Chapter Five – Part 1
THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE
Once we are led by the Holy Spirit to reject the Harlot church system we will undergo a spiritual wilderness experience. We must understand that we have not passed this way before. Each one of us is a pioneer and there is no clearly marked road for us to follow.
The hardest thing for most of us is that those who remain behind do not understand that we are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. Precious friendships, loving relationships that we have enjoyed in “our church” suddenly turn cold and sour. We have to face misunderstanding, false accusations of back-sliding, rebellion and deception, and painful rejection from those we love, but who suddenly lose their love for us.
At this point we are very vulnerable to the Harlot’s emissaries, who will try to persuade us to return, join another group, or at least engage in some “Christian activity”. To no longer preach, teach, sing in a choir, or enjoy meetings when you have done so for years, is a devastating experience.
However, it is our flesh that misses the meetings, the singing and music, and the warmth of those old relationships, and desires us to return to Babylon or Egypt. It is lonely, cold and hard in the desert, yet it was there that Moses was prepared by God, and it is there that we too can learn to “love not the world” and rely only on God and gain Christ. There are no “religious crutches” for us to lean on. No religious activities in which to hide our true condition from others and ourselves.
It is only by steadfastly refusing temptation to return and having intimate fellowship with God for a long period that we can escape the many invisible chains of Babylon.
After a time we are able to see beneath the gilt adorning the Harlot, and then we can truly hate her, but we must always love those who remain bound in captivity.
It is essential that we never forget that God has no “lone rangers” in His church. Always we must be aware that the Body of Christ is made up of many members, and we must allow God to join us to others. We no longer join something, but simply discover those to whom God decides to join us.
God, in His own time, will join us to others, and we must be patient and allow Him to do this without trying to help Him. We are “living stones” and Jesus is the architect and builder of His church. We are not the builders, but the material with which He builds. We must simply be willing and obedient to Him.
His church is a family. It bears no resemblance to the churches, structures and organizations that we have created. The church that Jesus is building is not an organization, but a living organism, a beautiful woman, “clothed in fine linen, bright and clean – the Bride of Christ.”
The unresisted reign of Jesus Christ in our individual hearts creates tangible unity in the Spirit. We need nothing to bind us together, because we know each other by the inner revelation of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit within us creates the loving spiritual relationship which is all that is necessary for us to enjoy fellowship with the Lord and each other. Nothing more than being led by the Spirit is needed for the Body of Christ to function, and for its members to relate to one another.
When self is dethroned and our King is enthroned in the hearts of any two believers, they enjoy a perfect, peaceful, joyful relationship. There can be no discord or division, BECAUSE THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME.
Father is infinitely wise, gracious and merciful, but He loves us and therefore will discipline us, in order that we may share His holiness. He teaches us in many different ways, and speaks to us within the limitations of our individual understanding, which is bounded by our environment, culture and experience. He knows everything about us, even the most secret thoughts of our hearts, and He will allow us to be tempted by our own desires and by the enemy. If we fail the test, we will not progress, but experience again and again the same problems until we learn to overcome them.
There are only three roots of all kinds of evil. When we examine sin of any description we will always find that its origin will lie in PRIDE, LOVE OF MONEY OR SEX.
Men love status, power to rule over others, and when they have it, pride will cause them to retain it, very often at the expense or hurt of others. Men will often lie to impress their listeners with their own importance, or boast of their achievements, and pride is the root of the lie. Pride manifests itself when we resist correction or instruction from those that love us. Pride causes us to stand up for our rights, and prevents us from apologizing or humbling ourselves. Pride will cause us to lay blame on others or the devil for our problems, when we are the cause of the problems ourselves.
Scripture is sometimes mistranslated and often misquoted, “love of money is THE root of all evil.” When it actually states that “love of money is A ROOT of all kinds of evil.” Men will kill, steal, and assault others to gain wealth or possessions. They will also lie, defraud, cheat and embezzle for the love of money.
Sins that have their root in sex include adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lust, rape and sometimes murder. Deceitful behaviour, lies and theft often have their root cause in wrong sexual desires or relationships.
These three areas of our lives must come under His Government if we are to share in His holiness. The Bride MAKES HERSELF READY and it is our task to clothe ourselves in fine linen, bright and clean, and this linen is our righteous behaviour. (Rev. 19:7,8)
Having left a Babylonian church and refused to join or start another, we will experience hurtful misunderstanding and rejection. These unpleasant experiences test our faith, but if we endure to the end and do not give up, we will grow in spiritual maturity. We must embrace these trials gladly in order that the peaceable fruit of righteousness be manifest in our lives.
If we allow bitterness and resentment to result from hurtful relationship experiences, we will not move nearer to the New Jerusalem, but sojourn longer in the wilderness. When we are hurt and rejected by the church system, we must see it as an opportunity to grow in brotherly kindness, forgiveness, humility, patience, long-suffering and Christian love. Turn to Father for comfort. Fellowship with Him. If you know others who are hearing the same call you may also find fellowship with them.
However, if they have also been hurt and rejected, do not commiserate with one another, or you will only satisfy your flesh and the devil by criticizing those who remain in Babylon. Remember that it is only by the grace of God that Babylon has been exposed to you by the Holy Spirit. You are no better or more important to God than His other beloved children who are still in captivity and remain blinded by the Great Whore.