“COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE” BY PETER WHYTE
The church we belong to may be one our parents attended, or one in which we were born again, or one to which we were attracted because of its charismatic preacher, its doctrine or perhaps its singing. Whatever the reason, we eventually hold the beliefs of the group we have joined. If we attend a Bible school or seminary our beliefs and concepts are formed according to that particular school of thought Soon we find ourselves unable to agree with millions of other Christians simply because their “indoctrination” has been different from ours.
Although all believers have been transferred from out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s Dear Son, we remain divided into thousands of denominations and disagreeing groups. This is the consequence of our beliefs, concepts and traditions, and we need to hold them lightly and be prepared to discard them if we wish to move on with God. Our environmental background, be it the norms of our society, the teaching of others, or our personal study and Bible reading, affects our whole life and ministry. It influences our every decision and action.
Generally we tend to have a “popular” view of things: a view that is shared by the majority of Christians in our circle. However, this is no guarantee that it is God’s view. Belonging to a recognized “church” with a building, an “ordained” minister, elders, deacons and engaging in all the activities associated with popular concepts of being a Christian can be a subtle deception. We can be deceived by these activities and think them God’s pleasing behaviour, when in reality they are of little relevance to God unless we obey His Son.
On the Mount of Transfiguration God spoke audibly::-
“This is my beloved son with whom I am well .pleased; hear him!”
When God instructed the disciples to “HEAR” Jesus He was telling them to OBEY JESUS. Without obedience to King Jesus we are forever stunted in our spiritual growth and remain babes, carnal men of flesh. No amount of Bible knowledge, religious activities or good works is of any relevance in the Kingdom of God if we do not obey the King.
Religious observance is not the priority of disciples of the King and His Kingdom. Jesus and His first disciples constantly shocked the religious leaders by not conforming to their traditions and the accepted pattern of religious behaviour.
Jesus came to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, saying:
“The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God has drawn near,
repent and believe in the good tidings.” (Mk. 1:15,16)
The gospel of the Kingdom is simply that the Government of God is restored, and we who believe are called to let the King reign over our individual free wills. Every child of God is called to become like Christ in loving fellowship and submission to God and to become an “overcomer”, to participate in the Government of God upon the earth.
Over the centuries Satan has been working as the angel of light to deceive the church of Jesus Christ. Deception is his greatest weapon because it is through deception that he keeps us in his spiritual city of Babylon, even though we may be Spirit filled believers “winning souls” to our churches. Babylon represents the government of Satan and is the name that God gives in Revelation to describe Satan’s reign over the whole world system including the church system. The Holy Spirit is calling us to come out of Babylon and to enter the New Jerusalem. This is the reason for the great upheaval in the Body of Christ and the inability of millions of us to continue with “church as usual.”
There is a great shaking taking place as once more God shakes the earth, and everything that we have built will be shaken and reduced to rubble, until the only thing that remains will be the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught that wars, rumours of wars, earthquakes etc., are not the sign of the end, but that this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness and then the end shall come. (Matt. 24:14)
The gospel of the Kingdom is only beginning to be understood in the second half of the 20th century. We are still a long way from seeing the only message that Jesus called the gospel being preached in the whole world. The majority of preachers understand little about it, and we see some of them with their unrenewed minds arguing and fighting over their carnal understanding of the Kingdom of God.
However, there is a rustling in the mulberry trees. Millions of believers are being drawn by the Holy Spirit out of the church systems, and a glorious church is quietly and mysteriously arising in every place. Small pockets of believers who are led by the Spirit of God are relating without buildings, pews, professional ministers, choirs, set services, committees or any of the things that are so necessary for the perpetuation of churches in Babylon.
Instead of the practice of “Christian religion” the Lord is teaching us to understand once more the way of this life. The church of the Kingdom, the church that Jesus is building, is one church, one with the Lord and one with each other. It bears no resemblance to the churches, structures and organizations that we have built over the past centuries. The church of the Kingdom is a church of overcomers. We have generally failed to be overcomers because we have been subtly deceived into thinking that the basis for belonging to a church is found in agreement on doctrine. This is just one of Satan’s more successful lies and we must stop perpetuating it by refusing to accept it any longer. The church of Jesus Christ exists because it is a family with one Father. It exists in the same way that a natural family exists, not because all its members agree with one another, but because they have the same father. The only criterion for being a member of the church is to be one of God’s children. If God is your Father then you are a member of His church.
We all agree that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in Him, but believing IN Him is not enough. WE MUST BELIEVE HIM. We must believe what he said and obey Him. Before we can enter the New Jerusalem we must return to child-like simplicity that maintains “If Jesus said it then that settles it.” Only then can we be set free from the webs of diverse doctrines and traditions that hold us in Babylon and start our journey to the City whose builder and maker is God.
The early church consisted of people who had been taught THE WORD OF CHRIST which is what Jesus had instructed His apostles to teach. We must face the reality that Jesus has never changed His instructions. The way forward is for us to repent of our old concepts, doctrines, traditions and practices if they are contrary to the words of the King, and once more to Give Jesus Christ the first place in everything.