WFTW Body: 

Zechariah had a blessed ministry of encouraging discouraged people. The Jews had just come back from Babylon where their fathers had been slaves, and they were poor, fearful and discouraged. They were a beaten lot. They were not cultured, refined or rich like their forefathers of 200 years earlier. Zechariah was called to encourage them.

In Zechariah 2:5, The Lord told them, "I myself will be a wall of fire round about Jerusalem (the church)". The church does not have any earthly, denominational walls. You can't come inside it by signing a doctrinal statement. Everyone has to come through that wall of fire if he is to become a part of the true church. That fire will burn up all his earthly ambitions and his desire to live for himself. Only then can he become a part of the Body of Christ.

Picture a city surrounded by a wall of fire. How can you enter that city? Only by going through the wall of fire. Everything that can be burnt will be burnt up by God as you enter through that wall. Only what cannot be burnt will go through the fire. "Our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). "Who can dwell with the consuming fire?" (Isaiah 33:14).

Preachers, through the years, have thrown water on that fire and quenched it so that nowadays anyone can walk in and join the church, while still retaining all their worldly ideas, their worldly ambitions and their love of the world. You can be certain that God is not in such a church, because wherever He dwells, He will be a wall of fire around that church.

And then God goes on to say, "I will be the glory in the midst of it." If you want the glory of God to be in your church, then you must allow Him to be a wall of fire around your church. The two go together. If you say that God's standards are too high and you throw water on the fire, then God's glory will not be in your church either. When the wall of fire goes away, the glory goes away too. Doctrine is important. But no doctrine can be a wall of fire. God Himself has to be the wall of fire. The most important thing in a church is not right doctrine but the glory of God. If that is there, right doctrine will follow. If that is not there, mere rightness of doctrine is useless.

"Come away from Babylon. Escape to Jerusalem" (Zechariah 2:6). What a word that is! We need to proclaim it to God's people even today! Every believer has to make a choice to come out of Babylon. God will not catch anyone by the scruff of his neck and pull him out. The responsibility is the individual's. You have to make that decision. But personally speaking, I never want to be part of any religious system that does not honour God and His Word. I want to be with the wholehearted people of God who gather within this wall of fire and have the glory of God in their midst.

If you are seeking to build a church, then build a church like this. Any other type of church is useless. But you have to pay a price to build a church like this. You can't just imitate a pattern that you have seen somewhere and try and reproduce that. God has to burn up everything that can be burnt up in your life first, before you can build a church that pleases Him. So make sure that every earthly ambition in you is burnt up. Make sure that you don't love anything that God does not love, and that you hate everything that God hates. Then you can be a man/woman whom God uses to build His church.