christ returns at the end of this age. Then the cosmos will be transformed into the perfect world it should always have been, and it will be populated (in very different form) by all those who have followed Christ in this present fallen world — either prospectively in expectancy and in dependence on God before He came two thousand years ago, or retrospectively since He has come.
Conclusion: What the Notre Dame Fire Teaches Us
This cosmos is an ingenious Divinely-created theatre to demonstrate the infinite superiority of light to darkness and to gather in those souls who love the light of Christ and reject darkness and to filter out those souls who reject the light of Christ and are enslaved by darkness. We are not here to develop unnatural attractions to material objects. To fall to pieces in a fit of despair because a monument to false religion has been consumed in a conflagration is the height of folly. To fall into despair because of that and yet have no qualms whatsoever about the fact that countless millions of disciples of Christ are being persecuted every day while Christ Himself is being increasingly blasphemed and boycotted everywhere is an extreme example of cognitive dissonance. Within days of the fire at Notre Dame in Paris, a billion euros was raised from rich people to rebuild it. Isn’t it amazing how they are so willing to fork out their filthy lucre to rebuild a monument to crass human power, yet they completely ignore the fact that that same billion euros could be put to a better purpose if, for example, it was used to provide clean water for all the children in the world to drink. What a twisted world it is in which we live! And more twisted every day.
The fire at the Notre Dame in Paris, instead of filling us with sadness and horror, should be pointing us to the fact that the important things in life are not material objects or religious buildings and artefacts — no matter how beautiful or glamorous they may seem. The only really important element of life (from which all else follows) is whether or not we are in a right relationship with our Creator and we recognise that He has provided the only way to restore that relationship: namely, the Christ. This is the real lesson of the fire at Notre Dame. Instead of lamenting its destruction, we should open our eyes to what lies behind its construction and then rejoice in the instruction we will receive through that perception.
[Postscript: I just have this strange feeling that they will rebuild the cathedral as an interfaith centre, with prominent French Muslims coughing up big money too. This would fit entirely into the gathering “spirit of the Antichrist” agenda. That’s the zeitgeist now. One could easily write the script for the coming years. A manipulated counterfeit global oneness. It’s coming. Mark my words.]
[If you want to read much more detail concerning such spiritual realities, then please download my free 600-page, 244,000-word eBook, “Narrow gate ~ Pathway Strait: The Road I Have Chosen”, available here: https://narrowgate-pathwaystrait.com ]
© Alan Morrison, 2019