The need to repent from superstition, bondage and control that have replaced a biblical belief system and truth in the institutional church
"But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary
with forbearing, and I could not stay" (Jeremiah 20:9b).
A Prophetic Perspective
August 12, 1999
Love, Life and Liberty
In all of Gods dealings with mankind, we find the elements of love, life and liberty. The Father is love, Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.
In assessing the performance of the devil and his crowd, his
works always spring from hatred, death and bondage. He was a murderer from the beginning and
he has come to steal, kill and destroy.
The Natural Man
In all of mankinds dealings with their fellow men, we
find the elements of conversion, commitment and control.
Because of our fallen nature, we fall prey to these things as a
way of life. And few of us realize what we are really doing.
I am not here talking about our religious philosophy, but more
our outlook in generaleven in a brief encounter in the most casual meeting.
A friend picks you up in their car. Their cassette or CD is blaring
their favorite music. You try to carry on a conversation. You are trying to talk to your friend. However, they fail to turn the music down. Or you hear the blast of a stereo from a parked car with doors
and volume wide open. Or the infamous boom-boxes. Sound that shakes your walls as it drives by
your residence. Maybe at dinner your companion absolutely insists that you order their favorite dish,
and that youll love it.
Whats happening here? These people want you to think
like they think, and convert your belief system to the same as theirs. Thats conversion.
Oh, youve gotta try Brand X! Once you do,
youll never change from it, you are enthusiastically told. If you dont
invest in Stock X, youre advised, youll never make it big time!
Look, youve just gotta study Subject X! And youd be real smart to get a degree
Thats commitment in action. Trying to get you to commit
your money, time and talent to the same things theyre committed to.
Control can be more subtle. We dont always recognize
the manipulation and intimidation involved. Read the article on this web site concerning this subject.
Anybody not guilty of attempts at conversion, commitment and/or
control? I think not.
Our desire for others is to convert them to our way of thinkingour system of beliefsso theyll have the same likes and/or dislikes as we
We also want them to commit their money, time and talents to
those things we, ourselves, are committed to.
Control comes naturally to us. We utilize manipulation and
intimidation so that others will respond to us and to their environmental influences the way we want
them to. Children are particularly adept at this. And we were all once children ...
And so, perhaps unconsciously, many times we utilize these
techniques of conversion, commitment, and control in our relationships with others. Or, we are on
the receiving end of them.
They are effective because of our desire for other peoples
approval, appreciation, acceptance and recognition. We just naturally want to fit in with others and
We carry this mentality over from our unsaved state into our
new spiritual life. In so doing, at the very least, we fail to provide, or receive, the elements of love,
life and liberty which our heavenly Father has given to us in His dealings with us. At the extreme
end of the scale, we are operating in hatred, death and bondage, even though it may be unintentional.
However, if we are to operate in true biblical love in providing
life and liberty we must make some changes in our attitudes towards others. We must stop operating
in a motive of You should be more like me, and instead begin to think to ourselves
How can I add something good to this other persons life ... things that are beneficial,
utilitarian, valuable and desirable, according to biblical standards and not my standards?
When we begin to operate in love, life and liberty, well
find that others are then able to make choices for themselves. Theyll make choices
thatll cause them to convert to a way of thinking and doing things in love, things that give
life and liberty, and theyll commit their money, time and talents to those things, and cease
to attempt to control others. Theyll voluntarily make these changes with concern for the
choices of others, keeping in mind love, life and liberty. And considering always those things which
are good, i.e., beneficial, utilitarian, valuable and desirable according to biblical standards.
When we make an effort to stop our conversion, commitment
and control tactics and techniques of others we can replace them with a genuine concern for
whats good for them. This must be done on a personal and individual level. When we can
attain to some degree of success in these areas then a shift in our values towards the body of Christ
would be a logical next move.
Many problems in the church today are a result of our not being
genuinely concerned with whats good for other people, according to biblical standards. That
is to say that we continue to convert, commit and control according to our personal standard of
You should be more like me.
The Institutional Church
Theres a saying that one definition of insanity is doing
the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time. That defines the institutional organizations we call church.
The church began with an assembly of 120 saints who were in
one accord and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them and hasnt stopped since. Empowered
by the Spirit of God, Peter and the others went into the streets and taught and preached and thousands
were saved. They eventually went from the streets into homes, where the apostles taught from house
The church was, and is, a called out assembly of the saints of
God. The word for church in the original language was applied to secular as well as religious assemblies. The purpose of the assemblies of the saints meeting together is to worship our God and our
Creator, to learn of Him and through the power of the Holy Spirit and His gifts to edify, exhort and
encourage one another. We are exhorted by Paul the apostle not to forsake the assembling of ourselves. This assembly of the saints of God is a growing, thriving, dynamic organism.
In so doing, we are to become more like Jesus Christ, be salt
and light and be a witness for our Saviour so that those who dont know Him will be convinced
that were genuinely reborn by the Spirit of God, a new creature, and be convicted by the Holy
Spirit of God of sin, righteousness and judgment. Thus, the unsaved are to be saved and brought into
the kingdom of God.
In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine institutionalized
the church and integrated all other pagan religions into one pot and called it Christianity. The church
went from being disciples of Jesus Christ to glass, steel and brick institutionalized buildings. There
were tremendous problems in the early church relative to persecutions for the true disciples of Jesus
Christ. Theological beliefs were a dime a dozen and a lot of councils were held over a period of time
and most of them aligned newly evolving theology with scripture. From roughly 500 A.D. to 1500
A.D. there were a thousand years of darkness in the world and in the church. Then Luther and others
got spiritual light from the Holy Spirit and changed some things in the then predominant Roman
Catholic church. However we have not gotten rid of the errors. Instead we have simply added more
truth. The core of errors we have inherited still co-exist with biblical truth.
Its my opinion that God will continue to pour out His
Spirit, while at the same time the devil will continue to wage war against humanity. And that a tremendous polarization of good and evil is increasing every minute. The remnant church of Jesus Christ
will continue to grow, as will the apostate church.
The apostate church is alive and well today. Many are falling
away from the faith once delivered to the saints. The remnant church is also alive and well, though
not as well organized. The Bible speaks clearly of the great falling away from the faith, and warns
us not to be deceived by false Christs, false prophets and deceiving signs and wonders.
Ecumenical councils, unity based on compromise of biblical
truth, incorporation of New Age beliefs into mainstream and charismatic teachings, and failure to
spiritually discern the false Christs, false prophets and deceiving signs and wonders are greatly eroding the foundational truths as clearly taught in the word of God. The priority and focus upon miracles,
signs and wonders and revelations with no scriptural reference has taken our corporate
eyes off of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, further opening the church up to lying spirits.
True unity will come to the remnant church, probably
via the instrumentality of persecution by the apostate church in union with an unsaved world society.
The apostate and remnant churches will continue to grow as wheat and tares.
The Remnant Church
The remnant church will most likely follow the pattern of the
New Testament church. However it will be in reverse order. The remnant church will leave the institutional church, and will go back into the homes. From the growth of the body of Christ in the homes
the church will eventually go back into the streets. And the harvest will be great, but it will cost the
remnant church. And there will be problems relative to persecutions and theological truth (defense
of the faith).
However, darkness cant triumph over light. Although
therell be great personal sacrifice as the remnant church remains true to its Lord and Saviour,
Jesus Christ, therell be great rewards when that day of future glory comes.
With the fullness of the harvest we must have a place for newly
born babes in Christ. They wont all fit into institutional churches, nor should they be trained
there. Theres a question in my mind about the future of the institutional churches. (I include
all the independent Pentecostal/Charismatic churches in the institutional category). As the remnant
saints of God are liberated from the false teachings and practices they have been taught, support for
many of those churches will cease. Theyll probably either close or be taken over by the apostate churches. However, since we all live and fit into a home (of some type), home groups seem to
be the answer. However, leaders must be trained to handle discipleship. Ephesians, Chapter 4 must
become a living reality.
As remnant home churches multiply and overflow and go out
into the streets, thousands will be truly savedsaved by the convicting power of the word of
God and His Holy Spiritnot by mans concepts of what causes repentance. They
wont be saved because they got a gold filling, or got sprinkled with gold glitter, or got wealthy,
or they felt better about themselves, or saw a glory cloud, or fell down involuntarily in front of a
preacher, or barked like a dog or roared like a lion, or any of those things, regardless of how we may
personally feel about them. Gods word, delivered by anointed disciples of Christ, and the
convicting power of the Holy Spirit, will cause repentance and bring them to the cross of Jesus Christ.
Gods Eternal Purpose
But before any changes will be made we must accept the fact
that the institutional organization of what we call church doesnt work in that
it doesnt fulfill the eternal purpose of God as stated in scripture:
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers
in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the
eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
And that eternal purpose was stated in chapter one:
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will,
according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the
fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and
which are on earth; even in him:
God, through Christ and His church, will bring all things in
heaven and in earth together in one, in Christ. We understand that doesnt include fallen, unsaved mankind and/or fallen angels and the devil.
Once we accept the fact that todays church
is not fulfilling the eternal purpose of God then we must completely abandon the insanity weve
You may well ask, whats wrong with the way we do
If youve read and understood the books and articles on
this web site youll know my stand on various issues.
Lets look at the concept of covering in
view of Gods love, life and liberty and see if anything is lacking.
The covering concept apparently was introduced
by Watchman Nee. It appears to have been an offshoot of Oriental militant family life, which authoritarian culture is foreign to most non-Eastern peoples. Apparently, Watchman Nee found comfort and
value in this concept. However, it has absolutely no scriptural basis and is in fact not designed to
convey love, life and liberty in the biblical sense.
The Shepherding Movement
In the late 60's, Derek Prince and others (called the Fort
Lauderdale Five) instituted a shepherding/discipleship/submission movement which was a variation
on the covering theme introduced by Watchman Nee. It spread rapidly and continues
to cause considerable damage to the body of Christ. Years later all the people who had foisted this
non-biblical concept of human authority on a gullible church apologized and recanted for having been
involved in it. However, its still very strong in the institutional organizations called
This covering does not convey love, life and
liberty. Instead, it portrays hatred, death and bondage and is a killer of love, life and liberty and continues to run rampant in the body of Christ.
Under the law God instituted a system of tithing in order to foster
an atmosphere of love, life and liberty to the nation of Israel. Under this system, each and every
individual was to set aside ten per cent of their increase (income, as measured by farm animals, crops
and etc. at the end of the year) for the purposes of being able to attend the various religious festivals
the Lord directed them to. This tithe also provided for the care of the fatherless, widows and strangers
in the land. Another provision was for the priests that God had commissioned to perform their duties.
That system of priesthood, and the physical temple of God no longer exist. However, that system,
organized in love by God, gave each and every Israelite, and those living among them, life more
abundantly. And it guaranteed liberty to each and every person in their land.
Because weve followed the Roman system and attempted
to impose anew the priesthood/laity system of the Old Testament, with a need to provide finances
to the priests we have negated love, life and liberty. Weve brought the body
of Christ into bondage and death and a system of subtle hatred that is abhorrent to any thinking,
rational being. Malachi 3:10 is used as a proof text that God will curse a believer who doesnt
go back under the law and tithe. However, the storehouse mentioned
in the verse is erroneously identified as the local institutionalized church. Examination
of the biblical text will identify the storehouse as the place the Levitical priests stored the excess of
tithe offerings for the purpose of distributing them to the fatherless, the widows and the strangers
in the land.
The Result of Error
The intent of the tithe, under the law, is being violated every
time it is collected. There are no priests, there is no temple, and the money doesnt go to the
fatherless, widows and strangers in the land. Those who propagate this practice, violating, or breaking
the Law, are actually the ones whove come under a curse. And theyre attempting to
rule over a blessed people. Looking at the church today one has to ask if the people of God are truly
being blessed by this unscriptural practice. We are living the answer to that question.
Careful reading of the New Testament will show that a plurality
of elders were responsible for shepherding, overseeing and teaching the younger members of the
assembly. As the younger members gained maturity they, also, became elders. Thus, there was no
exclusivity to leadership. You simply had some elders who were more mature than other elders and
were looked to for guidance as leaders in the assembly by virtue of their maturity. This was not a
static situation, rather it was a dynamic, living organism which continued to grow and reproduce.
There is nothing in the New Testament to suggest that one believer has power and authority over
another believer. Yet, week after week, leaders use Hebrews chapter 13:7,17 (and
other mis-translated scriptures) to maintain their unscriptural posture. The meaning in the original
is clear: Be persuaded by the lifestyle of those who are leading you and follow their example. Obviously, if you arent persuaded because they are living an ungodly lifestyle, then dont
The last lesson Jesus gave to His disciples was girding Himself
about with a servants towel and teaching servanthood to those disciples. How can we continue to
ignore so powerful an illustration?
While theres some debate as to whether theres
a Five-Fold or a Four-Fold ministry, which I wont discuss here,
lets look carefully at the New Testament. There are apostles, prophets and evangelists. Their
job is to fulfill their callings by activities which reflect the description inherent in the name of their
calling and also to shepherd (pastor), oversee and teach the flock. That much is clear.
Ephesians, Chapter 4 details their full job description. In 1 Peter 5:1-5, the apostle admonishes the
elders relative to their attitude towards the flock. There are also shepherds and teachers, or, shepherd/teachers. The only place in the New Testament the word poimen is translated
pastor is in Ephesians, Chapter 4. The word poimen in the Greek means
shepherd. There is a curious anomaly in the usage of the word shepherd as a
doma ascension gift as listed in Ephesians 4:11. The word shepherd as applied
to elders of the church is used in the sense of to shepherd and doesnt call them
a shepherd. No one in the New Testament has the title of
pastor, or shepherd. The only shepherd mentioned in the New Testament is Jesus
Christ. He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14); the Great Shepherd
(Hebrews 13:20); the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls 1 Peter 2:25); and the
Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4).
The word chief is archipoimen, meaning
chief or head shepherd. It would appear then that those who are called as shepherds or shepherd/teachers would be assistants to the chief shepherd. As such their function would be limited
to shepherding, not to being a shepherd, which is a title reserved exclusively for Jesus.
In the same way all the words used in Ephesians 4:11 are a description of what those so identified
are to do, rather than a title. We have come to think of them as institutionalized positions of sovereignty, or an office, when in fact they are simply descriptions of individual performance of servanthood.
The New Testament thus emphatically states who our true Shepherd (Pastor) is. That is the only title found in the New Testament. All other so-called
offices or titles are simply job descriptions of the particular function
mentioned. The absence of the naming of anyone else as a shepherd in the New Testament makes
it clear that Jesus Christ, and He alone, is our Shepherd. We are not to place another single human
being in authority over us who is between us and the Good, Great, Chief Shepherd and Bishop of
your soul. A plurality of elders of the assembly are to shepherd, oversee and teach the younger
members, who will, of course, themselves eventually come to a point of maturity, or eldership. And
the dynamic process will continue.
The concept of covering as a means to keep
people in bondage to particular local congregations, and teachings on tithingwith fear of God
cursing the saint for failure to do soto keep fueling the ego and financing the lifestyle and
projects of a self-appointed leader continues to foster a concept of subtle hatred, death
and bondage. Gods people arent being released by love into more abundant life and
the fullness of the liberty of the Holy Spirit of God.
God doesnt want or need ten per cent of your money,
He wants 100% of you and 100% of whats left over after you pay your living expenses. We
are to yield ourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead (Romans 6:13). As such, you
owe God everything, including your life. He very graciously allows you to utilize what you need of
His money for your living expenses. But what you dont need is His.
And God expects you to take care of those elders who exercise
their job function of shepherding, overseeing and teaching you. You are to give to them because you
love them, and want for them to have life, and life more abundantly, and so they will have the liberty
to do the things the Holy Spirit instructs them to do.
The only covering that you have is Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. If you recognize another person as a covering you dishonor your Head, Jesus.
He, and He alone is your Pastor. No man, organization or assembly can cover you and protect you,
and assume responsibility for what you think, say and do. You and you alone are responsible to God.
Ignorance of His requirements of you are no excuse. You are to observe the elders and be persuaded
by the outcome of their lifestyles and not their talk and manipulating and intimidating tactics used
in order to control you.
Mans Perverted Reasoning
We think of paying our tithes as
insurance that God will continue to bless, and not curse, us. And we have been wrongly taught that
God will curse us if we dont. And we want a covering because that puts responsibility on the pastor or leader and their institutional organization. This false concept
is encouraged by church leadership in that they say that you will be without a
covering and the devil will get you and all sorts of bad things will happen because
the pastor and his institutional organization in some way mystically and magically
and marvelously protect you by their corporate umbrella. And we want that
pastor and his covering because it relieves us of our responsibility for
a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We want to pay our ten per cent of our income to an institutional organization that calls itself church, let a man we call pastor
make our spiritual decisions for us, and be absolved for our lack of effort because he and his institution are our covering and they are responsible for us. The rationale is the same as
having a rabbits foot, crossing our fingers, lucky charms and etc. Its religious superstition
and has no scriptural support.
How did Gods people ever get to such a stupid state?
The Old Testament gives us part of the answer in 1 Samuel, Chapter 8. The people rejected God and
wanted a king to rule over them. To fight their battles. To make their decisions. To tell them what
to do. God explained the problems they would have with a king, but the people insisted. So they got
what they wanted. Gods people today still want a king over them. And weve got exactly what God promised. Read it for yourself. But theyll settle for a human
pastor and an enslaving system of bondage. The ironic part of this desire for a king
is that God temporarily allowed earthly kings. But He has promised through David that we will have
a king. And His name is Jesus! So our desire for a king will result eventually in our being ruled by
the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Back to square one, with Jesus as our only
covering and our only Pastor. That idea has simply gone over a lot
of peoples heads.
The New Testament gives us more information on the answer
of how we got to such a stupid state in the church. God has made it clear in His word that if you
dont believe the truth He will send a strong delusion. That should be self-explanatory.
The excesses in The Word-Faith Movement have
also produced a tremendous amount of guilt for the body of Christ by their unbiblical teachings. Jesus
Christ is God in the flesh and has never ceased being God. We are not little godsand
never will be. We are now the body of Christ, and will one day be the bride of Christ. But we will
never be Christ or God. God is sovereign and we have a responsibility to Him. We
must continue to look to Jesus, and not ourselves, for every good and perfect gift. The attempts to
humanize Jesus as being a mere man, suffering in hell for three days and somehow
mysteriously being born again while all the time really somehow holding on to His
deity is nothing short of blasphemy. Further attempts to deify the saints of God is also blasphemy.
God is God and we are humans.
People who are hurting, physically, financially and mentally,
are wrongly accused of having a lack of faith and made to feel guilty because of it.
And treated like second class citizens. Let me ask you, church, with all your praying and positive
talking, and other spiritual gyrations, how much dominion have you taken over disease, death, demons
and nature itself? We know the answer to that one by looking at the state of the world and the church
around us. And how come the only rich saints are the ones who teach this materialistic stuff? Because
you keep giving them all your money, somehow hoping that their New Age theories will make you
rich too. So how about shutting up and letting God be in charge with His divine love, mercy, grace,
wisdom, judgement and justice?
Those who twist scripture to say have the faith of
God wrongly rationalize what they have said. Faith always requires an object. If we truly have
the faith of God then we will have faith in God. Because thats the only thing
that God has faith in! Are we so foolish to think that God has faith in anything other than Himself?
And are we so foolish as to think we should have faith in ourselves? No! We are to be like God and
have faith in God! No matter how you try to translate it still comes out in effect to have faith
in God! What incredibly devious reasoning is employed to come to the conclusion that you
should have faith in yourself!
Prove All Things; Hold Fast That Which Is Good
There have been, and will continue to be, many things that will
pop up and appear to be desirable for the body of Christ. However, comparison with the holy scriptures will prove their invalidity. Our purpose and our focus in this life must be Jesus Christ, and Him
crucified. And our authority is to be found in the totality of scripture as expressed in the original
Its popular now to pop up on the scene and claim to be
an apostle, or a prophet. And to want to be treated special, as if they
were some type of super-human. But until these people step into the pages of the Bible and experience
what those who are identified as such in scripture experienced, its nothing but strong delusion
on their part. And that strong delusion says theres truth they didnt believe. Its
my opinion that apostles and prophets will simply do what God calls them to do, and they will be
recognized by others by their fruit. And others may hang an apostle or prophet label on them, but
they themselves will be too busy going about the business of their Father to have business cards with
a title printed on it.
It Aint Funny
The church has become a place where we fearfully
subject and submit ourselves,
1. to a rigid arbitrary schedule of regular attendance, that someone else dictated,
2. at an institutional building with rules and regulations we fear
3. to have an unbiblical spiritual covering that
we are taught to fear losing, by a
4. person we unscripturally place in authority over our lives,
we call Pastor,
5. who places us under the curse of the law by teaching us to
pay Old Testament tithes, so that God will not curse us,
6. and who says only his institution can teach us everything we
need to know about God,
7. while we passively sit as spectators, grieving the Holy Spirit
as His gifts lie dormant and unused within us. And then we have a worship leader lead
us in a chorus of Im so glad Jesus set me free!
We are going to have to train ourselves to stop seeking other
peoples approval, appreciation, acceptance and recognition. And overcome our desire to just
naturally want to fit in with others and be liked. Instead, we must seek the approval, appreciation,
acceptance and recognition of our Creator. And train ourselves to supernaturally want to fit in with
Him and His eternal purpose.
That means we must lay aside our desire to convert, commit
and control others according to our personal standard of You should be more like me.
And instead begin to think to ourselves How can I add something good to this other persons life ... things that are beneficial, utilitarian, valuable and desirable, according to biblical
standards and not my standards? In so doing we will operate in the parameters of biblical love,
life and liberty. And all the hatred, death and bondage techniques we have carefully nurtured and
implemented over the centuries will be discarded.
Saint, do you recognize the unbiblical bondage to a rigid schedule, rules of a man-made institution, an unbiblical concept of covering, false authority
over us, unjustified fear of being cursed for not tithing and teachings of human traditions and human
wisdom? Do you recognize the hatred and death inherent in such a system?
We must return to our purpose of assemblies of the saints meeting
together to worship our God and our Creator, to learn of Him and through the power of the Holy Spirit
and His gifts to edify, exhort and encourage one another. We are not to forsake the assembling of
ourselves as a growing, thriving, dynamic organism.
We are to become more like Jesus Christ, be salt and light and
be a witness for our Saviour so that those who do not know Him will be convinced that we are genuinely reborn by the Spirit of God as a new creature, and be convicted by the Holy Spirit of God of
sin, righteousness and judgment. So that the unsaved repent and are saved and brought into the kingdom of God.
I urge you, as the body of Christ, to seek to establish the kingdom
of God and His righteousness in your personal life and in whatever part of the world you live in.
And to function within the parameters of biblical love, life and liberty.