ON THE PRECIPICE OF ETERNITY?

I have often published on my site prophetic words given by Priscilla Van Sutphin. I used to be very sceptic about anyone claiming that they had “heard” from God and felt a burden to be HIS mouthpiece. Indeed, I still feel there are many charlatans out there, many deluded people, deceivers who fool no one but themselves.

However, I do believe with all my heart that this woman “hears” from God and though I have never met her or know anything about her at all, every time I read the messages she shares, I myself sense the presence of God around me in a tangible way. I feel comforted, encouraged and disciplined. I feel His Spirit right there next to me. The words hit me like the words of a best friend, and intimate relation who knows you inside out and can get to those places we all try so hard to keep out of sight from the world around us.

This particular word is an example of how the Spirit of God can make contact with us when we least expect it. It can get to those dark, hidden, secret, sheltered, delicate, sensitive corners of our heart that nobody else gets to see or know about. It can unearth our deepest longings, fears and our biggest regrets, our failures and the strongest desires of our heart which up to that point have laid dormant, numbed by a culture and an existence fast forwarded by commitments, responsibilities, worries, TIME.

Priscilla, if you ever happen to read this, please know that in the past when I have shared your messages here, often I shared them because I felt they would encourage someone else. Well, this time the message was for ME.

I sit here in floods of tears feeling like that person you speak of who feels they have been discounted, who no longer have a role in the Kingdom, is ME. I am the one who has personally been given this promise:

“but I promised I WOULD ARISE OVER YOU.  I promised I would be SEEN upon you.  [Isaiah 60] So do not fall to defeatism, and apathy, and the spirits of heaviness that are lurking in the shadows.”

I am the one who saw myself in a dream doing these very things, flying, being carried, sheltered under God’s wing:

“I’ve called you to soar on eagles’ wings Higher above their domain, to fly with ME in the heavenlies and to see things from MY perspective.”

I am the one who was personally told to:

“Keep focused on ME.  Keep focused on the WORD.  Do NOT get into bitterness and do not allow critical spirits in your heart.  Again I’m not telling you to stop being discerning, and I am not saying do not speak out, because I have called you to speak up against evil.  You are called to be an ARMY, not to be a pacifist apathetic sheepfold.  True justice is the heart of a prophet.  I put that sense of justice there for many of you who are prophetic.  I developed it in you through the sufferings you endured, that you would have MY HEART.  David was a man after My own heart I said.  I have many David’s who have been on the sidelines, participating, but who will now be drawn into direct battle, and into the spotlight to speak out the things I’ve given them to say.”

I am amongst those who have been given this promise over and over again in dreams:

“For I have promised a tsunami of My love for a long time now, and it is about to be poured out.”

I heard this promise too:

“Throw off all the discouragement and expecting of bad things to happen.  For I set a table before you in the midst of your enemies I said.  I AM Your Rear Guard!  I watch over My children like a good parent does.  I provide all that is needed for those who are called to My purpose.  So BELIEVE that I am FOR you and not against you.  Do NOT listen to the voice that makes you feel disqualified, or not good enough.  YOU ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE BLOOD OF MY SON.”

I am that person:

“He seeks always to steal from you your confidence in My love for you.  But it cannot be taken away.  My heart is ALWAYS FOR YOU.  My love is EVERLASTING and ETERNAL.  It is unconditional.  I never stop loving you.  So rebuke him and his minions from your presence and stay your mind on ME and My promises.  Speak them out and sing them out against his ploys.  Dance and sing, and dwell in My presence that you could hear My voice speaking to you in the quiet times.  REST in My arms and you will find all the peace you need.  FOR I AM the PRINCE OF PEACE.  My shalom is encompassing you as you worship me.  Even when you can’t FEEL it, I am imparting grace to you.”

The words: “You are called to be a LIGHT in the DARKNESS” have been given to me time and time again:

“Have confidence that My plans for you are for GOOD and not for evil to give you a future and a hope, that you can be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD you have been called to be!”

Oh! I am the one crying as His words unravel the complexity and the burden in my heart that no human around me is even aware of. He sees in me what no one else can or will see; He alone knows the dreams and promises He has laid on my heart; He alone sees me in the night troubled by visions of Tsunamis and earthquakes that shake the foundations of the Earth; He alone sees the tears I cry when those chosen and called to share the Good News, misrepresent HIM in such an abysmal and hurtful manner, and THAT is how I know this word is coming DIRECTLY from  my Heavenly Father to me.

Thank you Priscilla for being that vessel, that channel which brings this healing balm onto my soul and reminds me that HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME, NOR FORSAKE ME.

http://www.hiskingdomprophecy.com/the-lord-says-were-on-the-precipice-of-eternity/

The Lord says We’re on the Precipice of Eternity!

“[So I went with him, and when we were climbing the rocky steps up the hillside, my beloved shepherd said to me] O my dove, [while you are here] in the seclusion of the clefts in the solid rock, in the sheltered and secret place of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.  [My heart was touched and I fervently sang to him my desire]  Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards [of our love], for our vineyards are in blossom”   Song of Solomon 2:14-15 AMP.

“You’re on the precipice of eternity, and many are not aware of how close My coming is.  They’ve been lured asleep by compromise, apathy and complacency.  But I am asking you now to be ready for extraordinary change that is coming.  Nothing will ever be the same.  Life as you know it cannot be Counted on.  The things you have taken for granted in the past, cannot be taken for granted any more.

My coming is urgently approaching and so many are sleeping in the church.  Deep darkness has filled many people as the darkness has covered the earth, but I promised I WOULD ARISE OVER YOU.  I promised I would be SEEN upon you.  [Isaiah 60] So do not fall to defeatism, and apathy, and the spirits of heaviness that are lurking in the shadows.  The vultures are ready to pounce if you let them, but I’ve called you to soar on eagles’ wings Higher above their domain, to fly with ME in the heavenlies and to see things from MY perspective.

Keep your oil lamps filled to the brim, for ordinary substances that people count on are not being supplied.  There is a plot to starve out many, and to lay many to rest through cruel and unusual means.  PRAY these things do not come.  I will uncover it all if people will repent and seek My face in this nation.  Change is about to turnover many things they think are established.  You are on the precipice of GREAT CHANGE.  Not the kind some were looking for in last few years, but that which WILL change people’s hearts and expose the hearts of others.

Keep focused on ME.  Keep focused on the WORD.  Do NOT get into bitterness and do not allow critical spirits in your heart.  Again I’m not telling you to stop being discerning, and I am not saying do not speak out, because I have called you to speak up against evil.  You are called to be an ARMY, not to be a pacifist apathetic sheepfold.  True justice is the heart of a prophet.  I put that sense of justice there for many of you who are prophetic.  I developed it in you through the sufferings you endured, that you would have MY HEART.  David was a man after My own heart I said.  I have many David’s who have been on the sidelines, participating, but who will now be drawn into direct battle, and into the spotlight to speak out the things I’ve given them to say.

I am NOT the God of the new age.  I am not the God of the world, though I should be.  But I AM the CREATOR Who made heaven and earth and sent My Son to die for them.  Many have heard and rejected Me.  Many have spurned My love through My servants.  But many have not seen the kind of love I am about to pour out.  For I have promised a tsunami of My love for a long time now, and it is about to be poured out.  Ready your hearts to be enraptured with Your King!  For I AM READY and I see the plans that you cannot see.

I see the plans of the wicked behind closed doors, and I know all things about them, and about you. Do not hide yourself from Me now.  Come to me with your burdens and I will give you rest for your soul.  I will heal the hearts who are corrupted by the enemy.  I will do miracles upon miracles.  Startling miracles will be seen, and people will be in shock, including you, that I do them now.  Others will arise trying to mimic them, but they will be shown to be the frauds that they are.  Ask and you will receive.  Believe that I am GOOD, and that I have your best interest always on My mind.

Throw off all the discouragement and expecting of bad things to happen.  For I set a table before you in the midst of your enemies I said.  I AM Your Rear Guard!  I watch over My children like a good parent does.  I provide all that is needed for those who are called to My purpose.  So BELIEVE that I am FOR you and not against you.  Do NOT listen to the voice that makes you feel disqualified, or not good enough.  YOU ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE BLOOD OF MY SON.  Many continue making mistakes, sinning, but did I not know that when He died on the cross?  Did I not show you the parallels to Israel, and how they wandered for 40 years in the desert because they could not attain to the law, nor get all the unbelief and rejection and bitterness out of their hearts.  IT IS BY THE BLOOD that you have My righteousness, and I see you through that blood.  YOU are My precious possession, and I will make you My jewels.  So fret not, and do not take on the condemnation of the enemy.  Do not allow it in your heart.  He is a liar and the father of lies.

He seeks always to steal from you your confidence in My love for you.  But it cannot be taken away.  My heart is ALWAYS FOR YOU.  My love is EVERLASTING and ETERNAL.  It is unconditional.  I never stop loving you.  So rebuke him and his minions from your presence and stay your mind on ME and My promises.  Speak them out and sing them out against his ploys.  Dance and sing, and dwell in My presence that you could hear My voice speaking to you in the quiet times.  REST in My arms and you will find all the peace you need.  FOR I AM the PRINCE OF PEACE.  My shalom is encompassing you as you worship me.  Even when you can’t FEEL it, I am imparting grace to you.

Have confidence that My plans for you are for GOOD and not for evil to give you a future and a hope, that you can be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD you have been called to be!  I will remove the little foxes that spoil the vine as you worship ME and seek My face.  Don’t worry about the little foxes, just trust ME, that I will remove them as you seek Me.  That is why you find yourself crying in My presence, without knowing why.  I am healing your heart and plucking out all that the enemy has sown that is not from ME.  I love you My bride, and I am at the door, so lean on ME.  Lean on the everlasting arms for I am not weak as man is weak.  Trust me to bring you through anything that you have to go through.  For I am with you always, even to the end.”

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MANIPULATION, DECEPTION AND CONTROL ARE ALL SUSTAINED AND FED BY LIES, SUBTLE LIES, BUT LIES NONETHELESS- PART 2

Continued from Part 1

“Today’s culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans – “bunny believers” who hop around from one church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment. Many believe it is possible to be a “good Christian” without joining (or even attending) a local church, but God would strongly disagree.”

Let’s take a closer look at the magnitude of the deceit that lies within these lines above. “Today’s culture of independent individualism”, so far so good. Reader is engaged by a statement that no one can deny. But then the author goes on to associate this independent individualism to be the direct cause of being “spiritual orphans”. Can such a type of Christian really exist? Not according to the Scriptures that I read, not according to the Father that loves me and promises me that He will never leave me nor forsake me. No term used by Church Leadership and Church Growth Gurus gets me more enraged than this one: “Spiritual Orphans”.

No person who accepts Christ to be Lord and Saviour in their heart and soul can be a spiritual orphan. This is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron and proof that for the author of this devotional and all those who follow him and so many like him, when they call Christ Lord, that is where in their minds His lordship ends, because God, our Heavenly Father, is clearly not sufficient as a Father to anyone who comes to Christ, He is not the Head, the pillar upon which everything stands and has its being.  Christ is clearly not enough in order for God to act as our Heavenly Father who tends to our every spiritual need; putting his son on a cross is not enough. Membership in a church or even attending one is what is truly needed for us to be true sons and daughters of the LIVING God. Indeed, if not being part of a church family makes me a spiritual orphan, you are saying that God is not my Father, for orphans do not have one. Such a statement denies the very core purpose for which Christ died on the cross: the veil was torn, God’s wrath satisfied and the door now open for anyone who is in Christ to have direct access to The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Where in that can one come to the conclusion that anyone called a Christian who is not part of a church is a spiritual orphan? The deception and false teaching in this is so huge, so on your face, so obvious, that sometimes it is the very fact that it is staring us in the face, that makes us mistake deceit for truth, because our eyes are only focusing and our discernment is being impaired by what is seen and not by what is unseen.

The patronising, arrogant and insulting litany goes on as Christians who are not members of a local church are described as “bunny believers” who have no identity, accountability or commitment. Identity? I thought it was Christ and our faith in Him alone that defined our identity. Sadly, today being part of a local church only defines your identity as that of someone who supports this or that vision of a particular pastor or church leader. Accountability? Easy to be accountable to people who buy into what you are selling, who believe in your authority, because it is they who put you on a pedestal and even if you err from what is Godly and truth, you will not be made truly accountable, because it is easier to go with the flow and the flock than to be singled out and ostracised for being true to the voice of the One and Only Shepherd who deserves our sole worship and blind obedience, for trying to put a stop to the lies, falsehood and deceit.

Commitment? Commitment to what? To a set of rules and obligations I must abide by in order to comply with what is expected of me as a Christian individual who defines himself as a member of this or that Church Family? Yes, I have experienced that kind of commitment. The kind that puts a yoke round your neck and fills you with guilt if you do not pick up a chain and pull as hard as you can  in order to sell and market whatever it is this or that pastor is trying to sell to the world so that they can earn their claim to fame in Christendom and beyond. The kind of chain that makes you feel held and secure, a part of something bigger than yourself, something worthy, something lofty, only to then one day look down at your hands and feet and realise that what you are actually enjoying is an illusion of freedom, freedom  to sacrifice, serve and financially support the leadership and captain at the helm of that vessel you have been chained to. Then one day you finally pluck up the courage to stand up, be counted, demand your true freedom in Christ, seek after the Holy Spirit’s guidance to fulfil what it is you were called to fulfil in the sphere God has placed you in. It is on that fine day that your chains will be cut and your body and soul thrown into the open seas. Whilst evil intended for any shark to feed on the carnage that such fleshly crusades leave behind, God will use this painful experience to peel off the layers of bondage and deceit thrown upon you by the very ones who pride themselves in helping you to discover freedom in Christ. You will be immersed in abundant waters that will never run out; you will never be thirsty again and you will know what true freedom in Christ really is meant to be.

But here is the mother of all lies, la crème de la crème of deception which seeks to manipulate and control under the guise of passion, love and devotion: “Many believe it is possible to be a “good Christian” without joining (or even attending) a local church, but God would strongly disagree.”

Again, we must be reading scripture inspired by two different Gods. The one I read conveys there is no such thing as a “good Christian” for we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Can it be that the person who has written this has established this distinction in order to convince his readers that there are two camps within Christianity: the good and the bad ones, the godly and the ungodly, the saved and the unsaved perhaps? Not explicitly said but thrown in there as a little hint, a mere implied suggestion just to catch the attention of those who can be easily swayed by fear and the kind of truths that are made truth just because an ” important” and influential majority in a particular field has declared it so.

I think what the author is really trying to say here is “in order to be a genuine, true Christian” and not a “good Christian”, for again this term is another oxymoron. If there were good Christians as opposed to bad ones, wouldn’t that mean that the need for Christ in their life would become obsolete, that God gives them a special treatment just because they are good and where is that righteousness come from: them being in Christ or their own achievements and goodness? Again, statements like this one challenge the very pillars the Christian faith stands on, on a monumental scale, so I will not be the one to read something like that and swallow it whole in the hope that it will go down and produce the effect it was intended for. It is easily done, just put “God would strongly disagree” at the end of your statement and that will surely have the desired effect on the reader. Where is the grace, the non-judgementalism, the humility that surely should be so characteristic of those who ceremoniously like to label themselves as Christian Leaders or biblically put “servant to all”. Now there is an incredible contrast between what Jesus defined as “leading” and what church leaders have decided it should mean instead. Such utter violation of what is truth in Christ should send our alarm bells ringing, but do we listen? No, it is easier to go on as we are and pretend we have it all figured out.

I hope one day the person who wrote this article looks back and ponders on the question: Did my words bring freedom or bondage to millions of Christians out there who are not part of a church/church family? Did I transmit grace to those who do not share my views or did I cast them out as “not good enough” with my judgemental heart? Did I truly manage to convince non-church going Christians that they are in the wrong, that they are lost, without a compass or did my frivolous, obnoxious assumptions only serve to confirm the very reasons why they either broke loose from the Church system or stopped going to a particular church in the first place?

“The earth dries up and withers”. Is God’s word fiction or the reality unfolding in front of our very eyes?

I have often been told that my outlook on everything is rather pessimistic and yes, that is true to some extent. I do however strongly feel that one has to have a certain pessimism built-in within them if they are ever going to have a genuine fear of the Lord, which we know from the Scriptures IS the beginning of wisdom. I think it is important in all areas of life to not be over pessimistic but neither over optimistic. I like to be real; I like to keep it real and I like to be realistic.

I know that our Heavenly Father is Love but I also keep close to my heart and spirit the certainty that God is a Just God in equal measure, a loving Father and specially the only ONE who knows it all, despite the fact that so many who are seen as men and women of God today think they too know it all. God alone can see the end from the beginning and the purpose in everything, the true “bigger picture”.

What we do know for sure, for those of us who accept the Bible as God-inspired and as the revelation of who Jesus is and why He came to the world and why He will come again, is the fact that there will be a day of Judgement. Many Christians shake in disapproval and with righteous anger when they hear such statement mentioned, because to them God is above all else love, and talking about judgement is something which in their eyes is non-sensical seeing as Christ has already paid the price for our sin on the cross and therefore what would be the need or the point of God judging men on that final day or even today? Personally, I feel that this type of Christian attitude does away with the need for ongoing repentance, contrition and the determination to go through a process of sanctification until the day we die; all absolutley vital and key steps in becoming more and more like Christ, which is ultimately what one would hope all Christians are striving for, even when we know we will never be like Him, not really. It is an attitude that brings forward countless of new converts, but the question we need to be asking ourselves at that point is: what are they really converting to seeing as the concept of God’s judgement and our need for repentance and humility are so paramount, clear and prevalent throughout the Scriptures?

Though we don’t know when the end will come, we know without a doubt that it WILL come and we have a pretty good description of what will happen when it does, both in the Old and the New testament. Listen for example to this fragment in the book of Isaiah (Isaiah 24, 4-13) and ponder afterwards whether you see any similarities with what is going on in the world today:

The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers,
the heavens languish with the earth.
5 The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left.
7 The new wine dries up and the vine withers;
all the merrymakers groan.
8 The joyful timbrels are stilled,
the noise of the revelers has stopped,
the joyful harp is silent.
9 No longer do they drink wine with a song;
the beer is bitter to its drinkers.
10 The ruined city lies desolate;
the entrance to every house is barred.
11 In the streets they cry out for wine;
all joy turns to gloom,
all joyful sounds are banished from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins,
its gate is battered to pieces.
13 So will it be on the earth
and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.

A view from the International Space Station shows bushfire smoke clouds over southern Australia.

As I was reading these words this morning, the images of the fires currently devastating large areas of Australia and also recently in various States on North America immediately came into my mind. Fires of uncontrollable scale are raging, more and more landscapes are becoming desolate. “Earth’s inhabitants are burned up…” we read in Isaiah. It all seems far too immediate and current already! We are getting to the end of October by which time the weather in the UK has already turned nasty weeks prior, and yet this year we are enjoying spring-like weather at the moment. Temperatures are so much milder (17 degrees forecast for tomorrow) and you do get the sense as you are out and about that indeed the whole earth seems to be warming up at an alarming rate.

Lines of scorched earth and huge smoke plumes from wild fires in Australia were visible from the International Space Station on January 8, 2013. Credit: NASA/Chris Hadfield

Only today as I went out for a walk with my dog, I had to contend with fighting off wasps which themselves appeared disorientated and bewildered as the autumnal landscape which they are not familiar with surrounded them. Little did they know, it was them who did not belong in such a landscape at such a time and not the other way around. I think there is a hidden message in that somewhere, but it is not coming to me right now. I will ponder on that a bit later perhaps!

I am not deliberately trying to be a scaremonger, far from it, but one cannot deny that there is a general sense of inevitability and bewilderment amongst earth’s inhabitants today. We realise we have neglected our duty and responsibility of looking after our planet and everything that is in it: our marriages, our lifestyles, our children, our relationships, our morals or lack of, and yet we continue doing “business as usual” instead of actually trying to either repent and change our ways, instead of humbling ourselves and finally recognising that neither we are God nor will we ever be, instead of putting aside our differences and concentrating on what we have in common: our humanity and those things which are vital to our existence: our planet and everything that lives in it.

Christians, the people of God, above anyone else should lead by example by coming alongside each other in unity to encourage and bless each other as we seek to do God’s will, and yet, disunity, pride and a desperate need to stamp our own identity and validity above anyone else within the Christian world is only too apparent when one ponders on the dozens of different Christian denominations and church identities we see all around us. We brag about how good we have it in our own church, how our church’s vision is the one that clearly capture’s God’s heart for His people, belittling in this manner what any other Christian individual or group may be doing be it in their community, for each other or in the world, instead of joining forces as the Body of Christ should to compliment and enhance what each other is doing. The problem with that is the results would no longer point to how amazing WE are, but to the kind of God we claim we serve.

I also see Isaiah’s prophetic words coming to pass not only in the natural world but much more so in the spiritual realm, amongst all Christians, as a scattering of God’s people of biblical proportions is taking place in the world today. Whilst in times past during so called “revivals” Christians were known for their gatherings together and their fight for a common cause and purpose, there is today a great sense of so many individuals being scattered outside of the “Structural” and “Institutional” fold, individuals who are searching for the one and true God whose temple is not made with human hands. These people who are being scattered are also experiencing a tremendous and unrelenting time of draught but the difference is that their draught results from God’s mercy and not his judgement, as He seeks to remove from us anything or anyone who is not from HIM or who deviates us from our true purpose in Christ, anything or anyone who is stopping us from following HIM and from doing HIS will.

I think I should finish with another portion of Scripture which pretty much sums up what I am trying to say here:

Isaiah 26, 7-11

7The path of the righteous is level;
you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
8 Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,[a]
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
10 But when grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

THIS BLOG NO LONGER DOES WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN. OUCH!

Recently a dear friend sent me an email to let me know that a well-known Christian writer was offering a bumper gift of free books written by himself and others upon the condition that we bought his latest book.  Immediately enticed by the thought of a free gift, I took the bait and purchased his new book, and as promised, once I informed the author that I had made the purchase, a link was sent to me from his website with the promised bumper gift, which by the way was for the most part the ability to download for free various books and audio and not as I had hoped a physical, tangible gift to be received on the post, which was a bit disappointing, but that is more to do with my own personal preferences and not the nature of the giver.

Once I had downloaded most of the stuff, the excitement of the free gift ebbed away, specially when I received another email from this author’s website to say amongst other things that a free copy of another of his books would be automatically sent to all those who subscribed to his blog.  Another condition, I thought! This is beginning to smell of egocentrism and idolatry and it is certainly not pointing me or anyone else who comes to this author’s site primarily to Jesus or more importantly emulating God’s unconditional love, a God who gave his one and only son to set us free and to redeem us to Himself. For as one freely receives one should freely give.  Somehow, these words did not ring true in my heart when I thought of this author’s tactics to attract readers to his site and ultimately to increase the number of people following him. I personally know self-confessed men and women of God who will unashamedly use the arena and the platform God has blessed them with to market, promote and push their egos forward and simultaneously brag about going out on mission to the poorest countries for a couple of weeks a year as if one washed clean or cancelled the harm and the defiling done by the other.

Now, when I take a step back and ponder on what the picture of today’s church looks like, I see what I have described above as one of the primary reasons why the Western church is in decay at is very core and why hundreds of people are marching out from their local churches with absolutely no intention of ever going back, and worse still why many unbelievers will automatically keep their distance the moment they find out that you are a Christian. Why? Because they simply cannot and will not wish to dig in any further when they see the hypocrisy of a system, a set of beliefs and a large number of people within this group who perpetuate and condone the worship of other gods whilst claiming to love above all else the one and only God.  Who would be stupid enough to fall for that kind of on your face, down right deception, right?

This morning as I was having breakfast all alone in the kitchen (my favourite time of day) I felt utterly convicted for being one of those who is simply perpetuating this situation and fallacy by the mere fact that my own blog as of late no longer seems to point people to Christ, no longer does what it says on the tin, but often it points to other people’s wisdom, knowledge or discernment and even more disappointing is the fact that by doing this God never gets the glory, the praise or the love, but it is instead given to countless individuals who have been set apart by God for a specific purpose and as time has gone by that direction has been lost and everything they are about and everything they do reflects not the glory, power, grace and love of God, but their own ingenuity, enlightenment and self-worth.

There is a reason why my blog has erred from where it was supposed to go and that is simply the fact that these days I don’t abide in His word and His presence as much as I need to. This is another big factor in why those set apart Christian leaders who are out there pushing forward their own findings, revelation and vision forget in the process that they are simply mere clay in the Potter’s hand and not the finished article which is ready to be put on a shelf for everyone to admire and enjoy.  Only Christ, I say it again for my own benefit as much as anyone else’s reading this, only Christ is worthy of such adoration, glory and praise. And the very sad part of all of this is that the majority of such individuals were destined for great exploits for God, for unimaginable intimacy and a supernatural walk alongside Christ himself, but unable and unwilling to take the path of self-sacrifice, anonymity and suffering, they push for the mirage instead, pursuing a great following as the credentials one needs in the world today to have influence for Christ and to have a life-altering, transformational and redemptive effect upon the lives of others.

Many people like myself are these days shouting to the four corners of the earth the deception and hypocrisy that abounds in the church system today and why this is causing floods of Christians to leave such pools of stagnant water, but few are prepared to be radical in how they tackle this problem, in how they offer themselves as living sacrifices in order to enable Christ’s bride to receive a heart transplant which presents her to the Groom without spot or blemish.

I want to have that kind of radical approach to changing the face of The Church, the Body of Christ, and I have to start somewhere, so I will start by simply ceasing to publish on this blog anything written or said by anyone else other than Christ himself.  This blog was born out of  a desire to share with you all what Christ has done and continues to do in my life and that of my family, and I would be an utter fool if I truly thought that posting, promoting or glorifying what another brother or sister in Christ has said or written has the same power as the words of Christ himself or if I thought that by pushing forward as the panacea the knowledge and revelation attained by another Christian individual, I am pushing forward the redemptive power that only the blood of Christ is able to transmit.  Radical thinking I know, for some perhaps even too much of an extreme attitude to have, but everything else has been tried and tested and failed.  We are all full of good intentions and the determination to give everyone the benefit of the doubt but when it comes to the Kingdom of God, short-changing does not cut it. I don’t want to look back a few years down the line and see that the Church is still in the same sad, ill state because not only did I and everyone else not do anything in my own walk to change it, but because I was in actual fact an active agent in promoting, praising and glorifying men and women above Christ himself.

It is simple: anything that detracts the light from the Saviour himself, is as good as darkness and becomes a betrayal to the Father’s heart, for one cannot be content to belong to the darkness and the light at the same time and one most certainly cannot be a part of the Body if that part is holding a lampstand that points to itself and not the Head.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (38 kb)

I don’t discount that some of what these individuals are putting out there is indeed born of the Spirit of God and being used by God to bring renewal and growth in the lives of certain people including myself of course, but if at the same time they are intent on drawing attention to themselves and their work first and foremost to then point people to Christ, the later cannot justify the former and the former cannot be used as an excuse to whitewash and exonerate the latter. In Christ, we can only have one Master and not two can be served, revered and worshipped at the same time.  Let’s today choose whom we shall serve and commit with our every breath to such a choice. Double standards and hypocrisy never enlarged the kingdom of God and they never will, no matter what you are made to believe by those who have vested interests in persuading you otherwise.

Jude 24-25 (111 kb)

“The Church for those who don’t like church” by Dave Yeubanks

I read yesterday a post written by Dave Yeubanks at Truthforfree.com entitled “The Church for those who don’t like church” which floored me, in the sense that it unearthed so many of the feelings and realities I have been experiencing myself over these last few years during which the veil has finally been lifted off my eyes.

I was deeply touched by Dave’s honesty, passion, and righteous anger as he shares with the world his utter frustration with a religious system that is intent on bulldozing its way forward even if that means leaving countless spiritual casualties along the way, even if it means looking like it cares for the needs of others but simultaneously watching those closest to it hurting, rejected and yet doing absolutely nothing to bring healing and restoration to them, because the health of the system is a far, far greater concern to its leadership than the health of the individual Christ died for.

A system that seeks to bring forward the redemption and freedom in Christ with the one hand, but forces out of its way those whose allegiance is first with Christ and not the system, is really not of the Spirit. A love that nurtures with one stroke and severs hearts with the very next and does not care to look back at the mayhem it leaves behind is not really LOVE,  it is born of the flesh and not the Spirit, and it is clearly obedient to the will of men and not of God.

We often talk of the religious system, but what happens when we stop talking about a system and we recognise and remind ourselves that this system is made up of a group of people?  What if we stop referring to a group of people and we specifically refer to the Church as the group of people who stand proud against the rest of the world as the carriers of the TRUTH, the envoys for Christ, the bearers of His Cup? You and I are the Church of Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility to the world and primarily to ourselves to live with integrity and to represent Christ on this earth for who He is and not for what He can do for us, our crusades, our agendas, our own significance and purpose on this earth. When I read my bible, time and time again these words echo in my ears: “You shall love the Lord your God  with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.” The Christian Religious System has replaced the word “God” with the word “Church” and also the word “neighbour” with the words “Church Leadership”. No fresh living water could ever emanate from a system which by its very devotion to itself produces nothing other than dead works and a people who time and time again would rather reach out for a bottle of water than hike up the mountain to find that wonderful spring whose liquid gold will ensure you are never thirsty again and you never mistake the deception for the real thing.

Please read Dave’s own testimony.  He expresses what is out there far better than I ever will.

I would give up and trade all my years as part of the institutional church in an instant  to share in Dave’s passion, zeal for a true relationship with the Lord, integrity, determination, transparency and strength. A heart that pursues and abounds in these qualities cannot but spread the aroma of Christ wherever it goes, whoever it may come in contact with.

Here is Dave’s post:

The Church for those who don’t like church… really?

I wonder how many of you have run across religious organizations that like to use this phrase (or some variation of it) as their “outreach slogan”. A few weeks ago I received a flyer in the mail from a “new” church in the area that proposes to be a “church for people who don’t like going to church.” This reminds me of a pastor friend who said to me a few years back, “Dave, I hope to one day build the kind of church that even you would want to attend.”

Most of you will recall how I have mentioned this subject before and most of you know how much of an utterly ignorant and ridiculous a statement I think this is… My sincere apologies if I have offended anyone who is really jazzed about attending one of these post-modernistic church organizations that thrives on this logic. But if I have just pushed a button, I hope you’ll hang on and hear me out. If you’re really interested in reaching people who aren’t into church, then it might help you to understand our mindset a bit more before you set off with big intentions to try and pull us all back into “the fold”.

I guess then, as it turns out, this blog post today is for those of you I have just described; Those of you who really think a hip new church program is the answer and the way to reach people who could care less about hip new church programs.

Please know that I previously spent 30 years of my life in church world and I am very familiar with the thought-process of the typical church-goer, not to mention that of many pastors who often lead these kind of endeavors.

I remember discussions with friends back in my church-going days about how it would be cool to try something like this (a post-modern, non-churchy church endeavor)… You see, even then, there were things about typical church that annoyed me (and a number of the rest of us) and I was also able to see back then how so many of our religious practices stemmed from stale traditions, were badly outdated, unbiblical, and tended toward legalism. We knew then that so many of these things were part of what turned off a lot of folks outside our walls and they even embarrassed many of us in the church system. I’m quite sure that plenty of folks who attend church today could probably find some agreement with this.

Our instinct seemed to be a cry for reform! We wanted to see things change! We too were tired of the boring weekly routine. We were secretly asking the question we’d never dare admit out loud… Is this really all there is? It can’t be… and we certainly can’t let it be, so we have to do something to make it not be. We thought we wanted to be part of a church that was relevant, unique, fun, on the cutting edge, and totally in harmony with Jesus. Is there an honest person out there who can relate to some of these feelings?

    As a side note, I really believe that this is a large part of the reason I welcomed the Toronto movement when it hit. Though I was hesitant at first, because it appeared so unusual, I eventually gave myself to it. It was refreshing to see the old stale routine busted up and nothing appeared to be business as usual anymore. People were finally starting to recognize the deadness of religion and legalism… and more people were talking about Jesus than they were about church programs or pastor’s sermons. But, as I’ve written before, the devil was in the details and a lot of corrupt doctrines and concept eventually crept in. Thought I’m embarrassed to admit some of the things I once embraced, I thank God that He delivered me from those errors and the experience has caused me to be more discerning as I look forward. One very interesting thing I noticed about the Toronto thing when it happened… Despite the good that transpired a midst the crazy, there was a season of that whole experience that produced a real hunger in my heart for truth. The more I yielded to the Lord, the more freedom I experienced from the bondage of religion and the more I began to recognize the amount of religion I was still captivated by and infected with. The more I began to read God’s Word, the more I realized the gross deviations from it that were being taught by many in the movement. Eventually, I withdrew myself from the environment entirely… Not just the “revival” but “church world” itself. I also watched as those whom I once thought had left behind religion to embrace the “new thing” God was doing, actually just digressed into further religion and more and more false doctrine. Churchianity took an even stronger hold on many (even though those captivated by it thought they were breaking free from religion). Even some of my very close friends thought I had become totally deceived because I was pulling away from this environment. I mention all of this to illustrate how though there was a time many of us thought we had broken free from religion (because of this new distraction of so-called “revival” or “renewal”), it was a setup of the enemy in many ways.

I remember the conversations we used to have about how free church was going to be now that we were no longer blinded by religion; no longer trying to put new wine into an old wineskin. Sigh… We really thought we had it all figured out.

The funny thing is, the way we always set out to accomplish this well-meaning ideal was by applying the same stale solutions to the problem, which (obviously) was no real solution at all… just a lot more of the same old thing in different clothes. It is hardly any wonder that we’d see a lot of excitement about “new directions” or (in other words) “slight alterations to the program” at the beginning, and then experience a degeneration over time to another lifeless routine, which again became hum-drum church as usual. We had to always figure out some new way to keep things interesting because… well… apparently God just wasn’t quite interesting enough. It must be our church program that keeps people interested in following God and without a good program, people just won’t be interested in God… so we have to get this right! The program became a major part of what defined us as Believers… and we allowed it to gauge our spirituality, to qualify it, to control it, and to influence everybody else with it.

Sad that the whole thing really avoided the most important thing of all; a resolution to give it all up to Jesus and let His Holy Spirit be the Leader of our lives… even if that meant it might lead us completely away from “business-as-usual” churchianity. The very idea was out of the question! We simply could not envision a Church (i.e. the body of Christ) without “church” (i.e. a religious organization)!

Today, the same mindset plagues so many Christian people. And when they hear someone like me talk this way about church world, all they think is that I’m against Christians meeting together or even organizing for various purposes, but that’s actually not true at all. The big problem I see is that most (church-attending) Christians don’t really know how to differentiate between a man-made organization as opposed to that which the Bible calls the “ecclesia” (the Church of the Firstborn – those who have been called out of darkness into His marvelous Light)… Note I said most, not all. If they were able to see their little organization as nothing more than that, a lifeless building and a man-made set of organizational processes that has NOTHING to do with actually being a follower of Jesus or being saved into the Family of God, then maybe they would just take it for what it is and stop throwing it in everyone’s face as though it were the be-all and end-all of the Christian life. If they really thought that their meeting hall was ONLY a meeting hall, then maybe they really could BE the Church. But they DON’T usually see it that way. They see the meeting hall as an essential part of Christianity itself. Simply put, you cannot really be thought of as being a Christian if you don’t go to a church! And, therefore, if you don’t go to church and yet dare to call yourself a follower of Jesus, then you really need to be convinced of the importance of the church building and program. But (their thinking goes), we don’t want to scare you off, so we’re gonna pose a clever approach that is sure to win you over… The logic basically goes like this:

“Hey, we want to reach people that are burned out on church……. Hmmm…. I wonder how we can accomplish that….. Hey, I know! Let’s start another church!”

Forgive me for laughing out loud there, but that’s the basic idea… Yet it seems that none of these groups have any clue about how (pardon me) stupid that kind of logic sounds, especially to those that are burned out on church. In case you’re reading this and still aren’t catching the hint…

Definition of Stupid: “Lacking in common sense or perception. Characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness, foolish; senseless. Tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense; inane, pointless.”

If you’re trying to reach someone who isn’t interested in church… STARTING ANOTHER CHURCH ISN’T GOING TO WORK!

In my town there are a number of churches who have started re-vamping their routine; trying desperately to make themselves more relevant. Time and again I hear the same old rhetoric used: “Are you one of those people who doesn’t like going to church? Are you looking for a place where you can belong, find fellowship, encouragement, that doesn’t feel churchy? Try our church… We’re different. We get it… We have an espresso machine and our pastor skydives.” Ok, maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea… Then, 5 minutes after you’re there you realize as you look around that they still have 4 fast songs and 3 slow ones, a benediction, announcements (usually by video with plucky comic relief by witty church volunteers), collection of tithes and offerings (bla bla bla), a sermon, prayer, and coffee and donuts in the foyer (or a lounge room with couches). Virtually every single church group I’ve seen that claims to be a “church for those who don’t like church” are nothing more than just another church… and, guess what? Those of us who don’t like church…. STILL don’t like it.

Please, someone in church world explain to me, HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK THIS WILL EVER APPEAL TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE CHURCH?

My point is, if you’re really interested in “gathering the body of Christ”, then do it and stop getting clever about it and, even worse, manipulative. If you want to get together, then get together… Whether you do it at home, at the park, at a theater, or (surprise surprise) a church building, just meet. Who cares if there’s 100 of you or 3. Stop trying to fool the rest of us. We know what you’re up with the whole “church growth” thing and it’s nothing new. Remember, unless THE LORD builds the House, they which labor, do so in vain.

NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT… What is that “house” that the Scripture is talking about… The house of God is the HOUSEHOLD. It’s a spiritual thing. The apostle Paul described it as a SPIRITUAL house of LIVING STONES (i.e. PEOPLE); 1 Peter 2:5. It has nothing to do with a building. The apostle Paul declared that WE are that house (that “temple”), NOT A BUILDING! So flush the whole “house of God” idea as being a church building you attend, because Jesus never taught such nonsense! …and I dare say to you this… HE’S STILL NOT TEACHING SUCH NONSENSE!

If you really want to reach out to people who don’t like church, may I please first ask you WHY? What is your motive for “reaching” us? Is it because you think we cannot have a relationship with Christ without attending an organization? Stop trying to deceive us with your false evangelism ploy. When you come at us going, “Hey, we don’t like church as usual either and we understand you…” but then you go right ahead and say, “But come try our church,” PLEASE! Please get a clue! You are talking nonsense!

Secondly, if your motive to “reach us” is not about concern over our relationship with Christ or thinking that we must be backsliding and need church to be saved, then why can’t you just come to us as a brother or sister in Jesus and let that be enough? Why does a church organization ever have to be part of the conversation? WE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR COOL CHURCH PROGRAM! But we might just appreciate your friendship, if it’s sincere and genuine. We might just appreciate you hanging at our place for dinner or doing some mutually-enjoyable activity together as friends, where conversation is free and unfettered by some ulterior agenda to try and work some religious order into everything. It utterly frustrates me that even some of the coolest people who happen to gather in a church environment (even a really cool church environment with all the exciting bells and whistles that make that kind of thing attractive to some people), FAIL so often on the point of relationships, when it comes to maintaining those relationships outside the church environment. They use all the right lingo… they talk about loving people… but just try to have a regular friendship with any number of them. Unless your butt sits in the pews, you won’t usually see much of them. Unless you’re involved in the same church programs they are, they won’t often have time for hanging with you. Everything revolves around church first. Of course, not everyone fits the stereotype, but I’m sad to say that the stereotype fits most! So again, we don’t care about your church program… but we’d like to care about you and feel like maybe you really cared about us too.

The thing is, many of us sincerely crave fellowship (yes, we actually want to hang out with you). We love God’s people. We already know that in Christ we ARE part of THE Fellowship! Anyone who belongs to Him, belongs to His Family and are IN the Fellowship! But we also crave the tangible expression of this. We desire to have friends too and to socially interact as well as enjoy the benefit of sharing Christ together. The difficult thing is, many of us don’t want friends that are only friends if “church” must be at the center of the relationship (rather than Christ). We also aren’t usually fans of all the other junk that comes associated with religion (that has nothing to do with biblical Christianity). To put it another way, we want YOU we just don’t want your club. The problem is that many who have decided to disconnect from church world worry that church is the only place to find you. Some of us make compromises and go “back to church” because we so desperately want to fellowship with you, but you have no idea what kind of internal conflict this presents for us.

I think of all those Christmas Hallmark movies where the dad works too hard and neglects his family and friends because he’s married to his job… They should make a movie about church people who are blind to the relationships around them because they are married to their church! It happens all the time and I almost dare say a lot more often than a dad who is married to his job. I think this is a much bigger problem that is created and maintained BY THE CHURCH! So, of course, I’m not interested!

Thirdly, if your motive to “reach us” is very simplistic, because you just think the organization you are part of is cool, then just try to understand, we aren’t impressed by it so stop dangling it like a rotten carrot in front of our face. We don’t feel any need or desire to be entertained by it. We don’t feel any obligation to attend such a thing. We actually see it as a distraction of more important things. We’re not going to be enamored by the awesomeness of your cool, motorbike riding preacher. We’re not likely to be interested in your song service that plays the same old mediocre emotion-based sing-song tunes over and over again, week after week, in the name of “worship”, where one person tells us how to “enter God’s throne room”… We know how to enter God’s throne room, and we know it doesn’t require a groovy religious rock band singing “Open Up The Heavens” on Sunday morning to accomplish it (and constantly being told when to stand up, raise our hands, dance, shout, sit down, clap, etc.). We don’t need your organization “encouraging” us about how “giving money to the church is worship”. We know this is just more religious mumbo jumbo to get money to pay for your cool program and really has virtually no actual spiritual element to it. We already know that giving is a matter of relationship with the Father and we believe it is His Spirit that leads us how and where and when to give… and that giving isn’t necessarily always money and it’s NEVER anyone else’s business unless we chose to make it so or the Father leads us to let someone else know.

I’m speaking bluntly for your benefit because you need to hear it. You need to hear how we feel and see how we think. This is not evidence of a bad attitude or because we are hurt or bitter. Many of us have a variety of different stories related to how we came out of the routine of religion, but those details are no longer about how we choose to live each day and to engage a genuine, awesome relationship with Jesus. We very much desire HIM to be at the center of our conversation and practice, but you keep throwing this other “thing” you call church in the middle. I’m speaking bluntly so your eyes will open and you will understand.

This reaction is not because we don’t love you or because we don’t want friends or don’t believe in fellowship with other believers. WE DO!!! We just don’t define “fellowship” any longer in terms of sitting in a chair, looking at the back of some guys head, while some guy tells us how to live (because he studied about it all week in preparation for his sermon).

The truth is that many of us have continued to darken the doors of your church buildings on occasion, because we keep hoping that someone in there really believes that Jesus is to be the center of our conversation and our relationships. Many of us have given second, third, and fourth chances in hopes that we would find evidence of a genuine expression of love by people who care more about God and each other than religion. But we keep bumping into your programs and all the rhetoric that goes along with it and you won’t allow it any other way. Even when you try to re-package it so that it’s less legalistic and more “inclusive” it still gets in the way of Jesus! We hate it because we desperately want to know who you are and how we might walk together in Christ with you. We’re not often sure how to tell you politely, with all love and grace, that we don’t give a sh** about churchianity. That has NOTHING to do with how much we desire to be among our family in Christ. We’re just tired of having to put up with the rules of the devil’s playground that we just happen to think “church” has become.

God already has a Church; His body! He doesn’t need another (i.e. your organization). In fact, I’ll say it plainly, with no apologies… HE DOESN’T HAVE ANOTHER!!!

You simply will NEVER be able to think up a style of church that is given any significant regard by people who are only interested in the One Church that Christ Himself has ALREADY established! WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OTHER!!!

Do you remember the church organization I first spoke about in this post (the one that sent me the advertisement about being the church for those that don’t like church)? Well… I wrote to them. I tried to share with them what I have shared here today… It does not appear to have been received too well. They responded only with the comment, “Sounds like you have it all figured out.” Sadly, this only confirmed to me that they really aren’t interested in those who don’t like church (despite the claims of their clever ad)… I don’t wish to be their judge, but it does make me wonder if they even belong to Christ at all, when they can so quickly reject a member of His body who attempts to reach out to them in love and speak to them as the very person they claim to have a heart to reach. If it weren’t that I have walked in similar shoes myself (before I came out of the deception of religion), I would probably conclude as much… I think of the apostle Paul, who also thought he was doing God’s service while persecuting the Lord’s people. He knew the Scriptures, was a very religious man, educated in the best religious schools, and believed that He was serving the Lord (and did so zealously)… though it was eventually revealed that He didn’t know what he was doing or who he was doing it to. Jesus showed up in his path and convicted him of truth.

Paul told the Philippian believers that, before his conversion to Christ, he was a fiery defender of the purity of his religion, even to the point of persecuting Christians; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book. But once the Lord enabled him to see his error, he completely changed his heart toward the whole thing. I do like how the Message version paraphrases this passage:

Philippians 3:7-10

    – The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash–along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant–dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ–God’s righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself.

That’s quite a conversion, wouldn’t you agree?! I have to say, I feel much the same way with respect toward the religion I also once embraced. I count it now as though it were manure and worthy of the trash bin. That strikes some folks as very offensive… but only because they don’t understand yet. What’s amazing is that Paul used these very strong words to describe the end of his religion… but does anyone question Paul’s devotion to Christ? They forget that the guy who wrote most of their New Testament Bible regarded his former religious life as completely without any value at all compared to the excellency of knowing Christ.

To all my church friends, past and present, I LOVE YOU! I am not against you. I am not desiring to be separated from you. I want to know you, to walk with you, to be your friend, to share Christ together with you… but I will not compete with your program and I will not be sucked into its religious grip (again). I already danced to that piper’s tune and I know where it leads. I know that “thing” was not created by Christ (for He has no substitute) and I know it is NOT His Church. Only those who have been bought by His precious blood are worthy of being called His Royal Assembly (His Church). THERE IS NO OTHER TO HAVE REGARD FOR! Your organization is only that – an organization! It is NOT the Church that Jesus established. Whether or not you continue to attend it is not my concern and that is between you and Jesus… seriously. I do not judge you because you choose to attend meetings somewhere… But if you will hold that institution in any way between us, then it is clear that you have made it your idol and we cannot enjoy any real, godly fellowship until you forsake your allegiance to the false god of churchianity and return to Christ Jesus, the Lord. Until then, I will be waiting. So many of us already are! I pray the day will soon come when many more return to Him.

With much love in Christ, Dave Yeubanks

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE – FINAL CHAPTER, 9

Chapter Nine

ENTERING THE NEW JERUSALEM

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, ‘YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.’  And this expression ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore since we receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:22-29)

When these words were written to the Hebrews they were being reminded of the awesome presence of God when He gave the commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai. Exodus chapters 19 and 20 record that great fear of the Lord came upon all and then Moses said:-

“Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” (Exodus 20:20)

We modem day Christians have very little fear of the Lord, and often forget that our loving heavenly Father is also God the Judge of all, and that His righteous wrath can come upon all who persistently refuse to obey His commandments. In this present day His judgment is falling on churches, men and ministries, for the time has come in which He is once more shaking both heaven and earth. His rebellious and sinful church is being scourged and disciplined because of His Father love. When we see Christian ministers of international reputation exposed as charlatans, whoremongers and greedy for gain, we should examine ourselves and ask Him to reveal any sin in us.

Each one of us needs to bring our lives and lifestyle under His judgment. This great shaking is taking place for He is no longer willing to tolerate our Harlot Christian religion with all its traditions, and the way we separate our secular and religious lives.

We need to understand that it is the Holy Spirit Who is calling us out of Babylon, and that we are unhappy with the church system because the Spirit of God within us is unhappy with it. He also has a greater purpose in calling us out, for He still loves all men, and He desires us to become like Christ, so that His love will become tangible and real to a world that is sick of religion.

Jesus wants us to become the manifested Sons of God, and so close to Him that we will be able to do what He did, and eventually even the “greater things” that He promised His disciples would do. We are a long way from becoming like Him, but if we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches today, and we respond by abandoning everything in order to live in submission to Jesus, then we will see the world stand in awe of the Body of Christ. We shall also see the greatest harvest of souls in history.

Jesus desires us to experience His Way of life so that the glory of God shines from us in such a way that the lost will be drawn to Him. As we walk in His Way and fellowship with Him, the Spirit of Christ manifested in us will change the world, not our dogmatic verbal arguments and defense of our religion. As we walk in His Way and fellowship with Him He will restore the Holy Spirit power we read about in the Acts of the Apostles. The insipid, almost powerless life that characterizes most Christians, must be replaced by even greater power than that displayed by the first disciples.

Entering the New Jerusalem is a process which first requires us to truly die to self, and allow Jesus to have the first place in our hearts. This means that we must learn to be truly humble and become servants, losing all thought of self-importance. We need at least one or two other believers with whom we share our lives intimately and entirely, for that is true fellowship.

Above all we must have intimate fellowship with our Father and our Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit. This fellowship is the sharing of our whole life with God. It has nothing to do with the shallow relationships we have experienced in attending church meetings, which we commonly call fellowship. This fellowship, which the apostle John wrote about embraces every aspect of our lives. It requires us to become aware of His constant presence within us and to seek His glory in all that we do and think. It is when we experience this kind of fellowship with God that we receive revelation from His Spirit, and begin to have the mind of Christ.

“What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn. 1:3)

Jesus enjoyed fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit before His incarnation. The indescribable fellowship of the Holy Godhead is eternal, and this fellowship continued during the short 33 years of His life on earth. This fellowship seeks only to love and to serve and to glorify the others within the fellowship, and we need to grasp the miracle that we are called to join in and be part of this fellowship.

Consider the fellowship that those who followed Jesus enjoyed with Him, and how He taught them to be servants of one another. Intimate fellowship with God must lead us to desire only the good of others within our fellowship, as we understand what it means to be great in the Kingdom of God. John and the other Apostles knew what this meant, and this is why he wrote these words for our benefit and instruction, and that our joy might be complete.

The Holy Spirit is calling millions of God’s children to come apart from their religious activities and to spend time alone with God. Ministers who have been widely known bible teachers and conference speakers, evangelists and pastors are hearing the same word from the Lord. Some are responding by canceling their engagements, withdrawing from public life and waiting in prayer upon our God.

Yet once more God is shaking the heavens and the earth, and He is removing and destroying the trappings of religion and the things that we have created. This will continue until the only thing which cannot be shaken remains, the Kingdom of God.

Those who are hearing the call, “Come out of her My people”, are assailed with doubts, fears and confusion. The evil spirit of tradition and the power of social conventions bring questions to our minds. What will we do about marriages and funerals without their conduct by “the church”? What about Sunday schools? It will help you to get past these barriers when you grasp the fact that there is no basis in the teaching of Jesus or the New Testament for our present day Christian ideas of these things.

It is possible to be married by a civil authority according to the laws of the land. Any believers can gather thereafter to bless the couple and pray with them. No “ordained minister” is necessary for a couple to be joined in the sight of God. In some countries only ministers of registered churches with approved constitutions are granted a license to marry people. This is all part of Babylon’s control, but we do not need to be bound by it.

Funeral services are of no relevance in the Kingdom of God. God’s children can only rejoice when one of us goes to be with the Lord. A burial or cremation of the earthly body by any person is perfectly in order. There is nothing holy and sanctified about a “church funeral service”, although tradition will try to keep us ignorant of this and insist on its necessity in order to bind and hold us in Babylon. Acts chapter 5 records the death of Ananias, a sinful believer, and that he was buried without even his wife being invited to the funeral.

“And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him. Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.” (Acts 5:6, 7)

Sunday schools did not exist until 1780 when they were started to give the poorest children an opportunity to learn to read and write, combined with religious instruction. Sadly they have replaced God’s plan which is for parents to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord. Religious instruction from others is better avoided by children of Spirit-led parents.

Our children can be filled with the Holy Spirit at a very early age, and learn to hear His voice and walk in His ways by the example and teaching of their parents, whose responsibility it is to disciple them. They can be baptized in a swimming pool or river, and even a bath tub will do. No special cleric is needed to baptize a believer, for this is the work of every disciple.

The insistence of certain denominations on officially baptizing their people is motivated by the same worldly spirit that causes a rancher to brand his cattle. Now they are ours, and nobody may take them away from us.

Because the world system controls the churches of Babylon, tradition and social custom have become so important that they have more power over people’s minds than the Word of God. The carnal mind will even appeal to scripture to enforce traditional understandings, and unwittingly perhaps, support the hold of Babylon over believers, to stop them leaving the gilded city.

To justify church buildings and traditional meetings it will be pointed out that Jesus customarily went to the Synagogues, and that the first disciples met in the Temple. However, Jesus lived under the Law, and He could not have kept its requirements perfectly outside the religious system. The Law required Him to attend meetings, pay tithes, keep the Sabbath and attend Jewish feasts and festivals. Only by doing so, and then giving up His sinless life at Calvary did He set us free from Moses’ Law, and its religious system.

The first disciples were all Jews and met in the Temple because they did not yet understand fully what Jesus had accomplished. It took many years before some of the early Christians grasped the fact that there was no longer any need to live under the Law. In fact most of the Jewish believers remained zealous for the Law and thought that only Gentile disciples were free from its demands.

When Paul came to Jerusalem, just before his imprisonment, he told the elders what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry, and scripture records subsequently:-

“And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, ‘You see brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. What then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. Therefore do this we tell you: We have four men who are under a vow; take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses in order that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing in the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law. But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.’ Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself along with them went into the temple, giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, UNTIL THE SACRIFICE WAS OFFERED for each one of them.” (Acts 21:20-26)

Scripture is telling us that the Jewish believers in Jesus were unable to fully understand the New Covenant in His blood. So strong was their tradition and religious custom that they even continued to offer sacrifices after the resurrection. They simply could not escape from the tentacles of Babylon which had enfolded the whole Jewish religion. God allowed the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70 to separate the Temple and the church.

The world system has such a powerful hold over our minds that we too will not escape fully and enter the New Jerusalem unless we, like Paul, count all things as “dung” in order that we may know Jesus in all fullness.

It takes time to be set free from our traditions and social customs and the religious beliefs that do not have their origin in our Lord. Only the Holy Spirit can do this as we worship God and submit ourselves to Him. As we come to know Him more intimately so He will show us what we must do, but our God is seldom in a hurry, so we must learn humility and patience and await His direction.

The Holy Spirit also shows us the people to whom we are to be joined in fellowship. This is very different from “joining something”, be it a group or so called house church. We can simply go about our lives and wait until we become aware that God has joined us to other believers. He does this in many ways, sometimes at a place of work, sometimes a sports club, sometimes through a business or social contact.

Relationships fashioned by the Holy Spirit are permanent and without stress or strain. There is a spiritual joining that endears us to each other as His love flows between us, and this cannot be manufactured, only recognized when it is there.

Very often God will join us to people that we would not choose for He is the One building His Body, not us. When we choose our relationships, we allow our personal likes and dislikes, and social conventions to influence our choice. God puts us together with people who will be profitable for our development, and help to conform us to the image of His Son. We must be prepared to accept criticism, rebuke and exhortation, as well as encouragement and support from those with whom we are joined in fellowship. Father knows who we need around us to smooth out our rough edges and shape our lives. When we make the choices we are likely to avoid those who annoy us, dent our egos, and reveal the flaws in our characters or the limit of our abilities. Yet all these things are essential if we are to be changed into His likeness.

The New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ must be manifest upon the earth before Jesus can return. He is not coming back for a bickering, immature, unclean girl wearing grubby denim jeans. His Bride will be a manifestation of Himself, composed of those who have made themselves ready. She will be beautiful beyond compare, pure and Holy, obsessed with her Husband, and counting all things loss that she may know Him.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has MADE HERSELF READY. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, ‘Write. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.'” (Rev.19:7-9)

The Lord is calling out His Bride, but we have to do our part and make ourselves ready. How small a thing it is to give up our religious traditions, our security in structures and organizations, and everything the world can offer in exchange for being part of His Bride.

If you purpose in your heart to continue on your journey to the Bride City, remember that you only get there by the inward way. It is not accomplished by religious observance, acts of charity, bible study, verbal prayer and fasting. These things are good, but are all external and we do them by the exertion of self.

It is by the cultivation of our relationship with God within us in the Spirit that is the Way to the City. Learn to rest in Him and to know that you are IN HIM and He is IN YOU, and that His divine will is that we only do and say those things that He activates. The true meaning of being led by the Spirit means to walk in submission and obedience to Jesus. This obedience is not a mechanical response to law, but the result of our precious love relationship, which urges us from within to please our Wonderful Counselor and Saviour Husband.

Come to the place of complete inward spiritual peace and tranquility, regardless of external circumstances, relying and trusting only in Him, and not yourself or others. This is real faith, and it develops from our personal inward walk of fellowship with our Lord. Always remember that fellowship is sharing every aspect of your life with God, and not having certain areas excluded from that relationship. There should be no division between your spiritual and secular life.

HE IS THE WAY. HE IS THE TRUTH. HE IS THE LIFE.

May the Holy Spirit lead and guide you on your journey to the City of God, which is always a place of corporate fellowship, and may you never doubt that we and He can become one flesh, now in this earthly realm.

“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless… no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. THIS MYSTERY IS GREAT BUT I AM SPEAKING WITH REFERENCE TO CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.” (Extracts from Eph. 5:25-32)

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE – CHAPTER 8

This chapter is in my opinion far too important and far too beautiful to split into two parts and so I have inserted it here as a whole.

Peter Whyte offers us here an exceptionally beautiful vision of the wonderful jewels Christ’s Royal Priesthood is called to be adorned with and what each of these jewels means in terms of the stages of spiritual development we are to experience in order to become more like Christ and indeed become part of that spotless Bride He is coming back for: the new Jerusalem.

Personally, I feel strongly identified with the traits of the Sapphire, Emerald and Sardonyx but deep inside I know I am called to display the rest of those traits and attitudes symbolised by all the other different jewels.  I have a long, long way to go yet, and often every bone in my body resists to the death undergoing this process of purification which transforms a rock into a jewel, and yet every bone of my body recognises that I am destined for this process and outside of it, my life does not make a lot of sense.

Some of these precious jewels like Chrysoprase and Topaz are quite a tall order but at the same time a magnificent goal to pursue in our Christian walk. Only the disciplined, humble and loving servant of Christ will endure to the end of this race and be able to claim as his or hers the marvel of ALL THESE wonderful jewels.  I don’t know right now how far in the race I will be able to go. Quite frankly today as I am battling the flu and feel like even lifting my hand to type is an effort, I truly doubt I am cut out for such a glorious destiny, but I do know that if I continue setting my eyes on that price, if I persevere no matter how discouraged, disappointed or dissuaded I may feel at times, the Lord himself will pick up that baton for me and see me through to the end.  That is HIS Promise and I believe it to be true and am betting my life on it. What are you betting your life on?

THE NEW JERUSALEM – Chapter 8

“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2)

“And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me saying, ‘Come here, I shall show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear Jasper.” (Rev. 21:9-11)

The New Jerusalem is the eternal, beloved companion of God. She is the Bride of Christ, the wife of the Lamb. She is without spot or blemish or wrinkle, having been sanctified by Christ who gave His life for her, and cleansed her by washing her with His Word, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He did this that He might present her to Himself, holy and blameless. She is the church of Jesus Christ and He loves and nourishes and cherishes her just as we do our own individual bodies. He does this because every believer is a member of His body.

The last two chapters of Revelation describe the Bride, who is being formed over many centuries, for she is composed of every generation of believers. The book of Revelation is a revealing of what is happening in the spirit realm, where there is no time as we know it. These things were happening before John was told to write them in a book, they happened during the rest of his life on earth, and they will continue to happen until all the purposes of God with men are fulfilled.

It is important to realize that most spiritual things involve process rather than events, because the marriage of the Lamb may well be a process rather than a single occasion as we automatically presume from our earthly experience.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians about a great mystery of Christ and His church becoming one flesh:-

“For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:31-32)

It is possible for us to enter the New Jerusalem, to be come part of the Bride, and one flesh with our Lord, while we are still in our earthly bodies. This is why the Spirit and the Bride say “Come.” This is why the Lord says to His church in Babylon, “Come out of her My people…” for He does not want us to be participators in her sins and to receive the plagues He piles upon her in judgment.

The book of Hebrews was written around 68 A.D. and in it we read:-

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.” (Heb. 12:22-24)

Revelation was written many years later, around 95 A.D. and so in 68 A.D. there were believers who “had come to the Heavenly Jerusalem”. However the influence of Babylon had so deceived and penetrated the churches in the next 27 years, that it was necessary for the Lord to rebuke the seven churches in Asia, each city church separately, for varying offenses to God. Exhort all who read Revelation to “Have an ear to hear what the Spirit says to the churches”. Exhort all to be Overcomers. Reveal the deceptions of Babylon the Great which had already overcome and imprisoned the saints. Tell all believers to “Come out of her, My people” and that both the Holy Spirit, and those already in the Bride, joined in the same cry.

“And the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come.'” (Rev. 22: 17)

“I Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” (Rev. 22:16)

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3)

These words of Christ have application to every believer in every church in every generation. God gave this Revelation of spiritual things to Jesus in order that Jesus might give it to His bond-servants. (Rev. 1:1)

New Jerusalem, as described in Chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation, has both present and future aspects. When she is complete in the future, she will consist of a great throng that no man can number. Her measurements, 1500 miles in height, 1500 miles in length, and 1500 miles in width, (Rev. 21:16) reveal that she will eventually have billions of people. One day Jesus will bring ALL of His beloved church to Himself, and many who lived and died in earthly spiritual captivity will come to the heavenly city. However, we must be concerned with the present, and allow Father to take care of the future.

While we remain in our earthly bodies we are being called to be part of her NOW. We can be part of her now, only if we love Jesus enough to obey Him, and heed the call to come out of Babylon. Because of our obedience, both Jesus and the Father come and make their abode with us, as Jesus promised.

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” (Jn.14:23)

This obedience is not a legalistic one, but stems out of the loving, joyful relationship of a bride’s desire to please her Lord. It has no connection with duty or obligation. It is the loving response of our hearts when the enormity of His love for us floods our souls, and we enter into His rest, and cease from our own religious labours. It is the inevitable result of our intimate personal fellowship with Jesus, Father and the Holy Spirit.

Only overcomers inherit these things in this earthly life, not every believer. If therefore we desire to enter the New Jerusalem now, we must learn to be overcomers.

“He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be His God and he will be My Son.” (Rev. 21:7)

The twelve Apostles of the Lamb are the foundation stones of the city wall, and they are adorned with precious stones, which reveal the spiritual maturity of the overcomer disciple. Special meanings were attributed to each of these stones by the ancients, and they can be related to our spiritual growth. They show progressive stages both in our spiritual understanding and our individual relationship to Jesus Christ.

Precious stones are formed under great pressure, and each one of us who overcomes will experience some kind of suffering, stress and pressure, while God is forming us into His Bride. May the Holy Spirit reveal to you the necessity for you to be adorned with some of these stones, as you journey to Zion, the city of our God.

Many years ago I asked the Lord to reveal the meaning of the precious stones, adorning the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, in Revelation chapter 21. Some years later I was given an old book, which contained a section headed, “The ancient meanings of Precious Stones.” As I was reading it, the Holy Spirit suddenly enlightened me to understand what follows. May He also enlighten your understanding of their spiritual meaning, when applied to your own personal spiritual progress.

JASPER is opaque but impure quartz found in metamorphic rock. It denotes process of change, and every believer undergoes this metamorphosis from the moment we are born of God’s Spirit. Although it is precious and beautiful, Jasper is lacking in brilliance and rarity, being found in abundance, just like the millions who believe in the Lord. It always contains impurities, just like all of us.

SAPPHIRE means free from enchantment. It shows that we are no longer bewitched by the charms of Babylon. It also denotes repentance and indicates that we have given up all our arguments with God, and abandoned all the religious traditions that were once so important to us. Repentance is an ongoing attitude, a permanent characteristic of the overcomer.

CHALCEDONY denotes progress to less impurity. It is less cloudy than Jasper. As we respond to the call of God to be Holy as He is Holy, we reject all impurity of thought and deed. The more intimate our personal relationship with the Lord, the more we grow like Him, and the more we hate and reject sin. The Bride makes herself ready, and clothes herself, by her righteous acts, in fine linen, bright and clean. (Rev. 19:7, 8)

EMERALD discovers false friends and ensures true love. It denotes ability to discern the false from the real, and this ability is given to us by our Lord as He sees the sincerity of our hearts toward Him. True love for Jesus can only be given when we are no longer deceived and captivated by the beauty of the whore city, and He has not only the first place, but the only place in everything. We can also come to a point in our spiritual growth when we are able to see through those who profess to be friends but are not.

SARDONYX is believed to ensure conjugal felicity, success in love and wedded happiness. This speaks of the Bride’s faithful relationship to Jesus. Adornment with this stone means that we have no further adulterous relationships with Babylon. We enjoy an intimate personal love relationship with Jesus, which fills us with joy, and makes everything else unimportant by comparison.

SARDIUS (RUBY) is found in the breastplate of Aaron. (Ex.28:20). Every believer is a priest, and can intercede with God, for those without Christ, and can also proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom. As we function as priests for the unbeliever, we are adorned with this first priestly stone.

CHRYSOLITE is supposed to be the antidote for madness and denotes freedom from evil passions. When we are entirely free from the subtle form of religious madness that held us in Babylon, and which is not The Way, we are freed from the evil passions which made us love her, and with which we loved her. Then we are adorned with Chrysolite.

BERYL is the second stone found in the breastplate of Aaron. As our fellowship with Father matures we progress in understanding and ability to function as the priests of God. We function like Jesus functioned in His humanity, representing and revealing God to others when we are adorned with Beryl.

TOPAZ denotes fidelity and friendship, which grow out of a long and close personal relationship with the Lord.

“You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his Master is doing: but I have called you friends, for all the things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (Jn.15:14-15)

Topaz is reserved for the completely loyal and trustworthy friends of Jesus, who also unconditionally love one another.

CHRYSOPRASE shines in the dark. Jesus said that His disciples are to be the light of the world. We can only be the light of the world when Christ has been formed in us, and He is manifest in our lives to those about us. Many Christian activities in Jesus Name do not glorify God and we sometimes act and speak in an ungodly manner. Chrysoprase is reserved for those who reflect Christ in their attitudes and behavior, and thereby shine in the darkness of the world.

JACINTH is translucent, allowing the passage of light, but the stone diffuses the light so that the bodies beyond it cannot be clearly distinguished by the person looking at them through the Jacinth. Every prophet is adorned with Jacinth being able to receive directly from God and reveal His light and truth to others. Those who receive it through the prophet do not see or hear these things quite so clearly. Before we can be adorned with this precious stone we have to grow in fellowship with God, until we can receive the things that the eye cannot see and the ear cannot hear.

AMETHYST denotes sincerity and is a preventative from violent passions. In all of us there is a desire to appear spiritual in front of other believers. We may speak or act unspiritually when unobserved by our brothers and sisters, and the degree to which we do this reveals the hidden insincerity in our hearts. As we mature in God we cease to worry about the opinions of others and overcome this desire to be well thought of and of good reputation. At this point we become truly sincere and allow our true nature and inner feelings to be seen by all. Then if there is unrighteous anger, impatience, intolerance or other sinful impurities hidden inside us, they are revealed and our violent passions exposed. Those that love us and care for our souls can then help us to overcome these things, and be delivered from their spoiling effect on our inward walk. Only those who have willingly become of no reputation and have truly died to self can be adorned with Amethyst.

The Holy Spirit will reveal to us much more concerning these things if we will hear the voice of Jesus and become rooted and grounded in the Word of Christ. The Lord reveals much more to us about the Bride of Christ in these last two chapters of Revelation. He states plainly many things which we need to hear and heed.

The New Jerusalem has no temple or sanctuary in it, for the Lord God and the Lamb are its temple and sanctuary. (Rev. 21:22) How unlike the city of Babylon with its cathedrals of stone and glass, the bricks and mortar called “churches” or “sanctuaries” or “the house of the Lord” by the captive and deceived saints.

Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life may enter the city. (21:27) Its gates are always open, waiting for the Kings of the earth to bring their glory into it. How God longs for His royal priesthood to make themselves ready and so enter His city. (21:24, 25)

The bond servants of the Lamb have His Name written on their foreheads, for they have renewed minds and have developed the mind of Christ. (22:3, 4)

They serve the King of Kings, not some organized religious institution or man-made structure. (22:23)

The New Jerusalem is people. God’s children who have become His bond servants and friends and His bride. Through them flows the water of God’s life; a Spirit river which originates from the throne of God in the hearts of those who have truly enthroned Him there. (22:1-3)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life and He yields His fruit continually, every month of the year. The leaves of the tree are those disciples, rooted and grounded in Christ who have been illumined by God and reign in life, bringing healing to the nations, both spiritual and physical. (22:2-6)

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and everyone who loves and practices lying. I JESUS HAVE SENT MY ANGEL TO TESTIFY TO YOU THESE THINGS FOR THE CHURCHES. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. And the Spirit and the Bride say COME. And let the one who hears say Come. Let the one who is thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Rev.22:14-17)

Jesus clearly states that all these things are for the churches, which means every born again believer in Christ. The Spirit and the Bride are saying “COME” to the children of God who make up the churches, because they are held captive by Babylon the Great.

The ones who HEAR and respond, also say “COME”.

Let those who are thirsty come out of Babylon and bring their glory into the New Jerusalem and take the water of life without cost.